Saturday, October 3, 2020

Getting the Most Out of Your ARC Troopers

Elite units of the Grand Republic Army, ARC Troopers are one of the deadliest operatives the clone army has at its disposal. Of course, in Legion, that's still the case. ARC Troopers fill some much needed niches for the Clones and really help fresh them out. Adding Strike Teams, unique heavy weapon upgrades, and their first Special Forces options, you honestly can't go wrong by adding them into the list. 

Rex and the boys getting ready to defend the Republic


However, how should you equip them and how do you even utilize their full potential? Well, wonder no more as that's the purpose of today's article! We're going to dissect everything the ARC Trooper box brought for the Republic, including Echoes and Fives. This unit brought a lot of awesome content to the Republic, so let's not waste anymore time and get to work....


General Tactics


ARC Troopers really excel at multiple roles. As a general purpose special forces unit in the universe of Star Wars, FFG has done a fantastic job encapsulating that. Generally speaking, though, ARCs are going to want to keep moving (thanks to Tactical 1 giving them Aims for every Move action) and they'll want to keep shooting (decent weapon profiles and Sharpshooter 1 points to this). With that in mind, we can start to picture the role that ARCs will play: run and gun. 

Generally speaking, you'll want to use ARCs to bully your opponent, push objectives, and deal some damage. They're by far the most mobile Trooper unit that Clones have with the ability to Scout 2 (or 3 with Recon Intel), access to the Jump keyword, and Tactical 1 means they're not spending an action to Aim as frequently or ever. Speaking of Aim tokens, this unit is an absolute monster if you take the DC-15x or Echo. Gaining the Lethal keyword on the squad gives them a great way to spend Aim tokens and almost always guarantee they'll eliminate at LEAST one model, especially when you consider they also have Sharpshooter 1 and Critical 1. Nothing is truly out of the scope of what ARCs can harass or eliminate. They should be your go-to problem solvers. Of course, I don't have to tell you how powerful it is in a Clone army to be able to move and generate Aim tokens, but it is important to highlight that ARCs can be an excellent source of Aims for your other units. This is particularly true considering ARCs don't really need to be spending Aims too much for themselves.

The rare and highly coveted "ARC Trooper" box, rarely seen in the wild....


However, they do have their own issues. ARC units aren't any more survivable than a squad of Phase II's (besides Impervious which can be a bit rare to trigger). They have the same Courage, Wounds, defense, and lack of Surge. You're paying 12 points more than a Phase II squad to have the same basic resiliency and slightly better resiliency against attacks with Pierce. You're paying 20 points over a Phase I squad for the same effects except with one additional Courage. The point here is that, yes, ARCs are exceptionally good at what they do, but they aren't any more resilient than your other Clone units. They'll be public enemy number one for your opponent and if you want to keep using them, you need to protect them. They definitely need to stay in cover and try not to draw too much fire to themselves by keeping themselves out of trouble. This is why ARCs lend themselves to more of a flanking and kiting kind of play. They want to use their mobility and superior firepower to stay out of trouble and shut down enemy units. They don't want to run up the middle of the table and take four units worth of attacks. ARCs work better if they're going up the side and can only be seen by a couple of units.

Think of your ARCs like a unit of ninjas. They don't really want to be seen until they're ready to attack, they like to sneak around the battlefield, and they require minimal support to get the job done but they don't mind if they do get some help. 


Builds and Tactics


Strike Teams


These rascals are probably going to be your go-to when you bring ARCs in a list. Being a cheap activation, a great source of Aims, and an excellent way to eliminate enemy models every turn, it's hard to not justify taking them! The only thing that does suck about ARC Strike Teams compare to other faction's is that you really only have one choice for a heavy weapon; pseudo-sniper. The question is do you want the unique pseudo-sniper, Echo, to add an additional wound, Reliable, and two red dice instead of one red and one black for an additional 9 points or the regular one?  You're more than likely not going to take Rex in a Strike Team unless you just really wanted to pad out your list and  have a cheap little squad to harass your opponent with.

