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Crit Happens

Guaranteed damage to be the revelation of wave 6?

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It has been around for a while with the Doom Shuttle, and has made other minor appearances with Oicunn, and with splash damage from assault missiles (VERY minor appearances)and ruthlessness, but I believe guaranteed damage will be an idea consistently built into squads from a lot of players moving forward.

This is a clear counter to the hyper-mobile phantoms, interceptors, star vipers and aggressors, and with S&V on the shelves, there are a lot of ways to land some damage on these ships. Feedback Array and Deadman's Switch are some fun illicit upgrades that many people will slap onto the scum ships of their choice to wreak havoc on their opponents, and we have been seeing the appearance of Darth Vader on Decimators for a little while as well. This, I believe is the ultimate Soontir counter.

Wave 5 was not only the "2 ship build" wave, but there was also a huge rise in control and stress mechanics, which was a solid counter to phantoms (and almost every other squad, honestly - who wants to be stressed other than a couple Rebel pilots?), but an even better counter to every squad is guaranteed damage.

I plan on building this in to a lot of my squads in the next couple of months leading up to regionals to test its effectiveness. What do you guys think? Do you see this being as big as I do? Are you giving it a shot? Or do you foresee some other trend shaking out of wave 6?

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Don't forget Ten Numb with Mangler. There's a solid rise not only in auto-hits, but also in ways to actually deal critical damage.

It definitely enhances the attractiveness of cards like Determination, Jerjerrod, Salvaged Astromech and R5 Astromech.

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One thing to remember, though, is that you're probably not killing off these high agility (not so much hyper-mobile) assholes with guaranteed damage alone. Imo, it's good to have several sources of guarantees to polish off whatever damage you manage to do (but if you somehow manage to convince Soontir to fly into three bug-zappers, more power to you :))

 

Between Feedback and Auto-blaster turret, the game  might be finally shifting back to foresight and positioning rather than herp-derp turrets and always moving after the opponent to dodge arcs. Add to it that the only super arc-dodger that cares less about blocking is the phantom (soontir is not cool with losing his 3 actions to a bump :angry: , Whisper still gets hers) and we have a very auspicious looking meta that'll put the emphasis back on the maneuvers and away from dice :lol:

 

 

There's another fun little trend out of scum, namely the "I don't give a ****" trend.

 

This comes mostly from the Outlaw Tech, Security Droid, Advanced Sensor Vipers/Aggressors, and Feedback arrays. Blocking yourself is more of an asset than it ever was, even with the shuttle! Because you lose little to nothing from either an action-independent target-lock/focus, pre-manuever action Aggressors/Vipers (which also come with action independent abilities ala IG-88C, Guri, and Xizor), or guaranteed damage that doesn't care if you're stressed or even facing the right way. It's gotten to the point that I've been ramming feed-back ionized Zs into the guy in front just so they're in position to feedback again that turn ^_^

Edited by ficklegreendice

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Don't forget Ten Numb with Mangler. There's a solid rise not only in auto-hits, but also in ways to actually deal critical damage.

It definitely enhances the attractiveness of cards like Determination, Jerjerrod, Salvaged Astromech and R5 Astromech.

Accuracy corrector will work against 1 agility ships like Y-wings B-wings and Falcons.

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Between Feedback and Auto-blaster turret, the game  might be finally shifting back to foresight and positioning rather than herp-derp turrets and always moving after the opponent to dodge arcs.

 

<Snip>

guaranteed damage that doesn't care if you're stressed or even facing the right way.

I'm not seeing how guaranteed damage that doesn't care about facing or stress isn't worse than turrets.

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IG-88B can whiff it's first attack, and then land undodgeable 2 hits with auto blaster/accuracy correcter. S loop next turn and keep firing.

It's the most unavoidable damage you can consistently deal, and that not counting those times you roll three natural hits.

Edited by nikk whyte

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I would say that often I'd rather add stress/Ion than a point of damage on a ship, certainly it isn't "better" across the board.

