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Sunitsa

How do you deal with Asaji Fennaroo?

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I think there's some mis-information earlier in the thread, so I'll add in my 2 cents. For reference the squad in question is:

 

Fenn + Mindlink + Autothrusters + title

Asajj + Latts + Mindlink

Manaroo + Mindlink

 

I have been flying Parattanni exclusively for the last couple of months. Others have done better with the list as it has won several Regionals (like OldPara who invented the list and won a 100+ Regionals with it). I "only" got Top 4, but I still have a really good handle on how to properly fly the list. I talk about it some on the upcoming NOVA Squadron Radio episode 63, so if you're interested you should tune in to the end of the Flight Deck segment for that episode when it airs. :)

 

My "Parattanni credentials":

  • I'm 40+ games in with (I think) 6 losses.
  • I went 7-1 at Massachusetts Regionals, going 6-0 in Swiss and narrowly losing Top 4 at time (partial health Manaroo vs partial health K-wing; my opponent had a slight edge anyway and likely would have won if the game was untimed).
  • I went 7-2 in the Vassal Season 3 league to advance into the Deep Core, exclusively flying Parattanni. I had the best record and MoV in the entire league, granted I was playing in Core not Deep Core.

 

People think of Fenn as the greatest threat, but the backbone of the list is Asajj and Manaroo. If I can trade Fenn for an equivalent 32 points of my opponent's stuff, then I'm almost always going to win. Case in point, one game vs Dengaroo I lost Fenn doing 0 damage in return, but Asajj and Manaroo won anyway. I don't even think I got to half on either ship.

 

 

Ironically, I still haven't run jousting numbers on the list yet. It's complicated because there are several different permutations of action economies that you have to look at. This is also the list's greatest strength: Fenn and Asajj can both be either a hammer or an anvil just based on their actions, let alone how you position them.

 

Consider the ideal action economy:

  1. Manaroo: focus
  2. Asajj: [has focus from Mindlink]: either target lock or evade
  3. Fenn: [has focus from Mindlink]: either target lock or boost/barrel roll, occasionally double up on focus.
  4. Manaroo: passes a focus to either Asajj or Fenn (whoever is getting attacked), then gets one back via Mindlink.
  5. Asajj: gain a free evade via stress mechanic and Latts.

One of the key goals of the Parattanni player is to have as many rounds as possible follow this ideal action economy. So how should you fly each ship?

 

Manaroo

Wants to be in the fight, but does not want to get killed too easily. Having the option to use her to block can be game changing. Keep Manaroo near the edge of the fight, or ram her in close to force a bump and then zoom past the following round. Do not let Manaroo get boxed in for multiple rounds.

 

Asajj

Wants to put the Mobile Arc on one side, and then keep doing circles around the enemy so she doesn't have to burn an action to move the arc. If she's getting attacked, then she has two focus tokens, an evade token, ability + Latts to get a 2nd evade. Ideally you want Asajj to be the one getting attacked, because she can be the tankiest ship in the list, in absolute terms. So how do you fly Asajj? Simple: set up the rocks so you can "swirl" around your enemy. This means having a collection of rocks around the map, preferably with more than just range 1 between them, so you have multiple options for how to fit Asajj's large (and fast!) base between them. Once you start going through the rocks, arced ships will find it hard to keep reliable arc on you, since you have 180 degrees of firing arc and they don't. If you're flying correctly, then opposing arced ships will frequently have to take a shallower angle to follow you (bank instead of turn) because you're doing circles around a rock that's now right in their way. Fundamentally it's similar to how Fat Han flew when he dominated tournaments several years ago, but you generally move much faster, since your turns are 2 and 3, not 1 and 2.

 

If the opponent goes after Fenn, then fly Asajj aggressively, preferably into range 1, and always take target lock. Four dice with Target Lock and Focus has the same number of hits as Fenn at range 1 with just focus (3.75). Even at range 2, three dice with Target Lock and Focus will reliably whittle down most ships, or at least strip tokens for a follow on attack by Manaroo. If you're flying around a rock (see above) and the enemy's target priority shifts to Fenn, you don't want to get caught with Asajj being out of the fight for too long, so you have to be thinking at least a turn ahead for where the momentum of your ships will put them.

 

Asajj is also great at stress control:

  • She can completely shut down lower Pilot Skill non-turreted ships via stress control if she gets behind them
  • Higher pilot skill ships with PtL end up with a giant no-fly zone where they can't use their EPT.

 

Fenn

At range one with target lock and focus he can obviously deal the most damage of any ship in the list, but he can also fly defensively and become harder to kill than an offensive Asajj. Flying Fenn well involves knowing when to:

  • fly him defensively
  • try and jump into range 1
  • use him as bait
  • kamikaze him into the enemy formation and expect him to die, trading him for an even more important piece of your opponent's squad

Fenn's job is obviously much easier when he is moving last. Against lower pilot skill ships, then he is the queen piece. He wants to be flanking, somewhat separated from Asajj and Manaroo. This forces your opponent to either clearly go after Fenn, or to go after Asajj and Manaroo. They usually choose Fenn. Once the opponent commits, you can optimize Fenn's positioning and the squad's action economy to keep him defensive, while Asajj can go full offensive mode with target lock + focus every round. Typically this means holding Fenn back with hard 1s and barrel rolling until you're in range, and once the opposing squad is on their terminal approach you ideally jump into range 1.

