# TIE Defender balance discussion: not competitively priced?

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I think it will be interesting to see how 3 of the PS 3 Defenders do against 3 Bounty Hunters.

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I am calculating a weighted average for all the possible attack vs defense probability density functions. If you're looking at just range 2 shots, for example, you won't get a complete picture. I'm looking at range 1-4 shots, with defensive focus applied 1/2 the time, offensive focus 2/3 the time, and the ranged shots at the ratio observed in the Worlds 2013 Final Match. (numbers earlier in the thread).

And you're factoring in that not every ship will have a shot (every time) on the Tie-fighter side i'm assuming?

I'm curious along with 'negative9 - IS there Any list Other than a Swarms list that's equal to a swarm?  Because if every other list is just as prone to losing vs. a swarm, then all of these numbers are moot. Weren't there only 2 swarms in the top 8 at worlds?  Was there even one in the top 4?

I'm just saying that if it's a substantially better list than every other list (that's been a winning list) then what do the numbers really show??

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I am calculating a weighted average for all the possible attack vs defense probability density functions. If you're looking at just range 2 shots, for example, you won't get a complete picture. I'm looking at range 1-4 shots, with defensive focus applied 1/2 the time, offensive focus 2/3 the time, and the ranged shots at the ratio observed in the Worlds 2013 Final Match. (numbers earlier in the thread).

And you're factoring in that not every ship will have a shot (every time) on the Tie-fighter side i'm assuming?

I'm curious along with 'negative9 - IS there Any list Other than a Swarms list that's equal to a swarm?  Because if every other list is just as prone to losing vs. a swarm, then all of these numbers are moot. Weren't there only 2 swarms in the top 8 at worlds?  Was there even one in the top 4?

I'm just saying that if it's a substantially better list than every other list (that's been a winning list) then what do the numbers really show??

a TIE swarm lost in the world final to a 2X2B rebel list.

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True, but there was far too much luck involved on the rebel side.

Swarm is no autowin, but it is hard to beat, if flown correctly. The problem with swarms on tournaments: if you meet another swarm you will struggle to get a good/clear win, so you might get a close win and then don't make it into the top rank due to haven't killed enough.

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i hate the overprized points cost with the phantom and the defender

and the defender from 25 up to 35

just sayin and where the **** is the evade ?? its a friggin tie the best of them all if u read the fluff about it the lore !!

It makes perfect sense to give a ship with a 4 attack a price less than an X-Wing. /sarcasm

they could atleast give him 3 evade cause its a friggin fast flieng tie and hey i said as example start with 20 and as u can see there is no lvl 1 pilot the lowest is a lvl 3 for 25 points with 4/2/2/2 <---- wtf ?

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And you're factoring in that not every ship will have a shot (every time) on the Tie-fighter side i'm assuming?

I'm curious along with 'negative9 - IS there Any list Other than a Swarms list that's equal to a swarm?  Because if every other list is just as prone to losing vs. a swarm, then all of these numbers are moot. Weren't there only 2 swarms in the top 8 at worlds?  Was there even one in the top 4?

I'm just saying that if it's a substantially better list than every other list (that's been a winning list) then what do the numbers really show??

Yes after I calculate the average damage, I multiply it by an "attack percentage" coefficient between 0 and 1. Or you can adjust that coefficient until its even, which gives an idea on how good one side needs to maneuver to break even. In the case of 4 Defenders vs 10 TIE Fighters, you need to have 30% of the TIE Fighters have no shot each round for it to be an even match.

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And you're factoring in that not every ship will have a shot (every time) on the Tie-fighter side i'm assuming?

I'm curious along with 'negative9 - IS there Any list Other than a Swarms list that's equal to a swarm?  Because if every other list is just as prone to losing vs. a swarm, then all of these numbers are moot. Weren't there only 2 swarms in the top 8 at worlds?  Was there even one in the top 4?

I'm just saying that if it's a substantially better list than every other list (that's been a winning list) then what do the numbers really show??

