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TedW

Playtesting Vonreg's TIE/ba - Initial Impressions

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Hello all,

Thanks to @Sandrem's Fly Casual simulator, I've recently been playtesting Major Vonreg and felt like sharing some of my impressions on him. Obviously he has no fixed price cost yet (although i find 55 in FC to be pretty fair) and we don't know what the two unreleased upgrades do (Energy Cells and Tradition), but so far he seems like a very interesting FO ship with some neat gimmicks.

Overall, the ship itself is an obvious flanker/arc dodger/interceptor - A-Wing's Hull and Shields, while slightly better than 3 Hull TIE/In, drop pretty darn quick under fire. The dial is as if Delta-7 and TIE/v1 had a baby, with strengths from both - it's not as fast as a typical TIE/In or an A-Wing (although it can match them in speed if it really wants to), but where it's best used is at close ranges. The inclusion of blue Banks 1 and blue Turns 1 gives the ship a lot of room for precise maneuvering, allowing them to actually slow down in an engagement, as opposed to typical fast moving interceptors. Lack of blue Turns 2 can be a bit problematic for potential disengage once the ship gets going with the trait (more on that later). Overall, it seems it's less suited for strafing runs and more for the classic 'tail and shoot' playstyle, meaning that while it's good at chasing and narrowly dodging other ships, it's also very vulnerable to being flanked in return which, combined with very low durability and potential Strain accumulation, it requires pinpoint strategic planning to fly properly without it blowing up instantly.

The trait is where it gets interesting - if you have no Strain or Deplete tokens (the latter can be pretty safely assumed to be a reverse Strain - one die less for 1 attack), you can gain 1 Strain or Deplete to perform a Barrel Roll or a Target Lock, which is a huge thing for double repositioning or double mods without Stress (although Deplete/Strain is dangerous on its own). As I mentioned before, the risk is huge - it's tempting to gain a Strain to do a TL into Focus for 4-dice Range 1 attack, but even a lucky potshot from a weak generic can devastate you if you don't plan accordingly. I often found it's better to take Deplete to gain a lock than a Strain, just to keep it for later and not leave yourself vulnerable to a counterattack. While Strain/Deplete do not prevent you from doing red maneuvers, it's nevertheless good to ditch them as soon as possible, since the debuffs can cripple you if you're caught at an inopportune moment.

Vonreg himself is a curious pilot - boasts the great Initiative 6 stat and much like Fel, his ability is Bullseye-centric. Unlike Fel's, it triggers at the beginning of the next System phase, so not only it has no immediate effect (not a big deal with double action), but also can be countered by an opponent's blue maneuver. It does provide some pretty good control and utility in the end, as forcing an enemy to either slow down to blue moves or having a debuff gives him additional pressure power, especially when tailing a target (which he excels at). It is far more tactical and does not always trigger well (sometimes ships would do blue maneuvers anyway), but there are times when it can be gamechanging. Don't be too hasty to throw Strains around - a well-placed Deplete can often provide far better benefits by having an enemy roll less for his attack and potentially save Vonreg or an ally.

Here are some of my initial thoughts about the upgrades I tested so far:

Daredevil - Imho hands down the very best talent for the ship. It adds stress to Boosting, but on the next turn, a single blue move can ditch both Stress and Strain/Deplete at once. With so much close-range mobility, it opens up even more options with sharp boosts, even allowing for a semi-Tallon-Roll using hard Turns 1 while locking someone or barrel rolling. Priceless on Vonreg's bullseye hunt.

Fanatical - Avoid it. You're more likely to blow up rather than hang around with 2 or 1 Hull and even then it might be a short-lived benefit.

Crack Shot/Predator/Marksmanship - As usual, all three are good as cheap fillers. Crack shot especially can make a difference for double-modded Vonreg to make that decisive shot, while Predator can mitigate reliance on TLs. MMShip can align with double mods for easier crits, but I'd personally take Crack Shot over it.

Outmaneuver - Pricey but can be worth it, it aligns with TIE/bas' 'tail and shoot' approach if you need even more consistent firepower. Prone to crippling counterplay though.

Proton Rockets - For double-modded Daredevil Vonreg, it is likely to be a worthy investment since bullseye hunts are pretty easy for him. Just be careful to not overload him with upgrades, he's very easy to lose.

