Unleash the Beast! Trying out the Rancor: A Tournament Report

Greetings, loyal readers and members of the Rebel Alliance, and welcome back to the war room of the Rebel High Command. Today, we’re taking a break from the analysis of Jabba’s Realm (which we’ve now almost finished) and going into why I started writing all of this in the first place: talking about actually playing the game! Despite my love for the game, I unfortunately do not get to play very often (due to a small local scene, which is now undergoing notable growth). However, the stars aligned, and last Saturday, I was finally able to get some games in at a local, low level tournament.

I’m only going to briefly go over my list; as this was a much more casual level event, I didn’t go quite through all the rigorous mental processes and thinking that I normally do, and thus it was more of a case of “I’d really, really like to get these units onto the table”. Here’s what I played:

“RAAAAAWR” – The Rancor, Return of the Jedi

Big Game Hunters
Deployment/Upgrade Cards
Rancor w/ Feeding Frenzy
Shyla Varad
Vinto Hreeda
Jabba the Hutt
Regular Nexu
Beast Tamer
Black Market

Command Deck
Grisly Contest
Tools for the Job
Wild Fury
Heightened Reflexes
Primary Target
Survival Instincts
Take the Initiative
Toxic Dart
Positioning Advantage
Element of Surprise

The basic premise of the team was to go on the aggressive from the very first turn, using either the Rancor or the Nexu + Beast Tamer to get in there (and hopefully contest an objective/terminal). Jabba’s card draw and all the new Hunter toys provide an absurd amount of potential damage, and with Shyla, Greedo and the Rancor on the team, I figured I would be able to take out high health enemy figures with ease (especially Luke and other Rancors).

Round 1 vs Brett (Boba Fett, Jabba the Hutt, Elite Weequay Pirates, Shyla Varad, Vinto Hreeda, Indentured Jester)

Brett’s a lovely guy; I’ve played him in A Game of Thrones in the past, and it was just a really enjoyable experience all around. We were playing on the Obi-Wan map with the cantina patrons (the name escapes me presently), and I set up on the outside. The first round saw an urgent Greedo run to a corner and take a solid shot at Vinto, setting the pace for an aggressive game. The Weequay Pirates and Boba Fett retaliated and took out the poor Rodian, but not before he took a parting shot at one of the pirates.

The Nexu took the top terminal, and my Vinto opened up the doorway to the central area. His Shyla came in to contest it, but my own Shyla (this is going to get confusing) whipped her into place, and dealt a solid blow. Not only that, but she drew her in close enough that Beast Tamer allowed the Rancor to get in and clobber her. It was only the first round, but upwards of 20 damage had already been dealt!

Brett’s amazing looking team! Love that Jabba, and also the whip coming out of Shyla’s gauntlet!

The start of the second round saw the Rancor unleash havoc onto Brett’s team. Between the two attacks and the cleaves, Vinto, Shyla, and a Weequay Pirate had been devoured, while the other Pirate narrowly escaped death. The Pirate got in a pretty solid hit on the Rancor (with Assassinate and Tools for the Job adding in even more!), but even after the galaxy’s most infamous Bounty Hunter followed it up, the Rancor was still standing on a single hit point. From there, Shyla, Vinto and the Nexu were able to clean up what was left of Brett’s team, and the game was over at the end of the second round.


Round 2 vs Anthony (Jabba the Hutt, Shyla Varad, Vinto Hreeda, Regular HK Assasssin Droids, Greedo, Elite Gamorrean Guards, Black Market)

Yet another similar matchup, this time even featuring Greedo! We played One Man’s Trash, with Anthony setting up on the inside. The early game saw Anthony’s Gamorreans open up the door and take the terminal, while my hunters had an argument over who should open my own. Eventually, Greedo decided to go an take the bottom terminal, whilst Shyla took on the duty of door opener. She took some heavy hits from the HKs, but it did allow the Rancor to push the Gamorreans off the terminal, securing me both at the end of the first round.

The second round was where all the action happened. My Rancor began with brutality on the HK Assassin Droid, turning him into rubble. When the Rancor moved in to devour Greedo, he nimbly dodged out the way. A final Wild Fury focused attack obliterated a wounded Gamorrean (who had been cleaved earlier). That surviving Gamorrean ran up to hack and finish off Shyla, but fell one short. Things were looking good.

