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Mistyboyspants

Carriers don't seem worth it?

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So I am fairly new to Dystopian Wars as I have had about 10 games now. I have been using the Regent battle carrier and the Illustrious carrier. Although the Regent has its Fore Guns which are great I just can't see why to take them over a battleship. We are now playing at 1500 points and truthfully I am thinking of dropping the carriers and running Double Dreadnought. What am I missing?

Any help would be great!

Cheers.

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Double carrier at that points level might be a bit much TBH. But the use of a carrier allows you to start off with 15 fighters and 1 rece plane (the rece is to spot allowing any of you P turrets to indirect fire) so the fighters clear out your opponents SAS / put hurt onto their fliers. Once that's done the carrier can replenish your SAW back upto starter strength (1 carrier point per SAW returned) and or Retask to torp bomber to go ship hunting (3 carrier points per sqn)

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If your opponent runs heavy saw you can be in trouble unless you have some way to deal with them. A squad of dbs can attack a dread, ignoring shields and critting can be brutal. Also your dread is worth more when prized. So really it depends on your group. Mine likes saw so I can't afford to ignore protection. And I prefer more activations. However, no build that wins regularly isall bad.

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My current issue with carriers is that because the game only lasts 3-4 turns a conventional non-drone carrier does not have time to recycle SAWs more than once and that while previously a 3+ attack from 5 TFTs was one of the largest attacks in the game, redoubtable, sustained fire, and shear volume of dice mean that most surface vessels can and continue to belt out equivalent attacks for a significant period of the game, frequently right up until the end. 

 

I feel as if balancing the ships well has left SAWs in the dust on firepower to game cost and that the carriers now quite often heavily rely on their guns to make themselves worth the points...the problem is, I don't want to have a 'carrier fleet' to focus on the carriers guns, currently the bonkers and bizarre weapons on carriers is why people fear them.

 

At this point the AD weapons on TFT are so confounded by the position they are in. Against small and medium targets you are paying near BB cost to get two BB RB1 gun salvos for the entire game if none of the TFT are lost first. Against large vessels you are getting one midrange BB shot unless that large is on it's last limb.

 

 

Fighters are cool because they help against boarding true...bombers a lot of times I feel like could be replaced by...buying a squadron of smalls or a pair of cruisers.

 

It's sad, I have 6 carriers, I want them to be good. I won games with them last edition...so far I've just seen mine get ap stripped and abandoned this time round (bad luck on AA and japanese corvettes are just bad news : / ).

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I would ask why not use torp bombers and go after the ships that come further forward?  Medium ships generally can't go with a CAP, and it's not hard to position yourself so that only one ship from the squadron is in AA range.  They need some pretty lucky dice to kill a SAW token when only one medium-sized ship is firing, and whereas you're looking at maybe a single crit on a big battleship-like target, that often equates to two crits on a medium - basically take it out of the fight entirely.   It will also have less CC to defend itself with.  

 

In addition, since mediums are faster and have weaker guns, thus requiring them to get in close, you're more easily able to replace and re-task them due to less distance to travel.  If you could be making an attack run turn 2, you can be retasking at the start of turn 4 and ready to make a second attack run.

 

I don't really see the logic behind the "a squadron of SAW makes a battleship-sized attack, so I'll just take a battleship", since the only time your battleship is really making THAT big of an attack is when they get in close, which is also turn 3 or 4 or later if your opponent is actively avoiding them.  So either way, if your complaint is you only get to do it once, you're only really getting a good solid round of BB shooting once too.  Plus carriers are a bit cheaper than battleships, so if you're getting battleship damage for less than battleship cost, it seems worth it to me.

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The only prob my group has found with carriers is, when 2.0 first came out that carrier points was way better than landing and refuelling, after a lot of games it turns out its not. Hardly ever is the situation where the carrier activates and their is sas within 4. If it could be used after the carrier moves maybe, or its range was increased, or it was a pool at the start of the turn and the sas themselves use the points. In 1.1 I generally tried to mix fighters/dive bombers but in 2.0 fighters are just too good to pass up I find.

