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Thoughts on the TIE Aggressor in 2.0

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Having left X-wing 1.0 by the time the Aggressor came out, I never had any experience with it in-game. Now that 2.0 is up and running fairly well, I'm wondering if the Aggressor has any sort of niche in the Imperial faction? Does anyone have any real experience playing with the Aggressor/what sort of setup did you use? Can the Aggressor do anything for a faction that already has a lot of good ships out there?

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All of this is based on my limited experience with it:

It's about the same ship in Second Edition as it was in First. In a standard 200-point squadron, you can better spend your points elsewhere. In the 400-point games we've played locally, it's more effective. I've used it to escort a Punisher, and it did well there. It's not a dogfighter by any means - leave that to the Fighters, Interceptors, and Defenders.

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13 minutes ago, tracker7 said:

All of this is based on my limited experience with it:

It's about the same ship in Second Edition as it was in First. In a standard 200-point squadron, you can better spend your points elsewhere. In the 400-point games we've played locally, it's more effective. I've used it to escort a Punisher, and it did well there. It's not a dogfighter by any means - leave that to the Fighters, Interceptors, and Defenders.

Im feeling the same way, until theres a turret worth its time I think the aggressor will suffer being that there are better platforms to launch missiles from in the Imperial Arsenal, or maybe Ion Turrets drop some points to balance it out. IMHO I think that the TIE bomber should not have a double missile slot that way Barrage Rockets become the exclusive domain of Aggressors and Starwings (and star wings don't need them!) and give that ship more value. 

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I ran kestel with barrage/ruthless and double edge with barrage/ruthless/ion turret with 2x barrage scimitars and a barrage ruthless Jonas.  Was pretty **** good to tell the truth, only got kestal to trigger once but she pushed 3 damage through to boba and while I never got double edge to trigger his ion turret did take out boba range one.

i feel they’re very good for what they offer.

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My son has tried Double Edge. Wasn't very effective. He swapped him out for Kestal (Barrage, Dorsal) and it was much better.

Kestal kills eg Luke Skywalker; less effective vs more mobile aces, particularly those with more green dice. However he/she gets focussed down very quickly by anyone who has faced Kestal before, so he/she is there to draw aggro and you need to plan your list around that. For example, my son flies Capt Oicunn, who really appreciates being left alive for 2 turns longer!

But overall, the Tie Aggressor and the Tie Bomber need their relative points looking at (or a better turret being available) for them to be worth using most of the time.

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It's in a weird place now, with similar problems to those of the E-Wing. The dial is good but not great, it has a rarely useful linked action, lots of upgrade slots you'll mostly ignore, and is a little overcosted. There's nothing it can do that some other ship can't do better, and any potential flexibility is shot down by the cost of the upgrades. I'd run it with an ion cannon and nothing else, but even that role is probably better handled by a Starwing.

It's not THAT far from being playable, though. Drop it a couple of points and print some more turrets and gunners and I'm sure it could see play.

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Kestal has a nifty ability.

Debris Gambit is a cute trick, since they'll be able to Barrel Roll and Evade without stress, but probably not really worth the price.

Their biggest downside is that they cost 2 points more than a TIE Bomber, but have 1 fewer HP.  The first is a shield, but it's like the first hit a bomber takes is a Direct Hit.  They pay a pretty hefty tax for the potential to equip a turret, even when they don't have one attached.  If there is only one ship which gets a cost reduction in the January update, it should be the E-Wing, but the Aggressor is 2nd on the list, IMHO.  Not necessarily Kestal (I mean, maybe...), but certainly everyone else could use a drop.  How the Bomber costs 28 while the Aggressor is 30 seems kinda beyond me.  Bomber has a better dial, better action bar, better statline, and almost surely the better upgrade bar.

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8 hours ago, Ablazoned said:

How can you kill something that you can't shoot at?

Many Lukes are run without Supernatural Reflexes. They are then merely X-wings and can be successfully predicted and shot to pieces. His main defence (lots of force tokens, rather than arc dodging) becomes useless.

You may have noticed my subsequent statement concerning more mobile aces? If so, you would have seen that I think Kestal is a lot weaker against them.

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9 hours ago, Okapi said:

I'd run it with an ion cannon and nothing else, but even that role is probably better handled by a Starwing. 

It's not THAT far from being playable, though. Drop it a couple of points and print some more turrets and gunners and I'm sure it could see play.

