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Emeraldegg

I need help making a list with Tie Punisher(s)

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A friend of mine is trying to figure out what he wants to play next since he's tired of flying the same 2 lists he always does, which are both rebels (we're both super casual so it's not high-tier stuff for either of us). He's big on how cool a ship looks and really wants to use the TIE Punisher, specifically "deathrain". I was hoping I could get input with what could be both fun to fly and at least not 100% jank. I came up with a 2x Punisher list but I doubt it would be any good. I've seen one list that runs 3x punishers with minefield mapper, and he linked me another list with Deathrain and 2 alpha class star wings. The list I came up with for the 2 punishers is:

"Deathrain" - 26
Minefield Mapper - 0
Plasma Torpedoes - 3
Extra Munitions - 2
Harpoon Missiles - 4
Cluster Missiles - 4
Cluster mines x2 - 8
Long Range Scanners - 0
Total - 47

"Redline" - 27
Minefield Mapper - 0
Plasma Torpedoes - 3
Extra Munitions - 2
Harpoon Missiles - 4
Cluster Missiles - 4
Cluster mines x2 - 8
Long Range Scanners - 0
Total - 48

The problem I'm having is that it feels like you really need 3+ ships to make mapper worth it, but taking Deathrain plus 2 other generic punisher pilots doesn't really leave room for all the toys he wants, points-wise. So yeah, any suggestions for how to either tweak the above list or fit deathrain in a different list would be most welcome, thank you!

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I think trying for a 2-ship Minefield Mapper Punisher list isn't going to work too well.  It's just too many points into too few HP.  There was a sweet looking 3x Minefield Mapper list onhere a few weeks ago, with MM, Extra Munitions, Harpoon, 2x Proximity Mine, and Long Range Scanners.  A lot of herding potential, paired with three strong missile shots.

Deathrain with Cluster Mines is a bit awkward.  They can't dodge their own bombs if they drop them from the front guides.  If going with an action bomb, I'd take Conner Net or Proximity Mine.

I feel like the best Deathrain is Accuracy Corrector, Bomblets, and Lightweight Frame (34 points), but other folks have variants.  A Redline with Fire Control System, Extra Munitions, Cluster Missiles, Guidance Chips, and a range 2-3 ordnance has worked OK for me (I was flying a Redline& Daredevil Oicunn list for a while, doing well against Dengars and such, before I got wrecked by Attanni Fenn Rau, back early Store Champ season).  Harpooned doesn't make fullest use of Redline's ability, but would be resistant to Countermeasures or Black One. Proton or Plasma torpedoes would be strong, too, due to the nature of Redline's ability.  This costs 38-39 points.  That would leave about 27-28 points for a 3rd ship.  There's a lot of nice stuff in that range.  An /x7 Delta defender.  A TIE S/F with Accuracy Corrector and Lightweight Frame.  A nice Pure Sabacc or Duchess (probably just title, LWF, and VI, but Lone Wolf could be a cool pick).  A super-loaded Epsilon Ace with Advanced Optics (or Comm Relay) and Shield Upgrade. There might be a few points left over, and either a bomb on Redline or a Harpoon Missile (sadly just the best) on Deathrain.

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49 minutes ago, theBitterFig said:

I think trying for a 2-ship Minefield Mapper Punisher list isn't going to work too well.  It's just too many points into too few HP.  There was a sweet looking 3x Minefield Mapper list onhere a few weeks ago, with MM, Extra Munitions, Harpoon, 2x Proximity Mine, and Long Range Scanners.  A lot of herding potential, paired with three strong missile shots.

Deathrain with Cluster Mines is a bit awkward.  They can't dodge their own bombs if they drop them from the front guides.  If going with an action bomb, I'd take Conner Net or Proximity Mine.