 

Would you rather have 1dmg vs Fel, or double stress him so he takes no actions next turn? Would you rather have 1 dmg on a Phantom, or an Ion when he's tucked up next to a rock?

 

Sure, a certain 1dmg is nice when the enemy is *on* 1hp - that's the joy of Vader (that, and a 30% chance of dealing 2dmg instead...). But against someone on full hp who is move/action reliant to stay alive, I'd take the disable any day, so that next turn I can orient and blow them apart without having to worry about their ridiculous tricksiness.

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98 points total Squad
Soontir Fel   35 points
When you receive a stress token, you may assign 1 focus token to your ship.
Soontir Fel/TIE Interceptor (27)
Royal Guard TIE (0)
– You may equip up to 2 different Modification upgrades (instead of 1). You cannot equip this card if your pilot skill is "4" or lower.
Push the Limit (3)
– Once per round, after you perform an action, you may perform 1 free action shown in your action bar. Then receive 1 stress token.
Autothrusters (2)
– When defending, if you are beyond Range 2 or outside the attacker's firing arc, you may change 1 of your blank results to a result. You can equip this card only if you have the icon.
Stealth Device (3)
– Increase your agility value by 1. If you are hit by an attack, discard this card.

Rear Admiral Chiraneau      63 points
When attacking at Range 1-2, you may change 1 of your results to a result.
Rear Admiral Chiraneau/VT-49 Decimator (46)
Push the Limit (3)
– Once per round, after you perform an action, you may perform 1 free action shown in your action bar. Then receive 1 stress token.
Ysanne Isard (4)
– At the start of the Combat phase, if you have no shields and at least 1 Damage card assigned to your ship, you may perform a free evade action.
Darth Vader (3)
– After you perform an attack against an enemy ship, you may suffer 2 damage to cause that ship to suffer 1 critical damage.
Rebel Captive (3)
– Once per round, the first ship that declares you as the target of an attack immediately receives 1 stress token.
Engine Upgrade (4)
– Your action bar gains the action icon.

 

I won a Store Championship playing this squad over the weekend. 98 points makes it nearly perfect to give away that initiative on every match. You want your Soontir moving after every other PS 9 in the game(This includes Whisper!). I have never played a squad that just flat out murders phantoms as well as this squad, and I do mean Murders Phantoms. Advance Cloaking device is a gone relic in this match as it will never get used and is four points of dead weight. The reason being is Fel can just simply elect to get out of Arc of the Phantom leaving only a Rebel Captive to shoot at. Now it has to live through a 3 attack return fire while not cloaked. This will open the door for a timely Darth Vader crew activation to polish off the Phantom often in the first exchange and never past the second.

 

We all know what the Fel35 can do, so there is no real reason to cover it. Darth Vader crew speaks to the subject of the thread and we just saw one example of why it's a good idea(not to mention the other Soontir's out there). Lets look at the possibilities of these 3 cards on the Admiral and what they can do! Push The Limit, Yassane Isard and Engine Upgrade make for some post activation phase shenanigans. Once you have that damage card on Rear, Isard is in effect. Since she gives an action and not a free token you can trigger Push The Limit of off the free Evade action given to you by Isard. This now can be used on the Engine Upgrade to get post activation movement and often arc dodging. Yup that's right if a ship comes in at Rear from the side his post activation movement will leave them looking at nothing at all.

 

Both these tactics are what I used to propel me to a Store Championship. Twice I faced a Whisper Phantom paired up with a Vaderless Rear, 3 Matches were against list Including Fel35. So for everyone who thinks turrets are dead because of Autothrusters are flat out wrong as you'll soon have Decimators running around everywhere with Darth Vader on board. What will Change is Phantoms wont be able to survive easily in the new meta and that will change everything!

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Interceptors got a boost from AT's, they did not become any less challenging to fly. All it means is you can go against turrets now and compete.

The concept of so much "guaranteed" damage isn't that bad. Most of it requires the attacker to be at R1 and that can be avoided by Ints at least, very easily.

Accuracy Corrector is the one truly nasty card, but I can't be deployed on many ships, most of which have a better use for the slot (The new Tie Advanced upgrades may actually make the card a no brainer on them.)

