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Flying a T-47 properly - does it need fixing?

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hey all,

In the interest of full disclosure, I have only flown a T47 one time (and I would say it crashed and burned spectacularly, except it was super mundane and mediocre) and have yet to see it flown to any great effect, so I have a three-part question:

  1. If you are using them, how do you fly them and what tips/tricks have you picked up along the way?
  2. If you aren't using them, why aren't you using them?
  3. Whether you are using them or not, what would you say needs to be changed or fixed to make them more competitive?  A simple drop in cost?

I recognize that this might be related to my local meta (where, frankly, I am outnumbered at least 3:1 Imps:Rebs) and may not be representative of your region, so please clue me in on what I'm missing! :)

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It's not an easy unit to use, but can be a lot of fun. You have to play the airspeeder very patiently. It should not be engaging on turn 1. Sometimes I get antsy and think that I can just get a few wounds on something very early (like, turn 1) and bug out, but I always regret that decision. If you can engage turn 1 without consequences, it very likely means your opponent made a mistake. Spend the first couple turns setting up your attack run. Whether that means spending all your actions on moves to get into a flank, or doing nothing but the compulsory moves to manage the engagement distance. Additionally, present the opponent with multiple threats so that they can't easily focus the speeder down. Maybe some fleet troopers or a flamer AT-RT coming from one angle and the speeder another. And wherever possible, try to use your other units to deal with the biggest threats to the speeder before it arrives.

So that's how to deal with its weaknesses. But why would you use it?:

It's great at hunting down things that are trying to hide. It can catch units that thought they were safe and behind cover. I played a game a few weeks ago where I won mostly because of the airspeeder: I took out both commanders in the same turn when one was trying to hide, and later I defeated a trooper unit holding a supply objective in a very good hiding spot.

And I would treat the Impact on its weapon as a "nice thing to have", rather than planning around it. I've had the most success focusing on troopers; I learned not to send my speeder after an AT-ST, it's usually not worth it. In mirror matches, not a bad idea to attack AT-RTs depending on their loadout.

That video has some good points. I'd suggest watching it.

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Posted (edited)

my issue with that video is its assuming Dodge is actually effective.

Dodge is laughably weak in this game, only time it feels worth it is if its Leia doing it because its an action for 2 dodges. And even then, i swear Legion dice are imbalanced because i see that natural crit roll way more often than 1/8th of the time (lost Leia to 6 natural crits in 2 DLT shots, not even using the stormtrooper dice due to range, in my last game as an example. One had Aim, other did not).
Coincidentally, every time my T47 pokes into R3 suddenly the troopers not only hit but managed to land 2-3 natural crits before the rocket/dlt kicks in. Ive had this thing drop to Damaged in one volley way, way too often (ATRTs as well imo)

Currently the T47 is underwhelming, its only marginally cheaper than an ATST and not even half as strong. If the ATST didnt have the reach to prevent the T47 from flanking it'd be a different story, but the T47 sits so high that terrain to block it is nearly nonexistent, which is the issue. All imperial Impact is R3-4, so the instant the T47 can hit something odds are 2-3 things can hit it back.

Edited by Vineheart01

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15 minutes ago, Vineheart01 said:

my issue with that video is its assuming Dodge is actually effective.

Dodge is laughably weak in this game, only time it feels worth it is if its Leia doing it because its an action for 2 dodges. And even then, i swear Legion dice are imbalanced because i see that natural crit roll way more often than 1/8th of the time (lost Leia to 6 natural crits in 2 DLT shots, not even using the stormtrooper dice due to range, in my last game as an example. One had Aim, other did not).
Coincidentally, every time my T47 pokes into R3 suddenly the troopers not only hit but managed to land 2-3 natural crits before the rocket/dlt kicks in. Ive had this thing drop to Damaged in one volley way, way too often (ATRTs as well imo)

Currently the T47 is underwhelming, its only marginally cheaper than an ATST and not even half as strong. If the ATST didnt have the reach to prevent the T47 from flanking it'd be a different story, but the T47 sits so high that terrain to block it is nearly nonexistent, which is the issue. All imperial Impact is R3-4, so the instant the T47 can hit something odds are 2-3 things can hit it back.

four red dice resulted in 6 crits? 

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I've only tried the T-47 a couple times. It usually just gets foced down and dies really fast. 

The one time I had a lot of fun with it was the game where my opponent ignored it the whole time. :P

I think the above suggestions of holding back the first couple rounds are probably a good move. 

