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The Gunboat experience so far

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So, like the madman (OR AM I) I am, I got 4 of the GLORIOUS GUNBOATS to complement my strictly Imperial forces (NO REBEL OR SCUM PLAGUING MAH BATTLE BOX!!).

I managed to get two games in with my gaming buddy who flies Rebel(scum) exclusively.

So, his list is made up of Rey with Expertise, that stupid title, the even stupider crew (Kanan Jarrus), and the other stupid crew (Finn). Flying alongside da fowce user is a Resistance Sympathizer with Guidance Chimps, Concussion Missiles and Chopper(crew).

The list isn't exactly setting the world on fire, but he knows it like the back of his hand and flies it a lot. Two turrets with fairly consistent mods is fairly scary. (BUT NOT TO THE GLORIOUS GUNBOATS!)

I flew, of course, 3 Rho Squadron Veterans equipped with Crackshot, the XG-1 title, Heavy Laser Cannon, Linked Battery and Long Range Scanners. This list funnily enough gives 4 points leftover, but I had no clue how to spend them so I just took the initiative bid.

I won't go into the nitty gritty details of both battles, but I lost the first (barely, Rey had 1 health and the Sympathizer had 3) and won the second game in 15 minutes, only losing 2 shields off of one Gunboat.

I came away from the games with a few thoughts.

1. Biophysical is TOTALLY correct, HLC GUNBOATS deliver one heck of a punch. With Linked Battery for the odd reroll and LRS for a safety net against whiffs, you can consistently get 3-4 hits each time.

2. GUNBOATS look stunning flying in formation, (also my phone keeps auto correcting Gunboat to all caps) the model is gorgeous, and will look even better once I paint them MY way (muahaha)

3. Don't let anything get behind you. Holy cow, the lack of a K-turn hurts on the GUNBOAT, once or twice in the first game Rey and her copilot got behind my squadron and it was very difficult to bring my guns around.

I don't know how well GUNBOATS are against the horribly scum ridden meta, but I have faith for them, much more so than I did for the Aggressor. The ability to consistently bring 4 hits/crits THREE times is huge, even with a mediocre dial, as long as you swing them the right way and use asteroids to your advantage, I think the GUNBOAT has a place in the meta.

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I think the Gunboats are going to be a fantastic mainstay of my Imperial lists. Probably only the generics though which is a bit sad. 

Ran twin HLC's with Kylo and it was very strong. 

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The HLC definitely has a place (whether it will actually shake up the meta, I don't know), but I think what came out of Austin is the one thing no one was talking about: Gunboats without any of the titles, and only Harpoons and LRS. This makes them a mere 22 points (almost nothing), hit like a truck on the initial engagement, and then have the luxury to run away, reload, and come back for more since your opponent will need to deal with the other 78 points you took in your list. I really think, for 22 points, this guy is undercosted, and my hunch is that the playtested never tested the things without any of the titles, and so you could say this guy is at least 2 points undercosted. I will say this: If you have 22 points to spare in an Imperial list, this is the thing to fill it with, at this point. A TIE Bomber with EM is the same base cost as the Gunboat, and you get so much more from the SLAM and Reload. I really think generic Nus are here to stay for Imperial list-building. If all you have are gunboats, I think you'll run into the problem that they can't shake the enemy from their tail, but if you only have 1 or 2 and a more immediate threat (like Quickdraw), then they can run rampart. 

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18 minutes ago, SirCormac said:

The HLC definitely has a place (whether it will actually shake up the meta, I don't know), but I think what came out of Austin is the one thing no one was talking about: Gunboats without any of the titles, and only Harpoons and LRS. This makes them a mere 22 points (almost nothing), hit like a truck on the initial engagement, and then have the luxury to run away, reload, and come back for more since your opponent will need to deal with the other 78 points you took in your list. I really think, for 22 points, this guy is undercosted, and my hunch is that the playtested never tested the things without any of the titles, and so you could say this guy is at least 2 points undercosted. I will say this: If you have 22 points to spare in an Imperial list, this is the thing to fill it with, at this point. A TIE Bomber with EM is the same base cost as the Gunboat, and you get so much more from the SLAM and Reload. I really think generic Nus are here to stay for Imperial list-building. If all you have are gunboats, I think you'll run into the problem that they can't shake the enemy from their tail, but if you only have 1 or 2 and a more immediate threat (like Quickdraw), then they can run rampart. 

Absolutely agree.

