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A New Era - The Phantom Chronicles

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After discovering Doug Kinney's journal leading up to Regionals, I have decided to try documenting a similar evolution of my own. With the new phantom decloak rules officially beginning yesterday, I wanted to focus my squad building, and competitive play, around the Tie Phantom.

I won a Store Championship in early January with an Echo/Chiraneau squad that I really grew fond of because of my love of Echo's maneuverability. Even though the decloak flexibility is now gone, I still believe that the Tie Phantom will remain one of the most powerful ships in the game, and I want to learn the ins and outs of the new, more appropriately balanced phantom before regional season. So, my journey begins...

To preface this, I am not a vassal player, so I won't be able to get games in as often as I would like, probably just a few games a week. As such, I'm afraid my growth won't be as quick as it could be. With that being said, any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

A few months ago, myself and another local player were toying around with generic phantoms, and he specifically used them with Intel agent and enhanced scopes to become really good blockers. Now, with the change to decloak, you don't really need the enhanced scopes anymore. In fact, they can be even better blockers now. They use IA, decloak at PS0 to block a lower PS ship, then move to possibly block a higher PS ship. So, this is the idea I want to start with.

Shadow sq. pilot w/ IA + AS + ACD (35) x2

Captain Yorr w/ FCS + Vader + IA (30)

This is a strange list that will require practice to fly well, but I'm ok with that. The idea with the Shadows is described above, and I included ACD for now because there has been a slight PS drop locally. There will still be plenty of squads that will be a tough PS match ups, but I'm hoping the blocking shenanigans can help with that.

Yorr is there to take away stress when needed, even opening up the K-turn for the Shadows! And Vader for some Soontir insurance.

Hopefully I'll get to try this out this weekend!

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I don't have a ton of experience with phantoms, but I have been practicing a list that includes 2 Sigmas as blockers and the 'new' advanced title on Darth Vader.  One thing I have noticed, is that if you want to get maximum blocking benefit out of the phantoms, you still need enhanced scopes.  PS1 & 2 lists are still out there in significant quantities that moving after them is more likely to get you blocked than the other way around, and that is likely to lead to a dead phantom (especially against swarms that can really take advantage of a block).

 

Now, maybe that's just me and you can make it work without the enhanced scopes, but I tried them with FCS and I think I still prefer enhanced scopes, even with the new decloak rules.  YMMV of course!

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Two Sigmas and Vader sounds similar to the list I am running those days also in preparation for Regionals:

  • Sigma Squadron Pilot (34) x 2 - TIE Phantom (25), Recon Specialist (3), Sensor Jammer (4), Stygium Particle Accelerator (2)
  • Soontir Fel (32) - TIE Interceptor (27), Royal Guard TIE (0), Push the Limit (3), Autothrusters (2)

I am also not a vassal player, so I was only able to play with it twice so far. Once last week, against a Dash - Dutch list (battle report with pictures here) which ended in a modified win for me. But I am no so proud of my performance, I forgot plenty of things and being my first time with the phantoms, I think that I did not fly to the best of their capabilities.

Today, I just played against a Corran Horn - Horton Salm - Ten Numb list and I massacred them. At the end of the game, only Horton was barely alive. I will put a battle report on the same blog next week or so.

As you can see I run my phantoms without Intelligence Agent. So, they were no so much pre-con but more tanky.

I found out that if you are able to move into a blocking position and cloak as action, the extra evade from Stygium is a good deterrent for your opponent to try to fire on the phantoms and if you are not cloaked and were able to focus, the two tokens you get with Recon Specialist are golden, specially if you managed to decloak in the same round, as you will get an evade.

So, basically, I moved and cloaked (evade here from Stygium) on the passive or blocking rounds, stayed cloaked to get into a pre-position and then decloaked and moved into range 1 (if possible) with double focus and evade from Stygium.

I am still trying to master the timing of things, because a decloaked phantom even with two focus and one evade is easy prey, really easy prey. Even cloaked, today I rolled 5 blanks on my evade, I was cloaked and behind a rock and still, 5 blanks, unbelievable.

Anyway, my two cents to your quest :)

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I prefer the advanced sensors as I think it opens up some extra maneuverability, and also opens up the K-turn. If I know I'll be blocked, I could still barrel roll if it helps, or if the block doesn't leave me in a vulnerable position, I can still at least take an offensive action, or cloak first.

