This article will be a summary of the top 8 armies at Im Norden 2023 and some of my takeaways based on the results.
Im Norden is an annual tournament hosted by Finn in northern Germany. I unfortunately could not attend this year but have played last year and can vouch for the quality of the event. Im Norden has a really friendly and fun focused atmosphere despite being one of the larger tournaments in Germany. This year the tournament had 60 players total. Of those 60 players, 19 played Empire (3 Blizzard Force, 1 Imperial Remnant, 3 Tempest Force), 11 played Rebels (1 Echo Base Defenders, 3 Bright Tree Villiage), 16 played Republic (2 501st Legion, 2 Wookiee Defenders), 11 played Separatists ( 1 Experimental Droids), and 2 played Shadow Collective (list information provided by Derrkater). The event was 5 rounds of swiss resulting in one undefeated 5/0 player. It is worth noting this was not a world qualifier event which means players are more willing to try out new lists and experiment resulting in some more unconventional lists being played. Im Norden was also one of the first larger events with the new Wookiee Defenders and Experimental Droids battle forces. I think this makes the event an exciting one to look at since it is one of the few larger tournaments where players are experimenting and trying some of the new options.
4-1 Honorable Mentions
Since the event was pure swiss not all 4-1 players ranked in the top 8 because of tie breakers. I will go over three 4-1 players first as honorable mentions.
Our first 4-1 player is Terrorkiks who played an Anakin BARCline. Anakin and Yoda are both extremely popular at the moment because of their flexibility and ability to deal with armor. BARCs are also a popular choice in Europe as opposed to North America. This army brings 3 BARCs in order to have more play on objectives like Breakthrough and Bombing Run. You lose some gunline power by making this choice but gain objective play. The most unique part of this army is the choice to use naked BARCs and a Clone Commander to get to 10 activations over the more standard 9 activations in Anakin lists.
Fabian Beyer played a fairly standard Blizzard Force army. Despite the points increase to Stormtrooper HRUs and the removal of Operative Vader Blizzard Force continues to prove it is still a competitive list. I personally like the inclusion of Ion Snowtroopers as a hedge against armor and vehicles. I expect Blizzard to continue to be a staple of competitive Legion for some time because of its objective power and ability to decimate enemy armies at the same time.
Kilian also known as Qraith on Discord played a Maul MagnaGuard gunline. Some of you may know Kilian from his amazing paint jobs, shown below. While Kilian is a talented painter he is also a great Legion player finishing 4-1 at Im Norden. His army leverages Maul and the MagnaGuards as melee threats to pressure objectives, and backs all this up with a horde of B1’s. Despite being fairly melee heavy with Maul and the Magnas the army has lots of range 4 potential between the RPS-6 rockets and the E-5s. The army can pick away at long range then close the gap quickly with the melee threats. Saber Throw is also a great choice on Maul making it so he can play more defensive on the approach and safely engage the enemy army. I asked Killian his thoughts on his list he said “I think this list or something like it is currently the best option for CIS … I personally prefer Maul over Assaj just because he fits my play style better. I like this list since it is less terrain dependent than other CIS lists and can deal with armor.”
Selim is our first top 8 player with a 4-1 record. He played an Anakin Clone Commander Cody gunline. This army brings some unique flavor by including Cody and an AT-RT with Comms Relay to direct the Clone Troopers for Fire Support attacks. In a meta where you are expecting to see white save armor like the AT-ST I think this is a cool choice to have some more flexibility. Cody also helps the army have more play at range 4 since Anakin gunlines often have a weakness that they rely on range 3. I asked Selim about his experience at the event and he said his one loss was to Yannick; the game was an attrition game and he was edged out. He also mentioned playing against Andreas’ Wookiees army. In the game he was heavily behind but was able to get some cheeky plays in to steal the win in the end.
Dennis Jenkel, also known as Octobaer on Discord, played triple AT-ST Tempest Force. He said “I just wanted to try the triple AT-STs. It’s a good list, but I don’t like the fact that you rely on your opponents to blank saves and it is a bit boring to play. The game I lost was against a Magnaguard which refused to die … If it would have been a WOQ I probably would have brought Yoda.” Triple AT-ST is a solid army, it can destroy many armies if they are not prepared to handle that much armor. Similar to Dark Troopers the army is often very dice dependent because of the heavy armor skew. The main drawback of the army is its lack of play making units. It suffers from sometimes being dice dependent since its main game plan it to kill everything.
Joel Played a Palpatine IG-88 gunline. This army is a really fun one to play because of all the tricks you can pull off with Palpatine and the strong firepower of the list. IG-88 is a deadly range 3 killing machine and is even more powerful when he is able to attack twice per turn. Back to back attacks from IG can quickly bring down a bounty target and Give In To Your Anger can set up situations where you can reliably punish an out of position unit. Its main weakness is armor since it lacks any real Impact. I would love to give this army a try since it looks like a blast to put on the table and still has some solid competitive potential.
