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Subject: Swarm tactics rss

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Graham Richardson
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okay, so I have never really tried to fly a tie swarm before. typically if i'm Imp i'll run a Large ship (size or point large) with a few ties as extra guns. So I'm just wondering what people think is the best Swarm out there? I'm sure there are many ways to set it up. Looking at a Squad builder I came up with:

Howl + Swarm + Shield (24)
Black + Swarm (16) x4
Academy (12)

100 points.

essentially 6, PS-8 ties, with their leader dolling out re-rolls and with a shield so as to add a touch more protection to what is a pretty clear target.

Is this a good set up? or does it balance too much on Howl? I know he is going to be the target anyway, but isn't that just what happens with swarms?
 
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Tim Pitsch
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Its decent. Howl will always be the main focus of most swarm lists. With the Meta shifting more towards high PS level to counter the Phantom. I think this will do well if Howl can last more than 3 shooting rounds. Keep an eye out for Assault Missiles and Phantoms.
 
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Jeff Dunford
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GTRichardson wrote:
okay, so I have never really tried to fly a tie swarm before. typically if i'm Imp i'll run a Large ship (size or point large) with a few ties as extra guns. So I'm just wondering what people think is the best Swarm out there? I'm sure there are many ways to set it up. Looking at a Squad builder I came up with:

Howl + Swarm + Shield (24)
Black + Swarm (16) x4
Academy (12)

100 points.

essentially 6, PS-8 ties, with their leader dolling out re-rolls and with a shield so as to add a touch more protection to what is a pretty clear target.

Is this a good set up? or does it balance too much on Howl? I know he is going to be the target anyway, but isn't that just what happens with swarms?


I'm a long-time fan of Howlrunner swarms, with or without Swarm Tactics. I ran the following to top 8 at two Regional Championships over the past two weekends (both had wave 4 legal):

Howlrunner + Swarm Tactics (20)
Mauler Mithel + Swarm Tactics (19)
Alpha Squadron Pilot (18)
Alpha Squadron Pilot (18)
Academy Pilot (12)
Academy Pilot (12)

This allows you to have 3 ships at PS8 (Howler/Mauler/Alpha Interceptor), or 4 ships at PS7+ (Howl/Alpha, Mauler/Alpha), which is quite powerful against most lists as you have a good chance to eliminate a target before it can return fire. And you have the added attack dice from the Interceptors and Mauler to hit high-agility targets, which all TIE Fighter (or all Z-95) swarms tend to struggle with.

However, some people don't like running Howlrunner without any "protection." When running the list above, you honestly can't expect Howlrunner to last more than a few rounds of combat (sometimes not even 1 round)... and if that bothers you, consider something like the following (which I flew to 2nd of twentysomething at GenCon's "warm-up", but only finished middle of the pack at GenCon's "Nationals"):

Howlrunner + Stealth Device (21)
Black Squadron Pilot + Draw Their Fire (15)
Backstabber (16)
Alpha Squadron Pilot (18)
Alpha Squadron Pilot (18)
Academy Pilot (12)

Here you sacrifice some pilot skill (fixed at 8/6/4/1/1/1) in exchange for increasing Howlrunner's life span (on average at least).

In either case, you could trade 2 Alphas for 3 Academies... which is better against low-agility targets (e.g. Falcons, B-wings, Y-wings) but does tend to struggle against tougher targets (e.g. Soontir Fel/PtL/Stealth, Phantoms, E-wings, Defenders, even a well-protected Biggs).

Also, don't underestimate the value of having at least a couple PS1 (during the activation phase) ships in your squad. Action denial is a very important tactic for swarms against many lists, and sometimes ensuring you get prime real-estate and your action can be more important than shooting first. If you have "too many" Black Squadron Pilots, you might make it hard for you to get where you need your ships to be, and you might be the one who suffers from action denial, especially if one crash causes a chain reaction for the rest of your swarm.
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David Pontier
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GTRichardson wrote:

Howl + Swarm + Shield (24)
Black + Swarm (16) x4
Academy (12)

100 points.
Is this a good set up? or does it balance too much on Howl? I know he is going to be the target anyway, but isn't that just what happens with swarms?


