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TheRealStarkiller

Fixing the TIE Advanced

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Personally, I don't know that 3 att/2 def is better than the reverse, but it is certainly easier, and I think that's part of why the Advanced has a bad rep. Its a defensive ship, and defensive ships are generally harder to fly successfully than offensive ships. Look at the Falcon. Very offensive and so easy to win with some think its broken.

 

The other reason is that it just doesn't fit in the Imperial line up that well. It would be a great Rebel ship if it wasn't competing for spots with cheap TIE fighters.

 

I know the math says its overcosted, I'm just not convinced.

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Personally, I don't know that 3 att/2 def is better than the reverse, but it is certainly easier, and I think that's part of why the Advanced has a bad rep. Its a defensive ship, and defensive ships are generally harder to fly successfully than offensive ships. Look at the Falcon. Very offensive and so easy to win with some think its broken.

 

The other reason is that it just doesn't fit in the Imperial line up that well. It would be a great Rebel ship if it wasn't competing for spots with cheap TIE fighters.

 

I know the math says its overcosted, I'm just not convinced.

 

It's to do with the how things play out as much as the maths.. If you have a single advanced the enemy will just ignore it as everything else is a higher threat or easier to kill target. SO by the time they get round to dealing with the Advanced, it's normally the last ship and due to it's poor attack and bad maneuverability it just can't win in this situation. The real issue is it's designed as a tank, but with no way to hold aggro it can't do this job.

 

If the Rebels had it, it still wouldn't be used. An A-Wing does almost everything it can do, is Cheaper and more maneuverable. Just compare the two. Give the A-Wing a Hull upgrade for 3pts. For the same points (once you correct for PS) you have an identical ship statwise, with a FAR better dial and a Boost instead of a Barrel Roll, which makes it easier for it to close to close range to make a decent shot.

 

When you have a full force of them the stats show that on average the Attack 3 / Defense 2 will do better.

Edited by Rodent Mastermind

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If attack dice and defense dice both had the same number of hits and evades, attack dice would still be worth more. Every hit rolled would need to either get cancelled or would land damage, but not every evade roll would be needed. Therefore attack dice are inherently more effective. But, attack dice also have 4 hit/crit sides vs only 3 evades. So attack dice CLEARLY have a strong advantage over defense dice. Which is good, because ships need to get blown up.

But claiming that defense dice are just as good as attack dice and therefore the Advanced is on par with the x-wing is clearly wrong.

There is also the tactical tank / agro issue. Glass cannons get focused down first.

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I'm not saying the dice themselves are equal, because they obviously aren't. But the Advanced has other things that the X-Wing doesn't have that I think make up for it. (Barrel Roll and Evade actions).

 

If you add a Hull Upgrade (3 points) and one pilot skill point (1 point) to the Green Squadron pilot, you get a ship with nearly identical stats (only differing in boost vs. barrel roll) for the same points, but the A-wing still has a better dial. To me, that suggests that the A-Wing might be undercosted, rather than the Advanced being over.

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Upgrades always cost more as add-on than being built into the ship cost directly, so that comparison already makes the Advanced look better than it is.

For example: if you started with a TIE Fighter and upgraded it to an A wing, the 17 point PS1 A wing would cost about 25 points.

But even with that biased comparison, the Advanced is STILL worse than the A-wing. And the A wing has rarely if ever made it to high level tournament play. (Never mind the TIE Advanced).

That should tell you something.

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I'm not saying the dice themselves are equal, because they obviously aren't. But the Advanced has other things that the X-Wing doesn't have that I think make up for it. (Barrel Roll and Evade actions).

 

If you add a Hull Upgrade (3 points) and one pilot skill point (1 point) to the Green Squadron pilot, you get a ship with nearly identical stats (only differing in boost vs. barrel roll) for the same points, but the A-wing still has a better dial. To me, that suggests that the A-Wing might be undercosted, rather than the Advanced being over.

