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Heavy Laser Cannon Q

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So what makes the HLC better this time around?

I see that you change all Crit results to normal Hit results.  What's the point on having HLC?

 

Doug

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3 minutes ago, Deagles said:

So what makes the HLC better this time around?

I see that you change all Crit results to normal Hit results.  What's the point on having HLC?

 

Doug

Its still 4 dice, which on something like a 2-dice Scyk is certainly an improvement... But you really aren't seeing it (Or any other cannons) on the table right now.

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I'm gonna second the "four dice at long range" reason, along with the fact that it's actually fairly cheap these days.  However, the bullseye requirement makes it a poor choice, most of the time.  If the cost drops a point or two, I'd expect to see it more frequently.

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only ship i've really had some good use out of it with is the defender and that ship is way too expensive. vessery can do work with it, though. it's really nice versus medium and large ships.

it's currently pretty bad. especially since i6 is so popular right now, it will be difficult to line up you shots. could be useful on poe i guess.

the point is of course, as mentioned, a four dice attack at range 2-3 without spending any charges.

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4 hours ago, Deagles said:

So what makes the HLC better this time around?

Better than what? Better than it was in 1e or better than just using your primary?

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Posted (edited)

4 points is what makes it better.  That's quite cheap for a 4-dice attack, even if it's a hard attack to land.

In practice rather than theory, however, it's not super great.  Bullseye is pretty narrow, and most ships with cannon slots aren't also high-init ships with decent repositioning abilities.

I feel like it'd be cool to fly with on limited B-Wings (Braylen Stramm can barrel roll into Bullseye with Focus and two rerolls for his 4 dice...), but the best B-Wing lists don't really have the points to spare.

Edited by theBitterFig

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Nothing makes it better, per se - in fact, the bullseye requirement makes it a bit worse.  The attack is good, when you can land it.

What makes it a little more worth it is that there are some useful carriers.  Resistance X-Wings with the Weapons Hardpoint are good.  M3-A Interceptors for Scum are useful to stay at range, roll high defense, and still land some powerful shots.

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I like Scyks with HLCs because they're cheap and they add lines of threat that the enemy really doesn't want to be in, often forcing their hand (e.g. make them boost when they'd rather focus).  If you manage a block with your other ships, they're subjected to a 4-dice shot from a cheap scrub, in addition to losing their normal action/tokens.  If you cover area well enough that they fail to escape the threat lines, they can get in trouble that way too.  2 or 3 of these cover a lot of space, and they're a serious threat to other scrubs that move first.

As for "better", HLC got significantly worse in that it cannot deal crits (unless the foes has Hull Breach etc), and it's limited to the very narrow bullseye, and range 3 gets its bonus defense die.  FFG wanted to take this from the cannon of choice in first edition to something more balanced and nuanced: you can have four dice, for the price of higher skill required (a devil's bargain that's very common in 2nd edition).  The one way it got better is it's now around 70% cheaper.  It costs a mere 4 instead of 14 points, so it's very affordable to slap on a ship or several, on the whim that you'll get a shot or two in the course of a match, maybe lots more if the enemy is flying scrubs (e.g. droid swarm, munitions boats, etc) or you're really good at blocking and setting up the killboxes.

3-Dice ships like B-Wings, Aggressors, and G1As might not care as much (their wide 3-dice shot is overall better), but meager 2-dice scyks sure do.

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Its good if you have the points and upgrade slot to spare for it, on the chance you will have position to use it. 4 dice at range 2-3 isnt super common. They had to limit it to the bullseye arc for balance reasons. It was too powerful in 1E (especially when you attached it to the outrider), and they are putting more emphasis on rewarding better flying in 2E over having better abilities, which is why so many abilities are dependent on position and angle then they were before. 

I actually like it, but i think many people are still kinda of used to flying 1E style and aren't so much  honing in on bulls-eyeing their targets. 

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6 hours ago, Lyianx said:

It was too powerful in 1E (especially when you attached it to the outrider), 

I'm not sure of your meta, but I never seen it played outside of the outrider... And they gave the outrider a 4 dice attack, so I doubt it was the reason for the nerf.

 

For the point cost, it was playable but not game breaking in v1.

 

Now, maybe it is still playable, but I don't think it had to be nerfed, plenty of ship have access to regular arc 4 dice attack.

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On 5/15/2019 at 1:01 PM, muribundi said:

I'm not sure of your meta, but I never seen it played outside of the outrider... And they gave the outrider a 4 dice attack, so I doubt it was the reason for the nerf.

 

For the point cost, it was playable but not game breaking in v1.

