Star Wars Legion, One Year Later: Where is the game now?
Back in August of 2017, the 18th specifically, Fantasy Flight announced plans to raid the wallets of Star Wars fans who existed in the same niche as tabletop wargaming fans. To an excited fanbase, they revealed Star Wars Legion, a tabletop war game of their own making set in the Star Wars universe with content (thus far) ranging from Rogue One through to Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.
Their intro to the game was, “Shouts and screams echo around you—the din of pitched battle. The air smells acrid from blaster fire as lasers hiss past your squad. A scout trooper roars past on a 74-Z speeder bike, weaving between trees and firing at someone you can’t quite see through the underbrush. You raise your blaster and fire in the same direction, hoping to avoid any shrapnel. Ahead, you see Darth Vader, towering over a group of fallen Rebels strewn across the forest floor. He flicks his lightsaber forward, and your platoon charges…”
The above, however, wasn’t simply flavor text. It defined a large portion of the contents in the games Core Box which was to be its first release. The core box was brought to market on the 22nd of March, 2018.
The core box contained:
- 1 Darth Vader
- 2 x 74-Z Speeder Bikes
- 8 Basic Stormtroopers
- 2 Unit Leaders
- 2 HH-12 Rocket Troopers
- 2 DLT Troopers
- 1 Luke Skywalker
- 1 AT-RT
- 8 Basic Rebel Troopers
- 2 Unit Leaders
- 2 MPL-57 Ion Troopers
- 2 Z-6 Troopers
The core box launched alongside core expansions that provided players with extra units that were available in the box. They included AT-RT’s, additional Rebel Trooper units, 74-Z Speeder Bikes and Stormtrooper units. Launching alongside the above, were two new units not included in the corebox. The Rebel faction gained access to the T-47 Airspeeder, whereas the Imperial gained access to the AT-ST walker. All of the above launched concurrently on the 22nd of March, 2018 with the core set.
Following this, in the second wave for Q2 on April 26th and May 24th of 2018, the Empire received access to the hardy Snowtroopers of Hoth who bring impressive movement and shooting abilities with their Flamethrower and “Steady” rule. The Empire also received the General Veers Commander Expansion, who serves as a significant force multiplier, granting aim tokens to two nearby friendly units while possessing Inspire, Precise, and Sharpshooter abilities for himself.
The Rebel faction were given access to the Fleet Troopers who, with their Ready ability, gain aim tokens when they take standby actions. Giving them a useful role in defending territory and setting up ambushes. Also released was Princess Leia Organa. Possessing the Take Cover rule, Leia increases the defensive capabilities of two nearby units by giving them dodge tokens. Leia also comes with the Inspire, Nimble, and Sharpshooter rules, which all stack nicely with her powerful short range blaster pistol.
Q3 of 2018, August 23rd, September 27th and October 29th, brought a new wave of goods to both Imperial and Rebel factions.
The Rebels gained access to Rebel Commandos who make use of any available cover while boosting their cover rating, making advanced scouting maneuvers and aiming with more accuracy than their average Rebel counterpart. This was followed by Han Solo, who makes use of his iconic DL-44 blaster pistol to make two shooting attacks with Sharpshooter boosted accuracy while boosting his defence dice pool significantly thanks to his Uncanny Luck rule which allows him to reroll up to three defensive dice.
The final Rebel add-on for Q3 was the 1.4 FD Laser Cannon Team Unit. Perhaps better known as the radar dish turret from Hoth, the 1.4 FD is a stationary cannon with a standby range of 1-3 and a firing range of 1-4. Rolling five black dice when firing with Impact 2 making it a capable anti-tank weapon, the 1.4 FD can lock down territory and defend objectives from afar, while also being capable of shredding infantry squads.
The Empire gained access to their own specialists and heavy weapons on the Q3 wave, starting with the iconic Scout Troopers most commonly seen during the battle of Endor. Being able to make scouting maneuvers at the start of the battle, improving their light cover rating by one, and using their sharpshooter ability, Scouts make effective close range fighters when cover is light. With their Strike Team ability, the Scouts can deploy a Sonic Charge Saboteur, which is an AoE weapon, or a DLT-19x Sniper, which negates the target’s ability to dodge, has unlimited range, brings light armor piercing potential, and rolls two black attack dice. Imperial forces also gained access to the E-Web Heavy Blaster Team, which is a man-portable turret that throws two white, two black, and one red dice with each attack, capable of adding additional generator support to improve fire power or suppressive capabilities.
Finally for the Q3 wave, the Empire gains assistance from the bounty hunter Boba Fett, who comes to the battle with his Jump Pack which lets him bound over cover, his Arsenal ability which lets him unload with two of his many weapons. With the ability to set a Bounty on a target unit, he can gain additional victory tokens for the Empire should he assassinate the target. His Sharpshooter ability makes him all the more effective with his EE-3 Carbine, whereas his Impervious ability grants him additional defensive dice equal to the Pierce ability of his opponent.
