Jump to content
MasterShake2

Standing Orders Turn 1: Food for Thought

Recommended Posts

It definitely appears common for players to just drop Standing Orders turn 1, essentially by default.  Most aren't even thinking about the decision.  For me, it's typically Assault turn 1 with Standing Orders only coming up in rare occasions (and I still regret it).  With that in mind, I started asking people why and their responses were to be expected, but didn't really hold up to analysis.  At least 2 local have been broken of the habit when their lack of turn 1 activation control essentially let me take out key units before the game even started.  So, let's examine the biggest reasons:

 

1)  I don't want to waste a good command card:

You have 6 non-Standing Order cards and it's a 6 turn game.  As another counterpoint, how many times over the course of an average game do you play the Assault card?  Freqently turn 2 is your character specific 3 pip cards like Return of the Jedi or Master of Evil to hand out a dodge to your force user which lets your force user hold activation without being excessively vulnerable and give you solid, if not 100% activation control.  Turns 3-4 you usually want your 1 pips or your 2 pips with good effects like My Ally is the Force, , Ambush, Son of Skywalker or Implacable.  You likely aren't getting back around to playing the higher pip cards with no bonuses like Push or Assault until turns 5-6 and by then, it's fairly common for Push and Assault to basically do the same thing (If you have 2 or less non-troopers, they both give 100% activation control, but Push is faster).  To put it simply, where would you utilize Assault over the course of the game now that you wouldn't be able to if it was played turn 1 instead of Standing Orders?  Almost everyone who drops Standing Orders turn 1 ends up with Assault still in their hand at the end of the game.

 

2)  I make my opponent go first:

This actually doesn't work.  It fails to take into account the 1 major difference between Legion and other games with alternating activations (Armada, Guild Ball, Malifaux, etc.).  In those games, you always have control over who activates, so making the other player go first can be a substantial edge and having the activation count helps that immensely.  In Legion, if you only have 1 order token out, that means that while the other player may be going first, you very well may have key units going far too early in the turn sequence and being relegated to either doing nothing or risking getting killed.  the biggest victim that I've seen of this are speeder bikes and T-47s.  Their speed is a phenomenal advantage...if you can control when they activate.  Otherwise, they fly into the middle of 4 units that haven't activated yet and get plastered or have to avoid doing anything relevant to not die.  If you make your opponent do irrelevant activations first, but your key models are going way too early, what advantage did you gain?

 

I can't count the number of times an opponent has played Standing Orders turn 1, then pulled their first or second activation token at random only to say ****.  I'm not saying it's never the right call, but "when something activates" is very relevant even as early as turn 1.

 

Like any element in any game, the choice needs to analyzed and only applied when appropriate.

Edited by MasterShake2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been thinking about this recently as well. Thanks for putting it down in words. My speeder bike die so easily, so I've started choosing my generic 2/3 pip cards to start the game and for my second activation and it helps me control when my delicate bikes ride into the field. I still haven't nailed down a solid way to use them, but I promised my wife I wouldn't be spending much on games for a bit (remodeling bathrooms and working on floors), so I can't just replace my bikes with more stormtroopers, yet...

Anyway, good thought exercise! I think I'll try only using Standing Orders of I run out of command cards after my Commander dies, as that's the only way I see it being useful at this point...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

<EDIT: I abbreviated Standing Orders as SA bc I'm an idiot>

I agree, it's always good to examine common practices. I do think the advantage of playing assault over SA is dependent on the list. SA gives a single order token that you can give to the very important units, like your compulsory movers, to control exactly when they activate. If you're fielding two of those units then SA could force one to move too early, but otherwise the difference is marginal. 

I believe the strongest argument for Assault first round is "why not?" With 5 other non-SA command cards left you still have lots of options. The only thing SA gives you is the ability to save a commander card you really need while still getting the 2 or 3 pips you need via a generic. That's also very situational, but future command cards might change that calculus.

Edited by Big Easy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've started using assault to hold back units, especially on deployments where both sides can end up close together (as in the corner deployments). 

Of course, types of units and the condition card can influence this too and sometimes its safe to play standing orders to give greater choice later in the game. However, SA is no longer my default choice as it was in my first few games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I have yet to use SA in the 3 full games I’ve played. I’d much rather have that 3 pip 3 unit generic card as my first turn. It just doesn’t do it for me. I’d much rather have the initiative in the first turn. Maybe I can bluff charge a unit and force my opponent to adjust their battle plan? Or maybe I’m just hopeful. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've played standing orders at turn 1 in both games that I have played.  They have both been Long March, Limited Visibility, and Breakthrough.  In this case it allows me the flexibility to use command cards where they would be useful rather than burning one on the first turn.  I'll admit that this is a fairly specific scenario, but I don't think that SO should be dismissed outright.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I'd be more intrigued by an argument in favor of using anything other than Standing Orders turn 1 rather than an argument against it.

