Crucible, a title true to itself, but more on that later. This event stands as a momentous achievement for the Florida Legion scene. It was our FIRST MAJOR Legion con event, which supported a full 64 players over the course of three days. Friday and Saturday both featured a 3 game heat with a 4th shadow round so we could cut to Top 4 on Sunday to dish out two World’s invites. A HUGE thank you to Jordan “LuminousGaming” Smith, because he put on the best first major a Star Wars fan could ask for. I want to take this section of the article to thank him for what he does for not just the Florida Legion community, but the worldwide Legion community. Without him, Florida Legion would not be what it is today, so hats off to Jordan for supporting, running, and overseeing all that he does.
Now, back to Crucible. Every ticket was sold, although there was some heavy attrition across the weekend due to folks having last minute work issues and whatnot. This event was shaping up to be one of the biggest on the East Coast, but life always throws curveballs and that’s ok. My personal plan was to play in the Friday heat then do MCP Saturday and see what happened from there, but as fate willed it I wasn’t able to get down there until Friday night, so of course I prioritized Legion. Nonetheless, I had an amazing weekend of Legion and I know many others did as well. Make sure you check out the stream from all 3 days here, and like always thanks Dave/Yavinbase for doing what you do. Dave’s streams really ignite the community’s interest in these large events and is crucial part of the very fabric that keeps us together as the community we are.
A Lesson In War
Before beginning the Top 8 breakdown, I’d like to do some edu-muh-catin’ seeing as how I’m a teacher and all. Let’s start with some simple vocabulary: Crucible (noun): a situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new. You know what, I’m gonna save the relevance and parallel for the end of the article.
Let’s move on to a conceptual thinking and a history-of-Legion exercise. Florida has no doubt been making a name for itself in the Legion community within the last couple years. It all started at ACO 2022 when some gator-ridin’ southerners made the venture up to the Northmen’s stronghold of Atlantic City and conquered the day. Since then the North has had a lot of ‘memberin’ to do, and, well, not to spoil the ending but remember they did! Many Northmen (by which I mean…non-Floridians) rallied behind the banner of revenge and retribution to make the journey down to the southern capitol; The Mecca of the Mouse, the swampy heartland, Orlando, Florida! By 9 A.M. Friday morning, they were at our gates, fighting their way into the inner walls of our fortress, overrunning our forces and driving us further back into the humid stone-laden foundations of our great fortress, but alas, there were heroes on both sides and some of our greatest warriors rallied forth to even the day out and hold the lines against the assault. The battle raged on, and its conclusion would come on another day…
Pictured: Northern playgroups through the eyes of Florida Men
Ok, last bit of business before the breakdown. Some players who would have advanced to the shadow round on Friday and Saturday actually had to drop due to other obligations, but I wanted to make sure they were recognized for their accomplishments and in some cases for their service to the Florida Man army!
Stephen Sylvia, who is not only a good friend of mine, but training partner and member of the Jacksonville lordship made his way through the vanguard of Northmen and even managed to defend his stronghold in a skirmish with the legendary northern warrior, Nick Bodnar. He managed to make it to 3-0 after 3 rounds but dropped because he couldn’t stay Sunday. Stephen was rocking a 9 act Boba Kallus full T-21 specialist stormie spam with Protector IRG. Congrats Stephen!
Chris Velazquez, another Jacksonville bannerman and new addition to the Florida Man ranks also made it to 3-0 on Friday, but had to drop because he couldn’t be in attendance on Sunday. Chris also faced one of the North’s most elite warriors, Mike Syrylo, in what would ultimately be a skirmish into tactical retreat, into a crushing defeat for… we’ll save that for the recap. Chris’ weapon of choice was 8 act Yoda Chewy Wookie Defenders and triple fluttercraft battleforce, and I have to say, I love the list and if you didn’t watch his stream which was game 2 of Friday, check it out and look at his minis. They’re beautiful. Congrats Chris!
