Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Sergovan

Strategy Session 7: EPIC Play

Recommended Posts

  I was able to attend my first EPIC tournament ever and had a great time with my Empire's attempt to rule the day. After the tournament I looked back at what planning and strategies were involved in building and testing our lists and how what I learned could help the community with their EPIC play.

 

Partner (TEAM EPIC only)

  The first thing to do is find a partner you know well and plays the faction you are playing very well too. My partner was Garrett and he plays a lot of Empire and I know he can fly a TIE/ln like nobodies business. I play Empire with my playgroup all the time and know maneuvering TIE ships well. We both had been playing for a couple of years, played in regionals, so our flying level was the same.

 

Research

   The second thing I did was look for any EPIC play analysis that would help with understanding what errors in list building and setup to avoid.

 

I found Hothie's EPIC thread and came to 3 very important conclusions

 

Link: https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/121162-hothies-cr90-run-with-pics-and-analysis/?hl=%2Bhothie+%2Bepic

 

1) Don't sink too many points into your EPIC ship. Build it for what you plan on doing with it.

 

2) Setup with your squad to cover your EPIC ship's weaknesses, if it has any.

 

3) High PS is a bigger advantage in EPIC

 

 Those three points went a long way in helping me determine our lists and strategy for deployment. 

 

Determine Faction and its Strengths

  The third item to consider is your factions strengths. Since we were playing Empire, I had to look at what the Empire does better than the other factions as well as what pilot abilities would  synergize with those strengths.

 

For the Empire, its strengths are:

 

Swarms - lots of TIEs can burn down a ship or two in a round and help block and action denial

Bombs - Empire has the bomber, punisher, decimator, firespray to drop them, more than any other faction

Cloaking - phantoms can boost agility to make them avoid hits at long range.

Repositioning (Barrel Roll) - TIE fighter, bomber, advanced, punisher, defender, interceptor, phantom

Missiles - advanced, firespray, defender can carry this ordnance and assault missiles are better in EPIC

Large ships - lambda, decimator, firespray means the empire has the most large based ships

EPIC ship - Raider brings double shot at range 2-4 and lots of options to the board

 

  After this analysis certain trends popped out (in bold). Initially I decided to try a 6 TIE swarm, a couple of shuttles (which I found out are really point efficient in EPIC!) and 3 Elite pilots with Assault missiles while Garret flew the Raider and a 6 TIE swarm. My concern would be survivability and damage output. The swarms could act to corral opponent fighters so that the Elites could assault missile them. The shuttles would be to block and, with tactical jammers, give the trailing Elites extra defensive coverage. The trick would be to shoot all three assault missiles (requiring TL's or deadeye) and ensuring that they all hit. To make the missiles viable I would have to include Capt. Jonus so I thought I would try it.

 

Playtest Build

  The fourth item is playtest. Build your list and try out your tactics. So that is what I did. I went to a Thursday EPIC game at a FLGS and tried my theories out. I found out a few things.

 

- The elites couldn't get all their actions because someone would always be bumping

- shuttles are good in numbers but once they get into it, their lack of being able to turn around hampers them greatly. I would have to hold up the shuttles to make them more effective, which makes them dead weight in my strategy (as I need them to engage out front to provide the cover for the Elites).

- Since action denial from bumping would be prevalent I would need something that would hit hard (like the assault missile) but not rely on dice modification to work, something that could also cover a large area.

- Large ships will avoid asteroids as a faceup damage card is harsh punishment

- an EPIC ship that is deployed behind an EPIC ship will never catch it (unless it has engine booster)

- TL is the only dice modification that the Raider can use. It can only TL up to range 3 but shoot up to range 4.

 

Refine Strategy and List

  Back to the drawing board and then I saw something on the raider that suddenly made sense. EPIC ships can steamroll. I've seen it with the GR-75 and was expecting many of these ships to be done up for this purpose. However, they don't like that faceup damage card if they have to run over an asteroid. The raider has away around this weakness.

 

Captain Needa

 

  He turns that auto face up damage card to a potential shield damage on a [hit] or [crit] on a red die, as if we had just ran over a small ship.

 

  We found our steamroller. But that would risk the front section as we were now planning to have it risk taking hits from running over ships. The crippled side of the front section is one hardpoint (every other upgrade would be tossed when crippled) so we put a single turbolaser on the front, so that if it did get crippled, it would still have a long range shot at targets and not have the other upgrades get tossed and be wasted points.

