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Endgame124

8th Tie Fighter Worth It?

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On my original pass of purchased, I picked up 6 Tie Fighters (4 from 2 starters and 2 expansions).  I recently got one more for 7 and like having the extra fighter, and am now debating an 8th.  Is the 4 academy pilot, 4 obsidian pilot squad too little pilot skill wise to be competitive, or are more fighters still more better? ;)

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Endgame124 said:

On my original pass of purchased, I picked up 6 Tie Fighters (4 from 2 starters and 2 expansions).  I recently got one more for 7 and like having the extra fighter, and am now debating an 8th.  Is the 4 academy pilot, 4 obsidian pilot squad too little pilot skill wise to be competitive, or are more fighters still more better? ;)

I only have 4 TIE fighters so far, so I'm not the best person to answer your question. But I would love to have 8 TIE fighters because then even when nobody else plays the game anymore I could invite friends over to enjoy it with me, and we could have all the options available to us for squad building. Additionally, it's looking like there is a growing interest in the community to play with squads greater than 100 points, so 8 TIEs couldn't hurt you there.

You mentioned the 4 Academy, 4 Obsidian team. I have never seen that work. It's much easier to use all Academy Pilots because they will be the same pilot skill, so that you are free to move whomever you want first. This helps prevent you from running your fighters into each other.

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Well, from an opponent's point of view, it's a helluva lot of ships to take down. I wouldn't want to face it in a tournament. 

Yeah, you're giving up PR, but you can't be facing any more than a 4-ship Rebel list right now, and even after Wave 2 drops, I don't think there's a way to get more than 5 Rebel ships mathematically in a list anyway. You can certainly play a game of attrition. 

As far as viability, I think it comes down to how well you're currently manuvering your 7 TIEs. To me, that's super difficult to try and use effectively without running into asteroids and each other. If you've got 7 down though, I'd say go for it- adding one more can't be that much more difficult for someone already used to playing with 7 ships.

If I was playing against you, I'd do my best to make you actually turn and manuver all those ships and try to bait some of the higher PR ships into the paths of the lower PR stuff. If you can kind of keep them separate and mainly move in straight lines, you're probably home free. 

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The real problem with the swarm isn't pilot skill. Running 8 TIEs, or honestly even 7, relies a great deal on your ability to maneuver both quickly and effectively. I've seen it result in a total mess far more often than I've seen it done skillfully--and the players making a mess aren't bad at the game, either.
 
Dropping the last TIE gives you a lot more build options, though. At 7 you can afford (e.g.) Howlrunner + Swarm Tactics, Backstabber, and Dark Curse, plus four Academy Pilots. That's a minor upgrade to your defensive abilities and a serious upgrade to your offense--being able to buff three or four pilots using Howlrunner is far better than getting one extra attack, and Backstabber and Dark Curse bring their own tricks to the table.
 
I wouldn't buy the 8th TIE unless you're a serious completionist.

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Cid_MCDP said:

 

Well, from an opponent's point of view, it's a helluva lot of ships to take down. I wouldn't want to face it in a tournament. 

Yeah, you're giving up PR, but you can't be facing any more than a 4-ship Rebel list right now, and even after Wave 2 drops, I don't think there's a way to get more than 5 Rebel ships mathematically in a list anyway. You can certainly play a game of attrition. 

As far as viability, I think it comes down to how well you're currently manuvering your 7 TIEs. To me, that's super difficult to try and use effectively without running into asteroids and each other. If you've got 7 down though, I'd say go for it- adding one more can't be that much more difficult for someone already used to playing with 7 ships.

If I was playing against you, I'd do my best to make you actually turn and manuver all those ships and try to bait some of the higher PR ships into the paths of the lower PR stuff. If you can kind of keep them separate and mainly move in straight lines, you're probably home free. 

 

 

A quick aside, until recently, I've played rebels almost exclusively since Gen Con, and have run 3 different 5 ship lists:

2x Gold Squadron w/ Ion Cannon 46
3x Gold Squadron 54

 

Dutch w/ Ion Cannon 28
4x Gold Squadron 72

2x Red Squadron 46
3x Gold Squardon 54

The double ion cannon list is probably the best of the 3, as any ion hit will let you drop a gold squadron right where you need to for 3 attack dice.  Don't mistake me though, my record with these are only about 25% wins, and it usually comes down to the fact that I have so many sheilds and hull i can stay on the table long enough to get a few lucky attack rolls.  

