For my first strategy-related post, I’d like to review the list I plan on bringing to the 2017 regionals in Minnesota. I think this is a great place to start, as I’m a new player and hopefully this will serve as a window into how I’m progressing as I play. My idea is that I’ll provide you my list and then discuss each element in turn. So here it is:
The Grand Inquisitor - 9
Royal Guard - 8
2 Jet Troopers (Elite) - 14
Agent Blaise - 6
Zillo Technique - 1
2 Cross-Training - 2
Total: 40 points
Note: All card images are included below, so no need to research any of these cards if you are unfamiliar with them.
Elite Jet Troopers
These were the true starting point of my list. I gravitated toward the Jet Troopers for a couple reasons. First, Jabba’s Realm was my first expansion, so I was naturally inclined toward its deployment cards. I love the theme of the expansion, and although the Trooper space is crowded, I found the Jet Trooper to be a unique addition in terms of flavor to the Imperial faction.
Second, I find a lot to love about the Jet Troopers in terms of their point cost, stats, and utility. The Jets come in at a healthy 7 health, just high enough to generally be out of range of being one-shot by a 3 dice attack with the Royal Guards and Zillo Technique. On top of that, on defense they have Agile, which allows them to convert a block result to an evade result. Positioned correctly, I will have a lot of flexibility on defense. Needless to say, these guys can be a real nuisance for an opponent to remove. Add the Fly-By ability and you've got a strong unit in terms of both offense and defense.
Where the Jet Troopers were a no-brainer for me, I am most conflicted about the Royal Guards for quite a few reasons. First, since the FAQ where their abilities were slightly reworked, I think Royal Guards are in a bad place relative to other units in their point range. I don’t think they are over-costed (at 7 I think they would be a steal), but at the same time, at 8 points they make up a significant amount of my total points without offering the ability to close out a game (my opinion). Moreover, they’re competing with Captain Terror, the Grand Inquisitor, Elite Storm Troopers, and the like in the 7 to 10 point range, and arguably those units are better to varying degrees.
All that said, I’ve decided to include them in my list because they are high health units with good speed and possess some useful abilities that complement the rest of my squad. As already discussed, they provide a free block that adds survivability to the Jet Troopers. Moreover, if a Jet Trooper happens to fall, they are rewarded with a free focus – not bad in my opinion. At 5 speed, the Royal Guards also have a decent amount of objective-control potential. With command cards like Urgency and Fleet Footed, the Royal Guards can move and claim an objective from locations that may surprise your opponent. Finally, it never hurts to have a stun available with Banthas and Rancors running around. I think the Royal Guards have a lot of potential, but if my lack of experience hurts me anywhere, it will be with these units.
The Grand Inquisitor
I have a lot less to say about the Inquisitor. In my opinion, he is the best costed figure in the Imperial faction (maybe in the entire game) for what he offers. 15 health and 5 speed at 9 points is a steal. Put that behind a white die and a free block if you don’t roll a block on defense, and you’ve got a very survivable figure that rolls three dice and removes dodge results from your opponents. I don’t know what else to say other than he is fantastic.
Blaise was the very last card I added to this list. I haven’t played with spies much. I’m familiar with neither their deployment cards nor their command cards. Therefore, when I was originally concocting this list, Blaise wasn’t even on my radar. However, I found myself with a dreaded 6 points remaining in my list (gasp). Not enough for any of the high-health squad deployment cards, but too many points to just be content with throwing in a couple of officers (PSA: it’s always okay to just throw in some Officers).
To some degree, his inclusion was haphazard. I wasn’t very happy with his HP or speed, but I thought the worst case scenario would be that I get another three-dice figure with some useful abilities. After all, Adapt would work on my Jet Troopers and Interrogate didn’t require any other Spy figures to activate. Agent Blaise seemed fine for this list.
Cross-Training and zillo technique
I shared my list with a local player (a nice, much smarter player than I) and lamented that while I enjoyed the list, my command card synergy was all over the place. My list of types was something like: Trooper, Vehicle, Brawler, Guardian, Force User, Hunter, Spy, Leader. Gross. He then suggested something to bring it all together: Cross-Training. Put Cross-Training on the Jet Troopers (my Jets were running targeting computer). Cross-Training would allow me to work in a number of Spy command cards. Moreover, it would give my Jet Troopers access to the white die. Zillo Technique and the block from the Royal Guards is nice, but you can’t beat a white die when a focused Obi-Wan or Jedi Luke Skywalker is breathing down your neck.
Moreover, this opened up a whole new world of control options for my command deck. Comm Disruption is arguably one of the best cards in the game, primarily because your opportunities to be reactive when it comes to command cards is extremely limited. With Blaise and Comm Disruption, I have a much higher chance of avoiding some of the nastier command cards out there, such as Assassinate, Crush, and Son of Skywalker.
I have settled on this as my regionals list. That said, I still have a lot to learn about this game and I think that will be very apparent after I play this list a few times. While I think it is strong, featuring many tech options to deal with varying threats, a lot of its success will rely on my positioning and my ability to utilize my command cards and Zillo to maximum efficiency – things that naturally a less experienced player will be weak at. If you have any thoughts on the list, I’d love the hear them. I plan on writing up a report for my regionals matches. Thanks for reading!