Advanced Gauntlet Tactics

After playing Timelines for over a year and half, I'm finally approaching the 10K Gauntlet rounds achievement. I know that means I'll be staring at another 10K rounds to get Locutus, and I'm not looking forward to the months of work it will take to finish out that achievement thread. As has been talked about by others (at length), I find the Gauntlet to be the worst part of this game and incredibly difficult to get any enjoyment out of. But I'm hoping that there are some advanced tactics that I could pick up to make this aspect of the game a little more bearable.

I say advanced tactics, because I understand the basics; ie: everything is based on efficiency scores, with crit percentages, and that you want to get streaks to (in theory, though not in practice) get better rewards. I'm thinking of this as a 301 class, not a 101 class.


Here are some long standing questions I have:

If you have no streak going, and nothing but exhausted crew, is it a good or bad idea to use crew to just get an extra round for the achievement? Am I losing points doing that; or is it no big deal?

How does the recharge timer work? Some times I see it is the full 4hrs; other times it's less. It just seems to be random. This is especially frustrating to figure out in the last 4hrs of a two-day Gauntlet.

Is there some shorthand that I can use to eye-ball what a card's crit will be? I get REALLY frustrated by a "non-crit crit," when you get a crit roll but it's lower than a previous non-crit roll. Also, some cards have terrible crits while others have great ones; an example: I used Amelia Earhart in a gauntlet a few weeks back, because she had a 45% bonus, but her crits were terrible and she was a hole on the team. How do I figure this out?

In selecting crew for Gauntlets, should I only pick good gauntleters? Or should I pick to the trait bonus and primary skill? Or some combo?

What are people's tactics for going after the Caretaker? The only defense I've found is to use the the Keeper when the Caretaker doesn't have Eng as a skill. In fact, the Caretaker seems to be the only worthwhile Eng gauntleter. I hate ceding an entire skill, but he's so strong and I just don't have anything to deal with him in Eng.

Should I be more of a free-spender on Merits to by-pass rounds? Or more conservative? I use to be a big spender and it kinda-though-not-completely seemed to even out that I got Merits back as I used them. But I've discovered Merit pulls are a great source of Honor, so I've been more careful with spending anywhere else. Also, I've never used Dilithium for recharges; should I reconsider that?


Advice and opinions welcomed! Part of the reason I've been so slow in getting Gauntlet rounds is it's such a frustrating part of the game; so any help making this easier would be great.


Since it will be asked, here are my current Gauntleters that I use most often:
Armus (I've won 3 of those)
Bartender Guinan (only won 1)
Surak
Gary Seven
Defensive Phlox (but I'm disappointed almost every time I use him)
Mirror Picard
The Keeper
Nurse Garland
Mirror Phlox
Survivalist Kirk

These I don't use that often:
Mirror La Forge
Etana Jol
Minuet
Enabran Tain
Revolutionary Damar (though I just got him and he isn't FE yet)

Comments

  • Data1001Data1001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 24
    EnderW wrote: »
    If you have no streak going, and nothing but exhausted crew, is it a good or bad idea to use crew to just get an extra round for the achievement? Am I losing points doing that; or is it no big deal?

    IMO, when you have a situation like that, you should always play your remaining crew until they're spent. There's no downside to it when you don't have a streak going and your Gauntleteers aren't likely to win any battles until the next recharge. You'd likely have been further along to that 20,000 round achievement if you'd been doing that the whole time. Just to give a little background, I completed my 20k rounds on March 1st of this year, and started playing at the beginning of 2017 (or end of 2016, I can't quite recall exactly). And I don't often get to play Gauntlet more than 3 times per day.
    EnderW wrote: »
    In selecting crew for Gauntlets, should I only pick good gauntleters? Or should I pick to the trait bonus and primary skill? Or some combo?

    I usually find it's best to just go with my top crew unless one of the trait bonuses is going to someone in my top 5 or so.
    EnderW wrote: »
    Should I be more of a free-spender on Merits to by-pass rounds? Or more conservative? I use to be a big spender and it kinda-though-not-completely seemed to even out that I got Merits back as I used them. But I've discovered Merit pulls are a great source of Honor, so I've been more careful with spending anywhere else. Also, I've never used Dilithium for recharges; should I reconsider that?

