Deployment, Condition, and Objective Cards of Legion.

The original cards from the core set for Legion.  Which ones should you eliminate?  What do they do?  What choice is best for me?  I’m going to talk about all of that.

Deployment Cards

Deployment cards are going to tell you where your deployment zone is.  The blue zone for the blue player, and the red zone for the red player.   The numbers on the edges of the card, indicates how many range tools each section is, in terms of length and width.   A (3) indicates it is range 3, or 18 inches (since each range unit is exactly 6 inches).  Many of these deployment cards are going to force you to take a look at the terrain on your board, and determine which one will work best for your army.

Each card is going to by symmetric between the blue player and red player.  For this phase, there really isn’t any difference between the two colors, so if you end up being the red player, don’t worry.

Battle Lines is easily the most basic of all deployment cards.  It allows you to deploy anywhere on your side, within range 1 of your edge.    This is fairly universal and gives most armies a lot of flexibility.  It’s worth noting that starting with this deployment can have the highest potential of having shots fired on the first round, so be careful how far forward you start marching those first few troops.

The Long March, is also fairly basic, but will have you playing at the short ends of the table, marching towards your opponents from potentially a longer distance.  This one can be favorable to fast units, especially those with compulsory moves.  This one can also benefit extreme long range attacks, like the mortars from the AT-ST, which have a minimum range of 4.

Major Offensive is giving each of you opposite corners, but it also extends moderately far into the center.  This one is interesting in how it extends into different depths of the board, and can really depend on how your terrain is laid out, on weather or not this one works best for you.  Generally, I tend to prefer this deployment only if I have blocking terrain near the center, but slightly closer to my side, allowing me flexibility of deployment, as well as covered approach paths, to objectives.

Disarray is the most difficult to set up for new players, and easily the most chaotic.  Newer players are likely only have a single commander, and since it requires you to deploy units in BOTH corners, you are going to be forced to split up your forces in different areas, leaving some units beyond standard command range.  This can work well however, with builds using cards to mitigate this distance, such as Long Range Comlink.  Another way to utilize this deployment is to simply ignore the disadvantage, by focusing on corps units, and simply putting all of them on one side, and your commander plus whatever remains on the other corner.  You’ll be able to issue orders to Heavy, or Support units for example from your commander, and then pull from the pile to get your corps units with ease.  If you have 6 corps, and heavy, for example, this might work for you.

 

Condition Cards

 

Condition cards are telling you something about the condition of the battlefield you are fighting.  Maybe it’s a bright sunny day, maybe it’s foggy, or snowy.  Whatever the condition, it’s going to have an impact on your tactics.  You’ll want to avoid certain conditions that might cripple your army’s strengths.

Clear conditions is simple.  It has no effect.  This is equally good for everyone, and that means sometimes you’ll purposely want to eliminate this one if the one behind it might hurt your opponent worse than you.

Hostile Environment makes it more difficult for troopers to remove suppression.  It also means that trooper units are less likely to end up in the open, while trying to move from one objective to another.  If you are particularly trooper heavy, and your battlefield has lots of wide open spaces, you may want to avoid this one.  If you are using a lot of vehicles, your penalties here could be minimized.

Rapid Reinforcements is unique in that it doesn’t reference the battlefield itself, but rather the availability of the troopers within it.  This one could potentially hurt a build that is maxing out on heavily upgraded troopers, as it will be far more difficult for a player to set aside 2/3rds of his stronger configured trooper units for a few turns of the game.  If you feel like you have plenty of troopers, and can afford to play without them for the first few turns, then perhaps you may enjoy this one.   As a side note – any future trooper units can also be effected by this card, so as more troopers enter the game, the tactics for this card may evolve.

Limited Visibility is the best condition to have, if your opponent is equipped with long range attacks that they’d like to use on the first turn.   If they are using Leia or Veers, then they’ll have command cards capable of striking you at distance 4 or beyond from the first turn.  If they have long range weapons, like the AT-RT Laser Canon, or AT-ST Mortar Launcher, then they’ll also be at a disadvantage, unable to fire at you until after the fog has died down.