I think it could certainly use a point deduction, or maybe just erratta to say it gets red dice on defense instead of white. or more health... It dying too fast seems to be the main issue with it. 

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I used it pretty extensively in my early games, but I’ve phased it out in favor of Leia and Fleets.

Even in the games where it survived and I was able to target the things I wanted to target, I just don’t feel like it did enough.  For its 175 points it does less damage to a trooper squad than a Z-6 unit, which is less than half the cost.

It’s just not very point efficient for its damage output.  It nets an average of 3.75 hits, which is .021 hits per point; one of the worst in the game, behind even the anti-armor AT-RT laser cannon.

Part of the problem is you are paying for stuff you generally aren’t going to usually benefit from; namely the Arsenal 2 and Cover 1.  The latter usually just blocks a hit that would drop off due to armor anyway, except against low dice high impact attacks like saber throw.

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For me it's a straight cost issue.  I think the stats are fine and probably in line with what the vehicle does in universe.  It's just not really more survivable than bikes (or puts out that much more damage, or is faster, or...) and it costs nearly twice as much.  If it were cheaper and I could get two into a list with a bunch of other goodies, I think it would be super fun and effective.

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I really like the T47 and it's potential is very strong. It does have glaring weaknesses which have already been addressed by the good people posting ahead of this, but because it is quite the finesse flying vehicle where many do not take it, I do not believe that all avenues have been explored for it's role yet. 

We have several new things in the line up coming out which will give the T47 a bigger role to play (Im looking at you, ground cannons) as well as upgrade card potential. I do think, however, that it may have been released earlier than it should have. Yeah, it's very iconic and matches a cool theme for the starter box, but it's role is a bit limited currently. As already stated, it takes patience to fly and practice to use it right.. but in the hands of an experienced player I really think it can be a very effective tool in a rebel army... and even more-so when we get more fleshed-out armies made available.

That said, I do not think it really needs alterations. I suppose 1 more hit point would be very nice, but not necessary. I think the problem with it currently is it's base-size, the amount of terrain *needed* to play, and the repulser rules that was 1.0 at release. The base is huge and with as much terrain that can be on boards.. especially homemade terrain like hills, mountains, odd-shaped round topped buildings, trees, etc which have no stable area for it's base to rest on.. makes it really hard to use. So, with a fiddley repulser rules system mixed with large base, wonky-shaped terrain, and large point committment for a "patience to fly" vehicle is enough to deter most people from playing it.

 

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Has anyone had luck or any use out of the Tow Cables? I haven't used them but would like to exercise them in multiple terrain/objective situations to see if they have any use.

Also, I think the T-47 should have been faster, able to zip past almost everything, every round. Compulsory Move X (X number of Compulsory Moves?)? This would also give the infrequently used Standby action more play.

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Problem with tow cables is they are pretty much only good at keeping a target vehicle from turning and blasting your butt. Since its rear arc only, thats a very limited use. Proper flying would help more than this does, since the only time you'd want to use it is if you flew past an ATST and was still in its side arc.

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I think there is a twofold answer.

1) It is too expensive for what it does.

2) It also needs people to play with more Terrain that can block LoS to the speeder.

Dropping point costs alone won't fix it. Neither will having better terrain. It needs both.

It needs to be cheaper because the ideal way to play it is a hit and run style where its simply not attacking every turn, and its compulsory move pretty much ensures it won't spend a ton of time with the same target. It should be shooting, then the next turn zipping somewhere completely out of LoS of most if not all retaliation, then coming around for another pass. And when it is shooting, it should be able to limit what shots it is taking through clever use of cover.

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7 hours ago, Thraug said:

Has anyone had luck or any use out of the Tow Cables? I haven't used them but would like to exercise them in multiple terrain/objective situations to see if they have any use.

Also, I think the T-47 should have been faster, able to zip past almost everything, every round. Compulsory Move X (X number of Compulsory Moves?)? This would also give the infrequently used Standby action more play.

Someone in my gaming group apparently harpooned Veers and killed him.

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9 hours ago, Thraug said:

Has anyone had luck or any use out of the Tow Cables? I haven't used them but would like to exercise them in multiple terrain/objective situations to see if they have any use.

Also, I think the T-47 should have been faster, able to zip past almost everything, every round. Compulsory Move X (X number of Compulsory Moves?)? This would also give the infrequently used Standby action more play.

