tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-64289498213050297712021-12-12T12:08:25.007-08:00Pride of Rodina GamingA blog about the tabletop gaming experiences and thoughts of the one they call "Pride of Rodina". Come and join him on his gaming adventures!Pride of Rodinahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17902885482588392762noreply@blogger.comBlogger13125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6428949821305029771.post-79447292652029075192021-10-07T15:16:00.000-07:002021-10-07T15:16:57.804-07:00Defending the Death Star Plans with Krennic<p>Krennic is probably one of my favorite Imperial commanders in Legion, but I find regularly that he doesn't get enough credit. I will admit, he's pretty 'meh' if you don't really utilize his strengths. He's 10 points more than Veers without the support that Veers can bring and the same price as Kallus without the strength that Kallus can bring. Instead you get some niche abilities and weird command cards, but if you play your cards right (literally), you can get some great use out of him.</p><p><br /></p><p></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-N6KUWWCTKus/YV4iiOTBfWI/AAAAAAAADk0/CjEtULXnCIInNIJIKwlkyFRb1IRsqRZnQCLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" data-original-height="432" data-original-width="768" height="225" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-N6KUWWCTKus/YV4iiOTBfWI/AAAAAAAADk0/CjEtULXnCIInNIJIKwlkyFRb1IRsqRZnQCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h225/image.png" width="400" /></a></div><br /><p></p><p>Let's hunt down the Erso family, call in the Death Troopers, and deploy the garrison as we analyze how to get the most out of Krennic. We'll first be examining Krennic as a unit, then his command cards, and we'll intermix those two with synergies and list-building ideas.&nbsp;</p><span><a name='more'></a></span><h3>General Tactics</h3><div><br /></div><div>Alright, let's just get this out of the way, Krennic's not a great combatant. He's not a great support piece. He's kind of awkward in the fact that he doesn't really do much when he activates. It's all about what he brings to the meta-game of Legion. On the table, he's...just okay. Having Sharpshooter 1 and Pierce 1 is pretty decent, but the real benefits are Compel, Cunning, and Entourage: Imperial Death Troopers.</div><div><br /></div><div>These skills allow you to put together some very interesting builds for a list. Specially, Compel is an excellent ability to stack with Krennic's 3-pip that'll let you stack up Suppression on your foes while your troops are still able to perform at 100% efficiency. Cunning is another great ability that helps Krennic and your army get a little head-start on your opponent. Being able to activate first in a turn with reliability is nothing to sneeze at! Being able to keep units operating regularly even with Suppression and being able to consistently activate first in a two are already some great meta pros to Krennic, but he has another interesting ability, that Entourage. Now, Imperial Death Troopers (IDT) have kind of been on the decline for being too fragile and too expensive, but man. When they hit something, they can hit HARD. Allowing an army to have one extra Special Forces unit and being able to issue an order to a IDT unit per turn reliably is another sweet, although somewhat niche, benefit a Krennic list.</div><div><br /></div><div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vSwv69VR6So/YV4is3eoOcI/AAAAAAAADk4/jQ3HbC2fxuUVMwUE8wOEe-no4ABe-1a9wCLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" data-original-height="373" data-original-width="660" height="226" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vSwv69VR6So/YV4is3eoOcI/AAAAAAAADk4/jQ3HbC2fxuUVMwUE8wOEe-no4ABe-1a9wCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h226/image.png" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Better watch out, Krennic's always got backup!</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /></div><div>Although, as a support piece, Krennic doesn't really want to see much combat. He'd prefer hiding behind units and terrain to avoid the enemy, and provide his unique blend of peculiar meta benefits. He'll want to kind of hide, but still be close enough to units that will keep advancing, like IDTs, to keep using Compel and Entourage as needed. The real important part of keeping Krennic alive is so you can keep using Cunning, so do your best to limit line of fire to him or have a backup plan if you do. With only 6 health, white defense, and Surge: Defense he can weather a shot or two, but will go down to focus fire -easily-.</div><div><br /></div><div><h3>Equipment</h3></div><div><br /></div><div>Krennic doesn't quite have much room here to be flexible when it comes to upgrades. He only has two Command slots and one Gear slot. Gear is arguably interesting on a character who's mostly for support anyway, but never important. The Command slots are where things can get pretty spicy.</div><div><br /></div><div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Command</h4></div><div><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">With Krennic's two Command slots, his Compel ability, and his 3-pip, the most obvious choice is to give him Strict Orders. There's no way around it. Strict Orders is a decent support Command card enabling you to get more mileage out of your units and, hopefully, hurt yourself less when using the 3-pip. There's no real reason not to give him Strict Orders since it's so cheap and synergizes well. For the second slot, it's a bit interesting, but you have three interesting choices:&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">1) Aggressive Tactics. Sure, it's kind of pricey and you probably don't -need- the surges, but they can come in handy to save a Trooper's life.</div><div style="text-align: left;">2) Nothing. Sometimes going cheap is better and in this case, yeah. Going cheap on Krennic is probably the better play.</div><div style="text-align: left;">3) Esteemed Leader. Folks dislike Krennic and Krennic's kind of squishy. He's a decent force multiplier and once he's out, your opponent will try to gun him down. Having Esteemed Leader on him and some cheap Storms nearby will help him take a few hits, but it's not the ideal play. This is more if you're worried about being able to hide Krennic than anything else.</div><div><br /><br /></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Gear</h4><div><br /></div><div>I mean, let's be honest here, there's a pretty obvious and standout item you'd want to slot here; <u>Electrobinoculars</u>. As a support piece with minimal combat effectiveness and no inherent action-based support abilities, giving him one through gear is a solid choice. Krennic can then easily keep pace with your units and provide them with Aims as needed. Another interesting Gear choice would be <u>Emergency Stims</u>. Again, this will be more ideal if you struggle with line of fire and minimizing the amount of trouble a commander can get into.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div><h3>Command Cards</h3><div><br /></div>Now this is where the fun really begins! Krennic's Command Card are pretty interesting for meta tactics, but the real issue is learning when and how to use them. They're not the most intuitive, that's for sure. However, once you get the feel for them and start thinking about how to build around them, you can pull off some really interesting combinations.</div><div><br /></div><div><h4>Voracious Ambition (1-Pip)</h4><div><br /></div><div>This card is probably the most straight forward of the three, but it's still quite powerful. If you have any ways to provide Orders outside of the Command Card (like with HQ Uplink or Krennic's Entourage), you can make this card pretty powerful. Being able to pull three random tokens from your pool and then set them aside provides a decent amount of activation control. Especially when you combine the fact that this is a 1-pip and Krennic has Cunning, you'll almost always get to activate first with a little bit of activation control. This is usually pretty rare for playing a 1-pip as you typically have very little activation control.&nbsp;</div></div><div><br /></div><div>Plus, immediately being able to thin down your pool by giving an order to Krennic and setting aside three other orders helps immensely if you want to draw from the pool. Even if you do randomly pull three Corp, for example, onto Voracious Ambition, you can more reliably pull out your heavier hitters and you'll be able to consistently activate Corp units. The main downside is you aren't issuing any units an Order with Voracious, besides Krennic. It just adds a little more consistency and reliability which is always helpful in a game with chance involved. There's no real grand synergy or strategy for this card, it's just a tool and can be use on any turn you would appreciate a bit more consistency or the ability to go first (barring any other Cunning commanders or Han Solo's '1'-pip).</div><div><br /></div><div><h4>Deploy the Garrison (2-Pip)</h4><div><br /></div>Now this is an interesting card. It allows Krennic to issue orders to two Troopers, but it says any friendly Troopers with a faceup order may perform a free Standby action. You can get a bit more mileage out of this card if you also take the <u>Overwatch</u> training upgrade, but you won't have to. You really want to use this card once you get a little further into the game, like around turns three or four. This means you should have Troopers that are already in range 2 of some important units or objectives. If you play your cards correctly, you'll be able to get extra shots off this turn allowing you to boost your offensive power for whatever turn you play Deploy the Garrison and that's super slick! Imagine being able to use your Snowtrooper flamethrower twice in one turn. There is are a few issues though.</div><div><br /></div><div>The first major concern is you can lose Standby if you receive a Suppression. Standby states that you can use it after an enemy attack, but if they attack as the first part of their activation and put a Suppression on the unit, you lose that Standby. Of course, this doesn't only apply for attacks too, the rules simply state if they gain a Suppression from -anything-. However, it's not strictly a bad thing. This means you're forcing your opponent to spend actions coming up with ways to remove those Standbys which could include forcing your opponent to perform a weaker attack (not being able to Aim) to shoot at your Standby units first. It's more of a catch-22 than an explicit force multiplier. You force your opponent to either allow you a free shot or perform a sequence of action they don't exactly want to perform, forcing activation control. Another interesting trick about this play is then you are forcing your opponent to deal with this unit, so you can keep Royal Guard nearby to soak up damage or put the Standby on a unit to tank the damage themselves, essentially using a taunt.</div><div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jYC7QU31FUk/YV4lVsZs9vI/AAAAAAAADlE/-00m49E61ewrLnSI0XkmpDRDbUldkNS9ACLcBGAsYHQ/243708019_905542640097644_5378563070560093250_n.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="960" height="300" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jYC7QU31FUk/YV4lVsZs9vI/AAAAAAAADlE/-00m49E61ewrLnSI0XkmpDRDbUldkNS9ACLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h300/243708019_905542640097644_5378563070560093250_n.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">When things go really wrong, Krennic's not afraid to deploy the whole garrison</td></tr></tbody></table></div><div><br /></div><div>The second not-so-fun point against this card is that the Standbys can be avoided by trying to out-active your units with the Standbys. If your opponent doesn't want to get shot, they'd just have to stay out of the range (either two normally or three with <u>Overwatch</u>) or wait to activate any units that are already in range until you activate your Standby units. This can, in turn, enforce activation control on you, especially if you put the Standbys on a heavy-hitting unit (like Death Troopers) and now you're trying to wait your opponent out with that heavy-hitter until a unit at range 2 activates. The way to avoid this is make sure if you do put the Standby on a heavy-hitter, you don't mind having them wait or make sure they're close to a unit you know your opponent will activate soon. The other part of this is to put the Standbys on units who you can still dish damage with, but you aren't too worried about when they'll activate.</div><div><br /></div><div><h4><b>Annihilation Looms (3-Pip)</b></h4><div><b><br /></b></div><div>Now this is where things get really interesting! Let's get the basic information out of the way first: you get to issue Orders to Krennic himself and then two units (doesn't even specify Trooper). Then, -every- Trooper Unit on the table gains one Suppression. However, if it's past turn 5, they gain two Suppression instead. Now, you might be thinking to yourself 'why would I want to add Suppression on my own units? That sounds useless!' You wouldn't exactly be wrong, but the real benefit is you can prepare and build a list around it, while your opponent can't. That's when things can get pretty spicy! It's another reason why <u>Strict Orders</u>&nbsp;is such a handy card on him when coupled with his Compel ability.To really get the most out of this card, it helps to pad out your list with sources of Suppressive or try to pile up as much Suppression as you can before the turn you decide to use the card. It's why you see Bossk in a decent amount of Krennic lists.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tN6VcYyrNmo/YV4mdj4Xj1I/AAAAAAAADlM/71B2kN2MeREykQYuK8AGF_hc1NsyMVFrQCLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" data-original-height="460" data-original-width="330" height="400" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tN6VcYyrNmo/YV4mdj4Xj1I/AAAAAAAADlM/71B2kN2MeREykQYuK8AGF_hc1NsyMVFrQCLcBGAsYHQ/w287-h400/image.png" width="287" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Such a beautiful card, name, and ability<br />Credit to <a href="https://tabletopadmiral.com/" target="_blank">Tabletop Admiral</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /></div><div>However, there are a few problems with the card that can kind of make it a trap. Enemy units with Danger Sense can really take the wind out of your sails with this card. In fact, they'll even thank you for helping them get more Suppression (unless you were fortunate enough to time the card right with being able to Panic those Danger Sense units)! You'll definitely need to be cognizant of that. Another issue is you need to make sure you don't accidentally Panic your own units. Try to keep lower Courage units closer to Krennic, so they can benefit from his Courage when checking their Panic threshold. The last little bit is the two Suppression on turns 5+. This will mostly depend on you and the current state of things, but you won't really care about crippling your opponent at this point. It's a bit of a trap, as you should try to use this card sooner than later to cripple your opponent's action economy sooner to give you a snow-balling advantage.</div></div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><div><h3>Conclusion</h3><div><br /></div>Sure, Krennic isn't Kallus. He's more fragile, he's not as beefy in any form of combat, but Krennic brings a few unique tools to the game that Kallus can't. If you enjoy those meta-strategies and being able to build your list around them, then Krennic will be the commander for you. He's got some really interesting possible list options and you can really capitalize on his Command Cards to do some interesting things with them. Krennic's obviously not the best commander available to Empire, but he's probably one of the more unique commanders in the game with his focus on meta-tactics rather than contributing much to the playing field. If you really enjoy meta-tactics and having a cool piece to build around when it comes to list-building, Krennic won't disappoint!</div>Pride of Rodinahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17902885482588392762noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6428949821305029771.post-90853509907007127612021-07-31T15:57:00.003-07:002021-10-06T15:12:32.389-07:00What Makes a Great Game Great?<p>Everyone has their own opinion on what makes a game great or even what they would uphold as the epitome of a 'great game'. However, it's a lot harder to actually describe -why- they think a game's great. Even for me, it can be extremely difficult to explain why I do or do not enjoy a game (hence why I scrapped my Fallout: Wasteland Warfare review), but today's article won't be about any game, for a change, in particular. It'll be about all games.&nbsp;</p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PiLrcEZm7fc/YQXQFVMJzfI/AAAAAAAADi4/krt8n2yDuG4eAv3dz_IlSZjAjbsuqFw7wCLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" data-original-height="467" data-original-width="700" height="266" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PiLrcEZm7fc/YQXQFVMJzfI/AAAAAAAADi4/krt8n2yDuG4eAv3dz_IlSZjAjbsuqFw7wCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h266/image.png" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">You already know I feel about Legion....</td></tr></tbody></table><br />As someone who's spent a lot of time critiquing games, I figured it was about time I finally wrote out what I enjoy and don't enjoy about games. This will obviously be more of a meta piece, analyzing tabletop gaming as a whole, rather than any specific game or even genre. I feel as someone who's been reviewing and critiquing games, it's important to be upfront about what I'm looking for in a game to consider it 'good' and enjoyable for me. This way you can continue reading my reviews/critiques and understand the bias that I'm writing from and say to yourself "pffff, Pride of Rodina! Of course you'd say that, because you love your illusions of choice, you rascal," rather than "What the heck, PoR? Why would you think it's a good thing that Legion has a bunch of upgrades that you'll almost never take except in niche circumstances?" I've always thought it was important to understand the bias of a reviewer to help frame their work and I wish more folks would do that (I understand the irony of me typing that sentence since it's been about a year since I wrote a review and know this piece, but I definitely planned on writing this a LOT sooner). Maybe it's because I come from a social science background, that I think understanding bias is important? Who knows, but let's get to real prime rib of today's meal!<p></p><span><a name='more'></a></span><p>For ease of convenience, here's a breakdown of what we'll be discussing:</p><p></p><ul style="text-align: left;"><li>'Great Game' Clichés</li><li>Customization</li><li>Individuality</li><li>Strong Theme</li><li>Meaningful Choices</li><li>Depth Within Limits</li></ul><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">'Great Game' Clichés</h3><div><br /></div><div>Whenever you ask someone what makes a great game, you always hear the same few things: perfect balance, affordability, and a good community. I'll refer to these as the 'great game' clichés. Of course a 'great' game would have all three of those, but they're not always obtainable because, sadly, we don't live in a perfect utopia and idealism only gets us so far. Idealism doesn't breed greatness, it only breeds disappointment. I don't, honestly, see these as negative points against a game, so let's talk about why I think these are clichés and how I think we should move away from these being our default answers.</div><div><br /></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Perfect Balance</h4><div><br /></div><div>Ideally, having perfect balance for a game is -great-, right? I want to know that when I'm bringing a list with the same amount of points as my opponent, that it should boil down to our skill and tactics. I don't want the game to come down to who played the superior faction or spammed the better options. However, there's a definite diminishing return that you get with balance and then it starts to impede on the enjoyability of the game. The old pinnacle of rebuttals to 'perfect balance' is 'why don't you just go play Chess then', but I do think this is an interesting point. Chess is a perfectly balanced game, but it's not exactly my idea of a great game. I think a great game strives to achieve as much balance as possible, but it won't be -perfectly- balanced. This allows room for customization, meaningful choices, and individuality, which we'll discuss later on. Star Wars: Legion, Bushido: Risen Sun and Infinity are prime examples of well-balanced games, but not perfectly balanced games. While during the game players have the same options, while building an army you're presented with difference choices that tip the scales of balance one way or another and I love that! It's really hard for game designers to achieve perfect balance in a game without limiting players' options and I'd much rather have options than perfect balance in my games. The true key to obtaining good balance is to have a game that evaluates its metas and adjusts things as needed.</div><div><br /></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Affordability</h4><div><br /></div><div>Ah yes, not having to sell your own organs on the black market to afford a luxury hobby. We can all respect that and I doubt anyone will argue against it. That's why it's in this section. Of course we all want to be able to afford the game we want to play, but I don't think we should use that as a measure of whether or not a game's great. I think it should help encourage people if it is and deter them if it isn't, but we shouldn't evaluate the game itself on the price of its plastic (or whole package for games without minis). I'd also like to take this opportunity to point out that some games can trap you with the idea of it being affordability and it's really not. I've built entire Warhammer 40,000 armies for cheaper than some of my well optimized Infinity lists and it comes down to various factors. Just because a game looks unaffordable or affordable doesn't mean it really is, so judging the quality of the game on that is a disservice. Try to be smart about your purchasing, research options, and ask the respective communities for purchasing help. Buying used can be a great idea (especially if the minis are metal as they're super easy to clean) or even splitting purchases with friends or locals to help bring costs down. There are ways to make the more expensive games more affordable, if you play your cards correctly. However, let's be honest here for a minute, Games-Workshop should definitely reduce their prices....</div><div><br /></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Good Community</h4><div><br />Now this is a tough one. Having a decent community is extremely important for your own enjoyment of a game, that's for sure. This is especially true when it comes to your local community, but I don't think you should judge a game by its community. It's easy enough to detach from global communities and focus just on your local ones, but if that's not an option? Then that's when this gets tricky. Building a community or trying to build a better community isn't exactly a task that everyone's up for. However, I hear this complaint leveraged against Warhammer frequently, "I don't play the game because the community is so toxic", etc. That's not the game's fault and I personally feel like it's a bad excuse. To use Warhammer again, the game is so popular that there are SEVERAL different communities you could join. To use a personal example, I grew very tired and drained of Infinity's global community, so I hunkered down and focused more on local groups and groups revolving around the factions I played. It's incredibly easy to find a group where you feel at home. Social media has made this incredibly easy to join and create communities, and I highly recommend you do! The real problem is if you don't have a great local community. I can't fault anyone for not playing a game if you don't have anyone fun to play it against. As I've mentioned before, this can be a self-fulfilling prophecy and I highly recommend you either encourage the better individuals of a toxic community to join a new one with you or to try your hand at running demos. I had a lot of fun running demos for Infinity before, but it is a lot of hard work.</div><div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-K4gT7Rpveyg/YQXRQB5CQ0I/AAAAAAAADjM/v15lATqydnUVjidZOE-k8rFavmSRUkzewCLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" data-original-height="646" data-original-width="1246" height="333" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-K4gT7Rpveyg/YQXRQB5CQ0I/AAAAAAAADjM/v15lATqydnUVjidZOE-k8rFavmSRUkzewCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h333/image.png" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">A fantastic community on Facebook, a surprisingly great place to find gaming communities</td></tr></tbody></table></div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">Customization</h3><div><br /></div><div>Alright, now we're talking! Finally hitting one of our main tenants of a 'great game': customization. What I mean by 'customization' is the ability for the player to customize their play experience to their own wants. For example, this could simply be the ability to allow players to build their own forces or decks. It could also be for more complex things, like Battletech, where a player can customize their experience by including various rules or even growing your force using the official campaign system. Of course, this is kind of the baseline for a lot of games, but it's why I particularly enjoy tabletops. There are a lot of games (specifically boardgames) where you don't really get to customize your experience. It's already pre-packaged for your enjoyment and that's great. However, for me, the ability to customize the game experience is the main reason why I -enjoy- tabletop gaming and it's the degree of customization is definitely a factor in how positively I view a game.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-dy0ckhsCd50/YQXR3IP9p2I/AAAAAAAADjY/LGt5NI23mi8y2WbICCh7O7xarKXZV9icgCLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" data-original-height="768" data-original-width="768" height="400" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-dy0ckhsCd50/YQXR3IP9p2I/AAAAAAAADjY/LGt5NI23mi8y2WbICCh7O7xarKXZV9icgCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h400/image.png" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">You can fit a whole lot of customization rules in this bad boy!</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /></div><div><br /></div><div>Take Star Wars: Legion. In that game you can customize your troops quite a bit from a modeling perspective and to a list perspective with all of the various upgrades that you can use to build out a list. Then you have the narrative or more competitive modes of play with the ability to easily tack on your own custom rules for campaigns or even linked games using X-Wing, Armada, etc. When you compare this to Infinity, where you can't customize what a model takes, but you can still pick and choose what you take in a list, you can see why Legion rates higher than Infinity for me and that's my bias showing. Being able to customize your lists down to upgrades is the main reason why I still play Games-Workshop games, even though I know they're the miniature gaming equivalent of junk food. With all of this customization, you're able to create a truly individualized experience, which leads us to the next point....</div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">Individuality</h3><div><br /></div><div>Another huge part of what makes me truly enjoy a game is the ability for the player to truly create something unique. Being able to customize my gaming experience means nothing if I can't also make it genuinely mine. Again, I'm going to use Battletech for this example. There are so many options in Battletech that you can easily create a signature force for yourself using your favorite mechs. On top of that, you can create your own lore for your little force of mechs or, better yet, create your own mechs and mech loadouts. Hardly any Battletech player will use the exact same force as another, even if they are playing the same faction. It's another reason why I love cardgames a lot. It's so easy to make a deck feel like it's yours, no matter what game you're playing. Even if you're playing the same class or even investigator as another player in Akrham Horror the LCG, you both could easily play entirely different decks depending on your personal playstyles.</div><div><br /></div><div>Just because a game allows you to customize your playing experience doesn't necessary make it your own. Wild West Exodus can have its problems with allowing players to make individualized forces using its posse system. Sometimes a posse can be diverse enough to allow players to really spice things up or it can be so rigid to the point where there's only one slot for customization and the rest will be the same mandatory 5 characters. In fact, a lot of miniature games are really bad about this because of poor balance or because of the way they require you to build lists or to build towards mission play. Warhammer 40,000 is a great example of a game that can lack in individuality when you want to build a solid army because of poor balance and Infinity is an example of a game that can lack it due to how you should try to maximize orders and fill up on specialists for most missions.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>Sorry, I don't have a clever segue for this next one, so let's just get straight to it!</div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">Strong Theme</h3><div><br /></div><div>Now this one might seem a little out there, but I promise, it's -super- important. I honestly find it hard to get into a game if that game doesn't have a strong and unique aesthetic or feeling to it. Luckily a lot of games are pretty good at making their own IPs or borrowing other unique IPs for their games, but there are some games I just can't get into because I find the theme or aesthetic too weak. Deep Wars by Antimatter Games (<a href="https://antimatter-games.com/deepwars/" target="_blank">link</a> for those who've never heard of it) is a game that has always appealed to me since I first found out about it. The theme, background, and aesthetic alone entice me every single time I think about picking up a new game. When I was a teenager, the dark and gritty theme of 40k beckoned to me like a siren call. The fact that Wild West Exodus is a crazy and wild adventure through an alternate history is what really appealed to me. Arkham Horror the LCG being based off of Lovecraft's works drew me in and keeps me coming back. Plus, I'm a huge nerd for Star Wars, so of course Star War Legion got my attention (once they finally upped the quality of their sculpts). Lastly, Bot Wars (another <a href="https://tradersgalaxy.com.au/learn-about-the-bot-war-factions/" target="_blank">link</a>), a game I recently preordered the new starter set for, REALLY drew me in with that 80's cartoon theme. Having a strong theme is by far one of the best ways to get my attention and it's how I'm lured to games most of the time and how I keep feeling engrossed by them.</div><div><br /></div><div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-rYop2HJ0QYA/YQXSHKP5-zI/AAAAAAAADjg/avq9hoxkHK42uR-3EGyEPNwqWzXg0tfNwCLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" data-original-height="200" data-original-width="252" height="318" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-rYop2HJ0QYA/YQXSHKP5-zI/AAAAAAAADjg/avq9hoxkHK42uR-3EGyEPNwqWzXg0tfNwCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h318/image.png" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">I mean, look, this game is literally <i>dripping </i>with theme</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /></div><div>Every once and a while you see a game that crops up with that generic fantasy or sci-fi setting and it's really hard for me to feel engrossed enough to dive in. Or sometimes the game's theme is just interesting enough that it piques my curiosity, but never enough to really draw me in because its theme is a little lackluster. A lot of the time its because the aesthetic of the game pieces isn't strong enough or the backstory for the game is riddle with tropes. I think Summoner Wars is a great example of a game with just an interesting enough theme to draw me in, but it wasn't the main reason. If you look surface level at the game, you'll see a lot of your typical fantasy-tropes, but they do a good bit to play with those tropes. For example, in the new second edition set, they have Savannah Elves and Polar Dwarves. I don't think I've ever seen the idea of elves running around with lions and rhinos while dwarves force forts out of ice and use ice golems as walking forts before and it felt refreshing. Then you get your stereotypical holy knights and undead legions decks to bring it back to those fantasy trope roots. While the theme of Summoner Wars can be a little weak at times, I really fell in love with the game for all of the choices you have to make as a player and this brings us to the next section!</div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">Meaningful Choices</h3><div><br /></div><div>This might actually be one of the most important things I look for in a game and it's probably one of the hardest things to parse out until you're already invested in it. Games offer players a ludicrous amount of choices, but a great game is one that can offer players choices that actually matter. What I mean by this is that you're provided with a set amount of things you can do or options that you can toss into your list or deck and most of those things/options are actually worth choosing. Games can be quite notorious for offering players with choices, but few of them are truly worth considering. If you've ever played a Games-Workshop game, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you've ever played Magic: the Gathering, then you also know what I'm talking about. The sign of a genuinely great game is when they can provide that list and make them all feel worth it or at least worth it in specific scenarios (note, I didn't say niche scenarios).</div><div><br /></div><div>Probably one of the best examples I can think of for this are Star Wars: Legion and the boardgame Nemesis. Both of these games give players a stupid amount of choices to make with several options, but each of these options feel important or you'd understand why they'd be important in uncommon scenarios (again, not niche or rare). It's also why I have no problem calling either of them great games because they can provide you with meaningful choices. Of course, this can be a bit of a subjective matter, but it's no doubt a main factor into what makes me consider a game great or not. It's why 40k and Age of Sigmar will probably never be great in my eyes and it's why Infinity teeters on the fence for me. Sure, you're provided a fair amount of meaningful choices while playing the game (sometimes too many), but the game really struggles to provide meaningful choices during list building. You can have so many profiles and units, but so few of them are actually ever taken. In fact, Infinity almost has too much depth for its own good and that can hurt its ability to provide meaningful choices because a lot of the options overlap and this is why we have our last section.</div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">Depth Within Limits</h3><div><br /></div><div>Alright, now this might be the most subjective and hardest to convey, but here it goes. This criteria means that a game needs to know when is too much and to understand that it can't be everything, but it still needs to be able to have some depth. Marvel: Crisis Protocol is an excellent example of a game that isn't too deep, but still has depth within limits. The game sells itself on a simple game system and layers complexity on top of it with unique character abilities. However, it doesn't get too crazy with this by staying within its simple framework and slightly tweaking the same abilities to make them somewhat unique for each character. A lot of characters will have a throw terrain and/or enemy models ability. All characters have a basic attack to help generate power and almost all of them can generate power equivalent to the damage dealt. Dropzone Commander is a game that's actually really deep, but stays within its limits by not going too crazy. There's so much to manage and understand in Dropzone as list building can be a little hectic trying to make sure you have units to take on each role as well as ways to get them on the table. Then each faction maintains individuality by adding their own ways to play and rules for added depth. The last prime example I have of depth with limits is Star Wars: Legion again. There are so many layers to the game, it can be really daunting when you get into it. From the bid for first player, list building, upgrades, how to issue orders, and even building your mission decks, but it doesn't go crazy with it. Sure, it can sometimes really push those limits with the dizzying amount of upgrades and keywords, but it does so with purpose. All of these parts add up to make an interesting metagame that adds layers of depth and complexity that feel like they add to the game rather than hamper it.</div><div><br /></div><div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fLwCtJgurDo/YQXUOKBwIBI/AAAAAAAADjo/pBqcjw9tFfkAGKzXyPt6UcWVtB2ojBAUwCLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" data-original-height="799" data-original-width="1857" height="276" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fLwCtJgurDo/YQXUOKBwIBI/AAAAAAAADjo/pBqcjw9tFfkAGKzXyPt6UcWVtB2ojBAUwCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h276/image.png" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Example of a Dropzone Commander list</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /></div><div>However, you can easily go over the edge with this. Infinity N3 was a prime example of this. You can just look at the hacking alone to see how ridiculous they got with the depth. Several of the hacking abilities severely overlapped with each other and provided very little in distinct options, primarily being offered for super niche cases. Then you could look at all of the different weapon types as another example. I would still argue that Infinity struggles with knowing its limits and pushing these too far, but not nearly as bad as N3. 