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Biophysical

New TIE Defenders in the current meta: one man's opinion

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Maybe trying too hard:  Stele/Ion Cannon/D/Marksmanship = 41 points, you get modifications on both attacks, but you should probably also invest in a Hull Upgrade or Emperor Palpatine, because he's going to get shot down fast.

Stele with the above. 26 point Omega Leader (juke/comms)

 

Palpshuttle as Yorr

 

99 points all fire before UBoats

 

also opens up the 1 and 2 turns as well as the Sloops on the f/o

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A number of months ago, I discussed my thoughts in some detail regarding the new spoiled TIE Defender cards in the upcoming Imperial Veterans expansion.  Now, however, we have information on the last remaining new TIE Defender cards, and we have a different meta, with different challenges, than the one we had when this pack was first announced.  These thoughts are coming from someone with more experience flying Defenders than most, but never higher than the Regional Championship level, and not with the frequency that I would prefer.  As more and more players start feeling these out these ships, they may well develop their own ideas that diverge from my own and are better than the ones I’ve outlined here.  Until then, this is probably as good a resource as any.

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Thanks for the VERY thoughtful posting, Bio!

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A very useful read, thank you. I really waiting for this to come out. I have been proxying this set for a couple of weeks with maarek with ion and marksmanship. I prefer over predator because of his ability and working for both attacks. Will catch pepole off

Edited by Marzaums

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Brilliant post Biophysical thanks for taking the time to share this analysis.

 

While Missiles might be of questionable utility (do like the suggestion of the  flexibility the give to padding out a DD build), perhaps another point to note is that given their 3dice primary Guidance Chimps are a potent and free upgrade (albeit on DD lists Engine is likely to be taking that spot). 

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The kind of thoughtful commentary that we've come to expect from you Bio, thanks!

 

Just a quick question - I've played Ves for quite a while now, and I honestly think the guy is already pretty decent with HLC/VI (to match him with OL & Inquisitor). His ability is one of the best in the game, once you get the hang of him, wouldn't you agree?

 

How do you feel about Ves being levelled up to official Nightmare status? I have mixed feelings. Having played against him a few times now, he's still dependent on the favour of green dice to some extent, but if they go his way he honestly feels a little too powerful. I'm thinking here, as you rightly pointed out, of the curb-stomping ion/D version of Ves. He makes a total mess of opponents' lists and plans, and lays down very reliable damage. He clocks in at 39-45pts.

 

Is Ves 2.0 verging on being an Imperial Auto-include? What's your opinion?

PS I'm seriosuly considering playing him the Yavin open, as a fond farewell to Vess 1.0 :)

Edited by banjobenito

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Thanks for this thorough post!

Personally, I find the countess incredible. She's going to be the true game changer I think. The first build you propose for her (PTL, x7 and mk2 engine) is perfect!

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First off, thanks for all the kind words, everybody.  I like talking about this stuff, and this forum is one of the better outlets I have available for it.

 

Don't forget outmaneuver! It's a very viable option for defenders

 

Definitely true.  I'd say this is the case principally on Vessery, because he can get modified attacks anyway, but I think there's something there on any TIE/D.  It's not quite as good as Predator across all opponents, but against PalpAces, where it's not uncommon for every defensive die to be a success, conditionally dropping one is actually better than the Predator re-roll.  I should have said something like this, but I think it's occupies a place with VI, Lone Wolf, and Ruthlessness as one of the really strong Vessery TIE/D EPTs.  It all depends on what you want to build him for.  

 

 

Brilliant post Biophysical thanks for taking the time to share this analysis.

 

While Missiles might be of questionable utility (do like the suggestion of the  flexibility the give to padding out a DD build), perhaps another point to note is that given their 3dice primary Guidance Chimps are a potent and free upgrade (albeit on DD lists Engine is likely to be taking that spot). 

 

I should have discussed this a little more, especially with Maarek.  I really like the idea of Homing Missiles on a TIE/D Maarek with Guidance Chips, because you get a big powerful hit to carve through defenses when your steady Ion/Primary combo can't quite cut it.  The problem is a ship like that really wants the extra hit points to keep that offense alive just a little bit longer, so it's tough, but I'm not convinced it's a bad build, just not ideal in the world of torpedo alpha strikes.  If I was going to do it, I'd go with Lone Wolf to give him a little extra defense.  

