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S.Neil

Discussion Thread for the new Directorate Model Stats

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I could see the Escort Carriers being an interesting addition if you plan to make a boarding combo that takes advantage of Decimator warheads and Countermeasures.  However, I don't see that coming into play until higher point levels.

 

The Impacts will surely make waves.  My usual opponent is terrified of my Tyrannies, and now I have access to a larger squad for the same price.  I do find it questionable that the Impact is so close a copy of the Tyranny though.  

 

The Champion is my favorite addition, giving you more flexibility to create a fleet that fits your preferred strategy.

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Try to use some stand in models or proxies and see if you can get a game in with a friend this weekend.  More feedback the better during the open beta period.  

 

Plus the models look amazing.  

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Look at the Relthozan Assault Carrier and you'll have some ideas about these Escort Carriers. While the Heavy slot is hotly contested by the actual Heavies, there's realistically a choice here between the Heavy Cruisers' one big and crazy good Assault and the potential for Split Berthed, Deck Crewed Assault Shuttles swinging multiple times the entire game.

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Look at the Relthozan Assault Carrier and you'll have some ideas about these Escort Carriers. While the Heavy slot is hotly contested by the actual Heavies, there's realistically a choice here between the Heavy Cruisers' one big and crazy good Assault and the potential for Split Berthed, Deck Crewed Assault Shuttles swinging multiple times the entire game.

 

Correction, massive assault from the Justices backed up with a powerful 18AD turret afterwards. Or 3 AD9 shots (which hit or crit cruisers on average) and the bigger torpedo volley on a tougher hull (DR5).

 

Points do favour the Escort Carriers though. 3xECs = 180 while 3xHC = 240.

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Any thoughts on why the Task Force Ascendancy Escort Carrier has beam turrets and the Armada does not?

Or why the Armada Champion has FF Beams while the Task Force has Turrets?

Or is this just the Armada stats playing catch up?

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Any thoughts on why the Task Force Ascendancy Escort Carrier has beam turrets and the Armada does not?

Or why the Armada Champion has FF Beams while the Task Force has Turrets?

Or is this just the Armada stats playing catch up?

The stats were apparently made by to different teams which did not have contact with each other. Each team made the initial statline with the models as the only reference and the stats evolved from there. The result is that some ships are very different to their taskforce counterparts(ie terrans wayfarers).

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I honestly don't get the Champion.. it has a lot of options but I don't know why I would take anything but the cyber option. Beam option is the same AD as the Abraxis.. so for 5pts more you could get a ship with the same beams on a Turret platform, and with less vulnerabilities to boarding and able to board itself with high AP etc. It does have ARTs capability, with lightly better AD, but not sure if that's worth it.. as usually ARTs is more for a boarding orientated list and you really lose out on boarding over taking an Abraxis instead..? I don't know, not sold on it...

 

For the Gravity, Turmoils are just a better option, bringing a better secondary weapon really and overall coming out cheaper..? Can even bring a Cyber gunrack that doesn't have the downside of ARTs being subjected to shields and PD and again, don't lack so glaringly in being able to be boarded. If you want to spam Gravity in a patrol or battle fleet I suppose you would take them..? But don't see any reason other than that, i'd probably have the preference of a longer, high AD attack with the potential to re-roll 1s. Definitely not sold on this option.

 

Now the Cyber option.. the cyber option for this thing is awesome. Brings the same gun as the Tormentors for less AND it can get ARTs for free with same torpedo AD, so it can throw out Cyber in 3 directions..! It has less PD but still reasonable amount, only real downside is the CP on them and lack of Stealth systems, but it does have the classical RFF compared to Tormentors and has a shield value, so that's 50/50 which you'd prefer to me. Tormentors are better at getting there intact, but Champion with Cyber is better defended once it gets into it's optimum firing range. Guess just shunt them and call it a goodun and you don't need the Stealth Systems so much!

 

Only downside to all that for me.. like with the Velites vs the Secutor.. why would I take Tormentors now anymore? Only really with an Overseer as accompaniment really now.. so it's a ship with 2 options I don't honestly see why i'd take, and 1 option that makes another ship redundant to me. Not exactly sure how I feel about that...

