Jump to content
Smudger13

Why no TIE FO swarms?

Recommended Posts

The regular TIE swarm works not just because of Howlrunner, but because Iden gives a huge boost to the squad by effectively requiring you to kill a ship twice. The FOs lack any sort of proper support on their own frame and the support from the Upsilon isn't exactly stellar either. So that leaves you with the ship abilities themselves and these are so all over the place it's hard to know where to begin. Scorch and Longshot are pretty good and Midnight still works pretty well, if not quite as well as she used to, but most of the others are either very situational or outright bad. The huge range of Initiatives doesn't help either.

I don't think this is a bad thing though. I think the First Order have been designed this way, so in this case the faction is working as intended. It might be nice if some of the less useful FOs came down in price a bit so you actually get to see them on the table, but that goes for most factions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had some fun running 5 Zeta squadron FOs and TN-3465, all with optics. They are all I2, so you can conceivably use TN-3465's ability 5 times on the turn she dies, which when paired with Optics packs a decent punch. It's not great though, you only want to kill TN-3465 if you can trade her for something better, and since there's no Iden and the meta is so geared towards higher initiatives you'll probably lose a ship before you shoot. You're better off with an Imperial swarm or 5 A-Wings.

 

58 minutes ago, Deffly said:

Phasma is overrated, a mild inconvenience at best.

Phasma is a great piece of board control that frees up your aces to be more aggressive because the enemy is far more predictable and helps keep the Upsilon relevant after the first engagement. Her biggest issue is that this is a meta where Leia and Cassian dominate making her near useless against rebel lists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, apoapsis said:

Phasma is a great piece of board control that frees up your aces to be more aggressive because the enemy is far more predictable and helps keep the Upsilon relevant after the first engagement. Her biggest issue is that this is a meta where Leia and Cassian dominate making her near useless against rebel lists.

It only works on unstressed enemy ships in range one, given that that is a large area for the large base, but fairly useless against self stressing ships, ships that can de-stress easily or those that can just simply fly around the only large base that doesn't have repositioning or an alternate arc. 

Currently you are spending a minimum of 51pts if you put her on a SKB, or 1/3rd of your list if you use Tavson, like 50% of FO players do. It makes it tight to fit anything more than 2 more ships into that squad. Personally I'd rather use those 5 points on something more effective. 

It is a mild inconvenience that you need to take into account when planning your manouvres. 

Now if there was a new cheaper crew carrier ship that could take advantage of ships being stressed it could help improve her usage. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I think another issue here on generic value is, surprisingly, the lower floor with Vulture Droids.  

The simple fact that you can put a 2-2-3 statline blocker on the table for 20ish points makes all other versions of that archetype start to cry in the efficiency song. 

Frankly, it makes paying 32 base for my I1 RZ2s feel silly, and I feel for all my FO buddies who just can't justify putting their TIEs on the table unless they are a souped-up ace.

EDIT:______

I'm not implying that Vultures are too cheap, just that the topic of efficiency is about all low initiative generics have going for them, and it's a really delicate balance. 

Edited by Bucknife

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Arkanta974 said:

My second concern is the lack of "swarm effect" to help :

- Empire have Sloane, Howlrunner, Del Meeko, Palpatine, Seventh Sister.

- Separatist have Kraken, DFS-081, DFS-311 and the Networked Calculations.

- Republic have Sinker/Jedi/Axe to help.

- Scum have Drea and a lot of good low cost ship (quadjumper, mining guild, z-95, escape shuttle)

- Resistance can't really swarm but the new transport and the a-wing (especially five of them) is really good and give options.

- Rebels : Have a lot of low-cost ships too and good crew to give several options.

First Order ? Teamplay ? We don't !

We have... Hux. That's it. And that just goes to show how awful the faction's swarm options are.

Maybe he'd be worth it at 4-5 points? SO much stress though, and without Cassian-level stress-removal, it really isn't worth the trouble (and extra ship) for a bunch of paltry 2-dice attacks.

7 hours ago, Deffly said:

Phasma is overrated, a mild inconvenience at best. 

This. She's a worse Death Troopers, and even Death Troopers aren't seeing much play (I love them, but I'm in the minority).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Arkanta974 said:

https://squadbuilder.fantasyflightgames.com/saved-squads/ec5cfbb0-51f1-4bcf-82d3-53a02d45a569

A list I played a long time ago, good but not the best.

My main concern about the First Order is the lack of a "low cost" support ship. Hope to see the Xi-Shuttle or Tie Echelon for this role. First Order have good crew but the cost of the Upsilon is really hard and most pilots useless (Disapointed by Cardinal).