As for 7 ships, i try to send back stabber, night beast, and an academy tie behind the rebels while I leave the other 4 in front.  Essentially, with a squadron off 3 and a squadron of 4, it helps break up my ships on the table so I'm not *too* crowded.  Of course, I've never tried running imperials in a tournament - I've only run 3 ship rebels in a tourney and never had time problems, but 5 more ships is a lot of ships!

I think I'm going to grab the 8th - not only will it work for the larger games like Parakitor said, but I could always try running 6 academy and mixing in a pair of black squadron or even going 7 academy and using a named pilot.  Sounds like fun things to try.

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Vorpal Sword said:

 

 

The real problem with the swarm isn't pilot skill. Running 8 TIEs, or honestly even 7, relies a great deal on your ability to maneuver both quickly and effectively. I've seen it result in a total mess far more often than I've seen it done skillfully--and the players making a mess aren't bad at the game, either.
 
Dropping the last TIE gives you a lot more build options, though. At 7 you can afford (e.g.) Howlrunner + Swarm Tactics, Backstabber, and Dark Curse, plus four Academy Pilots. That's a minor upgrade to your defensive abilities and a serious upgrade to your offense--being able to buff three or four pilots using Howlrunner is far better than getting one extra attack, and Backstabber and Dark Curse bring their own tricks to the table.
 
I wouldn't buy the 8th TIE unless you're a serious completionist.

 

 

I guess I'm a completionist :)

The worst I've ever lost was against a 99 point squad of 7 TIE fighters

"Howlrunner" (Swarm Tactics)
"Mauler Mithel" (Swarm Tactics)
5 x Academy Pilot

I destroyed one, maybe two ships before my three Rebel ships were wiped off the board. And this was my awesome team, too. So Vorpal Sword is right: you'll do fine if you just stick with 7 TIE fighters. Although with the new modification system, you could still "upgrade" some of your Academy Pilots if you decided to run 8 of them.

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I did a 8 swarm last weekend. I had 7 academy and 1 backstabber vs 1 falcon, decked out and wedge, decked out. Started out bad, but I knew I was gonna lose a lot of ships vs a falcon, but I focused solely on the falcon, left wedge to do what he will. I ended up destroying the falcon after I lost 3-4 ships and finished off wedge later. It is a hard build to fly and face. 

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Endgame124 said:

Cid_MCDP said:

 

Well, from an opponent's point of view, it's a helluva lot of ships to take down. I wouldn't want to face it in a tournament. 

Yeah, you're giving up PR, but you can't be facing any more than a 4-ship Rebel list right now, and even after Wave 2 drops, I don't think there's a way to get more than 5 Rebel ships mathematically in a list anyway. You can certainly play a game of attrition. 

As far as viability, I think it comes down to how well you're currently manuvering your 7 TIEs. To me, that's super difficult to try and use effectively without running into asteroids and each other. If you've got 7 down though, I'd say go for it- adding one more can't be that much more difficult for someone already used to playing with 7 ships.

If I was playing against you, I'd do my best to make you actually turn and manuver all those ships and try to bait some of the higher PR ships into the paths of the lower PR stuff. If you can kind of keep them separate and mainly move in straight lines, you're probably home free. 

 

 

A quick aside, until recently, I've played rebels almost exclusively since Gen Con, and have run 3 different 5 ship lists:

2x Gold Squadron w/ Ion Cannon 46
3x Gold Squadron 54

 

Dutch w/ Ion Cannon 28
4x Gold Squadron 72

2x Red Squadron 46
3x Gold Squardon 54

The double ion cannon list is probably the best of the 3, as any ion hit will let you drop a gold squadron right where you need to for 3 attack dice.  Don't mistake me though, my record with these are only about 25% wins, and it usually comes down to the fact that I have so many sheilds and hull i can stay on the table long enough to get a few lucky attack rolls.  

As for 7 ships, i try to send back stabber, night beast, and an academy tie behind the rebels while I leave the other 4 in front.  Essentially, with a squadron off 3 and a squadron of 4, it helps break up my ships on the table so I'm not *too* crowded.  Of course, I've never tried running imperials in a tournament - I've only run 3 ship rebels in a tourney and never had time problems, but 5 more ships is a lot of ships!

I think I'm going to grab the 8th - not only will it work for the larger games like Parakitor said, but I could always try running 6 academy and mixing in a pair of black squadron or even going 7 academy and using a named pilot.  Sounds like fun things to try.

 

My hat is off to you for ever pulling out a win with those any of squads.

 

To the OP, if you don't have an 8th by now, I wouldn't rush to pick one up unless you can get an exceptionally great deal.  When wave 2 drops you really won't miss having an 8th TIE.

