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FriendofYoda

Beating high init

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Played vs Soontir, Vader, Punisher with my Hera/Luke list and was pretty hopelessly outmatched. Had barely a sniff of catching them - how do you counter this?

 

Also relevant for those Boba/Guri players who have a very similar list to mine really

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From even the release of the initial game years ago, numbers helps a ton. This approach I believe makes a come back now with the focus on arc ships in this version of the game. Drop hera and roll out a few more threats, will start to at least generate more shots at them. I've been striking down my share with a four X-wing build.

Edited by ForceSensitive

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7 minutes ago, FTS Gecko said:

Rather than going straight to list building, why not discuss methods of dealing with high Initiative aces in general?

After all, you're not going to be able to change your list AFTER you've found out what your opponent is flying...

Because I don't believe turrets are in a good enough place to deal with Ace's right now. As they probably should be for at least a while. Further, I feel strongly that a two ship build will face problems regardless. So I went to list building first. I can't easily coach how to block phantom moves and threaten area and apply board denial with two ships. I might with three. 

Alternatively op, you could drop Luke and get like 3 Zeds. Also a good way to go.

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It is the same problem in 1st edition. The most powerful "initiative" are at the extremes so 1 or 6. 6 can shoot first and 1 can block.

Apparently mini-swarms and swarm lists are working on the shear power of throwing out dice and having a ton of hit points to chew through and there isn't any type of power combos that munch swarms alive yet. So block the ace denying him those dice mods and use your dice that is both superior in quantity and quality and blow them away.

Edited by Marinealver

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5pts will help you against high ps. Informant crew on hera. She can change direction and block them or even avoid their arc. Supernatty on luke with informant hera gives him all the info he needs as well.

For vader with supernatural, he wastes a force point b-rolling to avoid the block.

Another thing about vader is he wants to keep attacking the locked ship. So block with that one. Force him to wast force point avoiding block, then action to lock the other ship, and another force point to focus for defense. Keep making him spend two force points and he runs out real quick.

Edited by wurms

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Three key methods of dealing with aces:

Blocking - block a ship and it loses it's action, and thereby a lot of it's defense.  At worst (Supernatural/Advanced Sensors) it can force the target to spend it's action to avoid a block.

Focusing Fire - two shots on a single target have a better chance of causing damage than one.  Try and set up kill boxes.

Denying Shots - if you don't think you'll get a shot, make sure your opponent can't either.

There's overlap in all these areas.  Blocking a ship denies it a shot or (if you can cause a pile up) can allow you to focus fire on a single target.  If you can do a high speed move with a turret past your opponent's starting position you can potentially deny them shots while still getting a shot of your own 

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3 hours ago, FriendofYoda said:

Had barely a sniff of catching them - how do you counter this? 

 think with experience, you will get better at moving a way the ace cannot get arc free shot.

Your list is extremely unprepared for this match. I bet soontir was outmaneuvring Luke while Vader striped Hera's token and punisher dealing the crits.

In your position, I would try to work on target priority. Maybe try to kill the punisher early with desperate move. Then you may have a chance. Try to put uke in one of Hera's arc so it is difficult for soontir to get bullseye without being catched. Hope this helps

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4 minutes ago, player2422845 said:

think with experience, you will get better at moving a way the ace cannot get arc free shot.

Your list is extremely unprepared for this match. I bet soontir was outmaneuvring Luke while Vader striped Hera's token and punisher dealing the crits.

Indeed. Question 1 is 'how are you losing?' - which element or elements in the squad are really messing you up?

Luke is tough, and Soontir - whilst squirrelly as heck - isn't all that well armed (depending on his elite talent).

The punisher, if it's key to beating you, seems like the most vulnerable element; unlike the I6 aces, it's a big, fat bomb truck, so it should hardly be outflying you and despite thick shields it's not that tough.