The MVP of Anthony’s team.

My Shyla whipped Greedo towards her and rolled a solid hit, but again, the X showed up, and Greedo escaped unscathed yet again, before promptly finishing off the Mandalorian. The Nexu clawed at the piggy, before my own Vinto finished him off and wounded Greedo (who, again, dodged one of the attacks). Unfortunately, the enemy Shyla snuck under the Rancor, using the Element of Surprise and Tools for the Job to obliterate Vinto. Things were looking good…for Anthony.

Things were looking even better for him when his Vinto managed to take out my Greedo in a single activation, before Greedo had activated! It didn’t take long for my Nexu and stunned and bleeding Rancor to succumb to Anthony’s remaining forces.

I’m not sure there’s much else I could have done differently in this game. I don’t feel as though I made any significant errors; the defense die favoured Anthony during this game, and that was it. I feel bad reducing the game to that, because Anthony played the game well as well. But, hey, that’s the game we play, and I still enjoyed this one a lot.

It also made me realise that my team doesn’t like opening doors, something which came up in my final game as well.


Round 3 vs ??? (Jedi Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Gideon Argus, C-3PO, Elite Rebel Troopers, Jyn Odan, Balance of the Force)

We were playing Reprogrammed on Training Ground (I know it’s not in the current rotation, but let’s ignore that fact), and I set up inside. My opponent ran most of his army around to the top of the map, but decided to shoot at the door with his Rebel Troopers. This unfortunately for him opened the way for my Rancor to snack on some rebels, while the rest of my team prepared for battle with the powerful young Jedi.

Luke took some heavy damage in the second round, forcing him to get a single attack in before retreating back to the terminal. Leia and the Rebel Trooper tried to make some stuff happen, and the Nexu and Vinto went down under some heavy blaster fire. It wasn’t enough, and with the Rancor now devouring Gideon and another trooper while the hunters dealt with the other rebels, it was all over.


Round 4 vs Josh(?) (2 Elite Jet Troopers w/ Targeting Computer, 2 Dewback Riders, Captain Terro w/ Feeding Frenzy, 2 Regular Imperial Officers, Rule by Fear, Zillo Technique)

A rematch with my nationals finals opponent! We did battle in the ISB Headquarters, playing To Your Stations! (my favourite map and mission). I set up on the side with the little cabin, which Jabba sat nicely in.

From the getgo, I was feeling the pressure; Josh’s insane mobility made it hard for me to open doors without copping many powerful attacks, while he was easily able to take the double turret room. The first round ended with my Nexu getting shot at by a Jet Trooper, and him holding two turrets. I had made the choice not to open any doors, and instead go for the third turret, due to me not having a good door opener (though Greedo could have worked) and not wanting to engage in a corridor shootout on turn one (which I would surely lose).

It was all for nothing, however. Josh’s Jet Troopers went first, and managed to eliminate Vinto, Greedo AND the Nexu with a combination of two attacks, a Grenade and Overrun. Shyla dealt a heavy blow in return, but Terro’s Flamethrower and another two attacks spelled her doom. I was already down to just the Rancor and Jabba!

While the Rancor did some serious work (managing to take out two Jet Troopers and Terro before it had taken a single point of damage), all the points from the rest of my team and holding the two turrets meant that Josh took the game at the end of the third round, finishing off Jabba to add insult to injury.

The Jet Troopers are a little better than I imagined, mainly because Overrun is absurd with them. I’m still not sold that they’re the be all and end all, but I consider them a respectable addition to the Imperial army.


And that was that. At 2-2, I was a little disappointed with how the team fared, but the fun of the day easily washed that away. I had a ton of fun fielding my first fully painted army, and going crazy with the Rancor. It really proved itself in my eyes, and I was pretty happy with each of the hunters on my team as well. The regular Nexu was a bit of a let down, but it was a filler anyway. He’ll have to make room for something else next time!

Thanks for tuning in, and until next time, MTFBWY!

Bonus: My Rancor (I’m quite pleased with the paint job)

*all images courtesy of imperial-assault.wikia.com and Fantasy Flight Games.





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