Monday, March 26, 2018

Impressions from my first Legions games.

After what seems like half a year of hype from FFG, Star Wars: Legions was finally released last week.  Now as I am a sucker for all things Star Wars and most things FFG, I might be described as the target audience for this game.

So, I eagerly headed down to the FLGS and picked up my copy as soon as I could.  My 3-year-old was ALMOST as excited about the game as I was and eagerly helped me start assembling the models.

The real world has been busy, but with several local shops running launch weekend events I was pretty confident I could get a game or two in.  I had only glanced at the online rules, so I sat down with the Learn to Play guide and got a rather pleasant surprise...

Legions is not a new game at all.

It is in fact a re-skin and update of an older FFG miniatures game, Dust Warfare.  This was from back when FFG was the publisher for the Dust series of games.  Dust Tactics was originally more board game like, as it was played on a large grid.  Dust Warfare was the open table top version designed by Games Workshop veteran Andy Chambers.  If you are curious to read some of the origins of Legions core mechanics, check out these two news posts from the release of Dust Warfare: Link 1 and Link 2.

The 2 games are not exactly the same, but FFG has certainly taken the core and best bits from Dust Warfare and added what they have learned from X-Wing, Imperial Assault, and Armada. 

This is a great thing on so many levels.  Legions is essentially coming in with years of play testing already complete on its core mechanics.  There are also plenty of concepts that are already developed that can be easily folded into the game like aircraft and transports.

All this led to me feeling like Legions is a game I have played several times already.  So, I decided to bypass the basic game and jump straight to 800 points with the full rules.

Game 1

For the first game I headed to a nearby shop where a demo was being run and found an opponent.  They had a Rebel force ready to go so I put together an Imperial force to match.  I had Vader, an At-St, 2 Speeder Bikes, and 3 squads of Stormtroopers with a variety of weapons and upgrades to test out.

The battle card process was interesting as we both had no clue what impact our choices would have, so we kept things pretty basic.  We ended up playing Intercept the Transmissions which has some King of the Hill like point scoring.  The Major Offensive deployment shifted things around enough that each of us had a close objective with another in the middle.
That AT-ST sure looks impressive.
I sent Vader to go take the central objective backed by a squad of troopers.  I put my rocket launcher in a spot to hopefully ambush the T-47 and kept the AT-ST central where it could be the biggest threat.  I stupidly put my grenade equipped unit all the way in the back...

I think we were both excessively cautious as we weren't quite sure what to expect, but in the end it really came down to a fight between Vader and Luke for the central objective.  The fight was a draw with both being injured, but Vader held Luke just far enough away to keep him from contesting and the match went to the Imperials.

Game 2

The FLGS was closing up so the second game took place in my basement.  This time I was fielding my Rebels and had Luke, a T-47, 2 AT-RTs, and 4 squads of troopers.  I forget the scenario name, but his game was all about controlling specific terrain features at the end of the game.

I need more terrain...

Suppression ended up being a much bigger deal in this game, with multiple units panicking.  I moved Luke just out of Courage range of a unit as he went to slice up some Stormtroopers which led to them fleeing the table.  Another unit fled from an objective on Turn 5 and I was only able to get them back after having Luke run over in their direction to help them rally.  It was just in time to help me win that game 2-1 as Vader had completely removed all of my troops from one of the objectives.

Luke would slice these troopers up and then Son of Skywalker his way over to the 2nd group and do the same.
I will post more detailed battle in the future, but for now I wanted to share my early impressions of Legions.

  • It's a good game.  You should probably get it.
  • It's popular.  Core starters have all but disappeared locally.
  • Suppression is a huge deal.  Splitting fire to spread suppression around is a good reason to always bring heavy weapons in your squads.
  • Conversely, concentrate fire on vehicles to ensure you maximize Impact or Ion.
  • A big part of the competitive meta will be action economy.
  • Luke and Vader are very powerful, but very expensive.  I suspect that the cheaper commanders will be more effective.
  • Still, there is nothing like a lightsaber-swinging force user to clear an objective.
  • Pierce is REALLY good.
  • So is Blast.
  • I can't wait for Leia and Veers.
  • And some other cheap commanders to pair with them.
  • You're gonna need troops that just want to run and claim objectives.
  • Some units end up pretty static in cover.  Skimmers are great as they are very effective on the move.  They will make a great reserve or excellent hunters.
  • I mentioned Suppression is a big deal right?  
  • Which makes the AT-ST Mortar (and future Suppressive weapons) really handy.
  • The reload infantry weapons are effective and probably worth the cost in limited numbers.
  • I suck at rolling defense dice.
  • AT-RTs can shrug off small arms, but die quickly to anything with Impact.
  • I haven't decided how I feel about grenades yet.
  • It's easy to get caught up in going pew-pew, but really you have to play to the Objective.
  • Precise on Stormtroopers is pretty important, the scopes are worth taking as well.
Anyways, with more games I will have some more concrete tactical thoughts to share on here.


  1. I know it was at your FLGS, but where is that mat in the first game picture from?

    1. I believe it is one of the FAT Mats from Frontline Gaming. It is a 6x4 that had been taped off to 6x3.