 

"Party like it's 1996" Maarek Steele build (because the gear is very similar to the standard loadout in the TIE Fighter game).  Maarek Stele, Ion Cannon, TIE/D, Homing Missile, Guidance Chips, Lone Wolf = 48 points

 

 

The kind of thoughtful commentary that we've come to expect from you Bio, thanks!

 

Just a quick question - I've played Ves for quite a while now, and I honestly think the guy is already pretty decent with HLC/VI (to match him with OL & Inquisitor). His ability is one of the best in the game, once you get the hang of him, wouldn't you agree?

 

How do you feel about Ves being levelled up to official Nightmare status? I have mixed feelings. Having played against him a few times now, he's still dependent on the favour of green dice to some extent, but if they go his way he honestly feels a little too powerful. I'm thinking here, as you rightly pointed out, of the curb-stomping ion/D version of Ves. He makes a total mess of opponents' lists and plans, and lays down very reliable damage. He clocks in at 39-45pts.

 

Is Ves 2.0 verging on being an Imperial Auto-include? What's your opinion?

PS I'm seriosuly considering playing him the Yavin open, as a fond farewell to Vess 1.0 :)

 

You'll hear no bad word from me on HLC Defenders.  I mean, I like Rex with an HLC right now, and Vessery, when working properly, is even punchier.  You're right about his weaknesses, though.  Those are the weaknesses of every Defender, though, and they can be mitigated.  I don't think he's autoinclude, though, just because there's only certain ships that work very well with him.  I think he'll be easy to get a Target Lock for, so he will seem awesome right off the bat, but I think players might make sub-optimal decisions with supporting ships to empower Vessery.  The really scary Vessery players are the ones that will coordinate him with the rest of their squad so that Vessery is synergistic and not parasitic.

 

I've been using both titles for months now and I have to say I think /D will come out the winner, in a game where offence beats defence you want to hit first and hit harder than the other guy /D let's you do just that.

 

I agree, from the games I've played, but both have their places.  The mirror match favors the TIE/D pretty heavily, too, because x7 doesn't trigger when you're stuck going 1 forward.  

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On that vein, I've had a lot of fun with Vessery's Ruthless D, Inquisitor and Omega Leader. The TLs offered by Inq and OL don't often come at expense of other actions and the results are terrifying to behold when he opens up.

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Excellent article!  I've loved reading about you and Tie Defenders for over a year now.  I think you should get a title of something like, "King of the Tie Defenders" or "Tie Defender Defender".  The amount of effort you have put in flying these things and talking about it on the forums is awesome, especially when everyone said these were crap ships.  

 

There are a lot of things I could comment on, but forgot half of them when reading through this large article.  A couple did stick in my mind, though.

 

I'm surprised you said X/7 didn't have a problem with massed firepower.  While I understand Tie Swarms and such, what about lists that have more than 3 ships with 3 attack dice?  I'd think that would be a problem.  Either that or a couple of heavy hitters and a few low 2 red dice can cut through tokens and dice on the X/7.  Or is that just something you don't see in the meta lately?  I would think that if one X/7 gets caught in the firing arc of 3 U-boats, that it would be in trouble.  It would survive more than other ships, but it would still get battered (if not destroyed).  

 

I'm glad you talked about the non-obvious options, like no titles or Col. Vessery w/ X/7.  From your own discussion, the X/7 doesn't have a lot of firepower, but with enough other ships with TL, Vessery with X7 might not be bad.  

 

I think Tractor Beam can be a more powerful option if you tailor your list towards it.  If you go with something like a mini-swarm, then the reduction in agility can really help out.  I know current meta is at most 3 ships, but if that changes, then it could be effective.  Even against large ships, reducing the Agility can be effective, such as Outrider, U-boats, Falcon, Bro Bots, Firespray, and other guys at R3.

