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Boom Owl

What Makes A Good 3 Ship List?

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Posted (edited)

What are the main characteristics of a good 3 ship list? Whats it take to run them competitively?

Back when 2.0 first dropped I was convinced 4 ships would become the most common or evenly balanced archetype for average matchups. It just seemed like the game that we had been given. Then Squad of Legend, Dash Rorak, Fat Han, and Jedi arrived and made the direction a little less clear.

We have alot of known examples right now, Kylo Tavson+, Palp Aces, Ketsu+, Rex 2x Sigma, 3 ship Republic, etc. Not directly interested in explanations of how those individual lists work. More interested in what people think a 3 ship list generally needs to check the box on to be “good”.

Do 3 ship list feel more vulnerable against average matchups in extended/hyperspace right now? If 3 ship small base lists are solid without being the defacto most comfortable archetype is that possibly a legitimate sign of some semblance of game balance? Does it mean 2.0 is working? Or are 3 ship high init lists actually still some of the best archetypes in the game right now if you want to do more than just make cut? Are some 3 ship lists basically the same as 2 or 4 ship lists? 

Tons of rambling questions. Pick one or two I guess. 

Edited by Boom Owl

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10 minutes ago, DexterOnone said:

‘First shalt thou take out thy collection of ships. Then, shalt thou pick out three. No more. No less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once at the number three, being the third number be reached, then, put thy list before thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.' 

Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch
I mean...corellia

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Boom Owl said:

What are the main characteristics of a good 3 ship list? 

I feel like you need to be able to reliably mod dice, otherwise three ships won't pull it. You also need some tank, either many hit points, good green dice or not getting shot at. 

Edited by flooze

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I like a mix. Different roles, with a clear target priority... maybe.....

I often like the 3rd ship to be cheap, it doesn't seem necessary but it's a useful tool to have. 

My personal favourite is one big hitter and 2 little guys, but I'm not sure it works as well for me as 2 big guys, 1 little. 

The cheap guy is annoying to ignore but nasty in some snide way. But with 2 other utter bastards in the list, you can give them no good choice. If they go for the wee one and it gets away on half points, things are probably good for the heavyweights.

Meta wise, it's quite hard, I think. 4+ ships has good leeway. 2 ships has plot armour everywhere and is really either a thing or it isn't.. But 3 ships can lose a lot in an awkward 1st engagement.

Hard doesn't mean not good, but it's a tricky balance. If one part is not clicking, the other 2 need to carry an awful lot of weight against massed firing arcs.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Boom Owl said:

What are the main characteristics of a good 3 ship list?

Every good 3 ship list right now has the Force.  Most of the best 2-ship lists have also used the Force.

I'd say the main characteristic is at least one ship with the Force.

I'm not sure 2-ships are really where it's at now.  The busted combos in Roark/Dash and Fat Han and Boba/Guri have all gotten pretty nerfed.

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3 kinds that I have enjoyed:

All high init: nuke the little guys off and run about so as to make the opponent's squad an increasingly less effective for any of your endgame ships (example: Rex, Whisper, friend [back when I could fit LW Soontir or Composure Afterburner Maarek, but now the friend can be a lean Maarek or a kitted Duchess etc.]) High mobility, high defense, and high offense are key (2 copies of juke, full mods, ATC, Maarek or Rex abilities, etc. You can afford some, but can't take all. Stay lean.)

2 Hammer 1 Anvil: 2 lumbering "joust me, bro"s area control for the ace to run about. The goal is to grind down the things that the ace doesn't want to joust while you flank and mop up (Kylo, Tavson, and Thannison were great fun, but now Thannison has to drop to a generic. Goodbye, troll of b wings). Reinforce, high hp, and high red die counts are great to normalize the effectiveness of the anvils and save them from bad dice (sorry, passive gunboats: 4 dice without needing the lock and the token of nearly always an evade can defeat RNGsus better than you can).

2 ships + annoying shield upgrade: wanted to fly a 2 ship list and its obese glory but want a distraction to function as a 24-31 pt shield upgrade? Then take a 3 ship list, replace an ace with filler, and load up with upgrades like there is no tomorrow! Whisper cannibalizes Maarek to take passive sensors and the force, passing her buddy Rex a loose hlc, and both enjoying their status as even harder hitting endgame ships while Night Beast gets nuked as a distraction on the all important opening rounds. Quickdraw Kylo Blackout become a Quickdraw and Super Kylo that set down 3 hits whilst Rivas draws the aggro. 

