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Killionaire

Competing Choices: Obvious winners?

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With Wave 1 out, we have the start of our new ship meta. But let's talk upgrades! Several upgrades are very much a 'one or the other' sort of deal. Some seem more obvious than others but generally have similar roles.

 

Off the top of my head, the most obvious ones are:

 

Ordinance: Assault Concussion Missiles vs Expanded Launchers

Defense: ECM vs Advanced Projectors

Turbolaser: X17s vs XX9s vs Enhanced Armament

Ion Cannon: Leading Shots vs Ion Cannon vs Overload Pulse

Support Team: Nav Team vs Engine Techs

 

I think that most of these are alas fairly clear cut.

Ordinance: ACMs are more powerful than expanded launchers in general, especially if you get two arcs. They really are damned good and cheaper.

Defense: ECM is really vital for the ships that carry it. Adv Projectors are good, but currently ECM is more needed

Turbolaser: Enhanced Armament is great, but X17s are cheaper and affect all arcs. Even call. XX9s seem too much 'win more' to me.

Ion Cannon: Leading Shots increases your offense output very easily and is cheap. The others seem too gimmicky.

Support Team: Engine Techs costs more, but is better than Nav Team for the most part. 

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Ordinance: ACM is only better than EL, if you already have a high chance for a crit. A crit happens at 25% chance per dice. The EL costs roughly twice of the ACM, bringing two dice instead of two damage on a crit. A black dice generates 4/3 damage at 3/4 the time, thus roughly equaling one damage. As the cost is doubled for EL, you want at least a 50% chance for a crit for ACM to prefer them over EL. This happens at over two black dice. Considering that the ACM does not consume a modification slot and is able to enhance the side and rear arcs as well, gives it a major boon over the EL, a little mindered by the fact, that you won't be able to use a standard crit effect, when benefitting from the ACM. Thus, I recommend the ACM as strictly better for any ship with three black front dice, as slightly better for two and the EL as better for ships with one black front dice (and few black side dice).

Defense: For the CR90 I'd take the projectors, for the AF it's the ECM

Turbolaser: XI7 is nice for the rebels, as the VSD is pretty vulnerable without redirect, but as an imp I'd prefer the XX9

Ion Cannon: The Overload pulse is top notch. It is for the rebels an ideal upgrade for the Ion CR90 and enables nice fleet tactics, as an imp: the Dominator (or an Ion VSD) with this Ion upgrade is murder - if you have a friendly ship nearby, which can benefit from the weakend defender.

Ion Cannons are cheap and will likely result in an extra damage (or the reduction of direly needed tokens). It is nonsense, if your opponent has Tarkin...

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With Wave 1 out, we have the start of our new ship meta. But let's talk upgrades! Several upgrades are very much a 'one or the other' sort of deal. Some seem more obvious than others but generally have similar roles.

 

Off the top of my head, the most obvious ones are:

 

Ordinance: Assault Concussion Missiles vs Expanded Launchers

Defense: ECM vs Advanced Projectors

Turbolaser: X17s vs XX9s vs Enhanced Armament

Ion Cannon: Leading Shots vs Ion Cannon vs Overload Pulse

Support Team: Nav Team vs Engine Techs

 

I think that most of these are alas fairly clear cut.

Ordinance: ACMs are more powerful than expanded launchers in general, especially if you get two arcs. They really are damned good and cheaper.

Defense: ECM is really vital for the ships that carry it. Adv Projectors are good, but currently ECM is more needed

Turbolaser: Enhanced Armament is great, but X17s are cheaper and affect all arcs. Even call. XX9s seem too much 'win more' to me.

Ion Cannon: Leading Shots increases your offense output very easily and is cheap. The others seem too gimmicky.

Support Team: Engine Techs costs more, but is better than Nav Team for the most part. 

Great idea for a topic! The good news, I feel, is that there aren't many obvious choices, which is a good thing in my view.

 

That being said; my choices are, from the bottom up:

Support Teams: Engine Techs. Pricey, but powerful. Goes great with Demolisher.

Ion Cannon: Fairly obvious as well, Leading Shots is great, but surprisingly not as much as one would think. Since Blue Dice always deliver in one form or another, you are giving up a guranteed result for a chance at cleaning up your other results. Its a nice insurance policy against large, dismal rolls, but not much else.

Turbolaser: Tough one, obviously. EA is great for anything but Nebulons. XX9s are really only best on Salvation or a truly obnoxious gunship. X17s seem great for someone expecting to fight Victories or Frigates.