Zane Reeder, a resident of the Tampa Bay area and newer Florida Man army recruit made the cut on Saturday but had to drop from the shadow round unfortunately. Zane actually works at Critical Hit Games which is where most of our larger “local” events are run by Jordan, and he served his army proudly by going 2-1 and having the SOS to advance if he was able. Zane was rocking a spicy Gideon double dark GAV list, and was actually on stream for a game Saturday, so be sure to check it out. Congrats Zane!
Now Al Pazino, everyone knows Al Paz and he can be considered perhaps the greatest road warrior in Legion history. I don’t think there’s been a tournament I’ve been to where he wasn’t also present. Al Paz has no allegiance to sigils of the North or South, he is a mercenary who is not bound by these archaic ways of division. He would go on Saturday to slay just about anyone. His eye was on the prized title of Crucible King, for he saw opportunity where there was chaos from two opposing factions. He had the potential to advance on Saturday, but due to some tie breakers was one spot shy of advancing to the shadow round. He was rocking an Anakin list with some BARCs and lots of fire support options. Congrats Al, and thanks for coming to all those events!
Nathan is from Tennessee, and he brought some double bounty CIS action to Florida. As a CIS man myself, I approve of his list and love the inclusion of Bossk as well. Magnas are such a great option for droids, and Cad Bane is well supported by the gunline. His objective deck doesn’t invite many lists to a match with warm welcome, the only thing I would consider is that Cad is usually not a fan of Advanced Positions, since it could set up a situation where he gets revealed too early (and thus is at risk of taking a big shot in the first act). Congrats to Nathan on Top 8!
Ryan, yes “The Ryan” brought 11 act Bright Tree Village to Crucible, and I have to say… I love it. Chewie in the Incognito ATST backed up by some murder bears ready to charge your ranks is a cool combo. He’s essentially a moving wall you can’t shoot until he decides it’s time. He also brought THE Leia Chewie card which lets him essentially fire support with Chewie on a Leia attack and it doesn’t even break Incognito. Nice tricks there Ryan! Logray is a great support unit next to C-3PO and Wicket can be a budget playmaker in a pinch. All in all, great to see a BTV in Top 8 and congrats Ryan.
Everyone knows Ed, or Drawde on the Discord. He brought…Wait, what? Hold on a second I had to catch my breath here and do a double take. Is that, A: Full Rebel Commandos, B: 2 essentially naked (in terms of firepower) Landspeeders, and C: Op Luke? None of these units show up in a lot of Top 8’s these days, and it’s probably a first that they’re all together like this. This may seem like a troll list but I think if you peer behind the veil you’ll see it has some excellent objective play, especially with his battle deck. I’ll save the strats for you as the reader to figure out, but there’s more than meets the eye and, if executed properly, this list can lure you into a false sense of security.
Tyler’s recap is going to be done in two parts because I want to not only review his list, but address an observation that I made in three games this weekend. It just so happened two of those three games were between him and I. More on that in a sec. First, his list.
Tyler brought some good ole’ 501st battleforce to Crucible. He has quite the efficient token generation platform between Anakin and the CCs available to him, and solid to very good order control on most of his CCs. 3 full Arc troopers and Echo strike backed by Barrier and Impervious will lose no sniper war, period. They absorb shots from enemy snipers and hit back even harder, which is before the two medics even come into play. The list doesn’t really have any tricks, but it doesn’t need it. The BARC is mandatory due to the battleforce, but in a pinch it’s actually a great fire support initiator and is a speed 3 medium base threat on the last turn of Key Positions – if you kept it alive – Doc. All in all, great list that’s extremely hard to kill.
So, now the observations. Tyler and I played in the 3rd round of Saturday and I won the roll-off to determine if I wanted Red or Blue player. The table was equal on both sides, and I saw he had a couple things in his battle deck I didn’t want to play, so I took Blue. He was faced with a situation where he could let hostage slide or take last ban into Vaps, and he didn’t like that I could move my hostages outside of activation while he couldn’t do that on his. He also was left with Limited Visibility and Long March if he did use his ban on Hostage. I feel this is a correct choice, in that Hostage would’ve meant a very early engagement for both of us in which I think I have an advantage. He reasonably bans to a less bad objective, Vaps.
