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Punning Pundit

Hot Shot Munitions

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I'm so glad I didn't typo that second word...

For a while, it's been apparent that Torpedoes and Missiles aren't all that great an investment. Many of us have looked at the reasons why, and have come up with expense and action economy. Over the last couple of waves, we've seen:

1) Proton Rockets (Prockets): they're cheap (3 points), require the possession, but not the spending of a token (focus), and can hit very hard (up to a 5 die attack). The biggest drawback they have is the Range 1 requirement.

2) Flechette Torpedoes: They're cheap (2 points), requires the possession and spending of a token (Target Lock), and can hit moderately hard (3 die attack). It can have an effect whether or not it actually hits. The biggest drawback is that the effect only works against ships with (starting) hull values of 4 or less.

3) Ion Torpedoes: They're expensive (5 points), require the possession and spending of a token (Target Lock), Hits fairly hard (4 die attack), and has an on-hit effect (ionization of the target and every ship in range 1 of the target). The biggest drawback is the expense. The fact that it was released at the start of the 2 ship meta probably doesn't help.

4) "Hot Shot" Blaster: They're Cheap (3 points), require no tokens to fire, can fire out of arc, at ranges 1-2, and hits moderately hard (3 die attack). The biggest drawback is the use-once nature of all munitions.

So: Types 1 and 2 are taken fairly often. Ion torpedoes are almost never taken. How often are you folks seeing Hot Shots Blasters? How much success are you seeing folks have with them? As we look forward to Wave 7, with it's Bomber* love, should we hope Fantasy Flight is looking at the "Hot Shot" Blaster as it's model?

*Oh gods! What if they mean a love for "Redbull Bomber", the StarCraft 2 Terran who's in his last year of pro play before he has to do his military service?!

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I haven't gotten too many games in with them but Hot Shot Blaster has felt like a decent way to spend 3 points every time I've taken it. It's either allowed me to take a shot in a round that I would have not had one or allowed an out of arc shot so that it's bearer could fire at the same target his squad-mates were. 

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First, I want to point out that your hull value does not decrease as you take damage cards.  Your hull value remains constant, and your ship is destroyed with the number of damage cards equals or exceeds the hull value.

 

With that said, I don't think we're going to see that many hot shot blasters, namely because of the other options for the illicit slot.  The best (imo) being the 1 point Inertial Dampeners, though the Feedback Array can also be considered.  

 

The HSB has a chance of being used, especially on an expensive ship as some insurance for chasing down arc dodgers, but I think most will find that Inertial Dampeners will work better overall on those ships.  A Z95 or Syck could make use of HSB, but they'll probably do better off overlapping arcs and getting a guaranteed damage through via FA.  As such, I'm not quite sure who would take the HSB.

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The HSB has a chance of being used, especially on an expensive ship as some insurance for chasing down arc dodgers, but I think most will find that Inertial Dampeners will work better overall on those ships.  A Z95 or Syck could make use of HSB, but they'll probably do better off overlapping arcs and getting a guaranteed damage through via FA.  As such, I'm not quite sure who would take the HSB.

 

Scyks don't have an Illicit slot. I think Starvipers with Virago are good candidates for HSB as is N'Dru. Both of them are expensive enough that the self damage and Ion token from the Feedback Array are a little harder to swallow.  

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Okay, so maybe I'm weird (no, really?!) but I do like the HSB on the Z95. It makes the wary opponent give them more attention then they merit, and let my bigger guns have a bit more freedom. I tend to pack MF on them too though so it's not entirely a throw-away weapon.

Edited by Slugrage

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My Hotshot Blaster got me a one-shot kill on Turr Phennir during the final game of my Store Championships.  I'm not sure if he forgot I had it, or forgot what it could do, or what, but Mr. Super Slick Arc Dodger walked right into it, to the tune of a hit/hit/crit, and then didn't have a single evade as his green dice turned on him.

 

I don't know if it's gonna happen real often, or even if it'll happen ever again...but, man, I can't complain so far.

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Hot shot blaster is excellent. It allows a decent attack on a ship chasing you, or allows you to overshoot a ship and still maintain your firepower. At three points it *can* be expensive, but an attack when you normallu wouldn't have one can really influence the game.

I'm surprised TC forgot Ion Pulse Missiles: requires a Target Lock but it's unnecessary to spend it unless you need re-rolls, and it can control a large ship for a turn. It's one of my favorite upgrades.

Homing Missiles are the same way, AND they ignore evade tokens! Very handy against a Falcon.

Munitions as a whole are becoming more favorable in my eyes, but they certainly aren't for everyone. As of late, these are two of my favorites:

Guri + Advanceed Proton Torpedoes. Mmm. This almost always guarantees five damage. Advanced Sensor target lock, then maneuver into range one for Guri's Focus (I typically end up taking an S loop) and someone is about to have a bad day.

