Point Value: 796
Luke Skywalker (Force Push, Emergency Stims)
2x Fleet Troopers (Scatter Gun Trooper)
3x Rebel Troopers (Z-6 Trooper)
1x Rebel Troopers
2x Rebel Commandos Strike Team (DH-447 Sniper)
AT-RT (Flame Thrower)
Like last time this tournament was a 2 round Swiss style. with 8 players. The first round was random match ups, and round 2 was the winners from round 1 matching up. As this resulted in 2 players who were 2-0, the final winner was determined with strength of schedule, which basically means who of the winner’s opponents from round 1 in turn won their second round. It was a little convoluted, but in as casual format means a shorter day
I got SO CLOSE this time, winning round one against a very strong opponent, but fumbled hard on the second round and lost.
Enemy List: (Roughly) Palp (Anger, Push, Choke), Imperial Royal Guards (Electrostaff, Stims), 2x Snowtroopers (extra trooper, flame trooper), 3x Stormtroopers (extra trooper, DLT), 2x Scout Trooper Sniper Teams
Setup: Key Positions, Advanced Positions, Rapid Reinforcements
This was my first game with the new Key Positions and Rapid Reinforcements rules. It was an interesting map for it too - there was one large power generator in the center which could block some line of sight, but also be shot over / provide heavy cover, depending on where two units where standing in relation to each other on either side. The rest of the table was mostly just heavy cover or partial LOS blocking terrain - no buildings, walls or hills to hold up behind.
This was also my first in-person game using the list I played. In the last tournament at my shop, blue bids were still a big factor, and I brought 20 points worth. With the Key Positions change, I had filled in those points. and was still making tweaks and adjustments to what to do with those last 20 points. In this case I had stripped down some of my units in order to add a single AT-RT flamethrower unit. I had a plan for this unit, but no play time to have tested it out. In the end I was at 799 and my opponent was at 798, so he took blue.
Deployment went easily enough. I set both my fleet troopers aside, hoping to use my activation advantage (11 activations to his 9) to drop them in after he had activated any units who could threaten them while exhausted, while letting them be set up to move and then throw full dice at him at the top of the next round. He held back a single stormtrooper DLT unit and a single snowtrooper unit
I opened with Coordinated Bombardment. I was expecting a Give Into Your Anger (GITYA) from my opponent, in an attempt to delay Leia and possible cripple a single unit with suppression right away. I got a Standing Orders instead, which worked out well for me. Leia was able to erase an entire sniper squad and remove a single unit from a second right away. My snipers in turn were able to start pressuring his IRGs quickly to reduce Palp’s ability to pass of wounds in later game.
The first few rounds went well for me. I was able to box out his Rapid deployment so his placement of these was in open ground, while mine came in well positioned to start shooting right away the next round, with some heavy cover to boot just in case they activated late. All told I was able to wipe most of his mid field trooper units by round 3, giving me a clear numbers advantage on the middle position.
As well, I got really close to forcing his back field unit off his safe point. My snipers were both able to apply suppression to this stormtrooper units in a round in which Palp had just stepped out of their range. They panicked and fled off the point, but not quite off the board. The next round I was able to re-apply suppression, leaving this unit with three suppression when they activated. A good play, but they rolled well and removed two, and were able to use their single action to line up behind a turret and block me from trying this again.
Round 4 things almost flipped for me. Short version: Palp is a beast with his 1 pip card. I knew this was coming, so I set Luke up in range at the end of round 3, then dropped Son of Skywalker. I got lucky and won the roll off, and felt pretty good about my odds. I didn’t need Luke to kill Palp. I just needed him to leave Palp wounded enough that he could only get off 1-2 blasts. This seemed reasonable - the IRGs had been wiped by my Fleet troopers and Luke had two attacks with an aim token.
Luke jumps in and starts swinging. First attack - 5 hits Awesome. First defense, Palp rolls 5 blocks. Not awesome. Second attack, Like rolls 3 hits. I use the aim and get two more, for another 5 hit attack. This time I’m good. Palp rolls 4 blocks. Not good at all. I spent my big attack and exposed Luke, and my primary target had taken only a single wound. I was in trouble.
