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Simonsays3

So you wanna run Interceptors - A brief guide to the Empire's glass cannon

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With Imperial Aces just around the corner, I've dug out my squints and have been playing with a few configurations to get a feel for the tricky little buggers. And while I make no claims on good maneuvering, I noticed a few trends that really make squints shine. Please note that most of my experience is against rebel scum but the following could hold true against both factions:

 

1) Moving later than your opponent makes it significantly easier to boost/barrel roll your glass cannon out of harm's way. Which makes the PS bid MUCH more significant than it might be with a mess 'o eyeballs

 

2) Range 3 is your friend....but only if you back it up with evade/focus. I can't speak on whether Focus or Evade is better overall, but we'll all heard stories of that shiny Saber that got wasted at Range 3 by a lucky rookie or bomber. I'm not saying the HLC can't ruin your day anyways, but defensive squints tend to last longer than an overly aggressive alpha.

 

3) Blocking with a squint is like pounding a nail with a handle of a screwdriver. If you're good enough you can get the job done, but that's really not what it's made for. Squints are precision tools that require you to play to their strengths. If you play it safe and take extra actions to get out of the way, you'll last longer than trying to outguess your opponent and end up at range 1 of an autoblaster-toting B-wing or howlrunner-backed mauler mithel  :)

 

4) Turrets suck....but the ships that can take them share certain drawbacks your fragile squints are really good at exploiting. For y-wings, your chief advantage is their abysmal dial and low agility. In general, it's not too tough to predict where those suckers will land and you can use your superior dial to make sure they're in your sights often. There's nothing better than having a y-wing finally land an ioned hit on your squint, only to realize a boost or barrel roll will keep you gunning for them next turn anyways.

The YT is a bit different since it's got the hull and the firepower to really ruin your day, but remember, your greatest asset is your ability to control the range of engagement. Get way out at Range 3 and laugh as those shots scatter in your wake. Split your ships on either side of the board and force it to come after you through asteroids and other ships. The YT is easier to hit than a y-wing because of that huge base - make 'em pay for it. 

 

I'll admit it makes for a long game, but you've both got 3 attack and that 1 agility is little more than a speed bump even with a boost at range 3. In theory, you could try to keep them within that range 2 band, but then you run the risk of facing your ships the wrong direction with a turret at your back. It's safer to just keep out of range, at least for a poor pilot like me who'd likely end up flying side-by-side with one.

 

To that end, I've had some success with a high PS lists focused on out-maneuvering your opponent and shooting first:

 

Fel's Fury (because alliteration is fun)

Soontir Fel (27) - 33

PTL (3)

Stealth Device (3)

 

Turr Phennir (25) - 26

Veteran Instincts (1)

 

Fel's Wrath (23) - 23

 

Mauler Mithel (17) - 18

Veteran Instincts (1)

 

You can bounce the stealth device around to whoever you feel needs it the most and Mauler Mithel is admittedly not a squint, but at 18 points, he's got the same firepower at range 1 and more importantly, he gets to shoot first  :)  And as a bonus, it's got a bit more flexibility/survivability then some of the elite 3 ship builds that have been floating around. 

 

It's not to say they can't be successful it's just that 3 ships with 9 hull between them always seems so inconsistent....

 

Let me know if you've had success with something similar, or if there's something big I'm missing that just completely blows everything I've written out of the water. I love these pointy little buggers and of course I'm psyched for Aces, but i want to hear other success stories too!

 

And any critiques of the above list wouldn't hurt either  ;) Like I've mentioned, I'm not very good, but I do have fun with these guys!

 

 

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is fel's wrath really worth using? wouldn't it be better to use a saber squadron guy who i believe can get elite pilot things and costs 1 less and put veteran instincts on him for higher ps than fels wrath?

 

Correct.  Fel's Wrath is PS5 @ 23 points.

Sabre Squadron Pilot is PS4 @ 21 points.  Add Veteran Instincts and it's PS6 @ 22 points.