Mag-Pulse Warheads - With double mods potential, I'd say skip them, unless you want Vonreg to inflict double Deplete and Jam on an enemy ace. Strategic Critical Hits can come in handy though.

Pattern Analyzer - I wasn't doing red maneuvers that often, especially with Daredevil, so for 5p I'd say it's skippable.

Primed Thrusters - 10 whopping points for a ship that imho shouldn't be overloaded with upgrades, but this one might actually prove interesting in good hands. Pair it with Daredevil to make Vonreg unpredictability incarnate, but be prepared for weaker unmodded shots. Extremely situtional and costly, but can work.

Edited by TedW
fixed mistaken Focus before Daredevil boost

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You missed out the obvious Composure Talent, being able to turtle with Focus & Evade or Focus & Boost is great on a ship like this. With the good 1 speed manouvres staying near obsticles and other ships is easy and helpful so failing the BR for the focus is not a challenge. 

For Vonreg I think he'll be more like 60pts, 55 is too close to Soontir for a Soontir+ style ship. 

His popular builds will really depend on those two unspoiled cards and what slots the ship has. Agree on your opinions of the others

Defensive build: Composure + Stealth Device

Aggressive build: Outmaneuver + Advanced Optics

Value build: Naked or just Composure 

 

Slots IMO (based off this being a v1+) :

100% Chance - Talent, Tech

95% Chance - Missile

50% Chance - Modification

25% Chance - Systems 

 

Edited by Deffly

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11 minutes ago, Deffly said:

You missed out the obvious Composure Talent, being able to turtle with Focus & Evade or Focus & Boost is great on a ship like this. With the good 1 speed manouvres staying near obsticles and other ships is easy and helpful so failing the BR for the focus is not a challenge. 

For Vonreg I think he'll be more like 60pts, 55 is too close to Soontir for a Soontir+ style ship. 

Yeah, I can see Composure working, good catch! :)

I'm not sure about the pricing on him, he's got some neat gimmicks behind his belt and can hit like a truck, but I can't help but feel he's even easier to lose in a heated engagement than Fel. I'm a casual player though, so I'll leave point theory to others who are more knowledgeable.

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17 minutes ago, reqent said:

@TedW. What were you running with vonreg?  Were replacing quickdraw in a tavson kylo build or trying mini fo swarms?

I have very little experience in playing FO overall, the faction has very little appeal to me due to its limited roster and being a 'slightly better version of the Empire' (I know, devil's in the details, but still), so I'm not the best person to ask about that. It only got my attention because of Vonreg, and quite frankly I wish he wasn't limited to the FO faction just because I enjoy him so much :P But yeah, not going to happen, I know.

For Vonreg playtesting I ran a few trials with triple TIE/sf with Concussion Missiles/Passive Sensors/Fanatical, which worked, but there was little synergy with Vonreg's capabilities. TIE/FO swarms weren't very successful, mainly because it took a while for Vonreg to get to a decent position, but that might as well be my own fault for not flying TIEs well. I think the most success I've had was with triple ace combo, Vonreg/QD/Kylo or Vonreg/QD/Blackout, as the other two usually proved to be equal if not greater threat than Vonreg alone (especially Silencer with Torpedoes), so that they can take away a bit of attention from him or at least punish those that try to chase him. I haven't tried any build with Upsilon yet.

Keep in mind all those games were against AI, which frankly is very easy to outsmart, so it's not exactly proper playtesting against a thinking opponent. It was at least good to learn some qualities and capabilities of the TIE/ba, which is what I hoped to share in the initial post ;)

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5 hours ago, TedW said:

Hello all,

Thanks to @Sandrem's Fly Casual simulator, I've recently been playtesting Major Vonreg and felt like sharing some of my impressions on him. Obviously he has no fixed price cost yet (although i find 55 in FC to be pretty fair) and we don't know what the two unreleased upgrades do (Energy Cells and Tradition), but so far he seems like a very interesting FO ship with some neat gimmicks.

