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Imperial March - Walkers

Star Wars Majestaat Navy Imperial March


Welcome to another Imperial March entry. It's been a rather long time since our last article due to regionals, but here we are again!

Last time we checked several trooper decks with cards up to the Knowledge and Defense Force Pack. Join us or Die provided two new exciting additions to troopers: The Second Phase and Reinforcements! We won't, however, analyze them and how they affect troopers this time. Today we shall focus on Walkers. What are walkers, you ask?

Well, imagine a pair of long, slender legs. Sexy, huh? Now imagine those legs are connected to a metal box of awesomeness and death. For further comprehension, let's go through the pros and cons of walkers.


PROS:

+Vehicles: walkers are all vehicles, making them immune to some powerful events like Jedi Mind Trick and Bamboozle.

+Shields: when it comes to shielding, walkers are king. This makes them deceptively resilient and protects them from tactic icons. LS will have a harder time figuring how to deal with them.

+Average costs: walkers cost between 2 and 4, adjusting economically to every stage of the game.

+Balanced damage: we saw troopers were all about unit damage and lacked in the blast department. Walkers offer a good mix of unit and objective damage, making them versatile units for offense and defense.


CONS:

-Weak edge: okay, so this is generic to Navy, and it's not like walkers have even worse edge than other Navy decks, it's just that they're in bigger need of enabling their white icons. For example, an AT-ST is a mediocre defender if you can't win the edge, only being able to deal negligible damage and possibly prevent unopposed damage. Meanwhile, AT-ATs are basically 4-cost units that become useless on the offense if you lose edge battles (this can drastically change with Forward Command Post though).

-Sleuth Scouts: though the Blizzard Force AT-STs can block their unopposed damage, they can't really stop them, even with Veers out. Regular AT-ST and AT-AT can't block them at all.

-Moldy Crow: losing all your shielding will make you a very sad panda.

-Speeders: These ones are rather hard to measure. Battle of Hoth becomes more powerful, as it can be used to deal damage instead of just healing. Keep in mind this will apply to both you and LS.

Then we have the objective's issue. If you only flip Hoth objectives, speeders will lose much of their power. But if they have a Prepare for Evacuation out it could report serious trouble.

Finally, there's the Speeder Launcher Bay. It can be devastating against walkers, but it gets easily destroyed by a single AT-AT.

Due to all this randomness, a Hoth Speeder deck is potentially both your easiest and hardest matchup.


On to objectives now. What can make good core objectives for a walker deck? Unstoppable Advance, The General's Imperative and Sabotage in the Snow. No real surprises here. Lots of walkers and shielding, with Veers to buff your unit damage and the Forward Command Posts from Sabotage in the Snow to add some resources and even more objective damage (remember you're not forced to use the shield when you're about to receive damage. It may be better to just soak it to keep the shield and the bonus from the FCPs up), plus a couple troopers for defense. Special mention for a few cards...

First the AT-AT, particularly for their ability to destroy non-limited enhancements. We said they're bad attackers if you can't win the edge. Well, if there's a really annoying enhancement in play, say, Trust your Feelings, Wedge Antilles, Speeder Launcher Bay, etc, don't be afraid to send an AT-AT to attack. If LS blocks and there's nothing worth killing, blow up an enhancement. The sturdy AT-AT will most likely survive anyway. If they don't/can't block you could destroy the enhancement anyway if you really needed. But dealing 3+ objective damage might be too good to pass.

Second is Orbital Resupply Station. It's cheap, it's not limited and it makes your big vehicles cheaper. For this reason, adding some Star Destroyers can be a good idea, but careful when going for a lot of huge units. It can cripple your early game, all the more if you don't see this card.

Third is the Aggresive Assault. Oh boy is this card powerful. You should always have at least one Hoth objective out to play this one. It's an easy way to deactivate all those "while undamaged" objectives. A neat trick is to play it after LS refreshed if there's an objective with enough damage. Destroy it and weaken their economy for that turn. Otherwise, you'll be using it simply to add more damage or seal games. It's not too rare to destroy 3 objectives simultaneously with this event.

We already got half our deck there. Still another half to go on. Although not mandatory, Shadows on the Ice seems a little too good to pass due to our Hoth core. Wampas are great defenders that you can normally play for free. Succumb to the Cold is simply amazing. It can give you a whole extra turn, focusing down the main enemy threat. Battle of Hoth keeps your objectives healthy and is a much needed edge powerhouse for those critical engagements.

