Over last weekend I had the privilege of attending the Las Vegas Open (LVO). In this article I’ll be doing a rundown on my own tournament run as well as some general takeaways from the event as a whole.
LVO started with 92 players on Friday playing in the main event. To make day 2 you had to go 2-1, which left 46 players for day 2. Then you had to go 3-0 to make day 3. This kind of bracketed advancement at LVO is much preferred to saying ‘top x will make it’ as with the straight record there won’t be any tie-breakers.
I brought with me to LVO a Anakin, Chieftain, Wookiee list with some R2 sprinkled in.
This list wants to get into melee with the opponent, and do it fast. Once in melee the list has some fun tech to keep everything alive and do tons of damage. Between four units of wookiees and Anakin’s lightsaber there isn’t much that can withstand the onslaught.
The defensive tech in this list mostly comes down to Exemplar from Anakin. The obvious thing is sharing surges to the wookiees to beef up their save just a little bit. The more interesting/unexpected result is sharing a dodge to the wookiees, especially the free dodge from Anakin’s 2-pip. This might seem obvious at first but the big benefit is that wookiees have duelist, so a dodge activates Immune: Pierce in melee. For example; Darth Vader hits a wookiee squad, and rolls six for six. That in 99.9% of scenarios is six wounds or two wookiee models. But, you spend a dodge and now it’s max five wounds which won’t fully wipe two models. Then you roll and get a block and surge, now after spending a surge token you’ve taken three damage off of a full Vader swing, not six.
This list also has three Phase 1 squads who work to complete objectives and add a small base of fire to the list.
Lastly we have R2 who just does R2 things.
LVO was my first major tournament that I have attended in person.
The first goal was just to get there and back again, (I live in Canada.) I managed to pull this off so we’re off to a good start.
The next major goal was to make day two.
The last major goal was to have a winning record overall.
Let’s see how all that went at LVO.
Game 1 – Ed Martinez
Day one, game one. I get matched up against the famous and infamous Ed Martinez. This game i actually took good pictures of because my brain was fresh and Ed had Red and Blue tokens (from 6up Supply) to use to mark Battlecards.
We were tied on bid and I won the roll off, selecting blue player. After turn 0 we landed on Hostage Exchange Hemmed in and Rapid Reinforcements.
Interestingly Ed decided to rapid two of his naked storms and use the third as his hostage carrier. This seemed unexpected but after seeing how the game shook out it was certainly a strategy that worked.
Importantly for Ed’s list is that he has Dews with Offensive Push and T-21. The idea with these is that you move, use spur and o-push, relentless shoot, then recover. The HQ uplink dew also gets its uplink back with this. These dews are a real headache and can really throw some crits into your lines.
One very important terrain decision in the pregame talk was how to define the AT-ST in the middle of the board. This was decided to be area heavy and difficult. This meant that entire base was heavy cover which meant my army was pretty much always in heavy cover. Especially as the deployment ended up being hemmed in I was able to ‘post up’ on the middle and get some shots into Ed’s army.
Important moments for this game was that I was able to get a dewback nearly off the table turn one with a few wookiee shots (including the chieftain.) This put me ahead on attrition once it went down very early turn 2. Ed then played Palp very aggressively (which he is known for) and played And Now You Will Die turn 2. He was able to wound and put an immobilize token on two wookiees. As well as take my hostage squad down to one wound remaining, (and immobilized) which a sniper later finished off. Importantly for me though is that I was able to take off the wounded Dew plus another, and get Palp down to one wound remaining. Turn 3 was finishing off Palp and clearing his hostage squad. The game ended with a turn 4 concession as Ed’s army was just getting decimated.
My list was definitely a very good matchup against Ed and Palp can’t do a ton to wookiee squads, they just have so many wounds.
Good start to LVO for me, 1-0.
I was matched up round 2 with a staff member who was there to prevent byes and had won his first game. This was fortunate as I was going to be late for my second game as I had to go get a COVID test to get back into my country. Upon returning it was decided that the win would be awarded to myself as the staff member was busy with other things at the time.
