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Ihavebadluck

z-95s vs tie fighters

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what would happen if you had 5 bandit squadron pilots + assault missiles and one other z-95 either bandit with ion pulse missiles or a slightly better z-95 vs a tie swarm? the bandits can take 4 hits each so it seems like almost all if not all could get off their missiles before being destroyed depending on how many non-academy pilots are in the swarm and since the assault missiles damage ships within range 1 on a hit it seems like if the ties were flying a tight formation a lot of them would be destroyed by that damage.

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Problem: The Assault missile needs a hit in the first place. If you want to shoot prior to Academy pilots instead of next round you have to shoot without focus.

 

I can see four of five Assault Missiles missing.

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Yeah, Z-95 swarm lists will certainly be a thing for a little while, or at least lists that have large numbers of them alongside 1 or 2 other craft. Conceptually there's really nothing wrong with using this strategy, although it does require you to hit with the missiles. That said, 4 attack dice are going to beat 3 defence dice at some point, so you can just fire two missiles at a single target, or focus fire with lasers first to discourage away focus and evade tokens and -then- attack.

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It depends.

 

If those TIE fighters get within range 1. It's as if they have weak missiles (3 dice) and you only have 2 defense dice.

The balance is in the shields. You can take crit hits for the first couple of shots, but they are gonna dodge more.

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6 Bandits can support the following loadouts:

5x Assault Missiles + Ion Pulse Missiles

4x Assault Missiles + 2x Concussion Missiles

 

I'm more inclined towards the latter of the two options, as Ionizing a single Tie Fighter doesn't really do much in the long run.
However, if you land even a single Assault Missile, that puts you in fairly good position for a clean-up in the next turn. Landing 2 is superb, and 3 is a board-wipe, so hope the dice gods are in your favor.

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I realize Ionizing a tie isn't helpful but with 3 extra points anyway I figured I might as well have it. I sort of lean towards 5 assault missles + (if possible) changing one of the z-95s to a z-95 with an ability

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Problem: The Assault missile needs a hit in the first place. If you want to shoot prior to Academy pilots instead of next round you have to shoot with focus.

 

I can see four of five Assault Missiles missing.

  

6 Bandits can support the following loadouts:

5x Assault Missiles + Ion Pulse Missiles

4x Assault Missiles + 2x Concussion Missiles

 

I'm more inclined towards the latter of the two options, as Ionizing a single Tie Fighter doesn't really do much in the long run.

However, if you land even a single Assault Missile, that puts you in fairly good position for a clean-up in the next turn. Landing 2 is superb, and 3 is a board-wipe, so hope the dice gods are in your favor.

Bandits will unfortunately, in most configurations, still be weaker to a TIE swarm with Howlrunner. The fact that they can't focus their missiles may or may not be an issue, but I agree with dvor. The ability to shoot first is definitely a big advantage, but without rerolls granted by Howlrunner, or by Jonus in the case of a bomber alpha strike, it is simply very unlikely to connect more than one missile.

Having said this, we may see a powerful support character increase the swarm potential greatly.

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I hope not though. Otherwise it kinda feels like this next wave is watering down the things that made each faction interesting and unique. Rebels trying their hands at swarms is one thing, but being just as good or better at them would feel wrong.

Revanchist likes this

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I hope not though. Otherwise it kinda feels like this next wave is watering down the things that made each faction interesting and unique. Rebels trying their hands at swarms is one thing, but being just as good or better at them would feel wrong.

I disagree with that completely. If an expansion doesn't add something to the game or a faction that was not an option before, it's a waste of an expansion. For rebels to play swarm, it has to be a viable approach competitively. Currently, the math behind the headhunter swarm simply isn't up to snuff. In not generally one that uses the math as an excuse, as this IS a dice game. It COULD turn out to be a great approach, and sometimes the dice favors one player over the other. AND there are still cars from the wave that we haven't seen yet. I am not dismissing the headhunter as a useful and powerful addition to the game, as we won't know till it's on the table. I just see it as a cheap missile boat or a squad filler.

The meta is currently " TIE swarm" and " things that beat TIE swarm." I HOPE this wave changes that, and I think the headhunter is the best chance we have to that effect. The other ships are powerful, but we have seen before that highly priced superiority craft do not give players incentives to choose them over multiple fragile ships for the same price.

Still the most important thing to remember: there are many cards in this wave we haven't seen up close.

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Just because you CAN do it, doesnt mean you SHOULD do it.. I dont think the Z95 should be used in a swarm, it's a support ship, or a planetary defense ship... in this era, it has been replacced by better ships, and where they excell is as a support ship.

Engine25 likes this

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I have a feeling that pairing Bandits with E'Tahn Abaht (spelling?) in his E-Wing will be a popular strategy, since he improves hits into crits. It's not as good as Howlrunner's ability, but it's easier to get crits on most Imperial ships than it is to on the Rebels.

