This week we’re looking at Lando Calrissian, the Baron Adminstrator of Cloud City and the most recent Commander added to the Rebel Alliance for Star Wars: Legion. He introduces a lot of new tricks into the faction that can be extremely powerful if used correctly. We’ll worry about the nitty gritty when we get there; but first, the broad overview.
“Card player, gambler, scoundrel. You’d like him.”
- Solid gunner guaranteed to delete a model or two every turn.
- Contingencies open a lot of options for strategy.
- Covert Ops allows you to drop close to objectives or deny your opponent.
- Fairly cheap cost with not a lot of overhead.
- Flaw card can potentially leave you exposed if not planned for.
- White defense dice like most Rebels.
- Pistol only has two dice, so he needs Fire Support to do more than 1-2 wounds per turn
- Contingencies require a lot of planning to use correctly.
105 Points: Fairly low cost. Only 15 more points than Leia or Cassian and 5 points more than Han. While he may not have the killing power of Cassian, he has a lot less overhead (No K2). He’s cheap enough he can duo with other characters quite comfortably.
Defense: White, with surge. Standard for rebel characters who aren’t Luke, Sabine or K2. He has a trick up in his sleeve in the form of Uncanny Luck 2 which lets you reroll 2 dice. This ups the probability on those 2 dice to 55.5%, slightly better than a red die without surge.
Offense: X-8 Night Sniper Pistol – Range 3. One Black 1 Red, Pierce 1. Surge to Crit. Whew. Combined with Sharpshooter 2 and Pierce it will pretty reliably get a guaranteed wound every turn with a second wound being very likely.
Courage 2: Average for a non-Force user. It is generally enough to keep units from panicking but means he can lose an action pretty easily with some concentrated fire.
Slots: 1 Command, 1 Training, 1 Equipment. Bit of everything, let’s you equip him in many different ways for whatever role you need him to do. The Command slot in particular sets him apart from Cassian and allows you to use him in Vigilance builds.
Contingencies 3: A new ability exclusive to him and Kallus. This powerful ability lets you set aside three additional command cards for use in the game. The ways to use this properly can get very complicated so we’ll dedicate an entire section to this further below.
Covert Ops: Turn Lando into an Operative and gain Infiltrate which lets Lando deploy anywhere on the field more than Range 3 from enemy units. The reasons to do this are similar to Cassian. Getting into a good position early, denying an opponent room to infiltrate a unit of their own, the list goes on. Do note that switching to Operative comes with challenges, such as not being allowed to use generic command cards and losing the leadership bubble, so it’s not always the best idea.
Flawed: Lando comes with a flaw card I’ve Altered the Deal. This is probably the only flaw card you really can’t avoid but also the easiest to work around with proper mitigation. We’ll discuss the flaw card down below.
Sharpshooter 2: Essentially, Lando doesn’t care about your cover. Positive modifiers are added up first and then negative modifiers take it away so no matter how much cover and suppression your enemy has Lando is just as accurate as firing into an open field. Pretty cool!
Uncanny Luck 2: Mitigates the poor white defense die. A white defense die with surge is about 33% success, rerolling failures boosts it to 55% which is slightly better than a red die with no surge.
This card buffs Lando into a real gunslinger, but you have to do some set up first. Gunslinger lets you hit two targets, letting him spread the damage out more, and Marksman will all but guarantee you get two hits in each time with all those aim tokens letting you upgrade to hits and criticals. The more cards you have in your discard pile, the better it gets, but you have to have at least a 3 pip in to get anywhere with this, so it is wise to open up with one. You don’t have to wait until you have a 3 pip, 2 pip and 1 pip to drop this and 2 aims and 2 dodges can be adequate in most cases. Against a skilled opponent it’s going to telegraph itself quite easily, and Lando’s flaw card might end up screwing up your plan so sometimes its best to play it earlier than they’d expect.
Ace up His Sleeve
This card has two uses. The first is the usual way of playing it: assign a token to Lando and one other trooper, they both gain a dodge or standby. Simple, easy, reliable. Good if you don’t particularly need any other card on that turn. The standby token in particular can be game changing in certain situations, particularly with melee threats like Operative Luke or Wookiees, where it is more difficult to strip.