Yes after I calculate the average damage, I multiply it by an "attack percentage" coefficient between 0 and 1. Or you can adjust that coefficient until its even, which gives an idea on how good one side needs to maneuver to break even. In the case of 4 Defenders vs 10 TIE Fighters, you need to have 30% of the TIE Fighters have no shot each round for it to be an even match.

And I guess that is also only the case if the Defenders gets a shot every turn. If the Maneuverability is enough that may just be possible, but it will need a really good dial for that.

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Yes after I calculate the average damage, I multiply it by an "attack percentage" coefficient between 0 and 1. Or you can adjust that coefficient until its even, which gives an idea on how good one side needs to maneuver to break even. In the case of 4 Defenders vs 10 TIE Fighters, you need to have 30% of the TIE Fighters have no shot each round for it to be an even match.

Cool.

So IS there a list that matches up nearly equal to a swarm…that's not a swarm??

Edited by Syleh Forge

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And I guess that is also only the case if the Defenders gets a shot every turn. If the Maneuverability is enough that may just be possible, but it will need a really good dial for that.

We know it's got a 5 Green…so while that's no guarantee of turning ability…the only dial we have with a green 5 is the A-wing…the best dial in the game.

Edited by Syleh Forge

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And I guess that is also only the case if the Defenders gets a shot every turn. If the Maneuverability is enough that may just be possible, but it will need a really good dial for that.

We know it's got a 5 Green…so while that's no guarantee of turning ability…the only dial we have with a green 5 is the A-wing…the best dial in the game.

Yep, but even an A-Wing can't get a bead on the enemy every turn. SO unless it has a GAWD AMAZING dial I'm pretty sure it will not be able to manage it. Saying that it could come close. which may allow it to hold it's own. But I still feel the PS1 is a couple of points too much.

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And I guess that is also only the case if the Defenders gets a shot every turn. If the Maneuverability is enough that may just be possible, but it will need a really good dial for that.

Naturally. The ratio between the two coefficients is the only thing that matters the way the numbers get crunched, so if the Defenders are only 90% efficient then you need to reduce the TIE Fighter swarm's coefficient by another 10% to maintain parity.

So IS there a list that matches up nearly equal to a swarm…that's not a swarm??

8 Z-95's, they're about equal on paper with a TIE fighter, but they have +1PS so they should have a huge advantage by shooting first. Every TIE they kill never gets it's shot. I'll make a new thread just for them later. They should drastically change the meta game, although it may take a couple months after they're released before people start realizing how powerful 6+ rebel ship squads are going to be.

Otherwise, no, nothing is statistically as powerful as a full TIE swarm on paper if you look at the ship's base stats. The question is one of constructing a squad and strategy that can mitigate a swarm's damage output, which for the purposes of this relatively simplistic simulation equates to getting the "attack coefficient" as low as possible for the swarm.

Here's a few methods:

• PS bid and killing the TIEs before they can shoot.
• Out maneuvering.
• Ioning them out of position.
• Advanced Sensors in the hands of an expert can be downright nasty.
• Sticking Biggs in the back

There are many methods, and they are very difficult to execute. The World Champion used several of the above methods, the rolls were in his favor for a couple of key moments, and it still came down to the wire. It's a testimony to the power of numbers in the hands of a skilled player. On the bright side, playing a TIE Swarm properly, especially in a timed tournament, requires expert play.

Tactics are even harder to try and reasonably "model" than they are to execute, so I'm really not even trying to go that far. The point of the "simulations" is to get a handle on the baseline stats themselves, and get a general idea on how efficient your squad needs to be, in order to be competitive.

To put it in perspective, in the above 10 TIEs vs 4 Defenders example: the requirement is making 30% of the TIEs have no shots every round. That's 3 TIE Fighters per round that you need to have staring into space on the initial round or two of firing. Or, 2 TIE Fighters in a 7 TIE Swarm. That's going to be quite difficult against a skilled opponent, especially when your ships are all at the same PS. You can make a PS bid, but then you lose ship quantity instead, and you have to be even MORE efficient.

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Not to mention closing on a swarm from different angles - if you sacrifice a ship to joust with the swarm, they can focus fire and kill it - and if it's higher p.s. it will get its shot, but the other ships could get into  a flank position. possibly leaving some of the swarm with no shot after the first target is destroyed.

