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Magnus Grendel

Nantex Battle Reports

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Thanks for the report, @Ryuneke.  Thanks for keeping the thread alive.  I agree, it feels like there are some lists that just straight lose against Nantex.  But there are some that will just straight burn the bugs without even trying.   It's an odd ship, and balancing it will be extremely challenging for the devs.  I've been out of town for a bit and unable to play.  I *really* need to get some ships on the board!

Oh yeah, interesting reading about your Grievous experience.  He feels like he perfectly fits with the bugs - thematically.  He either is a monster, or almost totally ineffective.  For me, anyhow.

Edited by Kleeg005

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I wanted to chime in on this thread to give an alternative view on Grievous and his effectiveness.

I've now taken the following list to two 40 person Hyperspace Trials and ended up top 8 in one and top 4 in the other. Prior to the first trial I played in a local OP, going 4-0 (including against a player with a Worlds invite and previous for making it deep into cuts in 200+ person events):

General Grievous (44)    
    Crack Shot (1)    
    Impervium Plating (4)    
    Soulless One (6)    
    
Ship total: 55
    
Chertek (39)    
    Ensnare (10)    
    Crack Shot (1)    
    
Ship total: 50
    
Sun Fac (54)    
    Ensnare (24)    
    Crack Shot (1)    
    
Ship total: 79
   
Total: 184

In the first trial I went 4-1 (with the loss being an honourable joust because neither I or the other 4-0 wanted an intense game having both made the cut). I lost in the first cut game to an Imperial Ace list with an 18 point bid. The loss was down to a terrible approach on my part, which led to an unlucky one-shot of Chertek by Vader. In the second trial I topped Swiss at 5-1 (people got paired down so there were no 6-0s) with the loss being to an exact mirror who won the roll-off. I won the first cut game and lost in the Top 4 to a Vennie and 3As list. Again, my approach was dreadful, and I gave up Grievous for nothing. I'm confident if I played that matchup again I'd win. Both cut games I lost were to the eventual tournament winners.

Overall my experience with this list is that Grievous is the actual heavy-hitting threat. Opponents have to ignore him and focus on the Nantex if they want to avoid getting tractored, and that's where he does his best work. For that reason I prefer Crack Shot on Grievous to Outmaneuver, as Outmaneuver means that opponents make a bee-line for him and don't give him the time to move around the outside. In a matchup against four Supernatural Inquisitors Grievous one-shotted two Inquisitors in two rounds thanks to a mixture of the tractors and his ridiculous amount of mods. Using Ensnare to reposition Grievous is the key to this list, and the number of times I caught people out with that trick was ridiculous.

In 18 games with the list, I've faced medium-based spam (Obi and 3 Arcs, a nasty 4 Arc list), droid and TIE swarms, the mirror with Outmaneuver Grievous and less of a bid, Imperial Aces, Jedi Aces and Rebel Beef-esque lists. I can honestly say that the games I have lost have pretty much all been due to my own inexperience with the list or tiredness from already having played seven games that day. The list isn't for the faint-hearted, and needs a patient approach to get Grievous behind people and the Nantex knife-fighting, but it's incredibly potent and a lot of fun to fly. Both Chertek and Sun Fac are odds on (83% and 73% respectively) to one-shot a tractored droid with a range 1 bullseye shot even without Crack Shot. Add in Crack and you're looking at 63% and 75% to one-shot TIE Fighters and Interceptors. Tractoring medium bases is easy as pie, and although Arcs seem scary in theory they melt immediately if you can tractor one and get shots with both Nantex and Grievous on them.

The biggest threats I can see are aces with bigger bids - although I think with more reps I could consistently go toe-to-toe with them at least, and possibly the 4U list which I've yet to come up against yet but seems scarier than the 4 Arc list I beat. Overall though I'm pretty sure that the list can take on almost any list in the game and win with a little bit of helpful variance in the initial approach and some thoughtful use of the Tractor Array and Ensnare. And as I say, I'm convinced that Grievous is a huge part of that potential.

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Played Grievous+3 Nantex against Ani, Obi, Ric yesterday. I was really excited about this matchup because I wanted to see how my list will perform against Aces.