The Q4 expansions, November 23rd and December 20th, brought new commanders and elites to both factions. The Empire’s leader, Emperor Palpatine, takes to the battlefield using his influence and dark side powers to make use of the Pulling the Strings ability, which lets him give a friendly nearby unit a free attack or move action. His Entourage of Royal Guards also come without taking up any space in your force list and orders can be issued to them at range 1-2. With the ability to ready two force powers at the end of each phase, Palapatine is a threat to any who come within range of his force lightning. The Imperial Royal Guards enter the fray as close combatants and disciplined protectors. Their charge ability coupled with their Force Pikes make them an effective melee fighting force who can hold their own at range 1-2 with their Ec-17 hold-out pistols. Their iron discipline allows them to remove two of their own suppression tokens when issued orders, and they can intercept up to two close range blaster shots, acting as living shields for their ward.
The Rebel forces receive aid from the Wookies, formidable fighters when the gap is closed. But their Expert Climber ability makes them scale terrain safely, and their Indomitable nature lets them shrug off suppression tokens during each rally step. Alongside the Wookies, Chewbacca joins the battle, making use of his Enrage ability to gain infinite courage and the Charge ability once he has taken four wounds. An Expert Climber who is Unhindered by terrain makes no area off limits to this rebel hero. The Teamwork: Han Solo ability allows Chewbacca to give or receive an aim or dodge token at the same time as Han Solo provided he’s in range, while the Guardian ability lets you intercept up to three close range blaster shots.
Q1 of 2019, January 24th and February 21st, saw the arrival of more specialists and elite units for both factions. Jyn Erso, of Rogue One fame, took to the frontlines to help the Rebels with her excellent offensive leading style. With Quick Thinking, Jyn gains both a dodge and an aim token, allowing her to fire and evade enemy fire effectively at once. Coupled with her Nimble action, she gains a dodge token each time she spends a dodge token, ensuring she keeps her head down. Her Danger Sense allows her to keep suppression tokens with the benefit of gaining extra defense dice. Sharpshooter keeps her firing accuracy while her modular weapon allows for close range and long range fire modes, which she puts to good use thanks to her ability to Infiltrate the board. Throwing out four black dice in melee combat, Jyn Erso is a threat to all but the most competent melee units.
Joining the Rebels from a command perspective are the Rebel Specialists Personnel. The Rebel Officer can grant dodge tokens to nearby units with Take Cover, Inspire them to remove suppression tokens during the rally step, and fire accurately thanks to Sharpshooter. The R5 Astromech can repair nearby friendly Vehicles, putting them back in fighting order, while the 2-1B Medical Droid can restore wounds to friendly nearby injured units, keeping them on the frontlines where they are needed.
Rebels received further assistance from the brave frontline Rebel Pathfinders. Infiltrating the battlefield and making use of their Danger Sense and Dauntless abilities, suppression manipulation to better avoid enemy fire and gain extra movement actions, the Pathfinders are hard to pin down, and harder to hit.
The Imperial version of the Specialists Personnel is effectively identical with the exception of the Spotter ability replacing the Take Cover ability on the Officer.
That’s everything that has been released thus far, and there’s more on the horizon, with Fantasy Flight showing no signs of slowing their production run of Star Wars Legion products. As it stands, we have information for upcoming content, but nobody knows just what lies beyond it just yet.
Coming soon, we have:
- Director Orson Krennic Commander Expansion
- Imperial Death Troopers Unit Expansion
- TX-225 GAVw Occupier Combat Assault Tank Unit Expansion
- X-34 Landspeeder Unit Expansion
- Sabine Wren Operative Expansion
- Bossk Operative Expansion
- Rebel Veterans Unit Expansion
- Tauntaun Riders Unit Expansion
As you’ve noticed, having read the above, Star Wars Legion has a wealth of content on offer with more coming down the pipeline. There was a noticeable dip in post release excitement given how the new releases were drip-fed to gamers, but since then it seems to have picked up again. Locally, and abroad, gamers seem to be warming to the wider array of miniatures on offer and the lower price point and miniature count required to play the game in comparison to other tabletop titles like Warhammer 40,000, which despite leaning heavily into Imperium units, has continued to release new boxed sets.
One year later, Star Wars Legion is alive, but we are yet to receive any official sales numbers from Fantasy Flight and that’s not likely to change any time soon. I’m yet to enter a gaming club and not see Legion, but it’s no 40K, and it doesn’t seem to be quite as popular as Star Wars Armada or X-wing. But those who do play Legion are invested and show no signs of throttling down. The price point (roughly £20 per squad, plus all cards and tokens etc) allows easy themed army construction and the source material provides an incredible amount of scenario-themed play. Which I’m personally still quite happy about.
Hopefully this informational piece has armed you with some knowledge for whether or not you plan on investing further, or initially, in Star Wars Legion.
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