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It really depends on the ace. Wedge wants to slowroll and hit you with a torpedo, so get close, ideally past him. Soontir wants to do exactly that, so force him to fly through a wall of incoming fire. Han, Vader, Fenn and Dengar are sort of in between, so it really depends, but I'd try to get them in arc at range 2-3 and hit them with multiple ships, similar to Fel. They're all pretty vulnerable to crits (especially Feen, with no shields and few tokens), and except for Han and maybe Dengar, Homing Missiles are worth their weight in gold.

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Two ship rebel list vs 3 imperial with higher initiative and multiple reposition options are going to give you troubles.  That's just not a great matchup for you.  I wouldn't call it a hard counter, but it's certainly one of the harder ones.  The punisher is definitely the most vulnerable target.  You can try and focus down and kill that.  Realistically it's going to take you 2-3 rounds to burn it down with both ships firing on it.  You'll need to try and take advantage of Hera's big base to try and get some blocks on Soontir to prevent taking fire from him.  Vader is going to be peppering you from a distance while this is happening though.  If you can catch Soontir in a block and have arc with Luke at range 1 it might be worth trying to nuke him in that opportunity.  But it just really comes down to positioning.

It's an uphill sled.  They have more arcs and more information to work off of.  

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9 hours ago, FriendofYoda said:

Played vs Soontir, Vader, Punisher with my Hera/Luke list and was pretty hopelessly outmatched. Had barely a sniff of catching them - how do you counter this?

 

Also relevant for those Boba/Guri players who have a very similar list to mine really

There are multiple ways.  One of which you can consider is to put Sense on Luke and find out where the most troublesome opponent will actually go and where you need to block him or get out of arc (using Hera's natural ability).  

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Yeah, it really depends what you're flying but in general you want to fly slow, engage at ranges 2-3 as much as possible to keep your arcs as wide as you can and try to fend the enemy aces into spaces where they're as predicable as possible. Soontir in particular is often fairly easy to block because he's chained to his green moves (less so in 2nd edition, admittedly) and there's normally only one or two options each turn that he can take if he wants to keep his gun on you. If you're fighting around asteroids that cut his options off even more, so he's either got to break off the attack (giving you a chance to out-gun the rest of your opponent's list) or risk putting himself in the sort of place he'd rather not be.

Maybe try running a few arc-dodger lists yourself to try and get a feel for what they're trying to do and the sort of tactics you're likely to face?

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Experience definitely helps. I've not had too many issue against aces in 2nd edition but a big part of countering them is knowing where they're going to be so you can get shots at them. A range 3 Focussed shot at an ace is now something they actually have to worry about, as opposed to 1st edition when they'd just laugh it off, so any shot is valuable against them. I find you often have to play the long game and gradually reduce their movement options over the course of a few turns until you can eventually pin them down. Trying to chase them often plays into their hands, so don't do that.

Also, a 2-ship list is not going to do well against arc dodgers because you can't cover enough of the table with your firing arcs. You may want to reconsider your list if you are always losing to certain archetypes.

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10 hours ago, wurms said:

5pts will help you against high ps. Informant crew on hera. She can change direction and block them or even avoid their arc. Supernatty on luke with informant hera gives him all the info he needs as well.

For vader with supernatural, he wastes a force point b-rolling to avoid the block.

Another thing about vader is he wants to keep attacking the locked ship. So block with that one. Force him to wast force point avoiding block, then action to lock the other ship, and another force point to focus for defense. Keep making him spend two force points and he runs out real quick.

Cassian Andor is only 1 point more, and doesn't require picking one specific ship at the start of the game.  Doesn't work at Range 0, though.

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#1 piece of advice for a lot of things is to learn dials and be able to visualize possible maneuvers quickly.

 

Example, had a pair of games 2 nights ago where I2 Y-Wings with Proton torps crippled or killed I6 aces.