My oppontent had no regen because he wanted a deep bid.

img_1719.jpg

As always I setup my ships in formation with Grievous on the right side. Ric started on the opposing site and Obi-Wan in the middle.

img_1720.jpg

5 straight to victory! Ric turned away.

img_1718.jpg

My opponent thought that I would turn in with the entire formation. However my intention was to track down Ric. So I caught Ric who wanted to flank by surprise. The Nantex on the left gave his tractor to Grievous who rolled into range 1 of Ric. With everyone shooting into him, he barely survived with 1 hull left.

img_1721.jpg

An important turn because I had to setup an optimal engagement for next round without taking tons of damage. Both Jedi fired at Grievous who lost one shield. So far so good.

img_1722.jpg

(Had to rebuild the positions at home because I forgot to take a picture)

The situation at the end of the activation phase. I tried to cast a wide net where the opponent ships can't go without getting tractored. It shows very well that the Jedi haven't had much options to get out of this tricky situation. Everything worked perfect: The red Nantex tractored Anakin onto the rock and Chertek rolled Obi-Wan to the right into his bullseye and into range 1 of Grievous.

img_1723.jpg

The Engagement Phase: The red Nantex suffered two damage from Obi-Wan. 8 highly modified dice were too much for Obi-Wan. Ric died as well because of cold green dice. Anakin took one damage from the rock and another one next round.

img_1724.jpg 

I forgot taking pictures again... Anakin was able to kill the red Nantex but took heavy damage from Grievous and Chertek. One round later he dealed two damage into another Nantex but died in return. The picture shows how Grievous got tractored by the purple Nantex to get a shot at Anakin.

Conclusion:

What a game and ****, those Nantexeseseseses are good.

- Setting up a good engagement is key. 

- Keeping the Nantex together was the right decision in this matchup

- Playing against Aces on small bases is definitely winnable

- Grievous is way better than a 4th Nantex. (Thanks to everyone, who participated). He can hit like a truck and tank lots of damage. He's a decent flanker as well. The most important mechanic is that the Nantex can tractor Grievous at the end of the Activation Phase having perfect information. I did it twice this game and was able to get into range 1 to ric and even get a shot on Anakin. This "trick" is harder to perform when flying 4 Nantex

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I played more games against harder matchups:

I'm still flying 3 Nantex+Grievous

1) Separatist Swarm

Played two games against the list. It's a tough matchup because the Nantex can die so fast. I kept everyone together in the first game which was a huge mistake. The drones annihilated 2 Nantex very quick. Game over....

I spread out my formation a bit more in the second game and went after Cpt. Sear being super aggressive. Ignoring the Drones was the right decision. Sear got tractored and died. I was able to win with Chertek and Grievous left on the board.

I still think that it's a difficult matchup if you're playing against an experienced swarm player. There are just too many bodies on the board and if you lose one Nantex early on it'll be super hard . . .

2) HAN (with Seasoned Navigator) + Luke

The Nemesis. Tractoring large bases is hard. Tractoring Han with Seasoned Nav. is impossible. I killed Luke without losing a Nantex but Han was still able to kill over half of my list. I won by points because of dice variants. 

The second game I played against the list I tried to kill Han first which didn't worked. I nearly got tabled...

3) Double Deci

😭

These guys just dont care about the Nantex at all. The good thing is that the Nantex can use it's ship ability after a bump so Oicunns ability + Intimidation doesn't do anything. I got murdered in the first game especially because of Vader crew... 

In the second game I tractored Oicunn onto a rock and he had to fly over it again next round. With this huge advantage he died pretty fast. RAC wasn't able to win all by himself. 

Conclusion:

Yes, there are really tough matchups when flying a Nantex centric list. I mean every list has a difficult time when facing it's counter but if you bring a Nantex counter it'll be really hard for the Separatist player to win the game.

Flying this list is a gamble I am really happy to take. X-Wing is such a good game!

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Thanks for the continued reports, @Ryuneke.  I did get two games last week with DBS-404, Chertek, and two Petranakis versus a Gavin E-Wing, Jake, and Arvel.  I wasn't going to write anything up, because I simply crushed my opponent and wasn't able to draw many conclusions - except don't even try to joust Nantex in the middle of the obstacle field.  Also, DBS-404 is *not* a good wingmate for the Nantex - he died in both games having done a single point of damage (although that may be as much about me as him, ha ha).  I will say that going 404 instead of Grievous allowed me to get both Ensnare and Gravitic Deflection on all three Nantex, and that GD did some heavy lifting, denying something like six points of damage.  I can fit two TFD Vultures in the list instead of 404, so I think that will be the next iteration.  Or perhaps a Feethan.  My limited experience so far is that GD is worth losing a slightly more potent wingmate - who generally ends up being bait at best, as my local opponents don't even want to try to chase the bugs. 

