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heliodorus04

I need a bit of extra detail on X-Wing releases

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I'm a noob.

I've started catching up here, but some history needs explaining to me.

 

What was the Phantom nerf?  I have heard from tournament players that the Phantom is 'the most difficult ship to use correctly in the game" (I suppose that was back when it was the newest thing).  What toned it down?'

 

Why is Soonter Fel so amazeballs?  The number of times I whiff on 3-evade dice is legendary.  I describe 3-evade dice as "Somwhere between Christmas and being buried alive" in its outcomes.  I like Carnor Jax better, but I can't keep him alive anyway :)

 

What is the new tournament rule for Large Ships and how is it different than before?  And why does it matter?

 

I've been playing the game for about 9 months - why are the ships coming out so fast!  I can't keep up with the meta...  I hate that, and I'd hate to see this game take the worst of Games Workshop's practices and make it a "expand your collection or lose" situation... 

 

 

 

 

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To answer your questions in order;

 

A. The Phantom nerf changed the order of the ships Decloak phase from just prior to movement, to an entirely new phase just after dials are set, specifically for cloaked ships. So it went from;

1. set dials                       1. set dials

2. reveal dial                    2. decloak

3. decloak                       3. reveal dial

4. move                to        4. move

5. action                          5. action

6. attack                          6. attack

 

what this ended up doing was favoring the lower pilot skill Phantoms setting/activating first and essentially cutting Echo and Whisper off as uber arch dodgers/shooters and made it easier for opponents to see where the Phantom was going to end up that round. While it had a big shock initially, eventually the dust settled and it just made players fly Phantoms smarter.

 

B. Soontir Fel... 2 words.. action economy. As a new player, if you start flying competitive tournament, you'll soon realize the value of actions for a pilot, per round. The ability to have any two of focus, evade, barrel roll, and/or boost in exchange for a stress (not to mention, having other pilots give you additional actions) is really powerful per round. The Interceptor also has/had a descent dial compared to other ships, so relieving stress on the next round and doing it all again make Soonit the ace he is. Thats not to discount some of the other Int pilots. They are great additions to any Imperial list.

 

C. The new Large ship rule has to do with MOV (margin of victory) and how it's scored for each round of tournament play. Harvesting the full amount of MOV from a ship use to require it to be completed destroyed. FFG recognized the domninance of players taking 1 or 2 large ships, killing maybe 1 of their opponents small ships, and then fortressing them up. Making tournament play a bit of a drag as players simply had to wait out the time and retain their full point cost. Now if a player for example has a 60 point Decimator (base + upgrades)(total of 16hp stock for that ship) and it gets more than 8 hit points  knocked off, the opponent gets 30 MOV points toward tournament play. This is expected to shake the meta up and 'reduce' the number of 2 ship lists.

 

D. You happen to come in at a time where the perfect storm of releases is going on. It was never this condensed in the 3 years (6 waves) prior. This perfect storm involved the (slight) delay of the Raider, the intended release of Wave VII, and the forced release of TFA stuff from Disney on September 4th.

Edited by Synthetix

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Always great to see newer players interested in the game and looking to delve a little deeper then just the casual scene. :)

 

1- The Phantom when first released performed it's decloak at a different time. Instead of at the beginning of activation, it was done at the beginning of the ships movement phase. These were very stale days in the tournament scene, as named Phantoms with Veteran instincts as an EPT were capable of reacting to the movements of all ships moving before them with their decloak. This, along with the cover of extra defense dice after a Adv cloaking device cloak after their early shots, made them very, very powerful.

 

The only types of lists that performed well against Whisper and Echo lists were those which would a) move after these pilots and/or b) did not need to have them in arc to hit them. Fat turrets, mainly Fat Han, arrived to counter these builds, and it largely came down to Phantom's vs Fat Turret lists at every top table.

 

2- Soontir Fel has incredible synergy with 2 of the games best upgrades- Push the Limit, and autothrusters. Gaining a focus from receiving a stress token effectively allows him to perform 3 actions each turn with Push the Limit, which, with the dial of the interceptor, pilot skill 9, and boost and barrel roll actions, makes him incredibly difficult to pin down. In the hands of a skilled player, he is nigh impossible to kill. Blocking tactics and stress builds are his bane though.

