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Vader in a TIE Defender

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, theBitterFig said:

it *REALLY* doesn't make sense with highly skewed Initiative 6 and a pilot ability as strong as Vader.

Exactly. There are many pilot abilities that only make sense where they are priced based on the fact the pilot who gets them is in a certain ship.

Another good example is Norra Wexly, who has one of the strongest defensive abilities in the game of just casually taking 1 less damage from EVERY ATTACK if she is near anyone, but that is made up for by the fact she will at most defend against 2 damage at range 2 or closer, and usually will just negate 1, and she can't easily arc dodge. She would be brutally unfair in say... an A-wing or E-wing, because her ability depends too much on her base defenses being bad and her repositioning being bad. I would argue this is basically why Boba is so toxic, because he is basically Nora except the ability works offensively too and the ship is actually able to use its initiative, but that is a small wild tangent.

There are plenty of pilot abilities that are clearly interacting with their ship in some way to gain, or usually lose, value. Alexsander, Hera, and Countdown also come to mind as pilots who reaaaalllly can't get their abilities passed to certain ships.

Likewise, Vader depends on being easily killed if he is caught out. The defining feature of the Defender is that its arguably the best jouster in the game while still having super-ship functionality in terms of reposition. Some pilot abilities transfer just fine, but Vader has one of the most powerful abilities in the game: Just a free action whenever he freaking wants plus the ability to bank calculates, and that can't just go on any ship like say... Garven's focus sharing could.

 

Edited by dezzmont

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Posted (edited)

What you do is make the scenario point based. Every round Vader doesn’t spend an evade he gets a point, BUT other player gets a point every time Vader does spend an evade. 
 

So Vader has to weigh damage vs points 😁

Edited by JBFancourt

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Posted (edited)

So I was on board with a Vader Defender honestly because I want to run Defenders but I see you guys are super right. It could wreck the game.

BUT I need an I6 Defender to be competitive.

The problem is, Ships with I5 or I6 arc dodge and it seems advanced sensors are not great on my I4 Defenders. 


A lone Soontir Fel can kill 2 decked out I4 Defenders without ever having to be shot at.

 

I love defenders and want them to be good but it seems some combination of Vader, Fel, Dutchess, Whisper is always strictly better. 
 

I actually agree with only 2 defenders posible in a list, especially sense they gave them a shield and boost and built in tie x7. But dang. When I ran 3 defenders in the day against 3 tie interceptors, I would kill 2 without loosing more than two shield total, but then loose the game to a lone arc dodging Soontir Fel. Guri these days can also destroy a Defender list.

 

I need something. You guys are right that can’t be Vader. But maybe an I6 with a lame ability?

Edited by andrewctr

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Posted (edited)

I’m a die hard Defenders fan to my detriment in tournaments. I was running them BEFORE tie x7 came out. (They sucked) I’m still bent on running only Defenders in a list I would like to be at least somewhat competitive like in S1.

I haven’t gotten a chance to play in S2 cuz college, but I’d like to get back into it. Is there a good list right now with Defenders only?

I’m playing with Ryad + Onyx. I got “Juke“ and “Ion Cannons“ on both. 

Should I do “Fire control system” + “Homing Missile” cuz I’m only I4? OR should I do just “Advanced Sensors” so I can do crazy stuff and be unpredictable, even thought an I5 or I6 can just reposition away...

Or is there a better list out there I’m not seeing?

Edited by andrewctr

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1 hour ago, andrewctr said:

A lone Soontir Fel can kill 2 decked out I4 Defenders without ever having to be shot at.

Having played Defenders across both editions, I find myself agreeing with @theBitterFig here: Soontir should not be winning that fight.

Both Defenders are worth more than Soontir, so they have the clock on their side. Soontir needs to get half a dozen shots into each Defender to maybe halve it, and needs to kill one and halve the other to be up on points. Literally all the Defenders have to do is be patient, apply pressure, and wait for Soontir to blink first.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, DR4CO said:

Soontir needs to get half a dozen shots into each Defender to maybe halve it, and needs to kill one and halve the other to be up on points. Literally all the Defenders have to do is be patient, apply pressure, and wait for Soontir to blink first.

