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The Elephant in the Room: how do you beat Kanan Fenn?

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11 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

You're also implying that it's trivial to block Rey , which it really isn't.  When she can 3-sloop left, 3-sloop right, do a 1 forward, or a 4 straight, there's no one position you can drop your Ghost in that covers all that ground.  And yes, you shouldn't be getting your Ghost into the position where it has to block all those possible moves - but Rey has the flexbility of dial to force you to.  You have to engage her sometime.

Not to mention the fast that if the Ghost decides to try and block Rey, that's good news for the Rey player.  SHE HAS A TURRET AND EXPERTISE.  If the Ghost blocks her, she's free to shoot Fenn without having to worry about taking return fire from the Ghost.

Honestly, if your strategy with Ghost/Fenn essentially prevents the Ghost (the list's big damage dealer) from shooting, then you're doing it rong.

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17 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

Fortunately, it's already in the FAQ.  Page 22.  At the bottom.  It's not 'my interpretation' of anything.  And even before this specific interaction was FAQed, it wasn't, and hasn't been since the timing chart came out more than a year ago.  When 'after attacking/defending' takes place has been very clear since then.

And Rey is happy to keep slooping in place in the clear areas, which if there's a nice cluster of 4 rocks, will be about half the board.  Stalemate.  Not to mention that a good Rey player will bring debris, which she can use to break up the dense rock clusters such that she can use Kanan to ignore about half of it and still get good shots without getting stressed, where the Ghost cannot move without losing its (crucial) actions. 

You're also implying that it's trivial to block Rey , which it really isn't.  When she can 3-sloop left, 3-sloop right, do a 1 forward, or a 4 straight, there's no one position you can drop your Ghost in that covers all that ground.  And yes, you shouldn't be getting your Ghost into the position where it has to block all those possible moves - but Rey has the flexbility of dial to force you to.  You have to engage her sometime.

It's by no means an unwinnable encounter for Fenn/Ghost, but it's definitely an uphill struggle.  The big things that Fenn/Ghost does are mitigating token-based dice modification, and doing consistent damage of their own.  Rey/Low has strong answers to both.  As do many other lists.

Fenn/Ghost is one of the best lists in the game at the moment, but it still has weaknesses to exploit.

And once again: anyone can win when their opponent plays worse than them.  Winning when they're not letting you is the trick.

That's what I get for not reading past the errata on each new FAQ. The thing is that Maul's ability isn't an "after attacking/defending" ability, it's checked "when the attack hits" which indicated to me that it occurred twice per TLT, but FFG says otherwise.

If Rey's satisfied to keep slooping in place, Kanan is perfactly satisfied to go in circles for the whole game. It'd be boring as all heck, but it ends with a final salvo in which Kanan/Fenn rolls 8 dice and Rey and her escort roll 6 max, so a very boring win for Kanan/Fenn.

On the contrary - if the Ghost is half a distance band outside or F3 of Rey, a conventional 4-straight blocks every single move Rey can make, save the hard turns that put her entirely in the wrong position. I just checked on Vassal. The Ghost can easily block 3 of the 4 options, which means the Rey player's only got a 25% chance of getting where they want her to be, at best. there are numerous approach angles from which Kanan can accomplish this, not to mention the benefits of having Fenn bump Rey as well, if at all possible. Rey's dial is really quite limited without the 5-straight or 3-hard turn.

I'd personally view it as a balanced encounter, with multiple possible strategies employable by both sides. I think the advantage is strongly in the Kanan camp though if that initial block is achieved.

Again, the key to beating Kanan/Fenn is Ion,Stress,Tractor and so on. It's not conventional lists, with conventional attack modifiers.

11 minutes ago, FTS Gecko said:

Not to mention the fast that if the Ghost decides to try and block Rey, that's good news for the Rey player.  SHE HAS A TURRET AND EXPERTISE.  If the Ghost blocks her, she's free to shoot Fenn without having to worry about taking return fire from the Ghost.