2-0 at LVO
Game 3 – Zak Harbula – Floorf The Dwarf
So unfortunately, upon finally getting to play Zak, or Floorf. I immediately forgot to take a picture of the setup as we were to busy with banter. The table picture is from the next morning and I’ll do my best to explain things. LVO can be hectic and can be hard to remember things.
Floorf’s list is one that seems made to stymie my list. Dooku is the anti force user, force user. Magnas are great against wookiees. There’s even a BX sniper to potentially pierce some phase 1s or shoot off an Anakin standby.
The battlecard setup was Key Positions, Major Offensive, and Advanced Positions. I was blue player.
The deployment involved me setting up mostly behind the head near the middle of the table and I had a small contingent behind the square building right of the head. Because of Fortified there were basically two lines of barricades facing each other. This was important as this is where the B1s posted up.
Turn one consisted of Floorf’s army shooting at me relatively unopposed. I took tons of attrition and tried to hide some wookiees with no luck. One wookiee squad ended up going into the ring ruins, which, I didn’t see, opened them up for an open shot at range 2 from some magnas. I basically gave up one and a half wookiee squads for five or six B1 models.
The game basically went from there. Anakin decided to get into the action and make a play end of turn two. He managed to push some magnas into him in the center left of the map getting him close to the enemy force and ‘safe.’ Then the mosh pit in the middle started. Two magnas and Dooku faced off against 2 very depleted wookiee squads, Anakin and the wookiee chieftain in the middle. After plenty of hitting and dodging and Djem So. Dooku was dead, wookiees were dead, and Anakin and the Chieftan could not chew through the magnas. A free dodge, plus into the fray, plus immune pierce was just too much. As the end drew near Floorf decided to rush my home objective with the BX sniper and a B1 squad. He flooded the rest of the B1s onto the center objective leaving one B1 squad to go to his home objective. I had the cheiftain and Anakin in the middle, R2 safe with secret mission and one phase one on my home objective. I made the mistake of trying to chew through the Magnas instead of withdrawing. This meant that I had no way to protect my home point. The final play of the game before I conceded was to double move anakin to grab the depleted B1 squad protecting his home point and killing them. The game ended 2-1 with him controlling the center and my point and myself having secret mission.
2-1, which, gets me into day two of LVO. A goal completed.
Day 1 – Supper
Friday night was dinner at Hofbräuhaus. Much merriment was had. I always suggest when you go to legion events to visit and talk with as many people as possible. Our legion community is awesome. LVO wouldn’t be LVO without the community and fun around it.
Back to the LVO action.
At this point at LVO every game is win or you’re out. 3-0 to play again tomorrow.
Game 1 – Jeff Miltier
Jeff is affiliated with the Legion Outriders Podcast who I’m sure will have a great review of LVO soon. The Outriders are Vegas locals and Matt was a member of staff.
For his part, Jeff brought a Rebel mish mash with him to LVO. A bunch of beefy trooper units with tauns and Leia. Jeff managed a 2-1 record on day 1, losing to The Fifth Troopers’ own Teknophobia.
I was Blue player again and we actually had a triple ban on the objective, bringing us to Breakthrough Limited Vis and Hemmed In. I had put Jeff in a tough spot in the battle cards as my second ban left us with Lim Vis, Hemmed in and Hostage Exchange. All things he didn’t want to play. He decided to go with Breakthrough which was probably the correct decision.
The picture of the table is a couple activations into turn one. You can see where I moved a unit of Wookiees. That movement was actually a bit aggressive as Jeff was able to take out quite a few wookiee wounds. The biggest shot being from a beefy Fleet squad that put six hits into the wooks after cover. There was also a bit of a chess game of standbys as we both utilized limited vis to take ‘safe standbys’ and move units back if the enemy approached and we didn’t want to take damage. The story of the first two turns was quite a bit of attrition for me. Rebel trooper squads of all varieties with heavy weapons and extra troopers can just throw a lot of dice. Luckily for me though, my wookiees took a lot of wounds but Anakin only took one wound (activating tenacity) and the chieftain only took one or two. Turn three is where the tide really started to change. The big building on the left is what I was able to utilize to get the remaining wookiees and Anakin into melee. The Chieftain did some wounds along with the Phase 1s. One wookiee squad also kept the bus, one taun and fleets on my right busy.
