Everyone and their mother has been playing droids recently. With the release of Dwarf Spider Droids, Super Tactical Droids, Magnaguards, and even the Snail Tank, everyone has been using the new hotness to much prevail. Of the last 3 major tournaments (LVO, Cherokee Open, and Canto Bight Cup) 11 of the top 21 are droid lists, and 8 of those are running a super tactical droid (thank you to The Fifth Trooper and their writeups for compiling this data). I don't necessarily mind droids having a spot on top for a while, but that just means we've gotta learn how to beat them!
Today we'll be diving into some "droid counter" lists, discussing what pieces counter droids, and helping you turn those clankers into scrap metal!
What Droids Hate to See
Droid Troopers, unlike all other troopers, don't have the benefit or detriment of suppression until panicked. This means the typical way to deal with tons of low courage, weak save units (suppression) won't work. Thankfully, there are plenty of other ways to deal with droids, some of which will help you out against the rest of the playing field.
- Impact - Impact weapons deal with the armor found on B2s and DSDs
- Critical - Again ways to get crits through, but this time it goes over cover, something that B1s often use to balance their poor saves
- Sharpshooter - Another way to mitigate B1s in cover. Also deals with STAPs
- Range 4+ - A lot of CIS commanders like to sit on the back lines or wait for the right moment to strike. Cards like Coordinated Bombardment, Maximum Firepower, T-21Bs, snipers, or FD cannons can disrupt this plan and chip damage onto units that don't want to take it
- Ranged Pierce - Ranged pierce is few and far between, but when you have it it should be held on to. With white dice seeing any level of pierce often means your few saves are entirely mitigated, and with red dice you're taking more damage than you can often rely on
- Flankers - Units that can get to the back lines and stay there causing problems thrive against long range or immobile gunlines
- Ion - Specifically designed to counter droids and vehicles, ion can wreck CIS lists because they commonly have both of those. Strangely enough, CIS seems to be best at this...
Now you're probably thinking "those are mostly just generally good things" and you'd be correct. A lot is good against droids because droids themselves are relatively weak on their own, but in high numbers they are able to cover each other's flaws and fill in any gaps. What I am suggesting is that these things en masse is how to directly counter droids. Here are some fun "droid popper" lists that you can use to finally PWN those clankers!
Rebel Anti-Droid Skew:
You've got Cassian and K2 to hunt down heroes. Some range 4 in the Jetpack Rockets, Pathfinders, and DLT-20As, and general tankiness in anything not named "Rebel Troopers". This isn't a bad list in general, Cassian loves Special Forces, and this list does a good job of having a good gunline at distance and close ranges. Your biggest issue is most likely against melee units (which are very common right now).
Luke, Snowspeeders, and three snipers. It might not win you every game, but you will have a blast slicing and dicing and spraying tons of attacks on the back lines. This is a decent hammer and anvil list, forcing your opponent to face the airspeeders or Luke, but not do both well. The snipers are there for chip damage and to finish off what the Snowspeeders can't.
Empire Anti-Droid Skew:
I think all of my articles show that I'm just a little crazy, and you've reached that point in this one. 4 Ion Snows is scarier than you think, and with a Flamer to bring extra pain you can really cripple some squads. The downside? You have to recover those Ion guns and get the flamer back there. Fear not though! That is where your commanders come into play! Vader allows for constant Compel so you will always be able to move without fear of panicking (while in the bubble), and Veers gives aims and has a command card to let two of your Ion Snows recover! Is this good? Probably not. Does it seem like the bane of a droid list? Maybe in the right hands. Is this a good way to put 29 Snowtrooper models to use? Absolutely.
This is a pretty standard Iden ISF list, but instead of 3 Shores/3 Mortars or 3 Storms/3 Dewbacks you just have 5 Stormtrooper squads, three with T-21s for extra crits, and then an officer for even more aims. You're going to win games against lists other than droids with this list, so you've also got that going for you. Don't be afraid to use Iden's normal gun as well, her E-11 is a free wound between Marksman and Pierce 1!
Republic Anti-Droid Skew:
You like vehicles? I put vehicles on your vehicles. This list uses tons of firepower from vehicles to pressure your opponent across the board. A couple of squads that like Fire Supporting and then R2 for heals and the occasional Secret Mission and you've got a good time waiting for you. Beam Cannons are rare but can annihilate a droid gunline since they have to stand next to each other.
A match made in heaven. This list is affectionately dubbed "The Chosen One" because it uses Yoda's strong command cards to make Anakin even stronger without the downside of his own cards. A standard weak gunline to fill requirements and R2 for activation padding and to draw fire, this list is all about your heroes. Don't be afraid to let them get into the fray and chop up some droids. Swap out Force Barrier for Burst of Speed if you want to let Yoda get some more action!
You are part of the problem.
Tons of droids to take down droids. This has an emphasis on Ion between the DSDs and Snail Tank, but also uses a rocket launcher to get some extra impact in there. I enjoy using the B2s in a Snail as a mobile short ranged turret, so don't be afraid to get them up close and personal.
If any CIS character knows how to beat up droids its General Grievous. He kills more droids than some clones, so who better to fight droids than him! I used Magnaguards to provide some Impact and then got range 4 Critical on 5 of the B1 squads. Just make sure Grievous knows which droids to destroy ;)
Droids are scary, but maybe building a list entirely around beating them will cause you more pain in the long run. I hope this helps you dominate the kitchen table though, and don't be afraid to take some of these lists out into the wild, they're not all so narrow minded that you'll only beat your android adversaries. Let me know what lists you've used to beat CIS lists in the comments below, and I'll be back next week with more Legion content!