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Millennium Falsehood

Favorite finishers?

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I've been thinking about squad-building lately (well, more than usual ;) ), and it occurred to me that I really don't know how to pick out good finishers. Or at least I don't know what makes for a good finisher, and I think that it would help my game if I learned to recognize the characteristics.


So how do you determine what makes a good finisher?

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Scorpion from Mortal Kombat had the best finisher, not even up for debate.

I don't think this is a question you can directly answer. You have 3 distinct game stages, early, mid, and late. Any list needs to know where it is strongest, where it is weakest, and the same for what it is up against. You then have to maximize this timing, to know when to really put on the hurt.

Early game is the jousting phase, and you can almost always guarantee shots/actions during this phase.
Mid game is the big dogpile that takes up most of the game, and is when most games are decided.
Late game is when one player is trying to mop another up, or both squads are limping around and praying for hot dice.

Early game is an entirely blank slate, starting with deployment. Both squads are fresh and unhurt, and it really is anyone's game at this point.
Mid game is critical, and barring an extremely bad early game for one player, the game should be decided here.
Late game's nature is decided by the two preceding phases of a game. So you have less control over it than say, early game, or mid. More dice have been rolled and what not.

Cool story time;

My latest tournament list is Jan, Wedge, and Wes. Wedge in this case is generally my best late game finisher. He can really beat the hell out of another ship 1v1, and if I go into the late game with say, Wedge v 4 tie fighters, I lost anyways. This list is entirely front loaded, and is designed to make you absolutely miserable from the time the first shot is fired. The longer the game goes, the weaker it gets. But if I can doing serious damage in the early game, it is probably gg.

Wave 3 I used to run 3 blue squadron pilots with fire control systems and an outer rim smuggler. This list was ok on the joust, but really powerful in a mid game brawl. So I had to minimize the damage going into the mid game, and then start hurting my opponent in the dog fight, or else I would probably lose. If you ever played against a 3 tie interceptor aces list it functioned in the same way. Turtling up, until it could get in close and knife fight you to death in about 3 turns.

I think this is what makes Han/Chewie, and soon to be Dash, so strong. They don't put out good firepower for their points, not even close. I can get 2 daggers with advanced sensors, or almost 5 z-95s for the price of a Fat Han. If we just roll dice all day, those kill far more. It's that these ships can dodge your arc all day while doing a little bit of damage. And after 20 turns of chasing Dash through the asteroid fields, you're left with 2 half dead academy pilots and he still has some shields left. It's also what makes the games so frustrating, as you rarely lose in the first few turns, but die a slow and hopeless death.


Dash is the best late game ship, followed closely by Han/Chewie. But they aren't very good late game ships if they are dead turn 4.


Edited by Breaking The Law

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For me a good game finisher is a ship that is good at avoiding damage, or able to regenerate.  Also finishers come into their own when they are 1 on 1, or 1 on 2.  So good arc dodgers ( Vader w/ eu, Tur, Soontir etc) or almost anybody with R2-D2.  A high pilot skill is better as it helps you dodge arcs, but also makes it harder for others to dodge your arcs.  Good firepower is nice, but this is where defense comes into its own.


Of course named YTs (1700 or 2400) will make the best finishers, but if you are going up against a 50-60+ point ship with only 12-30 points of your own ships you effectively lost before the end game.  Because of this it is often a good idea to identify who is the best finisher on your opponent's list and take them out as quick as you can.

Edited by DFocke

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I'm really liking Jake.. Given throughout W3, I really liked a Green w/ ptl, so, I'm probably biased.  If run correctly, the intro phase will go one of two ways - your opponent ignores the A wing, or your opponent turns a significant force to take care of the A wing right away.  In the 1st example, it leads to your A wing getting in some free shots, followed by excellent un-reciprocated mid game shots, setting it up to be at full health for end game.  In the second example, it sets the other 77 points of your squad up for a good opener and mid game, making end game irrelevant.