Although I've had the most experience with #1 and the highest success with #2, I enjoy #3 the most. I recently took #3 up as a solution to #1's fear of an ace not delivering on offense and #2's complete vulnerability to highly mobile lists. And although I haven't gone to a long tourney with it yet, I feel like the cheap ship as a shield upgrade works well. At Gencon, as my Fanatical Scorch kept getting sniped and demolished, I regretted not making him cheaper for better tech for Kylo QD. Double defensive mods are rare in 2nd e, and I tend to build for a highly dodgy/defensive endgame ship anyway, so just reducing the points on filler to bleed less MOV and better the squad's stars makes sense.

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Following this thread. I have a competitive build in mind, and I want to know what you fine folks think about it : 
Darth Vader - Fcs, afterburner
75 points. The hammer of the list. Will get 2 hit 1 crit per turn and will not let go.

Whisper - 5th bro, predator, stealth device
76 points. Running her because i've been playing phantom for a looooong time and i've become pretty dang good at it. Tricky shooter with lots of mod, will usually take no damage from any single shot if it's not a torp.

7th sister - fcs
45 points. The filler. Still unsure about her. Amazing ability and a distracting flanker, but.... is 2 dice crackshot enough to support 2 aces?

Is there something there that can go up against 4 ships republic build and win? Should one piece be switched for another?

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Posted (edited)

I don’t think you need 3 ships, but if you are going to take 3 ships then you need to be able to modify your 9 reds to be almost as reliable as 12 reds with focus, and you also need shots every turn so you need high PS, alternatively you could be agile enough for your opponent to only have two attacks a turn, again high PS.  Personally, I feel PS is the single most important factor for a ship, everything else can be made to work. I also think the first player token should alternate between round, I am one of them.

Edited by BenDay

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, DarthSempai said:

Following this thread. I have a competitive build in mind, and I want to know what you fine folks think about it : 
Darth Vader - Fcs, afterburner
75 points. The hammer of the list. Will get 2 hit 1 crit per turn and will not let go.

Whisper - 5th bro, predator, stealth device
76 points. Running her because i've been playing phantom for a looooong time and i've become pretty dang good at it. Tricky shooter with lots of mod, will usually take no damage from any single shot if it's not a torp.

7th sister - fcs
45 points. The filler. Still unsure about her. Amazing ability and a distracting flanker, but.... is 2 dice crackshot enough to support 2 aces?

Is there something there that can go up against 4 ships republic build and win? Should one piece be switched for another?

I almost always fly Echo, but I have run her with Vader and 7th Sis. I thought it seemed really good, but oof, you can't gamble wrong.

I had been using Rex as the daddy but wasn't getting enough damage output across the squad. Vader solves that like a boss, but it makes everything more risky.

I gave Echo 5th Bro and Outmanoeuvre, 7th Sis had SNR. Which I think is better than her ability and so worth it. Nearly. You can still time it for the Crack attack.

Otherwise I'd have missiles and FCS on her. Or a generic SuperInq with the same.

Whisper is stronger than Echo in lots of ways, so if you're on the money there, it should be pretty good.

 

I haven't played a decent Rep beef player as yet, but one of our group is starting to try a version...... I think I could take it :D

7th Sis really hurts things, she's basically R1 all the time, or packing missiles. With SNR, you're double modded everywhere most of the time too. Struggles against 3ag tokens, but the other 2 eat them, so.... 

Edited by Cuz05

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Thanks for the content, @Boom Owl. Tribbles have had me grumpy for a couple days, but this sparks my fire. 

 

1. Efficiency_____________________

Three generic fat ships maxed out, like triple Firesprays, triple Starfortress, triple Yt13, etc. (Not sure if I'd call all Triple E-wings efficiency unless they were generics)

2. Midrange___________________

Three mixed up: Powerful named + 2 beefy/threatening/efficient support. While most factions probably require a budget ace +2 efficient beef for a proper 3-ship midrange list, Scum can throw some really cheap named in the generic slots and still probably call the thing a "mid-range" list.