 

Against higher pilot skill ships, I like to keep Fenn slightly behind or to the side of Asajj, so they have to fly through Asajj first to get to Fenn. Pilot Skill 9+ ships usually do not like to see an Asajj stress gauntlet coming after them. Asajj can be useful here to both block and stress the opposing PS9+. Regardless of the particular approach, the trick is for your Fenn to NOT get blocked up by your own Asajj, so this can take some careful maneuvering if they're flying close together. Fenn will inevitably have to face off vs the PS9+, so your goal is for Fenn to either force a range 1 engagement or a bump. Either is OK as it plays into your strengths.

 

Fenn's strongest counter is RAC + VI + Gunner + Hot Shot Copilot + Vader. In this case you fly Fenn defensively until you can kamikaze him into range 1, preferably in arc and with a target lock. Ideally Asajj and Manaroo take some pot shots at RAC first, so by the time RAC kills Fenn (preferably by having to use Vader), he's well below half health. Asajj and Manaroo will then easily deal with whatever the second ship is.

 

Fenn's second worst counter is triple bomber K-wings. I flew against the same player 3 times in 4 days (Thursday night tournament night, regionals round 5 Saturday, Regionals Top 4 Sunday), and Fenn did a combined total of 2 damage across all 3 games. (I won the first two games and narrowly lost Top 4). This matchup has some idiosyncrasies which I talk about on Nova Squadron Episode 63, tune in when it drops for a longer explanation.

 

 

Attacking Parattanni

Lets now look at it from the opposing player's perspective: how do you attack the list?

 

 

Answer: rock placement! Any matchup between Parattanni and anything else can be won or lost in the deployment phase.

 

If the rock placement allows Asajj to cut through rocks and consistently keep arc on you without even needing to spend actions to rotate her arc, then you've already got a problem. If the rock placement and your approach angles allow Fenn to dance through the rocks, or easily run away if chased, then you have a problem. And if Manaroo can aggressively fly into your formation early, barrel roll to block you up, and then fly away with impunity through the rocks, then you have a problem.

 

If all the rocks are evenly spread out (i.e. not all cornered or clustered together), the Parattanni player will generally be able to use Asajj to punish any flight path that you choose. So your goal is to either spread them all out and make a giant open space that you engage in, or make a very dense field that Asajj and Manaroo can't reliably squeeze through.

 

 

 

 

Now what about target priority?

 

Attacking Manaroo First

This is, in my opinion, the best option for attacking the list. Without Manaroo, you lose 3 focus tokens per round for the remaining two ships. That's a big deal. You also lose Manaroo's marginal firepower and blocking potential. Unfortunately a good Parattanni player is going to position Manaroo to make this a very unappealing option. You also can't go after Manaroo reliably with anything involving Target Locks, since those will just get passed along to either Fenn or Asajj.

 

 

Attacking Asajj First

Unless you have a strong end game against Manaroo and Fenn, attacking Asajj first is probably a bad idea. She'll take a couple shields, take 0 or 1 damage from your range 1 attack with 4 hits, and then fly away into a spot where you just can't easily chase her down. Then Asajj gets to play Focus Factory for a few rounds while Manaroo target locks, and Fenn ends up with a Target Lock, two focus tokens, AND a positional action every round to nuke you at range 1.

 

Attacking Fenn First

This can work if you have a strong range 2 trap for Fenn (or bombs), but you need to take very little damage in the process because Asajj and Manaroo are really strong closers. If you manage to kill Fenn first, then all things being equal, you need to kill Manaroo next, because otherwise Asajj will be way too deadly and survivable with an extra two focus tokens every round.

 

 

 

 

 

In summary, a good Parattanni player will set themselves up to make their opponent's life miserable by giving them a variety of bad choices. The Parattanni list can then very quickly adapt itself to whichever tactic is being used against it.

An excellent write up indeed.  The action economy description is very helpful. However I can't help but wonder at FFG with that totally OP broken game mechanic. 

It's bonkers and perfectly illustrates the power creep (crawl?) of this game.  Playing against lists like this is total NPE.  

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I'll admit I haven't played against this particular list yet.

Though looking at it I feel Fenn would probably be my first target. He has the least amount of health AND the highest attack output. But more importantly even with a pile of focus tokens he has no evades except at range 1 in the enemy's firing arc so there's potential for him to be one shotted.

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Fenn is usually the trap. You have to make sure if you are shooting him the odds are good or he'll just fly away for rest of the game. As majorjuggler says, go for manaroo first- she's key. The other ships have so much more limited options when one of them has to focus.

I played this for third time at a regional last week and it's such a fun list.

