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DDolan

What is the Starhawk good for?

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What role is the Starhawk meant to be filling in the Rebels?

It's got a decent amount of firepower but the limited upgrades means it cant do much beyond roll a couple of extra dice and for much less points you can have an MC75 or MC80 throwing out serious fire power.

It has a lot of hull but its tokens are a bit limited and there is no defensive retrofit to be able to protect the important tokens from accuracy which means that hull will be stripped away with ease. It feels like you can get more mileage out of an 9 hull MC75 Armoured Cruiser with Electronic counter measures protecting the brace which starts at 111pts before adding guns than the 140pts + 14 hull Starhawk.

A squadron value of just 3 means it does not better than most of the other big ships Rebels have for pushing fighters around, but still has that huge additional cost just to do the same work

And as an added bonus you have a command of 4 making it harder to use than the other big ships it is competing with

Oh and you can get an additional 10pts super weapon gimmick that is fiddly to set up, clearly telegraphed and hard to actually capitalise if you do pull it off because most you have fewer ships in your fleet due to the Starhawk's price tag.

As a complete package it just feels like a ship that is just ok at most things in a game system that rewards you for taking ships that skew heavily in one direction.

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Agate + Walex = you don’t die for a long time, if at all.

So now half your fleet is invested into a slow, ISD-grade source of firepower that lasts forever.  What you choose to do with that is the part that takes thought.  Flak build + bombers?  Second player objective fortress?  Or it can just be the anvil to the rest of the fleet, because your opponent will probably suffer from dashing themselves against it.  The hard part is forcing a fight, but once you can you will probably win it against any other ship in the game.

Edited by The Jabbawookie

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The damage output is pretty good once you consider Salvo. It gives you 4 red 2 black (for Mk I) against a double-arcing enemy in addition to your own attacks. Four attacks also really puts stress on anyone’s tokens, so more of the later damage is getting through. 

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1 minute ago, ralphbod said:

The damage output is pretty good once you consider Salvo. It gives you 4 red 2 black (for Mk I) against a double-arcing enemy in addition to your own attacks. Four attacks also really puts stress on anyone’s tokens, so more of the later damage is getting through. 

Isn't it the case that Salvo doesn't give you an extra attack in a turn?  A Salvo attack IS one of your two attacks, you don't get extra.

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1 hour ago, flatpackhamster said:

Isn't it the case that Salvo doesn't give you an extra attack in a turn?  A Salvo attack IS one of your two attacks, you don't get extra.

Noooooononono.

Salvo is totally totally extra.

Just like counter is totally extra. You don’t consider an AWings counter attack it’s over attack an activation, right?

 

The ONLY time it is going to restrict us with Slaved Turrets, due to a quirk in its wording that was  only partially clarified.  

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Oh ok.  I hadn't been playing it that way so far but something I read somewhere implied to me that was the case

 

 

Edit: Yes, I did get it mixed up with the slaved turrets thing.

Edited by flatpackhamster

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So there are two probable ways to go with the hawk given its cost and the general meta at this time. As @Truthiness originally suggested you can go the 134Hawk, a Hawk with a 134 point squadron ball made up of rogues Hera and some aces; Wedge, Dutch, Gold Squadron all spring to mind. This would be backed up with 2 transports for activation padding and pushing any squadrons early as needed. This list would favor a more castle style game on either hawk version looking to use at a guess Hyperspace migration Contested outpost and Advanced gunnery (less sure on the red here). This is probably a competitive build but not one that I would lean towards or play well. I do not regard my self as being great with squadrons. 

