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Subject: Large Ships Wrecking the Competitive Scene? rss

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Eric B.
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So,

After an intense week of testing builds and Regional tournaments, I'm starting to worry that large ships have effectively ruined this game's competitive environment, and I'd love to hear what others in the community think. I know there has been a lot of grumbling about large ship builds already, and I was certainly doubtful of the power of dual Falcons or Firesprays in the competitive environment. I'm willing now to admit I may have been too optimistic, as my recent experiences suggest the large ships both dominate and radically alter the competitive scene. What follows will be rather lengthy, as a forewarning.


This biggest change is that I think Rebel fighters are effectively unplayable. I can't imagine how a four-fighter Rebel list could stand a chance in a competitive Wave 2 environment. I desperately wanted to field a Garven+Dutch squad again in the Wave 2 tourney environment, but after a ton of testing I opted to ditch the Rebel fighters approach as they just seemed hopelessly outclassed against the big ships--apparently I wasn't the only one: At a 20+ player Regional this weekend, there were only three lists that didn't have any large ships. Roughly half of the field was running two large ships, with dual Firesprays being incredibly common (sometimes with a little TIE support, sometimes without) and half of the few Rebels there were running dual Falcons. Dual Falcons had won the local Regional last week and won again this week.


FFG might as well change the name of the game to STAR WARS: Falcon vs Slave-1 Miniatures Game.
"X-Wing" might now be a bit of a misnomer, as with 20+ players at the event only two lists even had X-Wings in them. Fighters were a rare sight overall, with the total number of large ships probably being about the same as the total amount of fighters, despite myself and another list running 6+ TIEs builds.



What makes Large ships so good in the competitive setting?

(1) Falcons are like playing on Easy Mode, as maneuvering is pretty irrelevant with that 360 arc. The Firespray's 180 arc is also generally enough to compensate for whatever move you want to do, but it at least requires a little more effort than the Falcon. The HLC is like missiles on Easy Mode, especially on Krassis, as it gives all the bonuses of a missile attack without all that troublesome effort of having to do things like pick up Target Locks on your intended target, etc. As such, these lists are very forgiving and require very little of the careful planning, formation flying, and synergy that were required between pilots for the stronger Wave 1 fighter formations (Dutch/Garven/Biggs/Howlrunner).

(1) Timed games and points: With two big ships as your list, your opponent will likely have to kill both to get a Full Win given how the Modified Win and tie-breaker kill points systems work. This works doubly against the opponent, as the best fighter strategy against big ships is to hit them, flee and put some distance between you and them, regroup, and then come back in for another fast unified pass such that all of your fighters can attack simultaneously while the big ship(s) can only shoot at one of them. This strategy is simply not an option in a short timed round (often 60-75 minutes), as the slow and unified surgical strikes required take too long to orchestrate and the games will almost always go to time. Against lists with one large ship, again you'll almost certainly have to kill it if you want the full win so you have to decide if you want to: (1) Go after it at the beginning and bring it down with focused-fire, granting the much more frail fighter escorts far more time to shoot you OR (2) Leave the large ship until the end game where it can effectively turtle (especially with Evade and/or Push) and you're forced to desperately chase it down trying to get enough damage on it before time runs out, often presenting it with one-on-one match-ups, which are far less-than-ideal for your fighters.


(2) The big bases are the real problem. Fighter formations get royally f'ed against the big bases. When you go in for a pass on big ships you'll get one or two turns of shooting in on them as you approach, and then you have to deal with a giant base (or two, more likely) blocking your path. This is exceptionally problematic for Rebel fighters, as X-Wings and Y-Wings have slower and less flexible movement options. Against other fighters, at least you and your opponent both have this problem after the initial pass, but against large ships they just sit there while the fighter formation has to either collide, break up, or scatter, inevitably giving up lots of arcs while the the big ships' 360 or rear arcs will just keep hammering away. So, after every approach, fighter squads have to deal with a big cluster-muck for a few turns until they can get another approach in.

(3) The big ships are uncharacteristically fast and nimble. Why on earth the Falcon has such an amazing wheel is beyond me. The Y-Wing's got all kinds of red at higher speeds and no Rebel fighter can Turn 1 save the A-Wing, yet the Falcon's got a 1 Turn and the only red appears at the K-Turns. Why a flying semi-truck can put the Y-Wing fighter to shame on an obstacle course makes little sense, and with large bases the big ships end up being the fastest things in the game when they've got boost (and even without boost they can move just as fast as an X-Wing). This means they can pretty effectively run from enemy ships that are pursuing, often keeping many of them out of range or out of arc, especially if the big ship's got boost. I would have much preferred the big ships to be slower and more plodding, even if it meant their wheels simply had far fewer options when compared to other ships.




