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Cpt ObVus

Talk to me about TIE Aggressors

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I considered calling this thread, “TIE/ag: Sh***y Imperial Y-Wing?” but that seemed unnecessarily negative and click-bait-y. :)

Seriously, though, tell me why these ships are good. In the same spirit as my “Tell me about K-Wings” thread, I’m just sort of scratching my head at when it’s a good idea to use this ship; its stat line is poor-to-meh, its dial is pretty weak, and the pilot ability on Kestal (the only one I’ve yet fielded, and she was... fine... with her Ion Turret and Debris Gambit) was frankly never used, because I always opted for the linked Roll -> Evade (which Debris Gambit made all white, which was pretty okay, and her one bright spot), and that seldom left her with a Focus to use. Not that I missed it, I think her text would have been useful all of once all game.

So, what am I missing? Is this thing better as a missile boat? Are the generics just a way better value? Thanks in advance, as always.

 

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But seriously the ship is extremely lacking.  I have used it semi- successfully with double edge carrying ion missiles and ion turret for a chance at two shots and as a general nuisance,  but really only in an effort to field the ship. Those 38 points could be put to better use. I just loved at it as a challenge to field it. 

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Posted (edited)

It's perfectly good, and a Sienar Specialist with Ion Cannon Turret is great value at 31 points.

Double Edge is not worth the extra points, Kestal can be very good. But it's the Sienar Specialists that make the ship in my opinion.

I've placed 3rd in a 15-player tournament and 5th in a 45-player tournament using squads with multiple Aggressors, and that was before their points dropped.

Many people read on the internet "they're bad" and believe it.

Edited by Rossetti1828

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Cpt ObVus said:

I always opted for the linked Roll -> Evade

Well that's not how to play Kestal! She wants a focus. She's great with a Palp shuttle (force for modifying attack, focus for ability, option of coordinate for a Lock action on top of that). Aces and force users desperately don't want to be in her arc, as getting ionised potentially looses them the game.

Afterburners is an option for increased mobility and the ability to get around the back of the enemy.

There aren't decent pilot talent options for turret ships. Trick shot or Ruthless maybe, but I'd just save the points.

Edited by Rossetti1828

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Posted (edited)

Solid enough turret ship for a pretty low cost.   Decent, but like other cheap filler ships, you have to view it for what it is.

  • Contrast a Dorsal Turret Aggressor to a Zeta Survivor TIE/sf.  29 vs 32 points.  Similar-enough dials.  TIE/sf only gets back-arc turret, but has more health.  TIE Aggressor can point sideways and has a linked Evade, but loses Range 3 and a shield.  It's probably at least OK as a high time-on-target filler ship.
  • Contrast an Ion Cannon Turret Aggressor with an Ion Cannon Cartel Spacer M3-A Scyk.  Both are 31 points.  Defensive statlines of 2/4/1 and 3/3/1 are really similar, nearly identical survival times.  Both have a 2 dice primary, and a 3 dice Ion weapon, but one is a turret gaining access to side/rear arcs, at the cost of Range 3.  The dials are kinda different, but they're mostly all white as opposed to speckled red.  Doesn't seem too bad on paper.
  • There's a big "but" however.  Turret ships fly really different.  A Scyk is going to be a lot more familiar feeling, and a TIE/sf goes back-and-forth, so it also pretty easy.  Trying to use the sides?  It kind of boggles the geometry a bit.
  • The other problem: they have a lot of good competition.  31 point Strikers and Interceptors are pretty reasonable ships, with solid offense from 3-dice primary weapons and great mobility.  27 points for a TIE Bomber is going to be far better for anything missile based, and probably better without upgrades (alas, swapping Aggressors out for Bombers in @Boom Owl 's list above would be 201 points, but there might be some tweak to be made... Grand Inquisitor out for PS/Homing 5th Brother?).
  • Named pilots (or even Onyx)?  I can't really see them being that good.  But the Sienar Specialist is OK.
Edited by theBitterFig

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, theBitterFig said:

alas, swapping Aggressors out for Vader, Whisper, GI, Soontir, or Redline etc. would be just better

ftfy. 

Aggressors aren't that bad, there just pointless to consider vs available Trip Ace options.

Same is true for Tie Bombers and almost any ship in Empire between 22-51 points, besides maybe Phantoms/TAPs. 

