TL;DR. I changed to Leia at the last minute and piloted her to the finals of the Grand Championship at Nova.
Hello There. This is my battle report from NOVA. In the lead up to NOVA I was struggling to win practice games with various merc lists, so made the last minute decision to swap back to a variation of the Lover's Box that I piloted to second place at a regional last year.
My list: Han w/ rogue smuggler, Leia, MHD, Hera, Gideon, r2, 3po, 2xrSmuggler, Extra Armor
CCs: On the Lam, Tools for the Job, Miracle Worker, Heart of Freedom, Second Chance, Intel Leak, Negation, Brace for Impact, Stealth Tactics, Element of Surprise, Take Initiative, Planning, Positioning Advantage, Hour of Need
Round 1 vs David w/ Vader Riots. Maul Gangsters
Round 1 was versus my good friend David. He drew a tough map for him. I boxed on the side with the "T" and killed gangsters and let him come to me. Leia recycled whatever Thrawn pitched. Time was called in round three right as Vader got to my box. I had the full defensive suite at that point and didn't suffer any real loses. 1-0
Round 2 vs Mark w/ double eQuays. Tarkin Rogue AI
This started out as a positioning battle. Han got some end of round shots into eQuays but they defended well, using Run for Cover and On the Lam to not suffer any loses. He got a very lucky AI bounce and picked up 6 points during one eQuay activation, with the AI token near Hondo to be picked up again. He pushed my terminal hard and had both by the end of round 2, starving me of cards. I lost a few smugglers early on, so this put me on a clock to pick up some points. I played Leia aggressively to make something happen and got her killed and ended up taking the loss. Leia never got a chance to cycle any useful cards. 1-1
Round 3 vs Ray w/ VP scum. Tarkin weapons
The story of this one was how much damage Han tanked. I never saw Lam and Han never dodged, but Ray had to put 28 damage on Han to kill him with all my healing and defensive tricks. Han died, but he had no gas left in the tank to overcome Leia and weapon carrying smugglers. Leia cycled Miracle Worker but I never redrew it. 2-1
Round 4 vs Sean w/ Han, Ahsoka, Sabine. Maul posters
This was a quick game. With my activation advantage, Han got a good end of round/start of round hit on Ahsoka, putting him down a major attacking piece that he wasn't ever really able to recover from. Leia never needed to cycle anything. 3-1. Which was good enough to make 4th overall after Swiss.
Top 8 vs Gil w/ IG, eCats, Sabine. Lothal blitz
I box near my terminal. Gil splits his list, sending Sabine and R2 towards the spire and the rest of the list to the other side of the map. Round 1 Han pushes Sabine hard. Gil brings IG down to blaze and go after Han, but I have Lam plus a dodge. I end up taking three damage total from both IG activations. Leia gets a lucky cross map kill on a cat sitting on an objective, and cycles Lam, which I redraw at the end of Round 1. Han gets IG up to 12 damage but second chance comes down so I go after Sabine in Round 2 killing her. A cat ambushes Gideon and kills him, and Leia matches up vs Hera on the top side of the map, with Han and the box holding down the spire. I lose MHD in round 3, but don't lose anyone else after playing Lam a second time. I scatter my list in Round 3 to grab objectives, and pick up the win.
Top 4 vs Jason w/ 2xeLothcats WITH LAST RESORT. Lothal Fluctuations
That's right. Exploding kittens. And another game vs a good friend. Jason takes the spire with Sabine and the cats. I leave r2 alone on my terminal and box on the other side. Rounds 1 and 2 saw various cat bombs that dealt some damage but nothing I wasn't able to overcome. Leia cycles Lam again, and Han bombs in to kill a focused, power token cat at the end of the round. Round 3 saw Onar do a dangerous attack on Leia after rushing and using To The Limit, but he low rolled the attack damage and Leia was in no danger. The smugglers and Gideon took advantage of Onar's lack of defense dice and piled on the damage, allowing Han to kill him EOR. Sabine did come around the back side and kill R2 and MHD over a couple of rounds, but died to a Leia+Hera double tap using battlefield leadership. We called it with me comfortably in the lead and only Greedo left as an attacker for Jason.
Finals vs Ryan Janway w/ Han, Drok, Sabine. Maul gangsters.
I lost to Ryan in the Atlanta Regional, so here's my chance to take revenge. He's part of my local playgroup and is a great player and stand up guy. Now onto the game. This is not the best map or matchup for me. We both played very defensively. I ended up playing Lam twice and Negation twice, and had Lam in my hand again at the end of the game. I went up early due to some lucky gangster spawns and focusing on his support, but Leia blanked her defensive roll and died to a Han shot. Ryan's Drokatta had a huge turn and killed three figures, putting him back in the game. It came down to me needing Han to kill Drokatta end of round after time was called. Drok had 7 damage with a block token. I had positioning advantage. Han was one short. Ryan wins 29-25!
Congrats to Ryan for an amazing game and run! Our finals match will be uploaded to the IA Command Youtube channel, and my full battle report will be on the Zion's Finest Podcast. Check both of those out! NOVA was a great time and the skirmish meta is in a really good place right now. I'm proud of our NC playgroup--five of us took the trip to Nova and finished Swiss 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th, and 9th. And Ryan is part of our group, so we brought home the trophy to NC! If you're within driving distance, be sure to come to the NC Regionals/Prime tournament this fall/winter (assuming we get one)! It should be a great time, and there will likely be a Leia sighting