The net results will, I suspect increasingly push the competitive scene to have more and more large ships and less and less fighters. Howlrunner-based TIE Swarms at least have a fighting chance against large ships (mine certainly made short work of a lot of Falcons, though I didn't manage to finish off a single Firespray--those HLCs and Seismic Mines are killer against TIEs and two agility plus Evade manifest, more often than not, as more life than a Falcon). But, even then, the TIE lists are heavily disadvantaged by the fact that the mirror match against other TIE lists might as well be a coin toss, as it'll come down to whose Green dice crap out sooner, not to mention the TIE on TIE action is really boring to have to endure for 60-75 Minutes and it often will go to time, anyways.

I, for one, think it'd be a great tragedy if Rebel fighter squads simply vanish from the competitive scene. But when only five of more than sixty ships at a competitive event are X-Wings and three of those were part of a 3 X-Wing build that didn't fare well at all), that's saying something.



Well, just some musings from the past few weeks. Always curious to hear what others think--please convince me that I'm wrong and the competitive scene isn't being inevitably degraded and homogenized by large ships!









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Thomas Büttner-Zimmermann
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Well, if there were only three pure fighter builds, then it is no surprise that a large ship build won, is it?

Couldn't you Meta against large ships with three or four missiles/torpedos?
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Eric B.
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Almecho wrote:
Well, if there were only three pure fighter builds, then it is no surprise that a large ship build won, is it?

Couldn't you Meta against large ships with three or four missiles/torpedos?



True, and that's a fair point regarding the outcome. But my observation isn't so much that a two large ship build won, but more that such a huge number of individuals decided a pair of large ships was their best competitive chance (and conversely that so very few thought that bringing just fighters without large ship support was their best option).

I was trying to make sense of the prevalence of these lists by musing on some reasons as to why the large ships might be so competitive in a timed tournament environment.
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Chris K.
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Well, here's my experience from having played a few games with two large ships now (My favorite two Falcon Combo, that I consider insanely strong and a Krassis/Boba Combo to play around):

Falcons truly feel like "easy mode". However you are completely dependent on what your opponent does. He will nearly always know pretty well where you are and if he decides to just trail you with all his fighters at range 3 you will have a bad time.

The biggest strength of the squad is also the biggest weakness. Just loosing one of your ships puts you directly into "I will never get a full win out of this" territory since your damage output will not suffice to kill a full squad of a defensively flying opponent.

So ...
my takeaway from trying them out:
- It is hard to pull a full win with them
- It is hard to pull a full win against them.
- It is easy to pull a modified win with them, since most players will not play wisely against them
- tightly placed asteroids are bad for these squads, since the big bases are more likely to place you right on an asteroid occasionally and loosing your shooting phase. Drawing such a squad into the asteroids will win you the game

As to the panic about the falcons being so nimble:
at 100 points it is kinda hard to put two falcons on the board and still give them all the bells and whistles. If they have boost, they won't have a gunner, if they don't have a gunner, they won't have enough damage output unless you keep gifting them piles of range 1 shots against non-evading fighters.
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Thomas Büttner-Zimmermann
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I always thought that TIE Swarms would be good against large ships, because you can pin them and play a game of action denial?
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Chris K.
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PS: My untried tactical advice for rebel fighter squads:
Use your ability to go slow to stay at Range 3 from the Big Ships and keep a Focus Handy for Defense rolls. This also raises the chance that only one of the two will have you in range.

If one of your ships is hurt, start having one of the others without a defensive tokens to tempt him to spread his fire.
 
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Chris K.
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Almecho wrote:
I always thought that TIE Swarms would be good against large ships, because you can pin them and play a game of action denial?


Action Denial hardly hurts a Han Solo Falcon but it does gift him a nice selection of targets at Range 1. I consider that a bad deal.
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Scott Egan
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Quote:

(1) Falcons are like playing on Easy Mode, as maneuvering is pretty irrelevant with that 360 arc. The Firespray's 180 arc is also generally enough to compensate for whatever move you want to do, but it at least requires a little more effort than the Falcon. The HLC is like missiles on Easy Mode, especially on Krassis, as it gives all the bonuses of a missile attack without all that troublesome effort of having to do things like pick up Target Locks on your intended target, etc. As such, these lists are very forgiving and require very little of the careful planning, formation flying, and synergy that were required between pilots for the stronger Wave 1 fighter formations (Dutch/Garven/Biggs/Howlrunner).


You can apply the same line of thought you've put on the larger based ships to Wave 1 TiE Swarms or Biggs-builds. People did just that in Wave 1. They took a very basic approach to maneuvering and never forced any tough choices on such builds. If you are never forcing your opponents to counter what you are doing, then everything is easy-mode.

