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thecactusman17

Devastating Offense: Using Devastator in Star Wars Armada.

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21 minutes ago, Karneck said:

Thanks for the write up. I like the information it provides, it is a high risk, high reward title.

That said, I'll never be ballsy enough to take it haha.

Again, the goal is in playing to minimize risk and maximize threat.  So it's only as high-risk as the risks you expose yourself to.  What I often did is pair it with Demolisher, so that I had a ship capable of threatening those ships that would threaten Devastator back.

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Very interesting.

I keep forgetting that "adding dice to a pool" doesn't have the same limit on range that regular shooting does - e.g. adding Blue dice to a pool of only Red dice if you're shooting at long range.

Dominator can (sort of) do the same for VSD1s by using shields instead of tokens and adding Blue dice. Limited to Close/Medium range though

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I think Devastator will become more popular as Sloane rises through the list ranks. It becomes a trade off in reducing the defence of your target through Sloane's actions, and boosting your opponents firepower.

For me, the main reason I don't use it is simply because I love Relentless. Reducing that command stack really gives a shocking amount of flexibility to an otherwise cumbersome ship (especially with SFO on board for emergencies). The only thing that drags me away from Relentless is Avenger when I'm using OP Raiders or OP Interdictor, but that in itself isn't all that common.

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If I run an ISD and my fleet doesn't have overload pulse, I run Devastator. Typically, (for me) Devastator triggers for two turns and usually 3-4 dice when it does. So 10 points for 6-8 added dice a game. That actually compares favorably to Enhanced Armament, High Capacity Ion Turbines, and Rapid Reload. 

 

I also actually run Darth Vader as a commander a lot as Imperials.  If your Devastator still has too many pesky defense tokens, use Vader and start brining them. Like was said before on this forum, it is really fun to watch opponents start locking down your red defense tokens. 

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3 hours ago, Church14 said:

If I run an ISD and my fleet doesn't have overload pulse, I run Devastator. Typically, (for me) Devastator triggers for two turns and usually 3-4 dice when it does. So 10 points for 6-8 added dice a game. That actually compares favorably to Enhanced Armament, High Capacity Ion Turbines, and Rapid Reload. 

 

I also actually run Darth Vader as a commander a lot as Imperials.  If your Devastator still has too many pesky defense tokens, use Vader and start brining them. Like was said before on this forum, it is really fun to watch opponents start locking down your red defense tokens. 

I find it interesting that you would have trouble losing defense tokens from your devastator.

 

It's a "damned if you do and damned if you don't" situation for opponents because if you aren't shooting at devastator, well, you aren't going to kill it and its still an ISD hauling many points! but if you ARE shooting at it you are powering it up! I like the title and the concept and I have run it a few times and always had a lot of fun, my wake up moment when I realized it isn't really a competitive title is when it got wiped out in a round by a Yavaris pushed Scurrg and Ywing swarm. It's very expensive and is really a hate magnet for bombers while the carriers run away (and this was even before relay so its worse now). One fun little tidbit is that if you have no ships in your front arc you can always add your blues to one of your Anti-squad attacks, the look on the face of the squadron pusher when you go to grab 6 blues is priceless, of course, I roll all crits and accs. but still fun!

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I've been running nothing but devastator since Worlds.  When you get shot at by something...and then you spend your defense token ...even when there was no hit....makes your opponent think twice lol. 

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21 hours ago, Hastatior said:

I find it interesting that you would have trouble losing defense tokens from your devastator.

 

It's a "damned if you do and damned if you don't" situation for opponents because if you aren't shooting at devastator, well, you aren't going to kill it and its still an ISD hauling many points! but if you ARE shooting at it you are powering it up! I like the title and the concept and I have run it a few times and always had a lot of fun, my wake up moment when I realized it isn't really a competitive title is when it got wiped out in a round by a Yavaris pushed Scurrg and Ywing swarm. It's very expensive and is really a hate magnet for bombers while the carriers run away (and this was even before relay so its worse now). One fun little tidbit is that if you have no ships in your front arc you can always add your blues to one of your Anti-squad attacks, the look on the face of the squadron pusher when you go to grab 6 blues is priceless, of course, I roll all crits and accs. but still fun!

