Aggressive Tactics: An Invader League S5 Journal

Welcome! My name is TalkPolite, newest member of TR, and Droid enthusiast. This season I have decided to journal my Invader League matches. I realized that getting these thoughts down might help me refine my lists and playstyle as I try out new units. I also hope it might assist other Droid players in learning some new tactics, and serve as my first contribution to Team Relentless.

Part 1: The List

Alright, so let’s talk about the list I submitted. I wanted to try out some new units this season, but also riff off something I knew pretty well already. It’s time for Vibrojammers! 

  • Commander – Count Dooku: Invader League 4, YBTL Season 3, and Knowledge & Defense taught me a few different things about CIS Commanders. One of the most important things I learned is how fantastic Count Dooku can be. Don’t get me wrong – Grevious is a beast, and a fantastic CIS commander. However, I knew that I was going to play an aggressive list that would be pushing into my opponents lines. Therefore, I choose Dooku to ensure I get the drop on my opponents via the Cunning keyword. 

His role in this list is two fold – accompany the droid line as it advances forward, and lineback against aggressive force users. Force Push and Force Choke have at this point become staples, and then I finished him off with Force Reflexes. Reflexes vs Saber Throw has always been a hot topic for Dooku users, but I find the times that the free Dodge has saved Dooku more times than I would have been able to drop the big one pip combo. Saber Throw is a great great card on him, but if we’re talking “Shooter’s Preference”, I’m taking the Dodge token. 
Oh! Can’t forget Aggressive Tactics. Some have mentioned Esteemed Leader instead, but I find that AT is too big of a force multiplier to give up. A lot of turns, Dooku won’t even be in a position to be shot at, and AT could be used to give your Commandos a better save, or keep those E5C’s pumping out damage. Also note that unlike “Double the Fall”, Dooku gives out orders on every single turn, so you always get the benefit of surge tokens (just don’t forget to put them out).

  • Corp – B1 Battle Droid Horde: This aspect of the list is much much simpler. Take bodies, move them forward, fire at the target. Nothing fancy here. The droids have no issue moving forward every turn with Dooku’s courage making it so they don’t panic until 6 suppression. I did end up sacrificing one E-5C for upgrades elsewhere, and made them my HQ Uplink squad. They do a good job at holding a backfield objective, grabbing a box, or keeping that perfect activation control. Totally worth 46 points. 
  • Special Forces – BX Commandos: Time to talk about the secret sauce. While others have been experimenting with Sniper Strike teams, I decided to dabble in full squads with the Vibrosword, Tenacity, and Comms Jammer upgrades. Note that due to points, only two Jammers made it in. You could drop reflexes down to saber throw to fit in all three Jammers, but I made the choice to only run two and see how it felt. 

If you’re a droid player and you haven’t tried out Commandos, then boy do you have some homework to do! These droids are the real deal. Just looking over their base card, Scale, Scout 3, and Courage 2 means they can independently move throughout the battlefield and support your army effectively. They are droid troopers, so they are never suppressed, and can receive an order through coordinate (though not pass it on). They have a training slot, which is the best in the game right behind force powers. They also have access to two very good armament options, and one of the best snipers in the game (Two red with surge to hit? Yes please!). I could go on forever about what you can do with Commandos, but I’ll cover many of those things in the following section. 

The Commandos have a couple of different roles in this list. First and foremost is to cause havoc! As the B1 line relentlessly advances forward, the Commandos get in and mess stuff up. Between their easy to manage AI, fantastic 4 Red 4 White melee attack, and Scout 3, these droids can very quickly get in and ruin someone’s day. I find that they work extremely well on the flanks of my attacking line. Once they get into your opponent’s army, Comms Jammer then blocks your opponent from getting orders to the units you’re attacking. One sweet tactic I have utilized is spreading the models out as far out as possible; that way you jam the largest area possible, as it’s measured from any model in the unit, not just the unit leader. 

