Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Building a List #1 - IG-88

This will be the first in a series of articles on the subject of list building. In these articles, I plan to go through the steps of making a list, going from picking the units to deciding on a general strategy.

This article is going to focus on our newly improved assassin droid, IG-88. For those that haven't seen it, a new card, Focused on the Kill, has come and drastically improved what was once the worst unit in the Scum faction. Due to this, I'll be making my first list in this series highlighting him.

The List
Obviously, the first inclusion in a list focused on IG-88 is the droid itself. With the upgrade, IG-88 gets a huge health pool behind +1 block and a black dice, gets an attack pool of any two plus a green, and gets some movement so he can Assault better. Overall, a huge improvement to the guy. He seems like a beast with this new attachment.

The obvious next pairing, for me, is more assassin droids. You can never have too many assassin droids. While IG-88 is effective at medium range and his damage increases rapidly as the range closes, the HK droids are great at long ranges and have good, reliable damage. These three will deal massive amounts of damage.

So, we've got our damage dealers. And while IG-88 is strong defensively, he's not invincible, and the HK droids are rather squishy. Next we need a damage sponge. Two choices stand out here, the elite Gamorrean Guards and the Rancor. The Rancor deals good damage, has good health, and can get two defense dice, but I've found him to be rather mediocre as a distraction. He is surprisingly easy to ignore, and he will block all sorts of sight lines for my droids. The Gamorreans, on the other hand, also have decent damage, have reach, have dice rerolling, and get an extra block against ranged damage. I ended up choosing the Gamorreans for these reasons.

Now, we're sitting at 12 points left. As points shrink down, I start thinking about support choices, particularly since the HK droids benefit so much from focus. Scum really has two choices for support, Jabba or Gideon+C-3PO. Both are six points, but to me Jabba is the clear winner. He gives only one focus, but draws cards (which will be hugely important due to the wealth of good hunter cards) and can order a hit, which can make a huge swing in combat if an HK or IG-88 can take out an important model.

So, now we're looking at six points left. Six points is a somewhat annoying point to be at, because there's not a ton of great options for six points. A point more or two would give us Weequays or Bossk, but there are some good options left. The first thing I think of is a elite Nexu, who can jump around, be annoying, rush a flank, hand out bleeding, and perhaps finish off a wounded model. Not exactly a ton of synergy, but there's room for the shenanigans it can bring. It's a solid enough finisher for the list.

The Command Deck
So, the command deck is going to have a major impact on this list, not because it's necessary for the list to function, but because it will add a ton of firepower to the list. There are three shared traits in the list we could focus on, Hunter, Droid, and Brawler. Because the assassin droids are the focus of this list, they will be the focus of the command deck too.

The Never-Leave-Home-Without-Them Cards

These are the cards I consider to be essential to every command card deck and every deck should take them.
Hunter/Droid Damage Boosting Cards

All of these cards will directly increase the damage dealt by your assassin droids. These are all relatively direct, with the only questionable inclusion being Wild Attack, which should mainly be used by the HK droids, who can mitigate the white dice. Does pair nicely with Heightened Reflexes, though, and can give IG-88 a Red-Red-Red-Green attack. "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds."

Hunter/Droid Utility
These are cards that are just nice to have for the list. Glory of the Kill can heal either droid, and heals exactly the damage dealt by Blaze of Glory, if the opponent is somehow ignoring IG-88. (So much glory) The timing requires it to be used the turn after Blaze, though. Devotion allows an HK in a good sniping spot to pull out Blaze of Glory, and Price on their Heads allows a similarly positioned HK to get a free 4 VPs if you can kill the squad.

General Utility
This is really just for Jabba. Double focus or double card pull can be useful depending on the situation.

Thoughts on the List

This is a very vicious list, with a huge damage potential from the combination of very strong droids, focus, and highly impactful command cards. The playstyle will be very aggressive (which is my personal playstyle) and will likely get the alpha strike, wiping multiple models out before the engagement truly begins. Between the HK droids shooting from range, the Gamorreans jumping into the fray, and IG-88 ruthlessly eliminating hostiles, taking the droids head-on will be a losing proposition. Chances are, while running this list, objectives will be merely magnets, drawing targets into the droids' firing lines.

I had a chance to play this list twice recently. The first was a strain list featuring Bossk and Trandoshan Hunters, with some Hired Guns and Tuskens. IG-88 and HK Assassins killing Trandoshans in one shot meant that their force broke quickly and was swept aside. The second list was Boba, Jabba, and Bossk, with elite HKs and some Trando Hunters. A double move plus Blaze of Glory killed the elite HKs on turn one, which did doom IG-88, but allowed me to overrun both flanks.

Overall, I was quite impressed by the damage output. The command cards are particularly devastating, adding a ton of damage to the already lethal droids. IG-88 feels good with this attachment. He feels a lot like Jedi Luke, but trades higher speed and extra utility for pure damage output. 

So, what do you think? Would you try anything different? Have you tried the list? What do you think of IG-88 now?


  1. Great article as usua and some solid ideas for that ig88 list. I was thinking something along the same lines but in the end decided to hold off until th droid wave so I can fill those 6 odd points with a jawa and some sort of allied droid. See how it goes.

  2. Actually in hindsight I'd even look at vinto or Onar before I'd go a nexu. It just doesn't syndergise.

    1. You're right that it doesn't synergise, but I'm thinking it fills a hole in the list. The list doesn't have a harrasser, to run around and distract from my main force, which the next excels at.

      However, Vinto IS a Hunter, so I'll try that out too.

  3. Great article! The strain deck was very rusty. I look forward to playing again and will improve my command cards. Also changing my tactics as your opponent could have made the game harder. Most of my units were positioned poorly and the command deck was second tier. I'll be re-working it for the future. :) The nexu or any unit which can offer agile flanking is a good choice so if replaced do so with someone fast and threatening or off putting.