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Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game» Forums » Strategy

Subject: How to approach the Tie Swarm? rss

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Andreas Krüger
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I have been practicing against the AI tool with the following build:

2 X-Wings (Luke + Rookie, either with a flechette torp or 2 R2s)
1 Y-Wing, Ion Cannon
1 HWK, Moldy Crow, Recon Expert, Blaster Turret

My "opponent" is a Tie Swarm with Howlrunner + Swarm Tactics.

I am struggling a bit more than against my usual human opponents, because the AI does not lose actions or roll for damage on asteroids and never crashes into other ships :-). But I also find it really difficult to make a good first pass against the swarm.

I can either fly too aggresively and fly straight into it, which loses me 1 fighter and damages another. Or I can fly too defensively and circle the swarm, but then my X-Wings still die before they can turn and fire.

Next thing I will try is hang back with the X-Wings a bit. If the swarm turns towards the turret ships, the X-Wings can get into the flank or back of the swarm. If the swarm turns towards the X-Wings, they can at least fire some shots and the turret ships can do some damage while the swarm passes by and then get into its back.

I know Biggs would be great - if I could just fly better.

Any other ideas?
 
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J Chav
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I think the best way to beat a swarm is to cause them to fly poorly. I like to make them chase me a bit esp into asteroid fields. If a computer doesn't take dmg or any negative effects of course it's going to whip you.

I really enjoy placing asteroids on my half of the play area. It's much easier for me to navigate out of them then for my opponent to K-turn/turn into them.

It's all about getting them out of formation. I'm fine making them chase me and avoiding contact for a turn or two then normal.
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Robby Timmermans
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Against swarms asteroid placement is critical. Good placed asteroids can help you break up the swarm.

Also starting with 2 separate squads: one on the side, one in the middle. Now the swarm player has to choose whom to hunt down. The other squad is free to circle around and attack them from behind.
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Andreas Krüger
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Danath wrote:
I think the best way to beat a swarm is to cause them to fly poorly. I like to make them chase me a bit esp into asteroid fields. If a computer doesn't take dmg or any negative effects of course it's going to whip you.


Yes, this explains why the dumb AI plays better against me than my friends.... But the AI is too simple to take the rocks into account, it just picks maneuvers from a table based on location and facing of one enemy ship.
 
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Andreas Krüger
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fatum wrote:
Against swarms asteroid placement is critical. Good placed asteroids can help you break up the swarm.

Also starting with 2 separate squads: one on the side, one in the middle. Now the swarm player has to choose whom to hunt down. The other squad is free to circle around and attack them from behind.


Good idea. This will need a bit more practice to make sure that neither group completely misses the action and arrives when the other has already died.
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David Pontier
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Take a look at this from a regional I went to recently:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/15824147#15824147

My problem was we both had skill 1 pilots and he had initiative, so he could block me and I had to figure out a way to not be blocked on the first combat run. When flying a 4 ship rebel list, it is usually bad form to joust directly at the swarm. But, if you can do so and get range 1 shots off with all 4 of your ships at skill level 2 or higher WITH YOUR ACTIONS, you can probably take 2 of his ships off the board before they fire.

The important thing to do is to keep your actions, because if you crash into the swarm, you probably aren't going to take 2 ships off the board and you will get slaughtered. But if you have 4 and he has 7, you can afford to trade 2 for 1 in the early rounds because you will come out ahead at the end. Also, don't fall into the trap of trying to shoot Howlrunner unless you KNOW you can take her off the board. Instead, kill ships that haven't fired yet. This is the best way to prevent damage against your squad.

As far as asteroid placement, take a look at this:
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/12660418#12660418
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Andreas Krüger
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OK, I think I almost got it :-).

Quote:
try and approach the oncoming swarm at a right angle. This will force them to either bank twice or do a hard turn.


Why is this bad for the swarm?
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John DiMaggio
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Thamos von Nostria wrote:
OK, I think I almost got it :-).

Quote:
try and approach the oncoming swarm at a right angle. This will force them to either bank twice or do a hard turn.


Why is this bad for the swarm?


You don't want to face a swarm head-on as they have options to block you, assuming they're moving first, since they have 2,3,4,5 forward movements to choose from. If you approach at a 45 degree angle, and they are forced to bank, then they only have 2,3-banks to choose from. If you approach at 90 degrees, then it's a 1,2,3-turn that are open to them. Either approaching from 45 or 90 degree's is MUCH better than head-on as you are less likely to get blocked, and more likely to get range 1-2 shots at them during the first exchange.

Piqsid's approach in his game vs. Jake (7-TIE howlrunner/backstabber/black squadrons DtF) is a good example of this. Choose an approach, and try to use asteroids to funnel them down that approach. The more predictable their approach the better.

All that said, this is still very hard to do. A good swarm player knows you're doing this, and will try to stop you (see Jake's 5-straight+ barrel roll attempt to block). I often play swarms, and I'll try and stop this by altering my approach via barrel rolling my swarm in 1 direction or another, an advantage of using TIES of all the same PS.

Or, a good swarm player, see Piqsid , will not go down the route you funneled for them, but rather, may hard turn down their player edge of the board to meet you where you hadn't expected.

The approach is one of my favorite parts of the game, and I often find overlooked. It's akin to a chess game, and can really tell you a lot about the player and how the game will unfold by how/where the first engagement happens .
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Necessary Evil
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what ai tool?
 
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Andreas Krüger
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malloc wrote:
what ai tool?


This one:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/875898/web-based-applet-for-...
 
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