I feel like the best Deathrain is Accuracy Corrector, Bomblets, and Lightweight Frame (34 points), but other folks have variants.  A Redline with Fire Control System, Extra Munitions, Cluster Missiles, Guidance Chips, and a range 2-3 ordnance has worked OK for me (I was flying a Redline& Daredevil Oicunn list for a while, doing well against Dengars and such, before I got wrecked by Attanni Fenn Rau, back early Store Champ season).  Harpooned doesn't make fullest use of Redline's ability, but would be resistant to Countermeasures or Black One. Proton or Plasma torpedoes would be strong, too, due to the nature of Redline's ability.  This costs 38-39 points.  That would leave about 27-28 points for a 3rd ship.  There's a lot of nice stuff in that range.  An /x7 Delta defender.  A TIE S/F with Accuracy Corrector and Lightweight Frame.  A nice Pure Sabacc or Duchess (probably just title, LWF, and VI, but Lone Wolf could be a cool pick).  A super-loaded Epsilon Ace with Advanced Optics (or Comm Relay) and Shield Upgrade. There might be a few points left over, and either a bomb on Redline or a Harpoon Missile (sadly just the best) on Deathrain.

So I guess my next question is, at what point is it too much ordnance? Overkill, basically? Like say I ran 3 punishers, just the generic Cutlass Squad Pilot at 21 pts base, all with plasma torps, harpoon missiles, guidance chips, extra munitions, and fire-control systems for a super long-range shooty list. Am I putting too much focus on the shooting, or would it be wiser to drop some of the ordnance for a better pilot? Or like you said, maybe use lightweight frame to help the survivability a little bit? Am I putting too much emphasis on the alpha strike?

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I don't know how big into the triple punishers list your friend is, but I have this doozy:

 

Deathrain

Trajectory Simulator

Unguided Rockets

Bomblet Generator

Lightweight Frame

 

2 x Cutlass Squadron Pilot

Trajectory Simulator

Extra Munitions

Unguided Rockets

Thermal Detonators

Ion Bombs

Lightweight Frame

 

Deathrain is one of my favorite little swiss army knives in the game, while the Cutlasses can hit fairly hard and bomb the $#!+ out of people.

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57 minutes ago, Emeraldegg said:

So I guess my next question is, at what point is it too much ordnance? Overkill, basically? Like say I ran 3 punishers, just the generic Cutlass Squad Pilot at 21 pts base, all with plasma torps, harpoon missiles, guidance chips, extra munitions, and fire-control systems for a super long-range shooty list. Am I putting too much focus on the shooting, or would it be wiser to drop some of the ordnance for a better pilot? Or like you said, maybe use lightweight frame to help the survivability a little bit? Am I putting too much emphasis on the alpha strike?

In general, I wouldn't equip more than one range 2-3 missile/torpedo (Harpoon on anyone but Redline, maybe Proton or Plasma Torps on him), and one which includes range 1 (on a Punisher, it's probably Cluster Missiles).  Thing is, you're not going to get 4 shots of Range 2-3 missiles each game.  Maybe on some rare games it'll happen, but most of the time, it just won't be needed.  You won't realistically be able to always stay at long range.

With shooty Punishers, I do think Redline is probably worth the effort.  Double TL changes radically the math on a lot of missiles.  The reason Cutlass doesn't seem great to me is that it could be a Rho for the same points, and Rho >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Cutlass at missiles.  What Cutlass does well is mix missiles and bombs.  I'd much rather take a mix.  Just Harpoon for missiles, and either Minefield Mapper or Trajectory Simulator and some bombs and or mines.  To that end, Long Range Scanners are probably better: grab the TL early, and take focus on the approach.

Deathrain, IMHO, should be used as a more nimble ship (seriously, it's almost as cool as a TIE Silencer).  I'm sure @Greebwahn's is fine, I'd just never fly it because I like my version more :D.  Just recall that a launching a bomb with Trajectory Simulator won't grant you the barrel roll.  But combine with those launching Cutlasses and that's a **** potent joust.

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I'll just throw my hat in the ring as a fool who's come into 3 Punishers as well and would like to fly them all together in a glorious flameout of jank. I've flown Deathrain & Redline together and gained a good appreciation for each. Redline loves dem PlazTorps and I agree with the Bomblet/AccC Deathrain build. It's really the 3rd that's the question...