Turn zero was over. He knew if he entered range 4 of my army, I could move and set up devastating fire supports the following turn. I knew if I get too close without moving through the terrain carefully I could get a non-SA dodge unit picked off by one of his 4 snipers, so this was by nature going to be a cagey game, on Vaporators. Neither of us really wanted to make the reckless aggressive play, so we traded shots at range 3 and eventually I was actually able to fire support with echo and a Z-6 Captain P1 squad, resulting in 1 wound to an arc squad after he healed the unit with a medic. As the rounds counted up and time wound down, no units had been defeated despite removing a mini here and there. We entered the last round with neither of us putting units that are in danger of being defeated within range of the enemy army, and that was time. We both received a (rare) draw, and advanced to Top 8 shadow round because of the Galactic Conquest format. We got paired again in the shadow round, and a very similar turn 0 outcome happens. I got a multi-aim essentially surge:hit 22 dice fire support shot off that did absolutely nothing, and our Top 8 game ended the same way, except someone HAS to advance so a red die was rolled on stream and I won the roll.
Draws are interesting concepts, but I do feel like this could be avoided by simply adding a 5th Vaporator in the middle of the board, or reworking the placement of two of the four Vaporators, because in its current state if both players are 800 points, no one knows who has to make the aggressive play(s). These weren’t the only Vaps games of the weekend that were in danger of ending in a draw. Hopefully this objective gets a tune-up or something else to avoid the possibility of a draw altogether. Anyways, congrats to Tyler! Our games were both very cagey, and while from the outsider’s perspective they may have looked boring, they were fun for me and you were a great opponent.
Liam brought a cool take on Rebels with Cassian K2, and Commander Luke. His Command Card selection is the first thing that stands out, and I think he has all the right cards. Commander Luke can be quite pesky with some of Op Luke’s cards, and you never really know what his plan is between having access to “Son of Skywalker” and “I am a Jedi.” The rest of the list is filled out with solid corps choices and two snipers.
Liam is a fellow Southerner and my long time training partner, I think he sensed a disturbance in the meta. All lists need to have an answer to Clones, and this one is a great example of how to prepare for them. Ranged Pierce backed by High Velocity is essential to get through those surging red saves and shared dodges. In a world where red save token spamming gunlines dominate the meta, you need those exact two keywords and you need them in the same dice pool. Liam fell to the Northman Mike Syrylo in an epic skirmish, which can be watched on the Day 3 stream in the link above, and thus it was up to the last remaining Florida Man to best his Northern foe…or else risk the wrath of Mickey, Minnie, Buzz Lightyear, and all the teacups.
Hi this is Austin’s editor Doc Velo. For once, Austin didn’t actually win the damn thing so I feel like it actually wouldn’t have been too gauche for him to write his own, but when he asked me if I wanted to do it I just couldn’t say no. I haven’t yet known a tournament report I’ve edited for him where I didn’t have to write about his winning list, so I’d honestly feel cold without doing it now. Austin confided in us that it’s going to be hard to go back from being a “clone player” now and the only thing I have to say is…what took you so long man? Mike “Dashz,” Keegan Evans, original/chaotic good Evan (Bulriss), Kyle, Timbo, and secondary/chaotic evil Evan (me, and yes we have too many people named Evan here sorry) all either swear by clones or lean on them heavily, so it was really only a matter of time before we started to poison Austin’s mind.
Austin’s list runs somewhat close to Timbo’s Top 8 list at Worlds but adopts a Phase 1-only lifestyle. The benefit of this is some extra firepower (and health, in the form of the captain) for the cost and the availability to squeeze Fives in to broaden your fire support options. The risk however is surge token hunger (Z6 is a hungry weapon, and then of course you have your own saves to worry about) and to a lesser extent suppression since you’re only ever going to use those captains once. Of course, you often only need them once anyway so it’s usually not so bad. Finally, running without endurance or the Pyke capo unit makes Anakin rather susceptible to being flawed, but if your Anakin play is aggressive then the additional order control you get from Fives’ coordinate can help that a little.