 

  We then needed to make the ship able to steamroll better so we put Engine Booster on it. This allows a pre maneuver boost followed by the regular maneuver. That would allow a 5 straight on our Raider. We used this as a base and then Garrett worked on making the weaponry get good dice modification so he looked at ways to make TL viable. Also, Roark and a CR-90 team up would allow for a powerful first shot so we decided to swarm tactics our Raider from Howlrunner so it could shoot at PS 8 and get a free reroll on both its primary shots. Our final Raider build looked like this:

 

Raider (fore)

Single Turbolaser

 

Raider (Aft)

Impetuous title (gain TL after ship is destoyed)

Quad laser cannons (to defend Aft section)

Sensor team (TL out to range 5)

Weapon Engineer (maintain 2 TL)

Captain Needa ( reduce asteroid damage)

Engine Booster (better ranging for shooting and overlapping)

 

4 TIE fighters (+1 from my squad)

Howlrunner + Swarm Tactics + Stealth Device

 

Total: 200 points

 

  As for my side, I decided to combine swarming with a really scary ordnance - proton bombs.

They ignore shields, causing an immediate face up damage card and don't need dice modification to work. I went with a scimitar bomber as I knew I could put 5 of them on the board and my opponent would not be able to kill all of them before the bombs were dropped. With wave 7, I also put Extra Munitions on 3 of my bombers, so I had 8 proton bombs to potentially drop!

At PS 2 they would most likely also move first and my strategy would require me to have them move into position first so I did an initiative bid of 5 points. 

 

My list was then:

 

7 A.P. TIE/ln (-1 as it was put in with Garrett's squad)

3 Scimitar bombers with proton bombs and extra munitions

2 Scimitar bombers with proton bombs

 

Total: 195 points

 

 The tactic would be to play the bombers like they were expendable. All they had to do was drop their ordnance and it would be then choice targeting after that if any survived.

 

 We also looked at the TIE swarms and decided that they would also follow this strategy. The TIE's would corral the enemy ships and then the bombers would pound them. Then the Raider would steamroll/shoot whatever grouping/choice targets were left.

 

  

Determine Your Setup

  Setup was something we had to be careful about. Too close to the Raider and we might get run over by it and we knew the back section was vulnerable (due to arc coverage) so we had to protect it. Our setup ended up looking like this:

 

SETUP IMAGE

pic2658164.png

 

 

  We had 4 elements, left flank, center left, center right, and right flank. We used this setup to have the two TIE groupings act as flanking/blocking elements to trap ships and the two center elements would be the heavy hitting ship killers. Our aim was to kill more fighter craft and then work on the EPIC ship(s). 

 

Enemy Deployment Possibilities and Counter-Maneuvers

  Using this strategy we had to look at the possible deployments and how we would engage them to make full use of this strategy. The possible deployments were:

 

RIGHT SIDE DEPLOYMENT

pic2658165_md.png

 

CENTER DEPLOYMENT, TYPE 1

pic2658161_md.png

 

CENTER DEPLOYMENT, TYPE 2

pic2658162_md.png

 

LEFT SIFE DEPLOYMENT

pic2658163_md.png

 

  I made up these images and used them as a visual aid to communicate with my partner what each element would be able to do given the deployment we were facing and it worked really, really well. We both were on the same page when it came to how we would maneuver our ships and what we could expect from our partner, without having to explain each ships tactic or maneuvers. The packet I created I called "Captain's Orders" and I hammed it up a little to make it a little bit more entertaining but it contained our entire strategy for each deployment we could face.

 

  We played in the tournament on Saturday, September 5th, 2015 and had a great time in it. We came in 4th out of 11 teams and I have some refinements I can make to increase the potential of this list. EPIC play is going to be a fun mode on the tournament scene.

 

TL;DR - for TEAM EPIC you need to Have a Good Partner, Research, Know Faction Strengths, Playtest, Refine your Strategy, Refine your List, Determine your Setup, Construct Maneuvers Against Possible Opponent Deployment Options, Play.

 

*Edits will be pics getting posted in.

Edited by Sergovan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your setup doesn`t look like 200 points- Raider and 6 TIE-Fighters is 200. You have at least 300 points

 

Below is my preferred 200 EPIC list.

 

Raider + Support ================ 200 points Pilots ------

 

Raider-class Corvette (aft) (72)

Raider-class Corvette (50),

Darth Vader (3),

WED-15 Repair Droid (2),

Quad Laser Cannons (6),

Engineering Team (4),

Gunnery Team (4),

Backup Shield Generator (3)

 

Raider-class Corvette (fore) (68)

Raider-class Corvette (50),

Ion Cannon Battery (6),

Sensor Team (4),

Tibanna Gas Supplies (4),

Instigator (4)

 

Royal Guard Pilot (30) TIE Interceptor (22), Push the Limit (3), Royal Guard TIE (0), Autothrusters (2), Stealth Device (3)

Royal Guard Pilot (30) TIE Interceptor (22), Predator (3), Royal Guard TIE (0), Autothrusters (2), Stealth Device (3)

 

 

Tactic:

I keep the TIEs on the other side of the map- opposite the Raider. The raider will move diagonally and cover the TIEs for the first 2-3 rounds. Then when i`ve softened up the other team with aggressive use of Darth Vader, ion cannon and primary guns, I move the TIEs up front and focus the Raider of repairs/sheild boosting. Raider can perpetrate a significant amount of carnage in the first few rounds..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now I can't WAIT for an epic Scum ship. Great report!

