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Marinealver

Defense types, Attack Phases and the TLT problem.

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So I know click bait title, but again with so much outcry over Twin-laser Turret (TLT) and Jumpmaster and what not, I decided to take a closer look at well the attack and defense types. However when taking a look at ships I noticed that there while defensive tanks are divers attacks are not so different from each other.

So for defense, well we got tanks and there are three different categories of tanks. Green (agility) Blue (mitigation) and Yellow (Hit Points). Now while you may look at these and thing they coincide with the same colors of the attributes the simple answer is not exactly. You see one might take a look at Fat Han and say well that is a Yellow with its 5 shields and 8 hull. It has 13 hit points which must make it a Yellow Tank. But in actuality it is a green defense. Sure it only has 1 agility but when given C-3PO and the Falcon (evade) title it had a guaranteed cancellation of 2 hits. Sure 13 hit points is no small amount but also take into consideration that that ship would take over half your list (50+) points, so you may have a B-wing for another 8 hit points, it still doesn't add up to the 24 hit points an 8 TIE Fighter swarm would have. So lets take a look at the different types of tanks.

Green Tanks, the agility tank, now at the top you would think is Soontir Fel, his 3 agility plus the ability to grab 3 tokens and gain assistance from Emperor Palpatine, autothrusters and the like make this the pinnacle of green tanks. The purpose of green defense is to cancel hits making attacks weaker or down right useless. Now while most green tanks are arc dodgers arc dodgers do not necessarily have to be green. The YT-2400 is a good arc dodger but that is more of a Yellow type not a green type. As with most arc dodgers unless it is the last ship on the board (in which case it was a horrible tank) ships will simply shoot at other ships that couldn't arc dodge, there is also the prevalence of out of arc attacks in which the defense type will always have to come into play. Now the thing with a green tanks unless it has assured hit cancellation it also relies a lot on luck. This was the design to make low hit point ships more fragile but also give a random chance of surviving an attack in case it was placed wrong. For the longest time, green tanks were on top of the meta and somewhat still are. There is only one counter to green tanks, more red dice to clear tokens and eventually pass the green dice.

Blue tanks are damage mitigation. Now of course shields are a type of mitigation as they prevent the effects of critical hits (which could result in more damage) but it is not the shields that are mitigation but instead the recovery of said shields. Therefore one might mistake the B-wing as a Blue tank (liking mistaking the Fat Han as a Yellow tank) but really the B-wing is a Yellow tank as it is designed to have the most hit points to shoot through and not as exposed to extra damage from critical hits. Now for Blue tanks those would be X-wings and the most infamous E-wing with its 3 shields and astromech slot for regenerating. What makes these tanks so annoying is that unless you clear them of the board or do massive amounts of damage if left alone they can regain all lost hit points thus making the attacks you made earlier in the game pointless. The way to beat Blue tanks is to keep attacking it and chase it down turn after turn until it is dead.

Yellow tanks are the simplest types of tanks and the easiest to kill. The poster example of yellow tanks would obviously be the VT-49 decimator. How to kill it is simple, just keep attacking it and it will die. now the whole thing is while you are attacking it it is also attacking you. So against a Yellow tank it becomes a damage race, can you kill it before it kills you. There are ways to counter this mainly by spreading out damage which is also a yellow defense move. The most common damage spread is Biggs. Also just having a lot of hit points on a single ship doesn't exactly make it a yellow, but rather the amount of hit points for the points you spend. Take the TIE swarm for example. Individually, the TIE fighter might appear to be better as a green tank, after all it has no shields only 3 hit points but the 3 green dice and evade action is its best defense. But when you have 8 of them that 3 hit points all of a sudden becomes 24 hit points and that is a lot to go through.

Now where does TLT fit in all of this. Well this is the issue, despite having 3 different types of defense there is only 1 type of attack, and that is throwing Red dice. There is very little difference between the attack damage. Now sure there is crits which are better than hits, and hit effects like ion and tractor beam tokens, but that is not exactly different types of attacks. What does differentiate the attacks is the attack phases, and where each attack excels is what makes the difference. Otherwise an attack roll from a 360-PWT is no different than an attack roll from a plasma torpedo shot, they both roll red dice. But there is slight difference in the three phases in what damage it can do. Phase 1 hits, Phase 2 suffer damage, and Phase 3 damage results.

Phase 1, is the number of hits. It is simple you roll red dice, modify or get modified, they roll green dice, spend tokens and other modifications, compare hits to evades. Now this is the phase where Green tanks com into play. If they cancel the attack here the attack is done, and attacks that are good at phase 2 or 3 will not longer have an effect. This is why green tanks were on top of the meta. If you can halt the attack at its earliest phase you end up stopping just about all attacks.

