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Cannons: Ideas to increase their usage

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Just now, prauxim said:

We have a local that has taken 1st on local tourneys with the drea syck swarm while the rest of were flying meta more-or-less, including beef.  Its pretty strong. Autoblasters is going to make it meta if its 3 pts or less.

The plural of anecdote is not data.

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17 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

The plural of anecdote is not data.

wrong

Any sample is data, surrendered data is just subject to bias, but then again so is 100% of x-wing data, there are no controlled clinical trials for list performance.

Edited by prauxim

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12 minutes ago, prauxim said:

wrong

Any sample is data, surrendered data is just subject to bias, but then again so is 100% of x-wing data, there are no controlled clinical trials for list performance.

OK fine, you got me I used a truism that is technically inaccurate.  Better to say that anecdotes in singular are not evidence, especially when the actual evidence (e.g. from listfortress) doesn't support them.

One person winning some local tournaments with a list, doesn't mean the list is (necessarily) good, it could just as easily mean the local players are not as skilled as that player, or that the player got lucky on that occasion/occasions.

 

It could also mean that Drea/Scyks is a good list being kept down in the data by other, better lists, and I could believe that - but I'd be stunned if Drea/Headhunters/Quads isn't just straight up better.

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16 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

OK fine, you got me I used a truism that is technically inaccurate.  Better to say that anecdotes in singular are not evidence, especially when the actual evidence (e.g. from listfortress) doesn't support them.

One person winning some local tournaments with a list, doesn't mean the list is (necessarily) good, it could just as easily mean the local players are not as skilled as that player, or that the player got lucky on that occasion/occasions.

 

It could also mean that Drea/Scyks is a good list being kept down in the data by other, better lists, and I could believe that - but I'd be stunned if Drea/Headhunters/Quads isn't just straight up better.

Yeah, I don't disagree the list is a bit short of optimal . But neither of those ships have the cannon slot, I think auto-blaster syck at 30 beats a headhunter at 24.

I think Drea + 5x Autoblaster Cartel Spacers would be A or S tier in the current meta.

Edited by prauxim

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1 hour ago, BDrafty said:

I still say that the game lacks a good bread-and-butter cannon like the the manger, but that may be for the best. 

No no no no no NEVER.

We do not want that crap coming back. Auto-crits are for torps and TIE/x1s and I prefer them to be kept quite limited. Cannons should feel different from primary weapons, not just be the same thing but better. That's not to say I don't want 3-die cannons (the Ion is great though too expensive atm) or even cannons that are straight damage-dealers.

But Mangler cannon in 1.0 was almost always the "correct" choice, unless you were able to shell out for HLC. Definitely don't want that coming back.

49 minutes ago, prauxim said:

Bs being more "very stout" or "great jousters" is a common perception, but Bs die to basically the same number of attack as an T65

If you wanted beef with cannons, you'd just fly Heroic T70s.

The Bwing chassis' only real advantages atm are the sensor slot, focus linked BR, and good close-in maneuverability (Bs are a lot better at blocking that an X)

Its silly that 2 cannon slots over not advantage at all, but as is, I'd trade them both for a single pt in a heart (and not just to make BBBBB possible)

Exactly this. Cannon slots do nothing for the B-Wing as-is, not because cannons can't be good but because something else is always a better buy. Doing generic spam? Get more generic spam. Running aces? FCS or talents are a better choice, or AS on one is better than Ions on 2. It just doesn't add up.

To be worth it on the B-Wing (especially if we want taking two to be worth it) the cannons would have to be basically free. HLC adds a die in bullseye at range 2-3 but turns off predator, marksmanship, outmaneuver, etc. Autoblasters may keep crits from being canceled, but only in bullseye at range 1-2 if you're outside the defender's arc and only if you have a crit to start out with (which means you're either paying extra for Marksmanship or your odds aren't looking that good). Basically it's just too many restrictions that go against how B-Wings fly to be worth taking.

What would make it worth it or potentially worth it?

• Make them free on the B-Wing only and raise the base price by a couple points.

• Slash all cannons to half price on 3-primary ships

• BOGO free?

• Some config to make them better (I like 2e linked battery better than double-tap, but either should be situational based on positioning)

That's really all I can think of. The B-Wing is sad even though the named ones are wrecking the meta right now. It just doesn't feel like the cannon-carrier it is at all.

Edited by ClassicalMoser

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8 minutes ago, ClassicalMoser said:

No no no no no NEVER.

We do not want that crap coming back. Auto-crits are for torps and TIE/x1s and I prefer them to be kept quite limited. Cannons should feel different from primary weapons, not just be the same thing but better. That's not to say I don't want 3-die cannons (the Ion is great though too expensive atm) or even cannons that are straight damage-dealers.

But Mangler cannon in 1.0 was almost always the "correct" choice, unless you were able to shell out for HLC. Definitely don't want that coming back.