I think that is exactly the situation you have in regards to the larger based ships. You put so little emphasis on their placement, that I kind of get the sense you are soft-balling them. In another thread you posted how little importance maneuvering is to 2 YT-1300 builds, when in reality defensive placement is how you win games with that list. Particularly against savvy opponents. Both larger ships have it a bit easier time acquiring firing solutions overall (YT-1300 being a no-brainer), but they are very vulnerable when they allow to many smaller ships to gain close contact with them. They can't afford to have multiple ships firing at them all gaining an additional dice, when they only have one shot in reply. While their offensive abilities are not constrained or benefited from their placement, their longevity is strictly defined by it. Given their cost their longevity defines their success

Quote:

(1) Timed games and points: With two big ships as your list, your opponent will likely have to kill both to get a Full Win given how the Modified Win and tie-breaker kill points systems work. This works doubly against the opponent, as the best fighter strategy against big ships is to hit them, flee and put some distance between you and them, regroup, and then come back in for another fast unified pass such that all of your fighters can attack simultaneously while the big ship(s) can only shoot at one of them. This strategy is simply not an option in a short timed round (often 60-75 minutes), as the slow and unified surgical strikes required take too long to orchestrate and the games will almost always go to time. Against lists with one large ship, again you'll almost certainly have to kill it if you want the full win so you have to decide if you want to: (1) Go after it at the beginning and bring it down with focused-fire, granting the much more frail fighter escorts far more time to shoot you OR (2) Leave the large ship until the end game where it can effectively turtle (especially with Evade and/or Push) and you're forced to desperately chase it down trying to get enough damage on it before time runs out, often presenting it with one-on-one match-ups, which are far less-than-ideal for your fighters.


How are you playing slow enough for this to be an issue? Especially when you are talking about an environment focusing on fewer ships. I'm being honest here, I've had to run 3 tournaments with 50 minute game times (due to LGS constraints) and a number of new players, and the number of games going to time even then is low. Especially when the number of ships between the two players is under 10. You just don't have enough to do in a game-round for games to not be resolving frequently enough to create imbalance..

Quote:

(2) The big bases are the real problem. Fighter formations get royally f'ed against the big bases. When you go in for a pass on big ships you'll get one or two turns of shooting in on them as you approach, and then you have to deal with a giant base (or two, more likely) blocking your path. This is exceptionally problematic for Rebel fighters, as X-Wings and Y-Wings have slower and less flexible movement options. Against other fighters, at least you and your opponent both have this problem after the initial pass, but against large ships they just sit there while the fighter formation has to either collide, break up, or scatter, inevitably giving up lots of arcs while the the big ships' 360 or rear arcs will just keep hammering away. So, after every approach, fighter squads have to deal with a big cluster-muck for a few turns until they can get another approach in.


This would be soft-balling the game for the larger ships. There is no need to get into that traffic jam in the first place. They have issues forcing that issue, given their aversion to the center structured asteroids. I get the feeling people haven't really changed up their tactics between releases.

Quote:

(3) The big ships are uncharacteristically fast and nimble. Why on earth the Falcon has such an amazing wheel is beyond me. The Y-Wing's got all kinds of red at higher speeds and no Rebel fighter can Turn 1 save the A-Wing, yet the Falcon's got a 1 Turn and the only red appears at the K-Turns. Why a flying semi-truck can put the Y-Wing fighter to shame on an obstacle course makes little sense, and with large bases the big ships end up being the fastest things in the game when they've got boost (and even without boost they can move just as fast as an X-Wing). This means they can pretty effectively run from enemy ships that are pursuing, often keeping many of them out of range or out of arc, especially if the big ship's got boost. I would have much preferred the big ships to be slower and more plodding, even if it meant their wheels simply had far fewer options when compared to other ships.


This I agree with. The dials are just really strong for such a wide berth.

Quote:

FFG might as well change the name of the game to STAR WARS: Falcon vs Slave-1 Miniatures Game.
"X-Wing" might now be a bit of a misnomer, as with 20+ players at the event only two lists even had X-Wings in them. Fighters were a rare sight overall, with the total number of large ships probably being about the same as the total amount of fighters, despite myself and another list running 6+ TIEs builds.


As another poster said, you are painting with a broad brush from a limited palette. Yes, in the event you were speaking of, they did in fact overrepresent. But that is one event, it's not a trend. We have other event reports on this very site not confirming that trend. So I'm thinking you are jumping the gun by a fair bit. We can't even really have this type of conversation with such little data to work on to be honest.

I'd say go to the FFG forum and take a look at some of Piscasso's posts. While certainly an advocate for bigger ships he's really quick to point on where they are weak at and has brought up a number of basic fighter builds (one being 4x Rookie Pilots +4x Shield Upgrade) and approaches to dealing with larger based ship builds.
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Scott Egan
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chrisdk wrote:
Almecho wrote:
I always thought that TIE Swarms would be good against large ships, because you can pin them and play a game of action denial?


