In preparing for Adepticon, my friend Screwtape and I innovated. We created a sort of ‘alpha strike’ list by finding a new way to play Coordinated Fire on turn 1.
The theory behind this list and game plan is as follows-
- CF is more powerful while your corp at full strength, being that, you roll more dice and the damage ceiling is higher.
- One aim is enough to get good value out of CF, as more aims get diminishing returns
- Tournament games are on a timer, and often go 4-5 rounds, beginning to snowball right out the gate, (getting up on activations) can put you ahead and put pressure on your opponents.
Snow CF Opening – 793 points
- Generic Officer – Strict Orders
- Boba Fett
- Snowtrooper – Flame trooper, Frag Grenade, Recon Intel
- x4 Stormtrooper -DLT, recon intel
- Stormtrooper – Imperial Officer, DLT, intel
- Scout Trooper strike team – Sniper
- Imperial Royal Guard – Electrostaff, Tenacity
List Pros and Cons
+ Strong opening pressure
+Can snowball to victory, starting turn 1
+open with a 3 pip leaving you a one pip for later turns
+Lots of corps and impact from DLT
-Dice variance can cause turn one strike to back fire
-Only one sniper
-Boba has no upgrades
-Can be shut down by terrain
-Needs blue player
-countered by sabs
-shut down by Han’s Change of Plans card. Thanks Nick Freeman ha..
I was never a big fan of CF, at least with the initial way people were theorizing it would play out. That theory being massive aim stacks passed around corp to corp, which started from Veers’ spotter action, who goes first by using comms relay to pass an order to Veers.
I had a few big issues with the dream, “End of Legion” scenario.
- Comms relay – Why would I add 15 points onto a corp unit, to pass a token over to commander? Some people rebuttal is that your getting an extra trooper for 11 points, and you’re only spending four points. And to that I ponder, what kind of list are you playing that you’re already running extra troopers? Not a common thing for storms at the time CF was released.
- Attrition – The dream of re rolling dice with that stack of aims until you get 6 hits is great and all, but if you’re playing CF turn 2 or 3, you’re probably not getting 6 hits. Unless your opponent is playing hide and seek, you’re probably missing storms. So your damage caps are lower.
- Passing an activation – So you played a three pip, and you pass that token to Veers. Your opponent is going first likely, and your first activation is basically a pass. I don’t like this, as its a slow start, and gives your opponent more time to play around your choreographed fire.
- Boba control – Boba is your star player. But to take a mid game turn, and focus on your corp, leaves Boba high and dry. He should be in there getting positions he needs and making big plays.
During deployment, all corp recon intel forward into cover if possible. Its important to keep corp tight so that opponent can’t easily take a range three shot at one of them and avoid range of the others. The snows should be one of the last to deploy. They need to have a guaranteed target after a single move action on turn one.
The snows start the CF turn off with an aim, move shoot. Pass the aim and the party is started. Strict orders and the inspire on the officers help you manage suppression and keep both actions on corps.
Creating the Snowball
The crafting of list took a month of Screwtape and I going back and forth on the parts of it. He started the whole thing by trying to run two comms relay, to maintain control over Boba on turn 2. He liked opening with rocket turn 1. I think I made a comment like, why not CF on turn 1, then you play rocket turn 2 and maintain control of Boba.
By using recon intel, the idea was to get a unit into range to aim shoot on the opening. At first it was going to be all Storms with DLTs. Their health was maintained by the IRG nearby who would soak all the hits they could for storms that had not yet activated. I also missed having a single snow trooper unit as it’s a nice line backer tool to have.
Eventually snow trooper was chosen to start the play for couple reasons. Mainly for the taunt that is not written on their card. When they move out and get aim passed, most people instinctively shoot them first as they are perceived as the threat moving in. This protects the other storms and in turn preserves the IRG for the mid/late game. It also means the opponent is shooting an already activated unit. It’s also better starting the CF turn out with an attack right out the gate, rather than using a commander to hand out aims and pass turn.
The snows activate first to aim, move, shoot off steady and pass the aim. Besides suppressive weapons, this can’t be stopped due to strict orders. If your opponent moves forward to shoot and add suppression to the next storm with an aim token, that’s fine, as that means they are in range as well and you already have your aim token. The list should come out ahead of most other lists that try to step forward and exchange fire.
