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SmogLord

Firespray or Tie Bomber(s)

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One generic firespray costs the same as two tie bombers. I seem to see people drifting back to the bombers lately, after seeing tons of Firesprays early on in wave two. Firesprays get two blue dice while the bomber only gets one, but it's black. Also, more bombers makes it harder for your opponent to wipe your fighters off the board quickly. Then again, Firesprays have rogue and bombers are limited by having heavy. Rhymer makes either quite dangerous. What do you guys think? Where are the points better spent?

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Firesprays.

 

Hands down.

 

Did the math and yeah, not as much "burst" damage but waaaay more consistent average damage and I actually use my firesprays as an anti-fighter holding force when I am out-squadroned, Tie bombers suck at that!

 

And I can't stress enough how valuable rogue is, especially late in the game where you simply might not have a carrier command available or be out of position, being able to move Rhymer around as a "Turret base" and then move-shoot with firesprays has helped me finish off more ships than I can remember.

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So the bomber is

4 speed 5 hull 1 a-squ 1 ship

The firespray is

3 speed 6 hull 3 a-squ 2 ship

if a ship could only target a single sqaud in the firing phase then maybe but seeing that your bombers are more likely to be paired up they will die really fast. I know that bombers can get a total of 4 on a roll. I still like the ablity of the firespray against other Sqauds and the movement ablity.

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The way I see it, the Firespray option allows me to trade survivability, a black die and heavy, for multi-role, rogue, blue die and half the activation cost.

For 32 points I can get 4 TIE Bombers with speed 4, 20 total hull, 4 black total antisquadron & 4 black total battery, but I need a 4 squadron to activate them all, so ISD, or VSD with Expanded Hanger Bays. And that isn't even counting the good Major, and any "protection"

Now for that same 32 points I can get 2 Firesprays with speed 3, 12 total hull, 6 blue total antisquadron & 4 blue battery, but with only 2 Squadrons to activate, I have plenty of room with that ISD or EHB VSD, or I could sling them with a GSD or EHB Raider.

Just the way I look at it when building lists.

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So the bomber is

4 speed 5 hull 1 a-squ 1 ship

The firespray is

3 speed 6 hull 3 a-squ 2 ship

if a ship could only target a single sqaud in the firing phase then maybe but seeing that your bombers are more likely to be paired up they will die really fast. I know that bombers can get a total of 4 on a roll. I still like the ablity of the firespray against other Sqauds and the movement ablity.

 

I don't see how a 1 hull difference (17%) = die really fast

 

If you can spare the squadron commands to get the bombers where they need to be, I think the bomber is much more efficient at killing ships and that's how you win games.

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Firesprays are easier to use and generally more easily covered by an Intel bubble because they're more points in less squadrons. They're weaker to anti-squadron fighters (6 hull points compared to a total of 10) but slightly more durable against flak.

 

TIE Bombers, provided you can get equivalent turns of use out of them (by setting up a stationary Rhymber-bunker somewhere or with lots of Squadrons commands) are more cost-effective for the points (better average damage with two total black dice, more hull points, equivalent anti-squadron, higher speed). The problem is making that happen reliably.

 

In general I would default to Firesprays for most lists. I've found I still tend to prefer TIEs for my fighter squadrons (Aggressors do fine, but when it comes to just burying problems in blue dice they're not nearly as cost-effective as TIEs), so I already need my Squadron commands for them. Squeezing in more commands for bombers just gets to be impossible.

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I love the Firespray with Precision Strike (still my favorite objective) You are able to push a damage through, flip a card with the objective, get an accuracy to negate a token like contain or redirect, etc.

 

The Bomber has its place but I like the flexibility that the Firespray offers.

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If using rhymer, with proper positioning, I generally don't need to issue a squadron command more than once or twice per game: once to place/shoot, second to re-place (turn 4 or 5).

