Hello there! I recently had the opportunity to travel down to the NOVA Open for the latest Star Wars: Legion Grand Championship. Seeing as Legion is my first mini’s game, NOVA was my first wargaming convention, and it was pretty cool to wander around all the other tournament setups, especially the Middle Earth tables. (Seriously, someone help me buy into that game…) I played in the second heat, which took place on Friday, and the event TO’s had all the tables set up and ready to go for us. My day began with Palpatine, ended with Palpatine, and included nothing but Tauntauns in the middle. Let’s jump into the list real quick, and then dive into the swiss rounds.
“Anything but Kriss Kross”
– Rebel Officer (50) + Improvised Orders (10) = 60
– Luke Skywalker (160) + Force Push (10) + Jedi Mind Trick (5) + Emergency Stims (8) = 183
– Sabine Wren (125) + Tenacity (4) + Recon Intel (2) + Electro Grappling Line (5) + The Darksaber (25) = 161
– 2x Rebel Troopers (40) + Z-6 Trooper (22) + Rebel Officer (19) = 162
– Rebel Troopers (40) + Z-6 Trooper (22) + 2-1B Medical Droid (18) = 80
– Rebel Troopers (40) + Z-6 Trooper (22) = 62
– 2x Rebel Commandos Strike Team (16) + DH-447 Sniper (28) = 88
– Explosions! (1)
– Son of Skywalker (1)
– My Ally is the Force (2)
– Push (2)
– Legacy of Mandalore (3)
– Return of the Jedi (3)
– Standing Orders (4)
Unsurprisingly, Zach and I run a very similar list. About a month before NOVA, the Legion world was upended and the Tauntaun Riders expansion released. Personally, I didn’t want to run them, and I actually decided to drop down to 9 activations as a Rebel. Blasphemy, right? The basic concept of the list is to maximize Luke and Sabine as twin beat-sticks that the opponent cannot stop, and to have the generic officer keep the army troops in order. Having this second courage bubble allows Luke and Sabine to travel independently of the main forces, letting them be more flexible in order to expose weak points and counter Tauntauns. As I’ll discuss in a future article, I had three officers throughout the list, giving me three points of inspire to spread among the squads. Also, seven of my nine activations are at least courage two, meaning that I’m taking both actions with every unit nearly every turn. I ended up taking a 4 point bid, anticipating a number of 800 point Deathtrooper lists….and ended up only being blue player once. I never faced a Deathtrooper. Not once.
My first round opponent played perhaps the most interesting list I’ve ever been on the other side of: Palp Double Bounty. Rounding out the list were three DLT Stormtoopers and a Royal Guard with electrostaff. All in all, heavy on firepower but super light on activations and order control. We ended up playing Recover/Major Offensive/Clear Conditions. Fortunately for myself, the middle box ended up on top of the height-two complex in the middle, meaning that only our Sabine and Boba could get there in one move. Also in my favor, my Sabine had recon intel and I had two extra activations, meaning I was able to get to the box and claim it at the end of round one. Finally, I was able to add a few wounds to his Bossk on turn one, who needed to expose himself to take any kind of shot at my troops behind the rocks and the complex.
Standing on top the complex, Sabine seemed primed for an Explosions! drop on turn two. News flash: drop it I did. I was only able to get four wounds out onto the table, but I was able to dish out eight suppression tokens, giving Sabine a chance to get out of line of sight, and also slow down the opponents army, as Palp does not have any suppression management keywords. Using my officer Z6 squads, I was also able to take two shots at Bossk in only light cover, force him onto stims turn two, and after failing his regenerate rolls, he left the battle quite early.
The final major action occurred on turn four. Palpatine activated his And Now You Will Die turn, moved up, and eliminated three of my activations, but left himself exposed and weakened to be gunned down by Sabine, who herself still sat on top of the complex. This left my opponent with zero boxes at the end of the game, and I was able to take it 3-0.