 

Higher PS, and 1 point less.  Since Fel's ability only kicks in when he dies, you'll benefit more from the higher PS while Sabre is still on the board.

Khyros likes this

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I have discovered that moving last isn't always needed. Turr can make his move after his shots, which is great. Soontir will likely move last as there aren't that many PS9 Pilot's out there. The other Squints are low enough PS that trying to move last may not help. It can also screw you if the enemy moves into your way.

 

What does help is shooting first. I have been flying 4 Squints (Fel, Turr, Sabre, Alpha) using Swarm Tactics to make everyone PS9 (then 7, then 4 as ships go down.) and flying in tight formation. If the enemy is dead, they can't shoot back.

 

I agree on using defensive tactics and running away every now and again works. Also, do not be afraid to leverage the K-turn, you can't be hit if you aren't in arc and shedding stress on these babies is easy.

 

Against turrets, it depends on the type. All the R2 stuff you can just try and avoid at R3, but I try to take them out first whilst avoiding the other enemies arc's, makes hunting easier.

 

The named YT's are different altogether. They have the Hull and Shields to survive several rounds even against 4 Squints firing at PS9. I have found in this case you are better to avoid the arcs of the support ships and kill them, then go after the named YT. I'd sooner take hits from one turret than 3 ships.

 

If I am facing a named YT and two Y's, the Y's still go down first as they can really mess you up with Ions. Named YT and 2 x HWK with Blaster Turret. HWK's first as they are easier kills.

 

Basically reduce firepower then kill the YT.

Edited by Englishpete
Simonsays3 likes this

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also I notice that while you said you posted it because of imperial aces I notice there aren't any imperial aces pilots in here. maybe putting one of those in instead of fel's wrath could work too

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also I notice that while you said you posted it because of imperial aces I notice there aren't any imperial aces pilots in here. maybe putting one of those in instead of fel's wrath could work too

 

Ahh yes.  In that instance you could use Royal Guard Pilot.  Exactly the same as Sabre /w VI with an EPT still open for something else if you like.

Lt. Lorrir is the same cost, and he gives you the banked barrel roll.

 

If you want to go 1 more point, Kir Kanos and Tetran Cowell now become available.  PS6 and 7 with the option of doing more damage, or k-turn speed on the fly.

 

In either event, can't forget about the Title allowing 2 modifications...

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what about getting rid of the tie fighter or making it an academy pilot and flying 3 heavily modified high PS interceptors with royal guard tie?

 

sontir fel (27)-37

PTL (3)

stealth device (3)

shield upgrade (4)

 

turr phenir (25) 33

veteran instincts (1)

stealth device (3)

shield upgrade (4)

 

kir kanos (24) 30

stealth device (3)

hull upgrade (3)

or

lieutenant lorrir same as above but instead of hull upgrade shield upgrade

Edited by Ihavebadluck

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I like my 999 interceptor list, but acknowledge that it has it's flaws:

Soontir Fel w/ Push the Limit, RGT, Shield Upgrade, and Stealth Device

Turr Phennir w/ Veteran Instincts, RGT, Hull Upgrade, and Stealth Device

Tetran Cowall w/ Veteran Instincts, RGT, Hull Upgrade, and Stealth Device

 

Soontir's extra hit point can deflect a crit, and he has PTL to make him stupidly hard to kill. All three have 4 hits and 4 defence dice, shoot first, move last, and have good evasive abilities (Barrel-Boosting for Fel, after-shot barrel roll or boost for Turr, or variable K-turns for Tetran) An older version gave all three pilots a hull and shield upgrade, but dropped PTL to Determination on Fel

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I have discovered that moving last isn't always needed. Turr can make his move after his shots, which is great. Soontir will likely move last as there aren't that many PS9 Pilot's out there. The other Squints are low enough PS that trying to move last may not help. It can also screw you if the enemy moves into your way.

