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Punning Pundit

2 Attack Dice and The Tank Meta

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Well, it only came out like a month ago - and it does only work with certain kinds of swarms (namely those who can Evade).

And as long as you are flying "experienced" (EPT slot) pilots.  It does nothing to help a swarm of low PS generics.

 

Black Squadron Pilot. PS4. 14 Points.

Sure, but that still leaves some others in the dust (like Academy Pilots).  OTOH, I thought it was Unique like Squad Leader, so it is more versatile than I originally thought.
The EPT is unique.

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I see a problems with Swam Leader as the solution to this issue (I like it as an upgrade, however):

1) it's an EPT, and thus not available to a whole lot of ships.

2) it's unique, and so if it's used as the centerpiece of a list, that list will have a whole lot of trouble once the centerpiece goes down.

3) I'd rather spend 2 evade tokens to get a 5 die attack than a 4 die attack.

A zero point Z-95 upgrade that lets a pair of bandits pool their dice and dice mods for a single attack might be very good. I've been mentally playing around with that idea myself. I'm not sold on it yet, but I think there's something solid to it.

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The 4 pillars of tank meta are:

1) X7 Defenders

2) DengarLone Wolf, Overclocked, Counter-measures

3) Asajj VentressPTLLatts Razzi

4) Corran HornPTLR2-D2

 

 

 

They're the four big ones at the moment. Notable includes would be:

 

1. Poe Dameron. He's like Corran, but different...

2. Lothal Rebel. The classic tank - lots of health, low blocking/dodging capability

3. Fat Han. This tank went to Worlds 2014 and did pretty good.

 

Their respective roles are about:

 

X7 - Anti-ace tankiness. No matter what you roll, you won't kill one in a turn. Winning through equal defense + offense.

Dengar - Anti-blocking, anti-joust tankiness. The counterpart Manaroo ensures that blocking does nothing.

Asajj Ventress - anti-everything, but a little less good than everything else. Great at running away, though.

Corran Horn - Anti-Swarm + anti-ace tankiness. AGI 3 + regen laughs at puny 2-die attacks. VI corran can solo nearly any ship in an end-game scenario.

Poe Dameron - anti-focus fire tankiness. That focus tokan... doesn't... go... away!

Lothal Rebel - anti-alpha-strike tankiness. Not even contracted scouts could bring these behemoths down in a single turn. If only they could equip R4-D6...

Fat Han. The tournament tank. Before the half-point rule for large ships, it was nearly impossible to pin him down in time.

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I don't know about that. There aren't many B-wings around.  :P

 

Okay so form what we see is sort of like a shifting power creep where the meta moves from tanky to killy. In a tanky meta games go to time quite frequently and the MOV is the most important aspect of the meta because it really does decide who wins (Think Fat Han and the point fortresses before the large ship mov nerf). In killy games are quick and most often ends in tabling your opponent. Dice rolls and mitigation of randomness seems to be the biggest contributing factor.

 

SO do games go to time or go to table? Well for the most part games is going to table however there is an emphasis on hard to kill ships. (the counter to a killy meta). So I wouldn't call this a Tank meta just yet. The meta does seem to cycle from tank to kill. So it might be at the tail end of kill (post TLT and U-boats) thus merging into tank part of the cycle, but it is not there yet. ;)

Plasma torps effectively killed the B-wing. With potential on a perfect role, (which unless you sank stealth device or C-3P0 crew into your B-wing, your only rolling 1 evade die, so a perfect strike is very high) the removal of all 5 of the B-wings shields is very crippling. B-wings love Tank meta, where 2 attack dice ships are spotted more often, because they can only be plinked away at. B-wings hate kill meta, because 4 to 5 dice will be thrown against them, and there isn't much they can do in response. (blues can't anyway, Keyan has allot of tricks up his sleeve.)

Edited by FlyingAnchors

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I see a problems with Swam Leader as the solution to this issue (I like it as an upgrade, however):

1) it's an EPT, and thus not available to a whole lot of ships.