 

On positive side though, Impacts are lovely little beauties hit harder than Liquidators and are faster, but cost more overall and have a much narrower arc of fire than the Liquidators, whilst also not having too stark a firepower difference. I can get behind them. Escort carrier also, lovely idea, I like the idea of how they have less guns than the other carriers, but they never need to drop cloak so they stay on the board longer as a full squadron compared to other escort carriers, and they can replenish their wings potentially should they lose any. Bit concerned they'll be abit TOO tough to kill, but the fact they do have less guns does mean they need to hang around longer with their full strength and wings to probably get as much out of them as other carriers. Just hopefully they won't be so tough that they'll NEVER die and thus be always a good choice as they'd never give up their BL without considerable effort.

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It seems to me that Escort Carriers would better fit a Cruiser slot and Light Cruisers would better fit a Destroyer slot due to the relative DR/CR of both.

I'd say this feels about right (to me) for all the factions.

Right now as Heavy Cruiser and Cruiser slots respectively, there is never any choice as the actual Heavy Cruisers and Cruisers are a better option in all ways except points.

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Really - see after finding the rules, I feel in love with the champion 

It's a great piece for the points

Beams.....Wait....why am I bringing this for 5 points more I can get  a normal cruiser with turreted same beams, 1 less in torps (ok that can't be ART) and 1 CP and 2 AP lost to gain 1 shield....if the guns were not fixed but fore....heck almost should be turreted at this point....it may be palatable but what you loose (turreted over fixed fore, 1 CP and 2 AP) is not worth you gain (+1 in torp and a sheild and the option of ART) for 5 points more on a standard cruiser....Seriously to make this worth considering it needs to be fore, to make it seriously worth considering they need to be turreted 

Gravity - Only because it also can take ART would I consider this, but it's far too close range....and pricey - I'd likely agree Turmoil's do this better, but these bring more dice - but some factions bring a lot of shields....and again fixed...the turmoils surprised me how well they did so...this could work better then I think

Cyber - I love this option - this will be my go to, 165 points, 14 dice cyber is enough to land 11 success - you'll likely crit most things - you could even try single shots on cruisers to spread the pain

Torps.....10 dice vs most PD won't do much - but it's something, and both archs so....yeh somethign fun to throw around

Low CP and AP is a factor, 1 shield is nice but never to count on, ok PD - and a great price point.

So apart from beams needing a little love to make them viable - nice ship

The impact

I like this, Elusive target is annoying, and these are good little frigate/cruiser hunters, movement 14....these things are nippy Ok liquidators are better  at 10 - 20" range, the 3 dice at 20 - 30 are...well yeh 7 dice may hurt another frigate at best so negligible. Scout feels pricey...but not a must have....pack hunter would have made them maybe too good...I like elusive it makes them annoying and annoying things tend to live longer I feel these are table starters where as liquidators are better shunters

Now the Ascendency.....

OK  135 points, vs a carriers 125, 15 HP over 7 on a carrier....that's nice and it takes at least 3 hits to kill one at 5hp each...so nice and hard to really dent the wing easily...ok, PD wise they come out about the same, AP - well they're crusiers of course they loose....

movement 9 and TL 1 vs 6 and 2....so nippier again nice

Then we get to the guns flat 4 torps.....8 dice torps, don't really threaten much....vs the carreir, 5 dice torps kinda pointless, cyber gun can work out ok and don't drop cloak......and the starboard and port 8 dice beams can be of use if you have to drop cloak - carrier cab also take better hard points and escorts.....and +2 wings allows for a small interecptor wing if you want and a 6 dice bomber

Deck crews is the nicest thing I have to say about the Ascendacy and why I'd mix it into a champion squad I have no idea 

TBH I can't really see why apart from the HP bank I'd consider them. I feel a carrier brings more to the table....

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For those wondering about the Gravity on the Champion.

Consider the slots the Turmoil takes up and the slots the Champion takes up.

