August 18, 2017 by brennon
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…Fantasy Flight Games announced that they were going to fulfil a lot of dreams by bringing a battle game based around Star Wars to the tabletop. Welcome Star Wars: Legion.
The focus of the game is on skirmishes and mass battles from the Star Wars universe played out with miniatures that you build and paint yourselves. The core box is quite something and we got a hands on demo with the game earlier in the week.
Here are some of our thoughts…
First off we wanted to talk with you guys about the miniatures that you get in the box. They stand at around 32mm in height, so a little taller than the ones that you get in Imperial Assault.
The miniatures themselves are similar to the ones you would have got in RuneWars. They can be slotted together/glued together and then painted yourself, but there’s no reason to do that if you don’t feel like it.
As you can see above the Rebels get themselves two squads as well as Luke Skywalker to lead them and a AT-RT acting as their heavier fire support on the tabletop.
The Empire get themselves a similar set up…
They get two squads of Storm Troopers at their command as well as Darth Vader and the 74-Z Speeder Bikes for a bit of mobile firepower.
The miniatures we looked at were well detailed and really looked the part. It was nice to see that there were so many different poses in the set and the Rebels had a few nice additions like female soldiers and an alien too.
As you can see some of the models have special weapons and that comes into play when you start buying upgrades for the units down the line.
You’ll also get all sorts of widgets, tokens, cards and more in the box and some terrain pieces to use as cover for example.
The Game & Mechanics
The game itself is pretty fascinating and plays very quickly and simply on the tabletop. We only played through one round but it was exceptionally killy with units dying to shooting quickly if you’re not careful with where you position them.
On your turn you will choose an activation card from your hand and this will dictate the number of units you can activate whenever you like, your initiative and any other special powers you choose to bring into play.
While everyone has access to a set number of basic activation cards there are also those that come from your heroes that lead your forces. In the taster we played Dawn and I used our Luke Skywalker card whilst Justin and Gianna played one that activated three units.
It’s important to note that all of your units CAN activate during a turn but there difference is that the ones you choose using your card can be activated at any time. Your other units are shuffled up using tokens and you pick at random to see who you can use next – this simulates the fog of war a little on the tabletop.
Once a unit activates it can do two actions. This could be to move, attack or use a special ability for example. Typically your basic units don’t have special abilities and these are tied more to your characters like Luke and Darth Vader.
Moving is done using a special set of measuring trinkets which will be familiar to those who have played Star Wars: Armada. You don’t have to move everyone individually however either as you need only move your Leader for each unit and then place the rest of the models in coherency around him/her.
Shooting is also simple enough. You check the weapon profiles for each and take the corresponding dice. Much like with games like X-Wing you have hits, critical hits and then special symbols which may activate dependant on your unit and/or hero.
Hits are then blocked using coloured defence dice from the opponent and casualties are removed.
Units will then start to suffer morale as they get shot, and eventually as they take more and more they may be forced to flee the table. We didn’t really follow this in too much detail during the demo but it looked like focusing fire could be very important.
Of course we had to get in a duel between Luke and Darth Vader and once again, this was pretty killy! Darth Vader is quite the monster in close combat as you’d imagine whilst Luke has a faithful blaster if he needs it.
More than anything though, the heroes felt like they were great supplementary figures for the rest of the force, allowing them to benefit from their activation cards and more.
Two of the other actions you can take are to Dodge and Aim. Aim allows you to re-roll any dice you want when shooting, whilst Dodge allows you to re-roll your defence dice – this can be critical as we found out when the poor Rebels got shot to hell by Stormtroopers!
Vehicles work slightly differently than infantry as they have arches of fire and plenty of weapon options. They actually simulated the speed of the Speeders for the Imperials quite well as they always have to move and can’t stop still so with them it’s very much about working out the right angles to approach at.
Upgrades & Beyond The Box
One thing you will have noticed is that all of the squads have special weapons in them. Using upgrade cards you can add these into the mix and the core box comes with a HUGE stack of cards for you to start playing around with to customise your force.
The game itself is said to scale really well, from skirmishing around with a few units to full on battles with 1000 point armies (oh yeah, that’s the tournament level they’re aiming for!).
It also plays out on 6′ by 3′ gaming spaces so they are anticipating that people are going to be expanding on their collections.
Talking of collections – yes, there is an “aggressive release schedule” for the game after its launch later this year. All of the original trilogy is going to be covered and, whilst they said that they can’t specify more – we’re thinking it’s going to go beyond that towards the prequels and more.
From a brief look at the game this is effectively what many fans have wanted for years. Warren & Lloyd can finally play out a battle on Hoth or Endor without having to come up with the rules themselves!
We’re looking forward to where this is going next and it was a joy to get in a sneaky look at this ahead of time here at Gen Con.
If you have any questions include them in the comments below and we’ll try and answer them!
Are you excited for this new move from FFG?