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Firespray or Tie Bomber(s)

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Rymer + Vader + Dengar + Firesprays.

There is no reason to take anything else and soon no one will

 

I love flavour of the month builds. Very easy to predict, very easy to counter. A Fireball like this hates a decent fighter screen that is able to push lots of dice as well as passive damage through ruthless strategists, Mauler, whatever.

 

Is the Fireball strong ? Sure. Is it unbeatble ? definitely not. There are so many squadrons that Vader can escort, and if he focuses on protecting Rhymer and Dengar, the Firesprays are quite vulnerable (seriously, 6 hull goes poof really fast, especially with some AA barrage in the mix, I have no qualms "wasting a turn of firing the ISD's front arc if it means removing 2 to 4 potential blue dice with Bomber). And if he focuses on escorting the Firesprays, then Rhymer and Dengar are vulnerable.

 

To be fair, I haven't yet seen played a configuration where a single Vader would protect an entire Fireball against a fleet that has a health amount of squadrons (which is my firm believe that any fleet should have, especially when fielding larger ships). In my 400 points Imperial fleets, I frequently run 8 to 9 squadrons of different kinds, mostly vanilla variants, and it's not too big of a threat.

 

Obivously, no squadron lists are going to be at a clear disadvantage against Fireballs... until nobody plays with 0 squadrons anymore :P

 

EDIT : on top of that, this is a huge amount of points invested in very expensive squadrons. Sometimes people tend to forget that killing Vader + Rhymer yields almost as many victory points as a basic C90B with no upgrades, which is quite massive.

Edited by MoffZen

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Look at the typical build. With 4 Firesprays... Any fighters are going to face 21 anti squadron dice. A bunch of braces a scatter and how many hull points? Do you realize the threat range and mobility?

*edit* Yes it's a lot of points but it even has more ship firepower than any real ship

Edited by Souppilgrim

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Look at the typical build. With 4 Firesprays... Any fighters are going to face 21 anti squadron dice. A bunch of braces a scatter and how many hull points? Do you realize the threat range and mobility?

 

 

5 X-Wings put out 20 Anti-Squadron Dice, and reliably roll ACCs to be able to shut down the Singular Scatter...  And not ideal, they can still be surprising as Bombers once its done.

 

We know the Threat Range and Mobility.  That's why I know its not the be-all.  Because it has its weaknesses.

 

The very fact that the point you made is not the only point made on this thread, does lend a little invalidation to the -flatness- of your statement.

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What's the weakness? I'm extremely excited to know.

*edit * Yes x-wings have decent anti squadron dice but no scatter no brace no black squadron dice, 1/3 the range on firing worse bomber no Intel no rogue etc

Edited by Souppilgrim

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Look at the typical build. With 4 Firesprays... Any fighters are going to face 21 anti squadron dice. A bunch of braces a scatter and how many hull points? Do you realize the threat range and mobility?

*edit* Yes it's a lot of points but it even has more ship firepower than any real ship

 

When facing a Fireball, I'm not throwing my fighters to get eaten by anti-squadron dice. Considering the average TIE Fighter does 2 damage after the swarm reroll, it takes 3 TIE Fighters to kill a Firespray. 4 TIE Fighters can kill 2 firesprays when supported by any ship with 2 AA dice and Ruthless strategists. In one turn activation by an ISD with 4 squadrons, that's 4 blue dice removed from the Fireball. Rince and repeat with a VSD managing TIE Fighters with Mauler.

 

I can play the waiting game with a Fireball I'll be sure to keep my fighters in interception range to activate after the Fireball has inevitably activated, while staying out of range of effective range of its carriers. Inevitably, it'll come in range, at which point I'll happily trade a cheap Raider or a couple of shields off my ISD if a double punch from two carriers can seriously degrade the effectiveness of the Fireball.

 

Like I said in my previous post, it's a strong build, for sure. But it's not the be all end all of squadron warfare in Armada.

 

EDIT : Like I said, Vader can't escort all of a Fireball. If you invest in another advance, you're diminishing the effectiveness of the bombing run while not getting any more anti-squadron value.

 

Similarily, Dengar can not make every fighter in your list heavy, because you can position them at range 1 of your intended target and still be outside of Dengar's Intel bubble by placing so that your target is between you and Dengar.

 

Considering the fact that only a squadron's final position determines if it is engaged or not, squadorns can easily "hop over" a Fireball to target its weak spots.

 

Like I also said, because both escort, Rhymer and Dengar's ability require everything to be clumped up, it's a lote more vulnerable to AA barrage than many other fighter builds.