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I would ask why not use torp bombers and go after the ships that come further forward?  Medium ships generally can't go with a CAP, and it's not hard to position yourself so that only one ship from the squadron is in AA range.  They need some pretty lucky dice to kill a SAW token when only one medium-sized ship is firing, and whereas you're looking at maybe a single crit on a big battleship-like target, that often equates to two crits on a medium - basically take it out of the fight entirely.   It will also have less CC to defend itself with.  

 

In addition, since mediums are faster and have weaker guns, thus requiring them to get in close, you're more easily able to replace and re-task them due to less distance to travel.  If you could be making an attack run turn 2, you can be retasking at the start of turn 4 and ready to make a second attack run.

 

I don't really see the logic behind the "a squadron of SAW makes a battleship-sized attack, so I'll just take a battleship", since the only time your battleship is really making THAT big of an attack is when they get in close, which is also turn 3 or 4 or later if your opponent is actively avoiding them.  So either way, if your complaint is you only get to do it once, you're only really getting a good solid round of BB shooting once too.  Plus carriers are a bit cheaper than battleships, so if you're getting battleship damage for less than battleship cost, it seems worth it to me.

The problem is you 'might' get battle ship damage for 'most' of a battleships cost and typically speaking a battleship can drop around 13AD at RBIII + additional weapons systems which is two turns worth of flying for TFTs just to get that far, during which they will be hit with enemy fighters if the enemy acts to intercept and have to weather attack run AA.

I have quite enough vessels that can take out cruisers and frigates at long range in the British fleet.

 

It feels to me that while they did a lot for the balance of the game that there was an over all push to marginalize a perceived 'focus' on TFTs that didn't exist. The issue now being that TFTs are not anywhere near the only source of dice pools that generate the same shocking number of hits that they once did.

You may be right that perhaps I need to target different classes of targets...but right now a 5 wing seems often pointless because against the targets you're suggesting that's huge amounts of wasted firepower and cruisers we have plenty of options against.

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.... Then dont always take squadrons of five.

A shocking idea, I know, because the benefits to taking a larger squadron are plentiful- harder to eradicate, can go after larger targets, etc etc etc... But sometimes its better to have more, smaller, SAW squadrons.

Two squadrons of 3 can each hit a cruiser and crit it without issue- back it up with a post bombing run  torpedo salvo and remove the threat completely. Theyll only have to get through AA once, honestly, because once youve crit the enemy theyre down two points of AA *sans the french, most SAW tactics need a complete rewrite because of french AA power*. Get in quick, get out, recycle for a hit turn 4.

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*nods* Though Ill be honest- I like having to big fighter wings as a backbone LAS thing. Its just a strong option in all cases, because theres almost no occasion you wont want them.

Enemy SAW outnumbers you? Fighters are good.

Enemy SAW doesnt outnumber you but they took all fighters? You can fight them off and use your extras to hit their ships. If/when you wipe them out, then try to retask, time permitting.

Enemy is playing with alot of aerial units? Hunt their SAW and their larger flyers to your hearts content... etc etc.

And since they dont need to be rearmed to attack again, they can put out more consistent damage.

Taking all dive bombers, torpedoes, or smaller fighter wings is less flexible, though can give you some activation superiority.... and who doesnt like that?

But with carriers, and the wonky numbers they put out, minimum squadrons are often going to be a viable threat. Your five man wing went in and beat down their five man wing but theres still 1-2 bases left? Clean up with a 3 strong fighter wing. Theyre going cruiser heavy and running a flanking maneuver? Hittem with bombers of taste, and let your actual ships do their job, knowing that the mediums that do show up will be injured and easy to clean up.

Playing alot of Danish naval core, Ive had to learn how to ouse 4 strong squadrons instead of five in this day and age... and honestly, I think its a solid tactic that shouldnt be so easily dismissed.

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*nods* Though Ill be honest- I like having to big fighter wings as a backbone LAS thing. Its just a strong option in all cases, because theres almost no occasion you wont want them.

Enemy SAW outnumbers you? Fighters are good.

