As superionrx said the “Squad center (SC) is the most powerful defensive weapon rebels have (and imps)” (click here). Nothing can stop an attack in its tracks like a squad center full of snipers. While your heavies are 7 spaces away from the shield, the snipers sit 10 spaces away from the heavies, comfortably under a shield. Your whole load out can disappear in seconds. So, how do you prevent that disaster? Baiting the squad center.
Once you’re in level 7, the vast majority of your opponents are in a squad, and so you have to assume the squad center is full. Even if the SC is undergoing an upgrade, there could still be troops inside. Troops that are in the SC when the upgrade begins, stay inside until they’re killed.
Bait – There are 3 troops I like to use as bait: a reg (Rebel Soldier), a Wookiee, and a pathfinder. Your goal is to get your bait to enter ring around the SC that will trigger the troops to be deployed. You do have to get fairly close. The ring is smaller than it appears to be in your own base map. Ideally, use the reg for bait because they’re cheap and most people have a few of them in their load out. I most often use the Wookiee as bait. The reason is that Wookiees will bypass all the buildings on the outer edge of the base and run toward the closest turret, which may be deep within the base. Pathfinders will do the same, but they go for resources. Resources are usually on the outside of the base, but sometimes they’re on the inside. Pathfinders are fragile, but they’re fast. Even though they die quickly, they can sometimes get to the middle of a base to trigger the SC in time before they fall.
Walls – Imps love to box their SC within walls. This prevents the SC troops to be baited and leave the walled area. I often use an X-wing to destroy the part of the wall that I want my bait to run through or that I want the SC troops to emerge from.
Shields – Shields can make it really hard to destroy the walls surrounding the SC. Even if there is a part of wall that is exposed, it may be far enough from the SC that even if the Wookiee ran through at that point, it wouldn’t make it to the SC ring. I usually skip bases where this is the case. This has actually become more difficult for Imps since the recent update that made shields smaller.
Traps – I’ve noticed some Imps have realized how we bait their SC and more importantly where we drop our SC bait. They are starting to put 1-2 traps right at the spot where you want to put your bait. So, when the spot to drop my bait is a little too obvious, I’ll drop a reg there first to set off the trap, and then I’ll drop my bait.
2nd Bait – Once the SC is triggered, the SC troops will lock onto what tripped it and tear it to shreds. It will then lock onto the next troop that is dropped and pursue it even if other troops are dropped. The best 2nd bait is a reg. The best is when there’s a building in a corner that the reg can work on. That will keep the bait in place and help destroy part of the base too.
In the absence of a building, I used to use a med in the corner. The med will stay still until an infantry is dropped. This is nice, but there are 2 problems. Once you do drop infantry, the med will had straight for your infantry and the SC troops will follow it. The other problem is that meds are valuable and 2nd bait can often be killed. I watched one of my squadmates use a reg as 2nd bait even though there wasn’t a building for it to target. The reg will jog toward the closest building, but you can usually kill the SC troops before they get to the reg.
Killing the SC troops – Once the 2nd bait has been placed and the SC troops have ran outside the main base area into the open, I use sharps to hit the SC troops. I use 3 sharps, but a lot of people use 1 or 2 without any difficulty. The worst situation is when the SC troops kill the 2nd bait before your sharps can kill them, and then your sharps are going head-to-head with SC troops. That can just ruin your whole attack. For me, this works about 95% of the time. Nothing works perfectly every time.
Placement of 2nd Bait – As I said, I most often place my 2nd bait at a corner building. I used to just pick whichever corner was furthest away from the SC so I had plenty of open space to kill them. The problem is that once the sharps are done killing, they will go after the closest building to help destroy the base. Too often they were attacking from a side completely different than the rest of my troops. They were pretty much wasted for the rest of the battle. One of my squad mates suggested putting my 2nd bait in the same relative area that the rest of the troops would be deployed, and then the sharps can be part of the main force once they’ve killed the SC troops.
The Trouble with Sharps – Sharpshooters don’t always target what you want them to. They will go after any and all infantry before attacking the mech (MHCs, ATATs, probe droids). If you have probe droids surrounded by a dozen stormtroopers, the sharps could still be picking off stormies and the probe droid will have killed your 2nd bait. When I encounter probe droids, I usually use heavies to kill them. Also, Sharps see the droideka as infantry. Even if an MHC is coming out of the SC, they will ignore it if there’s a live droideka anywhere on the base.
HWK-290 – I always carry a HWK along with my X-wings. The HWK’s main ability is to take out infantry (not mech) over a large area (splash area = 2). My HWK is level 6, but it has no problem taking out level 8 troops. It doesn’t matter how many there are, it will wipe them all out. I have noticed it doesn’t always take all the troops out if the troops are in between buildings, so wait until they’re in the open. Also, it drops its bomb slowly, so be sure to aim for where they will be in a couple seconds.
ATAT in the SC – With the introduction of level 8, the SC could now hold 32 units, enough for an ATAT. The first time one popped out of an SC, I freaked out. I admit it. To make matters worse, Imps would surround their SC with buildings packed tightly and the ATAT couldn’t be baited to move anywhere. With the recent update to the ATAT, it can now be baited even if there are buildings in the way. In this case, I will place my 2nd bait on the complete opposite side of the base and I usually don’t worry about killing it. The ATAT is so slow, I’ll go ahead and start attacking the base, and I’ll be mostly done before the ATAT kills the 2nd bait and makes it back to the rest of my troops. Its slow speed is its biggest weakness. If I do want to kill it, sharps or heavies will knock it out in no time. X-wings have little effect on an ATAT. The target to actually hit it is small, and even if you do hit it, it will take 3 X-wings to kill the ATAT.
Please add your comments to share your own strategies to deal with squad center troops.