Proliferation of options, Directorate are utterly spoiled when it comes to options for ships and fancy weapons. The Champion brings yet another avenue for bringing Gravity weapons into a fleet, instead of assuming exclusion in regards to the Turmoil look at it from an inclusion standpoint, Turmoils + Champions.

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The stats were apparently made by to different teams which did not have contact with each other. Each team made the initial statline with the models as the only reference and the stats evolved from there. The result is that some ships are very different to their taskforce counterparts(ie terrans wayfarers).

So a powwow before release to provide a basic alignment between them was not available, desired, or thought of?

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The Champion is a flexible ship that in its beams form, exchanges some flexibility for power and a bit of economy.  On the advance a squadron of three of them with Bio at 165pts with DR4 CR8 SH1 is one of the most durable Cruisers in the game for resisting damage.  

 

The Cyber option for 5pts less than the Tormentor is actually trading quitea bit.  While the ship is faster and a little tougher from the instances of damage, the ship has -2CP, -2PD, -1HP making it often less durable than the Tormentor, the advantages in leveraging speed, natural SH and Reinforced Fore against a Tormentor in terms of a pure indirect weapons platform means that on the table it can often be the less durabe option.  

 

I am interested to know how people respond to both the Gravity version and the fact the ships CP/AP is so low.  I want to know whether that feels like an acceptable character flaw for the ship.

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Some thoughts on the new Directorate ships after a few days to absorb info, build lists, and play some small skirmishes (not full battles).

 

Impact:

 

VERY nasty little brute for the points.  They are completely different from Drones (which is good).  But they completely replace the Enforcer in my mind.  The speed edge mitigates the range loss (FF is not an issue at Mv 14), and they get Elusive over DT.  That's a massive difference in terms of the firepower capital class ships have to throw at them.

 

Compared to other Elusive ships near this price point they also seem to be the best going.  Distinctly better than the Aquan Nereid (which is itself distinctly better than the Aquan Snapper).  They are basically identical to the Works Raptor Tyranny for 5 points less, which I think is a definite problem given they are Natural Allies--why would you take Tyrannies at this point?

 

Suggestions:  Change price to 25.  At least then they are equal to, rather than better than, the Tyranny.  And less obviously top tier compared to other elusive T3's.  Arguably they are too similar to the Tyranny (maybe drop Scout as an Impact upgrade option?  Replace with something like High Energy or standard Directorate Biohazard?), but that would require a total rebuild to change.  If something along those lines is possible I'd go VERY crazy to keep them distinct.  Remove the FF gun entirely, cut the cost to 15, and give them Wing 1.  Tiny elusive carriers delivering a full strength flight...

 

Champion:

 

The Vanquisher is vanquished :)  Actually, like others have noticed, this ship hits multiple ships in the Directorate line up.  Take the beams and you have a cruiser that's 5 points cheaper, with identical beams (albeit FF), better torps, and a shield.  You only lose AP.  Sign me up.  Take the Cyber and you have a ship that's 5 pts cheaper than the Tormentor, with identical torps and cyber and the option of ART's as well.  You do lose HP, AP and Stealth at least, but still--if you want to go cybercrazy...and do the Directorate even NEED more cyber?  From a faction balance point of view that concerns me--its already a big reason why they've done well on the warlog historically, and I don't think they need more.  I do like the gravity option.

 

In terms of other cruisers it's ok.  Very flexible by comparison, but not neccessarily OP.

 

Suggestions:  Remove the cyber option (it can keep the upgrade to make the Torpedoes ART's).  No real good idea for how to differentiate it from the Vanquisher, but to be honest I almost never take those anyway, and if I bring Champions it will be for Gravity, so I don't care much about that.  Oh, and change the name--Champion is far too "nice/noble" for the Directorate :)  Call it the Interference or something.

 

Ascendency:

 

Not an original comment in this thread, but if it's competing for the Heavy Cruiser slot, I don't see myself ever taking this.  Yeah, it's cheaper, but the heavies are pretty much the first choice in every Directorate list.  That may represent a problem with the Justice, but it screws this ship completely.