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I see your point. This was my first go with the phantoms and I just wanted them to be as hard to kill as possible. I also considered intelligence agent instead of recon specialist, but I was not so sure. Now I am thinking about trying your combo of intelligence agent with advanced sensors. They will be great blockers for sure.

Maybe next week...

I must say that a two phantoms and Soontir list is something that I like to fly. It is flexible and powerful ;)

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Yeah, i think the new rules for Phantoms don't necessarily "nerf" them, it just changes their role from omniscient maneuverer to surprise blocker. I don't see the new ruling as a bad thing for Phantoms, just a different way to fly them. In my games with the new ruling, I have had to guess where Echo was going to be before I moved, and try to choose a maneuver accordingly. Or at other times it didn't even matter, as Echo was able to do the maneuver she wanted anyway without any interference.

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Yeah, i think the new rules for Phantoms don't necessarily "nerf" them, it just changes their role from omniscient maneuverer to surprise blocker. I don't see the new ruling as a bad thing for Phantoms, just a different way to fly them. In my games with the new ruling, I have had to guess where Echo was going to be before I moved, and try to choose a maneuver accordingly. Or at other times it didn't even matter, as Echo was able to do the maneuver she wanted anyway without any interference.

I think Echo is almost unaffected by the change. She usually has an option that the opponent can do nothing about anyways, so the timing of the decloak isn't a bad thing for Echo.

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Today is already Friday, so I hope that you managed to play yesterday :)

Let us know.

Here, the promised second report of my trials flying phantoms.

Today I am going to fly them for a third time, we will see....

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Today is already Friday, so I hope that you managed to play yesterday :)

Let us know.

Here, the promised second report of my trials flying phantoms.

Today I am going to fly them for a third time, we will see....

Yeah, this is really not turning out to be a great journal! I still did not get a chance to play on Thursday, but I will on Saturday for sure!

Great report BTW!

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Today is already Friday, so I hope that you managed to play yesterday :)

Let us know.

Here, the promised second report of my trials flying phantoms.

Today I am going to fly them for a third time, we will see....

Nice report.

 

I've been thinking of almost the same list, except I've been thinking of using Carnor Jax instead of Soontir Fel (with same upgrades as you have).  Carnor's ability allows better mileage from the sensor jammer sigmas.

 

Another idea I had was a variation on Sigma Six, using Echo with SPA, PtL, recon spec & advanced sensors.  It would be kind of crummy losing the advanced cloaking device, but I wonder if he doesn't need it?  SPA + Recon (through PtL) means he can have 2 focus + evade either cloaked or uncloaked (depending on how much fire is coming his way).  He might be able to survive just fine that way.  Meanwhile the 2 Sigmas have enhanced scopes + intel agent + SPA for blocking and using the intel agent to help avoid getting focus fire on any ship...

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Today is already Friday, so I hope that you managed to play yesterday :)

Let us know.

Here, the promised second report of my trials flying phantoms.

Today I am going to fly them for a third time, we will see....

Yeah, this is really not turning out to be a great journal! I still did not get a chance to play on Thursday, but I will on Saturday for sure!

Great report BTW!

 

Thanks. Good luck on Saturday :)

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Nice report.

 

I've been thinking of almost the same list, except I've been thinking of using Carnor Jax instead of Soontir Fel (with same upgrades as you have).  Carnor's ability allows better mileage from the sensor jammer sigmas.

 

Another idea I had was a variation on Sigma Six, using Echo with SPA, PtL, recon spec & advanced sensors.  It would be kind of crummy losing the advanced cloaking device, but I wonder if he doesn't need it?  SPA + Recon (through PtL) means he can have 2 focus + evade either cloaked or uncloaked (depending on how much fire is coming his way).  He might be able to survive just fine that way.  Meanwhile the 2 Sigmas have enhanced scopes + intel agent + SPA for blocking and using the intel agent to help avoid getting focus fire on any ship...

 

Thanks :)

 

Carnor Jax is also  26 points compared with the 27 of Soontir, it leaves you 1 free point, if I did my math right. No idea what can you do with a point in this kind of list, but you are at 99 points, so you will have initiative bid...

