Thus far in Shatterpoint, hunker tokens have been a big part of clone identity. Most clones have easy access to hunkers with the Defensive Maneuver ability and many gain Steadfast when hunkered thanks to Brothers in Arms. Rex’s Bring It On, Clankers gives an aura where clones heal when they gain hunkers, Cody’s Bring It Down! gives an aura where hunkered clone supports get rerolls, and the recently previewed Ponds has Incoming which gives an aura where hunkered clones are immune to the expose condition. With all this hunker token synergy, why not take a primary unit that leans into that even further? Enter General Obi-Wan Kenobi. Specifically, his identity ability Knowledge and Defense. There’s a lot of parts to it. I’m mainly interested in the dash today, but first let’s check on the other parts.
When Kenobi is in the team all allied units, regardless of tags, keep hunkers while engaged (and can gain hunkers while engaged). Already that’s pretty huge. As mentioned above, clones have a ton of abilities contingent on having hunker tokens, so making those stay in melee is fantastic.
Next up, Galactic Republic units roll one extra defense die in melee if they have a hunker. Multiple hunkers won’t give you multiple dice, but getting defensive buffs in melee is fantastic. Clones are generally very squishy due to their low health and meh defensive expertise, so extra defensive tech is great. Other Republic characters also love this. Think Luminara is tanky to begin with? Just wait until she rolls one extra die in melee! If the ability stopped here it would be pretty good since all those hunkers you get are never wasted. But of course there’s more!
Now we get to the last bit. After an attack against a Galactic Republic unit, said unit may remove all (yes, remove all or remove none, no removing some) hunker tokens. Then, for each hunker token removed a character in the unit can heal and any character that heals can dash. The wording can be interpreted a couple ways, but it has been clarified that, for example, if you remove two hunker tokens in a two-character unit, each character can heal once and dash. Another thing that’s worth pointing out: the character who just defended against the attack does not have to be the one that heals and dashes. More on that later.
So now we know what the ability says. It has a lot of great parts, but I find the most impactful is the dash it grants. The dash is effectively pin-proof thanks to the heal. You can remove the hunker, heal the pin, then dash!
Let’s look at eight different shenanigans I’ve compiled utilizing the dash ability. It’s not a comprehensive list of course, but I think these are some of the most common and impactful uses.
1. Move out of range
Consider the below scenario. The B1s are a little bit inside range 5 relative to the 501st clone. The first B1 attacks. Prior to the second attack, the 501st clone can spend the hunker and dip out of range before the next B1 shoots. This can be the difference between becoming wounded or not, or prevent the second B1 from getting a critical reposition.
2. Double up and move both characters
This one is kind of an extension of the one above. Usually in struggle 1if I pull a clone support early I get aggressive and try to capture two middle objectives. This can leave the clones a bit overextended, so I want a way to get out of trouble. If I move, take cover, and Defensive Maneuver then the unit has two hunkers. Double the hunkers means double the dashes. Maybe I won’t need to retreat them both, but I like having that option.
In the below scenario, if the 501st only had one hunker then the second would still be in range of the second B1 attack. This could mean a wounded 501st squad, which no one wants!
3. Move into melee
Enough about backing away, let’s get aggressive! There’s a variety of reasons you may not want to retreat and sometimes melee is safer than range. In the below example Rex starts outside of melee range with the B1s. After the first B1 shot, Rex could spend the hunker to dash into engagement with the second B1. A B1 punch is much less scary than a B1 shot, so Rex will probably be feeling much better while still holding his position.
4. Move out of melee
OK, now we’re running away again. Trust me though, it’s for a good reason! Let’s say there’s an enemy Anakin coming to get Rex. Luckily, Rex survives the first swing. However, Anakin is poised to swing again with I’m Going to End This. Thankfully, Rex can end it his own way with Obi-Wan’s help. After the first attack Rex can spend his hunker to dash out of melee with Anakin, avoiding an almost certain wound. Cleary Obi told Rex about the power of the high ground or something.
Similarly, maybe you’re getting punched by Super Commandos. Between the first punch and the second you could dash to make the second attack a shot instead. Basically it’s a reverse of point #3 because sometimes range is safer than melee.
5. Reinforce an objective
Objectives are how you win games, so it’s about time we start talking about those. Out of activation movement can be big in flipping objectives or to stop them being flipped.
Consider the below scenario. Anakin starts just out of contesting range on the objective. The B1s attack as their first action, surely the next action will be to move up, outnumber Rex, and take control of the objective. However, the droid player decides to shoot Anakin for whatever reason. After the attack, Anakin can spend his hunker to dash into contesting range. Now when the B1s move forward the point will be tied 2-2 and control will not flip. Reinforcing the objective might be just enough to change the tide of the struggle and win it for the Anakin player.
6. Score a different objective
Instead of reinforcing an objective, you could use a dash to go to a whole new point and flip it. Here we see two B1s attacking Obi-Wan. Let’s say they moved up into contesting range as their first action. Whatever happens, they will outnumber Obi on the objective and flip control. Being the cunning warrior he is, Obi can spend his hunker after defending to dash onto the right objective and take control of that one, softening the blow of losing the left objective.
Remember that the defending character does not need to be the one that does the heal and dash. Now I’ve altered the scenario, pray I do not alter it any further. If the left commando dashes to the right, he’ll give up control of the left objective. However, the commando on the right can do the heal and dash to take control of the right objective. Watch out when attacking multi-character units with hunkers if they’re supported by Obi-Wan! The buddy from across the board can cause you headaches.
7. Super steadfast
Shoves are a very common way to force enemies off of objectives. Even units with Steadfast can be overwhelmed and pushed away. But who cares when you can dash right back on? You have to get shoved many, many times for a dash to not get you back to where you want to be. Something to consider as the opponent is trying to body block by using your base to keep the dasher from getting back into position to contest.
Sometimes elevation changes will make dashing back difficult so you’ll need help from an ingress point. Consider the below scenario where Darth Vader attacks Luminara. Let’s say he gets enough successes through to shove her off of the crate. If we left it there, he would take control of the objective. However, Luminara can spend the hunker, dash to the ingress point, and end up back on top of the crate contesting the objective. If you’re the Vader player in this scenario, try to angle the shoves such that Luminara can’t dash to the ingress point. If you’re the Luminara player in this scenario, think ahead to try make that difficult. This is a big reason I value scale on the clone commandos so highly – they can turn the dash into a climb so they don’t necessarily need an ingress point when in a similar scenario.
8. Burn a pin
Sometimes a unit likes where they’re at. No shame in that. Here we have Rex defending against an enemy 212th unit. He wants to get rid of that pin, maybe because there’s a second attack coming and he doesn’t want the pin in the 212th tree to become a damage, or both attacks are done and he just doesn’t want to be pinned. Instead of spending the hunker and using the heal to remove the pin, Rex could take off a damage, then attempt to dash and lose the pin instead. In this specific case you’ve basically gotten two heals for the price of one.
General Obi-Wan Kenobi is a fantastic unit, maybe the best in the game given the right strike team around him. His identity provides a lot of value in a Galactic Republic focused list and in my opinion the best part of that identity is the possibility for an out of activation dash. When you’ve got Obi around, get hunkers on your units! It will make things a lot easier for you and cause headaches for your opponent. If you’re playing against a Obi-Wan think twice before attacking anyone with a hunker token. It may still be the right call, just be aware of the tricks they can pull to mess up your plans.
Playing General Obi-Wan Kenobi is a blast, I hope you can now go out and have as much fun playing him as I have!