Enemy SAW doesnt outnumber you but they took all fighters? You can fight them off and use your extras to hit their ships. If/when you wipe them out, then try to retask, time permitting.

Enemy is playing with alot of aerial units? Hunt their SAW and their larger flyers to your hearts content... etc etc.

And since they dont need to be rearmed to attack again, they can put out more consistent damage.

Taking all dive bombers, torpedoes, or smaller fighter wings is less flexible, though can give you some activation superiority.... and who doesnt like that?

But with carriers, and the wonky numbers they put out, minimum squadrons are often going to be a viable threat. Your five man wing went in and beat down their five man wing but theres still 1-2 bases left? Clean up with a 3 strong fighter wing. Theyre going cruiser heavy and running a flanking maneuver? Hittem with bombers of taste, and let your actual ships do their job, knowing that the mediums that do show up will be injured and easy to clean up.

Playing alot of Danish naval core, Ive had to learn how to ouse 4 strong squadrons instead of five in this day and age... and honestly, I think its a solid tactic that shouldnt be so easily dismissed.

The problem with taking anything but 5 is that the squadron will often be completely obliterated if enemy fighter TFT get anywhere near them, once again making your carrier an inferior battle ship, this time after making(2-3) attacks to destroy frigates for 3SAWs. Typically speaking unless your opponent forgets his AA or something 3 and often 4 SAW wings quickly get destroyed if they attempt to hit a target. It's too easy for individual SAWs to get taken off the board right now, particularly with a smart opponent that shields his smalls for a few turns meaning that the attack run your SAWs make is going to put them WAY behind enemy lines and activating them first to 'get out of there' is going to leave your large and massive vessels more vulnerable.

 

Our fighters have this problem less but typically speaking if they have to spear into the heart of an enemy formation to scrape the fighters keeping your bombers at bay they're either going to die or not particularly likely to make it back to the carrier. Taking five fighter SAWs is a quick way to ensure you don't get any bomb or torpedo attacks against an enemy vessel at all.

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Remember your SAW's don't have to attack.

Holding them back in your formation of ships as a threat to enemy units that get themselves to far forward.

 

Those SAW's force your opponent to be more cautious with their units.

A 20" strike range with fighters will keep other flyers at RB3/4.

 

I've found that players are not using as many bombers as they used to and other flyers are far rarer than they used to be.

 

I have been playing carrier heavy fleets in testing and found them very effective once you get yourself into the SAW's mindset.

Its very much like the US Admirals before WW2, the big gun fleet, which was effectively 1.1 now the carrier generation has arrived and tactics have changed.

 

The big difference is its like the first fleet carriers (converted BB and BC) fast, lots of guns, but those guns were for defence not to get into the main battle line. DW is a bit different in that those carrier can go toe to toe with other units.

 

Make sure that your SAW end their turn within 4' of the carrier before it activates or plan for where your carrier is going to be so that next activation its within 4" 

 

Now even if you don't want to run a carrier fleet, always slip an Apollo CVL into your fleet. This forces your opponent to plan for you to change those fighters into strike SAW's or vice a versa. Without this, you lose the ability to confuse your opponent and are forced into a very obvious tactical approach with your SAW's.

 

For example, turn one move your fighters forward 10". Then later in the turn move your carrier 6". Next turn you have two options keep the SAW's as fighters or change them to a strike SAW. That 6CV unit can change two units and that does force your opponent to move far more cautiously.

 

Well lads back to the ready room the enemies in sight.

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See, all of this 'obscure' tactical bluffing is useless if your opponent doesn't bother using TFTs for anything but keeping the skies over their fleet clear and spends all of their points on more big guns to just put huge holes in your fleet. A big gun fleet is, as it stands, able to threaten the destruction of your TFTs if you make an attack run fairly easily and if they protect their mediums and smalls those mediums and smalls punch just as hard as a battleship in RB1/2 for an alpha strike and repeat firing.

