Star Wars: Legion was designed by the same brain behind Star Wars: Armada and Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game: Alex Davy. As the man himself explains, “You can see a lot of Fantasy Flight’s core DNA in this game,” – referring to the publisher’s design team and how they pull elements from different Fantasy Flight games when designing something new. At first glance, the game really does look impressive. No wonder it stole the show at last year’s Gen Con in Indianapolis.
The core gameplay is tactical warfare. Star Wars: Legion pits two players against each other: one on the side of the Rebels and the other on the side of the Imperials. While the gameplay is similar to a classic Warhammer 40k starter set, the rules are far more complex. Nerdmuch reports this is the Star Wars tactical infantry war game that many fans have been waiting for. It starts with choosing an objective card that will determine the grounds for victory. The objectives are usually some form of tactical victory via units and/or terrain, i.e. getting 1 victory token for each leader unit that made it to an enemy deployment zone. Winning the game will be based on this objective, killing all enemy units, or having the advantage after all 6 rounds.
There are 3 phases for each of the 6 rounds. The command phase is when players select command cards, pick units, issue orders, and measure ranges. For the activation phase, players go back and forth until all units have been activated; it’s where all the action happens, including choosing weapons, attacks, taking cover, infantry and vehicle movement, movement penalties due to terrain, unit panic, aiming for bonuses, and everything else in between. The end phase is when players count casualties and regroup. Throughout all phases, players use cards, miniatures, measuring tools, action and status tokens, and dice in order to determine outcomes. Make no mistake about it: this is one complicated game, and it will take a while before you’re able to master and take advantage of every tactical opportunity that it offers. But as The Guardian’s review of the game states, it’s an awesome way to immerse yourself in the action that the series is known for.
Here comes the really good news. As many of you know, we have a soft spot in our hearts for Star Wars toys. The miniatures for Star Wars: Legion are some of the best we’ve ever seen. The boxed starter set comes with enough units for two 500-point teams – 33 unassembled plastic miniatures pre-cut from their sprues.
The Rebels get 8 generic troopers, 2 trooper leaders, 2 pairs of heavy weapons troopers, Luke Skywalker in Bespin fatigues, and a huge AT-RT walker with 3 optional weapons.
The Imperials get 8 generic Stormtroopers, 2 Stormtroopers leaders, 2 pairs of heavy weapons troopers, galactic bad-ass Darth Vader himself, and 2 speeder bikes for support.
The package also includes over 100 die-cut counters, cards for various purposes, and a few segmented rulers for measuring movement and range.
Let’s start with the problems. This starter set is the bare minimum you’ll need to play the game. As such, it’s probably a good idea to also invest in supplementary upgrade packs or even a second starter set that will allow you to expand your skirmishes.
With that being said, Star Wars: Legion is a highly dynamic tactical war game with incredible strategic depth. Once you’re fully familiar with the rules, expanding your set will definitely be worth your while.
With Star Wars very much back in the public conscious, now is the perfect time to recreate the battles of the film. The Last Jedi was a big success at the box office and among the critics (although fans were more divided). Mark Hamill in particular was praised for his return as Luke Skywalker and has acquired legions of new fans. This new attention hasn’t escaped the star who found jedi-like ways to avoid autograph hunters. Entertainment Daily suggest that the star caused concern among fans last year for arriving at the airport in a wheel chair. It turns out that this was just a ruse to avoid “airport craziness”.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is due out this year and will be followed next year by the Episode IX.
This article was written in collaboration with Conrad Mitchell.