In this second edition of the Rebel Tactics magazine, we’ll be exploring how to use cohesion to protect your Strike Teams and Commando squads, how this also applies to your regular corps units, and finally, how to get the most mileage out of Force Push.
“Corner peeking” with Rebel Commandos
Rebel Commandos can be taken as a full squad or a two person strike team. In the strike team, the heavy weapon trooper is the unit leader. Since only units that can be seen by the attacker can take wounds, you can use the speed 1 radius of cohesion to hide the second commando in the strike team around a corner. Then, if your Sniper is killed, you can retain the heavy weapon.
This principle can also be applied to full squads. It’s most useful with the Saboteur, since the charge is “thrown” from the position of the unit leader. The leader may get killed by the detonation, but this is an acceptable trade if you manage to kill multiple enemy troopers in the process.
Corner peeking with full squads
This principle can also be extended to normal squads by hiding one member of a squad behind line of sight blocking terrain. If the squad is wiped out by a large attack, they will retain the unit leader and still be viable for doing objectives. You also retain the activation, and the points cost of the unit if the game ends with the objective score tied. Key Positions is where this tactic is especially strong. This tactic is also useful on Recover the Supplies if you can hide your unit leader carrying a supply crate around a corner. Remember that you only need to establish range from the unit leader, but only those models that have line of sight can form an attack pool against a defender, therefore you can do this corner hiding and still have a unit that can fight.
In this example, the Rebel Trooper unit carrying the supply crate cannot be wiped out by the blue Stormtroopers, and will therefore retain the crate until its unit leader is defeated. It may also attack at nearly full strength, only missing the unit leader’s attack die. In this position, however, the unit will not have any cover against the Stormtroopers return fire. There are moments when you want to fully commit (when they can’t shoot back with anything substantial) and when you don’t (when they can), so you will have to be judicious with how many miniatures you choose to expose to enemy fire. While doing this, always be careful not to leave your heavy weapon trooper in a position where it can be picked off – if it’s the only model the attacker can see, it may get killed prematurely. (This practice is gaining more ground at the highest levels of Legion play, but I’m not sure it has a name just yet. “Scoping” might be a good one.)
Next, we’ll go over how to get the most mileage out of one the best force powers (and honestly, 10 point upgrades) in the game currently: Force Push. Let’s start with how Luke can use it to defend himself.
As Dustin Foran mentioned in our QA at Gen Con, after Luke Skywalker has made a charge, the worst thing he can do is fully kill a unit, since that would leave him vulnerable to enemy fire. If Luke has charged a unit and is within Range 1 of another unit, he can use Force Push to drag that unit into melee with him. This is not without some degree of risk. Stormtroopers, for example, punch harder in melee than they do at range. It’s best to pull in an enemy unit that has already activated, so the unit cannot withdraw or attack Luke in melee.
In the picture above, Luke has charged into a unit of Stormtroopers and is about to kill them off with a Charge attack. He can then use Force Push against the already activated Stormtroopers on the left, pulling them out of the barricade and into a melee with him, protecting him from any ranged attackers that have not activated yet. Force Push can also be used to do the opposite by forcing a unit in a melee back into the open. The pushed unit will once again be vulnerable to ranged attacks.
A (very) brief dip into Force Push and tempo
Tempo is a term that is thrown around in a lot of turn based games, but in this specific instance I’ll use it to refer to the quality and quantity of actions available to a given unit at a given time. Every unit in Legion has two actions outside of free actions and card actions, as long as they are not suppressed. At a basic level, every suppression dealt that is not rallied or inspired off represents an attack against your opponent’s tempo. You can also use Force Push to make a similar attack. In shorter and simpler terms, you can use Force Push to mess with what an enemy unit is able to do during their activation, especially when it comes to objectives, and by extension, win the game. Here are two brief and simple examples of this concept.
Example 1: Intercept the Transmissions
It’s the last round, and units are converging to contest the center Comm Station. Luke Skywalker activates last, moves in to contest the center point, and then uses Force Push to move an enemy unit out of range, tipping control of the center over to his side. Since no more enemy units are available to activate, the player controlling Luke scores the objective and wins the game. He can also do this indirectly, forcing a unit that would have otherwise been in range with two full speed two moves out of range by Force Pushing them at their start point.
Example 2: Recover the Supplies
During Recover the Supplies, Luke hunts a unit of Rebel Troopers carrying a box. They have already activated this turn, and thus, cannot move again until next turn. While he cannot reach them with two moves to get a charge attack this turn, Luke can move in range to Force Push. He drags them into melee, forcing them to perform a withdraw next turn to flee, or to stay in and punch. Whatever the case, he has degraded their tempo by forcing them to perform less preferable actions, to a point where they cannot escape being hit by Luke’s saber the following turn.
Force Push and Standby
Force Push can also be used to trigger a Standby attack from another unit. This is rarely seen at present, but it is a tactic that will become more common with the release of units like the E-Web Heavy Blaster Team and the FD Laser Cannon. It’s more commonly seen with Fleet Troopers. Make sure to hide the unit that took the standby token – enemy units that can shoot a unit with a standby token will cause suppression when they attack, and the standby token will be lost.
And last, but not least, you can always use Force Push to shove a unit off the board. If the speed 1 move from Force Push causes any part of the unit leader’s base to leave the battlefield, that unit is instantly defeated. This possibility is never to be underestimated or ignored; it can be devastating if it happens to a high value unit in your army and a big win if you can do it to your opponent. I think the worst case I’ve seen is Luke pushing an enemy Luke off the board on Turn 2, before he had a chance to even play a single command card. So, be aware of the board edge at all times, not just for Force Push, but for panic as well.
The above text has been obviated by a rules reference update that explicitly bans this tactic. Thanks, FFG!
Special thanks to Stephan Podplesky who built the Endor trees and vegetation, and to Dan Wulf Games who supplied the terrain for the images from Tabletop Simulator, and tieren, who made the mod.