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3 hours ago, theBitterFig said:

Deathrain with Cluster Mines is a bit awkward.  They can't dodge their own bombs if they drop them from the front guides. 

You're forgetting Deathrain's other special ability - a free barrel roll action after dropping a mine. You could also be dropping those cluster tokens on top of enemy ships before they get a chance to move, particularly with Enhanced Scopes equipped. I think it's a good alternative to Bomblets Deathrain.

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I second the cluster mines on deathrain. I run mine as a pure bomber -

•"Deathrain" (41) - TIE Punisher
Advanced Sensors (3), Extra Munitions (2), Conner Net (4), Cluster Mines (4), Lightweight Frame (2)

 

Advance sensors + forward guide deployment = Great fun :) 

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Maybe this? I don't love the Cutlass right now...

"Redline" — TIE Punisher 27
Fire-Control System 2
Extra Munitions 2
Plasma Torpedoes 3
Cluster Missiles 4
Guidance Chips 0
Ship Total: 38
   
"Deathrain" — TIE Punisher 26
Accuracy Corrector 3
Bomblet Generator 3
Lightweight Frame 2
Ship Total: 34
   
Cutlass Squadron Pilot — TIE Punisher 21
Collision Detector 0
Unguided Rockets 2
Ion Bombs 2
Lightweight Frame 2
Ship Total: 27
   

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13 hours ago, Rossetti1828 said:

You're forgetting Deathrain's other special ability - a free barrel roll action after dropping a mine. You could also be dropping those cluster tokens on top of enemy ships before they get a chance to move, particularly with Enhanced Scopes equipped. I think it's a good alternative to Bomblets Deathrain.

No, I wasn't forgetting it, just half-remebering.  I recall having issues getting around Cluster Mines with the initial barrel roll, due to their width.  I'd expanded in my head the number of moves which wouldn't safely get you past the bombs, though.  For example, a barrel roll and a 1-straight will land you on a bomb, and certainly anything heading inwards.  With a Conner Net or Proximity Mine, your straights will all clear.  It's the kind of thing where, having tried it once, soured me to the whole thing, and I haven't looked back.

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So taking bitterfig's suggestion about Rho squadron, I decided to try for redline/deathrain/rho squadron with the following:

"Redline" - 27
Fire control system - 2
Extra Munitions - 2
Plasma Torpedoes - 3
Cluster Missiles - 4
Guidance Chips - 0
Total - 38

"Deathrain" - 26
Trajectory simulator - 1
Bomblet Generator - 3
Lightweight Frame - 2
Total - 32

Rho Squadron Veteran - 21
EPT - ?
Extra Munitions - 2
Harpoon Missiles - 4
Guidance Chips - 0 
Total - 27+

Squad total - 97+ pts

I had no idea that the Starwing had a pilot that low PS that could still take an EPT so that was nice. I tried at first to fit both the OS loadout and advanced slam on the alpha class but I figured that setup might be better with a high PS pilot than a low one. I originally had both OS-1 loadout and extra munitions but I realized that might be redundant, either you have 2 missiles to fire with extra munitions (which will be all you need) or you can have 1 that you can continuously fire with reload. Any suggestions on which of those to take? OS loadout seems like more the long game play, like it'd have more sustainability. Also can someone explain to me the purpose of Acc corrector on deathrain as I just don't really get it? I've never been a huge fan of the card but he's not there to shoot anyway is he? It doesn't seem like it'd add that much damage for 3 pts.

For the EPT, I had a few choices in mind (though other suggestions are welcome): Crack Shot, Saturation Salvo, A Score to Settle, Ruthlessness. 

 

Edit: Is there any merit to taking the other loadout on the starwing and using something like a tractor beam for lolz?
 

 

Edited by Emeraldegg

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EPT is Deadeye on that Rho.  Slide up with a focus token, and shoot anyone you want.  Extra Munitions is good.  Flechette Torpedos would also be fun, but perhaps not as good.  3-dice + GChips is a reasonable attack, and spot stress control is nice.  Title probably isn't worth it without Advanced SLAM, and not a natural fit with Deadeye, since you'll still need to have the TL in order to use missiles while Weapons Disabled.  Going Crack Shot and Long Range Scanners isn't bad, but I think Deadeye + GChips is better against most/many lists.