 

Your Echo sounds nice. She will be able to get three actions per round (with two focus tokens) even without using adv. sensors:

if she started the round cloaked: decloak, free evade due to Stygium and here she can either Push the limits for a second action and reveal a green to clear the stress and get a third action (nasty and nice) or just move normal, get a second action and wonder if Push the limits or not

if she started the round uncloaked: move, cloak, free evade due to Stygium and possibility to Push the limits

with adv. sensors the options are even better:

if she started cloak: decloak, free evade, adv. sensors for second action, push the limits for third action, green movement and no stress :) :)

 

I think I listened in a podcast a similar idea, basically using Push the Limits with the Stygium after a decloak to clear the stress with a green for three actions per round, no stress at the end of the round

 

It sounds nice as I said, but I do not have three phantoms and wanted to try them with Soontir, which so far has been a good idea. Today I played my third game, this time against a Han Solo - Wedge Antilles list and I was lucky enough to get rid off Wedge directly on round 2 with the concentrated fire of Soontir and one of the phantoms. The rest was chasing Han all the battlefield down until he was in a corner with no exit.

But I will try you Carnor Jax alternative next time. I am very curious :) 

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Yeah, I don't think there is anything to do with that last point (if using Carnor instead of Fel), so 99 pts it is (even though initiative bid is not really essential for this list)

 

Echo should be pretty interesting, I hope :P

 

Although the phantom's green moves are a bit limiting, so PtL does have some drawbacks, but I am curious to try it.  I don't have 3 phantoms neither (yet), so this is all theory for me until I pick them up....

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Initiative: looks like a poisoned gift to me. One of our players does not stop complaining about it since he went to a tournament with his dual Dash - Corran list and was torn to pieces by a dual IG list due to him losing the initiative roll and to his opponent choosing to give him the initiative so that he was moving first and the IGs were able to react to him. I was not there but it was just after the release of Scum and apparently a lot of people were flying the new toys.

Today in my game against Han and Wedge we were both with 100 points, so we roll for initiative, I won the roll and maybe did the wrong choice as I decided to have the initiative to be able to attack first. However, both of them, Soontir and Han were at PS 9, but due to the rule of "simultaneous fire" each of them cannot avoid being attacked by the other one just by destroying it. So, initiative is only relevant to see who moves first, Han or Soontir.

Taking into account that I managed to ram into Han once with Soontir and lost my actions but that I also managed to use Soontir to block Han so that he collided with him and lost his actions, I think that the karma balance was fine but that my choice was from a strategical point of view wrong.

Anyway I will try to borrow a phantom or to proxy it with a regular Tie fighter. They have a very similar dial.

I assume you also do not play on vassal :)

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I do play on VASSAL, but am using Defenders right now.  So many lists, so little time! :P

 

Anyway, I just had another idea:

 

Carnor Jax w/ PtL, title, AT & your choice of hull or stealth = 34

2 Sigmas each w/ tactician, SJ & SPA = 33 each

 

Tactician will help with action denial, especially since Jax cannot always be at range 1 of all enemy ships.  And most opponents limited to greens are easy to get out of arc for your ships.  Of course, that first round of shooting, even if you are in range 2, could be rough without the ability to stack double focus with your decloak evade token...

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Anyway, I just had another idea:

 

Carnor Jax w/ PtL, title, AT & your choice of hull or stealth = 34

2 Sigmas each w/ tactician, SJ & SPA = 33 each

 

Tactician will help with action denial, especially since Jax cannot always be at range 1 of all enemy ships.  And most opponents limited to greens are easy to get out of arc for your ships.  Of course, that first round of shooting, even if you are in range 2, could be rough without the ability to stack double focus with your decloak evade token...

 

I played this list last week at our local tournament: despite not having much practice with phantoms, it went pretty well. However, it is utterly **** on by any Decivader with gunner who comes by, especially if he is Oicunn.

PS 3 is also terrible while facing Talas and I also found out that Jax rarely is in a position to use his ability since if you go early for range 1 you are basically losing him in return.

 

So I moved to shadows and put in a Lambda

 

2x Shadow tactician - sensor jammer - SPA 35

Omicron fcs - vader - engine upgrade 30

 

This change made the swarm matchup harder, since I'm basically gifting 30 points to my opponent, but having a Lambda who can be used to block and which is also a late game win condition against elite small ships like soontir along with the fact that make the whole list less exposed to opponent vaders seems a big improvement to me while making the phantoms shoot at PS 5 is game changing in some matchups.