 

 

Your setup doesn`t look like 200 points- Raider and 6 TIE-Fighters is 200. You have at least 300 points

You're saying instead of a 5 pt initiative bid, it was a 105 pt initiative bid?

Edited by Budgernaut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your setup doesn`t look like 200 points- Raider and 6 TIE-Fighters is 200. You have at least 300 points

 

 

It was 200 points in the Raider and 5 TIEs for my partner and I had 7 TIEs and 5 Proton bombers for 195pts. We came in at 395 and choice of initiative, although one team we didn't play had 393 for an initiative bid. It was a 400 point team EPIC tournament. 

 

 

Raider + Support ================ 200 points Pilots ------

 

Raider-class Corvette (aft) (72)

Raider-class Corvette (50),

Darth Vader (3),

WED-15 Repair Droid (2),

Quad Laser Cannons (6),

Engineering Team (4),

Gunnery Team (4),

Backup Shield Generator (3)

 

Raider-class Corvette (fore) (68)

Raider-class Corvette (50),

Ion Cannon Battery (6),

Sensor Team (4),

Tibanna Gas Supplies (4),

Instigator (4)

 

Royal Guard Pilot (30) TIE Interceptor (22), Push the Limit (3), Royal Guard TIE (0), Autothrusters (2), Stealth Device (3)

Royal Guard Pilot (30) TIE Interceptor (22), Predator (3), Royal Guard TIE (0), Autothrusters (2), Stealth Device (3)

 

 

Tactic:

I keep the TIEs on the other side of the map- opposite the Raider. The raider will move diagonally and cover the TIEs for the first 2-3 rounds. Then when i`ve softened up the other team with aggressive use of Darth Vader, ion cannon and primary guns, I move the TIEs up front and focus the Raider of repairs/sheild boosting. Raider can perpetrate a significant amount of carnage in the first few rounds..

 

Yes it can. Your use of the recover/repair function would leave your front exposed as recovery and reinforce are only on the front section and you can't do both. If you recover, your front is taking every hit thrown at it which means it can be burnt down quickly under focused fire. Just be careful of that. We don't want pesky Rebels getting the easy win.

 

The ion is good if you want to setup a steamroll but I think you are using it to ion a target for your Royals, but most deployment would leave ships combined together so even if it was ioned , you couldn't get an easy flank on it without drawing multiple ships your way. If it is a rebel squad you are facing turrets that can shoot back at your Royals.

 

You have every upgrade slot on your Raider filled. I would play it a couple of times and see what is getting little play and what doesn't work out. I think you have room to cut a little bit and shave some points off or switch for more effective upgrades for your plan. Remember, don't overload your EPIC ship, just what you need and will use. Your plan could change depending on how it works out in a shakedown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great write up man. Looks like you guys had a blast.

 

We did. It was an awesome tournament. Our deciding match was round 2 and we lost by 11 points. Of the 5 or 6 opposing Scum Y wings left, they all had 4 crits on them.

 

Game round was move bombers to point to target, flank and draw with my TIEs, while Raider turned to commit and outer flank turned to cover and engage. Next round 5 bombers all K-turned. This pointed the rear of the bombers at the middle of the opposing fleet. They now had to either avoid it (not likely with my TIEs in position to block egress and the Raider had the other side) or try to burn down 5 bombers (but they would move after and bump so they would lose their actions and spread their fire) or work on the Raider bearing down. 

 

Last game I hit a rebel center with 3 proton bombs and killed Biggs, 2 B-wings and another ship in one round, before the combat phase even started. I lost 2 bombers in that exchange. I'll take 2 to 1 losses any day when playing the Empire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hadn't thought of using Swarm Tactics on Howlie as an Imperial answer to Roark, awesome idea! Probably strictly better than Jonus since, as you point out, she lets you re-roll on your primary weapon shots.

How did the quads work out for you? I've toyed with the idea of abandoning point defense altogether on the Raider and leaving that to my escorts. It's a scary idea to be sure. And did you like the single turbolasers? Guess they work well if you're facing lots of B-Wings but seems like they make X-Wings look downright nimble and opposing TIEs, like, untouchable...

Really great explanation of the thought process behind your list building - some great insights to think about.

Edited by FuturistiKen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hadn't thought of using Swarm Tactics on Howlie as an Imperial answer to Roark, awesome idea! Probably strictly better than Jonus since, as you point out, she lets you re-roll on your primary weapon shots.