Suppression is the enemy of starting this play out, and to answer that problem, strict orders was added to the commander. Because comms relay wasn’t being used, strict orders would get more value, placing 3 face up order tokens on corp. One of these had to be the snows, and I usually put the other two on the most likely to be shot storms or the storms closest to the snows.
There is one imperial officer storm group, which you can pass aims off onto if other units get too suppressed to reliably be able to shoot anything to keep the aim going.
Leia’s Coordinated Bombardment is a very standard and common opening that can dish out 3 suppression on the opening. Strict orders helps 3 of your corp clear a single suppression guaranteed. If your corp without a face up get suppressed, pass the aims to the officer storms. They are much more likely to get both actions and can inspire one suppression off another unit of stormie boyz.
If you have deployed correctly, your opponent should feel trapped between retreating or walking forward into the gun line. If the enemy is moving forward to further suppress your units, your other storms not yet activated should be in range 3 as well. It’s important to keep the storm leaders tight and close.
Important is positioning of the snows and of the storm leaders from the recon intel deployment. Snows are best on the outside of the army, where not everything your opponent has can shoot back at them. If your opponent moves forward into range 3 to shoot storms, with idea to put more suppression out, then you want all your storms to be in range three to shoot back. An opponent moving forward is walking right into a gun line that has at least one aim going around, while they will likely have no aims.
Battle Cards and the Need for Blue Player
For Adepticon Screwtape and I ran a bid of 7. It was more than enough to get blue every game. This list needs blue to cut long march, and limited visibility as both kill the opening. The best deployments in order of best to worst feel to be battle lines, disarray, major offensive, and advanced positions.
The deadly card that can’t be cut by being blue is minefield. The extra suppression from minefield can be enough to shut you down, also you may lose corp units before you get the CF opening off. Luckily, most people don’t force minefield as it is always a hindrance to both players with a lot of variance.
If you’re opponent sees this play coming and hides everything behind a wall at deployment, that’s fine, you play Boba’s rocket and CF turn 2.
If the opponent starts to pull back and out of range, that’s also a win, in that you can move out to the objectives or strong positions of the map safely, as they give up ground they’ll have to retake. Again thinking in terms of the game time ending the match at round 4 or 5, there’s often not enough time to spend a turn running back deeper into your deployment.
A safe play by empire players may be taking only range 4 DLT shots to suppress, and get into cover. But again, if its an objective like recover supplies, that means they are giving up ground towards the boxes.
If your opponent avoids taking many casualties from the CF opening, that’s okay as its still an efficient list, maxed out with corp units.
All In- The Big Weakness
From my experience, its a 50/50 against empire if you’ll come out ahead in the gun exchange. If you’re not getting open shots or multiple aims, there is a good chance the opposing empire player kills as many minis if not more, of your units. The bigger issue is the terrain. A lot of line of sight blocking terrain is bad. It will force you to move out into the open to get shots off, hopefully they are in the open too.
In Legion dice variance is a thing, and though by using CF, you are trying to fix the dice, sometimes things still don’t go as you’d expect. When the opening goes off, it goes off big. When it fails, it fails big. After many games with it, it almost feels all in. Its possible to scuttle back and recover from a failed alpha strike, but you’re definitely on a back foot.
Its much easier to pull off the all in against rebels, as they more reliably melt.
I plan on leaving this list behind me as it is not my play style. The list challenged me as I’m not a very aggressive player, and I was rushing head long into a opening attack. I also did not like how wild dice variance (empire making all blocks) could gimp it. I think it was a perfect list for Friday but I wish I had ran my standard Veers/Boba for High Command on Saturday.
The opening is stronger as well when the opponent doesn’t see it coming. The first weekend I used it in a tournament at a game shop, I had the satisfaction of hearing my opponent say in surprise, “CF turn one?” Yep.
We were tweaking the list right up to the deadline to submit the lists for the LCQ. It is possible the list isn’t optimized yet. I encourage you to try it out for yourself and see what you think! Just don’t play it against your rebel friends.