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Discussing Passive Sensor enabled Torpedoes

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I recently gave a big spiel about the pros and cons of Passive Sensors on the wiki in answer to someone's question.  There's some important drawbacks (e.g. stress vulnerability) that are important to keep in mind.  It's a useful summary (perhaps incomplete though); to save folks here a trip, I'll quote it here:

Quote

There are several advantages:

1) It solves the initiative-range issue for locks.  Normally low-init ships struggle to get a lock for long-range munitions (such as Proton Torpedoes).  They move first, and enemy is out of range to lock.  Then enemy moves and gets in range for combat.  Next round after everyone moves, they're too close to use the munition (or they k-turned and missed out on their action).  With this card, you delay your lock until after everyone's position is set, making sure you get that lock and get to unload your munition, get your TIE/x1 ship ability, etc.

2) It solves the problem of your locked target dying.  If your alpha-strike munitions ships all target the same ship, and it dies before all of them shoot, then the rest can't unload their munitions that round on some other target.  But this card lets you delay your lock until you engage, meaning if the target you were going to shoot dies, you can just lock something else (or calculate, if you prefer).  It causes your lock munition to behave like a focus/calculate munition, e.g. Barrage Rockets and Energy-Shell Charges.

3) It's dynamic -- you can always calculate if that turns out to be better when you engage.  If the enemy arc-dodges you or dies, and you have no foe in arc but some scrubs will shoot you soon, you can calculate for at least a bit of extra defense.

It has these disadvantages:

1) If you get stressed before you engage, you've lost your action.  So being tractored onto debris, getting Panicked Pilot, being stressed by cards like Asajj, etc all will shut it down.  Such effects are uncommon, but it will put more power in those ships/abilities that can stress you before you engage.  (also anything that prevents actions, such as Damaged Sensor Array.  Wounded pilot makes the initial action a gamble.)

2) If you ultimately decide to calculate, that might be useless if no enemies are shooting you and you don't have a shot.  Not a big deal, but it's important to remember you don't get that calculate until you engage, not at the start of the engagement phase.

3) Cost.  You're paying 3 points, so they'd better matter.

IMO, passive sensors are going to be pretty strong in some contexts and I'm glad the stress and Wounded Pilot etc counters exist.  Perhaps Kylo crew and Asajj will benefit a lot from this!

I'm interested in seeing the Kanan/Hera ghosts abuse this.  I.... have not seen ghosts on the table much in 2.0, so I'm wondering if this will give it some more play time.

I think the TIE/x1 will like this a lot, even without munitions.  Many of its non-vader pilots struggle to get -- but intensely need -- that lock for their basic primary.  If homing missiles were 3 points they'd like that too.

I want to see a 4x (torp) or 5x (missile) alphas list played, even if I have to do it.  I'm wondering how it will do.  IMO this is the most likely candidate to relive the glory days of U-Boat abuse.  ;)  You can even upgrade one to Vynder using Plasma Torps if needed (with the rest using Proton).

Double-mod torps from Ten Numb will probably be good too.  We'll have to see though -- he's a lot of investment, and he just got more expensive in the points update for being part of Rebel Beef, and as such I have no pity for him.  I wish rebel beef only suffering and loss.  [ evil laughter ]

 

When the card was teased we were discussing lots of curious possibilities, like putting it on Darth Vader.  No wait don't leave, hear me out.  Vader uses PS to push his action allllll the way to engagement.  He can chain actions off of both or either the PS action and the lock/calc (usually the lock/calc, but he can chain in activation if needed to avoid blocking an allied ace etc).  This means he does not give a crap if other init-6 ships won the initiative bid, he's still acting last.  He guarantees he acts last unless they bring PS too, and most other init6 aces can't.

If lock missiles weren't largely junk, it'd be neat to see if the TIE/x1s would want those too.  I was expecting a 1-point or 2-point drop to Homing & Cluster, but no luck.  I wonder what FFG is hedging against.

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45 minutes ago, MasterShake2 said:

 

You actually get a 26pt ship that can carry both torps and probe droids to give you early locks.  Hyena's are actually the winner in the cheap ordinance category on a few levels.

Those aren't passive sensors, though!

And I still need to see diagrams of probes in action because I still can't quite visualize them on the table

Soon as I can scrounge up cash for a stupid Sith...

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1 hour ago, ficklegreendice said:

Those aren't passive sensors, though!

