Rebel Pathfinders revealed, first impressions

The Rebel Pathfinders unit will be released as a companion to the new Jyn Erso Commander Expansion, which I wrote about in my last article. The third special forces unit for the Rebel Alliance, Pathfinders offer a host of new upgrades and some fun and powerful extensions on existing mechanics.

When Star Wars: Legion was first announced, many fans immediately recalled the battle scenes from Rogue One, where grizzled Rebel fighters battled Imperial forces on the beaches of Scarif. Now these units are coming to Legion, and this fan could not be happier. The Pathfinders are a branch of the Alliance Special Forces. A large group of them joined Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor on Scarif during their mission to recover the Death Star plans. The Pathfinders’ bravery and sacrifice was instrumental to the destruction of the first Death Star.

pathfinders spread
Image from FFG’s preview article “Rogue Spirit”

Get ready for more fuzzy text reading!

Stats and Keywords

Pathfinders are a special forces unit and share a stat line that mostly overlaps the Rebel Commandos. Sixty-eight points for the base unit of 4 troopers at 1 health each, two courage, white defense dice, and surges to hit and block. Pathfinders equip the A-300 Blaster Rifle, shooting up to range three with two(!) white dice per miniature, plus the potential to fit a weapon with Reconfigure.

Reconfigure:
When you recover, you may flip this card.

This weapon is shown above as the A-300 Short Range Config. This side lowers their range, but increases their dice quality to red. I’m hoping that the flip side of this card will reveal a long range configuration, and possibly add a strong offensive keyword, which is something the Pathfinders lack. Whatever the case, their base weapon looks quite strong throwing that many white dice at range 3 – a lot of chances for critical hits there.

Now, to the keywords. Let’s start with what the Pathfinders share with Jyn Erso:

Danger Sense 3:
You may choose not to remove your suppression tokens. While defending against a ranged attack, roll 1 extra defense die for each suppression token you have, adding up to 3 extra dice.

Infiltrate:
You may deploy anywhere beyond range 3 of all enemy units.

Pathfinders have the same Infiltrate ability as Jyn and a lesser version of her Danger Sense keyword, with roughly the same implications. Suppression is generally good on this unit. Stay suppressed if you need it and use those tokens to get some extra dice. You can even keep your suppression while performing a Recover action. Notice that they only have two courage, if they tried to use this ability to the full, they would lose an action! Yet, there is hope, and rebellions are built on hope:

Dauntless:
After you rally, if you are suppressed but not panicked, you may gain 1 suppression token to perform a free move action.

There’s that second action they would otherwise miss. With all their keywords used together, Pathfinders push the basic suppression-as-benefit idea to a new level. At the cost of a suppression, you get a free move action, plus another token to feed your Danger Sense. So, shoot something, if it’s wounded, get an aim with Hunter, and then buff your defense dice a little further while getting a free move. That’s a pretty slick combo.

Pathfinders strike me as a unit with excellent flexibility. They are dangerous at all ranges and possess moderate durability, with their increased protection from the Danger Sense keyword. They are able to deploy anywhere on the board beyond range 3 and of all enemy units, with a courage value of 2 and a method of getting past the action denial that suppression creates by using Dauntless.

It’s been speculated already that Pathfinders may cause Recover the Supplies to be considered the new Key Positions just because of the ability to start the game touching (or nearly touching) a crate. We’ll have to see just how reliable the extra saves from Danger Sense are before reaching any conclusions (which I don’t think they will be, simply because white dice are fairly worse than flipping a coin.) At seventeen points a model, you don’t want to be losing any of them if you can avoid it.

Upgrade Cards

Pathfinders include a couple of known upgrade cards like Fragmentation Grenades and Duck and Cover, but they come with a few new ones as well. The A-300 configurable weapon was disucssed above, so lets move on to the others.

Heavy Weapons

Though the heavy weapon minis aren’t fully spoiled, based on the miniature sculpts and the card art, I’m certain that they are Bistan and Pao, who appeared together in a lot of Rogue One promotional material and merchandise. And, since these characters are named, they appropriately have the single dot to the left of their name, marking them as unique upgrades. Whatever the case, they both possess Range 4, Bistan (I’m saying this based off the re-used art from X-Wing) has Impact and Ion, recalling a scene from the movie where he destroys the leg of an AT-ACT with the door gun of a U-wing. The sculpt looks like he brought that same gun with him onto the battlefield.

sw legion pao r1
Pao, with his happy face

Meanwhile, Pao takes on the role of Leader with Inspire, allowing him to manage the suppression tokens that are fundamental to the Pathfinders’ tactics. If FFG stays on trend with its heavy weapon upgrades in other packs, it’s likely that Bistan is exhaustible and Pao is not. I feel like Bistan’s ability to Ion at range 4 would definitely make him worth taking, especially with Armor still seeing somewhat regular use. You could quite easily hold an AT-ST at long range, preventing it from closing in to fire its Twin Light Blaster or its Grenade Launcher. Forcing any vehicle to choose between moving and shooting is a large boon. And, even if it’s an exhaustible weapon, it won’t matter as much for the Pathfinders since they were going to Recover at some point anyway.

Ove—?

There’s a partially obscured upgrade that fits into the Training slot in the above image. I’m going to speculate that this upgrade is called “Overwatch” and will hopefully grant Sentinel, which increases the standby range of a unit to 3. This will make units with the training slot significantly more powerful, especially the Rebel Commandos and Pathfinders with their potent range 3 weaponry. Hopefully it will have a reasonable cost, but I am expecting something in the 6-10 range. It’ll make an already premium unit even more so, but I think it could be worth it, especially in the early turns of the game.

 

That’s all for now. I’ll be looking into Krennic and Death Troopers soonish. Be sure to catch the latest from the Yavin Base Team League here.

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