Corps Unit Upgrade Packs

Corps Unit Upgrade Packs 1

Get ready to upgrade your little plastic spacedudes with some hot new upgrade packs for each of the four factions’ core corps units.  Think I can upgrade the SEO any more in this opening paragraph?  Upgrade.

I’ll walk through each of the four upgrades in each pack, probably spending more time on the weapons, because those are most interesting to a stats guy like me.

Important note: All of the stats in this article include a full squad’s compliment of dice plus the heavy upgrade, unless otherwise noted.

Rebel Trooper Upgrade Pack

I like to think of this as the “DLT-20a” upgrade pack.  I actually think the SX-21 is interesting in a one-of situation, but I find both personnel upgrades to be totally underwhelming.

DLT-20a

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Rebel DLT!  Be still my heart.  Being able to shoot at Range 4 is good.  Being able to shoot a weapon with Critical at Range 4 is better.

This thing is essentially a crappy T-21b, which is to say that it’s great.

Of course, Rebels can’t take a T-21b; but they can take a Z-6, so let’s compare it to that.

First, we’ll just look at the raw stats.  “C2” is target in Cover 2 (heavy cover).

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3.86 average hits is exceptionally solid for a corps unit’s range 3 damage.  That is about a third of a hit more than the Z-6 (which clocks in at 3.5).  It also has marginally better damage against armor, because of Critical 1.

Here is the DLT-20a hit chart compared to the Z-6, including the dice of a full Rebel trooper squad.

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The DLT-20a is more reliable than the Z-6 across the board.  The percentages in all of these charts are cumulative; for example, the DLT-20a with full pool has a 86% chance to score at least 3 hits.

Is that worth four points?  Probably, if you can spare them.  It’s not clear whether the DLT-20a “saves” the Rebel trooper heavy in competitive play, but I’ve really been enjoying running them.  It is good in a meta where taking a heavy weapon on a Rebel Trooper unit is a good idea, and I’m not sure we are there at the moment… but we aren’t terribly far off, either.

SX-21

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Man, but that Ithorian model looks cool.  He is also much taller than his counter parts, which makes him easier to scope.  It’s not a reason to put the shotgun on another model… but it’s something to think about.  If we are getting some kind of silhouette situation as previewed, it won’t ultimately matter.

Anyway, shotguns are cool.  This one has Impact instead of Pierce, which isn’t as good generally… but that is one strong dice pool for just 20 points.  Range 2 is awfully short, but you are basically looking at a Deathtrooper dice pool for just 60 points (4 black, 2 red, 2 white) minus the surge/hit.  Additionally, unlike Fleet Troopers, this dude (and the rest of his unit) still have A-280s, so you can throw 5 black dice at Range 3 if you don’t have anything better to do.

Here are the stats for this bad boy.

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Four hits is downright solid for a 60 point unit.

Range 2 being what it is, I don’t think you can justify more than one of these, but if you don’t have quite enough points to make it to a DLT-20a and you want a short range, budget linebacker unit with some punch you could do worse.

Rebel Specialist

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This guy sure looks cool… but adding more points on to an already fragile Rebel Trooper squad isn’t very appealing to me.  Free dodge on exhaust… not terrible in certain situations, I guess.  It’s just not 14 points good.  The surge token is roughly equivalent to an aim token if you put this dude with a Z-6 unit, but man I would kill for a chance to get an aim token on a Rebel unit, for a change.

Rebel Captain

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The captain upgrades generally strike me as a little underwhelming, and the Rebel one is no exception.  He suffers the same problem as the Specialist; do you really want to be making your Rebel troopers more expensive?

Being unable to be suppressed for a turn is nice, but it’s not the same as ignoring suppression (you can still panic) and you don’t get to remove any.  If I’m looking for suppression mitigation on my Rebel Troopers I am still taking an officer, who for 5 more points gives you permanent Courage 2 and Inspire 1 to boot.

Stormtrooper Upgrade Pack

RT-97C

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Okay, this thing is good.  If you aren’t worried about vehicles, it is a lot better than a DLT-19.  It has two more dice and more raw damage for just two more points.  It also starts to get silly with aim tokens, combined with the Stormtroopers’ Precise, because of how many surging white dice you are throwing.  Basically this thing is an Imperial Z-6, except you can throw dice at Range 4.

Let’s start with the stats.

