This article will serve as a guide to the Blizzard Force Battleforce for Star Wars: Legion.
We’ll go over some overall strengths and weaknesses of Blizzard Force, the force organization chart, the unit roster, the command cards, and some battle deck considerations.
- Excellent command cards
- Access to highly efficient custom Stormtrooper Heavy Response Units
- Strong battle deck when using Speeder Bikes
- Focused and targeted offensive potential
- Units tend to be fragile
- Limited unit roster
Force Organization and Unit Roster
Blizzard force is supposed to represent the Imperial forces that assaulted the Rebel base on Hoth in Empire Strikes Back. The org chart is obviously a bit restrictive (as is the case with all the battleforces), but you get some fantastic command cards in the bargain, and the units you are limited to are actually pretty excellent ones. Lets dive in.
One to two commanders/operatives, at least one of which must be a commander. This is easily the most restrictive part of the list (along with complete lack of a special forces slot), but you can take Darth Vader, so there’s that. Notably you can’t take many of the hottest Empire (/mercenary?) things right now: bounty hunters, Iden, or a Pyke Capo.
Darth Vader (Commander)
Vader upgrades to consider: Force Push, Force Choke, Burst of Speed, Saber Throw, Vigilance, Esteemed Leader
You can take Vader though, and Vader is a boss. Personally I prefer Operative Vader unless you have a specific use for Commander Vader’s Compel: Corps. It turns out Blizzard force does have a specific use for Vader’s Compel: Corps, if you actually want to run a bunch of snows (alongside New Ways to Motivate them and the Blizzard three pip for extra flamer threat range). Unfortunately you can’t usually fit more than two snows with flamers beyond your two (nearly obligatory) Storm Heavy Response Units and four bikes alongside Vader (you want those) so I’m unsure how much that archetype should actually see play.
Which brings us to…
Operative Vader upgrades to consider: Force Push, Force Choke, Tenacity, Into the Fray
If you’re running four bikes and two Storm HRUs, and you also want Vader in your list, Operative Vader is the play. Vader’s post Clone Wars Jedi Hunter version of himself is apparently making an appearance at the battle of Hoth (riding on the back of a Tie Fighter, probably). Whatever, I’m not going to poke at the competitiveness-at-the-expense-of-theme choices too much here. It’s Vader. Vader good.
Veers upgrades to consider: Improvised Orders
If there is one unit that absolutely belongs on this roster besides Snows, it’s General Veers himself. Veers has the unique distinction of being one of the few Imperial officers that actually accomplishes his objectives in the original trilogy (blow up that lightly defended static object with overwhelming force advantage!). Anyway, Veers is pretty decent, and he belongs in your list if you aren’t running Vader, for cost reasons. If you are running Vader, you probably just want…
Generic Officer upgrades to consider: Improvised Orders
On no, you are stuck having to take the best unit in the game. No really. Anyway, Ruthless Commander Ruth fits nicely alongside just about anything else in the battle force. Aims, inspire, a command slot, a good bombard card that doesn’t rely at all on any of her stats. 45 points. What more could you want?
Three to six corps, no more than two Stormtroopers. This might as well read: two Stormtrooper Heavy Response Units, one to four Snowtroopers.
Upgrades to consider: RT-97C, DLT-19
For some reason, being able to do the most efficient thing a corps unit can do (taking a heavy weapon upgrade) in double the quantity comes at a per-model discount rather than a premium. At least you can only take two? You want to take two.
The heavy choices here seem pretty obvious: you want the RT-97C and the DLT-19, for the six dice shot at Range 4. This also tends to make a pretty large dice pool at Range 3, and the impact of the T-21’s Critical 2 tends to start washing out once you have a lot of paint in your pool anyway, unless you are shooting armor. Don’t worry about armor though, that is what your bikes and potentially your AT-ST is for. You’ll want a nearby officer to feed them aim tokens with Spotter.
The one thing to watch for with these guys is attrition. Their ranged attack absolutely slaps, but they don’t have any special defensive tech beyond their red saves and they only have two models of buffer before you have to start picking up heavy weapon models.
Upgrades to consider: Flamethrower, Frag Grenades, Sonic Imploders, Medical Droid
Unfortunately the most iconic unit from the Empire in the battle of Hoth most often gets relegated to objective duty. I prefer to take my snows naked after I’ve already taken my Storm HRUs. They’re cheap, relatively durable for their cost, and they can get some free steady shots. I like to take a Medical Droid on my Snows if I am running them without flamers to help keep up your Storm HRUs and replace any heavies that get scoped.
If you are not running Vader/Bikes you can definitely afford to take some flamer snows in addition to your Storm HRUs, and luckily the tools available to Blizzard are actually really great for flamer snows. The Blizzard three pip Debark for Ground Assault in particular is amazing at helping them close the distance, and you can also use New Ways to Motivate them (on a different turn obviously) if you are running Vader.
Upgrades to consider: Emergency Transponder
Yeah, you can run up to four speeder bikes. This is one of the best parts of Blizzard Force. Go big or go home. Speeder bikes are actually really quite good (and have been since their discount in the last balance update). Bikes in particular benefit a lot from threat saturation, and it really turns it up to 11 when you can run four instead of three. They’re fast, they hit hard, and they’re great for objectives.
