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theBitterFig

Why Aren't There More Hyena Swarms?

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Posted (edited)

Vultures are really potent.  Hyenas... don't seem to be played as much.  I'd have thought the difference would be smaller.

  • Trade Federation Droid: 19/20 points, depending on struts.
  • Techno Union Bomber 25/26 points, depending on struts.
  • The only real difference is the TUB has 2 more hull than TFD, for 6 points.
  • Incredibly similar dials.  Essentially the same actions, except the roll links Lock instead of Calculate on the Hyena. Hyena doesn't have any gaps in the upgrade bar, but allows easy access to DRK-1 Probe Droids, to essentially start the game with locks.

So.... Why are Hyenas so bad?  Why aren't there more Hyena Swarms? (edited away from clickbait hyperbole)

  • Hyena lists will have fewer ships, but with how easy a Vulture dies, isn't it often going to be the same number of ships once you get to actual combat?
  • Is the Roll-Lock noticeably worse than Roll-Calculate?  I think it's at least a little worse, but is it *that* much worse?
  • Is it just that the list Tetris doesn't work out, the pieces just don't fit together? SlE_nD1St7wBL2NBlacaX7axFiyUqZWXfm9npMSN
  • Does it just cost too much real world money to build a list of Hyenas?  If I've got 7-8 Vultures already, I can imagine buying 6-7 Hyenas isn't that tempting.

What am I missing?

*edit* Solved! There are more Hyena swarms, it just takes time to realise this!

Edited by theBitterFig

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Posted (edited)

 To answer your bullet points:

1 - You can still create 7-8 ship lists with 1-2 Hyenas, they just end up bring special stuff Vultures can't. Only successful max Hyena list I've seen is the 6 TUBs with Prox Mines (which aren't Hyperspace).

2 - Roll Link to Calc is A LOT better than Roll Link to Lock in a majority of matchups and scenarios. Just purely based off the Networked Calculations mechanic on both ships. 

3 - There's been plenty of Tetris-ing (at least I've tried) and stuff does fit well, it's just not with more than 2 Hyenas within 7-8 ship lists.

4 - Real world money is another big deal. Getting a lot of Vultures was easier and felt a bit more justified with just buying 2 of the Separatist starter packs and then (especially with Discords being very effective) buying 3 Vulture single packs. I bought 3 Hyenas when they came out and I've used 2 max in any list I've played since. 

 

OVERALL - They aren't "bad," Separatist just don't have much of a use for a bunch of them when more useful tools fit better along with more ships via Vultures and the few amount of Hyenas you have either support via DKR Probes OR add torps to the mix. I'm still taking 1-2 Hyenas in all of my Hyperspace lists. 

Edited by RStan

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Not all the named Hyenas are priced right. But bad? I don't leave home without 1 or 2 Hyenas in my Hyperspace lists...

And I can't remember the last time I saw CIS without Hyenas across from me, except for Infil lists where they just mathematically can't fit.

They're good boys. The mixed scavenger swarm lists are both strong and thematic, and with multiple ways to build that so far have no clear best answer. (Though it's slow to figure out CIS lists, because relatively so few people actually play this faction and we deal with relatively large numbers of relatively small optimizations.)

5 minutes ago, theBitterFig said:

Is the Roll-Lock noticeably worse than Roll-Calculate?

Tremendously, massively different. Good in its own ways. But hugely worse for the things Vultures want to use it for.

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30 minutes ago, theBitterFig said:

To be fair, "so bad" is mostly the clickbait version of saying "why aren't they more popular?"

There's 76 lists with Vultures and 49 lists with Hyenas in my data set, so unless the question is specifically "why isn't 3, 4, or 5+ hyenas in a list more popular?", my answer is "they are pretty popular"

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27 minutes ago, svelok said:

There's 76 lists with Vultures and 49 lists with Hyenas in my data set, so unless the question is specifically "why isn't 3, 4, or 5+ hyenas in a list more popular?", my answer is "they are pretty popular"

Turns out, this is what I was missing.

IW8simF.gif

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I give them this, the model looks cool, and that stock paint-job is sweet, IMO.

Beyond that, they have the ability to be a toolbox; but with CIS having the swarm mentality with that awesome calculate, why bother?

I'm no CIS player though, I just look from afar... they are quite good, those who play them. But they --on average-- don't particularly like squads with silencers and/or SFs.

 

 

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Hyenas are great. A Hyena with networked calculations is a very sturdy ship for its points, and they come with a wide variety of slots to outfit them for any situation - a great toolbox ship. I'm pretty sure that the reason we aren't seeing more hyena lists is that they are trickier for players to wrap their head around

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Let's be real, hyperspace is making balance difficult: In hyperspace its fine without the belbullab as an option. Compared to that though as an essential carrier, the Hyena isn't so ideal. 

The belbullab brings a lot of traits to the table that are perfect for heading the swarm. The Hyenas don't. Nor do they explicitly benefit a swarm. (This is a big ugly point about named clone republic pilots too other than Sinker, especially named Torrents.) 

