Point Value: 784
Leia Organa (Esteemed Leader)
Luke Skywalker (Force Push, Force Reflexes, Emergency Stims)
2x AT-RT (Flamethrower)
4x Rebel Troopers (Z-6 Trooper)
2x Rebel Commando Strike Teams (DH-447 Sniper)
Enemy List: (Roughly) Vader (Saber Throw, Force Push), Veers (Esteemed Leader), 3x Stormtroopers (DLT-19, Extra Trooper), 1x Snowtroopers (Flame Trooper, Extra Trooper), 1x Speederbikes, 1x E-Web (Barrage Generator)
Setup: Intercept the Transmission, Battle Lines, Clear Conditions
I had seen players talk about a list they were calling “Sorry About the BBQ”, which is basically Han, Leia, triple AT-RT flamethrowers and some Z-6 troopers to fill out the rest of the list. This sounded fun, and while I could not field the list as intended (I do not have Han painted yet), I still wanted to try a variant of the list just to play with.
Using Luke over Han meant about 60 points lost to my commander, which hindered my ability to flush the original list out. I also wanted sniper squads in the mix, so I oped to drop the third AT-RT for two sniper teams. This worked out in my favor in the game, but gave me less options for burning up my opponent.
This was my second game against a relatively new player. I hedged a little in picking the battle deck to not let it crush him. I had Key Positions in the third slot, but instead of forcing that I left the objective as Intercept and instead killed Long March, which with Vader and Snows would have been painful for him, especially with my snipers picking at those units each round as they plodded along. Getting Battle Lines helped him a lot, as Vader could start ripping units up by round two.
The first three rounds went well enough for me, and I was 4 VP to his 2 by the end of round 4. I made a mistake with Luke which cost me that unit in round 4. I dropped Son of Skywalker to attack Vader and tie him up before he could start eliminating my rebel troopers. Not a terrible idea on its own, but I made a timing mistake with Force Push - I used it to draw Vader in one, so that I could aim then charge him. The aim token added maybe one hit, whereas if I had saved the Force Push, double move and attacked, I could have then used the Push to force Vader out of cover where my snipers could have shot at him the rest of the round. This likely would have finished him off that round, preventing later carnage.
This oversight put the game really close to coming out for the other player in round 6. I eked it out thanks to a lucky roll with a Z-6 unit which dropped Vader before he could erase my dominance of the center objective.
What Went Wrong:
Leia Rage: I have read all about Luke Rage. He moved quickly with jump 1, and throws 6 black dice, which temps players to rush in a kill units headlong. This results is brutal retaliation against Luke’s 6 HP, which can melt away under sustained fire. I have trained myself to stop doing this, but found instead I was suffering from Leia Rage, centered around Coordinated Bombardment. CB is such a powerful card its hard not to let its allure draw you in. Three attacks against three targets at infinite range? Sharpshooter 2? Yes please.
Mistake: I want to start strong, using CB to suppress and remove units before my opponent can even act. This means moving or deploying Leia so she can see the soft targets she wants to attack. Too often this moving / deployment also means Leia is positioned so those same enemies can see her. And having already gone, she is just hanging out the rest of the round taking shots. In this game I have to move forward once to see the units I wanted to shoot, which meant in turn Stormtrooper units could shoot at her in turn. She took 4 damage by the end of round 1, which is way too much on a unit I needed to survive into round 6.
What I should have done: I need to curb the urge to push Leia out turn 1 to bomb units. Yes, that initial suppression and unit loss is nice, but not if it means Leia is taking 3 damage turn 1. It might occasionally be worth losing some of the full worth of CB if it means Leia can keep back in partial cover and out of retaliation range. This is a good general note for the game. Units who activate early might be best served to play defensively.
What I Learned:
Flame AT-RTs Are Better At Psychological Warfare Than Actual Warfare. Two black dice with Blast and Spray is pretty scary to think about when you are looking it down. But as the player running them, it’s pretty underwhelming. It looks like a lot of dice, but black dice come up blank more often that you would like. Added to the range limitations of the weapon and you might only get to unload on two units over the course of the game.
Now that being said, it is worth noting that these units will stress your opponent. Seeing them coming and knowing what it means could convince the other player not to rush an objective, and might even draw their fire, keeping it off your more valuable, objective taking units.
AT-RTs also count as light cover, so if you are playing them, keep that in mind. Push them in front and let your core units huddle up behind for protection as they move towards an objective.
If you are going to play a list “for fun”, just have fun. I did not think this list was going to be competitive, I just wanted to burn things with the dual AT-RT flamers. Knowing that I should have dumped any strategy and just had fun with those units. Rush groups of stormtroopers and burn them.
Playing these units ‘strategically’ meant they were pretty much just area denial for one the objectives, and only got the flamer one troop. Black dice being mediocre, the flame attack didn’t even wipe the unit. I won this game, so I guess I can’t complain, but the flamers did not bring me any happiness in the form of toasted stormtroopers.