 

I prefer bombers.  That extra distance lets them jumpy enemy CAP easier and combined with Rhymer give a mad stupid threat range.  Two of them together have a slight firepower edge in AS (in that it comes in two rolls- always better against tokens).  Both FS's and a pair of bombers have the same average damage vs fighters.  Also, if all I'm getting is *ship* AS fire on my bombers, that makes me happy: they're probably going to either A. live B. my opponent hasn't been shooting my ships very much.

 

*Edit.

Edited by DUR

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Edit: nevermind I forgot Tie-bombers have black dice instead of blue vs squadrons which invalidates my post.

 

Yup. It makes them surprisingly good against other squadrons when massed. Weirdest thing I've ever seen was somebody using a mass of nothing but TIE bombers in a 400 point wave 1 game. He used flight controllers on his carriers (triple VSD list by the way) to make his bombers pretty damned good at killing the squadrons they needed to. 

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Edit: nevermind I forgot Tie-bombers have black dice instead of blue vs squadrons which invalidates my post.

 

Yup. It makes them surprisingly good against other squadrons when massed. Weirdest thing I've ever seen was somebody using a mass of nothing but TIE bombers in a 400 point wave 1 game. He used flight controllers on his carriers (triple VSD list by the way) to make his bombers pretty damned good at killing the squadrons they needed to. 

Nowadays I'd like to try something like that using Ruthless Strategists instead. For 5 hull points at 9 points I'm confident my TIEs won't run out of HP before the guys fighting them do. Would be better with some kind of janky Raider pocket-carrier spam list, methinks.

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Edit: nevermind I forgot Tie-bombers have black dice instead of blue vs squadrons which invalidates my post.

 

Yup. It makes them surprisingly good against other squadrons when massed. Weirdest thing I've ever seen was somebody using a mass of nothing but TIE bombers in a 400 point wave 1 game. He used flight controllers on his carriers (triple VSD list by the way) to make his bombers pretty damned good at killing the squadrons they needed to.

Nowadays I'd like to try something like that using Ruthless Strategists instead. For 5 hull points at 9 points I'm confident my TIEs won't run out of HP before the guys fighting them do. Would be better with some kind of janky Raider pocket-carrier spam list, methinks.

I tried the same thing with Y-wings, and found that the lack of any ability to pin down squadrons made it really hard to get my ship AS fire into play. The extra range of Rhymer might make it easier to threaten with the bombers and force interceptors to close with you, I guess, but I still don't think you'd do well against a well-balanced fighter/bomber force.

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Edit: nevermind I forgot Tie-bombers have black dice instead of blue vs squadrons which invalidates my post.

 

Yup. It makes them surprisingly good against other squadrons when massed. Weirdest thing I've ever seen was somebody using a mass of nothing but TIE bombers in a 400 point wave 1 game. He used flight controllers on his carriers (triple VSD list by the way) to make his bombers pretty damned good at killing the squadrons they needed to.

Nowadays I'd like to try something like that using Ruthless Strategists instead. For 5 hull points at 9 points I'm confident my TIEs won't run out of HP before the guys fighting them do. Would be better with some kind of janky Raider pocket-carrier spam list, methinks.

I tried the same thing with Y-wings, and found that the lack of any ability to pin down squadrons made it really hard to get my ship AS fire into play. The extra range of Rhymer might make it easier to threaten with the bombers and force interceptors to close with you, I guess, but I still don't think you'd do well against a well-balanced fighter/bomber force.

 

 

When I'm running tie bombers, I'm not trying to win the squadron fight: I'm trying to launch as many black dice in 6 turns as possible.  Yay Intel!  8 black dice/turn with uber ginormous threat radius!

 

If I'm running dual ISD's with boosted comms, I'll actually just run away to one side of the board while doing a u-turn while the bomber's do their dirty work starting turn 1.  Usually something will blow up.

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It's a bit tangent to the OP topic, but I've had good experiences running TIE Bombers as a support squadron along with TIE fighters managed by a ship.

 

It might sound a bit counter intuitive, and completely inefficient, but bear with me for a moment ! :P

 

Like many have pointed out, TIE Bombers straight up suck in a fighter battle compared to a Firespray that has got a decent amount of anti-fighter. If a Wing managed by an ISD/VSD is composed only of Bombers, it will have a hard time dealing with interception which leads to build including Intel or Chiraneau or whatever.