 

Now, maybe it is still playable, but I don't think it had to be nerfed, plenty of ship have access to regular arc 4 dice attack.

Just prior to the Parattanni meta and until they nerfed mindlink, my absolute favorite list was 3 Tansarii Point Veterans with mindlink and HLC, along with Kaa'to Leeachos with mindlink, thread tracers, dampeners, and guidance chips. It might not immediately jump out as scary, but when you have an alpha with three fully modded HLC shots, it quickly showed why it was as good as it was.

I've thought about putting it back on the Scyk, but the reason those particular Scyks worked is because they could get the tokens to keep them alive long enough to get those big shots with the HLC. Currently, there just isn't much that can provide that for them, so a Scyk swarm isn't as intimidating as that one was.

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5 hours ago, Raven19528 said:

Just prior to the Parattanni meta and until they nerfed mindlink, my absolute favorite list was 3 Tansarii Point Veterans with mindlink and HLC, along with Kaa'to Leeachos with mindlink, thread tracers, dampeners, and guidance chips. It might not immediately jump out as scary, but when you have an alpha with three fully modded HLC shots, it quickly showed why it was as good as it was.

I've thought about putting it back on the Scyk, but the reason those particular Scyks worked is because they could get the tokens to keep them alive long enough to get those big shots with the HLC. Currently, there just isn't much that can provide that for them, so a Scyk swarm isn't as intimidating as that one was.

Agree. I played a double scyk (hlc and mangler), Kaa’to with tracers and a TLT Palob all with mindlink. It was one **** of an alpha. Nothing close to that can be acomplished now...

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On ‎5‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 3:34 AM, Deagles said:

I see that you change all Crit results to normal Hit results.

HLC did this in first edition as well, nothing has changed there.  The differences now are

1: you can't now add crits back via abilities like Marksmanship
2:  It no longer ignores range bonuses and
3:  it is limited to the Bullseye firing arc and 
4: it is much, much, much cheaper.

Points 1 and 2 are nerfs, true, but also fine - they bring the cannon in line with the second edition power curve.  The designers have put a lot of effort into balancing the game and despite their price, first edition HLCs were powerful enough to regularly be the lynchpin of some of the top lists.

Point 3 is also a nerf, but also enhances gameplay.  Having to catch your opponent in your Bullseye arc rewards good flying.

Point 4 is what makes HLC worth taking.  It's still a 4 dice attack, and for only 4 points.  In first edition terms, that's 2 points. If it had carried the same price over from first edition it would have cost would cost 14.

It's low price in second edition makes it comparatively easy to fit into a list.  What's 4 points on an otherwise naked B-Wing, for a potential 4 dice attack at all ranges?  While it may not be a solid choice for a ship like the Imperial Shuttle or YV-666 any more, it can do a lot of work on small base ships.

It also becomes much more effective as your opponent's base size increases.  It's increasingly easy to catch medium and large base ships in arc, and as these ships often also have low agility values and/or limited repositioning options, it can quickly whittle them down.

On ‎5‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 9:30 PM, Wazat said:

I like Scyks with HLCs because they're cheap and they add lines of threat that the enemy really doesn't want to be in, often forcing their hand (e.g. make them boost when they'd rather focus).  If you manage a block with your other ships, they're subjected to a 4-dice shot from a cheap scrub, in addition to losing their normal action/tokens.  If you cover area well enough that they fail to escape the threat lines, they can get in trouble that way too.  2 or 3 of these cover a lot of space, and they're a serious threat to other scrubs that move first.

As for "better", HLC got significantly worse in that it cannot deal crits (unless the foes has Hull Breach etc), and it's limited to the very narrow bullseye, and range 3 gets its bonus defense die.  FFG wanted to take this from the cannon of choice in first edition to something more balanced and nuanced: you can have four dice, for the price of higher skill required (a devil's bargain that's very common in 2nd edition).  The one way it got better is it's now around 70% cheaper.  It costs a mere 4 instead of 14 points, so it's very affordable to slap on a ship or several, on the whim that you'll get a shot or two in the course of a match, maybe lots more if the enemy is flying scrubs (e.g. droid swarm, munitions boats, etc) or you're really good at blocking and setting up the killboxes.

3-Dice ships like B-Wings, Aggressors, and G1As might not care as much (their wide 3-dice shot is overall better), but meager 2-dice scyks sure do.

Thumbs up for this post, and I agree with a lot of these points.  I took a 5 ship HLC Scyk / Kihraxz swarm to the UK Open and enjoyed my day immensely.  As you've rightly pointed out, the mere threat of being caught in a 4 dice firing arc is often enough to persuade an enemy to boost or barrel roll rather than focus or lock.  Repositioning in this way can often lead to your opponent failing to co-ordinate their attack or even miss taking a shot completely.  I'll take that for four points any day.