40k is another game that struggles with this. I've been playing Adepta Sororitas lately and wow. They are a pretty deep army, but it doesn't always feel like it's adding to my experience. You have all of the faction rules, subfaction rules, warlord trais (with specific subfaction ones), relics (again, specific subfaction ones), divine blessing upgrades, all of the strategems to remember during the game, secondary objectives to pick before you start playing (with options that your own faction offers) and, of course, just building the list and understanding what all of your models do as well as the base rules. Sometimes I feel like I'm back in grad school having to study all of the rules, combos, and synergies to make the most out of my army. I don't always feel like all of these additional rules really add to my enjoyment of the game and, in fact, I feel they hinder it most of the time. Age of Sigmar 3.0 is a prime example of this too. Adding in all of these additional rules to the Core Rules when compared to 2.0 makes me wonder how much of this depth was necessary and how much will push those limits.</div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">Conclusion</h3><div><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;I hope this helps explain how I like to evaluate a game and how my biases can impact how I feel towards certain games. Now we all know if a game has a killer theme, I'll probably rate it higher than a game that's perfectly balanced...I kid! But seriously, these five things are really important to me when I decide on what games to get or what makes one game better than another in my eyes. These are the reasons why I confidently say that Star Wars: Legion is my favorite game of all time and why games like Dropzone Commander, Battletech, Nemesis, Bushido, Arkham Horror the LCG, and Wild West Exodus are also great games. By extension, it's why I don't consider Age of Sigmar, 40k, Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, and Infinity great games in my eyes. Sure, I enjoy them, but they aren't great by my standards for several reasons. This is also why I don't really talk about communities, balance, or affordability when I'm reviewing a game unless I think it's utterly important to mention.</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Just like any other person, I have my own biases and guidelines I use when I evaluated a game. Now these have been clearly laid out, so hopefully you can have a better understand of my 'critic framework' when I write future reviews. As stated in the intro, I think it's always important to understand where someone's coming from to truly understand their opinions. Now you have a rough idea of how I form my opinions when I critique a game (although I didn't provide any of the weight to the measures or order of importance, but you get the point) and this will help you understand why I love the games I do and have a love-hate relationship with other ones.&nbsp;</div><p></p>Pride of Rodinahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17902885482588392762noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6428949821305029771.post-5159303058686075562020-10-03T11:50:00.002-07:002020-10-03T11:56:29.731-07:00Getting the Most Out of Your ARC Troopers<p>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.&nbsp;</p><p></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-2PjB2LBFVeI/X3jGE-2vWVI/AAAAAAAADWE/bPFUWjDxxgMoZNhwC8U9alOt4cDzkj8OwCLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" data-original-height="528" data-original-width="960" height="220" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-2PjB2LBFVeI/X3jGE-2vWVI/AAAAAAAADWE/bPFUWjDxxgMoZNhwC8U9alOt4cDzkj8OwCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h220/image.png" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Rex and the boys getting ready to defend the Republic</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /></div>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....<p></p><h3><a name='more'></a></h3><h3><br /></h3><h3>General Tactics</h3><br />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.&nbsp;<div><br /></div><div>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.</div><div><br /></div><div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LoxJL-oHPPQ/X3jGfXR89iI/AAAAAAAADWM/l6xGRKOsKNwijnD2Fi5bQR48DFK9G24nQCLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" data-original-height="500" data-original-width="500" height="400" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LoxJL-oHPPQ/X3jGfXR89iI/AAAAAAAADWM/l6xGRKOsKNwijnD2Fi5bQR48DFK9G24nQCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h400/image.png" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The rare and highly coveted "ARC Trooper" box, rarely seen in the wild....<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /></div><div>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.</div><div><br /></div><div>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.&nbsp;<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /><h3>Builds and Tactics</h3><div><br /></div><h4>Strike Teams</h4><div><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">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?&nbsp; 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&nbsp; have a cheap little squad to harass your opponent with.</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tcAQr2BOYKg/X3jHNsggrXI/AAAAAAAADWg/NysFM9r2r803zanwtDKVSHsD8prUMBExQCLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" data-original-height="418" data-original-width="270" height="240" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tcAQr2BOYKg/X3jHNsggrXI/AAAAAAAADWg/NysFM9r2r803zanwtDKVSHsD8prUMBExQCLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" width="155" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">A Strike Team's best friend<br />(credit to <a href="https://tabletopadmiral.com/">Tabletop Admiral</a>)</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">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.</div><div><ul><li><u>Target Eliminated</u>: 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.&nbsp;</li><li><u>Long Range Protection</u>: 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.</li></ul><div>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.</div></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div><br /></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Regular Squad</h4><div><br /></div><div>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!<br /><ul><li><u>Mobile Gun Platform</u>: 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.<br /></li><li><u>A Good Defense</u>: 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.</li></ul><div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WB8T3Qj_hxg/X3jG7Tm8LvI/AAAAAAAADWY/N10vm_7DG48WOdn1stA7ou-_OIyX_9WeACLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" data-original-height="250" data-original-width="351" height="228" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WB8T3Qj_hxg/X3jG7Tm8LvI/AAAAAAAADWY/N10vm_7DG48WOdn1stA7ou-_OIyX_9WeACLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Credit to <a href="https://tabletopadmiral.com/legion/galactic/c08">Tabletop Admiral</a> for the picture<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><br /></div><ul style="text-align: left;"><li><u>A True Hammer</u>: 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.</li><li><u>Thorn in the Side</u>: 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.</li></ul><br /><h3></h3><h3>Conclusion</h3><div><br /></div><div>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.</div></div></div>Pride of Rodinahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17902885482588392762noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6428949821305029771.post-89601750157461719162020-09-15T18:10:00.002-07:002021-11-05T11:32:45.396-07:00(OLD) Breaking Down the Order Posses<p>Are you a fan of the order in WWX, but you're not quite sure which posse fits your needs? There's the&nbsp; resilient, heavily armored and armed "Divine Intervention" posse as well as the quickness and portal shenanigans of the "Portal Vanguard" calling your name from the other side. Of course you've got poor uncle Horst's "Host of the High Sircan" with waves of unnamed mooks and lastly there's the generic Order posse so you can put together all of your favorite Order models in one posse (of course, with only one Boss).&nbsp;</p><p><br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--Yd-KkxWJ4Y/X2Fgk6pmEfI/AAAAAAAADU0/1rqV_iqc1SEGSTYNW1pFkJYxUPXTMueUgCLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" data-original-height="1080" data-original-width="1920" height="360" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--Yd-KkxWJ4Y/X2Fgk6pmEfI/AAAAAAAADU0/1rqV_iqc1SEGSTYNW1pFkJYxUPXTMueUgCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h360/image.png" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Today's subject: The Order, second from the left<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /><p></p><p>What's the strength and weakness of each, you ask? Well, don't you worry, that's the point of today's article! We're going to dissect the differences between the four posses as well as discuss who can join each posse and what they bring. Most importantly though, we're going to give poor old uncle Horst some much needed attention. Unfortunately we're not going to dive too deep into tactics for how to play each posse for the sake of brevity. Those will come later, but for now, let's figure out what posse or posses work best for you</p><span><a name='more'></a></span><p><br /></p><h3 style="text-align: left;">Divine Intervention</h3><p><br /></p><p>This is the posse for people who love elite forces. If you try to max this posse out to get the posse bonus, you're not going to have much room left in your list for another posse, especially a full one. It's boss, Makara, is an absolute brute force on her own clocking in at 215, but then you add in several Cor Caroli faces and units, your opponent will be very frustrated with how resilient your posse is. Most importantly though, with this posse, if you fill all six slots, Makara gains Teamwork. While that seems like a kind of lame posse bonus, especially since Portal Vanguard gives Teamwork to all units in the posse with the Astraea keyword, it's EXTREMELY effective in helping you eliminate whole units, Faces, and Bosses in a single turn.</p><p><br /></p><h4 style="text-align: left;">Strengths</h4><p>This posse is by far the most elite and resilient posse that Order can put together. Makara is an absolute monster and it can be hard to keep her down. Plus, every unit you take in this posse will have the Cor Carolus special rule meaning they do not suffer the consequences of Stunned and Disordered, they shrug off Hazard, and they ignore the first two points of Piercing from all attacks (or the first point if the weapon has Attuned or is Blast). As an added bonus, all Cor Caroli units also have Dying Breath, so even if your opponent finally puts these tough buggers down, they get one last attack before being removed. Another bonus to this posse is you don't have any Hands units so your opponent doesn't get to cash in any of their Adventure cards that have Glory halves reliant on beating up Hands. Lastly, and definitely most important, your Boss and all of your possible Faces have Mettle which helps add that finally layer of resilience to your posse (do note, since they're all Cor Carolus, they don't suffer the penalties of Disordered, but they are still assigned it). That's the real cherry on top for this posse.</p><p>Of course, if you're playing this posse, you're more than likely trying to go for the posse bonus. As I mentioned above, giving one unit Teamwork seems a little less exciting than Portal Vanguard giving it to multiple units, but here it's far deadlier. Makara is an absolute threat to almost anything that can be placed on the table, but the real issue is her low ROA. Makara will struggle with one-shotting a Boss or Face, especially if they use The Quick and the Dead, Tough, or Mettle, which is where Teamwork comes in. You activate another unit targeting whatever you want Makara to eliminate, end that unit's activation within 8" of Makara and then Makara can go finish them off. She easily becomes an executioner for your already very potent posse. You might be outnumbered, but your potency helps even out the playing field very quickly.</p><p><br /></p><h4 style="text-align: left;">Weaknesses</h4><p>Because of the elite nature of this posse and it not having access to hands, your opponent will almost always have more activations than you. Your opponent will have an easier time than you trying to get to their objectives and doing the missions while you might be struggling at first. Also, just like everything in this game, you crumple under the pressure of a lot of attacks, so having fewer models makes it easier for your opponent to focus fire and take out your expensive units quickly. Sure, you ignore up to two points of Piercing, all of your models have a Grit of 6+, and Mettle (except the Cohort squads), but that doesn't mean much if they're taking over ten attacks a turn. There's no real counter to your opponent opting to focus fire and take your units out beyond trying to keep your units from being seen by a majority of your opponent's units.</p><p><br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VWahYBm9eA8/X2FfXFX7ygI/AAAAAAAADUo/OESWTuQo2z8dzjylp8ssaFyDCO021ymuQCLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" data-original-height="1080" data-original-width="1920" height="360" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VWahYBm9eA8/X2FfXFX7ygI/AAAAAAAADUo/OESWTuQo2z8dzjylp8ssaFyDCO021ymuQCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h360/image.png" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Get used to seeing these two in your lists a lot to provide some ranged attacks</td></tr></tbody></table><br />A rather glaring weakness with this posse is because of the lower model count and lack of Hands, this posse has a somewhat low number of attacks. Sure, the attacks it does have can be absolutely bonkers strong, but those are quite few. Makara's Torrent weapon and the Cohort squads are where the bulk of your horde-clearing will come from. Noth, Khaatan, Haan, Zain, Oron, and Mithun are also good choices for their ROA of 3 on their ranged attacks.<p></p><p>Another point to consider is that every eligible unit for this posse, besides Makara, has a Quick of 5 and very few movement shenanigans. Not only will you be outnumbered, you'll be outmaneuvered too. The only real movement trick this posse can be bring is Drag with Noth and Khaatan, but beyond that get rid to hoof it and hoof it slowly. The bright side to this is that all of your units do have the Disciple of the Allshard ability, so you can turn any Guts bonus from an Adventure Card into +1 Action Points, so you can use that to help with focusing your Move actions.</p><p><br /></p><h3 style="text-align: left;">Portal Vanguard</h3><p><br /></p><p>If you like movement shenanigans and kiting, then this is the posse for you. While the name is a little misleading, the main point of this posse is to provide Teamwork to all units in the posse with the Astraea keyword (that's a total of 5 Faces and then the boss, either regular or Legendary Elita). However, thanks to Elita and Janna, you do get to have some fun with portals. With the use of portals and six different units with Teamwork, you can have excellent control of the board and easy access to all of the objectives. Plus, this posse is a little less restrictive than the Divine Intervention, so you get a bit more liberty in building this posse out.</p><p><br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Ezz3sB1b5sg/X2FfFRM0BSI/AAAAAAAADUg/wwG6VY01B1IKu8ArqD5-R5sCMVJiZRLgQCLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" data-original-height="1080" data-original-width="1920" height="360" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Ezz3sB1b5sg/X2FfFRM0BSI/AAAAAAAADUg/wwG6VY01B1IKu8ArqD5-R5sCMVJiZRLgQCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h360/image.png" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The best part of Portal Vanguard is the Portal spam and shenanigans!</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /><p></p><p>Strengths</p><p>This posse honestly has it all: movement shenanigans, the advantages of being able to take a lot of the Cor Caroli units, access to Hands units (or unit as Order only has one), access to Order vehicles, and full access to all Order Faces. Besides the generic posse, this posse has the most diversity in builds and access to units (arguably more since this posse also has Elita while the generic one doesn't). Of course though, the main point of taking this posse is for that sweet sweet Teamwork on all of your Astraea units. If you do everything correctly, you could very easily get 6+ activations in a row with this posse. Plus, as you now have access to the cheaper offerings that Order has, you can really pad out the number of units you have, unlike with Divine Intervention. Plus, while it might not be as resilient as Divine Intervention or as deadly, you get access to Portals which can really help several units shine that were kind of meh on their own.</p>Remember when I said Vulana and Siraj were kind of meh in Makara's posse, well. When one of these melee blenders walk out of a portal and ready to start slicing, it can really change how they play. This can also be said for any melee focused unit within the Order arsenal. Need to get to the objective on the other side of the table? Have your Nyx Cohort walk through the portal network and take it. Your enemy's boss really causing you some problems? Have Elita throw down some portals and have Vulana walk through and charge. The typical Order problem of being slow doesn't matter to you anymore, but it does now require a little bit of planning and using actions from Elita and possibly Jana to set it up.<div><br /></div><div><b>EDIT (9/18/2020)</b>: Thank you to Scott over in the Dark Council Facebook group for bringing this to my attention, but another strength of this posse is that you aren't using normal portals. The portals you generate as an Order play and specifically this posse, are "Allshard Portals". This provides a couple of unique benefits over the regular portal First is the ability for ANY Spica, Blessed, or Cor Caroli unit within 5" to simply remove a Negative Condition of your choice by passing a Mind check. This is an EXTREMELY powerful perk as it essentially lets your Spica, Blessed, and Cor Caroli units reset Mettle right before they get attacked again. The second perk is that any unit with the Cor Caroli, Astraea or Spirit traits may spend a Fortune to automatically pass their Reserve checks, allowing them to immediately come onto the field without having to gamble. It makes surgical strikes from portals incredibly more reliable removing all of the risk of Reserves entirely. Upon writing this section, I forgot that Order had their onw unique portals, so thank you again to Scott for bringing this up as it's pretty important to note!<br /><p>Honestly, this posse is the most "Order" feeling posse you can get. It has all of the strengths with the added bonus of Teamwork on a couple more Faces and an additional source of portal generation. It's not too restrictive in list-building and it allows you a LOT of diversity unlike with Makara's and Horst's posses. It can be a little tricky to master if you want to use it to its full advantage, which is a bit of the problem. It's not nearly as straight-forward and easy as the other posses.</p><p><br /></p><p>Weaknesses</p><p>As I've already said, this posse might be one of the better ones out there for Order, it's not the easiest to play. Taking full advantage of the Teamwork bonus you get from the Posse bonus and trying to optimize your portal plays will see you mess-up a couple of times. Plus, it's a dead giveaway where the strength of your posse lies. Janaa and Elita will be priority targets because they are squishy. Sure, Makara is a huge target too, but Makara has the ability to shrug off most hits and isn't a huge linchpin for her posse.</p><p>It's also worth noting that the whole "Astraea units gain Teamwork" Posse bonus is kind of a trap. Elita already has Teamwork as well as Aeron. So if you really want to take advantage of the bonus, you need to make sure you take other units (Noth, Khaatan, Janna, and Venatici). So really the Posse bonus only applies to those four units, but it's still a strong one!&nbsp;</p><p>Lastly, since a good chunk of your units will have Teamwork if you get that Posse bonus unlocked, it can create another trap where you're essentially GIVING your opponent Teamwork too. It's really easy to do a chain activation with all of your Astraea units and then have very little else to activate, giving your opponent uninterrupted back-to-back activations. You need to be careful about either activating all of your units with the best plan or don't go crazy activating them all. There's nothing more disheartening than using all of your activations in an attempt to do what your plan is and then watch as your opponent gets to enact their own plan uninterrupted and scoring several points.</p><p><br /></p><p><br /></p><h3 style="text-align: left;">Host of the High Sircan</h3><p><br /></p><p>Probably the best supporting posse Order has, this posse automatically gains its bonus without needing to fill all of its slots. It does only allow Hands, Support units, and two Faces, but it helps them become far more reliable and consistent thanks to Horst's Inspirational special rule and his larger Fortune Pool. If you're already taking Portal Vanguard or Divine Intervention and want somewhere to help get the most out of the rest of your units, then this is an excellent posse for this. Also, don't let it fool you, but this posse makes for a fun and interesting primary posse in a list too, which we'll get into.</p><p><br /></p><h4 style="text-align: left;">Strengths</h4><p>The main draw of this posse is that Horst's Inspirational special rule is now 18" rather than 6" for units in his Posse even without filling a single slot in the Posse. This means any unit in his Posse can re-roll one die during their activation if they're within 18" of Uncle Horst. Horst's Inspirational rule still works for other units in your list too, but they have to be at 6". Plus, Horst also comes backing a whopping 5 Fortune, so whoever is in his Posse can really benefit from some reliability thanks to the range boost to Inspirational and then the large pool of Fortune to play around with. Imagine Mithun being supported with a re-roll per activation&nbsp; and five fortune; her effectiveness would skyrocket and it'd be a lot easier to pay the Action Points to use Brace and shoot multiple times. Or, a unit of five Spica being able to ensure all of their shots land with easy access to Focus their shots and a re-roll if they do miss.</p><p>Another huge selling point for adding in Horst's Posse to your list is that the Posse has a lot of slots for Hands and Support units that you might not have access to in other Posses. If you wanted to gain access to some Hands while playing Divine Intervention, then this might be the Posse for you. It's a great posse to build out your list with some cheaper activations and more bodies while also giving those cheaper units some reliability boosts.</p><p><br /></p><h4 style="text-align: left;">Weaknesses</h4><p>The glaring issue with this posse is the fact that its bonus is a little weaker than the other posses. Boosting a special rule by 12" to give a larger aura just to re-roll a single die per activation pales when compared to gaining Teamwork for a unit or units. Of course, any increase in reliability of your models is a help, but it's not as explosive, exciting, or as effective as being able to chain several activations together. Reliability especially isn't a huge help when you're already rolling a large pool of dice (which you will be doing in this posse with the limited number of slots for vehicle Support and Faces)</p><p>Another huge weakness is that this posse has very few Face slots. Faces are a primary damage force in WWX, so being restricted to just a couple of them can be a bit of a problem. It's not that big of an issue if you're already planning on taking other posses, but it is worth noting if you wanted to solo this posse. Also, it's not like you need Faces to win games, but they do typically bring powerful tools to help you leverage odds in your favor and provide some more reliability than a blob of fragile wounds and unlikely-to-hit-anything shots.</p><p>The last glaring weakness of this posse is you're missing out on some of the best Bosses that Order has if you only take this posse. Elita and Makara are definitely incredible pieces with one being a great support piece and the other being a terrific "stompy-monster", while Horst is pretty eh. He's a pretty mediocre support piece and he's pretty mediocre to awful at combat too. That's why he has an ability to slap an opponent with a Hazardous and Stun within 10" and smoke grenades because he shouldn't be anywhere close to the fight.</p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-sulkx3BRi5s/X2FhuQlfGCI/AAAAAAAADU8/4izI9B0ccSsXrlWkP2GMzw1KpZEOdcL2QCLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" data-original-height="886" data-original-width="709" height="400" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-sulkx3BRi5s/X2FhuQlfGCI/AAAAAAAADU8/4izI9B0ccSsXrlWkP2GMzw1KpZEOdcL2QCLcBGAsYHQ/w320-h400/image.png" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The face of a man who doesn't want to get punched<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /><p></p><h3 style="text-align: left;">Order Generic Posse</h3><p><br /></p><p>This goes without saying, but this is the "take whatever you want" kind of posse with very few restrictions. It is worth noting that this posse is the one you'll be using if you take one of the few "Underboss" faces as a boss. It's also worth noting that this posse has the fewest Support slots out of all the Order posses (not counting Divine Intervention since two of the better Support options are Cor Caroli, but it doesn't have any space for a vehicle Support) at only two, but it does have decent space for Hands and Faces. This also probably goes without saying, but it does lack a posse bonus, so you lose out on any bonus to have more variety in your posse options.</p><p><br /></p><h4>Strengths</h4><p>Single greatest advantage of this posse is the fact that you aren't obligated to take anything to fill the posse out and you have a surprisingly good amount of options for bosses for how small the faction is. You can take whatever you want and not feel obligated to fill out every slot as there's no benefit to do so. Plus, because of this, it's easy cheap to add in some additional units that your posse normally wouldn't have access to (if you take the cheaper Underboss options, Vulana and Siraj, as the Boss of this posse, you'll save 20 points when compared to the cheapest actual Boss, Elita). Need some Hands to compliment your Divine Order posse, but want to do it cheaply? You can save 30 points and take this posse instead of Horst's or save 20 points when compared to Elita's.</p><p><br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WldWDikAKLY/X2Fh7BjbNgI/AAAAAAAADVM/C6FeTwCeaastOTxYJnyoO77r3ZFUBLOmACLcBGAsYHQ/image.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="" data-original-height="886" data-original-width="709" height="400" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WldWDikAKLY/X2Fh7BjbNgI/AAAAAAAADVM/C6FeTwCeaastOTxYJnyoO77r3ZFUBLOmACLcBGAsYHQ/w320-h400/image.png" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Want some vehicle Supports? No problem!<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /><p></p><p>Another, probably minor strength, is that this posse has 5 slots for Hands and 5 slots for Faces, so you can really take a mix of whatever you want, unlike some of the other posses in the faction. Freedom and versatility is really the name of the game with this posse!</p><p>Honestly, beyond versatility or cheapness, there's no real reason to take the generic posse. Order isn't quite large enough as a faction to gain a huge benefit from having less restrictive posses like Hex, Outlaws, Union, and Enlightened would, especially when you can take posses like Horst's or Elita's that are already pretty open.</p><p><br /></p><h4>Weaknesses</h4><p>The glaring weakness of this boss is the lack of a posse bonus. You gain a small increase in versatility and miss out on the powerful bonuses that the other posses can offer. Another issue is that it only has two Support slots including for vehicle and non-vehicle, so you're not really going to be able to slot of Supports into the list if that was your plan. Another important weakness to note is that if you take this posse with an Underboss, you're be a little ham-stringed on Fortune. All of the Underbosses will have 2 Fortune compared to the 3, 4, and 5 of the Bosses. This can be another huge weakness for a faction that can be dependent on Fortune to help boost their slow moves or ensure their few ranged attacks hit.</p><p>While it seems like there aren't many weaknesses compared to the named posses above, I want to emphasize a key point here. The other posses have nuanced weaknesses that need to be worked around and that's why I go into more details with them. This posse is fundamentally flawed and there's really no way to work around it which is why I keep it briefer here. Not to say that it's entirely worse than taking a named posse, but it does mean that you're somewhat hurting yourself your list without bringing much to the table to compensate for this.</p><p><br /></p></div>Pride of Rodinahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17902885482588392762noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6428949821305029771.post-79698233133532256662020-08-14T15:10:00.003-07:002021-07-31T16:05:59.474-07:00Action Economy and What it Means for LegionIf you've read my previous articles, you're probably quite familiar with me constantly nagging about action economy now. It's like your folks always said when you were a kid, "make sure you optimize your action economy or you won't grow up to a big Legion player". I know my mom kept lecturing me on it so now I'm passing that lecture onto you!<div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nFvP5UFeSvc/YQXXEnsDMDI/AAAAAAAADjw/QYqQ60IDDaEkvuElGuisweMxmCxjVI-ogCLcBGAsYHQ/s368/Action%2Bgraph.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="304" data-original-width="368" height="264" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nFvP5UFeSvc/YQXXEnsDMDI/AAAAAAAADjw/QYqQ60IDDaEkvuElGuisweMxmCxjVI-ogCLcBGAsYHQ/s320/Action%2Bgraph.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Action economy refers to the linear relationship between actions and the economy...<br />Ignore this terrible 'dad joke', please?</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p>As an aside, since this article will be getting a bit more meta than the previous ones, it will still be relevant to other games. Action economy is not a strictly Star Wars: Legion thing, but for the sake of brevity and not being too meta, I'm discussing how it pertains to Legion today. I'll discuss action economy in other games later on, don't you worry! Let's dive in...</p><span><a name='more'></a></span><p><br /></p><h3 style="text-align: left;">Definition and Basics&nbsp;</h3><div><br /></div><div>The Pride of Rodina dictionary defines "action economy" as such; the amount of "actions" that can be taken in a turn, activation, round, etc. where "action" is defined as a game mechanic that a game piece implements.</div><div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mWtcTuSpCx0/XzXRcySe_SI/AAAAAAAADTA/oNPNnaNoL3ssSjIV_bCMXTwH17YTrP_ggCLcBGAsYHQ/s254/PoR%2BDictionary.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="254" data-original-width="185" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mWtcTuSpCx0/XzXRcySe_SI/AAAAAAAADTA/oNPNnaNoL3ssSjIV_bCMXTwH17YTrP_ggCLcBGAsYHQ/s0/PoR%2BDictionary.jpg" /></a></div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><div>Wow. Now I know why all of my teachers and professors told me to never start a written piece with a definition.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>To tether that word salad to an actual quantifiable measurement, the action economy is how many actions you can get out of a round and in a larger framework, an entire game. For example, in Legion, the typical action economy is two actions per unit and this we'll call "raw actions". Depending on the amount of units you have, your action economy could range from 12-22 raw actions. However, if you're an astute reader, you've probably already said to yourself, "But PoR, what about abilities and such that allow you more actions or that allow you access to more mechanics? Surely those help with your action economy, right?" Precisely. This isn't your raw number of actions anymore and we'll get into it, but for simplicity we're mostly focusing on raw actions.</div><div><br /></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Action Efficiency</h4><div><br /></div><div>The stereotypical action economy is the number of units you have multiplied by two, but there are game mechanics (such as keywords) that help expand this and increase the number of actions you effectively have. Take the humble Dewback. That little rascal is filled to the brim with things that can improve your action economy. Spur, Relentless, Unhindered, and Reposition are all keywords that can increase the Dewback's action economy and, by extension, yours. Being able to perform what would be two actions in a single action is a powerful ability which is why keywords like Relentless, Charge, and Steady are so powerful. Normally a unit would only be able to Move and Attack or Aim and Attack, but those keywords allow a unit essentially three actions rather than the standard two raw actions, even though it still only performed two actions. Making your actions more efficient is an extremely powerful way to increase your action economy. Spur increases the Dewback's move for an action, meaning it can now move further with just one action instead of possibly having to spend two actions to get into position, but it comes with a price; a possible action economy crippling Suppression token. Now you have to perform a risk-benefit analysis. Is it worth it to risk becoming Suppressed and losing out on that second action just to be able to move further with this one move? That's a subject for another discussion, but it's worth noting that Legion is a game that relies heavily on forcing you, as a player, to constantly make risk-benefit analyses, so not every action efficiency increasing ability is a net positive like Steady, Charge, and Relentless. Some do have consequences.</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img height="349" src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/17/37/17376a14-caa1-487d-a2cc-dbfc829e16dd/swl42_img-7155.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="560" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">"Oh lawd, he comin'!"<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Preserving Actions</h4><div><br /></div><div>Of course, increasing your own action economy is fun and highly beneficial, but there's another side to it. Again, we'll say you'll typically have 12-22 actions a game of Legion. The same goes for your opponent. Sometimes it's not just about what you can do to help your own action economy, it's also about how you can cripple your opponent's. Being able to Suppress any enemy unit can drastically help with your overall action economy by ensuring that you keep your action economy. If your opponent can't as effectively cripple or eliminate your actions, then you can preserve it. You might start with 20 actions and end with a possible 16, but your opponent starts with 22 and ends with 6. Again, your action economy isn't only about utilizing keywords or abilities that make your actions more efficient, but also about -preserving- your actions and eliminating your opponents. You start a game with 20 actions, your opponent starts with 22. Next round, you still have 20 and they go down to 20. Next, you have 20 still, but your opponent is down to 16. fourth round you finally go down to 18, but now your opponent is at 10. Fifth round you have 16 actions and your opponent goes down to 8. On the last round, you have 16 actions still and your opponent only has 6. You started with fewer actions, but you had a better action economy throughout the game than your opponent did. You netted 110 raw actions throughout the game while your opponent only had 82. That's a HUGE difference in raw actions and clearly the game was in your favor. Please do note that just because one player had more raw actions during a game doesn't automatically win. Like I said, the action economy was in your favor, but it doesn't always amount to a victory.</div><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">Advanced Topics</h3><div><br /></div><div>Alright, so we've got some basic terms and concepts down, let's get into those juicy advanced topics.&nbsp;</div><div><i><br /></i></div><div><i>You can enjoy the rest of this article without reading this section if you don't want to get too meta. This section is mostly for people who want to get into game philosophy a bit more and get a slightly more advanced understanding into improving your own action economy.&nbsp;</i></div><div><br /></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Action Efficiency</h4><div><br /></div><div>Whenever you take an action with a unit, that action needs to further some goal. This goal needs to be a bit more complex than simply "win the game". You need short-term goals and the actions you take with your units should help further those short-term goals. For example, you might want to eliminate a unit of Death Troopers that are sitting on an objective to prevent your opponent from scoring. In this case, you should only take actions that will further that goal. Obviously the end goal here is to shoot them, but what should your other action be? Aim seems like a great idea, but not in every case. You should only Aim if you know the unit could really benefit from it. A unit that that shoots Red and has Surge: Hit/Crit won't need the efficiency and reliability of an Aim like a unit shooting two whites per model without an Offensive Surge. Also, making sure all of your models and weapons are in range is important too. Sure, you could Aim and then Shoot those Death Troopers, but the only weapon that's in range is the Red and White, Crit 1 sniper rifle. If you Move and then Shoot, you'll be able to throw in 6 more White dice and be in a better position to Aim and Shoot next turn as well as move towards the objective and take it for yourself. If your goal is to take an objective, then moving up in range of the objective, but out in the open, and shooting isn't as good as moving twice and hunkering down behind heavy or even light cover. Understanding what you want to achieve with a unit that round will help you make the most efficient use of their actions. There are always objectively 'good' actions to take in the game and these can be traps at times. Shooting is almost always a good thing to do since it helps you cripple your opponent's action economy, but there are situations when shooting can, in turn, hurt your own action economy in future rounds.