I want to experiment with Squad Leader Muse. On paper it looks like she should be a decent cheap coordinator because she can clear her own stress from the red coordinate (or use her ability for support in the usual way instead). Seems decent for only 38 points, and for just 1 more you can get Biohexacrypt Codes to pre-lock a friendly to coordinate at any range once.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've flown a 7 TIE/fo swarm the last two weeks. Can't say I'm impressed. We had a pretty good engagement in my second game vs. Imperial 5's, but I rolled 1 hit on every attack roll, even the range 1 attacks. That basically sealed the game. No Howlrunner really hurts.

That said, I was flying them in formation as if there was a Howlrunner, because you can focus shots better. But maybe splitting up and grabbing locks round 1 is the way to go. That way you can follow up with focus + lock at range 1. Well, anybody who survives, that is. Not ready to shelf it just yet, but it definitely pales in comparison to the Iden Swarm. Just need to find new tactics.

I mean, when Second Edition First Order was announced, the general consensus was that TIE/sf is bad because Lightweight Frame no longer exists. But now the TIE/sf is doing decent (maybe not stellar) and the TIE/fo is struggling. I'm convinced there is a better way to set up the engage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Parakitor said:

I've flown a 7 TIE/fo swarm the last two weeks. Can't say I'm impressed. We had a pretty good engagement in my second game vs. Imperial 5's, but I rolled 1 hit on every attack roll, even the range 1 attacks. That basically sealed the game. No Howlrunner really hurts.

That said, I was flying them in formation as if there was a Howlrunner, because you can focus shots better. But maybe splitting up and grabbing locks round 1 is the way to go. That way you can follow up with focus + lock at range 1. Well, anybody who survives, that is. Not ready to shelf it just yet, but it definitely pales in comparison to the Iden Swarm. Just need to find new tactics.

I mean, when Second Edition First Order was announced, the general consensus was that TIE/sf is bad because Lightweight Frame no longer exists. But now the TIE/sf is doing decent (maybe not stellar) and the TIE/fo is struggling. I'm convinced there is a better way to set up the engage.

I think Advanced Optics is a big draw. Advanced Optics behaves like a sort of "distributed howlrunner", by letting you turn blank/hit or focus/hit into two hits. And yes, splitting up and mobbing from multiple directions is key. It's a lot harder than with my beloved TIE/sk, because they can't do the sort of long swoopy turns aileron- or boost-capable ships can, but coming in in an arc pairs up well with your access to segnor's loops and blue hard turns.

Look at it this way: Howlrunner is basically a 23ish point TIE/ln fighter with a 16 point pilot ability.

(yes, she's I5, but since she's generally stuck in the middle of a swarm and is armed with popguns it's not like she's really using that initiative much). If you take that ability and break it up into 4-5 sets of advanced optics, you've probably got a pretty similar benefit).

 

3 hours ago, Hiemfire said:

Anyone try 6x pattern Epsilons?

In second edition? No. But I've used massed pattern analyser TIE/fo and massed wired TIE/fo in 1st edition. They're not bad - they're annoyingly tough for their cost - but the big problem with a swarm made of 'tough' components is that in any given turn you only benefit from the toughness of the one ship being shot at, whilst a swarm of fragile-but-shooty components (say, Energy Shell Vultures) all theoretically get to use their special abilities at once.

 

I've used a TIE/fo all-stars swarm, and....it was okay but annoying. Having lots of different initiatives and abilities to keep track of makes it more mental effort than I want to use on a many-moving-parts squad.

If I wanted a simple squad of TIE/fo, I'd consider trying 4 Epsilon Squadron Cadets, "Null" and "Muse", all with Advanced Optics. You could spend your 'spare' point to give "Muse" Pattern Analyser instead, which turns her into a mini-TIE-defender, and if it makes her less effective it also makes her less of a target - no bad thing for a support ship.

 

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

8 hours ago, Parakitor said:

I've flown a 7 TIE/fo swarm the last two weeks. Can't say I'm impressed. I mean, when Second Edition First Order was announced, the general consensus was that TIE/sf is bad because Lightweight Frame no longer exists. But now the TIE/sf is doing decent (maybe not stellar) and the TIE/fo is struggling. I'm convinced there is a better way to set up the engage.

Agreed, good analysis, TIE FO's are simply missing something to make the swarm work. I think that the pricing breakdowns for the added shield and good dial work on paper, but they simply need that swing item like a Howlrunner or other potential offensive support. I had great luck with a TIE/SF swarm as they hunt aces really well, Poe hates being hunted by five of them, let me tell you. But against other lists that don't have that one high priced prize, they are meh at best.

6 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I've used a TIE/fo all-stars swarm, and....it was okay but annoying. Having lots of different initiatives and abilities to keep track of makes it more mental effort than I want to use on a many-moving-parts squad.

If I wanted a simple squad of TIE/fo, I'd consider trying 4 Epsilon Squadron Cadets, "Null" and "Muse", all with Advanced Optics. You could spend your 'spare' point to give "Muse" Pattern Analyser instead, which turns her into a mini-TIE-defender, and if it makes her less effective it also makes her less of a target - no bad thing for a support ship.

Yeah, agreed, but left feeling so wanting....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, clanofwolves said:

I had great luck with a TIE/SF swarm as they hunt aces really well, Poe hates being hunted by five of them, let me tell you. But against other lists that don't have that one high priced prize, they are meh at best.

I suspect it's the sheer resilience to being arc-dodged.

An RZ-2 A-wing's rotating guns are a much-hated ability but the TIE/sf can have both arcs of fire 'live' at once. Add in that Agility 2 / 6 hits is not that much better than Agility 3 / 4 hits against the odd pot-shot, but it does make it impossible to kill with one hit and frankly pretty unlikely to kill with two (even if one's a torpedo!) and whilst you're only lobbing 2-dice attacks, you're lobbing them with your entire squad, every turn.

 

A lot of TIE/fo pilots have good abilities, but I agree they don't co-operate well.

Malarus is a good example - she's great - between Elusive, an Evade token and a charge from her Pilot Ability, you can go up the centre of a 4 x 3-dice primary rebel squad and come out the other side smelling of roses with probably nothing more lost than her shield token. But that level of durability doesn't matter if you have no way to force an opponent to fire at her.

31 minutes ago, clanofwolves said:

Yeah, agreed, but left feeling so wanting....

It's a choice between 5 'elite' pilots and 6 well-equipped generics. I agree 7 'clean' generic TIE/fo isn't great; they have the durability but I'm not sure if they have the ability to bring that firepower to bear without stuff like Advanced Optics.

I think a 5-ship squad is getting too small without 3-dice primaries. Now I'm clearly in a minority because 5 x RZ-2 is a thing, but they're much more able to concentrate fire (like TIE/sf) and they have Heroic up their sleeves. I dunno. There are some good TIE/fo pilots but using them en masse requires co-ordinating the flight paths of the ones who self-stress (malarus/scorch) the ones you need to keep out of the fight to start with (null/midnight) and so on. A swarm with a couple of named pilots works - Howlrunner/Iden, for example - but whilst Inferno Squad works that's because they've all been given mutually interfacing abilities.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

FO Listbuilding is sooooo "meh" right now to the point that I basically never use them. It basically goes like this:

1. Are you using a TIE Silencer?

2. If yes, are you using Tavson and Quickdraw, or a shuttle and another silencer?

3. If no, then why on earth are you playing First Order anyway? Go have fun losing I guess.

It's just really sad that the only archetype is 3-ship aces. Either Ace and two support, Two aces and support, or 3 aces.

Add to that that there are only 3 aces on only 2 chassis and only 2 support ships on 1 chassis.

And honestly, even with more interceptors and pilots (and crew options!) the faction seems pretty locked into mediocrity. Feels like a poor choice of 3rd faction and I've been having a lot more fun with my 4th choice lately (scum of all things). Another (cheaper!) support option and/or a bomber or ordnance carrier, together with some aggressive price drops on the TIE/fo and the lower named/generic pilots on all ships could help the poor FO out, but they're probably going to be staying on the shelf for awhile.

I don't know, maybe I'm being a little doom-and-gloom here. The Silencer has an I4 generic which is a little promising if I4 becomes good again. Recoil's ability is laughably terrible (who needs bullseye anyway, and if they're in my front arc at range 1 and I'm stressed and don't have a bullseye on them, what am I doing wrong?) but comes in at just 1 point so I guess it's okay?

Edited by ClassicalMoser

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, DXCrazytrain said:

I keep wishing FO could get 1.0 FCS and Optics back. But that's my whole problem with 2.0 in a nutshell, not nearly enough action efficiency.

Oh, there’s plenty of action efficiency in 2.0 - the challenge is FO got left in the dust of it. They just don’t have any of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, ScummyRebel said:

Oh, there’s plenty of action efficiency in 2.0 - the challenge is FO got left in the dust of it. They just don’t have any of it.

Yeah, action efficiency is not nearly as rarevas initially advertised.  FO definitely don't have a lot.  Their efficiency comes from Kylo's force, people voluntarily shooting Tavson, or people voluntarily shooting something with Fanatical (and that's the mildest sort of action efficiency). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Biophysical said:

Yeah, action efficiency is not nearly as rarevas initially advertised.  FO definitely don't have a lot.  Their efficiency comes from Kylo's force, people voluntarily shooting Tavson, or people voluntarily shooting something with Fanatical (and that's the mildest sort of action efficiency). 

In fairness, if everyone but the flanking Ace has Fanatical, they don’t exactly have a choice :) Just start spreading it around so they have to give someone action efficiency.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Main issue with FO is simply cost

Sure, they don't have as much action efficiency as other factions (probably because Fanatic is fantastic), but mainly they're just paying too much for most of their TIE fighters ATM

SF w/gunner should not be more expensive than Arcs!

 

My experience with the Republic has me believing you don't need mods on EVERYONE provided your base workhorse is well costed

Edited by ficklegreendice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, ficklegreendice said:

SF w/gunner should not be more expensive than Arcs!

That's only the case with the I2s.

Quick draw and Backdraft are the same cost as Oddball and Wolfe respectively.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Octarine-08 said:

That's only the case with the I2s.

Quick draw and Backdraft are the same cost as Oddball and Wolfe respectively.

Great, so let's fix that!

 

Also could drop price of FO with...less than stellar abilities

They will never be a swarm ship (no force multiplier) but more like a gaggle of pocket aces (or cheap "3-die primaries") with some support thrown in 

Edited by ficklegreendice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something like this reminds me of the slaughterhouse tie swarm from first edition.

New Squadron

(44) "Midnight" [TIE/fo Fighter]
(1) Crack Shot
Points: 45

(35) "Scorch" [TIE/fo Fighter]
(1) Crack Shot
Points: 36

(33) "Longshot" [TIE/fo Fighter]
(1) Crack Shot
Points: 34

(41) Commander Malarus [TIE/fo Fighter]
(1) Crack Shot
Points: 42

(41) "Backdraft" [TIE/sf Fighter]
(2) Trick Shot
Points: 43

Total points: 200

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Out of curiosity, I had a try with a mob of TIE/fo last night. 

I was going to try @Hiemfire & @underling's 6 pattern epsilons but (annoyingly) found I only have 4 copies, 2 from each conversion kit*, so went for 6 plus Null instead. Went up against Han (Kanan/Dampers/R2 etc), Jake and Norra, and did pretty well. taking down Han and Jake and losing my last TIE/fo to a heavily on fire ARC-170.

They did me okay - it's pleasant to give them a try again - and I think the suggested squad is definitely one to have a go with. TIE fighters tend to go pop when tokenless.

You find yourself pulling red moves with them a LOT, and their increased ability over a basic TIE fighter in a sustained fight rather than the initial engagement is the TIE/fo's big advantage - shield token for more survivability, better red dial, blue turns to recover from stress, target lock to avoid 'wasting' actions when you aren't being shot back at. Leia is such a big deal for rebels that giving each TIE/fo it's own mini-leia feels like a solid start to the squad.

I think 6 + a tech upgrade is the way forwards. 7 TIE/fo is definitely better than 8 TIE/ln; the upgrades you get more than make up for a single TIE fighter, but 8 TIE/ln is detectably worse than 7 including Howlrunner & Iden.

 

* I was convinced it was 3 from each. I shall have to acquire 2 more and try again.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/9/2019 at 4:01 PM, Smudger13 said:

I’ve literally never seen them. 

I haven't really tried them.  Now I kind if want to give them a go to see.

Don't listen to all those people that say you need Howlrunner to make the Tie Formation work.  You don't.   Howlrunner is a crutch and makes you predictable.    I've done Tie Swarms or 5 Ties and someone like Vader to good effect.

Let me think about a good list.  I just haven't really looked at First Order in 2nd Ed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You've got me wanting to put them on the table now, MG.

The PA "in quantity" seems like a good fit for the FO TIES, but you never really know until you put them on the table.

As for the Pattern Analyzers themselves, I think I had to order two of them off ebay to get up to six.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, heychadwick said:

I haven't really tried them.  Now I kind if want to give them a go to see.

Don't listen to all those people that say you need Howlrunner to make the Tie Formation work.  You don't.   Howlrunner is a crutch and makes you predictable.   

sadly, dice are gonna dice

you do need Howlie if you're running nothing but 2-die primaries with bare minimum mods. Throwing Vader in there is a whole other ballgame. Vader is a strong, independent Sith lord who don't need no howlie!

and honestly, I suspect TIE/Fos are meant to fill a similar role to the TIE/lns in your vader list. They're mini-aces and single-target support meant to fly in conjunction with the First Order's best.

 

though pilots such as Static and Midnight REALLY scream for action support, albeit Static less so because that ability is still quite underwhelming... 

 

one other problem I've seen is the initiatives are really difficult to effectively overlap. The extra die guys, Scorch and Longshot, are I 4 & 3. Rivas is I 1. The I 5 FOs (overlap with kylo) seem a bit too expensive.

Muse and TN-3465 are both I 2, though.

Edited by ficklegreendice

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...