Lando +2 Bwings, Guri + 2 Bounty Hunters, Corran+2 X-wings

3. Aces_______________________

We've seen it enough to know three ship Aces. 

4. Ace+Battleship

A lot less 3-ship options here (usually only two ships), but I'm sure there's a couple viable options to expand the archetype into a three ship: Falcon+budget Ace+budget Filler, Deci+Budget+cheap Filler, Firespray+Budget+garbage filler.

5. Protect the Queen_____________

For 3 ships, I don't think this Archetype is really distinguishable between #2 Midrange or #4. 

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Have been flying essentially the same 3-ship list since March. I can tell you its hard, without reward, without remorse, without regret. This is what has been working for me:

no emotion, only peace
no ignorance, only knowledge
no passion, only serenity
no chaos, only harmony
no death, only the force

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For me, there are two archtypes of successful 3-ship list:

1) One super-strong ace, and two ships that help that ace do their job better. Kylo plus two Upsilons is the gold standard here, as both Upsilons are usually built out to help Kylo solo your list. They'll chip in here and there, but there's no mistaking the focal point of this squad.

2) Pick Your Endgame. At least two of the ships are ones that you don't want to let reach endgame, if not all three. Some combination of Vader, Fel, Whisper and Vynder. No matter who you kill first, you know the other two will leave you with a bad time.

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I can't really verbalise "what exactly" makes a good 3-ship list.

I can however say what I have experienced with 3 ships that "seems" to work: you need varied roles. And you need to know what each ship is there to do.  You basically force the opponent to "choose" which one of your elements will hurt the most and then you need to be able to (and know how to) capitalize with the other two while he/she focuses on taking out the chosen element.

 

I'm a big believer of the WOW philosophy.   Tank + DPS + Healer (or support in the case of X-Wing).   So you need something with some hit points that can take fire and still be around. One hard hitter. One support / blocker / filler role.

 

 

For example one I played against: Tavson + Kylo + (something).    Kylo out flanks and harass.  Tavson is the tank that just won't die.  And the third ship is there to either flank, block or do early distraction.

I choose to hit Tavson, then I need to work through a lot of hitpoints while Kylo and other ship gets into good flanking positions taking me out.

If I ignore Tavson and go for Kylo he just runs around like a big carrot on stick while Tavon hits like a hammer.

If I try to get the third, weaker ship first I ran the risk of being damaged some ships down and then I still need to turn focus on Tavson/Kylo.

 

 

Or one I played:

Fenn + Emon + Escape craft.    Emon draws them in and puts out bombs.   Fenn flanks and hits from the side.  Craft  helps out where needed. 

Same thing, if opponent tries to hit Fenn I run while hitting with Emon + Craft.  

Escape craft is obviously just support, but I had opponents focus on him first because of the mad options he gives Fenn.  And then while they focus on him it gives Emon and Fenn time to position and hit.

If they go for Emon first I try to soak a hit or two, then turn tial shooting back and leaving mines as I go, while Fenn + support positions.

And don't discount the support craft. Yes the dial is terrible.  But in terms of ship stats its the same as a Z95.  Not a super ship, but can still do damage and soak up some shots.

 

 

A second option for 3 ships are the generics route for medium bases.  Basically 3 ships only, but with hull/shields comparable to 4 small ships.  Typically gives less shots, but if you can avoid focus fire and force the opponent to spread

damage around between the ships while you focus & eliminate ships you can do well.

I have made a bunch of lists with 2x IGs + something.   Here I don't actually follow the different roles rule so much. But I'm seriously biased towards the IG88s as my favourite ship to fly.

2xIG88s + 3rd IG88   =  Basically a "generics" list.

2xIG88s + Escape Craft = Some overloaded IGs with craft to just help get double mods.

2xIG88s + IG crew = Mostly the 3rd ship has a specific role (like 4-Lom to block and spread the stress) while the IGs focus fire to kill.

Or trip Bounty hunters.  (Haven't played it, but on paper it seems viable).

 

 

And and third 3-ship variant is aces. Here I believe high initiative, high bid and all out positioning is key. But with this I'm much less experienced (read none) so will leave it to others to elaborate.

 

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