 

Game 1, Vader did an aggressive initial move. I looked at his possible moves and determined that both of my Y-Wings could get locks and shots on him unless he disengaged and the positioning to do so offered little risk to me as the mini swarm couldn't redirect fast enough. Sure enough, the guess was right, he was stuck in my arc with his only possible roll blocked by a rock. 2 torps later and Vader was at 2hp with a loose stabilizer. I used Luke to set up a block for his escape and finished him off with another torp.

 

Game 2 I had a Y-Wing take a lock on Soontir earlier than probably seemed wise, but I wasn't worried about his wingmen and wanted an option if I saw a chance. Sure enough it came up. Soontir was stressed from using aurothrusters to barrel roll away from Wedge, so I guessed he'd do 2 bank, had 1 Y-Wing hard 2 into a barrel roll to block the 2 bank and the 2-3 straight (4 straight probably put him off the table next turn) while the locking Y hard 2ed into a focus. Sure enough, Soontir slammed into the first Y and her sister one-shotted him with a torp.

 

These are 43pt I2 pilots using attacks that need target locks killing I6 pilots with reposition options.

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1 hour ago, theBitterFig said:

Cassian Andor is only 1 point more, and doesn't require picking one specific ship at the start of the game.  Doesn't work at Range 0, though.

Is there a reason you couldn't use both upgrades? It would even give you the option of choosing two ships at range 1-2, or using the Informant to spy the enemy dial before you "guess" with Cassian. 

Nien Numb also seems like a strong option on Hera, as it gives her eight different blue options to choose from.

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7 minutes ago, MasterShake2 said:

#1 piece of advice for a lot of things is to learn dials and be able to visualize possible maneuvers quickly.

 

Example, had a pair of games 2 nights ago where I2 Y-Wings with Proton torps crippled or killed I6 aces.

 

Game 1, Vader did an aggressive initial move. I looked at his possible moves and determined that both of my Y-Wings could get locks and shots on him unless he disengaged and the positioning to do so offered little risk to me as the mini swarm couldn't redirect fast enough. Sure enough, the guess was right, he was stuck in my arc with his only possible roll blocked by a rock. 2 torps later and Vader was at 2hp with a loose stabilizer. I used Luke to set up a block for his escape and finished him off with another torp.

 

Game 2 I had a Y-Wing take a lock on Soontir earlier than probably seemed wise, but I wasn't worried about his wingmen and wanted an option if I saw a chance. Sure enough it came up. Soontir was stressed from using aurothrusters to barrel roll away from Wedge, so I guessed he'd do 2 bank, had 1 Y-Wing hard 2 into a barrel roll to block the 2 bank and the 2-3 straight (4 straight probably put him off the table next turn) while the locking Y hard 2ed into a focus. Sure enough, Soontir slammed into the first Y and her sister one-shotted him with a torp.

 

These are 43pt I2 pilots using attacks that need target locks killing I6 pilots with reposition options.

That's excellent flying on your part and shows your experience.  This is the always the best way to win, through planning and maneuver warfare.  Knowing opponent dials is key, for sure.  The Interceptor is an awesome ship, but it's maneuvers become predictable once you use Autothrusters - it lives in the 2 range.  I like to high speed out of an Autothruster turn where possible, just to keep my opponent guessing (I'd rather disengage with a 4 straight than be predictable with a 2 turn/bank).  The TIE/x1 is a different animal - it doesn't fall victim to predictability, plus it's a bit tougher.  Planning is still the way to deal with Vader (and the rest of the x1 pilots).  The Punisher is a beast as well, but it's relatively slow (compared to its partners in this list), but it can hit the hardest at range.

So, you have a conundrum - do you worry about arc-dodgers first or heavy fire first?  Personally, I say heavy fire first.  Kill the Punisher.  Be direct about it.  Then, spread a wide net to catch the arc-dodgers.  Of course, that's FAR easier said than done.  

One serious piece of advice would be to swap lists with your buddy.  Fly the Imperial list to see what it can do and how you can beat your own list - get into that headspace so you can better counter it.

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