Thats good to hear.

Edited by andrewctr

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It's important to remember just how powerful the ability to sit there on 3 agility + Focus + Evade actually is. Soontir (or any standard 3-dice ship) sniping at a Defender from range 2 does no damage just under 85% of the time, and at range 3 taking the shot is almost a waste of time. Even if Soontir gets the dream of range 1 with Predator, he still bounces 27% of the time and does only 1 damage 50% of the time. It takes an age for him to do meaningful amounts of damage to them, so you are free to just jump into position and dare him to find a way out turn after turn.

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Right, and honestly I have won that in the past during S1. There was a time Fel just ate my 3 TieD’s but that was when I just started and used 4K too much.

 

What do you think on the tie D’s

”Advanced Seniors”

OR

“Fire Control System” & Missiles?

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8 minutes ago, DR4CO said:

Soontir (or any standard 3-dice ship) sniping at a Defender from range 2 does no damage just under 85% of the time...

Even if Soontir gets the dream of range 1 with Predator, he still bounces 27% of the time...

and does only 1 damage 50% of the time. 

Is there a stat calculator I can use???

(or is this just experience? Either way that’s awesome.)

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2 hours ago, andrewctr said:

I’m a die hard Defenders fan to my detriment in tournaments. I was running them BEFORE tie x7 came out. (They sucked) I’m still bent on running only Defenders in a list I would like to be at least somewhat competitive like in S1.

I haven’t gotten a chance to play in S2 cuz college, but I’d like to get back into it. Is there a good list right now with Defenders only?

I’m playing with Ryad + Onyx. I got “Juke“ and “Ion Cannons“ on both. 

Should I do “Fire control system” + “Homing Missile” cuz I’m only I4? OR should I do just “Advanced Sensors” so I can do crazy stuff and be unpredictable, even thought an I5 or I6 can just reposition away...

Or is there a better list out there I’m not seeing?

Defenders-only is going to result in a bad list.  Since you're limited to 2 ships, each will be overloaded with upgrades and your overall damage from a 2-ship will be too low.  Very few 2-ship lists actually work, and Defenders aren't really one of them.  Practically speaking, gotta get something non-defender in there.

For an overall list, the best main plans would probably be:

  • Defender, Defender, Cheap Ace
    • Two Deltas plus Soontir, maybe something like Two Onyx plus Fifth Brother (Passive Sensors, Homing Missiles) would work out.
  • Defender, Defender, Support
    • Two Deltas and an Omicron Group Pilot with Emperor Palpatine is my go-to.  Coordinate most of the time, and with Palp there, that's a lot of mods on each ship.
    • There's other options.  I think Palp in a Reaper plus two Onyx fits, and I keep thinking I ought to try out Kagi Onyx Onyx sometime.
  • Defender, Ace, Support
    • Trade out one Defender for a more traditional ace.  Defender is an easier-to-catch early target, but has stacked mods.  If your opponent kills it, and leaves the ace alone, you'll have a nasty finisher.  If the reverse, Defenders are nasty finishers in another sense, because of their token stack.
    • With a cheaper ace, you could go with a more expensive support, like a Vermiel Reaper, maybe with Vader crew.  That'd combo well with a Juke Defender.  Mostly I don't think it's a good idea to load too many points into support ships, but Vermiel is only semi-support, and more of a bruiser himself.
  • Defender, Ace, Cheap Ace
    • Can't get two expensive aces (Whisper/Vader) in with a Defender, but something like Soontir or a TIE/v1 or a Striker is a good bet.
    • With two cheap aces, you can bring an expensive Defender instead of a cheap one.

I think I said in the other thread, I'm mostly a Delta player.

