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Simonsays3

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

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That is actually a pretty strong list. PS9 shooting and moving will allow you to stay in the right places at the right times. Don't fall into the trap of using PtL every turn on Fel, use it when needed, remember you can stress him on K-Turns as well and a focus shot with no return from the enemy is cool.

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I'm gonna try to read this whole thread over my second half of my work day. But I need to get this out first.

 

Any discussion on the interceptor needs to mention Theorist. That guy flies interceptors better than any person I have ever seen.

 

Here's a link to his blog page... check out his stuff.

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A variant on the theme is the Anesthetist and the Surgeons.....

 

 

32 points
Soontir Fel
Swarm Tactics, Stealth Device
 
47 points
Kath Scarlet
Ion Cannon, Marksmanship, Rebel Captive
 
21 points
Alpha Squadron Pilot
Stealth Device

 

Kath knocks them out by Stressing and/or Ioning them, then Fel and the Alpha (shooting at PS9) dart in and cut out the anesthetized ships :-) 

Edited by Englishpete

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I'm gonna try to read this whole thread over my second half of my work day. But I need to get this out first.

 

Any discussion on the interceptor needs to mention Theorist. That guy flies interceptors better than any person I have ever seen.

 

Here's a link to his blog page... check out his stuff.

I would gladly give a shout-out to Theorist - the level of detail and analysis he brings to the table is simply fantastic and everything of his that I've read has given me something to think about.

Major props and much forgiveness if I didn't give proper reverence  :)  

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I am going to disagree slightly with some of what has been said about 360 degree finre on this forum.  First I agree that turrets and YT-1300 are the bane of Interceptors. 

 

The superior maneuverability combined with boost and barrel roll actions make the TIE Interceptors main defense simply avoiding shots.  Unfortunately if your opponent has a 360 degree firing arc, if you can shoot him he can shoot you. 

 

This is how you deal.

 

1st ion turrets:  Well they aren't as bad as they could be as long as you avoid getting stressed.  The 1 straight forced on you by the ion token counts as a white maneuver, so you won't shed stress.  But the good news is if you aren't stress you can still maneuver to get a shot with your boost.  Getting a shot is key.  Your 3 attack dice will beat their 3 attack dice(that can only do one damage) as long as you get your shots.  I am not saying that you shouldn't ever do a red maneuver or use PtL but if your opponent has ion turrets be extra careful.  weigh the pros and cons carefully.

 

YT-1300: This hurts Interceptors much worse, but is easier to deal with.  The thing to remember is every time you have a shot on the YT-1300 he has a shot on you.  But you have to get shots on him to kill him so avoiding shots on a YT-1300 is usually a bad idea.  The YT-1300 biggest disadvantage is that it can only shoot once (even with a gunner it can still basically only hit once).  The way to kill the YT-1300 is to cluster all your attacks together.  Make sure that the YT-1300 has as many targets shooting at it as you can every turn.  Seems simple, but it means staying together, DO NOT SPLIT YOUR FORMATION.  Don't try to stay at range 3 since this requires you to turn away from the fight.  And your 4 attack vs his 1 agility is a better trade off than his 4 attack vs your 3 agility.  If you have three TIE Interceptors shooting at a YT-1300 every turn it shoots back at you, your increased agility and triple the starting firepower should kill it.  If you want to be sure then it would be better to have at least 4 or some other ships to help.  This is the main reason why I don't fly 3 Interceptor lists. 

 

These rules change if you only have 1 TIE Interceptor in your list.  The first time I played with Interceptors I hated them because they drew so much hate that they always died the first turn.  This is likely to happen if you only have 1.  But Interceptors are expensive especially if you want a lot of them.  So if you only have 1 TIE Interceptor you need to do what I call psychological defense.  Basically you want to keep them a range band behind your other ships, take evade actions or do everything in your power to make your TIE Interceptor an undesirable target to shoot at.

 

If you TIE Interceptor is at range three and evading, where all your TIEs and or Firesprays are at range 2 and focusing.  you opponent may choose not to shoot at the Interceptor in favor of easier to hit targets.  This goes back to what I said about TIE Interceptors best defense is not getting shot at.  This is why I like the Stealth Device.  One extra agility dice only increases your evades by 3/8, and only until you get hit.  BUT if you opponent shoots at another ship because it is easier to hit that 3 agility dice TIE rather than that 5 agility (range 3 + stealth device) then that stealth device is worth its points.

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For use with your HIGH PS PTL interceptor instead of "standard" slowroll 2 or zoom 5.

