Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Building a Legion Army for Tournament Play - Part 2 (Getting all the tools you'll need vs forcing your opponent to react)

I tend to look at army building for just about any miniature game as putting tools in to a toolbox.  I want to have tactical flexibility in my armies so I can adequately respond to whatever I run in to.

But only bringing options that allow you to react can mean surrendering the initiative and flow of the game to your opponent.  So, while I try to have a tool to respond to most any situation, I also try to have something that my opponent will need to react to as well.

This post is a continuation of this one where I started my look at building a tournament army for Legion.  Let's answer a few more of those questions that I came up with.

As I said above I tend to play flexible, well-rounded armies.  It works for me, but I can't deny the power of a good skew list.  For those that aren't familiar a "skew" list refers to army building practices that focus on one aspect of the game while ignoring others to an extreme level.  A fairly benign example in Legion would be not bringing any units with Armor, which gives you the advantage of making Impact and Ion weapons brought by your opponent an inefficient investment.  Some "skew" lists seek to exploit rules loopholes, but so far I haven't seen any of those in Legion.  Skew lists can do well in tournaments, but also tend to be more vulnerable to rock-paper-scissors style match-ups where they can be at a huge disadvantage to certain counter builds.

Skew lists are good at putting your opponent in an a position where they have to react to what you  brought, but frequently lack the tools to handle all possible competition.

Let's look at a few of those questions from my last post as I try to figure out what kind of army I want to take to GenCon.
1 or 2 Commanders? 

Now that Veers is out and Leia's arrival is imminent we finally have some choice in our commanders.  You can go with a less expensive option in Leia or Veers, bring the power of one of the Jedi commanders, or go for the combo platter.  As I am planning this army for GenCon, I think I could also consider Han as an option and just proxy him for practice based on what we know (I have already been doing this with Leia).

Having multiple commanders offers you some redundancy although it comes at a cost.  It gives you access to 2 sets of powerful command cards, but can be more restrictive in your play choices and risky if one dies.  So far all the commanders are also Troops, which helps them to claim objectives.

I played a recent game with Luke and Leia as my commanders that went south quickly when Leia was killed early on and I was left with only the Standing Orders card to use with Luke.  Still, I think the risk is well worth the reward.  In fact, now that we have 2 commanders for each force I think it will be a very rare occurrence when I only bring one.  They just add so much to your army.

Which Commanders?

Sadly I can only bring 2 of Luke, Han, or Leia in my army.  So, which to take?  Well, Leia is the cheapest of the 3 and fills a different role than the others with her Inspiring trait and Take Cover action.  I think she would pair well with either of the other commanders.  Luke and Han are both Commanders that can kill stuff really well.  I could see some potential for mayhem running them together, but I think just one will do the job.  I need something in my army to counter opposing Jedi.  That's a job Luke can do better than Han.   So, a Luke and Leia pairing looks like the best way to go for the well-rounded force I want to build.

How many Corps/Troops?

The next thing I have to figure out is how many Corps and Troops units I want to bring.  Knowing that I want 2 Commanders means I will have at least 5 Troops when I add in my 3 minimum Corps units.  That is not enough.  Overall I think I want to shoot for at least 7-8 Troops units in the army, more if I can fit them.  The fact that Commandos also count as Troops means that I don't need to specifically add more Corps units to make it work.
Do I bring a T-47?

I'd really like to, but probably not.  The T-47 is an excellent unit, but really expensive for its role and durability.  I've absolutely had them win me games, by swooping in on the last turn and finishing off a unit that would otherwise score an objective.  Their mobility in the game is unmatched (due to base size, they are a bit faster than the bikes), and that mobility can win games.  The trouble is that they are best used as a reserve, but they cost roughly 1/4 of the points in your army.  That's just a little too much to use as a reserve unit.  They essentially cost as much as 3 units of Corps or a pair of AT-RTs.  I really like the T-47 and the way it plays, but I don't know that I could justify taking one to a tournament.  It would probably win me a game, but take enough away from the rest of the army to cost me a game as well.

How much Blast/Sharpshooter can I fit in?

Not enough I am sure.

Cover is king in this game.  It is the main way to keep infantry alive.  Being able to ignore cover is a huge factor in your ability to remove opposing troops from objectives or other positions.  To that end Blast and Sharpshooter are some of the most useful and powerful abilities in the game.  Any extra upgrade points that I have will probably be focused towards increasing the amount of these that I bring in my force.

How many activations do I want?

As many as possible.

In any game with alternating activations, having more activations opens up additional tactical choices.  Choices are always good and the activation order can be manipulated to your advantage when you have more activations than your opponent.

The question here becomes one of quantity vs quality.  You can bring 3 units of Rebel Troopers with grenades for the same cost as 2 units with Z-6s.  The Z-6 units throw more dice and have more potential targets in a turn, but the bare bones units allow for an additional activation.  Getting the right balance of upgrades vs units will be important.  I will likely lean towards more units.

Do I want to spam a specific unit type?

There are some definite benefits to using many of the same unit type.  It can become easy to pull all of the other unit types out of your order pool.  If you have 6 Corps, 2 Commanders, and a Heavy, an order like Assault could pull the 2 Commanders and the Heavy out of the pool.  Then everything left in your pool is Corps, meaning you can always activate the unit type that you want.

It's worth considering and a nice bonus, but not something I would go out of my way to achieve.

Alright, that's enough for this post.  I will work on actually using all of this theory-crafting and present an army that I think I want to use at GenCon in the next post.  

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