2) it's unique, and so if it's used as the centerpiece of a list, that list will have a whole lot of trouble once the centerpiece goes down.

3) I'd rather spend 2 evade tokens to get a 5 die attack than a 4 die attack.

A zero point Z-95 upgrade that lets a pair of bandits pool their dice and dice mods for a single attack might be very good. I've been mentally playing around with that idea myself. I'm not sold on it yet, but I think there's something solid to it.

I think Swarm Leader would have been better (and thematic) if, after the ship is was equipped on died, you may assign it to another ship of the same ship type

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Here's an idea for an EPT that could be interesting, may have to work on the wording...

 

Heavy Fire- 2 pt

 

When attacking with a primary weapon, if the defender cancelled all <hit> and <crit> results in a previous attack, reduce the defender's agility by one.

 

Basically representing the idea that multiple ships firing at one target with a suppressing lane of fire will eventually limit its options of where to dodge to. It isn't a hard denial, so having it used against you doesn't feel like BS because it only works against you if you took no damage from a previous attack (yay!). Alternate effect and wording...

 

Heavy Fire- 2 pts

 

When attacking with a primary weapon, if the defender is in the firing arc and within range 1-3 of at least two friendly ships, reduce the defender's agility by 1 (to a minimum of 0).

 

It basically accomplishes the same thing. The wording includes the arc of the ship firing, so this EPT loses effectiveness on PWTs because they most likely aren't getting to include their own arc in the number of arcs the defender is in (unless turret player has actually been planning for their own arc, in which case they deserve to be rewarded). Both iterations allow swarms to work thematically, and emphasizes their effective use without overpowering any one ship. 

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I see a problems with Swam Leader as the solution to this issue (I like it as an upgrade, however):

1) it's an EPT, and thus not available to a whole lot of ships.

2) it's unique, and so if it's used as the centerpiece of a list, that list will have a whole lot of trouble once the centerpiece goes down.

3) I'd rather spend 2 evade tokens to get a 5 die attack than a 4 die attack.

A zero point Z-95 upgrade that lets a pair of bandits pool their dice and dice mods for a single attack might be very good. I've been mentally playing around with that idea myself. I'm not sold on it yet, but I think there's something solid to it.

I think Swarm Leader would have been better (and thematic) if, after the ship is was equipped on died, you may assign it to another ship of the same ship type

 

Field promotion!

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(...) Unless Zuckuss is removed, there will continue to be a massive spike of "kill" lists out there.

Yeah right, everything is Zuckuss' fault. Especially the kill power of TIE phantom, X7 (with automatic tank mechanism even when bumping or stressed), the 4 dice primary of the Upsilon, and the 4dice primary Ghost and their good dials.

Come on, Zuckuss is a problem in 2 builds, otherwise he is fine. A bigger problem in the background is increasing stress resistance by good dials or certain upgrades (which now every faction gets(!) with inspired recruits) and the unlimited range of Manaroo and Palp (the latter was first with this!).

Edited by Managarmr

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Crack shot was a step in right direction for 2att ships. The problem is that if we give them counters for tanks, they will wreck everything else even more (t-65 for example) and we will start seeing ONLY tanks, which is the opposite of what we want to achieve.

Especially support ships like Hwks and the like, they already have a problem with crack. If you have overkill capacity in certain lists, most will not dare to field lists where you have synergy- or support-ship -dependencies, but rather have lists of self-sufficient tanks.

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But do games go to time or to table? If time then defense is heavier so tank. If table it is not a tank meta.

It's a meta of tanks and tank busters. There are lots of ships that can bust tanks- but none of them can do it with a 2 die primary.

 

But the tanks still get busted so it isn't a tank meta. Sure you want ships that can survive the first volley of the kill meta but that doesn't make it the point fortress meta we had in Wave 4-6.

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So yeah meta is still in the kill cycle, it hasn't reached the tank cycle yet.

Dood, Kill Cycle vs Tank Cycle for the ground game!

Someone with mad skills needs to illustrate this! Like the Bat Cycle vs a motorcycle with tank treads and the rider wearing a helmet with a turret, awesome! Star Wars meets mad max!