Overall, the ship itself is an obvious flanker/arc dodger/interceptor - A-Wing's Hull and Shields, while slightly better than 3 Hull TIE/In, drop pretty darn quick under fire. The dial is as if Delta-7 and TIE/v1 had a baby, with strengths from both - it's not as fast as a typical TIE/In or an A-Wing (although it can match them in speed if it really wants to), but where it's best used is at close ranges. The inclusion of blue Banks 1 and blue Turns 1 gives the ship a lot of room for precise maneuvering, allowing them to actually slow down in an engagement, as opposed to typical fast moving interceptors. Lack of blue Turns 2 can be a bit problematic for potential disengage once the ship gets going with the trait (more on that later). Overall, it seems it's less suited for strafing runs and more for the classic 'tail and shoot' playstyle, meaning that while it's good at chasing and narrowly dodging other ships, it's also very vulnerable to being flanked in return which, combined with very low durability and potential Strain accumulation, it requires pinpoint strategic planning to fly properly without it blowing up instantly.

The trait is where it gets interesting - if you have no Strain or Deplete tokens (the latter can be pretty safely assumed to be a reverse Strain - one die less for 1 attack), you can gain 1 Strain or Deplete to perform a Barrel Roll or a Target Lock, which is a huge thing for double repositioning or double mods without Stress (although Deplete/Strain is dangerous on its own). As I mentioned before, the risk is huge - it's tempting to gain a Strain to do a TL into Focus for 4-dice Range 1 attack, but even a lucky potshot from a weak generic can devastate you if you don't plan accordingly. I often found it's better to take Deplete to gain a lock than a Strain, just to keep it for later and not leave yourself vulnerable to a counterattack. While Strain/Deplete do not prevent you from doing red maneuvers, it's nevertheless good to ditch them as soon as possible, since the debuffs can cripple you if you're caught at an inopportune moment.

Vonreg himself is a curious pilot - boasts the great Initiative 6 stat and much like Fel, his ability is Bullseye-centric. Unlike Fel's, it triggers at the beginning of the next System phase, so not only it has no immediate effect (not a big deal with double action), but also can be countered by an opponent's blue maneuver. It does provide some pretty good control and utility in the end, as forcing an enemy to either slow down to blue moves or having a debuff gives him additional pressure power, especially when tailing a target (which he excels at). It is far more tactical and does not always trigger well (sometimes ships would do blue maneuvers anyway), but there are times when it can be gamechanging. Don't be too hasty to throw Strains around - a well-placed Deplete can often provide far better benefits by having an enemy roll less for his attack and potentially save Vonreg or an ally.

Here are some of my initial thoughts about the upgrades I tested so far:

Daredevil - Imho hands down the very best talent for the ship. It adds stress to Boosting, but on the next turn, a single blue move can ditch both Stress and Strain/Deplete at once. With so much close-range mobility, it opens up even more options with sharp boosts, even allowing for a semi-Tallon-Roll using hard Turns 1 while locking someone or barrel rolling. Priceless on Vonreg's bullseye hunt.

Fanatical - Avoid it. You're more likely to blow up rather than hang around with 2 or 1 Hull and even then it might be a short-lived benefit.

Crack Shot/Predator/Marksmanship - As usual, all three are good as cheap fillers. Crack shot especially can make a difference for double-modded Vonreg to make that decisive shot, while Predator can mitigate reliance on TLs. MMShip can align with double mods for easier crits, but I'd personally take Crack Shot over it.

Outmaneuver - Pricey but can be worth it, it aligns with TIE/bas' 'tail and shoot' approach if you need even more consistent firepower. Prone to crippling counterplay though.

Proton Rockets - For double-modded Daredevil Vonreg, it is likely to be a worthy investment since bullseye hunts are pretty easy for him. Just be careful to not overload him with upgrades, he's very easy to lose.

Mag-Pulse Warheads - With double mods potential, I'd say skip them, unless you want Vonreg to inflict double Deplete and Jam on an enemy ace. Strategic Critical Hits can come in handy though.

Pattern Analyzer - I wasn't doing red maneuvers that often, especially with Daredevil, so for 5p I'd say it's skippable.

Primed Thrusters - 10 whopping points for a ship that imho shouldn't be overloaded with upgrades, but this one might actually prove interesting in good hands. Pair it with Daredevil to make Vonreg unpredictability incarnate, but be prepared for weaker unmodded shots. Extremely situtional and costly, but can work.

How were you playing with Vonreg on fly casual?  does the currently released version have vonreg available for use?  (and with abilities available?)

