Today I will be looking at some skirmish lists I’m considering for an upcoming local skirmish tournament. I play Republic and Rebels so that will be the focus. But I am going to throw out a a list or two for Empire and Seperatists.
Some things to note are that I live in the Canadian meta where the Kashyyyk is released except for the Snail Tank and Infantry Support Platform. Also to note are that a points change and RRG update are due soon. All these ideas will likely carry over with some editing but there will need to be changes.
General Skirmish Tips
The skirmish “mode” of Star Wars Legion is its own interesting little game. Much of the principles and strategies from 800 point “standard” games still apply in skirmish but there are some differences that can be tricky for the new player and veteran alike.
One thing about the skirmish format is how close the armies can and do deploy. One deployment puts you as close as Range 2 from your opponent before any scouting. This is also on top of much smaller deployment zones that don’t allow you to stay away from your opponent as you often can in 800 point games.
Because the engagement can start immediatelyc finding cover in deployment can often be critical. I often try to slot in recon intel in my lists not to get closer to my opponent, but to move into cover during deployment. When you are deploying your whole army in a tight area, getting it all behind cover can be a challenge, so having even a unit or two which can scout to other cover can be very important.
Another quirk of deployments in Skirmish is that Infiltrating loses some value. Your infiltrators will often be zoned out of any infiltration and essentially have to deploy as normal. However, this can be a blessing in disguise as it can teach you to be more conservative with your infiltrations naturally.
Another interesting thing about skirmish is that because there are only four Battle cards for each category there is no need to bid for battle deck. This often means most skirmish lists are 500 points or very near. The only time I would possibly consider bidding a bit is if you have an infiltration list (Maul for instance) and want to guarantee that you can get a aggressive infiltration.
In general when building lists for skirmish you will need to be aware that hyper aggressive lists are very good in skirmish. You can counter this by building aggressive lists or trying to build lists that can take the punch of an aggressive list and outlast it.
Skirmish lists should also push for a minimum of 5 activations. I consider 6 activations analogous to 10 activations in 800 point games as the “standard” number of activations
The Saltmines appear to be fruitful with some upcoming changes to Empire. Nonetheless I decided to take a crack at building lists that I think would work currently and could potentially be even better after the upcoming changes.
This list has a whopping eight activations which is quite high for skirmish. Not only that but it could easily be bumped up to nine by cutting a few things and throwing in another corp squad. This list operates under the notion that more is better. You are often going to out activate your opponent by 2-3 activations and then bury them with a lot of dice. In this list your officer will be chucking aims around to whichever squad is most critical at that instance.
A change that could be easily be made is to exchange the Snowtroopers’ Ion gun for a Flamethrower. You could even get an officer upgrade for your Flamethrower squad by cutting a Captain and Offensive Push out of one of the stormtroopers. Flame Snows are certainly an interesting option in skirmish.
This list likely wants to play Coordinated Fire very early to get some extra aims out to your squads. Critical to the game plan is pointing your guns at things and shooting them. You need to make sure you keep your number of activations greater than your opponents, as you count on more is better. If you end up with fewer it’s not good.
Vader is here! Lists like this one I’m sure we will see a lot of in both skirmish and standard games. This list is going to run at your opponent and do a bunch of damage. This list will surely get only better with the upcoming errata to Vader.
Critical to this list is keeping Vader alive. This is done through keeping the Royal Guards with him and keeping him in melee. All your standard force user/Vader tips apply here for keeping Vader in the fight and doing damage. One obvious change that could be made to this list would be dropping the Electrostaff Guard for a corps heavy. This would greatly increase the potential of the gunline behind Vader, and is up to your playstyle really.
I would highly consider revealing Darkness Descends. The Infiltrate could be interesting but the more important part for me is the Scout 1 in skirmish. Most of the time you would probably end up deploying Vader normally but then using that scout. A turn 2 Implacable also seems highly likely. I would definitely keep Vader’s Might for the turn after you use Burst of Speed as some added insurance for pulling units into melee when Vader can’t move.
A bunch of droids led by a smarter droid.
Basically this list acts as a droid gunline that is being fed aims and dodges. Any of the three Super Tactical Droids would work for this list. It really just depends what is your style. I chose Kalani as Kalani is able to hand out tons of tokens and keep enough orders around to avoid AI. The problem with Kalani is that on Orbital Strike and They Too Will Suffer, one of your Dwarf Spider Droids will not have an order which could be disastrous if their Ion Blaster is not readied. As this is the case command card selection and planning will be critical to running this list efficiently.
With the Linked Targeting Arrays and Kalani the Spider Droids should be shooting with two aims with Precise 2. This is why I chose the Ion Blaster, it has six dice versus the five of the Laser Canon. You should be able to reach that ceiling somewhat regularly. The average number of hits on this pool with the two aims is just over five, reaching six a third of the time. I would recommend once you are in position with your Spiders always Shoot-Recover, or Recover-Shoot. Always having the Ion readied is more important than a third aim. And with the range 4 of the Ion Blaster, it should be no problem in skirmish getting into position when deployed or after one move.
It would be very easy change the weapon equipped to the Spider Droids with a bit of swapping. A Kraken-Spider Flamethrower combo would be very exciting to run.