 

3- Large ships are now worth half MoV points when they are at half health. Many popular tournament builds took advantage of what is known as "point fortressing", where a large portion of a lists squad points went into a single large base ship. This made it difficult for opponents to score significant MoV points off of these lists, as even if they did a significant amount of damage to the ship, if it was still on the board at the end of the game, all of that players efforts resulted in 0 points, even if the ship was at 1, 2, or 3 hull. This change rewards the player who damages but does not kill a large base ship as long as it is at half health.

 

4- The ships are coming out faster then ever before. A large portion of players are under the impression it is a product push right now due to the upcoming release of EP VII, and after it's release, things will be pulled back to a normal pace. The beauty of this game is FFG, whether everyone here believes it or not, does their very best to keep this game balanced from Wave 0 to Wave whatever. A Tie Swarm is still great. Y-wing, B-wings, Tie interceptors, etc., all see play in tournaments alongside the latest released K-wings and Tie Punishers.

 

Yes, there is an upgrade every now and then that pops out that is found to be pretty powerful (I'm sure if you've been on these forums lately, you've heard the outcry over the "overpowered" Twin Laser Turret), but nothing so far has been so outrageous that it is a must buy, and I don't expect the game to ever get to that point either, because I have faith in FFG. :)

 

 

rats! Ninja'd!

Edited by Kdubb

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Decloaking used to occur when a cloaked ship was activated. It was a pre-movement barrel roll or boost that let you see exactly where you needed to be and go there just before executing your maneuver. Skilled players could do crazy stuff with that and Phantoms were downright scary. Post-nerf, they're not as scary and I'd argue that they require more skill to use effectively.

 

Soontir Fel with Push the Limit, Autothrusters and Stealth Device can still go down with a single lucky shot, but when "turtled up" with both a focus and evade token can often survive anything that comes his way. His high Pilot Skill means he can use boosting and/or barrel rolling to get out of enemy firing arcs (what we call "arc dodging") and put them in his firing arc, and he usually fires first. But sometimes Soontir just goes to bits when the dice fail him.

 

Large ships have been changed in a couple of ways. They used to barrel roll the same way small ships do, using the full length of the 1-straight maneuver template instead of the width. The change that allows opponents to score half of the point values when a large ship is half-or-greater-than destroyed is a very recent change for tournament scoring.

 

There are a lot of ships to choose from, but you can pretty safely pick up any ships that interest you without feeling that you must have this or that. I'd recommend choosing a single faction for now and focusing on it primarily, but eventually you'll probably want to collect from all of the factions. There are fun squad options everywhere.

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I am focused on Empire, and I have every empire ship (except Huge) and every rebel ship except YT2400 and K-Wing.

 

One thing I ponder is whether to stick with a list I have some success with and/or like  over and over or whether to mix it up while I figure out 'things'.  I'm partial to the first idea of using a list I'm pretty confident in.  I love Defenders and swarms, and have custom painted "Howlrunner" and "Rexler Brath" for no other reason than I use them a lot and love the ships.  I have a Decimator list that I'm not sure is a) fun, and b) fair to players without much experience; I also have a Rexler Brath/Howlrunner-mini swarm that is my best list.  But my Brath weighs in at 48 points, and that seems like a lot, especially when I whiff on 3-defense dice (it hurts, it really really hurts).  (and let's leave TLTs out of this entirely please! - too much drama)

 

But I have a Firespray and never play it, I barely play Interceptors (which I'm sure surprises people, see below, and a certain E-Wing pilot...); I have a shuttle and I never played it, and I just learned about the 24-point Doom Shuttle and that seems like Dukes of Hazard play which appeals to me greatly as fun gag once in a while.

 

On the other side, Rebel, I have this 5-ship "Etahn A'baht's flying circus list" that is a hoot to play, but again, not necessarily fair to newbies.  But I don't think I learn as much from playing that - it's a cluster**** of critical hits. I only adapted that list because A'baht single-handedly forced me to stop flying Swarms in favor of Defenders (and he needs to be outlawed for Epic play, seriously, it's just pop-pop-pop-pop of the TIE fighters...)  Anyway, I'm rambling, it's late and I may or may not be inebriated.

 

I left Games Workshop and came immediately to X-Wing and it's a wonderful game that I'm happy to support and would like to become part of the 'community.'  The abundance of new releases and entirely new mechanics (S&V faction, conner nets, cluster mines, ion bombs, etc. S-Loops and Talon whatevers) has really made it way more difficult to learn to play and learn to be decent.

