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 –

Darkness Descends - Vader LAAT 1

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:

Darkness Descends - Vader LAAT 2

There were 2 main issues here that came up in our game that I wanted to solve:

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

Darkness Descends - Vader LAAT 3

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

6 thoughts on “Darkness Descends – Vader LAAT

  1. Dennis Grothe Lynggren says:

    Hi Mike. First thx for all the good content. Recently got joined patreon and really enjoy the content. So the article about laat / Vader you write “If they take standbys, anticipating Vader getting out, you can then just rip them all off when activates with Master of Evil” But this do not activate when he is in the laat right? And if he disembark the standby triggers just after? Hope I am wrong. Regards Dennis

    • Carlo says:

      The text on cards in itallics is just reminder text, it’s not always reflective of the full rules. If you look at repair in the RRG there is no ground vehicle restriction.

  2. Kory Cooper says:


    What would you think about a list like this? I’ve been workshopping this one for a minute. The comms jammer helps when you hit the clone ball/droid chain, at least to some degree. Plus it keeps droids from withdrawing from Vader if they are in range.

    Vader LAAT
    800/800 (11 activations)
    – Agent Kallus (90): J-19 Bo-Rifle Staff (25) = 115
    – Darth Vader (155): Force Choke (5), Force Push (10), Seize the Initiative (5) = 175
    – 5× Stormtroopers (44) = 220
    – Stormtroopers (44): R4 Astromech Droid (9) = 53
    Special Forces:
    – 2× Strike Team (20): DLT-19x Sniper (28) = 96
    – LAAT Patrol Transport (120): Imperial TIE Pilot (8), High-Energy Shells (8), Comms Jammer (5) = 141

  3. Bertoz says:

    I also played a lot testing lists with vader/LAAT since the transport came out in Italy (around march/April). At the end I came out after a lot of games with a list with
    – force push
    – force reflexes
    – choke
    – Tie pilot
    – hq up link
    3x stormtrooper without upgrades
    3x speeder bikes (yes, speeder bikes)
    2x snipers
    This list is really aggressive, trying to slap on the face of the opponent multiple threats on turn 1-2 and really blocking them in their deployment zone while you can score points in missions like bombing run, intercept the transmissions, breakthrough and payload.
    It works really well against armies unprepared to face such a violent initial push, with the speeders that can likely remove some of the opponent snipers or just throw a bunch of suppression on key units that threats Vader. Usually I don’t go down with vader on 1st turn trying to force my opponent in a passive position and than go with vader’s might to push multiple units in melee or with vader’s might, paralyzing their units while speeders can go brrr brrr on key targets

    • Cristian Casado Otazu says:

      Seems really fun I will try it for sure!
      My Vader’s Laat used to be an officer, oVader (choke,push ans def stance), 4 stormies with rt97 and 3 snipers.. of course the laat with tie pilot.

      Looking forward to see a full article of this and new Vader options with Burst of Speed.

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