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Wraithdt

How about Flechette Raiders?

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With all the ranting about Rieekan Aces going about I would like to gauge people's thoughts about a possible counter to that list, or any other sqd heavy lists for that matter. The counter I'm referring to is Flechette Torp Raiders.

I was spurred to write this because of recent conversations I've been having with a friend of mine who loves playing sqd heavy lists, specifically Rebel sqds and he swears that F. Torp Raiders are nigh OP. Personally I think he might be overreacting a little due to a lost he suffered some time ago against a Ryhmerball list I was fielding that had a F. Torp Raider w/ Insidious escort. He had never encountered that ship before and in that game of ours he was forced with a hard choice; avoid engaging my bombers, which was protected by Insidious, and eat my Rhymerball bombardment, or engage my sqds and risk getting locked down by flechettes. He did the latter and managed to take down the Raider but he had spent most of his sqd strength to do so that he didn't have much left to threaten my ships with. I proceeded to mop his sqds up and destroy his Death Pickle(which he was shocked to see happen) and that was that.

Based on how affected my friend was to the impact the Flechhette Torps had on his sqd play style I'm now curious to see if multiple F. Torp Raiders with sqd escorts can be a legit counter to Rieekan Aceholes. The only downside to this is the Raider itself, which admittedly is pretty squishy and tricky to fly , but it's still one of the best AA platforms out there and there are ways to mitigate it's weakness. Snipafist wrote a fantastic Raider guide on his blog, which I highly recommend.

I've also noticed a curious lack of talk about this, so I have to wonder if this is something that's already been tested and found wanting, or people haven't had time to test it out to it's fullest potential. I know the Raider is not a particularly favourable ship in the eyes of some players but maybe this is something worth exploring while we wait for the Rieekan nerf that is(hopefully) most likely to come.

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The Flèchette Raider is definitely a sound tool. I think it will become more and more useful as people are able to support it and learn how to use it. 

When it is positioned properly, and had sufficient squad support, it is just nasty. It will destroy a heavy squad fleet as it turns off squadron after squadron. The carriers are left with useless squad commands. It is glorious. 

When positioned poorly, it dies. The enemy squadrons go to town, and troubles are ahead. 

 

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JJ and CNinja both ran them at Worlds

JJ lost his only game against the Ace Holes by a single hull point. Had his ISD survived, it would have rammed the remaining flotilla (which also only had one hull left) and tabled Dorrin. By all accounts it sounds like it was an amazing and close game. JJ did not have Kallus, instead choosing XI7s (I believe for his ISD) with the points. Not sure if he regrets that decision or not.

CNinja had Kallus and was probably even more of a hard counter than JJ, but he never played the Aces Holes. Having helped him prep that list, I would have loved to see him get a shot at one of the top lists. I think he would have done extremely well. Luck of the draw.

Edited by Truthiness

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I think Raiders of all ships benefit from a very coordinated approach to running your fleet. They are so easily picked off by anything - either squadrons or ships, that to be at all successful they need to be hiding under the guns of a bigger friend and with their own squad support (the squad support also helping to stop their targets running off before the raider can fire).

So definitely a higher skill ship.

But our local champ has used them to devastate many opposing squadrons in his demo/rhymer list. If the raider has demo overwatching it and moves up at slow speed behind rhymer it does really well.

 

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5 minutes ago, CaribbeanNinja said:

When it is positioned properly, and had sufficient squad support, it is just nasty. It will destroy a heavy squad fleet as it turns off squadron after squadron. The carriers are left with useless squad commands. It is glorious. 

When positioned poorly, it dies. The enemy squadrons go to town, and troubles are ahead. 

 

Couldn't agree more. I have a friend who recently tried out dual Raiders (one with Flechettes) and his opponent was surprised by how effective they were against his sqds. The two practically wiped out 134 pts worth of Rebel sqds.

4 minutes ago, Truthiness said:

CNinja had Kallus and was probably even more of a hard counter than JJ, but he never played the Aces Holes. Having helped him prep that list, I would have loved to see him get a shot at one of the top lists. I think he would have done extremely well. Luck of the draw.

Interesting. I have a feeling there just weren't enough ppl playing Flechette Raiders at Worlds to stave off the tide of Rieekan Aces.

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It's great when you can activate the Raider first in the ball or let it dive in last the turn before. My Imperial teammate for our CC campaign used a pair of them to shut down a very good Sato bomber list. 

