Bounty Hunting is a Complicated Profession: A Guide to Bounty Hunters in the Empire

bounty hunters

This article will be a guide for Imperial bounty hunters in Star Wars Legion.

The recent Mercenary update breathed new life into the existing bounty hunters and gave the Empire entirely new options, like Cad Bane. Bounty hunters were the main reason I started playing Legion. The first unit I played was Boba Fett and my first ever article for TFT was a guide for Double Bounty. So, needless to say, I have been thoroughly enjoying the recent buffs to bounty hunters. Because these units have existed in the game for such a long time, I am going to give short overviews of the changes and provide some updated lists for each bounty hunter. I will link the existing unit guides for each bounty hunter if you want a more in-depth dive on anyone in particular.

Boba Fett

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Boba Fett – Unit Guide September 2021

What Changed?

Boba Fett received some massive improvements in the Mercenary update. Boba’s Wrist Rockets were replaced by the more powerful Integrated Rockets. This new weapon has the same range 1-2 but now has an extra black dice (3 black in total) and Versatile. His melee attack was buffed going from 2 red dice to 3 red dice. Boba also gained the keyword Independent: Aim 1 or Dodge 1 and a Comms upgrade slot. Along with these buffs Boba gained the new drawbacks from the Mercenary rules. Mercenary units can only receive orders from other units in the same affiliation (Boba affiliation is Rogues, yellow credits symbol in the top left corner), and you can only include one Operative Mercenary unit in your army. This means Boba can no longer receive orders from Imperial commanders and Empire armies cannot take two Operative Mercenary units without the Underworld Connections upgrade.

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The Mercenary update was not the only thing that gave Boba additional tools. The new Operative Boba Fett The Old and Wise is coming out later this year. While this version of Boba is only playable in Rebels, all the new command cards and upgrades will be usable for both versions of Boba. Currently the upgrades that are included have not been revealed but his new command cards are already fully known. The new 1 pip A Simple Man gives an order to any unit and either provides a free speed 1 move or extends the range of Boba’s weapons by 1 and gives him Marksman. This card is basically Ambush but with two solid abilities. There are very few character specific 1 pips that allow you to issue an order to any unit. The 2 pip, Making His Way in the Galaxy, only issues one order. The card makes it so Boba cannot perform any attack actions during his activation but at the end of his activation, you get a free attack against every unit at range 1 with two red dice, a black dice, Blast, Versatile, and Impact 1. Boba can dive deep and devastate a cluster of enemy units with this card. It is also worth mentioning Boba can double move before this attack since it is a free action at the end of his activation. The final new command card, Rule With Respect, issues an order to Boba and two other units. For the duration of the turn any unit within range 1 of Boba adds a black dice to their attack pool.

How to Play

Before the changes, Boba was primarily a mobile playmaker with some burst damage. Now, between the new Integrated Rockets, Boot Spikes, and command cards Boba is also a consistent damage dealer. A Simple Man and the Z-6 Jetpack Rocket both increase Boba’s range and damage during the approach. His upgraded dice pools and Making His Way in the Galaxy make him hit much harder once he closes the gap later in the game. All this together means Boba can function more as a center piece to an army. He provides playmaking ability along with damage. Also, he has one unique feature over all other non-force user units: Whipcord Launcher. Whipcord Launcher makes it so Boba can trap force users and escape from melee with an undesirable unit. Typically Force Push is the only way to get this effect. While not as effective as Force Push, Whipcord Launcher is a great hedge against enemy force users.

List Building: Iden Boba

I have found Iden Versio and Boba Fett pair extremely well in the current meta. Iden Versio dominates at range but can have issues dealing with force users. Iden is also an expensive unit that is command card hungry making it difficult to fit her and Vader in the same army. Since Boba now functions as a flexible center piece, he pairs perfectly with Iden. There are many flavors of Iden Boba such as Kyle Dornbos’ Iden Boba Pykeline which won Nova, and Izzy’s Iden Boba Bossk which won Gencon. Here I am going to discuss my personal favorite version: Iden Boba Bikes. I played this army at Im Norden in Germany and placed 3rd out of 86 with it.

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The army bids quite deep at 12 points because of its blue deck. Iden and Boba are dominant on objectives like Recover the Supplies and Sabotage the Moisture Vaporators, and Speeder Bikes blow away the competition on Bombing Run and Breakthrough. While this army has less firepower than most gunlines, the blue deck forces situations that play to your own strengths: long range fire power and mobility. Most games I would open with long range attacks and hold back my bikes forcing the opponent to approach me. After you gain a small attrition lead from the approach, the mobility of the army makes it so you can pounce on any units that overextend immediately. The raw burst damage between Tactical Strike, Boba and 3 Speeder Bikes can 100% to 0% multiple units in a single turn.

Bossk

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Bossk – Unit Guide August 2019

What Changed?

Bossk was the most competitively viable bounty hunter before the Mercenary changes. This is reflected in the fact that he received the smallest buffs. The main change to Bossk was a points reduction from 115 points to 105. Beside this massive 10 point reduction, Bossk also gained Scale and Independent: Surge 2. Like all the Mercenaries Bossk can no longer receive orders from Imperial commanders and follows the Mercenary force organization limitations.

