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TheMoonLord

Defender lovers unite

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Rexler Brath, HLC, Predator, Hull Upgrade, Ion Pulse Missile = 53

Colonel Vessery, HLC, Lone Wolf, Stealth Device = 47

 

This list (with minor variations) was retired locally after winning 4-5 local tournaments.  It got me second in a Store Championship and top 4 in Regionals play.  

I'm interested in running something like this -- what would be your flying strategy, from opening to engagement time?

I assume you're keeping the Defenders far apart, or far enough to keep a steady Lone Wolf going on Vessery. Why the HU on Rexler, as opposed to another Stealth Device? Or swapping Predator with another Lone Wolf (since they're going to be apart anyways), and then bumping the HU to SU?

This list really appeals to me.

 

 

The main general piece of advice I'd give is don't try too hard to activate Lone Wolf, Vessery's pilot ability, and Rexler Brath's pilot ability.  They are all great, but they are tools for specific situations.  Lone Wolf combined with Stealth Device (even after Stealth Device is broken, thanks to AGI 3) is terrific against 2-dice attacks, even 3-dice attacks at long range.  Vessery's ability is very powerful against a single tough ship.  Rexler Brath's ability is useful against high hull ships.  Know when you want to try and activate each one.  The main tool of the list, though, is 2 HLCs that pretty easily get re-rolls and Focus.  It lets you break through high defense ships, it lets you have one-sided long-range engagements, it makes the standard kiting position for a boosting Fat Turret better for you than for the Turret, and it helps kill things before they shoot at you.  Defenders don't have great raw efficiency, but their in-game efficiency goes up when they kills stuff before it fires at them.  

 

The Hull Upgrade is on Rexler, because sometimes I like to Target Lock early, Hull lets you just tank a hit from a ship instead of hoping a Stealth Device unsupported by a Focus token doesn't break.  

 

As far as how I fly it:

 

Against swarms (from true TIE swarms to BBBB-style lists), I'll try and come at the swarm with the Defenders about 90 degrees apart.  Make liberal use of Barrel Rolls to drift left or right with your ships into the proper positions, which mostly means putting yourself in a place where the best moves to engage you overlap asteroids.  I'll try and place Vessery in the weaker position, because his Stealth + Lone Wolf can take a lot of pounding.  Try and make use of the fact that it's actually really hard to bring all the swarm's weapons onto a single small-based ship at optimal ranges.  The Defender that doesn't get engaged can start racking up a lot of damage, and once the herd is thinned it becomes much easier.  If I trade one Defender for half the swarm, I consider it a good deal.  4vs1 is actually easier than 8vs2 in my opinion.  Once you get the swarm thinned some, the white K-turn can abuse the swarm horribly.  You can do repeated K-turns to joust extremely effectively, and Barrel Roll at close range do dodge arcs quite well.  

 

Against Pancake + Ace lists, I go for the Pancake first, unless the Ace just parks theirself in front of both guns for a turn.  I usually try to set up at long range to get bonus defenses from Primary Weapons and make it harder to arc dodge, but often I have to set up arcs so that boosting from the first arc brings you into the second arc.  I try tor Target Lock with Rexler Brath early and just leave it on the Pancake to activate Vessery's ability, and also to let me take a shot at a good time with the Ion Pulse Missile.  That missile can be a backbreaker, and is very useful even if never fired, because it restricts the good moves that big ships have available to them.  If I can trade a Defender for a Pancake, I can usually rely on the other Defender, even if slightly damaged to win against most 30-40 point aces.  Soontir Fel, for example, doesn't have the firepower to break through a Defender's combination of AGI and hit points in a timely manner, and still avoid fire himself.  The Defender can take a hit, K-turn, and put Fel in a bad position for a couple more turns.  Given infinite time, it's possible that he could escape, come around, work the Defender into a position where it couldn't bring its guns onto him, and slowly kill it, but that's hard to do without taking any fire from the Defender, and it's very hard to do in a timed game.  The HLC with re-rolls is too capable of putting out 4 hits for Fel to just take his chances with a shot, and the white K is a great equalizer in positioning games.  

 

As to starting apart or together, it just depends on the opposing list.  Sometimes there's a main target you want to take out fast, and I'll group them together to take it out easier.  Often I deploy them a little bit apart, and shift as needed depending on how the opposing squad moves, where the asteroids are, etc.  

Edited by Biophysical

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I've had fair success with

 

Rexler, HLC, Twin Ion MK II, Lonewolf

 

Howlrunner, Hull

Night Beast, Twin Ion MK II

Dark Curse

 

I was actually surprised that it works given all the negative talk about the Defender's overcostedness.  I also find that I'm not using the Twin Ion at all.  I'm getting by on 3 turns, 1 banks, 4 or 5 straights and the K turn.  I was thinking about dropping it, but as soon as I do I'll come up against a stressbot or something.

 

The thing is that the Stress Bot also stresses itself, so you can K-turn behind it with a couple stress, and it's just hosed.  Now, it has squadmates, to be sure, but Defenders can fight stressed for a while, especially with Lone Wolf.

