The Road to Worlds – 2020 – Part III – Viva Las Vader

It’s been a while since my last update on the Road to Worlds. Not terribly much has happened. However, in the last two and a half weeks we’ve had a prime championship at my local store Huzzah Hobbies  and I went out to Las Vegas to compete and stream the Las Vegas Open with most of The 5th Trooper Network.

Let’s continue our story.

Prime Championship – Huzzah Hobbies

Our local Prime Championship was on January 18th. Unlike many Primes, our store had decided that if the correct quota was met we would have a 2 day event. The first day being swiss rounds and the second day being a cut to top 2, due to store hours. This was actually a pretty optimal setup and, in theory, would have provided for a situation where SOS would not be a factor. However due to the weather we lose about 11 people day of. This resolved in a 3 round swiss event with a top 2 cut to game 4.


This is what I played:

Darth Vader and the Crit Lizards

799/800 (10 activations)
– Darth Vader (190): Force Choke (5), Saber Throw (5), Force Push (10) = 210
– Bossk (115): Hunter (6) = 121
– 3× Stormtroopers (44): DLT-19 Stormtrooper (24) = 204
– Shoretroopers (52): T-21B Trooper (32) = 84
– DF-90 Mortar Trooper = 36
Special Forces:
– 3× Strike Team (20): DLT-19x Sniper (28) = 144

This is a slightly different list than we’ve talked about in the past, with the introduction of a Shoretrooper and Mortar to round out the corp. This allows us to have 4 “Heavy Weapon” corps and 1 corp that can assist, as opposed to 1 corp that is just an objective grabber.

Round 1 – Alex DeNardo (Republic – Rex/Kenobi)

My round 1 opponent was playing a 9 activation Kenobi and Rex list that also included a BARC speeder at the expense of several heavy weapons in his corps slot. We played Rapid Reinforcements, Battle Lines, and Recover the Supplies. Alex Scouting partied several squads up early to try and grab the middle box. In return, Bossk opened fire on Rex, claiming his bounty and Vader double moved and ate a clone squad turn 1. Things went quickly down hill from there as my army had 5 units with pierce in it. Kenobi tried to save the day, but the Republic ended up getting tabled after a valiant defense. We start the day 1-0.

Round 2 – Ronald Brennan (Rebels – Jyn/Sabine/Pathfinders)

My round 2 opponent was also on a 9/10(I don’t remember exactly) activation rebel list. It included a squad of Rebel Veterans and a Mark II as well was one squad of Pathfinders and Taun Tauns each. It was an extremely diverse list of threats. This game came down to deployment. We were playing Clear Conditions, Advanced Positions, and Sabotage the Moisture Vaporators. I set up in an extremely defensive and entrenched position as the blue player and waited to deploy Bossk last. Ronald clearly knew that he needed to put one of my activations down as quickly as possible and dropped Jyn and the Pathfinders in my deployment zone towards the middle of the board. Unfortunately Bossk had yet to be setup and I responded by setting up a Turn 1 Reptilian Rampage play (Players that play me and this list a lot will find that I like to do that often – I find it sets the tone for the game and can often delete an activation). I severely damaged his Pathfinders led by Pao with 2 shots and quickly ran behind cover with Bossk. It was less effective than I would have liked it to be, but the damage had mostly been done – the squads alpha strike capacity was heavily neutered. Ronald brought his Tauns and Sabine up to try and support a push with Jyn/Sabine while his trooper units pushed down the middle/other side of the board. Overall – I just shot and the fell back each turn, making the short range rebel units fairly ineffective against my range 4 gunline. Ronald conceded on turn 4 or 5 when it became apparent that his units, upon finally reaching their destination battered and bruised had to deal with a full hp Vader. After round 2, we’re 2-0.

Round 3 – Chris Smallwood (Rebels – Triple Rotary ATRT/Chewie/Sabine/Han/Leia)

This was a 10 activation list with 3 naked rebel troopers, triple rotarys, and 4 heroes. It was also on the most dense board I’ve ever played on – which was good for Vader, but bad for the rest of my list. We played Clear Conditions, Major Offensive, Sabotage the Moisture Vaporators (Again with me as Blue player, 3x Blue with a 799 bid!). This was a more formal deployment with Scout strikes going back to the vaporators and the rest of the gunline setup to repel the charge. Unfortunately I messed up early in this game due to the terrain and left Bossk exposed to a move shoot from two of the RTs on turn 2 and he got wrecked early by an explosions play. Fortunately I was able to get Sabine and an RT with Vader in response. It finished off as a rebel heroes vs gunline duel where chewie basically soaked all the damage from my units. I was able to squeak this one out. If I had to go back in time and play this one differently I definitely would have deployed Bossk differently so he didn’t get chunked by an RT early. Alas, we can always learn from our mistakes. This game ended up being a close points match and I went to 3-0 on the day.