I think the even more interesting question is if you have 26 points left over, do you take Omega Leader or the 22 point GUNBOAT with extra upgrades?

On the topic of letting things get behind you, I've only played two games so my experience is limited, but in the second game I didn't give my opponent a chance to do so. The fully modified and consistent HLCs just destroyed the enemy ships before they could even try it.

A few turns before the sympathizer died I stacked all my LRS locks onto it, so my opponent kinda panicked and broke off with the fake falcon, which allowed the GUNBOAT squadron to just unleash delicious green colored lazors upon its hull.

Obviously it's nowhere near the Jumpmaster during it's prime, but the alpha strike in the glorious things is hilarious.

Edited by Warlon
Apparently h e l l is a bad word here...

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22 minutes ago, Goseki1 said:

I think the Gunboats are going to be a fantastic mainstay of my Imperial lists. Probably only the generics though which is a bit sad. 

Ran twin HLC's with Kylo and it was very strong. 

Indeed!

The next time I play I'm actually entertaining the idea of dropping one Gunboat (heresy, I know) and instead giving Seismic Torpedoes to the other two and putting in the Inquisitor, either with his standard PTL loadout or an Expertise variant (which absolutely destroyed me in the last Regionals I went to) I know seismic torpedoes is one of those upgrades that is super interesting in concept but almost useless in gameplay, but I think with the lack of a K-turn on the GUNBOAT, and the only way to quickly turn around is two hard turns with SLAM which requires quite a bit of space (hehe, space pun...so a spun?), the upgrade might find a use. Obviously this requires testing, and I don't even own the card, so proxy it is!

I know some people have been trying out Lightning Reflexes, unfortunately I don't know the current mood about the card on the Gunboat, but I'm wanting to give it a try as soon as I can.

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3 minutes ago, Warlon said:

I think the even more interesting question is if you have 26 points left over, do you take Omega Leader or the 22 point GUNBOAT with extra upgrades?

Good question. I would say, at this point, it depends on your playstyle and the rest of your squad, but several people at Austin filled those 26 points with a Rho with VI. Whether you do VI or Crack, it is really nice to get above Lok Revenants so that you can PS kill them (or at least get your harpoon off before they kill you). I've played OL a good amount, and I respect him for what he does, but for me, if I have 26 points, the Rho is definitely something I'll consider. Right now, I fly with a 27 point Deathfire with Harpoons, LRS, EM, Clustermines, and I really, really love what that little guy does for my squad, but I will definitely play around with the gunboats and see what they can do.

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I just bought 2 Gunboats I know its to few but I just got a baby girl and won't be able to X-Wing until someday in the next year so I left some GUNBOATS in the shelf for people who can actually fly them now.

So the big questiion I have for GUNBOAT builds is: Should the second Cannon be a Linked Battery or a Flechette?

Edited by Hannes Solo

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2 minutes ago, SirCormac said:

Good question. I would say, at this point, it depends on your playstyle and the rest of your squad, but several people at Austin filled those 26 points with a Rho with VI. Whether you do VI or Crack, it is really nice to get above Lok Revenants so that you can PS kill them (or at least get your harpoon off before they kill you). I've played OL a good amount, and I respect him for what he does, but for me, if I have 26 points, the Rho is definitely something I'll consider. Right now, I fly with a 27 point Deathfire with Harpoons, LRS, EM, Clustermines, and I really, really love what that little guy does for my squad, but I will definitely play around with the gunboats and see what they can do.

Omega Leader is definitely good, but man that 2 dice attack really falls short, especially when you don't want to spend the TL to reroll those blanks that come up so often.

I suppose the "safer" option would be to pick Omega Leader, but in most of the games I've played with him/her/it, it didn't really give much in terms of damage. Granted, when it was just OL and one enemy ship more often than not the game was in my favor, but it ultimately fell to the other ships in the squad to deliver the pain.

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3 minutes ago, Hannes Solo said:

I just bought 2 Gunboats I know its to few but I just got a baby girl and won't be able to X-Wing until someday in the next year so I left some GUNBOATS in the shelf for people who can actually fly them now.

So the big questiion I have for GUNBOAT builds is: Should the second Cannon be a Linked Battery or a Flechette?

First; congrats on the baby girl! I fully expect her to be a loyal imperial GUNBOAT pilot when she's older!