Defense: ECM is the best candidate here, I believe, but may be a bit overrated. Advanced Projectors has potential, but ultimately seems a little underwhelming. I think it will see more use for it in Wave 2 with the big, shield heavy gunships.

Ordinance: Now this one I'm really struggling with... Expanded Launchers has my heart, but people are winning me over to Concussion Missiles. This is strictly in regards to a Demolisher gladiator, I think EL is redundant on a Victory 1.

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What do you guys think about the spoiled "rapid reload"? I know its a raider card, but for those that don't know its an "enhanced armorments" for black dice at short range, and I believe that it is 12 points off the top of my head.

Victory Ones everywhere are crying about not being able to take Enhanced Armorments and Rapid Reload in tournaments.

Do you guys think that their will be an ion cannon battery upgrade "additional batteries" or "ion banks" to increase your side arc by 1 blue dice?

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re: Rapid Reload: 12 points is a hell of a lot for 1 die on a broadside (Which will almost always never be a both-broadside due to range), especially with ACMs and Expanded Launchers competing with it. (I'm assuming I remember it's an Ordinance upgrade)

 

I don't think we'll see it. A missile-raider would almost certainly prefer Expanded Launchers instead.

 

If the MC30 has ordinance slots, those are getting ACMs.

Edited by Killionaire

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8 Points is okay. I don't think Imps are going to use it on bigger ships, but for the MC30 or the Raider it seems like a good choice, as both seem quite maneuvarable and the MC30 might take it 'cause it's cheaper than the better ACM, while the Raider's sides are not powerful enough to justify ACMs.

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Out of curiosity, why aren't any of you looking favorably on Overload Pulse? It seems like it could be extremely nasty, especially since Electronic Countermeasures would be utterly useless against it (since it exhausts defense tokens as opposed to targeting them with accuracy).

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I can see this being the issue with Overload Pulse. It seems ultra strong when you first hear of it, but let's see:

 

For a ship with two (strong) attacks, great. So far, no ship has a reasonable battery of blue dice to reliably crit in one arc, and a massive battery of all dice in another (closest I suppose is a Screed-VSD2 that uses a side arc to Overload and main arc to murder, but that's still a friggin' VSD front arc).

 

If you use two ships to fire it off, it gets a lot harder.

Attacker1 has to fire, trigger pulse

Enemy gets to do his thing, including possibly flying out of range

Attacker2 can try to attack the overloaded ship if possible.

 

This encourages the attacker2 to be a much stronger one (nobody cares if it's a CR90 after all, firing two dice at an exhausted VSD). That means you gave up a sure Alpha strike to set up the overload, which seems like it'd fail quite often in practice. For Imperials, they have no suitable setup ships. One of the Raiders probably will have ion cannons, but still. You're still firing a raider at a valuable target before an SD's main armament!

It also encourages the enemy to get in a crippling blow vs you before you get a slightly more crippling blow vs them. Giving up the initiative in this manner can be extremely dangerous, especially if your attacker2 was relying on fighters as well for damage (which may be getting pounced first by enemy fighters or attacks).

 

It probably just makes more sense to say 'screw attacker1' and equip attacker2 with X17s and an Intel Officer.

Edited by Killionaire

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Imperial players really wont see mush use out of Overload Pulse I don't think.

The issue being that the only ship it can go on is the Victory II, and if you're shooting with enough blue dice to make it matter, you've either sunk a lot of points and shields in the form of Dominator, or they are in your front arc for a 6 die attack to begin with. Either way, they all exhaust after the defender gets to spend their tokens on that very attack, so the only way to make use of it is then to attack it again with an equally powerful attack.

   In my opinion at this point you have invested a ton of points or effort or most likely both for what: their defense tokens are all exhausted for the back half of a turn.

 

The place where it excels is on a CR-90, because the attacks it makes are not the very attacks that you want to stop them defending from, like on the Victory. If the imperials have a variant of the raider that can take an Ion slot, I see a really shooty Screed list could be very viable.

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I can see this being the issue with Overload Pulse. It seems ultra strong when you first hear of it, but let's see:

 

For a ship with two (strong) attacks, great. So far, no ship has a reasonable battery of blue dice to reliably crit in one arc, and a massive battery of all dice in another (closest I suppose is a Screed-VSD2 that uses a side arc to Overload and main arc to murder, but that's still a friggin' VSD front arc).