So let's say we have 2x Unstoppable Advance, 2x The General's Imperative, 1x Shadows on the Ice and 1x Sabotage in the Snow. We still have 4 free slots to play around with. However, many of our core units are rather expensive and we don't have a very strong economy, so we'll be forced to play a couple of money-oriented objectives. Imperial Command is an obvious solution which also provides more cheap defenders (possibly removing Sleuths as a con) and lategame damage with Orbital Bombardment.

Other option to consider is Repair and Refurbish, for it has a couple officers for resources, the enhancement works with all the vehicles in the deck and the Thunderflare can get a discount with the Orbital Resupply Stations. Furthermore, together with the Battles of Hoth, Repair and Refurbish and the Thunderflare can add a lot of extra life to your objectives, which might be just what you need when racing the LS.

Not so stable but far more explosive is Kuat Reinforcements. The Blizzard Force AT-ST are cheap, so they help to swarm and work well with Death from Above. Tallon Roll, however, loses value if you don't play another set heavy on fighters (Defense Protocol). The most important card is the objective. Two AT-AT on turn one is very powerful, and can virtually stop anything but Sleuths/Blockade Runner.

Endless Reserves is yet another powerful economic alternative. Don't think there's any need for explanation here. Anything can be cheaper. Let's just say this would be the one objective you never want to see. Only 1 resource, not Hoth nor Imperial, only works while undamaged and you don't really have enough events.

Since they're more balanced, let's assume we went for Imperial Command and/or Repair and Refurbish. We still have one or two free slots. Let's pick The Endor Gambit for theme's sake. A couple of well-rounded walkers, more shielding, a Target of Opportunity and an objective that is very strong in a meta where tactic icons are everywhere. Even if you're not against a tactic-heavy deck, The Endor Gambit will enable a comitted vehicle to stay refreshed every turn. Think of it as a mini Dark Trooper Project.



Affiliation:

Imperial Navy (Core)


Total Objective Sets: (10)


1x Imperial Command (Core)

Admiral Motti (Core)

Duty Officer (Core)

Heavy Stormtrooper Squad (Core)

Heavy Stormtrooper Squad (Core)

Orbital Bombardment (Core)


2x The Endor Gambit (Core)

AT-ST Commander (Core)

AT-ST (Core)

AT-ST (Core)

Aft Armor Plating (Core)

Target of Opportunity (Core)


1x Shadows on the Ice (The Desolation of Hoth)

Wampa (The Desolation of Hoth)

Wampa (The Desolation of Hoth)

Succumb to the Cold! (The Desolation of Hoth)

Succumb to the Cold! (The Desolation of Hoth)

Battle of Hoth (The Desolation of Hoth)


2x The General's Imperative (Assault on Echo Base)

General Veers (Assault on Echo Base)

Blizzard Force AT-ST (Assault on Echo Base)

Blizzard Force AT-ST (Assault on Echo Base)

Turbolaser Battery (Assault on Echo Base)

Battle of Hoth (Assault on Echo Base)


1x Sabotage in the Snow (Assault on Echo Base)

Snowtrooper (Assault on Echo Base)

Snowtrooper Vanguard (Assault on Echo Base)

Forward Command Post (Assault on Echo Base)

Forward Command Post (Assault on Echo Base)

Battle of Hoth (Assault on Echo Base)


2x Unstoppable Advance (The Battle of Hoth)

AT-AT (The Battle of Hoth)

AT-AT (The Battle of Hoth)

AT-AT Assault Formation (The Battle of Hoth)

Orbital Resupply Station (The Battle of Hoth)

Aggressive Assault (The Battle of Hoth)


1x Repair and Refurbish (Balance of the Force)

Thunderflare (Balance of the Force)

Logistics Officer (Balance of the Force)

Logistics Officer (Balance of the Force)

Weapons Upgrade (Balance of the Force)

Supporting Fire (Balance of the Force)



Sadly, there are no more pods with walkers, and overall we want to keep the theme of the deck, so there are only a few sets we can swap. What else can we play with? We mentioned Orbital Resupply Station going along well with Star Destroyers, so why not add some of those? Deploy the Fleet and Victory or Death are possibly your best bets if you want to add a single copy of a Star Destroyer objective, as both include a resource and two big vehicles each. Choosing one over the other can a tough call, but ultimately Deploy the Fleet may just be the better alternative. Let's review these two pods card by card.


Deploy the Fleet VS Victory or Death:

DtF is virtually useless unless you see one of your few capital ships to make use of it, and even then, dealing damage to your own objectives is risky. VoD can be a bit of an annoyance the very first turns, and in a best case scenario it will force the LS to attempt an attack that will heavily backfire. That ideal scenario aside, it will receive a single point of damage and become useless unless you have Repair and Refurbish or the Thunderflare out.