Markus brough a fairly unique Darth Vader Black Sun Enforcers (BSE) army. This army is heavy on red saves and high health units, backing up both Vader and the Black Sun with 4 Medical Droids to keep them healthy on the battle field. Counting this all together it is 36 wounds backed by red saves making it a tough to kill mob of units. While you are pressured by Vader and the BSE the Stormtroopers are able to give supporting fire. I also like the inclusion of Impact Grenades as a hedge for Armor. It is good to see BSE doing well after the points increase.
Richard is our only Rebel player who went 4-1. Rebels were the least popular faction at the event despite having the entire Endor wave recently launch. The army Richard played was a Cassian Ahsoka gunline. While Cassian Ahsoka is a popular archetype for Rebels this version had some more unique options in it. I asked Richard about his rational for his army and he said “I had 5 very nice Opponents and great games. When a tournament is run by Finn you know the tables will be great, and angular. In my opinion, Cassian Ahsoka is by far the best direction for Rebels right now. The main question is how does the rest of the list look. I think Leia is good for this list because of her 2 Pip, 2 Command Slots, Inspire 2, and Take Cover 2. If you do not take Leia you need an officer anyway for Covert Ops and a Command Slot for Underworld Connections or Improvised. I think Ewok Slingers are absurdly efficient for their Points even factoring Underworld Connections in. They really help Rebels who often have just a lot of 4 health white save units. They help on counting Objectives, as well as having a very relevant attack at Range 2. I think they go in a similar slot as Mk2s in Lists. Bringing Slingers allows you to take DLT troopers instead of Veterans.” Currently Rebels are fairly limited when it comes to competitive list options but I appreciate the unconventional choices to try and support Cassian and Ahsoka.
Johannes also played an Anakin BARCline. His army in particular opts for 9 activations to include Clone Medics in the list. This helps beef up Anakin and your clones, since you often have surging red saves on all your units. This makes the gunline portion of the army more sturdy and able to weather some extra fire power, not to mention 6 model Phase II Clones hit really hard offensively. Johannes has been playing Anakin BARCs for quite some time and this version seems like a tuned-up version of his previous lists. One interesting thing to point out is he does not include Boil which is considered a must have upgrade by many Republic players.
Yyck also played an Anakin army but opted for a Pyke gunline instead of BARCs. This version is much more deadly at range 3 and is much more resilient because of the Pykes. The cost for this army is you must sacrifice some of the objective play of BARCs. I asked Yyck about his list and experience at Im Norden “Overall the tournament was well organized and the atmosphere was fantastic. I met a ton of new and old players from the German tournament scene and we really had a blast during the games and of course the evenings we drank a few beers and cocktails… My list was very easy. I had Pykes and 2 clone units with heavy weapons as my shooting units. Anakin, Padme and the Capo gave out the tokens to make these 4 units and Echo better in shooting and the dodges help prevent most of the damage. Of course Boil was there to guardian hits against my shooting units. I really have to stress the importance of Padme and her 3pip. I divulged her card in all my games and in game 2 and 4 it was the game changer that won me the game. In the other games my opponents stretched their lines to prevent Padme from getting her Secret Mission and that really helped my gunline to focus enemy units without getting too much damage back. Overall the list was a standard defensive clone gunline that I have been playing now for years. At the moment I’m a little bit bored because there’s no real variance like taking Obi Wan. At my next tournament I want to try out Yoda to see how he will work for me.” I have not heard many people regularly use Secret Mission with Padme and it was cool to hear about Yyck’s unconventional play style with her.
Philipp was the only undefeated 5/0 player and played a really unique CIS Villain Hammer list. This army has General Grievous, Assajj Ventress, and Bossk all supported by B1’s and a T-Series Tactical Droid. This is the first time I have seen a CIS army with this many named characters do well in some time. The army is able to play at range 4 with Bossk and the E-5s. I really like the inclusion of Electrobinoculars for supporting Bossk since he is so aim hungry. This is already a pretty solid gunline but cannot go toe to toe with other full gunline armies. To remedy this the army has two deadly Lightsaber users who can tear apart enemy lines once engaged. This was definitely a really interesting and spicy list to see win such a large event!
In this event Empire and Republic were the most popular factions which showed in the top results. We had a few breakout CIS and Rebel armies, but a majority was Republic and Empire. Shadow Collective did not show up in the top armies although this may just be due to the fact only two people played Shadow Collective. Empire clearly has multiple competitive armies which have a variety of play styles. Republic is dominated by dodge spam armies and much more limited in army composition. While Yoda is also a popular option, the army functions very similarly to an Anakin army just swapping Anakin for Yoda. Sadly the Wookiee Defenders didn’t really make a splash at this event despite having two top players running the battle force, this might be due to how new it is but I suspect the battle force has some difficult matchups. I do not expect to see CIS hero hammer become a competitive staple, piloting that many focus pieces is not easy and the army can still struggle in certain matchups. Tables are typically more terrain dense in Germany which helps this kind of list succeed. Also before we go I would like to thank Derrkater for supplying me with the faction and battle force counts at the beginning of the article! It was great to see some unique lists show up in the top, overall I hope you enjoyed this summary of the top Im Norden lists!