No, this isn’t a post about super gluing your fingers together, but we have all done that! I know it!
Cohesion is one of the most important things in the game when it comes to tactics. Especially if you want to play the game competitively and start playing more experienced players. They’ll take advantage of any simple mistake you make and the simplest mistake you can make comes with cohesion. Below I will reference the Star Wars Legion Rules Reference Guide, which you don’t receive in the Core set. The reason for that is the RRG is a living document! It’s being constantly updated by FFG online, which is great for the game in my opinion. Sure, it’s nice to have a hard copy of things, but that means the one you got in the Core set is now outdated by the new one. So on and so forth. A living rules document keeps this game constantly evolving.
There are a few little quirky things about cohesion, but the best way to think about is shown in that picture above. Just imagine the circle around your unit leader as such, use the speed 1 tool all around him if you need it to help visualize, and weigh your options.
Now, tactically speaking, let’s discuss some do’s and do not’s of cohesion, especially playing against more experienced players. The first rule of thumb, which can sometimes be broken situation depending, is that you never cohere your troopers ahead of your unit leader. (A situation this may not be true is if you move them ahead to completely obscure them from view.) The reason being for this is that if you move them ahead of your unit leader, your opponent has access to a shot much easier to that unit. Remember, range is going to be measured leader to miniature not leader to leader. So, as an example, let’s say you move and dodge with a Rebel trooper unit because you moved and measured from your unit leader and you were just outside of range 3 on an opponents unit, but decided to cohere your troopers forward, your opponent can move their unit leader to range 3 of your most forward trooper and take a shot at that unit. That’s extremely dangerous and it will allow your opponent to start taking advantage of you. You don’t want to give your opponent any competitive edge, especially one where you let them take easier shots on you.
The next trick you need to keep in mind is always keep your heavy weapon in a safe position. There’s a lot of different ways your heavy can get “sniped” and I don’t mean by actual snipers. I’ve seen it referred to as terrain scoping, and you need to try your best from letting it happen. The best way to do this is to make sure you heavy weapon is in the middle of your cohesion, that way your opponent can’t take a shot at your unit and only be able to see the heavy weapon. Because, let’s say you cohere your heavy weapon around the side of the building thinking you kept it obscure, and he’s all alone. However, your opponent can get an angle on that trooper and ONLY that trooper, then that’s the only trooper that can go down by the shot. Protect those DLT’s and Z-6 troopers by keeping them close to the unit leader. This also reigns true for medical droids and astromech droids.
Speaking of getting a shot on only a certain trooper, here’s a few things you want to keep in mind with that situation. The leader is ALWAYS the last miniature removed from a unit. So let’s say your unit leader is all your opponent can see, if he goes down, he moves and replaces a trooper in your unit. After the unit leader, droids are removed second to last if they are in your unit, because they are a non-combatant. For the most part, however, if you aren’t running any droids you want to keep those heavy weapons on the board at all costs. They’re typically the second to last trooper you remove from a trooper unit.
Now of course, the best use of cohesion is to make sure your unit’s are in some sort of cover. There are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- Half (or more) of you troopers need to be behind or in cover to gain the light or heavy cover
- If you cohere into difficult terrain in order to gain cover but your unit leader is not in the cover itself, you still only gain a one speed move
- As noted above in the picture, it always has to be a legal one speed move
When you first start out, you’ll keep your units bunched. I know I did that, and still do that for the most part. But now that I have started playing a little more competitively, it’s better keep your guys behind the cover but somewhat spread out. More experienced wargamers/players will find ways to thread the needle and take your cover away from you, and you don’t want that. Especially as a Rebel player. I’ve had games where I’ve been super cautious with my cohesion and cover only to have that blown up by a more experience player. That’s why you play more experienced players, though. It’s a great learning experience. Playing better players will typically result in a loss, but it helps you learn the game more and become a better player yourself, I promise.
May the Force be with You!