The Road to Worlds – 2020 – Part I

The Road to Worlds - 2020 - Part I 1

The Road to Worlds – 2020: This series will be a lead up to Worlds(Adepticon 2020) – It will detail new ideas, testing, and general thoughts moving towards worlds. In part I, we’ll detail what I brought to our local RPQ at Huzzah Hobbies in my first bid for qualifying for worlds this year.

Preparation for the Huzzah Hobbies RPQ – Worlds Qualification Event

For the past year, the Dark Lord of the Sith has been sitting on the back burner due to his high points cost and generally low impact on Star Wars: Legion games. His movement speed and general effectiveness tend to happen at the end of the game and with games being limited to two hours in tournament play it can be hard to squeeze the proper effectiveness out of him. 

Those that know me well know that I have played a lot of Darth Vader early in the games lifetime – bringing him to Nova and several other local store events at Huzzah Hobbies – where we have a pretty competitive crowd (At least 3-4 High Command Invitees are at each event there). I abandoned Vader after some frustrating losses at crucial High Command Invite events(Adepticon 2019) in favor of Boba and Veers last season. 

With the release of Bossk and a new Organized Play Year ahead of us, the time has come to put the big daddy dark lord back on the table. I have a Regional Qualifier at Huzzah Hobbies this Saturday and I will be bringing Vader back out in style –

 

Darth Vader and the Crit Lizardz

798/800

Darth Vader 200

Force Push 10, Force Reflexes 15, Saber Throw 10

Bossk 115

Stormtroopers 44

DLT-19 Stormtrooper 24 

Stormtroopers 44

DLT-19 Stormtrooper 24

Stormtroopers 44

DLT-19 Stormtrooper 24

Stormtroopers 44

DLT-19 Stormtrooper 24

Scout Troopers (Strike Team) 16

DLT-19x Sniper 28

Scout Troopers (Strike Team) 16

DLT-19x Sniper 28

Scout Troopers (Strike Team) 16

DLT-19x Sniper 28

Stormtroopers 44

 

This 10 activation Vader list is designed in the spirit of Wonder Twins and Veers Boba. It has a minor bid, and I have cut Disarray, Breakthrough, and Clear Conditions. 

 

A few things of note:

  • I have elected to cut Clear Conditions instead of Limited Visibility. Most lists these days are running some type of bombard, 3 snipers and a medic or two. While I do sport triple snipers and bossk, I’d prefer to not have to “fight the sniper war” until turn 3 – making it so they can’t out value me in the early turns of the game with medics and bombards. 
  • I have cut Disarray here because I don’t have two commanders. It’s also just generally not great for Imperials.
  • I have cut Breakthrough because the unit that is most likely to make it is super slow. Without Boba, Luke, or Sabine spearheading my army – I am not thrilled with it. Vader can at least compete at the recover the supplies game with an aggressive deployment and force push. 
  • I only have 4 corps units with heavy weapons. This is a concession to running Vader and a specialized unit (in this case Bossk). What this means is that I really need to make sure my corps units are safe until I get them into the fight. This list will *heavily* rely on LOS blocking terrain and limited visibility the first few turns of the game to get into a leverage able position.

 

The real question we have to answer, which has been started in the above bullets, is how will this list operate? 

Before we go into that please take a look at my guide for playing Darth Vader – It’s from the early days of Legion but still holds true for the most part:  https://thefifthtrooper.com/darth-vader-dark-lord-of-the-sith/

I’d also encourage you to check out Kyle’s Bossk guide – https://thefifthtrooper.com/like-a-bossk/

This should prime you for Bossk generally – though he works quite differently in a Vader-Bossk list then the examples outlined in last weeks article – so expect some differences.

 

Hypothetical Strategy – The Ideas Behind the list

Hypotheses – How I think the list *should* play(Note that it may actually play differently once we’re running games)

 

    • Darth Vader is an area control piece. You toss him down and essentially get to say, everything at range 2 of Vader is mine. He is really slow – which makes him a much more defensive, than offensive, piece in your army.
    • Bossk is what I would term as a “Playmaker” – he is able to force situations that the opponent must react to. He’s used aggressively in this list, in order to force the opponent into a situation where they have to walk into Vader.
    • We want to focus on area control objectives and tiebreaker scenarios if we can – that means prioritizing Key Positions and Intercept the Transmissions and Sabotage the Moisture Vaporators. These leverage Bossk in that he can drill the enemy on the way in and then also let Vader thrive, giving him a clear area he needs to define.
    • Deployment Scenarios will vary and are going to be very list dependent. With Bossk, 3 snipers, and 4 dlts, you can still compete at the range game against rebels. Against Imperials you will likely have trouble. Keep this in mind when looking at the board and selecting a deployment
    • Red is less bad for us than normal. Tiebreaker scenarios are easier to swing with Bossk – generally he can get in a position to threaten a vaporator turn 1 with little repercussions. Don’t be afraid to go Red on Vaps.
    • Our Snipers are not there to win a sniper war with an enemy team of snipers. We likely can’t win a sniper war against most on meta lists with medics unless Bossk gets a kill shot on an unsuspecting enemy strike team. They are there to focus objectives and inflate activation count so we can hold Vader and Bossk to last activations on the first few turns. Anything else we get on them is just dandy. We’ll be prioritizing activation kill shots and heroes with our snipers if they are firing.
    • Our vanilla Stormtrooper unit is there to hold boxes or objectives and inflate our activation count. This unit is about as valuable with just the leader alive as it is with all four guys in it.
    • Our 4 corps units provide our chip shot firepower. This list should heavily prioritize suppressing units with Range 4 DLT shots to stack suppression if there is not open cover shots available. It’s important we are not overly aggressive with our Storms, we don’t have many and preserving our unit leaders is essential.
    • All most all of our meaningful damage is going to come out of our heroes. In the early portion of the game, this will be Bossk and we will then transition to Vader.

