When Death Troopers come knocking: Why my Star Wars Legion list has changed

If you have listened to our podcast The Fifth Trooper or our sister cast Notorious Scoundrels, you know that since January I have been running a 12-activation list that I loved. It didn’t have any heroes; it didn’t have any truly costly units; it was just a wall of units coming down at you (if you haven’t heard of it or need a refresher it is to the right).

 I loved this list for several reasons:

  • Activation Control: I had 12 activations, generally I could count on having at least 2 more than most opponents I faced.
  • Blue Bid: It had a 5 pt bid. 90% of the time this meant I was going to be blue player.
  • Low Cost Units: The costliest unit I had in the list were the Royal Guard. That was it. So, the fear of losing a centerpiece unit was not a factor.

Now it took me a while to understand the play style of the list. At the time I had a highly aggressive play style. Coming from a background of playing red aggro in Magic the Gathering, I saw the Empire as a hit ‘em hard hit ‘em fast faction, with red dice to save your ass when you misplace or get too aggressive. This was just flat wrong, not only with this list but with the game in general.

What changed? I played… a lot, I lost… a lot, and with those two things I learned. I learned to keep 50% of my snipers hidden during deployment. I learned that E-Webs are fickle beasts that need to be deployed with care. I learned that Guardian 2 is the best thing about the IRG. I learned how to play General Veers as a mega support unit with Spotter and Inspire. I learned how to play Star Wars Legion.

That’s where I am really going with this, playing this list made me play Legion the right way. I couldn’t run Darth Vader at an opposing army, I couldn’t Palp bomb, I couldn’t have Boba Fett jet pack all over the place. I had to be conservative and pick my opportunities, I had to deploy carefully or be destroyed… I had to be better.

Send them All! 795/800

General Veers [80](90)
Improvised Orders [10]

Snowtroopers [48](73)
Flametrooper [20]
Fragmentation Grenades [5]

Stormtroopers [44](68)
DLT-19 Stormtrooper [24]

Snowtroopers [48](73)
Flametrooper [20]
Fragmentation Grenades [5]

Stormtroopers [44](68)
DLT-19 Stormtrooper [24]

Stormtroopers [44](68)
DLT-19 Stormtrooper [24]

Snowtroopers [48](53)
Fragmentation Grenades [5]

Scout Troopers (Strike Team) [16](44)
DLT-19x Sniper [28]

Scout Troopers (Strike Team) [16](44)
DLT-19x Sniper [28]

Imperial Royal Guards [75](104)
Electrostaff Guard [25]
Tenacity [4]

E-Web Heavy Blaster Team [55](55)

E-Web Heavy Blaster Team [55](55)

These are a few of my favorite things

Related imageI was moving along fine with my now infamous (only because I wouldn’t shut up about it) 12 activations list, when a miracle was laid at our collective feet…. Death Troopers. Not only do they look fire, but they are hands down the best unit in the game.

Why do I think they are the best unit in the game?

  • Killers at any Range – Starting at range 4 with the E-11D Focused Fire Config and DLT-19D Trooper you are tossing at minimum 7 Dice (4 Black, 2 Red, 1 White) at enemy units. At Range 2 you can potentially have 11 Dice (8 White, 2 Red, 1 White).
  • All your Favorite Keywords – These are the true “Jack of All Trades” units. You have at any one-time Impact, Suppressive and Blast. You have an answer for most situations: Tank coming at you? No Problem. Is there a hero running in at range 4? No Problem. Is a unit encamped behind heavy cover? No Problem.
  • What suppression? – They can shed suppression like it’s their job with Disciplined 1. You add to that running Krennic (who has Entourage) and give him strict orders?!?!?! Come on.
  • Swiss Army Unit – They are the multi-tool to end all multi-tools. No matter your list or commander the Death Trooper can play a vital role. Fire support, Objective holding, Distraction, you name it they are there for you like a warm blanket in the middle of winter.

Double Jeopardy

So, once I knew that I was absolutely building a new list with Death Troopers (DT) I had to take a hard look at if they could fit in the 12-Act list or if I needed to re-tool. I had many iterations where I pulled the IRG and put in DTs, also pulling Veers for Krennic as I knew he needed to be in the list as well. It finally became apparent that I just needed to start from scratch.

Now that I was unhindered by trying to wedge them into an already built list, I had to decide my non-negotiables. I knew I had to have Death Troopers with DLT and E-llD config and I wanted Krennic with Strict Orders to take full advantage of all the utility of the DTs. I also knew I would need at least 2 sets of snipers, as unfortunate as it is, they are a prerequisite to any competitive list.

Death Troopers Star Wars Legion

I have entered my non-negotiables and I am really taking time to think about what I could face out there in the competitive world: Tanks, Force Users, Operatives etc. This made me think that even though Death Troopers are going to be great, they are still only one unit. They can still get pierced, there can be good attack rolls and really bad defense rolls and I could misplay them. With all this in mind, I decided to add a second set of Death Troopers over a third Sniper. I saw it 2 ways: 1. They would be a unit that could and would collect/defend/contest objectives 2. Redundancy.

I then looked at filling out my corps units. Originally, I had 2 Snowtrooper units with flamer and frag grenades and 2 Stormtrooper units with DLTs. After talking to Mike (Dashz) from the Notorious Scoundrels/SWLegionodds.com, he really opened my eyes to how the meta is today and how ranged shots are really important, I decided on 4 Stormtrooper/DLT units. 