That's a fundamental issue. Gunboats can pack anything you would have put on the aggressor, if you accept an ion cannon instead of the ion cannon turret, and are a lot tougher.

They are a useful ship - because they're the only ship in the Imperial faction with a turret upgrade slot - but the cost of equipping one is pretty high and the ship is pretty fragile. The Sienar Specialist is the Imperial equivalent to the Gray Squadron Bomber or Crymorah Goon - the problem is that whilst it has an extra green die, it has three less hit points than its rebel or scum counterparts. It is cheaper - such that you can have an initiative 3 Onyx Escort with a talent slot instead, but.....do you really gain that much for the benefit? I dunno. Trick Shot Onyx might make decent fighters in an obstacle field - worth nothing now scum seem to be doubling down on obstacle effects between the scum falcon and the mining guild TIE.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Turret and cannon upgrades are really underwhelming in 2.0.

In particular, turrets:
- Ion: mobile arc that needs action to rotate, puny damage, short range, harder to ionize with (you need to end up with at least two uncancelled hits to assign one token).
- Dorsal: mobile arc that needs action to rotate, hard to hit with only 2 dice, puny damage.

Given that single arc turrets have seen their area of fire reduced to 1/4 of what they used to be in 1.0, and the rotate action implies either more limited options when flying, or attacking without modifiers, in the end the Dorsal Aggressor is like a Bomber that attacked just with its primaries without tokens, most of the time.
The Ion Aggressor has little point to it, since if you want it something ionized for sure, it is cheaper to bring a TIE Bomber with Ion Torpedoes, that is 2 fewer points total and 1 extra attack die per attack, with longer range.
As they have said above, the faction has cheaper/better ships for equipping missiles.

In contrast with 1.0, where turrets and cannons were king and ordnance was crap, in 2.0 it happens the opposite, at least for now.

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24 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

That's a fundamental issue. Gunboats can pack anything you would have put on the aggressor, if you accept an ion cannon instead of the ion cannon turret, and are a lot tougher.

They are a useful ship - because they're the only ship in the Imperial faction with a turret upgrade slot - but the cost of equipping one is pretty high and the ship is pretty fragile. The Sienar Specialist is the Imperial equivalent to the Gray Squadron Bomber or Crymorah Goon - the problem is that whilst it has an extra green die, it has three less hit points than its rebel or scum counterparts. It is cheaper - such that you can have an initiative 3 Onyx Escort with a talent slot instead, but.....do you really gain that much for the benefit? I dunno. Trick Shot Onyx might make decent fighters in an obstacle field - worth nothing now scum seem to be doubling down on obstacle effects between the scum falcon and the mining guild TIE.

The Aggressor also lacks the reload action, making it an almost strictly worse missile boat than the Gunboat, the Bomber and the Punisher. Also, while there are more talents that work with primaries than with secondaries in general, there are even fewer that do anything for turrets. Trick Shot? Hard to get any use out of with R1-2. Elusive? You shouldn't be doing reds with that ship anyway. Debris Gambit? Okay, but that only lets you do a white evade, and you're not modding your attack dice.

Even with a decent upgrade bar, there's almost nothing you want to take on it. No mods, the gunners are too expensive, missiles are better on ships with reload or better action economy. Basically what's left is a vulnerable and slightly overpriced ion cannon. I honestly don't know how I'd save this ship. It's like they decided to add the ship first, and then struggled to find a use for it.

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6 minutes ago, william1134 said:

I ran a list of 2 E wings and a Y wing filler against a load of ion turret aggressors. I got completely wrecked by them. Constantly dancing around me at R1 with 4 dice for ion cannon just annihilated me.

For real? That involves at least 20 attacks that hit your ships, since each ion attack is only 1 damage. Was it 5 aggressors constantly attacking for 4 rounds without any miss?

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This I think was one of my first games of 2.0.  The opponent list was 2 ion aggressors, 1 reaper and 1 whisper, which did most of the killing I think.  

I don't know what to say, I suck at flying E-wings it seems but I cannot deny the annoyance of the agressors at range 1, just doing a bit of arc dodging and blasting to the side/rear with 4 ion dice.AQ3jvEpyGzYt-C8Xm5SdfeIslWwpUw3jQZIUOuqQ

Edited by william1134

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I don't see a lot of use for any Aggressor other than Kestal, unless you fly many I guess.

But Kestal is great. I used this in a store tourney the other week. Was pretty good but the Krennic combo, optimising Kestal, wasn't really worth it.