</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img height="326" src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/9d/e4/9de41302-8d9c-479a-9b9c-a32d64b3dc63/swl69_a2_art.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="448" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Shooting is great and all, but don't shoot recklessly<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div>Just because an action has a straight forward way to increase action efficiency doesn't mean it's the most efficient action. We briefly discussed the risk-benefit analysis above, but we're really going to tear into it now. You have to think about what exactly is the risk and the benefit of every possible action and action-target I could take. A great way to illustrate this is the following scenario; Operative Vader moved out into the open and is easily within range 3 of three of your Phase I units who all have a face-up Order token. There is also a vanilla squad of four Stormtroopers holding an objective that is within range 4 of one of your Phase I's. This objective is also scored at the end of the game rather than round and the current round is 3. What should you do? Should you have the one unit shoot at the Stromtroopers and whittle them down, giving them a Suppression token that they'll shrug off at the end of the round and have the two other squads shoot Op. Vader with Aim tokens? Should you move back and shoot, should you use Fire Support and with how many squads, should you even shoot the Stormtroopers at all? Without knowing the full context, it's a bit hard to say what would be best, but I can definitely say an inefficient action would be to move up and shoot the Stormtroopers. The objective is irrelevant for now as you still have three rounds to move them off of it and you're moving that squad closer to Op. Vader, making your opponent's job a whole lot easier. It's an all around terrible move and highly inefficient. You're just helping Vader get into combat and you're not netting anything besides possibly killing a couple of Stormtroopers.</div><div><br /></div><div>I'm not advocating that you analyze every little decision to death and waste your opponent's time, I am saying you need to assess the situation and account for multiple factors. Think about how objectives are scored, think about how easily you can eliminate an opponent's piece, think about what increases the efficiency of your attacks or moves (moving through difficult terrain or around it), think about whether the unit has already activated or not (really important for Suppression), and most importantly, think about what preserves your action economy. Moving your B1's up out of heavy cover to add a couple more white dice to an attack pool is probably not worth the small chance of killing another Death Trooper. Efficient actions are strictly based around optimizing offensive actions, it's also about preserving your action economy.</div><div><br /></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Preserving Actions</h4><div><br /></div><div>You've probably noticed by now, but preserving your action economy and maintaining action efficiency are two different sides of the same coin. It's why kamikaze actions in games are rarely rewarding: you just sacrificed actions to eliminate your opponent's actions (even though they can be real epic or fun at times). Sometimes you need to think about instead of Aiming, to move into heavy cover and then shoot. Sometimes it's more important to move out of Line of Sight and not attack to keep those two actions for further rounds. While your objectives and goals should be short-term, you need to keep in mind long-term action economy. Sacrificing a unit to eliminate an opponent's unit when you already started with fewer units is not a good play.</div><div><br /></div><div>This is why Dodge can be a powerful action at times. While inherently it's not a very strong mechanic (it gets a little more useful when you're kitted out for Dodge efficiency), it can be an important factor between you preserving actions or not. Or it can be an important factor in keeping that one model whose the last one of their unit on an objective and forcing your opponent to waste another action to take it out while also helping keep other units alive and at full strength. Of course, just like with Shooting, it can be a trap too. Just because you can Dodge out in the open doesn't mean it's really going to be any better than shooting and lowering the number of incoming shots. Again, you need to do a basic risk-benefit analysis and decide for yourself what would be better in each situation. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the chance of a fail, success, Surge, and crit success on each die and understand basic probability. Understanding just how resilient a unit can be or being able to quickly assess how effective the offensive power of an opposing unit can do a LOT to improve your ability to evaluate a game state. Understanding game states and utilizing the correct actions in each situation is the most important part here and WHY a Dodge token can be critical. It's not that Dodge is inherently a great action, it's knowing how to utilize it correctly that makes it good. The real point of this paragraph isn't Dodge, it merely served as the vehicle for this message: learn when to use each action and this will keep your units alive longer than anything else in this game.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="On the Hunt - Fantasy Flight Games" src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/67/2e/672eba15-e26e-499b-ac34-44a6e1f8b517/swl63_preview1.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">You beautiful distraction, you<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div>One of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to keeping units and actions alive is to use a distraction. Psych your opponent out and trick them into thinking a unit is a bigger threat than it really is and have them focus on that unit while you keep your more important and efficient units alive. Unfortunately in wargames, not all of your little plastic/metal soldiers or vehicles will make it home, sometimes they fall victim to imaginary enemy attacks. Why not exploit this and make a unit you didn't really have a plan for take the laser-beams and keep a more important unit alive? This can be a pretty simple yet difficult thing to pull off. Most Legion players will recognize Commanders as big threats, especially ones with lightsabers, as well as Taun-Tauns and large vehicles. Consider taking these units and play them a little 'sloppy' in hopes of tricking your opponent into thinking they can exploit a flaw in your gameplay. The trick here is to make sure you either have a backup plan if that unit does kick the bucket or a plan on how to recuperate. You don't want to overdo your distraction and lose a 150+ point model because you tried a little too hard to make it an enticing target. A great example of this is when I used my Saber tank for the first time. I had R2 behind it ready to repair it and I had positioned it a little in the middle of the table and directly in front of my opponent's AT-ST. My opponent didn't bring any other anti-armor or source of repair, so they knew they had to kill my Saber as soon as possibly to the point of over-committing and even using the mortar to attack my Saber. This allowed me the opportunity to get my Clones into place and start using Critical 1 from the DC-15 to help take the AT-ST out. My opponent should have at least used the mortar on the Clones to cripple my action economy, but they were scared of my Saber and played poorly because of that, which I was able to exploit and help preserve my units. Thankfully I also had R2 to help out or the tank would have died a couple of turns earlier and wouldn't have been able to outlive the AT-ST. I forced my opponent to target my Saber tank (that beam turret was really irking them laying down all of that Suppressive) and I had a backup plan in case I took more hits than expected.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>Please note that I'm not talking about taunting your opponent or bragging about "how my Deathtroopers have killed Grievous, Obi-Wan, and Operative Vader already". Please don't play mind games with your opponent by verbally taunting them, keep that kind of stuff on the table. The idea of this topic is to play in a way that makes your opponent target certain units that are a bit more resilient or less important to you rather than squishier or more important things. This could be like putting a weak unit (Stormtroopers or B1's) on an objective to force your opponent to shoot them instead of the Deathtroopers or B2's. You could misrepresent a unit's true worth by using buffs or synergies from Command Cards to mislead your opponent into thinking a unit can deal a lot more damage than they really can. Again, don't lie to your opponent either though. If your opponent asks for information, tell them the truth. This is about using tactics to -portray- misinformation, not lying, purposefully misleading, or being a bully.</div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Crippling an Action Empire</h4><div><br /></div><div>I'll admit, I got tired of typing the word 'economy' and 'empire' sounded cooler, but it doesn't make this advanced topic any less important than the others, especially as it wasn't covered in the basic section!</div><div><br /></div><div>The primary way to do this is by eliminating your opponent's units and applying Suppression tokens. Eliminating units is a great way to cripple your opponent's action empire as it permanently removes those actions from the game, not just for that round like with Suppression (possibly, as Suppressive and Panic could last a couple of rounds). However, not every unit or even every action opportunity is worth the same. A quick way to assess a unit's worth is by how many points it costs and how much attention your opponent gives to the unit (i.e. how many times does it get issued orders or receives buffs/support). If your opponent focuses more on a particular unit, then you can guess they probably have a plan for that unit and it's important to them. Eliminating that unit will cripple their plan more than a basic Corps unit, even though eliminating either unit would net the same loss in raw actions and action economy. It's not always about raw actions, it's about the efficiency of those actions. Eliminating a Death Trooper squad removes more action efficiency than a Stormtrooper squad, even though you're still removing two raw actions a round. Another thing to consider is what exactly a unit can do with their actions. Some units have better action efficiency thanks to abilities like Steady while others have a wider suite of types of actions they can take. For example, a unit that can spend an action to provide an Aim token to a nearby unit has a higher value of actions than a unit that doesn't. The more types of actions a unit has, the more value their actions provide to the action economy, and the more it hurts when that unit is eliminated.</div><div><br /></div><div>Like I said though, it's not always about eliminating units and sometimes it's all about making sure they don't even activate from the start. That's where your friend the Suppression token comes in! Making sure you pile on Suppression tokens before a unit activates in a round is a great way to cripple that action economy (I got bored of typing out empire already), especially a unit that has a face-up order. Again, face-up orders denote plans and the more you can ruin your opponent's plans, the more you ruin those valued actions, and then you force your opponent to make do with fewer actions or even lower quality actions. This is especially true if that unit received some buff from either being issued that order (i.e. Command Card buff or Target) and you completely negated that buff, now forcing your opponent to activate a unit whose actions are lower quality. This is doubly true if you can Panic a unit before it activates, forcing its only action for the turn to be the exact opposite of what your opponent was hoping for that turn. Of course, this can also work after a unit has activated in a round, but you'll need more Suppression tokens since every unit removes one Suppression token at the end of the round.</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Phase II Clone Troopers Unit Expansion - Fantasy Flight Games" src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/3a/c6/3ac65db3-e3d8-4edf-a99a-f6d6873ffb51/swl61_phase2-clone7.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">This bad boy can fit a lot of Suppression tokens in it<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">Tactics</h3><div><br /></div><div>Alright, now that we've got the meta and theoretical stuff (especially if you didn't skip the 'Advanced Topics' section) out of the way, let's get to the real meat and 'taters of this article! How can you improve your own action economy, I can already hear you asking. Don't worry, that's what this whole section is about</div><div><br /></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Action Efficiency</h4><div><br /></div><div>The greatest way to get the most efficient out of your units is to make sure you utilize their abilities. If you have a squad of Shoretroopers, you should almost always try to give them an order as it provides them with a 'free' Aim action and allows you to Coordinate that order to an emplacement Trooper. It's also why you should almost always take Aggressive Tactics with your primary Commander. Utilizing anything that nets you more buffs and benefits without investing anymore than you already would is king.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Mount Up - Fantasy Flight Games" height="288" src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/d1/00/d10023e1-a00a-4a59-a435-9e9c84814121/swl40_photo_1.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="560" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Talk about action efficiency!<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div>These are the keywords you should keep an eye out (note, these aren't all of the action economy improving keywords, but the ones that I find are pretty good): Charge, Steady, Relentless, Gunslinger, Agile X, Tactical X, Target X, Entourage (keyword), Coordinate (keyword), Quick Thinking, Reliable X, Scout X, and Disengage. As I already mentioned too, Aggressive Tactics is a fantastic Command upgrade to give a little more reliability (huh, probably why Reliable's the keyword that gives units Surge tokens....) for simply issuing them an order. It's also a good idea to keep an eye out for Command Cards that help with efficiency. If played at the right time, some Command Cards can provide such a huge boost to your action economy or even unit efficiency that it's insane. Take Rex's 1-Pip, "Call Me Captain" for example. If you play that card at a great time and lined things up correctly, you could easily get an additional 4-6 additional shots off with Rex than you normally would! Iden Versio's "Tactical Strike" can really make your Special Forces units into true power houses (hello Death Troopers with 2 Aims) sand the generic Imperial card "Coordinated Fire" combos quite well with Shoretroopers if you issued them an Order, allowing a chain of Aims for your Corp units. Grievous's "Crush Them", if utilized at the perfect time, can allow Grievous and two other units to pile up Surges like crazy, especially when chained with Aggressive Tactics. The point here being, there are PLENTY of ways to increase your action economy, you just have to look for them and utilize them. A lot of units innately have them, while some upgrades can bring in action efficient keywords, and almost all Command Cards definitely do too.</div><div><br /></div><div>A lot of action efficient plays come down to you having a plan and sticking to that plan. Making sure you take advantage of those action efficient keywords and try to practice so you can remember them or even write up a little cheat sheet. You should try to not take an Aim action with a unit that has Quick Thinking or Tactical X and you should try to issue orders to units with Target X and Coordinate X You should try your best to play with upcoming Command Cards in mind. If you know you're going to need a lot of stopping power next time with Grievous and a couple of other units, try to eliminate as many units as you can this turn, so you can play "Crush Them" next turn. It comes back to making sure you have a plan because optimizing your plays and action efficiency really comes down to creating a plan and trying to stick with it as much as possible.</div><div><br /></div><div>Unfortunately not every unit that has a high action efficiency is innately good though. A lot of the times you're paying for action efficiency, so you need to determine for yourself if the cost of a unit is really worth how efficient it is. A great example of this is the poor Rebel Veterans. While a highly efficient unit, the mirror of Shoretroopers, they aren't revered nearly as much as Shores. That mostly comes down to the fact that their efficiency and cost isn't as great as Shores or the cheaper Rebel Troopers. Also, I'd argue that Nimble is a better and more efficient ability than Defend 1. Again, just because a unit appears to be more action, or even order, efficient doesn't innately make them the superior choice. Not all efficiency mechanics are created equal and some of it will come down to how you like to play too and what you prioritize.</div><div><br /></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Preserving Actions</h4><div><br /></div><div>Now this topic is a bit more difficult to just point you in the direction of some keywords and give you examples. Legion isn't the most defensive game out there, where a lot of your tactics will come down to how efficient you can remove enemy threats, with a solid chunk of keywords aiding in offensive efficiency. However, there are a few good keywords to keep in mind and general tabletop tactics to keep in mind.</div><div><br /></div><div>First of all is the humble Dodge (this will be somewhat repetitive from the "Advanced Topics" section). Sure, Dodge is kind of 'eh' in the current state, but when combined with abilities like Nimble or Outmaneuver (especially with both), Dodge can be pretty helpful. It'll come down to the situation you're in though if a Dodge and Shoot is going to better for you than an Aim and Shoot, but in a large amount of cases a good offense in Legion is an excellent defense. Even if your attack doesn't kill off a model, therefore crippling your opponent's offensive capabilities, than you can at least cripple them by piling up those Suppression tokens. Which, in turn, can also help in keeping your actions intact by making sure your opponent can't get the most out of their own actions. Being able to cripple your opponent can sometimes be better at saving your own units than most defensive plays or tactics and this is especially true in a game like Legion where a good offense can be king.</div><div><br /></div><div>An absolutely crucial part of preserving your action economy is to make sure you use cover as much as you can. It probably goes without saying, but cover can be a great way to keep units alive. Yeah yeah, I get that there are plenty of ways to circumvent cover in the game and it kind of feels arbitrary at times, BUT it can still do something in a majority of cases. Sometimes it might be worth sacrificing that bit of movement to hunker down behind that piece of cover. It's not always a great idea to move straight ahead towards an objective. It can also be helpful to keep in mind your opponent's range and trying to kite out of their range while you use longer ranged heavy weapons to ping them. Sure, you're probably not going to deal a lot, if any, wounds, but you can keep your actions in the game for when you really need them!</div><div><br /></div><div>Lastly, the best and easiest way to preserve your action economy is by taking more elite units. If you want to keep your action economy at a lower threshold, but be able to maintain it for longer, than you'll want to make use of more efficient and more expensive units. Your actions will be harder to take out and they'll be better at taking out your opponent's. If you compare a squad of Deathtroopers to two squads of B1's you'll see what I mean. They're almost same points, but the B1's won't last nearly as long as the Deathtroopers. Deathtroopers will, statistically speaking, eliminate two B1's a turn while the two squads of B1's will eliminate one Deathtrooper a turn. Of course I didn't compute any other buffs or advantages, but the point here is to illustrate that it'd take a lot of shots from the B1's to eliminate the entire Deathtrooper squad and a lot of activations. Sure, the droids might have a higher action economy, but they have to spend more actions to accomplish the same work that elite units can accomplish (also worth noting that I didn't calculate in Precise 2 with the Deathtroopers, so it's a little skewed, it'd probably be closer to 3 dead B1's). However, it's not just in favor of elite units either. It's a trap! Quantity has its own quality that elite armies can't capture. Sure, it might be easier to take out your actions, but if you're good enough to hide wounded units and your opponent doesn't focus fire on them, you can maintain that higher action economy threshold. Sure, the Deathtroopers are good at killing two droids a turn, but that's only two B1's, that's just a measly 12 points! That one Deathtrooper your 12 B1's just killed was worth 19 points. It can hard to take out all of those actions when there are already so many to start with! So, yes, elite units are better at keeping their actions on the table longer, but lots of units can also be good at keeping their actions on the table if you force your opponent to divide their attention.</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img height="416" src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/cb/88/cb8812a9-8fe0-4b60-a090-8f26f47f16fb/swl44_battledroid_plastics-3d.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="448" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Poor B1's: The worst at everything, but the cheapest<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div><i>Side note: If you're curious how I computed those statistics, here's my math; With their red defense and innate Surge, Deathtroopers have a 2/6 (or 1/3) chance of failing a save while B1's have a 5/6 chance of failing. Deathtroopers also have a 5/8 chance of hitting their target at range 3 while the B1's have a 2/8 (or 1/4) chance of hitting. A single Deathtrooper has a 25/48 chance of eliminating a B1, so if a whole squad shoots (four shots), you'll have a 100/48 chance of killing a B1. Statistically speaking, Deathtroopers should kill 2 B1's a turn. Now, the B1's have a 4/48 chance of killing a Deathtrooper. A whole squad of B1's have a 24/48 chance of killing a Deathtrooper a turn. Two squads will have a 48/48 chance of killing a Deathtrooper a turn, so, statistically speaking again, two squads should kill a Deathtrooper a turn.</i></div><div><i><br /></i></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Crippling an Action Empire</h4><div><br /></div><div>There are two primary ways to cripple your opponents action economy and that's by applying Suppression tokens and by entirely removing a unit from play.</div><div><br /></div><div>Suppression is a whole 'nother beast on its own. If manipulated correctly, you can leave your opponent with several units on the table, but very few things those units can even do, especially when panicked. The most common way to apply Suppression is to attack a unit. Pretty straight forward. The other common way is to use a Suppressive weapon, so also pretty straight forward. But one way to greatly improve the amount of Suppression you can lay down is by splitting your shots. Remember, as long as a unit is the target of an attack and that attack rolled at least one hit, even if that hit is canceled out, the unit receives a Suppression token. So if you have a unit of Rebel troopers equipped with frag grenades and a Z-6, you could potentially throw out three suppression in a single attack against three separate units. Sure, you probably won't end up killing any models with those rather weak attack pools, but you could reduce three opposing units to being able to perform only one action when they activate. You just used one action to eliminate three of your opponent's actions and that's a net positive for your own action economy.</div><div><br /></div><div>However, if you -really- want to cripple your opponent, you need to entirely remove units from the table. This is why units that excel at long range combat can be really powerful. It's why you see Strike Teams with snipers so frequently (plus how point efficient they are). The ability to go ahead and start picking off enemy models and applying suppression with ease is so handy. It's also why big expensive units, like the AAT, Saber tank Operative Vader, and Count Dooku, are terrifyingly strong with their ability to wipe out whole units before they even get to activate in a given round. But hey, that's pretty straightforward stuff, you probably figured that out for yourself already. What you probably haven't thought too much about is sure, eliminating actions from your opponent's action economy is cool and all, but have you tried reducing their efficiency entirely? I'm not talking about Suppression either, I mean just by whittling a unit down. A unit of 4 regular Rebel Troopers and a Z-6 gunner is a lot more efficient with their shoot actions than a poor Rebel Trooper with just one regular trooper left. Sure, the unit still has their two actions, but they can't really do as much with those two actions that it could do before when it had the whole gang back together again. Even if you can't eliminate an entire unit, being able to reduce their attack pool by a couple of dice can be pretty helpful. I'm not saying you shouldn't eliminate entire units, you should almost always prioritize wiping a whole unit rather than keeping just a couple of models alive, but the point here is you shouldn't give up on a shot because "it won't do much". If you're trying to keep a unit alive and you have the choice of either gaining light cover or eliminating a couple of enemy models, you should probably take out a few enemy models especially if that one unit is the only unit that can attack the unit you're trying to keep alive. Light cover will only cancel out one regular hit for as long as you stay in the light cover, while taking away two shots will more than likely cancel out a hit for the rest of the game.</div><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">Conclusion</h3><div><br /></div><div>Next time you find yourself playing Legion, I hope you keep some of these things in mind. Remember specifically to increase your action efficiency, preserve your actions, and to cripple your opponent's action empire. If you can manage these three things while you play, then you've mastered the action economy and have become a better player for it. Of course, all of this doesn't just happen while you're playing either, it starts with how you build your list and what Command Cards you pick. If you really want to make sure you get the most out of your action economy, you need to think about this before you get to the table. Think about action efficiency synergies, units, and Commanders/Cards, that help further your goal or how you want to play.</div><div><br /></div><div>Phew! That was a pretty meaty article, huh? It was so meta, I feel like this article is becoming self-aware and the writer is talking to you, the reader, directly...Oh wait....</div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div></div>Pride of Rodinahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17902885482588392762noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6428949821305029771.post-29948019843299024512020-06-25T14:21:00.001-07:002021-07-20T15:09:01.001-07:00My Favorite Skirmish Game has Cowboys, Aliens, and Zombies: Wild West Exodus ReviewIf you're -really- into the miniature wargaming scene as a whole, you've probably seen some of the interesting models for Wild West Exodus (WWX); it's larger scale seemed intriguing to you and it's fantastic blend of old Wild West and steampunk sci-fi aesthetics probably caught your eye. Like me, the models weren't ever enough to convince you to try the game out, no matter how interesting they seemed. Honestly, I can't ever place my finger on what kept me from trying the game out (I think I always assumed it was larger scale than it is and being too pulpy for my taste), but I regret the fact that I never tried it out sooner. It has by far become one of my favorite skirmish experiences ever and I really wish I had gave Wild West Exodus the attention it deserved all those years ago.<div><br /><div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iPljx7nljJM/YPdJahUSUsI/AAAAAAAADiY/XaYAE0aZ96ITLV6vaeLNUvUK6rQZxlTxgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1920/Portal-Vanguard.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1080" data-original-width="1920" height="225" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iPljx7nljJM/YPdJahUSUsI/AAAAAAAADiY/XaYAE0aZ96ITLV6vaeLNUvUK6rQZxlTxgCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h225/Portal-Vanguard.jpg" width="400" /></a></div></div><div><br /></div><div>As I'm sure you can tell by now though, the game isn't perfect and we'll dive deep into exactly what my problems are with the game, but in all honesty, if you don't mind the aesthetics and you're craving a new skirmish game to play, this one will be hard to beat.</div><span><a name='more'></a></span><div><br /></div><div>The main positive points I want to discuss are:<br /><ol><li>Core Gameplay Loop&nbsp;</li><li>Opportunity Costs</li><li>Streamlined and Easy to Reference Rules</li><li>Unique Setting and Lore</li><li>Quality and Price</li></ol><div>The negative points I'm going to bring up are:</div><div><ol><li>&nbsp;Popularity (lack thereof)</li><li>All of the Sub-factions</li><li>List Building</li><li>Randomness and Chance</li></ol><div><br /></div></div></div><div>You might be thinking to yourself "PoR, with all of those good points conveying a higher net positive than the curmudgeon negative points, why did you say Star Wars: Legion (SWL) was your favorite game and this is only your favorite skirmish game?" Well, astute reader, thank you for that observation and trust me, we'll get into it. At the very end I'll give you a good side-by-side comparison to really highlight the reasons and give you a better understanding of what kind of reviewer and gamer I am to showcase how much weight I put into certain things and why SWL is still my favorite game, but WWX is probably the one I enjoy playing more.</div><div><br /></div><h2 style="text-align: left;">The Good</h2><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">Core Gameplay Loop</h3><div><br /></div><div>I'll be honest upfront, this is by far one of my favorite gameplay systems in a miniatures game as of yet. It's so refreshing and fun at the same time giving the player more control than I've felt in a long time.&nbsp; From the ground up, the game gives you choices and meaningful consequences to those choices. I rarely feel like I'm just going through the motions of the game to appease the arbitrary rules system like I do in so many other miniature wargames (you know what I'm talking about if you've ever said out-loud "alright, so we just completed this phase of the round, what's the next one and what are we supposed to do in it").</div><div><br /></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Activations</h4><div>It's quite simple. You draw a card off of your Action Deck (we'll get back to these) to see who goes first and then you draw a hand of cards that function as your secondary objectives and boosts. Then you draw a smaller card that has a number on it at the start of your turn, these are your Action Cards from the Action Deck. This number being the amount of actions you can perform this turn. Then you choose which model from your force you wish to perform said amount of actions with. Once you're done with all of your actions, you pass play to your opponent who proceeds the same way. You and your opponent keep doing this until you've both activated all of your models. Once the both of you have finished activating all of your models, you check victory conditions and if no one has won the game yet or the game has ended, you draw back up to your hand limit of those secondary objective and boost cards, called Adventure Cards. That's it, that's a whole round of play. However, there are nuances (obviously) that can expand on this loop and give you, the player, even more choices and consequences to deal with.</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Wild West Exodus - Resources" height="354" src="https://www.warcradle.com/images/wildWestExodusImages/wallpapers/1.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="629" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Conquistadors are a fantastic example of a sub-faction that can break the core gameplay loop<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div>Each Action Deck has various amounts of cards that range from 1-5 , meaning you could possibly end up drawing a card that only allows you to do one action that turn or you could draw a card that allows you to do five actions (although, there's only one of those in the entire deck of 48 cards. However, most units in the game will have a Limit attribute around 2 or 3, meaning they can only perform 2 or 3 actions. So, if you draw a 5, why would you use it on a unit that can only do two actions? That's because these are Action -Points-, not just actions, so you can use those extra points to Focus those actions. Focusing usually adds 2 to the corresponding action that you wish to perform. For example, if you focus a Move action, you move and additional 2". If you focus a shoot action, you get a +2 to your aim for that shot. On top of this, every Posse's Boss (your list's various leader models) has Fortune that any model in the same Posse (we'll discuss Posses in further depth later on) can spend to focus Actions instead of using Action Points or even to get more Action Points. You then have to decide how to get the most out of the amount of Action Points you get to use that turn according to the card you drew AND how to optimize your Boss/es Fortune. Do you still want to activate that unit that has a Limit of 2 after you drew a 5 point Action Card while you still have 8 Fortune to spend from your boss or do you go ahead and activate your Boss who has a Limit of 4, so they can get a whole lot of bang for their buck but then miss out on refreshing your Fortune pool (whenever a Boss finishes their activation their Fortune pool refreshes, so if you already spent all 8 Fortune while activating other units, then the Boss starts with 0, but ends with 8 again)? Choices, choices, what will you pick?</div><div><br /></div><div>Also worth noting is that I kind of lied when I said you activate a model/unit and then pass play to your opponent. Sure, that's the core part of the game but there are mechanics that can get past this. Some units have the "Teamwork" special rule that states if another Face or Boss ends their activation within 8" of the unit that possesses this special rule, that unit can immediately activate if you wish, drawing a new Action Card. Or you could play the boost half of an Adventure Card (and miss out on the secondary objective half that could net you some more victory points) that allows you to perform a Triggered Activation as if that unit had the Teamwork rule, but this only works for Faces. If you play your cards right (literally) and make sure your units end close enough to each other, you could easily chain together 3-6 activations a turn before your opponent even gets to go once! But where things can get really spicy is when you start talking about combat...</div><div><br /></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Combat</h4><div>Right off the bat I want to emphasize the fact that EVERY MODEL in this game only has one life. Yes, that's right, that armored tank-thing has one life. That giant mechanical spider? One life. That brutish zombie carrying two gatling guns? Yeah, you get the point. There are, of course, ways to go around this. Sure, everything on the surface has one life, but a lot of things (especially Bosses and Faces) have ways to completely mitigate damage, reduce the amount of damage they take, or have a pseudo-wound system.</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img height="484" src="https://www.warcradle.com/images/wildWestExodusImages/factions/main-cards/WEX151099001-1_MAKARA_card.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="629" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Everything you need to know for a given unit to have them punch some face<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div>The important note here is that everything dies quickly and everyone can actually deal some damage. If you've played Infinity than this is a pretty familiar concept to you. The big difference between the two systems, however, comes down to criticals and modifiers. First of all, you can't re-roll criticals at all no matter how badly you want to or using whatever ability you have (unless specifically stating that it does affect criticals). When performing a skill test, if you roll a 10 on the d10 then it's a critical success and you automatically succeed. This is especially important for weapons because when you roll a critical success you typically gain access to a new keyword for that weapon's attack. For example, some sniper rifles gain Fatal when they critically succeed which means they can ignore one of the possible pseudo-wound keywords called Mettle. It's not an automatic kill for whatever you were attacking, but it DOES mean it'll hurt if you fail that Grits check (this game's equivalent to armor). Some of them simply add an additional hit, etc. It makes criticals feel important, gives you a chance to ALWAYS succeed without interference from your opponent, and they aren't too game changing (i.e. your model isn't instantly killed). Not surprisingly, critical failures happen whenever you roll a 1 and it means you automatically fail whatever test you were performing.