 

The more challenging choice and the route that I am currently going down is Hawkmsu. This has been a challenging list to play with but has never really lost big (normally my losses are by about 5-50 points) and struggles to force the engagement. Right now this is the list that I am running: 

 

Faction: Rebel
Commander: Kyrsta Agate

Assault: Most Wanted
Defense: Contested Outpost
Navigation: Hyperspace Migration

Starhawk Battleship Mark I (140)
• Kyrsta Agate (20)
• Walex Blissex (5)
• Strategic Adviser (4)
• Cham Syndulla (5)
• Leading Shots (4)
• Linked Turbolaser Towers (7)
• Magnite Crystal Tractor Beam Array (10)
• Concord (12)
= 207 Points

CR90 Corvette A (44)
• Turbolaser Reroute Circuits (7)
= 51 Points

CR90 Corvette A (44)
• Turbolaser Reroute Circuits (7)
= 51 Points

Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette (36)
• Shriv Suurgav (6)
• External Racks (3)
= 45 Points

GR-75 Medium Transports (18)
• Leia Organa (3)
• Comms Net (2)
= 23 Points

GR-75 Medium Transports (18)
• Hondo Ohnaka (2)
• Comms Net (2)
= 22 Points

Squadrons:
= 0 Points

Total Points: 399

 

I Would like to compare this to one other ship the Akbar MC80 assault 

 

MC80 Assault Cruiser (114)
• Admiral Ackbar (38)
• Strategic Adviser (4)
• Engine Techs (8)
• Early Warning System (7)
• Electronic Countermeasures (7)
• Leading Shots (4)
• Quad Battery Turrets (5)
• Defiance (5)
= 192 Points 

 

This is 15 points cheaper and the admiral can effect the entire fleet but it will go down faster and loose the ability to double arc and the power of magnites that I have been using a lot cannot be underestimated. If only to pull your opponent closer or limit their ability to runaway ignoring the speed 0 trick. 

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As @jamie nasmyth said, I'm of the opinion that the best hawk build is what we're calling Hawk134. The problem I've found with Hawk is that unless you can force your opponent too shoot it, it doesn't have enough firepower or reach to decisively impact the game. Even bidding for second and trying to force objectives doesn't always do enough. I've played against Hawk MSU enough times to know it's not particularly difficult to just murder the smalls and take your smaller win. A hawk, 2 flots, and max squads essentially guarantees ship shots have to be directed at the hawk. It's much harder to ignore the hawk. I recommend watching Aresius in the World Cup. His style of list is the one I expect to become the competitive hawk archetype.

Now is it enjoyable to play? Not at all. 

Edited by Truthiness

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16 minutes ago, Truthiness said:

Now is it enjoyable to play? Not at all. 

What about it is unenjoyable to play, in your eyes?  Is it just the lack of meaningful activations (basically just the Starhawk)?  I would have thought the squadron game would inject some excitement into the list.

Edited by JauntyChapeau

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It sits and waits for you and does not force the engagement in the way that other fleets can. I've tried it and I was meh about it.  I have had much more fun with Hawkmsu and though it does not win big it is a much more active fleet to play. 

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18 minutes ago, JauntyChapeau said:

What about it is unenjoyable to play, in your eyes?  Is it just the lack of meaningful activations (basically just the Starhawk)?  I would have thought the squadron game would inject some excitement into the list.

I don't enjoy the squadron game, so if you get enjoyment out of it, the list could absolutely be enjoyable for you. I enjoy ship maneuver and the list has absolutely none of that. The Magnites actively encourage the exact opposite: go slow with your front toward enemy.

Edited by Truthiness

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35 minutes ago, Truthiness said:

As @jamie nasmyth said, I'm of the opinion that the best hawk build is what we're calling Hawk134. The problem I've found with Hawk is that unless you can force your opponent too shoot it, it doesn't have enough firepower or reach to decisively impact the game. Even bidding for second and trying to force objectives doesn't always do enough. I've played against Hawk MSU enough times to know it's not particularly difficult to just murder the smalls and take your smaller win. A hawk, 2 flots, and max squads essentially guarantees ship shots have to be directed at the hawk. It's much harder to ignore the hawk. I recommend watching Aresius in the World Cup. His style of list is the one I expect to become the competitive hawk archetype.

Now is it enjoyable to play? Not at all. 

I expect the same. And the usual anti-squadron solution: kill the carriers won't work well for you at least it doesn't with any build I have come up with so far. I dread this becoming popular or wide spread.

I also share the notion that this is boring to play with and even more so playing against it imho. My solution for the future will probably be: be second and run away. I really don't have a good answer to this atm.