 

That leads me to the next step in the discussion....what type of lists would you make with the new Tie Defenders?  One of the things I've been thinking about is a mini-swarm with a Defender ace.  U-boats are the rage, but lots of high agility ships are a nightmare to them.  I'm thinking of maybe 3-4 other ships.  They can be named guys or generics, but the idea is that Ordnance has a hard time burning any of them down and you still have the firepower to take on Aces.  Blocking gets easier with more ships, as well.  There are also a number of generic Tie Fighters that gain extra shots at certain points.  

 

Countess Ryad (34)
Push the Limit (3)
TIE/x7 (-2)
 
"Backstabber" (16)
 
"Scourge" (17)
 
Academy Pilot (12)
 
"Zeta Leader" (20)
 
Total: 100
 

 

Col. Vessery with a mini-swarm of ships with TL.  They can be TIE FO's, TAP V1's, or even empty Tie Bombers.  If you flew them right, they might 

 

Colonel Vessery (35)
Lone Wolf (2)
Ion Cannon (3)
TIE/D (0)
 
Epsilon Squadron Pilot (15)
 
Epsilon Squadron Pilot (15)
 
Epsilon Squadron Pilot (15)
 
Epsilon Squadron Pilot (15)
 
Total: 100
 

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Great article!

 

A couple things I want to comment on:

 

Triple Onyx w/ X-7 + hull: I've used these guys very successfully a few times now (and against some really strong players, since I am playing in the VASSAL league and I have the privilege of being in the Deep Core where some top players are hanging).  Its a very good build, frankly.  It has no bad matchups.  I don't think Bio's criticisms are really that valid: 1) its damage output is not actually 'low' (it equals any imperial 3 ship ace list, although one ship is more likely to use focus defensively more often due to lower PS).  2) Pilot Skill 3 is good.  Against Torpedo Scouts, you seriously do NOT care about who goes first.  If the scouts do, then yes they can possibly block, but so what, because X-7 and also it makes k-turning easier and you can also arc-dodge (which matters!).  And if your defenders move first, well, blocking matters a great deal!  So its really win-win for the defenders here and while the scouts won't die quickly, once the torpedoes are spent, they become nearly harmless, since the only way they can make damage stick with their turret is at range 1 (and even then it will often bounce off your defensive tokens).  This matchup favours the defenders, frankly.

 

Vessery: I have used him in all sorts of configurations and while he is powerful, the biggest conundrum is keeping him alive.  His offense is more potent than even a Phantom or a Ghost, but he does not have the same defensive advantages.  Any match with him involved will come down to whether the opponent can kill him before he brutalizes too much of the opposing force.  I have a few ideas how to get the most out of him, but they are untested!

 

Ryad: The ultimate build for her is indeed PTL + engine (either ion + TIE/D or X-7 are both good on her).  She can be a terror for the enemy squad to deal with, although not in the same way as Vessery.  I'm still trying to find the perfect support for her, but basically, 1v1, she is incredibly strong, even against higher PS aces...

Edited by blade_mercurial

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why would you put PTL on a defender and NOT the Mk2 engines?

I understand Ryad can green Kturn 2-5 but that wont help if you need to turn a little and not k-turn.

A few things:

 

1) Ryad's ability gives you flexibility: you can go straight, then barrel roll or boost (or both) to keep targets in arc.  Or you can flip and do the same.  Its effectively the same as being a turret because you can point your guns in any direction on the battlefield at any time.

 

2) If you REALLY need to make a hard turn (and you are planning your moves in advance) then you don't have to use push the limit (although this will be rarely necessary, maybe once or twice a game if that).  This is easier to do with X-7, since the 3 hard turn gives you the free evade. 

 

3) Ryad with engine NEVER needs to bank.  You just don't.  Your straights 2 - 5 coupled with the occasional 3 hard turn are literally all she needs to face any direction and keep guns on target.  A 5k turn + boost is effectively the same as a 1 bank except you are on the opposite side of your target, for example.  Don't believe me?  Try it and you'll see. ;)

Edited by blade_mercurial

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Biophysical, what are your thoughts about Adrenaline Rush as a Defender EPT in the upcoming metagame? In the past I've found it immensely helpful in mitigating the frustratingly linear dial, but I wonder whether the opportunity cost is going to be too high once Imperial Veterans drops.

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