 

1 hour ago, BDrafty said:

 

I still say that the game lacks a good bread-and-butter cannon like the the manger, but that may be for the best

 

Glad we agree. 

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21 minutes ago, prauxim said:

Yeah, I don't disagree the list is a bit short of optimal . But neither of those ships have the cannon slot, I think auto-blaster syck at 30 beats a headhunter at 24.

I think Drea + 5x Autoblaster Cartel Spacers would be A or S tier in the current meta.

Yeah but you can get drea plus 6 if you use headhunters and quads iirc.

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Yeah, I don't see the b-wing ever approaching anything like 4-die primary level of power, but there has to be a cool thematic way to give them a bit more juice and balance it out thematically.

Bs are thematically anti-capitol ships,  so something that increased firepower but decreased "accuracy" seems about right.

|| is one route, and cannons are leaning into that already, so cost based adjustments are the simplest options. But flat decreases can only do so much without making 2die/double tappers OP.

Another option is having to make decisions earlier (thematically fitting of slow lumbering cannon platforms) :

  • A config that allows system or activation phase movement of the bullseye would be awesome
    • e.g. to the left/right outside of dimple
    • but seems a bit "radical" unfortunately. 
  • Some form of target declaration during system phase
    • then some penalty if you wind up not having arc, or benefit only if you have || 

These could be implemented via config or double slots cannons

Edited by prauxim

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21 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

Yeah but you can get drea plus 6 if you use headhunters and quads iirc.

Yeah, you can do 6,  3 of them upgraded to I3 + Crack, or  5Z/1Quad.

I think 5x Autoblaster Sycks beats it though. 

Edited by prauxim

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42 minutes ago, ClassicalMoser said:

Autoblasters may keep crits from being canceled, but only in bullseye at range 1-2 if you're outside the defender's arc and only if you have a crit to start out with (which means you're either paying extra for Marksmanship or your odds aren't looking that good). 

Not accurate. Aside from the range limitations of the weapon itself, the crit part is only constrained by requiring the ship using it be out of the front arc of the defending ship. Autoblasters gain an extra red die when the defender is in the bullseye arc of the attacker.

From today's article:

swz45_autoblasters.png

Edited by Hiemfire

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2 hours ago, Hiemfire said:

Not accurate.

What I was trying to say is that the B-Wing would be rolling one die less unless it has bullseye, and that it only gets the crits to be uncancelable when outside of the defender's front arc.

Nothing I said really contradicted that, but I didn't communicate it clearly either.

It still doesn't give the B-Wing much it didn't already have.

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Just now, ClassicalMoser said:

What I was trying to say is that the B-Wing would be rolling one die less unless it has bullseye, and that it only gets the crits to be uncancelable when outside of the defender's front arc.

Nothing I said really contradicted that, but I didn't communicate it clearly either.

It still doesn't give the B-Wing much it didn't already have.

The section of your post that I quoted directly states that the crit ability of Autoblasters is bullseye arc dependant on top of the requirement of being outside the front arc of the defender...

B-wings may still find use for it, though it isn't going to be a large boost to their capability.

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10 minutes ago, Hiemfire said:

The section of your post that I quoted directly states that the crit ability of Autoblasters is bullseye arc dependant on top of the requirement of being outside the front arc of the defender...

B-wings may still find use for it, though it isn't going to be a large boost to their capability.

Yeah, seems worth about 1pt, maybe

At 2, maybe Gavin and 3x Marksmanship Blades is a decent list, but color me fairly skeptical

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1 hour ago, prauxim said:

Yeah, seems worth about 1pt, maybe

At 2, maybe Gavin and 3x Marksmanship Blades is a decent list, but color me fairly skeptical

Have fun dodging arcs with your B-Wings! You won't be getting any bullseyes from outside front arc except maybe by accident, so marksmanship probably won't proc and you'll be throwing 2 dice. 😛

Edited by ClassicalMoser

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On 6/17/2019 at 4:30 AM, svelok said:

 

And when was the last time you saw HLC? Or tractor beam, outside of a gimmick list?

 

I see HLC everywhere...

Its almost stapled to T-70's locally and on a tone of M3A's. Its a great cannon in second edition.

As for tractor beam... that better stay in the gimick section. Its far to powerful to be something that is used outside of nich situations. That being said i saw it on a list that made top 8 at a hyperspace, was on maul and the player swore by it. I agree with him it was a great upgrade in his list.

 

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46 minutes ago, ClassicalMoser said:

Have fun dodging arcs with your B-Wings! You won't be getting any bullseyes from outside front arc except maybe by accident, so marksmanship probably won't proc and you'll be throwing 2 dice. 😛

I did say I said I was skeptical. I fly BBBB as a blocker list so blocking then getting shots from the back in the next turn is bit more likely than it would be otherwise, and || is  much more likely at R1 (one of the reasons HLC is so bad)

I still don't think it'll be good though.  
 