Sure enough, Palp uses his first action to attack Luke. He had an aim from Anger, and rolls 5 hits on Luke total. I do not have my opponent’s luck with red dice, and roll only one block. With Luke’s previous wounds this ends him. Palp moved as his second action, surveys the field, then starts shooting. And Now You WIll Die… attack one erases a rebel trooper squad. Attack two erases a Fleet squad, Attack three erases my second fleet squad. With one activation, Palp had removed 333 points off the board. Ouch. My clear a decisive victory was now very much in doubt. A sniper team removed Palp ASAP, but the damage was done. His remaining sniper was able to compound suppression onto Leia, who was already panicked from GITYA in round 3, and she ran off the board.
We both went into round 5 leaderless with bare bones units to grab center.
I won this one with lucky rolls. We were two and three on the point. His three though included two single unit teams, and my two were both at most of full strength. I rolled those fickly rebel dice, and got enough hits through to remove those units. It ended 2-1 with a mostly empty table.
What Went Wrong:
AT-RT Aggression: I took a single AT-RT flamer in this list, with the idea that it would function as a distraction while my troops moved into position. 2 black dice per targeted unit is scary to think about, and no one wants to be on the receiving end of that. I assumed that as this unit moved up, my opponent would be more worried about it that troopers taking objectives. This proved true, they did focus on this unit, but eliminated it too quickly for it to serve its purpose.
I had no room in my list for redundancy with this unit, which I know is required for AT-RT’s to be effective (for anything to be effective, really). So I went into this unit was going to die, possibly without even dealing any damage. I was ok with it dying and dealing no damage, as long as it wasted my opponents time picking through armor.
Mistake: Eager to scare my opponent into targeting the AT-RT and not my trooper units, I pushed it forward too fast. Both my match ups had DLTs in plenty, and one had fragment grenades as well (surge to crit). Game one this unit died in round one, and in game two it only made it round 2. It did distract my opponent in those rounds, but this was not enough to really help me out. Possibly if the match up had been Recover the Supplies or Intercept the Positions, where I needed to score early, by for KP it was mostly wasted.
What I should have done: Even as a big-bad distraction, I should have been more careful. It occurred to me later that if I had kept this unit close to Luke, then pushed them both forward at once, it would have been a lot more efficient. Both are scary troop killers, and both invite focus fire. Pushing them both up in round 3 or 4 would have added a lot of stress on my opponent, who would have been required to choose who to target.
Ol’ Jazz Hands: Palp’s one pip card is brutal. As mentioned, he wiped out 4 units in one activation with it. Some of this was just bad luck with Luke’s SoS attack, but what if I had lost the roll off?
Mistake: Things were looking good for me in round 2, so I pushed my units into center quickly. This meant that far too many units were in range of his attack when he dropped it.
What I should have done. Range 2 is further than it seems when you are the target, so its hard to say what would have happened had I kept my units back. But it does seems that in a Palp match up going forard, I need to kite his model as much as possible, to limit the number of units who are in range from any one point. Any early game damage I can give him would help as well, as the more hurt he is, the less often he can fire off an attack. Guardian 2 on the IRG can only deflect regular hits, so it might be worth crit fishing on Palp with snipers for this very purpose.
Enemy List: (Roughly) Vader (Push, Reflexes, Saber Throw), 6x Stormtroopers (Extra Trooper, DLT), 2x Scout Trooper Strike Teams
Setup: Key Positions, Long March, Clear Conditions
This was my game to lose, and I lost it. I have rarely been as mad at myself as I was after this game. I was up on activations, I knew the game and the the strategy and had been practicing over and over. My opponent was building his list that morning and was unsure about a number of LOS, cover and climbing rules. After my win in the previous round, I went into this game feeling really good, and that was what lost me this game.
I got blue again and picked a board edge which afforded me a safe position completely obscured from the other side, and a large LOS blocking wall to line up against before charging the middle. My opponent places his ‘safe’ position on a piece of light cover I could see from my side clearly. With long march his Vader was going to need time to become a threat. All I needed to do was line up against the wall, shoot anything that came around or over it, then climb up in round 6 to crowd the position.