Finals (Round 4) – Timothy Lantz (Imperials – Tank/ATST)

It was getting late in the day here and I already had an invite for worlds. I was not really interested in any of the swag for 1st place, so I conceded to Tim before we started the game (He was 100% getting the invite anyways). A little bit anti-climactic, but I had a friend in town that flew in and I wanted to make sure I got to see them. Hopefully we can play this match out eventually Tim and congrats on your spot to Worlds!

Huzzah – Wrap up

Overall my list had a pretty good showing and my intent was to use this tournament as a test on whether or not I wanted to bring Vader/Bossk to LVO. While I don’t think this list is top tier – I was also concerned that I did not play anything close to a meta list at this event and would potentially get absolutely train wrecked if I did. Shores and Tauns are really good. In any event, I decided that this was the army I had been messing around with and practicing so this is what I was going to bring.


Las Vegas Open

Chances are if you’re reading this article you know about what LVO(Las Vegas Open) is and that it is basically the largest SW:Legion event to date. Players from across the country(a few from across the world) travel to Las Vegas to compete for 4 slots to Worlds and to be the Champion of Las Vegas. The tournament this year was split into two separate heats of around 60 players each and the top 4 from each heat(day) would advance to the third day’s top 8.

Heat 1 – Friday

I did not play in Friday’s Heat, however I did cast it in totality with one of my partners in crime from Notorious Scoundrels, David Zelenka (Endless).

You can find Day 1 here:

Part 1

Part 2

We had a great time casting the games and we hope you had a great time watching them. Don’t forget to watch Saturday and Sundays games too!

Heat 2 – Saturday

Saturday started and frankly I was pretty beat from casting for 12 hours the previous day. The time difference was helpful as I was able to get a little more sleep than I otherwise would – but it was still a tough start to the day. My hope was that my first couple rounds might be easy. I was wrong.

Round 1 – Michael Fay (Leia, Sabine, Triple Taun Taun, 11 Activations)

AND HERE WE GO! Round 1 Meta list – time to see what Darth Vader and the Crit Lizards can get done against a good list. We played Battle Lines, Hostile Environment, Recover the Supplies. It was clear to me before deployment that his plan here was a Sabine box grab. In response I let him set up his first box and then put my boxes all close to his(but closer to me of course) so that we were going to fight over 4 boxes while Sabine went and grabbed the middle. We were essentially going to play on a 3×3 table (Against Tauns, agh!) but I think it was likely the right call. Turn 1 was mostly uneventful, our snipers traded some shots and at the end the Tauns charged in and relentlessed their pistols. And I lost like 10 dudes cause I made next to no saves. It was not a great start to the day. The next two was Bossk and Vader chomping down on the Tauns before they got competely out of control. I was able to Merciless Munitions and kill all but 1 Taun Model, which I decided was going to have to be good enough, because I needed to kill his box carriers that wernt Sabine. Turn 3 consisted of Vader force pushing a unit back towards him with a box and force choking the leader so he dropped it. At this point he was on 1 box (Sabine) and the other 4 were in fairly chaotic dissarray with Vader trying to get the situation under control. It’s also worth noting I had bountied Leia. Turn 4 and 5 were not much different. It came down to turn 6. I had 1 box(Vader), Bossk was in a spot to grab a second. Sabine had 2 boxes and a rebel sniper team was in position to get a third. Leia was outside bounty range after having survived a Reptilian Rampage with 1 wound remaining. I quickly had my mortar dispatch his sniper team, taking that box completely out of play. I was definitely up on points, so he charged Bossk with Sabine to prevent me from picking up my second box. Womp Womp. However, Sabine had 4 wounds remaining, it was concievable that my boy Bossk could still get me out of this. So I went ahead and rolled the dice with an aim token. 4 hits! Good start. 4 Wounds, Sabine dropped all his boxes. By the skin of Bossks rotten lizard teeth, we were 1-0 on boxes with Vader the only one holding one at the end. I think it’s fair to say I got a little lucky here. Start of the day 1-0.

Round 2 – Ed Martinez (9 Activation Palpatine – with 2x Officer Shores)