 

The odd thing is that of the 3 Escort Carriers introducted, I think the Ascendency is the best, and it's not particularly close.  The Cloak/Countermeasures combo is potentially quite useful (the other escort carriers could use something beyond wings as well, I think-would help them immensely if they had something as good as the cloak/countermeasures combo).  I could definitely imagine using that--just not at the expense of my heavies.  Nor does it really sync with the Champions.  Less torps (and eliminates the ART option) and the Champions are the only new cruiser that currently come with 3 PD so a couple wings is less relevant.  Like I mentioned on the Aquan thread though, I have to admit I'm struggling with all the escort carriers.  They just aren't doing much for me.

 

Suggestions: Allow them as an accompaniment to all T2/T3 squadrons?  Not really sure, to be honest.

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Thank you to everyone that is testing and keep up what good work. I also want to note we are in the final week of testing now so go try out the other ships if you have not played with them yet.  Let SG know what you think as YOU the players are the reason the game is still around.

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Few of my own thoughts...

Impact

Not a direct competitor with Tyranny as Tyranny cannot fulfill minimum requirements for T3 slots. You can't take Tyrannies this way, so it's not like they cancel each other out. Don't know many people playing more than minimum T3 squadrons and from what I have experienced and read on these forums Tyrannies are considered pretty bad as they lack any proper firepower, but are relatively expensive. Their biggest boost is bringing Scout for free or 12AP boarding with 21" threat radius. With Scout they are cheaper than Impacts. That is very solid. Impacts are pure firepower based. Their main weakness is Unmanned with 0CP...one successful boarding and they are done...just one success is enough to kill it. As they need to go as close as possible this is a real threat for them as anyone boarding them has a solid chance to succeeed.

From my games Nereid wasn't worse, it just has lower AD but better DR. This resulted in Impacts being torn apart by tiny cuts while Nereids just wouldn't get damaged. They felt more like Tyrannies, tough denial unit with limited firepower.

 

Ascendency

I am not such a fan of our Subjugators (they are great, I just don't find myself needing to use them) and even I have a hard time fielding them. Ascendency is nice and everything, but it's not a solid choice for a Patrol fleet Tier 1 slot, the majority of games we play. Weak PD threatens the squadron a lot and I won't trade them for -4BL if I can get a proper carrier there for the same cost.

Then at Battle fleet they run into the problem of competing with Heavies...where they lose badly.

They either need their own slot or fall into general cruiser category. If they would get 3 wings each then they can be worth as Escort Carriers for any squadron as accompaniments - as long as they replace one ship like heavies they won't be useful as they drag the effectiveness of the whole squadron down. Would be nice to see them in general as accompaniments to Carriers.

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Had a couple of games with the new ships so here are my observations based on my extremely limited experience playing firestorm:

 

Impact

Not a bad ship for the cost, seems well balanced enough. Took a little more killing than liquidators but also couldn't dish out as much due to weaponry limitations. Has the obvious similarities to the Tyranny but that kind of makes sense for the directorate to copy another successful company and make their own version.

 

Ascendency

Feels like it needs something else, though I couldn't tell you what. In a patrol fleet I would always take a carrier over these as it just performs better for the points and anything above 800 it just doesn't offer enough to compete for the tier 2 slots. The cloak is great and all but mine got shredded by torpedoes in two of the games before getting into range. In the third I only got one good attack run before loosing one ship and couple of wings which severely neutered them. My opponent just ignored them for two turns until deck crews kicked in then assaulted the remaining two with frigates because they're so vulnerable. I don't expect them to be rock solid for the points you pay but they just fold under any kind of pressure without contributing enough to the fight. An option for quick launch maybe? Could at least let them stay out of retaliation range for a turn longer without making them any tougher. I tried adding one to a squad of champions but it was singled out for torpedo fire turn 1. Having played them it feels like I could actually be tempted into the +1 PD over deck crews but I never got a chance to test that for a squad.