Any ship with Predator + Proton Torpedoes. This is lethal enough against any ship, but it really shines against low-PS or a ship that has been Torkil Muxed. Re-rolling one or two die and getting (usually) one auto-crit from an eye is fantastic. Personally, I've rarely not gotten four hits from it after Predator re-rolls.

Honorable mention: Defenders and Ion Pulse Missiles. Joust at a ship, take the TL, ionize them, 4k turn, wreak havoc. Great stuff.

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Guri + Advanceed Proton Torpedoes. Mmm. This almost always guarantees five damage. Advanced Sensor target lock, then maneuver into range one for Guri's Focus (I typically end up taking an S loop) and someone is about to have a bad day.

I'd take standard or FCS TL over AdvS, it's a a little wierd trying to maintain damage output on such an expensive ship with just one action (PTL is iffy due to no hard green)

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Guri + Advanceed Proton Torpedoes. Mmm. This almost always guarantees five damage. Advanced Sensor target lock, then maneuver into range one for Guri's Focus (I typically end up taking an S loop) and someone is about to have a bad day.

I'd take standard or FCS TL over AdvS, it's a a little wierd trying to maintain damage output on such an expensive ship with just one action (PTL is iffy due to no hard green)

 

 

Predator, baby :D

 

I'll take ADVs on Vipers any day, the focus is just that important (and if you get Guri's focus, great! use that **** to modify your attack or not die) even before we begin to consider movement shenanigans and actions pre-segnor's. Predator mimics FCS, but there is no EPT that can mimic taking a focus or boost/roll pre-movement. FCS is good if you don't have the points, though. If it makes room for thrusters, all the better :)

 

APT, though, is something I'd never put on the table <_<

 

 

Anyway, the problem with ordinance is that it's inconsistent and always because it's a one shot deal. Flechette is about the only one you can squeeze additional value out of since the stress is guaranteed and munition's failsafe can get it back.

 

Hotshot on Zs intrigue me, but I don't think I can find a place for them over Feedback Array. Consistency is just so important in this game that I wouldn't gamble points on what could be a single lousy roll.

Edited by ficklegreendice

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Guri + Advanceed Proton Torpedoes. Mmm. This almost always guarantees five damage. Advanced Sensor target lock, then maneuver into range one for Guri's Focus (I typically end up taking an S loop) and someone is about to have a bad day.

I'd take standard or FCS TL over AdvS, it's a a little wierd trying to maintain damage output on such an expensive ship with just one action (PTL is iffy due to no hard green)

Predator, baby :D

 

I'll take ADVs on Vipers any day, the focus is just that important (and if you get Guri's focus, great! use that **** to modify your attack or not die) even before we begin to consider movement shenanigans and actions pre-segnor's. Predator mimics FCS, but there is no EPT that can mimic taking a focus or boost/roll pre-movement. FCS is good if you don't have the points, though. If it makes room for thrusters, all the better :)

 

APT, though, is something I'd never put on the table <_<

 

 

Anyway, the problem with ordinance is that it's inconsistent and always because it's a one shot deal. Flechette is about the only one you can squeeze additional value out of since the stress is guaranteed and munition's failsafe can get it back.

 

Hotshot on Zs intrigue me, but I don't think I can find a place for them over Feedback Array. Consistency is just so important in this game that I wouldn't gamble points on what could be a single lousy roll.

APT is shockingly effective vs high-AGI ships, though, especially high-PS ones that are ballsy enough to think they can get a killing roll on you before that shot goes off.

 

Being able to overmatch 3 by 2 dice, with ONLY those two dice being random is a 50/50 chance of getting a point of damage past NO MATTER WHAT.

 

(plus I only have one copy of Predator)

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I'm fine with people not taking APT -- more room for them to underestimate it, and more time for me to make them regret every bit of it :D

 

But really, I understand the hesitation to take munitions (especially munitions that are as expensive as APT, Ion Torpedoes and Assault Missiles), but I just love them. They're especially useful on generic bombers (moreso Cluster Missiles and Flechette Torpedoes) because, by that point, most of the higher-skilled pilots have spent tokens on offense or another attack. Being able to roll 6 / 8 die (Cluster Missiles / Cluster Missiles w/ N'Dru) against a ship rolling un-modified green die is huge. Jonus + 2 Cluster Missile volleys spells some serious bad news for large ships and can also be lethal to those 2-defense-die Rebels.

 

Then again, dice are dice. It's always possible for a 5-die attack to roll blanks, but that happens with a range 1 Phantom or Exposed Decimator, too :P

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HSB is great on N'dru.  I run him as a flanker with lone wolf and a 4 attack HSB attack on the phantom they send his way is rather nice.  One thing not talked a lot about is N'dru's added dice to ordinance ability, including HSB.

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HSB is great on N'dru.  I run him as a flanker with lone wolf and a 4 attack HSB attack on the phantom they send his way is rather nice.  One thing not talked a lot about is N'dru's added dice to ordinance ability, including HSB.

