Friday, 26 March 2021

Fire When Ready: Star Wars Legion Round-Up

Hello, once again, and welcome to Fire When Ready: Adventures in Star Wars Tabletop Gaming. Sort of.

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’ll be aware of that whole ‘pandemic’ thing that’s going on at the moment, so it’s not actually possible for me - your host as always, Brad Harmer-Barnes - and my constant compatriots Ian and Dave to get together to make an episode of your favourite Star Wars themed tabletop gaming show. It’s a sad time, but the time when we can get back together gets closer every day.

However, that’s not stopping Fantasy Flight Games, Atomic Mass Games, Hasbro and the producers of all the other wonderful games we play from releasing all sorts of wonderful new stuff for us to play with. So, we’ve decided that the best thing to do it let you guys know all about it, here, and then get them on the table for a test drive and a gameplay video as soon as government guidelines allow. So, here we go.

Rebel Troopers Upgrade Expansion

What we have here is a great idea. A bunch of minor characters that can be added to your regular Corps units in order to provide some visual distinction, and some variety in terms of special weapons and abilities. Also, it’s a fantastic way of combating power creep with something a little more imaginative than just adjusting points values every six months. What’s more, it gives you some more Star Wars toys to play with, which is, let’s face it, why we’re here.

The first thing to strike me about the sculpts was how diverse they are. The core set Rebel Troopers were notoriously human centric, with only a Duros or two to break it up. This didn’t really bother me at the time, as most on-screen Star Wars characters are humans, and it’s enough for me to paint a variety of human skin tones to provide some diversity.

In this pack, though, we have an Ithorian, a Theelin, a Gran and an Ishi Tib, and no I did not have to look any of those up, I have these things compartmentalised in my brain. Ladies, please control yourselves.

The Ishi Tib offers Rebel players the chance to add a Captain to a squad, which allows them to add Training upgrades, as well as a pretty cool ability that allows them to ignore their suppression markers temporarily.

The Gran Specialist – as well as being a job title that will get you banned from retirement homes – gives squads an extra Gear slot, as well as allowing them to dodge and surge more easily. Very useful when avoiding the concentrated fire of Imperial forces. The Ithorian Trooper carries an SX-21, which is a Star Wars version of an assault shotgun, and can be seen briefly used by Chewbacca during the escape from Mimban in Solo. Offering Two Red, Two White, Impact 1, this could be a handy little addition for making some vehicles think twice.

The Theelin comes with a DLT-20A, a support machine gun, noted for being the weapon of choice for IG-88. Offering Two Black, One White up to a range of 4, with Critical 1, this costs a hefty 26 points, but could be a great option for those fed up with the noisy but relatively ineffective Z-6.

All around, a great set, and an essential purchase for a Rebel player.

Crashed Escape Pod Battlefield Expansion

This model is awesome!

The level of detail on the escape pod itself is outstanding, with so many gubbins for painting and weathering and dirtying and all the bits of terrain making that I really love, and the impact crater comes with a nice piece of elevated terrain in its own right. Of course, where this set really shines is with C-3PO and R2-D2. These guys have taken far too long to arrive in Legion, and they are most welcome. The player cards allow them to be fielded with either Rebel Alliance or Republic forces, which is a welcome addition to the game that we can only hope will happen more often.

Included are two scenarios that I already can’t wait to play and film for you. One sees both armies hurrying to intercept a crashing escape pod, and the other sees our favourite droids (no, not IG-88 and Bollux) lost, and both sides trying to track them down.

Players are going to want this set for C-3PO and R2-D2, especially if they’re theme-driven gamers like those of us at Fire When Ready. The scenarios and terrain in this pack, however, are not to be underestimated. This is a great set.

Is it essential? To be honest, it probably just falls shy of it. It’s a big item, with a big ticket, if you’re only after one or two parts of it. My advice is to take the plunge and find a way to use everything, but it’s understandable if you’re a little reluctant.

TX-130 Saber-Class Fighter Tank Unit Expansion

JESUS CHRIST LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THIS BOX.

Well, you can’t, but if this were a normal episode of the show, that’s probably what I’d be saying. If memory serves, it’s bigger than the AT-ST box, and this contains a lot of sprues and a massive base. This thing is big.

The level of detail is as good as you’ve come to expect, but you have to bear in mind that it is a tank, which are not known for having a lot of detail. It’s a war machine first and foremost, but there’s enough character and detail to please painters and modellers.

In terms of upgrades, there’s a couple of minor Jedi included as pilots, for fans of The Clone Wars. Aayla Secura acts as a field commander, throwing morale boosts around with her mere presence, and Plo Koon makes the tank faster and more manoeuverable.

In terms of upgrades, there’s high explosive, bunker busters, armour piercing…everything you could possibly need to send clankers flying like ten-pins.

At 170 points, you’re not going to be fielding this model every game, but every time you do it’s going to make for some pretty memorable gaming experiences.

That’s all for now. Hopefully we’ll be able to resume our usual schedule in the very near future!

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Brad Harmer-Barnes is a writer and comedian who has been into tabletop gaming since he was eight years old. He is the host of Fire When Ready and Bring On The Bad Guys on Emotionally14.com, co-host of Talk Star Wars, and a frequent guest on The E14 GameCast. His latest novel Fog of War is available now in paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @RealBradHB using the buttons below!




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