In the future, it may be more viable. Units may be more reasonably capable of engaging in the first round, or people may be running units fast enough that giving multiple orders to ensure they go last could make sense, but all of that is highly situational.

In most situations, Standing Orders is the command card with the least opportunity cost on turn one, and most other command cards are less than effective in that same turn, so I'd expect to see it quite a bit more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Tvayumat said:

In the future, it may be more viable. Units may be more reasonably capable of engaging in the first round, or people may be running units fast enough that giving multiple orders to ensure they go last could make sense, but all of that is highly situational.

 

...like DLTs, Speeder Bikes, AT-ST main guns and mortars, T-47s, AT-RT Laser Cannons?  Also, outside of long march, even range 3 weapons can tap any target that leaves the deployment zone and that you can get LoS to and in many missions both players will need to do this to some degree.  There's a lot that can engage turn 1 and do so effectively.  Even under things like Limited Visibility, high speed units like Speeder Bikes and T-47's can still punish you for a bad order of activations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, MasterShake2 said:

 

...like DLTs, Speeder Bikes, AT-ST main guns and mortars, T-47s, AT-RT Laser Cannons?  Also, outside of long march, even range 3 weapons can tap any target that leaves the deployment zone and that you can get LoS to and in many missions both players will need to do this to some degree.  There's a lot that can engage turn 1 and do so effectively.  Even under things like Limited Visibility, high speed units like Speeder Bikes and T-47's can still punish you for a bad order of activations.

Are you sure you're using enough terrain? 

Are your opponents simply deploying their units in the open without even any intervening barricades?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is highly dependent on the setup/conditions/objectives.  Also once Tarkin and Leia come out using Maximum Firepower/Bombardment could cripple vehicles on the first round or possibly even kill a non-Jedi commander.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Tvayumat said:

Are you sure you're using enough terrain? 

Are your opponents simply deploying their units in the open without even any intervening barricades?

 

They typically have cover, it doesn't matter when a Stormtrooper unit activates before a pair of Z-6 units that can walk up and tap them and T-47 can fly up last activation for an aimed 6 dice shot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When the majority of the token pool are Corps tokens, I guess I'm just not seeing the necessity, or even the value outside of very specific circumstances.

I think the argument should be "Look at the board state and determine the best card to play" which, in many cases, is just Standing Orders, particularly since your commander can be knocked out, reducing your command hand to half. That Assault may have been useful once you lost the ability to play any of your commanders cards, and probably didn't really do much on turn one, generally speaking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Big Easy said:

I agree, it's always good to examine common practices. I do think the advantage of playing assault over SA is dependent on the list. SA gives a single order token that you can give to the very important units, like your compulsory movers, to control exactly when they activate. If you're fielding two of those units then SA could force one to move too early, but otherwise the difference is marginal. 

I believe the strongest argument for Assault first round is "why not?" With 5 other non-SA command cards left you still have lots of options. The only thing SA gives you is the ability to save a commander card you really need while still getting the 2 or 3 pips you need via a generic. That's also very situational, but future command cards might change that calculus.

What is SA?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like Standing Orders as a Turn 1 if you have one specific unit you want to delay, and you need that extra activation advantage of going last.  It needs to be a unit that hits heavy, but is weak to being lit up if it finds itself in a bad location.

Airspeeders are perfect for this.  

It shouldn't be automatic, but nothing should be.  It won't be useful Turn 2+ unless you run out of commanders and generic cards, but that is because you should be in combat by then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the OP arguments has been contested already (not overthrown, mind you!), I just want to add my two cents.

An issue of Assault vs. Standing Orders came up during my last game. My opponent had an ATRT with lascannon, Luke, T47 an a bunch of troops. He played Assault for a greater control of the battlefield (he issued orders to 3 obvious targets. I had Luke, 3 atrts and a bunch of troops and chose to assign an order to one of my ATRT's. We had an equal number of activations.

Neither of us regrets the decision. Each way has it's uses, pros and cons. Some arguments for using SO are:

1. Greater flexibility in later turns. Sure, there's little difference between Push and Assault come turn 5-6, but there is a difference between Push and SO (if you dropped Assault early). If I end up with Assault in hand at the end then, well, guess I didn't need it.
2. Depending on your list, you may have a different number of key units that you want to go last. It is usually lower in Rebels than in Empire. Rebels key unit is usually T47 speeder, or one of the ATRT's since Luke usually can go without an order on turn 1 provided he has a LOS blocking piece of terrain. Turn two he can just jump over it and be on his merry murdering spree :P Empire has more units that want to go last, due to their fragility or slow movement (in this case to better react to the opponent): usually Vader and two or more Speeder units. In this case SO is probably not the best idea.
3. Going last - obviously it connects to point 2, and obviously works only if you have the same or greater number of activations in your list. Still, if you can pull it off, it has a potential to be huge.

