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Star Wars: Imperial Tactics Episode V: Tie Strikers

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STAR WARS: IMPERIAL TACTICS EPISODE V: TIE STRIKERS 

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Ok pilots! Welcome back. As always, I am not an expert authority on X-Wing. Just inviting people to discuss a specific ship. Slightly different format this time out since the Strikers have considerably fewer upgrade options worth discussing. Tie Strikers are a great example of how not every ship needs to be able to do everything to be fun. Sometimes they just need to do a couple things that make them feel unique. 

FFG_Fantasy_Flight_Games_X_Wing_Tie_Stri

Hit Crit Overview:

  • Hit:

    • Free Pre-Maneuver Boost

    • Low Point Cost

    • 3 Attack

    • Very Fast, Very Fun

    • Evade Action

    • Great for Blocking

  • Crit:

    • No Shields

    • No Target Lock

    • No Autothrusters

    • 2 Agility

    • Edge of the Board

Pilot Cards:

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Dial:

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COUNTDOWN: 

General Tips

  • Solid Blocker. He can roll right up into Range 1 of a 5-6 dice Rey/Finn and walk away on 3 hull provided something else does not shoot him that same round.

  • Wingman or Captain Yorr can take 1 stress off him to help with multiple shots

  • Melts under TLT attacks like most Strikers. Vulnerable to focus fire in general

  • Great list filler at base 20 pts

Modification

  • No Modification

    • Often the best thing for your list is to just run Adaptive Alerons only

  • Hull Upgrade

    • Increases the # of rounds you can make use of Countdowns pilot ability

  • Target Computer

    • Decent option since he is less dependent on LWF to survive

    • With how dependent Imperials are on Kylo Crits, Target Locks are always useful

    • Roll up to Range 1 on something you typically would fear and take a 4 dice TL shot

  • Light Weight Frames

    • Adds an Extra Green Dice if your attacker has more than 2 Red Dice

    • Useful on Countdown since it can help you avoid having to take a stress to mitigate damage

    • You can use Palpatine on the additional agility after your first 2 green dice are rolled

  • Twin Ion Engines

    • Not a bad option for 1 pt.

    • You will definitely be stressed often with Countdown so 4 more green banks are helpful

  • Engine Upgrade

    • 4 pts is a lot to put on countdown, but the combination of Adaptive Alerons before movement & boost after movement allows for tons of maneuverability and set up

    • Can be the difference between catching a key block and getting a caught at the wrong range, etc.  

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PURE SABACC:

General Tips

  • 4 dice makes Sabacc a fragile priority target for your opponent

  • Take advantage of that with other “priority” targets in your list like Whisper or Vader etc.

  • Don’t overload Sabacc since he will usually be destroyed in the early game

  • Range 3 is a great place to be with 4 red dice and a target lock, use those bank boosts and hard 1 turns and fly away if necessary to set up a preferred attack

  • Don’t feel like you need to always fly nervous with Sabacc. Keeping those 4 red dice is less about the damage output and more about what your opponent “isnt” shooting at instead of Sabacc in the early rounds.

  • Like the Kylo Upsilon sometimes all you want to do is challenge your opponent to make a bad target priority decision.

EPT Upgrade:

  • Veteran Instincts / Adaptability

    • Bumping up to PS7 or PS8 is useful against a # of ships

  • A Score To Settle

    • Probably my favorite EPT on Sabacc, helps with Kylo Crit generation

  • Crackshot

    • A great option since again Sabacc is going down in a ball of fire early

    • Might as well make the most of the handful of attacks you are going to get.

    • Nice value for 1pt

  • Trick Shot

    • This comes down to player skill but if you can shoot from behind some rocks and add +1 to both your red and green dice you can set up a favorable engagement.

  • Wired

    • With 1 pt you can reroll focus results while stressed, opens up your dial to those Red Sloops and the K Turn which can be very helpful.

  • Intensity

    • Being able to barrel roll & assign an evade can keep you at 4 dice for 1 more round

  • Juke

    • Taking an evade can keep you on the table a little bit longer and Juke functions like a less reliable Crackshot. Not an ideal EPT for Sabacc but has its uses

  • Lone Wolf

    • This can be kind of fun with Sabacc. Basically send him out on a solo flanking mission.

