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Fury of the Empire (TIE Brute article)

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3 hours ago, Schanez said:

Okay so I did a double check. So far all the ships, that can take SLC are:

  • B-Wing (no Calculate on action bar)
  • Resistance Transport (no Calclate on action bar)
  • Aggressor Assault Fighter (has Calculate on action bar)
  • Tie/RB (Calculate on Config)
  • HMP Gunship (Calculate on action bar)

Fixating on Calculate access is a mistake.  Ignore CalculatePretend Synced Laser Cannons has no text, and is simply an attack.  It's a 3-dice attack, with a standard firing arc and normal damage.  2-cannon-slot restriction is irrelevant, just look at what adding a 3-dice attack to most of the relevant ships would mean.

Resistance Transport with a 3 red dice at all ranges is absurd value for 35-36 points.  It's not going to be 3-4 points.

There's no way this is going to cost less than 6 points, since this is almost invariably better than an Ion Cannon.  I'm guessing 7 or 8 points, because getting a 3rd attack die is HUGE on ships with 2 attack dice, like Resistance Transports, TIE/rb, and HMP.

//

If all you're thinking about is B-Wings and Aggressors, supposing this is scaled based on ship attack dice, I think we'd still be looking at 4-5 points.  Certainly not 3, since this is way better on one of those ships than a set of Autoblasters--again, if only for blank-text 3-dice range 2-3.  Is it 1 or 2 points better than Autoblasters?  I kinda think 2.

Edited by theBitterFig
Yorr

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47 minutes ago, theBitterFig said:

Oh, there might easily be a thread in the Rules Subforum arguing that it means all banks, just like there were folks arguing that BB-8 does a white and not red boost.  Folks making that argument will be wrong, but folks have made it before.

Swz45_bb-8.png

 

Those people need to go back to grade school.    It’s pure comma sense. 

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37 minutes ago, theBitterFig said:

Resistance Transport with a 3 red dice at all ranges is absurd value for 35-36 points

the couch only has one cannon slot

37 minutes ago, theBitterFig said:

There's no way this is going to cost less than 6 points, since this is almost invariably better than an Ion Cannon.

would you really pay 7 points for synced on a brute or HMP?

when 3pt autoblasters or 0pt "don't take a cannon on my 3X priced ship" exist as options?

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I’m really looking forward to flying at least one of these. Maybe more points dependent. I feel like Rampage really wants the maneuvering config. The others I’m not sure - which is the best place to be because it means both have utility instead of the obvious autoinclude.

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4 minutes ago, svelok said:

the couch only has one cannon slot

would you really pay 7 points for synced on a brute or HMP?

when 3pt autoblasters or 0pt "don't take a cannon on my 3X priced ship" exist as options?

Why not? 8 points for barrage rockets on a bomber are fine.

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13 minutes ago, svelok said:

the couch only has one cannon slot

Well, a little bit my bad for not double-checking what someone else wrote, but...

14 minutes ago, svelok said:

would you really pay 7 points for synced on a brute or HMP?

when 3pt autoblasters or 0pt "don't take a cannon on my 3X priced ship" exist as options?

Maybe, same as I sometimes get an urge to fly TIE/sf with the gunner.

SLC brute in particular.  Having Lock/Calc/Calc is a pretty nice set of dice mods.  Is that worth 40-42 points?  It's a front-and-back B-Wing with double mods.  That feels kinda good.  We can say "oh, but the generic B-Wing isn't worth 41 points" but still, that's what it does cost, and this seems... maybe better?  HMP with a SLC, again, I'd probably expect to see cost roughly B-Wing levels.

//

But "what is it worth" and "what do I want to fly" are two different questions.

Overall, I'm more interested in Brutes as wide blocker/bullet sponges with Maneuver Assist and no cannons.  Low 30s (I'm guessing) for a 8-health reinforced ship seems like it'd be a massive waste of someone's time to attack.  ABS is a little bit spicy, but I'd probably cut it.