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8 Z-95's, they're about equal on paper with a TIE fighter, but they have +1PS so they should have a huge advantage by shooting first. Every TIE they kill never gets it's shot. I'll make a new thread just for them later. They should drastically change the meta game, although it may take a couple months after they're released before people start realizing how powerful 6+ rebel ship squads are going to be.

Otherwise, no, nothing is statistically as powerful as a full TIE swarm on paper if you look at the ship's base stats. The question is one of constructing a squad and strategy that can mitigate a swarm's damage output, which for the purposes of this relatively simplistic simulation equates to getting the "attack coefficient" as low as possible for the swarm.

So then the original question of not being competitively priced…you're comparing it to the Best statistical squad and saying that it's not as good as it…when it's (i'm going out on a limb here) probably, statistically as good as other leading flight variants?  (XXBB, XXXX, XXF, idk what else are great squads honestly i'm just curious to see if those other flight's numbers are about on par with the Defenders vs. Swarms)

Edited by Syleh Forge

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8 Z-95's, they're about equal on paper with a TIE fighter, but they have +1PS so they should have a huge advantage by shooting first. Every TIE they kill never gets it's shot. I'll make a new thread just for them later. They should drastically change the meta game, although it may take a couple months after they're released before people start realizing how powerful 6+ rebel ship squads are going to be.

Otherwise, no, nothing is statistically as powerful as a full TIE swarm on paper if you look at the ship's base stats. The question is one of constructing a squad and strategy that can mitigate a swarm's damage output, which for the purposes of this relatively simplistic simulation equates to getting the "attack coefficient" as low as possible for the swarm.

So then the original question of not being competitively priced…you're comparing it to the Best statistical squad and saying that it's not as good as it…when it's (i'm going out on a limb here) probably, statistically as good as other leading flight variants?  (XXBB, XXXX, XXF, idk what else are great squads honestly i'm just curious to see if those other flight's numbers are about on par with the Defenders vs. Swarms)

Yes, good point. The original comparison was to the TIE Interceptor. If we run 5 PS1 ships at 3/3/3/0 against 3 PS1 ships at 3/3/3/3, then the Interceptors will win with 2 ships left over at full health. That's assuming:

1. The same attack coefficients (i.e. neither side can get a meaningful maneuverability advantage over the other)
2. Shields simply count as one hull, so it's 3 hull vs 6 hull. This biases the results in favor of the Interceptor.
3. The damage done is 100% efficient, so you always kill a ship with exactly what's needed to kill it off, and don't "waste" any of your average damage on overkill. This biases the results in favor of the Defender.

#2 and #3 probably about cancel each other out, so it should be reasonable to just call it 3 hull vs 6 hull and leave it at that. We still don't know how maneuverable the TIE Defender is, or how that evade token works. If we reduce the Interceptor damage output by 20% (i.e. one out of 5 Interceptors is staring off into space every round) then it's equal.

You can also get about the same conclusion just from Lanchester's Laws:

N1^2*A1*k1*D1 = N2^2*A2*k2*D2,

where N = # of ships, A is average attack damage, k is the attack coefficient (% of time that you can take a shot at a target), and D is the hit points. In the above example, the figure of merit are:

Interceptors: 5^2*1*0.8*3 = 60

Defenders: 3^2*1*1*6 = 54

Edit: we can add in an 8 TIE swarm for kicks, assuming k = 0.7 and A = 1/1.9:

TIE Fighters: 8^2/1.9*0.7*3 = 71

The Defenders are getting around a 10% increase in their figure of merit because their damage doesn't drop off as fast, from having more hull. That 10% number seems to be pretty consistent when you double a ship's hull and then get less of them, at 100 point squad cost. So you can reach the same conclusion from just running some numbers quickly rather than having to do a full-out simulation.

So, conclusion, for the Defender to be balanced relative to a ship (that never gets used competitively), it has to force the (second) most maneuverable ship in the game to have no shot about 20% of the time. If it can't even do that, then it's worse than irrelevant in the competitive arena.