    • Staying at range 3 see if your opponent is “ok” with ignoring a 4 dice focus modified shot with 1 reroll on def/offense

  • Swarm Leader

    • With 2 other ships rocking Intensity or Evades nearby in very rare ultimately contrived circumstances you can get Sabacc up to 6 dice for one glorious first shot with a TL.

  • Opportunist

    • At PS6 Sabacc might be the last of your 3 ships to fire. 4 pts is way too much but it does give you 1 more red dice. Only worth it if you can also modify it.

  • Expertise

    • To many pts for sabacc but paired with a 2 point Targeting Computer Mod, can do some serious damage early. Problem is you will only get to enjoy that for maybe 1-2 rounds. 28 pts could get you Omega Leader or Backdraft instead

Modification

  • No Modification

    • Keeping Sabacc’s pt cost super low is always a smart play.

    • Just put him on the table with a Score to Settle or Adaptability and maximize your list

  • Target Computer

    • My preferred Mod for Sabacc. Especially with a Score to Settle as a mini focus token

    • Paired with Push the Limit you can “turn off” adaptive alerons intentionally for the next round and enjoy a fully modified 4 dice shot early on.

  • Light Weight Frames

    • Same comments as I had for countdown except here LWF helps you keep that 1 damage card away. Overall 1 more green dice is not as helpful as you might hope.

  • Engine Upgrade

    • 4 pts is a bit expensive…..but this greatly increases your speed. Lets you really control your distance from an opponent and approach with Sabacc on your own terms.

  • Shield Upgrade

    • Overpriced. Protecting 1 additional red dice with 4 pts is probably hurting something else

  • Stealth Device

    • Puts you at 25 pts before an EPT so probably a bit to many pts here

    • Still there is something satisfying about a 4, 3, 4, 0 stat line in the early game with Sabacc. Looks better than it is.

    • If your smart about staying at Range 3 you have 4 agility. Trouble is you are not getting that 4th green dice against TLT.

    • Maybe something here if you make good use of Trick Shot and stay behind some rocks

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DUCHESS

General Tips

  • With a pilot skill advantage Duchess can arc dodge with the best of them….the problem is she doesn't get autothrusters and cant avoid TLT or PWTs that well.

  • Gets significantly better as your skill with Adaptive Alerons improves. Of all the Strikers Duchess is the best equipped to stay at the range of your choosing. Do not joust, save that for Countdown.  

  • The option to “ignore” Adaptive Alerons really opens up all sorts of approaches that the other two named strikers don't enjoy.

EPT Upgrade:

  • Veteran Instincts / Adaptability

    • Probably the default choice made by most players

    • For a long time I just assumed I needed Duchess at PS10 for her to be useful. It can be very potent in combination with a palped kylo crit and initiative bid on Nym.

    • Its great for the pts but you can’t dodge turrets and if you are depending on a few early game Damaged Cockpit Kylo Crits for other stuff in your list, PS8 suddenly looks just fine and other EPTs start to seem more attractive.

  • Lone Wolf 

    • A legitimate option paired with LWF. 

    • Probably my favorite way to fly Duchess since PS10 just doesn't help all that much

  • The rest of the options are very similar to what was listed for Sabacc

Modification

  • No Modification

    • Repeat from above, keep those pts low with Strikers

  • Target Computer

    • Having a TL with Duchess is nice but better alternatives present themselves the closer you get to 27 pts. 

  • Light Weight Frames

    • Mainly here for protection against Turrets since you should be relying on your high PS to avoid being in your opponent's forward arc with Duchess

  • Engine Upgrade

    • Absolutely one of the most fun upgrades for Duchess. PS10 with this is pure joy.

    • One on One with Fenn Rau for instance Duchess does w/e she wants

    • To many points to make sense but use this in a casual game for sure

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Favorite Wingmen

  • Whisper and Quickdraw

    • Throw rebel captive on Whisper and VI on Quickdraw

    • Then bring countdown along for the ride and go for blocks on those big base ships

    • Presents some poor options in terms of target priority.

  • Patrol Leader - Decimator

    • Throw General Hux on there with Operations Spec and bring 3x Imperial Trainees along for the ride! Good no. Fun yes.Seen some similarly fun mixes with a fully loaded Tie Defender as well.

  • Major Stridan

    • System Officer, FCS, and Targeting Synch gives Sabacc and Duchess the TLs they so desperately need.