A Strike Team's best friend
(credit to Tabletop Admiral)


Hide this little unit far away from your opponent and use them to snipe out enemy threats. Thanks to Tactical, it also means this unit has little to no issue moving and still being potent unlike other Strike Teams in the game. They can easily keep kiting enemy units while they advance up the table and your Strike Team remains out of range. Tack on some upgrades and you can make an absolute monster of a unit that'll be applying Suppression and Wounds to whatever you want every turn and taking minimal damage in return.
  • Target Eliminated: If you really want to be a jerk and hunt enemy characters (preferably not ones who can deflect), slap on Hunter and you'll have absolutely no problem taking them out. 
  • Long Range Protection: We've already discussed the fun gimmick of having your mortar team using Overwatch and a Standby off of a friendly nearby squad, so why not your snipers too? This does require your Strike Team to quit kiting and remain closer to the rest of your units, but it can be truly devastating to have your Strike Team shoot multiple times a turn.
And honestly, those really are the only upgrades you should be taking on your Strike Teams, if you even take that. Strike Teams don't get nearly the same effectiveness out of most upgrades as a regular unit would, so save the points and apply those upgrades to your Corp units or a regular squad of ARCs.


Regular Squad


As mentioned in the General Tactics section, a regular squad of ARCs is highly customizable and can fit almost any need you'd have. However, you need to remember that the primary role of your ARCs is to outflank and attack. Make sure you kit them out with stuff that will help them in their role and not try to have your ARCs fill too many roles. Legion's not a game that rewards expensive utilitarian units too much, it's more about units that are focused and inexpensive. It's easy to go overboard with upgrades for your ARCs, so do your best not to!
  • Mobile Gun Platform: The biggest selling point of ARCs is their mobility, so give them Offensive Push and the Jetpack to really accent this. This will allow them to ignore most terrain while moving and gain two Aims for moving on turns where it's critical, such as on turns when using the pistols. This loadout could also benefit from having Targeting Scopes and your choice of "heavy weapon" (i.e. Fives, Echo, or DC-15x), but then you're over 125 points.
  • A Good Defense: Since Clones currently lack a decent squad to act as a bullet sponge, you -could- turn a squad of ARCs into that role. The key here is to give them Duck and Cover as well as Echo, then use the Surge from Echo for defending (plus he does add an additional two wounds to the squad). While not ideal, it could be an excellent tactic for when Clones receive their medic later on and you want to make sure your Corps units stay at full strength for nabbing objectives. Your opponent will be frustrated enough with how effective the unit is at combat, it'd be hard for them to ignore the squad, but it'll also be hard to remove them, especially on turns when they have Phase II's they can pull Surge tokens from.
Credit to Tabletop Admiral for the picture

  • A True Hammer: Take your preferred pseudo-sniper and Hunter. Unlike with the Strike Team though, you don't mind getting this unit within the typical range 3 range-band as it only helps with the offensive output of the unit and phew! Does that hurt! Any characters or units with multiple wounds (looking at you B2's, Taun-Tauns, and Wookies) will be in a world of hurt. Worse case scenario, you can always split the squad's shots to have the DC-15x shoot at something different than the rest of the squad.
  • Thorn in the Side: While entirely gimmicky, this loadout can be a lot of fun to play around with! Jetpacks are mandatory as you'll need to be getting in close. Take Comms Jammer, your favorite grenade (more than likely Frags) and deal some damage up close and personal! If you play it correctly, you could even wind up dealing three Suppression that turn too (have at least one model attack with the grenade, another with the pistols, and a third with the rifle, and then split fire). I would strongly suggest against taking a Heavy Weapon as this unit will more than likely die within a turn after revealing itself with or without the Heavy Weapon.

Conclusion


ARC Troopers are a really incredible unit that add in a LOT of much needed diversity and fun to GAR. They aren't any better defensively and arguably only slightly better offensively than any other Clone unit in Legion; however, their main strength lies in versatility, mobility, and easy access to Aim tokens. Just about any weakness you have in your list, ARCs can fill that niche! Their only weakness is not being anymore survivable than your standard unit of Clones. This just means you need to be a little more careful with your ARCs than you normally would with any other unit (maybe even use a AT-RT to provide them mobile cover). Which is honestly a pretty minor complaint for everything that can bring to the table and how well they compliment the rest of a Clone heavy list. If you plan on running GAR with Clones, make sure you bring some of the Republic's finest men along for the ride and they surely won't disappoint.

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