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Cpt ObVus

The most demoralizing thing I’ve yet seen (extended)

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Posted (edited)
On 4/17/2020 at 8:17 PM, EbonHawk said:

Wait till you play Jedi.... xD also Hey Cap good to see you on this side of the forums 🙂

::wave:: 🙂

Yeah, I’ve been furiously posting noob questions over here for a few weeks now, and these X-Wingnuts have been very helpful!

Also (regarding Jedi): I haven’t jumped into Clone Wars stuff yet, but a couple days ago I just decided, “screw it, I’m gonna want to play everything eventually“ and bought a bunch of it. It’ll be here Tuesday.

Edited by Cpt ObVus

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Wazat said:

Can you post your fleet?  That will give us some idea of how to fly it against him.

So, I think part of the problem may have been that I was flying a fleet that was generally really poorly positioned against my opponent.

I’d read some other thread about Palpatine aboard a coordinator ship (Reaper or Lambda Shuttle), and two i1 TIE/D’s. It sounded interesting, and we’re still, as a group, at the stage where we’re seeing what works and what doesn’t. So I figured I’d try something like this.

I only own one TIE Defender at the moment. So the first problem was that I had to make a concession there, and I thought that two lesser-strength fighters are i1 might make up for dropping one TIE/D. So that turned into an i1 TIE Interceptor and an i1 TIE Striker. Since I was flying the Striker, I figured having another Adaptive Ailerons ship to carry the Emperor would make it easier to keep some sort of formation. So basically, it came down to a Defender, a Striker, an Interceptor, and a Reaper with Palpatine, all i1. I was light on upgrades, with (I think) Tractor Beams and Cluster Missiles on the Defender, and maybe Fire Control System on the Reaper.

I discovered that I really had trouble with range control on the Reaper and the Striker; the Adaptive Ailerons forced me to get far closer to the action than I wanted to very early on. To avoid getting thrown into his kill-box, the Striker had to peel away when I really wanted to just 1-forward slowly, keeping the wide arc on target. The Reaper also had to go too far forward, and got outflanked early, and turning that thing around proved to be an exercise in frustration... especially since I had obstacles to contend with, and his Collision Detectors gave him free reign over the board. The Interceptor just got annihilated without firing a shot; I basically missed a block with it, and he fired a close-range Outmaneuver shot, and it was a whiff of ozone and twisted steel.

The Defender, meanwhile, was fine. He basically neutralized it by arc-dodging and killing the other ships first. It did get off one Cluster Missile salvo, but the two attacks it made both came up blank/blank/hit, and he evaded easily. By the time I was able to get any other good shots lined up with it, it was a hopeless 3-on-1, and he had enough of a cushion to be reckless. It was in the last round that I managed to put my SECOND point of damage through, dropping Guri’s shields.

I learned a lot from this:

1) I don’t think I like generic Strikers. The Adaptive Ailerons make range control REALLY difficult, and low initiative exacerbates that problem when fighting higher initiative ships with repositioning options. I think Duchess could be cool, as she makes the Ailerons optional. And I like Pure Sabacc, as the extra offense he generates and the aggro he draws mitigate some of the problems the Ailerons create. Countdown also looks pretty sweet... I feel like he might survive longer than any 4 hull ship has a right to. Not crazy about Vagabond, but I also haven’t really wrapped my head around proper Device usage yet.

2) I see the value in a low initiative Reaper as a pre-movement Coordinate engine for other ships, especially with a Tactical Officer, and I’ve had some success with Vermeil/Vader (crew) already, so I get that... but the Ailerons are a difficulty I’ll have to overcome. Haven’t really given much thought to the other unique Reaper pilots yet.

3) The i1 Interceptor was extremely underwhelming. But I did totally whiff the block it was supposed to make. I haven’t tried Phennir or Fel yet, but I’ve flown both Holo and Vonreg in the TIE/ba, and they were both amazing, and on the surface, I don’t think the TIE/ba is extremely different from the Interceptor. Just a bit tougher.

4) The Defender is a fundamentally awesome frame, but I don’t think i1 is where I want to be with it. I have a feeling its next outing will involve Countess Ryad or Rexler Brath. Having my opponent get last looks before repositioning around the Defender with ALL of his guys was just devastating. Ryad in particular looks dynamite; white K-turns whenever (and at pretty much whatever speed) I want them just feels crazy good.

5) My playstyle might not lean toward low-initiative swarms. I’ve had a lot of success with Aces like Vader, Scum Han, Vonreg, and Boba Fett, and a lot of success with 4-5 mid-initiative guys with good synergy, like Inferno Squadron and random Rebel guys with matching initiative. But low initiative dudes seem to let me down too often, unless (and even sometimes when) I back them up with an Ace. It’ll be interesting to see how I fare with Separatists; they seem to be light on high-initiative aces in general, and Sun Fac looks pretty weird.

 

Edited by Cpt ObVus

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2 hours ago, Cpt ObVus said:

So, I think part of the problem may have been that I was flying a fleet that was generally really poorly positioned against my opponent.

I’d read some other thread about Palpatine aboard a coordinator ship (Reaper or Lambda Shuttle), and two i1 TIE/D’s. It sounded interesting, and we’re still, as a group, at the stage where we’re seeing what works and what doesn’t. So I figured I’d try something like this.

I only own one TIE Defender at the moment. So the first problem was that I had to make a concession there, and I thought that two lesser-strength fighters are i1 might make up for dropping one TIE/D. So that turned into an i1 TIE Interceptor and an i1 TIE Striker. Since I was flying the Striker, I figured having another Adaptive Ailerons ship to carry the Emperor would make it easier to keep some sort of formation. So basically, it came down to a Defender, a Striker, an Interceptor, and a Reaper with Palpatine, all i1. I was light on upgrades, with (I think) Tractor Beams and Cluster Missiles on the Defender, and maybe Fire Control System on the Reaper.

I discovered that I really had trouble with range control on the Reaper and the Striker; the Adaptive Ailerons forced me to get far closer to the action than I wanted to very early on. To avoid getting thrown into his kill-box, the Striker had to peel away when I really wanted to just 1-forward slowly, keeping the wide arc on target. The Reaper also had to go too far forward, and got outflanked early, and turning that thing around proved to be an exercise in frustration... especially since I had obstacles to contend with, and his Collision Detectors gave him free reign over the board. The Interceptor just got annihilated without firing a shot; I basically missed a block with it, and he fired a close-range Outmaneuver shot, and it was a whiff of ozone and twisted steel.

The Defender, meanwhile, was fine. He basically neutralized it by arc-dodging and killing the other ships first. It did get off one Cluster Missile salvo, but the two attacks it made both came up blank/blank/hit, and he evaded easily. By the time I was able to get any other good shots lined up with it, it was a hopeless 3-on-1, and he had enough of a cushion to be reckless. It was in the last round that I managed to put my SECOND point of damage through, dropping Guri’s shields.

I learned a lot from this:

1) I don’t think I like generic Strikers. The Adaptive Ailerons make range control REALLY difficult, and low initiative exacerbates that problem when fighting higher initiative ships with repositioning options. I think Duchess could be cool, as she makes the Ailerons optional. And I like Pure Sabacc, as the extra offense he generates and the aggro he draws mitigate some of the problems the Ailerons create. Countdown also looks pretty sweet... I feel like he might survive longer than any 4 hull ship has a right to. Not crazy about Vagabond, but I also haven’t really wrapped my head around proper Device usage yet.

