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theBitterFig

[Poll] What are the most and least useful step-ups in Initiative?

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Big fan of this survey. Definitely interested in watching it. Also interested in how it could change in the coming meta.

Curious though: Is it supposed to take pricing into consideration? There's definitely a higher premium on I6 and to a lesser extent also on I5. Sometimes I feel it's not worth it in a beef- and swarm-heavy environment. But then I'm a casual and I don't know the meta that well.

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Least Useful:

1-2

Most useful

4-5

PS1's are the most reliable blockers in the game. Median PS appears to be around 4 as well, so you're still getting ps killed by the field. If it was useful at all than an obsidian might see the light of day.

The jump from 4 to 5 gets you into Ace PS territory. Only a handful of pilots can PS kill you, and you now have the chance of moving after other aces, ruining their day. Also allows reliable ps killing of swarm and/or beef ships

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I’ve been flirting with the thought that 2->3 can be pretty useful. It feels like 3 often brings interesting abilities at a not-insane price, and it lets you PS-kill weenies & block anything acey. Best of all worlds.

But this is very anecdotal. I don’t get to play much, and my recurring gaming buddy never seems to run PS3. I’d be curious if this resonates with anyone else.

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1-3 is probably the most useful (i.e. Academy to Black Squad, all the droid pilots to their higher-init alternatives) - commonly used generics like the Torrent appear at 2 and 3, so getting out of being PS killed by other heavy swarmy lists is very useful, and getting to trading blows with other elite generics is also good.

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I'm leaning towards 3-4 being the least useful, although only marginally. At both of those you're shooting before "non-elite" generics and after by aces, and there don't seem to be a lot of lists that are spamming the PS3 versions of generics at the moment. 1-2 is pretty bad but lets you shoot before some swarm ships at least.

I feel like 5-6 is the most useful, simply because it means you can guarantee you will move last (or shoot first) provided your bid is large enough. This is important for ships that really care about positioning like Soontir - imagine how much easier to counter he'd be as a 5! 4-5 is also pretty good though.

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I've started coming around on the IN3 and IN4 pilots. It's much harder to arc-dodge in second edition, with only the likes of Anakin and Soontir Fel being able to do it consistently. And since they can't arc-dodge while also stacking tons of tokens with 3-4 green dice, it helps the lower-IN guys have a shot against them.

So with that said, going from IN1-2 is usually the least valuable. Not much contest in being able to barely outshoot an IN1 pilot.

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The more I think about it, there's lots of stuff at pretty much every Initiative level.

  1. A bunch of Vultures and Hyenas, Blue RZ-2s
  2. Gold Torrents, 104th ARCs, Barrage Rocket Scimitars and Wardens
  3. Green RZ-2s, Omega First Order stuff, Tavson, Roger-Rogers who invest in Init, Cassian, Selfless Blades
  4. Inferno Squad TIE/ln, Braylen and Ten Nunb, any lingering Sigma Phantoms, Mace Windu
  5. [Aces]
  6. [More Aces]

I mean, I'd been used to think 3 > 4 is the least important step, but I'm 100% sure that a large part of why Inferno Squad TIE Swarm is "The Best List Nobody Is Playing (TM)" is because Init 4 is enough to kill a lot of stuff before it shoots.

I think I've come around to 1 > 2 being the least important.  There isn't much that you outshoot, you already draw against Init 1, and the marginally better blocking could matter.

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17 minutes ago, theBitterFig said:

I think I've come around to 1 > 2 being the least important.  There isn't much that you outshoot, you already draw against Init 1, and the marginally better blocking could matter.

The raw quantity of i2 ships (most base generics that aren't some sort of freighter or interceptor) that initiative kill you at i1 counts for a lot. 

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, svelok said:

The raw quantity of i2 ships (most base generics that aren't some sort of freighter or interceptor) that initiative kill you at i1 counts for a lot. 

To be sure, a lot of Init 2 ships exist, but how many get played?