The theory I think is to jam Devestator into Yavaris' maw and just tank the damage in an effort to try killing Yavaris. Drive in, try to hit the side arc, maximum firepower. With Gunnery teams, the first non-Devestator shot clears any obstruction (like Flotillas if an accuracy comes up) then Devestator fires into Yavaris' flank to try killing it. Now that Rieekan has been changed, you'll have to choose between protecting your fighters and protecting Yavaris with Rieekan.

The counter-play to this is to... keep shooting Devestator. It's a race to see if you can kill the ship before it has the chance to power the superlaser and start wiping out your ships. Devestator only gets the mondo dice bonus for one of its forward arc attacks, which is another thing to play around. Devestator can't hurt you if you circle behind it and keep shooting it as it flies by, or if you keep your distance with a side-arc shooter while he's approaching.

Cactus uses Demolisher as a counter-weight to Devestator to be an equally unpleasant thing to think about when you're confronting Devestator. If you try to run from Devestator, you're running into Demolisher. Unless of course you bait Demo with space butterflies to chase...

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25 minutes ago, Norsehound said:

The theory I think is to jam Devestator into Yavaris' maw and just tank the damage in an effort to try killing Yavaris. Drive in, try to hit the side arc, maximum firepower. With Gunnery teams, the first non-Devestator shot clears any obstruction (like Flotillas if an accuracy comes up) then Devestator fires into Yavaris' flank to try killing it. Now that Rieekan has been changed, you'll have to choose between protecting your fighters and protecting Yavaris with Rieekan.

The counter-play to this is to... keep shooting Devestator. It's a race to see if you can kill the ship before it has the chance to power the superlaser and start wiping out your ships. Devestator only gets the mondo dice bonus for one of its forward arc attacks, which is another thing to play around. Devestator can't hurt you if you circle behind it and keep shooting it as it flies by, or if you keep your distance with a side-arc shooter while he's approaching.

Cactus uses Demolisher as a counter-weight to Devestator to be an equally unpleasant thing to think about when you're confronting Devestator. If you try to run from Devestator, you're running into Demolisher. Unless of course you bait Demo with space butterflies to chase...

Dangerous race to get into. Again, this used to work fine pre-relay, but now carriers can actively run away, your approach vector becomes highly predictable so a bomber "minefield" can be positioned quite effectively. I agree that the reeikan change makes a big difference, especially since now you have to put him somewhere more juicy point-wise. I expect my strategy would become to aggressively rush the ship carrying reeikan so the opponent has no choice but to use the effect on that ship, the challenge is that you have to threaten more than 1 asset on the same round. Demos threat range has been reduced a good bit so its important to consider that too. All-in-all I think the changes help Devastator as a viable title but IMO relay still makes it a very risky choice in competitive play, its still too many points in one ship where 2 or 3 transports running in different directions can push 4-6 bombers every turn till you die.

 

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4 hours ago, Hastatior said:

Dangerous race to get into. Again, this used to work fine pre-relay, but now carriers can actively run away, your approach vector becomes highly predictable so a bomber "minefield" can be positioned quite effectively. I agree that the reeikan change makes a big difference, especially since now you have to put him somewhere more juicy point-wise. I expect my strategy would become to aggressively rush the ship carrying reeikan so the opponent has no choice but to use the effect on that ship, the challenge is that you have to threaten more than 1 asset on the same round. Demos threat range has been reduced a good bit so its important to consider that too. All-in-all I think the changes help Devastator as a viable title but IMO relay still makes it a very risky choice in competitive play, its still too many points in one ship where 2 or 3 transports running in different directions can push 4-6 bombers every turn till you die.