Once Jake reaches end game, he's a pita to lock down with his PS9 (w/ VI) and BR/Bst action.  Plus since he's never stressed, he has the full dial to use.  But he always has that focus to modify his offense (if he successfully arc dodged) or defense (if he failed), making him live quite a long time, especially for a ship  without the F+E combo.

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Inspired by this post, I am going start running;

Chewbacca-push the limit, c3p0, nien nunb, falcon title, engine upgrade
Corran Horn-Push the limit, r2d2, advanced sensors

2 very survivable ships, and see how it works out.


Man, that is one of the most educational posts I've read here. :) Thanks for the well-thought response to my question!


Thanks for the bump, I accidentally hit back on my browser and had to rewrite that whole post, so I was worried it would get buried.

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Well, when you're thinking of your late game, you usually think about it first in squad building. For instance, if you're looking to have one that does well in the late game, there are a few things to think on.


How well does my squad perform in the end game?


Simply put, what is the combat effectiveness of the squad when it's almost gone, regardless of what the opponent has? If I'm left with just Soontir Fel or Rexler Brath, I'm much more likely to have a good end game than if I flew a bunch of Academy TIEs or Scimitars.


What are my squad's defensive strengths?


Strictly put, how difficult is it to land damage on this ship with few attackers? Again Soontir is a great closer here, as are ships like Luke Skywalker. Also though the YT's defenses aren't great, the high HP goes a long way in the end as well.


What is the ships damage output late game?


Ships like Rexler Brath are still rabid beasts at this stage, and just as dangerous on their own as they were in turn 1. PS should also factor into this category, as that helps them land damage sooner and survive longer. Wedge, ships with gunners, Phantoms, and high PS X and B-wings go here too.


Next comes deployment. From when you built your squad, you should already be thinking on what ship is most important to keep alive. Deploy and approach in a manner that reflects this. If all your ships are about the same strength, then it may be ideal for them to approach the opponent at similar speeds. That way no one ship is so close or far away as to make any one ship the obviously tactically sound target. 4 PS 4 X-Wings all at range 2 make focusing any particular one down a difficult choice. If any one takes more damage, they can always be "tagged out" in the mid phase (kept at suboptimal range) to either force your opponents to take shots at the more injured ship at longer distance, or take close range shots at ships that have more health.


Conversely, if you have a more important ship in the build, you may want to think about having them flank or bring up the rear of an attack. With someone like Wedge, Brath, Luke, or Rhymer, keeping them at a farther distance will again force the opponent into taking suboptimal shots at higher profile targets or choosing closer, less important ones (like Bandits or Black Squadrons).


Lastly, you should play to your ships strengths. Do they close well because they're just hard to kill like Luke? Or is it because they're just as lethal and dangerous, like Vader or Soontir Fel? 


As a final common tip, observe your opponent and their defensive strategies. Do they repeatedly pass on using their focus during attacks so to save it for defense? Does their flight style or build reward playing from range 3? Range 1? If you can figure out whether they're better on offense or defense then this will go a long way in beating them should your game drag out. 

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A good ship remains a good ship from the start to the mid to the end game. More firepower is better than less firepower. More hitpoints are better than less hit points. More agility is better than less agility. Etc, etc.


What makes a ship great at the end-game is its ability to fight one-on-one.


(Yes, in theory we'd all like the end-game to consist of most of our squad left, hunting down a single enemy survivor like a mangy womp-rat, but the odds are against it).


One on one, you've lost the ability to focus two or three seperate attackers on a target, nor can your opponent choose to 'go after the one guy who's vulnerable' because of a collison or similar. He's either firing at your ship or not firing. Hence, the evade action comes into its own - I honestly think it's one of the best single-duel actions you can take.


Similarly, whilst hit points aren't a barrier to winning - because any target can be ground down eventually, because you're not doing much damage per turn, regenerating hit points are a bugger to get past. This is why R2D2 is specifically someone I want to kill early in the game where I can put several shots into him a turn.


And yes, finally, arc-dodgers like phantoms and interceptors thrive on single-duel engagements. With only a single arc of fire to evade, they can do what they're supposed to do and avoid being shot in the first place rather than trusting to the loyalty of the Green Octahedrons of Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal.

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