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Endgame124 said:

Cid_MCDP said:

 

Well, from an opponent's point of view, it's a helluva lot of ships to take down. I wouldn't want to face it in a tournament. 

Yeah, you're giving up PR, but you can't be facing any more than a 4-ship Rebel list right now, and even after Wave 2 drops, I don't think there's a way to get more than 5 Rebel ships mathematically in a list anyway. You can certainly play a game of attrition. 

As far as viability, I think it comes down to how well you're currently manuvering your 7 TIEs. To me, that's super difficult to try and use effectively without running into asteroids and each other. If you've got 7 down though, I'd say go for it- adding one more can't be that much more difficult for someone already used to playing with 7 ships.

If I was playing against you, I'd do my best to make you actually turn and manuver all those ships and try to bait some of the higher PR ships into the paths of the lower PR stuff. If you can kind of keep them separate and mainly move in straight lines, you're probably home free. 

 

 

A quick aside, until recently, I've played rebels almost exclusively since Gen Con, and have run 3 different 5 ship lists:

2x Gold Squadron w/ Ion Cannon 46
3x Gold Squadron 54

 

Dutch w/ Ion Cannon 28
4x Gold Squadron 72

2x Red Squadron 46
3x Gold Squardon 54

The double ion cannon list is probably the best of the 3, as any ion hit will let you drop a gold squadron right where you need to for 3 attack dice.  Don't mistake me though, my record with these are only about 25% wins, and it usually comes down to the fact that I have so many sheilds and hull i can stay on the table long enough to get a few lucky attack rolls.  

As for 7 ships, i try to send back stabber, night beast, and an academy tie behind the rebels while I leave the other 4 in front.  Essentially, with a squadron off 3 and a squadron of 4, it helps break up my ships on the table so I'm not *too* crowded.  Of course, I've never tried running imperials in a tournament - I've only run 3 ship rebels in a tourney and never had time problems, but 5 more ships is a lot of ships!

I think I'm going to grab the 8th - not only will it work for the larger games like Parakitor said, but I could always try running 6 academy and mixing in a pair of black squadron or even going 7 academy and using a named pilot.  Sounds like fun things to try.

Endgame124 said:

Cid_MCDP said:

 

Well, from an opponent's point of view, it's a helluva lot of ships to take down. I wouldn't want to face it in a tournament. 

Yeah, you're giving up PR, but you can't be facing any more than a 4-ship Rebel list right now, and even after Wave 2 drops, I don't think there's a way to get more than 5 Rebel ships mathematically in a list anyway. You can certainly play a game of attrition. 

As far as viability, I think it comes down to how well you're currently manuvering your 7 TIEs. To me, that's super difficult to try and use effectively without running into asteroids and each other. If you've got 7 down though, I'd say go for it- adding one more can't be that much more difficult for someone already used to playing with 7 ships.

If I was playing against you, I'd do my best to make you actually turn and manuver all those ships and try to bait some of the higher PR ships into the paths of the lower PR stuff. If you can kind of keep them separate and mainly move in straight lines, you're probably home free. 

 

 

A quick aside, until recently, I've played rebels almost exclusively since Gen Con, and have run 3 different 5 ship lists:

2x Gold Squadron w/ Ion Cannon 46
3x Gold Squadron 54

 

Dutch w/ Ion Cannon 28
4x Gold Squadron 72

2x Red Squadron 46
3x Gold Squardon 54

The double ion cannon list is probably the best of the 3, as any ion hit will let you drop a gold squadron right where you need to for 3 attack dice.  Don't mistake me though, my record with these are only about 25% wins, and it usually comes down to the fact that I have so many sheilds and hull i can stay on the table long enough to get a few lucky attack rolls.  

As for 7 ships, i try to send back stabber, night beast, and an academy tie behind the rebels while I leave the other 4 in front.  Essentially, with a squadron off 3 and a squadron of 4, it helps break up my ships on the table so I'm not *too* crowded.  Of course, I've never tried running imperials in a tournament - I've only run 3 ship rebels in a tourney and never had time problems, but 5 more ships is a lot of ships!

I think I'm going to grab the 8th - not only will it work for the larger games like Parakitor said, but I could always try running 6 academy and mixing in a pair of black squadron or even going 7 academy and using a named pilot.  Sounds like fun things to try.

Endgame124 said:

Cid_MCDP said:

 

Well, from an opponent's point of view, it's a helluva lot of ships to take down. I wouldn't want to face it in a tournament. 

Yeah, you're giving up PR, but you can't be facing any more than a 4-ship Rebel list right now, and even after Wave 2 drops, I don't think there's a way to get more than 5 Rebel ships mathematically in a list anyway. You can certainly play a game of attrition. 

