Over the last weekend (Jan 27-29) I got to attend LVO for the second time. Today we’re going to look at the tournament from my perspective. If you want to check out a review of the Top 8 lists read this article. If you want to check out the whole tournament including lists check out Gameuplink.
For a quick overview of the format, LVO started with 143 players vying for the top spot. To win the whole tournament you have to go at least 2-1 on Friday, 3-0 on Saturday and 3-0 on Sunday; play nine games and win them all, or just lose one on the Friday.
This year for LVO my journey to find my list was quite long and somewhat circular. Back in November/December I was gearing up to take either Rebel Boba or CIS of some kind. Then the points changes dropped and I wavered, then the rules changes dropped and I switched back to my ‘home’ faction of GAR. I must also confess that what was already painted also played a role in what I brought. To bring a Rebel or CIS army I would’ve needed to paint a bunch of models. To field this army was just 10 models to paint on top of what I already had done.
Once I was thinking clones was the pick I put together a list that is almost identical to the one above, however instead of Situational Awareness, it had overwatch. I was planning on playing a standby sharing castle but the new rules prevented that. I did an easy swap and put in three copies of SA and poof I had a dodge sharing castle instead.
The list that was then settled on has a fair bit of range 4-5 poke, can hit quite hard at range 3, and has enough defensive tech to not take much damage at all. This list ensures that I don’t roll that many saves, and that every save rolled (except for Padmé) is surging red saves. This list really can weather quite a lot of fire, especially because I try to keep at range 4 for awhile so that I can do a little bit of damage while my opponent does none.
The defensive tech focuses around Exemplar and Clone Token Sharing. I should always have surges around, and if not then the clone commander can Bolster. I should always have a few dodges as well; a couple between Padmé and Anakin and a bunch on clones. Clone Sharing plus Exemplar also ensures that when I do shoot I hit hard. I often can spend 2 or 3 aim tokens per shot, sometimes up to 4.
Goals for LVO
My placing last year at LVO was in the top 12 having lost my last match on the Saturday, failing to advance to Sunday. Naturally my goal this year was to do better than last year, which means I needed to reach Sunday.
So let’s see how it all went.
Day 1 LVO
Game 1 – Kyle182 – Inferno Squad
The very start of LVO started out with a great game against Kyle.
One of the biggest takeaways from this game was a definition of terrain. The giant piece of terrain in the center of the board we decided to define in an interesting way that seemed to work well. We decided that the only parts of the piece that would be terrain were the fins sticking up, and that they all counted as separate pieces of terrain. This made it work fairly well, and when we landed on KP the entire piece wasn’t the KP.
This game went fairly standard as KP goes. We were quite cagey and I managed to get ahead on attrition, though Anakin did take 3 wounds on the first turn (whoops). He took 2 from orbital strike and 1 from accidentally triggering a bomb. One thing about big tournaments like LVO I have found is the first round is always a bit weird and you need to try and settle into the games quickly.
After this early mistake, I then made up for it a bit with good efficient play not letting many other wounds happen.
I did then make a big error however. I decided at the end of a turn to go tie up Maul. At this point Anakin was at four health (healed back one with the medic.) I remembered Duel of the Fates existed and that this was a risky play. The thing I didn’t account for/forgot to measure was that a magnaguard squad was in range 2 of Anakin. This allowed Kyle to deal with Anakin quite easily.
After this it continued on to be a bit of a bloodbath. We missed out on making turn 6 by seconds which left Kyle with the victory. Had we made turn 6 I might’ve been able to squeak it out, but definitely well played by Kyle.
Starting off LVO with a loss was definitely not ideal, but at least I was still in the running.
Also, this game definitely has the most photos. That might be because I immediately got focused after this because after one round of LVO, every game was do or die.
Game 2 – Matt Reid
On to the second game. We now must win or go home.
This game was Intercept, Long March, and Fortified Positions.
Matt Reid was a great opponent.
We ended up having a fairly standard game of Intercept. I didn’t contest the middle point for rounds 2-4 and then took it on turn 6 to win on kill points. This strategy worked excellently in this game as my gunline was able to obliterate his units while taking basically no appreciable damage. This was largely due to the defensive tech in my list, but dice were also kind to me in this game. When I did have to make saves I didn’t drop many. Also, Matt’s dice weren’t the kindest to him. He needed some dice luck a few times and never got it. Han and Chewie’s pierce was also rendered basically useless because I always had dodges around. Han did a couple wounds and Chewie might’ve done one. I managed to spike off the armoured units with Saber Throw fire supports which is very fun for me, less so for my opponents.
As an example of both my dice luck and defensive tech, check out how much suppression the unit of Phase IIs managed to Accrue.
The landspeeder did end up taking a forward position which was a bit threatening, but it was also well within range to spike off with Anakin plus Phase IIs.
Game 3 – K.C. Skedzielewski
So first things first, this list. K.C. brought a seven activation list that was focused almost entirely on suppression, and it works. When I rocked up to the table and saw the list I knew it would do a lot of suppression, but I still didn’t appreciate how much it would do. The new pass mechanic also helps this list a lot. Partly because you end up playing at essentially 8 activations, but also because 9 activation lists are more common you’re not playing at such an activation disparity a lot of the time.
