Part 1 of Invader League Season 2 is in the books! That means the Round Robin is over, and we’ve gone from 60 down to 24 players. Now the fun bit starts: Single Eliminations.
Single Eliminations is a bracket-style elimination. Players are seeded based on their record from Round Robin and VPs scored. The top 8 players, all of whom swept their respective divisions, get byes in the first week. The bracket can be found here: Single Elim Bracket
Players are required to submit a list in advance, which they must use throughout elims. Don’t worry, we will look at these lists. First, lets hit some quick stats from the Round Robin stages, and also look at some survey results from Round Robin.
Round Robin Wrap
There were 60 players involved in the Round Robin: 28 Rebels and 32 Imperials. A pretty even split.
48 games were played between Rebels and Imperials (non-mirror matches). Of those 48 games, 29 were taken by Rebels, and 19 by Imperials.
This is still not a huge sample size, but the trend is interesting. You can see the Rebel slant reflected in the Eliminations bracket. Though the overall split is nearly 50/50 with 13 Rebels and 11 Imperials making Elims, 6 of the top 8 spots are occupied by Rebels.
Unfortunately which player was red/blue wasn’t captured in Round Robin, but we can still look at the setup cards chosen. I’ve also added the faction win/loss by card.
Given that Rebels had more cross-faction wins overall, it should not be surprising that they tended to do better across the board. There are some interesting trends though. Rebels did markedly better with Intercept the Transmissions, Major Offensive, and Hostile Environment. Round Robin saw a lot of FD laser cannons (with no snipers), so perhaps this is not surprising. Major Offensive allows a fairly forward deployment of these emplacements, and Intercept the Transmissions is going to favor any list with area denial pieces.
After checking with the other folks from the league, I’m not aware of anyone that won Key Positions as Red Player (of the 10 games). Key Positions almost singlehandedly continues to be a reason to bid for Blue.
Round Robin unit mix
TalkPolite put out a survey to the league after Round Robin, asking about the units they used. This is interesting to look at, since TTS includes unreleased units (though, notably, not snipers for Round Robin). The results are here:
- Most Empire players used Boba Fett (about 80%).
- Boba Fett was the favorite new unit Imperial unit, by a landslide.
- Wookiees were the favorite new Rebel unit.
- Imperial Royal Guard were not very popular. Wookiees were.
- Some folks tried E-webs, but a lot more tried FD 1.4 laser cannons.
- Chewbacca and Palpatine were both rare. Chewie was more common.
- Most pleasantly surprising units: Boba Fett, Wookiees, FD cannon
- Most disappointing unit: E-web.
These jive with my own experiences. I was pleasantly surprised by both Wookiees and FDs. I think Rebels have a lot to look forward to with the Wookiee release. I made sure to include a unit of them in my Elims list.
Boba Fett is terrifying. He is a little more fragile than you feel like he should be, but he adds a lot of scary elements to an Empire list. All but 2 Imperial players took Boba going into Eliminations, so obviously they were impressed.
And then there were 24. Here is the link to the bracket and the lists for Single Elims:
Important note with the lists: These are NOT the lists these players used during the Round Robin stage, so the rankings here do not necessarily reflect the “effectiveness” of these lists. Snipers were not allowed in Round Robin (as the scout preview was still unreleased) so these lists are potentially very different from the Round Robin lists these players used.
We’ll hit some high level takeaways, talk about bidding, and then briefly discuss the lists of each of the top 8 players.
High level takeaways
All but 3 lists have at least one sniper unit in them. Strike teams were far more popular than the full scout/commando squad. Testing of sniper strike teams has shown them to be both cheap and effective, so this is not surprising.
Only 4 of the 24 lists have any armor at all (and only one AT-ST). Having agonized over the decision myself whether to include AT-RTs, I can say this is due in large part to the high amount of ‘natural’ impact present in Imperial lists. Between DLTs and Veers/Boba command cards, Imperials can usually deal with armor without having to intentionally bring extra tools.
Thomas’ list is an exception and an interesting skew list. I’ll hit it more below.
Without question the most popular Imperial build was Veers/generic officer and Boba. Only three players brought something else (two Vader and one Palp).
I suspect if Boba were somehow a commander, Veers wouldn’t be in these lists at all. In fact, several players just brought the generic officer from the specialist pack as their commander. Personally I think Veers is worth the extra 30 points, but I suppose we’ll see.
Yup, still a thing. Most Rebel lists have both twins in them.
Lets look at all 24 bids. How much do you need to reliably win a bid?
The average bid was 10. Yowza.
Folks really don’t want to get hosed with key positions.