They're both bad in most situations. Still, VoD takes the win just because it's decent early game, while you would never want to play Deploy the Fleet from the start, and even when you see it later, your capital ships might be already discarded. If you go for 2 copies of the objective, Deploy the Fleet is the better option.


Death Squad Star Destroyers VS Imperial-class Star Destroyers:

The Imperial class is cheaper and has some nice unit damage, making it a decent defender. Also, those 3 force icons can give you a good chance of holding the Force or winning an edge battle. Sadly, chances are it won't really make a difference, making it just an overcosted defender.

The Death Squad, while more expensive, is far more resilient. 5 damage capacity and shielding is nothing to laugh at. Furthermore, they have 3 black blast icons, so if these things attack their damage WILL get through. They can lose the edge, receive damage and focus tokens on them and still do their stuff. Only a very limited number of LS units can stop them single-handedly. We did mention shielding, so you can get even more damage thanks to the Forward Command Posts, potentially enabling these ships to one-shot enemy objectives. Did we say they're immune to events as well? Well, they are.

Death Squad Star Destroyers are hands down better for this deck (and most DS decks anyway).


Fleet Navigator VS Political Reliability Observer:

The former has more health and provides a resource. The latter gets one unit damage and a reaction that you don't really need. Easy win for Fleet Navigator.


Death Squadron Command VS Control Room:

Not much to say here. They're about the same, but since Navy wants to destroy objectives and the LS wants to destroy objectives, you will probably get a lot more money from DSC than from Control Room.


Admiral's Orders VS Echoes of the Force:

Same amount of icons, but Echoes of the Force is always useable, while Admiral's Orders is highly situational here. Echoes takes the win.


Well, that was a rather long analysis just for a filler objective.

Anyway, as we can see basically every card from Deploy the Fleet is better for this deck. Other quite viable pod is Death and Despayre. You only get one capital ship, the Devastator, and while it doesn't take objectives quite as easily as the Death Squad, it can make for a sturdy defender and may even help holding the Force. It's most important feature though is its reacion; more means to advance the Death Star dial are just more means to win the game.

Keep in mind that having AT-ATs and Star Destroyers in the same deck will make your early game much harder to overcome, so you might not want to take this route and its risks.



A somewhat more diverse deck involving Walkers could revolve around direct objective damage. What sets should we consider? Two come to mind: The Ultimate Power and A Dark Time for the Rebellion. Building a deck with the latter should make Speeders very easy to defeat. Not only would you sit at around 8 Hoth objectives, easily disabling Hoth Operations and Attack Pattern Delta, but the reaction on A Dark Time will either soften LS objectives or obliterate the oh so fragile speeders. MTVs are fair. Nothing fancy, but not terrible either. Help a bit against Sleuths or simply add objective damage on the long term if unattended. Moorsh Moraine will more often than not become edge fodder. Starck and Heavy Fire are some serious business though. The former is expensive, but basically does everything, good force and combat icons. The latter is so simple yet so very amazing. That one damage might not seem like much, but it really messes with your opponent's math



Affiliation:

Imperial Navy (Core)


Total Objective Sets: (10)


1x Imperial Command (Core)

Admiral Motti (Core)

Duty Officer (Core)

Heavy Stormtrooper Squad (Core)

Heavy Stormtrooper Squad (Core)

Orbital Bombardment (Core)


1x The Ultimate Power (Core)

Grand Moff Tarkin (Core)

Superlaser Engineer (Core)

Stormtrooper Elite (Core)

Control Room (Core)

Superlaser Blast (Core)


1x Shadows on the Ice (The Desolation of Hoth)

Wampa (The Desolation of Hoth)

Wampa (The Desolation of Hoth)

Succumb to the Cold! (The Desolation of Hoth)

Succumb to the Cold! (The Desolation of Hoth)

Battle of Hoth (The Desolation of Hoth)


2x A Dark Time for the Rebellion (A Dark Time)

Colonel Starck (A Dark Time)

MTV-7 (A Dark Time)

MTV-7 (A Dark Time)

The Moorsh Moraine (A Dark Time)

Heavy Fire (A Dark Time)


2x The General's Imperative (Assault on Echo Base)

General Veers (Assault on Echo Base)

Blizzard Force AT-ST (Assault on Echo Base)

Blizzard Force AT-ST (Assault on Echo Base)

Turbolaser Battery (Assault on Echo Base)

Battle of Hoth (Assault on Echo Base)


1x Sabotage in the Snow (Assault on Echo Base)

Snowtrooper (Assault on Echo Base)

Snowtrooper Vanguard (Assault on Echo Base)