 

Objectives

Objectives are how you win the game.  Well, technically you can also completely destroy all of your opponent’s units – but more often than not it’s going to come down to objectives.  The right objective can make or break the game for you, so make sure you pay close attention to these.

 

Intercept the Transmissions turns the game into area control.  It’ll will most likely be a fight for the center, as typically one player will end up having an advantage on the left, and the other player will gravitate more to the right.  If you have a build that can lock down 2 areas of the battlefield that you’ve built, then this might benefit you.  Troopers are crucial for this objective however, in that only trooper unit leaders can give you control of one of the three objectives.  A vehicle-heavy list is likely to struggle with this objective in that while vehicles may have some firepower, they have no ability to gain victory points.

Key positions heavily favors the blue player.  There are only 3 tokens to be placed and the blue player gets to pick two of them, which means they can select the two terrain pieces that are easiest to defend.  Any type of unit leader can compete for control of the terrain pieces however, so vehicles are fine for this one.  I like to think that AT-RTs with long range weapons like the AT-RT Laser Canon can be great here, since they can climb on top of an obstacle and hold it, while firing at a distance to cover another one.  If you are the red player I’d seriously consider eliminating this objective.

Recover the Supplies is another objective that heavily favors trooper-heavy lists.  You are going to have to claim an objective, and keep it safe until the end of the game.  If your build can put out a lot of suppression then you may be able to force enemies to panic, and drop their supplies, so that is worth considering.  Also if terrain allows for strong hiding spots that block line of sight, you may want to consider claiming supplies and staying safe.  Vehicle heavy lists may struggle with this one if they cannot get at least 3 tokens claimed and kept safe.

Breakthrough is a pretty fun objective and perhaps has the most interesting dynamic of all objectives that come with the Core Set.  It makes your game almost feel like a sporting event that I might compare to a Star Wars version of Football.  It favors the most units, and also favors fast units.  Slow units will have difficulty making it to the enemy’s deployment zone, so if you have slower forces like Darth Vader, this one might not be the best for you.  Personally, I’ve had success with this mission when using units that have high speed and compulsory moves.  Even though rebel snowspeeders cost alot of points, they have the speed and survivability to spend a few turns shooting, and can make a break for the enemy zone right before the end of the game to make the difference.  Generally however, if your opponent has several more units than you do, I’d steer clear of this objective.

 

In Summary

If you prefer a video instead of reading all of this, here is a video as well!

Hopefully you found this information helpful!   Out of all the three card types, objectives are easily the most important, but they are also influenced heavily by the other two.   The one constant that I’ve found, is that most winning builds tend to favor quantity, over quality – so the more units you have, and thus, the more unit leaders you have, the better your chances of gaining victory tokens and winning the game!

 

The Original Blue Objectives

The Original Blue Objectives

This third installment of objectives are dealing with the original blue objectives that come in the Armada core set.  I also have covered reds and yellows, and will soon be covering the objectives in the Corellian Conflict as well.  Lets get started!

This one is a simple points race.   You land a ship on an obstacle, and you can gain a victory token.  It also has the clear benefit of allowing the 2nd players ships complete immunity when landing on asteroid fields and debris fields.  There are some common questions with interactions here that have been answered in the FAQ as well.  First – Grav Shift Reroute moves these obstacles, the tokens move with them.  Second – Squadrons with Strategic are allowed to move tokens off these obstacles.   In that case, the tokens must be placed back on an obstacle before it can be removed for scoring.   And if a ship lands on an obstacles with multiple tokens, you only remove one token each time.  See the Armada Errata page for a link to the latest FAQ.

Why you should include it:

One thing that’s nice is that you’ll get the ability to move through obstacles unhindered and your opponent won’t.  Large Based ships can certainly take advantage of this.  Also, if you are running Grav Shift Reroute you can pull some of these obstacles closer to yourself to make collecting them easier.   This doesn’t give a ton of points though and isn’t terribly strong, but it also typically doesn’t help your opponent either.