How did the quads work out for you? I've toyed with the idea of abandoning point defense altogether on the Raider and leaving that to my escorts. It's a scary idea to be sure. And did you like the single turbolasers? Guess they work well if you're facing lots of B-Wings but seems like they make X-Wings look downright nimble and opposing TIEs, like, untouchable...

Really great explanation of the thought process behind your list building - some great insights to think about.

 

Howlie worked really well. PS8 allows for some Ace pilot kills before they activated. She can also peel off and support a 5 TIE swarm, which gets ignored when next to the Raider.

 

The quads came into play in a couple of shots when the Raider was in the scattered fighter screen and had targets. The Quads are there to protect the Aft section, which is the most important section to save. The Single Turbo worked well as we used it to pummel B-wings and GR-75's, along with our primary attacks. 

 

Thanks for the compliment. :)

Edited by Sergovan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A more theoretical follow-up question: is it possible that prioritizing targets based on the strengths/weaknesses of the particular Huge ship weapon you're using is the better choice in Epic?  I take it for granted that in Standard you almost always (and maybe just always) want to focus your fire on a single high priority target until it's gone.  But maybe with the Raider we want to, say, use the primary weapon for X-Wings but shoot the turbolaser at a B-Wing, even if the X-Wing is damaged?  I know a damaged ship rolls as many red dice as an undamaged one...but small ships roll zero dice at range 4!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A more theoretical follow-up question: is it possible that prioritizing targets based on the strengths/weaknesses of the particular Huge ship weapon you're using is the better choice in Epic?  I take it for granted that in Standard you almost always (and maybe just always) want to focus your fire on a single high priority target until it's gone.  But maybe with the Raider we want to, say, use the primary weapon for X-Wings but shoot the turbolaser at a B-Wing, even if the X-Wing is damaged?  I know a damaged ship rolls as many red dice as an undamaged one...but small ships roll zero dice at range 4!

You can and that is what makes it a little tricky. The turbo lasers work on the easy to hit targets and the primaries work on everything else. We just found that you need to have dice modification for the weapons to work and the only way for the Raider to gain that would be through TL or Howlrunner. We would use TL for the turbo and one primary or Howlie if we had a primary shot on a non TL'd target of opportunity. Our goal was to use the Raider as a steamroller and squash what was in front and shoot at what ever was outside the steamroller range.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing I have learned is use Hardpoints to cover range bands that your huge ship primary cannot cover.

 

Also huge ship range is shorter than it seems do to some strange rulings on huge ships. (eratta FFG? Huge ships are not more powerful than a series of fighters).

 

While fighters are more powerful than huge ships you have to give them wide berth or you might end up facing them or worse bumping into other ships right in front of the huge ship. It is best to pass them and brave the few side shots then come at them from behind instead of face them head on.

Edited by Marinealver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing I have learned is use Hardpoints to cover range bands that your huge ship primary cannot cover.

 

 

That is why the Turbolaser on the front section is good, range 3-5 and doesn't get tossed when the front gets crippled. 

 

 

 

 

While fighters are more powerful than huge ships you have to give them wide berth or you might end up facing them or worse bumping into other ships right in front of the huge ship. It is best to pass them and brave the few side shots then come at them from behind instead of face them head on.

 

 

Solid advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fun Dual Gozanti epic list. Make critiques if you want.

 
 
Gozanti-class Cruiser — Gozanti-class Cruiser 40
Weapons Engineer 3
Rebel Captive 3
Assault Missiles 5
Ordnance Experts 5
Cluster Bombs 4
Docking Clamps 0
Ordnance Tubes 5
Suppressor 6
Ship Total: 71
 
Gozanti-class Cruiser — Gozanti-class Cruiser 40
Agent Kallus 2
Shield Technician 1
Dual Laser Turret 5
Ordnance Experts 5
Docking Clamps 0
Broadcast Array 2
Automated Protocols 5
Requiem 4
Ship Total: 64
 
Black Squadron Pilot — TIE Fighter 14
Crack Shot 1
Ship Total: 15
 
Avenger Squadron Pilot — TIE Interceptor 20
Ship Total: 20
 
Black Squadron Pilot — TIE Fighter 14
Crack Shot 1
Ship Total: 15
 
Black Squadron Pilot — TIE Fighter 14
Crack Shot 1
Ship Total: 15
 
Black Squadron Pilot — TIE Fighter 14
Crack Shot 1
Ship Total: 15
 
Avenger Squadron Pilot — TIE Interceptor 20
Ship Total: 20
 
Avenger Squadron Pilot — TIE Interceptor 20
Ship Total: 20
 
Avenger Squadron Pilot — TIE Interceptor 20
Ship Total: 20
 
Scimitar Squadron Pilot — TIE Bomber 16
Extra Munitions 2
Plasma Torpedoes 3
Cluster Mines 4
Guidance Chips 0
Ship Total: 25
Basically fly the two gozanti's fly side by side  and dock the TIE's and TIE int.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...