If you felt a great disturbance in the force recently don’t be alarmed. There is a very good reason. Fantasy Flight Games has announced Star Wars: Legion, a tabletop miniatures game sent in the iconic galaxy far, far, away. What began with rumors has developed into a full-fledged announcement, and those lucky enough to be at Gen Con will even have the chance to demo it already!
Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) has already brought the battles of Star Wars to our tables in many ways. In X-Wing players take the iconic snubnose fighter into space against screaming Tie Fighters and many more dogfighters. Armada takes a look at capitol ship warfare, and Imperial Assault has told the story of individual characters and units risking their lives in the battle against the Empire. Now we finally get to live out the battles on the ground, leading squads of Rebel Troopers or Stormtroopers alongside our favorite characters like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.
Like FFG’s other miniature based combat games, Legion begins when you build your army outside of play. The core set will include 33 unpainted, unassembled, miniatures but expansions will soon follow to allow you the opportunity to customize your forces. Will you attempt to overwhelm your opponent with swarms of weaker troops? Or will you load up on specialized units and bring experience and combat aptitude to bear? A point system that forces you to pay more for those powerful units will ensure the fight is still balanced and give you-as commander-the freedom to play how you want.
However, it isn’t just the combat prowess that you need to consider when building your army. Each unit has a rank which becomes critically important when it’s time to activate your units. Star Wars: Legion features an innovative new system that captures the chaos of battle. A bag is filled with tokens corresponding to the ranks of your units. On your turn, you draw a token out of the bag and activate any unit of that rank. We can quickly see how building a homogenous force will allow tactical flexibility while perhaps giving up attack or unit options. Of course, the battles in Star Wars are not often won without the help of powerful characters and Legion looks to be no different.
In addition to being capable combatants in their own right, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader take on the role of battlefield Commanders. They’ll be able to issue orders to your troops at the beginning of the round. When it comes time to draw from your bag of activations, you can instead activate a unit that has been given order. Direct control exactly when you need it can be a powerful ability. Activating a Squad of Commandos and taking out a 74-Z Speeder Bike before it can activate could be the difference between victory for the Rebels or defeat at the hands of the evil empire.
A simple jointed movement template is used to help your troops work their way across a map dotted with terrain, but there is no need to measure each individual model. Rules for “Unit Cohesion” allow you to just move one unit and then organize the remainder of the squad around that unit. Again, the opportunity for creative exists to give the edge to a keen commander. Models do not need to maintain the same configuration; you can clump them together behind cover or spread them out to maximize firepower as the shifting priorities of battle demand.
Where Legion differs dramatically from the other miniatures games in Fantasy Flight’s fleet of games is the miniatures themselves. Legion is more firmly situated on the hobby side of the minigaming spectrum. These highly detailed miniatures arrived unassembled, and unpainted. While paint is unnecessary to play, many of us miniature wargamers love the process of building our squads and letting our imaginations run wild as we bring our forces to life. Whether you come up with your own reason that your Strormtroopers are wearing blue armor or stick to the movies, painting miniatures can be an exciting hobby on its own.
In addition to Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and the other units you need for war, the Star Wars: Legion core set will include all the tokens, templates, and terrain you need. It’s available to demo on the floor of GenCon right now and will be available at retailers in Q4 2017. May the force be with you!
What units do you hope to bring to the table? Share them in comments!
Image Credits: Fantasy Flight Games