Jump to content
bumbleb1492

Dealing with aces

Recommended Posts

So I normally play list that joust with high hull and low ps ships and I've been running into trouble against aces specifically 3 high ps aces. Does anyone have some tips to deal with these kinds of lists?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Generally you want to move slowly on turns you're trying to get shots in.  This makes it more likely to put your target into the wider range 2 and 3 bands, which are harder to get out of than the range 1 band.  You can also aim to block their moves, preventing them from repositioning.  You have to predict where they'll want to go, but that will come with experience.  Finally, take Locks with ships that aren't in especially vulnerable positions.  If the arc of a ship that has locked gets dodged, it can save that lock for later turns, making subsequent shots better.  If you'll potentially engage multiple aces in a turn, the probably dont take locks, though.  The flexibility of the Focus makes all potential targets nervous instead of just the locked one.

I have a slowly updated blog that discusses a lot of this stuff, not directly, but at least tangentially:

https://starfightermafia.blogspot.com/?m=1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) Don't commit to early

Try to set up the rocks in a way that gives you room to move from one corner and into the center at any point. An asteroid at Range 2 from the side edge right between the player edges is the worst thing to see with jousters.

If you leave yourself options to turn in multiple directions every turn, it should scare the aces off some of the time. Soontir has to break off his flanking if your entire squad can 2-turn and hit him with everything.

2) Cover a large area

You probably won't get all your arcs on one target. So don't try to force it by flying in a block (TIE-swarm is the exception). By fanning out you can make it harder for the aces to engage by having arcs covering where they want to be. Is one of your ships in danger of beeing arc dodged? Make sure to point one of your other guns in that direction.

3) Be patient

Most of the time you have the final salvo advantage, so the pressure is on the aces to engage. They also need more shot to kill your ships. I'm not saying you should play slow or play for time. But dont feel like you have to turn in to engage when k-turning to find another approach is better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been experimenting with Passive Sensors since it dropped, so far with quite a bit of success. You'll need a decently tough, but also reasonably priced, ship with either a 3-dice gun, a missile slot, or ideally a torpedo slot.

Bravo Squadron Pilot (34)

  • Passive Sensors (3)
  • Ion Torpedoes (6)

At just 43 points, this ship is a massive threat to any ace, but especially one with agility 1-2 and a reliance on shields/hull to tank pot shots (7B Jedi, Poe/Nien/Ello, Wedge/Thane/Luke, Quickdraw, Grievous). You'll have to know when to go slow and when to go fast to maximise your chance of getting off a missile, and you'll have to have a follow-up plan for when the torpedo hits, but if you can get Anakin ioned and then pounce on him with 2-3 ships, he's pretty much dead.

Nu Squadron Pilot (32)

  • Passive Sensors (3)
  • Ion Torpedoes (6)

Empire version. No evade token for this guy, harder to turn around, but tougher, cheaper and able to reload. The same applies, except that with no turnaround moves you'll either have to be prepared to slow down and joust the ioned ship, or slam away and have some else follow up the attack. Strikers and Interceptors are mobile enough to converge on a vulnerable target, and could also help block to set it up in the first place.

Zeta Squadron Survivor (32)

  • Passive Sensors (3)
  • Ion Missiles (4)/Concussion Missiles (6)/Cluster Missiles (5)/Special Forces Gunner (10)/Nothing! (0)

Less potent ordnance than the other two, but also generally cheaper, and a butt gun that's aimable in the engagement phase and can fire missiles is pretty decent. Take whichever upgrade you can afford/suits the rest of your squad. Nothing wrong with a mix.

