Point Value: 780
Leia Organa (Esteemed Leader, Emergency Stims)
Luke Skywalker (Force Push, Force Reflexes)
2x Fleet Troopers (Scatter Gun Trooper, Fleet Trooper)
4x Rebel Troopers (Z-6 Trooper)
2x Rebel Commando Strike Teams (DH-447 Sniper)
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
Spoiler alert - I did not win.
Enemy List: (Roughly) Leia, Han, 3x Z-6 Rebel Troopers, 1x Commando Saboteurs, 2x Commando Strike Team Snipers, 2x AT-RT
Setup: Recover the Supplies, Major Offensive, Rapid Reinforcements
I had the better bid, so I took blue. I’ll talk more in another posting about my plans and setup for this tournament, but it did not do much to help me here. Still I did have a good plan for winning Recover the Supplies, and I think I did a fair job working towards that. Some mistakes were made, but as good part of this came down to bad luck with dice.
The plan was two fold. Part one was simple. I would have two trooper units each grab one of my placed supply boxes ASAP then move back into full cover to turtle - meaning each round they would take a dodge, and have Leia give them another. I wanted to do this before they started taking damage and suppression, so they could get out of fire with enough units to take some hits if it came down to it in the last rounds.
Part two was more complex - perhaps, is it turned out, too complex. Troops not going after my boxes would push in towards the middle box and my opponents boxes from my deployment line. Their job was to die, but in doing so waste my opponents time and actions. If it looked like I was pushing stupidly in, maybe my opponent would focus on that and move his troops in to confront them. I assumed he would let a single unit grab the middle and start moving it to safety. While this was happening, I would use Luke’s Jump 1 to skirt around the terrain to come in at the flank. I would the unit with the box, grab it, and again use jump 1 to run it back to safety. All while keeping dodge tokens up for that sweet 66% block chance.
Best laid plans…
What Went Wrong:
Deployment: As usual, turn zero is critical in Legion. I made some placement mistakes in deployment which caused me to take attrition earlier than I could afford.
Mistake: I pushed my fleet trooper units forward too quickly. With Major Offensive you have the option to deploy units with a range that units are shooting at each other round 1. I wanted to get those 10 white / 2 red throwing damage quickly, so I positioned my fleets closer to the middle of the board. Bad call, as they took an early suppression from the opposing Leia’s Coordinated Bombardment, then got chewed up and suppressed further by rebel troopers with range 3 getting in round one attacks.
What I should have done: Fleet troopers are a glass cannon. They can wipe a unit in one attack, but they also roll white dice for their paper armor. I should let my standard trooper units, who I take mostly for how cheap they are, to eat hits in early game while my fleets move forward in cover and use first/last activation practices to ensure they get to strike before their numbers start to dwindle.
Coordinated Bombardment: A big part of my plan for this build centered around CB as a early means to suppress and winnow down troops (this is likely true of every Leia player, as this 1 pip is arguably the most powerful command card in the game). In play, Coordinated Bombardment is no different from any other key facet to a strategy - you need to plan for the worst and build in redundancies to bad odds.
Both players threw CB round 1, and I got the roll off to take first activation. From my testing and playing in the lead up to this tournament I had decided to use it to strike vulnerable or soft targets, in order to kill activations early. This meant strike teams first, then bikes and last anything I could see throwing white dice.
Mistake: Knowing what my strategy NEEDED to happen in this first activation, I should have chosen my actions accordingly. This means Leia takes an aim token. Red dice are brutal, but all dice can be fickle. I instead use Take Cover to pass out dodge tokens to two trooper units, then took a dodge for Leia herself. Don’t be too shocked - I rolled poorly with CB. four of out 6 dice came up blank.
What I should have done: Plan for the plan. If I am betting round 1 of removing units from the field, give yourself as much chance as possible of doing so. An aim token would have allowed me to re-roll at least one of those, which would have meant removing one of the opposing rebel commando strike teams from the board instead of just suppressing it and dropping the unneeded second unit. That remaining sniper harassed me the rest of the game unperturbed as my opponent did not make the same mistake.
Suppression: I should not be needing to learn suppression rules at this point…
Mistake: I had a slight misunderstanding about when suppression should be applied which cost me some possible gains. I was under the impression that as long as the opponent is rolling defense dice, they get a suppression token, even if they block all damage. So in cases where cover negated my hit, and the unit did not need to roll, I was not applying suppression.
What I should have done: Know the rules. In part, it was how quick I was with a lot of rules which got me into this. I play a LOT on the Tabletop Simulator, and the sheer number of games I have played (event just against myself) means I have a lot of rules and stats memorized. I was offering answers to things to quickly that it was just assumed I knew what I was talking about. Except in this case I did not. At least three activations should have been done with the unit suppressed, which very well could have turned the tide in my opponents ability to hold me off.
Assumptions About Opposing Lists: I have been using the Legion Discord channel in the last months as a source for getting better at the game. Based on what I was seeing discussed there and what I assumed people would be into from the recent release schedule, I did my testing of my list around variants of a very particular opposing list. My first opponent of the day had nothing like that list, and lot of what I had practiced went out the window. I planned for a variant of a Veers / Boba list, with at minimum two Scout Sniper squads. What I got was a Rebel list with more armor than I was prepared to handle and tactics I was not ready to counter.
Mistake: Assuming anything.