This game I really didn’t get many photos, I was way to focused on trying to not get suppressed and panicked. I did end up winning this game. One of the keys was that K.C. deployed one of his Phase IIs fairly aggressively which I was able to leverage and delete. This then made the activations 9-6 which didn’t allow K.C. to act last without myself getting at least two activations of response afterwards. That being said, Yoda survived to the end of the game which meant that I was nervous the entire game.
I did manage to get ahead on tempo throughout the game which I leveraged in the 5th round to recover basically all my troops which let them shed all the suppression that had built up throughout the game. I also saved and played Padmé’s 1-pip in the last round which allowed me to pull any remaining suppression off my frontline troops.
It was a really interesting game that gave me more respect and understanding for these suppression focused lists.
Day 1 LVO Wrap-up
So I ended up going 2-1 day 1 of LVO which was enough to put me through to Day 2 which was the first step complete. Starting out with a loss was definitely not ideal, but I pulled off the submarine and it was fine. Plus, my first opponent Kyle gives away their team pins to opponents he beats so I even got a pin out of the day.
On to day 2 of LVO.
Day 2 LVO
So remember, you have to go 3-0 to advance, no room for errors now.
Game 1 – Andrew Peterson
*Insert horror soundtrack here*
Anyways, here’s a Blizzard Force Finally. I finally have to slay the beast and deal with the boogeyman of LVO.
To note about this list is that it isn’t quite the ‘meta’ blizzard force as it includes Commander Vader not Operative Vader. Andrew also brought Saber Throw instead of Choke which we talked about after and laughed that you always seem to lack the force upgrade you need when you need it. Not having choke really limited Vader’s ability to do damage. With all my dodges he managed to kill some models, but not really gut squads which is what he needs to do.
You might also be noticing I played a lot of KP at LVO.
This also was probably the least impactful Supply Drop I’ve ever seen. Between Andrew and I, we probably pulled 4 cards out of the deck. All irrelevant.
This game ended up being a fairly standard affair right until the last couple acts where I ended up being an idiot.
So the situation was that I had managed to wipe the naked snow unit holding his KP which caused a lone bike model to have to go there to hold it. He also had two unit leaders on the center KP. The two unit leaders had 1 and 2 suppression tokens respectively. I totally messed up the rules and forgot suppression was removed before victory points were counted under the new rules. This lead me to believe that I only had to do 1 more suppression in the middle to win. So, very dumbly, I took a hero shot to kill the bike to win KP 1-0. The bike ended up saving 4-4 which let it live. As I proceeded to announce an aim shot at the end of the game Andrew said ‘I think I win’ to which I had no response except to ask ‘why?’ Andrew of course explained the rules and he was 100% correct. A friend a couple of tables over said he had not seen a more stricken face in a long time. I felt like an absolute idiot and thought I had thrown away the game being dumb (which I had.) So after thinking it through I did have a path to victory, though ever slim. I had a DC-15 in a squad of 3 guys remaining, with 2 aims available. This let me throw the 2 black dice at the squad I needed to do a suppression to and then the DC-15 at the guy I needed to kill. With the dice gods on my side I completed the mission and won the game. Andrew was gracious in defeat and told me I deserved it. It was a great game and lesson to always stay focused and make sure you know your rules.
Game 2 – Bryson Bentley
Next up was a double bounty Palp list.
This game was actually streamed over on twitch by Yavinbase. If you want to go check it out it’ll be there for about another week. Otherwise go check out the Yavinbase Youtube channel. Shoutout to David ‘Endless’ Zelenka for streaming all of LVO.
This game was another game of Key Positions. We played Major Offensive and Supply Drop. Bryson decided to divulge Cad’s 3-pip and place his tokens. I will admit that he did trick me and I thought the token on the top right was Cad when in reality it was the bottom left. The problem this posed to Bryson though is that whichever token Cad was under I had covered by clone firesupports and Anakin. So Cad was mostly a non-factor in the game. If you look to the top left of the picture you can also see some models. This is where Palp was deployed. I really think this was Bryson’s error, Palp was just so far back I was able to take forward positions quite early and just wait for turn 6 while taking basically no damage. This game was a joy to play, very technical and cagey. But really not a good game for the audience.
Turn 6 Palp played And Now you will Die and came in, but just wasn’t able to do enough. Bryson had all of his possible scoring units 2 moves away with courage 1, so I just split fire all over the place to put suppression down and most of the units couldn’t make it.
Overall it was a slow grindy game that just ended up going my way. It was very enjoyable though.
Game 3 – Lord Wallis the Weird
First of all, shoutout to Lord Wallis the Weird for being the best dressed at the tournament.
Now to the game. This list is another ‘off meta’ Blizzard force, this time bringing an AT-ST instead of Vader. We played KP, Roll Out, and Supply Drop.