</div><div><br /></div><div>Probably the most interesting mechanic about this game is the lack of modifiers to dice rolls. The big bonus you get from most abilities is the ability to re-roll dice rather than adding to the values. This provides the game a feeling of uncertainty that I find missing from game systems that rely too much on modifiers. Knowing you can re-roll a die doesn't provide that same comfort&nbsp; a +2 does when you need a 5 or higher to hit. Don't get me wrong, there still are modifiers, like cover or Focusing actions, but the central focus is on either allowing or forcing re-rolls.</div><div><br /></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Adventure Cards</h4><div>Probably my favorite mechanic and, to me, the most unique is the Adventure Deck that we've briefly discussed so far. Every person starts with the same Adventure Deck, so there's no difference between the one you have and your opponent. These cards have two halves to them: Guts and Glory. Guts are the boosts I talked about earlier that allow you to chain activations, restore a model's Fortune to full, always you to interrupt the Activation order for one activation (effectively gaining you the first activation even if you lost the roll-off or allows you two activation in a row by swapping the order with your opponent), as well as various stat buff modifiers. The other half is Glory, which are your secondary objectives I mentioned above. These rascals can be cashed in after you achieve the Glory half for additional victory points. Are you struggling to achieve the mission objective? Work on fulfilling those Glory cards and start gaining some additional victory points!</div><div><br /></div><div>If you've ever played 40k using the objective cards from 8th edition of Classified Objectives from Infinity, then this might be familiar to you. However, what I think is quite brilliant here, is that no matter what card you draw it will more than likely still have a role to play. Did you draw an Adventure Card whose Glory side says to kill a Hands unit but your opponent doesn't have any Hands left? That's fine! Look at the Guts side and use that. Oh? It says you get +1 to Aim for this Activation? Hmmm. Modifiers are quite rare in this game, so that could be a big boost. Worse case scenario, if there are Adventure Cards you don't want then you can discard them at the end of the round and draw back up to the game's Adventure Card limit at the start of the next round.</div><div><br /></div><div>However, the greatest point I want to make about these Adventure Cards is the opportunity cost. You've probably gathered from my Legion review that I'm a gamer who loves it when I'm presented with meaningful choices. Having these cards play a significant role in boosting gameplay as well as scoring more victory points is a fantastic feeling. It makes them FEEL important and impactful throughout every point of the game. "Do I keep this card in hopes I can get my Boss to the enemy's deployment zone for an easy point or should I use it now to give my lynchpin Face an additional point of Grit in hopes they survive?" These questions come up regularly with Adventure Cards and I honestly wish more games implemented this kind of system. I love secondary objectives in games, truly, but I hate how they're implemented. They always feel like a random chore list that breaks my immersion ("why would my Guardsmen squad break flank and stop protecting this Basilik to go stand in that crater for two turns") and takes me out of the game. Sure, you still have your trite list of things here, but they feel exciting because they also come with these Guts boosts. Plus, most of them somewhat fit the narrative of the game as they require you to kill certain types of enemies doing certain actions, perform other actions, inflict negative status conditions, or get your Boss/es to the enemy's side, which I find to somewhat help fit in the narrative of the game and mission.</div><div><br /></div><div><i>Sidenote: Like I've said, Warcradle offers everything for this game for free. Here's a <a href="https://www.wildwestexodus.com/media">link</a> to their resources section so you can check out the cards for yourself. As they are an integral part of the game, it's a great idea to get familiar with them and see if you like the general feel of them before you invest. I know some folks don't like having too much unpredictability in their games while others like some or as much as they can get. I would like to point out there are 60 of them in total and you will mostly be drawing 2-4 a turn (depending on how many points you're playing and how many you've used) and each game goes for five rounds. You won't see every card every game, but you will see a good amount of them, especially as the Guts and Glory halves do repeat. It's not entirely unlikely to see a particular Guts or Glory effect like in a Magic Commander deck where you have a low chance of getting any particular card effect into play, but it's not guaranteed either. We'll talk more about the randomness of the game more later on, don't you worry, but it's important to note it here as it is an important part of the game.</i></div><div><i><br /></i></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">Opportunity Costs</h3><div><br /></div><div>You definitely know by now that I love opportunity costs and that I love meaningful choices in games. The action economy of this game is where this truly shines. You have a lot of choices to make and tools to help you get the most out of your turn. It all starts with those Action cards dictating the amount of actions you can before that turn, but that's not it. Keywords, Action Limits on units, and Boost cards can all impact this to give you highly explosive combo turns, if all done correctly. If you're the kind of player who loves make crazy combos in Magic: The Gathering and watching them unfold, then this is the miniatures game for you.</div><div><br /></div><div>Let's set the scene: Your opponent won initiative by drawing an Action Card with a 4 and you, unfortunately, drew a 1. "That's fine," you think to yourself, "I'll just use my Adventure card to Intterupt and play first". That's what you do. Instead of your opponent going first then you second and then back to them for third, you're now going first and they get to go second and third. However, you came prepared. You activate the first model who has Teamwork and ensure they end their activation within Teamwork range so you can trigger another activation. The first model cripples a Hands unit and then the second model finishes them off allowing you to cash in another Adventure card to score 1 VP for destroying a Hands unit during a shoot action. That's just a basic combo even. I think my favorite was when I won Initiative, drew a 1 Action card and went with my Boss. She then used Portal Mastery to place a portal and then another within 12" and then used Teamwork to activate one of my Faces who also used Portal Mastery. So, I ad four portals placed on the table allowing me to teleport my units in at various points who were in reserves and then it was supposed to be my opponent's turn. I then played an Interrupt to bring one of my Faces onto the table through one of my Portals using my Boss's Fortune who then charged into my opponent's Hand unit to prevent them from shooting at my Portals. Within two actual activations I was able to activate three units, charge into a good shooting unit to prevent them from shooting, and establishing a good control over the board.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img height="354" src="https://www.warcradle.com/images/wildWestExodusImages/wallpapers/Portal-Vanguard.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="629" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Better protect those portals!<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div>From those examples, it sounded like I had some really great wombo-combos setup, huh? I placed myself at an advantage while my opponent had little interaction? There's always more than meets the eye, dear reader. In the first example, I had two Faces left exposed and with little Fortune left to defend themselves. My opponent killed one of them, scoring their own VP, and charged the other to keep them from shitting as well as crippling them. In the second example I left my portals unprotected which ended up losing me, a Face was in combat halfway across the table with my immediate support, and my opponent had at least two full activations back-to-back, not counting any similar activation chaining abilities they have, to retaliate.There are always consequences for your choices, no matter how airtight you think your plan is. Should I not have given my opponent two actions back-to-back? Should I have saved my Adventure cards to try to get more Glory VP? Should I have been more patient with my portals? That's the beauty of it, there are so many opportunity costs in this game and I didn't even mention using Fortune in any of my examples to boost skill tests, movement, or adding further action points!</div><div><br /></div><div>That's what makes this game so interesting and fun to play. You never run out of choices to make and it's hard to decide what's the best course of action to take. There are few illusions of choice in this game as almost every choice you have to make comes with real consequences. Honestly, it can almost be overbearing at times and leads to analysis paralysis, but it is so freaking refreshing to have that problem while playing a tabletop game.</div><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">Streamlined and Easy to Reference Rules</h3><div><br /></div><div>It's been a long time since I was able to simply sit down with a rulebook, read it, and understand almost entirely how to play. I always do research before I invest in a game, so when I thought about getting into WWX I did just that. I realized the rules were free, so I started reading them and trying to get a good feel for the game. Rarely do I expect just reading the rules to give me a satisfying understanding of the game, so I also had some YouTube videos pulled up just in case. In fact, I was so engrossed that I sat in silence (which if you knew me would be quite terrifying as I constantly have music or videos playing) while I was reading. The flow made sense, things were introduced when it was appropriate, and they were concise enough to be easily remembered.</div><div><br /></div><div>After I was sold on the game and purchased my first two armies to try it out with, we had very few issues during that first game with the game. I was able to simply sit down, read the rules, and play the game. Was it a perfect game? Nah, we did miss a few things and there were a few rule interactions we played wrong, but it wasn't anything like "wait, how do we do this fundamental part of the game again? I really can't remember, guess we'll have to read the book to find out" and then spend 5-10 minutes searching for it. If we had a problem with a rule, I was able to pinpoint it quickly just from spending 20 minutes looking it over while I was researching it.</div><div><br /></div><div>The big reason why the rules are so easy to remember and follow is the plethora of reference charts in the rules. Want to know what those Guts symbols mean on your Adventure Cards? Warcradle's got you! Can't remember the sequence of play during a round? No worries! Looking for a glossary with just weapon traits? Bam! Looking for what that one simple unit trait does? Not a problem, go check that glossary section and it's in alphabetical order, oooo. Unlike with Legion (and one of my complaints about it), you don't have to sort through an entire glossary to find out what one keyword does. You only have to look through the specific glossary as everything is divided into easily digestible sections for ease of reference. Even the FAQ is broken down into easily discernible sections with little confusion. Go take a <a href="https://www.warcradle.com/uploads/wwx-pdfs/Studio-Commentary-to-109-June-2019.pdf">look</a>.</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img height="354" src="https://www.warcradle.com/images/wildWestExodusImages/wallpapers/NEVER-SLEEP.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="629" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">So easy to reference even this bandit can learn to play in his free-time.<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div>Maybe it's the simplicity of the core foundation of the game that allows them this easy structure? I really have no idea, but it's incredible how they can make such an easily digestible ruleset but still pack so many rules in it. I guess what really helps with this is the fact that every model has a card that uses a keywords and explains the rules on the card for you (very similar to Legion and Malifaux). Tack on that you can print out easy reference cards for common unit keywords (which are not actually explained on the cards themselves) and weapon traits, so you don't even have to look those up in the rules!&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>You look at the current 8th edition rules of 40k and you think to yourself "wow, this is a really easy to learn ruleset, so small and tight! I can play this no problem at all!" But then the interactions start coming into play from the various factions and you no longer have a clear answer and it requires sifting through at least three different FAQs (one for each faction involved and the rulebook). You also see other games that don't have any clear explanations at all on how things are supposed to function, even the basic foundation of the game, causing schisms within the community or they never release FAQs and leave it to communities to figure out their own answers. I still have yet to run into a rules encounter that I didn't feel was answered in the rules or the FAQ, but this could also come from a little bit of reading between the lines, which I sometimes do subconsciously. I would like to point out that I've played around 14 games now since starting earlier this year with or against five different factions and, again, there haven't been any major rule concerns yet. I will say that I did recently learn that Brutal only provides one additional attack max per attack action and it did take a bit of reading and re-reading to understand portal mastery, portal weapons, and portals in general. Plus, we're still not 100% sure on how units (aka squads) function in EVERY possible rules interaction since we rarely use units. The rules aren't perfect, but they're pretty solid in providing you with the rules you need to play and giving you the resources to clarify a majority of problems that should occur.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">Unique Setting and Lore</h3><div><br /></div><div>When I was a kid, I had a bit of a perplexing childhood. I was introduced to so many things as a kid because my dad is a man with a wide spectrum of interests. I have found memories of watching spaghetti Westerns, Mel Brooks' works (Good ol' "Blazing Saddles"), Lone Ranger, and Texas Walker Ranger along with the myriad of classic Sci-Fi (Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Battlestar, Stargate, Firefly, Godzilla, Ultra-Man, etc.) and Kung-Fu movies. As you can probably guess, my interests, because of this exposure, also span a really weird and loosely connected string of things. I love history, but I also love Sci-Fi and when you blend the two together, it's even better. Toss in subject matter that I've always been fascinated by and you've got a recipe straight to my nerdy heart. I've learned more about US and Mexican 1800's history from playing this game and researching the various characters than I ever did doing anything else in my life. I never knew Lincoln created the secret service. I've never heard of Pancho Villa or his revolution before. I always thought Billy the Kid was just a folk legend and not a real person. I also never realized that the Confederate States enlisted renegade guerrilla fighters, like Jesse James, as bushwhackers. I have no idea how accurate the lore is on the Native Americans as I'm not as familiar with Native American history, but it's a really interesting how tied to history WWX is.</div><div><br /></div><div>However, not only do you get some really cool nods to history in this game, you also get some really great Sci-Fi nods with aliens, zombies, and beast-men. Of course, you might point to the the literal alien faction of the "Watchers" and say "I see you Pride of Rodina and WWX, those are some really cheesy aliens, come on". And to that I retort "those aren't the only aliens in the game". You could argue that the Order faction are aliens too as they aren't from Earth, at least not every member of their secretive society. You also have the alien presence within the Hex, the symbiotic taint the Order has pledged to destroy. Oh, and yeah, let's get back to those zombies. I'm sure you've heard of Eiffel and Edeson, right? Well, they've joined a society of elite scientists and other intellectuals who tamper with the boundaries of science and push the frontier of knowledge into the fringe of unethical practices. That's where you get your robot-zombies, etc.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Wild West Exodus - Resources" height="354" src="https://www.warcradle.com/images/wildWestExodusImages/wallpapers/Amber-Clade.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="629" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">"Aliens"<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div>Sure, games that play on history can get kind of old when you realize how little creativity they have by just re-purposing world history for their own benefit, but it feels different here. I feel there's a unique enough spin on everything that it's not just Warcradle (or the previous owners of WWX, Outlaw Miniatures) pointing to history and saying "Look! More stuff we can shove into the game and not have to write our own lore!" They intertwine the history of the world so well (given that WWX takes place so soon after the US Civil War) into their own unique setting, especially now with Warcradle trying to tie it in with the Dystopian Age. The world is dark, but colorful, oozing with history, and has great stories to tell about the world we could be living in instead. If you are remotely interested in the Wild West theme and alternate takes on history, then this will be an excellent scratch for that very specific and odd itch that you have.</div><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">Quality and Price</h3><div><br /></div><div>If you're a ergonomic gamer like me, I'm sure some of your first questions are "what about the buy-in price" or "what's the quality like? The models seem too cheap and the game's audience seems kind of small". I know I had those questions because smaller games typically offer a lower price of entry by cutting corners on the quality of the sculpts, using cheaper but lower quality materials, and whatever else they can to help keep costs down. I can tell you right now that the models are relatively inexpensive, as you can see for yourself and they're excellent quality. The resin that's used here is some of the better resin I've seen and it does an excellent job capturing the details the sculptors put into the models. Warcradle has honestly kind of done themselves dirty by not giving you great ways to examine the miniatures online. Nothing I've seen has done them any justice at all compared to seeing them in person. Mold lines are quite minimal and hardly ever over anything important. The hard plastics are also quite excellent, very close to the likes of GW's. The only problem I've had with the WWX hard plastic kits is that they're always in the most ridiculous shapes or sizes. If you've ever build any of the Malifaux hard plastic kits, then these little rascals will won't be two different to you. This also means that they aren't as easily as convertible as the hard plastics of GW. You'll have a whole box of 10 unique sculpts, but almost every single arm is cut completely different and at different points. It's honestly insane how many different ways they can cut an arm....I guess they took inspiration from the Enlightened.</div><div><br /></div><div>Anywho, the price of entry is so exceptionally low as well that I'd go as far as to say this is by far one of the cheapest games to get into. You can easily get a standard sized force for around $100-125 with even enough extras to swap stuff in and out and then you can print out all of the tokens, cards, and rules (or keep them electronic to save on ink costs, but you still need tokens). The only thing you'd still need would be paints, dice, and terrain (foam-board, coffee stirrers, and time are your friend in this case). Warcradle also offers starter sets for almost every faction which gives you a posse box (the typical starting point for a force), a v. 1.08 book (they're on 1.09 now but there's a document that lists all of the changes as not much has changed and this book still serves as a good foundation), a nice acrylic template for all of your template needs, some d10's to play, and some actually good quality cardboard tokens. This way you don't even need to print anything out besides the unit cards and all you'd need is some terrain. If you don't see a starter box featuring the posse you're deadset on, you can easily just pick up all the extra stuff in an additional box for dirt cheap.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div><i>Sidenote: Yeah yeah, I get everyone brags about how cheap they're game is to get into, but it's actually a trap because you need to buy a whole bunch of models to be competitive or even to have fun, the books are expensive, the printable stuff doesn't cover it all, or the printable tokens absolutely suck, whatever. It's almost became a buzz word in tabletop gaming to talk about "low cost of entry" and "printable what-nots". I mean, seriously, everything's free here, the miniatures are dirt cheap for how many points they cost, even buying the premium tokens, dice, etc. is cheap, and the quality is still there. The cheap price isn't a sacrifice for anything or a trap. I guess the trap here is that there are not physical unit cards AT ALL. You can't even shell out for those premium gaming aids to get them. You WILL have to print those out, use older versions and edit them if you can find them, or use an electronic device.</i></div><div><i><br /></i></div><h2 style="text-align: left;">The Bad</h2><div><br /></div><div>"Wow, PoR! You sure do like, WWX, huh? Are you sure this isn't some rose-tinted lens syndrome thing?" Ah, thank you for pointing that out, astute reader! I do really like WWX and I have a LOT of good to say about it, but there are some blatant flaws with the game that make me realize that this game isn't for everyone and that helps me understand that sure, I freaking love this game, but it's not the greatest game ever. So, what exactly is it that keeps WWX from being the greatest game of all times, you ask? Let's dive in, shall we?</div><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">Popularity (lack thereof)</h3><div><br /></div><div>I'll be blunt and just say that it freaking kills me to have to put this down as a con. I HATE when your typical review places say "Well, no one plays the game, so it's dead, don't pick it up because of that" when in fact, depending on your area, there are some great communities that number 30+ and they still have rather large tournaments at national events across the globe. That's not the case with this game. This game has the popularity of a dead game. In fact, Star Wars miniatures, an old Wizards of the Coast game I used to play years ago, has a somewhat larger and more active community than this game and that game has been dead for 10 years. As I said above, I like to research and dive deep into every game I play, but it was hard for this one. I couldn't find any local groups, just a couple of individuals who live within a 4 hours radius of me, hardly any stores that sell it (especially locally as I had to go online to buy the miniatures I did get as none of the stores within an hour drive even heard of the game, but there is a store about 2 hours one way that does carry it, but they don't do online orders). I couldn't find any reviews for the game within this year and most of the others I could find were sponsored by Warcradle (not saying their illegitimate but&nbsp; it shows a good level of interest if lots of random people, like me, review the game for fun rather than as an obligation due to a business deal). Their official forums are pretty quiet and battle reports on YouTube are quite far and inbetween.</div><div><br /></div><div>I understand the concept that if more people start playing a game, then popularity isn't a problem anymore, so saying don't play a game because no one plays it simply feeds into the struggle of getting the game started in the first person. A self-fulfilling prophecy, if you will. I get it, honestly, and it's why I hate when reviewers mention it, but I feel it's exceptionally important in this case. You will be content starved for this game as it will mostly be you and whatever friend or significant other you can convince to pick it up with you. But to some folks, like myself, that's the beauty of it! It's like the great Wild West out there, just you enjoying this wonderful game, and not being overstimulated by content, metas, or tournament results.</div><div><br /></div><div>Also, I'd like to point out a few terrific resources if you are interested in starting this game. Like I said, simply saying a game doesn't have a presence and then not acknowledging the resources that do exist doesn't do anyone any justice, so here you go:</div><div><ul style="text-align: left;"><li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0P03yC2Ogyl7xjbIzokMaw">Mike the Warhost</a> is by far one of the greatest resources out there for WWX if you like video-based content. Unforuntately he's not as popular as he should be, but his passion is contagious and the occasional intro/outro skits help me crack a warm smile while I'm sitting by the campfire, trying to paint all those leather straps and edge-trim on my Order models. He has some terrific intro videos to help get you started on your journey and provide some companionship before he hit the dusty trail.</li><li>If you're familiar with Age of Sigmar lore, you've probably met this man before. Doug at <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmUeJagbIYI&amp;list=PLyIEtHBf1vpLvhT1_qJEH9y0ffuGib7-y">2+ Tough</a>&nbsp;has recently started doing some lore videos for WWX if you want to dive deeper into the game and hate reading (or you're too busy role-playing as someone from the Wild West and your character is illiterate). His silky smooth voice and calm demeanor can help even the cruelest of desperadoes feel a little happiness during those cold and dark desert nights.</li><li>The <a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/1502069660036705/">Dark Council</a> is by far one of the greatest resources for everything WWX. It's an official Facebook group from the head honchos at WWX and Warcradle, so you can interact personally with the Warcradle staff who've helped shape and make WWX, as well as the slew of wonderful pals and gals in the global community. Which, of course, counts the likes of Mike the Warhost and Doug from 2+ Tough among its posse members (I wouldn't want to tango with them in a shootout).</li><li>Probably the most important resource though is the <a href="https://www.possebuilder.com/">Posse Builder</a>. If you ever wanted a person to tag along with you to a shootout, it probably wouldn't be an web-based app, but I would definitely take the creator of the app. This tool is almost as essential to playing WWX as anything else, as it makes the list-building process significantly easier and helps make sense of the eternal debate of who to take in your list and who can even, legally, go into which posses.</li></ul><div>While you might feel alone at times playing WWX, there are resources out there and a LOT of great folks who are always willing to talk to you or help you along the journey of getting started. It's no where close to a dead game, so remember that, but also remember it might be hard to find someone to play with unless you already have someone else who's ready to invest in it.&nbsp;</div></div><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">All of the Sub-factions</h3><div><br /></div><div>I realize how ironic this criticism is about to sound, giving my above rant on how I like choices and opportunity costs, but wow. This game has a LOT of sub-factions. If you're familiar with Malifaux then this might sound pretty familiar to you.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>Every boss in this game has their own posse that they belong to and each posse belongs under a faction umbrella. "Well, yeah, obviously PoR, so why are you telling me this," is probably your thought and I bring this up because not every posse can use models from the same faction. Some models can only be used in a couple of posses that a faction has. So, you have your main faction posses (i.e. Union, Order, Watchers, etc.) and then you have your plethora of boss posses, which will make up the bulk of your lists (they have the greatest benefit) and some of those posses can only use very specific sub-faction keywords or even models. Sometimes those posses require models to be used from several factions, so you'll end up with some Enlightened, Hex, and Outlaws all in one posse. Note, I didn't say LIST, which is made up of as many posses as you want, but POSSES, as in sub-factions, the main list-building block of this game (similar to detachments in 40k).</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img height="354" src="https://www.warcradle.com/images/wildWestExodusImages/wallpapers/Faction-Posters2.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="629" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Left to right: Enlightened, Union, Hex, and Lawmen<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div>Honestly, it can be a right chore to figure out what all models you can take in which posse at times and which would be best. Do you take that one posse from your faction that is a sub-faction with all unique&nbsp; characters and only those characters can fill that posse along with a posse that contains a single boss leading a whole bunch of Hands? Or do you take one somewhat broader in scope posse so your entire list belongs to one posse that can encompass almost everything your faction has to offer (that's not the faction posse), but miss out on taking those two models you really like from your main faction? Talk about analysis paralysis! However, if you're someone like me, who loves having options and trying to figure out the best combos as well as always discovering new things, then this is the game for you!</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img height="354" src="https://www.warcradle.com/images/wildWestExodusImages/wallpapers/Faction-Posters-1.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="629" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Left to right: Watchers, Order, Warrior Nation, and Outlaws<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div>All of these sub-factions have their own unique feeling to them too, even within factions, so it's actually quite enjoyable to play around with them and see who exactly can go into each posse. However, if you feel overwhelmed easily by various sub-factions (you think 40k or Infinity have too many factions/sub-factions?) all with their own little unique quirk, then you might want to do some research beforehand to find the less-restrictive posses and Bosses.</div><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">List Building</h3><div><br /></div><div>Speaking of posses and the main list-building blocks of WWX, let's dig into that. Without the Posse Builder I linked above, it would be incredibly difficult to build a list in this game and that's coming from someone who used to memorize list building requirements and point costs so anytime he went out without his books/resources, he could build lists. Yeah, I'm that much of a list-building nerd and even I have problems at times.</div><div><br /></div><div>The number of sub-factions, keywords, and posse-building requirements is daunting, I'm not going to sugar-coat it. If you read my Legion review, I mentioned how my significant other actually doesn't mind making lists for Legion and that couldn't be any further from the case here. Once she find a list she kind of liked in WWX, she hasn't even tried to change anything, not even swapping out a single character for another. She's been using the exact same list for about a month and a half right now because she refuses to try to build another list (also note she mostly plays Golden Army and they're one of the smallest factions in the game, being a sub-faction of Outlaws). I mostly play Order, so I have the choice between four different posses (one generic and three belonging to specific bosses) and each one of those posses plays and feels so differently. Honestly, it's quite impressive that even within one faction and using a lot of the same models, I can have so many different ways to play, but it makes list-building tedious at times. Plus, not only do you have to decide which posses to take under your faction umbrella (or posses from other factions if you can), you also have to decide where best each unit slots in. Do I want my Hands unit with Horst's "Host of the High Sircan" posse so they can make use of his posse benefit and his high number of Fortune, or do I slot them into Elita's "Portal Vanguard" to fill out the sixth slot in the posse to give all of the models with the Astaea keyword Teamwork, even though my Hands unit doesn't have that keyword and therefore won't benefit from being in Elita's posse? This doesn't even include all of the various rules models can have to add further slots for K-9 dogs, mobs, civilians, traps, etc.</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-k-C8oiyHr6g/XvJzSYnGq6I/AAAAAAAADQg/N0g7eM0b7FQ9KqZ3ELhKStjL1hSJWMHsQCK4BGAsYHg/s393/WEX-WN-903-Raging-Bear.jpeg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="255" data-original-width="393" height="260" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-k-C8oiyHr6g/XvJzSYnGq6I/AAAAAAAADQg/N0g7eM0b7FQ9KqZ3ELhKStjL1hSJWMHsQCK4BGAsYHg/w400-h260/WEX-WN-903-Raging-Bear.jpeg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Example of a posse, the fundamental block in WWX list-building</td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><div>Like I said, this game presents you with a lot of opportunity costs while playing, but list-building also has it's own. In all honesty I'd have to describe the list-building part of this game as the epitome of "gamer's game". It takes a little bit of studying to fully understand the opportunity costs of making an ideal list and getting the most out of where each model/unit should be slotted and which posses, sub-factions, and factions work well together. However, it is worth noting, there are those generic faction posses to help anyone new be able to take whatever they want to play with and not worry about this meta-component. Also, it's not even required to take posses at all, according to the official rules, so you could quite seriously just pay for the points of all of your models and say goodbye to the complexities of building your own list. I wouldn't recommend this though as you should at least try to use the faction generic posses to help ease yourself into the posse system and to provide some sort of framework for list-building. Posses are a fundamental part of the game especially since Bosses are only allowed to share their Fortune points with units who are in their posses and these Fortune points are a huge boost to helping you mitigate the next issue I'm about to bring up.</div><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">Randomness and Chance</h3><div><br /></div><div>Sure, not having a local group is no problem for the hardcore gamer and you, Hardcore Gamer Reader, probably laughed at my complaints regarding all of the sub-factions and list-building, but this one goes out to you, amigo.</div><div><br /></div><div>Some folks believe that games are only a true test of intellectual might when variables of uncertainty are minimized and you merely provided with the tools to ensure your opponent's absolute destruction. It's why some revere games like Chess and Straetgo as the ultimate ways to gauge one's mental fortitude and determine who is the ultimate strategist. It's why the likes of dice-based games are frowned upon as true tests of tactical know-how because there's too much chance and uncertainty associated with them. It's why some games moved to using multiple dice for skill tests to create a distribution of probability (Warmachine and Hordes). It's why some removed criticals or suffered their blows (Infinity 4th edition). It's why some scrapped dice entirely for a more predictable and easier to control pool of chance by adding in a deck of cards (Malifaux). It's why some games provide modifiers to almost guarantee a skill is a success or a failure (GW games and Infinity) This is not that kind of game.</div><div><br /></div><div>WWX introduces more uncertainty than any other game I have ever played before. Between the dice rolls for skill checks, the Action deck to determine how many actions you can perform each turn, the Adventure deck that determines your secondary objectives and pseudo-game-breaking bonuses, to the critical system, you're never guaranteed a plan in this game. If you like planning ahead and thinking, in detail, several turns ahead then this is not the game for you.</div><div><br /></div><div>Please don't take me wrong on this though. I'm not saying this makes it a terrible game or that it's completely random. You still have SEVERAL ways to re-roll dice, help ensure skills succeed when they need to, and other tools to help you set out the plan you had. However, there's not much you can plan on and this is why I think this game might be a hard sell for some and why it's one of the greatest games I have ever played. I get so absolutely tired of games becoming too predictable, to the point where you can see your opponent's list, predict what they're going to do, and they do exactly that (hence why I got bored of Infinity and something I had to accept about 40k when picking it back up). Games are unpredictable and you never quite know what's going to happen which I absolutely love, but I know not many people who play games, especially competitive games, want that kind of experience. That's why I sadly had to consider it more of a negative point than a positive one.