Action Denial hardly hurts a Han Solo Falcon but it does gift him a nice selection of targets at Range 1. I consider that a bad deal.


That statement doesn't make sense. Not in regards to how action denial doesn't hurt the YT, especially Han, but in regards to the nice selection of targets at Range 1.

Han doesn't want that, he's only got one shot. Having a choice of Range 1 shots doesn't benefit him as much as it benefits the hive of ships that now gain an additional dice against Han. Getting caught in Range 1 with a large swath of enemy ships is the quick way to lose a YT-1300 or Firespray. It doesn't the larger ships to be in the thick of everything.
 
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Chris K.
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ScottieATF wrote:
chrisdk wrote:
Almecho wrote:
I always thought that TIE Swarms would be good against large ships, because you can pin them and play a game of action denial?


Action Denial hardly hurts a Han Solo Falcon but it does gift him a nice selection of targets at Range 1. I consider that a bad deal.


That statement doesn't make sense. Not in regards to how action denial doesn't hurt the YT, especially Han, but in regards to the nice selection of targets at Range 1.

Han doesn't want that, he's only got one shot. Having a choice of Range 1 shots doesn't benefit him as much as it benefits the hive of ships that now gain an additional dice against Han. Getting caught in Range 1 with a large swath of enemy ships is the quick way to lose a YT-1300 or Firespray. It doesn't the larger ships to be in the thick of everything.


If you manage to consistently get at least 3 ships into range one every round I agree with you.
However in my experience a lot players will be hard pressed to have a range 1 shot lined up and then having any shot at all lined up the following round with that specific fighter. So effectively Han now has two shots at the formation for every round of shooting they have. I believe that is still a pretty big price to pay for action denial.

And as to the "nice selection". The value of that is in the choice. It makes it easier to concentrate on the one target that did not take a defensive action, etc.

I definitely had the bigger problems with people trailing my falcons at range whereas those who closed in were easy pickings.

However, this is quite obviously only anecdotal and shouldn't be seen as gospel or anything. I just believe that a lot of the fear from those lists as well as some of the recommended "obvious" counters are very theoretical and hardly work on the board.
 
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Marcus Lau
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Almecho wrote:
Well, if there were only three pure fighter builds, then it is no surprise that a large ship build won, is it?

Couldn't you Meta against large ships with three or four missiles/torpedos?


I have a list with 4 Y-wings and 7 proton torpedoes that does reasonably well against big targets.


Maybe you should try the list.

Big Game Hunters
3 Y-wing's with 2 Proton torpedoes each (26 points each. 18 + 8 points)
and 1 Y-Wing with a single proton torpedo (22 points. 18 + 4 points)

7 proton torpedoes should finish off two falcons easily especially with defense of 1.
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Fergus Hadley
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friedricetheman wrote:
Big Game Hunters
3 Y-wing's with 2 Proton torpedoes each (26 points each. 18 + 8 points)
and 1 Y-Wing with a single proton torpedo (22 points. 18 + 4 points)

7 proton torpedoes should finish off two falcons easily especially with defense of 1.


I'm starting to think that the Y-Wing has found its niche in Wave 2. It sucks against normal TIE fighters but against big ships and expensive interceptors, it's much more useful.
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Marcus Lau
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voidstate wrote:


I'm starting to think that the Y-Wing has found its niche in Wave 2. It sucks against normal TIE fighters but against big ships and expensive interceptors, it's much more useful.


I think the problem with the OP is that his playgroup or area has started to get into the 'group think' mentality.

Where in my area, we see a lot of different builds but probably that's because Kuala Lumpur is a very big city and have a thriving wargaming scene.

The Kessel run champion for two events was using a very unconventional Imp build (Vader with Squad Leader + missles, 1 x cheapest Tie Advanced with missles, Backstabber and 2 Academy Ties). He managed to be undefeated throughout both events.

The good thing about being unconventional (thinking outside the box) is that it enables you to be able to really get to know your list. You put those ships/upgrades in the list and they are there for reasons only you, as the squad builder, would know.

Netdeckers (ie. players whom copy winning lists off the Net) rarely do well in big tourneys. Copying a list is easy but to play it well is not that straighforward. The list creator knows why he chose certain ships or upgrade cards for his list. You, as the guy who copies off his list, doesn't.

I played against very good players all the time and all of them uses their own squad list (not copied from the Net), which only they would know how to play them.

If you ask me to play with 2 x Tie Advanced, and 3 x Tie Fighters (the local Kessel run champ's list), I won't know how.
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Jim Chadwick

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Missiles and torpedoes were not used much in Wave 1, but I think they really shine in Wave 2. Even the Cluster Missile is great against the Falcon. You can use it in range 1-2 and you get two attacks vs. their one dodge die. I've done well with it.