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Up until recently:
 

Colonel Vessery (35)
Outmaneuver (3)
Ion Cannon (3)
 
Omicron Group Pilot (21)
Weapons Engineer (3)
 
Scimitar Squadron Pilot (16)
Seismic Charges (2)
 
Black Squadron Pilot (14)
Predator (3)
 
Total: 100
 
 
Recently however I have been eying up:

Colonel Vessery (35)
Lightning Reflexes (1)
Twin Ion Engine Mk. II (1)
 
Delta Squadron Pilot (30)
Ion Cannon (3)
 
Epsilon Squadron Pilot (15)
 
Epsilon Squadron Pilot (15)
 
Total: 100
 
Edited by librerian samae

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This list hasn't been tested as of yet but I'm liking the foundations of the build. I'm attempting to give vessery a tsuedo attacking/defending flight instructor when he's stressed - our great new 1 point ept Wired! Theoretically I believe wired could be good in junction with the mk 2 twin ion engine, so to make the defender feel more unpredictable. Plus at least he gets some sort of benefit to being stressed. Sure the focus is 100% conversion guarantee on one usuage, but at least wired procs on every possible defence roll. I'm really looking forward to seeing vessery actually take a 1- 2 turn without feeling at a disadvantage.

So my rambling out of the way here my list:

Colonel Vessery (37)

- Wired

-Twin ion engine

Epsilon Squadron Pilot (15)

Epsilon Squadron Pilot (15)

Carnor Jax (33)

-Push the Limit

-Royal guard title

-Autothrusters

-Targeting Computer

The only real doubts I may have is that Jax may not be the best support ship to fill this roll. Maybe Maarek w. Pred, ATC and Twin ion engine may be better.

But still it looks like a lot of fun :D

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Ion cannons on Defenders is a nice thought. Splatting someone so they can't K-turn (and you of course can) is a nasty, nasty trick in a joust!

 

Dunno why I never thought of it; it's what the bloody things canonically carried......

 

That's how I used to run my Deltas back in the 4th Wave meta. Extremely satisfying to run rings around Keyan or Wedge. Unfortunately it just doesn't work against turrets.

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When Wired was spoiled, I immediately thought of a knife-fighting Vessery.  If you expect to get shot more than once, it can be better than a Focus, defensively.  If you've got a target lock up on someone, it's not helping your offense that much, but there are many little corner cases where you'll switch targets and get a benefit, or re-roll eyes and bank your free TL for a later round.  Really makes those 1-turns practical, though.

 

edit:  this was in regards to Sergeant SPA5's post, which I forgot to quote.

Edited by Biophysical

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Rexler Brath, HLC, Predator, Hull Upgrade, Ion Pulse Missile = 53

Colonel Vessery, HLC, Lone Wolf, Stealth Device = 47

 

This list (with minor variations) was retired locally after winning 4-5 local tournaments.  It got me second in a Store Championship and top 4 in Regionals play.  

 

Thanks for another great writeup on your Defender tactics, Bio. I'm sure a lot of people like myself really want to like the Defender but are either not having much success or discouraged by the general opinion.

 

Quick question - does the release of Twin Ion Engines and its pairing with PTL on Rexler change anything for you? What about some of the new Ordnance or EPTs? Or would you stick with your list?

 

Thanks,

Edited by zerotc

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When Wired was spoiled, I immediately thought of a knife-fighting Vessery.  If you expect to get shot more than once, it can be better than a Focus, defensively.  If you've got a target lock up on someone, it's not helping your offense that much, but there are many little corner cases where you'll switch targets and get a benefit, or re-roll eyes and bank your free TL for a later round.  Really makes those 1-turns practical, though.

 

That's actually a really good point. Save for the 1-bank and various K-turns and S-loops, the Defender dial has every move available. Wired and MKII might be just the cards needed to make this work. I wish we had another pilot though, as neither Vessery (gets free lock) nor Brath (wants focus) really play that well with Wired. We need this:

 

Ace of Defenceness: PS7, 36 points

At the start of the combat phase, if you are at range 1 of an enemy ship, you may assign 1 evade token to your ship.

 

Throw MKII and Wired on this guy, and I think you have a pretty decent knife fighter.

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Currently running 3xOnyx+MkII in galactic cup and I'm 2-1.

 

3 x Delta with Hull is fun (about .500 with it) but after playing dozens of games with Defenders, I think using that cannon slot for control is the way to go, maybe tractor beam will be a powerful addition. Control mitigates the huge weakness to arc dodgers.

 

If you are 1 Defender versus 1 or 2 jousters, you have a really good chance of winning.

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I really like:

 

Tempest Squadron Pilot (21)

Accuracy Corrector (0)

TIE/x1 (0)

Tempest Squadron Pilot (21)

Accuracy Corrector (0)

TIE/x1 (0)

Tempest Squadron Pilot (21)

Accuracy Corrector (0)

TIE/x1 (0)

Colonel Vessery (35)

Crack Shot (1)

Twin Ion Engine Mk. II (1)

Total: 100

View in Yet Another Squad Builder

 

I don't know if its my favorite, but its really solid. The Tempests throw out consistent damage and can be quite tanky, while Vessery is free to roam and hunt.