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This thing hits a little harder than a DLT-19, though not quite as hard as Shores (who average 4.16 hits without an aim).  However, when you throw an aim token in, it gets really spicy, averaging 4.66 hits, which is approaching Shoretrooper territory (Shores clock in at 5.16 with an aim).  They don’t get them for free like Shores do, but aims aren’t terribly hard to find either between Coordinated Fire and Spotter (and the good old fashioned Aim action).  You could do a lot worse for 70 points.

I’ll be straight with you; I bought three Stormtrooper upgrade packs just for this, and I don’t regret it.  Most of my Empire lists these days have two to three RT-97C’s in them.

T-21

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I heard you like some crits with your crits.

This is a literal copy of the Rebel veteran CM-93/0, except the rest of the pool isn’t quite as good (since you are throwing white/surge dice instead of black/surge).  However, they do have red saves, Precise, and much better access to aims.  Basically it does the same thing as Vets do (crit farming) but on a much more durable and generally useful platform, for less points.

This is the only Stormtrooper heavy upgrade that doesn’t shoot at Range 4, which isn’t ideal.  I could see taking one of these to plow some crits through cover, dodge, guardian, and armor.  I hear there is this giant scary snow lizard out there that likes heavy cover and free dodges and isn’t a fan of crits.

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Averaging two hits through cover without any aims is downright decent, all things considered.

 

Stormtrooper Specialist

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Unlike the Rebel Trooper specialist, I think this guy is decent, because 1) Storms are quite a bit more durable and therefore it doesn’t feel as bad to dump points on them, 2) free aim tokens on Storms are really good, and 3) Veers gives you a way to refresh this guy for free with Imperial Discipline.  The Specialist with an RT-97C gives you an 85 point Storm unit, which is getting up there in points but gives you six red save wounds and some good punch at range 3-4.  It’s unclear whether that makes them better than Shores for almost the same points (who also get free aims, have better offense, and unlock a useful 36 point activation) but it’s interesting.

Stormtrooper Captain

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I’m whelmed by this guy as well for the same reasons as the Rebel version, unless you really feel like you need a training slot.  Veers at least gives you an extra use, so there is that.

B1 Battle Droid Upgrade Pack

E-5s

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A droid sniper rifle… sort of.  It still has a B1 attached to it, unfortunately.

Still, the droid sniper is pretty good.  On it’s face it looks like a straight upgrade over the E-5c, but we’ll talk about a few reasons why that isn’t necessarily true.  It’s primary benefit is being able to dish out some suppression at Range 4.  It is also decent against Armor because of Critical.

First, let’s hit the stat chart.

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Those are solid numbers for a unit that costs 56 points.  B1s with heavies are extremely efficient, and the sniper is no exception.  For comparison, the E-5c is 3.00 hits on average, without any surge tokens.

Of course, you don’t always have a full unit of B1s.  I know this is a shocker, but… B1s die.  A lot.

This is where the slightly cheaper E-5c starts to outshine the E-5s.  The E-5c has a base of three black dice, while the E-5s has just two dice and relies on dice quantity from the rest of the unit to generate surges for Critical.

Here are the expected outcomes for both an E-5c unit and an E-5s B1 unit, when both have lost three models.

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That is basically almost a perfect wash; once you get below three casualties, the E-5c gets progressively better relative to the E-5s.

I was too lazy to generate charts for these, but here are some other situations where the E-5c is better than the E-5s:

  1. You have an aim token (since you are usually re-rolling at least one black dice instead of two whites)
  2. You have a surge token (the first surge is the most valuable one, each thereafter has diminishing returns).

Don’t get me wrong, the E-5s is good.  But it’s not a straight replacement for the E-5c.

Radiation Cannon

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I think if this droid ever gets sick of irradiating people, he has a second career as the T-shirt cannon guy at baseball games.

Anyway, this thing isn’t shooting T-shirts, it is shooting… some kind of radiation ray?  I dunno.  Whatever it is, it hurts.

Range 2 and cost are literally the only drawbacks here, because the Radiation Cannon hits like a truck.  A radioactive truck loaded with Poison tokens.

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These numbers don’t account for the effect of Poison 1.  You can basically add one wound on to all those totals. (albeit a delayed one).

It is noteworthy that this gun isn’t quite as good as Bossk’s Dioxis Charge poison effect, because Bossk’s Poison is automatic (just for defending), while the Poison X keyword requires your target to actually suffer a wound.  With two red dice on top of the fistful of whites from the rest of the unit, though, that should be fairly achievable in most cases.