I can tell you mostly play Rebels from what you say. I usually do about 6 Tie Fighters and it makes it easier to cock up the Falcon. I usually put 2 ships in front of it at different lengths and it means that they can't go straight at all. Even a slight curve usually hits my ships and means they get no actions that turn. That's a great way to cripple the Falcon if you are prepared for it. Only a tight turn will get away. Rebels have less ships, but if you go with Arvel Crynyd, you can jam him up first and still get to shoot at the Falcon (and not be shot back). You can even then use your Cluster Missiles if you want (or just shoot main guns).

I've found you can really cripple the bigger ships with missiles/torps. I also think Maarek Steele will get more play with his special ability on bigger ships.

Oh, and I've gotten a 2nd Tie Advanced to mess around with in lists. The extra missiles are great!
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Robert M.
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My thoughts, keeping in mind that I've had very little sleep. Also on the long side.

RogueThirteen wrote:
This biggest change is that I think Rebel fighters are effectively unplayable. I can't imagine how a four-fighter Rebel list could stand a chance in a competitive Wave 2 environment. I desperately wanted to field a Garven+Dutch squad again in the Wave 2 tourney environment, but after a ton of testing I opted to ditch the Rebel fighters approach as they just seemed hopelessly outclassed against the big ships...

My testing hasn't indicated the same thing. 1 YT + 2 X-wings is a nice outline for a list, and for my money it's stronger than a double-YT build; Garven/Dutch/Rookie/Gold struggles against Imperial fighter lists, but it absolutely knocks double-Large lists out of the park. The only times I've actually killed a Falcon (3) have actually been with all-fighter Rebel lists.

RogueThirteen wrote:
...apparently I wasn't the only one: At a 20+ player Regional this weekend, there were only three lists that didn't have any large ships. Roughly half of the field was running two large ships, with dual Firesprays being incredibly common (sometimes with a little TIE support, sometimes without) and half of the few Rebels there were running dual Falcons. Dual Falcons had won the local Regional last week and won again this week.

I think it's a mistake to over-generalize from this one example, but I suspect Large ships are going to be pretty common for a little while--for reasons that have little to do with their actual effectiveness.

1) People often like new things better than old things; they use new things more often, and they're likely to attribute positive effects to new things--even if the overall effects are very similar to the old thing.

2) Likewise, people like to justify spending limited resources on expensive stuff. When comparing a more-expensive option to a less-expensive one, people are (again) inclined to attribute positive effects to the choice, even if the results are the same.

So people have these new ships they spent a lot of money on as well as a lot of build points; people are disproportionately likely to use them, and are also very likely to perceive their use as effective regardless of their actual impact on their play.

From that perspective, of course 85% of people brought at least one with them!

RogueThirteen wrote:
"X-Wing" might now be a bit of a misnomer, as with 20+ players at the event only two lists even had X-Wings in them.

That's just silly (see above re: YT+2X). Dropping the sociological perspective for a moment, I'm absolutely confident that mixed lists are stronger overall.

RogueThirteen wrote:
(1) Falcons are like playing on Easy Mode, as maneuvering is pretty irrelevant with that 360 arc.

Yes, with an asterisk. They have a lots of good maneuvering options, but they still have a hard time with asteroids and board edges, and forcing them into either situation makes for some difficult choices. Plus you can't maneuver out of their arc, but the Large base means they have a hard time maneuvering out of yours.

And that doesn't, honestly, explain the popularity of the Firespray, which I personally found much more difficult to maneuver well and consistently. Even with the auxiliary arc, it took a long time before I figured out how to avoid missing shots constantly, and I still have trouble anywhere near asteroids.

RogueThirteen wrote:
The HLC is like missiles on Easy Mode, especially on Krassis...

Don't get me wrong, I love me some HLC--but it's a horrendously expensive investment, and it's one that in my experience makes you plan carefully to earn back. If you force Krassis to fight at Range 1 in the front arc or to use the auxiliary, your opponent is effectively wasting 10 points that round on non-functional abilities and equipment.

Or, to put it another way, it is literally less expensive to run Howlrunner+2x Academy than to run Krassis+HLC... and the TIEs are more maneuverable with better evasion, and against targets with 1-2 Agility they have about the same median damage output. I'm not implying the two are interchangeable, but I don't think the HLC is unbalanced.

RogueThirteen wrote:
Timed games and points: With two big ships as your list, your opponent will likely have to kill both to get a Full Win given how the Modified Win and tie-breaker kill points systems work.

I totally agree with you here, actually, but I'm also on record as saying that the tournament scoring structure needs some changes so that a string of Modified Wins doesn't put you basically out of the running.

RogueThirteen wrote:
The big bases are the real problem.