This list can throw a ton of dice at you, I barely weathered the storm. The most eventful part of the game is where the AT-ST came forward very aggressively and got shots at Anakin. This did a couple wounds to Anakin. In response Anakin did a couple wounds with Djem So. Afterwards he threw his saber with a Z-6 fire support and did 8 wounds to the AT-ST. We ended up trading Anakin for the AT-ST plus a few wounds of the rest of his army. I was fairly happy with this trade.
My defensive tech plus dice paid off again in this game as I ended up taking very little damage overall. This paid off in the end game as we ended up tying on the middle KP, with myself winning on kill points.
Wallis realized an error he made at the very end which very likely would’ve gotten him the victory, it was very close.
Day 2 Wrap-Up
Well I managed the day 2 3-0 and we’re off to day 3 of LVO. Goal, achieved now we’re into the big leagues.
Day 3 LVO
Game 1 – Michael Hollingsworth
First round day 3 at LVO was against Michael Hollingsworth, better known as Screwtape from Team Relentless.
12 Acts!! This is a list that harkens back to some of the Empire days of old while including some new tech. Double Bounty is nothing to be trifled with, along with a hefty gunline I was in for a tough fight.
I have to admit I was very nervous, and completely forgot to take photos, luckily thanks to Mbweha (Ben) also from Team Relentless and Zeusjus (Matt Bronson) I do have some photos to share. Turns out the people at LVO are great and help pick up the slack.
This game was played on Sabotage the Moisture Vaporators, Major Offensive and Minefield.
We both ended up completing our objectives really early. I also managed between a DC-15 squad and Echo to kill an exposed Mortar turn 1 putting me ahead on kill points and lessening the activation advantage. The big play Michael attempted was that he ran Cad Bane along his long board edge to threaten my ‘safe’ vaporator. The problem this presented to him was that my entire army was able to shift and start shooting Cad. This took awhile to kill him (5 turns) but it did suppress him alot. He never got two actions after the first turn, and even panicked one turn preventing him from hiding. This was really the game.
Michael did get great use out of his snipers, managing to get excellent value out of Rule with Respect.
At the end of the game he did have a play with Boba to maybe get a bounty and/or touch a Vap. But Anakin dealt with that by getting into melee and hitting him with a stick. Once Anakin did 4 wounds to Boba with another turn to go Michael called it.
Game 2 – Mike Barry ‘Dashz’
Mike decided to go off meta and bring 501st to LVO. He admittedly did better then he thought and we found ourselves pitted against each other in the top 4. This game would determine who won top GAR for LVO.
Mike’s list is called ARCSTAR 2.0 and it really is, bringing 3 units of full ARCs and Echo. This list has a lot of beef. This list also brings a lean Anakin including Force Barrier, which Mike got a ton of value out of. It was very hard to do damage, and the first two wounds I did were healed back with medics.
I didn’t get any pictures of this game, luckily this game was also streamed by Yavinbase.
This game we played (shockingly) Key Positions, Roll Out and Fortified Positions (literally Heavy Cover every shot I think.)
This game was very cagey but at least we were shooting the entire game.
One of the biggest moments of the game was when I fire supported a full DC-15 squad with another full DC-15 squad. This was 14 dice, and after an aim or two I got 14 results So Mike after a dodge rolled against 11 and lost an entire ARC squad.
The story of the game though, as lots of KP games are, was turn 6. Reliving it is painful. If I had done one thing differently I almost certainly win the game. After Mike moved a unit in to the KP and cohered blocking my access to the KP, I activated Anakin. The first thing I did was push the unit off the KP, this was correct. However what I could’ve also done is cohered his unit in a way that covered his side of the KP with non-leader models so that he was limited in the units that could access base contact with the KP. As a result Mike was able to have 4 leaders touching the middle compared to my 3. Congrats Mike! He got to go play Kyle Dornbos playing Blizzard in the final.
The takeaway from this game, as others also was, to keep focused and make sure actions I’m taking are the best possible. When I didn’t do this I lost or nearly lost games.
LVO was an excellent time and The Fifth Trooper had an excellent showing. The Top 4 at LVO was entirely Fifth Trooper or Alum. The Fifth Trooper also only was eliminated from the tournament from fellow members/alum.
It was great to see and meet many awesome people. As with last year I can’t recommend LVO as well as big tournaments enough.
I guess I should mention the finals.
Kyle ended up beating Mike with Blizzard force (Kyle was definitely just playing blizzard to show how broken it was). We had a jolly time watching. Congrats to Kyle for winning LVO, as well as to all the other winners of best faction, painting or other prizes. A huge thank you to the staff and volunteers at LVO for putting on another great event.
The other big thing that is a result of this tournament is that I now have a Worlds Invite. I did tell a bunch of people that I wouldn’t be able to attend, but, I made it work. So now that LVO is in the rear view mirror, my focus shifts ahead to Worlds and trying to have a good showing there.
So if you happen to be attending Adepticon, come say hi. I hope to see and meet tons of great people again.
One thought on “LVO 2023 Overview”
Great article, enjoyed seeing the LVO table layouts and how your matches played out. thanks.
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