 

No ship can activate the Fireball in one single activation, so by letting them activate first, you can damage the part of it that was activated before the other one. If the Fireball is just waiting for the Rogue activation, then it loses 27% of its firepower. If throwing 8 dice is just what you're looking for, then you're better off with 8 Bombers including Rhymer that you activate with carriers : not only black dice with bomber do more damage than blue dice with bomber, but you also have twice the number of attacks which will screw up the target's defense tokens even more.

Edited by MoffZen

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For one:

 

You only have 5 Hull Points to Defend Dengar.  And its on Vader.

You can't position Vader in all the positions to protect Dengar - you move in and hit him from the other direction.    In which case, Vader is a chunk of points - even over a standard TIE Advanced.  

 

If I'm getting a Firespray to Shoot at me with Anti-Squadron...  Then I've won, as far as I'm concerned - because the very reason you're paying for Dengar and Rhymer is the ability to shoot at ships whenever you **** well want, from whatever range you **** well want.

 

So I guess that's a second one.  Distraction.

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I think the fireball, to be blunt, was grossly overrated.  It seems that people forget that 18 points for 3 AS dice is pretty bad deal!

 

We all know from Greedo in Episode IV that second place in a gunfight isn't something you want.  Leaning on Rogue to carry you through is asking for someone to take half as many points in tie fighters and mess you up before you can even activate.

 

To the OP, I recommend trying out the TIE/SA's.  Once you go black... nevermind.

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Rymer + Vader + Dengar + Firesprays.

There is no reason to take anything else and soon no one will

My squads eat Firesprays for breakfast...

 

Seriously they can be downed easily with an anti-squadron force.  And each 18 points is going to hurt more and more.

 

Dengar, Mithel, 2x TIE Advanced, and I am all good to take on that Squadron setup.

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As an opponent I would rather face Firesprays than Bombers.

 

When I evaluate the opposing fleet Firesprays become must kills, but they aren't hard to kill at all.  And they are worth a fair number of points for the trouble.  10 squadron hp for 36 points in my favor?  Yes, please.

 

Bombers?  Now I have to chew through 24 squadron hp for the same number of points?  Nope, those I will try to tie up or avoid.

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As an opponent I would rather face Firesprays than Bombers.

 

When I evaluate the opposing fleet Firesprays become must kills, but they aren't hard to kill at all.  And they are worth a fair number of points for the trouble.  10 squadron hp for 36 points in my favor?  Yes, please.

 

Bombers?  Now I have to chew through 20 squadron hp for the same number of points?  Nope, those I will try to tie up or avoid.

Fixed it for you. 

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Last tourney I shot more anti squadron with my ISDII than anti-ship, because i'm not retarded and I don't fly my fireball out to be picked apart by all these squadrons you guys are talking about.

 

My ISD and Raider were there to support the fireball.

 

My fireball also sank more ships than my ISD.

 

I faced a 4 tie fighter list flown by DrunkTarkin that did quite well on annoyance but ultimately failed to hinder too much of the fireballs effectiveness and eventually died.

 

I faced a 5 or 6 x-wing list that failed to slow down my fireball

 

and I faced one with IIRC A-wings and YTs, also failed to tie down my fireball sufficiently.

 

I'd like to add that I went second on all 3 of my games and all 3 of my opponents chose my minefields which I used to control the rate of engagement and distribution.

 

Looking at any mechanism like the rhymerball and reducing it to JUST the ball is pointless chest thumping IMO. If played as part of a coherent strategy it is potent but by no means unbeatable, but I have yet once to have my fireball decimated easily (or at all, really) and it has never failed to produce well in proportion to the point investment. (In that tourney I used a miniball of Rhymer, Dengar, TA, 3xFS, a "Christmas tree" ISD a tricked out Demo and a naked raider 1 for ball support)

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As an opponent I would rather face Firesprays than Bombers.

 

When I evaluate the opposing fleet Firesprays become must kills, but they aren't hard to kill at all.  And they are worth a fair number of points for the trouble.  12 squadron hp for 36 points in my favor?  Yes, please.

 

Bombers?  Now I have to chew through 20 squadron hp for the same number of points?  Nope, those I will try to tie up or avoid.

Fixed it for you. 

And I fixed it for both of you ;).

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As an opponent I would rather face Firesprays than Bombers.

 

When I evaluate the opposing fleet Firesprays become must kills, but they aren't hard to kill at all.  And they are worth a fair number of points for the trouble.  12 squadron hp for 36 points in my favor?  Yes, please.

 

Bombers?  Now I have to chew through 20 squadron hp for the same number of points?  Nope, those I will try to tie up or avoid.

Fixed it for you. 