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2 minutes ago, CaptainJaguarShark said:

Yeah, one of the latest versions added Vonreg. The card text is blurry but readable.

Excellent, and fine tuned thrusters is enabled?  I play a fair amount of fly casual but haven't noticed this!

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14 hours ago, brownj23 said:

Excellent, and fine tuned thrusters is enabled?  I play a fair amount of fly casual but haven't noticed this!

You need to enable it in the options first. Only Vonreg is available, none of the others, even though we are 95% sure of the other unique pilot's abilities. 

Also enables the MAG pulse missile. 

Edited by Deffly

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8 hours ago, GreenDragoon said:

You playtested a ship without knowing the cost, slots, or effect of deplete beyond speculation?

Yep!  I played around with it some too.  The assumption on deplete is that it reduces a red die.  Just play test it to see how good it is an leave room in your squad as a buffer.  (anyway that's what I did.)

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8 hours ago, GreenDragoon said:

You playtested a ship without knowing the cost, slots, or effect of deplete beyond speculation?

Exactly my thoughts lol. 99% sure we know what deplete does, but even then...
Vonreg, if he is properly costed, is at LEAST 62 points, and that's following the pricing logic of others I6 ace with double repo, based on his statline and dials compared to other similar ships. Now even that may be wrong, because as it stand the ship aiblity benefit EVEN MORE from perfect board knowledge than just position, so he might well be costed more aggressively for initiative. And FFG is not always known for good pricing value at launch. So I hope you planned that Vonreg may well be 15-20 points more than what Flycasual decided. And even slots may change in playtest if something broken comes up, as happened with the Nantex, so even looking at the other cards in the pack isn't a perfectly accurate way to know the slots.

I'm super hyped for Vonreg so don't get me wrong, it's just that we really need some more info to be able to tell what he's capable of.

Same with MagPulse missile. A missile that neuter any offense of a hit ship, and still deals damage, and is WAY stronger on high I aces with passive mod? Also deals all of it's effect on a single uncancelled hit?
4 points does not cut it lol, that card will be between 8-10 points at the least.

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13 minutes ago, DarthSempai said:

Exactly my thoughts lol. 99% sure we know what deplete does, but even then...
Vonreg, if he is properly costed, is at LEAST 62 points, and that's following the pricing logic of others I6 ace with double repo, based on his statline and dials compared to other similar ships. Now even that may be wrong, because as it stand the ship aiblity benefit EVEN MORE from perfect board knowledge than just position, so he might well be costed more aggressively for initiative. And FFG is not always known for good pricing value at launch. So I hope you planned that Vonreg may well be 15-20 points more than what Flycasual decided. And even slots may change in playtest if something broken comes up, as happened with the Nantex, so even looking at the other cards in the pack isn't a perfectly accurate way to know the slots.

I'm super hyped for Vonreg so don't get me wrong, it's just that we really need some more info to be able to tell what he's capable of.

Same with MagPulse missile. A missile that neuter any offense of a hit ship, and still deals damage, and is WAY stronger on high I aces with passive mod? Also deals all of it's effect on a single uncancelled hit?
4 points does not cut it lol, that card will be between 8-10 points at the least.

So you think vonreg will be 73-78 pts? (I think fly casual has him at 58 currently)  In my opinion that is drastically overcosted. If you say compare him to other i6 double repositioners then...
Fel is 53, has 1 less health, a much better ability (less situational than vonreg), and a similar dial (player preference between blue 2s vs blue 1s)  Fel can also double reposition in any order meaning boost then roll or roll then boost. (this is a big deal)
Anakin is 62 pts with 3 force passive mods.  He is the same hp but has 1 less red die.  He can get another red die though upgrades though.  The big thing with anakin is his force as passive mods.  His blues aren't good, but he doesn't reallly need blue maneuvers because he can stress-less double reposition.  I would also argue that anakin's ability is much better than Vonreg.

Vonreg needs good blue maneuvers because his double reposition is stressless but he has to take another red token in strain or deplete that if not cleared by fire, then has to be cleared with a blue maneuver....  Vonregs pilot ability is very situational since it triggers in the system phase.  As an opponent you can plan around this by dialing in a blue maneuver to clear the token that his ability would give you.