I’m not sure what the right bidding strategy is. Personally, I was trying to land above most bids, but not so high that I would have to go nuts to win every time. I’m not sure if 12 hits that mark; in hindsight I would probably have tried a no bid list, as I still am in a position to lose the bid to 8 other players and waste 12 points in the process.
Now, let’s get to some lists.
1. (I) Dashz – “501st Legion” – omitted Breakthrough, Long March, Rapid Reinforcements
Vader, Storms, Snows, and Snipers
Dashz, as you may recall, wrote our excellent Vader article a few weeks back. A prolific Vader player, he is putting his money where his mouth is. Dashz’s list is basically Vader, troops, and snipers. I think this is a really solid all-comers list.
I’m also happy to report Dashz will be contributing to numerous future articles as an official writer for the site.
2. (R) Orkimedes – “Peace Hating Insurgents” – omitted Recover the Supplies, Battle Lines, Limited Visibility
Wonder Twins, Z-6s, Snipers and Wookiees
Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.
What can I say. This list bores me too. It’s Wonder Twins 2.0. There isn’t any Impact besides Luke and the Wookiees, but I didn’t anticipate much armor in Elims in general. This is mostly true, though it may still turn out to be a gross error if I have to face Thomas…
I agonized quite a bit over whether or not to run a Rotary AT-RT skew instead, but my side of the bracket is rather Imperial heavy. Frankly I just couldn’t cast off the shackles of Skywalker.
3. (I) R1H4 – “Royal Guard Your Heart” – Sabatoge the Moisture Vaporators, Disarray, Limited Visibility
Palpatine, some troopers, snipers, IRG.
Props to R1H4 for trying something new. The only Palpatine list, I’m not sure what to think about this. I personally think Palpatine is going to be hard to assess until we see his two pip command card. Nonetheless I am very curious to see how R1H4 does. I will watch your career with great interest…
4. (R) Kingsley – “Still Playing Rebels, I Guess…” – omitted Breakthrough, Disarray, Limited Visibility
Wonder Twins, Z-6s, Snipers
Boy, is there a lot of range 3+ firepower in this list. Kingsley is the Season 1 Invader League champion, and I think he rightly perceived a lack of armored threats. The Impact grenades give him some backup Impact in a pinch, but Luke is the primary Impact threat here. A solid list with good activations, excellent firepower and no real weaknesses besides the lack of ranged Impact.
5. (R) Barrur – “Dirty hands” – omitted Breakthrough, Major Offensive, Clear Conditions
Han, Leia, Fleets, naked Wookiees x2, Commandos (full squad w/ sniper)
This is certainly an unusual list. I’m not sure what to think about this unit mix, honestly. There is a decided lack of ranged 3 punch (no Z-6s). I will be very curious to see how Barrur plays this list. The Wookiees certainly could be scary if they get in there to mix it up.
6. (R) Endless – “Flames of Sullust” – omitted Recover the Supplies, Disarray, Limited Visibility
Han, Leia, Chewie, Fleets, snipers
Endless ran a version of this build, already nicknamed “Superfriends,” throughout Round Robin. It is difficult to play, but the synergy between the three characters is very good. I like the Fleets in this list, to deal with those close range threats.
Note: Chewie is 110 points for Invader League purposes.
7. (R) Thomas – “Checkmate” – Recover the Supplies, Long March, Clear Conditions
Leia, 5x naked Fleets, 2 T-47s (!), AT-RT flamethrower.
Oh boy. I’ll be honest… this one scares me a little bit. A lot of bit.
Thomas rightly predicted a lack of Impact (for Rebels, at least) and went with an armor skew. He could get wrecked by an Empire list, but at the moment the only Imperial on his early side of the bracket is Starscream, who he may not even have to face. If Thomas and I both win our first matches, we’re slated to meet up in Round 3, and I am going to have to figure this out. Well done Thomas.
8. (R) MotF-Luke – “The Desert Rats” – omitted Breakthrough, Long March, Limited Visibility
Luke, Leia, Chewie, Z-6s, snipers
This is a variation of the Superfriends build, with Luke instead of Han. Though the Luke/Chewie pairing lacks the crazy synergy of Han, Chewie provides an effective 9 wound pool for Luke to draw on and allows him to be played a little more aggressively.
How to follow Invader League
One of the benefits of TabeTop Simulator (TTS) is the games can be streamed. Most of the Elimination Stage matches will be. If you want to watch any games, the best place to start is the Legion Discord. Besides being a place to follow some high level Legion play on TTS, it is also just generally a great place to talk all things Legion.
Good luck to everyone in the Elimination Stage!
If you are curious, here are the 5 maps in rotation for Eliminations: