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Mad Cat

Little Used Upgrades: Jamming Fields

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Posted (edited)

I say I say I say...How does Bob Marley like his flotillas?

Wi Jammin' (fields) 🙄

 

I must admit I have never used them. It feels difficult to put them into a list and gain more benefit from the upgrade than the enemy; so that is the point of this article. Tactics, combos, analysis and sample lists. Let’s see if we can raise the Jamming Field profile.

Out of my maybe 100 tournament games over the years I have only seen them once in a Store Championship two years ago. I had Sloane against a Leia list with I think 3 A-Wings, Shara & Tycho. One of his GR75s had Jamming Fields and it did slow down my sweeping away of the fighters but not by much. I had Flight Controllers, several TIE-Ints and Howlrunner. If anything, it may have helped me more as I had mostly 3 hull swarm squadrons and the A-wing counter (2) and Shara's counter (3) was reduced.

Swm18-jamming-field.png

To take Jamming fields you need to:

  • Buy the upgrade. Nice and cheap at only 2 points.
  • Buy a flotilla to put it on. 18 or 23 points. Again, inexpensive and you get an activation, some flak and a little squadron pushing ability thrown in. Imperials also get a bit of anti ship firepower.
  • Not take Comms Net, Slicer Tools or Bomber Command Centre. There is an opportunity cost when taking Jamming Fields as all the others have their uses particularly the ubiquitous Comms Net.
  • Jamming field flotillas generally get a little closer into the action than the Comms net or even BCC counterparts so some defensive upgrades may help.

The effects of Jamming Fields lower the intensity of squadron v squadron combat. Making all these attacks obstructed removes 1 die from the pool. Low dice volume attacks will feel this more than others. TIE-Bombers for example will completely loose their anti squadron attack. Y-Wings suffer a 50% loss, X-wings only a 25% loss and Wedge (with flight controller assistance) as little as 14%. If most of your fighters have high numbers of anti squadron dice, you can fair better than your opponent in a Jamming Field environment. It gets even better if your dice and can be boosted by rerolls from swarm or Toryn Far or if you can get bonus dice from Howlrunner or flight controllers.

Some squadron builds gain benefits from lower intensity dogfights.

  • If you use Sontir Fel and several TIE-Advanced for example, each time the enemy shoot at your escorts, they take damage. Forcing the enemy to do this more often to get the escort kills and then finally target Fel means more bonus damage points inflicted. 
  • Getting through escorts to kill (or at least lock down) Mauler Mithel and/or his intel source is harder to do with Jamming fields around. If Mauler gets a second or third ramming attack in a game this is usually decisive.
  • A Biggs ball including Jan and several X-Wings will appreciate obscured attacks, Biggs can allocate the damage around evenly.
  • Killing scatter aces is a lot easier with big dice pool attacks. Jamming fields could be a good way of keeping them alive by removing dice and lowering the chances of an accuracy to block the scatter. Try killing an always obscured Whisper hanging around near the base... not an easy task.
  • Bomber lists with several sources of intel and some escort may appreciate Jamming fields even if it hurts them more in a dogfight. 8 TIE-Bombers, Tempest and 4 Jumpmasters for example benefits from jamming fields by just ignoring enemy squadrons for 2-3 turns of dogfights while they bomb the pants off some capital ships with at least one jumpmaster remaining alive to let them do so.

The next thing to consider with Jamming fields is the fact that they are mobile. You can throw out your squadrons to engage the enemy at full effect then bring in the jamming fields to overlay some protection.  Depending on how you do this it may be possible the turn after to move the jamming field away to allow your squadrons to again attack unhindered. Quantum storm can help here using a banked nav token.

To remove the effects of a jamming field the enemy have a few options.

  • Kill the flotilla. It isn't that hard but Bright Hope may help particularly against multiple small bomber attacks. Suppressor may help by discouraging ships from getting too close and having their brace exhausted.  Tua + ECM is starting to get pricey and is probably better reserved for a Slicer Gozanti.
  • Relocate the dogfights away from the jamming area. Send the squads away from his jamming filed ship's path or use Intel to move away.
  • I suppose boarding Vader is another option but there are probably better targets for him to lightsabre.

 

So does anyone have any good experiences of Jamming Fields? Any list examples or brief battle reports?  

Edited by Mad Cat

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Jamming fields can by a list with a small or medium squadron screen at least one extra turn of tying squadrons down.

Something kinda like this:

Gozanti Cruisers (23)
• Jamming Field (2)
= 25 Points

Squadrons:
• Saber Squadron (12)
• 4 x TIE Fighter Squadron (32)
• IG-88 (21)
= 65 Points

This setup will make it fairly easy to kill intel and then throw your ties in with jamming feild they will last longer then you think.

A rebel version would be something like this:

GR-75 Medium Transports (18)
• Jamming Field (2)
= 20 Points

Squadrons:
• Corran Horn (22)
• E-wing Squadron (15)
• 4 x Z-95 Headhunter Squadron (28)
= 65 Points

Total Points: 85

Jamming Feilds job is to delay the transition from dogfight to bombing capital ships. I therioy it should work, but in practice its a bit lacking mostly due to Intel. Even when we tech to kill intel we have to get rid of it on the key turn when our flotilla is in possistion so to keep the squad battle tied down in the area your flotilla can project the jamming field. I know many have said this bit if intel just gave friendly squadrons grit not only do I think the squadron game woud be better it would incress the value of small and medium squadron wings, as well as this upgrade.

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If you've got a build that is going to end up tanking the alpha from the opponent, then jamming fields can give you just enough of a push to get all (or almost all of your squadrons) into the mix.  For example, take some of these 6 squadron Quasar builds with Flight Controllers.  You're blunting out 6 dice with that upgrade for as long as the jamming field flotilla lives.  Now, as highlighted above, you might be able to find a good mix of this with the Imperials (Soontir) and note that you can also do this off the Swarm title on the Quasar, another less frequently seen upgrade.   So maybe in Imp on Imp, you use jamming fields to blunt out an opponent's squadron build.  Maybe.   I think it has more of a use on the Rebel side where speed-3 squadrons sometimes just cannot be positioned where they can alpha, and sometimes where Rieekan and other upgrades lend themselves to tanking the alpha and then retaliating.  Jamming fields could be the difference between 1 versus 2 aces going down with Rieekan.

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I used to Love Jamming Fields...  They were part of my "I don't care, I have Bombers and Intel and all you're doing is wasting time shooting me."

Then Sloane happened, and I suddenly saw more Killy Aces with Flight Controllers, and my Jamming Fields didn't feel like they were doing as much, because they were maintaining a previous status quo...  And my Intel was dying quicker and lessening my ability to fight back.

So I havn't taken them out for a while.

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IMO for Rebels it works best with Biggs and X-Wings. It has synergy with Biggs to keep damage totals down, and helps the X-Wings outlast the enemy to go on bombing raids. Alternatively also goes well with YT-2400 as they have enough Hull to tank the alpha-strike and don't need a BCC flotilla. Both options have 4 Blue dice, thus less harshly affected.

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On 6/13/2019 at 10:50 PM, Drasnighta said:

I used to Love Jamming Fields...  They were part of my "I don't care, I have Bombers and Intel and all you're doing is wasting time shooting me."

Then Sloane happened, and I suddenly saw more Killy Aces with Flight Controllers, and my Jamming Fields didn't feel like they were doing as much, because they were maintaining a previous status quo...  And my Intel was dying quicker and lessening my ability to fight back.

So I havn't taken them out for a while.

Similarly have tried them out a couple times recently to shield my bomber wings, but either the opponent has no squads, or can still kill mine quickly enough (or at least do enough damage to make them miserable) that it's not mattered much.

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