 

Other options are vader with burners at 73, but his cost is related to force and ability.
Poe at 68 with 7 hp vs 4 hp.  Poe may be an apt comparison to vonreg due to poe's ability to take focus target lock or double reposition... just like vonreg can.  Poe does have access to droids that improve his dial, or give him VERY cheap pre maneuver schenanigans.  So I'm guessing those are also taken into consideration with his price.

 

So in general I don't think that 73-78 is a valid point cost for vonreg and instead expect him in the low 60s.  Or if FFG wants to be hyper aggressive the high 50s.

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My reasoning starts like this : you have to compare to in-faction stuff as much as possible. Each faction have different force, and comparing once faction ace to another is not representative of what it should be priced like.

Let's look at the stat line : 3 attack, 3 defense, 2 hull, 2 shield
The closest in faction comparison, IMO, is the Tie-SF. It has the exact same ration of hull-to-shield (50%/50 split) and 4 health-3 green is the same average life as 6 health-2 green. With that in mind, they have the same life expectancy and ratio. 
I starts at 3 for the Tie-BA, so let's pick the Omega Tie-SF at 34 points, and add a Special force gunner to increase the attack to 3 in the front arc. At 44 points, the two ship as very comparable. 3 dice front attack, will die at the same time in average, and an ability (double arc for the SF, double action for the Tie-BA).

So, assuming the Tie-BA I3 starts at 44 points. For the SF, increasing in Initiative is not really helpfull to the chassis. It helps to kill stuff early, but the ship does not live and die by perfect information. By that logic, increasing from I3 to I6 is only 11 points. And the dials is not exactly the same either, so the comparison isn't excellent there.

However, compared to Tie-FO ( similar dials of blue, sloops, and far reaching kturn) : increasing from I3 to I4 (one with a bad ability, and one with a very good one, mind you) is 5 points. Then increasing to I5 is another 5 points, and finally increasing to I6 is another 4. So a total of 14 point was spent to increase to I6, with more or less good ability (for this purpose, i would classify Vonreg ability as very bad.) So from 44 to 58. For a ship that does not benefit exceedingly from I increase.

Comparing with the silencer, another ship that does double action, live-and-die by I increase and excellent dial. Increasing from I3 to I5 is 6 points. So it's a very similar situation, that could tell us a I5 Tie-BA would cost 50 points. Here however, to increase from a I5 ace type of ship to an I6, we don't really have an in-faction comparison. But, for most other ships, that increase is close to 10-12 points, reflecting the fact that these kind of ship benefit more from I that from other upgrades.

So with that in mind, a 60-62 points Vonreg would not be impossible. Add on to that that his ability works excessively well with perfect information, assume that FFG sometimes price huge aces incorrectly so a certain deviation is possible, and a High 60's Vonreg is not hard to imagine for the faction he is in. Maybe i'm just pessimistic about it, but FO has not had a very good run until now. So I prefer to be conservative with my estimation until I get my hand on the actual ship and start to play around with it :P.

 

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51 minutes ago, DarthSempai said:

My reasoning starts like this : you have to compare to in-faction stuff as much as possible. Each faction have different force, and comparing once faction ace to another is not representative of what it should be priced like.

Let's look at the stat line : 3 attack, 3 defense, 2 hull, 2 shield
The closest in faction comparison, IMO, is the Tie-SF. It has the exact same ration of hull-to-shield (50%/50 split) and 4 health-3 green is the same average life as 6 health-2 green. With that in mind, they have the same life expectancy and ratio. 
I starts at 3 for the Tie-BA, so let's pick the Omega Tie-SF at 34 points, and add a Special force gunner to increase the attack to 3 in the front arc. At 44 points, the two ship as very comparable. 3 dice front attack, will die at the same time in average, and an ability (double arc for the SF, double action for the Tie-BA).

So, assuming the Tie-BA I3 starts at 44 points. For the SF, increasing in Initiative is not really helpfull to the chassis. It helps to kill stuff early, but the ship does not live and die by perfect information. By that logic, increasing from I3 to I6 is only 11 points. And the dials is not exactly the same either, so the comparison isn't excellent there.