Rebel fighters have slower dials, but they also have the advantage of a slower approach. And having flown the big ships a lot, particularly on Vassal, I'm not prepared to concede that they're more of a problem for the opposition--they make it much harder to plot slow moves, they make it harder to deal with obstacles, they make you more vulnerable to action denial, etc.

RogueThirteen wrote:
(3) The big ships are uncharacteristically fast and nimble.

I'm okay with this, since it's offset by some interesting difficulties--including the fact that while the YT has a 1-turn and a 2-turn, it has no other turns at all.

RogueThirteen wrote:
But, even then, the TIE lists are heavily disadvantaged by the fact that the mirror match against other TIE lists might as well be a coin toss, as it'll come down to whose Green dice crap out sooner...

Same as it ever was, fortunately or unfortunately.

RogueThirteen wrote:
Always curious to hear what others think--please convince me that I'm wrong and the competitive scene isn't being inevitably degraded and homogenized by large ships!

I honestly think it will get better once they're no longer the new hotness!
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Todd Warnken
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In my regional the guy who flew two YTs started them in a corner and just flew them down the side of the map. When he got near the other side he K-turned and flew back to his side. He never had to maneuver around the asteroids. I did more damage to him (22 v 19) but I still lost all my forces (Firespray and 3 named TIEs) before taking out both of this ships.
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David Pontier
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First, in a tournament where 17 of the 20 players brought large ships, I would bet good money a large ship squad would win.

In the tournament I played in this weekend:
Adepticon

I didn't count how may of the 36 lists had large ships, but it was definitely over half. However, of the final 8, only three people were flying large ships and one of them was flying the Outer Rim Smuggler. Don't know if that counts as a "Large" ship. Only 1 of those players made it past the first round and they didn't make it to the finals. There was a double firespray list that didn't make the final 8. The final 4 was made up of a double Flacon list, 2 5-ship Imperial squad, and a 7-ship Imperial squad. Two of those squads were exclusively wave 1 ships, though they did have wave 2 upgrades.

When I think about the math of it, I don't know how a Double Falcon list can be effective against a well flown Interceptor list with Howlrunner. If you engage them at range three the first time and have at least three interceptors (or maybe backstabber with +1 attack) in range then you should do 7-8 hits if you focused with all of them. The falcon should dodge once or twice, and 1 or two of those hits should be critical, so you should have a half healthy Falcon with possible crits on him. Chewie prevents crits, but his low firing order means that a swarming Howlrunner or backstabber or Mauler or a named Interceptor will all fire before him.

The falcons will return fire at range three, meaning you are rolling 4 dice. If you focused a bad roll is an evade, a focus, and 2 blanks. This means you take 1 hit, probably a critical, but it can't kill you. On the second combat go ahead and swoop in at range 1. You will lose a ship (maybe 2), but the rest of your ships will do massive damage and you should take out a Falcon. I will trade any interceptor or Howlrunner for a Falcon any day. Heck, you might loose two ships that second round, but it will still be worth it. Now you have three ships against one falcon. If you Evade with each ship each round, then it greatly reduces the chances of getting 1-shot. This means that you will be rolling 3-4 attack dice each with 3 ships, and he will need 4-6 rounds to kill all your ships. I don't see how the Falcon survives. Heck, I've seen Soontir Fel with Stealth and PTL, kill a Falcon almost single handedly. He stayed at range 2, so at most he only ever had to dodge three hits. Since he double focused and evaded each turn, he needed to roll 3 blanks to fail get hit. But only half of the attacks against him ever did three damage, and he always had a focus to attack with. He chased the falcon around the board doing 2-3 damage a turn over 5 turns and never took any damage in return.

I would also like to fly 4 X-wings against a Double Falcon. With some TL+F combos, they will do more damage than Interceptors with Howlrunner (you only get to reroll 1 die with howlrunner) and 4 X-wings have 20 hitpoints while 5 Imperials have only 15.
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Jeff Dunford
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Triple Bounty Hunters:

- The attack power of 3 X-wings (e.g. 3x Attack-3).
- Front and rear firing arcs (e.g. more firing opportunities than 3 X-wings).
- The hit-points of 6 X-wings (e.g. 4 shields and 6 hull each).
- The agility of 3 X-wings (e.g. 3x Agiliy-2).
- Evade (e.g. better than Focus on defense with Agility-2).
- Pilot Skill 3 (e.g. better than Rookie X-wings).

In order to win against them, you need to take out at least two (which is harder than taking down 4 X-wings due to Evade).

Discuss...
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Robert M.
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iNano78 wrote:
Triple Bounty Hunters:

- The attack power of 3 X-wings (e.g. 3x Attack-3).
- Front and rear firing arcs (e.g. more firing opportunities than 3 X-wings).
- The hit-points of 6 X-wings (e.g. 4 shields and 6 hull each).
- The agility of 3 X-wings (e.g. 3x Agiliy-2).
- Evade (e.g. better than Focus on defense with Agility-2).
- Pilot Skill 3 (e.g. better than Rookie X-wings).