The other use is interesting. During the activation phase, instead of picking a command token you can choose to discard the card to pick a unit within range 2 of Lando and immediately activate that unit. This even works if the card is in contingencies. Sometimes when it comes down to the last few nail-biting turns you really need to make sure the right unit goes next and you can’t risk drawing from the stack. Maybe your remaining command cards can’t assign to that unit, or your opponent moved into a position you didn’t expect. Whatever the reason, this is a great trump card to keep handy if things look bad for a key unit and whenever I bring Lando it’s an auto-take for my contingencies.
Probably the hardest card to use correctly and a big risk with a big payoff. Appropriate for a gambler like Lando. The card really has two parts, one for Lando and one for your whole army.
The first part gives two observation tokens to every enemy unit within Range 3 that Lando can see. Observation tokens are like backwards aim tokens, anyone in your army can make use of them, but they only affect the unit they are given to. The difficult part about this is the foresight to set it up the turn before to get the most out of it. If you intend to use it next turn, move Lando last into range of as many enemy units as possible, and then activate him first after playing this card to get him out of there. Range 3 is where most of the most dangerous guns are and you don’t want him to remain exposed for too long.
The second part of this is a lot more complicated and comes with a lot of risk. When rolling defense or attack dice for Lando you can declare a block or critical. If one of those results is on your die, you get an additional 2 results. If you don’t get one, you lose 2. You don’t have to do this and screwing it up can be a death sentence for Lando so it depends on how much of a risk you’re willing to take.
In general, using it on defense is pretty secure. With uncanny luck your odds of pulling out at least one save is pretty good and if you don’t you probably won’t get any saves anyway. This does not count for surges, so if you roll all surges you will get burned. It’s also excellent for dealing with snipers and characters with Pierce 1. Normally, whether you get one save or none doesn’t matter, but if you can get 3 saves then you can negate the hit!
For shooting, it’s a harder discussion. Remember that between Sharpshooter 2 and Pierce 1 Lando is almost guaranteed to get at least one hit in, but he caps out at 2. In a best case scenario you could end up making 4 crits with this card! This is a real gambler’s choice, consider if you think taking the (basically free) single wound or if doing potentially 4 wounds is worth the risk of walking away with nothing. The downside is also pretty minimal if you are fishing for crits (like against a target with Armor).
If I skip any of Lando’s cards it’s probably this one, because of its difficulty to set up. It’s hardly a bad card though and very in spirit of the character.
I’ve Altered the Deal
Lando’s Flaw Card. If you’re unfamiliar with the mechanic, you give this to your opponent at the start of the game and they hold onto it until they decide to use it. They deploy it before any command cards and then it’s discarded. Lando’s card is interesting compared to the other two flaw cards released at this point (Anakin and Kallus). While difficult, it is possible to avoid proccing the prerequisites for those other cards. If Kallus avoids getting injured or Anakin avoids suppression the card will never come up. This card is inevitable, once you hit turn four it can be used (and probably sooner depending on how often you use those contingencies). The good news is you can mitigate its downside a lot easier.
When your opponent uses the cards, you can’t use your contingencies or any of Lando’s cards. The solution is simple: put Lando’s cards into the contingencies. This reduces the spread of cards you can’t use to only what’s in your contingencies and everything in your normal hand is safe. His 2 Pip can be used by discarding from the contingencies and you may not bring all three of his cards anyway, leaving plenty of room.
Similar to Cassian, Lando can chose to become an operative and drop himself anywhere on the field. Whether or not you do it is going to be heavily dependent on your list and game mode.
Jyn and Cassian can take the most advantage of Infiltrate because they’re best at close range. Additionally, Cassian gets to bring backup in the form of K2 and get him closer as well. Lando is best kept at medium range, as his pistol is Range 3 without any sort of limitation like Cassian’s is. There are times it can be beneficial, as he’s fairly good at dodging hits you can grab an objective early and get him out of there. Assess the map and if it doesn’t give you a lot of good lanes to move up, maybe infiltrate him in instead.