 

However I've watched them evaporate against a single round of squad fire thanks to their defense token suite being useless against fighters. It's a very fine balance. 

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See I would put Kallus on a different ship (preferably with gunnery teams and quad turbo lasers) to give better fleet protection.

The flechette raider is only going to be doing one damage after spending its crit to activate the flechettes. Kallus is going to only add one damage, so most riekan lists are just going to brace and if GH is around reduce it to zero. It also means your effective flak is in one small bubble that can be avoided,

But Kallus plus quad turbos on ISD2 is a big area, and reduces the option of them just ignoring the raider and bombing your big ship.

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The raider will not last against a normal squadron ball.

Eighter you have to fly in, and this means the squadrons are killing the raider, or you wait for them to come to you, but than they will kill your raider. Both ways do not end well for the raider.
You will as well need some good squadron support for it. But in this case, you are using squadrons and 1-2 raiders against the opponents squadrons.

Just to be honest: i flew a few times against a raider with flechett. They were never a problem for the squadrons. The raider is just to squishy for it.

And if you are using two raider with fletchetts, you are going to waste 96+ points, if the opponent does not have any squadrons. Unless you gear them up to fight as well against ships. But they are expensive if you do.

It is really bad, that the imperials have only one ship that can even use the flechette (unless you play around with Kallus).

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26 minutes ago, Wraithdt said:

With all the ranting about Rieekan Aces going about I would like to gauge people's thoughts about a possible counter to that list, or any other sqd heavy lists for that matter. The counter I'm referring to is Flechette Torp Raiders.

I was spurred to write this because of recent conversations I've been having with a friend of mine who loves playing sqd heavy lists, specifically Rebel sqds and he swears that F. Torp Raiders are nigh OP. Personally I think he might be overreacting a little due to a lost he suffered some time ago against a Ryhmerball list I was fielding that had a F. Torp Raider w/ Insidious escort. He had never encountered that ship before and in that game of ours he was forced with a hard choice; avoid engaging my bombers, which was protected by Insidious, and eat my Rhymerball bombardment, or engage my sqds and risk getting locked down by flechettes. He did the latter and managed to take down the Raider but he had spent most of his sqd strength to do so that he didn't have much left to threaten my ships with. I proceeded to mop his sqds up and destroy his Death Pickle(which he was shocked to see happen) and that was that.

Based on how affected my friend was to the impact the Flechhette Torps had on his sqd play style I'm now curious to see if multiple F. Torp Raiders with sqd escorts can be a legit counter to Rieekan Aceholes. The only downside to this is the Raider itself, which admittedly is pretty squishy and tricky to fly , but it's still one of the best AA platforms out there and there are ways to mitigate it's weakness. Snipafist wrote a fantastic Raider guide on his blog, which I highly recommend.

I've also noticed a curious lack of talk about this, so I have to wonder if this is something that's already been tested and found wanting, or people haven't had time to test it out to it's fullest potential. I know the Raider is not a particularly favourable ship in the eyes of some players but maybe this is something worth exploring while we wait for the Rieekan nerf that is(hopefully) most likely to come.

Assuming you're bringing a Raider, making it a Flechette raider is just sound insurance.

You already have OE on it, so even without APT it's going to do good dmg if it ends up shooting at ships. And you save 2 pts.

I'd also recommend Instigator. Careful positioning of the Raider is USELESS if those squads just move away before you can fire. Sure, if you can always be sure you can go 1st WITH THAT RAIDER, you might not need it. But otherwise, take Instigator. Actually, just take it - vs. another skilled player he'll make sure you have to make some difficult activation choices, so having Instigator is just plain good sense.

Impetuous. Also great. But not Instigator great. If you run TWO Flechette Raiders, then yes, it's a good addition. If you can afford it.

Kallus is more of a maybe. If it's aces you fear, then by all means take him. 3x2 die are more likely to proc a crit than 2x2. But otherwise it's pts better spent elsewhere, as 2x2 is usually GOOD ENOUGH. But again, if aceholes are a thing, take Kallus.

Jerjerrod. This guy really, really helps with that perfect positioning thing. You can pretty much put Instigator wherever you need it. That's hugely valuable.

Just keep in mind that after you've jumped into the furball, you might want to stick around for another round. That's where dropping down to speed 2 is probably required. Ozzel sure is handy for this.

Finally: Flechette raiders a pointless wo other anti-squad tech. You need squads to keep Instigator alive. You need other ship-based AS to add to the mayhem.

