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Ram

Spies?

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Yeah, but I was thinking more around more focused spy bands. Bands with bunches of spies and an extensive spy command deck. It wont be competative but thats ok. :) There are old imperial spies i guess, it may still be the only option...

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I mean, you say a spy list won't be competitive but I've had some success in local tourneys with lists that happen to include lots of spies and spy cards (if not "spy lists"). For example I won a local tournament with this list, despite not realising I hadn't spent all my Command Points, and it only has two Spy groups:

Rebellion-Twice-a-Knight-is-Enough-tourn

Comm Disruption is a brilliant card. Worst case scenario (all your Spies are dead), it's like a more-expensive Negation, and Negation is a card you'll see in basically every list. But if you've got enough Spy groups you can shut down all your opponent's best tricks, even if they cost 3 points (On the Lam? Assassinate? Any of the queen piece 3-pointers? Cancelled). You can even negate Negation!

Intelligence Leak can do something very similar, though it's much more tricky to time it right (have to guess what's in your opponent's hand... unless you checked first with Collect Intel), and all it costs is a few strain.

Data Theft is also brilliant. Your opponent plays a great card... two can play at that game!

Even Stall for Time can be great - really painful for your opponent if it takes out a good card (maybe even Take Initiative before he gets a chance to use it).

That's where I see the value in Spies. They are quite capable of shutting down an opponent's game. Puts the focus back on positioning and figures in a way your opponent can still handle if he's good, but didn't expect to have to deal with. With the list above I'd be rushing Jedi Luke into my opponent's back line to cause chaos that they wouldn't know how to handle without Command cards, while the eSabs ran around grabbing objectives. It worked really well.

This one is pretty good fun too, though I wouldn't take this to a tournament:

Empire-ISB-Special-Forces.png

Special shout-out for Cross-Training, by the way. Gaining Spy is nice and all, but the choice of a black of a white dice is occasionally hilarious. Your opponent scores a big hit on your near-useless Trooper, you realise it'll die even with the best result on a black dice... so you swap it for a white one and fluke a Dodge. Doesn't have to be on Stormtroopers either, any Trooper will do, and the Empire have plenty of those (eJets anyone?). Oh, and Agent Blaise and his Interrogate ability further shut down the Command Card game, or even if you choose not to burn a card, they let you know what's coming.

So Empire lists have plenty of Spy options. I've done it for Rebels before as noted above, though eSabs aren't the A-tier units they once were; Leia and Ahsoka are also good options, and there's a bunch of weaker uniques too (Mak with Critical Hit maybe?). It's more difficult for Mercenaries (Clawdites only!) unless they use Temporary Alliance to bring in Rebels, though I have to say Shoot the Messenger makes an appealing combo with Data Theft! Well, how about a Spy / Force User combo? Don't see that too often.

Mercenaries-Forceful-Spies.png

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In reality, isn’t there only a handful spy cards worth playing at the most?

I like both Leia and Ahsoka, especially, and to me, Mak with his command card, makes for a really thematic spy gang. I guess it will be hard to get value out of Leia. Maybe Davith or Sabs could do better?

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It's "hard" to make a spy list, because they don't have a lot of cards like Tools or Assasinate that really makes you want to pack as many of that keyword as possible. Yet, Comm Dis is extremely good. ****, I often pack Comm Dis in Scum without a single spy group. Overall, spy CCs were some of the best before Hunter/Smuggler got boosted. I still think Spy CC is very strong. 

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Awesome lists @Bitterman! Thanks all for thoughts. I agree spies are lacking oC the power command card area. It will be a challenge to play for sure. 

My plan forward will be to make a fun list with Blaise, 1 eISB infiltrators, 1 rISB infiltrators, Terro with cross training, 2x Dewbacks with Cross training and an rOfficer with pretty much all the spy command cards and a few trooper cards like Grenadier. I think it will be a lot of fun to play even if it is not super awesome. :)

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Posted (edited)

If you can fit him in Thrawn synergizes well with an Imperial Spies list. His Strategize ability is another tool to manipulate your opponents CC deck, he has a more than decent attack (something the actual Spy cards somewhat lack), and his personal CC is a zero cost card that, again, helps to manipulate CC draw.

Edited by Alastairk
sp.

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Small nitpick, Ram: Cross Training is an elite Skirmish Upgrade card, so by RAW you can only have two in your list.

Otherwise, best of luck and have fun!  I'm a huge fan of theme-over-power lists, myself. ; )

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