 

The A-Wing undercosted? Really? If the A-Wing was undercosted you would see them appear regularly in tornament lists, you don't. And though I do not believe them to be bad, in the right hands their maneuverability can allow them to hold their own, they are not that great either.

 

Remember also when comparing to an X-Wing that you can only take one action a turn, so though you have the evade and barrel roll which give you options, your not gaining a hugh amount overall. Not to mention the fact it has a worse dial.

Edited by Rodent Mastermind

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Unrelated to dice discussion, but back on topic of Advanced balancing, specifically Maarek.

I have been thinking that letting him change a hit to a crit automatically in addition to his existing ability might be too overpowered. But what if we instead added

"When spending a focus token during an attack, you may change all eye results to hits, and you may then change one hit result to a critical hit."

This would at least limit it to when he used focus, which should still be very often, but is probably more balanced.

Thoughts?

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In addition to the FCS or was this a seperate thought?

In addition to his current ability or as a replace?

 

Either way its not bad. Its like Markmanship, but you are still able to use your focus to defend.

I'm still a fan of "Your crits ignore shields" (as a replace) - but then you still have to produce crits first.

Your idea is more economic and I think it would make maarek almost a no-brainer (focus focus focus).

With PtL Maarek would be a useful wingman for Vader and together they actually could do some damage.

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This is just his ability, so it would be in addition to the built in FCS that all ships would get.

This would be in addition to his existing mechanic. I like his existing ability, just debating if it needs a slight buff or not.

Its not exactly like marksmanship, in that its not useful for cluster missiles, on multiple attacks.

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This would make him useful. But ... I fear there is not enough space on the cards for all those texts. ^^

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

There may be even another way to fix the ADV ... adding more value by brute force:

 

Tempest -> PS 4, EPT

Storm -> PS 6, EPT

Maarek -> 2 EPT

Vader -> 2 EPT

 

Going this way it would open new interesting possibilities ... like Tempests + Engines would be useful suddenly ... ans you cold fire your ordnance far better.

Yeah I like the FCS better then this.

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I ran a couple of games in th elast 2 weeks with the Adv as they are now to get a feel for them and better see the difference. 3 games with the normal (4 Adv, using concussion and/or cluster missiles), and 2 games with Maarek + 3 Adv (2 missiles). Won one game with Maarek and one with the normals squad, lost the other 3 games.

 

First test now with the build in FCS: Adv + FCS + Cluster missiles = almost no brainer... you get a very strong strike here, each attack benefits from TL thanks to FCS. Gets the quality of the chainsaw shuttles (even if for one turn only)

 

I had 4 Adv + Cluster missiles vs BBXX (Biggs, to kinda shield the Bs). The first contact at R3 had me firing with lasers, little shield removal, using evade kept my dudes save (2 were able to fire on other ships then Biggs thanks to out of range/fire arc). Then cautious maneuvering to stay away from him (R2), Focus and Cluster missiles. Destroyed Biggs easily with one missile salvo (6 hits there! with missile salvo from one Adv), stripped all shields from one B, and got some damage through on the other X. One of my Adv was stripped of shields and got a crit.

Then close up, focus + tl removed the shieldless B easily (still needed 2 Adv to do it though) and left the X with 1 Hull. Lost 1 Adv.

Next turn I destroyed the X and got all shields down from the B. He conceded here, with 1 naked B vs 2 healthy and 1 shieldless Adv.

 

Combined with (cluster) missiles the FCS is nasty, especially vs AGI 1 ships. The normal laser fire feels ok, although it is very reliable now, as said before it's an almost sure 2 hits per Adv. After the initial missile strike the reliable firepower keeps the Adv at the top, the opponents struggle to even out the damage done to them...

Especially the cluster missile strike feels very strong here. It might be necessary to limit the FCS to the primary weapon only.

Edited by Shaadea

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Limiting FCS to primary weapons might be a good idea. I will have to run some numbers, but that's certainly the best use of cluster missiles. Incidentally it would make TIE Advanced the counter to b-wings. That's almost a good thing in and if itself. But you are right, it might be overpowered.