If you are 1st Player:

If you’ve got Jaina’s Light in your fleet, is usually a sure thing to select this objective, because you’ve already got a ship that can land on those obstacles without taking any punishment!  Also if you are running an Interdictor with a Grav Shift Reroute of your own, you may be able to reverse the placement of some of these rocks and pull them closer to yourself, giving you an advantage.

 

Another points grab, but this time it’s winner-take-all.  Flotillas have made it easier than ever to send a ship after one of these objective tokens.  Years ago, this objective used to be very bad for Imperial players who tended to run a Demolisher, and either VSDs and/or ISDs.  An Imperial Player typically could NOT afford to send any of his or her ships out chasing after objectives, so this was an easy pick for rebels running a lone CR-90.  Nowadays however, flotillas are so common that this becomes a more risky objective to take, as it can easily be turned against you.

Why you should include it:

If you’ve got several Strategic Squadrons and ways to give them extra movement, such as Squall, Fighter Coordination Team, or Adar Talon, you’ll have a much easier time of quickly grabbing three tokens.  As 2nd player you’ll be able to place 3 out of the 5 tokens, so be sure and place them in such a way that you’ll be able to get to them before your opponent.  You also want to ensure that you can keep your objective ship alive.  For Empire, consider something like a Gozanti with Minister Tua and Electronic Counter Measures.  For Rebels, a Bright Hope with Major Derlin would prove incredibly hard to kill.  Fast ships like Raiders and CR-90s also can make for good objective ships.

If you are 1st Player:

If you’ve got more Strategic than your opponent, and think you can get to those objective tokens before your opponent can, then you can turn this against him or her.   Alternatively, if you’ve got a force that can quickly kill their objective ship, then you can also stop them from collecting points.  A swarm of CR-90As with Turbolaser Reroute Circuits for example, can quickly move into striking distance and concentrate on a lightly defending objective ship.

 

A classic objective of telling your opponent which way they should approach.   This one used to get used a ton before Strategic came around.  Now it’s quite risky to use this if you don’t also bring in some Strategic Squadrons of your own.

Why you should include it:

If you’ve got Dodonna, you can trigger his ability if your opponent trips one of these mines and rolls a crit, so that is a very fun part of this objective.   It also helps you generally control which ways your opponent can come into the fight, so if your fleet is very vulnerable to flanking this one can help.   You’ll probably want to include some Strategic into your build, just in case your opponent has some Strategic of their own.  And if not, it helps to re-purpose those mined that your opponent managed to miss.  It’s great to push them again and again!  Also, keep note of your opponent’s build.  If they don’t have any strategic, you might even consider putting many of these mines closer to the center of the board so you can push them all directly into your opponent regardless of where they deploy.

If you are 1st Player:

If you’ve got several Strategic Squadrons and your opponent does not…. then absolutely pick this one.  Nothing is more satisfying than pushing the 2nd players mine field back on themselves!

 

In my opinion, this one is by far the best of the original blue objectives.  This one is especially helpful with modern fleets that might only run 2 or 3 activations.  I also think this will be especially good in the future, with Wave 7’s new large ships.  It punishes the 1st player by making them deploy EVERYTHING first.  It takes away any deployment advantage they had.   And it allows rear shots to reward both of you with victory points. Rear shots SHOULD be easy since you can see where your opponent is setting up.

Why you should include it:

This one is great for any list that has a big deployment disadvantage.   3 or less ships, for example.  This list can also be very nice if you’ve got a good number of squadrons that aren’t likely to get engaged and locked down.   Squadrons with Rogue are particularly nice here, but Intel will easily help your squadrons get rear shots.   Maneuverable ships will also help you sneak around slower ships and get those rear shots as well.

If you are 1st Player:

If perhaps you were going to have a deployment disadvantage either way, then you really didn’t lose much by selecting this one.   Perhaps you are running a 2-ship build heavy with Squadrons?  Just set up in the middle and adjust accordingly – hoping your squadrons will get you a ton of victory points.  Make sure you get those rear shots!

 

Hope you enjoyed my breakdown of the basic blue objectives!   I’ll be covering the Corellian Conflict soon so check back often!

The Original Red Objectives

The Video – In case you prefer.

