Star Wars: Legion

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Review: This is where the fun begins...

June 1, 2021 by fourtytwo Cult of Games Member

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I'm a 1980s Star Wars-kid. I love the OT, or Clone Wars, or REBELS. I'm also a miniatures wargamer since the late 80s. And I didn't dive into Star Wars Legion until recently.

My first contact with Asmodee and their miniatures games was Star Wars Imperial Assault - a game I adore for its neat rules and amazing skirmish-modus, and it's quickly become my favorite miniatures-based game. What kept me from committing to Legion were some sceptical presumptions on my part which either proved to be wrong or exaggerated. First of all, since I love collecting themed forces and customizing, I felt that the rules for organizing your armies were a bit old-school and limiting. I am generally opposed to strict requirements and limitations on what you have to or can field, and I admit that the very loose and free-form but still highly competetive formula for organizing your force in Imperial Assault has spoiled me to a great degree in that regard. Once I got into the nitty-gritty of how to organize my forces in Legion, however, I found that within the requirements and limitations there's still a lot of room to customize to my liking and play style.

The rules of Star Wars Legion require a lot of decision-making and planning-ahead during a game - something which is very important to me. There's also a lot of interaction and alternating back and forth between players during a game, which makes for a great gaming experience. This is also great for replayability. It is usual for miniatures wargames that opposing forces are defined by the boundaries between species, which I already found arbitrary and somewhat silly and uninteresting as a teenager. Star Wars is full of different species and factions, but the major conflict in each era is not defined by the boundaries between species, but between ideas. That's why it never bothered me that there are basically only two or three major factions in each era, because that's how things usually are in major and era-defining conflicts, like real-world WW2 or the Cold War, for example. Within each faction in Star Wars Legion, there's so much room for different forces to play, species to include, and sub-factions to ally. Also, Legion has a lot of design space for future additions, and with it being a very young game still, I'm very optimistic that this potential will be utilized more and more.

I'm a miniatures guy, and I love to paint and show off my painted minis. I'll be blunt: The older Star Wars Legion minis were very good with some being not so good and some being great. And sure, all of the older minis may be a bit difficult or frustrating for less experienced hobbyists with regards to removing mold lines due to the material used. I never saw a miscast or had any trouble with missing parts, though. With the new hard plastic kits, however, the minis for Legion have entered the top tier of non-boutique miniatures for wargames, hands down. They are great in design, detail and production quality.

So, is Legion perfect? No. But which game is? If you like a game inviting you to tinker with army organization, a game with easy, clever rules which require and reward a lot of decision-making and planning-ahead during a game, and great minis on top, then you should give Legion a try. If you, like me, are a Star Wars fan and a miniatures game fan, then what are you waiting for? Don't stay on the fence like I did so long. Do, or do not. There is no try.

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