Winner, Winner RPQ Dinner 1
This past Saturday a few guys and I made the trek down to Connecticut for a Rally Point Qualifier. The store we played at was great and the people were great; granted, there were some concerns as the tables were not set up and the terrain was pretty much all Warhammer terrain. To the stores credit, I think this was their first ever Star Wars Legion event and it was a learning experience for all. 

We ended up doing a competitive terrain set up (I’m somewhat ignorant to other wargames to be honest) in which the players pair up on a table and set up the terrain. I think we all did a good job of making the tables as even as we could with no competitive advantage towards anything specific. While this isn’t the proper way, I’d rather us have done this instead of having tables that left us wanting more, because that could have been disastrous. 

As the clock went past the starting hour, things started to settle down. I think some of the anxiety of all the players worried about the tables somewhat dissipated and it was time to start. With twelve players in the field it was decided we would do three rounds of swiss with a top two cut. This is great because it makes sure a true winner comes out on top as opposed to going for a SoS (Strength of Schedule) winner. 

The List

– Luke Skywalker (160) + Force Push (10) + Force Reflexes (15) + Emergency Stims (8) = 193
– Rebel Officer (50) + Strict Orders (5) = 55

– Sabine Wren (125) + Recon Intel (2) + The Darksaber (25) = 152

– Rebel Troopers (40) + Z-6 Trooper (22) + 2-1B Medical Droid (18) = 80
– 3x Rebel Troopers (40) + Z-6 Trooper (22) = 186

Special Forces: 
– 3x Rebel Commandos Strike Team (16) + DH-447 Sniper (28) = 132

Total: 798/800 

– Son of Skywalker (1) 
– Explosions! (1) 
– My Ally is the Force (2) 
– Push (2) 
– Return of the Jedi (3) 
– Legacy of Mandalore (3) 
– Standing Orders (4) 

Before we go into the swiss games, I really want to take a minute to talk about the list, the decisions that went into it, and how I got to this specific build. First and foremost, shout out to our newest blog member Mike Syrylo. He and I have been working on this list together for quite some time, and while we don’t run the exact same upgrades in it, the think tank behind it remains the same. My build works on giving myself the opportunity to play Luke either defensively or aggressively, both of which occurred on Saturday. After playing four games the week before the RPQ, I made some subtle changes to the list that I think ultimately played into my success on Saturday. I dropped a second medical droid and two sets of recon intels on the Rebel Troopers to put Force Reflexes on Luke and Strict Orders on the Generic Officer. Both cards were absolutely great for me on Saturday and I have no doubts that they allowed me to play the way I played.

Another thing you’ll notice is that I’m running Push over Sabine’s two pip card. Shout out to Nema Ashjaee of Team Relentless, as he and I have compared notes quite a bit leading up to each others RPQ’s. He won his out in California with a very similar list. The idea of Push over Sabine’s two pip, of course, is to have full control over both Luke and Sabine rather than a card that just issues an order to Sabine.

Last but not least, some people think dropping the generic for corps is a better play. Which, sure, it is more efficient on the face of things, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a purpose. He provides Luke dodges if you keep them close enough, which happened quite a bit on Saturday. He provides an extra courage bubble for the Corps units when Luke is on a mission and out of range. In this case, he had Strict Orders which allowed me to ensure suppression management, and he also gives me an extra Commander token to be able to pull out when I play Explosions! on Sabine. In a lot of ways, the Bald Man was my unsung hero on Saturday.

Round 1

After a two hour drive together I ended up getting paired with my friend Justin. Ironically, we played a practice game the night before as a tune up for the RPQ. It’s super unfortunate that you play a local player and friend after driving to somewhere to play a tournament, but it is what it is. I don’t have the exact list on hand, but the main idea is that it was a nine activation Palpatine/Bossk list with IRG (no electrostaff) in there for added protection. This game I was blue player and our battle cards ended up being Advanced Positions/Rapid Reinforcements/Intercept the Transmissions.

At first glance I wasn’t too thrilled about it being Intercept, but after some deploying I started to feel alright. Sabine was able to stack her recon to a speed two move and she had her sights on an exposed sniper team early. I was able to jump up onto a big building with her and I left her there basically all game. She was in range of the back transmission and most of his army for five rounds.

As for Luke and the rest of the gang, they had one job and one job only: Kill Palpatine as quickly as possible. The last thing I needed was Palpatine to be running rampant on Intercept. I made a round two last activation play to get Luke into base to base with Palpatine for a free swing before we went to a roll off next round with our one pips. I want to say I got a wound through, which was nice, because the roll off and Luke defense rolls were not in my favor. Palpatine was able to kill my Luke in one roll on his ANYWD play and then he wiped out a Trooper squad. I thought the game might unravel at that point, but now Palpatine was on two wounds remaining, the IRG were almost all but gone, and I still had Sabine in range of so many things at once. I just needed to stay calm and kill Palpatine before the round ended and then figure out an end game strategy to get me to a victory.