Phase 2 is the suffer damage phase. If it hits there might be more than one damage, however suffering damage is not the same as dealing damage. Now this is where TLT come into play because while they are excellent at phase 1 this is where they are the weakest at. They are capped off at 2 damage. But because they get past green tanks so well they are also decent at phase 2 and eventually 3. Now phase 2 is where the Yellow tanks come into play. You might think blue would be better because in this phase crits are treated as hits when shield tokens are in play, but again shield tokens are more for hit points and if they don't regenerate then they are not very different from hull value. Simply put the more hit points you have the more damage you can suffer.

Next comes Phase 3 and that is damage results. As mentioned before there is a difference from suffering damage and dealing damage cards. Now straight up crit damage to hull critical hit will result in suffering critical damage which will result in a face up damage card. However if it is canceled by a shield or the hit was canceled there won;t be a face up damage card. Hit is similar but the end result is face down. However this is where Blue tanks come into play because they can regenerate the damage that was caused. Now regenerating shield tokens is the most common but there are upgrade cards that can remove damage cards although they are more common in epic. Determination can be once such upgrade as it allows you to discard face up pilot cards. you still suffer damage but the damage is pretty much regenerated immediately (or before according to the new FAQ). Reducing the effect and amount of damage makes it the best part of the game.

So back to TLT, well that is clearly a phase 2 weapon. If was designed to get pass all the green tanks which dominated the meta and made so many games go to time. When you come to think of it mines and upgrade like Anti-pursuit lasers are also phase 2 attacks (while not technically attacks) as they forgo the whole green defense. Sure you have to roll to hit but there is no token and dice modification, which is why TLTs are considered the more powerful attack because all the other attacks are still mostly phase 1 attacks. It is straight up roll for damage. in a way, it was a necessary evil put in the game to break the strangle hold green tanks had on the meta. Now for a Phase 3 weapon you might of Advanced Homing Missiles (AHM). After all it skips all of that and goes straight to dealing a face up damage card, but that is where you would be wrong. Because Advanced homing missiles is really a phase 1, the attack still has to hit so if you end up encountering a green tank, you advanced homing missiles is canceled. Really there is only one phase 3 weapon and that is proton bombs. Still there is a reason why phase 3 weapons are rare as they can easily break the game. Skipping all defense to go straight to damage is extremely powerful thus difficult to properly balance. The only counter to such is with more blue tanks can also come more stagnate game as more regenerating ships can prevent the final effect of damage, that is ship removal, thus also being just as difficult to balance.

So in conclusion we have 3 different types of tanks but only 1 type of attack. The type of tank is what attack phase it counters. Green (agility) counters Phase 1 (hits) thus the majority of attacks. Yellow (hit points) counters Phase 2 (damage) of attacks. and Blue (regeneration) counters Phase 3 (damage effect). 

Edited by Marinealver
formatting for readability

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That's an interesting thesis, well worth discussion, but you kinda need to do a proofread and edit, there are a lot of typos. The opening paragraph, in particular; I'm really not entirely sure what your saying there.  Also a little fuzzy on how exactly you are defining the blue and yellow types. 

Edited by Forgottenlore

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9 minutes ago, Forgottenlore said:

That's an interesting thesis, well worth discussion, but you kinda need to do a proofread and edit, there are a lot of typos. The opening paragraph, in particular; I'm really not entirely sure what your saying there.  Also a little fuzzy on how exactly you are defining the blue and yellow types. 

Well for Blue it is mostly removing the result of damage hence regeneration, for yellow it is simply being able to sustain more than the average. But yeah, I won't be submitting this as a paper to get published in some journal of ludology.

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A good read, and an interesting (and helpful) way of looking at the game. 

One point I would make though: you seem to want to put every type of tank into one and only one box, but there isn't really any need. There's nothing wrong with saying that the millennium falcon is a green AND a yellow tank (and sometime a blue, if you throw R2-D2 crew on there). In fact looking at it that way is helpful, because now you have a tank that does well against phase 1 AND phase 2 attacks, and you can plan and play accordingly. 

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18 hours ago, Herowannabe said:

A good read, and an interesting (and helpful) way of looking at the game. 

One point I would make though: you seem to want to put every type of tank into one and only one box, but there isn't really any need. There's nothing wrong with saying that the millennium falcon is a green AND a yellow tank (and sometime a blue, if you throw R2-D2 crew on there). In fact looking at it that way is helpful, because now you have a tank that does well against phase 1 AND phase 2 attacks, and you can plan and play accordingly. 

True, but I also wanted to illustrate that mechanically without TLT X-wing really only has attacks that are designed to deal with only 1 type of tank, Yellow. TLTs are the one weapon that acts differently when dealing with green tanks. As for blue, well what can take down green or yellow can also take down blue.