As far as viability, I think it comes down to how well you're currently manuvering your 7 TIEs. To me, that's super difficult to try and use effectively without running into asteroids and each other. If you've got 7 down though, I'd say go for it- adding one more can't be that much more difficult for someone already used to playing with 7 ships.

If I was playing against you, I'd do my best to make you actually turn and manuver all those ships and try to bait some of the higher PR ships into the paths of the lower PR stuff. If you can kind of keep them separate and mainly move in straight lines, you're probably home free. 

 

 

A quick aside, until recently, I've played rebels almost exclusively since Gen Con, and have run 3 different 5 ship lists:

2x Gold Squadron w/ Ion Cannon 46
3x Gold Squadron 54

 

Dutch w/ Ion Cannon 28
4x Gold Squadron 72

2x Red Squadron 46
3x Gold Squardon 54

The double ion cannon list is probably the best of the 3, as any ion hit will let you drop a gold squadron right where you need to for 3 attack dice.  Don't mistake me though, my record with these are only about 25% wins, and it usually comes down to the fact that I have so many sheilds and hull i can stay on the table long enough to get a few lucky attack rolls.  

As for 7 ships, i try to send back stabber, night beast, and an academy tie behind the rebels while I leave the other 4 in front.  Essentially, with a squadron off 3 and a squadron of 4, it helps break up my ships on the table so I'm not *too* crowded.  Of course, I've never tried running imperials in a tournament - I've only run 3 ship rebels in a tourney and never had time problems, but 5 more ships is a lot of ships!

I think I'm going to grab the 8th - not only will it work for the larger games like Parakitor said, but I could always try running 6 academy and mixing in a pair of black squadron or even going 7 academy and using a named pilot.  Sounds like fun things to try.

Sorry, did I forget to use the word "viable" in my post there somewhere? :) 

Yeah man, you can run 5-ship builds right now, and I think if you play with time limits closer to 60 minutes than 90 minutes, it becomes a debatably viable strategy because as you pointed out, it's tough to get that many shields and hulls off the board. Sorta the X-Wing verison of the (Imperial) Guard blob- it may not win you the game, but it **** sure won't lose it for you either!

Like I said, I think an 8 TIE swarm is at least worth playing around with if for no other reason than I've never seen anyone actually use it. I know how to play against a standard TIE swarm, with or without Vader, with or without Howlrunner/ Dark Curse/, etc. because I see those a lot. An 8 TIE swarm is going to catch some folks off guard as there's no obvious target to give priority to removing, and with their high manuverability, you can just kind of keep shuttling them away from the fight once they dinged a time or two. 

It could work. It'll be hard as hell to manuver, but if you can keep from crashing into everything you don't want to crash into, it could work. 

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I've flown 8-Ship TIE Swarms before (first as all academies, then as F/G Obsidian pilots and F/G Academy pilots), and I haven't been defeated with it. This kind of squadron means you're putting all your strategy into weight of numbers and number of shots per turn against a single target.

The pros of this list is that with a lot of fighters your opponent is not going to reduce half your firepower if you loose one or two fighters. And even though the TIEs aren't great shots, brigning more of them to the table means your increased chances of shooting means the greater chances of getting crits or killing a rebel fighter. TIEs also have the highest natural dodge in the game, which means they're not easy to kill.

The cons of this list are a lack of nifty abilities to take advantage of, and the need to be mindful of traffic control. This isn't just moving your fighters to get the optimal shot, but making your moves such that your slower rebel opponent doesn't screw up your plans. It's often been a point after the first volley of fire to choose a manuver that won't end up with my TIEs backing up.

I almost took the 8-ship swarm for the Kessel Run tournament but I ultimately settled with (and is my favorite Imperial list so far): Howlrunner with Swarm tactics, Winged Gundark, and five Obsidian Squadron pilots. With this list I have a mix of special ability pilots and weight of numbers.

I gotta say though, it was fun showing up to the table with 8 TIE fighters and intimidating some of my opponents. :D

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You should buy an 8th TIE for 2 reasons only:

1. If you want to run scenarios or greater than 100 point games. More TIE are great for scenarios due to limitless supplies of the Empire.

2. If you want to teach others how to play and want to let them use your stuff.

If you want to run 8 TIEs at a tournament, I'd say save your money for Wave 2 and buy an Interceptor instead.

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An 8 TIE Fighter squad can work, but 7 is still a lot of TIE Fighters, and there are quite a few more options with squad building. I wouldn't recommend Obsidian Squad TIE Fighters, though. I think you'd be better off using some of the unique TIE pilots, such as Howlrunner or Mauler Mithel.