With Rebels you can try B-Wings. Resistance and Scum unfortunately don't have any decent PS carriers. For Separatists it's more complicated, since the torpedo Hyena doesn't have the sensor slot and vice versa, but that faction also has Probe Droids, token sharing and engagement phase coordination, so maybe it's not so bad for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
  • Using Low Init Stuff
    • Tech: Sense, Informant, Snoke, etc. / Torkil / Tractor Effects 
    • Catch Bumps
    • Land Close to them before they move, inhabit the space where their slowest moves go while the rest of your list threatens the faster options.
    • Attack from multiple angles ideally from a far enough distance/angle that denies single reposition arc dodging.
    • Cast a net and prey your allowed to focus fire (*Hint: Most Ace Players Opt Into Nets )
    • Threaten Flanking Aces, make them choose their escape route
    • Force a favorable joust ( these are tricky to engineer as the vast majority of Aces are built to win partial jousts )
    • Use Rocks to restrict their escape or repostion options ( Fully Execute rules + Gas Clouds make this way less useful )
    • Bring Stuff that punishes them for playing the game they want to play ( Hint: Sloane, Stress Control Phasma stuff etc. )
    • Tractor Beam is fantastic for ace control, trouble is Ketsu Lists by far the best example of this are just a high init jouster list.
    • Bring Bombs because they are turrets and that helps
    • Turrets ( Anything more than a forward arc help a ton ) ideally with boost but still good if you move awkward places and get to shoot anyway
    • Rear Arc Boost is the ace killer ( But its used the vast majority of the time by Aces )
    • Ordinance that works without Target Locks and doesnt require formations to work
    • Be able to K-Turn with mods ( See Turrets ), denies the disengagement turn and forces the joust ( Pre-movement Aces manage this better but are the actual worst )
    • Be High-Mid Initiative and Bring more HP than most aces can realistically destroy in 75 Minutes
    • Set up locks turns you know you have no chance to shoot them so the turns you do matter more, usually good to do this the turn you move to block
Edited by Boom Owl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Block...  Ace lists rely on actions.

you have the ability to stop them from getting those actions. 

you need to be able to predict your opponent and block them. If you are just flying big clunky ships and pointing them towards your opponent you are going to have a hard time... x-wing is about out flying your opponent.

 

Edited by Icelom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really would not fly low init or med init vs aces. I generally go for bulk + 1 ace so that I can have some control over the endgame. 
Its just a lot harder than it needs to be, and you're more likely to get outflown and lose. 

I would go with BBBBHwk+Leia/Informant though if I had to. 

The key to the block is to aggressively target one ace. Perhaps pounce it if your opponent plays cagey, you don't really want to chase much, but rather best to get the block off while they try and turn in to engage. One or two ships plug up spaces, and get the other preferably 3 on target. Especially if its a force ace, who will be less bothered by blocks than other ships. 
Take two turns to mash it or nearly kill it, then turn back to dealing with the rest of their list. 
Remember, if you're doing low init, you need like a block and TWO ships firing to make good work of the ace. That means THREE ships to do the trick. 

Aggressively engage and knock one out. Be unpredictable and threaten two aces at once. Then you can take a pick and they might pick wrong, its worse for them to guess wrong. 

 

I do find Falcon is generally still good for getting shots on the aces. 

I'm very partial to Sense, its excellent/like tournament winning top tier super meta excellent. 

You should practice with aces so that you truly understand the opponent. I recommend the Anakin, Obi-Sense, Ric list, its fantastic for teaching the nuances. 

 

Most importantly, practice, esp with a low swarm list, you want to be giving yourself like about 3 games at least of practice (maybe by yourself), trying different openings. One thing you NEED to know is, is this a swarm list that should fly as a block, or is it better as a 2 part split. This isn't really a preference, certain swarms prefer one or the other and you NEED to know this info. in 1.0 Z95s was definitely 2 blocks. QD Nu Harpoons, definitely exactly a medium-wide spread only but NOT a wide spread. 3 auzitucks, definitely close formation, with one maybe about R1.5 away. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Boom Owl said:

Attack from multiple angles ideally from a far enough distance/angle that denies single reposition arc dodging.