All that said, I'm running a small tournament later today, and am bringing a list just in case we have an odd number of players.  With only three rounds scheduled regardless of turnout, getting a by is no fun at all, and we're in this for the fun.  And as all that is the case, I'll not be bringing Nantex.  Probably some kind of Scum jank, as I'm only there to be a punching bag and not to win the whole bloody thing.

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Thanks for sharing. Its good to see that the anger of the webs hasn't scared everyone off from playing these extremely creative ships.

I have been flying 404, Grievous, Chertek and a Petrekani. 404 usually takes the initial heat which leaves the Nantex to get to a good flanking position safely. With bigger threats on the board, Grievous generally gets ignored and is able to punch through the other flank. I have not tried Gravitic Deflection yet (running them with only Ensnare). It looks interesting, but more often than not I am passing off my tractor token so it would probably just be wasted points. The fun thing to do is pass the tractor off to 404 to give it that extra boost to put it to range 1 in arc.

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Posted (edited)

Finally got a game after ages - it looks like the last time I played a proper games was October! - with the Bughouse Swarm.

Game 4

  • 5 x Stalgasin Hive Defender
    • Gravetic Deflection

Versus

  • Whisper
    • Fifth Brother
    • Passive Sensors
    • Stealth Device
  • Soontir Fel
    • Predator
    • Stealth Device
  • Omicron Group Pilot
    • Emperor Palpatine
    • Hull Upgrade

So...actual 'Palp Aces' - with a good player at the helm. Feels like First Edition all over again!

I mean - no it doesn't, but I'm aware that trying to shoot at a target with focus and evade and 3+ green dice and a force charge in a communal bin with primary-2 popguns is somewhat futile. So in the best 1st edition tradition, Palpatine Must Die.

The Omicron set up first (yay for Initiative 3 basic pilots) in the top left and I more or less set up facing it; three in a V in my bottom left corner and two facing along my edge in case I needed to spread out.

Whisper set up mid-board and Soontir on the far right-hand edge.

  1. With no imminent threat from the aces, I cranked on the speed. Palpatine's shuttle stopped as expected on the first turn so the ships facing along my edge did a speed 3 turn to point at it and everyone else did a speed 3 straight up the board towards the shuttle, everyone swinging turrets to the right and boosting. Whisper turned to face me and cloaked whist Soontir went pac-man-ing up the flanks.
  2. The following turn whisper decloaked forwards, the shuttle banked towards me, whilst the leading nantex did a speed 5 straight - leaving their turrets sideways, because their primary-3 centrelines had the shuttle dead to rights. The other ships moved up, swung turrets forward and closed the range. Whisper banked in and Soontir continued to flank. Whisper shot first and got a range 2 shot on a tractored Nantex. Gravetic Deflection did it's thing, giving me double-evade, but with target lock and fifth brother he got a single critical through regardless. The Nantex responded by shooting up the shuttle - thanks to three of the five fighters having their centrelines aimed, the lambda took 8 damage, and did a couple in return, leaving the damaged Nantex on 1 hull.
  3. Most of the Nantex wheeled around to avoid crashing into the shuttle (which as I expected stopped), aside from one brave bug who shot through a gap between it and a rock, slewing its turret to get a 'safe' range 1 shot into the shuttle's flank. A couple of Nantex slewed turrets to point where I expected Whisper to be, whilst a third pointed its guns at the shuttle. The damaged nantex kept its tractor beam to itself and evaded, hoping agility 4, multiple gravetic rerolls and an evade token would keep it alive (spoilers: It didn't). Whisper pulled a classic TIE phantom 'hockey-stick' which did park her in the mobile arcs of two ships but kept her guns on the damaged one, and Soontir turned into the fight, but was still a turn's fast movement from getting involved. Thanks to lock & force, Whisper racked up a 4-hit shot and the Nantex exploded. To make me feel better, the two nantex with shots on the shuttle destroyed it before it could fire, and the two other nantex managed a single hit on whisper. Okay....no. I'll be more specific. My opponent let me have a single hit on whisper, because he was left choosing between spending whisper's second evade to make the attack miss and not being able to recloak, or losing a shield and the charge on the stealth device, and chose the latter. I think I'd personally have gone for the former and disengaged the next turn, but hey, not my call.
  4. Three of the remaining Nantex continued to circle-strafe around Whisper's expected location, and she ended up in (mobile) arc of most of them, so recloaked as her action instead of trading shots. The nantex who'd flanked the shuttle pulled a hard turn and then triggered his tractor array to roll, hoping to catch Soontir in the flank as he moved to engage the mob circling Whisper. As it happens, he'd been planning to flank the group the other way, so there was one ace on each side of them, meaning we ended up at range 1 in one another's bullseye arcs. He caused two damage to the nantex (getting 4 hits versus two evades) and thanks to a 4-hit attack back from the bullseye and a truly awful defence roll (three blanks and a single focus) took three in return and exploded. With whisper already de-stealthed versus four Nantex, three of them untouched, we called the game there.

