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Xiervak

Ion guns: are they really worth it?

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My biggest issue with Ion guns are that they are outranged by their natural enemy, the AT-ST, whose main gun is range 4. Having that sort of firepower bear down on your units whilst you attempt to get within range to fire your ion guns results in far too many casualties for the tactic of adding ion guns to 1-3 units. It's just not sustainable in my view.  For 32 points per upgrade, you could take 3 Z-6s and mow down enemy troopers, who are usually the only unit capable of capturing objectives. 

If Ions have been working for you, power to you. I just don't see them as a viable anti-vehicle weapon and certainly not worthy of their price tag.

Thoughts?

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Haven’t been working for me all that much. It’s the expense AND the exhaust that gets them. And like you say the moment they start taking casualties the benefit just disappears. Also, The answer to having an ion unit being targeted can’t be to have 2 of them to split that fire as they’re just so bloomin expensive. 

Until we get *something* that helps to unexhaust cards without losing a precious action I doubt they’re gonna see much use. 

Edited by Kojib

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Some people defend them. That's fine, I fully admit that they are very reliant on terrain, tactics, and luck. However, for 12 points less, I can take an upgrade that is much more reliable. 

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You can generally cross the gap between range 3 and range 4 in one turn- And once it is ioned, it cannot run away and shoot at the same time. You really should not underestimate how crippling an ion token is to an AT-ST; Losing the move or aim action really hurts, and with two ion tokens, well, you don't do anything. Rebel v Rebel is also something to consider; The ion grenade launcher work just as well against AT-RTs, and if a T-47 takes down your AT-RTs, Ioning it is about all you have left. Also, line of sight blocking terrain really ought to be considered mandatory.

In general, though, the rule of thumb (based on fanfan's math) seems to be you should try to attack corps units with corps units, and use the stronger and more efficient anti-armor weapons of your vehicles to take out other vehicles, while trying to force your opponent to make inefficient attacks. So it makes sense the exhaust weapons feel lackluster.

Edited by Squark

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8 minutes ago, Squark said:

You can generally cross the gap between range 3 and range 4 in one turn- And once it is ioned, it cannot run away and shoot at the same time. You really should not underestimate how crippling an ion token is to an AT-ST; Losing the move or aim action really hurts, and with two ion tokens, well, you don't do anything. Rebel v Rebel is also something to consider; The ion grenades work just as well against AT-RTs, and if a T-47 takes down your AT-RTs, Ioning it is about all you have left. Also, line of sight blocking terrain really ought to be considered mandatory.

In general, though, the rule of thumb (based on fanfan's math) seems to be you should try to attack corps units with corps units, and use the stronger and more efficient anti-armor weapons of your vehicles to take out other vehicles, while trying to force your opponent to make inefficient attacks. So it makes sense the exhaust weapons feel lackluster.

ion grenades ?

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1 minute ago, Darth evil said:

ion grenades ?

The mpl-57 is a grenade launcher. This game uses one loaded with ion grenades. Sorry, I should have been clearer.

Edited by Squark

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9 minutes ago, Squark said:

You can generally cross the gap between range 3 and range 4 in one turn- And once it is ioned, it cannot run away and shoot at the same time. You really should not underestimate how crippling an ion token is to an AT-ST; Losing the move or aim action really hurts, and with two ion tokens, well, you don't do anything. Rebel v Rebel is also something to consider; The ion grenades work just as well against AT-RTs, and if a T-47 takes down your AT-RTs, Ioning it is about all you have left. Also, line of sight blocking terrain really ought to be considered mandatory.

In general, though, the rule of thumb (based on fanfan's math) seems to be you should try to attack corps units with corps units, and use the stronger and more efficient anti-armor weapons of your vehicles to take out other vehicles, while trying to force your opponent to make inefficient attacks. So it makes sense the exhaust weapons feel lackluster.

I don't doubt for a moment that even 1 ion token is invaluable when fighting a AT-ST. I completely concede the point there.

However, my issue is actually getting an ion token on an AT-ST. The upgrade itself just can't stand up against what an AT-ST can throw back at it long enough for me to apply an ion token.