  • Captain Yorr

    • You can fit as many as 4x Imperial Trainees with Yorr

    • Or all 3 named Striker Pilots with Kylo on Yorr.

    • Opens you up to all those glorious 2 speed sloops and K-Turns

  • Starkiller Base Pilot

    • Similar to the shuttle but here you can afford to bring a fully loaded QD, Whisper, or Vader with A Score To Settle + TL Sabacc

    • Fun to have 3 ships with 4 dice rolling into the initial engagement praying for some PS0s

  • Gunner Whisper with Swarm Leader Duchess & Opportunist Sabacc

    • Not consistent but the idea here is to create a odd early game alpha strike.

    • Whisper strips tokens with Gunner

    • Duchess takes 2 evades from Whisper/Sabacc for a 5 dice TL shot

    • Sabacc uses Opportunist for another 5 dice TL shot

  • Strongly suggest people check out this thread for an idea of how cool Tie Striker Swarms can be in practice:

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Questions for the Experts:

  • Have you been able to come up with any Near Meta Quality lists that include a named Tie Striker? 

  • Any specific general tips for those of us who keep flying strikers off the board by accident?

  • How do you help Strikers deal with the overwhelming force of TLT and Bombs? Are the only options against those basically Kylo Ren or Striker Swarms attacking from all angles?

Thanks for reading!

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Previous Episodes:

Edited by Boom Owl

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Actually, lightweight frame does grant a fourth green die at range 3 when you are facing a 4 dice attack, such as from Kath's rear arc at range 3 or the Upsilon shuttle.  That extra die can mean survival, especially if you have Palpatine.  In order for Lightweight to kick in, you only need to have less green dice than red dice.  

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18 minutes ago, shadowswalker said:

Actually, lightweight frame does grant a fourth green die at range 3 when you are facing a 4 dice attack, such as from Kath's rear arc at range 3 or the Upsilon shuttle.  That extra die can mean survival, especially if you have Palpatine.  In order for Lightweight to kick in, you only need to have less green dice than red dice.  

Thank you! Corrected it. 

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It also means that it doesn't work in quite a few situations where it's a 2-dice attack: Accuracy Corrector/Twin Laser Turret, for example, drops all dice and replaces them with two hits - meaning not only do you need 2 evades, but you need them without lightweight frame to boot.

Miranda doni's "weak" shot option is annoying for the same reason.

Other thoughts:

  • Predator - cheaper than expertise and works on a segnor's loop.
  • Adrenaline Rush-  being able to segnor, focus, and still use your ailerons next turn. Great for a 1-point discard!

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29 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

It also means that it doesn't work in quite a few situations where it's a 2-dice attack: Accuracy Corrector/Twin Laser Turret, for example, drops all dice and replaces them with two hits - meaning not only do you need 2 evades, but you need them without lightweight frame to boot.

Miranda doni's "weak" shot option is annoying for the same reason.

Other thoughts:

  • Predator - cheaper than expertise and works on a segnor's loop.
  • Adrenaline Rush-  being able to segnor, focus, and still use your ailerons next turn. Great for a 1-point discard!

I had no idea that cancelling dice had an effect on LWF! Neat! I will remember this in the future! 

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But more to the point. I am not an imperial player, but I have faced strikers on numerous of occations. 

While I do see your argument for the targeting computer, I disagree that LWF does not keep them alive. 
I have one shot pure sabaccs so many times without them, where they have been infuriatingly dodgy with LWF. It is only one dice, but it can really do a world of difference. 

Also I detect a certain bias towards Kylo :-D 
.. Is he prominent where you play? I haven't faced him/seen anyone play him on vassal or at home for quite a while. 

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Been playing this for a while now:

"Duchess" (23)
Veteran Instincts (1)
Adaptive Ailerons (0)

Countess Ryad (34)
Juke (2)
TIE/x7 (-2)

"Whisper" (32)
Veteran Instincts (1)
Fire-Control System (2)
Weapons Engineer (3)
Advanced Cloaking Device (4)

It kinda works as Duchess outplays Dash and Fenn and makes the Miranda threat more manageable.

Ryad + Juke is a monster, mvp every time.

Whisper with WE can switch targets without dropping damage output, bump, k-turn for the kill...

One variant was Trickshot Sabacc and stay at 98pts but I find Dash very annoying. 