Forward Command Post (Assault on Echo Base)

Forward Command Post (Assault on Echo Base)

Battle of Hoth (Assault on Echo Base)


2x Unstoppable Advance (The Battle of Hoth)

AT-AT (The Battle of Hoth)

AT-AT (The Battle of Hoth)

AT-AT Assault Formation (The Battle of Hoth)

Orbital Resupply Station (The Battle of Hoth)

Aggressive Assault (The Battle of Hoth)



Since our decks this time are all vehicle-based and the LS popular builds all seem to be character-based, let's go crazy with theorycrafting. Remember Across the Jundland Wastes? Yeah, yeah, it's super bad because of May the Force be with You. There are only so many units that can be commited to the Force, and LS tends to play with only 1 Echoes of the Force at most. If you can survive the initial barrage, you may just have enough time to get a nice setup and even destroy a couple objectives.



Affiliation:

Imperial Navy (Core)


Total Objective Sets: (10)


1x The Ultimate Power (Core)

Grand Moff Tarkin (Core)

Superlaser Engineer (Core)

Stormtrooper Elite (Core)

Control Room (Core)

Superlaser Blast (Core)


2x Death and Despayre (Core)

Devastator (Core)

Imperial Officer (Core)

Control Room (Core)

Defense Upgrade (Core)

Heat of Battle (Core)


2x The Endor Gambit (Core)

AT-ST Commander (Core)

AT-ST (Core)

AT-ST (Core)

Aft Armor Plating (Core)

Target of Opportunity (Core)


2x The General's Imperative (Assault on Echo Base)

General Veers (Assault on Echo Base)

Blizzard Force AT-ST (Assault on Echo Base)

Blizzard Force AT-ST (Assault on Echo Base)

Turbolaser Battery (Assault on Echo Base)

Battle of Hoth (Assault on Echo Base)


2x Across the Jundland Wastes (Edge of Darkness)

Bantha (Edge of Darkness)

Tusken Raider (Edge of Darkness)

Tusken Raider (Edge of Darkness)

Tusken Raider (Edge of Darkness)

Gaffi Stick (Edge of Darkness)


1x Repair and Refurbish (Balance of the Force)

Thunderflare (Balance of the Force)

Logistics Officer (Balance of the Force)

Logistics Officer (Balance of the Force)

Weapons Upgrade (Balance of the Force)

Supporting Fire (Balance of the Force)



Repair and Refurbish, Thunderflare, Defense Upgrade and some shields should keep your Jundland Wastes around for long enough to cripple LS. The Tusken can make sure the important units won't see action anytime soon. You could even try to include The Slave Trade here. More cheap units with tactics to keep everything locked while your walkers take objectives. Tarkin makes it even easier to blow up objectives. Superlaser blast can deal with MTFBWY if you can spare the resources. Devastator makes you win faster.


The It Binds All Things Force Pack isn't out yet, but we already got the Navy spoiler, courtesy of Table Flip (http://www.cardgamed...-things/).While we don't really think Piett would be all that great in this deck archetype (he seems to go well with Hoth Troopers), shielding should make him harder to deal with, plus you get a ton of fate cards to boost your edge battles, which is important when we are playing with many small troopers that need to have the edge in order to do anything at all. The Hoth Reinforcements can be an annoyance with all the Battles of Hoth in deck. And Piett's ability to keep triggering them over and over again can enable you to play very aggressively and still have healthy objectives as long as the LS can't 100 – 0 them in a single attack. Endor Gambit provides keeps up the walker archetype and Target of Opportunity for Piett to actually be menacing.

As a bonus, if we can squeeze Asteroid Pursuit in here we'll get a ton of shielding goodies and a big smile from colsanders. The objective and the ship aren't good here, but the remaining 4 cards all synergize well with the deck's core and provide some defense for the units without inherent shielding.



Affiliation:

Imperial Navy (Core)


Total Objective Sets: (10)


1x Imperial Command (Core)

Admiral Motti (Core)

Duty Officer (Core)

Heavy Stormtrooper Squad (Core)

Heavy Stormtrooper Squad (Core)

Orbital Bombardment (Core)


2x The Endor Gambit (Core)

AT-ST Commander (Core)

AT-ST (Core)

AT-ST (Core)

Aft Armor Plating (Core)

Target of Opportunity (Core)


1x Shadows on the Ice (The Desolation of Hoth)

Wampa (The Desolation of Hoth)

Wampa (The Desolation of Hoth)

Succumb to the Cold! (The Desolation of Hoth)

Succumb to the Cold! (The Desolation of Hoth)