 

Champion

This one seems right on the money. The beams were surprisingly useful actually, I thought they would pale in comparison to abraxis' turrets but the ART made them a little more versatile so they could get more involved. The cyberwarfare option was what I really wanted to try. I have to say I would personally always prefer Tormentors for the higher price because stealth and the added PD more than account for that single shield point with my play style but I can see how people with a more 'in your face' kind of tactic would choose these at the discounted points cost. The gravity option wasn't as useless as I thought it would be. Since you choose your fleet list after you find out your opponent and the mission type (Unless I've misunderstood that) I was able to use it to great affect against Relthoza and RSN where it obviously helped bypass cloaks but also gave me a few decent shots from behind cover that I wouldn't have otherwise had. +10pts seems a little steep for fore fixed though, it might feel more worthwhile to pay 5pts for fore fixed or 10pts for fore. Great that you can customise this little baby for the game and opposing fleet without having to own a bunch more models though.    

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Here's my feedback from a couple of test games:

 

Impact

A decent alternative to the normal frigates.  I was hoping for something with less range and more arcs, but this was a fine setup.  I'd suggest that they get pack hunters instead of (or in addition to) scout.  While more survivable than Enforcers, the lack of any RB3 and the fixed arc hurt.  I'd probably only take the current version in games in which I thought my opponent would go T3 heavy (which is rarely a thing in my meta) as anti-frigate hunters.

 

Ascendency

These ships are, much like the Relthoza light cruisers I've tested, in the position of being really cheap, but also mostly worthless.  Their main defense is cloaking, which is nice on a carrier.  However, they have terrible PD which invites torpedo attacks that ignore their cloak.  In the test games I've tried them, I tried one game with bombers and one with fighters.  The bombers game, they got mauled by torpedoes and didn't have any impact on the game at all.  Their low PD scores and potential high AD values made them an easy target priority for my opponent.  While I could normally claim that drawing fire from the rest of the fleet gave them some value, in all honesty they were killed by torpedo salvoes that would normally not do anything in the first few turns anyway.  In the game with fighters, the extra PD shield kept them alive long enough to launch an attack, which was nice.  However, as soon as the fighters RTB, they got swamped by torpedoes again and died.  I think you have to take the +1 PD on these, which gives them some chance of living through the early torpedo barrage.  The idea of a non-degrading unit that can stay cloaked for the entire game is quite interesting.  I'm not sold on this version though.  In my testing, they require the PD bump to not be destroyed in short order (often by torpedo attacks that would normally be irrelevant in the game).  The flip side of this is that without Deck Crews, a couple of 6's into your SRS's makes the squadron dead weight in short order.

 

As an option to "upgrade" a Champion squad, these things are even worse.  I tried this in one game and felt like I should have paid negative points for the Ascendancy.  In exchange for losing all of the Champion gun options and even an AD on torpedoes, I get....2 SRS?  The Champions are great because they are a flexible platform that can fit into any fleet build plan.  The point of them is the selectable weapon options.  I can't see throwing 1/3 of the firepower of the squad away in exchange for a small PD boost or really small bomber attack.

 

Champion

These have been great in testing.  Tried the beams and cyberwarfare versions so far, and was happy with both.  I wish there was an option to pay some more points and go the TL 0 to support fixed fore, or up the points of the beam option and make it just fore.  While it was fine in testing, it seems like an odd fit with the rest of the fleet in terms of weapon selection/arc.  I'd be willing to pay more points in exchange for making the maneuvering of the unit easier.  Either way, it's still a nice unit.

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Do you think it would be worth putting in a Heavy Cruiser in the Champion squadron instead of an Ascendancy or third Champion?

Never

The Champion is versatile but really needs to go all out on all 3 member. ANYthing that weakens that focus weakens the squad to the point of uselessness IMHO, be that a heavy cruiser or an ascendancy

You could just about get away with Beam champ and heavy cruiser,  but then the old argument of why would we ever mix our old light/heavy cruiser still holds weight 

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Not everything is intended to have Synergy, this is a faction design function.

Consider the FTB, Directorate have only +1. While the Dindrenzi have +3 and the cruiser and heavy cruiser mesh very well. Because the Directorate are backstabbing corporate thugs, everyone has their pet project and why would they want their "thing" to work perfectly with someone else's "thing"?

Fluff actually has a role in ship and faction design cues.

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