Edited by heliodorus04

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If you're playing with new players and you're more experienced than they are, I recommend taking it easy on them until they know what they're doing. Don't bring your most effective squad. Let them figure out the basics until they start beating you, then start bringing tougher squads to keep them challenged but not overwhelmed.

 

If you're interested in playing in tournaments, find a squad that works for you and practice the hell out of it. Bring your A game when prizes are on the line, and expect stiff competition if you're playing against strangers in a competitive setting.

 

If you have a regular play group at a local store, try out lots of different squads on game night. It's a lot of fun to experiment and can also make you a better tournament player, since you'll be more familiar with how a variety of squads are supposed to work and you'll know how to play against them.

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How have you been running Soontir? If it isn't with Push The Limit, Autothrusters and Stealth Device then try that build and see what you think. Some people prefer Targeting Computer over Stealth Device, which adds offence at the expense of defence.

 

Him being PS9 with the option to Boost and Barrel Roll AND Focus all in the same round takes him into top-tier and he will likely remain there forever due to the (absolutely correct) reluctance to add more PS9 pilots to the game.

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The deal with the Phantom is as people mentioned, but I think it needs a little bit more explaining.  Since everyone took Adv. Cloaking it was important to go with a high PS.  VI was always taken.  So, it basically meant that you could wait until it's your turn and see how the table was.  Did you want to decloak this turn or not?  If you were going to go into a kill zone, you just stayed cloaked and used the extra dice.  You could also see where most players were to see where to decloak.   I like to think that part of this game is about guessing your opponent and maneuvering into a good spot.  Decloaking at that point basically gave you an easy button to fix your mistakes. 

 

I also think that 4 attack dice makes the Phantom too powerful, even after the fix.  I have a dislike of that ship that is probably unhealthy.  I just need to play against it more often.

 

 

When talking about Soontir Fel, the worst option was with PTL, Autothrusters, and Stealth Device.  On the approach, you can have Soontir use PTL and get a Focus and Evade.  He then gets a free focus.  When shot at, Autothrusters works for him.  So, it's hard to burn through all his tokens when he's got 4 Evade dice and at R3 one blank is a success.  Next, the PTL for Soontir also allows a bit of mistake correction like the Phantom that makes it easier for players to correct bad placement.  Or....pick a bland maneuver and know you can boost and barrel roll into a good position.  A good position is to dodge firing arcs, but get a good shot at an opponent.  So, once Soontir gets past the R3 shots, he's usually very good at getting at your ships without being shot.  If he finds himself going to be a target, he ends up with 2 Focus and 1 Evade.  Now, recall that the meta for the past 2 years have been 2 ship lists.  Or....1 elite fat turret and a bunch of generics.  So...the number of shots coming at him are few.  He can shirk off a couple of shots with little effort.  It's only when he gets concentrated fire where he runs out of tokens that it is an issue.  With PTL and Boost/Barrel Roll he shouldn't usually get into that spot.   This is one of the reasons why Twin Laser Turret lists scare Soontir Fel as it burns through his tokens.

 

Large ships with lots of hull wouldn't give up any points in tournaments, even if they were down to 1 hull.  A large ship moving 4 straight and then adding a boost moves further than a small ship doing the same maneuver.  This is due to the size of the base.  So, these large based ships could easily flee when things went south.  It would become hard to kill these ships.  Well.....and if not playing other fat turrets, the whole strategy of fat turrets would bait your small ships to commit one direction, and then hard turn and boost out of your firing arcs.  The whole game would then be this big ship running away from your firing arcs and firing at you the whole time.  It was very effective and very frustrating to play against.  If you go to time and you haven't killed that last big ship, then you might even lose the game as he's killed just enough of your ships to beat you.  It pretty much gave large ships an advantage in the game.   

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One more question from the neophyte trying to learn what is noise and what is tactics:

 

There is a very loud thread elsewhere in which someone is describing the standard X-Wing as a ship that is 'easy' to 1-shot and that the X-Wing is now one a poor choice (to paraphrase politely).

 

I can't understand that notion: How can a 5-hit ship be 1-shot.

If the X-Wing can be 1-shot, then can't anything with 5 or fewer HP? (TIE Advanced, E-Wing, etc.) 

I'm of the opinion that no ship is terrible (but most of my lists are HA!)

