Daniel Castle
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Hey everyone. Just wanted to get a discussion going and see everyone's thoughts. I know it's a little early yet, but do you guys think the Z-95 Headhunter is going to be the end of the Tie Swarm domination?

Don't get me wrong, I know there is at least one other build that works well competitively. It's the one I use. Flying 3 X-Wings with Biggs and Luke plus some goodies. I'm probably about 50/50 versus Tie Swarms in competitive play. That being said, I am in no way a master at this game. I just wanted to get enough experience to be a challenge and have a good time. But it seems to me, in my personal experience any way in my group and at my FLGS, that the Tie Swarm is a tad more dominant.

Looking at some of the cards released for the Z-95, the combination of Lt. Blount and Assault Missles looks pretty devestating against a swarm. Not to mention Rebs may well be able to run their own Z-95 swarm!!

Should have posted this yesterday, for effect.

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J Chav
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I don't think it will be the end of the swarm but just another layer. The perfect idea for this game is the Paper-Rock-Scissors-Lizard-Spock and the swarm will now have a strong counter.

Although I'm hoping for people to avoid the swarm so my list that it's only weakness is the swarm will win regionals
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Josh Derksen
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Blount + Assault is good, definitely, and I expect we'll see that combination quite a bit.

However, Z95 Swarm < TIE Swarm, by a long shot. If you play them against each other:

• Bandit has +1 pilot skill vs. Academy TIE. Z95s will get blocked and action denied.

• TIE has Evade and Barrel Roll for dogfighting, making it far better up close once the alpha strike is over.

• Bandit trades 1 evade die + 1 hull for 2 shields. It's actually easier for TIEs to chip away at it consistently

• Bandits have no widespread boosts; the TIEs can have Howlrunner.

• Bandits running Assault Missiles en-masse are still going to have trouble landing those unmodified 4-dice shots vs. TIEs (3 dice + evade token) unless they get lucky, and now they cost 17pts instead of 12pts each.
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John Woodworth
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armoredgear7 wrote:
• Bandit has +1 pilot skill vs. Academy TIE. Z95s will get blocked and action denied.


But they also shoot first, so that's something going for the Z-95.

Quote:
• Bandits running Assault Missiles en-masse are still going to have trouble landing those unmodified 4-dice shots vs. TIEs...


It's actually pretty easy to set up a list so you get 2 bandits with TL+F when they fire their Assault Missiles, add in Blount with autohit and 3 splash damage fairly possible.

Airen w/Squad Leader lets him give out 2 free actions, one during his normal action and one after he fires. That means 2 of the 3 bandits with Assault Missiles are now firing with Focus, and only the 3rd is unmodified.

I tried it in Vassal, and it's not too hard to take out 4-6 ships out of a 7 ship swarm. It's by no means a given, but add in the munitions failsafe and you've take a good bit of the risk out.
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Jeff Dunford
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Lots of squads are viable right now. TIE Swarm is no longer dominant in my area, with most tournaments won by Rebels (although most players seem to be playing Rebels, too).

That said, Blount + Assault Missiles is pretty cheap silver bullet against TIE Swarms and especially ships with Stealth Devices. However, he isn't particularly good against other squads. Well, splash damage is pretty good against Biggs and other pilots that like tight formations, so I guess Blount/Assault is reasonably versatile. Anyway, the threat of running into him might be discouraging enough that players might move away from swarms... even if nobody actually plays Blount/Assault.
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Drinky Drinky
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If there is ever a migration of Ender's Game Little Doctor ot the game it will be.

As with everything else, skill of the player will trump all.
 
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Daniel Castle
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I actually just checked out the FF website and they basically say right there that they threw in the Z-95 with Blount and Missiles to discourage the current metagame and shake things up a bit.

They also mention putting the Phantom in as a bit of bait to encourage people to go with higher skill pilots instead of loading up on rookies.
 
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Reckless Fable
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I generally beat Swarms with Biggs builds.

What this game needs is a hard-counter to B-Wings.
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RecklessFable wrote:
I generally beat Swarms with Biggs builds.

What this game needs is a hard-counter to B-Wings.


Agreed.
Swarms haven't been the end-all meta champs since the players learned how to spam Bwings. They are easily the best lists around (any style too- bbbb, BBB, BBBX, BBBX, ytbb, etc).

Brutal stuff.

With swarms in the decline, and each release seemingly having more and more anti-swarm material, I wonder how long before we see swarms go from best-great-good (where we are now)- not good- dead- extinct.

It's sad, swarms of ties are iconic to Star Wars, and b wings were hardly on screen. I hope they stop designing swarms out before its too late.
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There already is a hard counter to B-wings: TIE Interceptors, especially with higher PS (e.g. 4x Royal Guard / PtL). Unfortunately, there is also a very popular hard counter to Interceptors: turrets, especially double Falcons (although Ion Cannon Turrets can also be annoying).
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Tim Pitsch
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I like swarms, i have been running them a lot lately. With this game there is not a one squad winning everything. Yes you have XXBB, XBBB,BBBB and BiggsXBB that are the "hot" squads right now, but they are still beaten. This is a reason i love this game, most squads can win in the right hands, maybe not 6 naked Rebel Operatives.

At the PA regional you saw every build plus some that i have not seen, some ran the new X-wing pilots, did well. A lot more high PS then i have seen recently. I saw more 3-4 ship builds then normal and they were very competitive, i ran a 6 ship small swarm and lost to a XXBB, Small swarm, and another squad. I beat a Shuttle/ Tie Swarm, and 2YT.
 