A long time ago when Armada was still new, I had started doing a series of videos on objectives, but never finished them.   I’ve decided it’s time to revisit Objectives and I’m going to start out with the Original Reds!  These first four are the originals.  The Classics.  They came with the core set and everyone should have them.  I’ll also be covering the objectives that come in the Corellian Conflict at a later date.

 

Advanced Gunnery is a dangerous objective to take, as it can benefit both you AND your opponent.  It also tends to be risky because it gives a benefit to your opponent as well, and if you are unlucky they may kill your objective ship and get a huge extra chunk of points. Also, with most heavy-hitting ships, you want to add gunnery teams, and this objective specifically won’t work with Gunnery Teams, because Gunnery Teams deny you the ability to attack more than once out of the same arc.

When should you include it:

One of the most common reasons to include this card is if you have a heavy firepower ship that does not, or can not, take Gunnery Teams.   This might be the case if you are running an Ackbar Build with an (H)MC-80.  MC-80s tend to be good targets for this, because they are tough enough to hopefully survive.  You can also consider running this on an Imperial Star Destroyer if your weapons team is occupied by something else, perhaps a boarding party.   Though most of the time if I’m running an ISD, I will often use Gunnery Teams instead of taking this objective.

If you are 1st Player :

Usually you don’t select this one.   However, if you’ve got a tanky ship that simply couldn’t take gunnery teams…. and you feel confident in being able to use this benefit better than your opponent, feel free.  It is important to note, that while the 1st player’s objective ship doesn’t get quite as good of a benefit as the 2nd player’s objective ship, you CAN still potentially attack the same ship twice if you are first player – You’ll just need to get that big firing arc into a position where it can attack two different hull zones of the same ship.

 

Opening Salvo is a favorite of mine.  It is one of those that gives something to both players, but really benefits fleets with a lot of ships.   It also offers the 2nd player the rare opportunity to throw black dice at long range – which can lead to some interesting combos.  One key point here is that you MUST discard your objective token the first time you attack a ship, so you actually may find yourself skipping your attack if it’s against a ship you don’t feel comfortable wasting your bonus, while shooting – (Perhaps a Gozanti with Tua and Electronic CounterMeasures).  This one also gives half score to players who manage to damage but not destroy enemy ships at the end of the game.  Great for those Star Destroyers who manage to avoid death, yet still take some damage.

When you should include it:

You absolutely want to include this in high ship-count lists.   If you are running 5 or more ships that can shoot (Sorry GR-75 Medium Transports), then this is usually a good bet.   It’s also nice to include this one if you’ve got specialized crit cards in your build, like Assault Proton Torpedoes, as you’ll now have an easy way to trigger those at long range.  It also helps to have some dice mitigation since you’ll be adding lots of dice here, so cards like Home One, Darth Vader, Ordnance Experts, and Leading Shots may be helpful as well.

If you are 1st Player:

If you have less than 4 ships you’ll most likely want to skip this one.  If you DO take this one you’ll generally want to have a lot of shooting ships.   If you have more shooters than your opponent, then I’d say absolutely go for this one.   Keep in mind you’ll only get red dice added to your first attacks, but that can be fine, especially if you’ve got Turbolaser Reroute Circuits equipped, or if your commander allows you to make the most out of those extra dice, like Darth Vader loves to do.  Also, since your are first player, at the start of each round you may want to prioritize attacking an opponent’s ships that still have an objective token, denying them both an activation and a powerful shot.

 

Most Wanted has literally made the difference in games that I would have lost otherwise.  The key with this card is that it lets the second player make both choices.  It does two things – It allows the 2nd player to pick one of the 1st players biggest ships that will end up being worth double points, (while picking one of their own least-important ships), and also gives extra dice to attacking ships that go after said objective ships.   Also this card has been errata’d in the official FAQ – under the SPECIAL RULE, it only allows SHIPS to add 1 die of any color, not any attacker.