 

Place as far away from enemy as possible (assuming enemy at top left or top middle), you place bottom right about 2 ship lengths outside Asteroid placement.

 

Round 1: Bank 3 inward.  Barrel Roll towards the top of the map.  Bank boost depending on what your opponent did.

 

You just moved a little less than a 5 straight + Barrelroll forward + boost BUT in between you have the oppertunity to change what you do based on what your oppoenent chose.  If they slow rolled, you are still out of range and even if they cut hard for you can barrel roll back and then not boost or boost away from them.  If they zoomed forward you can boost inward directly to thier flank.

 

It provides you with many more options than the standard slow roll 2 or Zoom 5. 

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Right now my favorite list with an interceptor is:

  • Howlrunner
  • Black Squadron Pilot x3
  • Backstabber
  • Saber + PTL

I tend to run them as two or three distinct units, with Howl + BSPs in tight focused formation and the Saber and Stabber running separately to flank/distract. This poses three distinct threats, potentially, and makes opponents accept the lesser of three evils to focus their attention on. The BSPs can be dropped to Academies if you want stealth on the Saber or Howlrunner (or Carnor Jax instead of the Saber once Imperial Aces hits).

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Right now my favorite list with an interceptor is:

  • Howlrunner
  • Black Squadron Pilot x3
  • Backstabber
  • Saber + PTL
I tend to run them as two or three distinct units, with Howl + BSPs in tight focused formation and the Saber and Stabber running separately to flank/distract. This poses three distinct threats, potentially, and makes opponents accept the lesser of three evils to focus their attention on. The BSPs can be dropped to Academies if you want stealth on the Saber or Howlrunner (or Carnor Jax instead of the Saber once Imperial Aces hits).

Actually, I could really see running Kir Kanos in a squad like this. As a flanker, he would make an excellent sniper. TL + Evade could really hurt.

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This has been my go-to Interceptor list since Aces got leaked.

 

Kir Kanos

Royal Guard + PTL

Saber + Opportunist

Saber + Opportunist

 

Opportunist SHINES when you have a couple higher PS pilots to soften up targets to make them cough up the Evade/Focus early in the turn for the finishers later. It also really makes people squirm when considering other actions, knowing there may just be a pair of Interceptors with 4 or 5 attack dice and a Focus apiece on their ass.

 

Kanos is just a nice pilot for 24 points. If he doesn't need his Evade, he turns it into a guaranteed hit, while the PTL Royal is usually in good shape for a focused shot. It's usually enough to leave at least one target open for the Opportunists to hopefully finish off.

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Don't try to stay at range 3 since this requires you to turn away from the fight.  And your 4 attack vs his 1 agility is a better trade off than his 4 attack vs your 3 agility.

 

I've been saying this forever but I don't think anyone's been listening… 

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Right now my favorite list with an interceptor is:

  • Howlrunner
  • Black Squadron Pilot x3
  • Backstabber
  • Saber + PTL
I tend to run them as two or three distinct units, with Howl + BSPs in tight focused formation and the Saber and Stabber running separately to flank/distract. This poses three distinct threats, potentially, and makes opponents accept the lesser of three evils to focus their attention on. The BSPs can be dropped to Academies if you want stealth on the Saber or Howlrunner (or Carnor Jax instead of the Saber once Imperial Aces hits).
Actually, I could really see running Kir Kanos in a squad like this. As a flanker, he would make an excellent sniper. TL + Evade could really hurt.

Except that without a PS6+ squad leader you can't TL+ focus with Kir. No PTL and a targeting computer just makes him more points and an easier target when you TL. I like Kir, don't fly him at all like an interceptor though.

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Really I believe 3 things about interceptors...

 

1. If you can fly them with PTL... do so. This includes Turr. PTL is jelly to the interceptor's peanut butter.

 

2. If you can't fly it with PTL you're trying to create one of the 2 or 3 corner cases where it might work without it. Stop trying to be smart. You aren't (I'm not either). You're now flying an expensive and not mobile (also unable to turtle) glass cannon.

 

3. Don't fly more than 2 in a list, you need to provide something scary or easy to shoot along with the squints so they can flank. A list with all squints forces your enemy to shoot at one.

drylndsurf and Scurvy Lobster like this

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I only have one, but I love flying Turr w/PTL. I haven't flown fel... but I think I may have to try him out. I seem to have underestimated his ability.

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I have had great success using Daredevil on Tur. That being said, I like PtL better. If you can't fly with PtL, then I've found Backstabber + EU to work just as well.

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Really I believe 3 things about interceptors...