Edited by MajorJuggler

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Seems like my first take on the Defender was the closest one http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/74919-tie-defender-values/page-5#entry896491

At this time I haven't thought about the Avenger ... so Im now worried about if there is a gap for it to fill in.

And there still is one: BEAM WEAPONS!

...

BUT: I find the PS1 @ 30 points disturbing. It should start with a 2 or even a 3 for there point costs.

Lets hope for a completely amazing dial with white K-turns or free actions / free evades in it ... !

Just looked at the thread you posted - good job.  I especially like the "Bloodthirsty" upgrade card..  If only FFG would release that.  That could be a brutal card if used correctly.

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Ignoring actions and dials....

Interceptor 18 + 3x shield upgrade = 30 and 3,3,3,3 stat line.

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Maybe the evade token is there due to the 'outmaneuver' upgrade card. Sounds like its something that could give an evade.

As for balance of the ship, a PS 1 Interceptor costs 18 points. 3 shield upgrades (I know you can't give it 3, but I'm going on pure math here for this example) moves it to 30, same price as a Defender with 3 shields. If the other pilots follow the same formula with their PS and point costs, you can imagine a Soontir type pilot with three shields for just over 40 points. Seems like something that could see play.

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OK, now that the TIE Defender has been announced, we can all stop speculating about (most) of its stats. I am also very excited, and will love to play with these ships for fun regardless of their point cost. So I am not trying to rain on everybody's parade.

However, I am predicting right now, that the TIE Defender will NEVER get used competitively successfully, unless its new maneuverability dial/ability is insanely overpowered. Even then, this ability/dial might be irrelevant against turret lists (HSF, etc).

I would very much like to be wrong.

Perspective #1

The best ship for direct comparison is the 3/3/3/0 TIE Interceptor. Start with an 18 point PS1 TIE Interceptor, add 3 shields at 4 points each, and you're at 30 points. The problem is:

• The built-in cost of shields / hull should cost FAR less than the upgrade cost. It's not an effective way to spend points. So a PS1 Defender is an even worse way to spend points than a PS1 Interceptor.
• PS1 TIE Interceptors are already not an effective use of points, and don't get used competitively with any apparent success.

If you go by Lanchester's Law, then the point cost compared to an Interceptor should go as: 18*2^0.5 = 25.5

Then nudge the cost up slightly to account for the extra hit points being shields not hull, and you're at around 27 points. Off-the-cuff math, if we call 3 shields + 3 hull to be worth 6.75 hull (about a reasonable estimate), then 18*2.25^0.5 = 27.

So we're left with another 3 points, and the following differences between the Interceptor and the Defender (that we know so far):

Pros:

• Gains the Target Lock action
• Gains the cannon slot and missile slot
• Has a different dial, with some kind of a new maneuver never before seen.
• Has some way that at least one of the pilots can get an evade token. This could be related to the above maneuver, or it could be related to an EPT. If it's a non exclusive EPT (as all have been so far), then it doesn't help balance the ship at all, since anyone can take it.

Cons:

• Looses the Boost action

So, we have a ship that is probably less points efficient than an existing ship that already isn't used competitively. We still have to wait and see about the rest of its abilities, but right now it looks quite overcosted.

Perspective #2

For 90 points you can field 3 TIE Defenders, with 9 attack dice and 18 hit points.

For 84 points you can field 7 TIE Fighters, with 14 attack dice and 21 hit points.

If you count 3 attack dice as doing 70% more damage than 2 attack dice (on average it's in the 1.6 - 1.75 range, assuming that Howlrunner is NOT in the equation on either side, and making some assumptions about the average types of shots being made), then the 3 TIE Defenders will still be doing only 73% the damage of the 7 TIE Swarm. And the Defenders have less hit points. And there are less of them.