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18 minutes ago, Squark said:

In general, though, the rule of thumb (based on fanfan's math) seems to be you should try to attack corps units with corps units, and use the stronger and more efficient anti-armor weapons of your vehicles to take out other vehicles, while trying to force your opponent to make inefficient attacks. So it makes sense the exhaust weapons feel lackluster.

Someone recommended trying two rebel trooper units with ion upgrades against the AT-ST. But I think your logic here is correct. I think the T-47 is more effective at tying up/fighting  damaging the AT-ST. But even the most deftly piloted T-47 just needs one lucky shot landed on it to erase that threat. Its survivability is low at best.

I've got 1 T-47, but now I'm considering a second one, because even a bare T-47 at 175 points is better against AT-STs than two rebel trooper units with ion + targetting scopes at 156. Which for me at this point is purely speculative since I've not actually tried it, but seeing as how the troopers are barely better than worthless against AT-STs, I have to believe a second T-47 on the field is viable. 

Edited by Xiervak

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19 minutes ago, Xiervak said:

I don't doubt for a moment that even 1 ion token is invaluable when fighting a AT-ST. I completely concede the point there.

However, my issue is actually getting an ion token on an AT-ST. The upgrade itself just can't stand up against what an AT-ST can throw back at it long enough for me to apply an ion token.

Pithy comment about LoS blocking terrain aside, you do have >700 points of other units. If you only brought one MPL-55, Luke, and some Rotary AT-RTs, you really shouldn't be surprised the AT-ST is going for the biggest immediate threat to its existence. If you brought a T-47 and a second mpl-55, on the other hand, it'll be a lot harder for an AT-ST to keep all of the threats locked down. Actually, based on my initial experiences, I think the rocket launcher and ion grenade launcher both need to be run in multiples; Without overlapping firelanes and multiple places to hide, it's too easy to avoid or suppress the lone group of anti-armor troopers.

So I guess I'd say I agree the ion grenade launcher is not a good candidate for your primary anti-armor unit. I do feel that two squads with them can be a very effective support for your more dedicated anti-armor units like Laser Cannon AT-RTs and the T-47, though, while still doing regular trooper things like claiming objectives and shooting other troopers.

Regarding a second T-47... *shrug* I mean, I like the T-47 (Well, as an imperial player, I fear it, but you get what I mean). But it's a flanker, not a frontline unit. Commiting nearly 45% of your list to flanking means you really need to get good at dividing the enemy force as well as hammer and Anvil strategies. I think the simpler AT-ST counter is just laser cannon AT-RTs, though. They can suppress out to range 4, take big bites out of armor, and will draw fire away from your T-47.

Edited by Squark

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9 minutes ago, Xiervak said:

Someone recommended trying two rebel trooper units with ion upgrades against the AT-ST. But I think your logic here is correct. I think the T-47 is more effective at tying up/fighting  damaging the AT-ST. But even the most deftly piloted T-47 just needs one lucky shot landed on it to erase that threat. Its survivability is low at best.

I've got 1 T-47, but now I'm considering a second one, because even a bare T-47 at 175 points is better against AT-STs than two rebel trooper units with ion + targetting scopes at 156. Which for me at this point is purely speculative since I've not actually tried it, but seeing as how the troopers are barely better than worthless against AT-STs, I have to believe a second T-47 on the field is viable. 

I find that there is a bit more going on with those two troopers squads than just going up against a potential AT-ST: they take up part of the Corps tax (don't forget that!), give more activations, and give a more tactical options like deployment or objectives. Right now, with my local meta, I actually prefer using both a T-47 and some trooper squads with ion.

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I've outfitted all my troops with ions, as it adds 2 RED dice, which in my opinion, is much better than 6 white. Sure you can have the occasional blowout with the white dice, but you also have the ability to add ions to vehicles. 

My general tactic with the AT-ST is just to ignore it, hide behind terrain and stay out of LOS. If I can get it close, then i'll commit 1-2 units to getting ions on it. They have been performing much better for me than the Z-6 has. 