2) I see the value in a low initiative Reaper as a pre-movement Coordinate engine for other ships, especially with a Tactical Officer, and I’ve had some success with Vermeil/Vader (crew) already, so I get that... but the Ailerons are a difficulty I’ll have to overcome. Haven’t really given much thought to the other unique Reaper pilots yet.

3) The i1 Interceptor was extremely underwhelming. But I did totally whiff the block it was supposed to make. I haven’t tried Phennir or Fel yet, but I’ve flown both Holo and Vonreg in the TIE/ba, and they were both amazing, and on the surface, I don’t think the TIE/ba is extremely different from the Interceptor. Just a bit tougher.

4) The Defender is a fundamentally awesome frame, but I don’t think i1 is where I want to be with it. I have a feeling its next outing will involve Countess Ryad or Rexler Brath. Having my opponent get last looks before repositioning around the Defender with ALL of his guys was just devastating. Ryad in particular looks dynamite; white K-turns whenever (and at pretty much whatever speed) I want them just feels crazy good.

5) My playstyle might not lean toward low-initiative swarms. I’ve had a lot of success with Aces like Vader, Scum Han, Vonreg, and Boba Fett, and a lot of success with 4-5 mid-initiative guys with good synergy, like Inferno Squadron and random Rebel guys with matching initiative. But low initiative dudes seem to let me down too often, unless (and even sometimes when) I back them up with an Ace. It’ll be interesting to see how I fare with Separatists; they seem to be light on high-initiative aces in general, and Sun Fac looks pretty weird.

 

Handy trick: It's useful to coordinate with the reaper to stress it, so that it moves slower next round (stress turns off its ailerons).  Strategic use of this makes positioning way easier and at the same time benefits an ally.

 

Fleet adjustments I'd recommend:

IMO I'd remove the Tractor Beam and Cluster Missiles from the TIE Defender.  It typically won't be using them; its primary is deadly enough.

A payload on your TIE Striker could by handy, such as seismic charges or proton bombs.  These make the enemy cagey about swooping in behind you, and seismics placed between a couple obstacles have a very large choice of where to blast.

That reaper might love a pilot upgrade to Vizier, Feroph, or Vermeil, but even better might be to upgrade the Defender to Rexler.  Or take the Defender to Onyx and the Intercetor to Saber, to out-init some ships (both the defender and interceptor benefit from arc-dodging and init-killing scrubs).  Or Rexler + Saber.

Rexler is fantastic btw...  You could even fit Juke Rexler (remove Fire-Control System and drop all the other pilots to cheapest) which would really put the pressure on many foes.  He puts Juke to amazing use...

If you have a spare TIE Interceptor or TIE Fighter and decide you really don't like the Striker, they either Seyn Marana with Marksmanship, a couple of standard TIEs, or another Saber Squadron Ace would be good options.

Low init ships work well as swarms, or as the odd blocker.  IMO TIE Interceptors aren't the best for that; TIE Strikers or TIE Fighters serve the blocker and cheap scrub role better.

 

Some assorted ideas:

 

Upgrading your TIE Defender and/or TIE Interceptor pilots could give you an easier time against a lot of fleets, not just your friend's starvipers.  Init advantage helps so much.

Scarif Base Pilot (39)    
    Emperor Palpatine (11)    
Ship total: 50  Half Points: 25  Threshold: 4    
    
Rexler Brath (81)    
    Juke (7)    
Ship total: 88  Half Points: 44  Threshold: 4    
    
Planetary Sentinel (31)    
Ship total: 31  Half Points: 16  Threshold: 2    
    
Alpha Squadron Pilot (31)    
Ship total: 31  Half Points: 16  Threshold: 2    
    
Total: 200    
    
View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Galactic Empire&d=v8ZsZ200Z186X29WWY196X123WWWY213XWWY182XW&sn=Unnamed Squadron&obs=

 

 

Scarif Base Pilot (39)    
    Emperor Palpatine (11)    
Ship total: 50  Half Points: 25  Threshold: 4    
    
Onyx Squadron Ace (74)    
    Juke (7)    
    Fire-Control System (2)    
Ship total: 83  Half Points: 42  Threshold: 4    
    
Planetary Sentinel (31)    
Ship total: 31  Half Points: 16  Threshold: 2    
    
Saber Squadron Ace (36)    
Ship total: 36  Half Points: 18  Threshold: 2    
    
Total: 200    
    
View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Galactic Empire&d=v8ZsZ200Z186X29WWY197X123W113WWY213XWWY181XWW&sn=Unnamed Squadron&obs=

 

Scarif Base Pilot (39)    
    Emperor Palpatine (11)    
Ship total: 50  Half Points: 25  Threshold: 4    
    
Onyx Squadron Ace (74)    
    Crack Shot (1)    
    Fire-Control System (2)    
Ship total: 77  Half Points: 39  Threshold: 4    
    
Planetary Sentinel (31)    
    Proton Bombs (5)    
Ship total: 36  Half Points: 18  Threshold: 2    
    
Saber Squadron Ace (36)    
    Crack Shot (1)    
Ship total: 37  Half Points: 19  Threshold: 2    
    
Total: 200    
    
View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Galactic Empire&d=v8ZsZ200Z186X29WWY197X116W113WWY213XW69WY181X116WW&sn=Unnamed Squadron&obs=

 

 

Major Vermeil (49)    
    Emperor Palpatine (11)    
Ship total: 60  Half Points: 30  Threshold: 4    
    
Delta Squadron Pilot (67)    
    Fire-Control System (2)    
Ship total: 69  Half Points: 35  Threshold: 4    
    
Planetary Sentinel (31)    
    Seismic Charges (3)    
Ship total: 34  Half Points: 17  Threshold: 2    
    
Saber Squadron Ace (36)    
    Crack Shot (1)    
Ship total: 37  Half Points: 19  Threshold: 2    
    
Total: 200    
    
View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Galactic Empire&d=v8ZsZ200Z183XW29WWY198X113WWY213XW71WY181X116WW&sn=Unnamed Squadron&obs=

 

 

Scarif Base Pilot (39)    
    Emperor Palpatine (11)    
Ship total: 50  Half Points: 25  Threshold: 4    
    
Onyx Squadron Ace (74)    
    Crack Shot (1)    
Ship total: 75  Half Points: 38  Threshold: 4    
    
Saber Squadron Ace (36)    
    Crack Shot (1)    
Ship total: 37  Half Points: 19  Threshold: 2    
    
Saber Squadron Ace (36)    
    Crack Shot (1)    
Ship total: 37  Half Points: 19  Threshold: 2    
    
    
Total: 199    
    
View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Galactic Empire&d=v8ZsZ200Z186X29WWY197X116WWWY181X116WWY181X116WW&sn=Unnamed Squadron&obs=

 

 

I hope that helps!

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1 hour ago, Wazat said:

A payload on your TIE Striker could by handy, such as seismic charges or proton bombs.  These make the enemy cagey about swooping in behind you, and seismics placed between a couple obstacles have a very large choice of where to blast.

Have a look at Vagabond as well!

In this particular case Seismics would be extra good (was my thought as well when reading OP first post in the thread). The Collision Detector on the Vipers does not matter when opponent planned to fly with impunity towards/over obstacles, and instead the obstacle explodes right into his/her face. Unlike the other 2 space superiority fighters, E-Wing and TIE/d, the Vipers have very little shield and thus are crit susceptible, esp. when they loose the shield due to obstacle explosion.