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31 minutes ago, Doppelganger said:

I expect the same. And the usual anti-squadron solution: kill the carriers won't work well for you at least it doesn't with any build I have come up with so far. I dread this becoming popular or wide spread.

I also share the notion that this is boring to play with and even more so playing against it imho. My solution for the future will probably be: be second and run away. I really don't have a good answer to this atm.

I have less of a fear of engaging it directly. It's a good build, but I'd hardly call it all powerful. It's simply the best way of using something I consider to be a very limited tool. 

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On 2/14/2020 at 3:34 AM, DDolan said:

What role is the Starhawk meant to be filling in the Rebels?

It's got a decent amount of firepower but the limited upgrades means it cant do much beyond roll a couple of extra dice and for much less points you can have an MC75 or MC80 throwing out serious fire power.

It has a lot of hull but its tokens are a bit limited and there is no defensive retrofit to be able to protect the important tokens from accuracy which means that hull will be stripped away with ease. It feels like you can get more mileage out of an 9 hull MC75 Armoured Cruiser with Electronic counter measures protecting the brace which starts at 111pts before adding guns than the 140pts + 14 hull Starhawk.

A squadron value of just 3 means it does not better than most of the other big ships Rebels have for pushing fighters around, but still has that huge additional cost just to do the same work

And as an added bonus you have a command of 4 making it harder to use than the other big ships it is competing with

Oh and you can get an additional 10pts super weapon gimmick that is fiddly to set up, clearly telegraphed and hard to actually capitalise if you do pull it off because most you have fewer ships in your fleet due to the Starhawk's price tag.

As a complete package it just feels like a ship that is just ok at most things in a game system that rewards you for taking ships that skew heavily in one direction.

It’s pretty easy to set this ship up with SIX non-Scatter defense tokens. All three of the available titles give you a good, relevant token. Just being able to put an Evade on a large Rebel ship gives you options that no other large has had previously (for example, Turbolaser Reroute Circuits, or Mon Mothma). And yes, to get the sixth token, you have to use Agate, but she’s very affordable and effective (and even without her, you can have five tokens). And, as Jabbawookiee pointed out earlier, Walex Blissex can even retrieve a blown token, so it can feel like you actually have seven of them.

So you have all of these defense tokens. One (possibly two, or even three or four, but that’s crazy) of those tokens is Salvo, a token that no other Alliance ship has natively, and it serves to potentially increase your damage output dramatically. 

Then, you have more shields (and more hull) than any other non-huge ship in the game. The only ship that comes close is the MC80H1, and that ship only has a little more than half the hull of a Starhawk. In fact, it’s just about as tough as a Super Star Destroyer, except that it also has a smaller base, making it harder to target and easier to fly, and a comparatively awesome maneuver chart. Also, it costs a lot less, it’s easier to get its weapons on target, and (this is big) your opponents don’t get half points for scoring half damage.

It’s also the only Alliance ship that can hold two Officer upgrades (other than a Phoenix Home, and Peltas are... an acquired taste).

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What the Starhawk lacks in some areas compared to other Rebel ships, it makes up for in others that those same ships can't get to.

For example, a Starhawk may not put out as much damage as a properly upgraded MC-75, but it can take multiple hits for longer during those engagements than the MC-75 can. Or it may be cheaper to take a Pelta with the title for two officer slots, or Yavaris for a strong, yet cheap, squadron pusher. But the Starhawk can output more damage than both those ships combined and, again, survive multiple shots back at it when those cheaper ships will die to one or two solid attacks against them. Not to mention the native Salvo token is a very underrated benefit of the ship.

Agate is almost an auto-include on the ship to ensure its tanky-ness, but at only 20 points it's really not that much of a "loss". With her as the admiral and Walex as an officer it will out-tank any other Rebel ship. Even the MC-80 Home One with Electronic Countermeasures.

The superweapon might be telegraphed when you're trying to do speed 0 shenanigans, but it has other uses that can help the fleet as a whole. It can keep a fast ship from escaping the Starhawk's effective firing range and/or it can slow a ship down so that your fighter squadrons can keep up with it for bombing runs a lot easier.