As for your question, I really think Linked Battery is the way to go. My GUNBOATS didn't SLAM near as much as I thought they would, more often than not a simple turn or bank was enough to get me in a good position, or the second turn from the SLAM couldn't turn me around enough or I didn't have the room to do so.

With the XG-1 title you're mainly getting it so you can equip a cannon in the first place, the ability to fire through the WD token is just the little bit of sprinkles on your ice cream.

Now, if they had increased the point restriction to 3 you bet your bottom dollar that I'd be slapping Ion Cannons on those suckers and SLAM like crazy.

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Just now, Warlon said:

Omega Leader is definitely good, but man that 2 dice attack really falls short, especially when you don't want to spend the TL to reroll those blanks that come up so often.

I suppose the "safer" option would be to pick Omega Leader, but in most of the games I've played with him/her/it, it didn't really give much in terms of damage. Granted, when it was just OL and one enemy ship more often than not the game was in my favor, but it ultimately fell to the other ships in the squad to deliver the pain.

OL and the Rho serve opposite purposes, really. OL can 1v1 any ship in the game (except for Regen), he is one of the premier closers in the game (only problem is getting them there, and he has to kill what he is facing, or you'll lose on points.) The Rho (and the Nu) to me are much more alpha-strikers who then harass the enemy the rest of the game with the threat of more missiles. So gunboats help you get to the finish line, while OL wins at the finish. Personally, the way I build lists I've found I like that alpha striker early (which is why I fly Deathfire). If those points can take the heat off of my aces early, then I find that they bring me to the finish. OL is great, but he does too little damage early and is too hard to bring to the late game for my tastes.

 

7 minutes ago, Hannes Solo said:

I just bought 2 Gunboats I know its to few but I just got a baby girl and won't be able to X-Wing until someday in the next year so I left some GUNBOATS in the shelf for people who can actually fly them now.

So the big questiion I have for GUNBOAT builds is: Should the second Cannon be a Linked Battery or a Flechette?

This is probably something you'll need to test to see what your preference is. HLC gunboats have a natural weakness at Range 1, so the Flechette helps with that, and, of course, allows for slamming and shooting, if you are so inclined. I have found that Linked-HLC hits like a truck, though, especially if you have a focus, but if you use your LRS wisely, you might not actually need the Linked, and might gain more from the Flechette. Will need to play more.

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Yes, Itend to favor the LB too however my first goto list would be to NU-XG-1 HLC carriers alongside TIE/d-Ion-Vessery and the option for stress+ion seems something worth to consider too. decisions, so many decisions.

 

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So far, I've tried a mix of 22 point gunboats and an Academy Pilot, and found the missile ones to just be too awkward to get a second shot with to be worth it, and the SLAM-fire cannon ones to not hit hard enough.

But.

The Gunboat is the best generic HLC carrier in the game to date.  With Linked Batteries for 28 points it's a steal, with a 1 point discard EPT, either crack or lightning reflexes for 32 it's also very good.

The aces just aren't worth flying.

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6 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

So far, I've tried a mix of 22 point gunboats and an Academy Pilot, and found the missile ones to just be too awkward to get a second shot with to be worth it, and the SLAM-fire cannon ones to not hit hard enough.

But.

The Gunboat is the best generic HLC carrier in the game to date.  With Linked Batteries for 28 points it's a steal, with a 1 point discard EPT, either crack or lightning reflexes for 32 it's also very good.

The aces just aren't worth flying.

It always saddens me when I see named pilots who aren't fielded.

It's fairly easy to make a generic, you just give it an appropriate price, maybe an EPT and blank squadron veteran/leader/ace as the name.

For the names pilots these are skilled individuals who were good enough to be recognized with a name, and the designers have to come up with an ability to either match their name and backstory(if any) or just to sound cool.

For the extra 4 points in my list I wonder if Karasabi (I think that's the one) would be worth it, since you can't fire the HLC on SLAM turns it may be fruitful to bring him along.

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3 minutes ago, Malasombra said:

I'm willing to play HLC/Wired/Linked Karsabi, but i have to wait for Xmas presents... :/

I'm not looking for a competitive list ... Is her at least fun to play??

One extra thing I got from my games was that the GUNBOAT is extremely fun to fly.

Being an Imperial main I always dreaded when my opponent got a good attack roll, considering our ships are always so fragile. We either had to spend all our upgrades into making our ships impossible to hit and pray that we never rolled all blanks, or we spent minimum 40 points to have a flying brick of health.