I've used it to good effect with N'dru. He's typically off on his own so the extra fire power is nice

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The 4 named above are the best 4 "Munitions" in the game and were also the last 4 released (There may be one more in there that I am not remembering). Recent munitions have been playable, while original munitions have not been, so hopefully FFG has fixed the course on all new munitions moving forward, but the question now is do you "fix" the old ones somehow, or just make all new ones?

 

There is some usefulness in the original munitions, but it mostly has to do with the over cost and the loss of a target lock (or focus with deadeye). Proton Torpedo's are actually solid, but the cost of 4 and the loss of a Target lock is why they don't see play for example

 

HotShot is a great example of a useful and not too unfair munition. No loss of target lock, 360 degree attack, decent cost..

 

FFG could release missile/torpedo upgrades that act as upgrades to upgrades, making munitions cost 2 less or maybe take away the target lock being spent...Something like that would be universal and not ship specific AND would make all existing munitions possibly viable.

 

I am sure there's dozens of different ideas for fixing munitions on these forums by now, but I just had to throw that out there. :)

 

To answer the main Hot Shot discussion, I have had great results with a HotShot on Guri and on Zs. Especially the Z that gets the extra attack dice when he is alone. It was expensive but I also had Opportunist on him so the hotshot fired for 5 dice. A lot of points for a Z, but it made my opponent fly differently which helped the game overall. (I also played Cluster Missile because I couldn't resist of course)

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personally i have been running kath with 3 z-95s all of witch have hotshot blaster and munitions failsafe, and i am LOVING IT! it helps alot when your little guys can almost always have a shot and if i miss i can use it again, so if i run into an arc dodger i can keep pounding away with the blaster until actually hit him. I personally did not like the damage trade off from feedback array especially since you get iond and will almost always be useless the next turn...

 

anyway my 2 cents

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The 4 named above are the best 4 "Munitions" in the game and were also the last 4 released (There may be one more in there that I am not remembering). Recent munitions have been playable, while original munitions have not been, so hopefully FFG has fixed the course on all new munitions moving forward, but the question now is do you "fix" the old ones somehow, or just make all new ones?

 

I do agree, though I wouldn't describe them as "playable" so much as "barely playable."

 

They are still incredibly rigid and one-shot only, which makes me loathe to include them in anything but a specialized build (flechettes on Nera, for example)

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Don't forget... Things like the Hot Shot Blaster as not truly one-shot.  Yes they can be fired/expended only once but if played well and then can keep an opponent off your tail for several turns.  The same is true for the Inertial Dampeners and most bombs.

 

Play as if they can be used every turn and then when it's most effective.  Bang.

 

P.S.  Plan ordnance in Epic, either the carriers are targets which lets others get through or killers.

Edited by Ken at Sunrise

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One problem with most munition that are discarded is that they have very unfavorable match ups. The Assault Missiles and Ion Torpedoes are great for swarms but are bad against a list that can fly loose. Cluster Missiles are good against slower targets but evasive ships tend to not care about them.

 

Although I'm starting to find that the sting of discarding the card and it was for naught is the really negative part of these cards. While they cost more the cannons are flexible and more consistent  I don't know if it's a bad thing but I wished Munitions Fail-safe didn't cost a point just taking up your modification slot allowing you to have a few points to spare on other things.

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Something Starsoul-klr nails, I think, is the way a lot of munitions are only worth their cost when your opponent brings a specific list to the table. One idea I've been toying with is either/or triggers on munitions.

For instance: before using an ion torpedo, the must choose to- on hit- give 1 ion token to the opponent, and each ship at range 1, or 1 ion to the opponent and an extra 2 damage to the opponent.

Not exactly that. But something along those lines.

It's that best case/other case sort of thinking that makes Predator and Autothrusters so good. Letting me get some benefit even outside the exact counter is a very useful thing.

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The reason I think the Hot Shot ends up being a very good secondary weapon is that it covers blind spot weaknesses. If anything there's an intimidation factor to it for those are-dodgers. 

 

Brainstorming here I'm starting to think a way to reload a used Missile or Torpedo with an action might help out those weapons. Sure still more maintenance then a cannon but it would at least stray away from them being one-shot weapons which is what scares people away from them. 

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The reason I think the Hot Shot ends up being a very good secondary weapon is that it covers blind spot weaknesses. If anything there's an intimidation factor to it for those are-dodgers. 

 

Brainstorming here I'm starting to think a way to reload a used Missile or Torpedo with an action might help out those weapons. Sure still more maintenance then a cannon but it would at least stray away from them being one-shot weapons which is what scares people away from them. 

 

would not be viable with a re-load action considering they already force your action to use

 

now if it re-loaded when you took a target-lock action (just couldn't fire on the same turn it re-loaded, turn card sideways to show it's "spent") you wouldn't waste too much efficiency on them

Edited by ficklegreendice

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