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1 hour ago, Truthiness said:

I have less of a fear of engaging it directly. It's a good build, but I'd hardly call it all powerful. It's simply the best way of using something I consider to be a very limited tool. 

I, don't think its all powerful at all but it really puts a set of bad choices in front of you.

Try to shave of points by not engaging the starhawk and kill fighters and transports?
Try to run away?
Try to kill it?

None of these seem particulary enticing to me at the moment. A none of these feel really rewarding. I dunno, maybe I just don't like it as a play experience. 

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1 hour ago, Derpzilla88 said:

What the Starhawk lacks in some areas compared to other Rebel ships, it makes up for in others that those same ships can't get to.

For example, a Starhawk may not put out as much damage as a properly upgraded MC-75, but it can take multiple hits for longer during those engagements than the MC-75 can. Or it may be cheaper to take a Pelta with the title for two officer slots, or Yavaris for a strong, yet cheap, squadron pusher. But the Starhawk can output more damage than both those ships combined and, again, survive multiple shots back at it when those cheaper ships will die to one or two solid attacks against them. Not to mention the native Salvo token is a very underrated benefit of the ship.

Agate is almost an auto-include on the ship to ensure its tanky-ness, but at only 20 points it's really not that much of a "loss". With her as the admiral and Walex as an officer it will out-tank any other Rebel ship. Even the MC-80 Home One with Electronic Countermeasures.

The superweapon might be telegraphed when you're trying to do speed 0 shenanigans, but it has other uses that can help the fleet as a whole. It can keep a fast ship from escaping the Starhawk's effective firing range and/or it can slow a ship down so that your fighter squadrons can keep up with it for bombing runs a lot easier.

Ran it with Sato and Malee (plus fighter ball).  The synergy those two had made it punch pretty hard. It was still very tanky without the agate commander (I did have th officer to refresh the brace or salvo token when it needed to)

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28 minutes ago, Darth Sanguis said:

Ran it with Sato and Malee (plus fighter ball).  The synergy those two had made it punch pretty hard. It was still very tanky without the agate commander (I did have th officer to refresh the brace or salvo token when it needed to)

I can get down with Sato for sure, but Malee Hurra? Oof, I’m pretty sure she sucks. Tied for second-most-expensive Rebel squad, she’s slow, terrible against fighters, and makes you drop a die to flip up a hit/crit with Sato, but only if you aren’t engaged by 2 or more enemy fighters... yeesh. She asks a lot and gives back little in an archetype that already is squeezed for points. Why not just put Ordnance Experts on your Starhawk and reroll those black dice all day? :D

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11 minutes ago, ianediger said:

I tried a mkII with Ackbar, it was decent, but it basically forces your other ships to be TRC90s. Make of that what you will, but the Starhawk became a ship where there really is no good approach vector.

Hawkbar looks promising, but slooooow.

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28 minutes ago, Cpt ObVus said:

Hawkbar looks promising, but slooooow.

Also, I did not use Magnites. At 188 points for a naked ship and admiral, those 10 points are better spent elsewhere.

Edited by ianediger

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Just now, Cpt ObVus said:

I can get down with Sato for sure, but Malee Hurra? Oof, I’m pretty sure she sucks. Tied for second-most-expensive Rebel squad, she’s slow, terrible against fighters, and makes you drop a die to flip up a hit/crit with Sato, but only if you aren’t engaged by 2 or more enemy fighters... yeesh. She asks a lot and gives back little in an archetype that already is squeezed for points. Why not just put Ordnance Experts on your Starhawk and reroll those black dice all day? :D

Never had an issue with her.

I guess from a primarily imperial player having screed in squadron form is hella nice. Bomber, speed 3-4 (depending if you use ASFM), grit and 2 blue to ships. She does just fine. With Norra nearby and either TF and/or BC she's usually hitting pretty good. 

Ord experts is a thing, but weapons team is a hot slot on that ship, even with Sato I'm not sure it's worth taking OEs without the ordnance slot too. 

By including Malee in the squadball, and using Sato and Malee carefully I was adding 4-5 extra damage a round. 

ChonkHook was hitting pretty hard

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