 

If you use two ships to fire it off, it gets a lot harder.

Attacker1 has to fire, trigger pulse

Enemy gets to do his thing, including possibly flying out of range

Attacker2 can try to attack the overloaded ship if possible.

 

This encourages the attacker2 to be a much stronger one (nobody cares if it's a CR90 after all, firing two dice at an exhausted VSD). That means you gave up a sure Alpha strike to set up the overload, which seems like it'd fail quite often in practice. For Imperials, they have no suitable setup ships. One of the Raiders probably will have ion cannons, but still. You're still firing a raider at a valuable target before an SD's main armament!

It also encourages the enemy to get in a crippling blow vs you before you get a slightly more crippling blow vs them. Giving up the initiative in this manner can be extremely dangerous, especially if your attacker2 was relying on fighters as well for damage (which may be getting pounced first by enemy fighters or attacks).

 

It probably just makes more sense to say 'screw attacker1' and equip attacker2 with X17s and an Intel Officer.

 

Yes but a fleet of CR-90s, all with overload... exhausted by one CR-90, you have 6+ more blue dice coming in. Activating A-Wings with a fighter token and you have a death pit...

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I can see this being the issue with Overload Pulse. It seems ultra strong when you first hear of it, but let's see:

 

For a ship with two (strong) attacks, great. So far, no ship has a reasonable battery of blue dice to reliably crit in one arc, and a massive battery of all dice in another (closest I suppose is a Screed-VSD2 that uses a side arc to Overload and main arc to murder, but that's still a friggin' VSD front arc).

 

If you use two ships to fire it off, it gets a lot harder.

Attacker1 has to fire, trigger pulse

Enemy gets to do his thing, including possibly flying out of range

Attacker2 can try to attack the overloaded ship if possible.

 

This encourages the attacker2 to be a much stronger one (nobody cares if it's a CR90 after all, firing two dice at an exhausted VSD). That means you gave up a sure Alpha strike to set up the overload, which seems like it'd fail quite often in practice. For Imperials, they have no suitable setup ships. One of the Raiders probably will have ion cannons, but still. You're still firing a raider at a valuable target before an SD's main armament!

It also encourages the enemy to get in a crippling blow vs you before you get a slightly more crippling blow vs them. Giving up the initiative in this manner can be extremely dangerous, especially if your attacker2 was relying on fighters as well for damage (which may be getting pounced first by enemy fighters or attacks).

 

It probably just makes more sense to say 'screw attacker1' and equip attacker2 with X17s and an Intel Officer.

Dangit Killionare, I tried posting almost that exact thing! Are all the moderators asleep, so they can't approve any of these, my first posts on this site??? I want to be involved!!!  :(

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Out of curiosity, why aren't any of you looking favorably on Overload Pulse? It seems like it could be extremely nasty, especially since Electronic Countermeasures would be utterly useless against it (since it exhausts defense tokens as opposed to targeting them with accuracy).

 

Ion Cannon: The Overload pulse is top notch. It is for the rebels an ideal upgrade for the Ion CR90 and enables nice fleet tactics, as an imp: the Dominator (or an Ion VSD) with this Ion upgrade is murder - if you have a friendly ship nearby, which can benefit from the weakend defender.

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my deal with pulse is the combat order. Since damage is dealt after defenses are spent, the pulse is relegated to situational support ability.

 

 

 

as for ACM over EL, it seems the deciding factor is skreed. Skreed garantees 2 damage from ACM (+ whatever he does by fiddling with your dice results). EL takes your demolisher and catapults it into potential one-shot range against an enemy small ship.

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Remember the defender can still spend defense tokens BEFORE damage and cards based on damage are applied! Every single rebel ship has evades and can cancel or reroll those potent effect triggering crits. (Unless you get a lot of them, theniI'm boned). Mon Mothma and ECM baby! (44 points to effect only 2 ships is kinda expensive though... Maybe in wave 2 meta I can take a third ship so it is only 51 points for 3. Kinda like Taken, more the merrier.)

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as for ACM over EL, it seems the deciding factor is skreed.

I haven't tried ACM yet, but I did try EL on a Demolisher w/Engine Tech's and it's deadly. Move then unleash a 8 dice attack (playing opening salvo.) Caught a Neb B on the side arc and nearly one shot it, it had 4 damage cards after that attack.

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I agree some of these are situationally dependent:

 

Overload Pulse is uninspiring, except on the CR90B, where it can be quite good.