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4 hours ago, Cpt ObVus said:

I only own one TIE Defender at the moment. So the first problem was that I had to make a concession there, and I thought that two lesser-strength fighters are i1 might make up for dropping one TIE/D. So that turned into an i1 TIE Interceptor and an i1 TIE Striker. Since I was flying the Striker, I figured having another Adaptive Ailerons ship to carry the Emperor would make it easier to keep some sort of formation. So basically, it came down to a Defender, a Striker, an Interceptor, and a Reaper with Palpatine, all i1. I was light on upgrades, with (I think) Tractor Beams and Cluster Missiles on the Defender, and maybe Fire Control System on the Reaper.

I find posts like this pretty fascinating.

There are a lot of people I've seen complain that the weaker upgrades in second edition compared with first, and the deliberate lack of strong combos, has made list building less important.

I think posts like yours are proof that list building is a skill that matters very much, and that while points are a balancing tool, there's no guarantee two lists will be of equal strength just because you spent the same points. Each ship and upgrade reinforces or undercuts the one next to it, and recognising which one does which is still a skill that second edition requires you to learn. 

Compromising on that Defender absolutely compromised the whole list. The Palp + 2x I1 Defenders list isn't the strongest in the game, it hasn't won any major tournaments that I'm aware of. But it is a decent list, and it works because of the specific threat a pair of Defenders offers. Yes, your replacement gave the list an extra 3 dice attack and an extra arc, which most list building best practices in second edition would say is a good thing. But in this specific case, it doesn't work because a) I1 Interceptors and Strikers are very easy to kill - a huge part of the worth of the original list is that Defenders are so difficult to remove from the board; and b) all your ships are still at I1, but now they all move differently and your list cohesion has gone out the window. 

From the rest of your post, it sounds like that's exactly what happened. Your different dials and Ailerons got your ships separated too far, the Striker and Interceptor got removed quickly without contributing damage, and the Defender did okay but couldn't hold the list up by itself - just imagine how the game could have gone if you had two Defenders 'doing okay', switching in out as needed to keep the opponent unable to focus fire, tanking damage where able and making use of that high HP and agility to survive long enough to make use of the great dice efficiency they're getting with Palp. 

 

This isn't to say don't try changing elements of lists that have worked well for others - you never know when you might stumble across something that works really well. But in general if someone talks up a list here and other people agree with it, it's because something very specific about it works. Changing it will usually harm it. 

4 hours ago, Cpt ObVus said:

I was light on upgrades, with (I think) Tractor Beams and Cluster Missiles on the Defender, and maybe Fire Control System on the Reaper.

 

Some other classic list building mistakes here, I would argue. 

I know you weren't sure, but FCS on a Reaper would have been a really bad idea if you did indeed include it - the Reaper doesn't have the target lock action. Natively, it can't even use FCS. Even if it did, or if you included Targeting Computer it would still be a bad investment. Your Reaper should be looking to co-ordinate as much as possible. When not co-ordinating, the focus action is fine. You're just not likely to get a round where locking is the best action for it to do. 

Second, you put missiles that require a lock on the Defender, but not FCS? If you want to be shooting missiles then FCS is invaluable, especially on Cluster Missiles where FCS allows you to get a reroll on both attacks. Spending the lock will only help you on one. 

But as @Wazat said, Cluster Missiles and Tractor Beams are bad on Defenders anyway. Both of them are worse than the primary 90% of the time. The 10% of situations where an extra attack or tractoring would be better aren't worth the points investment or the setup time. And as I think you've noticed with those Star Vipers you were against, the Sensor slot is one of the best and most useful in the game. If you want to put upgrades on Defenders, that should always be the slot you look at first. FCS is always good value on anything that can lock, and as you experienced Collision Detector can be game changing if you trigger it on the right two turns. Passive Sensors can overcome some of the drawbacks of being low Initiative, and Advanced Sensors is such a good upgrade if you can spare the points. Especially on Defenders. A bank boost before a white k-turn is mad. It gives you so many positioning options. Yes, it robs you of dice mods, but if you use it right, you won't care.

 

5 hours ago, Cpt ObVus said:

1) I don’t think I like generic Strikers. The Adaptive Ailerons make range control REALLY difficult, and low initiative exacerbates that problem when fighting higher initiative ships with repositioning options. I think Duchess could be cool, as she makes the Ailerons optional. And I like Pure Sabacc, as the extra offense he generates and the aggro he draws mitigate some of the problems the Ailerons create. Countdown also looks pretty sweet... I feel like he might survive longer than any 4 hull ship has a right to. Not crazy about Vagabond, but I also haven’t really wrapped my head around proper Device usage yet.

 

The generic Strikers have their place, and I've seen some very good arguments that they're better than generic Interceptors but yes, in general I'd say you're right. Generic Strikers work out when you have a lot of them. They really aren't good as lone additions to a mixed squad. 

Duchess, however, is a very strong pocket ace. Making the Ailerons optional gives you so many choices, especially at I5. Countdown is amazing if your opponent forgets his ability and uses a proton torpedo against him (that's me, I was that opponent - I felt very stupid) but in general I think he's one of those strange ships who gets survivability at the cost of a reason to want him to survive. He'll stick around for sure, but unless you've got a solid plan and can execute it, he probably won't actually contribute much to winning. Pure Sabaac is great, though. I think the only reason he isn't seen more as the Empire's go to pocket ace is because he costs two more points than Duchess for worse Initiative. And, for better or worse, Initiative is basically still king in this game. 

5 hours ago, Cpt ObVus said:

2) I see the value in a low initiative Reaper as a pre-movement Coordinate engine for other ships, especially with a Tactical Officer, and I’ve had some success with Vermeil/Vader (crew) already, so I get that... but the Ailerons are a difficulty I’ll have to overcome. Haven’t really given much thought to the other unique Reaper pilots yet.

This isn't easy, it takes a ton of experience and practice and probably seeing other players who know how to exploit it win a few games, but the Reaper's speed with Ailerons is absolutely one of its most valuable traits.

Because doing two maneuvers in a turn means you're effectively adding the length of the base to the maneuver, and because Reapers are on a medium base, the Reaper is fast. You saw that in your game where it lead to the Reaper being out of position. 

But at I1, what this actually makes the Reaper is one of the best blockers in the game. You can get up into your opponent's face in the second turn with no problems whatsoever. That medium base takes up a decent amount of space, and the flexibility of the banking ailerons makes it difficult for your opponent to guess exactly which bit of the Reaper's base you're going to block him with. And because, like all good blockers, you're moving at I1 you also get your action. This is where the Reaper truly shines as a support ship. You still get your I1 co-ordinate and you get to block, and because you're blocking you're not shooting or getting shot by at least one enemy ship, so the Reaper doesn't care that you gave up dice mods for the co-ordinate. 

The named Reapers are all solid in their own right (though Feroph is easily the weakest, IMO) but I think simply being I1 is a better pilot ability than any of the others. It takes experience and skill. I am not a good enough player to use the I1 Reaper well and I doubt I'll ever put the time in with it to get good. But I've seen people who have and I've played against them, and that I1 Reaper has messed me up in ways even Vizier just can't match. 

And it's all because of those ailerons. 