Eventually I expect we will see a ship from FFG that has system upgrade and missiles.

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If limiting to primary weapon it would do to change the text of the original FCS by adding "attack with primary weapon" when upgrade is applied to the Adv. That way you will get the first TL through laser fire that enable you to fire the missile (whatever type), but the missile fire itself will not generate TL. That makes taking missiles still a good option and just brings the cluster back to normal.

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So pleased to read this and yet so upset, I really thought we had cracked it.

it now seems that there was a flaw or loop hole in our logic due to the fcs & cluster combo.

I'm on the side that this combo might be a little overpowered.

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I ran a couple of games in th elast 2 weeks with the Adv as they are now to get a feel for them and better see the difference. 3 games with the normal (4 Adv, using concussion and/or cluster missiles), and 2 games with Maarek + 3 Adv (2 missiles). Won one game with Maarek and one with the normals squad, lost the other 3 games.

 

First test now with the build in FCS: Adv + FCS + Cluster missiles = almost no brainer... you get a very strong strike here, each attack benefits from TL thanks to FCS. Gets the quality of the chainsaw shuttles (even if for one turn only)

 

I had 4 Adv + Cluster missiles vs BBXX (Biggs, to kinda shield the Bs). The first contact at R3 had me firing with lasers, little shield removal, using evade kept my dudes save (2 were able to fire on other ships then Biggs thanks to out of range/fire arc). Then cautious maneuvering to stay away from him (R2), Focus and Cluster missiles. Destroyed Biggs easily with one missile salvo (6 hits there! with missile salvo from one Adv), stripped all shields from one B, and got some damage through on the other X. One of my Adv was stripped of shields and got a crit.

Then close up, focus + tl removed the shieldless B easily (still needed 2 Adv to do it though) and left the X with 1 Hull. Lost 1 Adv.

Next turn I destroyed the X and got all shields down from the B. He conceded here, with 1 naked B vs 2 healthy and 1 shieldless Adv.

 

Combined with (cluster) missiles the FCS is nasty, especially vs AGI 1 ships. The normal laser fire feels ok, although it is very reliable now, as said before it's an almost sure 2 hits per Adv. After the initial missile strike the reliable firepower keeps the Adv at the top, the opponents struggle to even out the damage done to them...

Especially the cluster missile strike feels very strong here. It might be necessary to limit the FCS to the primary weapon only.

I was taking a new squad through it' paces earlier and had a few random points left over and upgraded a bomber to an advanced with "built in FCs" for fun... got about the expected mileage out of it.  Cluster + FCS combo is kind of a reason to do it.  I usually put in 2 bombers as they are hardy dogfighters by themselves and the advanced is just a titch better after you get used to it's limitations and play style. At only 1pt more than gamma + concussion it's a pretty good bargain with built in FCS.

 

I could see 2 advanced + FCS + Clusters doing all kinds of bad things to a lot of rebel builds.  The FCS lets you play defense at range 3 with evade/focus while you do a little shield stripping and then alpha engagement round 2 instead. 

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ok, just finished another testrun. 4 Adv with cluster again, vs 3 shuttles and Howl. Shuttles had A) Vader B) Gunner, FCS C) AntiPursuit Laser and something I can't remember (obviously wasn't used), Howl came with SwarmTactics. He had Initiative (99 points). I was unable to get the first attack off at R3 (due to my own wrong doing), so I had no free TL when entering R2. Had to Aquire TL and fired 3 clusters plus 1 laser (that one was still at R3). With the help of Vader I stripped 2 Shuttles of their shields, by rolling quite bad though. Another mistake on my part (one TA received a critical hit that dropped his PS to 0) got my last missile carrier killed before he could shoot (the PS0 would have moved first, I even planned it out that way, therefor ewould have blocked one Shuttle and make room for the missile carrier, so he would have action - playing it wrong shuttle moved first and all my ships got bogged down, without action). So VASSAL just made sure that I pay for the stupidity by giving me bad rolls (12 Defense dice showed 1 evade!). Still, with shields down on 2 shuttles and still 3 TA to fly I managed to kill off 2 Shuttles. We called it a game after over 2 hours of maneuvering, with his last Shuttle down to 2 Shields and Howl healthy, while I had 1 TA with 1 hull left.

