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Punning Pundit

2 Attack Dice and The Tank Meta

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I don't actually think Swarm Leader is very good at all, outside of a few very niche applications.
 

The requirements for having multiple Evade ships all with your target in arc is not inconsequential and unless those Evade tokens got there for little cost it's likely a net reduction in damage output to have had your support ships Evade rather than Focus/TL.  On top of which, expending them in your strike is a net reduction in jousting efficiency (2 'health' lost from your Evades to generate ~1.8 hits, assuming TL& Focus) so unless your support ships weren't getting fire at you're losing the joust more by playing Swarm Leader than by leaving it blank.  On top of which (again) is the opportunity cost of what else you could have had in that EPT slot.  And as soon as your teammates start dying Swarm Leader becomes wasted points.

So the best use I've thought of for Swarm Leader is a TIE/D Vessery with Tractor Beam/Swarm Leader supported by Inquisitor and a TIE/x7.  That squad would generate your 2 evade tokens for free and feed a TL to Vessery for him to Tractor the opponent down then hit them with 2 extra dice primary attack.  And because Vessery is TIE/D he's going to be the target anyway so you're not losing anything by giving away the Evades from your teammates.  It's optimal in most regards, but probably still worse than just running Juke on Vessery and not bending over backwards in the rest of your squad just to roll a couple of extra dice.

 

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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.

 

Bi4sEXe.jpg

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There have been some upgrades that look like they were aimed at helping out ships with 2 attack dice. Snap Shot and Juke are also worth mentioning (and they should work well together on a Green). So I think the designers see the problem.

An upgrade I was thinking about a few months ago is some modification that allows you to roll more dice for the primary attack, but cancels all dice and does one damage if it hits. Like a single TLT shot.

The frustrating thing is, TIE fighters and especially A-Wings should be more effective against Defenders. Game balance and lore point in the same direction here.

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So far any of the fixes to help out 2 dice attacks are just too cheap and too good to not also use on 3 attack ships.

basically

They also work better v low agility

What you need is low amounts of guaranteed damage

Good example would be an ept that, when another friendly fires at a ship you have in arc and at range 1-3, give them fanatical devotion

Edited by ficklegreendice

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So far any of the fixes to help out 2 dice attacks are just too cheap and too good to not also use on 3 attack ships.

Maybe restrict them to ships with 2 attack dice?

BTW, I think an upgrade that allows you to roll 3 dice but do only 1 damage max is not attractive for 3 attack ships. It's attractive for HWKs though.

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I would like to mention that there are two things that seem to have gone missed.

First, in the earlier waves, there was some balance between HP, AGI, and ATT. You basically got two out of the three in a B-wing, falcon, or Tie fighter. With the Jumpmaster, shadowcaster, and IG's, the lines are getting smeared to where these ships are the most competitive because you have limited points to face everything. Ships which are heavily skewed in one or two of the other two areas fill in the gaps as support, but are not list anchors, and thus no swarms. You can loosely associated this with the ongoing discussion regarding the 3 pillars of X-wings and it's demise.

Secondly, and I think more importantly and to the more recent discussion on this thread, the game has reached a level of maturity that simply adding more cards to try to contain the realised genie will not work. Upgrade cards are no longer a singular function of point cost in many cases. I will use Nora Wexly as an example. Tail gunner or C3PO in the crew slot? Both good choices, but you can only take one. EAT? Expertise? Veteran instincts? PTL? I can make an argument for any of them, but you only get one. Adding a card that suddenly "fixes" a 2 ATT problem will come at the expense of NOT having good another upgrade available which may be just as improtant.

I must say that the current meta seems as balanced as it has ever been in my opinion, but I will also say that there are some ships that simply can not longer be flown competitively, and most of those are 2 ATT ships. I feel there is a problem here, but I have not yet seen or heard of a good way to fix it. If the problem does exist, and I suspect it does, I would consider it less of a problem that where we were in the days of PWT dominance, pre-cloaking fix, and U-boats.

Just my 2 cents.

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A single point of damage = about a single squad point.  Crackshot/seismic (1pt for dmg, 1pt for when it deals more than 1).