5 hours ago, Cpt ObVus said:

3) The i1 Interceptor was extremely underwhelming. But I did totally whiff the block it was supposed to make. I haven’t tried Phennir or Fel yet, but I’ve flown both Holo and Vonreg in the TIE/ba, and they were both amazing, and on the surface, I don’t think the TIE/ba is extremely different from the Interceptor. Just a bit tougher.

Yeah, much like the Striker, the generic Interceptor needs numbers to shine.

This is a long post, as it's a full account of a tournament, but if you want to see how a good player uses generic Interceptors this is the blog to read. Shout out to @SOTL for being the person who's opinions I steal when I want to look like I know what I'm talking about. 

As far as my own experience goes, I've had a ton of issues playing casual games against 4x Alpha Squadrons with a Sloane Lambda. Partly that's due to the types of lists I like to play, especially against my friend who enjoys these sorts mini swarms. But played well a block of 4 Alphas is a nightmare. 

They don't do well by themselves, though. Not unless you've got a very specific list setup and strategy to maximise them. Even SOTL's list needed two to get the most out of them. 

If you haven't tried Fel yet then.... definitely try Fel. He's an X-Wing icon and has been since Wave 2 of first edition. His role has changed a bit in second edition, he's no longer the superstar who carries whole lists. Instead, he's 'just' the best ~25% of a list you can get. He's there to give your opponent an impossible choice against another of your ships. He's there to distract and draw attention, or to punish if ignored. He's also one of only two I6 pilots in the game who can double reposition in any order, and he's the only one who can still get a dice mod while doing it with no need for upgrades. He is quite simply some of the most fun you can have pushing a ship round a board. He won't win your lust for you, and if you play him wrong he'll die very quickly. But I promise you'll have a blast even if you lose, and the first time you pull the barrel roll into boost to dodge an enemy's shot while giving yourself a bullseye shot against them will be one of the most triumphant feelings this game can give you, I promise. 

5 hours ago, Cpt ObVus said:

4) The Defender is a fundamentally awesome frame, but I don’t think i1 is where I want to be with it. I have a feeling its next outing will involve Countess Ryad or Rexler Brath. Having my opponent get last looks before repositioning around the Defender with ALL of his guys was just devastating. Ryad in particular looks dynamite; white K-turns whenever (and at pretty much whatever speed) I want them just feels crazy good.

As above, the I1 Defender is only any good when you've got more than one of them.

But yeah, if you're just starting out with Defenders then I'd recommend Rexler all the way. He's a ton of fun. His ability isn't all that relevant, but it's handy when he triggers. Instead, much like Duchess, he's the cheapest named pilot on the frame but the highest Initiative. 

Used to be Juke was stapled to him, but honestly I find that just a bit expensive these days. Instead, anything that gives him better economy is worth looking at. Best case, it helps push more damage through. Worst case, it does what Juke mostly does anyway at high Initiative - force a token spend. Predator, Crack Shot, Lone Wolf, FCS and Collision Detector are the cards I'd look at first, depending on list, strategy and preferred playstyle. 

Ryad is a fun. With Advanced Sensors, probably the most fun you can have maneuvering a ship outside of Fel, Guri or Sun Fac. Advanced Sensors bank boost into a two speed white k-turn? Bonkers. But Ryad struggles from being able to capitalise on her positioning. I4 is a big hindrance, because she wants to be dancing around aces, not swarms, but most of her intended targets can arc dodge her still. She's also too expensive to ever be worth taking over Rexler. Rexler is just straight up better, especially as he's fine naked whereas Ryad really wants Outmaneuver and Collision Detector or Advanced Sensors. 

Vessery should be extremely solid, but his cost and reliance on other locks in a faction with the lowest native access to the lock action cripples him. His best wingman is probably FCS Maarek, who wants to get locks but spend them as little as possible. But ideally Vessery wants more lock takers than just the one. His cost and Initiative means you want cheap, lower I pilots. But if they're cheap and lower I, you need numbers to make them work. You also need a way for them to get locks at low I, which is historically difficult and needs something like Passive Sensors, or Jendon, or high I co-ordinate. All of these requirements add up to a list building puzzle with no solution. You can't get enough lock capable ships who have no problem getting locks, can contribute to the list with damage output and who shoot after Vessery so that their locks are guaranteed to be in place when he shoots. 

3 hours ago, Wazat said:

5) My playstyle might not lean toward low-initiative swarms. I’ve had a lot of success with Aces like Vader, Scum Han, Vonreg, and Boba Fett, and a lot of success with 4-5 mid-initiative guys with good synergy, like Inferno Squadron and random Rebel guys with matching initiative. But low initiative dudes seem to let me down too often, unless (and even sometimes when) I back them up with an Ace. It’ll be interesting to see how I fare with Separatists; they seem to be light on high-initiative aces in general, and Sun Fac looks pretty weird.

 

Honestly, this is pretty standard for new players IMO.

Aces, by their nature, are generally more forgiving and mean your lists are lower on numbers. That means fewer opportunities for mistakes. Mess up one dial in your swarms approach, and the whole thing can fall apart.

I wouldn't worry too much about what is or isn't your playstyle at the moment. There will come a time where swarms present fewer hurdles for you to overcome as a player, before even putting them opposite another player. 

Of course, the result of that is probably that until you've had more experience going against swarms so that you understand what their plans look like, I'd say you're probably right to stick to the aces. 

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Yeah, I’m not sure about that FCS, and where I put it. It may have been on the Defender. I know I wouldn’t have put it on a ship that can’t use it.

I totally conceded that my first mistake was replacing the second Defender. 

As to the Tractor Beams and Cluster Missiles, I regret neither choice. The Tractor Beam just happens to be undone by Collision Detectors, and he happened to put one on every ship. And if it weren’t for the Cluster Missiles bonus attacks, I wouldn’t have even managed to remove two shields from him; both of those came from Cluster Missiles bonus attacks. And yes, I was using locks and focus and all of that. I was just rolling garbage, which happens, but is usually balanced by numbers of attacks performed. In that game I think I literally managed 5 or 6 attacks total.

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4 hours ago, GuacCousteau said:

Compromising on that Defender absolutely compromised the whole list.

Yup when you replace a component of a well-tuned list, you frequently remove the gears that made the whole thing turn, unfortunately.  Substitutions have to be done with caution and precision.

 

2 hours ago, Cpt ObVus said:

I totally conceded that my first mistake was replacing the second Defender. 

May I ask... Do you have the conversion kit?  One of the most important things I recommend to fellow casual players is to stop worrying about cards and models, and proxy/borrow what you don't have.  No need to go spending a fortune chasing stuff you don't need to play the game outside of tournaments (unless you really enjoy having the cards spread out before you and the right models on the table).  If you have the conversion kit, you have the dial and baseplate etc for a 2nd TIE Defender and that saves you the cash of having to go buy another.  Or you could borrow from someone if needed.  I occasionally proxy ships by just having a base and baseplate with no model on top, and having the list printed out or on my phone.  The most important physical item is the dial; if you have that, you can proxy basically everything else.

This also lets you try out the 2nd Defender before you commit to buying another one, if you still feel strongly about having all the right stuff out there.  So much of this game is more fun when you're not stuck chasing expansions to play the lists that excite you.  ^_^

 

4 hours ago, GuacCousteau said:

The generic Strikers have their place, and I've seen some very good arguments that they're better than generic Interceptors but yes, in general I'd say you're right. Generic Strikers work out when you have a lot of them. They really aren't good as lone additions to a mixed squad. 