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Depending on how the meta shifts when wave 6 comes out, the Raider can interchange either Flechette Torps or External Racks depending on what you need for your fleet. Just plan on that 51 pts and figure it out from there once External Racks is added into the mix. 

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flechette raider with imperial aces trounces enemy fighters.  always navigate and you can make tight turns and always keep the enemy fighters in your arcs. 

I half expect rieekan to take a hit with sloan comes out.  She favors imperial swarm fighters and in my experience they out performs aces due to the sheer volume of attacks.

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In case it's not clear in the article, I'm a big fan of the minimalist variant, especially in pairs. At that point you're effectively only putting 6 points into anti-squadron. If your opponent doesn't bring squadrons, or you win the squad fight, the Raider just starts going after ships. The Raider I with just OEs and its basic armament still hits hard against ships for very little cost. It's a very underappreciated ship.

Edited by Truthiness

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15 minutes ago, RStan said:

Depending on how the meta shifts when wave 6 comes out, the Raider can interchange either Flechette Torps or External Racks depending on what you need for your fleet. Just plan on that 51 pts and figure it out from there once External Racks is added into the mix. 

Why would you want to install a 1 shot rack instead of being able to repeatedly using flechette on Fletcher RSD?

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7 minutes ago, cruiser2710 said:

Why would you want to install a 1 shot rack instead of being able to repeatedly using flechette on Fletcher RSD?

When i messed around with EL raiders, one front arc for the game was generally enough to justify the cost: it effectively creates a giant NOPE zone for enemy ships.  Great for forcing the engagement area.  The racks will make this trick even more cost effective, especially since they can shoot out the side arc with a CF dial for more mayhem.

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External Racks to be used against ships. I still mostly thing Flechette Torps will be taken more, but External Racks can give them some great fire power in that one round you'll be in close range against another ship. It's a choice of wanting to go after squadrons or ships. In the current meta, we need to kill squadrons and until that changes, Flechette Torps will be the go to. 

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Flechette Torpedoes Raiders are very legit but you really need a fleet that can leverage Raiders (so moderate to high activation count, a bid, fighter support, etc.). You can't really just throw one into an Imperial list and figure it'll solve Rieekan Ace Holes for you regardless of the rest of your fleet. Personally I'm a big fan of Raiders but they're not a ship that's easy to pick up early on and they're very punishing of mistakes.

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I would say FT is the best upgrade to throw into a fleet if you have spare points and a Raider. It's cheap and it's threatening. And if your opponent doesn't have squads, you now have a reliable flotilla hunter.

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1 hour ago, CaribbeanNinja said:

The Flèchette Raider is definitely a sound tool. I think it will become more and more useful as people are able to support it and learn how to use it. 

When it is positioned properly, and had sufficient squad support, it is just nasty. It will destroy a heavy squad fleet as it turns off squadron after squadron. The carriers are left with useless squad commands. It is glorious. 

When positioned poorly, it dies. The enemy squadrons go to town, and troubles are ahead. 

 

Wise FFG... They create a meta to force us to learn how to fly raiders.

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1 hour ago, Truthiness said:

JJ and CNinja both ran them at Worlds

JJ lost his only game against the Ace Holes by a single hull point. Had his ISD survived, it would have rammed the remaining flotilla (which also only had one hull left) and tabled Dorrin. By all accounts it sounds like it was an amazing and close game. JJ did not have Kallus, instead choosing XI7s (I believe for his ISD) with the points. Not sure if he regrets that decision or not.

CNinja had Kallus and was probably even more of a hard counter than JJ, but he never played the Aces Holes. Having helped him prep that list, I would have loved to see him get a shot at one of the top lists. I think he would have done extremely well. Luck of the draw.

I also opted for a flechette raider (in a squadron light fleet with heavy AS flak) in my Worlds fleet but unfortunatelly didn't encounter any squadron heavy fleets (I think the most I saw in my games was 70 or 80 points of squads). So I agree that flechette raider is a solid tool as long as it has at least some squadron cover and is used right.

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Just now, pt106 said:

I also opted for a flechette raider (in a squadron light fleet with heavy AS flak) in my Worlds fleet but unfortunatelly didn't encounter any squadron heavy fleets (I think the most I saw in my games was 70 or 80 points of squads). So I agree that flechette raider is a solid tool as long as it has at least some squadron cover and is used right.

Ok seriously, what were the odds of this? If sounds like a huge chunk of the tournament was Rieekan Aces. How did the three of you collectively only get ONE game against them?! CONSPIRACY!!!

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