Honestly, if your strategy with Ghost/Fenn essentially prevents the Ghost (the list's big damage dealer) from shooting, then you're doing it rong.

Ry has an escorting ship, typically Lowhrick. If Kanan bump Rey he's free to pound the other ship, killing it in 2 turns maximum. If Fenn happens to be dead already, then bumping Rey becomes a truly excellent sstrategy.

35 minutes ago, SEApocalypse said:

So your list has again Maul, Ezra, Kanan and Engine Boost :D
I am just waiting that you say that the Syn-Turret on Range 1 will murder Rey :D

Yes, that Ghost-Fenn list is a lot more versatile than people make it sound, but each of them comes with unique weaknesses and strengths. Just throwing all strong points of the list together and than call it unbeatable is ... well. 104 point list when you mix all the good stuff together in one list. Either you have boost or you have Kanan or you give up on Maul/Ezra. Your $1 shop comparison with unbeatable prices comes again to mind. It's a scam. ;-)

Synced turret is kinda funny at this point in the meta... :D

The iteration I've been holding in mind is:

Kanan Jarrus (58)
VCX-100 (38), Ghost (0), Sensor Jammer (4), Twin Laser Turret (6), Ezra Bridger (3), Maul (3), Engine Upgrade (4)

Fenn Rau (24)
Sheathipede-class Shuttle (20), Adaptability (0), Hotshot Co-pilot (4)

“Zeb” Orrelios (18)
Attack Shuttle (18), Phantom (0)

Totalling 100 points.

Sure, it's the weakest of the variations against Poe and Kylo, but they're both not very pupular and kinda weak against the list anyway, so no dramas there.

 

 

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Fenn Rau without droid. Hard to get rid of the stress while keeping anything in arc. Might be one of the few variants which allows for killing the ghost first. At least if you have a list that can pull it off. Now at the other hand killing Fenn should be easy with those PS10 (with init bet) or PS 11 lists. 
Still, another variant with yet another fine print. Overall there seems to be not really a final form of that list. :)

Funny enough as mentioned elsewhere, Ace lists are spiking in meta-analyzer. I would assume based on the Nymranda change and Ghost-Fenn. :)

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5 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

And whilst the Ghost is killing Lowhhrick (which is more likely to be 3 rounds than 2) Rey and Lowhhrick are killing Fenn, probably in just one round.  ANd if you did get that block, you probably can't stop Rey from getting arc on you next round and keeping it forever.

Yeah, probably three turns, but only just. Fenn definitely survives more than a single round, since kanan spends his focus to make Rey roll 1 less die.

Well, a Maul/Exra TLT has something like an 73% chance to do two damage to Lowhrick with a reinforce token, and a 2% chance to miss entirely. The Primary at Range 2 has a 88% chance to crit, ad an expected damage of around 2 with a range 2 primary. At range 1 the primary does 3 damage with a 92% chance to crit.

In other words, the opening engagement does at least 4 damage to Lowhrick. On The next turn, Kanan can pretty easily score a R1 shot on Lowhrick, or a R2 + TLT shot, leading to a 2 hull or 1 hull Lowhrick. Of course, Fenn's been firing this whole time, and on average will do 1 damage to Lowhrick over 2 turns of R2 fire. So there's pretty much a 5/50 chance of Lowhrick dying in 2 turns. He's pretty inconsequential as a ship until Fenn dies anyway, what with his lack of offensive mods.

On the second combat turn, Kanan can do a 2-hard turn, thus staying outside Rey's inevitable sloop. Alternatively, he can move 4-forward and into range 3 from Rey/Low, allowing for much better damage mitigation. Rey might be able to maintain arc, but without Lowhrick, and while Rey's attacking at range 2, Kanan wins the damage race with average dice.

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5 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

chopper is probably the worst ghost pilot for rey specifically, because a single stress mungs up your turns for multiple rounds to come, but is probably the worst Ghost in general that fits into the list.