Duchess, however, is a very strong pocket ace. Making the Ailerons optional gives you so many choices, especially at I5. Countdown is amazing if your opponent forgets his ability and uses a proton torpedo against him (that's me, I was that opponent - I felt very stupid) but in general I think he's one of those strange ships who gets survivability at the cost of a reason to want him to survive. He'll stick around for sure, but unless you've got a solid plan and can execute it, he probably won't actually contribute much to winning. Pure Sabaac is great, though. I think the only reason he isn't seen more as the Empire's go to pocket ace is because he costs two more points than Duchess for worse Initiative. And, for better or worse, Initiative is basically still king in this game.

I skipped past this in my post but very yes, I agree that Duchess and Sabacc are the best Striker pilots.  The generic strikers are either occasionally used as swarms, or rarely in pairs to drop bombs, paired with aces or tanks.  We see Duchess all the time as a pocket ace because of her cost and versatility, and I5 is great even on its own.  Sabacc is a fantastic nuke-that-mustn't-be-ignored that will either contribute damage or drive the opponent to distraction for your fleet's benefit.  Duchess is common in ace/salad lists, and Sabacc is more seen in casual play.

4 hours ago, GuacCousteau said:

But at I1, what this actually makes the Reaper is one of the best blockers in the game. You can get up into your opponent's face in the second turn with no problems whatsoever. That medium base takes up a decent amount of space, and the flexibility of the banking ailerons makes it difficult for your opponent to guess exactly which bit of the Reaper's base you're going to block him with. And because, like all good blockers, you're moving at I1 you also get your action. This is where the Reaper truly shines as a support ship. You still get your I1 co-ordinate and you get to block, and because you're blocking you're not shooting or getting shot by at least one enemy ship, so the Reaper doesn't care that you gave up dice mods for the co-ordinate. 

The named Reapers are all solid in their own right (though Feroph is easily the weakest, IMO) but I think simply being I1 is a better pilot ability than any of the others. It takes experience and skill. I am not a good enough player to use the I1 Reaper well and I doubt I'll ever put the time in with it to get good. But I've seen people who have and I've played against them, and that I1 Reaper has messed me up in ways even Vizier just can't match. 

And it's all because of those ailerons. 

Agreed, I love the I1 reaper.  Since you're carrying Palp you should probably stick with that -- I usually field Major Vermeil with Darth Vader crew (which is mortifyingly strong) or else don't upgrade the pilot at all.  It's hard to pass up an I1 coordination + blocker boat.

4 hours ago, GuacCousteau said:

As far as my own experience goes, I've had a ton of issues playing casual games against 4x Alpha Squadrons with a Sloane Lambda.

Sloan Swarms (be they 4x interceptors or a mix of TIE Fighters, interceptors, etc) are just naturally brutal, especially if Sloan's carrier has Ruthless.  ^_^  Lets Sloan murder allies to stress enemy ships and deal more damage in the process, and ultimately it's the stress that kills.  Though in casual play, Sloan can quickly become a NPE (negative play experience) so be cautious about going down that route.

 

Regarding Soontir Fel... If you enjoy ace lists, Soontir may be your jam; I second the recommendation.  It's important to understand though that Soontir's approach should always be cagey -- he must never joust, and he doesn't race into a fight to get an init kill.  Instead he tickles the fringes of the fight, staying out of range and arc, and moves in when pilots are committed and he's confident he's not going to take shots.  And you should always be thinking about his exit strategy, what's happening with him in the next 2 or 3 rounds, not just this round.  He's very much a "life on a knife's edge" pilot because bad dice and unfortunate positioning usually spell his doom, but insofar as he avoids that, he's a monster.

I've seen him flown light (with just Predator/CrackShot etc) or heavy (Shield Upgrade + Hull Upgrade + Predator or Crack Shot or Outmaneuver) depending on how he's being used and available points + desired bid.  Loading up his health lets you play less cagey since he now has the HP of fellow aces, paired with his double repositions.  But it's still not an invitation to get careless -- it's still just 1 shield guarding his hull and crits could really mess him up.

 

BTW props to @GuacCousteau for the great feedback & suggestions!

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15 hours ago, Cpt ObVus said:

I discovered that I really had trouble with range control on the Reaper and the Striker; the Adaptive Ailerons forced me to get far closer to the action than I wanted to very early on. To avoid getting thrown into his kill-box, the Striker had to peel away when I really wanted to just 1-forward slowly, keeping the wide arc on target. The Reaper also had to go too far forward, and got outflanked early, and turning that thing around proved to be an exercise in frustration... especially since I had obstacles to contend with, and his Collision Detectors gave him free reign over the board.

I learned a lot from this:

1) I don’t think I like generic Strikers. The Adaptive Ailerons make range control REALLY difficult, and low initiative exacerbates that problem when fighting higher initiative ships with repositioning options. I think Duchess could be cool, as she makes the Ailerons optional. And I like Pure Sabacc, as the extra offense he generates and the aggro he draws mitigate some of the problems the Ailerons create. Countdown also looks pretty sweet... I feel like he might survive longer than any 4 hull ship has a right to. Not crazy about Vagabond, but I also haven’t really wrapped my head around proper Device usage yet.

Yeah, Ailerons are not an easy ship to start.  Steeper learning curve than a lot of stuff.  I personally can't seem to get the hang of Strikers.

15 hours ago, Cpt ObVus said:

2) I see the value in a low initiative Reaper as a pre-movement Coordinate engine for other ships, especially with a Tactical Officer, and I’ve had some success with Vermeil/Vader (crew) already, so I get that... but the Ailerons are a difficulty I’ll have to overcome. Haven’t really given much thought to the other unique Reaper pilots yet.

Vizier might be pretty natural to you, then.  He basically gets the Tactical Officer for free, if he doesn't bump on the Ailerons move.

Feroph is the defensive equivalent of Vermiel.  Easy-to-acquire dice mods are handy.

15 hours ago, Cpt ObVus said:

3) The i1 Interceptor was extremely underwhelming. But I did totally whiff the block it was supposed to make. I haven’t tried Phennir or Fel yet, but I’ve flown both Holo and Vonreg in the TIE/ba, and they were both amazing, and on the surface, I don’t think the TIE/ba is extremely different from the Interceptor. Just a bit tougher.

4) The Defender is a fundamentally awesome frame, but I don’t think i1 is where I want to be with it. I have a feeling its next outing will involve Countess Ryad or Rexler Brath. Having my opponent get last looks before repositioning around the Defender with ALL of his guys was just devastating. Ryad in particular looks dynamite; white K-turns whenever (and at pretty much whatever speed) I want them just feels crazy good.

5) My playstyle might not lean toward low-initiative swarms. I’ve had a lot of success with Aces like Vader, Scum Han, Vonreg, and Boba Fett, and a lot of success with 4-5 mid-initiative guys with good synergy, like Inferno Squadron and random Rebel guys with matching initiative. But low initiative dudes seem to let me down too often, unless (and even sometimes when) I back them up with an Ace. It’ll be interesting to see how I fare with Separatists; they seem to be light on high-initiative aces in general, and Sun Fac looks pretty weird.

All three of these kinda go together.