And I still need to see diagrams of probes in action because I still can't quite visualize them on the table

Soon as I can scrounge up cash for a stupid Sith...

A good object for approximating a Probe is the inner part of one of the dials.  It's not exact, and is a hair bigger, but it's rather close to the size of the part of the probe between the teeth.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, ClassicalMoser said:

Or staying alive in 1.0. 1-agility means you die to basically 2 attacks (especially with quadruple-tapping Ghosts running around).

2 attacks wouldn't have cut it, but the 3rd one was guaranteed against a B-wing at 1 hull remaining.

Edited by Marinealver

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7 hours ago, MasterShake2 said:

One of the problems with LoW PS missiles/torps isn't just that you have to get a lock, it's that you also have to survive long enough to use it with (generally) no defense mods.

Another reason the N-1 might do well. For a cheap chassis, Bravo Flight Officers can not only equip the magic combination of torpedoes and passive sensors, but are probably just tough enough to ensure living long enough to get their torpedoes away, thanks to two shield tokens and (if you can judge your attack run right) Full Throttle.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Marinealver said:

2 attacks wouldn't have cut it, but the 3rd one was guaranteed against a B-wing at 1 hull remaining.

TLTx2 for two turns kills a B-Wing every time. But yeah, that's an extreme case. I really love the 2.0 B-Wing though it needs to want the cannons more.

Edited by ClassicalMoser

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Posted (edited)

Well now.  I've been flying some Supernatural Inqs with Clusters. Seems pretty good....

Currently have a pair on the table. Moving up from 1, now they're cheaper :D

Natural thing is to close in from a stupidly awkward angle, then Focus/Evade if in doubt, Focus/lock if not. 

That Passive Sensors allows you to choose your lock on engagement is a straight up plus with multiple Clusters. You're already in a position where you fully intend to lock. Only now you get to pick where the all the Clusters land as you use them. That seems good.

Thing is, it's 51pt for that. So no x4. Feels intentional.

Shifts the point weight from one half of my list to the other when running a pair. That's not good for target priority.

So.... close but no cigar.

However, I enjoyed running one SuperCluster Inq at 51pt. Big fan. But the Sensors that fit in that list now are going on Echo....

(Echo up 1, Rex down 1- lols).

 

Well. Close.

Edited by Cuz05

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I like the anti-swarm inquisitor swarm.  What if you leave the missile slot empty on one inquisitor?  Then you have 4x supernatural inquisitors, 3 with cluster missiles, all with Passive Sensors.  1 point bid in case that matters against an init-3 foe, or you could upgrade one missile to Concussion.

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6 hours ago, ClassicalMoser said:

TLTx2 for two turns kills a B-Wing every time. But yeah, that's an extreme case. I really love the 2.0 B-Wing though it needs to want the cannons more.

cannons is another thing that has been hit with the nerf bat. The reliance on getting that bullseye arc and a movement system that is more snap in (putting gaps in the bullseye arc's coverage) has taken a lot of cannons out of the equation. Heck jamming beam at 0 points isn't even filling the slot for B-wings.

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2 hours ago, Wazat said:

I like the anti-swarm inquisitor swarm.  What if you leave the missile slot empty on one inquisitor?  Then you have 4x supernatural inquisitors, 3 with cluster missiles, all with Passive Sensors.  1 point bid in case that matters against an init-3 foe, or you could upgrade one missile to Concussion.

Or, better idea, Seventh Sister with FCS and no missile. That gives you two points to spare. And Sister is a decent anti ace option, and can be your closer in that list.

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Angled Deflectors 

(52) "Redline" [TIE/ca Punisher]
(13) Proton Torpedoes
(6) Angled Deflectors
(3) Passive Sensors
Points: 74

(47) Lieutenant Sai [Lambda-class T-4a Shuttle]
(4) ST-321
Points: 51

(67) Darth Vader [TIE Advanced x1]
(2) Fire-Control System
(6) Afterburners
Points: 75

Total points: 200

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7 minutes ago, JBFancourt said:

Angled Deflectors 

(52) "Redline" [TIE/ca Punisher]
(13) Proton Torpedoes
(6) Angled Deflectors
(3) Passive Sensors
Points: 74

(47) Lieutenant Sai [Lambda-class T-4a Shuttle]
(4) ST-321
Points: 51

(67) Darth Vader [TIE Advanced x1]
(2) Fire-Control System
(6) Afterburners
Points: 75

Total points: 200

Hmm... neat!  But I'm deathly suspicious of deflectors.  Even given the Sai synergy, Angled Deflectors costs both 6 points and a shield.  I wonder how well that works in practice, flying close to Sai but getting focus + reinforce + 2 locks on redline (or boost/reload/roll instead of focus, when needed), plus reinforce + lock on sai.  IMO if anyone can make angled deflectors work, it's Redline + Sai; but it's a lot of investment in points and tactics!