However, compared to Tie-FO ( similar dials of blue, sloops, and far reaching kturn) : increasing from I3 to I4 (one with a bad ability, and one with a very good one, mind you) is 5 points. Then increasing to I5 is another 5 points, and finally increasing to I6 is another 4. So a total of 14 point was spent to increase to I6, with more or less good ability (for this purpose, i would classify Vonreg ability as very bad.) So from 44 to 58. For a ship that does not benefit exceedingly from I increase.

Comparing with the silencer, another ship that does double action, live-and-die by I increase and excellent dial. Increasing from I3 to I5 is 6 points. So it's a very similar situation, that could tell us a I5 Tie-BA would cost 50 points. Here however, to increase from a I5 ace type of ship to an I6, we don't really have an in-faction comparison. But, for most other ships, that increase is close to 10-12 points, reflecting the fact that these kind of ship benefit more from I that from other upgrades.

So with that in mind, a 60-62 points Vonreg would not be impossible. Add on to that that his ability works excessively well with perfect information, assume that FFG sometimes price huge aces incorrectly so a certain deviation is possible, and a High 60's Vonreg is not hard to imagine for the faction he is in. Maybe i'm just pessimistic about it, but FO has not had a very good run until now. So I prefer to be conservative with my estimation until I get my hand on the actual ship and start to play around with it :P.

 

 Agreed FO hasn't had a great run until now which is why I see the tie/ba being a good ship for them and FFG not trying to price it out of competition.  I do think deplete's actual effect will determine the costs some.  Like if deplete takes away a red die no matter what then the BA will be a little lower.  but if it only takes away a primary red die then I can see it being a little higher.  Also Vonreg's ability is garbage and thus won't affect his points much.  The fact that his ability triggers in the system phase and EVERYBODY can plan around that, means it doesn't have much utility.

 

My last point is its hard to compare unique FO/Silencers to the BA as the non kylo/scorch uniques seem to be over costed in both chassis.

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19 minutes ago, reqent said:

I've been planning on vonreg being in the mid 60s point range.  Low 70s if you go for the premium upgrades. 

Planning for worst case scenario makes sense for sure.  But faction wise I hope the ship doesn't start that high.  The faction needs another workhorse ship and not something that would be DOA.  I'm just not sure where a mid 60s pt vonreg would fit into lists.  

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30 minutes ago, brownj23 said:

Planning for worst case scenario makes sense for sure.  But faction wise I hope the ship doesn't start that high.  The faction needs another workhorse ship and not something that would be DOA.  I'm just not sure where a mid 60s pt vonreg would fit into lists.  

I see him replacing quickdraw in a lot of lists or replacing kylo.   Which isn't that exciting but its still new. 

 

The initiative 4 is really interesting if it's like a carnor jax.  We need some synergy and that could lead to interesting builds.

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17 minutes ago, reqent said:

I see him replacing quickdraw in a lot of lists or replacing kylo.   Which isn't that exciting but its still new. 

 

The initiative 4 is really interesting if it's like a carnor jax.  We need some synergy and that could lead to interesting builds.

barebones QD is only 55 pts which I don't see Vonreg being that cheap.  I also don't see him being as expensive as kylo.  So hopefully neither is a 1 to 1 replacement....  I am definitely interested in seeing the other unique baron pilots!

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Kylo's likely getting nerfed again, which is kind of a pain, but combined with new options and the newly-viable stuff elsewhere (here's hoping for lower named TIE/fos) it really is necessary. Vonreg will fit halfway between QD and Kylo, maybe around 63 points. Actually QD/Vonreg/Midnight sounds like an amazing 6-6-6 list that's very likely to fit in a list, with toys. He'd also fly well with a little swarm to threaten from another direction, or with shuttle support. FO really needs more options though. Here's hoping we get the bomber next quarter.

We want more good stuff. We don't need stuff to be OP just so we'll use it. That's called power creep and it kills games.

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Biggest issue if Vonreg is greater than 70 rather than 60 is that you then will have three chassis in the faction that are very expensive. Silencer, UPS and (potentially) BA having a starting point of 50+ really limits what FO can do and won't be very useful for faction diversity. The BA will end up being a replacement ship in already existing lists, just swap out Kylo for Vonreg etc. 

Vonreg @ about 60pts naked is where he should end up.

 

Everyone always compares the Tie FO to the ln, the BA should be compared as the v1 Prototype plus. 

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