There are for sure useful things available (Aggressors are one of those things) that can put in work in a list, its just unnecessary work.  

Throw the Aggressor into Hyperspace though with a slightly nerfed Boba and its an entirely different story. 

Edited by Boom Owl

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21 minutes ago, Boom Owl said:

ftfy. 

Aggressors aren't that bad, there just pointless to consider vs available Trip Ace options.

Same is true for Tie Bombers and almost any ship in Empire between 22-51 points, besides maybe Phantoms/TAPs. 

There are for sure useful things available (Aggressors are one of those things) that can put in work in a list, its just unnecessary work.  

Throw the Aggressor into Hyperspace though with a slightly nerfed Boba and its an entirely different story. 

That too.

Like, I've toyed for a while with the idea of 2x Ion Aggressor, 2x Ion Gunboat, Soontir.  I think it'd be an OK squad, but more importantly, kinda fun.  I've had a great time playing Fenn Rau + 4 Ion Scyks; efficient ion control, plus a big old hammer to get into their teeth and start securing kills.  2 Sienar + 2 Nu + Soontir would be the Imperial version, with the tanky gunboats and the versatile Aggressor, and a less hard-hitting but more nimble Soontir as the ace bit.  I think it's a sweet squad, original, with a lot of variety.  Possibly not that bad.

But better than Soontir and two aces?  LOLONOPE

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Posted (edited)

Few more extended examples...

Darth Vader (67) + Passive Sensors (3) + Afterburners (6)    
"Whisper" (57) + Passive Sensors (3) + Fifth Brother (11)    
Sienar Specialist (26)    
Sienar Specialist (26)    

Darth Vader (67) + Sense (5) + Passive Sensors (3) + Afterburners (6)    
Soontir Fel (53) + Crack Shot (1) + Targeting Computer (3) + Shield Upgrade (8)      
Sienar Specialist (26)    
Sienar Specialist (26)    

Colonel Jendon (48) + Admiral Sloane (9) + ST-321 (4)
"Whisper" (57)  +  Passive Sensors (3) + Fifth Brother (11)       
Sienar Specialist (26) + Barrage Rockets (8)       
Sienar Specialist (26) + Barrage Rockets (8)       

These are not bad lists, its just kinda obviously better to consolidate those Seinars into one or two 50-60ish point i5 ship. The 2nd one 3 Academies starts to look more reasonable for more board control and less worry about guaranteed init kills, similar dynamic happens with the i1 Tie FOs vs the i2-i4 Tie FOs. Could pick an Empire ship out of a hat and this consolidation into Trip Aces remains true, even Homing Fifth Bro TAP is flat out worse than i5-i6 equivalents. 

The third list is basically the same as a list that won the first System Open way back at the start of 2.0 when alot more busted stuff was cheap. Still genuinely worse than just packing in 2 more aces. 

Edited by Boom Owl

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, Boom Owl said:

Few more extended examples...

Darth Vader (67) + Passive Sensors (3) + Afterburners (6)    
"Whisper" (57) + Passive Sensors (3) + Fifth Brother (11)    
Sienar Specialist (26)    
Sienar Specialist (26)    

Darth Vader (67) + Sense (5) + Passive Sensors (3) + Afterburners (6)    
Soontir Fel (53) + Crack Shot (1) + Targeting Computer (3) + Shield Upgrade (8)      
Sienar Specialist (26)    
Sienar Specialist (26)    

Colonel Jendon (48) + Admiral Sloane (9) + ST-321 (4)
"Whisper" (57)  +  Passive Sensors (3) + Fifth Brother (11)       
Sienar Specialist (26) + Barrage Rockets (8)       
Sienar Specialist (26) + Barrage Rockets (8)       

These are not bad lists, its just kinda obviously better to consolidate those Seinars into one or two 50-60ish point i5 ship. The 2nd one 3 Academies starts to look more reasonable for more board control and less worry about guaranteed init kills, similar dynamic happens with the i1 Tie FOs vs the i2-i4 Tie FOs. Could pick an Empire ship out of a hat and this consolidation into Trip Aces remains true, even Homing Fifth Bro TAP is flat out worse than i5-i6 equivalents. 

The third list is basically the same as a list that won the first System Open way back at the start of 2.0 when alot more busted stuff was cheap. Still genuinely worse than just packing in 2 more aces. 

Boom Owl, I say this good-naturedly, but... I almost want FFG to increase i5’s and i6’s by ten points across the board just so you’ll talk about them less. Maybe that’s your strategy? ;) 

In all seriousness, I do see your point that aces keep stuff like TIE/ag’s off the table. And there’s probably something to that. I lean toward more additive solutions (stuff that helps combat aces) than subtractive solutions (nerfing aces into oblivion), but I get you.

Edited by Cpt ObVus

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Cpt ObVus said:

So, what am I missing? Is this thing better as a missile boat? Are the generics just a way better value? Thanks in advance, as always.

 

You're missing the dark days of first edition when every non-Imperial list was packing Twin Laser Turrets and, thus, a few Imperial players were crying for a small-base turret carrier. Obviously, this ship fits that role perfectly. However, turrets aren't great in second edition. I haven't really seen many turret upgrades used in any lists, so this ship becomes pretty bad.

However, it was the ship that brought us unguided rockets, now barrage rockets in second edition, so it buffed TIE bombers in a huge way. It was glorious.

Right now, the best option it has, in my mind, is either a really budget missile carrier or just a more heavy-weight 2 attack body. I don't think it's generally worth any additional upgrades. Double Edge is kind of a meme and Kestal is overshadowed by any budget ace with a sensible ability, like Maarek Stele, Inferno Squadron pilots, and probably even TIE Bomber pilots.

Also, don't bash @Boom Owl on thinking Trip Aces is overdone. Its been a staple Imperial archetype for most of the lifetime of the game. Good Imperial pilots playing into the Empire's strengths are probably playing Trip Aces or swarm, possibly two-aces plus shuttle support. They are probably going to continue being the strongest Imperial archetypes for the rest of 2.0s lifetime except for the hot minute something crazy busted gets handed to the Empire.

Edited by Praetorate of the Empire

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35 minutes ago, Cpt ObVus said:

I lean toward more additive solutions (stuff that helps combat aces) than subtractive solutions (nerfing aces into oblivion)

So bombs and turrets...? we tried that once, and it was awful

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Posted (edited)

One point of comparison is AB/Tarctor Sycks which cost 28 points. Introducing an i1 instead of i2 Aggressor would probably go a long way as an Ion Aggressor could inhabit a similar space at a similar cost probably. Giving Aggressors a cannon slot instead of a missile slot could be cool given how helpful AB is in general at keeping things honest. Thats personal bias though since I think AB in general is a really cool card. Other option might be to just grant all Aggressors talents so the Seinars can equip crackshot (something id like to see in Extended for all generics in the game). That by itself would be massive as its one of the few cards in the game that say "no." to force charges and changes the conversation considerably on how valuable an aggressor could be in a list. 

Imagine a 25 pt i1 Aggressor with crackshot for 26 pts. Could probably find a use for that. 

Or preferred option is yea...nerf Aces in general until some of the base ships can be more than just a fun diversion. That way AB or Ion or Tractor or Crack or New Boring Turrets or Bombs or some other control piece doesn't have to be required reading for these 22-51 pt filler ships to matter. 

Edited by Boom Owl

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2 hours ago, svelok said:

So bombs and turrets...? we tried that once, and it was awful

Well, I wasn’t playing in the days of overpowered turret weapons. The ones they have now are pretty weak. There has to be a middle ground.

But there are other options. I briefly touched on this in... some other thread... but if there were cards which...

gave squads benefits like, “at the beginning of the Engagement phase, if all your ships have initiative 4 or less, one of them may perform a white [boost] or [roll] action.”

Or a pilot (my candidate was Jango Fett) who prevents enemy ships from modifying their dice with Force Charges when they’re fighting him.

Other upgrades could hand out condition cards which prevent Force Charges from being used when the target is stressed.

The point is that there are actually TONS of potential options to surgically and specifically target Force Charges which would A) reduce their reliability and B) not make them useless, and similarly, ways to buff mid- and low-initiative pilots vs. Aces. It just requires some out of the box thinking and a critical mass of chip effects (Crack Shot being just one example).

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44 minutes ago, Cpt ObVus said:

gave squads benefits like, “at the beginning of the Engagement phase, if all your ships have initiative 4 or less, one of them may perform a white [boost] or [roll] action.”

Or a pilot (my candidate was Jango Fett) who prevents enemy ships from modifying their dice with Force Charges when they’re fighting him.

Other upgrades could hand out condition cards which prevent Force Charges from being used when the target is stressed.

The point is that there are actually TONS of potential options to surgically and specifically target Force Charges which would A) reduce their reliability and B) not make them useless, and similarly, ways to buff mid- and low-initiative pilots vs. Aces. It just requires some out of the box thinking and a critical mass of chip effects (Crack Shot being just one example).

Hmm, so some sort of commander? There's some precedent for something similar to this in Moff Jerjerrod. I think the restrictions on him (red boost, all ships do the same boost) are really important for the balance of the upgrade. I think if we see something like this, it'll be thoroughly restricted like this.

I saw you mention Jango as kind of an anti-Jedi pilot. Interesting choice, could make it more generic to simply prevent dice mods, like Midnight in FO. However, Midnight does not pilot a Firespray, so I think it'll need to be dialed back to really be balanced. In Legends lore, Aurra Sing would've been a very thematic Jedi hunter, but I don't think she's considered Force sensitive in current canon.

I do think that, if you do start specifically targeting Force mods, either it gets out of hand and Force users start to get [forced] out, or the upgrades will be too specific in nature to be useful against a list that doesn't run any Force users. Making anti-mod options more widely available probably also shifts things in a bad direction as well.

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I really wish Tie Aggressors are viable in today's meta. I got four TieAgs waiting to be unleashed. But its a fine line FFG has to tread on. They don't want to repeat past mistakes, and sane people don't want to go back to those crazy times. Lucky, for us, points can change. 

I think turrets are fine with a max range of 2. If there's going to be a range 3 turret, then let it have a restricted range of 2 - 3 with no passive mods.

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3 hours ago, Praetorate of the Empire said:

Hmm, so some sort of commander? There's some precedent for something similar to this in Moff Jerjerrod. I think the restrictions on him (red boost, all ships do the same boost) are really important for the balance of the upgrade. I think if we see something like this, it'll be thoroughly restricted like this.

I saw you mention Jango as kind of an anti-Jedi pilot. Interesting choice, could make it more generic to simply prevent dice mods, like Midnight in FO. However, Midnight does not pilot a Firespray, so I think it'll need to be dialed back to really be balanced. In Legends lore, Aurra Sing would've been a very thematic Jedi hunter, but I don't think she's considered Force sensitive in current canon.

I do think that, if you do start specifically targeting Force mods, either it gets out of hand and Force users start to get [forced] out, or the upgrades will be too specific in nature to be useful against a list that doesn't run any Force users. Making anti-mod options more widely available probably also shifts things in a bad direction as well.

It comes down to costing, and while you can have cards available that mess with Force users modifying dice, Force charges themselves could still be spent to activate Force upgrades or use text (such as that on Obi-Wan, Vader, Kylo Ren, or Fifth Brother). I think there are ways to stop say, triple-Jedi CLT lists from literally rolling perfect red dice every. single. roll. that doesn’t also obviate their entire existence.

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Reminds me I need to paint one up in SBD dauntless colors. 
 

I think the upcoming multi missile pods out of the Droid gunship could potentially breath some new life into them. Maybe 3 with a way to pass locks and ion turret for control. Not exactly meta breaking, but something fun for a local tournament. 

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This brings up the question, with things being removed from current HS because it was too popular, TIE prototypes, Phantoms, Torrents etc. Why isn’t the Aggressor in HS? I am mainly an Acey style of player, but I have recently extended myself to ships I wouldn’t normally fly and I thought the Aggressor could be a good start point. But alas no. 

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7 minutes ago, Hiemfire said:

Have you tried finding one to purchase recently?

I have 2 in my collection, hoping I don’t more than that. But I get what you’re saying. I wasn’t thinking about 2.0 releases, only what I had to play with. 
I like HS, but I think that’s one of the things I don’t like about it. 

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10 hours ago, Archangelspiv said:

This brings up the question, with things being removed from current HS because it was too popular, TIE prototypes, Phantoms, Torrents etc. Why isn’t the Aggressor in HS? I am mainly an Acey style of player, but I have recently extended myself to ships I wouldn’t normally fly and I thought the Aggressor could be a good start point. But alas no. 

This was answered (Aggressor availability is really bad... not Gunboat bad, but still kinda bad), but dang would I like it.

The kinds of lists that could arise from the Aggressor being one of the only filler ships, with fewer Aces to complete the squads, would be quite interesting.

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