  • HLC and/or FCS are my two favorite upgrades for them. 
    • Heavy Laser Cannon is a lot of potential punch, and it discourages someone from getting cute and sitting where your 4K will land.
    • Fire Control System is handy because these ships have so many dice mods already.  Add a passive reroll to the every-turn Focus/Evade, and they'll just wear stuff down.
  • Other stuff:
    • Missiles and other Cannons aren't worth it--they'll never really be better than your 3 dice primary.
      • A good rule of thumb is that if a secondary weapon doesn't offer more dice than your primary weapon, it's worse.  There are some exceptions:
        • Autoblasters are great on 2-dice ships, but mostly because they'll sometimes be rolling 3 dice, but pretty meh on 3-dice ships like Defenders.  Something like a B-Wing or a IG-88 with bonus attacks uses them more for the bonus than anything.
        • Plasma Torpedoes and Diamond Boron Missiles are technically 3 dice attacks, but can do a 4th damage.
        • Homing Missiles are technically 4-dice attacks, but will often only do 1 damage, so they're mostly only good on cheaper ships.
        • All the Cannons which can add in different kinds of tokens instead of damage?  OK if you need those tokens, but in most scenarios, the damage is better.
    • Juke is great on paper on Talent ones.  I'm a Delta player, so *shrug.*  Wicked expensive, though.  Even though powerful, it might be better to go light on the Defenders, and invest elsewhere.
    • Advanced Sensors is awkward.  It'll turn off Full Throttle if you use it, but if you've got someone like Vessery in the right list, there can be an amazing amount of mobility you gain from it.  I've seen some folks describe good games with AdvS and Outmaneuver, but at best it'd be a wicked hard strategy.  Overall, I'd rather save points on the Defenders, and invest in the rest of the list.
  • I'd rate pilots probably as Delta > Rexler > Onyx > Ryad > Vessery.
    • Vess has a lot of potential power, but he requires a list to be built in a really specific way, and probably isn't worth considering when getting into Defenders.
    • Ryad isn't bad, but she's not quite as special as she was in 1e, and I don't know that she's worth the premium over an Onyx.
    • Onyx are probably fine, but with Juke being so expensive, I just haven't been tempted.
    • Rexler is inexplicably the cheapest limited pilot.  His ability is a nice perk, and Initiative 5 has a lot of advantages.  I think I'd take Rexler without a Talent over an Onyx with Juke, but mostly I have a hard time flying something other than a Delta.
    • Deltas just give you the most options for putting other stuff in your list.  They also move first, typically.  Defenders really lose a lot of power if they bump, so being able to dial in a clean maneuver you know will fit is a great benefit.  Toss in a pre-dial boost or roll from an OGP coordinating you?  *chef's kiss*

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You really thought this out. I didn’t realize coordinate could be “Pre Move” that’s sick. I love the idea of a boost to one side then 4K. Boom!

I see what you’re  saying about moving first so you know you won’t hit anything. In most of the 3 tie D games I played they killed Ves, then Ryad, then lost to the Delta Defender. 

Well dang. That’s kind of the conclusion I came to as well trying to build lists in S2. Two tie D’s is ok but strictly worse. I do really enjoy “Juke” but I think your on the money with coordinate Deltas instead. 

I guess I miss my 3 tie D list even if it was a bit O.P. Oh well. I’m super glad the action economy is down and the meta is way healthier.

All that said, do you even get ark with your Lambda? I’ve always flown it like a tank.
 

Well like I said, I’ll try that list. I still wish we could get a I6 Defender, even if It dose run into things more.

 

thanks. This was awesome info.

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25 minutes ago, andrewctr said:

All that said, do you even get ark with your Lambda? I’ve always flown it like a tank.

Lambdas exist to carry powerful crew cards, hand out actions, and be big, mobile asteroids you put in your enemy's way. Any shots they get are strictly a bonus. 😉

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Yeah there are clear tiers for the TIE Defenders:

1. Delta

2. Rexler w/ Juke

3. Everything else

The others have come down a bit but they’re still very costly, and easy to block or over-stack. AS gets you out of trouble but also right back into it in another sense (not blocked but still tokenless and more of your total list).

Deltas are awesome. I’ve been meaning to try Alpha-Alpha-Delta-Delta but haven’t managed to yet. Probably not great but crazy blocks and funky target priority choices for your opponent.

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6 hours ago, DR4CO said:

I actually don't believe in Juke on Rexie anymore. He's often the guy shooting first, so most of the time it only forces a token spend, which just isn't enough return for me.

Yeah, completely agree. 