If only there were more points to give Vader Hate, so he benefits from taking damage (which pushes early attention away from him a bit and onto the reinforced ships).  If the deflectors don't pull their weight, that's where I'd pour their points first.

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2 hours ago, Wazat said:

Hmm... neat!  But I'm deathly suspicious of deflectors.  Even given the Sai synergy, Angled Deflectors costs both 6 points and a shield.  I wonder how well that works in practice, flying close to Sai but getting focus + reinforce + 2 locks on redline (or boost/reload/roll instead of focus, when needed), plus reinforce + lock on sai.  IMO if anyone can make angled deflectors work, it's Redline + Sai; but it's a lot of investment in points and tactics!

If only there were more points to give Vader Hate, so he benefits from taking damage (which pushes early attention away from him a bit and onto the reinforced ships).  If the deflectors don't pull their weight, that's where I'd pour their points first.

I would not overly worry about reinforce on Sai. I’d prefer he get Focus + TL himself. 

So if Big Red moves AFTER his target I’d coord a focus+free lock (get focus + lock on Sai) THEN take reinforce as Reds action, getting another lock. 

IF I don’t have initiative or am jousting I6 THEN Sai coords a Reinforce, and Big Red takes Passive Sen action. At SOE I’d choose to take the Calc Action and get a free lock. Almost double modded.  

 

Another intriguing thought: if you want to draw some aggro onto the shuttle, you can put Vader on the shuttle and fly Soontir as your left-hook ace.  He’s not as beefy as Vader in the Advanced, but NO ONE will be shooting him with Red and a Vader Shuttle flying at them.

Thoughts? 

P.S. A shuttle and a nimble med/small base fly well together with just a little table practice. 

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Last night I played the list twice and found it lacking.  In my first game the desire to reinforce was always overcome by the desire to focus or boost or delay a Calculate action with PS to get a lock on an ace, and AD felt like dead weight at the price of a lost shield & points.  In the second game, the reinforcement admittedly allowed Redline to fly away from a full Vulture Droid Energy Shell bombardment, but with caveats.  First, the way I was flying (due to the Lamda) kinda created that situation in the first place; I should not have allowed those droids to get into position for such an advantageous volley, but I couldn't help it because Lambdas are Lambdas, so I reinforced both and hoped for the best.  Second, I limped away with two Weapons Failures and a Blinded Pilot, neutering Redline ever after (he'd gotten one torp off with no good effect due to dice variance, and died next round, having contributed nothing more than drawing shots off allies).  To be fair this is a fairly casual list going against the strong meta of droids (and dear god I'm tired of flying against droids on casual night), but still, I could have done better with Redline if I hadn't brought the near-immobile points-pinata Sai along, who could not outmaneuver and disrupt the swarm like Redline would have alone or with a different wingman.  Tried to not joust droids, failed, and died.  This is why you don't see many Lamdas; the meta doesn't favor them at all.

Worse, I'm not impressed with Angled Deflectors.  A different upgrade and, indeed, a different team layout not built around getting Angled Deflectors to work, would have complemented Vader's and Redline's abilities far better.  The list isn't bad in its ability to make AD palatable -- indeed, it succeeds at what it's built to do, insofar as it's possible to do.  Props to the creator.  This may be the best AD list out there that I've seen so far.  Rather, AD is unworthy of that kind of attention, and ultimately just harms its user.  To reference one of my favorite comics, 8-Bit Theater, inventing and wielding Sword-Chucks is a stupid idea at its core, and if you want your arms and head to remain attached, stick with proper swords -- they're good at their job already, and you're only detracting from what they do well by trying to make them fancy.  (this coming from someone who loves quirky casual lists!  I'm that disappointed with AD)  FFG has dangled something fancy but stupid in front of us, and we shouldn't go chasing it.