 

 squadrons actually turn out to be a strong benefit for Devastator, as you get lots of small attacks that you can use your defense tokens on constructively.  If you then destroy the carriers,  your opponent is left scrambling to get the fighters reactivated. 

Again,  Devastator like all combat ships works best in tandem with another threat, because to focus down Devastator you need to dedicate all your power to it, leaving the other threat relatively unharmed.  If they pivot to the new threat,  Devastator instead gets another big shot and likely removes a another ship from the board. 

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3 minutes ago, thecactusman17 said:

 squadrons actually turn out to be a strong benefit for Devastator, as you get lots of small attacks that you can use your defense tokens on constructively.  If you then destroy the carriers,  your opponent is left scrambling to get the fighters reactivated. 

Again,  Devastator like all combat ships works best in tandem with another threat, because to focus down Devastator you need to dedicate all your power to it, leaving the other threat relatively unharmed.  If they pivot to the new threat,  Devastator instead gets another big shot and likely removes a another ship from the board. 

Which is why I said "the challenge is that you have to threaten more than 1 asset on the same round" which is generally great advice for any Armada strategy. I have to agree with the OP however, and from my own experience, that you shouldn't "burn" devastators defense tokens but actually use them intelligently and effectively, but perhaps more liberally. In some games I found that when I burned tokens inefficiently rather than mitigate damage the resulting exposure meant devastator and its big point investment was inevitably focused down. This is FINE in casual play where winning by 1 point is still winning so whatever (since devastator will usually manage to "earn itself back") but in competitive play MOV is just too important and a good player will very skillfully focus it down to minimize its effectiveness. A dedicated bomber ball plus some moderate long/medium range ship supporting fire can easily kill a tokenless ISD in one round.

It really is a finely tuned skill to get rid of tokens quick enough to power up but not so quick that you are focus-fodder. 

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Cactusman is the OP!

Devestator was an interesting option the whole time, but it wasn't a high-tier card like pre-FAQ Demolisher and Rhymer were. There's a reason you didn't see it more often, and why it's a novelty that Cactus decided to specialize in. Now that those two options are gone players are looking at other cards trying to find something powerful, and here we are with Devestator.

The only reason Devestator didn't work against the old Ackbar lists I imagine is because Ackbar could still out-dice it on the approach (which is how I stopped Cactus' Devestator in our last tournament together: CF Slaved Turret ARQs opening fire with Vader and maintaining distance).

 

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1 hour ago, Norsehound said:

Cactusman is the OP!

Devestator was an interesting option the whole time, but it wasn't a high-tier card like pre-FAQ Demolisher and Rhymer were. There's a reason you didn't see it more often, and why it's a novelty that Cactus decided to specialize in. Now that those two options are gone players are looking at other cards trying to find something powerful, and here we are with Devestator.

The only reason Devestator didn't work against the old Ackbar lists I imagine is because Ackbar could still out-dice it on the approach (which is how I stopped Cactus' Devestator in our last tournament together: CF Slaved Turret ARQs opening fire with Vader and maintaining distance).

 

OP means "original post" or "original poster" depending on context. specifically I was seconding this statement: "And after careful testing, I have found a fundamental truth:  Devastator’s ability to trade defense for offense only works when it uses its defense tokens to defend itself as effectively and completely as possible."

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9 hours ago, Hastatior said:

I have to agree with the OP however

You said this in response to Cactusman, who is the original poster. *shrug*

 

8 hours ago, Blail Blerg said:

Are slaved turrets arkittens good at what they do? 

Whats the best turbo also. Slaved for price?  X17? Enhanced armaments? 