 

1. If you can fly them with PTL... do so. This includes Turr. PTL is jelly to the interceptor's peanut butter.

 

2. If you can't fly it with PTL you're trying to create one of the 2 or 3 corner cases where it might work without it. Stop trying to be smart. You aren't (I'm not either). You're now flying an expensive and not mobile (also unable to turtle) glass cannon.

 

3. Don't fly more than 2 in a list, you need to provide something scary or easy to shoot along with the squints so they can flank. A list with all squints forces your enemy to shoot at one.

While I agree with some of the ideas you've listed here, I'd like to provide a few counterpoints

 

1. PTL is definitely one of the best Elite Upgrades you can take on an interceptor, no question. That being said, 3 points is the second-highest investment you can make on an already expensive ship. A pilot like Soontir Fel who has far more to gain from the added stress makes sense. A pilot like Turr though? He's got a PTL-like ability built into his cost. And as a bonus, it doesn't give him stress to do it, which really helps keep an already slippery ship out of LOS and unpredictable. 

 

2. We've covered part of this in 1, but all I can say is I disagree that squints can't work without PTL. It's not that PTL isn't an excellent upgrade for squints. But it's really hard to find a ship that can't benefit from it so I have trouble agreeing that it's the only way to fly them. Don't worry, I definitely don't think I'm smart  :)  I just think that the base squint is still one of the most mobile ships on the field, barring maybe an A-wing. And as a bonus, they can actually deal out some punishment, whereas the poor A-wing almost requires TL+F to make a dent in an enemy ship. It's been mentioned by a few other posters, and I agree that if I have my choice, I'd rather get out of a firing arc completely vs hoping the die roll in my favor.  

 

3) You're right, they work quite well as flankers, especially if your opponent has something else to worry about. That being said, if you're opponent's smart they're going to shoot at one anyways (a la taking down a HSF list). Too few makes them easy targets and once you start loading them with upgrades they just become more and more enticing. Unlike the Rebels whose base ships are really difficult to one-shot. imperial tend to be fragile so I'd rather keep them mobile and hard to pin down. That way, even if my enemy is focusing on one squint, that means I've got 3-4 others who are free to punch holes in their shields/hull. Sure enough focused fire can take one down, but now they've got to contend with the rest of my squad who are far better at maneuvering and are already in chase position. 

As mentioned before, I'm still not a terribly good pilot in general but the squint's dial is so darn forgiving that once you learn how to maneuver them, they really open up a whole bunch of possibilities. And the more options you have, the better able you are to adapt. 

Which incidentally, is why i'm very curious to see how the E-wing's dial turns out. If it's as good as an A-wing or even close, it'll really be a force to reckon with. 

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I don't understand why everyone seems to think that A wings have a better dial and are more mobile.  They have the same dial.  The ONLY difference is that the 5 straight is green on the A wing, and White on the Int.  

 

Meanwhile, Int have barrel roll, which whenever I play my B+A squads, I really wish the A wings could barrel roll as well as boost.  That said, an A wing vs. Int 1 on 1 should really come down to who moves last, and slightly as to who has luckier dice.  That R3 shot through the asteroid that still lands 2 crits on the int can be crippling...

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Really I believe 3 things about interceptors...

 

1. If you can fly them with PTL... do so. This includes Turr. PTL is jelly to the interceptor's peanut butter.

 

2. If you can't fly it with PTL you're trying to create one of the 2 or 3 corner cases where it might work without it. Stop trying to be smart. You aren't (I'm not either). You're now flying an expensive and not mobile (also unable to turtle) glass cannon.

 

3. Don't fly more than 2 in a list, you need to provide something scary or easy to shoot along with the squints so they can flank. A list with all squints forces your enemy to shoot at one.

While I agree with some of the ideas you've listed here, I'd like to provide a few counterpoints

 

1. PTL is definitely one of the best Elite Upgrades you can take on an interceptor, no question. That being said, 3 points is the second-highest investment you can make on an already expensive ship. A pilot like Soontir Fel who has far more to gain from the added stress makes sense. A pilot like Turr though? He's got a PTL-like ability built into his cost. And as a bonus, it doesn't give him stress to do it, which really helps keep an already slippery ship out of LOS and unpredictable. 

 

2. We've covered part of this in 1, but all I can say is I disagree that squints can't work without PTL. It's not that PTL isn't an excellent upgrade for squints. But it's really hard to find a ship that can't benefit from it so I have trouble agreeing that it's the only way to fly them. Don't worry, I definitely don't think I'm smart  :)  I just think that the base squint is still one of the most mobile ships on the field, barring maybe an A-wing. And as a bonus, they can actually deal out some punishment, whereas the poor A-wing almost requires TL+F to make a dent in an enemy ship. It's been mentioned by a few other posters, and I agree that if I have my choice, I'd rather get out of a firing arc completely vs hoping the die roll in my favor.  