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On 2017-04-03 at 4:36 AM, Marinealver said:

So I know click bait title, but again with so much outcry over Twin-laser Turret (TLT) and Jumpmaster and what not, I decided to take a closer look at well the attack and defense types. However when taking a look at ships I noticed that there while defensive tanks are divers attacks are not so different from each other.

So for defense, well we got tanks and there are three different categories of tanks. Green (agility) Blue (mitigation) and Yellow (Hit Points). Now while you may look at these and thing they coincide with the same colors of the attributes the simple answer is not exactly. You see one might take a look at Fat Han and say well that is a Yellow with its 5 shields and 8 hull. It has 13 hit points which must make it a Yellow Tank. But in actuality it is a green defense. Sure it only has 1 agility but when given C-3PO and the Falcon (evade) title it had a guaranteed cancellation of 2 hits. Sure 13 hit points is no small amount but also take into consideration that that ship would take over half your list (50+) points, so you may have a B-wing for another 8 hit points, it still doesn't add up to the 24 hit points an 8 TIE Fighter swarm would have. So lets take a look at the different types of tanks.

Green Tanks, the agility tank, now at the top you would think is Soontir Fel, his 3 agility plus the ability to grab 3 tokens and gain assistance from Emperor Palpatine, autothrusters and the like make this the pinnacle of green tanks. The purpose of green defense is to cancel hits making attacks weaker or down right useless. Now while most green tanks are arc dodgers arc dodgers do not necessarily have to be green. The YT-2400 is a good arc dodger but that is more of a Yellow type not a green type. As with most arc dodgers unless it is the last ship on the board (in which case it was a horrible tank) ships will simply shoot at other ships that couldn't arc dodge, there is also the prevalence of out of arc attacks in which the defense type will always have to come into play. Now the thing with a green tanks unless it has assured hit cancellation it also relies a lot on luck. This was the design to make low hit point ships more fragile but also give a random chance of surviving an attack in case it was placed wrong. For the longest time, green tanks were on top of the meta and somewhat still are. There is only one counter to green tanks, more red dice to clear tokens and eventually pass the green dice.

Blue tanks are damage mitigation. Now of course shields are a type of mitigation as they prevent the effects of critical hits (which could result in more damage) but it is not the shields that are mitigation but instead the recovery of said shields. Therefore one might mistake the B-wing as a Blue tank (liking mistaking the Fat Han as a Yellow tank) but really the B-wing is a Yellow tank as it is designed to have the most hit points to shoot through and not as exposed to extra damage from critical hits. Now for Blue tanks those would be X-wings and the most infamous E-wing with its 3 shields and astromech slot for regenerating. What makes these tanks so annoying is that unless you clear them of the board or do massive amounts of damage if left alone they can regain all lost hit points thus making the attacks you made earlier in the game pointless. The way to beat Blue tanks is to keep attacking it and chase it down turn after turn until it is dead.

Yellow tanks are the simplest types of tanks and the easiest to kill. The poster example of yellow tanks would obviously be the VT-49 decimator. How to kill it is simple, just keep attacking it and it will die. now the whole thing is while you are attacking it it is also attacking you. So against a Yellow tank it becomes a damage race, can you kill it before it kills you. There are ways to counter this mainly by spreading out damage which is also a yellow defense move. The most common damage spread is Biggs. Also just having a lot of hit points on a single ship doesn't exactly make it a yellow, but rather the amount of hit points for the points you spend. Take the TIE swarm for example. Individually, the TIE fighter might appear to be better as a green tank, after all it has no shields only 3 hit points but the 3 green dice and evade action is its best defense. But when you have 8 of them that 3 hit points all of a sudden becomes 24 hit points and that is a lot to go through.

Now where does TLT fit in all of this. Well this is the issue, despite having 3 different types of defense there is only 1 type of attack, and that is throwing Red dice. There is very little difference between the attack damage. Now sure there is crits which are better than hits, and hit effects like ion and tractor beam tokens, but that is not exactly different types of attacks. What does differentiate the attacks is the attack phases, and where each attack excels is what makes the difference. Otherwise an attack roll from a 360-PWT is no different than an attack roll from a plasma torpedo shot, they both roll red dice. But there is slight difference in the three phases in what damage it can do. Phase 1 hits, Phase 2 suffer damage, and Phase 3 damage results.

Phase 1, is the number of hits. It is simple you roll red dice, modify or get modified, they roll green dice, spend tokens and other modifications, compare hits to evades. Now this is the phase where Green tanks com into play. If they cancel the attack here the attack is done, and attacks that are good at phase 2 or 3 will not longer have an effect. This is why green tanks were on top of the meta. If you can halt the attack at its earliest phase you end up stopping just about all attacks.