If you can get enough of them on the board, I recommend trying the "Ghostbusters" strategy:

giphy.gif

Overlap a couple of HLC firing arcs and you're going to really make life difficult for your opponent.

On ‎5‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 3:10 PM, Lyianx said:

I actually like it, but i think many people are still kinda of used to flying 1E style and aren't so much  honing in on bulls-eyeing their targets. 

Yeah, a lot of people are still playing with a first edition mindset (which is a shame, because there's a lot of great abilities that make use of the Bullseye mechanic), and while it's obviously much easier to fall back on regular firing arcs, it's lso a lot more fun when you line something up perfectly.

Highlight of the Open for me was successfully predicting a Vader k-turn and catching the stressed Sith Lord in the Bullseye of one of my lowly Tansarri Vets.  Vader didn't survive the turn.

Day two, and it was my turn to get Bullseyed like a womp rat in Beggar's Canyon; this time it was Nien Numb catching my Garven Dreis at range two to deliver a killing blow.  Painful to be on the end of, but amazing to watch!

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24 minutes ago, FTS Gecko said:

1: you can't now add crits back via abilities like Marksmanship

While true, I'm so, so glad that it got this change.  1e Heavy Laser Cannon's treatment of crits was often fairly confusing for newer players.  Even if it's a nerf to the card, this one point is a buff to the community. :D 

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6 hours ago, FTS Gecko said:

Thumbs up for this post, and I agree with a lot of these points.  I took a 5 ship HLC Scyk / Kihraxz swarm to the UK Open and enjoyed my day immensely.  As you've rightly pointed out, the mere threat of being caught in a 4 dice firing arc is often enough to persuade an enemy to boost or barrel roll rather than focus or lock.  Repositioning in this way can often lead to your opponent failing to co-ordinate their attack or even miss taking a shot completely.  I'll take that for four points any day.

So, inspired a bit by this post, I came up with a list that I will be trying on Vassal and possibly try to bring to the table soon as well:

Cartel Spacer (28)    
    Heavy Laser Cannon (4)    
    
Ship total: 32  Half Points: 16  Threshold: 2    
    
Cartel Spacer (28)    
    Heavy Laser Cannon (4)    
    
Ship total: 32  Half Points: 16  Threshold: 2    
    
Cartel Spacer (28)    
    Heavy Laser Cannon (4)    
    
Ship total: 32  Half Points: 16  Threshold: 2    
    
Cartel Spacer (28)    
    Heavy Laser Cannon (4)    
    
Ship total: 32  Half Points: 16  Threshold: 2    
    
Drea Renthal (42)    
    Ion Cannon Turret (4)    
    Electronic Baffle (2)    
    
Ship total: 48  Half Points: 24  Threshold: 4    
    
Mining Guild Sentry (24)    
Ship total: 24  Half Points: 12  Threshold: 2    
    
    
Total: 200    
 

With the TIE running the blocking mission, and Drea threatening the Ion Turret AS WELL AS providing some extra modification to the Scyks whenever they are in any of the Y's arcs, I think this will at least be fun to work with. I have a lot of experience flying the Scyks, and was actually happy to see that there dial hadn't changed, nor had their action list. So I think it would be a really interesting way to utilize those HLCs now. Because if that Ion Cannon can tag a target, then it's pretty easy to know where that one will end up the following turn, and the Scyks can capitalize on that.

And I will agree with Gecko here and say this is the kind of stuff that I like about second edition. No, I am not likely to get the Ion shot on every opponent, or even every game. And even when I do, having my ships positioned to take advantage may not always work out.

BUT WHEN IT DOES..... it'll be a thing of beauty and one heck of a good feeling. I think many players are still looking for that 100% reliable combination still, and I think the developers are doing a great job of not giving it to them. Making pertinent choices that have consequences, good or bad, is kind of the essence of the game itself.

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Nice list @Raven19528, potentially packs a lot of firepower into a six ship list and some relatively cheap frames.

These kind of lists are good for disrupting your opponent's plans. Don't try and formation fly, keep the ships separate and all at slightly different angles so your approach and firing angles are harder to predict.  Avoid open spaces - try and drag your opponent into the obstacles so their movement is easier to predict (and easier for you to line up Bullseyes). 

It's also worth noting that without a 2 straight, Scyks slow rolling to line up HLC shots isn't always an option or them, so if you're in any doubt about staying at range, switch approach and try to block instead.  Scyks do have the 5 k as well, which is great to skip back out to long range when necessary.

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