 

Actually, throwing in Dutch Vander with R5-K6 would be a smart move: he can use his target lock easier due to higher pilot skill, pass it over to Focused Z-95's with the missiles and you have much more effective attacks. However, I'm gonna say that it might not be the best idea to have a bunch of the same missiles, since at some point having all Assault Missiles gets less useful than say a couple of concussion and homing missiles mixed in.

Edited by LeoHowler

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Actually, the odds of evaporating a swarm with 5 unfocused Assault missiles is very high.  Not 50/50, but high enough that when you consider the payoff for success is total victory, and the payoff for even partial success is significant, it is clearly a viable strategy.

 

There is about a 40% chance of getting one or more hits against a focused TIE fighter when firing an unfocused Assault Missile.  The odds become about 60% if the TIE does not have a focus.

 

If your Headhunters were to fire at 5 different TIEs, the median result would be getting hits twice.  You are almost as likely to kill the entire swarm as to only get one hit, and you are more likely to kill the swarm entirely than you are to miss entirely.  If you were to concentrate your fire on only 3 TIEs, making it likely that one or two shots were to be made against TIEs who have already used their focus, then you begin to have a very significant chance of simply winning the game on your first volley.  Add a 6th follow up missile like the Ion Pulse targeting a high-value ship like Howlrunner, and you have a very, very good chance of crippling a TIE swarm before it ever gets to fire even if you don't evaporate the whole thing in a single volley.

DraconPyrothayan likes this

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I think that we will se more rebel heroes.

 

People are a bit carefull not to spend 57 pts (+ upgrades) to get wedge and luke, because a few (un)lucky dice might kill them of in the first or second turn.

If there is an option to get 2-3 light ships to fill out the ranks, then the problem isnt that bad.

 

It will also probably be more common with supportships. Either a cheap hero in a z-95 with swar tactics to make that blue-sqd get PS8

OR

Expencive support ship(s), helping a swarm of low-cost ships.

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Actually, the odds of evaporating a swarm with 5 unfocused Assault missiles is very high.  Not 50/50, but high enough that when you consider the payoff for success is total victory, and the payoff for even partial success is significant, it is clearly a viable strategy.

You're right in the narrow sense, but I don't think it will be a consistent winning strategy.

The first problem is that you're assuming there's no change in swarm play as a result of Z-95s with Assault Missiles coming into the game. But we've already seen that the best swarm players (like Jacob, the Nationals winner) are able to adjust their deployment and approach so that Range 1 splash doesn't destroy them utterly, and I think that trend will continue. The best swarm players will see the threat posed by the missiles and learn to accommodate it.

The second problem is positioning. The likelihood that you'll get 5 missiles off in a single round are pretty low unless your opponent is very dumb--that is, unless both sides fly straight toward one another, and your opponent does so slowly. You're more likely to get 2-3 off early, of which 0-2 will score hits. And here that 0 is what will scare tournament players away from the list, since 5 Z-95s without missiles are unlikely to beat a full-strength TIE swarm (particularly if Howlrunner is around).

So what a Z-95+Assault Missile "swarm" really adds to the game is a soft counter to TIE swarms run by average players--that is, if both players are of average skill, the Z-95+Assault swarm can often afford to fly into the teeth of the TIE swarm in a way that other lists can't. (Maybe this is what you meant, and to that extent I'm not disagreeing with you.) So I'm not worried about a new approach that will push some (but not all) swarm players into other lists, because that's frankly a benefit to the metagame overall.

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Actually, the odds of evaporating a swarm with 5 unfocused Assault missiles is very high.  Not 50/50, but high enough that when you consider the payoff for success is total victory, and the payoff for even partial success is significant, it is clearly a viable strategy.

 

There is about a 40% chance of getting one or more hits against a focused TIE fighter when firing an unfocused Assault Missile.  The odds become about 60% if the TIE does not have a focus.

 

If your Headhunters were to fire at 5 different TIEs, the median result would be getting hits twice.  You are almost as likely to kill the entire swarm as to only get one hit, and you are more likely to kill the swarm entirely than you are to miss entirely.  If you were to concentrate your fire on only 3 TIEs, making it likely that one or two shots were to be made against TIEs who have already used their focus, then you begin to have a very significant chance of simply winning the game on your first volley.  Add a 6th follow up missile like the Ion Pulse targeting a high-value ship like Howlrunner, and you have a very, very good chance of crippling a TIE swarm before it ever gets to fire even if you don't evaporate the whole thing in a single volley.

Oh, I'm not doubting it's ability against a TIE swarm, I just meant in flying against other Imperial lists. It might be better to diversify the attacks a little bit is all I'm saying.

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True, aside from the PS8 one being worth 19 points to deploy. That said it's hard to work with things that we don't know, so it's entirely possible there's a Rebel equivalent to Howlrunner with this wave. Of course, it's also fairly easy to shoot down a Z-95 as compared to a TIE, so it's likely the strategy will be "shoot the banner waver first" like it is with most Howlrunner swarms.