You could go:
Howl + Swarm + Shield
Mauler
Backstabber
Dark Curse
Night Beast (or Gundark)
Academy.

This is also a 6-ship TIE list that fires at 8-8-7-6-6-5, which is typically ahead of 90% of the Rebel lists, but since you have 5 named ships, they bring a lot more defense/offense to the game than just regular TIEs. And if you lose Howl early, these ships still pack a punch by themselves.
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David Pontier
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iNano78 wrote:

I'm a long-time fan of Howlrunner swarms, with or without Swarm Tactics. I ran the following to top 8 at two Regional Championships over the past two weekends (both had wave 4 legal):

Howlrunner + Swarm Tactics (20)
Mauler Mithel + Swarm Tactics (19)
Alpha Squadron Pilot (18)
Alpha Squadron Pilot (18)
Academy Pilot (12)
Academy Pilot (12)


Since you flew this in 2 Wave-4 legal regionals, how many Phantoms did you face? How hard was it to break through and land hits?
 
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Jeff Dunford
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Piqsid wrote:
iNano78 wrote:

I'm a long-time fan of Howlrunner swarms, with or without Swarm Tactics. I ran the following to top 8 at two Regional Championships over the past two weekends (both had wave 4 legal):

Howlrunner + Swarm Tactics (20)
Mauler Mithel + Swarm Tactics (19)
Alpha Squadron Pilot (18)
Alpha Squadron Pilot (18)
Academy Pilot (12)
Academy Pilot (12)


Since you flew this in 2 Wave-4 legal regionals, how many Phantoms did you face? How hard was it to break through and land hits?


0. Which is what I was counting on. I definitely didn't want to see a Phantom across from me, but I was counting on more players being afraid of Phantoms than actually playing them. In the first of two Regionals, only 2 players (out of 28) had Phantoms while 16 had at least one Falcon.

That said, the second place player in the second Regional ran 7x Z-95s and seemed to have no problem with Phantoms - at least, not until the final, when he was defeated by the 3-ship list of Whisper/VI/Gunner/FCS/AdvCloak, Fel/PtL and Yorr (shuttle).

By the way, while I didn't face any Phantoms, over the course of those tournaments, I did have Howlrunner whiff a couple of 4- and 5-dice defense rolls with Focus to be one-shotted at range 3 and/or through an obstacle... which shows that a cloaked Whisper isn't exactly invincible, either - although she is a lot more maneuverable / harder to predict, if that's what you meant.

It turns out Falcons with C3PO were what killed me. I went 1 for 4 against C3PO-based Falcon squads. Didn't seem to matter if I went after the C3PO Falcon first or the escort ships. If you're down to 3 ships and C3PO is still alive (and you aren't ahead in points, so running away isn't an option), you're probably losing.
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Allen T
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iNano78 wrote:

By the way, while I didn't face any Phantoms, over the course of those tournaments, I did have Howlrunner whiff a couple of 4- and 5-dice defense rolls with Focus to be one-shotted at range 3 and/or through an obstacle... which shows that a cloaked Whisper isn't exactly invincible, either - although she is a lot more maneuverable / harder to predict, if that's what you meant.

It turns out Falcons with C3PO were what killed me. I went 1 for 4 against C3PO-based Falcon squads. Didn't seem to matter if I went after the C3PO Falcon first or the escort ships. If you're down to 3 ships and C3PO is still alive (and you aren't ahead in points, so running away isn't an option), you're probably losing.


This is mostly what I expected. Even swarms will have trouble now against Falcons-
It seems that while the Phantom is supposed to be pushing players into taking high PS low ship count squads, C3PO is doing the exact opposite, as he can be used once per turn combined with the Falcon title to completely ignore one attack.
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