 

What does help is shooting first. I have been flying 4 Squints (Fel, Turr, Sabre, Alpha) using Swarm Tactics to make everyone PS9 (then 7, then 4 as ships go down.) and flying in tight formation. If the enemy is dead, they can't shoot back.

 

I agree on using defensive tactics and running away every now and again works. Also, do not be afraid to leverage the K-turn, you can't be hit if you aren't in arc and shedding stress on these babies is easy.

You're absolutely right, shooting first is really the key to making squints work. I've gone for the PS9 list for that reason, since as you mentioned there's not much that shoots before then. Swarm Tactics makes me a bit nervous, just because it forces the slippery squints to stick together, but if you can fly well, it can definitely save you some points.

 

And i forgot to mention it in the OP but that 5 k-turn is simply awesome and since it's trivially easy to shred stress in a squint, if things get hairy, you can simply bug out and come around for a more favorable pass.

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This thread makes me happy.

 

PtL Soontir Fel is my favorite ship to run, period. Shield upgrade for the consistent help, I've been burned with terrible luck too many times with Stealth Device in the past.

 

As for K-turns, I only try to use them on interceptors if a) the shot it yields is tactically amazing, or b) if that would for sure put them out of range/at range 3, giving up my action for that evade dice is worth it. Stressed squints in range 1-2 is bad biscuits, bruddah.

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The reason I am starting to use Swarm tactics a lot is because it affords me 4 ships shooting at 9. That's 3 extra attack die, which with Int's is gold.

 

I use K-Turns to get behind my enemy so he has no shots :-) if you can't achieve that goal then straight at him and guns blazing with a focus token is the way to go.

 

I have even been known to fly straight over the enemy then 5K next turn to be out of arc/range for 2 turns, regroup and come back in.

 

Hit and run, Hit and run

Edited by Englishpete

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If i were to lend advice to this thread, I would say don't be afraid to break engagement with an opponent completely if it is tactically sound. Whether it's to chase someone else who has apparently turned their back to you, or to give yourself a round to rid yourself of a nasty critical damage effect (especially that one that makes your action bar useless), the Interceptors sheer speed and maneuverability make it highly likely that you'll be able to choose when, where and how you'll reengage.

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The reason I am starting to use Swarm tactics a lot is because it affords me 4 ships shooting at 9. That's 3 extra attack die, which with Int's is gold.

Yeah, I can see how that would work out well. I'm speaking more from personal taste, I just enjoy running Fel like that. They try to focus him down, but they still can't catch him! It's rewarding to shrug off three attackers in a round, more than one round in a row.

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The hardest part about flying my beloved interceptors are there are no hard and fast rules.

Get into range 1 as fast as possible, except when it benefits you to stay at range 2-3.

Never Kturn, except when it would get you out of arcs.

Never block with an interceptor, except they excel at blocking with high manuverbility and now they can't shoot you!

Always focus, except when you could boost/barrel roll or need to avoid 1 hit with evade.

Don't spend points on PS bids, except shooting first is the best way to ensure you don't get shot back.

Don't overload on upgrades, except the interceptor has some of the best and can even double up on mods.

----------

The best way to fly an interceptor is the way that wins you the game. Thier manuverability leads to unpredictability, which leads to Fear. Fear is the path to the Darkside, and we are strong in it. Let our opponents fear us, and through the Darkside they will join us or die. Either way we are victorious...

Edited by Rakky Wistol

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I am a big lover of PtL on Fel, but I have discovered that with a Stealth Device and a focus, plus tricky flying, he lasts well anyway. Plus, you should see your opponents face when you K-Turn, take stress and then focus or evade :-)

 

Nothing says your going to die better than an Int up your tailpipe with 4 dice and a focus token he wasn't supposed to have :-)

Edited by Englishpete
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With Imperial Aces just around the corner, I've dug out my squints and have been playing with a few configurations to get a feel for the tricky little buggers. And while I make no claims on good maneuvering, I noticed a few trends that really make squints shine. Please note that most of my experience is against rebel scum but the following could hold true against both factions:

 

1) Moving later than your opponent makes it significantly easier to boost/barrel roll your glass cannon out of harm's way. Which makes the PS bid MUCH more significant than it might be with a mess 'o eyeballs

 

2) Range 3 is your friend....but only if you back it up with evade/focus. I can't speak on whether Focus or Evade is better overall, but we'll all heard stories of that shiny Saber that got wasted at Range 3 by a lucky rookie or bomber. I'm not saying the HLC can't ruin your day anyways, but defensive squints tend to last longer than an overly aggressive alpha.