How to Play

Bossk’s playstyle changed the least between the three bounty hunters. Independent: Surge 2 is the weakest out of the three bounty hunters’ Independent keywords, meaning it’s not worth building around. Bossk’s defense has always been lacking, but order control combined with his long-range help keep him safe. Also, unlike Boba (you lose the free aim), Bossk does not lose any attack efficiency when given orders. The best way to play Bossk is still going to be activating last one turn followed by a first activation the following turn. This timing helps protect Bossk from taking multiple attacks. Scale makes this strategy much easier. Bossk can now hide behind a building, clamber, move into range, and shoot at the end of a turn. Then, in the following turn, he can immediately go first and do the reverse: shoot, move back and clamber down to safety. This extends his threat range and provides tons of flexibility. While Independent: Surge 2 is not necessarily worth building around it does help shore up Bossk’s defense on turns where he has no order and is venerable to focus fire.

List Building: Double Bounty

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One of my all-time favorite armies to play is Boba Bossk Double Bounty. This army is better than ever due to the new buffs. Two of Boba’s new command cards allow him to issue orders to other units and both Boba and Bossk are part of the Rogues Affiliation. This means Both Boba and Bossk can receive orders 4 out of 6 turns in this army and have Improvised Orders for the two turns they have no order. Bounty also becomes more effective when run in pairs. For example, if you have one unit with Bounty, you often need to put it on an opposing aggressive unit like a force user to make your opponent play more passive. In force user armies there are typically juicy low health generic commanders. Having two units with Bounty makes it so you can place a token on both the force user and the low health commanders. A well-placed Reptilian Rampage or Z-6 Jetpack Rocket can easily collect bounty on these vulnerable units.

Cad Bane

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Cad Bane – Unit Guide August 2022

What Changed?

Cad Bane became dual faction in the mercenary update making him a new option for Imperial armies. Cad Bane also had some significant buffs: Independent: Dodge 2, Surge to Critical, a second Training upgrade slot, Danger Sense 2 upgraded to 3, and a 15 point reduction in base cost. Just like the other bounty hunters Cad Bane is now a Mercenary unit with the Rogues affiliation.

How to Play

Kyle recently did a full unit guide for Cad Bane so you can read that article if you want a full guide to the new Cad Bane. Here I am going to focus on where he fits in the Imperial faction. Independent: Dodge 2 is a powerful ability, but it is more difficult to build around in Empire as opposed to Separatists. Because Empire cannot create perfect order control like CIS, Cad fills a slightly different role. In Empire I find Cad fits best into an army with other threats. You can shore up the lack of order control by surrounding him with other threatening units like Vader, Bounty Hunters, Bikes, and/or Dewbacks. The two dodges plus Danger Sense 3 makes Cad extremely resilient to enemy fire. Your opponent must focus fire on Cad if they plan to kill him. Small dice pools will be dodged or blocked by danger sense. If you fill your army with other threats, the enemy can shoot Cad if they want but this will mean these other threats can attack unopposed.

List Building: Vader LAAT Bane

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Since Cad Bane is best as a secondary threat in Empire, why not use one of the most aggressive and threatening unit combinations in the game: Vader + a LAAT. Dennis Jenkel won the Hannover World Qualifier with this list. The army, like all Vader LAAT builds, flies the LAAT deep into the enemy army and drops the lord of the Sith Vader right in to the enemy army to tear things up. This massive threat of Vader ties up much of the opposing army’s fire power, leaving them unable to focus fire on Cad Bane. So, your opponent not only needs to deal with Vader but also Cad Bane. If they focus on Cad Bane, this means Vader will have his way with the enemy. If they focus on Vader, Cad Bane can start attacking units unopposed and play objectives. All the while they are both supported by three snipers, Del Meeko, and the Shore Troopers. This all combined applies tons of pressure on the opponent. One other sneaky synergy is Governor Pryce. Often, after Vader is dropped, the opponent can basically ignore the LAAT because of its measly 4 dice pool. Governor Pryce adds value by handing out aims to your supporting units. While the suppression is supposed to be a drawback, it actually helps Cad Bane wind up Danger Sense. So, if your opponent decides to ignore the LAAT it will give Cad Bane aims all game long increasing his potency.

Conclusions

Since the Mercenary update, each bounty hunter has won a major tournament while played in the Empire. As a fan of bounty hunters in the Star Wars canon it is great to see each bounty hunter finding success. I look forward to the addition of the new bounty hunters Din Djarin and IG-11, and IG-88 in the coming months. I hope you found this guide useful and find success running bounty hunters in your Imperial armies.

6 thoughts on “Bounty Hunting is a Complicated Profession: A Guide to Bounty Hunters in the Empire

  1. Benito says:

    Hi Lucas. thank you for this very interesting article. I have a question about your Iden-Boba list. how do you play iden? infiltrated with the Inferno squad and its Tl-50 or in sniper mode? Thanks

    • Sage says:

      You don’t have to infiltrate her. It’s a neat trick sure. I run a similar Iden/Fett list (no bikes) and never infiltrate her. With the DLT-20A Rifle her range is 1-board so even in your back lines she can hit anything she sees.

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