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The X-Wing isn't a bad ship, it just gets a lot of heat because it isn't effective for the points.  There are other ships out there that have a better survive-ability based on pure health (like the B-Wing) or based on maneuverability (like the A-Wing).  The named X-Wing Aces (Luke, Wedge, Biggs) still see play, but there's an issue with the generic ones just not being worth the points.

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Further info on the Phantom:

 

Think of it this way -- the Phantom has a cloaking device.  How do we simulate that in this game?  It should be hard to know where a cloaked ship is -- although you might know the general area, it shouldn't be pinpointed.  Therefore, the game mechanic the developers used was to "displace" the ship once its dial was revealed.  However, pre-nerf, you could do this after other ships with lower pilot skill had moved, so the other ships not only didn't know exactly where you were, you were able to use their lower pilot skill to see where they were, then "de-cloak" into a more favorable spot for you.  This wasn't what a cloak was really supposed to do.  Therefore, they changed when you "decloak" to make it difficult for the other side to predict where your phantom is, but at the same time, de-cloaking now before everyone moves, it doesn't give the phantom pilot the ability to see where everyone else moves.  It makes the phantom hard to predict and "detect", without giving it the ability to see other ships move first.  This is probably what was intended at first, so that's why the "nerf"/change.

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One more question from the neophyte trying to learn what is noise and what is tactics:

 

There is a very loud thread elsewhere in which someone is describing the standard X-Wing as a ship that is 'easy' to 1-shot and that the X-Wing is now one a poor choice (to paraphrase politely).

 

I can't understand that notion: How can a 5-hit ship be 1-shot.

If the X-Wing can be 1-shot, then can't anything with 5 or fewer HP? (TIE Advanced, E-Wing, etc.) 

I'm of the opinion that no ship is terrible (but most of my lists are HA!)

Ignore the "sky is falling" thread. There is a lot of that going on lately. There is a way that the perfect circumstances of crits will do massive damage to any ship, not just an X-Wing.

That being said the big issue with the X-Wing is that it was designed at the beginning of the game and has since been surpassed by a great many ships. It's not horrible, there are just a lot of better options.

Many of the games early ships have gotten boosts of some sort to bring them up to par (or close to it). Those ships used to be worse than the X-Wing which is why they got improvements first. The A-Wing, Y-Wing, Interceptor and Advanced have all gotten help (and in some cases plenty of it). Now it's finally time to fix the X-Wing

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One more question from the neophyte trying to learn what is noise and what is tactics:

 

There is a very loud thread elsewhere in which someone is describing the standard X-Wing as a ship that is 'easy' to 1-shot and that the X-Wing is now one a poor choice (to paraphrase politely).

 

I can't understand that notion: How can a 5-hit ship be 1-shot.

If the X-Wing can be 1-shot, then can't anything with 5 or fewer HP? (TIE Advanced, E-Wing, etc.) 

I'm of the opinion that no ship is terrible (but most of my lists are HA!)

The X-wing isn't a bad ship, people have just been looking at the X-wing's negatives and turn a blind eye to the positives of the ship (people tend to do that allot these days with everything, sadly.) 

 

So while the X-wing has already been explained in part in post above, most people compare it to this mathematical breakdown of the X-wing minis game, or simply put, they put there hope and trust in a system called mathwing, which looks at ships, and then breaks them down based on their stats and then spits out a number that equals the ships "worth".  For example, mathwing values the Blue squadron pilot B-wing very high because of it's stats for 22 points, and values the Rookie pilot very low, because of it's stats at 21 points.

 

What mathwing fails to do, is take into account the opponent's list, and the skill of the player piloting the ship. You can run a BBBBZ list, and if you don't know what your doing, you can lose with it fairly quickly to 4 rookie pilots. 

 

I do agree that no ship is terrible, every ship has it's strength's and weaknesses, and despite "the sky falling! T-65 need's buff!!!" threads, I do feel the X-wing doesn't need that bad a fix, although if FFG was to make one I wouldn't be upset about it. (they already have done this in part with the integrated astromech card.) 

 

As for your builds, I'm sure if you stick with one long enough you will be able to make changes as needed and try to find something that works for you.

 

For any TIE interceptor, your going to want to at least have Push the limit, especially for Fel/Turr. Stealth device is also a good card, and autothruster's is an added bonus that can be really helpful. To run all of this though you will need the imp aces and at least 1 starviper expansion.

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One more question from the neophyte trying to learn what is noise and what is tactics:

 

There is a very loud thread elsewhere in which someone is describing the standard X-Wing as a ship that is 'easy' to 1-shot and that the X-Wing is now one a poor choice (to paraphrase politely).