Instead, I got greedy. I was overconfident in my ability and my opponent’s newness to the game. I saw his open and poorly contested backfield position and pushed three of my units towards it. I did not plan to hold it, but figured I could panic him into committing his troops to keeping me off it, and leave center open for me to wander onto in turn 6. Instead DLTs at range 4 and white dice saves on my troops meant he was able to chew through these units without breaking stride to center. Half my trooper units gone in round 4 put a lot more pressure on my to work with what I had left, and by that point Vader was in range. A foolhardy charge by Luke coupled with some miserable Son of Skywalker rolls (I blanked an entire 6 black dice in one attack) had Luke dead as well in round 4, without a single unit removed to show for it.
Round 5 we both started the climb into the center hill to get in base contact with the center points. I still had the upper hand, based on where all the units were placed on the board at that point. Then Vader’s Saber Throw removed the remainder of a fleet trooper unit, and an insanely lucky white attack dice roll by three stormtroopers killed three rebel troopers in heavy cover. Vaders’ New Ways to Motivate Them in round 6 cinched it. Two previously out of range stormtrooper units were able to lose all but their unit leaders to triple double move then clamber up to get into contact. It ended with 4 units to three units on the center point.
What Went Wrong:
Luke Rage: Always a problem. I stopped my pattern of pushing Luke up into dangerous combat round 2, but waiting until round 4 is not any better. In this case, I pulled SoS, jumped a LOS blocking hill, force pulled two storm trooper units into melee, and started attacking. My thought was just to erase one of the two units, and stop my opponent from being able to use those units to hold center. And while Luke was tied up in Melee and distracting Vader and the stormtroopers in the immediate area, some of my wounded trooper units could fall back to safety.
Instead I rolled poorly on both SoS attacks, and my opponent rolled well on his blocks. He lost only 4 units, meaning I removed no unit leader threats to the objective. Vader them promptly used Force Push to remove me from melee and tore me up with 4 hits on the red dice, of which I blocked only one.
Mistake: Luke rage is a thing. I jumped into a pool of juicy looking stormtroopers, but was also well within two range one moves of Vader. I can use melee rules to shied Luke pretty well, unless my opponent has force push and 6 red dice.
What I should have done: I should have pulled lIke wide, far away from Vader before attacking. This would have left Luke less open, and forced my opponent to chase with Vader instead of just attacking me right out. With Vader being forced to move and throw at Luke instead of move and attack, I could have distracted my opponents nuke unit most of not all of the game, rather than having that unit remove so many trooper units in the last two round who needed to holding objectives.
Pushing Towards an Unneeded Objective: My opponent places his key position marge on a tree stump which was fairly open and provided little cover. It was also a straight shot down my side to this objective, whereas my ‘safe objective was almost completely blocked from his accessing it. Seeing this I got greedy and pushed inits towards it, hoping it would force him to deploy more units to that position than I needed to cover my backfield.
Mistake: Greed. This looked like an easy strategy and I went for it without parsing out the next few rounds of blowback. There was a round LOS blocking building midfield, so I planned to use it for heavy cover and shell my opponents back objective. In practice though it just meant I had two units (with their measly white defense dice) exposed and easy to pick off. They were removed without putting up much of a fight, and losing 2 of my 6 objective grabbing trooper units hurt me in the end, when I needed to contest middle with a flood of bodies.
What I should have done: I should have played it safe. Aggression is fine with red dice and assured wins. With white dice and a contested center points, I should have played the boring game for the win. Keeping all my troopers hidden safely behind the mid field wall would have meant all my units would have been alive to rush the middle point round 6. I had many more activations than my opponent, so this would have forced him to push into me, pulling his units into the meat grinder instead of mine.
What I Learned:
Don’t get cocky, kid: It’s a tournament. In casual play I can try risky things or do dumb things for fun, but if I am playing to win, I need to be smarter. No amount of training and practice will make the dice roll in your favor - white dice saves are white dice saves for new players and veterans alike. Hanging back and being boring would have meant my opponent’s lower activation count would have been his disadvantage. He would have had to move around the corner of my nice LOS blocking wall, where I would have standby tokens waiting. My AT-RT flamer could have tucked away nicely to burn anything that came to my side of the table, rather than pushing out dangerously and being torn up before it could make any attacks.
Sometimes the smartest play is the most boring one, especially for the rebel player.