17 minutes ago, Icelom said:

I see HLC everywhere...

Its almost stapled to T-70's locally and on a tone of M3A's. Its a great cannon in second edition.


HLC is one if the worse performing upgrades in the game atm, not even enough data to be ranked on MetaWing. 78 people got top %50 in swiss with T70s, running 15 different upgrades, and not 1 ran HLC

Before MetaWing 2.0 started back up, when Poe (purported to be the ideal HLC carrier) was still doing well, I looked at his builds making the top 16 cut. Obviously most were ptorps but a few dozen with no weapon upgrade and only 2 with HLC
 

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7 hours ago, prauxim said:

|| is  much more likely at R1 (one of the reasons HLC is so bad)

True, which is probably the best thing Autoblasters has going for it.

Kind of want to see it on an Upsilon TBH. Linked Battery is actually a really interesting ability that I wouldn't mind seeing on more ships.

LIKE THE B-WING ugh sorry I know I'm being annoying I promise I'll stop now.

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For the B-Wing specifically, the best hope might be an upgrade that takes two cannon slots, since it and the IGs are the only ships with that combo. Barrage Cannon?

Perhaps it could perform two 2-dice attacks? That'd really benefit from being at Range 1, and B-Wings are pretty good at staying close. It's also better against low-agi ships, if you want to make the B-Wing a capital ship killer. Might end up stapled to Braylen and his rerolls, though.

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A cannon with a 'charge up' shot might be interesting - start with 0 charges and either wait or spend actions to 'prime' the cannon.

Firing spends all the charges and (maybe) gives you strain into the bargain.

Something like a 'light turbolaser' for B-wings, Aggressors, and maybe the TIE/br if it ever turns up.

 

I think a mix of cannons might be worth a look where looking at them in isolation makes them look bad.

Ion cannons on their own are nice but not devastating (because they cap out at 1 damage), but bullseye-ing an ionized target becomes a lot easier....and if you can reliably bullseye a target, Marksmanship Autoblasters and Heavy Laser Cannons jump from "mediocre" to "it costs less than homing missiles and does WHAT?"

 

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Had a friend using Tractor Beam on a Resistance Transport to support Vennie/Tallie.  Being able to potentially toss around someone, get them into the sweet spot for Vennie Double-Taps is pretty decent, particularly with reduced agility.

//

Anyhow, I'm probably soon going to dig out an old favorite, with a small new twist:

  • Fenn Rau (-) 68
  • 3x Cartel Spacer (Ion Cannon) 33
  • Sunny Bounder (Autoblasters) 32 - I figure 3x Ion might be enough control, so adding a secondary beater might be nice.
    • Spare points: 1

The question: a baby-bid for Fenn Rau, or Crack Shot?

 

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I've liked this thread a lot. I'm increasingly realizing that the B-Wing really doesn't necessarily need a config for cannons (though I still wouldn't mind one) as long as the cannons are costed appropriately. IMO, all secondary weapons should be priced on the baseline of a 3-primary ship. 3-attack is the benchmark attack for the game and if it would be useless on a 3-primary, it's probably not enough reason to justify getting a 2-primary ship anyway.

Autoblasters is really great in this regard. It's not crazy useful on a 3-attack ship, but used at the right time it can be devastating, and at just 2 points, it's cheap enough that there isn't a major opportunity cost. Similarly, on a 2-primary, it adds quite a bit of punch, but 2 points is more of an investment on that platform anyway (to have it in numbers like the Scyk wants that gets multiplied a lot).

Suppose we took that baseline and applied it to the other cannons as well? Obviously Jamming Beam can stay where it is – most of the time you could take it or leave it even for free. But what about the others?

Tractor Beam – 2 points. Honestly I think this is priced about right. Throwing a ship onto a rock before it can attack you is pretty huge and can save you a lot more damage than you're failing to deal it. Critically, on small ships it only takes one hit going through to make it happen. That's pretty sweet. It's getting played and doing a decent job. It's not for every platform, but not every upgrade has to be. It's great on T-70s and can be well worth it on Lambdas. Scum with Ketsu crew love it. I'd be interested to see what a 1-point decrease did for it, but I think it's largely unnecessary.

Heavy Laser Cannon – 4 points. It's sad to say this because 4 attack dice are huge, but 4 points is just too much. There really aren't any cannon ships that have an easy time lining up a bullseye, and those that do are generally sacrificing their mods for it. The only exception is the B-Wing, but it's definitely not good for long-range sniping and doesn't typically have the initiative to pull it off. If you're getting the initiative or other information to pull off the bullseye, that's more points sunk into it anyway. Even at the same price point, I'd probably take Autoblasters over HLC half the time. It turns off pretty much every talent in the game, and it's just too hard to land. 3 points probably wouldn't be too expensive. Really it's more of a "nice when you can get it" ability than a reliable damage-dealer, and so paying that much over Autoblasters is a tough proposition, because every platform gets about as much out of autoblasters as they would from HLC.