Get to da choppa

Fenn Rau + Veteran Instincts + Vectored Thrusters + R2 Astromech + Hotshot Co-Pilot
"Chopper" + Twin Laser Turret + Ghost + Engine Upgrade + Fire-Control System + Rey + Tactician
"Zeb" Orrelios + Phantom
(99)

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Rey will work rather well if the ghost goes for a joust and stays in her arc. She can be expected to do 4-5 dmg per round in such a scenario, which will be evaded to 3-4. Her wingman will likely add 1-2 more.  It's the PS11 boost that's the problem if the ghost player is good. Rey who can't get ghost in arc will typically roll 2 dmg per round which will be evaded to 1. Meanwhile ghost will do 4-6 dmg per round to Rey depending on whether he's got her in arc, the range and the quality of Rey's green dice rolls. 

Taking fenn out would solve the PS11 boost problem but it would be a fatal mistake to attempt it. Even if it only takes one round to do so, that gives the ghost enough of a headstart to win the damage race. 

People who only know the list from theorycrafting often fail to realize quite how quickly things move when ghost/fenn is on the table. After playing about 15 games with it (including 8 at regionals) I can safely say that the average game length for the list is around 30-40 minutes but the outcome is often decided in the first 20 - the rest is mop up. None of my games with this list went to time or even got close to it. For example when facing Dash lists, about 50% of the time Dash would die in the second round of shooting. So would fenn, most of the time, but at that point it wouldn't matter anymore. 

You can expect rey to die in 2-3 rounds of shooting if ghost has her in his arc and she doesn't have him in hers. On the other hand she might survive as much as 5 rounds of shooting if the opposite is true, which is quite enough to nuke the ghost down.  That's why skill is so important in this matchup. Unfortunately Rey's lack of repositioning options and Fenn's ability to coordinate boost stack the deck in ghost's favor mostly.

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3 minutes ago, Astech said:

Yeah, probably three turns, but only just. Fenn definitely survives more than a single round, since kanan spends his focus to make Rey roll 1 less die.

Well, a Maul/Exra TLT has something like an 73% chance to do two damage to Lowhrick with a reinforce token, and a 2% chance to miss entirely. The Primary at Range 2 has a 88% chance to crit, ad an expected damage of around 2 with a range 2 primary. At range 1 the primary does 3 damage with a 92% chance to crit.

In other words, the opening engagement does at least 4 damage to Lowhrick. On The next turn, Kanan can pretty easily score a R1 shot on Lowhrick, or a R2 + TLT shot, leading to a 2 hull or 1 hull Lowhrick. Of course, Fenn's been firing this whole time, and on average will do 1 damage to Lowhrick over 2 turns of R2 fire. So there's pretty much a 5/50 chance of Lowhrick dying in 2 turns. He's pretty inconsequential as a ship until Fenn dies anyway, what with his lack of offensive mods.

On the second combat turn, Kanan can do a 2-hard turn, thus staying outside Rey's inevitable sloop. Alternatively, he can move 4-forward and into range 3 from Rey/Low, allowing for much better damage mitigation. Rey might be able to maintain arc, but without Lowhrick, and while Rey's attacking at range 2, Kanan wins the damage race with average dice.

One less die means Fenn is being hit with between 6 and 8 well modified red dice versus his unmodified greens.  He probably dies.

Edited by thespaceinvader

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1 minute ago, thespaceinvader said:

One less die means Fenn is being hit with between 6 and 8 well modified red dice versus his unmodified greens.  He probably dies.

A competent Fenn player will fly him behind Kanan in the joust, thus guaranteeing range 2 shots at best in the opening salvo. Rey's throwing 1.83 damage against a naked Fenn, provided Fenn is tokenless at R2 of Rey. Lowhrick then does 0.89 damage with a tokenless R2 attack. You've netted 2.7 damage from both ships. If Lowhrich has expertise then you're looking at 3.3 damage on the opening turn, tops. Fenn definitely does not die with average dice, but it's maybe a 1/30 chance with dice variance.