If the last cluster would have landed on one of the shieldless shuttles it might have done some serious damage, either bringing it down close to destruction or maybe scoring some crits.

Oh, by the way, I didn't roll a single crit during the game (doing 19 points of damage)! Had to destroy the shuttles damage point by damage point without fancy crit effects helping. Was a weird game (die wise)

 

So really only the combo cluster + FCS is nasty. The FCS on primary seems ok, as you can do all kind of stunts and still have a good chance to land 1 hit. The TA becomes more offensive, as you now try to get close to maximize the FCS or barrel roll the enemy into your arc to get a shot off.

Even with the FCS + cluster combo you need to fly them smart to get that off (ok, just don't be stupid, that should do ;-) ). There's not much an opponent can do against that cluster strike, he might try to fly the targeted ships out of arc, but he will probably sacrifice his own attack for that. Best option for him is to concentrate fire on one TA to remove one such attack. If lucky with rolls and higher PS might even work on 2 TA (but I seriously doubt that, unless some freak rolls occur).

 

I will see if I can get a Maarek FCS game next. No cluster this time, to get a feel for the other weapons (will do with 2 concussion)

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I know the majority of people of the forum agree that R5K6 when compared to FCS is completely inferior due to "Roll for effect". (I also agree this true.)

 

In another thread I mentioned the balancing of K6's drawback (roll for effect) being balanced provided that once Target Lock was spent you could perform a second attack think gunner/Luke and like what you're experiencing in your testing of FCS + Cluster.

 

And as a number of you mentioned the built-in FCS + Cluster a very "nasty" combination. My suggestion to balance the "nastiness" of that combination to: 

 

"After spending Target Lock for Secondary Weapons, Roll 1 Defense Dice, on Evade reacquire Target Lock"

 

That way the increased damage potential of the Target Locked second cluster attack would be balanced by the Chance of it not occurring.

 

----

 

I would further suggest that rather than FCS tests happen with a built-in R5-K6 ability instead. This would be keeping up with:

 

"For best performance, the targeting system of the x1 required frequent adjustment in combat." --Wookieepediea 

 

Which gets me to believe IF you were being shot at in a dogfight your ability to adjust the targeting system might not be 100%. Which could be reflected by rolling the Attack Dice and Reacquiring occur on Hit and Crit rolls 50% (Modified K6).

 

"After spending Target Lock, Roll 1 Attack Dice, on Crit or Hit reacquire Target Lock."

-or- 

"After Attacking, Roll 1 Attack Dice, on Crit or Hit reacquire Target Lock."

----

 

Anyways, just a few thoughts and alternate suggestions on what I've read about the testing with FCS in regards to Cluster Missiles.

Once tests of FCS - Primary Only finishes that might be good enough to recover the loss of cost performance.

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Limiting FCS to primary weapons might be a good idea. I will have to run some numbers, but that's certainly the best use of cluster missiles. Incidentally it would make TIE Advanced the counter to b-wings. That's almost a good thing in and if itself. But you are right, it might be overpowered.

Eventually I expect we will see a ship from FFG that has system upgrade and missiles.

 

Now we finally found something where the adv would be good at and we immideately butcher it because of cluster missiles?

Hell yes then you get TL to reroll for the second shot. You'll get 2 hits instead if almost 2 hits. Actually I find this quite encouraging.

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Also, remember the first TL is lost to firing the missile, so you only get the advantage on the second attack. It's not like it really ups the damage that much.

 

The best case scenario is you Get a TL and focus, fire with the TL, gain a second TL and chose to focus attack 1 or attack 2.

 

Mostly you will get TL, followed by TL. Also, you need your opponent to be kind enough to stay in firing arc of the T/A with the original lock and that isn't always that easy. 

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