Today we’re going to take a look at a list that I was introduced to over the weekend at my local game store, Huzzah Hobbies. My round 2 opponent, Robert Brumbaugh, was playing a very interesting LAAT Commander Vader list and I wanted to explore it here. The list can be seen below –
Robert was playing against my Rexstar and forced Payload for our objective. He played Implacable turn 1 which meant the LAAT got two speed 3 moves, Vader could disembark for a speed 1 move, and then he’d go with Vader again. He included a bunch of deployments where he could get the LAAT into the middle of hostile forces on turn 1 and then go ham with Vader. Which is frankly pretty scary – When we setup I didnt expect the Implacable play and was caught off guard by it a bit. Fortunately I had brought a rocket launcher and my Arc Strikes so I put the LAAT to one wound before it activated (since it wants to go late(ish)) and it broke and only got 1 movement – Vader had to rough it on foot part of the way and he ate a few standbys that brought him down.
Robert and I talked a bit after the game about some adjustments that could be made and I wanted to take a look at some ideas for how to take this combo oriented strategy and make it more consistent and perhaps more deadly. I have by no means refined this but there were a few things that stuck out to me that could potentially make the “Combo” more consistent and deadly. The bones of what I came up with was:
There were 2 main issues here that came up in our game that I wanted to solve:
- Keeping the LAAT alive – the Astromech allows us to rip a damaged token off the LAAT or repair it should it be necessary so that we don’t get screwed if we hit our damage threshold.
- Kallus allows us some additional flexibility – We can Implacable on turn 1 and then play Face Me for cunning to ensure Vader does his damage if we’re in a situation where he *Has* to go first. In our game, I played Call Me Captain and won the roll off, sealing Vaders fate at the top of 2. Kallus’ inclusion makes it so this isn’t a thing.
Theres a variety of things you can add here, I think another astromech or medical droid might not be the worst call.
I think there’s two standard opening moves with this list. The 1st is Implacable – however I think you can also play Master of Evil. With Master of Evil, you’d just immediately go first with the LAAT and bury it in their lines with Vader in it. If they take standbys, anticipating Vader getting out, you can then just rip them all off when activates with Master of Evil. If they shoot down the LAAT, Vader takes a wound, but you get his full activation, so you can bury him in whatever squads you need to immediately, again ripping any standbys off that prove problematic.
I think the Master of Evil play is actually much safer and resilient, since if you lose the LAAT it doesnt truly matter. The LAAT is just there to put Vader in melee range turn 1.
At the end of the day, this list is all about hitting with Vader as fast and as hard as possible on Turn 1/Turn 2. I think the list I’m going to mess around with is:
What do you think of a list like this? What would you take? Let me know your thoughts!
Until next time – May the Dark Side be with you, always,
Michael “Dashz” Barry