I would definitely consider Improvised Orders on my commander if running Speeder Bikes, because unlike STAPs, you are not likely to have orders on them.
E-webs are sort of interesting on the back of a GAV, but I haven’t the slightest idea why you would take them in Blizzard Force. The on screen use of an E-web in this scene is limited to it spending the entire time setting up, so maybe that’s on theme?
You have only one option here, but its a good one.
Upgrades to consider: General Weiss, Hammers Pilot, Linked Targeting Array, any/all hard point upgrades
After a slew of points reductions on its base card and weapons, the AT-ST is actually pretty good now. It still has the notorious “Eye of Sauron” effect where it can often get out of cover shots simply by looking straight over intervening cover with its ridiculous height, and its various dice pools slap pretty hard at all ranges. Weiss doesn’t exhaust anymore either, so if you take the fully loaded Weiss version you can FIRE EVERYTHING every round to your heart’s content. You deserve it.
You’re going to notice a theme here… none of these cards have rank restrictions on them, which is extremely unusual for generic command cards. Yeah, you can make sure Vader still always has an order and get the text effects on these.
If this were just a one pip that gave out two unrestricted orders and did nothing else, it would be among the best of the generic command cards. The suppression effect is absolute bonus, and could be extremely devastating on the turn after you play Master of Evil or Debark for Ground Assault.
Personally I find it hard to fit this one in when running Vader (are you really going to replace Vader’s Might or Implacable with this?) but it should fit pretty nicely into non-Vader Blizzard Force lists.
Is this what Ewebs are supposed to do?
Anyway, this is easily the best “bombardment” card in the game, and it isn’t close. Unlike those other wannabe bombardments, Overwhelming Barrage doesn’t rely at all on the attacker for its surge chart or cover mitigation. Blast and Surge/Hit are printed directly on this thing, so you can use it with anyone, from Vader to a lowly Generic Officer, and completely ignore cover (only Leia and Kraken can do that, most of the other bombardment users only have Sharpshooter 1). You also convert surges no matter the user, so Commander Vader can use this and you can finally stop complaining that he doesn’t convert surges.
Beam 1 means you get to attack a second target after the first. I prefer to fire this with my Generic Officer so you can Spotter yourself, take an aim action, and have two aims, one for each attack.
This also has Suppressive for some reason.
Oh, and there are no rank restrictions at all on this card (and it orders two units) so you can make sure both your Officer and Vader have orders. This card is a must take regardless of which version of Blizzard Force you are running.
Debark for Ground Assault
The text effect on this is incredible; at least it is only limited to corps units you give the orders to. If used on Storm HRUs you can make a Speed 3(!) move with this before shooting, and if you want to get crazy with the suppression you can also split fire three ways (one for each heavy, one for the E-11s) and dish out six suppression with each Storm HRU. You can also Spur your flamer snows to Speed 2 for an extra speedy double move into a flamer shot.
As with Unrelenting Fire I have a hard time fitting this in due to how good both of Vader’s three pips are, but any other version of Blizzard Force should absolutely be running it.
This is my personal favorite Blizzard Force list. Between Vader and the bikes, your objective deck is absolutely nuts. Do you want to play Hostage Exchange against Vader? What about Bombing Run or Breakthrough against Bikes? The deployments here also facilitate flanking with the bikes, and close, quick engagement with Vader. There is a reason so many Blizzard Force games end up on Payload.
You could probably make the case here for Recover or KP (Vader/Bikes are both pretty good at those too) instead of Payload. Personally I like the Hemmed In/Payload combo to force awkward veto decisions on your opponent.
This one swaps in the AT-ST for Vader and takes some flamers on the snows with the points savings. The objective deck is not quite as good as Vader Bikes and you might have problems against an aggressive Shadow Collective Maul player, but you get to set things on fire and you are also taking full advantage of the Blizzard Force command card suite (plus the excellent Pinned Down) since you don’t have Vader’s cards to compete.
Veers Snows Bikes
Veers bikes is back, baby! This is probably the most “on theme” competitive Blizzard Force list you can make. You drop the ST for yet more flamer snows and upgrade the Generic Officer to Veers, because two bombardments is better than one.
The objective deck here is nearly the same as the others; I swapped in Intercept instead of KP since you have so many trooper units. Otherwise you are still leaning on the bikes here to do most of the legwork with the deck.
You’ll notice a theme with the above lists… they all have two Storm HRUs and four bikes. Can you make a competitive Blizzard Force list without four bikes? Probably. But being able to take four bikes is one of Blizzard Force’s primary strengths, and it does so much for your threat saturation and your objective deck. For a unit that doesn’t have access to mercenaries, that is pretty important. I’ve seen some interesting double AT-ST lists that trade the bikes for more snows and just go all in on murdering the opposing list.
I definitely would not consider leaving the Storm HRUs at home in any Blizzard Force list. Their efficiency for points is just too high to ignore.
Blizzard Force is here, and it’s making waves (snow drifts?). With three excellent command cards that synergize perfectly with what its limited (but stacked) unit roster wants to be doing, and an excellent custom Storm unit that means you don’t really have to use Snows if you don’t want to, Blizzard Force is at the highest tier of possible competitive lists if you build for it. Vader is fun. Bikes are fun. What’s not to like?