I have used the Tow Cable exactly once, and was lucky enough to be playing against an AT-ST. It worked really well in conjunction with Ion Troopers but it's so just so niche I can't see taking it now.

Cover 2 would go a long way to fixing the Airspeeder since that would help it the most against its natural predator (DLTs). Maximum Firepower will still force it to ground, though.
 

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My feeling is generally crits are too good. The fact they ignore your auto cover, natural cover, your dodge token and your armour is stupid. Dice spam and dont even need impact.

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Problem is again the defense dice, there is a huge imbalance between them. The white die with a surge is a 33% chance to save while the red die is a straight 50% natural save.

A unit with a white defense surge and no attack surge vs a unit with a natural red defense die and atack surge. The second unit is waaaay more cost efficient and balanced than the second.

T-47 is an awesome mini but terribly designed for actual gameplay. It reminds me the Neb-B's from armada.

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2 hours ago, Ophion said:

My feeling is generally crits are too good. The fact they ignore your auto cover, natural cover, your dodge token and your armour is stupid. Dice spam and dont even need impact.

At minimum, Dodge should be able to cancel it. I mean, its an action or a one-shot order to get the dang thing, why isnt it super strong? Half the time i get a dodge token i dont even get to use it.

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I've found that you need your entire force acting in concert to get the best out of the airspeeder but I'd still knock 20-25 points off of it.  That said, the points don't bother me that much- if I'm at a disadvantage, so be it.  

  It is the fastest unit in the game (the base size puts it slightly ahead of bikes) and can put out a decent amount of suppression, but it really does need careful handling. I find it's as much about controlling distance and range as it is about terrain which reminds me of the flight simulator games I used to play.  There's not much chance of hiding from a SAM- you either destroy the threat before it fires or navigate accordingly.

On the plus side, the general feeling that vehicles aren't much use means there are relatively few AT guns (besides basic stormtrooper squads) in armies which is favourable to the speeder. 

Conversely, once more vehicles and turrets are in use, the ability to flank with an AT gun will be invaluable.

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I hope we'll see T-47 shine in a near future. Or, at least, get a bit better. New releases, be it Han, Boba, Commandoes, Scouts, Palp or Royal Guards do not really focus on anti-armor. E-Webs and 1.4FD's kind of do, but their general lack of mobility makes them a good target for the speeder. Also, basically all of Han's command cards support the use of Airspeeder (albeit indirectly).

Obviously, with Impact basically stapled onto each imperial unit so far (even on Snowies, as they often end up with flamer and Impact grenades), it's hard to justify the T-47 in a strictly competitive environment.

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1 hour ago, xerpo said:

Problem is again the defense dice, there is a huge imbalance between them. The white die with a surge is a 33% chance to save while the red die is a straight 50% natural save.

A unit with a white defense surge and no attack surge vs a unit with a natural red defense die and atack surge. The second unit is waaaay more cost efficient and balanced than the second.

I don't see how that has anything to do with the T-47. There are currently no units with both armor and red defense dice in the game... and the units that DO have an appropriate comparison (Rebel/Fleet troopers versus Storm/Snowtroopers, Leia versus Veers, etc.) are well balanced on the basis of point cost and other abilities. Presumably if we ever do see a unit comparable to the airspeeder with red defense dice it will either cost more or have other limitations that balance it out.

Yeah... red dice are better. But saying they're more "cost efficient and balanced" is meaningless without looking at actual costs... and the units that have red defense dice tend to pay for it at a premium, and units with white defense dice plus surge have defensive abilities/better attack dice that make up for their poor natural defense. Nothing is more "cost efficient and balanced" in a vacuum.

With regards to the T-47:

I believe much of the problem lies in mis-costing keywords. Arsenal 2 and Cover 1 (and consequently, Immune: Blast) are way worse on the T-47 than they would be on other units (Inability to focus fire with the two weapons, fewer Arsenal triggers due to difficulty lining up shots, cover 1 triggering very rarely against most weapons with impact). Compare to the AT-ST, that should be triggering Arsenal 2 almost every round depending on loadout, and the Speeder Bikes getting maximum value out of cover 1. The diminished value of these keywords could be made up for in the cost, but it doesn't appear that FFG discounted them appropriately.

The issues with Arsenal 2 are particularly problematic because it is the major way for expensive Heavy units to make up for the fact that you are paying the cost of multiple units for a single activation.

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