</div><div><br /></div><h3 style="text-align: left;">Why I like Legion More, but Enjoy WWX the Most</h3><div><br /></div><div>I think it's an important topic to bring up on how as a critic I have to set aside my personal opinions and feelings to address the quality, feel, gameplay, and acceptability of a game. I realize I'm only one person and I have some really niche interests, so I do my best to write my reviewers from the zeitgeist of gamers with a sprinkle of my opinions. For example, I think most gamers can appreciate the simplicity of WWX's rules and can not appreciate the massive wall of text that is Legion's rules. I also think most gamers can appreciate having meaningful choices in their game and feel frustrated when presented with the illusion of choice.</div><div><br /></div><div>This is why, as a self-appointed critic, I feel Legion is a better game than WWX. Legion is a tighter ruleset, it doesn't rely too much on variance and chance, and it provides a more fair experience to all involved. WWX is a wild adventure and I wish more people would experience it, but it's not the well-oiled machine that Legion is. I've had some of the craziest and most fun games of WWX than I have playing any other miniature game. Like I've said before, I can never predict how any of my games are going to go, no matter what. The amount of variance helps provide the game with a myriad of replay-ability and the crazy list-building mechanic in the game gives me so much to try out. However, I don't think it's a game every miniatures gamer should play. I think they should experience it, yes, but I don't think every single miniatures gamer -should- invest in it. I think, however, if you call yourself a miniatures gamer you should invest in Legion. It's a classic of the genre (if you will), while WWX is an astounding experience that will really resonate with people like me, those that love building lists, developing combos, having so many opportunity costs that&nbsp; every game never has a dull moment, and by being so random at times. Legion, on the other hand, gives miniature players that typical miniature game experience they've come to expect except better than most (if not all) offerings out there. It's fair, balanced, still presents a lot of oppurtunity costs, easy to learn and play, especially with previous miniature gaming experience, and still gives plenty of list-building to do (even though some options fall more into the "illusion of choice" branch), but without it overcoming the whole experience. Think of it kind of like this. If you were to ask someone what are some classic dystopian films, you'll probably get Mad Max, Blade Runner, Clockwork Orange, Hunger Games, The Matrix, Akira, etc. But if you want great dystopian films then Turbo Kid, Snowpiercer, and Death Race come to mind. The first are iconic, masterpieces in their genre, and a must-see for anyone wanting to experience the genre (you can argue Hunger Games, sure), but the latter are for after you get the foundation and you want something a little different and spicy.</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Turbo Kid - Wikipedia" src="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f2/Turbo_Kid_poster.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">One of my favorite movies, but definitely not for everyone, just like WWX<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div>That's why if you are a dedicated miniatures gamer or a new one, I would recommend Legion first, closely followed by WWX. If you're a more seasoned miniatures gamer looking for a fresh take on the genre and other themes you've become familiar with, than welcome to the club and give WWX the chance it deserves. If there was ever a criminally underrated and underplayed miniatures game out there, it would be WWX and I hope this changes in the future because I am beyond excited to see what else this incredible and beautiful game has in store for the future, especially with Lost World Exodus on the way.</div></div>Pride of Rodinahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17902885482588392762noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6428949821305029771.post-71539295445289035942020-05-01T09:30:00.003-07:002020-08-26T12:39:43.760-07:00General Kenobi Leads the Charge<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></div>You probably didn't need advice on how to run Rex, you've probably mastered your Phase I and II Clones before I even wrote my articles, and you're probably stomping some people with your Republic lists; however, if you're anything like me, Obi-Wan on the other hand is a bit of an enigma. You're really struggling to find a good role for Obi as well as a slot in your lists, what exactly is he supposed to do and how are you supposed to use him? He doesn't really mesh well enough with your Clones like Rex, he isn't a straight forward beat stick like the Saber tank or other Force-users, and the only real synergy that's self-evident is his ability to tank hits for others. What are you supposed to do with that?<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://i.imgflip.com/1r3fn3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Obi Wan Says Hello - Imgflip" border="0" height="273" src="https://i.imgflip.com/1r3fn3.jpg" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Make sure you at least say this iconic line once when you use Obi-Wan Kenobi.</td></tr></tbody></table><br />Trust me, you aren't alone and that's the point of today's article! Getting the most out of Obi-Wan, because, honestly, he really is a kind of odd piece in the grand scheme of the Republic right now (hopefully future releases give him a bit more obvious role), but don't worry! We're going to dive deep to find out what Obi-Wan can do for your Republic lists and how you can get a whole lot of utility and fun out of him.<br /><br /><a name='more'></a><h3>General Tactics</h3>You've probably noticed by now, but Obi-Wan is a dual purpose character. He's a really great defender and protector for the rest of your army while also being an absolute beat stick. Six health is pretty decent for a Commander, even a Force-user, and with Courage 3, he can create a bubble around him where almost no friendly Troopers will be running away, unlike with Rex! Guardian 3 allows Obi to protect any of your weaker and arguably more vital pieces (like Rex or a fully upgraded squad of Clones). Tack on Soresu Mastery and not only is he protecting your other pieces, but he's dishing some damage back too when he uses Dodge token. Plus, his lightsaber, Jump 1, Force Mastery 1, and Charge means he'll really ruin some peoples' days in melee. All of this combines to make Obi favor the frontlines, close to his allies, and in the middle of the board where he can easily have the most control over the table. He doesn't want to go on the flanks or be by himself, as he likes company and he likes being able to quickly access the entire board. They don't call him General Kenobi for no reason! Once the game goes on a bit longer, he'll want to split off from the rest of your force and start eliminating key targets to secure objectives and clear the way for your weaker pieces. To put it in simpler terms, Obi-Wan is like your stereotypical Paladin trope; he likes being close to his allies, tanking hits (only when properly buffed), and dealing damage to foes that get too close or hamper his team's success.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Clone%20Wars%20Core%20Set/Obi-Wan%20Kenobi.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Clone%20Wars%20Core%20Set/Obi-Wan%20Kenobi.png" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The Jedi general of legend himself<br />Credit to <a href="https://tabletopadmiral.com/legion/empire/c08" target="_blank">Tabletop Admiral</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br />While we're talking about Obi tanking hits, currently the big downfall of this is the Republic has absolutely zero sources of healing, so you're risking the same chance to take a wound on Obi as you would with pretty much any other unit in your army (except Obi does get Defensive Surges when he uses a Dodge). It pretty much boils down to spreading the damage around and personally I would say it's a bit of a trap, unless buffed by his Command Cards. Like I said though, if you wanted to protect your more vital pieces, like Rex, then it's fine to spread the damage around a bit. However, you're bringing a 175+ unit closer to elimination to keep a cheaper piece alive or at full effectiveness. Obi also likes being at full health too so he can run around and beat some face, so honestly the Guardian skill on Obi is something you can probably ignore for now, unless you REALLY want to protect Rex, R2, or keep those heavy weapons alive. It'll become a far more useful skill when the Republic gets access to some healing powers (fingers crossed for light side only force healing powers) and more units with White defense who would love someone to tank hits for them (Padme).<br /><br />Lastly, like any Force-user, Obi is superb at dealing damage. While his saber isn't exactly the best out there, 2R, 2B, and 2W with Critical 2, Impact 2, and Pierce 2 is still nothing to scoff at! Toss on Charge, Jump 1 to get where he needs to be, and Master of the Force 1 to Ready any one Force Power, he'll be an absolute wrecking ball! Not only that, but anytime he spends a Dodge token he gets the chance to wound the attacker, so even while on the defense or protecting his allies he can still dish out some damage! Sure, Obi has a fair amount of buffs built in as well as defensive abilities, but also don't forget to utilize his offensive abilities because he's scarily competent against any target.<br /><br /><h3>Equipment</h3><div>Like most Jedi and other Force-users, Kenobi doesn't really have many slots for upgrades. However, he has room for arguably some of the most powerful upgrades in the game: Force Powers and two at that. Plus, he gets access to the ever helpful Training slot and a Command slot if you ever want to use him as a Commander and make use of his delicious Command Cards.<br /><br /><h4>Force Powers</h4><div>There are quite a few good options in here for Obi-Wan and it really boils down to the kind of role you have in mind for him. You can easily make him into a fully support machine, pumping out tokens and buffing your Clones. You could also easily go the offense route and have Obi really wreck some face, or a mixture of the two to truly capitalize on the mixed bag of tricks Kenobi brings to the table.<br /><br />For support, you have <u>Battle Mediation</u>,&nbsp;<u>Force Guidance</u>, <u>Hope</u>, and <u>Force Reflexes</u>. <u>Force Reflexes</u>&nbsp;is probably an obvious choice, allowing Obi to gain a Dodge token as a Free Action and simply exhaust the card (which can then be readied with Master of the Force). This helps Obi really become the damage tanking paladin that he appears to want to be. It's a really strong choice, for sure, but I want to bring up the point that Obi's Command Cards help him get Dodges fairly easily as is (except the 3-Pip), so he'd only need Dodges, to consistently have them, for four other turns. While this sounds like a lot, you can easily ignore turn one as you're not really going to get shot much then (or if you do, it'll be snipers that have High Velocity and don't care about your Dodges), which leaves only three turns. It's also worth noting that since Obi-Wan needs to stay with the rest of the army for a bit (and most of them will either Aim and Shoot or Move and Shoot) you won't be moving twice with Obi much. This means he'll be doing a lot of Move and ____. If Obi can't attack except for melee, that second action isn't going to be an attack, so what else will it be? Dodge or Standby, that's all you've got. Plus, if you play Obi like you should, he shouldn't be out in the open every single turn to get shot anyway, he should be hiding as he approaches and supports the rest of your army, so in all honesty. You don't really NEED a reliable source of Dodge tokens for every turn as Obi should already have them on the turns where it matters thanks to his Command Cards. However, as I said, it's still a really great power and can synergize really well with Obi (especially if you wanted more than one Dodge on the turns you don't play Command Cards), I just wanted to point out the fact that it's not an auto-include or mandatory.<br /><br />Next up is <u>Hope</u>&nbsp;which I think is a criminally underrated ability for a Clone army. Right now a Republic army has no way to reliably deal with Suppression tokens and since Obi-Wan already wants to stay close to his friends, allowing him to help remove Suppression and keep your action economy up can be a huge boon. If you plan on using a lot of Phase I's and don't want to take Captains, then tagging <u>Hope</u>&nbsp;onto Obi is a good way to keep your Clones at full efficiency. This is especially true as even if Obi Guardians all of the hits away from a target, they still get a Suppression, so Obi can completely mitigate the basic effects of an attack. However, taking up a Force slot with an ability that just gives you Inspire 1 can be a bit rough, but if you really wanted to keep the support theme up and keep Obi cheap, don't skip on <u>Hope</u>!<br /><br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Clone%20Wars%20Core%20Set/Force%20Guidance.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Clone%20Wars%20Core%20Set/Force%20Guidance.png" width="258" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">You can always use more Surges in a Republic army<br />Credit to&nbsp;<a href="https://tabletopadmiral.com/legion/empire/c08" style="font-size: 12.8px;" target="_blank">Tabletop Admiral</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><u>Force Guidance</u>&nbsp;is a very interesting option to take. Providing Surges to Clones is always an excellent force multiplier to increase their efficiency and with their token sharing ability, you can get a lot of mileage out of them. Plus, it being a Free action and only needing to exhaust is really strong, allowing you (with Mastery of the Force or spending an action to Ready) to pump out 12 Surges over the course of an entire game! Use this with the 3-Pip, toss in some Phase II's and you've got a lot of Surge tokens. Plus, it has Obi-Wan's picture on the card, so flavor win! Honestly, I love this ability on Obi, especially when I can ready it using Mastery of the Force, but it can be a bit hard to not take <u>Force Reflexes</u>&nbsp;as my dedicated Mastery of the Force upgrade. It really comes down to what you want out of your Obi and if you're fine with not using both abilities every single turn.<br /><br />For the last support option and the one I'm mostly adding for the sake of being comprehensive, <u>Battle Meditation</u>&nbsp;is an alright option. Allowing Obi to issue an Order to any single unit anywhere on the table regardless of restrictions for only 5 points is pretty neat. Is it going to win you games? Nah. Is it really a huge force multiplier? Nah. But what it's there for is if you plan on trying to flank your opponent with a BARC or the upcoming AT-RT and you REALLY want to make sure you can keep giving them Orders and reliably activate them. However, Obi's Command Cards don't really do anything for any unit by simply issuing them Orders (unless you take Aggressive Tactics), so it's just there to help Obi reliably issue an Order to a unit and, honestly, that's handy, but the other Force Powers will be far more useful. This is more or less an ability to help you out if you don't really have a good grasp on issuing orders and trying to keep your army within Command Range of your Commanders.<br /><br /><i>Side note:&nbsp;Any upgrade that merely exists as a quality of life improvement&nbsp;is never bad and you should never feel bad for taking them. Legion isn't always the easiest game to play, so taking upgrades like <u>Battle Meditation</u>, <u>Command Presence</u>, <u>Long-Range Comlink</u>, etc. isn't bad and you're not a bad player for taking them. They exist to help ease you into the game and getting you used to the flow of it. When I first started playing Legion, I had to use these kind of upgrades a lot until I felt comfortable with the core mechanics and could start using the crazier, more combo-centric upgrades. So don't feel bad for taking upgrades that aren't always optimized because you like the ease and comfort of not having to constantly worry about Command Range and whatnot. Don't let anyone tell you that you should feel bad for it either. You should play and enjoy the game how you want to play it and enjoy it.</i><br /><i><br /></i>Alright, now it's time for the real meaty parts! The offensive powers! This is where the real fun begins, like with <u>Saber Throw</u>, <u>Jedi Mind Trick</u>, and <u>Force Push</u>. <u>Saber Throw</u>&nbsp;is by far a classic and a lot of run (especially since it's been FAQ'ed that when you have to halve anything, it's done by numbers and not numbers and colors, so you can throw Obi's saber with 2R and 1B). Pretty straight forward and helps give Obi some much needed range for someone who wants to be patient and stick with the bulk of your army. You can never go wrong with <u>Saber Throw at 5 points</u>, seriously, unless you wanted to go full support. <u>Force Push</u>&nbsp;is a bit trickier as it requires Obi to be in range 1 of the target and has to exhaust. You're more than likely not going to use Mastery of the Force to ready this ability (as you should probably use it for <u>Reflexes</u>&nbsp;or <u>Guidance</u>), so you're going to get a limited number of uses out of it. It's more or less a one-trick pony to push a melee monster away from your weaker targets (like shoving Vader away from Rex or a fully upgraded Phase II) or pushing a target into melee with Obi (which it'll probably be more advantageous to Charge unless you REALLY wanted to keep your position and not risk running forward into the open to be left there after you annihilate the target or they Disengage). This is more of an ability you'd take if you wanted to focus entirely on offensive (while also taking <u>Saber Throw</u>) and not worry about having Obi's Force Powers be used for support. And lastly, we have <u>Jedi Mind Trick</u>. By far the least exciting offensive power, and needing to exhaust to use, it can really be a nice little trick to use though. If you really wanted to go for a Suppression Bomb, then this is a nice addition, especially when coupled with <u>Saber Throw</u>. Deal a Suppression with <u>Saber Throw</u>, hit them with <u>Jedi Mind Trick</u>&nbsp;for an additional two, and then pile on a Phase II mortar. In two activations, you've piled on 5 Suppression on a single target! Seriously, it's not a terrible idea, especially when coupled with Mortars and if your plan is to cripple your opponent's action economy or make them lose units to fleeing, but it can be a bit hard to argue for it when Obi is a semi-support piece who likes Dodges. Using Obi to lay down 3 Suppression a turn is oddly satisfying, but also feels kind of gimmicky too.<br /><br /><h4>Training</h4>Obi-Wan is one of those rare cases where all of the Training options can be really strong on him. <u>Duck and Cover</u>&nbsp;can be used to help Obi stay alive, cancelling out some hits thanks to Suppression and not be hindered by it until he hits 3 (hooray Courage 3!). <u>Overwatch</u>&nbsp;is a nice addition as you can pile up the Standbys with his 1-Pip and allow him to react to just about anything that would try to shoot him. While probably not ideal, it can help keep Obi out of trouble by being able to Standby Move away out of LoS after someone moves forward or Aims. <u>Tenacity</u>&nbsp;is an obviously great upgrade for him as he'll more than likely get wounded at some point (especially using Guardian 3 when he isn't properly buffed) and he'll more than likely get into melee at some point (unless you're trying out the Suppression Bomb), so him throwing 3R, 2B, 2W with Criticial 2, Impact 2, and Pierce 2 is meeeeeean. <u>Tactical Push</u>&nbsp;is probably one of the more 'meh' options as Obi doesn't really need aims too badly, being Critical 2, Pierce 2, and tossing at least 2R and 1B with any attack he'd do. Having a couple of re-rolls is never bad though especially since Obi will be doing a lot of Moving, but requiring you to Ready to use it again will be a bit gimmicky. It'll definitely be a one-trick pony as Obi won't really be Readying that much, unless you took two exhaustible Force Powers that you REALLY want to use every turn.&nbsp;</div><div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/06/2e/062e8694-e777-4917-83f7-5da986310d99/swlp02_preview1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Living Legend - Fantasy Flight Games" border="0" src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/06/2e/062e8694-e777-4917-83f7-5da986310d99/swlp02_preview1.jpg" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The face of a man who's ready to toss a 'saber</td></tr></tbody></table><br />This brings us to <u>Hunter</u>&nbsp;which, again, isn't too important since Obi really won't need the Aims too badly and this upgrade only works when he attacks a wounded trooper unit (so characters only). Lastly is <u>Endurance</u>&nbsp;which is another "meh" upgrade for Obi, but it still has its merits. Once your opponent realizes how mean Obi can really be, especially if you keep negating their attacks with Guardian and Dodging all of the hits, they're going to start to focus Kenobi...hardcore. They're more than likely going to want him dead and start piling on obscene amounts of Suppression (I once had my Obi reach 9 Suppression and it was kind of sad and funny to watch him flee). Being able to mitigate that is exceptionally handy, especially if you want to have your Obi front and center, never hiding (which you shouldn't do, but it does make for a really cool cinematic moment. It's a more niche option and is primarily there for when you're expecting a problem which may or may not happen, especially when you consider how useful the other Training upgrades can be.<br /><br /></div><h4>Command</h4>You're probably not really taking Obi to be your primary commander so these are probably going to be the upgrades you skip. However, as mentioned right below, Obi does have quite a few great Command cards to help buff the rest of your army, so it's not like he's never going to be issuing Orders. To be honest, really the only upgrade you're likely to take is going to be <u>Aggressive Tactics</u>, so the question becomes, is it worth 10 points to give you the ability to gain 7 additional Surge tokens (two of which will only be on Obi) with Obi, if you're even using all three of his cards? If Obi is your only Commander, then I would obviously say go for it, then you'd get more mileage out of it by having him use the generic Command cards too, but if you're using him alongside Rex (who has his own three cards you'll definitely be taking and who should almost always take <u>Aggressive Tactics</u>), it's a bit harder to swallow that pill. If you didn't take <u>Force Guidance</u>, then I could see where paying the 10 points to have 5 additional Surges for your Clones (ignore the Surges for Obi as he should be Dodging most of the time so won't need it for defense and has Crit 2 on the offense, so kind of irrelevant there too) to use is handy, but is it 2 points a Surge handy? At least <u>Force Guidance</u>&nbsp;gives you 12 (if Obi lives for 6 rounds and you use Mastery of the Force to continuously ready it) for the same price. It's by far down to how valuable you find Surge tokens to be and that's a call you'll have to make for yourself as I know sometimes I really want more Surge tokens (like when I'm not running Phase II's) and there are times when I don't feel like I need them and would rather spend the points on more bodies, heavy weapons, or upgrades.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></div><br /><div></div><h3>Command Cards</h3>This is where Obi-Wan really shines as the support powerhouse that he can really be. Sure, Rex synergizes exceptionally well with Clone units and provides a myriad of buffs to them, Kenobi synergizes with any Republic units and troopers. His cards are also the true epitome of who Kenobi is on the table allowing him to be the beat face, support, and tank his unit card eludes to. I would also argue that unlike with Rex, Kenobi's cards are far easier to understand when you should play them. His cards get stronger when certain conditions are met, so optimizing them and getting the most bang for your buck is the real key.<br /><br /><h4>Hello There! (1-Pip)</h4><div>Ah, the classic saying and the classic "1-Pip turning the character it belongs to into a freaking powerhouse". This is the card you want to play after you spent a turn running Obi up and shoving him up into your opponent's army. It allows Obi to gain the Nimble keyword (so he gains one Dodge back anytime he uses any amount of Dodge tokens...great with Soresu Mastery) and he gains one green token of your choice for each enemy within 1-2. The problem is this card is highly telegraphed on your part if you're aiming to get the most use out of it and is that really a problem? I'd say no, unless you really wanted to go first and you're playing against a Krennic or Dooku who haven't used their 1-Pip yet. Because, in theory, you can easily turn Obi into an absolute tank in both offensive and defensive capabilities. Now's the time to use that Guardian 3 with those Dodges, get that Standy if you're worried your opponent will still beat your 1-Pip, and get those Aims if you plan on doing any attacks.<br /><br />You can VERY easily get 3-5 tokens off of this card if you position yourself the turn before. I won't tell you the optimal combination of tokens to get, as I don't really know and it depends on the situation you threw your Obi in, but I will say that at least one Dodge is mandatory, if not more. An Aim is very useful if you plan on doing any offense the the turn you play this card, and then round the rest out with Surges. Of course, as I said, if you're worried about a Krennic or Dooku beating you and going first while you left Obi completely open, a Standy is a great idea too, so you can move into a better position or hit someone in melee.<br /><div><br /><h4>Knowledge and Defense (2-Pip)</h4>On the surface, this card seems pretty straightforward and kind of eh, but if you think about it, this can be one of Obi's stronger cards. Again, if played correctly, you could easily get 3-6 Dodge tokens out of this card and have Obi tank a ridiculous amount of hits. Honestly, once you play this card, Guardian 3 isn't a trap anymore and a super ability to use to protect your units or other characters, especially those looking Darth Vader in the face. This also means that Obi is capable of deflecting even more fire back at whoever's bold enough to shoot any allies that are close to Obi. Not only do you get to make Obi a blocking and Guardian fiend for a turn, you also get to issue Orders to any two Trooper units.<br /><br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Clone%20Wars%20Core%20Set/Knowledge%20and%20Defense.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Clone%20Wars%20Core%20Set/Knowledge%20and%20Defense.png" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">For those times when you REALLY need to Guardian<br />Credit to&nbsp;<a href="https://tabletopadmiral.com/legion/empire/c08" style="font-size: 12.8px;" target="_blank">Tabletop Admiral</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br />This card wants to be played more as a way to protect your units and get them into position while at full strength.&nbsp; Ideally either your second or third turn, once you can get some more troopers within range of Obi and start getting in range of your opponent. This will allow Kenobi to get as Dodges as you feel necessary so he can help your troops advance unhindered and get those Clones on the objectives and those guns pointed at the enemy. While it might be tempting to use the second part of this card, the whole "can use Guardian during a melee attack", it'll be incredibly hard to pull off correctly. More than likely, if your opponent is in combat with something they really want eliminated and it's something you really want to keep alive, they're going to be playing their 1-Pip to get priority, so you're playing a 2-Pip in hopes of protecting a unit won't do much. That melee beat stick is going to steam roll your unit (more than likely) after being the first activation for the round and Obi will probably be too far away to Guardian. Of course, if you planned accordingly and position Kenobi where he needs to be and your opponent decides to ignore the Bulwark Jedi himself is at range 1 of whatever they charged, then go for it! It can be a great play to help keep your units protected in melee by having Obi adsorb some hits. Just don't always count on it working out the way you expect it to and you might want to consider using it to help your units get into position the first couple of turns without taking much damage.<br /><br /><i>Sidenote: A really strong play with this card is if your opponent is playing Taun-Tauns (or upcoming Clan Wren) and charging your front lines within the first two turns. You'll still have plenty of units close to Obi unlike the typical Turn 3, 4, or 5 engagements. This will allow Obi to tank some hits for your units and try to keep them alive, maintaining your action economy, and then allowing the units to Disengage.</i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></div><br /><div><h4><b>General Kenobi (3-Pip)</b></h4>This is the card that can really make your Clones into a ridiculous fighting machine. You issue Orders to Obi and then two other Units. Those two units and Obi get a Surge token for each friendly unit withing Range 1 of them. It might be a bit harder to pull off than the other two cards, but you could easily just feed a fistful of Surge tokens into your Clone token sharing machine and get an incredible turn of efficiency out of them. But hey, you don't HAVE to use it on Clones either, you could use it on the Saber, BARCs or whatever else comes out in the future (won't do much for the AT-RT since it already has offensive and defensive Surges). However, it obviously has the biggest impact on Clone units, but it is worth pointing out it doesn't have to be them (unlike Rex's 3-Pip) in case you find yourself in a pinch and need to buff a particular non-Clone unit. Honestly, this is probably one of Obi's most versatile cards and doesn't really have a particular point when it should be played. It mostly boils down to three conditions:<br /><ol><li>Is Obi within range 1 of at least one other unit and/or is it important that I issue an Order to him?</li><li>Are there two other units I would really like to activate this turn, but don't mind losing Priority?</li><li>Are those two other units in range 1 of at least one other unit?</li></ol>If these three conditions are met (I realize condition 1 is technically two conditions, but if you answer 'yes' to at least one of them, then count condition 1 as a yes, you don't need to answer 'yes' to both), then this Command Card is ideal. It can easily be used in the earlier turns of the game or later on when the going gets rough. It will, ideally, be more of a mid-game play where you've got a good chunk of your army in range of the enemy and they also have a good chunk of their army in range with you, so you can get some extra offensive and defensive efficiency. This means it'll be, more or less, the card you play in between "Knowledge and Defense" and "Hello There!"<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/13/09/1309c5b6-aa36-460a-9c41-b518d9a600f2/swl44_obi-wan_animation.gif" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="The Clone Wars Have Begun - Fantasy Flight Games" border="0" height="228" src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/13/09/1309c5b6-aa36-460a-9c41-b518d9a600f2/swl44_obi-wan_animation.gif" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Mmmmm. The iconic "General Kenobi"</td></tr></tbody></table><br />Also, while not ideal, the extra Surges on Obi help him become 1/6th per Surge token better at defense (unless you're using a Dodge to get Soresu Mastery, then it has no benefit). While the 1-Pip and 2-Pip are pretty much the only times you should be utilizing Guardian 3 with Obi, this card isn't too bad if you REALLY want to make sure you protect a vital piece in your list.<br /><br /><h3>Conclusion</h3>With of this in mind, your main focus will be on positioning Obi to obtain the utmost effectiveness of his range dependent Command Cards, Force Powers, and Guardian. Planning ahead on what you want Obi to do the next turn and who you want him to buff is crucial to his success, especially before he tapers off and starts wrecking face. You can't just place Obi somewhere on the table and hope for the best like you somewhat can with Rex. He requires planning. That's why it's extremely important to make sure you check your ranges a lot with Kenobi and understand the conditions of what to play when. His abilities are pretty flexible, but you still should understand when each card is best played, how to optimize those plays, and learn to get him into position. Really get familiar with his Command Cards, the Force Powers you decide to take, and understand his relational relationship with other pieces.<br /><br />Sure, Obi-Wan might be one of the weirdest pieces currently in the Republic army, but he can be one of the strongest pieces once you really tap into that potential. He's a superb all-rounder with the ability to protect your other units, being able to buff them, and still deal out a lot of damage. The main problem with him is the fact that he does so many things so well, he doesn't really have a clear role and, honestly, that's the beauty of him. He can fill whatever role you need him to and on the fly even. He's the epitome of the Republic's Swiss Army knife, being able to meet whatever needs you have, answering the call of the Republic in its darkest times.<br /><br /></div></div>Pride of Rodinahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17902885482588392762noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6428949821305029771.post-53419619496227434162020-04-11T08:40:00.003-07:002020-10-26T16:22:55.255-07:00Rex and the Boys<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></div>If you've been playing the Republic so far, then you are no stranger to everyone's favorite Clone captain, Captain Rex. Currently being the cheapest available commander for the Republic as well as the only Clone Trooper commander, he's a very common choice. He's a great offensive support character, helping the boys get the tokens they need and provide some additional firepower to any list. He's an excellent toolkit commander to help get some work done and we're going to discuss all of the cool tricks and synergies this Clone veteran can bring to the table.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lumiere-a.akamaihd.net/v1/images/captain-rex-main_aa5c3c4f.jpeg?region=0%2C40%2C1280%2C640" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Clone Captain Rex | StarWars.com" border="0" height="200" src="https://lumiere-a.akamaihd.net/v1/images/captain-rex-main_aa5c3c4f.jpeg?region=0%2C40%2C1280%2C640" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Now to wait for those ARC Troopers to be released and recreate this scene!</td></tr></tbody></table><h3><a name='more'></a></h3><h3>General Tactics</h3>As stated above, Rex is more of an offensive support character. He's not the best offensive commander out there when compared to the powerful force users (Vader, Dooku, and Luke) or straight gunners of other factions (Iden, Cassian, and Jyn), but he's also not that great at supporting the rest of your army like other armies' support-centered commanders (i.e. Leia, Veers, and Krennic). A few other issues with Rex is his love for Trooper units, his somewhat low, for a Commander, health and only having Courage 2. While the first point seems a bit odd, it can be a bit of a problem when you're trying to use any form of vehicle with Rex as he struggles to issue them Orders and hardly has any way to support them either. The last two points are what make him feel a bit weaker when compared to other Commanders as well, so you need to be careful with him or he'll get shot off the board or Panicked. However, unlike other Commanders, he can still dish out some raw damage and support the troops. Arguably, Rex is one of the best offensive-support Commanders out there!<br /><br />With Scouting Party, Rex can help the gang get into position before the battle even starts, ensuring those DC-15's and RPS-6's can immediately start firing or R2 gets one move closer to getting that Secret Mission. He can also act as a great little support Clone squad by generating tokens for his fellow troopers to borrow (especially as he has Tactical, so anytime he moves he gains an Aim token). Plus, you can give him upgrades to really help him support your other Clone troopers (Electrobinoculars, Smoke grenades, Aggressive Tactics, Offensive Push, etc.), especially since Rex is only range 2 so he won't be shooting too immediately.<br /><br /><h3>Equipment</h3><div>Thankfully Rex is a pretty great toolbox and he has a lot of options that you can take on him to really change his role. Have a Command, Training, two gear, and a grenade slot gives you quite a few things to play around with, but universally it's always a great idea to take Recon Intel. Recon Intel synergies so well with Rex as is that it's honestly almost a disservice to not take it. Being able to Scout 2 and then provide that to two other troopers (like Obi-Wan, for example) is such a huge boon! With that said, let's break down each slot and provide some suggestions for what to take and what not to take:<br /><br /><h4>Command</h4><div>You have a couple of things you can take here, but a few really standout. <u>Aggressive Tactics</u> is by far one of the better options, especially since Clones have that sweet sweet green token sharing! Surge tokens have a lot more versatility in a Republic army using Clones than they do in any other force and this is especially true if you use Rex's "We're Not Programmed" and can then hand out four Surge tokens. Another great option with Rex is to take <u>Strict Orders. </u>Currently Republic is hurting a bit for some Suppression control and this pain is felt even more when you're playing an elite army with fewer actions to start with. <u>Strict Orders</u>&nbsp;can help mitigate this by helping you remove Suppression on units that have face-up Orders, helping to ensure you maintain your action economy.