After 1 month of waiting, we needed to finalise our Elimination Lists just 5 days before the balancing update was finally published. So Invader league will be held with a meta, that will never actually happen, with the Kashyyyk wave already in but without the points updates and errata.
I pretty much knew what I was up against: My opponent from Round Robin with his (slightly changed) Double Airspeeder List. I tried to tailor as good as possible against it and came up with this list (that will be illegal 812 points post RRG update):
Super Tactical Droid (Kraken) (Endurance, Comms Relay)
B1 Battle Droids (PK-series Worker Droid)
5x B1 Battle Droids
BX-Series Droid Commandos (Strike Team) (BX-Series Droid Sniper)
DSD1 Dwarf Spider Droid (Engagement Protocols, Nose-Mounted Ion Blaster)
2x DSD1 Dwarf Spider Droid (Defense Protocols, Nose-Mounted Ion Blaster)
AAT Trade Federation Battle Tank (OOM-Series Droid Pilot, Linked Targeting Array, Armor-Piercing Shells, High-Energy Shells)
Mechanized Incursion•, They Too Will Suffer•, Preservation Protocols••, Orbital Strike••, Assault•••, Do Not Underestimate Our Means•••, Standing Orders••••
The Long March, Battle Lines, Major Offensive, Roll Out
Key Positions, Sabotage the Moisture Vaporators, Payload, Bombing Run
Hostile Environment, Supply Drop, War Weary, Clear Conditions
I had only a vague idea of how to run the list, which would show very soon. We endet up with the best objective – key positions, the not so perfect Danger Close and Hostile Environment. I divulged Do Not Underestimate Our Means with the AAT and two Spiders to counter the deployments of the Airspeeders and R2.
We both played Standing Orders and just slowly approached round 1. It already showed that I lacked experience both with the list and also chess clocks. I blocked myself with the spiders (who are actually not very agile) and the AAT. And I took way to much time with trivial movements (and often wasted a few seconds before hitting the chess clock).
I was pretty happy when They Too Will Suffer put one Airspeeder back into the bag in round 2 and prevented them from diving in already. But they actually didn’t want to attack yet anyhow and the card would have been much more useful later. Still nobody went in aggressively
But there was still one game defining moment at the end of the round. My AAT moved forward and was able to just barely see the corner of R2’s silhouette. The suppression didn’t help since there was nothing else in range/sight. I took the shot with High Energy Shells, 7 hits, 5 after cover, only one save. One less problem to think about and activation advantage from now on. Good start!
With the AAT and one Spider quite exposed I was getting a bit nervous and played the next really good card that could have been more helpful later: Preservation Protocols. Another slow round with almost nothing happening. A sniper double critted my AAT and I repaired both wounds back over the next 2 rounds. Airspeeders just moved a little. I shot one model out of two snipers and moved back with my exposed Spider (effectively blocking the other spider).
Veterans tried to bring in some corner peeking wounds on the spider but didn’t do too much round 3. They continued in round 4, rolling 3 crits on 4 dice, dealing 3 wounds. I tried to hide the spider behind the rock. The other Veterans found a crack to shoot, dealing another 2 wounds, damaging the spider.
With the clock ticking and without thinking it through to the end, I activated my AAT and moved it forward. I thought I could take out a sniper team before they activated but only then saw the the second model was too far back. I dealt 3 wounds to a MKII instead. But this was a bad decision either way. With the AAT activated so early, the Airspeeders saw their chance to shine. Wedge came in, dealing 4 wounds to the tank. Shriv came in shortly after, dealing the final 5 wounds. Double Ioning Wedge after that was only a small compensation.
This was of course pretty lucky to happen. Still, if the AAT had lived, I’d still have to win priority next round to see if I could deal some damage – potentially taking out an Airspeeder – before it inevitably would have died.
Round 5 was a slow round again in terms of what happened. The AAT was out and Wedge was stranded. But it was a pretty frantic round in terms of how fast everything hat do be done with the clocks (especially mine) running out very fast. I simply didn’t have the time to actually measure the distances so I basically threw my B1s around as fast as possible, very poorly judging the distance to the center key position. As it turned out, only 3 spiders, 2 B1s and 1 BX were able to get in.
I had to play Assault to give all my spiders and the B1s the orders they needed to prevent AI. So I lost priority and 1 Spider (with already 3 Wounds on it) to Wedge, who than blocked a big spot on the center key position. Unfortunaly I wasn’t able to Ion him last round despite an aimed shot, that might have saved my spider.
If I still wanted to have any chance in winning, my 1 hitpoint spider needed to have 2 actions. And it did! It moved forward, exploded into 4 corps units and thus prevented three of them from scoring. We then moved our remaining units to the center. Leaving it at 2 MKIIs, Wedge versus one Spider, 2 B1s and 1 BX after my clock ran out. The other Airspeeder failed to kill off 3 B1s, but managed to move to the KP. That was the loss already per killpoints. But the B1 still died afterwards.
With that I’m out of the League. Of course it would have been nice to proceed. While I really enjoyed the players, I don’t enjoy TTS too much, especially with this „dead“ meta of mostly now illegal lists. I can no go back to real life games, which is a good thing.
Summary: I enjoyed the list and I like the synergies really much. The matchup was actually pretty good and the loss simply boils down to experience. My opponent knew exactly how to approach the game where I just had a general idea but no real gameplan. I think the deployment was ok, but after that I often wound up blocking my own way while taking too long for everything. Then this one big mistake in round 4 followed by a bit of luck from the aispeeders. With only 1 or 2 practice games I’m confident this could have been a win. Better and faster placement, playing the right Command Cards at the right time and activating in right order would have been the key.