A list that looks quite similar to the Vader list above. Expensive force user, check. Guard unit, check. Other stuff, Check.
This list rests pretty much fully on Dooku’s shoulders which is a task he can comfortably bear with his MagnaGuard helpers. The MagnaGuard exist to keep wounds off Dooku and hit stuff until they die. With their Whip they can help lock down an entire army with Dooku. Alternatively you could replace the whip with the Rocket Launcher to add some anti-armor ability to the list. Either option is good, just depends on what you want and what you expect to face.
Keep in mind also with this list that orders can be weird in a good way. It is quite easy to get perfect order control with only one order. The HQ uplink should also provide you with perfect control every turn of the game.
Same as the Vader list you could drop the Magna Heavy Weapon and potentially the medical Droid for some B1 heavy weapons. This would increase your threat saturation, but probably make a worse list overall. In skirmish I would just focus completely on Dooku and the Magnas in this list.
Another Gunline list, you are probably catching onto the theme with these lists. High number of activations, point at things and shoot.
This list does sprinkle in plenty of different kinds of units. The Rebel Officer should be teaming up with the Rebel Trooper squads to have them keep their everlasting Situational Awareness Dodge.
Every unit in this list bar the Rebel Officer will be a “gunline” unit in this list. Three beefy corp squads, a MKII, AT-RT and Laser Dish all can really put the hurt on something. Basically any of these units could be traded for similar units, two of RTs or Dishes would definitely be possible. However one dish is probably max as finding good spots for two can be tough. If you wanted more mobility then two RTs would be the way to go. Another small change would be putting ElectroBinocs on the Rebel Officer instead of a Scanner. This way you could throw out an aim to a unit to make your gunline more deadly.
Mandalorians plus gunline equals good.
This list can both be a decent gunline while also getting up close and personal with the Wrens. Sabine’s Explosions can be devastating, especially in skirmish. The likelihood of getting to a spot to deliver an effective explosions turn is quite high.
The biggest danger of this list is rolling a few extra blanks on red dice could easily lead to the list falling apart. That’s why all the Wrens have a bunch of tech that will prevent them from rolling as many saves as possible. Vigilance should be used on Sabine and Clan Wren should always remain near Sabine to get a dodge every turn. You could justify an aim if you know Clan Wren are safe behind Line of Sight Cover and will pop out to shoot last. You could also give them an aim and throw them a dodge with the Officer. I do like to take a range 3 shot with the Jetpack Rockets and Tristan, especially if you have an aim. 2 Red 2 Black with Blast and Lethal can be really good to get through some red saves. The rockets also add just a little bit of impact to the list to help with the plenty of Critical.
This one is a bit different though. Lower activation and much more aggressive. This list wants to push forward and deliver as much damage as possible early.
Combined with Scouting Party a turn 1 Take That Clankers has the possibility of being devastating. You are going to give your orders to Fives, and the two Phase 1s. Those Phase 1 Shotguns (DP-23) become a really interesting option in skirmish. You could even consider grenades on them which you can chuck at range 2 with Take That Clankers. Skirmish makes grenades at least an interesting option. You will notice that I have left the points a bit short on this list. I am leaving a bit of room for future point increases mostly. You could get to 6 activations by cutting a bunch of upgrades. That would be up to you to decide if more acts or more elite is your style. The medic in this list is mostly there to fill points and act as a bit of a sponge to soak up a little bit of damage right off the bat. The extra man in the Fives squad is something I always try to fit as throwing eight black is really good, plus Courage 3 corps is really fun.
A list in GAR that takes as few clones as possible. It’s a weird thought to think. But it seems to be rather good.
This list is about as aggressive as they come. Four units that want to be in your face immediately that also have Scout. (Remember that GAR AT-RTs have Scout 1.) This list is looking to get to you quickly and then mop you up quickly. With the AT-RTs Scout there is no deployment in skirmish where they can’t get within range 1 to fire flames of the opponent’s deployment zone turn 1. This is crazy, and will be a lot for any opponent to deal with.
The Wookiees follow up behind the RTs to deal with any characters that the Flamethrowers are ineffective against. The Wookiees are carrying a bowcaster instead of a shield to hedge against any armor threat. Combined with the Chieftain’s Bowcaster and the RT’s onboard rocket launchers, this list doesn’t have a lot to fear from armor. In Skirmish there is likely going to be a fair number of light armor pieces, but I don’t expect to see much heavy armor. This list should be able to deal with both.
One piece of tech in this list is that the Wookiee Chieftain has Seize the Initiative instead of O-Push. This is because when you use Seize whenever any of the Wookiee cards are played the effect also applies to the Chieftain. This is most important on the 1-pip. You should be able to hand out a bunch of tokens on that turn.
A big change that could be made to the list would be to have Chewbacca command the list instead of the Chieftain. This would free up some points for a Comms Jammer or two for instance. Chewie brings similar things to the table as the Chieftain. The Cheiftain’s biggest advantages are Agile and Duelist. Likely making him more survivable than Chewie, though Chewie does have nine wounds instead of seven.
Though not nearly as focused on as standard games of Star Wars Legion. Skirmish provides an opportunity to explore different play styles and units that don’t typically see the table during normal play. Skirmish can also be a good thought exercise to run through when trying to build bigger lists as it forces you to focus even more on what your lists want to do.