&nbsp;<u>Esteemed Leader</u> can also be a good choice if you have a problem of getting your Rex shot off the table, but can currently be a bit hard to swallow since then you'd be sacrificing your poor Phase I's and Phase II's just to keep Rex alive. However, if you plan on using Rex more aggressively to utilize his Gunslinger keyword, then <u>Esteemed Leader</u>&nbsp;will be your best bet.<br /><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></div><br /><div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://cf.geekdo-images.com/opengraph/img/if5Vzd9WpWk1erD2btyYLer10aY=/fit-in/1200x630/pic5055051.png" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Star Wars: Legion – Clone Captain Rex Commander Expansion | Board ..." border="0" height="400" src="https://cf.geekdo-images.com/opengraph/img/if5Vzd9WpWk1erD2btyYLer10aY=/fit-in/1200x630/pic5055051.png" width="253" /></a></div><h4>Training</h4><div>To be honest, this is the one slot I regularly skip when kitting out my Rex as I like to help costs down and put a few more upgrades on my Phase I's and Phase II's, but don't let that fool you! Rex can be a real monster with the right training! If you want to play a more defensive Rex, <u>Duck and Cover</u>&nbsp;can really come in handy to help give him a Suppression token when he needs it most for some cover. Or if you want to make sure Rex maintains his action economy, then good ol' <u>Tenacity</u>&nbsp;will help a lot. Trust me, if Rex is your only Commander and he's not hiding, your opponent will focus fire on him. I've had my poor Rex panic before and it's those times when I wish I had some way to deal with his Suppression.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>However, if you're of the shoot 'em up path of life, <u>Hunter</u> will help you get the crits you need when attacking squads with multiple wound models or characters. The only problem with <u>Hunter</u>&nbsp;on Rex I find is Rex already can get a lot of Aim tokens himself and that's not including the Aims he can get from friends. It can feel a bit redundant at times, but this does come in exceptionally handy if you plan on using squads to Fire Support with Rex when he shoots a character. With three Red dice, Crit Surge, and Sharpshooter 1, Rex rarely needs much help when it comes to hitting his target, but that Mortar squad that Rex got Fire Support from use the help! Another great offensive upgrade to take is <u>Offensive Push</u>. With Rex already having Tactical 1, he would then get Tactical 2 the turn you opt to use it, providing him with another Aim just for moving, either to help himself or any close-by squads. This is especially handy when you play Rex's 3-pip and he automatically recovers <u>Offensive Push</u>, so you don't even have to spend an action for it.</div><div><br /></div><h4>Gear</h4>Just to reiterate, since Rex does have two gear slots, you really should be taking <u>Recon Intel</u>. It just synergizes so well with Rex and what's he trying to do, there really isn't a reason not to. The rest of the gear options are somewhat lackluster, but a few standouts are <u>Emergency Stims</u>, <u>Targeting Scopes</u>, <u>Electrobinoculars</u>, and the upcoming <u>JT-12 Jetpack</u>.<br /><div><br />The <u>Stims</u>&nbsp;come in handy to help give you one final burst with Rex even after he technically should have heaved over. This can come in handy as it allows him to keep tokens around for the other Clones to use for a bit longer, instead of his tokens immediately vanishing with him. Again, if Rex is your only Commander and you're using him a bit more out in the open, <u>Emergency Stims</u>&nbsp;are definitely not a bad idea. The big problem with them is the 12 point cost, which is a bit hard to swallow as a Republic player since you're already having to cut costs to ensure your squads can even take heavy weapons.<br /><br />You can almost never go wrong with <u>Targeting Scopes</u>, but they're a little less valuable on Rex than most other options. and this is, again, because you probably won't be using too many Aims with Rex himself. You especially won't need to be re-rolling three dice, since Rex is only throwing three red and they each miss 1/8 times. Statistically speaking, all three dice would only miss 1/512 times.<br /><br />While a bit more controversial, <u>Electrobinoculars</u>&nbsp;are something you can consider taking on Rex if you really need to pump out some Aims to other units. If you didn't take a Phase I Support squad (a plain Phase I squad hidden out of LoS to provide green tokens), then you can substitute in for Rex. Using <u>Electrobinoculars</u>&nbsp;and Offensive Push, you could get three Aim tokens out in a single turn on two different units! It also combos well with Rex's 3-pip which allows him to recover and not have to spend an action for it. This then becomes a 102 point combo which is a bit pricey, but at least you don't have to relegate a Corps unit to the job. The really important point to bring up though is why spend 8 points to provide an Aim to someone else when you can Aim yourself and share tokens at the same range? I guess this way that Aim has an effective range of 2 (range 1 to the target unit and then anyone within range of them can share) for those games when you're a bit more spread out than you'd like to be, but you really shouldn't take them on Rex at all. In fact, almost no Clone unit should take Electrobinoculars at all, especially when they can already Aim for themselves and then share it with nearby Clones, unless you need that unit to pump out more than one Aim token a turn. Rex already has Tactical though, so he can get Aims just by moving, so he already has a second source of Aim tokens.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Arc%20Troopers/JT-12%20Jetpacks.png" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Arc%20Troopers/JT-12%20Jetpacks.png" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">For those moments when you really want Rex somewhere FAST<br />Courtesy to <a href="https://tabletopadmiral.com/" target="_blank">Tabletop Admiral</a> for the picture</td></tr></tbody></table><br />Lastly, the <u>JT-21 Jetpack</u>. This thing can help Rex get wherever he needs to go and essentially makes <u>Grappling Hooks</u>&nbsp;and <u>Environmental Gear</u>&nbsp;pointless. If you want to make sure you get Rex exactly where he needs to be, then this is your option! Do note that the <u>Jetpack</u>&nbsp;doesn't make him faster, he'll still be Move 2, but this means he's essentially unimpeded by anything on the table. It's also worth noting the it still counts as a regular move, so he can still trigger Tactical off of it.<br /><br /><h4>Grenade</h4></div><div>Honestly, this is probably the least useful slot on Rex. The typical go-to (<u>Fragmentation grenades</u>) are useful (already having Surge: Crit and throwing three reds out to range 2), but if you wanted to play a more support-focused Rex, then definitely consider taking <u>Smoke grenades</u>. Smoke isn't always the most useful thing in the world, but the usefulness of being able to lay down smoke wherever you want and providing cover to your expensive and precious Clones can never be understated. Plus, you can still move into position, get an Aim with Tactical 1, and then provide cover to an area which is a nice support package. It is pretty situational and a bit expensive for a piece of equipment you might use once or twice a whole game (don't forget, Rex does like shooting every once and a while and also likes generating two Aims), but sometimes that once six point upgrade can save a 30 point DC-15 Phase I or even secure you a VP. Lastly, and another upcoming release, <u>Droid Poppers.</u>&nbsp;If you really hate droids or vehicles, then this might be the option for you. Load Rex up with that jetpack and have him run head-first at the enemy, Ioning them and crippling their action economy! It's also worth noting that since Rex has Gunslinger, you could make two attacks with <u>Droid Poppers</u>&nbsp;and effectively cripple two units at once or REALLY cripple one unit. The big downside, however, is that you have to be within range 1 and a Rex at range 1 of almost anything is going to be a dead Rex, unless you took a lot of defensive upgrades (Duck and Cover, Emergency Stims, etc.).</div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></div><br /><div></div><h3>Command Cards</h3>This is where Rex really begins to shine (which I guess you can make that case for every character who has them). This is what really makes Rex into a support and offensive powerhouse, but learning the right time to use each card can be a bit tricky.<br /><br /><h4>Call Me Captain (1-Pip)</h4><div>This is the card you play when you REALLY want Rex to dish out some damage. This allows Rex to shoot indefinitely until you either activate him or run out of other units to shoot with. He can keep Fire Supporting until you get tired of it and even into combat! You'll primarily want to play this card once you get Rex somewhat up the board and within range of a plethora of targets or when you need to get some of your Clones out of combat with lightsaber-wielding maniacs. Again, Rex isn't exactly the best shooter, especially when Fire Supporting and losing out on his Sharpshooter and Surge: Crit, but adding an additional 3 Red dice is nothing to sneeze at! Of course, another benefit is you're more than likely going to be able to snag priority with a 1-Pip too, so you can easily start blasting away, but the problem is no Order control since you'll only be able to give Rex an Order.<br /><div><br /><h4>Take That, Clankers! (2-Pip)</h4>Probably the best card Rex has to offer, as it increases the range of every weapon a trooper unit by 1 up to a max of 4, as long as they have a face-up Order and an Aim token on them (this excludes token sharing, they have to explicitly have the token themselves). Range 4 Z-6 and Range 3 DPS-23? Heck yeah! Since you'll only be able to hand out Orders to two Trooper units though, you'll need to pick wisely as it's not going to affect your entire army. It also requires one of their two actions to be an Aim (or at least get an Aim placed on them by other means, like Electrobinoculars or Offensive Push) and then the second action will to obviously be shoot. It makes those two units extremely predictable as you're essentially revealing your plans to your opponent up front, but it's hard to deny how strong it is to have an entire DC-15 or Z-6 squad being able to shoot up to range 4 AND with at least one Aim token. I highly recommended to play this card whenever you need some extra range to deal with enemy threats and I personally like to play it early to go ahead and get those early shots off before things get real heated. The sooner you can Suppress your enemy and cripple their action economy, the better!&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/5/53/Rex_on_Christophsis_SWL.png/revision/latest?cb=20190802025527" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Rex | Wookieepedia | Fandom" border="0" height="289" src="https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/5/53/Rex_on_Christophsis_SWL.png/revision/latest?cb=20190802025527" width="400" /></a></div><br /></div><div>A big issue is this card being a 2-pip and any opponent knowing about Rex will be able to predict when you're going to play this card (as it does require some setting up from you on the previous turns) and be able to counter with their own 1-pip and then cripple the units you gave face-up Orders to and then essentially making the card useless. That's why I like to provide orders to units that have Offensive Push so I can hide them on the previous turn, play this card, give them an Order, and then move them out of hiding to take advantage of it. Or I use it on a DC-15 squad that's already out of reach of my opponent, but who can safely shoot out to range 4.<br /><br /></div><div><h4><b>We're Not Programmed (3-Pip)</b></h4>This last card is really great if you need to issue an Order to a lot of your Clones, remove some Suppression from the rest of the gang, or want some additional Surges. I find this card usually comes in later in the game when things might not be looking too good for me or if I need a lot of Surges to help with reliability (especially when coupled with Aggressive Tactics). It's also almost always the card I play before, if not right before, I play "Call Me Captain". As it helps you make sure you get all of your units into position right before you go to town with Rex next turn. Plus, the Inspire 2 on Rex also helps any units that might have been Suppressed before hand, but will now be able to function at their full capacity. However, to me, the really big draw of this card is the possibility to lay down six Surge tokens. If you have any Phase II's in your list, that's an additional one per too! This can REALLY give your units some reliability and ensure everyone has a few Surges to play around with if you want to increase your offensive or defensive capabilities and if you have most of your units within sharing range. The last thing to note here is the ability to Recover Rex. This might sound kind of 'meh' at first, but if you have Offensive Push and Electrobinoculars on Rex, then you can refresh those and use them again to ensure you get the most use out of your Rex as possible. Like I said, this is an absolutely great card to help you recover from a bad turn or help you really get into position while also giving you a pretty efficient turn. The last benefit here is the fact that you're getting to issue 4 Orders this turn, which can really clear out your Order stack, making it more predictable. If you only have three Phase I's, Rex, a BARC, and a AT-RT when you use this card, then you have complete activation control for that turn since Rex and the three Phase I's will have face-up Orders and then you have two Support Orders in the stack.<br /><br />Really the only downside to this card is it being a 3-pip and you aren't very likely to have priority, but does that matter you have a turn where all of your units are more reliable, your action control is higher, and you can help alleviate some Suppression? That's more up to how you like to play, but I definitely think the benefits outweigh not going first. I guess a minor complaint of this card is that it's only Clone Trooper units, so you can't issue any orders to anything other than your Clone units, which at this moment limits you to your Corps choices, Rex himself, and any upcoming units that are (presumably) boots-on-the-ground Clone units, like ARCs.<br /><br /><h3>Conclusion</h3>All-in-all, Rex was always a Clone Trooper's best friend, always there to help them out when they need it and laying down some smack on anyone who hurts the troopers under his command and on the tabletop he lives up to that image. He's a staple (currently) of a Republic army built around Clone Trooper units and he can act as some support-offense when needed. Plus, once kitted out, Rex can really accent either his support or offensive sides and help really push a Republic, Clone-dominated army with more tokens than a nerf herder than shake a stick at or take out key targets all by himself, especially when using his 1-pip. Speaking of his Command Cards, Rex's cards also help him slot nicely into his support-offense role by giving him a few ways to buff the Clones under his command (increasing the range of your Z-6 is always fun) while also making him a true beat-stick (UNLIMITED FIRE SUPPORT!). If you're looking for a bit of extra punch and support for your Clone Republic army, then you can't go wrong with Rex. Just make sure you keep him out of trouble and in turn, he'll make sure the boys get the job done right.<br /><br /><br /></div></div>Pride of Rodinahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17902885482588392762noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6428949821305029771.post-440708830354994032020-03-21T15:09:00.005-07:002020-10-26T17:11:22.357-07:00Getting the Most out of Your Phase II's<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></div>Now you know how to use those Phase I's from the <a href="http://www.prideofrodina.com/2020/03/tactics-getting-most-out-of-your-phase.html" target="_blank">previous article</a>, but what about your more adept and expensive Phase II's? How should you utilize these elite clones of the Republic army? Let's take a look and see!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/69/c0/69c0e995-5924-4590-a85c-8771d9d36b8c/swl61_spread.png" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="397" src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/69/c0/69c0e995-5924-4590-a85c-8771d9d36b8c/swl61_spread.png" width="400" /></a></div><br /><h3><a name='more'></a></h3><h3>General Tactics</h3><br />Really the only big difference between Phase I's and Phase II's is that the Phase II's can take a mortar, have 2 Courage instead of 1, they come stock with a Training slot, and have Reliable, so they always start with a Surge token (which, in turn, can help them be a bit more survivable or deadly compared to Phase I's, or it could even be shared with a Phase I due to them being Clone Troopers). Since Phase II's are pretty much just a more elite Phase I squad, all the same rules apply here: don't sacrifice them; always have a plan on what you want the units to do; rarely utilize their Fire Support ability; etc. If you already have a handle on your Phase I's then just treat these veteran clones the same way. They're honestly not that different. It's also worth noting that their Courage of 2 actually makes them a decent backup commander option for when your regular Commanders bite the dust too, especially if you're running just list with one Commander and that Commander is a bit squishy (looking at you, Rex!).<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/3a/c6/3ac65db3-e3d8-4edf-a99a-f6d6873ffb51/swl61_phase2-clone7.png" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/3a/c6/3ac65db3-e3d8-4edf-a99a-f6d6873ffb51/swl61_phase2-clone7.png" /></a></div><br />However, the main difference on how you should be playing these two units is that you should -always- take a heavy weapon, unless you just really wanted to run all Phase II's and have a supporting squad. As a more elite and capable squad than the Phase I's, it'd be a waste of their advantages to not take a heavy weapon. Currently there are only two options: Z-6 and the mortar.<br /><br /><h3>Builds and Tactics</h3><div><br /></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Leading from the Front</h4><div><br /></div><div>Fives is back and ready to take charge of another squad (from our Phase I article). To reiterate, Fives provides whatever squad he joins an additional wound, three black dice, Coordinate: Clone Trooper, and an increased point of Courage. I'll go ahead and admit this upfront, I don't really see the point of having Fives leading a Phase II squad. He goes well with an ARC squad (not Team, but the full squad) or even giving some versatility to a Phase I squad by buffing them and making them a great Fire Support squad (which you really shouldn't do too often to begin with), but Phase II's really want their heavy weapons as they're the Clones that really help pay the bills.</div><div><br /></div><div>A really fun and interesting thing to bring up though is that Fives will make a Phase II squad Courage 3, so if you really wanted a backup Commander for when Rex dies, you can nominate Fives' squad and he'll take over!</div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Long-Range Elimination</h4><div><br /></div><div>We got the less fun stuff out of the way first, so let's get to the real juicy builds! Echo is a great choice for a Phase II squad, definitely more so than in a Phase I squad. Echo brings his DC-15x rifle, Reliable 1, an additional wound, Critical 1, Lethal 1, two red dice and a range 1-5 weapon. The primary issue, though, is that Echo is 40 points, so now your Phase II squad is 100 points and he costs 13 and 15 points more over the Z-6 and mortar, respectively. Just like I said in the Phase I article, you have to weigh the cost-benefit here and really decide if Echo is worth it. Let me tell you though, he definitely pays for himself!</div><div><br /></div><div>With his squad now having Reliable 2, the squad is a far more reliable, deadlier, and tanky-er squad than before. Plus, if you can give Echo an Aim each time he shoots, he'll get pierce thanks to Lethal 1 and will almost always guarantee at least one wound (not counting the rest of the squad's shots or the two Surge tokens). Plus, unlike in a Strike Team, Echo will be well protected by the amount of bodies in the squad ensuring he can keep on sniping for days. It's definitely a tough trade-off compared to the mortar and Z-6, but I honestly think it's a good choice, especially when kitted out:</div><div><ul style="text-align: left;"><li><u>Character Eliminator</u>: Give Echo and his crew Hunter and watch this squad eliminate characters that can't deflect. Split-fire with Echo to hit or your ARC Strike Team to ping any character outside of the range of the rest of the squad to get that first wound on them and then just watch this squad absolutely melt them into blaster ash.</li><li><u>Responsive Firepower</u>: Slap Overwatch onto these bad boys and use them exactly like you would a mortar team (with the nearby vanilla Phase I squad to provide Standbys), except now you have far more reliability not having to worry about range.</li></ul></div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><h4>Suppressive Monster</h4><div>Taking Phase II's with the mortar provides your standard Republic army with a very interesting advantage; suppressive. You've probably noticed by now, but the Republic is a more elite, and therefore, smaller army. Sure, you can still obtain 10+ orders, but not quite to the same degree that you can with the other factions. This means that your action economy is already starting at a disadvantage compared to other armies, but don't you fret! That's why the mortar is handy because being Suppressive means it can dish out those suppression tokens and cripple your opponent's action economy helping you even the playing field. Also packing Critical 1 means it'll actually be able to dish out some hurt too, so it's an all around handy tool, but it has two major setbacks. The first being that it's Cumbersome so you can can't move and shoot with it and the other one, which is pretty minor, is that it's range is 2-4, but these weaknesses can really be offset by giving them Recon Intel or using Rex's Scouting Party. All in all, the Phase II mortar is pretty solid without any upgrades even, but here are some fun builds:</div><div><ul><li><u>Defensive mortars:</u>&nbsp;Give this unit Overwatch and have them sit closer to the back of the board and either Standby themselves or have a nearby dedicated support unit of Phase I's Standby (this will also allow you to attack with the mortar twice, causing even more suppression!) and force your opponent to make some tough choices. This is exceptionally helpful with Recon Intel, so you can already move into position and not have to waste a potential attack with the mortar just to move up.</li><li><u>Character threat:</u>&nbsp;Upgrade the unit with Hunter and watch them mess up any character's plans. This is especially useful if you plan on using this unit to split their shots a lot and would like to have some extra Aim tokens. Plus, it has the obvious perk of hampering any characters who might want to get close when you Suppress, or even Panic, them. Targeting Scopes will be a huge boon as well.</li><li><u>Stalwart suppressors:</u>&nbsp;You'll want Tenacity or Duck and Cover to keep this unit protected (Duck and Cover especially to help if you don't get this unit placed in heavy cover and want some survivability or Endurance for reliability of actions) as this unit will come under a LOT of fire, once your opponent realizes how annoying that mortar is so having some protection will help this unit keep handing out suppression tokens like candy.</li></ul>Lastly, it's worth noting that this unit can potentially lay down three suppression tokens on two different units by splitting fire. Have the main unit fire at an enemy unit that's within their range and then have the mortar shoot another unit. If you played your cards right, you should have some Aim tokens to use (from the unit itself or nearby clones) and the Surge token to use to help score some hits. Remember, as long as you score a hit, the target unit will take a suppression token or two in the case of the mortar.<br /><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/38/0e/380e4898-a78c-4fcc-a423-1e22be193d16/swl61_plastics-3d.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="371" src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/38/0e/380e4898-a78c-4fcc-a423-1e22be193d16/swl61_plastics-3d.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div><br /></div><div>BRRRRRRT Time!</div><div><br /></div><div>Just like with the Phase I's, this weapon will really give you the dice you need if you love rolling dice and you'll need Targeting Scopes just like with the Phase I's too. However, unlike with the Phase I's, the Z-6 this time around is actually the more expensive weapon option of the two and rightfully so because it can be an even bigger monster in the hands of the Phase II's. Already having the training slot built into this unit means it can take advantage of a few of the builds I recommended with the Phase I's without having to pay for adding another model to the unit. Because of this, the Phase II Z-6 should be your go-to unit if you want to have a decked out Z-6 squad. Plus, being Courage 2 makes them less likely to become Suppressed and keep going when you need them to. Speaking of builds, let's get to it (again, you can reference the Phase I guide for the whole list, I'm only putting the ones here that I feel are really excellent and deserve restating):<br /><ul><li><u>Keep Pushing:</u>&nbsp;Take Offensive Push and Targeting Scopes to give you a really mobile and dice heavy attack that can keep going with Courage 2 and a bit of reliability. Take some frags too for when you get a little close, but want even more damage potential.</li><li><u>Mobile Firebase:</u>&nbsp;Equip them with Endurance and watch as this unit will never have problems with Suppression and will lay down some firepower.</li></ul><br /><h3></h3><h3>Conclusion</h3><div>Phase II's are kind of a weird unit for me right now. As you could probably tell, I really appreciate the efficiency and firepower the Phase I's offer and Phase II's obviously do the same thing, but almost a little too similarly. This makes Phase II's feel a little awkward, especially since Phase I's also have access to four weapon types in total as well as two personnel options that aren't just a regular troop. The real unique thing Phase II's offer is a bit more reliability with Reliability and Courage 2, plus the mortar. Honestly, at this time, I definitely recommend using Phase II's with the mortar, no doubt, thing's a real powerhouse and force equalizer and they excel at taking decked out Z-6 squads for cheap compared to Phase I's (not having to purchase a Captain for training slots helps, but not having a Specialist hurts), but that's about it. If you don't need a more reliable Z-6 with a training slot or want to use the mortar, I suggest you stick with the Phase I's. Maybe some personnel upgrades in the future will help the Phase II's really shine (Republic commander making them Courage 3 and Inspire with the mortar would be rad).<br /><br />All in all, the mortar is a superb piece and I think you should always try to fit it in when you can, but otherwise I don't feel Phase II's just feel weird to be so similar as Phase I's and offer less. However, don't get me wrong, that Courage 2 is exceptionally handy on your Corp units and I can see that in itself being enough to justify taking them over Phase I's. As I said before, Legion is all about action economy and ensuring your action economy with Courage 2 Corps is really helpful.&nbsp;</div></div>Pride of Rodinahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17902885482588392762noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6428949821305029771.post-7868455487280269202020-03-09T13:45:00.005-07:002020-10-26T16:46:44.367-07:00Getting the Most out of Your Phase I's<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></div>If you're like me, you've really been loving playing as the Republic and building your army of Clones and you're also feeling a little overwhelmed on how to kit out your Phase I's. With four interesting weapon options and currently three personnel options (even though one is just an additional clone), you can spec them out for almost any kind of role, it's a bit daunting!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/77/8f/778fec4f-af86-4f14-8a7d-59bdda500769/swl47_box_right.png" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="375" src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/77/8f/778fec4f-af86-4f14-8a7d-59bdda500769/swl47_box_right.png" width="400" /></a></div><br />Don't worry though, as that's exactly what we're going to be talking about today. I'm going to break down some of my favorite Phase I builds (organized by the heavy weapon options), give some examples on how to use them, and mention some other, more janky builds, I've tried out that might be fun for you to play with.<br /><br /><a name='more'></a><br /><h3>General Rundown</h3><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></div><br /><div>Phase I's are one of the general purpose Corps units and I'd argue one of the best besides Shoretroopers. They're decently priced at 13 points per model, red defense, black attack out to range 3, have token sharing with other Clone Troopers, and have Fire Support. They can innately take a personnel, heavy, gear, and grenade upgrades, but they gain access to Training or a second Gear upgrade with the Captain and Specialist respectively. This also means that Phase I's are obviously a more elite choice when compared to Corps choices from other factions and a bit more well-rounded providing you with a solid platform to do almost whatever you want.<br /><br /></div><div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Phase%20I%20Clone%20Troopers/Phase%20I%20Clone%20Troopers.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="278" src="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Phase%20I%20Clone%20Troopers/Phase%20I%20Clone%20Troopers.png" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The subject of today's article<br />(coutesty of&nbsp;<a href="https://tabletopadmiral.com/">https://tabletopadmiral.com/</a>)</td></tr></tbody></table>However, as one of the more expensive and elite Corps units out there, it means you might struggle to get as many bodies or activations on the table compared to your counterparts since Phase I's are also the cheapest (currently) Corps option that Republic armies have. This makes every Phase I squad a little more important than Corps from any other faction as they have to be able to perform and do more to offset the fewer activations, attacks, and dice you'll have. Unfortunately, Fire Support is also a bit of a trap because of this. Since you're already starting with fewer actions than your opponent, everytime you use a Phase I squad to Fire Support, you're losing even more actions and the ability to deny your opponent actions through piling up on Suppression. It also means that every time a Phase I clone goes ka-poots, it hurts. Because of this, Phase I's should rarely be used as meat shields and should almost always have a plan when they hit the table. This is why I like to at put a few upgrades on every Phase I squad I take and have a general plan of what that squad will be doing.<br /><br /></div><div><br /></div><h3>Builds and Tactics</h3><div><br /></div><h4 style="text-align: left;">Leading From the Front</h4><div>With the additions of Echo and Fives from the ARC Trooper box, Phase I's received a couple of new things that they can do now. In particular, your boy Fives can actually add a pretty decent amount to your usual Phase I squads. Providing a point increase to the unit's Courage, throwing three black dice, adding an additional wound to the squad, and providing the squad with Coordinate really buffs out a stereotypical, compared to other Clone units, puny squad. However, the main issue here is that Fives does take up your Heavy Weapon slot and doesn't add much 'umph' for being a Heavy Weapon. Sure, he buffs the squad, but do you really need buffs on your Phase I squad instead of more punching power? That's the real question here.</div><div><br /></div><div>The real beauty of Fives hiding out with your Phase I's is the Coordinate though. If you've played or played against CIS/Droids, you see how important face-up Orders can be. However, you might wonder why do you care so much as a Republic/Clone player. Well, don't forget about your little Fire Support! Plus, it's just Coordinate: Clone Trooper, so you can Coordinate to ARCs if you wanted, it doesn't just have to be Corps Clones. The beauty of this tactic then becomes to issue an order to Five's squad of Phase I's, have them Coordinate to a ARC Trooper squad or Phase II's, and then have Fives and the boys Fire Support, adding in SEVEN black dice (not including any Personnel upgrades)! Phew! Here are a typical build suggestions to really help Fives and the gang shine (even though probably just Vanilla might be best):</div><div><br /></div><div><div><ul style="text-align: left;"><li><u>Weight of Accurate Dice</u>: Since Fives is adding an additional three black dice, it's not a bad idea to ensure the squad's seven dice have some reliability with Targeting Scopes. Maybe even throw in the Specialist to help the squad gain more Aims and add another die for eight black dice!</li><li><u>Versatile Support</u>: While it'll cost you almost as much as a fully upgraded ARC squad (105 points), you can add a Specialist and have Five's squad act entirely as support, providing Orders, Fire Support, and Aims to your keyword-heavy units.</li></ul></div></div><h4><br /></h4><h4>The Supportive Killer</h4><div>Personally, the DC-15 is my favorite weapon upgrade for Phase I's because it packs a nice wallop, has Critical so can be somewhat effective against armor, it's range is 1-4, and it's pretty easy to build around. However, now you have the choice of taking Echo into the squad to act as your long range threat piece. Giving the unit Reliable 1, Lethal 1, range up to 5, and Critical 1 just like the DC-15 make be a -really- interesting choice. Not to mention that Echo innately has 2 wounds, so he also adds a little bit of padding to the squad, but you definitely pay for these upgrades! He's ten points over the regular DC-15 gunner, but one important distinction here is that Echo is a Leader. This means that he will be the last member of the squad left alive, so you'll have him stick around a little bit longer than the DC-15, pumping out those long-range critical shots for days!</div><div><br /></div><div>A lot of the time I just take DC-15 and call it a day as this will probably be the best option. It is the more expensive option (excluding Echo and Fives) which can make it a bit hard to justify packing upgrades, but that's fine! They don't really need anything else and they make for a great long range offensive squad to pick off heavier or dodge-dependent targets especially as this squad won't need aims nearly as much as other units (i.e. Z-6 or DP-23). However, if you really wanted to make them a mean threat or a decent support piece, here's some quick ideas I've tried:</div><div><ul><li><u>Character Snipers:</u> Take a Captain (unless you're using Echo because you can't have multiple Leader models in the same unit) and Hunter then go after those pesky Commanders or Operatives, but watch out for those pesky force users with deflect!</li><li><u>Support Gunners:</u> This build takes a specialist and then stays out of harm's way with its poking range of 4, but still provides tokens when needed to friends.</li><li><u>Mobile Cover:</u> Give them a smoke grenade and have them provide cover to units that are moving towards an objective while still being able to take out a few enemy models.</li></ul><div>It's also worth noting that this is a great Fire Support squad too, especially if taken bare-bones. The DP-23 or Z-6 could really use the extra punch with the red dice and could use some help converting those Surges into something more useful. While I don't always recommend actually using Fire Support, I do think a DC-15 way back in the corner makes for a great squad to either start a Fire Support attack or chip in on one.</div><div><br /></div><div><h4>Tokens for Everyone!</h4><div>This is a pretty straight forward build idea and probably the least exciting. You take a Phase I squad and either keep them bare or give them a Specialist and then hide them out of LoS of your opponent but still within LoS of friendly Clones. This squad will mostly be there to support other Clones and help them get the most bang out of their activations by providing them with crucial tokens. This is why I like to at least give them a Specialist so you can get multiple tokens of the same type, which you normally can't do (you can't aim twice, but you can aim once and activate the Specialist), they don't mind recovering to refresh the Specialist. It's also worth noting that you can also equip them with Electrobinoulars and then be able to dispense three Aims in a single turn! Plus, as this squad will mostly be staying out of LoS of the enemy and therefore not shooting, you can even use them for Standby actions for your meatier squads enabling them to shoot twice and not having to worry about having their Standby shot off. Also, if you're taking a Commander with Aggressive Tactics, you can give this squad a Surge that they can then give to a friend, allowing a crucial squad to possibly have two Surge tokens to use (one from having their own face-up Order and then one from the support squad). Talk about efficiency!<br /><br />I wouldn't really suggest this kind of build though if you're playing small point games though where every point counts. Sure, a dedicated support Phase I squad is REALLY handy, but in Skirmish games, for example, you can't really spare 52 or 69 points just to hiding behind cover and giving their friends tokens. They should at least be contributing as well. Also, one negative about this build is that you'll almost always want to activate this squad first to start building up that pool of tokens for everyone, which means your opponent will get the upper hand because they can activate their heavy hitters first and start blasting at yours.</div></div><div><br /></div><h4>BRRRRRRT Time!