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Lowhhrick has Ezra and Maul, why are you assuming tokenless?

E: this is the list, with 8 points of flex left:

 

Rey (45)
Expertise (4)
Finn (5)
Kanan Jarrus (3)
Smuggling Compartment (0)
Millennium Falcon (TFA) (1)

Lowhhrick (28)
Maul (3)
Ezra Bridger (3)

Total: 92

View in Yet Another Squad Builder

Room for Engine on Rey if you want, but Countermeasures and Crane or Stim is probably better in the overall meta, because ordnance.  But you probably want some bid, in case of enemy Mirandas.  Draw Their Fire or Selflessness to taste on Low.

Edited by thespaceinvader

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12 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

Lowhhrick has Ezra and Maul, why are you assuming tokenless?

E: this is the list, with 8 points of flex left:

 

Rey (45)
Expertise (4)
Finn (5)
Kanan Jarrus (3)
Smuggling Compartment (0)
Millennium Falcon (TFA) (1)

Lowhhrick (28)
Maul (3)
Ezra Bridger (3)

Total: 92

View in Yet Another Squad Builder

Room for Engine on Rey if you want, but Countermeasures and Crane or Stim is probably better in the overall meta, because ordnance.  But you probably want some bid, in case of enemy Mirandas.  Draw Their Fire or Selflessness to taste on Low.

Expected damage from Lowhrick is still just 1.75 at R2, so Fenn remains alive for the exact same amount of time, albeit with a potentially nasty crit.

I'd say that Countermeasures/Scavenger crane is my choice, because multiple harpoon gunboats are a thing.

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I watched several streams of the TN regionals but did not catch the final rounds.  Would love to see exactly what happened.  With no engine upgrade on Rey and autoblaster + Harpoons on Nym they are limited on positioning and arcs.  The other amazing part is that this same list was able to make it to the final table in this meta.  No TLT on Nym is pretty crazy and you are banking on *VERY* good flying of him and getting maximum damage from Rey without an ability to reposition after movement to maximize her primary arc.

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11 minutes ago, Astech said:

Expected damage from Lowhrick is still just 1.75 at R2, so Fenn remains alive for the exact same amount of time, albeit with a potentially nasty crit.

I'd say that Countermeasures/Scavenger crane is my choice, because multiple harpoon gunboats are a thing.

I'm getting 1.89.  Are you assumign Maul only giving a single reroll?  Because I'm not.  I'm going for maximum hits, and if necessary using Kanan to clear the extra stress next round whilst still doing a white, or if necessary triple stressing him.  Killing Fenn is crucial to victory.

1.89 hits with a at least one crit is giving him a pretty low chance of survival.  The likelihood is he takes 2 hits from Rey and loses shield hit, then takes either hit hit crit from low and dies, or takes hit crit from low and has a roughly 1/4 chance of dying, and if he doesn't die, gets a disabling crit.

The major variance is in his greens.

Edited by thespaceinvader

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3 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

I'm getting 1.89.  Are you assumign Maul only giving a single reroll?  Because I'm not.  I'm going for maximum hits, and if necessary using Kanan to clear the extra stress next round whilst still doing a white, or if necessary triple stressing him.  Killing Fenn is crucial to victory.

1.89 hits with a at least one crit is giving him a pretty low chance of survival.  The likelihood is he takes 2 hits from Rey and loses shield hit, then takes either hit hit crit from low and dies, or takes hit crit from low and has a roughly 1/4 chance of dying, and if he doesn't die, gets a disabling crit.

The major variance is in his greens.

I was assuming a single reroll. 1.83+1.89 is stil just 3.72 damage. So 3/16 of the time Fenn will die to a Direct hit, but otherwise he lives to fight another day.

Of course, it's probably pretty clear by the time Fenn moves what the Rey player's intending on ding that turn, so he could potentially take the focus action, more or less guaranteeing his survival by decreasing green variance.