 

You can leap frog and attempt to play TFT games all day but if your opponent just shrugs at the TFT, leaves the one's they have in a defensive posture, and goes back to hammering your fleet the current TFT condition leaves them with a smaller place than they had before if only because before there existed damage of a type that didn't instantly remove one from the table. An Apollo might be the way to go in the long run because it is the least expensive carrier. A carrier heavy british fleet is a fleet with a ship that costs more than a battle ship without any redoubtable weapons, or slightly less and lacking shields.

 

TLDR in last edition, I managed to get more millage out of my TFT without the ability to re-add them, and the condition of the carriers as 'large gun boats that happen to have TFT' is disappointing. As I've said before, I've got six avengers at home, I'd like to use them and feel like it was a cool 3k game. Right now it feels like my TFT are only there to be 3 plane Kamakazi wings against smalls or 5 plane Kamakazi wings against large or a little extra boarding defense.

 

Maybe my gaming group is odd in that until the last turn of the game there is no point at which the fleets are all mixed together where the carriers are within 8" of an enemy ship to fire and rearm TFTs the same turn.

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Maybe my gaming group is odd in that until the last turn of the game there is no point at which the fleets are all mixed together where the carriers are within 8" of an enemy ship to fire and rearm TFTs the same turn

Why not?

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Why not?

I play British mostly so RB1 is a huge problem for me and my playing companions tend to  avoid  getting between vessels because  I will quite happily ram the hell out of them with my damaged vessels if they get too close to use torpedoes. I tend to use semi dense formations to protect my larger vessels from fast moving boarding threats as well.

 

As a result it is rare that an engagement is within 8" of my carrier. 

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Carriers all the way

I will be slated for this but naval carriers

Do have durability and purpose stick on the game table and u find it

Out

There a fire magnet

And as long as there afloat you can collide and torp anything you like even if you lost your tfts

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The problem with taking anything but 5 is that the squadron will often be completely obliterated if enemy fighter TFT get anywhere near them, once again making your carrier an inferior battle ship, this time after making(2-3) attacks to destroy frigates for 3SAWs. Typically speaking unless your opponent forgets his AA or something 3 and often 4 SAW wings quickly get destroyed if they attempt to hit a target. It's too easy for individual SAWs to get taken off the board right now, particularly with a smart opponent that shields his smalls for a few turns meaning that the attack run your SAWs make is going to put them WAY behind enemy lines and activating them first to 'get out of there' is going to leave your large and massive vessels more vulnerable.

 

Our fighters have this problem less but typically speaking if they have to spear into the heart of an enemy formation to scrape the fighters keeping your bombers at bay they're either going to die or not particularly likely to make it back to the carrier. Taking five fighter SAWs is a quick way to ensure you don't get any bomb or torpedo attacks against an enemy vessel at all.

 

In my experience most fighter on fighter engagements net 6-8 hits, 3 kills for most, or 2 kills if you're awesome. With a squad of 4 losing 3 is bad but at least your opponent still has to devote resources to kill them. 

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^^^ As a danish player, I agree. Im not finding my TFTs to be wiped without two enemy TFTs coming in to do the job, except for a few extreme cases of luck, and all I have are four strong squadrons!

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^^^ As a danish player, I agree. Im not finding my TFTs to be wiped without two enemy TFTs coming in to do the job, except for a few extreme cases of luck, and all I have are four strong squadrons!

Danish arguments do not count, since your fighter SAW's have 3 AA each. :-P

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That does not make them harder to kill.

That makes them very hard to kill, since the other player has to count with heavy losses and sending anything but a 5-strong SAS is a borderline suicide.

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Which does nothing to improve their survivability, merely their punch as in all things danish!

Sure, more investment of resources- but thats my point, a 5 strong SAW swing wont usually kill them...

So why would a 5 strong SAW wing kill a brittanians?

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As far as I'm aware only two nations are more survivable in the dogfight, the Prussians and the HEC (who probably stole all the good pilots from the other nations). On the surface the British fighter MAR, which is by far the most common SAS MAR, is rubbish, but its deceptively good, because once you take your 3 kills you can get your squadron back to the carrier without fear of a squadron of frigates picking off the last 1 or 2.

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