A Case for the Naked AT-RT

There was an extremely brief phase, early in Legion’s life, where the naked AT-RT was being used strictly as a piece to pad your activation count. Competitive Rebel lists were something like Luke, Leia, max corps and two naked RT’s for a smooth ten activations. Plus, it was pretty cute to kill speeder bikes with an aimed shot from the rider’s two white dice rifle (of course, this only worked when you got lucky.) The naked RT eventually fell away as double Laser Cannon RT builds and Impact Grenade Snowtroopers became commonplace. These were (and still are) able to clean up all other types of AT-RT quite easily. However, with the recent emphasis on massed troopers and anti-trooper weaponry, the Laser Cannon RT has fallen off almost completely, and the naked RT is poised to make a comeback. Chiefly, the AT-RT with no upgrades is a very cheap platform for the benefits it brings, coming in at 55 points. Let’s break down and analyze some of those benefits now.

First of all, the AT-RT, like all ground vehicles, functions as mobile area terrain that grants light cover. This is fabulous for everything suppressed that is standing behind it, or for any Low Profile unit (Read: Commandos and Han.) AT-RTs possess the “Armor” keyword, making them invulnerable to anything but critical hits and making them quite strong against lists that don’t bring a lot of Impact. Being Armored is also a deterrent to snipers; In general, your opponents won’t usually risk wasting sniper shots against it. This makes it fit nicely into a “two snipers and up” situation that is becoming generally true for competitive Legion at this time.

AT-RT’s are quite disruptive up close, given their offense and ability to suppress units by displacing them. Even the naked RT is something your opponent must deal with. This could be very simple for them if they have a good source of Impact, but if they don’t, crit fishing will be your opponent’s only hope of destroying it. Crit fishing is where your opponent simply rolls dice at it, from all available sources, until they roll enough unsaved critical hits to damage or destroy the RT. This turns the AT-RT into a bullet magnet for weapons that might be better spent firing at your trooper units, which will buy you valuable time. While it may not be maximally efficient to take a unit that was “born to die,” and it surely will, it can help create space for you to execute your game plan, whether that’s moving the battle line back to an advantageous place on the board, or chasing units away from objectives.

When you’re heading into melee, you can overlap one model in the enemy unit to displace that mini and cause suppression. This is very useful against units that haven’t activated (because they may lose an action) or units that already have a good amount of suppression (which will further guarantee they continue to lose actions). You like this as a melee RT because the suppressed unit can’t run away from you if they can only make one move. Make sure when you do this that you don’t overlap the unit leader! Overlapping the leader is a net negative, because it will let your opponent move their unit leader to a more advantageous position. Otherwise, get in there and crush them. You can even use Standby now, thanks to the most recent RRG, to lie in wait and react to your opponent’s movements, which you will never lose to suppression, since the AT-RT is a vehicle.

You can also block pathways with an AT-RT to keep units and other vehicles from squeezing through, forcing them to go around you. This is especially useful for blocking flamer-equipped AT-RTs and keeping your precious corps units from getting barbecued. You can also park an AT-RT close to a corner to block troopers. If there’s less room than the width of a trooper unit’s base between the AT-RT’s base and a piece of impassable terrain, enemy trooper units cannot move through that space.

At-rt_sidea-good
55 points of awesome

The Grappling Claw is the AT-RT’s melee weapon, throwing three red dice with Surge: Crit. This makes it extremely consistent, so it hardly needs aim tokens; perfect for moving and kicking. Nobody wants to get their Luke Skywalker or other expensive unit mule-kicked by one of these bad boys. Putting two wounds on Luke (160-193 points) from a naked RT (55 points) is a one way ticket to value town. The Claw also has Impact 1, which helps it against other vehicles, or very good, if the dice are generous with surges. The AT-RT can also be used as a cheap deterrent to melee units. Their Armor makes them quite strong in melee versus Royal Guard and Wookiees – it’s a situation where you’re kicking for some damage, but if they aren’t rolling critical hits against you, their damage just bounces off. Two naked AT-RT cost less than a single unit of Wookiee Warriors equipped with a bowcaster, and one RT is likely to kill a Wookie every time it attacks. A Bowcaster Wookiee’s 1 Impact is not that much of a threat to the RT, and shooting the RT is wasting Pierce on a save that is unlikely to work anyway. In a nutshell, it is generally advantageous to engage your opponent’s melee specialists if they don’t have a lightsaber (Vader’s Saber Throw is especially deadly.)

A small aside: remember when I mentioned that the rider’s rifle can kill speeder bikes if they are lucky? Don’t neglect this weapon. If something goes haywire and taking two move actions makes you vulnerable, look for chances to use the rider’s range 3 rifle. Critical hits are very strong in Star Wars: Legion; If you get lucky, you might deal wounds with the rifle through heavy cover thanks to Surge:Crit. You do not always have to move twice and force melee combat.

So, I’ve made my case, and before I sign off, I want to make a few concessions. The AT-RT can be remarkably fragile if your opponent has brought the tools to handle it.  The melee RT can heavily skew the Rebel mirror match, since Rebels don’t generally have good tools to handle armor that are not Luke or a Laser RT (crit fishing with Z-6 spam aside). However, when you fight the Empire, with their slew of good anti-vehicle options, this is not the case. A few DLT equipped Stormtroopers, with aim tokens and a bit of luck, can quickly force a naked RT into a resilience check. To get the maximum out of these units when your opponent has brought a high amount of Impact, you will need to abuse line of sight blocking terrain as much as you can and be very aware of activation order.

More than anything, naked AT-RT are a meta call rather than a reliable staple. Give them a try, you will be pleasantly surprised. Here’s a sample list:

800 pts
Luke Skywalker (Force Push, Emergency Stims)
Leia Organa (Esteemed Leader)

Fleet Troopers (Scatter Gun Trooper, Fleet Trooper, Environmental Gear)
Rebel Troopers (Z-6 Trooper)
Rebel Troopers (Z-6 Trooper)
Rebel Troopers (Z-6 Trooper)
Rebel Troopers (Z-6 Trooper)

Rebel Commandos Strike Team (DH-447 Sniper)
Rebel Commandos Strike Team (DH-447 Sniper)

AT-RT
AT-RT

Command Cards:
Luke: Son of Skywalker, My Ally is the Force, Return of the Jedi
Leia: Coordinated Bombardment, Somebody Has to Save Our Skins
Neutral: Push

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