In both games I played I was able to make extremely bold maneuvers with my squadron, at one point a lone Rho veteran and Rey we're staring at each other at range 2. For our average ship this would spell disaster, but the hardened Imperial pilot in the cockpit of the Gunboat just gave Rey the middle finger after her volley just barely scratched the paint off his vessel and replied with a barrage of fire from his heavy laser cannon.

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31 minutes ago, Warlon said:

It always saddens me when I see named pilots who aren't fielded.

It's fairly easy to make a generic, you just give it an appropriate price, maybe an EPT and blank squadron veteran/leader/ace as the name.

For the names pilots these are skilled individuals who were good enough to be recognized with a name, and the designers have to come up with an ability to either match their name and backstory(if any) or just to sound cool.

For the extra 4 points in my list I wonder if Karasabi (I think that's the one) would be worth it, since you can't fire the HLC on SLAM turns it may be fruitful to bring him along.

Of the two, Karsabi's the one who might be worth it, but he's STUPID expensive compared to a Rho.  The +3 points from the EPT generic then another +2 for Vynder is just wow.  It's not quite Major Rhymer levels of awful, but it's getting there, especially for Vynder's mediocre ability.

Karsabi might be worth it if you have three spare points though - his ability is actually useful.

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15 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

Of the two, Karsabi's the one who might be worth it, but he's STUPID expensive compared to a Rho.  The +3 points from the EPT generic then another +2 for Vynder is just wow.  It's not quite Major Rhymer levels of awful, but it's getting there, especially for Vynder's mediocre ability.

Karsabi might be worth it if you have three spare points though - his ability is actually useful.

Let's be honest, nothing will ever be as absurd as Major Rhymer. XD

As soon as the Gunboat was announced my first thought was "How many can I fit into a squad?" I don't think very many people were really hoping for the names pilots to be much better than the generics, we fly the GUNBOATS to see the glorious model and shout the name "Nu" or "Rho" whenever we emerge victorious.

I think the Major would have been super interesting if instead he rolled an additional attack die when he had the token, that way he synergizes with both of the titles, and if you don't take the titles you're using him for his PS. It's kinda like Rey and Finn, very rarely do you not see them together in a list, I think the same could have been done for the Major.

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28 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

Karsabi's the one who might be worth it, but he's STUPID expensive compared to a Rho.

True, but Wired means you don't really need linked battery, so you're saving a point there. You can definitely fit Karsabi into a Rho Rho Rho your boats list without skimping on the other ship's hardware.

Vynder is extortionately expensive - possibly useful if you must have a PS9 flechette SLAM-dogfighter, but I don't really see any worthwhile use for the major.

2 hours ago, Warlon said:

This list funnily enough gives 4 points leftover, but I had no clue how to spend them so I just took the initiative bid.

Since the initiative doesn't really do a generics squad much good, might I suggest an Ion Pulse Missile? If you really want Crack Shot rather than Lightning Reflexes (and I understand the punch it delivers) then being able to heavily tazer a large ship might be a good idea.

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I have played Gunboats and lost all matches. They suck.

Just can't freaking turn them around, can't fire when I need to (stupid token, who has invented this?) and they can't recharge shields.

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1 minute ago, Schu81 said:

I have played Gunboats and lost all matches. They suck.

Just can't freaking turn them around, can't fire when I need to (stupid token, who has invented this?) and they can't recharge shields.

You know, I used to think the same thing about Strikers, and then I figured out I just sucked at flying them.

Remember, Luke wasn't a master Jedi on the first day, you must have patience, young Padawan, and never resort to petty insults when something doesn't go your way :3

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1 hour ago, Warlon said:

One extra thing I got from my games was that the GUNBOAT is extremely fun to fly.

Being an Imperial main I always dreaded when my opponent got a good attack roll, considering our ships are always so fragile. We either had to spend all our upgrades into making our ships impossible to hit and pray that we never rolled all blanks, or we spent minimum 40 points to have a flying brick of health.

In both games I played I was able to make extremely bold maneuvers with my squadron, at one point a lone Rho veteran and Rey we're staring at each other at range 2. For our average ship this would spell disaster, but the hardened Imperial pilot in the cockpit of the Gunboat just gave Rey the middle finger after her volley just barely scratched the paint off his vessel and replied with a barrage of fire from his heavy laser cannon.

I think this is the thing that has made me happiest. The Gunboats are very hardy compared to most Imperial ships at a similar cost and it means they are a touch more forgiving to fly; and therefore more fun to fly! 

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