Turns out when you remove a bunch of features of a faction, that faction has to find a way to survive! Thankfully Republic isn't left out to dry without their golden child Rex and his posse of Phase IIs, they have a lot of other strong units that can hold their own.
This past weekend I had my first tournament since August, and it was so good throwing models on the table again! My goopy goblin brain didn't think to get pictures, so instead you'll be getting generic pictures and cool Star Wars art just to spice things up.
Big thanks to Hard Knox Games in Elizabethtown, Kentucky! Andrew puts on a great tournament over there, players are always friendly, and tables are always well assembled. Nothing but a great show all around.
This is the list I ran! If you've been keeping up with the current meta you've probably seen a list like this running around. Mike Gemme over at The Fifth Trooper put together a great write-up for the list when he won Pax Unplugged, so go check it out!
There are a bunch of slight variations for the list, but I chose a deeper bid (4 points) and Portable Scanner over Plo Koon, double Scanner, or more Vigilance. Overall, I wouldn't change the list. It performed well and I never felt like I needed something else to boost its staying or offensive power. I did like Linked Targeting Array, something that others have opted against because of how orders get to the tank, but Padme's Authoritative meant that I could get the tank orders on most turns.
Round 1 -
I got the bye.
A player was running late and was an hour away, so we rolled in a bye and gave the player a round one loss. It wasn't the worst thing in the world, and was the best solution to the problem, it just kept me from playing a third game. I instead played Marvel Splendor, and I really enjoyed it! I had never played Splendor or its variants before, and Marvel Splendor was a blast (even though I got my face kicked in).
One crucial part of this was being able to watch other players games though! There was a lot of armor there this weekend, with 3 AT-STs, a rebel bus, two Sabers, double AAT, and double Landspeeder. Strangely enough, there were no Spiders despite twelve players, three being droids, but I think that spiders wouldn't have changed the final outcome of standings (though more on that later). I loved seeing other people's paint jobs (the double AT-ST and single AT-ST lists played each other round 1 and it was a beautiful table with amazing paint jobs), and it was fun getting a sneak peak at some tactics some players were using.
Round 2 - Saber v Saber
This matchup was going to be an interesting one! What I brought in sabers and support, he brought in Wookiees! With the Wookiee Chieftain, Chewbacca, and a set of Noble Fighters, his Saber tank had backup! Almost too much backup...
That's right, this isn't a legal list! In doing the math while sitting down to build this list, I realized it was in no way able to fit three Z-6 Phase 1s, a full set of Wookiees, a kitted out tank, and two Wookiee Commanders! When setting up we realized that the BARC and R2 can't take Recon Intel, which he had equipped on there, and now I realize that was the least of my worries!
We played Vaps with Long March and War Weary. War Weary never came into play for either of us, but Vaps came down to a crazy die roll at the end of the game, and I pulled out a victory even against the list with too much firepower.
The big takeaway from this game that I got is the Saber can't straddle the middle unless you can funnel units down the middle. Otherwise, pick a side and keep shooting. If you need to reposition it isn't the end of the world, but without a middle objective you may be left without good shots if your opponent is bringing their units down the wide sides.
Round 3 - Saber v Vader
Vader Dews. A pretty standard fare of Vader with Dewbacks and a gunline rather than a full melee skew. The interesting part: full squads of scout troopers with smoke grenades, something I never would've thought about, but its a lot of black dice in close range, and he started about half his list in the middle of the board! I wasn't super concerned about this because of the power of the Saber and Yoda, but with the way my opponent played (and how dice rolled) I should've been!
We played Hostage Exchange, Danger Close, and Clear Conditions, which I felt good about because of the bubble I can make around my hostage squad with the tank, and Danger Close gets me in the middle quick. First move of the game I wiped a full squad of scout troopers with the tank, so I thought that was a sure sign of how this is gonna go. Instead, two major things happened:
- My opponent played incredibly well and timed his movements based off of whether or not I had a standby on the tank OR stayed outside of the range 2 bubble.
- I blanked on 7 of 8 red saves after 9 white dice rolling hits or crits.
I have to commend my opponent, Patrick. He was a great sport and played really really well. I left my Yoda without cover on my back line early, and because of Danger Close he was able to get two range 3 potshots with either a Dewback T-21 or a Specialist-modded Stormtrooper T-21 shot, which put an early 3 wounds onto Yoda because he didn't have Outmaneuver. I was disappointed but not surprised by it. My red dice were abysmal but so was my playing by keeping out in the open.
The end of the first round wasn't too bad, nor was the second, but a few activations into the third round he pulled a squad of stormtroopers with specialist and T-21 into range three of my hostage squad. I had an exemplar dodge from Padme but otherwise no tokens, and I was just out of cover from the direction he was coming, it was a masterful march up the side of the board. He chucked 9 white dice and came up with a combination of 6 hits/crits/surges, and then with an aim from the specialist rerolled 3 more into hits and crits. So with 9 successes sitting across from my 4 man squad I knew I needed to roll at least 5 with my dodge, which is above average. Instead my dice decided to roll 1 block and 1 surge and 6 blanks, which is more demoralizing than anything else.
I dropped my hostage and the game ended there, I was too far away to pick it up and with only a couple more minutes in the round I couldn't use next turn to get it. Vader had Implacable this turn too, so Yoda was toast having already been under half.
Tips and Tricks
So this list is very nuanced, which I knew when I got into it. It is a unique way of playing Yoda since he really isn't the centerpiece of your list, which I really liked. I learned a lot about how to keep time on target with a Fixed: Front weapon, and staying in range with Exemplar while also keeping Padme hidden was tough, and depended on the board.
I always started with Luminous Beings are We, it is a strong start that keeps everyone alive as they get into position, something that you need when you're starting an activation or two down.
The day was a blast! I enjoyed both games, even if my second was a little wild, and the community was great. The Indianapolis Garrison group was a blast to talk to and congrats to Brian for the 3-0 victory with three FD Dish Cannons and Double X-34 Landspeeder (yes, you read that right). I ended up taking home 2nd place and then Best Painted, which was the highest compliment I could receive, so overall a great day!
Let me know how you've been running or seen this list run in the comments below, and I'd love to hear more about what you think about the current meta!