In order to win against them, you need to take out at least two (which is harder than taking down 4 X-wings due to Evade).

Discuss...

Problems versus high-attack secondary weapons (including HLCs in mirror matches). Problems with maneuvering multiple Large bases, probably leading to splitting the squad. Problems versus squads with high pilot skill, because the Hunters will shoot last, and problems versus squads with low pilot skill, because the Hunters will get blocked consistently and lose the actions they need to really make their defense shine.

It's a tough list, no doubt, but certainly beatable.
 
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Jeff Dunford
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Vorpal Sword wrote:
iNano78 wrote:
Triple Bounty Hunters:

- The attack power of 3 X-wings (e.g. 3x Attack-3).
- Front and rear firing arcs (e.g. more firing opportunities than 3 X-wings).
- The hit-points of 6 X-wings (e.g. 4 shields and 6 hull each).
- The agility of 3 X-wings (e.g. 3x Agiliy-2).
- Evade (e.g. better than Focus on defense with Agility-2).
- Pilot Skill 3 (e.g. better than Rookie X-wings).

In order to win against them, you need to take out at least two (which is harder than taking down 4 X-wings due to Evade).

Discuss...

Problems versus high-attack secondary weapons (including HLCs in mirror matches). Problems with maneuvering multiple Large bases, probably leading to splitting the squad. Problems versus squads with high pilot skill, because the Hunters will shoot last, and problems versus squads with low pilot skill, because the Hunters will get blocked consistently and lose the actions they need to really make their defense shine.

It's a tough list, no doubt, but certainly beatable.


Everything you mentioned, aside from pilot skill, applies to double Firespray and double Falcon builds as well.

I don't see secondary weapons being an issue for 3 Hunters at all. 2 defense dice + Evade is only second to a TIE in terms of dealing with secondary weapons. And you've got 30 hit points in the list, 20 of which need to be taken out. Certainly secondary weapons are less of an issue for 3 Hunters than any Falcon or 2 Firespray list.

And as always, low pilot skill can be used to your advantage. When I faced Krassis (HLC) + Bounty Hunter, my opponent used the Bounty Hunter to get in the way and deny actions. With 3 Bounty Hunters, you can almost run them like a TIE Swarm: Send one in to plug up your opponent's space (which gets its action if it moved early into an open spot), then bring the other two in behind to fire on whatever crashes into the first. In the case where your opponent's ships are below skill 3, you can try to use your firing priority to eliminate a ship per turn before it gets a chance to return fire.
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Robert M.
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iNano78 wrote:
Everything you mentioned, aside from pilot skill, applies to double Firespray and double Falcon builds as well.

True! Which is why I don't understand why they're so popular.

iNano78 wrote:
I don't see secondary weapons being an issue for 3 Hunters at all. 2 defense dice + Evade is only second to a TIE in terms of dealing with secondary weapons. And you've got 30 hit points in the list, 20 of which need to be taken out. Certainly secondary weapons are less of an issue for 3 Hunters than any Falcon or 2 Firespray list.

I didn't mean that secondaries are a problem relative to other lists, but rather that if I'm flying 3 Firesprays, I would watch out for someone with a strong alpha strike. Trading a Hunter for a couple of Rebels or three TIEs means you're well on your way to a win, but I think the limited number of guns and and weak pilot skill mean that if you lose ground early it will be very hard to make it back up.

Basically, I think a modified win for your opponent is fairly easy to get if he or she can trade one Rebel fighter or a couple of Imperial fighters for a Hunter. If you can manage to trade damage with your opponent on a 1:1 basis you'll win, but if you're heavily outnumbered or slow to fire your opponent opens up enough of a lead for a Modified Win when he or she takes down the first Firespray (probably in the third or fourth round).

***

Back a little more on topic, though, I think this is the genesis of part of RogueThirteen's perception: we all think the Large ships are cool, and we're all thinking up interesting things to do with them, and it turns out they're not actually that hard to use (in a list-building sense, although not necessarily in a manuvering one). You can stick any two named YTs in a list and come up with something that works okay, and you can stick three generic Firesprays in a list together and get something that looks a lot like a competitive tournament squad, without much strategic prep at all.

I still think a list with three BHs can lose to someone who's smart and well-prepared, but (like eight TIEs, maybe, complete with a different but analogous set of maneuvering difficulties) it's a very straightforward list to field if you're willing to spend the money to acquire it, and it's efficient enough on both offense and defense to win you some games.
 
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Eric B.
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A lot of good points coming out in this thread. Keep up the great discussion!

