Jump to content
Wawa666

Polish Nationals 2018

Recommended Posts

On 10/29/2018 at 1:10 AM, Lightrock said:

It appears that the news of Sloane's demise were somewhat premature ;). In fact, having played her a year ago and again this weekend I felt she's more powerful than ever, though she is less flexible and requires careful play. People tend to focus on all the nerfs that affected her but typically neglect to see all the subtle changes that made her stronger. Anyway, I'm very happy that I could repeat my performance from Euros with a very different list (and a different faction to boot!). I also have @Ginkapo to thank for sparking my interest in Sloane once more.

I love the fact you've won with Sloane and 4 Phantoms! Well done. I'd love to try a similar fleet if only I could actually find a Light Carrier expansion somewhere ?

I'm curious, what do you see as the subtle changes that have made Sloane stronger? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Zamalekite said:

I love the fact you've won with Sloane and 4 Phantoms! Well done. I'd love to try a similar fleet if only I could actually find a Light Carrier expansion somewhere ?

I'm curious, what do you see as the subtle changes that have made Sloane stronger? 

That... might be a long answer so bear with me :).

For one thing, while the old Sloane archetype was hit hard by the nerfs to flotillas and relays, many of her natural counters were nerfed as well. Gallant Haven was all but eliminated from the meta. Rieekan is much weaker too, as is Yavaris. Meanwhile the appearance of Early Warning System and Strategic Adviser has shifted the meta firmly towards big ships. It might be strange that EWS made Sloane stronger but imperial fighters are fast enough to get around it and it's appearance makes MSU lists problematic. In the end of the day it's much easier for Sloane to strip tokens off one big ship and finish it off with Avenger than trying to fight 5-6 smaller ships at long range.

However, if I were to name one big game changer for Sloane it would be Pryce. Now, Pryce might not be a Sloane-specific upgrade but Sloane does benefit from her more than any other admiral. Having to fly right into an ISD's front arc (and possibly get last-firsted) is a deeply unpleasant prospect at the best of times. Getting shot by not only the ISD's batteries but also by several squadrons is even more frightening, since squadrons are the biggest single force multiplier in Armada, far more effective at delivering extra damage  than any concentrate firepower dial or token  (hence the popularity of Thrawn's mixed ISD/bomber lists). But if there's anything even worse than that, it's a combined attack by ISD and squadrons which can turn off your crucial defense tokens, completely crippling your defenses.

Pryce's influence goes way further than that though.

One of Sloane's biggest problems was always the extreme specialization of the imperial squadrons. Typical imperial bombers have no synergy with Sloane, so her fighter roster would usually include a mix of TIE Fighter and TIE Interceptor aces. Those were amazing at dealing with the enemy squadrons but would struggle to make an impact against the enemy ships, other than by turning off their defense tokens (which was very valuable mind you, but it meant that the actual killing would have to be done by the Avenger). Probably the only exception to that rule was Maarek Stele who is an excellent generalist - very decent against squadrons and even better as an extremely reliable bomber. Unfortunately while Maarek's power could be effectively doubled by Jendon, Sloane had few good options otherwise. Generic TIE Defenders are only marginally better at destroying ships than the typical blue dice fighters (for Sloane the latter do 0.625 damage per attack, while Defenders do 0.75) and are horribly ineffective cost-wise.

Enter the TIE Phantom.

Initially I didn't think much of Phantoms and for a good reason. Against squadrons they're strictly worse than TIE Interceptors due to lack of swarm and counter. Their cost is comparable to TIE Fighter aces and they're not nearly as effective or as durable. What sets them apart is the two red dice versus ships. On paper that gives them 1 damage per attack - same as a black die bomber without BCC support, albeit not crit-capable and  with much bigger variance. While it's possible to roll 4 damage in a single attack (only Keyan can do the same in the entire game!), it doesn't happen often. Meanwhile 40% of the time they deal no damage whatsoever. For that reason I didn't seriously consider them as viable anti-ship squadrons when they first appeared.  However, Sloane's ability makes a massive impact on their performance. For one thing, the ability to reroll crits elevates their expected damage to 1.242 - about the same as black die bombers WITH BCC support. On top of that, precisions are no longer useless results, meaning Phantoms become some of the most efficient anti-ship squadrons in the game - with reasonably high damage output, ability to burn down the enemy defense tokens and they're reasonably competent at dealing with enemy squadrons to boot. Just the kind of generalist that Sloane always lacked.