As for Passive Sensors, they're pretty nifty on Redline since he gets up to two locks simply for using PS, and the delayed action is very fancy and handy.  And it's nice having a coordinating ally helping with boost or focus beforehand, as long as they're not a gross liability.  I would toss Sai for a Reaper so mobility doesn't **** the team (Vermeil with tactical officer fits if you remove AD; and ****, toss in Ruthless if you want), and occasionally he'll coordinate Redline or Vader to let them do all manner of nifty/wicked things.  Being able to lock aces really helped get proton torps off in the first game, and Redline's double lock helped keep his options open.  A non-lambda-shaped ally and removing AD would help the list a ton, IMO, and this keeps the coordination while shedding the core problems.

Coordinate is not a bad idea for Redline.  Among my tricks were:

  • Coordinate a boost-lock before a k-turn.
  • Coordinate a focus before Passive Sensors, for a fully-moded torp shot on a high-init target.
  • Coordinate PS before a bump.

So the idea of having Sai in the list is great, the problem is Sai and AD.  ;)  Trade those for Vermeil + Tac Officer and I think we'll do way better!

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On 7/1/2019 at 8:40 AM, BDrafty said:

Passive sensors does a bit more for a missile equiped TIE/SF. The ability to lock (and it has to be the lock and NOT the calculate) allows you to rotate your arc forward or back at I ∞.

This can even be useful even if you are OUT of missiles. 

True. There's a Hyperspace event happening this weekend and I'm bringing 5 TIE/SF with Passive Sensors and Homing Missiles. Looking forward to seeing just how well/bad this list will be. Now I just need one more SF and the list will be complete...to Barnes & Noble we go.

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2 hours ago, T70 Driver said:

True. There's a Hyperspace event happening this weekend and I'm bringing 5 TIE/SF with Passive Sensors and Homing Missiles. Looking forward to seeing just how well/bad this list will be. Now I just need one more SF and the list will be complete...to Barnes & Noble we go.

WARNING WARNING USER NAME DOES NOT CHECK OUT, LOCK DOWN THE HANGAR BAY AND PREVENT ALL TAKEOFF!!

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5 hours ago, T70 Driver said:

True. There's a Hyperspace event happening this weekend and I'm bringing 5 TIE/SF with Passive Sensors and Homing Missiles. Looking forward to seeing just how well/bad this list will be. Now I just need one more SF and the list will be complete...to Barnes & Noble we go.

I just hope Soontir or CLT Anakin or Fenn Rau finds himself in arc of the swarm at some point. :D😈

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Posted (edited)
On 7/1/2019 at 9:40 AM, BDrafty said:

Passive sensors does a bit more for a missile equiped TIE/SF. The ability to lock (and it has to be the lock and NOT the calculate) allows you to rotate your arc forward or back at I ∞.

This can even be useful even if you are OUT of missiles. 

EDIT: Ignore this, it's corrected below.

 

Passive Sensors does not instruct you to perform a lock action from the action bar. The PS card itself is the source of the lock action here, so you wouldn't be able to link to a rotate. There is a precedent set in the FAQ entry for Vizier's ability. This specific FAQ entry is referencing action difficulty, but it can be inferred that the location (card) of this action is relevant.

Image result for Passive sensors x wing

image.png.fd4ba068e807660880220149fb0035dc.png

Image result for vizier x wing

Edited by Crit Happens

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23 minutes ago, Crit Happens said:

Passive Sensors does not instruct you to perform a lock action from the action bar. The PS card itself is the source of the lock action here, so you wouldn't be able to link to a rotate. There is a precedent set in the FAQ entry for Vizier's ability. This specific FAQ entry is referencing action difficulty, but it can be inferred that the location (card) of this action is relevant.

Image result for Passive sensors x wing

image.png.fd4ba068e807660880220149fb0035dc.png

Image result for vizier x wing

Might want to reread the second bullet point in the Linked action section of the Rules Reference... 

"A linked action can be performed after performing the action it is attached to even if that action was granted by a card effect or other game effect."

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7 minutes ago, Hiemfire said:

Might want to reread the second bullet point in the Linked action section of the Rules Reference... 

"A linked action can be performed after performing the action it is attached to even if that action was granted by a card effect or other game effect."

Nice catch, I scoured the "Action" section, and never thought to look for a "linked action" section!

Carry on

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"Hahaha! Now Im behind you!"

"Excellent. Have some cluster missiles."

"What!?!?!!?"

[Explodes]

Slightly annoying that it's not in that pack, to be fair. The First Order getting an afterburners expansion is nice, though.

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