When you should include it:

To make this card really shine you’ll need 2 things.  First, you’ll need some decent ship to ship firepower.   Several shooters would be good, since each ship that attacks the enemy objective ship will gain the bonus die.  Also, you’ll need a cheap ship, preferably a flotilla, to make your own objective ship.  This will minimize the impact if you lose it, and if you opponent gets bonus dice when going after a ship that isn’t exactly crucial to your build, then so be it.

When you are 1st Player:

This is one that a 1st player seldom wants to pick.   The only times you will want to chose this one are when your opponent won’t really get much out of it – weather they forgot to include a flotilla, or all of your ships are cheap and relatively worthless, (Hammerhead/CR-90 Swarm perhaps?).  Now if you happen to have a Hammerhead Swarm and your opponent has 3 Imperial Star Destrors plus a few TIEs, you actually might want to pick it!  You have to estimate that your opponent will pick his or her least valuable ship and your most valuable ship, and that both may get destroyed and ship value doubled.   If after doing the math, you still come out on top, then you might pick this one.

 

Obviously Precision Strike is meant to emphasize bomber-based fleets.   But at a second glance, you don’t need bombers to make it work.   (It just helps).  It’s going to give the 2nd player a concentrate fire token to each ship, which means if you are running a token-based commander like Tarkin of Garm, you’ll see very little benefit from this first part…. but the key is in the victory points that can be racked up.  This one has also become significantly more impactful since the core set wave, since we’ve seen new things that can really aide the bombers, such as Bomber Command Center, and Intel – really making it easier to rack up the points.  However, this card also offers very little as a bonus for the second player – and if you take it you run the risk of facing another bomber-based fleet

When you should include it:

If you have a significant investment in bombers, you may want to consider taking this one.   You’ll also need some anti-bomber mechanics as well, in case you face a ton of Y-Wings or TIE Bombers – because you absolutely don’t want the 1st player getting more points out of your own objective than YOU.  Your ships can also score points here, so agile, maneuverable ships like CR-90s are capable and tend to fit into bomber lists with ease.

When you are 1st Player:

If you have bombers.   Especially if you have more bombers than your opponent.   Any time you can turn your opponent’s objective against them, it’s going to be one heck of a ride!   Also if you have an effective way to deal with your opponent’s bombers, this might easily be the best objective to pick.  If you have few or no squadrons at all, then I’d strongly suggest passing on this one.

 

 

That wraps up the original red objectives!   Check back soon because we’ll be taking  a look at the rest of the core set’s Objectives, and then diving into the Corellian Conflict’s new ones after that!

Legion – How Many Core Sets Do You Need?

The video, which covers most of the same material:

As Star Wars Legion’s launch date approaches, many people are asking “Do I need multiple Core Sets?” and I think it’s easily one of the most frequently asked questions, so I decided to do my best to answer.

The Short Answer : No, 1 Core set is fine.

The Long Answer : You might actually want more than one.  (Keep reading!)

To first answer, we’re going to need to answer a few key questions:

  1. What comes in the Core Set
  2. What is Required to Play?
  3. What is the cost of each core-set expansion separately?2
  4. Do I really need to buy the individual expansions at all?
  5. Am I planning to play a single faction only, or both factions?

 

Core Set Contents

The Core Set comes with rules, tokens, cards, and all teh essentials to get you started.  In terms of Miniatures, it has Vader, Luke, 2x Stormtrooper Units, 2x Rebel Trooper Units, an AT-RT, and a Speeder Bike Unit.

Required to Play

A standard game has an 800 point limit.   You’ll want to get as close to 800 points as you can.   The Core set will get you about halfway there.   You have the option of playing a smaller point game if you want, but keep in mind that official play will be at the 800 point cost.

Legion also has minimums and maximums for units.   This means in the case of the empire, you can’t just build an army completely full of stormtroopers.   However you also won’t be able to do without stormtroopers either.  You’ll need at least 1 Commander, which each faction gets in the Core Set(Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader), and you’ll need a minimum of 3 Corps units (Stormtroopers, or Rebel Troopers, respectively).  So right away you’ll need more than the Core Set comes with.