Perspective #3

Lets use Lanchester's Laws again to figure out the combat strength of the 7 TIE Swarm vs the TIE Defenders. Lets assume the Defenders have 1.7x as much attack power, and 7/3 the hit points (we'll be a little generous and count the 3 shields as being worth an entire additional hit point). The relative combat strengths are then:

TIE Defenders: 3^2*1.7*(7/3) = 35.7

TIE Fighters: 7^2*1*1 = 49

To get the combat strengths to be equal, you would need about 3.5 TIE Defenders for every 7 TIE Fighters. So, if you based cost just on a brute force slug fest, a 3/3/3/3 ship would be balanced at roughly 12*7/3.5 = 24 points. The remaining 6 points, or 20% of the cost of the ship, goes towards unique enhancements. Or, equivalently, the TIE Defender costs 25% more than it's "slugfest" based price relative to a TIE Fighter. For reference, a TIE Interceptor costs 15% more than it's "slugfest" cost relative to a TIE Fighter, and that 15% is probably already a hair too expensive for the competitive metagame.

Perspective #4

All of the above numbers assume that Howlrunner doesn't exist. If you compare 2 dice with 1 reroll vs 3 dice, the 3 dice advantage is reduced to around 1.2-1.25. So a squad of 7 TIE Fighters including Howlrunner is going to make the Defenders look pathetically outclassed. This might be a biased comparison because a 7-TIE Swarm is undeniably one of the best (if not the best) squads in the game, but it is the standard by which other competitive squads are measured against.

Their high cost also makes a 3 Imperial squad difficult. If the higher PS ships follow the normal cost progression, then the PS6 and PS8 pilots will cost 38 and 36 points. 38 + 36 + 30 = 104, so you can't run both named pilots (even naked) with a PS1 Defender. You could run the PS8 pilot plus two PS1 Defenders at 98 points, presumably.

Perspective #5

Apparently it doesn't have a beam weapon, which is what, to me, really set the ship apart. It's indirectly related o points cost balance, but is rather disappointing nonetheless.

Perspective #6

How does a PS3 Defender compare to a Bounty Hunter?

Defender Pros:

• It's one point cheaper (32 vs 33)
• It has one more agility.
• It has a more maneuverable dial (assumed).
• No evade action, but at least one of the pilots has some way to get an evade token. Assuming that this is available for all pilots, this is almost certainly a pro.
• It has a small base, which is probably more well-suited to dogfighting.

Defender cons compared to the Bounty Hunter:

• It has 1 less shield.
• It has 3 less hull.
• It has no rear arc.
• It has no Crew slot.
• It has no bomb / mine slot.

My impression is that the list of Cons outweighs the list of Pros. The 4 less hit points should give it less effective health even with an extra agility die.

Edit: Added Perspectives 5 and 6.

ok, is it just me or is this dude spending way to much time on this?

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It is his love, it is his life...

It is his fault for not locking the garage.

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I had a very EVIL thought for the manuever dial....... A    (0) Turn a red manuever get a stress to just sit turn and shoot. next round a green one and an action... next round just turn and shoot again!!!! could be a game changer.. any thoughts????

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Just something that occurred to me, and I realize it would be difficult to simulate any way other than what you are doing, but isn't a "lowest pilot skill no upgrades" comparison heavily in favor of the tie fighters considering they are balance around large numbers and no upgrades? Would a match of 8 fighters with the leftover four points spent somehow against three defenders, one with HLC and stealth device change anything? Or three defenders two with autoblaster? Assault missiles? Some combination? I am genuinely curious. 8 points is 2/3s of a tie but it's also an upgrade from a rookie to Wedge.

I also think the reason we don't see many tournament interceptor lists is less to do with flaws in the interceptor and more due to the dominance of YT lists, which nerf the interceptor (and A-wing)'s greatest strength.

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i was thinking about the new manuever,

what if its a K-turn, but you put the movement guide between the rear nubs then place the ship facing in the other direction using the rear nubs again?

that would be really cool.

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or placing using the front nubs to do a loop-d-loop?

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that would make the defender super powerful in either case

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I also think the reason we don't see many tournament interceptor lists is less to do with flaws in the interceptor and more due to the dominance of YT lists, which nerf the interceptor (and A-wing)'s greatest strength.

I would think so as well - in addition to the possibility of having your interceptor one-shotted, which is impossible vs. a defender.

On that note - i would like to see what the "power ranking" (for lack of a better term) is for a normal HSF list?

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