My second matchup was the start of my furry torment: Leia, 6 naked assorted corp trooper units, 3 Tauntauns, and a fully kitted landspeeder. It was an intimidating sight: eleven activations of rebel killing fury lined against my crack team of nine activation rebels. The first two mission cards were breakthrough and vaporators, so I ended up having to force intercept in the final slot, not a task I was thrilled about, being down two activations from the start. The final cards flipped over as Intercept/Major Offensive/Clear Conditions.
The game started off exactly as you would imagine, with the three Tauntauns being deployed on the panhandle short edge and moving forward twice at the end of the first turn. As I’ll get into more over the next rounds, this triggered my strategy that I believe helped me get through my Tauntaun gauntlet. Just like the majority of one pip command cards, the No Time for Sorrows Tauntaun rush can be telegraphed as well. Fortunately for me, that card is a two pip priority, and Son of Skywalker is a one pip. By positioning Luke in a way that he can start turn two in charge range of a Tauntaun, I can jump priority of the charge, and potentially eliminate a tauntaun before it gets to my lines and my units. As one burger is fond of saying, two Tauntauns are useless, but three are broken. So make sure you kill the first one as soon as possible.
The bulk of the action occurred on rounds two and three. Using SoS, I was able to kill a Tauntaun, force push a fleet trooper squad into cohesion around Luke, and use that cohesion to pin another Tauntaun to the board edge, since creature troopers cannot move through engaged units. Once the first was killed, and the second was locked up, I spent the rest of my units’ activations positioning Sabine for the next two rounds, and using the Z6s to eliminate the final Tauntaun. By the start of turn 4, all of the Tauntauns were eliminated, and Sabine was primed to drop Explosions! onto the exposed corp troopers on the middle point. By the time the final activation of round 6 had occurred, Sabine captured the middle point, and I won the game tied 6-6 on points destroyed.
And here it came, the final round for the chance to move onto day two. Lining up across from me, another triple Tauntaun list, this time rounded out with Leia, 4 Z6s, and 3 snipers. Yet another eleven activation list to my nine. Similar to the last game, we drew Intercept/Battle Lines/Clear Conditions. As you can see from the photo above, this map was not the best design setup for Tauntauns, and I was able to force the engagements to the right hand side. All three Tauntauns were primed to charge the right hand side, while his corp troopers moved towards the center transmission. Because of the buildings large cover profile, I set up Sabine to drop Explosions! on potentially his entire corp turn two. Once again turn one, my opponent double moved his Tauntauns to set up for NTFS, and I was able to position Luke in a charge position to jump priority turn two. Interestingly enough, one Tauntaun was about eight inches ahead of the other two, and I had an interesting decision to make: SoS or Explosions!
In the end, I chose Explosions!, hoping to distract my opponent and allow me to take some shots on the Tauntauns before they could activate. My opponent pulled his NTFS card, and I decided to try to go to the order pool instead of activating Sabine right away. I ended up pulling a commander token, and I chose to go with Luke. For the second straight match, I was able to use Luke to jump priority and severely limit the Tauntaun charge before it began. Jumping out of the little house on the right side, I was able to melee a Tauntaun, eliminate one of the models, then use force push and jedi mind trick on another Tauntaun to make it move away from my units and suppress it. This game very much turned into two smaller skirmishes, with Sabine taking on my opponent’s corp alone for the first four turns, and Luke and the rest of my forces taking shots at the three advancing Tauntauns. I was able to drop Sabine’s bombs on six total activations, slowing him down enough that by the time Luke dropped SoS on turn three and eliminated the final Tauntaun, I had plenty of time to converge my two lightsabers on the middle.
On turn four, I spent my entire turn moving into positions to assault the middle transmission for the endgame. Every unit double moved except for Sabine, who hopped into melee with a Z6 squad and Darksabered them. By the start of turn five, both my opponent and I realized that this game was going to come down to whether or not Luke and Sabine could kill enough rebel trooper squads to win the middle objective. Predictably enough, lightsabers with pierce shred rebel troopers, and I was able to win the final attrition battle to score both objectives, and win on points destroyed for the second consecutive game.