Mundane wrote:
In my regional the guy who flew two YTs started them in a corner and just flew them down the side of the map. When he got near the other side he K-turned and flew back to his side. He never had to maneuver around the asteroids. I did more damage to him (22 v 19) but I still lost all my forces (Firespray and 3 named TIEs) before taking out both of this ships.


Exactly this. A lot of people have suggested how asteroids or board edges are big problems for the Falcon, but I don't see how that's the case when players either: (1) Fly around the edge of the board in a big circle OR (2) Fly back and forth along a single board edge. Either method still covers a good chunk of the table with firing arcs. I've seen a lot of this recently.

As an opponent of this strategy, you have limited options. Either you refuse to engage them on their terms and you both fly around the map for an hour and get a tie (I don't even know how that scores) with zero kill points, or you have to try and engage them on their terms, and approaching large ships is already tricky enough once you reach them and have to deal with the huge bases in your way and it becomes exceptionally challenging when the edge of the board is just beyond them, effectively turning the table edge into the Falcons' biggest ally.

One of my opponents was trying this against me, and I was "lucky" enough to have a 2-1 record while he had a 3-0 record, meaning the WIN was far more important to him so he had to actually give in and come into the asteroid field and the middle of the map after me. It certainly ended up frazzling his plans a bit, as he hit some asteroids and got his two ships out of support formation.

Certainly, if people are setting up their Falcons in the middle of the map or directly across from their opponent's deployment and heading right at them, they aren't playing Falcons to their full potential, methinks.

I just don't like that the only way to engage people who are flying the "on the edge, you come to me" strategy effectively is to basically care less about getting a tie than they do (ie, already have a worse record).
 
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Jeff Dunford
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RogueThirteen wrote:
Either you refuse to engage them on their terms and you both fly around the map for an hour and get a tie (I don't even know how that scores) with zero kill points...


A draw is worth 1 tournament point... so it might as well be a loss for both parties. It happened to me once (we both took out 33 points of each others ships) and kept me out of the final 4 despite being one of only 2 undefeated players in the tournament.
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Marcus Lau
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This is more cult of the new than an establish strategy.

When wave 3 hits, you will probably see more wave 3 ships in lists.

As for me, I'll stick to my 4 y-wing list while tweaking it here and there. I am more comfortable flying y-wings than any other ships. I might reduce it to 3 ships and add ion cannons or droids but whatever it is, I am sticking to y-wings.

I firmly believe that when you do something repetitively, you will eventually be good at it.
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Scott Egan
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RogueThirteen wrote:
A lot of good points coming out in this thread. Keep up the great discussion!

Mundane wrote:
In my regional the guy who flew two YTs started them in a corner and just flew them down the side of the map. When he got near the other side he K-turned and flew back to his side. He never had to maneuver around the asteroids. I did more damage to him (22 v 19) but I still lost all my forces (Firespray and 3 named TIEs) before taking out both of this ships.


Exactly this. A lot of people have suggested how asteroids or board edges are big problems for the Falcon, but I don't see how that's the case when players either: (1) Fly around the edge of the board in a big circle OR (2) Fly back and forth along a single board edge. Either method still covers a good chunk of the table with firing arcs. I've seen a lot of this recently.

As an opponent of this strategy, you have limited options. Either you refuse to engage them on their terms and you both fly around the map for an hour and get a tie (I don't even know how that scores) with zero kill points, or you have to try and engage them on their terms, and approaching large ships is already tricky enough once you reach them and have to deal with the huge bases in your way and it becomes exceptionally challenging when the edge of the board is just beyond them, effectively turning the table edge into the Falcons' biggest ally.

One of my opponents was trying this against me, and I was "lucky" enough to have a 2-1 record while he had a 3-0 record, meaning the WIN was far more important to him so he had to actually give in and come into the asteroid field and the middle of the map after me. It certainly ended up frazzling his plans a bit, as he hit some asteroids and got his two ships out of support formation.

Certainly, if people are setting up their Falcons in the middle of the map or directly across from their opponent's deployment and heading right at them, they aren't playing Falcons to their full potential, methinks.

I just don't like that the only way to engage people who are flying the "on the edge, you come to me" strategy effectively is to basically care less about getting a tie than they do (ie, already have a worse record).


You have the ability to cut off and pounce on the "Circus Maximus" flight path. It's very predictable and very counter-able, and when you do as Pipsid described it will punch a hole in a YT-1300. But on the same token, it isn't a given that you can cut them off the way Pipsid describes.

Both sides have the ability to assert themselves in that scenario, neither results are givens. Some cases you'll cut them off, other cases they will be able to extend away. That's where the game is. I've been on both ends of the positioning jockeying match with the same lists against the same player across two different tournaments, I extended away on him once, he cut in on me on another. It all came down to who adjusted to the other quicker.
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