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Kieransi

why don't you play TIE swarms?

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1 minute ago, Mike J said:

You didn’t provide an option for those of us who do fly TIE swarms...

sorry! strawpoll doesn't have multiple sections so I couldn't really figure out how to have two different answers like that. 

So what is it about TIE swarms that you do like? :)

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I’m just starting out and the Core set came with two TIEs. I’ve always been an Empire fan. So, I started with a TIE swarm. Once I win some games with it and “git gud”, I’ll pick another archetype to learn to fly. I’m hoping that will happen before the release of X-Wing 3.0. Fingers crossed.

It is rather satisfying to be able to keep them in formation after one or more engagements and the furball is in full swing. Also they look cool on the table in formation. Very cinematic.

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The reward doesn't track with the risk. Yes, a TIE swarm is second to nothing in terms of bringing raw firepower to the table, and I'm always surprised by how often an opponent will make the mistake of jousting a swarm and find themselves down 80-95% of their list in a single round of shooting.

 

However:
 

 - No list is as unforgiving of mistakes as a TIE swarm. You get out of position one time, or (God forbid) you misjudge your turn radius or fail to predict a block and now there's a traffic jam, some of your ships are out of standard alignment and you'll probably never get yourself back into formation. Once your TIEs are forced to scatter, if you haven't had the opportunity to have a devastating shooting round, the game is just over. You'll be picked apart before you can re-consolidate.

 - It is physically and mentally exhausting to control such a large formation of ships in tournament play.

 - There is an element of TIE swarms that feels unsporting in that new players tend to fall for the trap of jousting you, which means it can feel like your primary edge in a fight is just a means of tabling the inexperienced.

 - There is little 'look at this cool toy' element to dedicated TIE swarms. You have to fly skillfully and don't get to trigger a bunch of neat game effects; everything that makes the list work is a passive effect or a stats efficiency. Gunning down Wedge with dozens of re-rolled attack dice doesn't feel as satisfying as killing an agile starfighter with Wedge by denying them evasion dice.

 - Terrain disproportionately impacts your swarm, and the way to fight against that is to take terrain out of the game as much as possible, which adds a sense of staleness to matches.

 - TIE swarms are one of the few lists that can be hard-countered to such an extent that its worst matches are all but automatic losses. This is especially devastating for lists that demand so much mental energy and precision flying. Worse, it's best match-ups - while good - are not nearly as favorable as its worst matches are detrimental.

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Posted (edited)

I always feel like the list is better than me and I’m bringing it down. Like, it could do so much better if it didn’t have me effing up every decision. Oh, sure, the theoretical “set one dial 6 times” part of the game is fine for a lot of games, but for those 50/50 games where player skill and decisions are going to make the difference, I’m not good enough to get it done and I don’t want to put in the work to get better at it.

The process of learning to be a better TIE swarm player isn’t fun enough for me to spend my hobby time on it.

Edited by skotothalamos

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Man, what is with the horrific terminology creeping in lately? First "AIDS" and "disease", now "cancer"? Some of you folks need to tone the **** down that rhetoric, or take a walk back to League at least.

 

For what it's worth, I have zero issue with TIE swarms, I just have never bothered to play them because they don't hold any particular appeal for me. None of that poll really applies to me. I got into the game shortly after 1e launch and saw plenty of them on the tables back then but... there were just more interesting other things to play for me.

I probably should try it once at least. I have 14 **** TIE/ln models sitting there. I should probably justify that.

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3 hours ago, Kieransi said:

https://strawpoll.com/33d6c5sa

Seriously, why not? I want to know. I feel like I don't see a lot of them. 

I do. So :P

What I don't do is fly Howlrunner TIE swarms. Because I like not being tied* to a block formation.

What I've recently fallen in love with - was using last night, in fact - was a TIE/fo swarm with Pattern Analysers. Those things are ludicrously flexible, able to pull segnors loops and koiogran turns without loosing actions (and with defence built around green dice, reliable access to focus is huge). Their recently slashed price means a squad of 6 with pattern analysers can now include a brace of named pilots to boot.