Well, I made it this far right? Only one more win, and Zach can’t belittle me for not having an invite. Interestingly enough, based on the odd number of players in the second heat, and some strength of schedule shenanigans, my opponent from round two ended up making it through to the top cut, and we rematched for all the marbles. We ended up with Advanced Positions/Key Positions/Clear Conditions.
This game started off with a bang, after my opponent drew his landspeeder first, it moved forward, and left itself exposed. I spent the entire first turn shooting at the landspeeder, leaving it only one wound. I also managed to position my Luke to threaten the advancing Tauntauns. Unfortunately, I was unable to get the final wound through, and the landspeeder survived to turn two. Turn two comes around, and he drops ambush to counter my Explosions!. He wins the roll, and immediately puts four wounds on Sabine through cover. I end up dropping explosions on only two units, and Sabine was quickly eliminated on the next activation. I must admit, trading Sabine for only a landspeeder felt pretty bad, and being down ten activations to eight with three Tauntauns coming at me felt terrifying. Fortunately, I was able to move Luke into a Tauntaun this turn, and use force push to yet again tie up the fleet troopers nearby, ensuring that Luke was safe from enemy fire, and the Tauntaun could not advance forwards through the engagement. Turns three and four consisted of my Luke chopping the remaining Tauntaun model he was engaged with, before dropping SoS onto the other cavalry nearby, eliminating both activations decisively.
The final rounds were pretty standard Legion fare, with the two of us trading shots back and forth as we advanced towards the middle position. Luke was able to do Luke things; recovering, pushing, and mind-tricking his way to the middle position and eventually allowing me to score the key position as well as my back objective, securing me the win, and the world’s invite. I had survived the Tauntaun gauntlet, and come out the other side by the skin of my teeth.
In what ended up as my final round of the day, I had the pleasure of squaring off with Kyle Dornbos, aka Orkimedes, and boy did I learn a lesson. We ended up playing Sabotage/Battle Lines/Clear Conditions. After getting all jacked up from winning the invite and dealing with triple Tauntaun lists for the past three matches, I ran into a gunline style list, and I completely forgot how to deal with it. During deployment, I made a major mistake, leaving two of my Z6 squads behind only light cover, which I had forgotten was not heavy… safe to say, Kyle dropped “An Entire Legion” turn one and ended up with four sniper shots into my open squads. They disappeared quickly.
Over the course of the next three rounds, I traded an officer Z6 squad for a snowtrooper squad (not great) and attempted to assault his positions by coming over the top of the rock formation on the right hand side. A combination of Palpatine, IRG, and DLT fire kept me from achieving that goal. I ended up conceding with barely a model left at the end of turn five. Props to Kyle for going on and winning the whole tournament, he’s a hell of a player who doesn’t make mistakes and showed me the next level I need to reach.
All in all, it was a successful tournament and a fantastic first wargaming convention experience. I managed to take a nine activation Rebel list into the heart of Tauntaun country and emerge with a High Command invite, and had a chance to catch up with some of our community members in person again. I’d like to make two quick points about the terrain set up. When I played on Friday, the tables were not the best, but they forced players to think outside the box, and with the exception of tanks (sorry Stevens) no unit was totally unplayable. I’d also like to thank the TOs for thinking on their feet and working extremely diligently to present the best tables they could despite their hands being tied; additionally, the tables on Saturday were absolutely fantastic. While it was fair to talk about how bad the tables were during the first round, I know that John Brader’s (the main TO of Nova Legion) Facebook explanation post went uncharacteristically ignored in some outlets, which isn’t fair to either of the TOs. If you want to disparage those first few tables you can’t ignore the fixes after. Thanks again to John and James for being super aware of the situation at hand; to all my opponents, you were great fun to compete with, congrats to Kyle, and I hope to see everyone again at Adepticon. With the new points changes and the drop of the two new factions, I’m glad to get this out of the way; welcome to the New World Order everyone.
Damn, it feels good to not be the only Jedha member without a ticket.