The point here is to get the most bang out of your buck out of a small ship. Apart from CR-90s packing TRCs, ARQs are... probably the most dangerous for their size in what they do. Slaved turrets (or enhanced armaments) allows you to inflate a broadside to 4+1 dice with CF. Vader lets you re-roll it. Jonus lets you flip one die, no matter the face, to an accuracy. I pack three of them firing a lot of dice and they're reasonably survivable when stuff starts to shoot back. The point is to throw as much damage on the target as possible as soon as it gets into long range, and maintain that range. I think the only other ships that can do that without ackbar is maybe the A/F... for more points. The crazy 2-click turn at the end of a speed run allows you to circle-strafe pretty well.

I think ARQs do best with the added die out of a turbolaser... DTTs are your go-to if you're pinched on points but want the second attack enabled. But I pass on them because I want to keep the die I'm adding, and so far I've been able to modify all of my dice to actually generate results.

We should move the discussion to a thread I made discussing this list, but to circle back to Cactus' Devestator: With the ship numbers I had I was able to bait Devestator into range of at least two of my ARQs, which fired and flew away. Then as first player I can keep firing and flying away, trying to maintain distance (long if possible) so I can wait for him to get itno range, target with maximum firepower, and then keep the distance. The problem is trying to make such a move with the ARQs, but it would be a tossup between feeling safe with concentrate fire or banking navigate commands to stay mobile. It depends on how dead Devestator is, or how few defense tokens it has.

I mentioned earlier how it's a race between Devestator killing your ships with the super advantage and you knocking out a token-less Devestator. In this case, I was able to knock out Devestator (in spite of Motti hanging out on a Gozanti), but Demolisher returned to play after destroying a flotilla to finish off one of the ARQs. It was the only loss in that list I think, because his shuttles and Valen weren't much contest against a reasonable fighter selection.

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5 minutes ago, Norsehound said:

You said this in response to Cactusman, who is the original poster. *shrug*

 

The point here is to get the most bang out of your buck out of a small ship. Apart from CR-90s packing TRCs, ARQs are... probably the most dangerous for their size in what they do. Slaved turrets (or enhanced armaments) allows you to inflate a broadside to 4+1 dice with CF. Vader lets you re-roll it. Jonus lets you flip one die, no matter the face, to an accuracy. I pack three of them firing a lot of dice and they're reasonably survivable when stuff starts to shoot back. The point is to throw as much damage on the target as possible as soon as it gets into long range, and maintain that range. I think the only other ships that can do that without ackbar is maybe the A/F... for more points. The crazy 2-click turn at the end of a speed run allows you to circle-strafe pretty well.

I think ARQs do best with the added die out of a turbolaser... DTTs are your go-to if you're pinched on points but want the second attack enabled. But I pass on them because I want to keep the die I'm adding, and so far I've been able to modify all of my dice to actually generate results.

We should move the discussion to a thread I made discussing this list, but to circle back to Cactus' Devestator: With the ship numbers I had I was able to bait Devestator into range of at least two of my ARQs, which fired and flew away. Then as first player I can keep firing and flying away, trying to maintain distance (long if possible) so I can wait for him to get itno range, target with maximum firepower, and then keep the distance. The problem is trying to make such a move with the ARQs, but it would be a tossup between feeling safe with concentrate fire or banking navigate commands to stay mobile. It depends on how dead Devestator is, or how few defense tokens it has.

I mentioned earlier how it's a race between Devestator killing your ships with the super advantage and you knocking out a token-less Devestator. In this case, I was able to knock out Devestator (in spite of Motti hanging out on a Gozanti), but Demolisher returned to play after destroying a flotilla to finish off one of the ARQs. It was the only loss in that list I think, because his shuttles and Valen weren't much contest against a reasonable fighter selection.

the shuttles and Valen actually locked yours down fairly well for several turns (jonus being the obvious exception).  You are right though, if you can get the Devastator on the wrong foot for tanking damage it is in deep trouble.

