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What beats a Nantex swarm? (tournament analysis)

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8 minutes ago, Stay OT Leader said:

Move after them AND move in unpredictable ways they can’t block AND hit hard while you’re doing it.  I think that’s the recipe that has led so many players to Dash, and it’s not a recipe many squads can apply.

Maybe Advanced Sensors-style pre-move stuff? Guri seems to fit the description, as could Whisper or Echo potentially (the latter with a bid). Supernat Jedi or Kylo also seem like they'd potentially be able to fly circles around this, but they're also really expensive. Maybe advanced sensors corran has some kind of niche? I'm grasping at straws for rebels here, but the large bases could also do well except for the fact that they get bullseyed so easily. Dash is better because he can roll out of the way if he needs to, but he's still a big target.

Edited by Npmartian

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8 minutes ago, Stay OT Leader said:

We’ve had this discussion elsewhere but I don’t think High-I alpha strike cuts it.  

Yes, and I agree with three caveats:

1. i define alpha strike a bit too loosely here

2. I assume a target with a tractor is usually available

3. I still want to see someone properly test a DBM pubisher/vynder.

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14 hours ago, Boom Owl said:

Hyperspace only. 3 Cheers for the EDF! 

200 Scum v 61 CIS 

185 FO vs 118 CIS

95 CIS Swarm vs 34 CIS Bugs

Thanks for the examples. It's somewhat hard to parse what is going on because of the rate of play, but we can still dissect. First commentary is what @GreenDragoon said: was Greivous just a gift to the opponent?

First game: Why did he joust the Scum swarm? The distinct advantage of the i4 swarm is that is gets to dictate the engagement. Perhaps they heard that "just don't joust the bugs" and thought they were the superior jouster? When you can fly circles around your opponent's list, don't drive down your opponents strongest vector, especially when you have salvo advantage. And what the frell is Greivous doing in the first engagement?

Second game: Again when you move after almost an entire list, why are you jousting and not ace-ing? Leverage the turret.

Third game: Seems the "don't joust lists that you can ace against" finally sunk in. Not that I encourage this playstyle, but when you are up on Salvo dice, and your opponent refuses to engage you, perhaps you should wait them out instead of the other way around. This one was actually played well by the Droid Swarm. Kudos to them, drawing the bugs into a joust is the right call. 

So if a swarm encounters Nantex, if they joust the swarm, the swarm is probably doing okay. Compare this to the Nantex vs. TIE Aggressor swarm match from Dathomir Top 4 when Dion posts it. The Nantex just harry at range 2-3 with turrets for the entire match, taking only 6 bullseye shots the whole game.

I don't mean to nay-say these examples, but in at least two of them, the Nantex makes crucial errors that I'm not certain we can learn anti-Nantex techniques from. Keep posting stuff like this, though, @Boom Owl. The more content there is to observe, the more can be learned.

Edited by 5050Saint

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35 minutes ago, Npmartian said:

Maybe Advanced Sensors-style pre-move stuff? Guri seems to fit the description, as could Whisper or Echo potentially (the latter with a bid). Supernat Jedi or Kylo also seem like they'd potentially be able to fly circles around this, but they're also really expensive. Maybe advanced sensors corran has some kind of niche? I'm grasping at straws for rebels here, but the large bases could also do well except for the fact that they get bullseyed so easily. Dash is better because he can roll out of the way if he needs to, but he's still a big target.

I think preposition is a strong tool.  I’m playing Sensors Rexler and Précog Vader atm and it does well against Nantex.  But I’d caution that even then the sheer number of bodies and arcs on the table puts your aces under a ton of pressure.  You can’t just run, you HAVE to get busy removing ships ASAP while you’re doing it.

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1 hour ago, 5050Saint said:

Thanks for the examples. It's somewhat hard to parse what is going on because of the rate of play, but we can still dissect. First commentary is what @GreenDragoon said: was Greivous just a gift to the opponent?

First game: Why did he joust the Scum swarm? The distinct advantage of the i4 swarm is that is gets to dictate the engagement. Perhaps they heard that "just don't joust the bugs" and thought they were the superior jouster? When you can fly circles around your opponent's list, don't drive down your opponents strongest vector, especially when you have salvo advantage. And what the frell is Greivous doing in the first engagement?

Second game: Again when you move after almost an entire list, why are you jousting and not ace-ing? Leverage the turret.