Init 1 takes some practice.  There's a lot more anticipation which needs to happen, and they are vulnerable to getting blown out before shooting.  I've loved my Delta Defenders, but I've been flying a bunch of defenders since 1e.

I think there's potential in the Init 1 Interceptor, but the successful lists I've seen with it have all had a lot of weight behind them.  I've seen 4x + Reaper or 4x + Shuttle in different variants, and heard great things about 2x + 4x TIES + Reaper with Sloane.  All of these have some serious heft to the overall list.

//

Sun Fac is really weird.  They used to be some of the most obnoxious b***s*** in the game for a while, but the Tractor rules changed to be a bit less punishing, plus Sun Fac went up in cost.

Grievous is a bunch of fun for an Init 4 ace, ideally with title and Impervium, but doesn't always fit well into sep lists.

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18 hours ago, Cpt ObVus said:

::wave:: 🙂

Yeah, I’ve been furiously posting noob questions over here for a few weeks now, and these X-Wingnuts have been very helpful!

Also (regarding Jedi): I haven’t jumped into Clone Wars stuff yet, but a couple days ago I just decided, “screw it, I’m gonna want to play everything eventually“ and bought a bunch of it. It’ll be here Tuesday.

If you're playing extended and want to give those Starvipers a taste of their own medicine, Anakin might be the way to go with Delta-7B title plus various upgrades-probably R2 astro or the one that lets you change maneuvers, maybe Afterburners or Hull/Shield upgrade, maybe a force talent but those aren't necessary. Although he's not quite as furiously unpredictable as bendy barrel rolls, he's initiative 6 (which is huge against Guri or really any init 5 ace) and has plenty of maneuverability built in that will let him fly circles around most things. You could also try the same thing with Obi-Wan, but I prefer Ani. If you're feeling extra feisty, you can run both, but the skill floor and ceiling for that list are pretty high due to how punishing a single mistake is when your entire list is two small bases.

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Extra guns are good. But if you're swapping out a lot of quality for just 1 extra squishy gun, it's generally not worth it. You have to ask, if it's just going to die quickly, is it worth bringing?

For example, dropping that hard to fly Striker gets you this much quality.

(39) Scarif Base Pilot [TIE Reaper]
(14) Darth Vader
Points: 53

(81) Rexler Brath [TIE/D Defender]
(2) Fire-Control System
Points: 83

(53) Soontir Fel [TIE Interceptor]
(3) Targeting Computer
(2) Daredevil
Points: 58

Total points: 194

I'd  personally be fairly confident of kicking those Vipers heads in with this.

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Just want to report in that I recently flew the palp reaper/2x saber/onyx defender version of this archetype and oh man it was a blast.  Was against a somewhat janky Assaj/bossk/nom list but still, by the time I had wiped out bossk and had mostly chewn through assaj when we called it I had only taken 3 hits total, 2 to the reaper and one to a range 3 shot into an interceptor (of course)

personally the reaper is a lot to handle, and I honestly think I like the Vader version more to make it more of a threat rather than a support ship.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Redleader128 said:

@Cpt ObVus i love to run rexler brath with juke and auto-blasters. It is pricey, but it you can stay at speed three it will last for ever

Time for a brief detour into some squad building: are the Autoblasters really doing much for you there?

The Defender already has 3 attack dice, so you're not hitting harder than normal and are in fact giving up a dice when shooting outside of the bullseye arc, and you've got no way to generate crits so it's luck of the dice on whether the unpreventable effect does anything. And even when you do roll a crit, chances are you'll then have Juke and Autoblasters fighting against one another as they both try to push the same damage card through. The end result of that is likely that your opponent will hold his defensive tokens for other shots instead of feeling pressured to spend them, meaning that your 7-point Juke did nothing.

Feels like there would be a more efficient way to spend the 3 points the cannon is costing you.

Edited by DR4CO

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On 4/20/2020 at 6:48 PM, Zucch10 said:

personally the reaper is a lot to handle, and I honestly think I like the Vader version more to make it more of a threat rather than a support ship.

It does take a bit of practice to get used to it. The added Aileron move takes it much further than you would think. I've flown it a bunch and become fairly decent with it, but coming back to it recently, after a break, I was overshooting quite a bit and putting it in bad spots all too easily.

Compounding this difficulty, using stress to slow it down makes it SO predictable. But this is fine, if you aren't attempting to drag it through difficult times and make extended use of an expensive support combo.

So Vader brings an awful lot. It's more forgiving. You can afford to skip your action to a degree and be much more free with the red moves and bumps to maintain arc and position, while still having a significant impact.

The I1 with Vader, is a super piece for getting used to it. Its reasonably priced, you can be relatively aggressive- block, sloop, hard turn etc. You can happily use the coord to slow roll into unpleasant positions. Many other builds require significant finesse.

1 hour ago, DR4CO said:

Juke and Autoblasters

Same. I don't see this as a perfect combo. I would either take Juke, with a 2nd copy on another ship, or Marksmanship with the Blasters.

The 1st is expensive and one Juke at I5 has a tendency to do not a lot imo, I'd rather have another copy or at least be shooting last with it. Even then, with force abound, it's a pricey way to strip a token most of the time. A 2nd Juker both strips and gets you damage. It gets much stronger, the more you have, but that does get fairly prohibitive. Still very good, but needs to be leaned into pretty hard.

For example, Rex and Whisper, Juked with Duchess and Predator at 196. 

Marksmanship and Autoblasters is a cheap combo that can really pay off at times. Situational, but good for the price and adds a thorny branch to the opposing decision tree. Can often be thrown in without having to make much in the way of concession.

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Posted (edited)

Even outside of the Pre move making it fast it’s a different skill to judge the order of moves.  

I ran into a situation where my initial thought was a straight into a three bank but I figured a one bank into a three straight would get me closer, and it cost me a turn on a gas cloud.  

Luckily I’d dialed in a move on my defender that would have worked regardless of coordinating but still it could have been bad times.

Edited by Zucch10

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On 4/19/2020 at 2:14 PM, Cpt ObVus said:

As to the Tractor Beams and Cluster Missiles, I regret neither choice. The Tractor Beam just happens to be undone by Collision Detectors, and he happened to put one on every ship. And if it weren’t for the Cluster Missiles bonus attacks, I wouldn’t have even managed to remove two shields from him; both of those came from Cluster Missiles bonus attacks.

Just an additional response on this. 

I'll refrain from just telling you Tractor Beams and Cluster Missiles are garbage, instead I'll encourage you to play a few more games with them and a few games without and see if you eventually reach the same conclusion most of us have - that they don't add sufficient value relative to their points cost. 

 

This is my experience and understanding, just to see how you feel about this.

Tractor Beams may have worked better if they hadn't had Collision Detectors, yes, but ask yourself if the result of tractoring them onto a rock in the enagagement phase after they've already shot this round was worth more than simply shooting them with 3 attack dice that can do damage. If the tractor beam hits, that means you had 1 uncancelled hit result on a 3 attack dice roll. If you tractor them onto an asteroid, they then have a 1 in 2 chance of taking a damage. But you had an uncancelled hit result. On a 3 dice attack. If you'd just shot them with the primary, the same result would have done a guaranteed damage. This means that the only advantage is that you put them on a rock. But they've already taken their action, and in this case they've already shot. So you gain nothing - none of the usual negative effects of being on a rock trigger here. So you only gain something if you put them on a rock in such a position that they're going to fly over it again on their next turn. Understand this is not 100% guaranteed. The damage you could have put through with that uncancelled hit result was.