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I doubt that Rebels will get howl/jonus-like pilot. All of Alliance's support abilities (Garven, Dutch, Lando, Roak, Kyle & Jan) were focused on a single ship, and with Jonus and Howl already in the game I don't see any offensive mass ability to be shown by either of Z's. Mass Target Locks? Quite overpowered. Mass Focus? Nah, there are already guys that play with focus, and both on a smaller scale. Mass.. idk, free launch for missiles/torpeadoes? Possible, but still rather too powerful than powerless.
 

That said, I belive there will be a viable way to play 4 Bandits with Missiles. It's 68 points with Assaults/Homings, so there's enough left to field:
 

Kyle Katarn (Detemination, Blaster Turret, Recon Specialist, Moldy Crow)
or
Garven Dreis (R2-D2, Flechette Torpedoes)

or
Dutch Vander (Ion Cannon, 4 points of upgrades of choice - torpedoes, astromech, mod; maybe R5 and Hull upgrade)

Revanchist likes this

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IMHO the real appeal of the Z-95 is to add another vessel we could consider or run as a third faction.  An outer rim smuggler, hawk, and some head hunters can make for some believable scenarios.

 

But I am definitely interested to see some 8 Z95 vs 8 TIE royal swarm rumbles.

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The Z-95 Assault missile swarm list reminds me of a MtG deck I had. It didn't work often, and I didn't play it often. But when it did, it was Glorious!

The Z-95 list might not often wipe out a whole Tie swarm with the alpha, but if it does it even once, it would be so much fun that it would make the other games worth it.

For those care... the magic deck was called Akido, I based it on the concept of the martial art. I used mostly older cards, like manabarbs, twister rack, black vice, ect... I set up a situation where no matter what the other guy did he took damage. Tap mana and take damage, don't tap mana and take damage. attack me and take damage, don't attack me and take damage...

I got to a point where I just sat there and did basically nothing and watched the other guy drain his own life points away because anything he did caused him damage.

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what if they try to be at range 3 when first in range target lock, and then close in the next round and focus and then fire off the missles?

a) Someone will be destroyed before shooting his missile.

b) Next round you may be at range 1 of the target. Then you cannot use the missile.

Edited by dvor

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oh.. right. never mind then. I figured at range 3 the tie fighters are unlikely to score 4 hits on them but I guess if they all fire on the same one it's possible.

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I hope not though. Otherwise it kinda feels like this next wave is watering down the things that made each faction interesting and unique. Rebels trying their hands at swarms is one thing, but being just as good or better at them would feel wrong.

I disagree with that completely. If an expansion doesn't add something to the game or a faction that was not an option before, it's a waste of an expansion. For rebels to play swarm, it has to be a viable approach competitively. Currently, the math behind the headhunter swarm simply isn't up to snuff. In not generally one that uses the math as an excuse, as this IS a dice game. It COULD turn out to be a great approach, and sometimes the dice favors one player over the other. AND there are still cars from the wave that we haven't seen yet. I am not dismissing the headhunter as a useful and powerful addition to the game, as we won't know till it's on the table. I just see it as a cheap missile boat or a squad filler.

The meta is currently " TIE swarm" and " things that beat TIE swarm." I HOPE this wave changes that, and I think the headhunter is the best chance we have to that effect. The other ships are powerful, but we have seen before that highly priced superiority craft do not give players incentives to choose them over multiple fragile ships for the same price.

Still the most important thing to remember: there are many cards in this wave we haven't seen up close.

 

Um… I feel like you're not actually responding to what I said. By "feel wrong" i mean the Empire fights with swarms. That's what they do. They largely don't care for the lives of an individual pilot, so they don't mind throwing a ton of disposables into the fray. The rebels DO care. They really don't have the manpower or resources to throw carelessly into battle. To have them suddenly start chucking cheap fighters callously into battle seems odd to me. As for watering down? Yeah I still feel justified. The Empire now has a heavily shielded fighter without an evade action. It's Action bar is essentially a b-wing. Meanwhile the Rebels now have a swarm ship and essentially an Interceptor with shields. In short, the Empire is now doing the things the Rebels do, and the Rebels are doing what the Empire did. You're telling me that doesn't seem a little bit like watering down to you?

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You're telling me that doesn't seem a little bit like watering down to you?

No, because the Z-95 is still a superior ship to the Tie Fighter. Not by much mind you, but a 1v1 and I think the Z-95 would likely come out on top. When you consider how old the Z-95 is compared to the Tie that's a fair accomplishment.

Also even though it's not the rebel's nature to throw people away like the Empire. That doesn't mean they'v never made a last stand with inferior equipment.

I don't forsee a lot of 8 Z swarms out there. But if someone wants to play one, I fail to see how this really hurts the game as a whole. Even if the Z-95 was nothing more then a Tie in everything by name, this doesn't really hurt the game. But in this case a Z Swarm won't fly the same way that a Tie Swarm does.

Engine25 likes this

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