Lando holds a similar role to short range gunners like Cassian or Han but has a few things to differentiate him and that means you won’t use him exactly the same. First, Lando’s gun has Range 3 built in. So unlike Cassian needing to burn aim tokens or Han having to maneuver into closer range Lando can stay further back and be in much more relative safety.
Second is Sharpshooter 2, as stated above Sharpshooter 2 means that your target has no cover. Given his pistol has a Red and Black die and Pierce 1 you are almost guaranteed to get one wound through. Get a crit and even dodge tokens won’t save most units. It also means you don’t have to be so picky about where you’re shooting from, since almost nowhere is safe.
The downside is that unlike Han or Cassian, Lando has few ways to increase his damage output beyond the two dice. Cassian has a better pistol with 3 dice and always-on Marksman and Han has always-on Gunslinger. Lando can get Gunslinger and Marksman from Idiot’s Array and potentially do four crits with All In but it is risky and only good for a bit of burst damage. I’d treat Lando as a reliable pseudo-sniper and bring along stronger gunners to assist him.
Using Your Contingencies
Lando is a decent gunner but I think his real draw is going to be Contingencies. Contingencies seem straightforward on the surface but once you get deep into the depths it opens up a lot of strategic openings. To do that you have to use them right. Let’s take a quick look at the step by step procedure.
- You choose your initial command card from your hand, your opponent does the same. You pick a 3 pip card, what your opponent picks may or may not matter.
- You and your opponent reveal your cards.
- You check your contingencies and find another 3 pip you like far more.
- You discard the initial card and swap the contingency in. Play continues as normal.
Contingencies are not just 3 extra cards, and its unwise to look at them this way. You’re still playing cards from your main hand and you lose them if you exchange a Contingency. This means being careful about what your initial play is, because if you swap it out then you lose your chance to use it.
The other risk is holding back on Contingencies too much. If you keep thinking to yourself “I should wait” for too long you may blow your chance to use them. Contingencies can only be used to swap in cards of the same number of pips so if you use both your 1 pip cards in your hand, and you had Sabotaged Communications in your Contingencies you lost your chance to use it. It’s going to sit there the whole game. So be proactive and be ready to use them, but remember the more cards you discard the sooner your opponent can use I’ve Altered the Deal.
What are some good cards to keep in Contingency?
- Any of Lando’s cards – This helps shrink the pool of cards you can’t use when your opponent uses I’ve Altered the Deal, if all of Lando’s cards are in contingencies then all it does is limit contingencies.
- Interrupts – Sabotaged Communications and Change of Plans (Han) are great picks. The problem with these cards is it requires some heavy guess work and if you guess wrong you can really get yourself stuck. With these in contingencies you can play something else and then swap them in when you know its a good call.
- Anything niche – Some cards you can’t be sure if their use will come up, cards like I am a Jedi (Luke), Sacrifice (K2) or Blast Off (R2-D2) can take up valuable room in a crowded hand but not bringing them could cost you the game if their niche comes up. Put them in contingencies, or alternatively put them in your hand and swap in a contingency if you decide you don’t need them.
Contingencies can be tricky to keep track of, always be on a lookout for the right situation to use them and don’t let it pass you by.
Lando gets one each of Command, Training and Gear. This means he can equip himself in a lot of different ways but it also means it can be harder to do certain combos, since you won’t have say, 2 training slots. Lando can pretty easily just be run naked but there are many good options for him if you have the points to spare.
Probably my default choice for Lando, but it is close with Vigilance. Lando’s not great at keeping his allies rallied. He’s got courage 2 and doesn’t have Inspire. Rebel corps hate suppression, keep your boys morale up!
A really popular choice for really any rebel commander and I rank it very close to Strict Orders. Rebel troopers (especially their corps units) are hungry for dodge tokens and Vigilance can keep them from getting popped off before their activation comes around. The only reason I don’t like it as much on Lando is because he lacks Take Cover, but it doesn’t mean your own troopers can’t dodge themselves. This is especially good with Rebel Troopers with the Captain upgrade, who can take the dodge action early and keep it all game with Nimble.
A good third choice in many situations. Rebels can often struggle with having too many different unit tokens, making drawing from the stack really dangerous when it is essential you draw the right thing right now (or, more often, throw something back you don’t want). Mitigate that by getting a do-over.