Battle of Hoth (The Desolation of Hoth)


2x The General's Imperative (Assault on Echo Base)

General Veers (Assault on Echo Base)

Blizzard Force AT-ST (Assault on Echo Base)

Blizzard Force AT-ST (Assault on Echo Base)

Turbolaser Battery (Assault on Echo Base)

Battle of Hoth (Assault on Echo Base)


1x Sabotage in the Snow (Assault on Echo Base)

Snowtrooper (Assault on Echo Base)

Snowtrooper Vanguard (Assault on Echo Base)

Forward Command Post (Assault on Echo Base)

Forward Command Post (Assault on Echo Base)

Battle of Hoth (Assault on Echo Base)


1x Asteroid Pursuit (Edge of Darkness)

Lictor-class Dungeon Ship (Edge of Darkness)

Trooper Sentry (Edge of Darkness)

Trooper Sentry (Edge of Darkness)

Armed and Ready (Edge of Darkness)

Protection (Edge of Darkness)


2x The Admiral's Assault (It Binds All Things)

Admiral Piett (It Binds All Things)

Hoth Reinforcements (It Binds All Things)

Seeds of Decay (It Binds All Things)

Heat of Battle (It Binds All Things)

Battle of Hoth (It Binds All Things)



That's all for today, folks. Hope this motivates someone to try Navy despite these bad times for our beloved faction. Thanks for your time!

  • Laxen, bigfomlof, CobraBubbles and 1 other like this


8 Comments

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CobraBubbles
Jul 24 2014 12:32 PM

Great article with some fun ideas - I really like that you go through four lists and discuss all of them.

 

Just wanted to chime in on the Trooper front. I've been playing around with Reinforcements and it is the bomb. Together with Dark Trooper Project and Imperial Command you have the basis for a really good Force-Trooper deck. My current list is:

 

Sith Affil.

Imp Command x2

Dark Trooper x2

Reinforcements x2

Admiral's Assault x1 (subbed by Recon Mission until I get that set proxied up)

Plan of the Prophetess x2

Second Phase x1

 

Really fun so far. Dark Troopers, Stormtroopers and Reserve Troopers are all great early defenders and when General Caine/Orbital Bombardment hit the table you can start smashing objectives pretty quickly. Sariss adds to your ability to control the Force with her obj. and Deadly Gaze and brings some tasty Black Tactics, and the Dark Trooper Legions continue the theme and allow you to smash face even more. Recon/Piett provides edge support.

 

Admittedly if you don't see the Project in your opening objectives it's significantly less good, but hey, can't have everything :)

    • bigfomlof and Majestaat like this

That's the main issue with many navy builds now: you don't see Dark Trooper Project, you better forget the Force.

 

In fact, I was thinking about a trooper build with Ghosts of the Dark Side. The Wraiths + Dark Trooper Project can keep attacking every turn and still be decent Force holders. Once again, DTP dependency...

Dark Memories would be slow, as navy lacks tactics, but the card is still strong now that characters constitute the main LS decks.

Shockwave is weaker than Force Storm, but is also cheaper, doesn't affect your units and doesn't require you to control the Force.

 

Anyway, it's good to know you've been having success with troopers, especially with Reinforcements, as the Reserve Troopers can be pretty unstable.

And I agree that most trooper builds should include one copy of The Second Phase. The Legions are scary for LS mains and a big threat on the offense as well, even when unsupported.

Great article. One question: How can the Death Squad Destroyer take a Focus Token and still do its damage having lost the Edge? I feel I may have been playing this game wrong forever........

 

Thanks

Great article. One question: How can the Death Squad Destroyer take a Focus Token and still do its damage having lost the Edge? I feel I may have been playing this game wrong forever........

 

Thanks

The shield can prevent enemy tactics. Unless you're against a unit who can singlehandedly put 2 or more focus tokens (Obi, Rieekan, Renegade Squad to name a few), you'll be fine.

Yep. Been playing the game wrong...

Keep in mind that YOU choose when to use the shield. If an enemy unit with both unit damage and tactic icons strike against your shielded unit, you can let the damage go through and still keep the shield up to prevent tactics.

 

Also important if you have Forward Command Posts in play or Armed and Ready in hand. May be better to receive damage so the shield is still on your unit to get the bonus icons.

Won't work if the enemy unit have tactics, of course, unless you have a way to remove the focus token.

For about my first 6 months I played on the assumption shields only blocked damage, imagine my reaction the first time my opponent blocked my tactics with a shield.  Mind blown, hahaha 

That's why, theoretically, Navy should do well in this tactics-heavy meta. Sadly, reality isn't that kind.