And the day gets harder. Ed is a good friend of mine and he’s also a pretty stellar Legion player. I also hate playing against Palpatine. While this list definitely isnt the “Meta” version of Palpatine, it was quite good and the Officer Shores were a particularly lethal PTS(Pull the Strings) target. To boot, my other 5th Trooper boys decided to stream this game. You can find the video here. We’re the round 2 match so it starts a little over halfway through. We played Hostile Environment, Recover the Supplies, and Major Offensive and I was red. Ed chose a much better table side than I did and it put me on the back foot pretty quickly. I had nothing but light cover and he had mostly heavy, if he wanted it. The first 1-3 turns were mostly us just exchanging fire – I got a bit unlucky and lost a storm squad to 1 shot from a shore unit. The rest of it was the standard back and forth – I had hoped to get Vader up to the middle mostly unscathed but he ended up there with 5 wounds taken. It was not looking good for the home team and I really needed an out. I found one around turn 4 when Ed placed both his claimed boxes in fairly exposed areas – specifically nearest Bossk. I made the decision that I was going to need to ping down his box carriers and hope for the best. My Snipers and Corp units were out of range and Vader was dead, so Bossk was going to need to carry me to victory. I got him to drop 1 at the start of turn 6 that he could only re-pickup with PTS. Ed decided that he was going to PTS towards the middle box on his And Now You Will Die turn. He zapped a couple units and moved his shores up to get ready to claim. I put 2 back to back shots in with a severely degraded DLT squad and a Shoretrooper squad that had 3 suppression (Bossk and Vader were dead so they were threatening panic, but I rolled out of it). He only had 2 guys remaining in the squad when I opened up with my second shot from the shores, scoring 4 crits. HOORAH! They both died and the game ended 2-1 with my boxes safe off in the corner. This was another very close match – hopefully I’d get an easier pairing next round.(I didn’t) Round 2 end, 2-0 on the day.

Round 3 – Gen Con Champion David Zelenka (Luke, Sabine, 2x Tauns) – Notorious Scoundrels Team Kill Match

Blah. We’re both 2-0 and we get paired round 3. Neither of us were looking forward to this as it meant automatically that one of us was out of top 8 contention. With that being said, it was a bit of a long time coming as David and I have never actually played each other. Crazy right? In any event we got started and he was blue player. It was Advanced Positions, Recover the Supplies, Clear Conditions. I also think Jay and company would have put this bad boy on stream, but I had just been on stream, sorry fam. Deployment was super important. We were both on 10 activations and I was red player, so I went last. David made a bit of a tactical error and scouted 2 of his sniper teams out of his middle most deployment zone towards my AP board edge. They were LOSed from my entire army that was on the board, however I put down Bossk in a position where he could see all models in both teams completely out of cover. I played Reptilian Rampage turn 1 and deleted both of them. This really set the tone and pace for the rest of the game, as David was really looking to dive in with Sabine at the end of a turn and then back out (It was a really good board for it with a LOS Block on Davids side next to the middle). However the activation disparity basically made this impossible. I loaded Sabine with 11 suppression and she panicked with 1 wound remaining and a poision charge on her to drop the middle box. After killing the Tauns, Vader made his way back to Davids back boxs (That were forced to participate because he was down on units) and killed one before getting killed by Luke. Bossk had a Bounty VP from Sabine, I had 2 boxes and he had 2 boxes. David conceded at the start of 6 when it was clear he couldnt take VPs away from me and he couldnt pick up the last box. End of Round 3, Vader/Bossk 3-0 (Against basically all Meta lists!) with a little luck. Hopefully I’d get an easier pairing next round (I didn’t).

Round 4 – World Champion Luke Cook (10 activation Palpatine)

Well I suppose it was round 4 – basically all good players are there. I would have given a lot to play anything but Palpatine though. We set up on Long March, Key Positions, Clear Conditions. Deployment was uneventful as the KP was a huge building in the center that we both hid behind. Bossk was able to take out a sniper team on turn 1 though. The next 3 turns was us exchanging range 4 shots with heavy cover, which unfortunately I was mostly disadvantaged on due to no medical bots, IRG, and he had Shores where I had DLTs. Turn 5 saw me force pushing his IRG out and killing them with Vader, Vader then dying. Luke Palp bombed a couple of my squads with 2 hp remaining. I had played Reptilian Rampage and if I can kill Palp with Bossk I likely win on points if I am unable to take the middle point. Unfortunately Bossk only got 1 wound through and Luke was able to get 1 more unit leader on the middle then me. It was a very tough day and could have easily swung the other way, but it was not meant to be. Palpatine stood tall over the corpse of Darth Vader. Luke would go on to win the tournament, going 3-0 the next day, so at least I lost to the World/Las Vegas Open Champ, right? Round 4 end, 3-1.

LVO Wrap up

Overall I was happy with my performance at LVO with this list. A lot of the games were super tight and all of them were some form of Meta list. Will I play Vader/Bossk at worlds? I’m not sure yet. I need to do some more testing with them. If I could adjust this list for this tournament I definitely would have gone -2 storm dlts, +1 shore, +1 mortar. I really want to see how Operative Vader ends up in testing – I have high hopes for him and his new command cards. Vader/Bossk might not be the best list out there, but I can confidently say it’s my list, and 6-1 over two tournaments aint bad.

I’ll likely have one more article for the Road to Worlds series before we head out to Adepticon (Which I’ll wrap up in a final article). I hope you’ve enjoyed it so far.

May the Dark Side bring you all the crits,




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