That's a big one. If by 'joust' you mean fly in a rough 'block' that can easily be flanked, you risk having your entire force arc-dodged.

The difference between four ships like this:

ll

ll

or like this

llll

and four ships like this

//     \\

Is that each pair covers the flanks and tails of the other.

One good thing compared to 1st edition is that aces aren't that tough. They're manoeuvrable - they can squirrel out of a shot like nobodies business - but if you actually line up a shot on them, relatively few can afford to ignore a 3-dice shot with a focus token. They have a good chance of dodging it, but a good chance of taking damage, too, and 2 attackers more than doubles that chance. You don't need all four ships pointed on target to make a region incredibly hostile for aces.

@Yearfire and @Blail Blerg's advice is good. Don't rush in - if it's 2 aces plus a support ship, killing the support ship is often key and hence going after it aggressively is often good, but versus 3 aces making them come to you is often good.

A good trick is to aggressively close with one aces, but to mass-turn your squad the turn you expect to engage; the aces player will generally aim to have the ace you're chasing bugger off and not take fire whilst their mates come at you from your flank; it's surprising how often a last-minute massed turn results in them being caught off-guard and being stuck doing the one thing aces must never do - committing to a head-on pass with the bulk of an enemy squad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

 

On 8/18/2019 at 9:38 PM, Biophysical said:

I have a slowly updated blog that discusses a lot of this stuff, not directly, but at least tangentially:

https://starfightermafia.blogspot.com/?m=1

There is a really good article about having a "True Swarm" when attacking opponents.  Flying in formation just makes it easier for high Init aces to dodge your arcs.  Don't do it.  Come at them from different angles so they can't dodge all your arcs.

On 8/19/2019 at 4:44 PM, Icelom said:

Block...  Ace lists rely on actions.

This is big.  You need to think almost every turn how you can block someone.  If you can block an ace, you know where they will be and they have no actions.  That means you can hit them.

Edited by heychadwick
typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, heychadwick said:

This is big.  You need to think almost every turn how you can block someone.  If you can block an ace, you know where they will be and they have no actions.  That means you can hit them.

Yes and no. It's a trade-off; blocking someone (theoretically) means the target gets no actions. But, it also means one less range 1 shot going in at the target. If you think you can get, say, 3+ other shots on target? go for it. If it's a choice between two shots at a target with actions or one shot at a target without.....harder choice.

Also, bear in mind the terrain; collision detectors and similar rubbish aside, even if the target can boost or roll they can't voluntarily do so onto an obstacle. Engaging someone as they come through a narrow gap massively thins down their options and can essentially block them by proxy.

16 hours ago, heychadwick said:

Flying 8n formation just makes it easier for high Init aces to dodge your arcs.  Don't do it.  Come at them from different angles so they can't dodge all your arcs.

Agreed. Flying in a tight block makes sense if you have a force multiplier by doing so, but not at the expense of being able to engage at all. Against something like a block of heavy fighters, or a large ship like a VT-49, yes. Against aces where just getting a shot in the first place is something of an achievement, a widely spread net will do you far more good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Yes and no. It's a trade-off; blocking someone (theoretically) means the target gets no actions. But, it also means one less range 1 shot going in at the target. If you think you can get, say, 3+ other shots on target? go for it. If it's a choice between two shots at a target with actions or one shot at a target without.....harder choice.

Also, bear in mind the terrain; collision detectors and similar rubbish aside, even if the target can boost or roll they can't voluntarily do so onto an obstacle. Engaging someone as they come through a narrow gap massively thins down their options and can essentially block them by proxy.

While I understand what you are saying and, of course, everything is situational...I still often find it better to bump than not.  Sometimes it's better to have one shot on an enemy ace that bumped and has no tokens than 2 shots on someone who has tokens.  Or, if you don't cause the bump, they won' be in your firing arc.   Overall, you might sacrifice one shot for the bump, but as long as what you are getting in return is better, it's worth it.