Strikers are super fun, kudos FFG ??

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Strikers are my favorite ship!! I love whizzing around the battlefield, setting up blocks, making strafing runs, and all sorts of other great stuff. Definitely check out the Striker battle reports in that subforum, there is a wealth of information there, too.

I have a lot of love for almost every single pilot of this ship. The base pilot is the best for swarms, black squadron scouts with predator are one of my favorite ships because you can maneuver all over the place, barrel rolling and slooping and still get your offensive mods. The named pilots are all great, too.

 

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With some support, TiE striker generics are actually pretty great- as you said,  in capable hands, they can arc dodge with the best of them, and 4 hull is not bad. Especially when you are able to force your opponent to spread his damage around for a couple rounds you'll enjoy quite a while of buttloads of red dice.

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8 minutes ago, DampfGecko said:

With some support, TiE striker generics are actually pretty great- as you said,  in capable hands, they can arc dodge with the best of them, and 4 hull is not bad. Especially when you are able to force your opponent to spread his damage around for a couple rounds you'll enjoy quite a while of buttloads of red dice.

This.

The Good:

  • Tough enough that they're hard to one-shot
  • 3-dice attack
  • Able to get a 'boost' analogue without giving up tokens, without needing EPTs
  • Able to keep up with boosting large ships
  • Able to fit 5 generics in a squad, a kitted-out ace in a '3rd ship' slot, or 3 'pocket aces' rather than 2 'proper aces' in an imperial aces list.

The Bad:

  • Minimum speed 3
  • Tightest turn is a 1 bank plus a 1 turn, no 'pure' 1 turn.
  • Very stress sensitive
  • Very bad green dial
  • No faster in a dead run than a TIE fighter
  • Very vulnerable at long range (because of lightweight frame stopping working when obscured or at range 3)

I think they're great little ships. They're one of the only ships I can think of where every pilot sees regular play and has a genuine advantage over every other.

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5 hours ago, ModernPenguin said:

But more to the point. I am not an imperial player, but I have faced strikers on numerous of occations. 

While I do see your argument for the targeting computer, I disagree that LWF does not keep them alive. 
I have one shot pure sabaccs so many times without them, where they have been infuriatingly dodgy with LWF. It is only one dice, but it can really do a world of difference. 

Also I detect a certain bias towards Kylo :-D 
.. Is he prominent where you play? I haven't faced him/seen anyone play him on vassal or at home for quite a while. 

Appreciate the comment on LWF, I agree they can help but they also have a good chance of being completely irrelevant on defense.

Which is a nice lead into the Kylo bias comment and question.

He is just one of 5 core foundational game mechanics for the entire Imperial Faction. The second being Palp. The third being green dice variance and low health. The fourth being High pilot skill. The fifth being swarms.

The faction has exactly 2 turret platforms and no ship with a 180 arc.

Flying Imperial ships is an exercise in either having to destroy a turret early, swarm it, or save your tokens for the green dice variance god.

I have no hard feelings against Turrets, I use RAC to. Its just that a large # of Imp ships do not have the health to consistently survive under the pressure of TLT ( not even RAC can survive multiple) or 3-4 dice primary turret shots, or Bossk splitting crits, or Norra and Rey adding hits to take 5-6 dice shots.

Many Imperial ships particularly the named Strikers without a swarm need at least 1 or 2 rounds of combat where they get some "breathing room" from the constant turret shots or frequent 4+ red dice attacks. Especially since they also have to defend against bombs, sabine, and auto dmg.

Kylo Ren Crew and the Shuttle are the Imperial equivalent to Biggs.

It allows you to use pretty much he entire faction when building lists and it opens up alternatives to Swarms, Tie Defenders, Tie SFs, and RAC simply by blinding or PS0ing your opponent. It increases your lists health. The same way that Biggs/Low combos increase Mirandas health. Or any formation really. Or how many Rebel/Scum lists start with more health and similar amts of agility.

Kylo is a critical game mechanic for the overall balance of the faction as it allows forward and rear onl arc ships of which the imps have mamy to "dodge" a low agility high health turret shot and alpha strikes. 

This is key against a large # of Rebel and Scum ships which consistently arc dodge while firing turrets, or 2 ship lists that are both turret platforms. Less helpful against 3x anything really especially with Biggs out there.