 

I like that bomb's became more usable. Also remember that most auto damage also damages the ship using it and so needs to be used wisely.

 

In all, I don't think this has upset the balance of the game and may have added something to it.

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What do you guys think? Do you see this being as big as I do? Are you giving it a shot? Or do you foresee some other trend shaking out of wave 6?

Guaranteed damage is really inefficient compared to "regular" damage, except against enemies that are particularly good at shaking off that regular damage. So I think it'll be an important sideline for as long as people remain panicked about Autothrusters, but not the main thrust of the game going forward. Scum also doesn't add a lot of "guaranteed" damage, actually: Feedback Array and Dead Man's Switch are the only effects that work that way, and both have pretty substantial drawbacks to their use.

Overall, borrowing the frame of Paul Heaver's turret/jouster/dodger "pillars", I think Autothrusters is going to push back on the turret-heavy builds. That's going to lead to a rise in the other two main strategies, as well a number of fruitful hybrids between the three groups. To the extent that guaranteed damage affects the metagame, it will help balance out the ascendance of arc-dodgers by strengthening turrets (Decimator + Vader) and jousters (Binayre Pirate + Feedback Array).

The wild card is still the Phantom, actually. It's still at the top of the heap for arc-dodgers, and the relative decline of turret lists opens a wedge for Whisper. And it handles guaranteed damage better in general, and Vader's crits much better, than Fel does. We'll see what happens there, I guess.

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Between Feedback and Auto-blaster turret, the game  might be finally shifting back to foresight and positioning rather than herp-derp turrets and always moving after the opponent to dodge arcs.

 

<Snip>

guaranteed damage that doesn't care if you're stressed or even facing the right way.

I'm not seeing how guaranteed damage that doesn't care about facing or stress isn't worse than turrets.

Most of the time, it comes with the cost of damaging yourself as well. Vader crew-2 damage to yourself; Feedback array-1 damage and an ion token; Dead man switch...you're dead.

A lot of these options are only going to be used in specific situations (range one limitations), but they at least give you some areas of the board that whisper, echo, soontir don't want to go. This makes these ships a bit more predictable - always a good thing.

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Between Feedback and Auto-blaster turret, the game  might be finally shifting back to foresight and positioning rather than herp-derp turrets and always moving after the opponent to dodge arcs.

 

<Snip>

guaranteed damage that doesn't care if you're stressed or even facing the right way.

I'm not seeing how guaranteed damage that doesn't care about facing or stress isn't worse than turrets.

 

 

really?

 

so the 1 damage that hurts yourself and ionizes yourself that only works at range 1 is comparable to a range 1-3 "**** your positioning, I'm going to shoot you anyway?"

 

spoiler alert: it is not

 

 

Feedback array and auto-blast turrets are severely limited in range, meaning you actually have to use positioning in order to line them up and fire them off effectively rather than just running off in any direction, focused exclusively on arc-dodging while still getting your shots off.

 

Now the vadermater is still a turret and therefore weak ****, but it does at least do us the favor or killing 25% of itself whenever it double-taps

Edited by ficklegreendice

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The decimator of doom is certainly my top target since I fly a three interceptor list, and it will probably down one of the three and could put some significant hurt on a second, but it is not unbeatable. I faced it in my last store championship and nearly won the match after destroying the decimator (his firespray hung on and I eventually rolled all blank green dice with stealth remaining, and he had only two hull left on the firespray).

The Vader mechanic is a bit crazy given the decimator's hull. Being able to do range unlimited crits after only attacking once is a very powerful mechanic. Personally I think you should have to hit my ship at least once to auto-crit later. I am left imagining that after missing the attack Vader throws his light saber and somehow plugs it right in a critical component on my untouched arc dodger. A bit imaginative I think. :-)

The good news is that I'm glad to see the turret tank flyers actually get a bit nervous and begin placing squint insurance on their ships. That clearly reflects a better set of competitive game mechanics than we had pre-Scum & Villainy.

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