 

Main lessons:

  1. Palpatine is still a pain in the neck and killing him first remains a good call. If soontir had an evade and palpatine's force instead of a focus, he'd have survived the head-on pass and it's quite likely I'd never have got a centreline on him again. Plus, whilst Nantex turrets are pretty feeble popguns, the centreline remains a good answer to big ships, especially low-initiative 'support ships' - you can deploy after them and since you have the same straight-line speed of a TIE interceptor, can catch them before they can run for the protection of their aces.
  2. If a phantom is cloaked, the safest spot to aim for is behind where it currently is. That's not a universal answer - and that's why the speed 2 roll to one side and speed 1 turn back is a bit of a signature move - but they're not totally unpredictable. Echo, specifically, is, and trying to nail him down will be a lot harder.
  3. Having 4 hull rather than three makes a nantex very tough and with gravetic deflection they often get 'full' evades if they have a focus token; it's when asked to deal with 3-4 hits they take damage. Being able to have an undamaged nantex tractor itself to protect a buddy can be priceless, too - as with all swarms, if you can get your opponent to split fire and damage 2-3 ships instead of killing one you're on to a winner.
  4. No amount of initiative, ship rules or upgrades help if you fly face-first a range 1 shot and your green dice decide they hate you. Question 1 with aces (and to a lesser extent generic Nantex) is "where can I go that's not going to get me shot?" and question 2 is "how do I get a shot when I'm there?"

 

We'll have to wait and see what tomorrow holds. I wouldn't be surprised to see ensnare get hoofed in the unmentionables - 90% of complaints about Nantex are really complaints about Ensnare (maybe 99% if you assume that Ensnare is what enables Sun Fac and Chertek...) - but I hope the Bughouse Swarm remains useable. I have 5 points in the can, and I've not seen many complaints about gravetic deflection or the cheap generics, so I hope so.

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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3 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

We'll have to wait and see what tomorrow holds. I wouldn't be surprised to see ensnare get hoofed in the unmentionables - 90% of complaints about Nantex are really complaints about Ensnare (maybe 99% if you assume that Ensnare is what enables Sun Fac and Chertek...) - but I hope the Bughouse Swarm remains useable. I have 5 points in the can, and I've not seen many complaints about gravetic deflection or the cheap generics, so I hope so.

I do believe something was mentioned about a change to tractor rules.  And I do think a nuke of Ensnare might be an expected accompaniment.  Which is sad as it is such a devious, tricksy, entertaining mechanic.  I did run a trio of Petranaki's with Crack and Predator as part of an Epic game a bit ago, and they can do some heavy lifting.  Of course, without Ensnare, and facing a huge base ship, my opponent chose to ignore them.  He learned the error of his ways - or rather, the Gozanti and Major Vynder learned.  I didn't miss tractor as an offensive effect at all.  But I did miss the joy of the jank.  On the other hand, it is such a joy to fly such a maneuverable ship after flying Scum for so long.

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44 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Try  starvipers. The continuously pinwheeling cybernetic ninja (aka guri) is ridiculously manoeuvrable, even by jedi standards.

Oh, I know a thing or two about 'Vipers.  I've got six of them, after all.  And while Guri in particular has moves unmatched in the galaxy, that dial is still rather restricted compared to the Nantex.  Or any true interceptor.  I would *love* for Scum to get a true interceptor in the line of the Nantex, the A-Wing, the TIE/in - fast, maneuverable, and cheap.  Something that could really - effectively - support the 'Viper platform.  But that's another thread, eh?

I've got a triple Petranaki/Grievous/DFS-311 I want to get on the table someday.  But my locals are pretty hung up on Epic just now.

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4 hours ago, Kleeg005 said:

I've got a triple Petranaki/Grievous/DFS-311 I want to get on the table someday.  But my locals are pretty hung up on Epic just now

With what on the aces?

