This article will be a summary of the top 8 armies at the 2023 Legion World Open Qualifier Italy and some of my takeaways as a player in the event!
The Italian WOQ had 32 players who played 6 rounds over two days. The event had an unconventional format with a day one top 16 cut. So all players who went at least 2/1 on day one were able to play on day two. Three more rounds were played on day two resulting in two undefeated players with a 3/0 record. This made it so strength of schedule was used to determine who won first place and the free travel+accommodations at Adepticon 2024. At the event 11 people played Empire (2 Blizzard Force, 2 Tempest Force), 3 Rebel players, 11 Republic players (1 Wookiee Defenders), 6 Separatists players (1 Experimental Droids), and 1 Shadow Collective player.
Based on this format all 2-1 players on the day two cut ended up in the top 8 regardless of their day 1 performance. The lists are presented in order of tie breaker rank.
Our first top 8 player was Kevin Jones who played Blizzard Force. This army has all the usual fixings of a Blizzard Force army: Commander Vader, 4 Bikes, 2 HRU’s and two Snowtroopers. Kevin did opt for some less conventional upgrades on his units. For example he equipped Esteemed Leader and Force Barrier on Vader using him in a more defensive role. Additionally the Snowtroopers have a Medical Droid and Portable Scanner to help protect Vader and heal any early wounds. I personally prefer upgrades such as Improvised Orders and Force Choke on Vader but this version is interesting giving Vader some more play as a support commander.
Caleb Torrey played Experimental Droids. We played day 1 which resulted in my one loss over the weekend. The army is really interesting leveraging the power of the Experimental Droids surge token. For those unfamiliar you can find the rules for the Experimental Droids here. In short every turn you get to do the following ~3 times: increase a units speed by 1 for one move, gain an aim or dodge token, add one black and one white dice to an attack pool, or remove up to 2 suppression tokens. Adding one black and one white dice to a BX-Series Droid Commando is a sweet combo, it also pairs quite nicely with the B2-HA Trooper. I really like that this battle force gives play to some unit that we rarely see on the table. For example, I cannot remember the last time I saw Droidekas in a competitive list. The one thing this army really struggles with is Armor. This is why Caleb opted for the E-60R and B2-HA troopers to try and shore up this weakness. Overall I definitely underestimated this list and think it is a really cool option for the Separatists.
Marvin Trinkler played an Anakin BARC’s list. This army is pretty popular in Germany and preferred by many over a more traditional Anakin gunline. Essentially this list gives up some gunline firepower in order to include BARC’s for some more objective play. The army also can set up some pretty powerful Fire Support attacks with the inclusion of the Clone Commander and Fives. I like the inclusion of the Comms Jammer on the naked BARC as a small late game play to ruin your opponents order control on an important turn.
Oskar Kida was the sole Shadow Collective player, but he showed that this list is still one you need to take serious! The army is only 8 activations but is packed full of beefy core troopers. Oskar fielded a hybrid army with 4 Pyke Syndicate Foot Soldiers and 2 Black Sun Enforcers (BSE). I like this split, 4 Pykes is a deadly gunline and the inclusion of the BSE gives you some other threats to push up with Maul. While the Shadow Collective has suffered many nerfs I think it is still a great competitive army!
Martin aka Tailgunner played a Yoda ARC’s list similar to the one pioneered by Mike Barry. It is also worth mentioning Martin technically never lost a game during the tournament but lost a coin flip on a tie game. Martin and our other top 8 Yoda player Riccardo played Hostage Exchange and ended up tying in the second round of day 2. They both only killed the ARC Trooper Strike Team with Echo and kept their own hostage safe. This meant they rolled a dice at the end of the game to determine the winner. I want to note that this issue with ties is neither players fault but more of an issue with the current rules. This is sadly a common occurrence in competitive tournaments under the current rules. I would personally prefer a change to the rules that makes it so one player always breaks ties to avoid this situation.
Rules and tie discussion aside this army is a really efficient gunline. The army uses token generation to super charge ARC Troopers. This combined with the amazing objective play of Yoda results in a really powerful competitive army. The only real weakness of this army is Armor skews. It is for the aforementioned reasons Yoda ARClines are currently considered the best list in the game.
Johannes is our final top 8 player, playing an Anakin BARC list. Johannes and I played in the final round of day 2. The army is strong on objectives as well as in a firefight. Because I was playing a gunline I opted to play my own objective deck to avoid some of the more mobile objectives this list can play. The game ended up being extremely cagey with a turn 6 rush to the center intercept point. I was narrowly able to out activate him on the center which was helped by the fact the BARC Speeders do not score on this objective. Overall still a solid list in the current meta, with a balanced approach to the game.
Day two was a top 16 cut with only three rounds which resulted in two undefeated 3/0 players. The final winner and recipient of the flight and hotel was determined by tie breakers.