Why people didn't use Phantom a year ago then? It's not like they weren't available back then.

The answer to brings us back to Pryce. Phantoms' biggest weakness is their relatively high cost, 4 HPs and no defense tokens. Since the old Sloane relied on using relay to activate at least half of her squadrons by flotillas through relay, those squadrons needed to be durable enough to survive being sent to the fight piecemeal. Enemy squadrons and ships would typically have ample opportunity to fire at your squadrons before you had the opportunity to either finish them off or pull your fighters back, so you needed those defense tokens to keep them alive in the meantime. Pryce changed that fundamentally. In the best case scenario Pryce allows you to last-first your fighter activations during the crucial initial engagement, meaning you can use hit-and-run tactics, sending your fighters to attack twice and then retreating them back to safety. Even if you don't have the initiative, your fighters will only have to survive one enemy ship activation before you can pull them back, rather than several. This is the essential component of making Phantoms viable, that was missing a year ago.

Finally, an interesting side effect of using TIE Phantoms is that you no longer need boosted comms. Normally you'd kinda have to, if you wanted to make full use of the imperial fighters mobility without having them fly out of the activation range. The thing is, Phantoms can just come back into range on their own. Their effective range of activation is about distance 4.4 - a bit less than boosted comms range but close enough if you play well, especially if you have Jendon around for emergencies. That's quite important because it opens up the slot for expanded hangar bay. And that in turn means that as long as you can supply your ISD with a steady supply of tokens (a comms net Gozanti and Hondo will do the trick), it can activate up to 6 squadrons at a time, making Flight Controllers and Pryce extremely cost-effective and ensuring that with a typical 8-squadron roster you only need one other flotilla to activate everything you have.

To sum it up, about a year ago my ISD would typically activate 4 squadrons. 2 of those would be Jendon and Maarek, while the other 2 would be blue dice fighters. That would usually be enough to turn off one defense token and do 4-5 points of damage. If I had a squadron activation token to spare, I could activate one more blue die fighter and increase the expected damage to 5-6.  These days I can usually activate 6 squadrons (4 Phantoms, Jendon and Maarek) resulting in the expected 9 damage from fighters alone. If I can last-first my activations thanks to Pryce, my fighters can turn an ISD into a burning wreck waiting to get finished off even before the Avenger opens fire. My ISD is no longer the sole heavy lifter in the list with the fighters being mostly support. They are now equal value components of the fleet and are capable of doing comparable damage, which is a massive improvement over what Sloane used to be.

TLDR: Pryce and Phantoms make Sloane awesome :P.

 

 

Edited by Lightrock

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Confirm @Lightrock words. Played twice on Nationals with him. 

First game suprise me alot. Vsd shields nad tokens where melted like icecream on savanna Summer.

Phantoms are even more iritating as cloak get them in better position in the end of squadron phase on round where Price Was used. Knowing this I performed better in second  but Lost thanks to messing things up with Command dials on quasar and Vic (Was very tired afthed whole night takeing care of my 4 year old son,  put CF Command on Quasar instead of Squadrons. That CF was for Vic). I also made more mistakes looking back but that one Was knee shot that mąkę this game very hard to win.

Phantoms with pryce+ avenger without Huge fighter screen denying placement od anything in front of target is a 99% dead ship for sure.

Edited by NairoD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, 1728maxfirepower said:

I'm thinking about moving to Krakow. They seem to think they're the capital too!

Well, they used to be ;). Anyway, good choice. Nice city with some stunning medieval architecture. There's also a thriving armada community there. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...