I believe this will change when Veers and Leia will be out, since they both have 1pip cards with a great potential to be played early on, as early as turn 1 if there's no Limited Visibility condition in play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always Standing Orders first round. Deploy all my units in hard cover or blocking LOS so they will take little damage. This gives me greater flexibility later in the game because the first round tends to be setting up for further engagement. I double move my units into position, and round 2 is when I will use Assault or Push. 

23 hours ago, MasterShake2 said:

Freqently turn 2 is your character specific 3 pip cards like Return of the Jedi or Master of Evil to hand out a dodge to your force user which lets your force user hold activation without being excessively vulnerable and give you solid, if not 100% activation control.

IMO, this is a misplay. How many suppression tokens will troopers have on round 2? Probably 0 since 1 is removed at the end of round 1 IF they were attacked, and they get to rally. So really the only suppression they would have is generated during the round, which means you have to save Luke's activation to get the best effect. RotJ is probably best used on round 3-4 when attacks have been made and Luke can force engagement, setting up SoS for the following round. 

Master of Evil should NEVER be played round 2. How are you at range 2 of enemy troopers at the start of the round? Otherwise you telegraph intent and your opponent will run away, which they probably want to because it's Vader. 

 

Obviously, all of this is dependent on terrain, and thus the board state. Legion really needs terrain that blocks LOS, at least for the troopers. Otherwise you end up in a firefight at the top of round 1 and then there is no finesse. The player who rolls better will win every time. If you have nothing that blocks LOS, Assault or Push round 1 with some range 4 dudes it clearly the best play. But in the games that I have played, deploying so LOS is blocked is the best tactic to gain control of the board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My biggest argument for using SO in the first round could be to preserve my generic order cards for the end of the game. 

Especially once Leia and Veers come out(since they are squishier) I could see myself going extra hard to takedown my opponents commander if he uses the generic cards like assault early. I have seen this happen and it is rough.

That said I use Assault quite a bit especially if I have stuff with mandatory movement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, I play the command card that I believe will help me achieve my objective by turn six. Looking at the mission, conditions, and set up, I will mentality arrange my command cards to be played in an order to achieve this, while still being flexible to alter their arrangement in later game turns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the command card also depends on your army. If you have a bunch of speeders, they can easily cross the board and get some free shots at the end of the round. 

I have been playing the Rebel AT-RT spam, so I only have 3 unit types - commander, corps, and support. So I can order Luke, and the my 8 other activations fall into 2 units which I have multiple of. I can assess the game and make the best call. 

Once an army has 5 unit types, it can certainly be harder to assign orders and command cards because you have so much more to manage. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Undeadguy said:

I always Standing Orders first round. Deploy all my units in hard cover or blocking LOS so they will take little damage. This gives me greater flexibility later in the game because the first round tends to be setting up for further engagement. I double move my units into position, and round 2 is when I will use Assault or Push. 

IMO, this is a misplay. How many suppression tokens will troopers have on round 2? Probably 0 since 1 is removed at the end of round 1 IF they were attacked, and they get to rally. So really the only suppression they would have is generated during the round, which means you have to save Luke's activation to get the best effect. RotJ is probably best used on round 3-4 when attacks have been made and Luke can force engagement, setting up SoS for the following round. 

Master of Evil should NEVER be played round 2. How are you at range 2 of enemy troopers at the start of the round? Otherwise you telegraph intent and your opponent will run away, which they probably want to because it's Vader. 

 

Obviously, all of this is dependent on terrain, and thus the board state. Legion really needs terrain that blocks LOS, at least for the troopers. Otherwise you end up in a firefight at the top of round 1 and then there is no finesse. The player who rolls better will win every time. If you have nothing that blocks LOS, Assault or Push round 1 with some range 4 dudes it clearly the best play. But in the games that I have played, deploying so LOS is blocked is the best tactic to gain control of the board.

 

Even deploying all of your units in heavy cover or out of LoS, doesn't change the math for me. I'm not concerned as much about getting tagged in my DZ as much as being able to "unpack" I.e. Get out of my deployment zone and set up useful positions for turn 2+. In that regard, it's very helpful to be deliberate with activations. Once enemies on a given side of the table or that can draw LoS to a specific part of the table have activated, your free to be more aggressive, punch through early casualties, or park on an objective freeing up actions to just dodge/shoot or aim/shoot for the rest of the game.

 

In regards to RoTJ you should always play it turn 2. Luke gets a dodge token right away allowing him to hold activation until he's ready to murder or starts getting shot at and, if you start eating small and sporadic suppression, you just activate Luke and he removes 1 from everyone. There are very few reasons not to RoTJ turn 2.

 

MoE is a little different. In my experience, waiting for the chance to get those suppression stacks is a trap and it gives you an early dodge on Vader, again allowing him to hold activation and most, if not complete, control over your turn sequence. Personally I'd drop it turn 2 and not worry about the secondary effect, but if you do double walk to an objective turn 1, it's not out of the question that by the time Vader activates, something will be close enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...