And I fixed it for both of you ;).

 

 

D'oh!  Which is what I get for doing that off memeory while I am at work. 

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D'oh!  Which is what I get for doing that off memeory while I am at work. 

I mean for what it's worth, the basic thrust of your argument is sound: TIE Bombers point for point have substantially more total hull points than the same points invested in Firesprays (2/3 more!). When it comes to weathering fighter attacks, that is a boon. When it comes to flak, it's not so great (although one should consider if an opponent's primary method of dealing with a bomber swarm is flak, I think that opponent is going to have a bad time). In general, that is one of the benefits of TIE Bombers over Firesprays. One might even be able to make the argument that once the meta adjusts and adequate fighter coverage becomes more common, TIE Bombers may be a better investment for that reason.

 

Maybe. It's hard to predict, and someone will think you're a fool no matter what you say. Welcome to the internet. :lol:

Edited by Snipafist

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I get the sense that we need some simplifying metrics to compare and contrast squadron complements, similar to the old Motti scale. However, I don't want to make is so simplistic as to not be meaningful. So, off the top of my head, I offer you the following 3-part metric:

  • The first metric is about volume and can be expressed as a ratio: how many of your possible 134 points are you using for squadrons?
  • Another metric is: how valuable are your squadrons on average (or, conversely, how much of your list is cheap spam)? Because I prefer ratio-level variables (because math), I think it's useful to express this as a number of squadrons over the number of possible squadrons. The maximum number of squadrons in an Imperial list is 16 (TIE fighter @ 8points 134/8=16.75). That number in a Rebel list would be 13, but because we want to maintain an equivalence of numbers, it's probably best just to take 16 as the baseline, which means that a Rebel list could not go above (130/160=81.25%)
  • How many of those are bombers?

Maybe you could put a fourth measure in there, taking the number of ships with Rogue over those without, but I think this is enough. YMMV.

So, my go-to Rhymerball during Sullust (which was Wave 1, and therefore the cap was 100 points) was:

  • Darth Vader
  • Soontir Fel
  • Major Rhymer
  • 5x TIE Bomber Squadron

So, I used 100% of possible squadron points; there were 8 squadrons (but for Wave 1, the baseline was 12), and 7 (I lump Vader in there) of them were bombers. So, 100/66/88, which tells us that this was a huge, fairly spammy, bomber-heavy list.

 

Currently, I use something not that different. It consists of:

  • Major Rhymer
  • 5x TIE Bomber Squadron
  • Dengar
  • Jumpmaster5000
  • 2x TIE Advanced Squadron

I used 87% of possible squadron points, 10 squadrons, of which 6 were bombers - 87/63/60. In other words, is a more moderate squadron complement than I used to run, but still very much in the direction of bomber spam.

 

What's the point of this? It seems (to me) to capture the overall disposition of your fleet's squadrons. The first expresses how squadron-reliant your list is. The second tells you the dispersion of points, and the last the degree to which it's anti-ship or anti-squadron.

 

But this is just off the top of my head. Do you have a better measure?

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For one:

 

You only have 5 Hull Points to Defend Dengar.  And its on Vader.

You can't position Vader in all the positions to protect Dengar - you move in and hit him from the other direction.    In which case, Vader is a chunk of points - even over a standard TIE Advanced.  

 

If I'm getting a Firespray to Shoot at me with Anti-Squadron...  Then I've won, as far as I'm concerned - because the very reason you're paying for Dengar and Rhymer is the ability to shoot at ships whenever you **** well want, from whatever range you **** well want.

 

So I guess that's a second one.  Distraction.

You have more than 5 hull points defending Dengar.  You have vaders 5 hull points and 2 braces, he has 3 blue AS and a black AS. then you have dengar himself, 4 hull 1 brace 1 scatter, and who has given everyone counter, and makes it so if the fireball player wants to he can just move away.  If your opponent is a gold fish, then sure, you can perfectly surround him at the perfect distance and then maybe have a fight that is%2

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I get the sense that we need some simplifying metrics to compare and contrast squadron complements, similar to the old Motti scale. However, I don't want to make is so simplistic as to not be meaningful. So, off the top of my head, I offer you the following 3-part metric:

 

I'll take a deeper look at your points and reply tomorrow ! I just wanted to let you know that I'm working on an updated Motti Scale version, that include squadrons (even without Rogue) into the mix ;)

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Firesprays.

On versatility alone. It's hard to qualify it in a cost comparison. You can move/shoot, shoot/move, act independently, huge amounts of damage, Rouge into Rhymer in the squadron phase.