HMP, depending on price, I'd fly more like Optics TIE/sf or Turret Y-Wings.  Just go for high time-on-target with nicely modded 2-dice attacks, and as large a ship count as possible.  Upgrade priority is DRK-1 Probes, maybe K2-B4 to really make it a grind to kill them, maybe Discord Missiles since I don't really need my Calculates anyhow, and I might even take Ion Missiles over Autoblasters, since that's better attacks at longer range and I'm hoping to already have the early Locks.

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3 hours ago, svelok said:

I don't think anyone takes that card at eight points.

It's not synced versus ion; it's synced versus nothing. For 8 points, just roll primaries at people, or take autoblasters.

While I agree that it likely won't be taken for 8 points, I don't think 8 points is out of contention for the price. FFG priced Punishing One at 8 points for the first year and a half of 2nd Edition, and it didn't have the range denial caveat.

My thought is that 6 points is a good starting point as 50% of the ships that can take it already have a 3 die attack and only get true value out of it is the double tap or by not spending calc mods.

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1 hour ago, theBitterFig said:

Well, a little bit my bad for not double-checking what someone else wrote, but...

For some reason the Transport is listed as 2 Cannon on the wiki. My bad.

I seriously don't think it will be 8. I would say equal to HLC is decent for what it does.

Edited by Schanez

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4 minutes ago, Schanez said:

I seriously don't think it will be 8. I would say equal to HLC is decent for what it does.

Maybe.  I just think a Turreted 3/1/8 ship is probably worth around 8 points more than a 2/1/8 ship.  Few things are as important as adding more red dice.  This is almost surely better than Ion Cannon, not worse.

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I really think everyone's overestimating how often a Brute will have lock. These things are all I4 or lower; locks are hard. maybe the one I4 pilot will want locks often as not, but most of the time you're much better off with mods you can use defensively.

Just look at the TIE/x1 if you need proof. Even Maarek Steele who is an I5 doesn't get much play, and he has always-on double mods with passive crit if he can get a lock just once. All the others (including the I4 Ved Foslo!) just never get used, even after a couple price drops. The ease of getting double mods on these things is vastly overstated, even if their 3-dice cannon is good, which I think it probably is.

20 minutes ago, Schanez said:

I seriously don't think it will be 8. I would say equal to HLC is decent for what it does.

HLC permanently turns off all crits and only covers about 10% or less of the area. Yes it has one more die but it's of limited value since that bullseye is so easy to avoid, especially on lower-initiative ships where cannons are often taken. HLC should be around 4, Ion should be around 5, this new one I would expect to see at 7.

I've long thought existing cannons are generally overpriced by a point or two. If this one is less than 7 it will be the only cannon taken on double-cannon ships until the points get changed. It is definitely at least almost as good as Barrage rockets. BR has a situational re-roll that makes you run out faster, but always has range denial. This one has situational range denial but never runs out. I see that as pretty even, maybe a point less.

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4 minutes ago, ClassicalMoser said:

I really think everyone's overestimating how often a Brute will have lock. These things are all I4 or lower; locks are hard. maybe the one I4 pilot will want locks often as not, but most of the time you're much better off with mods you can use defensively.

After the first round of combat, I think getting the lock and keeping the enemies in arc will be fairly simply. The trick is going to be keeping those enemies at range 2-3 to get the calcs. Rampage will be fine, the other guys will have a harder time.

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1 hour ago, ClassicalMoser said:

 It is definitely at least almost as good as Barrage rockets. BR has a situational re-roll that makes you run out faster, but always has range denial. This one has situational range denial but never runs out. I see that as pretty even, maybe a point less.

Plus you don't need the focus tokem to fire, which is quite relevant. 

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I am curious if the Tracer Thread missiles will work as in 1.0, as in friendlies can get locks on the Defender. Otherwise getting Locks on the Bruts will be difficult, unless it has a sensor slot, which I doubt. I don't think there was a sensor card on the promo pictures.

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3 minutes ago, 5050Saint said:

swz67_target-assist_mgk300.png

One use I had not considered for this upgrade is that you can take a focus and use it defensively. Then still get 1 or 2 calcs when you attack.

Huh, I hadn't thought about that. You only get the calcs if you did use the focus, but actually that's pretty sweet, because you have guaranteed focus mods for both either way.