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I'v had success with Devastator in my current CC I run it on an ISD-I with spinal and gunnery with Vader also tua and ECM. I tend to use it in a way that I use up two of my tokens relatively quickly mainly the contain and one of the redirects, that  lets me add two blue dice and I have had a lot cases where I would take the short rang shot with the heavy hitting ISD-I dice, then shot like an ISD-II at my medium range target it provides nice flexibility with dice, I particulrly like it on an ISD-I for the dice flexibility. 

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Ok Devastator fans, can you help me with this list before I use it so I don't get tabled?

Lord Vader's All-Out Offensive fleet     
Author: ImperialCaptain2017

Faction: Galactic Empire    
Points: 399/400      
Commander: Darth Vader

Assault Objective: Advanced Gunnery    
Defense Objective: Hyperspace Assault    
Navigation Objective: Minefields    


[ flagship ] Imperial II-Class Star Destroyer (120 points)
-  Darth Vader     ( 36     points) 
-  Devastator     ( 10     points) 
-  Reinforced Blast Doors     ( 5     points) 
-  X17 Turbolasers     ( 6     points) 
= 177 total ship cost


Victory II-Class Star Destroyer (85 points)
-  Captain Needa     ( 2     points) 
-  Disposable Capacitors     ( 3     points) 
-  Quad Battery Turrets     ( 5     points) 
-  Leading Shots     ( 4     points) 
= 99 total ship cost


Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 points)
-  Comms Net     ( 2     points) 
= 25 total ship cost


Raider-I Class Corvette (44 points)
-  Instigator     ( 4     points) 
-  Agent Kallus     ( 3     points) 
= 51 total ship cost


1    TIE Advanced Squadron ( 12 points) 
1    Soontir Fel ( 18 points) 
1    Ciena Ree ( 17 points) 

 

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55 minutes ago, ImperialCaptain2017 said:

Ok Devastator fans, can you help me with this list before I use it so I don't get tabled?

Lord Vader's All-Out Offensive fleet     
Author: ImperialCaptain2017

Faction: Galactic Empire    
Points: 399/400      
Commander: Darth Vader

Assault Objective: Advanced Gunnery    
Defense Objective: Hyperspace Assault    
Navigation Objective: Minefields    


[ flagship ] Imperial II-Class Star Destroyer (120 points)
-  Darth Vader     ( 36     points) 
-  Devastator     ( 10     points) 
-  Reinforced Blast Doors     ( 5     points) 
-  X17 Turbolasers     ( 6     points) 
= 177 total ship cost


Victory II-Class Star Destroyer (85 points)
-  Captain Needa     ( 2     points) 
-  Disposable Capacitors     ( 3     points) 
-  Quad Battery Turrets     ( 5     points) 
-  Leading Shots     ( 4     points) 
= 99 total ship cost


Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 points)
-  Comms Net     ( 2     points) 
= 25 total ship cost


Raider-I Class Corvette (44 points)
-  Instigator     ( 4     points) 
-  Agent Kallus     ( 3     points) 
= 51 total ship cost


1    TIE Advanced Squadron ( 12 points) 
1    Soontir Fel ( 18 points) 
1    Ciena Ree ( 17 points) 

 

Never minefields unless you have a tool by which to move them.  Any opposing force with Lambdas or VCXs is going to put those on your ISD or VSD rapidly.

Aside from this, your primary issue is that You're going to lose Darth Vader on the Devastator.  Place him on the Raider so he can avoid going down with his already very expensive ship.

Finally, Gunnery Teams is really useful for both your Star Destroyers.  The ISD because Devastator wants to take out multiple enemy ships whenever possible, the VSD because you're only going to get that Disposable Capacitors for one turn, so better to use it on as many ships as possible.  Also, Needa isn't doing much good there because you have to lose your valuable redundant tokens on a ship that already has trouble tanking hull damage.  A Gladiator or MC30 Torpedo frigate will likely remove that brace immediately and strip your shields off, don't let them take your ability to redirect away because you're essentially cutting off a third of your damage ablation.

Edited by thecactusman17

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