Basically a given for any gunslinger type hero. A Red and Black die is good but nothing is perfect and giving Lando as many Aim tokens as you can get is essential.
An alternative to Offensive Push, but more niche. It can only affect multi wound models, usually commanders. I’m not usually putting Lando on Hero killer duty, with only two dice he’s more to mop up units and characters hanging on, but there can be uses for this.
Lando’s Courage is so-so, it doesn’t take much to suppress him. If that’s a concern of yours, Endurance isn’t an awful choice to make sure that doesn’t happen.
A cheap back up option when you’re tight on points. Use the dodge tokens you get from Idiot’s Array and Ace Up His Sleeve with confidence.
I find it’s not as useful on Lando since the fact he ignores cover mitigates the need to draw the enemy out but if you can’t risk getting closer to the enemy to take a shot, this is a good way to be able to utilize his full range to hit them once they move onto a point.
My default equipment option when I don’t really have anything else. It’s super cheap so if you don’t make use of it, it’s not the end of the world. Combos well with Covert Ops, you can deploy and then make a speed one move, letting you ignore the “must deploy outside Range 3 of enemy units” part of Infiltrate. Just don’t do anything stupid.
A good take with Vigilance. Hand out a dodge token, let them keep it once the turns over. This is usually Leia or the Generic Officer’s job but if they’re not present Lando can fill the role just fine.
Ascension Cables are cheap and Scale is a good keyword. Lando needs to maneuver into good hiding spots that make it easy for him to choose but not worry about getting shot back. I don’t think its as useful for him as say, Cassian because Sharpshooter 2 means Lando is not bothered by cover but hiding on a rooftop is almost always a good place to be.
March of the Wookies
This is more the Luke and Wookiees show with Lando in a supporting role so I’m going to discuss it first to get it out of the way. Luke and Lando make natural allies and there are a lot of ways to go about this. One of Luke’s biggest problems (and its a good problem to have, mind you) is that all 6 of his command cards are really good and rebels can really fight for what to cram in there. Some of them are more niche than others but the ones that are good can win you the game. Well with contingencies some slots just opened up so why not take all 6? If a good time to use I Am a Jedi never comes up, thats ok, you don’t have to use it.
At 8 activations this is a bit rough going, a similar list was used during the finals of the recent Invader League, which shirked the Bowcaster Wookiees and medical droid for R2 and another naked corps which is probably a better way to go but personally, I like the extra body. When the new Wookiee warriors come out the shield will likely be invaluable to keeping them alive, as well. The point is you want as many Wookiees and Luke to survive while moving up the field, and Lando helps hold the back line.
Behind Enemy Lines
Two sneaky gunman types for double the firepower. Cassian pairs well with Lando as they are both obnoxious short to medium range gunners. Lando lacks the damage output Cassian has but together with 3 sniper squads that’s a lot of more or less guaranteed suppression and pierce.
If you feel adventurous, you can infiltrate both of them and cover front line objectives with standby before the enemy gets close. Good luck getting through that crossfire. The airspeeder adds a little extra punch that you otherwise might not have if your opponent brings armor, and gives them something to focus on that isn’t your men.
One of my favorite fluffy lists to run, and very gimmicky. I find Han tends to be lacking a lot in firepower but you know what he does have? Awesome cards. Change of Plans is one of the best cards in the game and with Chewbacca’s Notorious Scoundrels you can play it twice. Paired with Sabotaged Comms hidden in Contingencies that is a potential three interrupts per game. Your opponent will be tearing their hair out as half of the game is just you forcing them to change their plan when they thought they had you cornered.
Chewbacca has had a real glow up since his buff a few months ago, I’ve found he’s frustrating to kill and hurting him only makes him madder. He’s great for running coverage when Han gets shot, since he needs to get dangerously close to Melee, let Chewbacca do it for him.
Smuggler, Gambler, Marksman. All of these are represented in Lando Calrissian’s adaptation to Star Wars Legion. With smart play and keeping one step ahead of your opponent Lando can help you outthink the opposition and leave you walking away with all of the chips. Master contingencies and his devastating Night Sniper pistol and your opponent won’t have an answer to anything you throw at them.