The toolkitting is harder. You really have to have a plan for that ordnance. It used to be that 1.0 ships were balanced assuming they would always take ordnance. In 2.0 this isn't quite so. There's a lot of builds where its not really better than spamming vultures. 

Vultures are great. Especially at 19points. Are they a point overpowered? Maybe. After I test more against the vulture swarm I'll let you know. There's some skill floor involved. and I do honestly bias towards giving swarms more power due to the sheer difficulty of playing them. (Though I'm against that advantage being losing rounds to slow play, I expect 8 rounds out of a swarm player. At 7 I would likely warn the player.) Currently, I do know even with some mis-guesses and mis-plays, its very much a Tier1 list. 

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djLXT8V.png

 

I challenge the basic premise of this thread.  Techno Union Bombers outperform Vultures on metawing in hyperspace and feature in 4 out of 5 of the most successful Seperatist swarms.

The reason you wonder why Hyenas are bad is... because you live in the past?  Hyena's rock and are rocking the game right now.

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6 minutes ago, PhantomFO said:

Now I want to try a squad of five Vultures, and four Hyena bombers with struts. 35 hull points, 18 attack dice, and all the networked calculates you could ask for.

Only problem there is the 8 ship limit.

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On 3/9/2020 at 8:49 AM, TasteTheRainbow said:

404 and the base generics are better than just good, imo.

I've seen both of these used very well, Duncan Howard had a couple in his Ft. Worth list I believe and 404 can be downright terrifying, especially with APT's.

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So, I'm getting a strong vibe from this thread that Hyenas aren't bad, or even particularly underrepresented.  But for some of us, they surely do feel bad.  I mean, yes, they are beefier than Vultures.  But they are as has been pointed out a toolbox ship - you always pay for the opportunity to kit our your toolbox, on top of paying for the tools themselves.  And the Hyena, somewhat beefier though it may be, still just plain POPS when your opponent decides to look at it.  So, if you're running just a couple, but have them kitted out a bit, it makes them special.  It makes them costly.  It makes them a giant g.d. target.  And then they just pop, carrying all those fancy tools off into the scoring column, having achieved so very little.  The key seems to be running more or less naked, as if they were simply Vultures but beefier.  Or running enough of them that there is no obvious single target.  Or two obvious targets, as the case may be.  I find the same to somewhat true of generic Nantex - two just doesn't cut it.  Three seems to be the tipping point to making the Nantex work.  And I only have two Hyenas, and have been so disappointed so far by their performance relative to massed Vultures that I can't bring myself to buy a third.  Again, this is the FEELS from a filthy casual, so ymmv.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Stay OT Leader said:

I challenge the basic premise of this thread.  Techno Union Bombers outperform Vultures on metawing in hyperspace and feature in 4 out of 5 of the most successful Seperatist swarms.

The reason you wonder why Hyenas are bad is... because you live in the past?  Hyena's rock and are rocking the game right now.

 

5 hours ago, Mistborn_Jedi said:

Take a look at the larger HS events from last weekend.  8 of the 11 Separatist lists I looked at had 2 or 3 Hyenas.   5 of those made the cuts.  Better cut rate than Boba. 

Sorry, @theBitterFig, Hyenas aren't bad in HS.  In fact if you're playing Droids you should be including Hyenas.

I regret my clickbait.

I still wonder why we haven't seen more swarms that mostly Hyenas with a Vulture or two mixed in to make the points work (looks like we're starting too, but it takes time for folks to realise this).

And half that wonder was the presumption that they look kinda good, but no one flies like 5 of them anyhow, so maybe they were secretly bad?  No, that's just me going a bit too Vizzini for my own good...

Edited by theBitterFig

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As previously mentioned above a mix of Vultures and Hyenas is the way to go. I am currently running a 7 ship squad of 4 vultures and 3 hyenas (HS) and they are literally rocking it as most have struts. Yes the toolbox Hyena's are targets. However you can mitigate that with range control and the vultures can help with that. The dork droid not only helps the ordnance carrying Hyena's with their locks but also provides locks for the Vult's. Keeping the Hyena's on the slim side is also worth it as this posses a small problem for opponents.  The Hyena's pretty much can not be one shot killed as opposed to the Vult's that can be. So targeting the Hyena's means having to target it multiple times and ignoring the Vult's which may not be the best idea. Massed fire, with target locks for all, shared Calcs, a couple of torp/missile shots really add up and if you are "lucky" a few good blocks to boot.

Half a Hyena is between 14 and 19 points

Half a Vulture is between 10 and 12 points

That is not a lot of points given up if you can play it right. Darth Vader typically is worth 35 at half and 69 or 70 at full I gladly trade  1-2 of my ships for Vader putting me in the lead on points and taking typically 1/3 of the opposing players list out at the same time.  

Turn 0 matters, fly guuuddd matters, target priority is a must.

 

Live long and ...........................may the force be with you.

 

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9 hours ago, theBitterFig said:

I still wonder why we haven't seen more swarms that mostly Hyenas with a Vulture or two mixed in to make the points work

sounds like a lotta points being spent on things that aren't damage, while also eating into your critical mass ship count

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