Our fist 3/0 player is… me! Before this event I had not played a legion tournament in roughly ~7 months because of some life busyness. Feeling out of practice I decided to play something I am really comfortable with. I have been playing Boba/Bossk double bounty since Bossk came out and feel at home playing this army. While many people prefer IG-88 over Bossk, I find the lizard fits my playstyle better. Each of my major wins have always been with Bossk. After deciding to play Boba/Bossk I built the rest of the list around supporting them. I brought the Imperial Officer to give aims to Bossk each turn since he is really aim hungry. I played Agent Kallus when he first came out and always thought he was a solid unit. His points were reduced by 15 points making him an excellent unit in my opinion. If you read my Empire 2023 Tier List this army is basically just the units I think are top tier at the moment supported by 11 activations of padding.
I found I had to play the list extremely cagey and defensive at the tournament. In many of my games I had to hide my whole army behind line of sight blocking terrain as I ducked in and out with Boba and Bossk. Basically units like the Scout Trooper Strike Teams are really vulnerable after the changes to wound allocation. Iden, Inferno, and ARC troopers just eat Scout Trooper Strike Teams for breakfast. This meant it was often a mistake when I tried to take shots with my snipers. When I attacked with my snipers they often died shortly after. While this felt bad in some of my games I still think they are necessary for the role they fill. They are cheap activation padding and still hit like a truck when combined with Rule With Respect. There is a proliferation of Dodge Spam armies at the moment between Yoda, Anakin, Ashoka and Shadow Collective so you need to have high velocity in your army. With that in mind I think one of the keys with snipers at the moment is knowing when you are in a tough match up and just need to hide them. Despite having 3 snipers I found I was in a losing gunfight against many Republic armies. This again made me need to lean into a really passive play style hiding my 11 activations. Since I often out activate my opponent by 2-3 activations I can play more passive and just use my activation lead to leverage Boba and Bossk.
I like this army but in the current meta small mistakes can be punishing. If you are someone who would not enjoy just dodge standbying with 80% of your army this may not be the list for you. While your corps and snipers are often playing passive you have great order control over Boba and Bossk and can make some aggressive plays. I had to rely heavily on Boba in many of my games to make plays and pressure objectives. With 11 activations and good order control you can really play Boba like a scalpel targeting the weak units in your opponent’s army. If you are interested in playing a Boba and Bossk double bounty list I have written extensively about it over the years you can check out some other articles below!
- Double Bounty: Revisited (How to play Boba & Bossk Double Bounty)
- Bounty Hunting is a Complicated Profession: A Guide to Bounty Hunters in the Empire
Riccardo was the winner of the Italian WQ winning the flight and hotel for Adepticon 2023. The army is similar to Martin Tailgunners. There are some small upgrade and unit differences but it functions the same. The army is extremely dominant at range and creates insane fire support attacks with Luminous Beings Are We. One thing of note is Riccardo does not play Padme but brings the Clone Commander. Padme is the most popular choice in the Yoda ARClines because Yoda can use his Force Guidance to activate Padme’s Quick thinking. The Clone Commander gives you a few extra points making space for Aggressive Tactics. I want to say congratulations to Riccardo on his win and wish him good luck at Worlds 2024!
After playing in the tournament, I have a few different take aways. First the tie rules need to be changed, it seems like each competitive event has a game in the top 8 determined by a coin flip. I think if both players have the same points at the beginning of the game you should flip a coin (roll a red defense dice) and determine who wins on a tie breaker before the game begins. This would make it so one player will be the defender and the other the attacker. The reason we are having more ties is because neither player is incentivized to go on the attack and take risks. When one player is currently losing (because they don’t have the tie breaker) they need to play aggressive and actually make a game out of it. I think the issue around ties is an unforeseen side effect of changing the blue/red tie breaker rules. I hope this gets changed before Adepticon so we do not see any games on the world stage go to ties.
Second I think the format was a bit strange. I would have preferred a top 8 cut for day two so we had 1 undefeated winner. On day two you can also have a redemption bracket with everyone who did not make the cut, essentially just play another 3 rounds of Swiss. That way everyone gets 6 games in total and you have one true winner. Both myself and Riccardo Dossena lost a game on day 1 so this format would have excluded us from the day 2 cut. The other option is to have a 4th round on day two where you have the two undefeated players play each other. I prefer to have prizes given out based on game results not on tie breakers like Strength of Schedule especially when the 1st place prize is a flight from Europe to the US and room and board for a week. That being said I really enjoyed the event and had a great time! Everyone I played was really friendly and a great sport! This was my first time in Italy so it was great to see they also have a great legion community as well.
Based on multiple recent tournaments results it is clear that the Republic is the current army to beat. Both Anakin and Yoda have been putting up impressive results. I think there are still solid options to play against the Republic that have a decent chance. I wonder if armor skews such as Tempest Force were more popular would help counter low Impact gunlines. Based on my experience Bossk is a solid option, he provides some much needed long range damage which is not venerable to Echo. In my games against GAR he was important for playing the ranged game. With dodge spam running rampant Iden might also be a good option for the Empire. I am interested to see if any other list come to rise before worlds or if the current meta is a good reflection of what to expect at Adepticon 2024. All in all I had a great time at this tournament and hope you enjoyed this summary of the top 8 at the Italian WOQ!