As the mid-game progressed I was gutting units with Anakin’s lightsaber and the chieftain’s ancestral weapons. R2 went up the very left side of the map. He took three wounds from an Ion Trooper shot, so three wounds and an Ion isn’t great, but he survived. Then he activated to use his one action to heal off two wounds. A taun that I had managed to reduce to one model then charged R2 dealing two wounds, back to three. R2 managed to survive another turn by repairing dodging. This kept that Taun out of the rest of my lines and bought time for my Phase 1s to run up through the arch in the building.
As the end of the game neared I counted up units that were going to make the endzone. Jeff had four-five plus a couple maybes, and I had four-five. So Anakin continued to just keep gutting a squad and tying up another every turn. We ended the game tied on five victory points. I had Anakin with one wound taken plus the Chieftain and three Phase 1 squads and Jeff had Leia, two Tauns, the bus and a fleet squad. This meant we went to points and I had about an extra hundred kill points.
1-0 on the day, LVO run is still alive.
Game 2 – Kyle R Krueger
Game 2 Day 2 at LVO was against Kyle R Krueger. Kyle was running a list with the Imperial Officer, Op Vader, three naked storms, two naked IRG, one Sniper and three Dews with T-21, eleven activations.
I won the roll off again and chose to be blue player. When the battlecards flipped I immediately flipped over breakthrough as my desire to play an act down against dews on breakthrough was very low. After all said and done we played Hostage, Battle Lines and Fortified Positions. As you can see the extra barricades went to make 2 very solid lines for us to fight between.
What you can’t see in the picture is that R2 is way over to the right, basically right on the board edge. It became apparent very early on that Kyle was going to ignore R2 and was going to attempt to force me to drop my hostage. Early on I managed to clear off an IRG squad with two wookiee shots and the chieftain shooting as well. This put me up on attrition and up on melee threats.
One thing I really like about Kyle’s list is that the imperial officer is there to basically be a personal attaché to Vader, feeding him a dodge, if not an aim, and keeping it on him if possible. This makes Vader very beefy and tough to deal with.
The game rapidly turned into a bit of a mosh pit near my hostage, where eventually a withdraw by a lone Phase 1 model led to a sniper picking him off. This was the end of Turn four. Vader started turn five off by playing implacable and picking up my hostage. Vader had taken one or two wounds at this point. This basically made the victory objective for me, ‘kill vader’. I had Anakin, a full wookiee squad, a one model wookiee squad and the chieftain to do it. I was fairly certain I would manage it, but, I have memories of R2 stymieing my Invader League 6 run by surviving.
One of the things I did do to help was double move a Phase 1 squad into melee with Kyle’s Imperial Officer to make sure she couldn’t get close enough to Vader to throw him dodges, or, even vigilance him.
After pummeling Vader for awhile he did eventually die, Securing me the victory, 3-2.
Another great game!
2-0, off to the last game of Day 2 at LVO
Game 3 – Bushfacts
Day 2 Round 3 is upon us a LVO. Pairings are out, I look at my phone, and it’s another Fifth Trooper member, Bushfacts. I already am nervous, I was vaguely aware of what Bushfacts was running, then I look over at the table. I may have let out a naughty word or two. This table was to put it bluntly open, the large area terrain was deemed Heavy Forest at least. Basically Bushfacts out ranged me and I had quite the uphill battle ahead of me. To top it off, a lot of the buildings had peaked roofs, which really hurts Scale.
Battle cards come out and decisions are made. We end up on hostage, fortified and battlines, we’ve seen this before.
Deployment goes on as normal. Basically I have a bunch of guns pointed at me and R2 is probably going to be uncontested. Another game were my objective is to just get my hostage.