Rexler never *needed* Juke, it was just a nice extra trick that was a sort of pseduo-synergy (all Defenders want that free evade anyway, Rexler just wants it that little bit more).

His ability upgrade in 2e has made him a really solid pilot full stop. His problem is that he wants to shoot first in a faction that wants to move last. Juke or no Juke doesn't change that.

 

With Juke at 7 points, there's not enough value in it to bother taking on Rex even with the pseudo-synergy. Rexler's totally fine naked. He's just got that bit more efficient, in fact, with the recent points drop. 

 

If he wants an upgrade, it's probably FCS and/or Lone Wolf.

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9 hours ago, theBitterFig said:

Defenders-only is going to result in a bad list.  Since you're limited to 2 ships, each will be overloaded with upgrades and your overall damage from a 2-ship will be too low.  Very few 2-ship lists actually work, and Defenders aren't really one of them.  Practically speaking, gotta get something non-defender in there.

Agreed.

You can run 2x Defender aces, I did at the start of 2.0 for a little while, but it is difficult. Even though they have dropped since then, the meta has changed also and the extra points don't really add much. I went with Advanced Sensors and Outmanouevre on Rex and Ryad, but may do it differently now.

Thing is, with just 2 not-massively-scary guns, you start with a disadvantage and basically have to try and force your opponent into misjudgements, then really make sure you take your chance. If you don't, then you either lose or end up in a stalemate whilst trying not to lose. 

Unfortunately, I think Advanced Sensors are nearly a pre-requisite in 2D. You desperately need to be more unpredictable and will constantly have to get into and out of specific areas. AS will work against you, in terms of your action efficiency, so it hampers as much as it helps. The options are important to have, but hard to manage.

Thing is, few people are perfect, so you can get good results with 2D, but against tactically decent opponents, you're often looking at a pretty unfun game of cat, mouse and green dice frustration for at least one of you.

One Defender ace however, can be very good, and fun. But all 3 have different foibles regarding squad balance, finding it and then making the Defender the big bad menace it can be, is not an easy task. It can be predictable, avoidable, limp in damage output and cost you heavily when it gets hurt. Mitigating all of that is a challenge that requires all your pieces coming together with a solid execution. 

But it can clearly be done, and done quite well. You'll not be looking at a top meta squad, most likely, but you can definitely have something that will earn you a good game against most squads, with any of the 3.

Their roles, I'd summarise thusly. 

Rex- Early game bait. End game boss. Point fortress. Fairly easy to see how that plays. Rex is the one that can slot into a list with the least micro-management. So definitely the easiest place to start.

Ryad- Distraction/point hurdle. If you're going to use your named Defender to enable some ace wingmen, like Vader, Duchess, GGI etc, then Ryad can tie enemy ships up for a long time before being lost. She can be extremely squirrelly. She's not very scary though, so can be quite useful if ignored, coming in as a mid game bruiser and being hard to shake with her variable turnarounds. At some point, they may rue the amount of points she's still carrying and be forced to try and take her on at an awkward time. 

Vessery- The Bruiser. Doesn't have great end game, so not a brilliant fortress. If you have a squad to keep him in locks though, he'll tear through a lot of things and take a fair effort to bring down. The rest of the squad has to be able to take advantage, both in terms of setting him up and finishing them off. His cost and requirements don't leave a welter of options and the interplay has obvious weaknesses certain opposition can exploit quite easily.

2 Delta's is obviously a decent base and has been covered nicely.

The Onyx loses out, since the jump to I4 costs more than its worth and dropping to one from a name, doesn't generally save enough points to make it worth bringing instead.

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The analysis from @theBitterFig is on point,  per usual.   As a player who mainly favours flying low inititiave generics myself (you know of what it is I speak...) I've got a soft spot for Deltas myself.  Moving first is not always a bad thing, especially when you have a move as predictable as the 4K.  I flew against a Delta/Delta/Palpmobile list in the cut at Nationals which was a lot of fun to fly against and a really tough nut to crack.  In fact, my final games at the last two tournaments I made it too both ended with Krennic gif worthy moments.

I miss seing @Biophysical's input, especially on the Defenders...

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