Ion Cannon – 5 points. As a damage cannon, it might be good. As a control cannon, it's pretty awful. For 2-primaries, it's a great way of getting an always-on third attack die BUT it turns off primary-attack-based abilities, so it's not like there's no opportunity cost. Added benefit: if you do land 2 hits, you have successfully ionized a small ship! Downside: If you land three hits, you did nearly nothing against a large ship, especially if it's reinforced. Is ion or damage more valuable? That depends on how you can leverage it. For the most part, Ion Cannon gets the worst of both worlds, especially on 3-attack platforms. You'd think it would be really good on some B-Wings because of the potential to ionize an ace and just walk it away at one damage from each per turn. Unfortunately, taking it on just two B-Wings costs ten points which could get you Advanced Sensors, or Passive Sensors and a Torpedo, or something else valuable. The opportunity cost is too high for how little it does. This is honestly true of a 2-primary ship as well. If you're investing 5 in ion cannon, you're missing out on named pilots, valuable crew, or powerful talents that are just worth more. I think Ion Cannon would be taken quite a lot at 3 points, and it would pay for itself. I think it would be a viable alternative to the HLC depending on your needs and an upgrade from the Autoblasters, especially on 2-primaries. In numbers, it could be really annoying, but you don't want your ace getting shot in numbers in the first place, so it's really just a good way of punishing poor ace play, which is important to the game anyway, especially in its current state.

Conclusion – My ideal pricing for Cannons:

Jamming Beam – 0 points

Tractor Beam - 2 points (maybe 1)

Autoblasters - 2 points

Heavy Laser Cannon - 3 points (maybe 2)

Ion Cannon - 3 points

I would also like to see this pricing structure applied to the lock-based missiles as well. The developers really need to consider efficiency and opportunity cost. Chasing tricks for getting locks to fire 3-attack missiles is always worse than just taking 3-primary ships or keeping the 2-attack ships cheap as blockers. Lock-based Missiles should cost 2-4 points and they would be decent to good. As is, they're a worthless points sink.

If Passive Sensors, Synchronized Console, or (the abysmal) Targeting Synchronizer ends up being OP with missiles, nerf those. It's much more likely that they'll be more abusive with Torps anyway. Missiles should be priced to be useful on the chassis that need them, and they're currently not.

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Silly question, but what's stopping the use of a variable points cost for cannons?

 

Ion cannons: substantial upgrade on a 2 atk ship, barely an upgrade at all on 3 dice... (same story to a certain extent with all cannons) so what's stopping us from having a variable cost based on primary atk value?

Say a 2 atk ship pays the standard 5 points, a 3 atk ship might get the upgrade for 3 points, and a 4 atk ship would only pay 1 point for the upgrade.

(Points values used above are only for illustrative purposes)

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On 6/17/2019 at 12:30 PM, svelok said:

Cannons really should be cheaper, though.

Ion Cannon is so, so much worse than Ion Turret. One can point in any direction! And it's much easier to get a double tapping turret than a double tapping cannon. But the cannon is one point more?

And when was the last time you saw HLC? Or tractor beam, outside of a gimmick list?

Tractors for 1 point, HLC (and Autoblasters) for 2 points, Ion for 2 or 3 points. 

 

Alternately, there's no reason the cannon slot has to be just attacks, right? I don't want to go the 1.0 route of "just give cannon attacks loads of passive mods" - I'm super out. But there's other design space in there too.

Cannon upgrade that allows you to spend a hit during the neutralize results step while making a primary attack to assign the defender a strain; or a cannon upgrade that makes your cannon attacks increase their range by 1? They can just print cards that go in those slots, there's no law against it.

I really like the idea of cannona upgrading the primary attack, instead of being its own thing. But that is not gonna happen :(

The ion effect really is a boogeyman. Being walked of The table is probably the worst case of NPE. It does limit what can be done to make cannons competetive. 

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8 minutes ago, namdoolb said:

Silly question, but what's stopping the use of a variable points cost for cannons?

 

Ion cannons: substantial upgrade on a 2 atk ship, barely an upgrade at all on 3 dice... (same story to a certain extent with all cannons) so what's stopping us from having a variable cost based on primary atk value?

Say a 2 atk ship pays the standard 5 points, a 3 atk ship might get the upgrade for 3 points, and a 4 atk ship would only pay 1 point for the upgrade.

(Points values used above are only for illustrative purposes)

Basically the "not all upgrades have to be good on all ships" mindset

I actually agree for the most part, just wish it made sense for Bs to run them somehow for thematic reasons.

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