The third installment of our 1.5 commander re-looks is the Princess herself. We here at Steel Strategy have been pretty unapologetic in our scorn for Leia Organa as a commander card to this point. By all means, we would love to see her become a viable commander. However, despite the delusions of some diehard Leia supporters (we all know who we mean by that *cough* John *cough*), she has consistently been the Rebel’s worst performing commander. Like many others, she got a re-look with the 1.5 update.
The most glaring issue with Leia was her point cost. At 38 points, her cost was rather absurdly high. That was multiple significant upgrades you have to cut to get her into your list. If you’re looking to just use her to get an additional squad command out of your flotilla, then why not just buy two sets of Expanded Hangar Bays and one of many cheaper commanders? That wasn’t her only issue, though. The Leia commander card simultaneously undervalued and overvalued tokens. It overvalued gaining a token that matched your command dial. That’s a nice thing to have, but not a game changer. The downside to Leia, however, is that you can’t use OTHER tokens. As someone who constantly lives and breaths off of those extra tokens to help me slow down or move shields, that is a major downside.
The 1.5 changes help the first part of Leia’s problem: her cost. At 28 points, she is a far more reasonable investment. You can do quite a bit with 10 points in Armada, so that adjustment immediately changes the calculus. Now Leia is on fairly even ground with other MSU commanders, such as Cracken and Mon Mothma. If you are able to leverage Leia’s “super commands,” she is no longer getting in the way of the rest of your list. Still, her major downside is still very much there: you cannot use other tokens when using her commander ability. In essence, you are surrendering flexibility for magnitude. If you are comfortable with that, then Leia could work out. Here’s a try at a Leia list:
Leia Squads (133/400/400)
Nebulon-B Escort Frigate (57 + 32: 89)
· Leia Organa (28)
· Skilled First Officer (1)
· Auxiliary Shields Team (3)
Modified Pelta-class Assault Ship (56 + 10: 66)
· Wedge Antilles (4)
· Intensify Firepower! (6)
Nebulon-B Escort Frigate (57 + 4: 60)
· Auxiliary Shields Team (3)
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 + 9: 27)
· Toryn Farr (7)
· Comms Net (2)
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 + 7: 25)
· Munitions Resupply (3)
· Boosted Comms (4)
Jan Ors (19)
Shara Bey (17)
Tycho Celchu (16)
3 x Scurrg H-6 Bomber (3 x 16)
3 x A-wing Squadron (3 x 11)
Surprise! It has a Pelta! Did you really think we would stop putting in Peltas? Pffft. We have a reputation to uphold here. The main idea with this list is to use Leia primarily for flexible squadron pushing. The Nebulons and flotillas are able to push three squadrons a piece. That means, at most, only three of them need to be pushing squads to max out commands. That leaves at least one of the Nebs able to concentrate fire or navigate as needed. The Pelta is nice and lean, but provides a lot of solid support. The plan is to bank a turn one squadron token for Wedge. If a second use of Wedge is needed, that’s where the Comms Net comes in. Since the Comms Net doesn’t need to keep a token for its own use, it can hang onto one for the Pelta as long as it needs. Meanwhile, the Munitions Resupply flotilla can fuel Intensity Firepower! The Pelta, meanwhile, can just concentrate fire, repair, or navigate as needed with Leia boosted effects.
The Nebulons in particular excite me with Leia. Normally when I use Auxiliary Shield Teams, I use my first turn command to gain one shield on a side, and then move a rear shield to a side. That can potentially cause issues if I take fire to the rear. With Leia, I have enough repair points to just recover the shields on the first turn without help. After that, the Nebs can flex their commands to either add more firepower (plus a Leia con fire re-roll and IF! for fixing), drastically adjust speed, and command a significant number of squadrons. As a bonus, Escort Frigates with Toryn support have very dangerous flak.
The squad ball is more in line with what I expect to see from Rebels with the 1.5 changes. The intel nerf means that you can expect squadrons to stay locked in for longer, making counter harder to avoid. That means A-Wings, and Tycho and Shara by extension, become much more powerful. As proof that Jan was way too good before 1.5, I’m still bringing her in this list. That is entirely for her ability to pass braces to the generic squadrons, which is especially mean with A-Wings and counter. Even if she’s the first target, attackers are still dealing with her braces and still taking counter damage. The Scurrgs are something I expect to come out looking pretty good in 1.5. Their native Grit allows them to spread out, causing engagement problems for enemy squadrons. If they get stuck, then I have Wedge to help them slip free, once again made easier by Grit.
So is it any good? You’re going to get the same answer from me every time: who the heck knows? What it will be is more fun and interesting. Now get out there and try some jank!