</h4>If you like throwing dice at your opponent, then these builds will be right up your alley! This weapon is mostly used for its weight of dice and cheapness than reliability. It also has a much hire damage potential cap than any of the other weapons you can take, but getting there is more difficult. Since the Z-6 is the cheapest heavy weapon option for your Phase I's, it can be pretty easy to find some points for upgrades to help you reach that damage potential. That's why I almost always at least give them Targeting Scopes. They'll want to use Aim tokens as often as they can with being all white so having the ability to re-roll three dice instead of two when you have a pool of 4-black and 6-white dice is very handy and it's still a point cheaper than the DC-15 alone. Since this weapon is so cheap and does have a shorter range than the DC-15 (1-3), you can do some real fun builds with it:<br /><br /><ul><li><u>More Accuracy, Sir:</u> Toss in the Specialist with a Targeting Scope and get those double Aim turns when you need them the most as well as adding an additional black die when you attack (you can also attach Recon Intel if you want to start up closer and need to save Rex's Scouting Party for the DP-23 and RPS squads).</li><li><u>Keep Pushing:</u> Take the Captain and Offensive Push (maybe Targeting Scopes too) to give you a really mobile and dice heavy attack that can keep going even when they should be suppressed with a bit of reliability.</li><li><u>Mobile Sentries:</u> Again, take the Captain, but with Sentinel this time. Now you aren't wasting your range like you would with a DC-15 and can use your now 5-black and 6-white dice pool to deter any threat.</li><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img height="262" src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/f8/09/f809a39d-0141-4580-a3b2-6754824ea012/swl61_a1_box-art.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="400" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Phase II with a Z-6</td></tr></tbody></table><li><u>Grenades out:</u>&nbsp;Take any of the above builds or nothing besides the Z-6 and load up on your favorite grenade (frags). You can really make those white dice shine when you start piling up the effects of the grenades and the Z-6 already doesn't mind getting too close, but this usually works better for the DP-23 anyway.</li></ul><h4></h4><h4>Rockets Make Everything Better</h4><div>The RPS-6 is kind of a weird option, but it still has its merits. If you look at the heavier weapon options that other Corps take across all of the factions, you'll notice that they're almost always forced to exhaust, but not this portable blam cannon. You just can't move and shoot it, which comes with its own problems. Really you should only take this weapon if you expect to face enemy armor has it only has Impact, but it can be extremely useful as another long range fire support option like the DC-15 while being cheaper. However, since it does have Cumbersome, it does limit its ability to be shoot on the run like the DC-15, which isn't much of an issue if you planned on having it sit somewhere and shoot down range anyway. This is why it's almost always recommended to give the squad Recon Intel as well or use Rex's Scouting Party with them, so you can start shooting Turn 1 and not waste time moving. Plus, this weapon does have a slightly higher damage potential with three dice instead of two (but being a red, black, and white makes it slightly less reliable). lastly, it does have a range of 2-4, so it can't be fired up close. Because of all of this, this weapon doesn't lend itself to as many fun builds as the others, but there are a couple of things you can do:</div><div><ul><li><u>Heavy Duty Sentry:</u> Assign a Captain and give them Sentinel and now you have a squad that will really make your opponent think twice about trying to close the gap and, when the squad does need to move, it can make sure it moves by not being hindered by Suppression when you activate the Captain.</li><li><u>No Range is Safe:</u> If you're worried your opponent will get clever with their armored units and get within range one so you can't shoot with the RPS, bring some Impact Grenades and turn this unit into a long- and close-range armor hunter. RIP those Super Battle Droids with all of the crits you'll get.</li></ul></div><div><br /></div><h4>Close Isn't Close Enough</h4><div>One of my favorite weapons to build around with for Phase I's has definitely got to be the DP-23 and one I saved it for last (I like to end on a good note). This gun has reliability and good damage potential by throwing two blacks and a white with Pierce 1. However, the one major downside of this weapon is that it's range is 1-2, meaning you'll need to get pretty close to make it count. You should always take Recon Intel or use Rex's Scouting Party with these kinds of squads because of that short range and the need to get them up in the enemy's face as quickly as possible to start wreaking havoc. It's also worth noting that because of its excellent punch and short range, it can act as a close-range deterrent to your opponent's forces. Got some Snowtroopers trying to close the gap? They'll think twice seeing that DP-23 protecting your gunline. Those Taun-Tauns closing the gap and trying to tie you up in melee? They're going to have to be careful how they approach as that DP can be pretty mean and can make excellent use of Standby. This is all why the DP-23 does really well in squads that are kitted out a bit more than your typical weapons, but that's fine because you can do some really fun and nasty builds with it:</div><div><ul><li><u>Don't Stop for Anyone:</u> Captain and Offensive Push make their return build, but here it's extremely effective. The DP needs to keep moving to close that gap and can't waste anytime being Suppressed (and depressed as my significant other likes to say) or Aiming, so it's not as much of a points waste or over-dressing for the problem.</li><li><u>Don't Stop for Anyone pt. 2:</u> Swap out the Captain and Offensive Push for the Specialist and Targeting Scopes (or even any of the mobility assisting gear upgrades). Again, this is a unit that really wants to get up close and deal some damage and this build can help by providing damage reliability or easily traverse terrain (or both if you use Rex's Scouting Party instead of needing Recon Intel) and provide tokens when needed,</li><li><u>Grenadiers:</u>&nbsp;Since you're already going to be at range 1 or 2, then packing some grenades isn't a terrible idea, especially if you bring frags. You can also combine these with the above builds to make a real mean death-dealing-machine. I've tried this with some frags and the Don't Stop for Anyone above to tackle an AT-RT and it wiped the AT-RT right off the table, even though the unit sustained two causalities! Probably one of my favorite moments.</li><li><u>Blunt Character Remover:</u> Bring along the Captain and Hunter to give you an excellent close range character killer. Most characters already want to be up close to get to you and by the time they close the gap (or you), they're already going to be wounded, so you'll easily be getting those free Aims from Hunter and eliminating those characters. You can either use this squad defensively to protect your gunline and have the DP-wielding model use the standard rifle until targets get close or move proactively thanks to the Captain's Suppression immunity.</li></ul><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img height="400" src="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Phase%20I%20Clone%20Troopers%20Upgrade/DP-23%20Phase%20I%20Trooper.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="258" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">For when you really want to eliminate an enemy unit<br />(courtesy of&nbsp;<a href="https://tabletopadmiral.com/">https://tabletopadmiral.com/</a>)</td></tr></tbody></table>The DP-23 is a pretty social weapon too and likes bringing friends to its parties to stack up on those keywords, so this is a weapon option that does really well by receiving Fire Support assistance. If you didn't take frags already, then the DC-15 is a great supporting piece for this build and even a Z-6 if you just want to throw even more dice and make sure you absolutely delete a unit.<br /><br /></div></div><h3>Conclusion</h3><div>Phase I's are by far my favorite unit in Star Wars Legion and why I love playing the Republic so much. They're versatile, highly efficient, and not too jam-packed with goodies that they're too expensive.&nbsp; Plus, you can do a lot of fun and booty-kicking builds with them, making them into great support pieces for the rest of your army or the ultimate squad-clearing force you need. Of course there are definitely more builds than the ones I've listed and that's the beauty of Star Wars Legion! These are only the ones that I've personally tried and I didn't mention any of the ideas I've been brewing up. I hope this helps you get the most out of your Phase I's, commander, now go out there and make the Republic proud!</div></div>Pride of Rodinahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17902885482588392762noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6428949821305029771.post-63966179527620884472020-02-17T11:39:00.000-08:002020-02-24T20:11:39.012-08:00Why Star Wars Legion is my Favorite Game: The Bad<div>Welcome back for part two of my Legion review (or welcome for the first time if you decided to read the negative stuff first)! Like I said in the first article, Legion is not a perfect a game, as I don't think such a thing exists, but it's probably one of the closest things for me that there will ever be. However, the points in this article are the things that I think hold Legion back from being my perfect gaming.</div><div><br /></div><div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uOOG84nyfjw/Xkro5luni_I/AAAAAAAADKY/2-smIfx_2HQQ2UvY5rCo1pSI5Qtlm1-QQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/swl44_preview4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="250" data-original-width="590" height="268" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uOOG84nyfjw/Xkro5luni_I/AAAAAAAADKY/2-smIfx_2HQQ2UvY5rCo1pSI5Qtlm1-QQCLcBGAsYHQ/s640/swl44_preview4.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br />The negative points we're going to be discussing are:<br /><div><ol><li>&nbsp;Quality and Availability</li><li>&nbsp;Accessibility of Rules</li><li>&nbsp;Lack of Official List Builder</li><li>&nbsp;Upgrade Card Hunting</li><li>&nbsp;Unique Characters Galore</li><li>&nbsp;Suppression Tokens, Suppression, and Panic</li></ol><div><h3><a name='more'></a>Quality and Availability</h3></div></div><div><br /></div><div>Star Wars Legion has definitely come a long way from its inception with the quality of its sculpts, but it's hard to ignore the fact that those early sculpts are a bit rough. For example, if you take the early Stormtroopers and compare them to the Stormtroopers that came out in the Unit Upgrade kit, you can tell a significant difference. The quality of the details, the better poses, and the superior kits (allowing for more model customization rather than slotted pegs in holes) really help the newer sculpts stand out, but man! Some of those first few sculpts are pretty rough and it would be wrong of me to not mention them. To be fair, they really aren't that bad, but it's a main reason why I didn't try to pick up Legion when it first came out and how poor they are is really accented by the quality of the newer sculpts and then having to use the two next to each other.</div><div><br /></div><div>Thankfully the newer sculpts have really improved and look up-to-par to the industry's standards, but the real issue here is the availability of these products. I honestly have no idea what the issue is, so I won't extrapolate much, but I do know that most places have a hard time getting Legion in stock. Most stores can't meet the demand of Legion and that's pretty evident when you look around on stores online. Products can go out of stock for months in some places with no real idea of when they'll be back in. Not only that, but new products are consistently delayed and again with no real idea when they'll be available. Sometimes they'll get pushed back several months, sometimes they'll be widely available months before they were planned, or they'll be released months apart depending on what country you live in. It's honestly a crap-shoot trying to figure out when stuff comes out or how long a restock will take and it can really kill the excitement of the game at times. For example, the below AAT was announced in August of 2019 and with still no actual release date in February 2020. That's SIX months and still no real information of when it's coming, why it's taking so long, and how much longer will it take to hit shelves.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/6a/93/6a932a2b-61f9-4a33-b510-5637d0aa0067/swl64_main.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/6a/93/6a932a2b-61f9-4a33-b510-5637d0aa0067/swl64_main.png" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">This poor tank has been delayed three different times now with still no actual release date</td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div>While the quality of the sculpts has drastically improved and really isn't too much of a problem as long as you're buying the newer sculpts (which you can't necessarily do if you play Rebels or Imperials as you'll need some of the early sculpts as fundamental pieces for your army), but Fantasy Flight's distribution network can make it, at times, frustrating to play and enjoy Legion.</div><div><br /></div><h3>Accessibility of Rules</h3><div><br /></div><div>This is probably a minor gripe in the grand scheme of things, but I think it's important to note. When trying to learn a game, I personally think the most important thing a game can do is to create an easy presentation of the rules. While the little rulebook that each starter set comes with has a great presentation and flow, those things don't have all of the necessary rules in them. For that, you need to download and refer to the <a href="https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/products/star-wars-legion/#/support-section" target="_blank">Rules Reference Guide</a>&nbsp;(RRG). And that is the problem.</div><div><br /></div><div>The RRG is a glossary of game text and keywords, which is fine by itself, but not a great way to help new players to learn the game. There's no flow beyond alphabetical order and hardly any great reference for how each phase plays out. You have to look up a game mechanic and read the text under it and then reference to the other sections that it directs you to. This document would be greatly improved by at least presenting the different phases of the game to you, like the rulebooks found in the starter sets. Sure, it does this for a few things, like how to build an army, vertical movement (would be great if there was a whole section about movement instead of just one facet and why is this one mechanic so important that it warrants its own chapter in the RRG?), and how to setup for a game, but it doesn't include anything about how attacks work, for example. It doesn't go into depth about the movement phase, it doesn't lump all of the different trooper types into a 'Trooper Type' category, etc. To really learn the game, you'll need the the 'Learn to Play' document that you can also find with the RRG on the website or from a Starter Set as well as the RRG and that's clunky. It took me several games until I felt comfortable with the rules and that's primarily due to me missing some minor rule from the RRG because the presentation and layout of the RRG is poor.</div><div><br /></div><div>I really do appreciate the glossary style of the RRG and I can respect them for trying to keep it slimmed down, but it's already a whopping 80+ pages with some things that would be better served elsewhere (like point updates and card text updates). I don't think 5-10 pages helping streamline and pleasantly present the rules would hurt. Or maybe recreate the 'Learn to Play' booklets, but tack in the more advanced stuff and provide a more encompassing flow of the game instead of the watered down one to help keep the bloat of the RRG down.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><h3>Lack of Official List Builder</h3><div><br /></div><div>While not as important as my concerns with product availability and accessibility of rules, it's still an important note to bring up. Star Wars Legion currently has no official list builder. There are some really great unofficial ones though, but it always helps with the flow of the game if there's an official one. This is especially true for when you need to update points or rules and don't want keep bloating up that RRG, as I mentioned above. This also helps cut out some of the awkward moments where opponents use different list builders that might have different errors in them and then have to sift through the 80+ page RRG to figure out whose list builder of choice is correct. So far, from my experience, this hasn't been a problem yet, but it's still a point worth noting.</div><div><br /></div><div>Also, I always feel a little uncomfortable about a corporation that's making a pretty penny who doesn't want to sink the money into further developing or improving a product and instead relegates that duty to unpaid volunteers and fans *cough* buggy Bethesda games *cough*. Oh, excuse me! I most have gotten a hair in my throat or something.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><h3>Upgrade Card Hunting</h3><div><br /></div><div>This is by far my biggest concern with the game and thankfully hasn't come to fruition yet. If you're familiar with X-Wing 1.0, a big problem with that game was having to buy ships because of the upgrades that you wanted to fine-tune your list and this especially became problematic when you had to buy ships from factions you didn't even play just to get one upgrade that you needed. Nothing burned my biscuits more than that and why I never got too far into X-Wing and played it only casually and very rarely with upgrades because of that.</div><div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://i.imgflip.com/3ph49r.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="314" src="https://i.imgflip.com/3ph49r.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div><br /></div><div>I think Fantasy Flight has learned their lesson and won't try to do that again, but doesn't mean they never will. It'd be so easy for them to paywall off some of the better upgrade cards and turn the game more into a LCG than a miniature wargame. However, they've shown that this isn't the plan so far and thank goodness! They've done a good amount to make sure new cards are widely available to all factions by releasing new products for all the factions and packing the new cards with those new products, even if they don't exactly make sense to be paired like that. They've also released a rather cheap and individual card pack of upgrade cards to help new players build up a collection as well as putting newer cards in there to help update Rebel and Imperial players without forcing them to purchase Clone and Droid units. At this point, I think really the only instance of upgrade card hunting that exists in Legion right now is getting all 3 of the Imperial pilots for your Heavy Support choices. Since the AT-ST came out before the Occupier tank, it only has the pilot it came with which really only works with it, while the Occupier came out with two other general pilots that are pretty useful with the AT-ST. Other than that though, it's not been a problem and I hope they keep it that way.</div><div><br /></div><h3>Unique Characters Galore</h3><div><br /></div><div>I know, I know! Star Wars has always about the characters and their journeys, but I've never really been a big fan of having to use unique characters in my miniature games. Yeah, this is a pretty small gripe too, but for some people it is important and I wanted to at least mention it. In Legion, you can take a generic leader (only for Rebels and Imperials right now), so it's not like you're used to take unique characters, but you really gimp yourself if you don't. You have fewer Command Cards available to you and the unique characters are obviously far stronger than the generic ones. You aren't exactly -forced- to take unique characters (except for Clones and Droids until future releases come out), but it's strongly encouraged you do.</div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/38/07/3807fd28-0ebe-4931-bff3-150191e6b337/swl57_vaders-might_art.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="346" src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/38/07/3807fd28-0ebe-4931-bff3-150191e6b337/swl57_vaders-might_art.png" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Imagine Darth Vader fighting Count Dooku, that'd be kind of weird....</td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div>This does kind of hurt the immersion a bit since then you'll have things like Luke Skywalker fighting Luke Skywalker or Padme blasting Leia or Boba Fett going toe-to-toe with Captain Rex, but you're probably used to that if you've played most miniature games. Unique characters are almost always stronger and including them in games can be really thematic and cool, but mostly end up being odd like "why is Captain Rex and Obi-Wan leading an army of the 327th on a mission to destroy these moisture vaporators on Tatooine while fighting against Leia and Sabine Wren leading an army of&nbsp; heavy-clothe Hoth troopers and poncho-wearing Endor scouts". But hey, that's kind of part of the charm too! A lot of weird things happen in Star Wars and a lot of things happened behind the scenes that we never get to read or see, so maybe some of these wacky fights did happen and you're tapping into some undercover Star Wars lore (excluding any time or loyalty issues, like Obi-Wan trying to kill Luke and Leia, etc.). I would still really appreciate some great generic commander options and especially ones that are a bit more modular so I can try to recreate the power of the named characters.</div><div><br /></div><h3>Suppression Tokens, Suppression, and Panic</h3><div><br /></div><div>I spent the first article of this two-part-er pretty much doting over the wonderful game mechanics of Star Wars Legion, but this is one mechanic I think that could have used a bit more thought. Then again, I don't think games really ever do an excellent job including courage mechanics, but that's a discussion for later.</div><div><br /></div><div>To run through how Legion addresses this issue, every unit in Legion is provided a Courage stat. Every time a unit is hit by a range attack (even if all of the hits are mitigated), they take a Suppression token. If a unit has a number of Suppression tokens equal to their Courage, they're Suppressed. While Suppressed, a unit can only perform one action. However, if the number of Suppression tokens is equal to or greater than the double the unit's courage (or a Commander's within range 3), they Panic. The Panicked unit, since they're still Suppressed too, then has to spend their own action moving towards the closest board edge. Pretty simple, right? And honestly it is, it's streamlined, it makes sense, but it still feels kind of clunky and awkward.</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--2sjjatjdlk/XkRzjLcuM1I/AAAAAAAADJ4/vlDREljhp509HFVAZaWBm4VIRFhQmezcgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Suppression.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--2sjjatjdlk/XkRzjLcuM1I/AAAAAAAADJ4/vlDREljhp509HFVAZaWBm4VIRFhQmezcgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Suppression.jpg" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">When talking about poor game mechanics, <br />it always comes back to courage mechanics for me</td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div>Having to manage Suppression tokens, remembering how many your units have, and checking if certain conditions are met is not fun and really breaks the immersion of the game, helping it feel exactly like what it is. I do appreciate its application in the game, allowing you to Suppress your opponent and crippling their action economy as they try to scramble to get the Suppression off or only perform their one action, it's a fun side game you play with your opponent, but it still doesn't feel right. Maybe it's because Suppression tokens are easy enough to remove through Inspire or the automatic before activating recovery step or maybe it's because of how game-y it feels. Or maybe because it didn't feel very Star Wars-y where everyone engages in nonsensical acts of heroism and courage. It could also because, as I said above, it feels more like a side part of the game than a main feature. You see Suppression , Suppression tokens and Panic mentioned in the rules quite frequently as well as in the keywords, but it hardly feels as relevant as the rules and keywords try to make it sound.&nbsp; My main recommendation would be to remove courage entirely and have Suppression act as a keyword and weapon effect by itself. If a unit would be hit by a suppressive weapon, take a wound, or lose a model from the unit, then they enter the suppressive state and go from there. However, in the grand scheme of things, if this is really the biggest problem I have with the game, something that comes up infrequently (or rarely in the case of Panic), then I think that's a really good indicator of the quality of it.</div><div><br /></div><div>In all honesty, I don't like this mechanic at all and I feel it is by far my biggest complaint with the game and one of the very few things that holds it back from being perfect in my eyes. Sure, the other points I bring up are things I also don't feel are good about the game, but most are pretty insignificant or have nothing to do with the game itself (like the availability of the different products or layout of the rules). To be fair, that's pretty impressive. That's the sign of an excellent game in my eyes.</div></div>Pride of Rodinahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17902885482588392762noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6428949821305029771.post-81794620096559586152020-02-12T13:58:00.005-08:002020-02-12T13:59:06.150-08:00Why Star Wars Legion is my Favorite Game: The Good<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></div>You might be thinking, "wow, that's an awfully bold claim to come from PoR, he must be riding some kind of hype train". While a fair assessment, it's not true in this case as, without a doubt, Star Wars Legion is one of the best gaming experiences I've had in all 20 something years of playing games. It feels the same, but yet fresh. It doesn't complicate the formula to the point of being unrecognizable or unfamiliar, but it does change enough to be a welcome difference and exactly what I was looking for.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/38/80/388050be-c995-4c20-91e5-cabdbd150fee/swl44_preview4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Image result for star wars legion logo" border="0" src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/38/80/388050be-c995-4c20-91e5-cabdbd150fee/swl44_preview4.jpg" /></a></div><br />Am I saying that it's a perfect experience? No, hardly any game will ever be perfect, and I'll get into that, but I do think it's one of the best gaming experiences you can get at the moment, if you don't mind doing the whole hobby thing or if you at least enjoy Star Wars to some extent.<br /><a name='more'></a>The main positive points I want to discuss are:<br /><ol><li>&nbsp;List Building</li><li>&nbsp;Initiative and Priority</li><li>&nbsp;Game Mechanics</li><li>&nbsp;Ease of Rules</li><li>&nbsp;Mission Design</li><li>&nbsp;Cost of Entry</li></ol><div>The negative points I'm going to bring up are:</div><div><ol><li>&nbsp;Quality and Availability of Sculpts</li><li>&nbsp;Accessibility of Rules</li><li>&nbsp;Lack of official List Builder</li><li>&nbsp;Upgrade Card Hunting</li><li>&nbsp;Unique Characters Galore</li><li>&nbsp;Suppression Tokens, Suppression, and Panic</li></ol><div>Before we get into it though, I had to split this article up into two parts. I didn't expect this to be as massive as it turned out to be. To help with digestion and to make it a bit easier on the eyes, I've broken this up into two parts. The first part will be what I like about Star Wars Legion and part two will be about the things I don't like.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--2sjjatjdlk/XkRzjLcuM1I/AAAAAAAADJ4/vlDREljhp509HFVAZaWBm4VIRFhQmezcgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Suppression.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="84" data-original-width="123" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--2sjjatjdlk/XkRzjLcuM1I/AAAAAAAADJ4/vlDREljhp509HFVAZaWBm4VIRFhQmezcgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Suppression.jpg" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">We'll come back to this little rascal</td></tr></tbody></table><br /></div></div><h3>List Building</h3><div><br /></div><div>Some of you may or may not know this, but after I started PoR up again, I've been playing a LOT of games with my significant other. In fact, she helped bring me back into tabletop gaming after I went on a bit of a hiatus. However, one thing she absolutely loathes about playing these miniature wargames is list building. She hates trying to nit-pick a perfect list, micro-manage units, upgrades, and whatever else to meet some arbitrary points limit. To me that's the fun! Trying to brew up the perfect list that balances all of the meta things you need to consider while also trying out something unique each time. It's like putting together an elaborate puzzle. She looks at me like I'm some kind of idiot because that is the opposite of fun for her. List building in Legion, though, is something she actually enjoys. Yeah, the person who hates list building enjoys list building when it's Legion. Of course, this doesn't mean she does it for fun or when she gets free time, but she doesn't whine or ask me to finish a list for her whenever we sit down to play. She just does it. I think that speaks volumes about the quality of a game when someone who loathes a certain aspect can actually enjoy it.<br /><br /><h4>Bids</h4><div><br /></div></div><div>That's because of several reasons, but mostly because she doesn't feel obligated to meet the points limit. She doesn't -have- to micromanage her points to reach the points limit or feel like she's gimping herself. If she's feeling a little lazy that day, she can skip out on trying to micromanage to the limit and be 7 points short and not feel like she's already at a disadvantage. In fact, she gets an advantage for it. This is what is termed as a <b>bid</b>; the points bid to see who gets to pick first player and use their battle cards (mission, condition, and deployment). And, to be honest, we use hers a lot of the time because of that! We'll get into this a bit more in part two, but using your own decks helps you win the game before you even put models onto the table because you can tailor these decks to be optimized with your list.</div><div><br /></div><h4>Clear Cut</h4><div><br /></div><div>Another point she likes about the list building is how straightforward it is. You need your obligatory leader (Commander), regular troops (Corps) and then can take certain quantities of the other types of units. If you've played Warhammer in any fashion this will be familiar to you. However, Legion's unique take is clearly presenting to you what kind of upgrades each unit can take. It's like a checklist of cool stuff each unit can take without having to read lines of text or trying to figure out if/then conditions like: "if you take this heavy weapon, you can't take this comms upgrade". It's clear cut.</div><div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></div>Most units can take some kind of weapon upgrade or heavy gunner as well as a personnel upgrade. However, these two upgrades alone can vastly change the role the unit plays on the table. You added a medic to your Rebel Troopers? They're going to play support now, restoring fallen troops or healing your Taun-Tauns. Throw in a Captain and DP-23 in your Phase I Clone squad? Nice, now you've got a unit that's immune to Suppression and will run up blasting fools. Want a Specialist and DLT in your Stormtroopers? Get it, double aim and long range fire support all day, everyday.<br /><div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img height="400" src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/29/72/29729ba0-b355-4e36-96bf-b6446729a257/swl53_spread.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="386" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Captains and Specialists are powerful upgrades, but choose wisely!</td></tr></tbody></table><div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /></div><div>Lastly, almost all upgrades are universal, which helps with familiarity and making lists in the future. It's not an impossible task of trying to remember unique upgrades for each unit in the game or forgoing upgrades entirely. It's recognizing that this little symbol means "Training" and I like the "Hunter" training upgrade, so I'll toss that on. Or, seeing the "Coms" symbol and realizing that since this unit will be far ahead of the bulk of your army, you might want to attach "Long-Range Comlink". Which brings me to my next point:</div><div><br /></div><h4>Lincoln Logs</h4><div><br /></div>Probably my favorite part about Legion list building is how effects can stack and upgrades are modular. Very rarely are you adding in an entirely new effect that can't be found elsewhere in the game. Instead, you're simply allowing access to this ability to a unit that didn't have it before. To me, that's part of what makes the game beautiful. Legion is like a Lincoln Log instruction manual where the game gives you all the pieces you need to make it, but then you can build it however you by not following the instructions. You have the pieces and it's your job to build house the way you want. Instead of the game being like a bargain bin of "building toys" where you end up with a suite of different pieces that don't mesh well, you have a box of modular and stack-able pieces.<br /><h4></h4><div><br /></div><div>Which reminds me, another superb part about list building in Legion is the way combos work. Very rarely do you build up a lean mean death star machine, but it's more like a well-oiled machine. Rather than some monster combo like in Warmachine/Hordes and Warhammer games, it's more like an excellent (and fair) deck in Magic the Gathering. You help your units become more efficient at doing their jobs and not more efficient at wiping away your opponent's agency. Plus, when you add on an upgrade of the same Keyword to a unit, instead of it being null, it stacks...just like Lincoln Logs!</div><div><br /></div><div><a href="about:invalid#zClosurez" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"></a>But most importantly, Legion actually allows&nbsp; players to build a list and micromanage what they put in. Rather than putting in Stan the Barbarin (*shrug* I have no idea what this pertains to, but please play along) with a preset list of abilities that cannot be changed at all, or Wazloo the Necromancer who has a full book page of different upgrades to take that all have different and unique game-altering effects, you have Legion in the middle. Being able to micromanage a list and not feel over- or underwhelmed with options is one thing I really appreciate about list building in Legion and my significant other agrees.</div><div><br /></div><h3>Initiative and Priority</h3><div><br /></div><div>Out of every game I have ever played, this is almost always the weakest part of it. It's established with some irrelevant dice roll, established by irrelevant rules that will never be important again, or some stupid thing like "who pooped most recently gets to go first". It's been a lackluster part of gaming for years and no on ever tried to innovate with the idea much, just taking the fact that it'll be lame no matter what, so let's get it over with as soon as possible. This is probably Legion's most unique and innovative component and the one thing that had me on the fence about the game since it came out (besides the first few sculpts being quite poor). But before we break it down, I want to touch more on that bidding concept I mentioned above.</div><div><br /></div><h4>"We're using my Cards, so Deal with it!"</h4><div><br /></div><div>Like I've already said, when building a list you can decide how important it is for you to use your battle cards and establish the flow of the game. Is it so important that you want to gamble 15 points and know you will almost definitely beat out your opponent, but be short of 15 points when your opponent brought a full list? Or, would you rather be only 5 points short, so you don't lose too much, but you still might have a chance to use your own battle decks? This kind of meta game is brilliant and adds a lot of depth to the game, but that's not where it stops either.</div><div><br /></div><div>As the player with the highest bid, you get to decide if you want to use your battle cards or your opponent's (duh, your own, but the option is nice to have), deciding then who becomes the "blue" and "red" players which is important for picking deployment zones and sometimes the mission itself. There are three decks: mission, deployment, and condition. When making these decks you get to pick four out of the whole selection of cards and primarily you want to focus on cards that are the least disadvantageous for the list that you're playing. Once your decks are done (these are compiled during the list building step not right before you play, but I didn't want to bloat that section anymore), you then draw three cards out of each deck and put them in order, meaning that even though you have control on what cards you use for your decks, you are not guaranteed any particular card. Then this is when things get really interesting! You now go back and forth with your opponent eliminating cards trying to play a mind game with them to create the perfect line-up for your list to play against your opponent's list. So, again, just because you created the decks does not mean you are guaranteed to play the mission setup that you want to play. Once this is all done, you finally deploy and setup any other things on the table as needed and deploy your units, etc. etc. Pretty standard stuff, but then, right before you start the first round is probably one of my favorite mechanics Legion has....