    Personally, I've always tried to spend fewer Merits than I gain. These days, I really only do so when I've got a streak longer than at least 9, and oftentimes not even then. Dilithium is, in my opinion, only worth spending if you're trying to get one of the Gauntlet ranking achievements. Once you've gotten #1, I wouldn't drop any dil. (Though some of my fleetmates would disagree on both points, since we have a weekly fleet-wide Gauntlet that many of them try to join at the same time, and I know a few of them will spend many Merits and the occasional bit of Dilithium to place more highly.)

    The other thing is that high ranks don't necessarily translate into getting more Gauntlet Legendaries to drop. I've had a few come from very short streaks (including 3-streaks), and the other month, an Armus dropped from a 42nd-place finish. Total of those that I've gotten from Gauntlets: 2 Locutuses (plus another from the Achievement), 4 Armuses, 6 Guinans, and 3 Caretakers.

    The last thing I'll say is that even with top Gauntleteers, bad beats will still happen — so I just made a conscious decision not to be bothered by those. I mean, in the moment, I may swear at Defensive Phlox or Gowron or whomever for letting me down, but then I'll just brush it off and move on. That's easier to do when you are no longer worried about rank or getting super long streaks.


    Could you please continue the petty bickering? I find it most intriguing.
    ~ Data, ST:TNG "Haven"
  • Banjo1012Banjo1012 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If you are super thirsty for that Locutus I recommend using dilithium and merits to get more rounds. You would be amazed at how fast they add up that way
  • Odo MarmarosaOdo Marmarosa ✭✭✭✭✭
    If you have no streak going, and nothing but exhausted crew, is it a good or bad idea to use crew to just get an extra round for the achievement? Am I losing points doing that; or is it no big deal?

    This tactic will certainly help you reach 20k rounds quicker. There's no trophy penalty for failed attacks.

  • EnderWEnderW ✭✭✭
    I’ve definitely been using exhausted crew on the kamikaze rounds; I just could never tell if that tactic was hurting me or not. Glad to hear it hasn’t.

    And yeah, my exp has been that short streaks get better/same drops as longer ones. Two Armus and my Guinan dropped on 3 streaks. Really makes you question the point of investing in longer ones.
  • I have almost 17k rounds with the following gauntlet crew drops:
    12x Armus
    4x Guinan
    5x Caretaker
    4x Locutus

    My process: start first half day seeking low point victories (10 points ideally), until maybe the end of the second day. Typically I've already ranked to top 10 by then even though I'm trying to choose low point victories, because i want maximum streak length. I try to get 20+ streak in every gauntlet My record was over 50.

    Last day if I get up early for the gym I have lots of opportunity to get a few rounds in the last day for top 10. Here I am fine choosing a 50/50 fight as long as it's for high points. I won't choose a 10 point fight and waste it on a great crew like locutus.

    I spend merits liberally, still not enough that I don't have any merit pulls since campaigns started giving them out, but probably less than most people. I see lots of people posting merit pull legends with crew I'd really not want to drop, and they're not begolds. I'd rather have any of the above gauntlet crew drop except Armus since I finished 2 x FF of him. Top 10 wins have definitely dropped more crew for me than streaks, but the others are just as important.

    As for your question about some gauntlet timers being 4 hours and others not, you can pretty reliably control this. It's 1pm ET and your crew resets in a few minutes. Let's say you want to control your gauntlet to get a crew reset 30mins before the end of the gauntlet. Ensure you close the game on EVERY device you play on, then don't relaunch the game until 2:30pm ET, and immediately open the gauntlet screen. If you have the game fully closed (with android I also get my apps list and "swipe up" to ensure my game is closed), the crew reset timer should not start again until you open the game. If you happened to open it too soon (maybe to send out more shuttles during a faction event), it'll probably start the gauntlet crew expiry timer from your login time, 4 hours from then. You may not notice until you reopen the game 1 hour later, so now you've got 3 hours left on your timer.
  • EnderWEnderW ✭✭✭
    As for your question about some gauntlet timers being 4 hours and others not, you can pretty reliably control this. It's 1pm ET and your crew resets in a few minutes. Let's say you want to control your gauntlet to get a crew reset 30mins before the end of the gauntlet. Ensure you close the game on EVERY device you play on, then don't relaunch the game until 2:30pm ET, and immediately open the gauntlet screen. If you have the game fully closed (with android I also get my apps list and "swipe up" to ensure my game is closed), the crew reset timer should not start again until you open the game. If you happened to open it too soon (maybe to send out more shuttles during a faction event), it'll probably start the gauntlet crew expiry timer from your login time, 4 hours from then. You may not notice until you reopen the game 1 hour later, so now you've got 3 hours left on your timer.