What I should have done: Play-tested my list against as many varieties of opposing lists as possible. In the future I might just keep an excel document of lists to pick from at random when testing a list in a game against myself in the TTS, to ensure I am being forced to deal with unexpected units.
Enemy List: (Roughly) Veers, Boba, 2x Bikes, 1x Scout Troopers, 2x Scout Trooper Strike Teams, 3x Stormtroopers
Setup: Key Positions, Advanced Positions, Clear Conditions
This game was more like what I was expecting to face, and the cards went in my favor with KP and AP as my preferred choices. I won this round, but not as handily as I should have with all things being in my favor. It went to round 6 with 1:1 and contention over one of my points. Due to some overly cautious positioning on my part, I ended up needing Luke’s Force Push to clear activated enemy units off the objective in the last two rounds. It worked, but I don’t think it should have come down to that.
What Went Wrong:
Deployment: I cleared a number of the dumb mistakes from the first round, but still left some units too exposed in round 1, including my two Rebel Commando Sniper units getting shot down before they could activate.
Mistake: I set my sniper teams up where they could start aim+shooting round 1. I dumped their HQ Uplinks to get my bid for this list, which left their activation up to chance. This was meant to be offset by Leia’s Coordinated Bombardment taking out threats to my sniper teams before they could be threats - namely killing the opposing team’s snipers in activation 1. However, due to the deployment of said snipers, Leia could not see them to fire, and used her attacks instead of soften up bike teams and suppress a stormtrooper unit.
So Veers used Maximum Firepower on the first sniper team and wiped it. Painful, but I had not provided any more tempting targets, so this would have been acceptable - 44 points gone to kill his alpha strike. The second team was where I really screwed up. I used the 50% rule for this team to get cover from a building. This allowed my opponent to move and attack so as to have no LOS to my second unit, requiring I remove the sniper mini. Ooph.
EDIT: I have since learned that for strike teams, this is not how it works. If the sniper is killed, the second unit becomes the sniper. So I should have just swapped the minis and continued.
What I should have done: It now seems worth losing that aim token in round 1 to ensure late activation does not put my sniper teams in danger. Keep them hidden, then move and shoot at your priority target when you pull.
And for the love of all that is good in this world, I need to think harder about how I use cohesion. I had two instances in this game where I allowed terrain scoping to kill my heavy early, leaving a mostly whole but neutered unit.
Hunkering Down Out Of LOS Is Not A Guaranteed Key Positions Win: This will be obvious to anyone who is not half blind. Pulling KP, I placed one token on a barricade set and the second on a height 1 building. The barricade position was far enough back into my deployment zone that I had no real worry about it being a contended point. The building was where I assumed (correctly) he would strike. I just needed to stack units on it and I was fine, right?
Mistake: I chose the building as position #2 because I could pile two full units behind it, completely out of sight of any attack. This assumption was true, but did not really help me. These units did nothing but dodge+standby in rounds 1-4, then in round 5 when the opposing units started pushing in, I found that LOS blocking goes two ways. In order to keep these units off the other side of the point, I would need to move then shoot, denying myself aim tokens and risk losing base contact with the building in order to get the needed shot.
What I should have done: I should have put a single unit on the point for safety, then moved my other units forward. I had plenty of good LOS terrain on the board which I could have used to trigger standby attacks as enemy units moved past me, towards the objective. This would have allowed me to thin the numbers in earlier rounds instead of wasting actions turtling on the point.
What I Learned:
Force Push All The Time! Seriously, Force Push should be a no-brainer on Luke (or Vader). This is pretty common knowledge for the competitive players, but new players will likely sleep on this one. It’s 10 points, exhausts on use and is only range 1 with a speed one forced move. This does not sound impressive, but trust me it’s overpowered if anything. I have used it in every game I have played it in since learning about its power, often taking recover actions just to ensure I can use it again.
Force push is a free action, so you can do any of the following in addition to your standard actions on a turn:
Push a unit off the map
Pull a unit into melee if you are just short
Push or pull a unit out of cover
Push or pull a unit into one of your troop’s standby range
Push a unit off of an objective
Remove yourself or another unit from being tied up in melee
Timed Games Add A Lot Of Stress To Play. This was my first time playing under any sort of time limit. I did not do well. It was a joint issue, I won’t take full blame, but I can wholly blame myself for how much my thought process deteriorated when we got close to time. My the 10 minute marks I was dropping activations almost at random, which in two instances did or could have cost me the second game. I plan to do two things going forward:
Time myself when I play. Even if my opponent is not playing for time, I will be keeping myself to set times for deployment and each activation, and looking for ways to shave time off of setup, teardown and end of round cleanup.
I don’t want to be that guy, but if my opponent is dragging their feet in a timed game I need to work to keep things moving. I want people to like me and enjoying the games we play, so the tricky part here is how to push things along without being pushy.
Weeks Of Planning And Playing Casually Is No Comparison To The Benefits of Playing In A Tournament. If you want to play competitively, as I do, you need to be playing competitively. I was super busy in the weeks leading up to this first tournament, so most all my play was against myself on the Tabletop simulator. While this is better than not playing, its not real test of your strategy or planning when going up against another player. And even in casual in person games it can be easy to just roll with things and not think too hard about what you are doing each round. I need to play more games as if they were tournament games and more than that, play in more tournaments.