There are other times when things mix up and you might have one ship in front of another one off to a side that I find it best to bump there, too.  One instance is when the enemy ships have some sort of synergy going on between them.  Do they pass tokens or help each other out in some way?  It's best to bump someone to keep them out of actions and break the chain.  You could also go for a bump on someone to ensure they don't have a shot on you.  There are other times where just frustrating where they want to go is important.   Many enemy aces like to zip around or need to turn around to get back to the action.  If one of your lower ships can slow an enemy ace down by keeping it out of the fight for a turn or two, then that's a great option.  

Other times it buys you time to bump.  Let's say that one ship could use a turn to grab a Target Lock for the next turn.  It can be the blocker to make the next turn better.  

I will play games where I block as much as humanly possible and just see what falls out.   Overall, I am rarely disappointed with a block.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a lot of great advice in this thread.  Obstacle selection and placement can really help and is often overlooked.

If I am playing beefy units I want big rocks.  Aces love gas clouds it's basically a free evade action for them.  

When placing obstacles analyze which ones benefits you and try to place the ones that help aces in areas where they wont be useful.  A lot of players will only place the debris that they brought and this plays into the aces hand.  

Good debris placement will make blocks easier.  

If your ships can take proximity mines those can help too.  Anything that limits an aces maneuvering options is worth a look.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Blail Blerg said:

I wonder if OP has had any luck

I just got to put some of these tips to use last night at my local gaming store. Played against obiwan anakin and ric. Some notable things that happened blocking ships, predicting the aces dials, splitting the formation into 2 and 2 and slow rolling in the beginning. Ended up pulling out a win. Thanks to everyone for the ideas and tips!!

Edited by bumbleb1492

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, bumbleb1492 said:

I just got to put some of these tips to use last night at my local gaming store. Played against obiwan anakin and ric. Some notable things that happened blocking ships, predicting the aces dials, splitting the formation into 2 and 2 and slow rolling in the beginning. Ended up pulling out a win. Thanks to everyone for the ideas and tips!!

Ahh, see. That's the list I recommended learning and playing against. Great. 

 

Want to battle report it? What did you learn? Why do you think certain advice was critical to your understanding? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 8/24/2019 at 9:51 AM, LUZ_TAK said:

Surprised prox mines and conner nets are not used more freq to deal with arc-dodgers...

Point and opprotunity cost WAY too prohibitive

While something like a prox bombardment drone seems sexy, it just flubs in practice next to just flinging more ESCs at the enemy 

 

Plus Conners at one charge, six points is basically a "lul, nope" upgrade. Tragic because Conners were MY JAM 1st Ed, but alas 

Edited by ficklegreendice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, ficklegreendice said:

Point and opprotunity cost WAY too prohibitive

While something like a prox bombardment drone seems sexy, it just flubs in practice next to just flinging more ESCs at the enemy 

 

Plus Conners at one charge, six points is basically a "lul, nope" upgrade. Tragic because Conners were MY JAM 1st Ed, but alas 

FWIW,

I think Prox mines and Bomblet Generator should go down a point each, and Connor Net should drop 3 points as it's a single charge mine.

 

Do you forsee point changes to devices in December?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

spreading your arcs in multiple directions is a great way to deal zero/meaningless damage to an ace. Focused fire and blocking is how you kill  and score on aces.

Set up kill boxes in unexpected places by making unpredictable maneuvers. Figure out where your opponent wants to be and put your ships there first while making sure your other ships are in position to capitalize on a successful block. Remember, just blocking isn't good enough, you need to get the block in a killbox. 

Take target locks whenever you can so that you can have mods on the turns where you have to do red maneuvers or repositioning actions to catch an ace.

Most importantly, start thinking from your opponents perspective. Think about what options they have and how they are going to fly to avoid being blocked or attacked each turn. You have to literally start reading your opponents mind. Each turn you should be able to narrow your opponent down to just 2 likely distinct moves. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...