The second role is objective play. With the introduction of Vital Assets, new objectives are being played that encourage movement so much more than previous releases. Commandos are excellent on Payload, Bombing Run, and Hostage Exchange. In each of these objectives it is important to use Scout 3 and their high speed (scale includes unhindered!) to threaten your opponents objectives, or capture your own. The flexibility of this unit was one of the reasons why I was comfortable leaving the bid at home this season, which I will cover in another section. 

Final note – BX Droids can, in the same game, survive forever and die to the first attack roll against them. Be very, very careful with them in the early stages of the game. They only have a Stormtrooper save! 

Part 2: Command Hand & Battle Cards

  • Command Hand: No surprises here – Droids don’t have any generic cards, so I took what I was able to and called it a day. All of Dooku’s cards are fantastic, but I will give a special shout out to his Three Pip, You Disappoint Me. I have used it recently to pull an enemy out into the open for Commando Droids to charge—10/10 would pull them again! 

Sabotage was a fun last minute pick, because I know that Scout 3 could get basically all the wounds off my vaporators in Turn 1 (3 out of 4). I figured that would be a fun combo to try out, so we’ll see if it ever comes into play. 

For Bombing Run, DON’T FORGET to NOT scout your BX’s forward if you want to give them the bombs. They have to start in your deployment zone. However, I have found it to be worth the loss in speed you take, by giving the bombs to a unit that can’t be suppressed, doesn’t need an order, and has access to Scale/Unhindered. 

Recover is pretty straightforward. Use Commandos to harass your opponent’s boxes/box carriers, OR grab the middle box (terrain/opponent depending). Dooku’s Cunning is your money maker here, allowing you to scoot boxes away before your opponent can react. 

  • Deployments: Fairly straightforward here, but I went with Major Offensive, Advanced Positions, Hemmed in, and Danger Close. All four were chosen because they’re aggressive placements that allow my close-range units to get in and do some damage. There really isn’t anything special to take away here—I’ll leave it to others to deep dive deployment tactics! 

Note: I don’t recommend War Weary with this list. While Dooku can move up with your droid blob, I find that it severely limits what he can do with this list. 

Part 3: General List Tactics

  • Alright, so I’ve already covered some generic tactics above, but I figured outlining some “Droid Basics” here would be beneficial! Here are my top 3: 
  • #1 – Coordinate Chaining: Droid’s love attaining perfect activation control through the “Coordinate” ability, so make sure you use this as much as possible. What that means is ensuring that at a minimum, your token stack only has one type of token in it. You can do this very easily! On a one-pip turn, pop the HQ uplink to give orders to your B1s; now your BX Commandos are the only ones in the stack. On a two-pip, do the exact same thing sans uplink. On a three-pip, flip the script and issue orders to your three Commandos, and pop the uplink so it’s only Dooku in the stack! The combinations are endless, but they can help you achieve perfect control or get Surge tokens on the units you need them on. I have found that Droid control allows a list to punch 1-2 activations above what you actually brought—it’s what allowed Double the Fall to hang with 10+ activation lists. 
  • #2 – Door Swing: One of the most effective ways I have seen droids played is to ensure that your army hits with everything at the same time. That usually means timing the main advance of your B1s to arrive at the same time as your Commandos/Dooku. This was a concept that was easy for me to learn with Double the Fall, but might be harder with more moving pieces. It usually requires you to use LoS blocking terrain to hide Dooku until the time is right to use your Two Pip/One Pip. 

#3 – Let your B1’s do the work: Don’t forget that you have 41 droid bodies on the table to crowd objectives, suppress the other army, and generally be a pain in the butt. My favorite games are when my opponent focuses everything on the heavy hitters and the mob stays untouched. They can be really hard to kill late game, so keep them safe and focus fire!

Check out the Battle Reports!

Check back later in the week for the first battle report.

Thanks for reading!

Author -LJ Pena (Talkpolite)

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