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6 hours ago, gennataos said:

@Astech - I'm really not sure what you're trying to accomplish here.  It's been a couple pages of this.  Are you contending that Rey isn't a good counter to the list and the only reason why Rey/whatever can beat Ghost/Fenn is if the Ghost/Fenn player is bad?  

I'm saying that Rey's not a good counter to the Kanan/Fenn matchup. Mainly because the list as @thespaceinvader put it can't deal stress or ion.

A few Rey strategies have been put forward, which I have explained the natural counters to. They've then replied with "you're assuming the Ghost player is better, otherwise he wouldn't be able to counter", when in fact I'm assuming a high level of play for both players. The fact is that Rey is an incredibly inflexible ship. She needs to keep arc; and even then she might lose the race if Lowhrick is out of the picture. Rey's dial pretty much screams "block me", which is a sound tactical maneuver, and circling the rocks with a strong turret has always been a strategy against primarily arc-based ships.

Personally, I'd fly an Ion stressbot with Rex as the escort for Rey. It means you can only equip countermeasures,  but I feel like the massive control element against VCX Fenn lists, NyManda and the tankng against NuNuNu + QD is worth the loss of potentially mitigating 1 damage a turn.

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25 minutes ago, Jeff Wilder said:

As more and more people turn to Imperial Aces again, thinking Mauler Ghost can't hit them (hint: they're wrong), 

I have yet so see someone claiming that those aces can't be hit. They are just very, very good at mitigating a lot of the TLT damage and come in 3 ship lists. 
Besides, Warden sounds like Fun. TLT+Harpoon+Sabine+Bomblet+LRS or what do you have in mind? :)

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Brrrr. You really want to stick it to those aces. ^_^
You are a terrible person. porg.gif

I like it. Though I am not sure if that Anti-Ace WSP is as useful as you hope against the ghost. At the other hand, when you get the angle right you should be able to do 6 dice  onto the ghost with a single bomb. Even the threat limits what the Ghost can choose as maneuvers. Still, the warden is gone most likely in two turns unless you get a block on top of those clusters. :D

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Rey Ors should be a natural counter of ghost/fenn: Rey outshoot the ghost (she used to outshoot finn fcs rey Kanan, current ghost fenn deals less damage) and is mostly immune to Fenn shenanigans. Jan Ors won't survive long, but she could deal some damages too before biting the dust.

Sure they still need to take down Fenn to prevent ps 11 boosting, but as I said that list used to take down Biggs who was tougher than Fenn.

The real issue is: can Rey Ors deal with other common lists involving things like Asaji, harpoons or 4 rebel ships with stress? I'm not sure

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Played against this crap tonight.

1/1 using mixed Nu +qd.

Lost match was quickdraw + fcs + Asts and targeting synchronize.

One Nu had Os-1 and harpoons and guidance chips 

Another had ion pulse missiles + guidance chips 

Last one had xg1 and flechette 

Had the ghost near the edge but well. :/ too much variance and too little damage even if the ghost was down to 2hp. Fenn was still alive.

 

Second match I played 3 Nus with harpoons and guidance chips.

Quickdraw same build as before.

Initial approach on the ghost then focus fire on Fenn: gone.

From there the ghost managed to hunt down a Gunboat, but after that I regrouped. 

Stress does not work. At all.

Even forbidding Maul's rerolls, it will grant an automatic crit due to ezra. No no.

Ion pulse. Might be good but... but.

Harpoons. Red dice. @FTS Gecko gave a good hint on the first page. The more red dice, the merrier.

Fenn, absolutely the first target. 

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So has anyone run against ghost Fenn with something like this?

Major Vynder: Expertise, Advanced proton torpedoes, harpoon missiles, advanced SLAM, OS-1 Arsenal Loadout (44)

Rear Admiral Chiraneau: VI, Kylo Ren, Engine Upgrade, Dauntless (56)

 

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