 

How do you get 2att ship to deal that 1pt of damage for 1pt without it being accessible by 3att ships?

 

"you cannot equip this card if your attack is 3 or higher" is one way.

 

"reduce this damage by your attack rating" is another.

 

How do you balance it's cost if it's repeatable?  Sabatuer is a good example of bad returns.  

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This is a natural consequence of a non-rotating format. As new upgrades release, stronger combinations are found. I don't agree with the tank/kill dichotomy. The top lists are both. Even if you made a swarm more aggressive, could you burn down tanks that are one-shotting you a turn? The meta has evolved to the point of super builds with no glaring weakness.

I've brought up the idea of rotating formats to my friends but they don't like the idea because they want to play with all their ships. They don't understand that without a rotating format, you actually play with far less of your collection as the high power level of the meta limits what you can bring. I think ten waves has proven too much for balance. As much flack as FFG gets for design, ten waves is a lot for any designer to balance.

Edited by AceWing

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I always felt that a simple, elegant fix would be to implement a rule that if a friendly ship completely fails to hit during the attack phase, the defending ship gets -1 to its agility for the rest of the round.  Thematically, it's meant to represent focus fire and how its more difficult to dodge shots coming from several angles.

 

This still requires multiple ships to be in arc, so it's not super easy.  Plus, it rewards a higher quantity of ships as opposed to say a 3-ship squad.

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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.

 

Bi4sEXe.jpg

 

 

 

Yeah because when Wave 4 came out they were all over the table. No one could beat them and FFG had to nerf them oh wait that was Phantoms. :P

Edited by Marinealver

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A single point of damage = about a single squad point.  Crackshot/seismic (1pt for dmg, 1pt for when it deals more than 1).

 

How do you get 2att ship to deal that 1pt of damage for 1pt without it being accessible by 3att ships?

 

"you cannot equip this card if your attack is 3 or higher" is one way.

 

"reduce this damage by your attack rating" is another.

 

How do you balance it's cost if it's repeatable?  Sabatuer is a good example of bad returns.

Yeah that's BS.

Average squad has like 20-30 hull/shield, so if I spend 20pts I win?

1 dmg is worth much more than 1pt, which is why Crack Shot is good.

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It seems that part of the problem is that damage and accuracy are combined into one. So you can't do a high damage / low accuracy effect that busts tanks without having it smack swarms also. Unless you make it like the turbolasers, and defenders get bonus defence dice.

Yes, the discussion about ships with 2 red dice often turns to this. One would think that small weapons don't do a lot of damage but are more accurate because they're easier to bring to aim. X-Wing doesn't work like that. Specific weapons can work around this, but it's a fundamental flaw/feature of the game system.

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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.

Number 2 is part of the problem, but I don't think it's the whole problem. For instance: a Sienar Test Pilot with Autothrusters and title isn't going to get 1 shot. It's got 4 health and an Evade token over 3 agility- maybe 4. And if it's got 4 agility, Autothrusters are also kicking in. The problem is that _yes_ it will survive, but _no_ it can't reasonably expect to do damage- even with it's Target Lock to modify shots.

Along those same lines: the Tempest Squadron Pilot. With Accuracy Corrector it can take an Evade action every turn, have a guarantee of 2 hit results. It's got _5_ health over 3 green dice, so it will survive, but it still won't do much against Dengar with a token stack. 

 

That, to me is the big problem. TIE Fighters dying to 1 shot is actually kinda fun and thematic. But TIE Fighters firing, hitting, and not even chipping paint is an issue. 

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The frustrating thing is, TIE fighters and especially A-Wings should be more effective against Defenders. Game balance and lore point in the same direction here.

Have.... have you... ever actually played TIE Fighter? The entire point of the TIE Defender is to be THE ultimate dogfighter, capable of mixing it up with dozens of different ships at a time and coming out on top. Or perhaps you just missed the Combat Chamber mission where your mission profile is to dogfight something like 250 ships in one go (including other TIE Defenders). The only hard counter for it was the Missile Boat, and that was because it basically had Advanced Missiles as its primary weapon. 