(Can you tell I've been working 14-15 hr shifts this weekend as well as taking care of a two month old that doesn't sleep thru the night?)

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On solution would be the idea of combined fire. . .if several ships fire at the same target, they may either pool their dice into one larger attack or give each other a bonus for all attacking the  same target.  The card (EPT, Mod, whatever) could be like the Lightened Frame in that it only applies to (pre-modified) attacks of 2 dice or less.

 

It essentially creates a new way to swarm that is effective against tanks.

 

Imagine those ships firing at the same target could spend their evade tokens to give the current die roll more red dice.

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Here's an idea for an EPT that could be interesting, may have to work on the wording...

Heavy Fire- 2 pt

When attacking with a primary weapon, if the defender cancelled all <hit> and <crit> results in a previous attack, reduce the defender's agility by one.

Basically representing the idea that multiple ships firing at one target with a suppressing lane of fire will eventually limit its options of where to dodge to. It isn't a hard denial, so having it used against you doesn't feel like BS because it only works against you if you took no damage from a previous attack (yay!). Alternate effect and wording...

Heavy Fire- 2 pts

When attacking with a primary weapon, if the defender is in the firing arc and within range 1-3 of at least two friendly ships, reduce the defender's agility by 1 (to a minimum of 0).

It basically accomplishes the same thing. The wording includes the arc of the ship firing, so this EPT loses effectiveness on PWTs because they most likely aren't getting to include their own arc in the number of arcs the defender is in (unless turret player has actually been planning for their own arc, in which case they deserve to be rewarded). Both iterations allow swarms to work thematically, and emphasizes their effective use without overpowering any one ship.

I've got an idea _very_ similar to this, as a zero point title- or maybe a rules change.

I'd limit it to ships with 2 die primaries attacking large ships or small ships with 3 or more agility. And it would be canceling 2 or more hit or crit results.

But yes. Lowering the agility by 1 if the 2 die attacker does everything "right" without getting a success seems like the right kind of idea.

But seriously: it can't be an EPT. That's far too limiting.

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I might be wrong, but with the exception of (pure) swarms, I think the meta is quite balanced at the moment. Some ships will always be better than others but right now there are a lot of different lists doing well. I think "tank" is a too general term in this case, meaning only durable ships. When both AGI 1, 2 and 3, with or without regen can be "tanks" and they can be a part of both a 2 and 3-ship list (even 4 and 5-ship builds where represented in top 16 at Worlds) with both small and large based ships, you can't just say "the meta is just tanks" and still say something meaningful.

Even the standard swarm ships aren't bad in different list, just not the "I have 12 point left, let's put in a TIE/headhunter"-nobainer that we saw earlier.

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There's a number of reasons why TIEs are bad now.

 

1) their attacks don't hurt tanks

2) because everyone else is a tankbuster they get one-shotted before they can fire

3) bumping is devalued at present as many lists still get action economy when bumped

 

For me #2 is almost the biggest problem.  You could try to crack the nut of beating tanks somehow, but when you're also losing to everything else that already has better answers to tanks then you're boned.

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Sure, but that still leaves some others in the dust (like Academy Pilots).

You still need someone to generate the evade token.

 

OTOH, I thought it was Unique like Squad Leader, so it is more versatile than I originally thought.

It is.

Swarm_Leader.png

 

Dang it Voidstate!

 

 

 

I see a problems with Swam Leader as the solution to this issue (I like it as an upgrade, however):

1) it's an EPT, and thus not available to a whole lot of ships.

2) it's unique, and so if it's used as the centerpiece of a list, that list will have a whole lot of trouble once the centerpiece goes down.

3) I'd rather spend 2 evade tokens to get a 5 die attack than a 4 die attack.

A zero point Z-95 upgrade that lets a pair of bandits pool their dice and dice mods for a single attack might be very good. I've been mentally playing around with that idea myself. I'm not sold on it yet, but I think there's something solid to it.