Phase 2 is the suffer damage phase. If it hits there might be more than one damage, however suffering damage is not the same as dealing damage. Now this is where TLT come into play because while they are excellent at phase 1 this is where they are the weakest at. They are capped off at 2 damage. But because they get past green tanks so well they are also decent at phase 2 and eventually 3. Now phase 2 is where the Yellow tanks come into play. You might think blue would be better because in this phase crits are treated as hits when shield tokens are in play, but again shield tokens are more for hit points and if they don't regenerate then they are not very different from hull value. Simply put the more hit points you have the more damage you can suffer.

Next comes Phase 3 and that is damage results. As mentioned before there is a difference from suffering damage and dealing damage cards. Now straight up crit damage to hull critical hit will result in suffering critical damage which will result in a face up damage card. However if it is canceled by a shield or the hit was canceled there won;t be a face up damage card. Hit is similar but the end result is face down. However this is where Blue tanks come into play because they can regenerate the damage that was caused. Now regenerating shield tokens is the most common but there are upgrade cards that can remove damage cards although they are more common in epic. Determination can be once such upgrade as it allows you to discard face up pilot cards. you still suffer damage but the damage is pretty much regenerated immediately (or before according to the new FAQ). Reducing the effect and amount of damage makes it the best part of the game.

So back to TLT, well that is clearly a phase 2 weapon. If was designed to get pass all the green tanks which dominated the meta and made so many games go to time. When you come to think of it mines and upgrade like Anti-pursuit lasers are also phase 2 attacks (while not technically attacks) as they forgo the whole green defense. Sure you have to roll to hit but there is no token and dice modification, which is why TLTs are considered the more powerful attack because all the other attacks are still mostly phase 1 attacks. It is straight up roll for damage. in a way, it was a necessary evil put in the game to break the strangle hold green tanks had on the meta. Now for a Phase 3 weapon you might of Advanced Homing Missiles (AHM). After all it skips all of that and goes straight to dealing a face up damage card, but that is where you would be wrong. Because Advanced homing missiles is really a phase 1, the attack still has to hit so if you end up encountering a green tank, you advanced homing missiles is canceled. Really there is only one phase 3 weapon and that is proton bombs. Still there is a reason why phase 3 weapons are rare as they can easily break the game. Skipping all defense to go straight to damage is extremely powerful thus difficult to properly balance. The only counter to such is with more blue tanks can also come more stagnate game as more regenerating ships can prevent the final effect of damage, that is ship removal, thus also being just as difficult to balance.

So in conclusion we have 3 different types of tanks but only 1 type of attack. The type of tank is what attack phase it counters. Green (agility) counters Phase 1 (hits) thus the majority of attacks. Yellow (hit points) counters Phase 2 (damage) of attacks. and Blue (regeneration) counters Phase 3 (damage effect). 

The problem is that it's way too reliable. I tried playing TLT for the first time last night. It wasnt even 4 TLTs:

 

Syndicate Thug — Y-Wing 18
Twin Laser Turret 6
Unhinged Astromech 1
Ship Total: 25
   
Syndicate Thug — Y-Wing 18
Twin Laser Turret 6
Unhinged Astromech 1
Ship Total: 25
   
Asajj Ventress — Lancer-class Pursuit Craft 37
Push the Limit 3
Latts Razzi 2
Black Market Slicer Tools 1
Engine Upgrade 4
Shadow Caster 3
Ship Total: 50

 

I usualy play Imperials. It was my first time with a scum built and i won all my 4 games. Ive only been playing for a little less than a year. It was my second "perfect" night. It was like playing in easy mode. Almost all you have to think about is staying away from range 1. That's quite easier than staying at range 1, your opponent job.

During my first match i kept bumping because i was not used to flying in formation with 2 small ships and a large one that have different PS. There was 3 rounds where i could not shoot with Asajj because a bump prevented me from changing my arc. My 2 Ywing with no mods (bump) still managed to do 3 damage on one turn and 4 damage on another one. That was vs a 2 agi ship.

I didnt play much better for my second matchbut still managed to win again. I got more hits from Asajj but had some bumps with the Ywing. One of my opponent ships was Fen. That's 3 agi and 4 hull with autothrusters. The 2 TLTs still managed to cut through him like a hot knife on butter. He never had the chance to get from range 3 to range 1...

I understand what was the intent of TLTs but the problem is that they turned out to be effective and reliable vs any kind of defense with no drawback. An almost garanteed 2 hit per round per ships is hard to take for any ships, even the ones with low agi/high health or regen.

 

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