 

 

* pun not intended

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I've tried the Howlrunner/Iden swarm a couple of times, and I've found it really doesn't suit my playstyle.  To get the most from your squad, you really need to keep to a tight formation, and if you don't leverage your firepower advantage well in the first engagement you'll have a steep hill to climb to get back in the game.  This isn't to say they can't be flown well, but it really doesn't fit my playstyle.

However, with the recent points update, I'm going to give a Sloane Decimator plus five Academy TIEs a try.  It feels like it has a lot of the firepower of the standard TIE swarm, but doesn't tie you into a tight formation in the same way.  And the stress control element seems like it could give you a real edge if things get double stressed at the wrong moment!

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5 minutes ago, Jarval said:

I've tried the Howlrunner/Iden swarm a couple of times, and I've found it really doesn't suit my playstyle.  To get the most from your squad, you really need to keep to a tight formation, and if you don't leverage your firepower advantage well in the first engagement you'll have a steep hill to climb to get back in the game.  This isn't to say they can't be flown well, but it really doesn't fit my playstyle.

However, with the recent points update, I'm going to give a Sloane Decimator plus five Academy TIEs a try.  It feels like it has a lot of the firepower of the standard TIE swarm, but doesn't tie you into a tight formation in the same way.  And the stress control element seems like it could give you a real edge if things get double stressed at the wrong moment!

If I recall the math correctly, Lambda shuttles actually have more effective health than a Decimator due to the shield to hull ratio. So you're probably better off with Sloane riding a shuttle, unless you really need the Decimator as an upgrade platform.

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2 hours ago, President Jyrgunkarrd said:

 - It is physically and mentally exhausting to control such a large formation of ships in tournament play.

All of your points were good, but I just want to underline this one for emphasis.  :)

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2 minutes ago, Icelom said:

Network calculation & energy shell charges >>>>>> any tie swarm.

 

 

This may eventually be true, but for now the Trade Fed has so few options compared to the Empire that their swarm is even more limited in its meta scope while having less effective firepower.

Empire can complement a swarm with whatever they want. Big Ace, stress bombs, actual bombs, fat Decimator, more swarm, support vehicles, etc. Federation only has 'add more swarm and pray'.

Being able to R2 an opponent with your alpha is nice, but not quite as nice as the TIE R1 alpha with it's Howlrunner re-rolls and initiative kills.

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Posted (edited)

@Kieransi why do so many of the top players ask "Why does nobody fly Tie Swarms?" yet none of them do it themselves.

Rather fascinating to understand why they all are certain the list is so strong but also universally don't want to fly it. A good number had no problem flying Rebel beef. So can't be the perceived "dullness" of the list.

Edited by Darth Seridur

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21 minutes ago, President Jyrgunkarrd said:

If I recall the math correctly, Lambda shuttles actually have more effective health than a Decimator due to the shield to hull ratio. So you're probably better off with Sloane riding a shuttle, unless you really need the Decimator as an upgrade platform.

For that matter, you can do worse than a Reaper to put her on. The Reaper is a touch more fragile but bloody nippy for a crew carrier, and Captain Feroph is incredibly hard to put down.

16 minutes ago, President Jyrgunkarrd said:

Being able to R2 an opponent with your alpha is nice, but not quite as nice as the TIE R1 alpha with it's Howlrunner re-rolls and initiative kills.

It's the potential for a Range 3 engagement with missiles (where the vultures get a third defence die) which makes the difference, I think.

17 minutes ago, President Jyrgunkarrd said:

Empire can complement a swarm with whatever they want. Big Ace, stress bombs, actual bombs, fat Decimator, more swarm, support vehicles, etc. Federation only has 'add more swarm and pray'.

The separatists do have tactical relays, but those are still a bit limited in potential - even Kraken isn't that amazing since on the initial engagement he basically boils down to "these three vultures also have target locks....maybe".

By comparison, even when just looking at ways to buff the swarm, Galactic Empire has Sloane, or Howlrunner, or Ruthless, or the various "+1 attack die" pilots, each of which has its own advantages, and, in extreme cases, can generally be stacked on top of one another.

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