Kylo also matters against high PS imperial lists which can cause similiar situations if they have a movement and shot advantage on you. It allows you to balance that engagement as well with a bit of luck. Especially for Alpha strikes where it can be the difference betwen one 3 green dice defending against 2 cruise missile shots instead of 3. 

Bottom line "Imperial Tactics" are attached at the hip with Kylo Ren Crew, Palpatine, and Aces. A fact FFG is doubling down on with the Silencer. 

Are there other ways to win with Imps against certain match ups? Absolutely. 

Its just that Kylo Ren makes it possible to also consistenly enjoy flying a whole bunch of other ships without having to default to a smaller set of list combos like 2x SFs + OL or Vess, 3x PS10+ Alpha Aces, 4x TLT Aggressors, Palp Shuttle 2x Aces, Swarms, etc and a small handfull of other options which are variations that still struggle in the face of Miranda/Nym/Jumps.

Please dont interpret this to mean that Imps cant win without Kylo Ren they can and they do its just a limited set of lists that can do that and an even smaller set of ships. 

If your not an Imperial Player, Biggs or Regen really is the best analogy I can think of to offer context for why Kylo Crew matters. It really should see more play in all formats, from "specific" casual matchups, all the way up to worlds. 

Think of how Biggs lets you fly Wedge without R2D2 in a current meta casual game. Thats how I view Kylo and Duchess for example. Kylo even might make Mid PS Calculation swarms viable against some bad matchups.

Its all about them matchups.

Edited by Boom Owl

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I've been in love with the Striker since launch. I was crushed and angry when they priced the Black Squadron pilot at 20 instead of 19 BECAUSE GOD FORBID FFG GIVE US SWARMS BACK WITH THESE 50-POINT-FORTRESSES TAKING TIES OFF THE BOARD EVERY TURN. 

Anyway, still wanting to play them, I have been getting reps with a Black Crack variant I call Chicken Sandwich:

TIE Striker: Black Squadron Scout (20)
     Crack Shot (1)
     Lightweight Frame (2)
     Adaptive ailerons (0)
TIE Striker: Black Squadron Scout (20)
     Crack Shot (1)
     Lightweight Frame (2)
     Adaptive ailerons (0)
TIE Striker: Black Squadron Scout (20)
     Crack Shot (1)
     Lightweight Frame (2)
     Adaptive ailerons (0)
TIE Fighter: Black Squadron Pilot (14)
     Crack Shot (1)
TIE Fighter: Black Squadron Pilot (14)
     Crack Shot (1)
-- TOTAL ------- 99/100p. --

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Oh boom owl I do not dispute how good Kylo is for imperials, Kylo was prophesied to bring the empire out of darkness.  And it really can bring them out, but I just haven't seen it lately. 

The empire is more about triple alpha aces or palp aces than Kylo shuttle and ace on the higher levels of play. 

 

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Love these posts!

I disagree on the mod slot - the only alternative to LWF is saving the two points. I see it way above all alternatives!

Many EPTs are great for Strikers: Expertise, Predator, Lone Wolf, Juke, Crackshot, Veteran Instinct, ASTS, Adaptability or Trickshot. Depending on points and squad of course. But a Expertise, LWF and ASTS stand out to me as best choices.

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2 hours ago, ModernPenguin said:

Oh boom owl I do not dispute how good Kylo is for imperials, Kylo was prophesied to bring the empire out of darkness.  And it really can bring them out, but I just haven't seen it lately. 

The empire is more about triple alpha aces or palp aces than Kylo shuttle and ace on the higher levels of play. 

 

I was generally referring to Kylo Ren crew on a Lamda, Upsilon, Bomber, or Deci. 

Guess what I was trying to say is I think the crew has just as much value on Yorr/OCP or Starkiller right now as even Palp in some cases. Paired with 2 cruise aces at PS10+ its not RAC/Kylo quality but its still decent. 

And it definitely allows for all kinds fun combos that work against a low green dice 2 ship turret meta. For me.... dropping in 3x Named Strikers with Kylo/Baffle Yorr is also great fun with casual games and lucky rolls. This is the kind stuff I find the "Kylo" Crew card allows. :)

It is not "top level good" without QD/Vader but it can definitely mess with some 1 and 2 green dice ships.

 
Edited by Boom Owl

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