</div><div><br /></div><h4>Command Cards</h4><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></div><br /><div>Let me set the scene; you have a hand of seven command cards with a 4-pip, two 3-pips, two 2-pips, and 2 1-pips. You want to go first to lay down some long range fire to cripple those weak Rebel scum before they get a chance to move, but the catch here is that your 1-pips, the cards that almost guarantee you go first, only allows you to order troopers or specific characters. The thing you want to activate first is your AT-ST, so you can't use those! So, do you gamble on using the 2-pip that states units and hope you don't tie and result to the die roll to determine first player or that your opponent played a 1-pip? Choices, choices, which do you pick?!<br /><br /></div><div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Core/Son%20of%20Skywalker.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Core/Son%20of%20Skywalker.png" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">One of my favorite parts about Legion: Command cards!</td></tr></tbody></table><br /></div><div><b>Side tangent:</b> <i>This is another beautiful part of this game. You constantly have to think about what you're doing. Very rarely are there times when you should always do this and always do that, as the game involves so many choices that you must make and so many risks that you take, it's beautiful. That's the one thing I loved about playing Infinity: the Game, constantly having to think about your decisions and doing risk assessments; however, Legion encapsulates this idea better. While yes, there are a lot of choices to be made and consequences to suffer, it's a far more forgiving system. Just because you took a riskier play and it didn't pay off, doesn't mean you lost your best unit to a lucky shot you're pretty much screwed now. No, it just means your opponent has a bit of an advantage and you'll need to come up with a different plan. Sure, you didn't get to go first with your AT-ST, but at least now you can active Veers and buff that AT-ST to make it have some stronger shots. It provides you with choices that don't brutally punish you, similar to the differences of a rogue-like vs. a rogue-lite. Now, back on topic....</i></div><div><br /></div><div>Again, this is done as part of the list building process and I didn't include it there because I mostly play Republic with one commander, so it's pretty uneventful for me at the moment. However, dabbling a little in the Empire, I can see where this really gets fun during the list building part and another reason why my significant other enjoys building her lists. Each faction has the same three generic 1-3 pip cards available, Empire and Rebels have generic faction -specific 1-3 pips to use, and then EVERY commander and operative has their own suite of 1-3 pips to use, so you get the idea. Even more player agency and choices to make! For example, if you were to play Rebels with Leia, Luke, Sabine, and Chewbacca, you would have six, SIX, 1-, 2-, and 3-pip cards to choose from when building a list! Currently there's only one 4-pip in the game and hence why I didn't mention that.</div><div><br /></div><div>To elaborate further, your hand of command cards dictates the initiative priority and determines who/what you can assign orders to. As slightly explained in the example above, you can decide how important going first is when compared to have a better control over what units you get to activate and when as well as whether you need or want that command card's ability during that turn. Yeah, those little command cards? They do three things, actually: help you gamble for player priority that round, dictate which units get orders, and apply the command card's effect. If you were disappointed at the idea that almost all units have the same abilities as each other, so what makes unique characters unique, these command card abilities do exactly that.<br /><br /><h3>Game Mechanics</h3></div><div><br /></div><div>Like I said in the intro, Legion isn't an entirely new system, it doesn't buckle the system of miniature wargaming, but it does remold it. It takes some of the more interesting and core parts of several games and&nbsp; melds them into an homage of the genre that I personally feel blends everything into one of the best gaming experiences I've ever had. I personally think the bulk of the innovations of this game comes in the form of pre-game rather than during the game, but that doesn't mean it isn't an excellent game to play! It just means that you've probably seen most of these mechanics in other games and personally, I'm fine with that. That's what helps with the accessibility of the game, which we'll discuss more in part two.</div><div><br /></div><div>To me though, as someone who's only played a demo of Bolt Action and the one thing I dreaded the most about Legion, the best game mechanic is the order system. When I first saw this in action in a learn to play video about Legion over a year ago when I thought about getting into it, I turned the video off, shook my head, and said "Nah, that's not for me. I'm good". Ironic really, because now it's&nbsp; one of my favorite game mechanics of all times and let me explain why.</div><div><br /></div><h4>Issuing Orders</h4><div><br /></div><div>At this point you're probably wondering what I mean by issuing orders to your units, if you're unfamiliar with Legion. You might be thinking about some historical game, like Bolt Action, where you're creating a plan in advance and then executing it in alternating order with your opponent. Well...yeah, pretty close actually.</div><div><br /></div><div>As mentioned above, you use command cards to dictate how many orders your going to place that turn, as well as a few special rules that might help you mitigate the process or add in more orders than you normally would be able to. Krennic's Death Trooper Entourage ability always allows you to issue an Order to a unit of Death Troopers even if you played a command card that normally would only allow you to issue an order to Krennic. The B-1 battle droids are another great example of this, with their Coordinate ability. This means that anytime a B-1 unit would be issued an order, they immediately issue an order to another B-1 unit and the best part is you can just keep going until they are all issued orders! The important part about issuing orders is then you can activate these units whenever it's your turn. You don't have to activate them first, you don't have to wait until every other unit has activated. The order only means that you have the option to have a choice when you do use them.<br /><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/e6/6b/e66bdb2a-f2d2-4a11-a64f-4402c2118535/swl34_deathtrooper_p6.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Get those Entourage orders from Krennic!</td></tr></tbody></table><div><br />You're probably wondering right about now, 'what about the rest of my units that were never issued an order' and that's a great point. The rest of the un-issued orders then form your order pool. When it's your turn you have the choice to either use a unit who's been issued an order or to draw from the order pool and then activate a corresponding unit type. Do note that each order token denotes a class of a unit, so not a specific unit name or a broad spectrum of units. For example, you're playing Republic and your list has Rex, 6 Phase I clones, and 2 BARC Speeders (one of my typical lists). You issue an order to Rex using his 1-Pip command card, so now you have an order pool with 6 Corps and 2 Support. This can lead to some really interesting mechanics when you play a more diverse faction and need to ensure a certain unit activates, but don't play the right command card to issue it an order. Take the same list above and play a command card that lets you issue an order to three units, so this time you issue an order to Rex and the two BARCs. Now your entire order pool are Corps tokens, so when it's your turn you have the choice to activate any of the BARCs, Rex, or any of your Phase I's, but wait, how do you know you can activate any of the Phase 1's? Because any token you draw from the order pool can be used to activate any Phase I unit. Again, it comes down to those choices and the multiple layers this game provides...kind of like onions and ogres.</div><div><br /></div><h4>"Wait, I don't have to measure from each model, heck yeah!"</h4><div><br /></div><div>You can probably discern from the descriptive heading what this is about, but let me explain the beauty of this mechanic. In Legion, ranges and movements are all measured from the unit leader (or the model itself if it's a unit with one model). This was another one of those mechanics I thought I was going to hate as I hate having to check for unit coherency and shuffling models around to make sure they don't stray too far from the leader seemed tedious and ridiculous to me.</div><div><br /></div><div>However, after playing around 23 games of Legion (regular and skirmish), I can say I actually don't mind it. The idea of measuring from the unit leader and then placing the rest of the units in coherency helps speed the game up and remove a lot of the tedious work of shuffling every little model 6" or trying to slice those pies. Plus, it still adds some depth to how you place them. Sure, at first you might think about placing all of the big guns in the front, like I first did, but then you're hamstringing yourself. As I said, range is measured from unit leaders, so if your unit leader is behind all of your big guns, but your opponent has their unit leader in front, then they actually have a range advantage. "Oh, okay, PoR, well obviously I'll put the leader in front and everyone behind them". Good retort, but again, if you put the unit leader in front it's possible it might be one of the only models in the unit your opponent can draw line of sight too and they'll be one of the first models to go ka-poots (but since unit leaders are important for the unit, you'll just replace any other generic model with the unit leader model as they're now promoted, yay). or the unit won't receive cover as the rest of the unit isn't properly placed to receive cover.</div><div><br /></div><div>While range is measured from unit leaders, line of sight is from each individual model, so you can't exactly hide your heavy weapons and keep using them. This also means that you can't only have the heavy weapons and leader standing out from behind cover as they'll be the first ones to heave over. You can only shoot with what can see and you can only kill what can be seen. So, sure, range and distance is measured from the unit leader, but the rest of the models in the unit aren't arbitrary either. They still play an important role and honest, it looks pretty cinematic on the table too when you have a unit with a Z-6 and you're outside range, so you keep them hidden, but then when you move the unit and you know you're in range to spray some laser bullets, the Z-6 trooper sprints ahead of the rest of the unit and starts enacting Space Opera law.</div><div><br /></div><h4>Addition is Fun!</h4><div><br /></div><div>Another wonderful mechanic and design choice Legion takes is another mechanic that helps streamline the miniature gaming experience (this might be a trend). Picture this, you have a squad of folks ready to demolish the enemy unit, but they stop right before they shoot to argue about who should shoot first to optimize damage and killing potential. Should the rocket launchers fire first to ensure a few models die or should the small arms fire to soften the target up in hopes that the rockers can kill even more? Or, you have a squad of another kind of folks who want their squad leader to shoot at a target and instead of using their own heavy weapon, they pull out a similar weapon to the unit leader, even though they only brought one type of the leader's gun, and provide some fire support against the same target as the squad leader even though they're 6 feet away and can't see the target. Sure, you think, it doesn't make sense in the universe, but it works mechanically, so that's just the way things should be.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></div><br /><div>Nah, Legion has a better idea. All weapons of a unit, if chosen to be fired together at the same target, add ALL of their special effects and weapon dice. No weapon is left behind in Legion, as every single weapon gets to be used and it doesn't matter in which order because they're used at the same time. This is another prime example of how synergy is the name of this game. You take a Snowtroper unit with a flamethrower, which is a range one weapon. A great idea would be to load that same unit up with grenades since they're usually also range one and see what kind of hilarious keyword smash ups you can create! Or, do you even bother worrying about getting more weapon keywords and use it to increase the effectiveness of the rest of the unit's weapons for when you get the flamethrower in range one, allowing them better attack dice? I have no idea, but you probably should at least take some kind of grenade...or do you not take the grenade and use that as a bid...?<br /><br /></div><div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Snowtroopers/Flametrooper.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Snowtroopers/Flametrooper.png" width="258" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Mmm. Snowtrooper flamethrowers.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /></div><div>Of course, you might be thinking, "that just sounds kind of overpowered, especially if you can pile up all kinds of broken offensive keywords and steamroll the opponent's defense" and yes, that would be correct. I want you to recall though that each unit can only take one heavy weapon, so you only get the weapon keywords the unit originally started with (which is very rare), the heavy weapon's, and the grenade's (if you so choose). This means you won't be adding up a whole lot of crazy keywords to do some mega combo hits, but you can add in a few little things here and there to make the standard weapons of the unit pack a bit meaner punch.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>It's also worth noting that yes, you can obviously shoot every model in a unit at a target unit, but you can also split fire. You can't split an entire weapon pool up (i.e. you can't shoot two standard rifles at one unit and three standard rifles at another, all rifles have to shoot the same target), but different weapons can be shot at different units; however, if you do this, then the weapon keywords no longer add up. If you shoot your Supressive mortar at one unit and your regular rifles at another unit, only the unit hit by the mortar suffers from the Suppressive keyword. This does mean that if a unit has a heavy weapon, and grenades, you can potentially shoot three different units and apply Suppression tokens to three different units and that's just mean. Of course you then lose the chance on stacking three weapons worth of keywords for one mega attack, but what can I say? Legion offers you a lot of options, all of which are good ones, and it's down to you to decide which one is best for the situation.</div><div><br /></div><h3>Ease of Rules</h3><div><br /></div><div>This has been briefly touched upon in the other sections, so I won't beat it to death here like a Taun-Taun on Hoth, but I do think it's important to iterate. If you've ever played a miniatures game before, then Legion will be no monstrous change for you, but it will feel vaguely familiar. It's kind of like if you really enjoy authentic burritos and then you decide to try some Korean BBQ burritos; you know it'll contain the same basic concepts and components, but the real meat and potatoes will be different and what you'll come back for.</div><div><br /></div><div>Being easy to pick up and play is one of the main strengths of Legion, especially when most of the keywords you'll need to familiarize yourself with on printed on the cards themselves, again very similar to how MtG uses its keywords. I would like to take a moment and point out that not EVERY single keyword is explained on every card and sometimes you might have to reference the Rules Reference Guide to clarify what something means. This is especially true when it comes to unit keywords which are never explained on the cards themselves (i.e. Clone Trooper or Creature Trooper). This does somewhat tarnish the ease and accessibility of the rules, but that's for when we get into the negatives. I only brought it up now to be honest at face value and not try to hide it in a negative section.</div><div><br /></div><div>The tiny little starter rulebooks you get from the starter sets are actually pretty decent at breaking down the core rules and organizes them quite conveniently with a basic and advanced rules section. Surprisingly for a game of this genre, I didn't find myself having to flip through pages and pages to read one tiny obscure paragraph in a section that barely pertained to the rule I was looking for. Reading straight through the rulebook is like reading an excellent story plot of rules that doesn't involve any plot holes. Again though, another weakness I'll slightly touch on is that these rule books are the core rules of the game, or whatever you want to call them. They hardly touch on every rule or keyword in the game, so you will need to download the Rules Reference Guide and refer to that, which is a bit more of your typical wargame disaster to navigate, unfortunately.</div><div><br /></div><h3>Mission Design</h3><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></div><br /><div>I've always found missions in miniature gaming to be lackluster, pale ideals of what the games potential could truly create. Have the most models stand here, have the most models kill some stuff, have the most models do this, blah blah blah. Honestly, it really burned me out and what led to my tabletop gaming hiatus. Yeah, sure, I could design my own missions to do what I had envisioned, and I did, but hardly anyone wants to play homebrews. Games could have some really fantastic mechanics, aesthetics, and lore, but then be ruined by utterly dull mission designs. Or the opposite was true, a game could be great in every other way, but then the mission would be so ridiculously convoluted and over the top, it felt more like I was playing against the mission itself than my opponent. My opponent and I could have had a truce and simply tried to navigate the mission parameters alone and we still wouldn't have been able to score maximum points.<br /><br /></div><div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Objective/Sabotage%20the%20Moisture%20Vaporators.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="286" src="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Objective/Sabotage%20the%20Moisture%20Vaporators.png" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">One of the more interesting objective cards</td></tr></tbody></table><br /></div><div>While I don't think Legion's missions are the best, per se, I do think they try to capitalize on that excitement a bit more. Legion's missions are more about capturing and holding things which I think are some of the better mission designs you can have. Forcing players to converge in an area to take and hold an objective leads to some of the most interesting games I've ever had, especially if you have to interact with the terrain piece. Not only that, but it's also a little more cinematic and being cinematic is cool! There really isn't much more to say about the missions themselves; they at least all play differently and force players to deal with their opponent and deal with the mission as well.</div><div><br /></div><div><b>Side tangent:&nbsp;</b><i>If you want to try out a miniature game that I think does a great job with mission variety and doesn't resort to simply changing the conditions of the battlefield to do that, I recommend checking out Marvel Crisis Protocol. Yeah, not exactly kosher to pitch another game in an essay review about Legion, but I felt it was important to give credit where credit's due. I think Crisis Protocol is the one game that does mission design the best out of all the games by making every mission feel and play differently, but also by imposing two mission objectives at once.</i></div><div><br /></div><div>However, we're not really here to talk about the missions themselves, nah. We're here to talk about the three different battle decks again! Those three decks are, again, one of the more unique mechanics that Legion has to offer and another component that helps make this my favorite game. You aren't just playing the same mission every time, because deployment and the conditions are always different and really spice things up! Maybe you play a game where you need to run across to the opponent's deployment zone to score points *yawn*, I know, but get this. Your forces are deployed into opposite corners across the table from each other, as well as your opponent's ("Disarray" pictured below). Hmm, already kind of sucks, but you also can't shoot any weapons on turn one past range two. Oooooof! That'll definitely change how you play the mission and your list! Alright, so you play the same boring get units into your opponent's deployment zone, but this time you get some reinforcements to para-drop in outside range 2 of your opponent and now you've deployed short-ways on the table meaning you have less of a gap to cross. With the core set alone, you get access to 64 possible missions since you get four different cards of the three types. This doesn't even include any additional narrative-only or tournament missions that Legion has released outside of the starter sets. And let me tell you, the ability to slightly change how a mission plays each time REALLY helps to make each game feel different and not the same monotonous miniature wargaming drivel you've done before.<br /><br /></div><div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Deployment/Disarray.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="https://tabletopadmiral.com/static/legion/images/Deployment/Disarray.png" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">One third of what helps make Legions missions interesting</td></tr></tbody></table><br /></div><div>It's not always about having a wide suite of different missions to play, but it's about how you make the missions -feel- different and same games focus on quantity so much so that you just end up getting a slightly changed mission with the exact same feel. Having the most points in one quarter of the map feels the same as having he most models in one quarter of the map. Having one objective in the middle of the table that can only be captured by a particular unit type feels the same as having the same objective in the middle but changing what unit type can claim it. This might be the most nit-picky argument I've made in favor of Legion so far, but to me it's an important distinction and it might be so much to someone else. For you, having different deployment zones or weird conditions but the same objective just sounds exactly like what I'm complaining about especially since how you score is the same, but the other games' examples I provided at least offers different ways to score. I realize this isn't my strongest argument here, but for me I don't care too much about different ways to score as long as each game feels distinct without always having to resort to changing my list to do that.</div><div><br /></div><h3>Cost of Entry</h3><div><br /></div><div>My last positive point is probably one of the most important one as people love not having to break the bank. Legion, surprisingly, isn't too bad on the wallet. When I was doing my initial research into the game, the models seemed on par with your typical price for miniatures and quite inexpensive points wise. I didn't realize that the upgrades could have a huge impact on that, especially heavy weapons and personnel since you already get those in the box.</div><div><br /></div><div>You can easily do a decent Legion army for less than US$200 and includes a fair bit of unit options and a ton of different upgrades, especially if you double down on those starter set deals. Most armies will only use 9 to 11 units, so if you get a starter set, you start with 4 units right there and then only need to pad it out with the units you like. Characters are a great way to pad out your points as well as small vehicles and unit boxes that include two different units in them (like Scout Troopers, Rebel Commandos, Rebel Veterans, and Shoretroopers). For a large army-centric game, it's pretty cost-effective, but I won't push the point any further. I can't tell you what's a decent standard price or not as your own finances will dictate that for you, but I do think it's important to note that for the stigma these mass army games have for costing too much, Legion is a bit fairer. Even when compared to some skirmish games and large-scale skirmish games, the cost of entry is reasonable and so is the cost of staying relevant.<br /><br /></div><div>However, I do see one potential warning flag about the cost of Legion. The upgrade cards are the life-force of this game, similar to X-Wing. There might be times when you find yourself having to buy one unit to get this particular upgrade card that you've been wanting. Thankfully this hasn't been a problem yet, as Fantasy Flight has been doing their best to spread the love and not keeping any particular upgrade locked behind a particular faction. You will, at the moment, not have to buy units for a different faction to get all of the upgrade cards that you want and rarely do you have to buy units within your own faction that you don't care about for upgrade cards. The only example I can of for this is the pilot cards of the Occupier Tank and the AT-ST, where the AT-ST doesn't have all of the pilot cards and you might have to buy the Occupier to get them all. Otherwise, Fantasy Flight has released a tiny little upgrade card pack to help you get started and includes newer upgrades in newer packs, like the recently released Unit Expansions where every faction now has easy access to electrobinoculars and smoke grenades without having to buy the card pack or the new Clone Wars stuff.<br /><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/03/e6/03e667e6-9bdf-4662-a063-cf27b5d4b691/swl51_main.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Got any more of those upgrades? Yes. A whole pack</td></tr></tbody></table><div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /></div><div>Lastly, one final warning, the starter sets don't include enough rulers for two people and hardly enough dice for one person. Like a typical Fantasty Flight game, you are advised to go ahead and buy an extra set of rulers if you plan on splitting one starter set and an extra set of the dice, but that's really the peak of any financially predatory moves that Legion has so far. Other than that and upgrade card hunting, the game is very fairly priced and respects its consumers' wallets.</div>Pride of Rodinahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17902885482588392762noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6428949821305029771.post-61052761090960661432019-09-04T09:26:00.003-07:002020-08-26T12:40:19.359-07:00The Art of Screening<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></div>In 40k and AoS it's quite common to hear the term "screening". Whether it's reading some random article on the internet, listening to a pro player discuss how they won a recent tournament, at your local club discussing tactics, or when someone brings up Guardsmen, screening is everywhere, but implementing it can be harder than you think. Doubly so if you have no idea what it even means.<br /><div><br /></div><div>However, don't worry, that's why you've got Pride of Rodina here to help you out!</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/warhammer40k/images/9/9a/Img001.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20120923073030" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Image result for imperial guardsmen" border="0" height="270" src="https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/warhammer40k/images/9/9a/Img001.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20120923073030" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The designated Imperial screen. RIP.</td></tr></tbody></table><div><a name='more'></a><h3>Definition</h3></div><div><br /></div><div>Screening is when you use a unit/model to block the movement of your opponents' models or units, to protect your own units from any "closest unit" effects, and, for the sake of this article, to deny your opponent an area for Deepstrike.<br /><br />To break it down further, it's when you use the physical model to deny your opponent the ability to perform some kind of action. Sounds pretty straight forward and honestly it is. However, execution is always harder than theory.<br /><br />This might be a counter-intuitive tactic for folks who are used to playing games where no model life should be snuffed out willy-nilly. When playing 40k or AoS it's less about keeping all of your units alive and more about keeping the&nbsp;<i>correct</i>&nbsp;ones alive. Sometimes you need to make sure you bring cheap units in a list with the sole intention of feeding them to the opponent in order to keep more opponent things alive. More than likely a majority of your way will leave the table, but screening and adding cheap screens to a list means you're more in control of who dies and when.</div><h3>How to Screen</h3><div><br /></div><div>The most common way to screen is by having a cheaper unit sit in front of a more expensive target. For example, using Chaos cultists to sit in front of a quad-las Predator. This isn't always ideal though as sometimes this can in turn hurt more than it helps. We'll discuss three types of screening in this article: closest target attacks, movement denying (and charge denial), and Deepstrike denial.<br /><br /><h4>Closest Target Attacks</h4></div><div>For this kind of screening, the above example of placing a cheaper unit in front of a more expensive one is the more optimal way to do it. Force your opponent to waste those Smites on absurdly cheap stuff like Guardsmen, Cultists, etc. Learning how to force your opponent's attacks on less ideal targets is key against Psychic heavy armies like Thousand Sons. This works exceptionally well with anything that can move before the game starts or Deepstrike on Turn 1 (looking at you Drop Pods).</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.games-workshop.com/resources/catalog/product/920x950/99120102063_RubicMarines01.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://www.games-workshop.com/resources/catalog/product/920x950/99120102063_RubicMarines01.jpg" width="387" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Perfect candidate for this type of screen</td></tr></tbody></table><div></div><div>Ideally, if you are trying to use a cheap unit to screen for a more expensive unit, you'll want to make sure that unit stays behind the cheaper unit. Try not to spread the unit out as far as you can, unless you want to screen for multiple things or you take the casualties off the ends. If you group the screen up a little bit, like two rank-and-file lines, even as the casualties start piling up, you still have models in the screening unit physically in front of the unit you're trying to screen. It's also worth noting that this kind of screening is most effective when the screening unit stays relatively close to the unit/s it's screening for. If it ends up 18" ahead of the unit it's trying to screen attacks for, then your opponent could easily circumvent the screen and make the unit you were trying to screen for their newest closest target.</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-eUHvTerB_zU/XW_W1kD6nnI/AAAAAAAADIE/xJ5pYc_MIrweWFgf82f5ZEhO_xV7v-8WgCK4BGAYYCw/s1600/Screening%2BDemo%2B1.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-eUHvTerB_zU/XW_W1kD6nnI/AAAAAAAADIE/xJ5pYc_MIrweWFgf82f5ZEhO_xV7v-8WgCK4BGAYYCw/s400/Screening%2BDemo%2B1.png" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The top group is more clustered providing a bit more screening for the specific unit (oval)<br />The bottom group is spread out more, providing a less effective screen for the specific unit (rectangle)</td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><div>Also, it might be hard to remember what exactly everything your opponent has and what it does, so don't be afraid to ask your opponent if they have any attacks that target the closest model. Hopefully they'll be kind enough to point them out to you and then you can memorize those units and keep a cheap screen as close to them as needed.</div><div><br /></div><h4>Movement/Charge Denial</h4><div>While closest target attacks is more of a 40k thing, AoS and 40k players can gain a lot by mastering this type of screening. This typically entails a unit going far ahead of the rest of your force, unlike when you screen for closest target attacks, and try to keep an opponent's models from moving closer to your army or objectives. As mentioned above, this works best with any unit that can move before the game starts or Deepstrike Turn 1. It also works exceptionally well with cheap units that can take a lot of models per unit. Make sure you keep your screen more than 3" from the enemy you're screening and if they're pretty decent in melee, keep out of charge range!</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-76n5fW8sC-4/XW_a9tyLoPI/AAAAAAAADIQ/7BkSZ7RWxngoBw0YLG8jM180z81ElGDdwCK4BGAYYCw/s1600/Screening%2BDemo%2B2.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-76n5fW8sC-4/XW_a9tyLoPI/AAAAAAAADIQ/7BkSZ7RWxngoBw0YLG8jM180z81ElGDdwCK4BGAYYCw/s400/Screening%2BDemo%2B2.png" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Now the oval up top is being blocked by a unit and is unable to get close to the rectangles and the objective</td></tr></tbody></table><div>Even better yet is when you use this kind of screen to wrap around a non-flying vehicle, especially transport, and prohibit it from moving or dropping off the troops within.</div><div><br /></div><div>You have to be careful using this strategy against enemy assault units though. If the screen is too close or too far, you could have possibly just helped your opponent charge further they normally would be able to or even Pile In with the unit you were screening! With Piling In and Consolidating (AoS does not have Consolidating), your opponent can eat through your charge screen, Pile In and Consolidate closer to the unit you were trying to screen for. In these cases, it would be better to try to screen with something that will last at least a round of combat or you're only helping your opponent close the gap. If the unit you would use to screen against an enemy assault unit won't last a turn of combat, then you might want to consider using a different unit or don't use a screen at all. However, if your screen will slow your opponent down (sometimes it might be worth letting your opponent have the extra movement from Pile In instead of doing some other crazy combo), then go for it.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.games-workshop.com/resources/catalog/product/920x950/99120207066_BladegheistRevenants04.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://www.games-workshop.com/resources/catalog/product/920x950/99120207066_BladegheistRevenants04.jpg" width="387" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">These ghosts don't care about your charge screen, so don't even try<br />Flying assault units makes screening sadly obsolete</td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div><div>Lastly, sometimes you might want to consider using your charge screen to charge the opponent first. I know, it sounds crazy, but some assault units are far superior when <i>they</i>&nbsp;charge; therefore, you can cripple them by charging first. That means a unit that normally wouldn't survive a turn in combat might actually survive if they initiate the charge.&nbsp;</div><h4></h4><h4>Deepstrike Denial</h4><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></div><br /><div>Now this one is by far the easiest out of the three. Really all you need is a unit that can move before the game starts or a large unit and move them as far out as you can from the main bulk of your army or spread the models of the unit out as far as you can, maintaining coherency. Cover as much ground as you can so you can create as many 9" denial zones as you can.<br /><br />Astra Militarum Scout Sentinels are perfect for this with their before the game starts movement and large bases. Add a couple of them to your lists and you have some great anti-Deepstrike denial zones. The Adeptus Astartes Infiltrators are great for this as well with their ability to Deepstrike themselves and then keep your opponent from Deepstriking within 12" of them. If you have the priority on Turn 2, you can easily use your own Deepstrike units to keep your opponent from Deepstrike in an area. While it's a bit trickier to predict if you'll have priority on Turn 2 with AoS, you can still move your units and Advance to help cover more ground and keep a unit or two in Reserves just in case.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.games-workshop.com/resources/catalog/product/920x950/99120105083_AMSentinalArmoured02.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Image result for scout sentinel" border="0" height="320" src="https://www.games-workshop.com/resources/catalog/product/920x950/99120105083_AMSentinalArmoured02.jpg" width="309" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Good luck Deepsriking now, punk!</td></tr></tbody></table><br />Most importantly though you need to remember that your backfield is a viable Deepstrike area too. Don't solely worry about in front of your army, but the sides and the rear too. Leaving a cheap unit like Stabbas, Chainrasps, Guardsmen, etc. (especially those that have decent range), to deny your opponent the opportunity to Deepstrike on your flanks and rear is important too. Nobody likes it when a squad of meltas magically appear right next to your armor or when some Tree-Revenants show up in charge range of a lynchpin support Hero.</div><div><br /></div><h3>Conclusion</h3><div><br /></div><div>It'll take some time to perfect the art of screening, but practice helps a lot! Do your best to use screening in your games as much as you can and if you can't ever get it to work correctly in a game, don't be afraid to try some practice matches. Sometimes it helps to break a game down and only have a screening unit, the unit that needs to be screened, and the target you're screening against and play it out. See if you can protect the screen for as long as you can or whatever else. There's no shame in doing practice matches like this! It takes less time, allows you to focus on the tactic you're trying to develop, and can even be done alone.</div>Pride of Rodinahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17902885482588392762noreply@blogger.com0