That leaves points for something like Unguided Rockets on Deathrain.  Not super reliable, more dice is more dice.

//

Accuracy Corrector guarantees two hits.  With two red dice, you go from an average of 1 hit per attack, if you're not spending focus, to two hits guaranteed.  Having a focus only averages 1.5 hits on two dice, so it adds a lot to offense.  Meanwhile, it works regardless of tokens, so you'll be free to boost, spend your focus defensively with LWF, or take the K-Turn, without losing hits.  It also always works against Fenn Rau or Sensor Jammer.  I don't think the list would do that well against Fenn/Ghost, but having consistent 2-hit attacks is a lot better than likely missing.  I started out trying Deathrain with Advanced Sensors and Unguided Rockets, but the rockets never really seemed like they did much for me.  I was frequently only getting 2 hits anyhow, and I didn't want to be locked into focus actions.  I wanted to be able to boost freely, take red turns, and so forth.

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Ah, I somehow didn't even think about deadeye, that makes a ton of sense. I'll also keep Acc corrector in mind, obviously since I'm not the one flying the list I'm not sure if he'd rather have the offense or the ability to launch bombs. It does make sense for a setup like deathrain's since he's not taking any heavy hitting shooter-ordnance. By subbing trajectory simulator for accuracy corrector, that puts me at 100 pts even, so that should be good to go. The next thing I'd like to ask, if possible, is what would be a good way to fly this list? My first instinct would be to keep Deathrain up front (since it's more survivable because of lightweight frame) while having the other 2 lagging back to either side in a kind of ^ formation, so that any arc dodgers have to dodge around the whole formation rather than splitting them up and letting them get picked apart one by one. Would this be a fundamentally sound strategy? I also assume I want to keep asteroids as far away upon setting up as possible, since these aren't very maneuverable ships.?

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I think personally I'd probably put Redline and Rho not too close together, but roughly in the middle.  Like about 40% and 60% of the way through the board.  Deathrain I might actually try to flank with.  If they're off to the side, they can drop bombs freely simply to gain barrel rolls, and combined with boosts this ship can be kinda swift, and really surprisingly nimble.  Even Redline, with target locks set up by FCS, can afford to boost fairly often.

Alternately, perhaps not flank with Deathrain, but maybe them at 1/3rd, and Rho/Redline at 2/3rds.  But I don't think you want your other ships to be too close to Deathrain, since you don't want to bomb your own ships.

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I see, I didn't think about using the bombs just for the barrel roll option. I guess that means he could really be an arc-dodger himself if he runs into a list with a lower PS. 

Many thanks!

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If I may suggest the following if you can field it. 

Three Kings (99)

Cutlass Squadron Pilot (33) - TIE Punisher
Minefield Mapper (0), Extra Munitions (2), Harpoon Missiles (4), Proximity Mines (3), Proximity Mines (3), Long-Range Scanners (0)

Cutlass Squadron Pilot (33) - TIE Punisher
Minefield Mapper (0), Extra Munitions (2), Harpoon Missiles (4), Proximity Mines (3), Proximity Mines (3), Long-Range Scanners (0)

Cutlass Squadron Pilot (33) - TIE Punisher
Minefield Mapper (0), Extra Munitions (2), Harpoon Missiles (4), Proximity Mines (3), Proximity Mines (3), Long-Range Scanners (0)

this list has been called “the salt mine” by our local players because it will make your opponent very salty toward you. 

 

The named punishers are nice nice but expensive. This allows you the flexibility to maneuver as a squad and melt almost anything in one round with TL focus. If you don’t kill it in one go just fly past and drop one of the remaining 6 proxie mines on your opponent. It takes a little practice but it is a dam beast on the board. So far I have played it 7 times and only lost two punishers in total. 

 

Good of luck and have fun. 

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