Third game: Seems the "don't joust lists that you can ace against" finally sunk in. Not that I encourage this playstyle, but when you are up on Salvo dice, and your opponent refuses to engage you, perhaps you should wait them out instead of the other way around. This one was actually played well by the Droid Swarm. Kudos to them, drawing the bugs into a joust is the right call. 

So if a swarm encounters Nantex, if they joust the swarm, the swarm is probably doing okay. Compare this to the Nantex vs. TIE Aggressor swarm match from Dathomir Top 4 when Dion posts it. The Nantex just harry at range 2-3 with turrets for the entire match, taking only 6 bullseye shots the whole game.

I don't mean to nay-say these examples, but in at least two of them, the Nantex makes crucial errors that I'm not certain we can learn anti-Nantex techniques from. Keep posting stuff like this, though, @Boom Owl. The more content there is to observe, the more can be learned.

As the FO player in the second game, I suspect he jousted because he wanted 3 dice shots into the squad.  5 2 dice single modded shots, some in cover or range 3, do garbage damage against 3 agi with 4 hp.  The Nanatex will almost never have everyone out of arc, so the FO squad will just peg whoever is open.  My intention with the FO squad was to put my squad in a place that he couldn't draw a lot of bullseyes on my low initiative ships and where he couldn't focus on both i3 TIE/bas with all the Nantex.  After surviving the initial engagement, the goal was to exploit moving first to deny him mods.  He could roll away, but I had a lot of arcs, and I'm not picky on who dies because they're all the same.  This part of the game is where the Crack Shot in Extended can make a big difference because it lets blocked guys still get some damage through.  The Nantex player has very little in the way of actions for a couple turns, however, and that helps agi3 ships survive quite a bit.  

If I remember, however, I had better dice than my opponent, and could have easily lost.  It was also the first time I'd run that FO squad, because I was trying to get better with TIE/BAs, so make if it what you will.  

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My take: The devs need to admit they were JUST WRONG about the tractor change. The devs were wrong. The players were right.

Tractor ALWAYS should have required spending the tokens to move the ship. It cuts down on NPE and creates more decision points for both players.

Would seeing these Nantexes trolling around without tractor tokens make them much more powerful? Undoubtedly.

Would it make Ensnare Nantexes 100% less un-fun to play against? I haven't seen any argument to the contrary.

Would it allow them to close the gap between ensnare and non-ensnare Nantexes? Absolutely.

If they took this change, I could easily see them upping the prices back to 34/40ish and them still being quite good, but not the I4 lolspam that they are today.

It is true that it would make gravitic deflection a bit superfluous, but the chassis, pilot abilities, and synergy ships (looking at you HMP) clearly weren't designed so much around that mechanic as Ensnare. Ensnare has to be at least marginally usable or the devs have failed. But Ensnare will never be permissable if it allows moving two ships, and still seems like a stretch if it's moving another ship and leaving it with reduced defense.

Edited by ClassicalMoser

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The examples posted are good examples of how to play nantex poorly and let them beat themselves.  There's no reason for them to seek out the engagements where they did.  If there's a suggestion that it's not a "pick up and win" list, sure, I'll buy that.  But that's as much of a red herring about good nantex play as the "thonkjoust" examples being an example of good ace play.

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@5050Saint I posted those 3 GIFs not to mic drop. Just to share. There some core concepts baked into each game that are relevant for Hyperspace counter strategy at least.  Threads of what to try and do or not do from either side of the table are all I ever look for in terms of game dial pathing. This is no different. Practice games are not scripts for what to do next time. Just little bits of info to consider and think critically about with our brains. 

Hyperspace In Game Counter Strategy vs Nantex: 

  • Drag them through rocks to make bullseye + mods less natural and to make their engagement paths more chaotic 
  • Engage near and around obstacles to constrain their re-positioning options 
  • Take advantage of their inability to bank boost and their tendency to hard turn creating harsher angles 
  • Be conscious of how their arc rotations work and where their blind spots are. This requires playing them once or twice. 
  • Assume you will trade something, and punish their list in the process. Be conscious of the correct time to trade. This is foundational to all Swarm Counter play 
  • Try to trade that something over 2 rounds instead of 1 by engineering partial first engagements, leveraging range, obstacles, and offering up the "correct" ship to trade 
  • Attack from "multiple" angles to ask questions but stay coherent enough to focus fire from beginning to end ( this is standard anti swarm strategy and 100% achievable ) 
  • When possible, disengage completely instead of parking in R1 of side arcs in the scrum for multiple turns. Engineer 2 "first" engagements if possible/necessary.  
  • Block to deny modification and to reduce agility to accelerate damage. It absolutely matters especially in Hyperspace. 