When one General just won’t do…

I really liked where I was headed but I was getting worried about my poor Death Troopers and them getting eaten alive by sniper fire. I decided to add Recon Intel to them so I could deploy them better and behind Line of Sight (LoS) blocking terrain, but, what if this wasn’t enough? This is where the lessons of my original list come back to the fold: Veers.

Related image

With my original list a Turn 1 play often looked like this: Snipers Hidden, Play Maximum Firepower, Veers has priority and LoS on enemy unit (usually snipers), Spotter 2 to both friendly Snipers, Veers Aim, then Maximum Firepower enemy. With this combo I could usually keep my sniper out of the action until later, take out a Sniper or at least 50% of a unit, then move shoot with my snipers later. This effectively gave my Snipers 3 actions on turn one and dampened the Sniper war.

With that in mind I added Veers to the Death Trooper list. I am now at 775/800.

The next thing I wanted to make sure I had in control was Heroes, specifically, can this list handle a hero and how. I decided to add hunter at first to my Snipers, mainly because of pierce and their range ability. Then I thought, really it would be way more effective on the Death Troopers as they would be mixing it up more often with hero units.

This list is nearly there, and I have 13 points left! I went through so many things at this stage its hard to list them all. I finally settled on Improvised Orders on Veers and was going to call it complete when a ridiculous idea came to me… Comms Relay on the DTs. So, with Entourage from Krennic I was giving one set of DTs an order, why not use that to my advantage and push it where I need it? So effectively I can Entourage the DTs now and Comms Relay the order to Veers.

I removed Improvised Orders and now had an 8-pt. bid!

I have played several games now with this list and I love it even more than my 12-activation list. It has even recently won me an RPQ!

The moral of the story?

Death Troopers are amazing and be open to change.

P.S. Don’t forget to register for our event coming up in July! The Northeast Open! Register Here.

Star Wars Legion Death Troopers

The Final List 792/800

Krennic [90](95)
Strict Orders [5]

General Veers [80](80)

Stormtroopers [44](68)
DLT-19 Stormtrooper [24]

Stormtroopers [44](68)
DLT-19 Stormtrooper [24]

Stormtroopers [44](68)
DLT-19 Stormtrooper [24]

Stormtroopers [44](68)
DLT-19 Stormtrooper [24]

Death Troopers [76](131)
DLT-19D Trooper [34]
Hunter [6]
Comms Relay [5]
Recon Intel [2]
E-11D [8]

Death Troopers [76](126)
DLT-19D Trooper [34]
Hunter [6]
Recon Intel [2]
E-11D [8]

Strike Team [16](44)
DLT-19x Sniper [28]

Strike Team [16](44)
DLT-19x Sniper [28]

11 comments on When Death Troopers come knocking: Why my Star Wars Legion list has changed

  1. Steve says:

    Thanks for posting this! Great article and your strategy is thought out really well. I have been collecting Legion for the past year, but have yet to play. 🙁 Hopefully soon! (hard to play when you have two kids and a busy schedule). Thanks for the inspiring article and for giving me some ideas to chew on.

    1. Will L says:

      Great read, but would love to get a part 2 (maybe after more games under your belt) where you discuss where you think it’s strengths and weaknesses are with regards to Battlecards. And if there are cards you really like to avoid.

    2. John says:

      Hi – I thought lists were limited to 3 squads of “scouts”… You have 4 with two death trooper squads and two strike teams. Can you run this legally?

      1. Yes, Entourage allows you to run 4 in the slot. So Krennic in the list if you add a DT you basically ignore the rank of 1 DT squad.

  2. Ken says:

    I believe this is a legal build with Krennic and DT; what are thoughts on dropping one storm trooper and one sniper team to add a 3rd DT?

    798/800 (would not have guarantee blue)

    Krennic [90](95)
    Strict Orders [5]

    General Veers [80](80)

    Stormtroopers [44](68)
    DLT-19 Stormtrooper [24]

    Stormtroopers [44](68)
    DLT-19 Stormtrooper [24]

    Stormtroopers [44](68)
    DLT-19 Stormtrooper [24]

    Death Troopers [76](131)
    DLT-19D Trooper [34]
    Hunter [6]
    Comms Relay [5]
    Recon Intel [2]
    E-11D [8]

    Death Troopers [76](126)
    DLT-19D Trooper [34]
    Hunter [6]
    Recon Intel [2]
    E-11D [8]

    Death Troopers [76](118)
    DLT-19D Trooper [34]
    E-11D [8]

    Strike Team [16](44)
    DLT-19x Sniper [28]

    1. I would worry about the sniper wars a little. Most opponents will have 2-3 snipers. You’d have to make sure you play everything well or the other snipers are going to eat you alive. I do like DTs a lot though so I think you could manage some crazy damage to your opponents army. You won’t really know until you play it and see what it is capable of.

    2. John says:

      Jay thanks for the quick response and educating me on “entourage”? Nice list I will try it out!

  3. John says:

    Jay thanks for the quick response and educating me on “entourage”? Nice list I will try it out!

    1. John says:

      Jay thanks for the quick response and educating me on “entourage”? Nice list I will try it out!

  4. Cody says:

    I’m an avid listener and am currently painting this list up. I don’t get to play very often, but am excited to give this a go! Admittedly, I’m not entirely solid on *how* to play it, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out. For example, the reasoning behind the upgrades, I’m not too sure about (again, having not played too much). Anyway, thanks for sharing!

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