 

When pairing a Bomber with 2 TIE Fighters to be managed by a VSD for example, you're getting an average output of damage per squadron activation of (I know that the averages aren't the best measure here, but I'm too tired to go into any deeper calculations tonight :P ). Let's call it the Mixed Wing :

- 3.75 damage anti-squadron (1.5 + 1.5 + 0.75)

- 2 damage anti-ship (0.5 + 0.5 + 1)

 

When we compare this to a pure bomber wing :

- 2.25 damage anti-squadron (Mixed Wing is 66% more efficient than this)

- 3 damage anti-ship (Mixed Wing is 33% less efficient than this)

 

Or a pure TIE Fighter wing :

- 4.5 damage anti-squadron (Mixed Wing is 17% less efficient than this)

- 1.5 damage anti ship (Mixed Wing is 33% more efficient than this)

 

We can immediately see that the TIE Fighters, with their unremarkable blue dice suck a lot less at anti-ship than the TIE Bombers suck at anti-squadron. We also can make 2 additional conclusions from this analysis :

1) Going from a Mixed Wing to 3 Bombers halves the anti-squadron average output, while going from 3 Bombers to a Mixed Wing only reduces the anti-ship damage by 33%

2) A Mixed Wing is only 17% less efficient than a pure fighter wing against squadrons, but 33% more efficient against ships

 

As we can see, using 1 TIE Bomber along with 2 TIE Fighters in a Wing managed by a VSD is only 17% less efficient than 3 Fighters against other fighters, and it is only 33% less efficient than 3 Bombers against ships while being 40% more efficient against squadrons.

 

___

 

People tend to say : "Good at both, Masters of nothing", and they would be right. While it is absolutely not the most efficient dedicated use of a wing for the Empire, it allows to have a much wider engagement profile for the wing as a whole. Coming from a Rebel playstyle in Wave 1, one undeniable advantage of Rebel fighters over Imperials is that they can do well both against squadrons and against ships individually (except perhaps the Y-Wing which is better escorted by 1 or better yet 2 X-Wings).

 

If now you have multiple ships with similar wings, it also makes it much harder for the opponent to prioritize his own dedicated or generalist wing. If he flies tons of X-Wings for instance, he might start to get confused as to whether throwing them as Bombers or trying to win a slugfest against TIEs. It also ensures that if one of your wing gets intercepted, you still have another one able to act. On the contrary, if all your eggs are in one basket, they're that much easier to avoid or to counter because the intentions are clearly broadcasted.

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This is a question of versatility vs. efficiency

All else being equal, I'd agree that the Firespray is more versatile, and therefore more adaptive. If you know nothing about the opposing lists you're going to face, then you're probably better off with the Firesprays. However, if you can work a tactical plan with your bombers, then it's probably more efficient to go with TIE Bombers.

 

In my local meta, however, my opponents don't tend to bring much in the way of squadrons or AA, and so I feel like I can safely opt for efficiency.

(Now, if I could just figure out how to build and drive my ships, I might get back to winning more often.)

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I feel if you want to run bombers you have to have a fleet infrastructure to support them ie at least one VSD or bigger and some fighter escorts. And in order to keep engaging you need either rhymer or a consistent squadron command. Having said that, I still like running them. Even if you have reatively light escorts, if you escort them with a raider with ruthless strategists you should be able to dig them out and kill enemy fighters.

 

Firesprays however are just awesome. For a spare 36 points you can take two of them and just let them lurk in the sides or rear of your star destroyers. They are really good late game at taking out anything that has dodged past you that you cant otherwise catch, and two blue bomber dice are wonderfully reliable.

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I design a list with Rymer and a bunch of tie bombers backed up with some fighter support. I then examine the squadron control rating of my carriers and substitute a firespray for a pair of bombers. Repeat until happy with the squadron rating ratio.

 

Since the introduction of the firespray I tend to spend less on expanded hangars.

Edited by Mad Cat

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