 

I can't understand that notion: How can a 5-hit ship be 1-shot.

If the X-Wing can be 1-shot, then can't anything with 5 or fewer HP? (TIE Advanced, E-Wing, etc.) 

I'm of the opinion that no ship is terrible (but most of my lists are HA!)

Ignore the "sky is falling" thread. There is a lot of that going on lately. There is a way that the perfect circumstances of crits will do massive damage to any ship, not just an X-Wing.

That being said the big issue with the X-Wing is that it was designed at the beginning of the game and has since been surpassed by a great many ships. It's not horrible, there are just a lot of better options.

Many of the games early ships have gotten boosts of some sort to bring them up to par (or close to it). Those ships used to be worse than the X-Wing which is why they got improvements first. The A-Wing, Y-Wing, Interceptor and Advanced have all gotten help (and in some cases plenty of it). Now it's finally time to fix the X-Wing

 

 

The X-Wing was developed when FFG didn't have a great idea on points valuation of features and in general overvalued shield points.  When you play the opening box, it becomes clear that the TIEs with their superior dials can just run rings around the X-wing who has no extra moves to parlay a higher PS into anything.

 

If you look at it now, the X-wing is basically an oversized Z-95.  It has some extra slots, but those slots cost points.  It flies almost exactly the same but costs a whole lot more for an attack die and a hull point.  Its dial is super predictable and limits it to jousting- even the B-wing has some maneuverability advantages, and it's supposed to have a worse dial than the X-wing.  Its problem is not getting one-shot, it's that 2 defense die and five hitpoints doesn't last long.  You can get a ship for 9 fewer points with four hitpoints and two defense die.

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Be sure to check on the FAQ and tournament rules you can find on FFG's X-wing Page in the support section.

If you already have the rule book/reference from the new core set then you can concern yourself with the FAQ and Tournament Rules and not worry about the rest. However if you have yet to get an Episode VII core set you can also find the new rule reference booklet on the same page. I'm sure you will be able to find most of the answers to your questions there.

 

 

One more question from the neophyte trying to learn what is noise and what is tactics:

 

There is a very loud thread elsewhere in which someone is describing the standard X-Wing as a ship that is 'easy' to 1-shot and that the X-Wing is now one a poor choice (to paraphrase politely).

 

I can't understand that notion: How can a 5-hit ship be 1-shot.

If the X-Wing can be 1-shot, then can't anything with 5 or fewer HP? (TIE Advanced, E-Wing, etc.) 

I'm of the opinion that no ship is terrible (but most of my lists are HA!)

 

As with many tabletop miniatures jack-of-all-trades type units struggle because they can never find themselves in a situation that they can have an advantage in turn based games. They either get outnumbered and overwhelmed by swarms, outrun and out maneuvered by fast mobile units, or out gunned and outlasted by heavy hitting hard units and so on.

 

When you are playing a jack of all trades you have to know the weakness of every unit while people that play specialized units only have to know where their units are weak at and play to avoid those weakness and pursue strategic strengths (close range units up close, long range units far away, ect.). It is much easier to play specialized units that have a clear strength and weakness than to play a versatile units that doesn't do well in a specific situation.

Edited by Marinealver

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One more question from the neophyte trying to learn what is noise and what is tactics:

 

There is a very loud thread elsewhere in which someone is describing the standard X-Wing as a ship that is 'easy' to 1-shot and that the X-Wing is now one a poor choice (to paraphrase politely).

 

I can't understand that notion: How can a 5-hit ship be 1-shot.

If the X-Wing can be 1-shot, then can't anything with 5 or fewer HP? (TIE Advanced, E-Wing, etc.) 

I'm of the opinion that no ship is terrible (but most of my lists are HA!)

Most of the one-shot methods revolve around critical hits, especially with the new deck. Say you take two hits and a crit, which is a common occurrence. The crit is a Major Explosion, which succeeds to deal another face-up card. Draw a Direct Hit, and you're dead.

 

It's currently the only real weakness to the X-Wing chassis. There's ways around it (Draw Their Fire on a wingman with R2D2 being one of the most popular), but a lot of people just fly B-Wings instead due to their crit-sponging shields.

 

Once Integrated Astromech is released into the wild, it'll give the X-Wing the extra durability it needs to handle those crits.

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