I have to say I'm liking the Bughouse Swarm every time I play them. With 5 ship's and no ensnare, they play a lot like historical shock cavalry - line up and charge the biggest threat you can see with your lance (bullseye primary-3), then wheel, draw short blades (mobile primary-2 swung sideways) and circle back around the flanks and rear of the enemy. The version I've tried with "shields" (hive guard with gravetic deflection), but I do need to try the lighter, nimbler version with bigger, nastier "lances" (aces with predator)....

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I've been running the Aces with Predator and Crack Shot.  Well, I say I've been running them, but I think I've actually only tried them that way twice?  The i4 has been extremely helpful as so many generics getting spammed out there are i3.  Now that the HMP Gunship has been spoiled, maybe they'll get a solid centerpiece.  Fat Grievous, a couple Hyenas, some Vultures - none of those combos has quite scratched the itch.

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7 hours ago, Vespid1311 said:

How do you compare the 5 Gravitic Deflectors to 5 Strikers?
Mobility is interesting, but the more stable defense seems useful.

They play very differently but I think they're probably a 'better' heavy swarm.

  • Advantages of the Nantex
    • They have answers to most problem archetypes for swarms - when engaging Concordia Face-off Protectorates, for example, it's worth noting that the ship ability does nothing if you're firing on them sideways with the mobile primary-2
    • base Initiative 3 means they get the drop on most other generics (certainly other swarms) but don't give up too much to do so in the way Black Squadron Scouts and Saber Aces do.
    • Flanking with their mobile primary-2 means they don't have to fly directly at the enemy to attack them
    • With everything from speed 1 bank up to speed 5 straight plus boost, they have a much greater range of possible speeds, and when circle-strafing with their turret they rarely have to use a red move, so you almost always have a focus token.
    • The ship is tougher - base agility 3 with 4 hull is better (obviously) but even when tractored you have your gravetic deflection reroll, which is pretty reliable. Especially worth noting is using one ship to 'shield' another - if a ship has 1-2 hull left, then in addition to flying it defensively (and possibly evading) you can make sure a different, undamaged nantex uses its pinpoint tractor array, giving the wounded bug 3 green dice plus rerolls.
    • A much more dangerous close-in fighter; with its mobile arc you can concentrate 3-4 ships' fire pretty easily turn after turn and you don't have to deal with the striker's ridiculous minimum speed.
    • Even with a turret to the side, you still have your bullseye, which - with several wingbugs in close formation - can be harder to evade than you'd expect, giving you coverage to front and side against a slippery opponent.
  • Advantages of the TIE/sk
    • It's easier to concentrate maximum firepower in an initial pass. Yes, both have a primary-3, but getting more than 1-2 bullseye shots on the same target, even in a head-on pass, is very hard unless it's on a big base. Strikers can reliably pump fifteen-rounds-rapid into any ship of your choice.
    • The much more varied upgrade slots - a shield upgrade is a means of trying to compete with the Nantex's durability but you have the alternative loadout of mines or afterburners.
    • A far better ability to do big swoopy turns (note that a tractored 'boost' doesn't allow a ship to change course) - especially with afterburners.
    • A better ability to fight at range 2-3 where the mobile primary-2 will lose a lot of damage to bonus green dice.

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8 hours ago, Kleeg005 said:

I've been running the Aces with Predator and Crack Shot. 

That's a good thought. If I tried 5 aces instead of 5 generics, I suspect you're still going to have problems getting bullseye shots repeatedly from a single ship.

Crack Shot/Marksmanship might give more bang for the buck than Predator if you assume you'll only fire the centreline gun on a given Nantex once. A primary-3 with a free critical and the ability to remove the first evade you roll is pretty scary for a squad-of-5 ship.

Alternatively (and this is more of a problem because I don't intend to buy three copies of Servants of Strife!) Treacherous might be an interesting pick. Getting a shot obstructed by another ship (friend or foe) isn't that uncommon, and if it does happen it's essentially a 2-point shield upgrade that might refresh itself.

 

 

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Hmmm... Ensnare, as expected, took a hoof to the unmentionables - it's now much more expensive. 12 for Hive Guard, 14 for Aces (and Chertek) and an eye-watering 28 on Sun Fac. Plus not hyperspace legal.

Trying Aces may be shelved - with both Predator and Crack Shot no longer Hyperspace Legal, the idea of a heavier 'lance' becomes much less appealing.

Gorgol having a mod slot is intriguing. Stapling Afterburners on top of Pinpoint Tractor Array makes for one heck of a zippy ship!

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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