Torrents and ARCs are common.  Barrage Scimitar Bombers, I guess.  Maybe Blue U-Wings.

But Blue X-Wings and B-Wings don't make it into a lot of squads (many will upgrade to Selfless at Init 3).  Five. Cartel. Marauders. is more of a meme than a common list.  Y-Wings and Scurrgs are rare post VTG nerf.  I love Zeta SFs, but they aren't super popular.

Edited by theBitterFig

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6 hours ago, theBitterFig said:

To be sure, a lot of Init 2 ships exist, but how many get played?

Lots (and lots) of clones right now, bastian and vennie, tie bombers, newly popular /SFs, and B/Y-Wings, mostly.

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7 hours ago, theBitterFig said:

I think I've come around to 1 > 2 being the least important. 

I would agree, but I would comment that it's also rare. Most I1 ships jump to I3 not I2 when you buy the 'better' version, whilst the Mining Guild TIE is mostly buying the 'superior' generic for the irritatingly good combination of Notched Stabilizers and Trick Shot.

The only real I1 to I2 'jumps' I can think of are TIE/ln (Academy to Obsidian) or TIE/fo (Epsilon Cadets to Zetas), who are I2-non-talented generics. They really can just die in a fire because they become worse blockers and gain little benefit for it, and it costs you points.

 

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Seems like a reasonable place to post this.  

Went through the trouble recently of adding initiative values to the meta-wing data.  Excel file here.  Drive spreadsheet here.  Just beginning to play around with the data.  

Here's maybe the most relevant bit.  Can look at initiative breakdown of the top "X" pilots according to meta-wing breakdown.  Note that the final point on the graph (wave 4 to present) is based on a very small amount of data.

image.png.445dbd777526719a80bc717cd79aa083.png

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3 hours ago, svelok said:

Lots (and lots) of clones right now, bastian and vennie, tie bombers, newly popular /SFs, and B/Y-Wings, mostly.

Forgot Bastian and Vennie (and I've got a friend who flies a lot of Vennie!), so good catch.

Folks still fly Y-Wings post Veteran Turret Gunner nerf? 44 isn't too bad for an Ion/VTG Y-Wing, I guess.

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What are the initiative 'jumps', anyway - I'm not talking uniques, since they tend to have every value going....

 

  • Empire
    • TIE/ln
      • 1
      • 2
      • 3 with talent
    • TIE Interceptor
      • 1
      • 4 with talent
    • TIE/sa
      • 2
      • 4 with talent
    • TIE/sk
      • 1
      • 3 with talent
    • TIE/d
      • 1
      • 4 with talent
    • TIE/x1
      • 2
      • 3 with talent
    • TIE/v1
      • 3 with talent
      • 3 with force
    • TIE/ca
      • 2
    • TIE/ag
      • 2
      • 3 with talent
    • TIE/ph
      • 3
      • 4 with talent
    • Alpha-class
      • 2
      • 3 with talent
    • Lambda
      • 1
    • TIE Reaper
      • 1
    • VT-49
      • 2
  • First Order
    • TIE/fo
      • 1
      • 2
      • 3 with talent
    • TIE/sf
      • 2
      • 3 with talent
    • TIE/vn
      • 1
      • 4 with talent
    • Upsilon
      • 2
  • Resistance
    • T-70
      • 1
      • 3 with talent
      • 4 with talent
    • YT-1300
      • 2
    • MG-100
      • 1
    • RZ-2
      • 1 with talent
      • 2 with 2 x talent
    • Resistance Transport
      • 1

 

Thing is, relatively few ships have multiple 'tiers' of pilot, and generally it's a waste having them.

