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Star Wars Legion: Ignominious Defeat

Played another game tonight. Didn’t take pictures. Brought an Iden gunline with the intent to use Tactical Strike to get an early lead then grind down my opponent.

Iden with enough Suppression to threaten a late Annihilation Looms

I was pretty happy with this list, at least until I saw what I was up against.

That’s 12 activations, 5 of them vehicles with Armor.

I deployed to try to get pressure forward early, but I couldn’t infiltrate very far as I deployed the ISF late so I was barely out of my deployment zone with them. We ended up playing Key Positions, Danger Close and Limited Visibility. I was hoping for Fortified positions but with it in the last position I had no chance without my opponent helping me out. So no extra bunkers for cover and to prevent his vehicles from having freedom of the field.

Turn 1 wasn’t terrible, I got some chip damage out and he took out a single ISF trooper. Turn 2 started well with me playing Tactical Strike and my opponent, John playing Covering Fire. I won the roll off and got a good chunk of damage on 1 of his T-47s. Then he moved up with an AT-RT and used Fire Support to dump 9 dice with Surge to Crit into an unactivated ISF, which took them down to just the leader, getting rid of the heavy weapon with the critical Critical 2 keyword. I drew from my order stack and got Krennic who handed out an aim and then dodged himself, then my opponent landed 6 hits on the other unactivated ISF unit and I rolled… 2 saves. Again leaving them without their heavy weapon. This pulled the teeth on 2 of my most important units on a critical turn. I was able to get both Speeders to half health but John was able to set up more Fire Support attacks with the AT-RT / each of which virtually deleted a unit.

By the end of turn 3 I didn’t hold a single objective and was only contesting 1 with a severely depleted shoretrooper unit. At this point I just went for blood, swatting a Veteran unit, both Airspeeders, 1 going down to Iden, the other to my E-Web before it ate another fire-support shot deleting it. Iden then took down an AT-RT before the battle ended.

I only think I made a few mistakes. The list I faced was a poor match for me, I didn’t have enough crit/impact, and had way less mobility after failing to take advantage of my infiltrators.

I should have absolutely used both of my ISF units once I realized they were more exposed than I thought, but I really think the only way I win this matchup is with near-perfect tactics and above average dice, and I had a couple bad rolls early that snowballed through the game.

I learned some, especially about activation priority and a bit more on targeting but it wasn’t *AS* great an experience as I might have wanted. No shame on John at all. He was a good opponent, patient with my pace and desire to learn, friendly and even made some suggestions as well as insisting on calling the game rather than finishing me off despite my being game for it as he’d definitely earned the win.

Star Wars Legion: Boots on the Ground

Ok, so I played a game of Star Wars Legion today. This is the first game I’ve played since the Big Bang despite preordering a copy for release day. I have loved how the models looked since day 1 and built up a decent collection of which I’ve also largely painted the Imperial side. I played at Game Kastle in Ankeny, a somewhat unpleasant 20 minute drive since I could just WALK to Mayhem in 5 minutes but I had Today off so it could have been worse.

For my opponent I matched up with a gent named Tim who is a regular there and who brought his 3 kids. His kids also designed the list for them and I probably owe them a drink or something because they did me right. Near as I can reconstruct it was this (missing some upgrades as he had next to no bid.

Tim’s list, minus some upgrades I know he had but cannot recall and not sure what his other command cards were.

I on the other hand got some excellent advice from a friend who knows his stuff and coaxed me from 8 activations to 9 which ended up being pretty decisive.

For Iden I ended up going with Seize, Situational Awareness and the DLT-20A because… clones.

My original list had one fewer stormtrooper unit and a BUNCH more upgrades, especially filling every training slot.

For the mission it was Key Positions, Battle Lines, and Rapid Deployment with him putting his naked clones in reserve and me putting a DLT Storms in the bag.

Deployment I put my objective as close to the middle as I could and Tim put his way out. On reflection we should have reversed that, he probably would have been better served with a deathball to share tokens while I wanted to spread him out to prevent that. Either way we ended up with the token placement we kinda wanted just not the efficient way. He deployed his 2 Phase 1 squads and Rex well out on the flank with his objective, with the Phase 2s supporting somewhat towards the middle, ready to flex either way. Yoda was in cover closer to the middle and the Arcs were just past the midline of the board. I deployed Shores with their mortars from the center line to the left, with Iden backing them up, then Vader, with Storms to his right, and the Special Forces in front of him.

Turn 1 was mostly us shuffling around. I played Darkness Descends, giving Vader his much-needed Surge tokens, Tim played Air Strike which he used to throw some damage around. With some long-range speculative shots, he picked off one of my ISF troopers and put a couple wounds on Iden I took down an ARC trooper, a couple clones, and laid out a bunch of suppression. For those not familiar, suppression is the way the game represents friction and it’s a neat mechanic, below a unit’s courage, there’s no effect, from 1x to 2x a units courage, they lose one of their 2 actions, which makes everyone less effective, above 2x they panic. Units lose suppression at the end of their turn and can shed some (1/3 chance) at the start of their move. I tried to focus on getting multiple suppression on a couple units to ensure that the effects persisted. Also he dropped his naked clones WAY out on my right, his left, and I countered by putting mine flanking them, pincering him between the two Stormtrooper squads (either of which had more firepower than him to begin with.)

Turn 2 was nasty for him. I played Pulse Scan and he played Size Matters Not. He blitzed out with Yoda, putting 3 wounds on Vader and double Force Pushing my ISF well out of cover. He moved Rex out ahead of his troops but forgot Rex’s jetpack (until the end of the game in fact) leaving him exposed while the two clone squads behind him milled about in cover. He put some shots on my ISF but a lucky token pull got them in cover and landed more wounds on his ARCs leaving Fives on 1 wound. More fire on Rex left him with a couple wounds. Throughout the turn I focused my fire on unactivated units early, landing a lot of hits and, more importantly, suppression, on units that still needed to go, forcing him to give up several actions from his army due to higher levels of suppression. Iden activated late in the round and moved up to the exposed Rex, putting a bolt through him, leaving the brave Clone Commander dead in the dirt. When Vader went he managed to completely fail to wound the Jedi Master, but Force Pushed him away, triggering Iden’s standby which… whiffed. She needs aims. However the shore troopers behind her put 2 wounds on Yoda, losing one of their own to a deflected blaster shot.

By this point the game was really leaning in my favor. I had 2 squads ganging up on one of his out on one flank, with 1 of mine camping an objective. My dice had been blistering hot (my ISF had rolled 4 black 4 white and landed 7 hits, my shores fired 6 black and 2 white and landed 8 with 3 crits… just absolutely unreal amounts of luck) while my opponent was probably under 33% saves with red dice and a bunch of surge tokens.

Going into turn 3 Yoda was wounded in the center of the board with a wounded Fives in cover behind him. Tim played There is no Try. I played Implacable. Yoda and 1 other trooper squad (his Phase 2s) got orders, as well as a dodge, Outmaneuver and Relentless. I got an order for Vader, as well as a Dodge. By playing a 1 pip I ensured I went first. I activated Vader and the Dark Lord of the Sith took an Aim token, Walked up to Yoda and hit him for 6. Burning his dodge he rolled 5 saves, needing to make 3… and made 2. Yoda fell under the crimson blade, Vader then threw Fives out of cover and into the open. Tim then activated his Phase 2s and moved them up. He wanted to attack Vader, who had taken a wound to shuffle his token back in the stack, but they were his 1 basically undamaged unit, and he didn’t want to eat a bunch of deflected shots so he blasted away and the out of cover ISF unit. His dice totally betrayed him and only 2 of the ISF troopers fell, leaving the squad leader and the heavy weapon. My mortars threw out more suppression, my shores did more damage, and Iden picked off 5s with a disrespectful shot.

At this point Tim’s sons had finished their games, and it was getting close to closing time. We called it and shook hands with 2 objectives firmly under Imperial control and the 3rd about to fall. It was a crushing victory but it really came down to the top half of turn 2. I felt that there were a couple things that really hurt Time and really helped me. First: My luck was absolutely unreal early, and his was awful. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game of any type where my dice were THIS hot and my opponents were THIS bad. Red dice are 1/2 in defense 2/3 on surges, which he had tokens for, and they just refused to cooperate. I doubt he’d have won even without his mistakes the way the dice were rolling.

But he also had some things he did wrong, he didn’t know his list, which, I get, your kids come up with a list, you play it, suboptimal or not. 7 activations wasn’t great, and it meant he had to get the most out of them and I *FEEL* in my inexperienced state, he didn’t always do that. He put too many shots into units that had already activated and spread his suppression out, so I rarely had to worry about it. In fact, I think I lost only 2 or 3 actions over the course of the game, and I feel like he lost far more due to suppression each turn after the first. Second, he didn’t focus fire, which was harder to do with fewer units and widely spread out both physically and by the terrain. He couldn’t bring his army together which from what I’ve heard the clones REALLY want to do so they can form a token-sharing deathball. I feel like if he’d grouped up more and focused his firepower on my troops to eliminate units before they could activate, or at least suppress them, he could have done much more to slow me down.

On my side, I did a better job utilizing suppression and I am looking for ways to maximize that going forward. I did deploy my mortars poorly and, while I used them to some effect, had they been better located they’d have contributed more, and they were SUPREMELY lucky to not get vaporized. I’m talking one finished the game without a single wound token despite having to roll 9 saves. I need to really think more about objectives and how to take advantage, Tim did me a big favor not putting all 3 on top of each other (to the extent he could) which would have forced me to face a big death ball of token sharing clones. Not ideal.

But it was a great learning experience. I am going to tweak my list, I’m sure he’s going to come up with something spicy and hopefully next week we will both do better! Also I will take pictures, not video as the free WordPress DOESN’T LET YOU INSERT VIDEO/GIFS GRAAAAAAH!