Sweet.

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On 9/16/2020 at 10:16 AM, GuacCousteau said:

Ugh. Don't want to diminish anyone's excitement for this. I'm just a salty Rebel player frustrated by the lack of fun in the faction, the lack of competitive lists in the faction and the lack of any new content outside a handful of pilots for years. 

I think your point is important to bring up though. Good thing for variable points cost on everything to help older ships and reign in power creep when it happens. I too love Rebels and I find them to be quite boring and lacking the jank, ace-style flying, abundant force, etc of other factions. I really hope we see some more cool stuff in the Rebel squad pack on top of what's already been revealed.

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13 hours ago, Sciencius said:

Yes. Special forces gunner is 9pt which plays a similar role on a similar ship, but better as it allows range one shots or double taps. Ion cannon is 6pt which is 3dice but max 1 damage. 

Sync'ed cannon should be like 7-8 pt, perhaps push it down to 6pt if they want to boost the brute in particular.

 

6 hours ago, Schanez said:

Okay so I did a double check. So far all the ships, that can take SLC are:

  • B-Wing (no Calculate on action bar)
  • Resistance Transport (no Calclate on action bar)
  • Aggressor Assault Fighter (has Calculate on action bar)
  • Tie/RB (Calculate on Config)
  • HMP Gunship (Calculate on action bar)

B-Wing has access to Calculate through Passive Sensors or through a friendly Crew Carrier with K-2S0. Does not gain anything by using Passive Sensors, as it would shoot a 3 Dice without ability to mod to use the Cannon Ability vs the Primary 3 Dice with a Focus.

Resistance Transport I cannot speak of, as I have little to no experience with Resistance. Someone will have to look into that.

Aggressor Assault Fighter seems like the best candidate for the cannon, flying an IG88-B will let you pew pew 3 Dice Primary and if that misses repeat with a 3 Dice cannon attack. Although I still think the ships will do better with Autoblasters at Range 1, instead of SLC at Range 3.

Tie/RB clearly has the Configs made for the use of SLC and I expect the ship to do well as a long range artillery piece.

Same for HMP Gunship, but I have to say this one is more suited for the Multi Missile Pods than cannons. 

They can either get a Calculate to use the Cannon or Lock to double tap. If they take lock, its just a 3 Dice unmodded shot. Considering B-Wings are more of a Range 1 bullies, I would not consider this a massive problem. HLC is much better on them for this purpose, as they can Roll > Lock to aim the Bullseye for the double tap.

 

6 hours ago, theBitterFig said:

Fixating on Calculate access is a mistake.  Ignore CalculatePretend Synced Laser Cannons has no text, and is simply an attack.  It's a 3-dice attack, with a standard firing arc and normal damage.  2-cannon-slot restriction is irrelevant, just look at what adding a 3-dice attack to most of the relevant ships would mean.

Resistance Transport with a 3 red dice at all ranges is absurd value for 35-36 points.  It's not going to be 3-4 points.

There's no way this is going to cost less than 6 points, since this is almost invariably better than an Ion Cannon.  I'm guessing 7 or 8 points, because getting a 3rd attack die is HUGE on ships with 2 attack dice, like Resistance Transports, TIE/rb, and HMP.

//

If all you're thinking about is B-Wings and Aggressors, supposing this is scaled based on ship attack dice, I think we'd still be looking at 4-5 points.  Certainly not 3, since this is way better on one of those ships than a set of Autoblasters--again, if only for blank-text 3-dice range 2-3.  Is it 1 or 2 points better than Autoblasters?  I kinda think 2.

 

I see no reason why Synced Laser Cannons should cost more than an Ion Cannon.

First of all, it requires two cannon slots, not just one. Increased opportunity cost should keep the price lower, as you're giving up the ability to take other options in addition. Even if you don't agree with this concept, we can still take a look at things on a case-by-case basis for the grand total of four ships that can take this upgrade:

1. B-Wing. On its own, it's strictly worse than the B-Wing's primary attack, as it won't work with many talents. It's not until you pay more points on other upgrades (either passive sensors or Stabilized S-Foils) that it becomes worth using on a B-Wing, at all. Oh, and for the S-Foils to provide benefit, you have to spend a lock to get the bonus attack, so it's not like it's easily guaranteed. If we assume SLC costs the same as an Ion Cannon, then for the B-Wing, it effectively costs 8 points, minimum, in order to bother equipping it.