  1. The T-70 Black Squadron Ace, Obsidian Squadron Pilot and Zeta Squadron Pilot are the biggest offenders to me here - which, ironically, are the three ship types I own with more than two generics.
  2. Purely buying a point of initiative for 1-2 points is generally a waste - it might give you an advantage, but unless you're moving from 4-5 or 5-6 you can't be confident it will, and in a lot of games it's an investment which is thoroughly wasted. 
  3. 4 is good enough to care about, but not enough to want purely by itself. The 'zero-to-hero' ships like the Silencer, Defender and Interceptor, which jump from I1 to I4, are a huge deal - especially with talents stuck on top; the difference between alpha and saber squadron is massive. By comparison, paying to upgrade a red squadron T-70 to a black squadron seems nonsensical*. 
  4. By comparison, for 'everyone else', a lot of the question is what kind of surcharge you're paying for talents. The black squadron scout is often lambasted because you essentially pay 4 points plus the price of the talent; predator is worth 2 points, maybe even 4 points but it ain't worth 6, and I3 isn't important enough to make up the rest of the value. By comparison, where it only costs 2 points to unlock an elite slot, higher-tier pilots like the Omega Squadron Expert pretty much become the default choice unless you are utterly desperate to field a given piece of hardware or number of ships.

 

 

* I also object to Black Squadron Ace as a generic pilot; unlike Rogue Squadron which had an extended run with a huge roster of named pilots, there are a grand total of five 'Black Squadron' pilots, they're all already in the game as named uniques, and one of them doesn't even fly a T-70. 

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3 hours ago, gamblertuba said:

Seems like a reasonable place to post this.  

Went through the trouble recently of adding initiative values to the meta-wing data.  Excel file here.  Drive spreadsheet here.  Just beginning to play around with the data.  

Here's maybe the most relevant bit.  Can look at initiative breakdown of the top "X" pilots according to meta-wing breakdown.  Note that the final point on the graph (wave 4 to present) is based on a very small amount of data.

image.png.445dbd777526719a80bc717cd79aa083.png

 

So it feels weird, but reinforces for me that if an initiative jump puts you sub I4, it just doesn't get much value. For example, roughly 60% of the field is I4+ and about 10% or so is I1. 60% of the field it's literally irrelevant to bump a drone from I1 to 3 and 10% of what's left you were simul with anyways. Don't bother trying to beat sinker on initiative, beat them on economy because that advantage will also extend to the I4+ part of the field.

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If we consider initiative in line with pilot abilities, I think I 3 is probably the least useful points investment in a vacuum

Almost all my favorite (highly modded) named pilots are I 4 (Braylen, Ten, Miranda, Wolfe, Mace, Lumy, Grievous, Composure Wexly, Scorch, Deathrain, Vynder, Jonus, that Inferno squadron *******, Shadow Phantom...)

I 3 is awkward because I only really see two low initiative pilots locally: CiS drones (sometimes Sear), gold squaddie Clones and the lovely 104th squaddies. Outside of Sinker, don't think I've seen any I 3s.

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2 hours ago, ficklegreendice said:

I 3 is awkward

I feel like I3 generics are prone to being awkward, because you’re often paying for the initiative upgrade, the talent slot, and then whatever talent you stick in there. But personally I keep being drawn to I3s with abilities. There’s a decent little cottage industry there.

But then that’s kind of where #ScumLife is at sometimes. Gotta love my 4-LOM, Palob, Seevor, + friend. The hardest part is finding said friend.

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Least Useful: 3-4... still nothing good against aces and Initiative Kills, and already above swarms/beef. 

Most Useful: 2-1 or 4-5. Gotta have that 1 for moving first. 5, welcome to the high life. 

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7 hours ago, CoffeeMinion said:

I feel like I3 generics are prone to being awkward, because you’re often paying for the initiative upgrade, the talent slot, and then whatever talent you stick in there. But personally I keep being drawn to I3s with abilities. There’s a decent little cottage industry there.

But then that’s kind of where #ScumLife is at sometimes. Gotta love my 4-LOM, Palob, Seevor, + friend. The hardest part is finding said friend.

That's why I was only thinking about generics. If you're buying a pilot ability with those points, it's fair enough. The same goes for Precise Hunters and Naboo Handmaiden; you're basically buying them for the ability, their initiative is just a byproduct. And yes, there are some I3 with awesome abilities.

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