 

3) Blocking with a squint is like pounding a nail with a handle of a screwdriver. If you're good enough you can get the job done, but that's really not what it's made for. Squints are precision tools that require you to play to their strengths. If you play it safe and take extra actions to get out of the way, you'll last longer than trying to outguess your opponent and end up at range 1 of an autoblaster-toting B-wing or howlrunner-backed mauler mithel  :)

 

4) Turrets suck....but the ships that can take them share certain drawbacks your fragile squints are really good at exploiting. For y-wings, your chief advantage is their abysmal dial and low agility. In general, it's not too tough to predict where those suckers will land and you can use your superior dial to make sure they're in your sights often. There's nothing better than having a y-wing finally land an ioned hit on your squint, only to realize a boost or barrel roll will keep you gunning for them next turn anyways.

The YT is a bit different since it's got the hull and the firepower to really ruin your day, but remember, your greatest asset is your ability to control the range of engagement. Get way out at Range 3 and laugh as those shots scatter in your wake. Split your ships on either side of the board and force it to come after you through asteroids and other ships. The YT is easier to hit than a y-wing because of that huge base - make 'em pay for it. 

 

I'll admit it makes for a long game, but you've both got 3 attack and that 1 agility is little more than a speed bump even with a boost at range 3. In theory, you could try to keep them within that range 2 band, but then you run the risk of facing your ships the wrong direction with a turret at your back. It's safer to just keep out of range, at least for a poor pilot like me who'd likely end up flying side-by-side with one.

 

To that end, I've had some success with a high PS lists focused on out-maneuvering your opponent and shooting first:

 

Fel's Fury (because alliteration is fun)

Soontir Fel (27) - 33

PTL (3)

Stealth Device (3)

 

Turr Phennir (25) - 26

Veteran Instincts (1)

 

Fel's Wrath (23) - 23

 

Mauler Mithel (17) - 18

Veteran Instincts (1)

 

You can bounce the stealth device around to whoever you feel needs it the most and Mauler Mithel is admittedly not a squint, but at 18 points, he's got the same firepower at range 1 and more importantly, he gets to shoot first  :)  And as a bonus, it's got a bit more flexibility/survivability then some of the elite 3 ship builds that have been floating around. 

 

It's not to say they can't be successful it's just that 3 ships with 9 hull between them always seems so inconsistent....

 

Let me know if you've had success with something similar, or if there's something big I'm missing that just completely blows everything I've written out of the water. I love these pointy little buggers and of course I'm psyched for Aces, but i want to hear other success stories too!

 

And any critiques of the above list wouldn't hurt either  ;) Like I've mentioned, I'm not very good, but I do have fun with these guys!

Fels Wrath is pretty bad. Int are hardly "Glass". More than half my games Fel doesnt lose his stealth. The interceptor is best flown by strictly imperial players. The maneuvering mindset behind it is very opposite of low lvl pilot rebel joust lists.

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is fel's wrath really worth using? wouldn't it be better to use a saber squadron guy who i believe can get elite pilot things and costs 1 less and put veteran instincts on him for higher ps than fels wrath?

 

Correct.  Fel's Wrath is PS5 @ 23 points.

Sabre Squadron Pilot is PS4 @ 21 points.  Add Veteran Instincts and it's PS6 @ 22 points.

 

Higher PS, and 1 point less.  Since Fel's ability only kicks in when he dies, you'll benefit more from the higher PS while Sabre is still on the board.