Please do not interpret any of the above as an ongoing effort to say "your not allowed to be 😡 at nantex" or "nantex are fine". Some of the above are very general concepts, not all of which work perfectly or reliably etc. etc. If yall are upset about Extended Nantex thats cool. Im not? Hope thats cool to. We all have our won personal definitions of sad vs bad. 

Edited by Boom Owl

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4 minutes ago, Boom Owl said:

 I posted those 3 GIFs not to mic drop.

 

4 minutes ago, Boom Owl said:

Please do not interpret any of the above as an ongoing effort to say "your not allowed to be 😡 at nantex" or "nantex are fine".

Definitely not interpreting that way. I think we are all calming down from the initial emotion and actually working on the problem, and I appreciate your contributions.

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Thank you @Boom Owl for that analysis. That is exactly what I have been telling my local group on how to fight the Nantex (you just said it better). It is one of my favorite ships, but I agree at the moment it is too powerful for the cost.

I rarely agree with @ClassicalMoser, but his analysis on how to fix the chassis is spot on with my thoughts as well. The ship design is great, I love it! But the tractor rules are where my issue with this ship lie. I'm still debating the fully execute maneuver idea that people are suggesting (might be needed).

If tractor rules changed to spending the token to move the ship it would make the choice to move a ship more strategic. If you move the enemy ship you lose the defense drop, but gain better positioning (cost-benefit choices). For the Nantex and self-tractoring, the skills like Ensnare and Gravitic Deflection will take more planning and can be reduced from the ridiculous costs they are currently at. The overall cost of the ship will need to go up, but seeing what they are doing to the meta now, that seems inevitable.

Edited by dunhop

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I think one of the most telling things about nantex is that we've barely talked about what the nantex player actually has to do. Sure, they can't just totally thonkjoust and hope for bullseyes, but it's so trivially easy for them to succeed that any sort of agency to do better is entirely all on the opponent and the nantex player has to actually make mistakes in order to lose. If they play well, it's really not possible unless the other player pulls some galaxy brain flank with perfect range control.

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2 hours ago, ClassicalMoser said:

"The players" were right.

I've always thought spending the token was a silly and bad idea.

Like, FFG can just increase the cost of Nantex without giving them a buff in recompense.  They're actually kinda good, we've found out.

Edited by theBitterFig

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6 hours ago, Npmartian said:

Maybe Advanced Sensors-style pre-move stuff? Guri seems to fit the description.

SOTL obviously has some game with Rex and Vader, but I think Guri would struggle with the coverage. She's too frail to tank multiple R2/3 shots, with her single focus/calc and really wants to arc dodge everything.

I might have get Rex and Ryad out of cold storage. What's the Nantex bid again? :D

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I've written and deleted these thoughts three times now.  I guess I'll just throw them out here, and come what may: 

I've not flown more than three Nantex, ever.  Because that's all I own, and I don't care for video games.  But I have flown three of them paired with any combination of the rest of the CIS roster many, many times.  Three Nantex ain't much to look at.  Three of the PAA, however they are kitted, before and after the recent points change, is just not a slam dunk.  There's that whole idea of "critical mass" going on, right?  And that's what swarm/spam does, is reach critical mass and steamroll people.  But just a few of these little buggers are so much fun to fly, without running roughshod over any given opposing list.

It's also thematically more satisfying if an i4 'Ace' is double (or triple?) pipped.  The PAA just shouldn't be spammable, on so many levels.  Nor should a Black Squadron Ace.  Nor, for that matter, should "experimental" ships like the TIEs Defender, Advanced, or Phantom.  All of those feel like they should be to some extent multi-pip limited, and doing so would solve so many of the problems inherent with their platforms.

I know this is no contribution to the thread as intended - I have no idea how to beat six Nantex, nor any fear that I shall *ever* face the list.  But there have been so many threads on the subject that it's difficult not to have them on one's mind.  And this is what keeps popping up in my mind. 

Cheers!

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How much, disregarding points changes, will the new releases affect this list? Will things that will enable double tapping B Wings make a difference? Concussion bombs etc?

I am just curious what people’s opinions are. I am primarily FO, Empire and Scum with Republic trying to squeeze in there too. Just wondering how things like the LAAT with ETA’s would go or high initiative Tri Fighters. Actually looking at it it would be easier to say I don’t fly Rebels and Resistance.... I wonder how Boba would go? Would have a million stress from Maul I’m sure....

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