Targets that rely on saves or other defenses that aren’t raw wound totals really hate this thing, particularly expensive characters with pierce immunity or Impervious.  In those situations it is straight better than Pierce, and in other situations it is nearly as good.  Jedi, Sith, and Mandos are going to be extremely wary while you have one of these around.

I wouldn’t recommend taking a bunch of these, because they are expensive (for a B1 upgrade) and Range 2 is really short, but similar to the SX-21 I could definitely see one of them as a cheap linebacker style unit.

OOM-Series Droid

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I view both of the B1 personnel upgrades as “mistake mitigators,” which basically means if you are tight with your positioning and your order control, you are wasting points.  If you have some extra points to throw around, the Out Of Mana droid does let you extend your daisy chain a bit, but you should be honey-combing anyway with your B1s (see Jay’s article on CIS basics). I could see it if you are running a unit of B2s on the end of your chain, since they tend to be a little more up-close and personal than your B1s.  It gives them a little more leash.

Security Droid

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I’ve had AI: Attack proc a grand total of two times in all my CIS games; your B1 units should have face up orders.  This is mostly useful against Tauntauns with comms jammers so your B1s can withdraw instead of having to slap fight the tauntauns, but if you have tauntauns with comms jammers in your grill you are probably screwed anyway.

Phase I Clones Upgrade Pack

DP-23 Shotgun

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Pierce is really good, which is why it is generally restricted to Range 2 heavy weapon upgrades.  The DP-23 basically turns one of your Phase I units into a Fleet Trooper unit, except they can also throw some black dice at Range 3 if they want.  Actually, they can do that with Shotgun dice too, with a little help from Rex…

Some stats first.

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Shotguns hurt, and the DP-23 is no exception.  It comes in a little pricier than the Z-6, but I could absolutely see one in a list with Rex and R2-D2/3PO, since the former can extend its Range to 3 with Take That Clankers! and the latter can give it an aim token with Calculate Odds to power that range increase.  If you want to get crazy you can throw some frag grenades into the mix and have a silly 4 Red, 2 Black, 1 White pool with surge/crit and Pierce 1 at Range 2 (again with Clankers!).  If you want to get really crazy you can fire support that pool with a nearby Z-6 unit, just in case you wanted to roll a pool with 17 dice in it, surge/crit, and Pierce.  For science.

RPS-6 Rocket Launcher

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I feel like the RPS-6 is basically what the HH-12 should have been.  It sacrifices one point of Impact to lose exhaust, though it still has Cumbersome.  Still, the RPS-6 is a solid armor hedge for its cost.

The stats below include the full squad’s compliment of dice.

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Clone Specialist

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Clones certainly get the most flexible specialist.  Combined with token sharing, this is a very solid upgrade.  Right now I think it’s hard to fit just because Republic is hurting so much for points anyway, but after they get some cheaper activations I could certainly see some interesting uses for it.

Clone Captain

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Clones don’t have a lot of ways to deal with suppression right now.  This dude also gives you an Overwatch slot (excuse me, training slot).  I think if you are shelling out points for the Clone Captain you might as well just bring Phase IIs who have two courage, Reliable, and a training slot.

Offensive Push

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This little nugget is buried in the Empire, Rebel, and Clone upgrade packs.  It is not in the Droid one, which is a little unfortunate because it isn’t terrible on Grievous.  It is instantly a viable upgrade on nearly any unit with a training slot.  Some potentially solid choices for Offensive Push:

  • Captain Rex
  • Deathtroopers
  • Shoretroopers (if you give them a comms tech with uplink you get double refresh with Imperial Discipline)
  • Bossk
  • Boba Fett
  • Cad Bane
  • Jedi Luke
  • Stormtroopers with Captain upgrade
  • ARC Troopers
  • BX Droids
  • Phase IIs (if you already have a couple with Overwatch)

As mentioned above with Shores, if you pair Offensive Push with other upgrades that also exhaust, you get more bang for your buck with the recover action.

There are going to be units where Tenacity makes more sense (Imperial Royal Guard, Tauntauns, Jedi Luke, Chewie, Obi-Wan) and others where Endurance does (Operative Vader, Sabine, Grievous), but Offensive Push is up there with the short list of most competitive training upgrades.

Note that you can use this during a scout move, as Offensive Push is not a card action and you’ve met the requirement for exhausting it (while performing a move).

 

 

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