Down goes the Emperor. I basically swapped a Z6 unit and Luke for Palpatine and the IRG. Not a bad trade, even if it wasn’t exactly how I wanted it to go. It should be noted that currently my opponent has a 2 to 1 VP lead on me, as I didn’t want to move into the Palpatine Murder Ball too early. Round four, now the next scoring round, I play Explosions! vs his Merciless Munitions. I win the roll off, take some shots with Sabine, and throw some bombs. (All of this while being on top of this building and in range of my back transmission STILL!) I was able to do a lot of damage and put a lot of suppression out, which came into play later on. Bossk has three suppression and two wounds on him and he’s in range of the middle transmission. I’m worried about the grenade going down in an area where I would take significant damage in order to score in rounds four or six. So I decide to take a chance and have a sniper shoot Bossk with no cover. I rolled one hit and now I’m banking on him making a save so I can choose not to pierce it. (Pierce is optional, always remember!) Bossk rolls…..block! Fourth suppression goes on. Needless to say, his rally roll comes: all blanks. Panic at the Lizard Disco. This opened up my path to victory as Bossk now couldn’t shoot anything, couldn’t throw his grenade, and ultimately panicked out of range of the middle transmission. The score was 3 to 2, in my opponent’s favor, after four rounds.

Nothing of crazy importance happened in round 5. It was more about getting positioning for the final scoring round and starting to figure out all the math. He had a lone Stormtrooper leader in my backfield that I needed to worry about for my back objective. The Generic officer ended up taking care of that guy (MVP!) though. Once that happened, I was able to tie up both his back objective and the middle objective, while scoring my home objective. Final score of 4 to 3!! It was a great game. I feel bad it had to be my friend round one and now I hurt his chances of winning the tournament, but we had fun regardless!

Round 2

After winning my round one game, it was time to face a mirror match of sorts. He had Luke/Sabine/5 Z6/Three snipers. A very efficient list and it was going to be a nail biter from the get go. This game I was also blue, which is crazy since I brought a two point bid, and this game we got Advanced Positions/Limited Visibility/Breakthrough. (I was terrible about taking pictures for my eventual write up, I was too dialed in.) 

I deployed both Sabine and Luke together towards the very middle of the board with one Z6 squad as a quasi back up. Everyone else I decided was going to in a diagonal, methodical pattern towards his deployment zone. My thought process was this: Play Sabine aggressive early, keep Luke in a safe place and wait for his moment to attack, and do whatever I can to keep him from breaking through into my endzone. 

I don’t know if it’s because it was warm in the place or if it’s because the game was so intense….either way, I was sweating bullets. We both played super aggressive early. We both played Explosions round 2, he played his to hit my Sabine. I played mine to hit quite a bit, but the most important thing was putting some wounds on Luke. Then I was able to put Luke on Stims early in round 2. I now had the upper hand, even though I lost Sabine in the process. It was worth it, though, at least for the time being. 

As the bulk of my forces moved towards his deployment zone and Luke kept denying a possible entry over on my side, it turned into a who could survive longer. Without going into much detail from the middle rounds, we’re going to dive in to the final round. I played Son of Skywalker in round 6. I have one unit leader and the generic commander with two health remaining in his deployment zone. He has two Z6 units making their way downtown to mine, but Luke is waiting in the wings. 

I decide to pull from the bag, I get a corps. His Sabine was within range of my unit leader and Commander, so I decide to activate the unit leader to go tie up Sabine and make sure she can’t gunslinger me off the board. He activates Sabine and kills him, but now she’s in a spot where I can get my Generic into base to base, while being in his deployment, and keep him safe. I go to the bag: sniper. He pulls a sniper and hits my commander for one.  I’m still safe but I only have one wound remaining. I pull from the stack again….Corps. He ends up pulling a corps and moves into my zone. I pull….Special Forces. I just can’t pull that Commander token to get to safety. I’m sweating bullets here. He pulls a sniper, moves and shoots my commander. It’s heavy down to light: one hit. Finally, I pull the Commander. I rally one off, and get into base to base with Sabine for full safety. He gets a second unit into my deployment zone. Currently, we’re at 2 to 1, but I still have Luke with SoS and Force Push available. I push one unit out of the end zone, then I engage the other unit with an aim and two attacks. Luke wipes them. I end up taking the sweat bowl 1 to 0. Generic Commander, the unsung MVP. What a game!

Great game from Alex, we had some intense rolls and moments. Not much more you can ask for playing this game! 

Round 3

We’re on to round three against another member of Skull Squadron, Joe. He was running a ten activation Bossk/Tank list and I was red player for this one. This actually benefited me quite a bit because of last veto on the battle cards. I was able to get Advanced Positions/Limited Visibility/Recover the Supplies. So much of that benefits my list, especially when the middle piece of terrain was raised, and I have two jump units. 

Joe was slightly on the back foot at the very start of the game, and I even made it worse. He had to react to the middle box and put Bossk up there in the hopes he could survive and grab the box early round two. However, my two saber wielding Rebels had other plans. They both jumped up onto the middle and it was carved Lizard for the infantry. 