 

3) You're right, they work quite well as flankers, especially if your opponent has something else to worry about. That being said, if you're opponent's smart they're going to shoot at one anyways (a la taking down a HSF list). Too few makes them easy targets and once you start loading them with upgrades they just become more and more enticing. Unlike the Rebels whose base ships are really difficult to one-shot. imperial tend to be fragile so I'd rather keep them mobile and hard to pin down. That way, even if my enemy is focusing on one squint, that means I've got 3-4 others who are free to punch holes in their shields/hull. Sure enough focused fire can take one down, but now they've got to contend with the rest of my squad who are far better at maneuvering and are already in chase position. 

As mentioned before, I'm still not a terribly good pilot in general but the squint's dial is so darn forgiving that once you learn how to maneuver them, they really open up a whole bunch of possibilities. And the more options you have, the better able you are to adapt. 

Which incidentally, is why i'm very curious to see how the E-wing's dial turns out. If it's as good as an A-wing or even close, it'll really be a force to reckon with. 

 

 

 

in regards to Turr, most people put VI on him to let him fire early and then move. It's a corner case but i'd still put PTL and use it off his free action. Frankly put Squints work when they can boost/barrel roll or turtle. The only way to do that is push the limit

 

In regards to the corner cases: Turr w/ VI, Alphas with stealth... That's pretty much it. If you want to make a new one fine, but you're probably wasting points.

 

In regards to people shooting you even if they flank... I keep a general rule of thumb for flying PTL squints.

1. fly outside of the enemy's arc with your move (often this means going straight instead of a bank) 2. use boost/barrel roll to get pointed at an enemy ship) 3. If this isn't possible try for range 3 focus/evade

 

If you fly a target that can't be ignored, they will ignore your squint. Who scares you more, Rhymer with PTL and two adv torps or a Saber with ptl?

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Most of the time, I don't use PTL, I prefer Stealth.  That has worked quite well for me, including 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes in various New England Regionals last year.  (Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to Worlds due to a scheduling conflict.)

 

I agree on not more than 2.  More than that and you're making your squad too small.

 

Stealth + PTL makes one ship cost too much.

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People are still running Turr with VI?  I just can't see it.  You only shoot before about 6-7 other pilots in the game, where as PTL is used every game if not every turn.  Yep, you saved 2 points, what did you do with them?  Probably not much until we get some more 2pt mods.

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I actually prefer shield over stealth...

 

HP helps high agi ships more than low agi ships... also helps with crits and one shots.

The problem I'm having is that it will only let me 'like' this once.

Khyros and Kelvan like this

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I messaged theorist over at team covenant because I knew he'd give a better answer. Here it is :
 
From Me: 
 
do you have the numbers on how many shots a squint will take before it dies comparing shield to stealth? If so can you send them my way?

Thanks!
 
His Response:
 
"Well, first this:

Shield = 1
Hull = 1
Stealth = 0.375+, if actionless
Stealth = 0.625+, vs a shot too big to dodge (like PTL + HLC, or a TL+F missile)
Stealth = 0.953+, in most mundane cases (higher in solo combat; value becomes 1.172+)
Stealth = 1.172+, with F+F+E (Soontir, RecSpec + PTL on 2400 or Firespray)

Of note, for ships that can't stack F+E Stealth has a value of only 6.25. It's still handy vs swarm guns there and to dodge effects (like Ion Turret and Assault Missile), but it's not as good as Hull or Shield for those ships directly toward survival.

Stealth is unpredictable, for both you and your opponent. It might provide no survival, or it might provide more than average. The expected range is roughly 0-2, actually a bit less than that. You might be an invincible target, or you might be an "easy" kill. This leads an opponent looking to make a comeback to shoot at you (risk to try and equalize cheaply), but it leads an opponent looking to stay ahead to choose an easier target (avoid risk to maintain advantage).

In the alpha strike, all three cards (Shield, Hull, Stealth) average 1 extra shot you take before dying. When this converts to surviving a turn (resetting your action stack), they average 2-4 more extra shots you can take instead and nearly double your survival for only a 3-4pt buy. It's the F+E stack and high AGI that makes it so effective.

I highly recommend Shield over Stealth. It's better for when you need to bug out or absorb 1 enemy shot in order to make a kill, and it's way better for keeping crits off of you."

Edited by Kelvan
Simonsays3 and drylndsurf like this

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