 

Engine Techs is overkill on some of the already fast rebel ships, like the CR90.

 

ECM grows better the more variety in defense tokens you have; I view it as a must-take for the AF, but would very rarely consider it for the CR90 or Nebulon (mainly because a Nebulon lacks a redirect, which is what it really would want to mitigate those giant barn door sides).

 

As a result, I do think there is a lot of context-dependency on which upgrades are good, which is the sign of good balance. It's rare there is an "obvious" choice for all situations.

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as for ACM over EL, it seems the deciding factor is skreed.

I haven't tried ACM yet, but I did try EL on a Demolisher w/Engine Tech's and it's deadly. Move then unleash a 8 dice attack (playing opening salvo.) Caught a Neb B on the side arc and nearly one shot it, it had 4 damage cards after that attack.

Launcher suck compared to the flexibility ACM. At first you wouldn't think that though, staring at those two extra black dice thinking with the tech it should be easy. It's really not, usually you second turn shot is your only chance with the launchers for a front arc shot unless it's a mirror match.With ACM you can gain the bonus hits from shooting from any of your hull zones. So on turn two you have a nice front arc shot and then engine tech for a broadside shot, gaining 4 total hits from ACM for one turn. You would be hard pressed to get that kind of "for sure damage"from Launchers.

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I like these questions.

 

So ACM vs. Expanded Launchers... In general, I'll take ACM because they offer more flexibility. Especially on Gladiators, more so on Gladiators built to get all up in there, and even more so in Screed fleets. I look at black dice upgrades and think about their reliability and their availablility and Screed really bumps both of those things to top tier for ACM. Both feel like wasted points on a Victory-I, as it seems fairly common practice by now to avoid closing with them at all costs. Although I think that Expanded Launchers may have a nice little home on Insidious - that could become the most dangerous flanker in the game.

 

ECM vs Advanced Projectors: Man, do Victories wish they had this slot or what? I really like how Advanced Projectors can force an opponent to chew through way more of their available shields than they had planned. However, ships with only one redirect can be locked down by accuracy. Projectors are going to have their day - but for now, I prefer ECM. Especially coupled with Mon Mothma for the AFMkIIs.

 

XI7 vs. XX-9 vs. Enhanced Armament: Yikes. Okay, so these are maybe the closest. I like them all and I think they all fill a particular role. XI7 obviously may be the most situational with the specific strength over redirect, but Victories hate them a lot - and perhaps the big ships on the horizon will hate them too. I think they are a great way to punch above your weight.

 

I like XX-9 on a ship that is thowing a lot of dice (or Salvation, as mentioned above). Say you're built to play Opening Salvo with some Victory-IIs or something. However, I think XX-9s have an even better home versus sturdier ships where you know you'll have some hull to chew through. So for two behemoths slugging it out (ISD vs MC80??) XX-9s would make for some fireworks as soon as one punches through shields.

 

Enhanced Armaments are my current preference - but I've fallen in love with the AFMkII and the Rebel broadsides game. I also like them on Victories to have some more teeth against flanking movements.

 

Leading Shots vs. Ion Cannon vs. Overload Pulse: I like Leading Shots on my Victory-IIs. I don't have much of an opinon on the other two yet. I'm trying to work them into fleets to play with them more. Overload Pulse is reliant on maybe too many other factors to reach its devastating potential. I like the idea behind Ion Cannon Batteries, I want to find a home for them, but I'm just not there yet. Also, never use them against a Tarkin fleet, lol.

Engine Techs vs. Nav Team: Engine Techs feels like the distant Armada cousin of X-wing's Engine Upgrade - and I prefer it over Nav. Because it requires a Navigate command, I think it is best worth its cost on 1 command ships to be used at any time. I still like it a lot on 2 command ships, and it is quite fun with the Gladiator. It could also lead to some Nebulon-B shenanigans swinging that front arc around for a shot they may not have had previously. If we eventually see a 3 command ship with this choice though, I believe the flexibility of the Nav Team buff to the Navigate token will win.

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Overlod pulse is great. It needs desparately a second attack on the same ship, but it will reliably pull defense tokens: Either to negate the Ion effect, to negate the damage (yes, the defender will throw everything after this one attack) or because of the effect. It doesn't matter what, the ships defenses are definitely weakend for this turn - perhaps even for later turns, as he might very well discard tokens to weather the following attack.

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