I think Swarm Leader would have been better (and thematic) if, after the ship is was equipped on died, you may assign it to another ship of the same ship type

 

Field promotion!

 

Love this idea. . .the movable EPT.  This would be especially awesome in Epic.  It would also be cool to have EPTs that represented rank:  Commander, Squad Leader, etc.

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Here's an idea for an EPT that could be interesting, may have to work on the wording...

Heavy Fire- 2 pt

When attacking with a primary weapon, if the defender cancelled all <hit> and <crit> results in a previous attack, reduce the defender's agility by one.

Basically representing the idea that multiple ships firing at one target with a suppressing lane of fire will eventually limit its options of where to dodge to. It isn't a hard denial, so having it used against you doesn't feel like BS because it only works against you if you took no damage from a previous attack (yay!). Alternate effect and wording...

Heavy Fire- 2 pts

When attacking with a primary weapon, if the defender is in the firing arc and within range 1-3 of at least two friendly ships, reduce the defender's agility by 1 (to a minimum of 0).

It basically accomplishes the same thing. The wording includes the arc of the ship firing, so this EPT loses effectiveness on PWTs because they most likely aren't getting to include their own arc in the number of arcs the defender is in (unless turret player has actually been planning for their own arc, in which case they deserve to be rewarded). Both iterations allow swarms to work thematically, and emphasizes their effective use without overpowering any one ship.

I've got an idea _very_ similar to this, as a zero point title- or maybe a rules change.

I'd limit it to ships with 2 die primaries attacking large ships or small ships with 3 or more agility. And it would be canceling 2 or more hit or crit results.

But yes. Lowering the agility by 1 if the 2 die attacker does everything "right" without getting a success seems like the right kind of idea.

But seriously: it can't be an EPT. That's far too limiting.

 

Then I suppose the next thing is to make cards that are not actually attached to a ship, like some sort of global effect cards that cost points to bring to the squad but act like an environment card or something.

 

It would also be cool to have EPTs that represented rank:  Commander, Squad Leader, etc.

 

They already have Squad Leader. It just never sees any play.

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I think Swarm Leader will prove to be a failed attempt at a fix for A-Wing and TIE swarms, but actually ended up being an accidental buff for TIE Defenders, since they generate their evades for 'free', can still modify their dice, and even if you want to kill the Swarm Leader, we all know how hard that is to actually accomplish with defenders. So what we need is an EPT that gets stronger the more ships you have (rather than just needing 2). Someone else inspired me on this, but this is what I came up with:

 

Coordinated Fire: EPT (1 pt) - At the start of the combat phase, you may place a weapons disabled token on any ship with the Coordinated Fire EPT and is at Range 1-2 of an Enemy ship and has that ship in arc. If you also have that ship in arc, at Range 1-2, you may increase your Attack value by 1 for each friendly ship with a weapons disabled token. (Might need better wording)

 

This would be strongest in the initial joust, which is where Swarms always do best anyways, but creates interesting decisions. Say you have a 6 TIE Swarm, with Howlrunner included. On the initial pass, all 6 have the enemy ship at Range 1-2. You get to decide which ships fire and how strong their fire is. So you could shut off two ships, and then your other four are firing 4 dice. Or, you could shut off 3 ships, and the other 3 are firing 5. Or, if you really want pain, you could shut off 5 ships and the last one is firing 7 dice. With 1 reroll and 1 Focus, that could hurt, but your opponent would probably PS kill that guy, so probably better to shut off maybe half of your squad for 3 5 die attacks. This might be OP, but would really aid swarms without really aiding other ships too much. I suppose Vessery, a Glaive, and Ryad could take it, but you still need to shut off ships, meaning that Swarm Leader would be objectively better. Could really help swarms get back on the table.

Edited by SirCormac

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Swarm isnt for tie fighters, tie fighters just feed it

But yeah, x7s far more reliably generate the evade

Maybe hux'll help. Lets you evade action without losing focus

Very true, but I'd love to see something make 5 A-Wings more competitive, or, for that matter, 6 TIE Fighters.

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