Edited by Higgo

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Yes, Paratanni is definitely an NPE.

 

That's crazy talk. There's all sorts of counter play possible against the list that isn't dependent on having brought the correct combination of cards. Being able to control range is key. Ventress can't deal stress to ships at range three and Fenn Rau is relatively squishy at range two. 

 

It's a strong list because it has solid action economy and doesn't have any glaring weaknesses that result in getting bad match-ups.   

Edited by WWHSD

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'Solid action economy' is an NPE.

Minor one, but yeah.  Being able to put actions onto ships that got blocked is an NPE, given that blocking ships to deny them actions is a core part of the gameplay.  It's part of the reason Defenders are so irritating, because even if you play *perfectly* against them, they still end up with an evade token.  Mindlink can be the same.

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'Solid action economy' is an NPE.

Minor one, but yeah.  Being able to put actions onto ships that got blocked is an NPE, given that blocking ships to deny them actions is a core part of the gameplay.  It's part of the reason Defenders are so irritating, because even if you play *perfectly* against them, they still end up with an evade token.  Mindlink can be the same.

 

Yeah, this is a very good point.  Action economy you can't interrupt with good play is certainly an NPE.

Personally I also think stacking action economy benefits in general is the #1 problem in the game's mechanics.

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'Solid action economy' is an NPE.

Minor one, but yeah.  Being able to put actions onto ships that got blocked is an NPE, given that blocking ships to deny them actions is a core part of the gameplay.  It's part of the reason Defenders are so irritating, because even if you play *perfectly* against them, they still end up with an evade token.  Mindlink can be the same.

 

Yeah, this is a very good point.  Action economy you can't interrupt with good play is certainly an NPE.

Personally I also think stacking action economy benefits in general is the #1 problem in the game's mechanics.

 

I dont think its a problem per se, but i do believe it has created a group of ships that has gotten left behind because they cant replicate the insane action economy that some other ships/list get, effectively rendering them inferior. These days 3attack+1action (which used to be the baseline for 'good' attacks) is considered sub par and will rarely (if ever) punch through ships with heavy action economy and/or other ways of dice modification (Palp). At the same time, some ships have vastly superior offense as well (4attack + 2 modifiers is getting more and more common).

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While it's true that not being able to deny enemy ships actions (or just tokens) by flying well and blocking them is kind of frustrating, there still is a way you can fly well and profit against those lists: Focus fire.

 

Defenders are a prime example. Yes, a three die attack with a focus will probably not harm a tokened up defender. But two or three of those will. I played two games of Palp Defenders vs. Triple Defenders yesterday. And contrary to the popular belief of this being the most boring matchup possible it was actually super intense. It basically came down to who was able to outfly the other and bring all of his 3 guns to bear on a single defender for 2-3 turns to remove it, all the while blocking the enemy ships and positioning your own ships in a way to make it impossible for him to do the same.

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'Solid action economy' is an NPE.

 

Improving action economy is what a good chunk of the pilot abilities and upgrades in this game center around. To categorize ~25% of a game as 'NPE' is seems hyperbolic. Eliminate that and you are essentially left flying around generics with no upgrades. I'm sure there are plenty of people that would like that game and if you can find like-minded players you can certainly play that way. That's not however what this game has been for the past couple of years and is clearly not the direction that it is heading.

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'Solid action economy' is an NPE.

 

Improving action economy is what a good chunk of the pilot abilities and upgrades in this game center around. To categorize ~25% of a game as 'NPE' is seems hyperbolic. Eliminate that and you are essentially left flying around generics with no upgrades. I'm sure there are plenty of people that would like that game and if you can find like-minded players you can certainly play that way. That's not however what this game has been for the past couple of years and is clearly not the direction that it is heading.

 

I think it's more that the inability to deny action economy through blocking is an NPE.

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Yeah, Parattani is completely immune to the common control mechanics: stress and blocking, while at the same time having control mechanics on its own.

 

It's not completely immune though, it's just resistant to total action denial. 

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Yeah, Parattani is completely immune to the common control mechanics: stress and blocking, while at the same time having control mechanics on its own.

oi, wrong

A rau that cant red maneuver is a HELL of a lot different than a rau that can

And a manny that has to turn left, or an assajj thatd be weighted towards faster speeds despite not having gyros...

Etc

Also, blocking

Stops tls

On mr 5 dice at range 1

Also stops boost rolling or shooting at something you dont want shot

Or asajj evading

Or pivoting the mobile arc

Mitigation of control mechanics != utter nullification thereof

Ie this **** AINT Dengaroo and should be 1000% encouraged over it

They even have arcs!

Edited by ficklegreendice

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I really think people don't understand what an NPE list really is. I played 40k and Fantasy for 15 years and have seen true NPE lists. These are lists that take your opponents ability to play the game completely away. lists that auto win, and no matter of skill can save you. there is NOTHING in this game that even comes close to a true NPE. 

 

NPE =/= hard to beat or annoying to play against.

Edited by Timathius

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