I'll probably never want to tun TB over FSpray most of the time. Unless it's a a multI ship with X squadon command = X bombers

Edited by Trizzo2

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if your using flack to waste attacks on my bombers and not shooting at my ships in range I say "cool" They are doing their job :D

 

also I only have two Firesprays and 6 tie bombers so its going to be a mixed force ;)

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You have more than 5 hull points defending Dengar.  You have vaders 5 hull points and 2 braces, he has 3 blue AS and a black AS. then you have dengar himself, 4 hull 1 brace 1 scatter, and who has given everyone counter, and makes it so if the fireball player wants to he can just move away.  If your opponent is a gold fish, then sure, you can perfectly surround him at the perfect distance and then maybe have a fight that is%2

 

 

Check out HERO's blog post about the typical Fireball with Dengar, Vader and Rhymer and see how easy it is to actually get where you want to. You are assuming the opposing commander is going to be dumb enough to chew through Vader to get to Dengar.

 

Like I said, and you seem to avoid replying to my point, Vader on his own does not have the range to protect Dengar, Rhymer and all the Firesprays. No fortress is impregnable and there will be weak spots  I know you're familiar with escort, but for it to trigger, Vader has to be engaged with the initial target of your attack. So, with fast moving fighters, it's easy to make sure you place them in spots where Vader does not engage them.

 

Check the following HD diagram : OO---QQ

 

The O on the right can be engaged by both Qs without being engaged by the O on the left. With Speed 4 fighters, it's quite easy to fly over engagement distances (don't forget blue on blue matchups in competitive games). It's even possible with speed 3 fighters but much harder.

Same goes with Dengar, he can't Intel everyone, so you can engage outlying squadrons of the Fireball, meaning Dengar, lacking Rogue, will have to be activated by a squadron command or a squadron token in order to reposition to allow the engaged squadrons to benefit from Intel, leaving what he left engaged and unable to keep up if they have to move forward.

 

There's a hard dilemma for a Fireball player : does he protect the Firesprays with Vader, or does he protect the support (Dengar/Rhymer?). Because at some point, he will have to choose and whatever he doesn't protect will be jumped upon by any  player with a sufficient fighter cover.

 

Like I said, if players don't bring sufficient fighter cover, whether Rogues or not, whether they have dedicated carriers or not, they're depriving themselves of a valuable tactical tool.

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So, after giving more thought about your points about the squadrons, I think you're on to something when it comes to ratios, but because the squadron gameplay is so varied, it's hard to find proper metrics to measure the effectiveness of squadrons in absolute because like you said :

- They can be used to fight off other squadrons

- They can be used to damage ships

- You can go for a volume strategy

- You can go for elite abilities

 

There are two facts that strongly contribute to victory at a strategic level :

- Have higher numbers than the opponent

- The ability to strike before the opponent can strike

 

Any player that has played intense squadron battles or played squadron heavy fleets, will know how important getting the drop on the enemy squadrons actually is and how annoying it is when squadrons do not have the ability to shoot at a ship in the squadron phase because they would have to move in order to be able to be in range.

 

Regardless of whether the squadron is a Rogue or not, we agree that a sufficient number of squadrons is important : 4 aces are probably going to get munched by twice their numbers in basic fighters. But, striking first is even more important because there is nothing the opponent can do about that until it's his own turn to play these squadrons.

 

The only thing I know in Armada, aside from Han Solo, than allows to boost the chances to strike first with the squadrons is a Squadron Command, and I think that the total sum of squadron activations you can throw is a good metric about how many squadrons should fit in a fleet, with the points limit of 134 being a limit on the quality of the squadrons you can fit. Even with Rogue, it's sometimes more interesting to activate the squadrons during the ship phase over the squadron phase, which is why I think the number of squadrons should be limited to the number of total activations, so that you don't have "dead weight" squadrons lying about just waiting for their turn in the activation line when the other squadrons are destroyed.

Rogue mitigates this to an extent, but having Rogue squadrons in excess of the total squadron activations means that the player is either : preventing them from being activated during the ship phase and as such leaves them more vulnerable to squadrons that are themselves activated during the ship phase, or activating them and leaving a regular squadron do nothing but moving or shooting if it is lucky in the squadron phase.

 

For giggles, let's call it the Tallon Scale : the total number of squadron activations a fleet can push in the ship phase :P

 

When fielding 2 MC80 cruisers, you can activate up to 8 squadrons without any upgrade cards. When fielding 7 CR90s, you can activate up to 7 squadrons in a single phase without any upgrade cards. When doing all the possible combinations between ships, I feel that the total amount of possible squadrons varies between 5 and 9 maybe 10 (when you factor in the points for the ships + the basic points for the squadrons) without factoring any upgrades

 

So, a good measure of the Tallon Scale would be a ratio of : How many squadrons do you have / How many can you activate in a single turn.