You can have up to 3 Support Units (the AT-RT, or Speeder Bikes), and a maximum of 6 Corps.  There are other restrictions for other types of units, but for this article I’m focusing just on the Core Set.  So right away it would seem like THREE Core Sets would grant you the maximum number of Corps and Support units.   So why not just buy 3 and keep it simple?

Upgrade cards

In the past, FFG has almost always thrown out a few exclusive upgrade cards in each expansion pack, to give you an incentive to buy an expansion for a miniature you already own.  We can expect they will likely do something similar this time around.   However, I will note that in their latest miniatures game, Runewars, this actually was not so much the case.  Some individual core set unit expansions didn’t have a single exclusive upgrade card.   The upgrade cards they DID have were shared among multiple expansions.  Considering this game does have a few mechanics in common with Runewars, and seemingly a very similar distribution method, I wouldn’t be surprised to see upgrades in these expansions show up in multiple different boxes.  In short – you MAY not need to buy 4x Stormtrooper Expansion packs.

Cost

The Core Set retails for $89.95.   This is actually an incredible deal when you consider what is included.  In addition to the rules, tokens, cards, and essentials to get started, you also get Luke, Vader, 2x Rebel Troopers, 2x Stormtroopers, an AT-RT, and Speeder Bike units.  Plus all the normal materials you’d need to play the game.  Now lets look at those expansion prices. (We are excluding the unknown variable of Expansion Cards when we factor in cost).

They are each $24.95, and the extra dice and range tools are each $14.95, which means if you were to buy out everything in the core set separately, it would cost you $179.60!  You could almost get 2 Core Sets for that price, and you’d have twice the miniatures!  Not to mention the extra tools and dice.   Oh dice….

Dice

I’m making a separate paragraph to talk about dice.  You are going to want a ton of dice.  This game gives you the ability to chuck a TON of dice and you aren’t going to have enough in the core set.  I actually made the mistake of proxying dice for some test games, and didn’t make enough.   I got sick of having to record results and re-roll over and over again.   If you don’t get multiple core sets, you are going to want at least 1 more dice pack, if not 2 more.

What if I’m planning on playing a Single faction?

If you are running a single faction, I think it’s a safe bet to only get one core set.   But first, find a buddy who is doing the same, and arrange to trade the opposite factions with each other.  This way you’ll have double the Imperial contents, while your pal will have double the rebel scum… (Or vice versa).

There are other reasons why multiple core sets might be considered wasteful.   For example, the extra Luke and Vader won’t do you much good, unless of course you want to have extras to paint, or run multiple paint schemes, (Red Vader anyone?  Also, you might not be certain you’ll like the game yet, and simply want to run a few smaller test games.  If that’s the case, then by all means start off with just one and test the waters.

 

Maxing out

If you want to have the maximum legal number of each type of unit, three core sets will easily be the cheapest($269.85) but like I said earlier, you’ll run the risk of not having any exclusive cards that come with the expansions.  If you max out, I would instead suggest 2 Core Sets, and 2 of each trooper expansion, and 1 of each support expansion.  This will get you access to each upgrade card.   However, if for example, the stormtrooper expansion ends up having a “MUST-BUY” exclusive, that will change the entire formula… but as of right now I doubt that will be the case.

This would have a total cost $329.60 at MSRP.  

From what I’ve seen thus far, this game doesn’t really need you to load up your units with that many upgrades to really be effective.  The best upgrades, (in my opinion) are those which add a miniature to the unit.  Since we can see the miniatures in the spreads, it is reasonable to assume that those “top-level” upgrades will be the same between the core set and the expansions.

A Balanced Approach

If you don’t want to completely max out on all units right away, I’ll share with you my current plan.  2 Core Sets and only ONE of each expansion.  This will get me started with a wealth of options, and also leave plenty of room for those new Heavy units that were also spoiled.   It’ll also be more sparing on the wallet.

This will have a cost of only $279.70

 

In closing, I recommend two core sets, based on what we know now, and the tremendous savings involved.   Unless of course, you are only planning to play a single faction and want to split cores with a friend.  Once we get more details on the individual expansion exclusive cards, then this MIGHT change, but I wouldn’t bet it will change all that much.  Thanks for reading, and may the force be with you!