2. Aggressor. Aside from IG-88B, it's practically a wash with the primary attack value, as it doesn't interact with most talents, but at least the IG-88s can all calculate, so it can negate the range bonus. IG-88B has the additional advantage of being able to use it for a bonus attack. Would it be worth 7+ points for that, however? I suspect most would just take an HLC or IC, instead. At 6 points, it's a serious debate whether to take IC or SLC. At 7, I think you just take an IC every time.

3. TIE/rb. Okay, here, at least, it's an improvement over the primary value. If we look at the `Punishing One title, we can see the precedent for what it costs to increase a primary value by 1: 5 points. So, you've got 5 points for increasing the primary value by 1, and then 1 point for the ability to ignore the range bonus, so long as one is calculating (which means not spending the calculate token on the attack). Seems reasonable.

4. HMP Gunship. On the one hand, it's an increase of the attack value from 2 to 3. On the other hand, the primary on the HMP is a full-arc, vs the front-arc of the SLC. Otherwise, it's really not different from the Brute. 6 points should be fine.

Based on these comparisons, it doesn't seem like we need to go higher than 6 points. Is there a reason to go lower?

First, let's compare to the HLC: HLC provides a 4 attack, but only in the bullseye arc, and converts all crits to regular hits. Given the downsides to the HLC, the SLC certainly can't go lower than the HLC, and I'd say that the downsides make it such that it really shouldn't be priced that low, either. So SLC should reasonably slot in higher than 4 points.

Next, we can repeat the comparison to the Punishing One title. That raises a primary attack to 3, and swaps a crew slot for an astromech slot. The latter part is a lateral change, so for this purpose, I think we can ignore that part. In terms of raising the attack to 3, it's worth noting that in general, a primary attack has more value than a cannon attack at the same number - talents and abilities often only work with primary attacks. On the other hand, it does have a potential advantage over primary attacks so long as one can get a calculate token, and retain it through the defender rolling their green dice.

Moldy Crow isn't a useful comparison, since that title also adds the ability to retain focus tokens, which is powerful on its own.

Likewise, the Special Forces Gunner adds a double-tap capability in addition to the increased primary. Plus, gunner upgrades have a tendency to be higher priced, these days.

Given all that, I think a cost of 6 is reasonable. There's a real decision to make at that price, whereas it would be dead in the water at a higher price, and at a lower price, it would push out the IC and possibly the HLC.

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35 minutes ago, Freeptop said:

I see no reason why Synced Laser Cannons should cost more than an Ion Cannon.

IMHO, "It does more damage than Ion Cannon" is a pretty dang compelling reason for it to cost more.

  • Focused 2 Dice primary weapon expected total hits vs 2 green dice: 0.850
  • Focused Ion Cannon expected total hits vs 2 green dice: 0.839
  • Focused SLC expected total hits vs 2 green dice: 1.531
Edited by theBitterFig

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32 minutes ago, Freeptop said:

 If we look at the `Punishing One title, we can see the precedent for what it costs to increase a primary value by 1: 5 points. So, you've got 5 points for increasing the primary value by 1, and then 1 point for the ability to ignore the range bonus, so long as one is calculating (which means not spending the calculate token on the attack). Seems reasonable.

While I like your step-by-step analysis, and I am not entirely disagreeing with many of your points, I would be careful by using the cost of a unique title which has a similar effect as a point measurement for an upper limit to what a non-unique and "spammable" weapon should cost at maximum. If the punishing one title was non-unique I would be flying tripple jumpmasters all day long. Thus I dont agree that the upper limit is 6 points or that the cannon would be dead in the water at higher points. The range 3 band is considerably larger than bulls-eye, and I would take this any day over HLC on a 2 dice ship. if points permitted in the list. 

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