Edited by That One Guy

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I'm thinking more and more that TIE fighters should be 10 points nowadays, at least for the Academy TIEs. I mean, only 20-something defenders ever existed because of the enormous production cost, whereas the TIE fighter's main selling point was its expendability. One TIE is not a third the price of a Defender (12 pt Academy vs 28 point X7 Delta). At 10 points, 10 in a list would be fairly brutal. Or eight and Howlrunner...

 

A-wings have to be more effective against everything... The key to usiing A-wings against Defenders it to equip snap shot and juke and take initiative. That way you can attack them before they get those nice, free evade tokens. As for TIEs against Defenders, read the book Isard's Revenge. A squad (12) defenders wipes out around 48 TIE fighters (the original 72 minus the ones Rogue squadron had destroyed) in a couple of minutes. Lore-wise, the Defender should have white turns and ATT 4 base stats, as a reflection of its enormous power.

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Autoblaster Retrofit

0 points

Retrofit (new card slot lol)

You cannot roll more than 2 attack dice. (this includes range bonus and secondary weapon)

Your hit results cannot be canceled by defense dice. The defender may cancel critical results before hit results.

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Have.... have you...

Stammering while writing??? This reminds me of that scene in Monty Pyton and the Holy Grail, the terrible Black Beast of Aaaargh.

"He must have died while carving it."

"Oh come on, if he was dying he wouldnt have bothered to carve Aaaargh."

"Perhaps he was dictating?"

Were you by any chance dictating here, TOG?

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Have.... have you...

Stammering while writing??? This reminds me of that scene in Monty Pyton and the Holy Grail, the terrible Black Beast of Aaaargh.

"He must have died while carving it."

"Oh come on, if he was dying he wouldnt have bothered to carve Aaaargh."

"Perhaps he was dictating?"

Were you by any chance dictating here, TOG?

 

No, I just happen to type with a colloquial pattern, as it more accurately conveys the flavor of what I'm saying or implying, and helps to instill the proper tone and delivery normally lacking in textual speech. I also don't need to resort to ad hominem attacks to divert people's attention when I can't legitimately rebut their point. Why do you ask?  ;)

Edited by That One Guy

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Have.... have you...

Stammering while writing??? This reminds me of that scene in Monty Pyton and the Holy Grail, the terrible Black Beast of Aaaargh.

"He must have died while carving it."

"Oh come on, if he was dying he wouldnt have bothered to carve Aaaargh."

"Perhaps he was dictating?"

Were you by any chance dictating here, TOG?

No, I just happen to type with a colloquial pattern, as it more accurately conveys the flavor of what I'm saying or implying, and helps to instill the proper tone and delivery normally lacking in textual speech. I also don't need to resort to ad hominem attacks to divert people's attention when I can't legitimately rebut their point. Why do you ask?  ;)
It's not an ad hominem attack. I would not hold it against you if you had a secretary to help you with your X-Wing forum business.

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I do feel enclosed to say that 2 attack dice ships (in high numbers) are effective is two situations. 1- stripping tokens on one shot defensive abilities. Back in the good old days of Fat Han, TIE swarms were great. Sure the first TIE or two were completely useless against the Falcon, but the next four could put a lot of damage on the 1 agility ship. And that leads to the other situatio: 2- taking down high HP low agility ships. The VCX and Decimator just die to a lot of two attack dice attacks. Unfortunately 2 attack dice ships really struggle against 2 and 3 agility ship. Unfortunately that makes them effective against just a small fraction of the ships common in he meta today.

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TIE Fighters dying to 1 shot is actually kinda fun and thematic. But TIE Fighters firing, hitting, and not even chipping paint is an issue.

My problem is bigger than that. That enemy ship that's basically immune to 2-die attacks? A 3-die attack has a 58% chance to not hurt it either, and a 42% chance to plink it for 1.

And more and more ships are capable of unstrippable defenses.

Poe + Autothrusters.

Dengar + Overclocked + Manaroo.

Rey + Finn.

Sabine (Shadowcaster) + Glitterstim.

2 ATK ships are in bad shape, but everything rolling 3 reds with only a single conventional focus or TL backing them up is right behind.

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