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Daniel Castle
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virferrorum wrote:
It's sad, swarms of ties are iconic to Star Wars, and b wings were hardly on screen. I hope they stop designing swarms out before its too late.


Well...I can agree with this. Part of the reason I love the game so much is for the theme. So it would be sad to see Tie swarms go away. But I wouldn't worry to much about that. The team they have working on X-Wing at FF is amazing, obviously. And I think this new wave is further proof of that. It would be nice to see a bit of ebb and flow, to keep the meta-game mixed up. So swarms were dominant, then came ships designed to bust them up and create some variety in tournaments, and hopefully in the future they'll release a new wave with some new swarm units or cards to boost your old tie swarms and make them competitive again. I think that would be the perfect sort of cycling. And if they ever run out of ships maybe just releasing expansions for the old units with new weapons, upgrades, and pilots. I could see that working too.

And hey, if you're like me you play this with friends too! When I play with my buddies, unless we're practicing new strategies or gearing up for a tournament we usually play pretty thematic scenarios and adjust what's allowed in and what's not in order to keep it fair. There are a ton of these online.

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Allen T
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The 7 or 8 TIE swarm, possibly, but wave 4 seems to be giving Imperials options and the ability to fly 4-6 ships in much looser, independent fashion.


Wait, did I just sound hopeful for the fate of the Empire? The phantom spoiler had me a little excited, is all. Somewhere in me I still think FFG's goal is to have everyone playing Rebels...
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John NotBatman

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exar_DC wrote:

It would be nice to see a bit of ebb and flow, to keep the meta-game mixed up. So swarms were dominant, then came ships designed to bust them up and create some variety in tournaments, and hopefully in the future they'll release a new wave with some new swarm units or cards to boost your old tie swarms and make them competitive again. I think that would be the perfect sort of cycling. And if they ever run out of ships maybe just releasing expansions for the old units with new weapons, upgrades, and pilots. I could see that working too.


I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see a TIE Fighter included with a huge Imperial ship, just like the X-wing was with the Transport. A good handful of new pilots and options to help mix things up and re-invigorate the TIE swarm. It will be a fine day.
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Reckless Fable
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iNano78 wrote:
There already is a hard counter to B-wings: TIE Interceptors, especially with higher PS (e.g. 4x Royal Guard / PtL). Unfortunately, there is also a very popular hard counter to Interceptors: turrets, especially double Falcons (although Ion Cannon Turrets can also be annoying).


Hi Scissors, my name is Rock. I heard you've been giving my friend, Paper, a hard time.

 
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Jeff Dunford
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RecklessFable wrote:
iNano78 wrote:
There already is a hard counter to B-wings: TIE Interceptors, especially with higher PS (e.g. 4x Royal Guard / PtL). Unfortunately, there is also a very popular hard counter to Interceptors: turrets, especially double Falcons (although Ion Cannon Turrets can also be annoying).


Hi Scissors, my name is Rock. I heard you've been giving my friend, Paper, a hard time.



Exactly. That's why the first squad I built in wave 3 was 2x Blue B-wing with Heavy Laser Cannons + Chewbacca. I wanted the power and durability of B-wings, but was afraid that Interceptors (and A-wings, if any showed up) would run circles around my B-wings... so I brought my pal Chewie to deal with those kinds of ships. Did well. Won the tournament. The only close match was against a swarm, and it was kind of flukey (I took out his 2 best ships on the first round of firing, but then couldn't hit his 5 Academy Pilots, regardless of whether or not they got to take actions, while they pounded my ships from all ranges, through obstacles, etc. It came down to my last B-wing with 1 hull left vs Academy Pilot with 1 hull left, toe to toe after a K-turn, and I managed to land the final hit before he could return fire.
 
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J Chav
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iNano78 wrote:
RecklessFable wrote:
iNano78 wrote:
There already is a hard counter to B-wings: TIE Interceptors, especially with higher PS (e.g. 4x Royal Guard / PtL). Unfortunately, there is also a very popular hard counter to Interceptors: turrets, especially double Falcons (although Ion Cannon Turrets can also be annoying).


Hi Scissors, my name is Rock. I heard you've been giving my friend, Paper, a hard time.



Exactly. That's why the first squad I built in wave 3 was 2x Blue B-wing with Heavy Laser Cannons + Chewbacca. I wanted the power and durability of B-wings, but was afraid that Interceptors (and A-wings, if any showed up) would run circles around my B-wings... so I brought my pal Chewie to deal with those kinds of ships. Did well. Won the tournament. The only close match was against a swarm, and it was kind of flukey (I took out his 2 best ships on the first round of firing, but then couldn't hit his 5 Academy Pilots, regardless of whether or not they got to take actions, while they pounded my ships from all ranges, through obstacles, etc. It came down to my last B-wing with 1 hull left vs Academy Pilot with 1 hull left, toe to toe after a K-turn, and I managed to land the final hit before he could return fire.


All of my rebel builds include a turret. I've seen Soontir dance around too many times. I've even seen him take out 1 X wing and 2 B's all at full life by himself... shake
 
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The problem that assault missiles is trying to fix wasn't that players run a lot of TIEs, instead, it's players running TIEs in large numbers in ridiculous close formations that all fire on the same target.

Honestly, assault missiles will just make me deploy my TIEs in staggered formations and actually learn how to fly them such that they can come together.

I mean, anyone can do some geometry to stick a bunch of TIEs together in a ball and use a preset list of maneuvers. It takes skill and tactical thought to really fly them in pairs or quads, spreading out, then darting back into concentrations to fire.
 
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