Example : ISD + VSD + Raider with 4 squadrons, Tallon Scale of 44%

2 ISDs with 16 TIE, Tallon Scale of 200%

 

I think that regardless of the fleet build, the most efficient use of squadrons is when the Talon Scale is as close to 100% as you can get. Because, I'm not looking at how many points of squadrons are wasted if they're not activated, I'm looking at how many activations are wasted when popping the command.

 

Now, when looking at what type of squadrons are interesting options depending on the total number of activations, I would tend to say that the higher the number of squadrons you can activate the more interesting it becomes to throw cheap squadrons, while the lower number of total activations you have, the more interesting it is to throw Elite squadrons, due to 2 things : Defense tokens making them more resilient, Special abilities mitigating to the lower number of squadrons.

I'm not saying larger total squadron activations don't warrant aces, but it's better to fill out these activations then upgrade to Aces rather than build around them in my opinion. On the other hand, a full Corvette fleet would be a good place to spread out the different Aces around ! A Raider I geared to destroy squadrons would greatly benefit from throwing in somebody like Vader : not only can he buy more time to other squadrons by bringing his escort when other squadrons previously engaged have 1 or 2 hp remaining, but much like the Raider I he is good both in anti-squadron and anti-ship duties. Similarily, a Raider 2 that is slightly more geared to anti-ship due to its blue dice and less effective AA would benefit from a good anti-sqaduron ace like IG88 or Soontir Fel, that can still double up as ship damage with a lower effectiveness.

 

I don't want to brag, but I think I'm on to something because it is hinted at by FFG : After writing this post, it's no surprise to me that Riekaan that brings bonuses to Elite squadrons comes with the MC30, the ship with the least effective points for points squadron activation if a fleet is solely composed of them. 5 MC30 Torpedo costs 315 points, leaving only 85 measly points for squadrons.

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MoffZen, I think you make a great point about the activatability of squadrons - those are indeed very important, and getting the jump on the other person is also very important (My two Sullust wins were largely due to my ability to toss Vader and Soontir into my opponents' squadrons and knock out a couple before they could do any mischief.)

 

But in terms of your measure, I'm wondering why you're making the number of squadrons you can activate as the denominator, when it seems like that would be better as the numerator. The way you have it, it is not a ratio, because the numerator can be larger than the denominator.

 

But anyway, it's quite clear that even as we try to construct meaningful measures, we're getting lost in the multi-facetedness of the squadrons game. Obviously the squadrons game is multifaceted, but the purpose of the exercise is to create clarity through simplifying.

 

So, let's step back from the numbers game, and think about the variables that matter. Thus far, we've identified six:

  1. Number of squadron command activations
  2. Points in squadrons
  3. Number of Squadrons
  4. Quality of Squadrons
  5. Anti-ship capability
  6. Anti-squadron capability

I think we can posit that points 2, 3, and 4 have a relationship with one another, and 5 and 6 have a relationship with one another. Those relationships are not necessarily zero-sum opposed, but they do embody trade-offs. The thing is, I wonder how much it really matters if someone is spending points on quantity or quality. Clearly Firesprays are higher quality, whereas TIE Bombers are higher quantity. But, for an overall view of a build's capabilities, I don't think the difference matters all that much. So, as far as I'm concerned, 3 and 4 cancel one another out, and the the number of points in squadrons (2) is the only really interesting thing.

 

I would also say that you could argue that the points value invested in squadrons should involve the cost of the upgrades that are invested to increase the effectiveness of squadrons (e.g. Boosted Comms, Expanded Hangars, Flight Controllers).

 

There are more/less efficient ways of combining everything to make them effective. I think for the sake of simplicity we need to make the assumption that any given build that would be rated would have an efficient balance (ie. Not investing in Expanded Hangars on an ISD when you only have 4 squadrons to begin with.)

Anyway, I have more thoughts, but it's getting to late for me to still write them down at this point. Maybe later.

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bit of a rough call, imo; depends on the rest of the fleet

 

one other thing that has to be considered is the squadron capacity of a carrier and the fact that Firesprays pack two dice on one model

 

so, assuming a hangar ISD, it depends on whether or not you prefer a longer-than-long-range 5 Black Dice or 1 Black Die 8 Blue Dice. 8 Blues can ensure that the one squadron command + ISD follow up will nuke a ship before it gets to activate

 

of course, the sprays pay for it (72 points versus 36)

Edited by ficklegreendice

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