Turn one I start taking pretty major attrition, I move my chieftain up to try and get some wounds in, other shots are taken. Chewie ends up taking four-ish wounds for my effort. I take a pounding. The chieftain also takes a pounding, eventually taken out by a sniper. The biggest play of Turn one was Luke using Burst of Speed up the middle to get close to my lines. I get a standby off on my hostage to move them further towards my lines. Turn two starts with Luke pushing and engaging my hostage and leaving it on just the unit leader left, it would later withdraw and get killed by a sniper. Again I am faced with a win condition basically being kill a force user and win. Luke was on his Full of Surprises turn and I threw everything at him. Ended up doing five wounds in total and had two wookiee squads engaged. Then, the play of the game happens. I, dumbly play Ambush and Luke plays I am a Jedi, affecting the two wook squads engaged with him. Now Luke is safe for the turn and I’ve lost momentum on Anakin. Attrition continues to mount. I try a thing where I take standbys with my wook squads and then force push Luke into Anakin and follow with the wooks. Then Luke pushes Ani into the open. Now Ani is flawed, I play the wook 3-pip for order control, Luke drops Son of Skywalker and wipes a wookiee squad from 10 wounds. Not unexpected, but still slightly above average.
Now, I really regret not having Anakin’s two pip as I wanted to do a play where I move Anakin, touch the hostage, claim and move Force-Push into me. But, I realized at the last second I couldn’t. I had already relentless so I couldn’t even get a good attack into Luke. So now the hostage is unclaimed and Anankin is wounded. Had Ani had force push here I had a decent chance of just juggling with Ani and holding the hostage to win. But, I didn’t, so Bushfacts just had to bring it home. The last play of the game before I conceded was Luke killing his father with a swing, but, Anakin did kill him back with Djem So on the same swing so a moral victory at least. My LVO run is over.
Congrats Bushfacts on making Top 6 at LVO and thanks for a great game.
2-1 at Day 2 LVO, not too bad. And another goal achieved as I had a winning record across the weekend.
Once I had recovered enough to make it to the gaming hall I joined the illustrious group of streamers at LVO who live by the adage, ‘those who can’t play stream.’ But in all seriousness shout out to David ‘Endless’ Zelenka who Streamed all weekend. There are nine full streamed games available over on his Twitch and eventually Youtube of LVO action. We had a great time streaming on Day 3 at LVO, pictured is the final game.
LVO Meta Feelings
Others have done more complete looks into the data. LVO was the first tournament we have really seen the new CIS units come into their own. Super-Tacs, Ion Spiders and RPS Magnaguard were everywhere. Do keep this in mind when building lists in the months to come. I did remark that a set of Ion-Poppers or two might be a good investment right now to be a buttress against Magnaguard. Particularly on units that one black die would be an upgrade, *looks at Storm and Snow Troopers.*
We also saw tons of force users, about two/thirds of lists on Day 1 and 2 had a force user, and half on Day 3. This is certainly an increase and needs to be taken into consideration when tournament prepping.
Firstly, the tables were Beautiful, full stop. I have never seen such a gathering of Legion tables in my life before.
My constructive criticism for the weekend was that the tables felt on average a little bit light. I totally understand though as sourcing fifty Legion tables is no small feat and there’s only so much scatter terrain. There wasn’t any table though that was completely unplayable though so that was great. Just some better than others. I also plan to try and actually put some work into terrain this year to be helpful and not just complain from the sidelines.
My entire weekend at LVO was an amazing time and I can’t recommend going enough. And I have nothing but good things to say about the event staff, volunteers and judges. Everyone made LVO amazing and even worked with me to make sure I could even attend. Shout out to all the LVO Staff.
Notes for the Future
There aren’t too many things I’d change about the weekend. Basically the only thing I wish I had done more of is take photos. I’ve borrowed many of the ones in this article. LVO goes so quickly that you just forget to do all that stuff. I also need to bring some Red/Blue tokens with me as they make the battle card photos much better. I also probably could’ve gotten at least a couple photos from the sides of the tables as height is hard to judge top down, as well as, some action photos. The only problem with action photos is that I don’t want to be disruptive to the gameplay at all, and when I’m playing I’m in the zone.
Just like LVO I could probably attend and write about LVO for way to long. I hope to make it back in the future and hope to see you all at LVO.