Yes, there's also the agility reduction. But this only works if you've got multiple arcs on target. And not just on target, but including the space where you're tractoring the defender into. The fact you said the only reason Tractors didn't do anything for you here was because of Collision Detectors leads me to believe you weren't trying to leverage the agility reduction and didn't have multiple arcs on. Also also, you know who would love to be able to shoot at an agility reduced target? A ship with a modded three dice primary. The TIE Defender is always the killer in your lists - it's too many points and too good a statline not to be. You want someone else to be setting up these debuffs for your Defender to exploit. Sadly, the Imperials don't have a good, cheap cannon carrier to  make this happen. 

 

I'll be honest, I find it strange that the only damage you put through came from Cluster Missile bonus attacks. That could make sense against a fragile swarm list like a tight formation of TIEs, but against three arc dodgy Star Vipers all at higher Initiative than your ships? It's unusual that your opponent allowed two of his ships to be in your Defender's attack arc. 

It's more unusual that the second attack did more damage than the first, because in almost all cases you have fewer mods on the second attack. The problem with Clusters is that the second attack has to be against a different ship. That means that your first attack does nothing to help the second attack, but your second attack is probably worse because of how your own dice mods work. FCS doesn't help here. You have to lock the first target to be able to fire the missiles, but that means you didn't take a focus and can't have a lock on the second target. So FCS can't help you on the second shot, because you don't have that defender locked. So you can't have had any dice mods against the second target. 

You're right that more attacks is better, but that's usually referring to multiple attacks against the same ship, because while the first attack might not do damage, that's usually because they've had to spend a token or other dice mod to improve their results. Once that mod is gone, any followup attack has a better chance of going through. Cluster Missiles don't give you that token stripping effect, though. 

Dice luck is a thing, sure. You said you had bad dice this game, so I'm not saying the result you got it is impossible. But do you see why it's an unlikely benefit? Your modded 3 dice attack against one 3 agility, presumably focused ship did nothing but you unmodded second shot against another 3 agility, presumably focused ship did. That's luck. That's not something you can expect every time you bring Cluster Missiles. 

Like I said, keep trying it. 

What I expect will happen is that over a few games, you'll find more and more that the first CM attack does damage but the second doesn't. You'll also be frustrated at how few times you have two ships in your arc to trigger it, or how difficult it is to get the lock on the right ship for the first attack. 

And if you're only attacking one ship anyway, or only damaging the first, is CM really giving you 5 points worth of benefit over something else that could be maximising your damage on your 3 dice primary?

 

 

5 hours ago, Redleader128 said:

@Cpt ObVus i love to run rexler brath with juke and auto-blasters. It is pricey, but it you can stay at speed three it will last for ever

I'm with @DR4CO and @Cuz05 here, I don't understand autoblasters on Rexler at all, and I don't understand the autoblaster/Juke combination.

I'm wondering if you might think Juke  or Autoblasters work differently from how they actually do.

 

Let's look at the interactions here. 

Say I take an Autoblasters shot and I'm out of the defender's front arc. I roll 1 hit, 1 crit. They roll 2 evades. Now, Autoblasters says that when out of arc 'evade result do not cancel crit results'. It does not say that you remove one of the defender's evade results. 

So if we then trigger Juke, and the defender has no focus tokens, the roll looks like this: 1 hit, 1 crit vs 1 evade, 1 eye. The thing is, crits are always cancelled last anyway. The defender still has one evade result. It can't cancel that crit, but at this point it never would have anyway. It does still cancel the hit result. So the net result is that the crit goes through, but only the crit. And Juke achieved nothing. You can't Autoblasters the crit through and then Juke the hit through.

There isn't ever a situation where Juke will gain you extra damage with an Autoblasters shot because of the order in which results are cancelled. Either you had more hit/crit results than they had evade results, and Autoblasters doesn't trigger because the crit doesn't get cancelled anyway or Juke only serves to cancel the evade result that is already not doing anything because of Autoblasters. 

 

Any situation where Juke works here, such as if you're in the defender's front arc and therefore not able to trigger the crit effect on Autoblasters, Juke would have worked anyway and Autoblasters has gained you nothing. 

 

This is all without mentioning that Rexler is one of the last people who cares about pushing crits through as his ability basically turns any hit into a crit. Sure, autodamage is nice but here it's costly to set up, comes at the cost of an attack die and has, in the absolute best possible situation (range 1, out of arc, bullseye with lock and focus) only a 1 in 2 chance of triggering 1 autodamage.

 

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, GuacCousteau said:

I'm with @DR4CO and @Cuz05 here, I don't understand autoblasters on Rexler at all.

 

I would like to say that I do not mind Autoblasters on Rex. It's specifically the combo with Juke that I don't like, for all those reasons.

I've used them on Ryad a couple times recently and in both games, was able to push a crit or 2 through thanks to MarksBlasters. Example- I bullseyed a Vulture perched on a rock. Rolled 1 hit, turned it to a crit. Vulture evaded but oops, blasters. Picked up Damaged Sensor Array, reducing the perched pair to one calc next turn and then, only one Vulture. Small fry, but an effect that made for good advances, I could have easily achieved nothing in both those turns.

With Rex, if it had already had a damage card, it would have been taking that crit AND flipping the other one. Quite strong potential.

Like I said, it is very situational but it's a cheap combo and can really help with poor dice variance, something I've found to be a bit of a bane for Defenders. If you're taking a shot from another angle as well, it'll be a decent mitigating choice to just put a crit in and save your tokens.

But always pack Marksmanship. Never worth firing it out of anything but the bullseye and definitely not worth just hoping for crits.

Tractor Beams and Clusters. Kind of agree. Beams are Ok if you can double tap it, or you're flying a million Scyks. Imps really have nothing worth putting it on though. Clusters can be decent if you can mod both shots, but mostly not worth it on a 3 die ship. Not bad if you're just using it to give a 2 die ship that 3 die R2 shot, it's a decent number of charges and a considerably larger arc for the price. Lock requirement reels it in to merely average on most things though.

Edited by Cuz05

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2 hours ago, Cuz05 said:

I would like to say that I do not mind Autoblasters on Rex. It's specifically the combo with Juke that I don't like, for all those reasons.

I've used them on Ryad a couple times recently and in both games, was able to push a crit or 2 through thanks to MarksBlasters. Example- I bullseyed a Vulture perched on a rock. Rolled 1 hit, turned it to a crit. Vulture evaded but oops, blasters. Picked up Damaged Sensor Array, reducing the perched pair to one calc next turn and then, only one Vulture. Small fry, but an effect that made for good advances, I could have easily achieved nothing in both those turns.

With Rex, if it had already had a damage card, it would have been taking that crit AND flipping the other one. Quite strong potential.

Like I said, it is very situational but it's a cheap combo and can really help with poor dice variance, something I've found to be a bit of a bane for Defenders. If you're taking a shot from another angle as well, it'll be a decent mitigating choice to just put a crit in and save your tokens.

But always pack Marksmanship. Never worth firing it out of anything but the bullseye and definitely not worth just hoping for crits.

 

I can see Autoblasters on Ryad. With her ability, he whole schtick is basically trying to outmaneuver and arc dodge opponents so a weapon that exploits that further makes sense.