 

I like this one.

Maybe I'd throw VI in or even Calculation...

until we know what Tractor Beam does.

 

 

 

Yeah, you can throw in whatever 1 point EPT you want. I like Crackshot for that nice burst damage it offers.

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Rexler Brath, HLC, Predator, Hull Upgrade, Ion Pulse Missile = 53

Colonel Vessery, HLC, Lone Wolf, Stealth Device = 47

 

This list (with minor variations) was retired locally after winning 4-5 local tournaments.  It got me second in a Store Championship and top 4 in Regionals play.  

 

Thanks for another great writeup on your Defender tactics, Bio. I'm sure a lot of people likely myself really want to like the Defender but are either not having much success or discouraged by the general opinion.

 

Quick question - does the release of Twin Ion Engines and its pairing with PTL on Rexler change anything for you? What about some of the new Ordnance or EPTs? Or would you stick with your list?

 

Thanks,

 

 

I'm happy to help.  Twin Ion Engines is good for cheaper Defenders with not much in the way of upgrades, I think.  They do more damage up close, and easier use of the red turns lets them fight in that range better.  For the loaded cannon-armed Defenders I usually fly, I don't think it really works.  I like the defensive mods to keep that cannon firing longer.  As far as PTL goes, I don't really like it on Rex.  Predator is much better for me.  PTL requires you to dump that stress to maintain any action economy, which means green moves, which means not a K-turn.  I K-turn a lot.  Being able to K-turn while stressed from PTL is nice, but repeated K-turning in a joust while getting 1.5 actions each turn thanks to Predator is just brutal.  Predator (or Lone Wolf) works when stressed, bumping, running over an asteroid, whatever.  I like that.

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Currently running 3xOnyx+MkII in galactic cup and I'm 2-1.

 

3 x Delta with Hull is fun (about .500 with it) but after playing dozens of games with Defenders, I think using that cannon slot for control is the way to go, maybe tractor beam will be a powerful addition. Control mitigates the huge weakness to arc dodgers.

 

If you are 1 Defender versus 1 or 2 jousters, you have a really good chance of winning.

 

For the record, I love that you're doing that.  

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Semi-on topic:  Anyone else think that the new damage deck makes Brath hella more dangerous?

 

I'm currently looking at running this:

 

Brath + HLC + LW + MKII (My favorite ship build in the game)

Sigma + SPA + FCS (Been actually doing well with these as heavy fire support)

2x Academy TIEs (for blocking up the spaceways)

Edited by Audio Weasel

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When Wired was spoiled, I immediately thought of a knife-fighting Vessery.  If you expect to get shot more than once, it can be better than a Focus, defensively.  If you've got a target lock up on someone, it's not helping your offense that much, but there are many little corner cases where you'll switch targets and get a benefit, or re-roll eyes and bank your free TL for a later round.  Really makes those 1-turns practical, though.

 

That's actually a really good point. Save for the 1-bank and various K-turns and S-loops, the Defender dial has every move available. Wired and MKII might be just the cards needed to make this work. I wish we had another pilot though, as neither Vessery (gets free lock) nor Brath (wants focus) really play that well with Wired. We need this:

 

Ace of Defenceness: PS7, 36 points

At the start of the combat phase, if you are at range 1 of an enemy ship, you may assign 1 evade token to your ship.

 

Throw MKII and Wired on this guy, and I think you have a pretty decent knife fighter.

 

 

Heck, if Obsidians had an EPT they'd be a decent place for Wired.

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Col. Vessery w/ VI

Maarek Stele w/ VI +ATC + Mk II Ion Engines

2 x Epsilon Squadron w/ Weapons Guidance

 

I really like the foundation of this list! I'm going to have to fiddle around with my squad builder at lunch. Colzet and a pair of Zetas? Hmmm...

 

 

Let me know what you come up with.  If I had 4 Epsilon, I'd just do that.  I don't, though.  

 

I thought of Colzet, but then looked at Maarek and realize I haven't used him in forever.  

 

I like Weapons Guidance on lower PS pilots because they can use Focus each turn and use it for defense.  If they get to keep it by the time they get to fire, they can become more reliable with WG.

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Love the ship in the lore, hate it in this game.

 

mzX4qCO.jpg and QhUXBde.jpg

 

still needs to happen.

 

Yeah, the T/D doesn't feel as it should in this game.

Is it overcosted?probably, FFG put too much on a white K. If it had some of the newer maneuvers maybe...

Should the T/D have a tech slot? Probably. Was the most high tech fighter of the GCW era.

 

While it has good stats and lots of snazz, it doesn't tank or DPS at it's points weight.

 

I'd like to see a true T/D fix, and I think it should look a LOT like the X-1 title. I agree it needs both boost and evade. or either one of those and more firepower/regen.

 

It needs love.

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