If anyone hasn’t seen lists like this a ton and are raising your eyebrow at the single Boil unit, consider that Boil not only is siphoning off wounds from units you actually want to hurt but he also has nothing better to do than sit there and take aim/dodge tokens while being farther back from the opponent’s front, meaning they’re less likely to take shots themselves. This sets up a delay in “true attrition” during a firefight, your opponent’s units will get weaker but your hitters get to stay healthy and keep their dice. Furthermore, he can use Anakin’s surges on his Guardian rolls. It’s gross, you should try it!
Well done Austin, you not only did super well with yet another faction but also made sure the top of the bracket was filled with TFT staffers or guest-writers, which is the ideal state of things as we all know.
Mike Syrylo brought a triple Magna, Asajj, and B1 support gunline CIS list as his weapon of choice. Asajj is such a good meta call if you expect for enemy force users to be popular. She’s exceptionally good at taking down force users with lower health like Yoda, Palpatine, or even other Asajj minis, but that requires her to physically get into melee with them. Mike took the standard Burst, Push, Fray on her aso she can get where she needs to go and stay alive when she gets there. Magnas are still a great value with SA and the RPS, although they are still vulnerable to ranged pierce and large dice pools backed by pierce (which clones have a lot of access to) so it leads me to say I think they are appropriately costed with their current standard loadout clocking in at 110 points. The addition of the PK worker droid does however make ranged pierce manageable if it’s in the form of chip damage. His command card selection is also spot on, and I really like his battle deck setup as well. Mike’s list has my seal of approval and one could even say, he’s a real cool guy (for a Northman). I vow to avenge my fallen Florida Man brethren!
Mike brought what he called YodaStar, and let me tell you… Yoda is the star of this list and potentially the faction as a whole. Yoda and Padme not only provide an incredible amount of support for the full ARCs and the remainder of his units, but Yoda can also pivot to a playmaking role and/or intercept incoming enemy force users at the drop of a 1-Pip. This list definitely wants to fire support on the turns it can, and each one will result in the ARCs having at least 4 aims at their disposal. All his games this weekend were essentially a master class in how to play Yoda with a gunline, and ours was no exception. I made the mistake of thinking I could punch through all his defensive tech on a Luminous turn and it proved…futile. Our Duel of the Fates proved a couple things; when it comes to GAR as a faction, much to learn I still have, and Yoda is superior to any force user in almost every way, given he’s in the right list and in the right hands. Congrats on the win Michael it was well deserved, and I look forward to our next matchup.
I just wanted to add that Force Guidance is an upgrade you don’t see much but it makes sense when you consider that Yoda only really needs to go last in the late-game or when he absolutely has to dive, which means that you aren’t running into the usual tempo issues with this upgrade. Those full ARCs definitely love their surges, so it’s a really good call, congrats Mike! – Doc
So, remember that vocabulary lesson from earlier? Crucible (noun) a situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new.
Well, through the trials of Crucible 2023 I learned many things. Some rules-related, some strategy-related, and some future-related. The creation of something new, a major convention for Legion in Florida, and on a more personal level the creation of something new. Yoda is now on the table, now learn I must. But, to sum up my lessons
1: Yoda good.
2: Clones good.
3: Yoda with clones really good.
4: Dark side force users aren’t completely pushed out, but they need to find creative ways back into the meta.
5: Gunlines are fun, but speeder lists are still quite good even though there wasn’t much of a showing from them.
6: Vaps can really, really use an update.
7: Legion has THE GREATEST community in all of gaming. Period. No other game can you get high level, competitive matches like those from this weekend, and still just have fun. Win or lose.
An Excerpt of Conflict
“The Northmen broke through. Our fortress lies pillaged and ransacked. Epcot has fallen…
We will persevere, however. Florida Men will march on World’s 2024! It will be ours…”