    You have got to be kidding me; THAT'S how it works?! That's so incredibly stupid. Who designs something like that?! I'm dumbfounded.

  • RaraRacingRaraRacing ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 25
    Caveat
    - I have almost all proficiency bonuses available through collections and starbase, just missing the SCI bonus from the last tier of the Gauntlet crew collection ... so this really does help.
    - Have won somewhere between 5-7 Gauntlets (with the strategy below) ... stopped counting after 2 ... the first was great and the second was because I wanted to see if I could do it again, after that I couldn't really care much.
    - Never ever used Dil., Merits yes (see below).
    - I actually don't like the Gauntlet at all ... am nowhere near 20k rounds in total (just past 11k at present).

    Crew
    - Locutus
    - Guinan
    - Caretaker
    - Armus

    - rotating 5th crew ... has been Marshal of France, North Star Tucker, Prince Bashir, Assimilated La Forge ... over the past year, but is usually Defensive Phlox.
    - old crew include ... Surak, Mirror Picard, Mirror Phlox, Seven of Nine etc. ... but these crew have not seen a gauntlet for over a year (at least).
    - Both NS Tucker and Assimilated La Forge haven't been used in 3+ months and I froze Q a while back.

    - I never, ever play 2-skill crew.
    - I never, ever care about % bonus ... if my crew aren't favourably matched up, I re-roll for Merits, usually one does it to get a good (winnable) opponent.
    Though I place my crew (top to bottom) in crew with skill & bonus, crew will skill, bonus, nothing ... for easy reference i.e. top is always best.
    - I don't usually pick crew based on the Gauntlet skill (e.g. ENG - usually only The Caretaker or CMD is only Armus).
    - The best gauntlet crew have a small spread ... Phlox has a massive spread in his skill rolls so can disappoint ... just don't expect much ... compare minimums with opponent instead of maximums ... e.g. Phlox is 298-1041 MED so compare the 298 with opponent and not the 1041, or maybe compare the average ... it really is a massive spread.
    - i.e. go for worst case scenario and not best case scenario (set expectations).

    - The only thing I'm really missing (to replace Phlox) is an actual good crew with CMD proficiency (no not Mirror Picard ... his 3rd skill is useless).

    Strategy
    - I spend Merits to get a good match, but don't spend more than 200-400 a gauntlet ... if you get enough matches in then you earn it back by the end so will be net zero. Like I said, have never spent Dil.
    - Set yourself a Merit budget and stick to it ... e.g. I want to have 3000 Merits at all times so I'm not refreshing to far below that ... I like to have merits around so I can defrost a bunch of crew in one go for mega events etc. I balance this with crew Merit purchases.
    - I do try to go for long streaks ... but am not too bothered if I don't make it too far ... you only see more gauntlet crew at box 3 wins because you see that box so often ... I bet you don't make 24 wins each gauntlet ... so I just like to give it a go.
    - I also try to go for good rank, but again, not bothered if I'm not top 10. If I decide to really go for rank (e.g. the second time I won), I'll often take on 50/50s for 250 points on day 1 just so I don't have to crawl from the sub 150 ranks to get anywhere decent. But again, I know the risk and so if it doesn't pan out, am not frustrated.

    Take Aways
    - Don't take it too seriously and don't get hung up on what you might see are "bad results" (see the thread in The Bridge for gauntlet moments - people often mis-interpret their "bad luck").
    - To rank high the best strategy is to be ready to battle every 4 hours ... consistency is key ... if you play a couple of rounds day one and then day two go all out, one negative outcome will greatly determine your end result (unless you are willing to spend dil) ... but the more battles you do over the two days, the less the negative results will have a bearing on your end result.
  • I don't bother trying to place high . I purposefully go for the lowest amount of points I can gain, and use merits to refresh if there's none. I get over a 40 win streak every time, and I've gotten all of my gauntlet crew that way. Net total loss of merits to achieve this is usually around 300-400 a gauntlet after winnings. Average cost of a leg is around 1200-1600 merits, and that's not considering the rare gear, chrons, and other winnings. Unless you can place quite high, you'll get more gauntlet chests than you would otherwise, and can also do a run in the last 6 hours or so to try and place higher.
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