 

You both make excellent points and it was a bit of a toss up when putting together the list. Both the Sabers and a Royal Guard Tie are better PS with more options, but I think of Fel's Wrath as Elite Pilot Proof. 

Sure, they can shred its hull and turn it into shrapnel, but if you're flying it right, Fel's Wrath is sticking around to deal it right back anyways. It's insurance against lists that shoot before you. If you're local meta relies on cheaper swarms, then I'd absolutely go for the more affordable sabers/royals, but if you have to go toe-to-toe with an elite, it's really handy being able to shoot back

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Honestly, I LOVE Interceptors and will be looking long and hard at 4x Royal Guard w/ PTL. I'd consider downgrading to 3 Interceptors if I could manage Stealth device and Hull upgrade, but I break into the cold sweats at the fragility of a 3 Interceptor list. Then, I played Dark Eldar in 40K for years, so it's not like I haven't watched my army go POOF before.

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The hardest part about flying my beloved interceptors are there are no hard and fast rules....

----------

The best way to fly an interceptor is the way that wins you the game. Thier manuverability leads to unpredictability, which leads to Fear. Fear is the path to the Darkside, and we are strong in it. Let our opponents fear us, and through the Darkside they will join us or die. Either way we are victorious...

You've managed to sum up in a few lines what I was shooting for with a whole lotta text :)  Kudos!

What I love about the interceptors is exactly what you wrote - it can fulfill a bunch of different functions all during a single game. So maybe they're a precision multitool? The learning curve is tricky but the more you practice, the more you appreciate just how many options squints have each turn.

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I am a big lover of PtL on Fel, but I have discovered that with a Stealth Device and a focus, plus tricky flying, he lasts well anyway. Plus, you should see your opponents face when you K-Turn, take stress and then focus or evade :-)

 

Nothing says your going to die better than an Int up your tailpipe with 4 dice and a focus token he wasn't supposed to have :-)

You can't evade after k-turning.

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The hardest part about flying my beloved interceptors are there are no hard and fast rules....

----------

The best way to fly an interceptor is the way that wins you the game. Thier manuverability leads to unpredictability, which leads to Fear. Fear is the path to the Darkside, and we are strong in it. Let our opponents fear us, and through the Darkside they will join us or die. Either way we are victorious...

You've managed to sum up in a few lines what I was shooting for with a whole lotta text :)  Kudos!

What I love about the interceptors is exactly what you wrote - it can fulfill a bunch of different functions all during a single game. So maybe they're a precision multitool? The learning curve is tricky but the more you practice, the more you appreciate just how many options squints have each turn.

 

I feel they are simply a more "no guts no glory" ship than most of the others in this game. You have to fly them hard and fast and take risks. You have to use intuition and skill. Each round needs to be evaluated on its own merits and the exact placement and strategy of each enemy. Of course, you plan a few turns ahead but of all ships, Interceptors are the ones where you have to look at how the next turn ended up and think "this isn't going to work, i have to break hard this way and go here" because your opponent was expecting something else. In short, they're the craziest mofos on the field and they require that you fly them as such.

 

And really when you get down to it, is there any mystery as to why we like them so much?

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I've only just got my first of these, and I love it. They're probably the most satisfying ship to fly, though maybe that was Phennir :)

 

I feel guilty when I put a stealth device on it, almost feels like cheating.

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No mystery why. They got close... excellent, now i can out my manuverability to work! Oh, they're running... That's pretty stupid of them! I like nothing more than seeing a wounded ship trying to limp away from an interceptor engagement. Screams easy points to me! And the there is always this Q: 3 ships to your 1, wanna call it?

Answer: you giving up already?

No ship takes down 2-3 other ships on its own like an interceptor.

The mystery is why can't they make a competetive list? That's not really even a mystery...more of a single point of sadness.

One thing I like about the interceptors is you don't really have to plan farther than a round ahead because they have you covered! There are very few what ifs that they can't answer and those get mitigated pretty quickly by a boost/barrel roll outta dodge when the going gets tough.

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