Also.. terrain. This game is meant to be played with 25% of the battlefield covered in terrain. Make sure you have structures to LOS units. If you play in an open field, the AT-ST will always do work. 

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Remember that the game has just been released and there are at least 4 more commanders slated for release this year (2 Reb and 2 Imp) which may drastically change how well the weapon performs.  In a vacuum, the HH-12 bazooka and the AtSt look miserable compared to the Dt19, but lo and behold we see what Veers can do for both of those weapons/units and suddenly they seem much more valuable.  We also don't know what other vehicles may be released.  Remember that built into the cost of the weapon is always the extra wound. So with the Rebel troopers, you only pay 10pts for the extra figure and 22pts for the ion gun.

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I gotta say I am surprised at the hate for the ion gun! Taking away an ATST action is huge, and i haven’t had much trouble running up to one with LOS and heavy cover to screen my advance. Heck even ioning speeder bikes is cool since they often want an aim token as well. 

I usually end up giving my ion teams dodge tokens using the force is my ally on the key approach turn. Opponents tend to shoot something else on that round which gets me into position usually.

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People here are really forgetting the fact that Imperial Players are by no means required to take the AT-ST, in fact I would argue the most efficient Imp lists do not run it (Veers, 6 squads of stormtroopers with DLTs (three of which have extra troopers), and three speeders is gonna be ridiculous

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Another point is that if you shoot them and then only get action next turn, you now have a 32pt upgrade that is doing nothing, the Z-6 being a whole 10pts cheaper and not exhaustible makes it the superior weapon by far imo. In addition the ion only sticks if you get the damage through and with a pathetic impact 1, you will likely only have that going through, which is completely feasible for the vehicle to block, rendering the gun once again useless. 

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31 minutes ago, garciaj113 said:

Another point is that if you shoot them and then only get action next turn, you now have a 32pt upgrade that is doing nothing, the Z-6 being a whole 10pts cheaper and not exhaustible makes it the superior weapon by far imo. In addition the ion only sticks if you get the damage through and with a pathetic impact 1, you will likely only have that going through, which is completely feasible for the vehicle to block, rendering the gun once again useless. 

I've found them to still be pretty worth against speeder bikes.  I usually take 4 reb troopers, 2 ions and 2 Zs.

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I'll admit, in the little I've played, MPLs seem like dead weight. The Barrage is gonna be WAY scarier, but I haven't played much against AT-STs (or mirrors with T-47s). People who do swear the ability to suppress or fully lock out a vehicle are worth it. Personally though, I might like it better in a different platform. Ion grenades would be great, or another vehicle with an ion blaster. 

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If you can confine an ATST (or similar) to a single action a few rounds you can really hurt it, and being such an expensive piece unless it can act to its full potential you are severely crippling your opponent.

But if the ATST has already gotten into a good position a single Ion token wont really do much to it aside from stopping it from aiming, which wont matter much when potentially 4 weapons unload on you.

Its not something that will be awesome at all time (gladly, nothing in the game so far seem to be so!) but it definitely has its use!

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I've been rocking 6 Rebel squads (4 Z-6 and 2 Ion). It's worked out pretty well for me thus far.

My advice would be to use cover as you move up against the AT-ST. Usually if the AT-ST is in range to shoot you, you are in range to shoot back with your Ion weapon. Also, if you Ion the AT-ST, this gives you an opening to flank with a T-47 without the fear of the AT-ST pivoting and shooting you.

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I think a single ion gun is perfect. 

Keep in mind locking it down to a single action means it’s either turning or shooting. You can get behind it or out of it’s ark pretty easy in that situation. 

You need to give the AT-ST other targets to worry about then the single ion gun. You need to keep dodge on that unit in the rounds leading up to them getting in range 3.

Also once they get “damaged” then a single ion token can potentially take them out of the round.

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do your opponents regularly use an at-st? yes, definitely worth it! take 2.

do your oppenents usually play without an at-st? not really worth it, though they can be, under the right circumstanes.

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