Execution – Huzzah Hobbies RPQ – Worlds Invite on the line

The Huzzah Hobbies RPQ was three rounds in length. Some interesting things happened that are worthy of note.

 

Game 1

Game 1 vs Krennic, Bossk, Double DTs(List nickname: Krossk) – I’m Blue Player

Deployment: Battlelines

Condition: Limited Visibility

Objective: Sabotage the Moisture Vaporator

I was able to snag Limited Visibility and Sabotage during Turn 0. Turn 1 was a New Ways to Motivate them on Bossk and Vader – Bossk triple moved to within range 2 of one of my enemys vaps that he had exclusively mined with Sniper strike teams and 1 Storm unit. Bossk activated last to ensure that the fog from limited visibility had him covered. I then Turn 2’d Merciless Munitions to clear the enemy off the vaporator. Bossk died in the process, but 2 of my stormtrooper squads swooped in and stole the vaporator because my opponent was too far away. He had to walk into Vader who was hidden behind a wall to get to one of my protected Vaporators. Darth Vader’s lightsaber did the rest.

Darth Vader and the Crit Lizards 1-0

Game 2

 

Game 2 vs Krennic, Veers, Double DTs (List nickname: Middle Management) – I’m Red Player

Deployment: Long March

Condition: Limited Visibility

Objective: Sabotage the Moisture Vaporator

I again was able to snag Limited Visibility Turn 0 but got the shorter end of the Sabotage train as I was red player this time. It was time to test whether Bossk was as big of an equalizer as I thought he was on Vaporators as Red. Turn 1 was a lot of double moves into position due to long march – I played Standing Orders targeting Bossk as I needed to leverage him on Turn 2. Turn 2 was a Reptilian Rampage opener targeting a snowtrooper unit on one of my opponents Vaporators. It was reduced to 1 unit leader and Bossk slid backwards away from enemy gun fire. The snow unit then panicked and ran towards the board edge, setting up a no cover sniper shot for me the next turn. The sniper shot went off and I pulled my army back so that he had to engage Vader to shoot at all of my pieces on turn 4+. Vader made short work of everything that crossed his path.

Darth Vader and the Crit Lizards 2-0

Game 3

 

Game 3 vs Kyle “Orkimedes” Dornbos – Luke, Sabine (List nickname: Kris Kross) – I’m Red Player

Deployment: Major Offensive

Condition: Limited Visibility

Objective: … Sabotage the Moisture Vaporator (Are you sensing a trend?)

This time it was unclear if I wanted Limited Visibility or not – I forced it because he was forcing Vaporators and I was concerned about my approach. I’ve played Kyle many times and this proved to be just as difficult as normal – Red on Vaps is not where you want to be against the efficiency master. I opened with New Ways to Motivate them on Vader and Bossk Turn 1. He issued orders to Sabine and had her jump on the Vaporator closest to me to mine it. Bossk double moved into range 2 of sabine and opens up. Turn 2 sees Bossk following up with Merciless Munitions and a shot. Sabine is on 1 hp and gets healed back up to 2 – Bossk goes to 1 wound. Turn 3 is Reptilian Rampage vs Explosions – Kyle activates a corps unit and opens up on Bossk in Heavy Cover pushing 1 hit through. My boy Bossk rolls a block. Bossk quickly activates and tosses a 3 crit shot into Sabine, killing her. With his remaining action he backs up with his collected Bounty. Kyle is able to pick bossk off with snipers but I’ve traded up. Sabine costs significantly more than Bossk. At this point I pull my army back and he is forced to Luke rush on Turn 4-5-6. Darth Vader deals with his son while our corps units trade a few times. Each time he was able to kill a unit, I was able to buy one back – staying up on kill points.

The Road to Worlds - 2020 - Part I 2

Darth Vader and the Crit Lizards 3-0

Takeaways

 

Takeaways from the day:

  • Bossk is an excellent complement to Darth Vader, he was able to execute the way I needed him to to swing these games into a “Come at me Bro” with Vader.
  • It turns out people are starting to run limited visibility more often, perhaps because of the sniper meta. I was definitely able to take advantage of this this weekend. It remains to be seen if this list is fully operational without access to limited visibility.
  • Bossk makes red on vaporators much more manageable. Being able to delete a unit and “become” blue player is huge and was the reason I won games 2 and 3.
  • Darth Vader is playable. Don’t let anyone tell you anything else.

 

I walked away with an invitation to worlds on my first outing this year. Which was a win in my book even though I had to team kill Kyle to do it. I did not enjoy having to win out at the Last Chance Qualifier last year.

This series moving forward will focus on the preparation and list building process moving towards Adepticon. The next major event I will be playing in will be the Nova Open – Where I’m sure I’ll have some changes to make to this list.

 

Until next time on the road to Worlds,

May the Dark Side be with you – Always

Michael “Dashz” Barry

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