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Today is already Friday, so I hope that you managed to play yesterday :)

Let us know.

Here, the promised second report of my trials flying phantoms.

Today I am going to fly them for a third time, we will see....

Nice report.

 

I've been thinking of almost the same list, except I've been thinking of using Carnor Jax instead of Soontir Fel (with same upgrades as you have).  Carnor's ability allows better mileage from the sensor jammer sigmas.

 

Another idea I had was a variation on Sigma Six, using Echo with SPA, PtL, recon spec & advanced sensors.  It would be kind of crummy losing the advanced cloaking device, but I wonder if he doesn't need it?  SPA + Recon (through PtL) means he can have 2 focus + evade either cloaked or uncloaked (depending on how much fire is coming his way).  He might be able to survive just fine that way.  Meanwhile the 2 Sigmas have enhanced scopes + intel agent + SPA for blocking and using the intel agent to help avoid getting focus fire on any ship...

 

Hi,

I played last week with Carnor Jax instead of Soontir in my list. I am not so satisfied about my performance, not about Carnor who seems to be very good if played correctly. In the second round I managed to get him in range 1 of Wedge, who without evades nor focus was destroyed by the combined fire of Carnor and one of my phantoms. I have a full battle report in my blog as usual.

I think I need more flying hours with Carnor...

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Hi,

 

 

I played last week with Carnor Jax instead of Soontir in my list. I am not so satisfied about my performance, not about Carnor who seems to be very good if played correctly. In the second round I managed to get him in range 1 of Wedge, who without evades nor focus was destroyed by the combined fire of Carnor and one of my phantoms. I have a full battle report in my blog as usual.

I think I need more flying hours with Carnor...

 

Nice battle report. I've been flying a very similar list lately (swap the RSs for IAs and give Carnor a shield with the extra points) and like the idea of having a stack of tokens on the sigmas for those firing turns (I used to fly Echo with SJ and RS), but dislike the idea of not knowing exactly where to go to block the biggest threat on the table. As for flying Carnor, while I'm certainly no expert, I find that I almost always end up turtling up with him to be safe and will only boost+BR if I'm 100% sure he won't be shot at. His presence is enough to change the way your opponents choose their actions and you want to keep that advantage for as long as possible because he probably *will* be the first ship to be focus fired... (edit) though this isn't necessarily true if your opponent can manage to get out of R1 of Carnor and focus, because then his attacks against the phantoms become effective again.

Edited by darthlurker

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Hi,

 

Nice battle report. I've been flying a very similar list lately (swap the RSs for IAs and give Carnor a shield with the extra points) and like the idea of having a stack of tokens on the sigmas for those firing turns (I used to fly Echo with SJ and RS), but dislike the idea of not knowing exactly where to go to block the biggest threat on the table. As for flying Carnor, while I'm certainly no expert, I find that I almost always end up turtling up with him to be safe and will only boost+BR if I'm 100% sure he won't be shot at. His presence is enough to change the way your opponents choose their actions and you want to keep that advantage for as long as possible because he probably *will* be the first ship to be focus fired... (edit) though this isn't necessarily true if your opponent can manage to get out of R1 of Carnor and focus, because then his attacks against the phantoms become effective again.

 

Thanks :)

 

I actually managed to play a second time with Carnor and, again, I am convinced that I under-perform with him; my fault, not his :)

For tomorrow, the regionals, I will come back to Soontir, as I think I am better flying with him but I will try to fly more with Carnor. I think his ability is very good and I agree with you, his mere presence close to other ships, even if he does not fire, can be enough to modify the way your opponent moves or perform actions, which at the end is good for you (I mean, anything that moves your opponent outside of his comfort zone is potentially positive for you)

I saw the entry in the FFG page concerning the emperor, so maybe I will try the shuttle (emperor) with soontir and carnor; just for fun :)

But, I seriously need more flying hours with Carnor :) :)

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Hi,

I took the list to the Regional, here, in The Hague. I did not so well but I think that the list could have done better.

Anyway, I finished 22 out of 26 with 8 points: 1 victory, 1 modified victory and 3 defeats.

There is an article about the whole event with statistics and so on here.

And, of course, a short entry in my blog about it here.

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