TIE/sa Bomber - •Major Rhymer - 40 •Major Rhymer - Scimitar Leader (34) Adv. Proton Torpedoes (6)

TIE/ph Phantom - •“Echo” - 62 •“Echo” - Slippery Trickster (50) Juke (4) Fire-Control System (3) •Director Krennic (5)

TIE/ag Aggressor - •Lieutenant Kestal - 47 •Lieutenant Kestal - Innate Deadeye (36) Ruthless (1) Dorsal Turret (4) Barrage Rockets (6)

TIE Reaper - •Major Vermeil - 51 •Major Vermeil - Veteran of Scarif (49) Tactical Officer (2) Total: 200/200  

The Dorsal is actually very useful, especially combined with Kestals ability. Certainly made Skywalker unhappy. She was able to turn after he passed and keep him in arc for a few turns with it, after the initial Barrage fire.

People still went for Kestal early, even with the threat of Rhymers double modded APTs. She's squishy enough to suffer, but if that opens up enemy ships to the other 3, they pay a hefty price to tag her.

Also, coord a roll into evade, then blue move and focus, is decent.

Edited by Cuz05

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2 hours ago, Azrapse said:

For real? That involves at least 20 attacks that hit your ships, since each ion attack is only 1 damage. Was it 5 aggressors constantly attacking for 4 rounds without any miss?

If it's anything like the gunboat games I've played, it's getting ionized and then 2-3 of the buggers getting range 1 primary shots on a ship which can't evade, boost or barrel roll out of the way the turn afterwards. I agree killing stuff purely with ion fire is hard, but it sets up kill-boxes something rotten.

2 hours ago, Okapi said:

The Aggressor also lacks the reload action, making it an almost strictly worse missile boat than the Gunboat, the Bomber and the Punisher.

Definitely counts for the Gunboat and Punisher - though those are the more expensive option - but the Bomber's is red and you've a fair chance of being dead before you can burn through a full load of Barrage Rockets or Cluster Missiles. My main issue is more cost; the idea of putting a turret and a missile on any ship seems overinvesting, but that goes double for something as fragile as an aggressor.

3 hours ago, Okapi said:

Trick Shot? Hard to get any use out of with R1-2. Elusive? You shouldn't be doing reds with that ship anyway. Debris Gambit? Okay, but that only lets you do a white evade, and you're not modding your attack dice.

Indeed. Trick Shot seems not bad in theory but if you're dancing around in the rocks the lack of the speed 1 turn's going to haunt you, and I'd far rather roll/link/focus like the TIE/x1 than roll/link/evade. I guess Juke could work but having the ability tied to a red action you can only use if you barrel roll first seems like picking something guff to try and make another already guff ability work a bit better.

Half wonder if Ruthless might work. The TIE bomber does provide more hit points for less points - and critically now has a white speed 2 turn as well - but if you're rolling and circling to train ion turret fire at range 1, whilst you're paying more points per 'expendable' hit point than an equivalent TIE/sa, you are still paying less than you are with an academy pilot, even for an all-up Ruthless/Ion Cannon Turret Onyx Scout.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, ForceM said:

I also think that they could have used the baked in ability that they had in 1.0. Where you can reroll dice when they have primary and turret arc aligned. That would not have been asked too much at the same price imho

That was Synced Turret.

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16 hours ago, Gilarius said:

My son has tried Double Edge. Wasn't very effective. He swapped him out for Kestal (Barrage, Dorsal) and it was much better.

Kestal kills eg Luke Skywalker; less effective vs more mobile aces, particularly those with more green dice. However he/she gets focussed down very quickly by anyone who has faced Kestal before, so he/she is there to draw aggro and you need to plan your list around that. For example, my son flies Capt Oicunn, who really appreciates being left alive for 2 turns longer!

But overall, the Tie Aggressor and the Tie Bomber need their relative points looking at (or a better turret being available) for them to be worth using most of the time.

I'm a fan of Kestal as well. Overall, I like the TIE aggressor, but there are a few things that I'm finding to be consistent about them:

  • If you don't put a turret on them, just take a bomber
  • Barrage rockets are basically an auto-include (that can get boring)
  • Unless you have a formation or a specific plan in mind, just take a bomber

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2 hours ago, Hiemfire said:

That was Synced Turret.

Ah yeah, of course. Still it could have been a baked in ability that applies to any turret the ship equips.

so that it would have its own special quirk and not be a strictly worse Bomber or Gunboat with only a possibility to equip a turret but where it’s not worth it.

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