Now, while I had the upper hand, I have to give credit to Joe. It’s not like it was this simple walk in the park win. I did pull a classic Rebels tactic: get into a super safe spot with boxes and make him come to me. At the same time, I sent Sabine on a mission to his back field to perhaps just take a box grabber out and take a complete strangle hold on the game. This, however, is where I make a huge mental mistake. After two and a half games, my mind was kind of spacing out, which seems to be a common thing. I played Explosions! and for some reason I thought it was a free action to toss the grenades, even though I KNOW it’s not. I bring this up because mental fatigue is such a real thing. That said, this was 100% a wake up call for me and I went laser focus the rest of the day. I needed to put this gaffe behind me, and move forward. 

It ended up coming down to a crazy end of round 5 move to double move the tank into position to perhaps kill a hunkered down box grabbing corps unit , even though I had a few other units nearby to ensure I could pick it up had they died. I also brought Luke all the way back to my backfield (with a box) to be able to play, yet again in round 6, Son of Skywalker. I won the roll off and melted the tank. I think we played it completely out, but there was no way I could lose. 

Joe was a great opponent. Even on his back foot he gave himself a chance. He knew he wasn’t going to make top four and really wanted those Imperial Tokens and I decided to give him mine. I have the Legion Discord tokens and I play Rebels, what’s the point! That’s what this game is all about, being a good cohesive community. Hope you enjoy those tokens, Joe! 

Round 4: The Finals

I end up drawing a local-ish guy Eric Daniels, which is pretty cool. We know that one of us is going to take this home. He was running a very interesting Double bounty list with Krennic and DT’s. It’s a ten activation list and very sparse in upgrades, but all the same very interesting. This game I was blue, and for a split second I almost decided to take red. Had his list been 11 activations, I think I take red. However, since he was a 10 activation list, I decided to take blue. Boy, am I glad I did! I was able to force Limited Visibility/Breakthrough/Major Offensive.

There was a big height 2 bunker in the middle of the map that helped block line of sight, and with Limited Visibility combined with the bunker, I just went all in on moving the forces down the field in a cohesive unit. With his fifteen possible command cards, I wasn’t sure if he had Merciless Munitions, but I was going to gamble he didn’t. Bossk had to double move and climb this piece anyways, so it was something I could worry about later.

I decide to move Luke and Sabine towards this middle bunker in tandem and start formulating a plan. I knew one needed to be aggressive, and one needed to be somewhat reactive. This is where my opponents fatigue sets in, though. In the middle of round two he double moved his Deathtroopers to get to a better area, and they were hidden, but they were in Luke’s Force Push range. Once this happened, I knew which of my characters was going for the throat.

I am able to get them into melee, not wipe them, and keep Luke safe going forward. Bossk DOES indeed move onto the bunker with some climbs, so I decide to go tarpit Sabine into Bossk. Her melee is better than his melee. The plan here is to make sure he can’t bomb my army now, because he won’t reach them. He can’t shoot for a while now. Even if he disengages, she can just re-engage. I caught him in a log jam. On top of all of this, I end up getting two Z6 shots into Krennic and severely wound him at the end of round two.

I was able to cap Krennic very early in round 3, and the wheels kind of fell off there. I was able to delete the Deathtroopers with Luke, without an aim, and I decided to recover to get his force powers back. Sabine kept Bossk at bay and they exchanged some shots, and Boba decided to jump up into that fracas to see if he could aid his fellow Bounty Hunter.

Bossk ended up killing Sabine on a wild roll in round 5, which net my opponent a bounty. This matters because I needed to make sure Luke was not bountied and some weird bounty shenanigans took away what seemed like an assured victory. Luke just bounces his way to another Corps unit to gain safety. At this point I’m pretty positive he can force push them off, next round, and get into the endzone, while being the very last activation of the game. That means I have at least one point there, to tie the bounty. However, I end up being able to get three units into his endzone without Luke, including the Generic Officer! Do I need to say it? MVP!

It was a great game by my opponent. He made one very, very small error. I really wonder how the game plays out if he doesn’t make that error. Alas, he made it and I capitalized on it! At the end of the day, it’s like a sports game: the team that makes the most mistakes typically will lose. I’m not saying I played a perfect game, but I made sure not to make a major mistake at any point.

Final Notes

I can’t lie: I’m pretty shocked I won. I kind of doubt myself as a player all the time, just because it’s my first ever wargame. The dice and decision making can really bog you down. There’s so many variables. Doug Kropp, aka Sploosh, and I talked about it though and we agreed that this might be what it takes to be good at the game. If you go into a game worried you might lose, it’s a much better attitude than going into the game thinking you’re going to win. You tend to make smarter decisions and start calculating certain choices you never thought you would, but the mindset has you on the right path. Now, I’m not telling you to think you’re going to go 0-4 and that you stink at this game. My advice is to be humble about your skill set, know how hard it is to win four games in a row (super hard), and act like your back is against the wall even if it may not be.

I’m super excited about the win! I can’t wait for Worlds next year at Adepticon! I hope to meet all the RPQ winners and have a great time! I’ll be going to LVO in January, too!

May the Force be with you!