My issue with Rexler is that you're agreeing it's only worth it and only beneficial when you've got bullseye out of arc. With the Defender's focus on k-turning, bad turns and limited repositioning though, how often does that actually trigger in a game? Most of the time I fly Rex, I'm getting shot back and relying on tanking it and Initiative killing. 

Because if the answer isn't 4 times, is the AB + Marksmanship combo really worth 4x the cost of Crack Shot, which essentially does the same thing?

Yes, Crack Shot doesn't help if you roll 1 hit vs 3 evades, and yes it doesn't push a crit through. But on Rexler, that doesn't matter anyway because any single damage card is a crit. And yes, double crits are nice if you can punch one through and then Rexler a pre-existing card, but at what point does this start to get too situational?

Having played with them more than any other Imperial ship, I'm not entirely sure if any combo on a Defender counts as cheap. Not since Juke went up in cost (twice). They're so expensive as is that adding more to them usually compromises either a vital bid or another ship in your list. Any upgrade that goes on the named pilots at this point needs to be a bit more game changing than slightly reducing variance, IMO. Collision Detector is one of the best upgrades you can put on them, I feel, for this reason. Even the threat of it forces your opponent to think of additional possibilities every turn. 

 

Please note I'm not saying AB and Marksmanship is bad on Rexler, necessarily. Just that I feel like in most lists I've made, those 4 points would do more work upgrading another pilot or serving as a bid. 

This list is a personal favourite of mine:

Rexler Brath (81)    
    Crack Shot (1)    
    
Ship total: 82  Half Points: 41  Threshold: 4    
    
Major Vynder (41)    
    Fire-Control System (2)    
    Adv. Proton Torpedoes (6)    
    Advanced SLAM (3)    
    Xg-1 Assault Configuration (0)    
    Ion Cannon (6)    
    
Ship total: 58  Half Points: 29  Threshold: 4    
    
Soontir Fel (53)    
    Predator (2)    
    
Ship total: 55  Half Points: 28  Threshold: 2    
    
    
Total: 195    
    
And I just don't see the additional 3 points for AB being worth losing Fel's already mediocre bid. Not when Crack Shot is usually good for that extra damage in the key turn. And if I did have 3 points to spare, I'd probably rather put Targeting Computer on Fel and take Crack Shot instead of Predator. 

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2 hours ago, GuacCousteau said:

 

I can see Autoblasters on Ryad. With her ability, he whole schtick is basically trying to outmaneuver and arc dodge opponents so a weapon that exploits that further makes sense.

My issue with Rexler is that you're agreeing it's only worth it and only beneficial when you've got bullseye out of arc. With the Defender's focus on k-turning, bad turns and limited repositioning though, how often does that actually trigger in a game? Most of the time I fly Rex, I'm getting shot back and relying on tanking it and Initiative killing. 

Because if the answer isn't 4 times, is the AB + Marksmanship combo really worth 4x the cost of Crack Shot, which essentially does the same thing?

Fair points all the way through and I mostly don't disagree.

I do think the Crack x 4 comparison is somewhat off. I'd say getting that Blaster effect twice would be worth 4pt and bear the value comparison. It's not really the same thing.

Our differences seem to mostly boil down to squad balance and approach. Flying Rex myself, I've always tended to avoid tanking. In the past, I've used him with various I4s that can spare those points for him, flown them aggressively, set Rex as a bad positional choice and bought him room to get those out of arc shots. I approach him much more as an end game ace than I maybe do with other Defenders. In fact, I've flown him very effectively with Outmanouevre, more often than anything else.

Defimitely wouldn't say I'm a firm believer in Rex Blasters or trying to sell them as a superior choice. I've not used him specifically with them and quite possibly won't. Its more that if they have had good impact with Ryad, who I do use fairly aggressively, I don't see why they wouldn't with him, especially given the Init jump.

Ultimately, it's not the best thing, you can spend more for better and spend less for similar. Min/maxing, you're going to take one of those 2 routes. But for flavour, for intrigue, it's not necessarily a mistake and doesn't cost the Earth to have a play around with.

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6 hours ago, Cuz05 said:

I would like to say that I do not mind Autoblasters on Rex. It's specifically the combo with Juke that I don't like, for all those reasons.

This.

Autoblasters are an acceptable card for attempting to push damage with low mods offensive dice mods.  Defenders using their tokens and actions defensively isn't uncommon, plus they're pretty solid at getting out of arc due to reliable 4-Ks.  The best upgrade, unclear.

However, Autoblasters have a massive redundancy with Juke and Outmaneuver.  Reducing an enemies defense dice, only to attempt to use a weapon to ignore those defense dice, is going to be so massively inefficient.

ABS takes Marksmanship, or something completely unrelated like, frikkin Daredevil or whatever.  Trying to "stack" with Juke or Outmaneuver really is going to be wasted points.  Might be better to build something other than Autoblasters, but never combine wtih defense-dice-manipulation.

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12 hours ago, Zucch10 said:

Even outside of the Pre move making it fast it’s a different skill to judge the order of moves.  

I ran into a situation where my initial thought was a straight into a three bank but I figured a one bank into a three straight would get me closer, and it cost me a turn on a gas cloud.  

Just hopping back to this. It's a very useful exercise to pop it on a table at home and place various templates around it to fix these various geometries in your mind. Particularly the 1 bank>3 bank. I've spent some time placing 2 or 3 medium bases down and mapping it out with other, more estimable templates and bases. So its a combo of, say, 1 base width laterally and Range 2 ahead on this corner, etc. The visual aids help quite a bit when it comes to judging it for real.

I've done the same with large bases, though it's much easier. Measuring corner to corner on the banks and turns and fixing those dimensions in my minds eye. Saved my bacon on numerous occasions and allowed me to land manoeuvres my opponent didn't think I'd risk.

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17 minutes ago, Cuz05 said:

Just hopping back to this. It's a very useful exercise to pop it on a table at home and place various templates around it to fix these various geometries in your mind. Particularly the 1 bank>3 bank. I've spent some time placing 2 or 3 medium bases down and mapping it out with other, more estimable templates and bases. So its a combo of, say, 1 base width laterally and Range 2 ahead on this corner, etc. The visual aids help quite a bit when it comes to judging it for real.

I've done the same with large bases, though it's much easier. Measuring corner to corner on the banks and turns and fixing those dimensions in my minds eye. Saved my bacon on numerous occasions and allowed me to land manoeuvres my opponent didn't think I'd risk.

On the physical table I love cutting corners tight, since it often surprises my opponent and catches them with their pants down.  It's proving much harder for me to do online since I'm still getting used to Vassal/TTS.

And yea, medium & even large bases are much harder to gauge.  It takes practice and experience with the ships.

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Something I did when starting out that I'm really glad I did: I took a few large pieces of paper and traced the bases and movement templates for every standard option--123 Turn, 123 Bank, 12345 Straight--for Small, Large, and eventually Medium bases.  Sure, those sorts of "movement visualizer" things exist online, but then it's just a map of an image on a screen.  Doing just the maneuvers (even without Boost/Roll) really feels like it imparts a lot of information.

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Posted (edited)

This discussion about learning to estimate bases reminded me of a guide a fellow by the username of @Osoroshii made WAAAAYYY back in early-ish 1.0. I still use the methods he made to estimate maneuvers to this day. Doesn't deal with Medium bases, of course, as they did not exist at the time, but for small and large it's invaluable knowledge to have.

 

Edited by DR4CO

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