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One reason to take Obsidian pilots is that they'll shoot first before Rookie X-Wing pilots. If the Rebel is trying to fly as many X-Wings as possible, that will be a consideration. Obsidian pilots will allow you to group-fire against a Rookie pilot and prevent it from blowing up or mauling one of your TIEs at close range.

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Cid_MCDP said:

 

Like I said, I think an 8 TIE swarm is at least worth playing around with if for no other reason than I've never seen anyone actually use it. I know how to play against a standard TIE swarm, with or without Vader, with or without Howlrunner/ Dark Curse/, etc. because I see those a lot. An 8 TIE swarm is going to catch some folks off guard as there's no obvious target to give priority to removing, and with their high manuverability, you can just kind of keep shuttling them away from the fight once they dinged a time or two. 

It could work. It'll be hard as hell to manuver, but if you can keep from crashing into everything you don't want to crash into, it could work. 

I faced it once with a 2X+2Y build. Strategy was try to get Wedge with a TIE at range 1 in front of him so he could take a TL on that TIE then attack with a 4 vs 2 dice advantage with with rerolls would get  a 1 attack kill. Actually managed to kill 4 of the TIE's that way in the game, 2 with 3 hits and 2 with a hit and crit combo where the crit was a direct hit.

My general strategy for facing 8 TIEs is very simple. If there are no damaged TIEs pick the one you can get the most shots on and unload. If there is a damaged TIE concentrate fire on it until its destoyed.

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I've played 8 TIEs a few times and it's awesome. Fun to play, annoying as hell for your opponent and very true to the movies. I say get the extra mini!

Send in some TIEs to jam up your opponents moves and deny them actions and fly the rest round taking potshots. Have the close in TIEs evade and the backup ones or ones out of a firing arc (and there'll always be a few) focus. When a few of the close-in ones have damage, swap over.

If possible focus your many, many shots on a single pilot. Once you've reduced your opponent's firepower a bit it'll become a cakewalk.

And don't worry about crashing sometimes. You have ships to spare!

Oh, and use all Academy Pilots. You WANT to move first so you can cause collisions.

vs

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I recognize the space-denial ability for swarms like that, but I've been more focused on making sure my swarm is able to target, shoot, and kill at least one Rebel fighter per turn. The way i see it, focing collisions throws your fighters out of position and prevents the one collided ship from being able to shoot the target. Unless the rebel player is running a squad optimized for killing TIE swarms (four X-Wings at least), I'll be flying formation and trying to maximize my kills over crazy action-denial attempts.

After all, denying an action doesn't prevent him from shooting.

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Norsehound said:

I recognize the space-denial ability for swarms like that, but I've been more focused on making sure my swarm is able to target, shoot, and kill at least one Rebel fighter per turn. The way i see it, focing collisions throws your fighters out of position and prevents the one collided ship from being able to shoot the target. Unless the rebel player is running a squad optimized for killing TIE swarms (four X-Wings at least), I'll be flying formation and trying to maximize my kills over crazy action-denial attempts.

After all, denying an action doesn't prevent him from shooting.

It does, however, keep them from shooting the ship touching them. 

Point taken though. And it definitely doesn't help dealing with the Pilot's special abilities. Wedge is still gonna make you roll one less die, Luke still gets his Focus-lite on defense, etc. even if they bonk into something. 

Trying to roll a list like this or any area denial/ collision strategy isn't for new players either. I see guys come in my store that read stuff like this on the internet and want to play it competitively, but they've only played the game a handful of times. Lists like this need some significant disclaimers attached for new players, especially when there are lists that are much easier to just pick up and play effectively. 

Still though, I think this is a perfect, "I'm getting a little bored waiting for Wave 2 to come out and have a little extra dough in my pocket", type list. If you can manuever it, it'd be fun to drop on somebody's unsuspecting head once in a while to keep everyone honest. 

 

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Cid_MCDP said:

 I see guys come in my store that read stuff like this on the internet and want to play it competitively, but they've only played the game a handful of times. Lists like this need some significant disclaimers attached for new players, especially when there are lists that are much easier to just pick up and play effectively. 

I haven't played Magic competitively in years, so this might have changed, but that practice used to be called "netdecking" and it's was sign of someone who was willing to invest a great deal of time and money to be about three months behind in the metagame.

But, on the other hand, is there a compendium somewhere of tournament-style lists that are easy to pick up and play? I have a tiny X-wing blog out in the middle of nowhere that needs content, and I'd love to post and/or link to some lists that provide an on-ramp for beginners.

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