This article will be a Star Wars: Legion unit guide for Phase I Clone Troopers.
Today we are going to look at the slightly too expensive corps unit all Republic players hate to love: Phase I Clone Troopers. They’re expensive, they’re vulnerable to Pierce, they only have Courage 1. They’re also pretty great and very unique, and they have arguably the largest variety of viable builds among corps units as well as the best keywords. Let’s dive in.
- Good saves
- Strong attack for a corps unit, particularly with surge token access
- Variety of viable builds with both personnel and heavy upgrades
- Token sharing
- Fire Support can allow them to punch well above their weight
- Vulnerable to Pierce
- Courage 1
Cost: 52 points. Expensive. The same price or higher as the other factions’ “veteran” corps units. You are getting some nice things for this premium, but it makes for a bit of a list building challenge when the cheapest thing you can take is 52 points.
Fire Support: Now this is a great keyword. Easily the best of the “standard” corps unit special keywords, Fire Support opens up a ton of options. Fire support it at its best when you can support something that already surges to hit/crit, but it can be pretty devastating just in support of another Clone unit.
Clone Trooper: This keyword has been nerfed twice; first to remove standbys from the list of shareable tokens (remember how gross that was?) then to limit you to one shared token at a time. One shared token at a time is still pretty solid, though, especially when you can combine it with other sharing mechanics like Exemplar or Yoda’s three pip.
Offense: Black, no surge, Range 1-3 gun, Black for melee as well. This is identical to Rebel Troopers in both respects, though Phase Is have a bevy of ways to upgrade their surges, unlike Rebel Troopers.
Defense: Red dice, one health per model. The same as Storms, but again, Phase Is have numerous ways to access surge tokens to upgrade this further.
Courage 1: Not great. Arguably their largest drawback. I like to mitigate this with Captains (which also gives them a training slot!) when possible. There are also ways to use fire support to get around suppression issues.
Slots: Heavy, Personnel, Gear, Grenade. Standard corps fare. The gear slot and the grenade slot won’t be filled that often, but Phase Is have arguably the greatest variety of viable heavy and personnel upgrades of the various corps.
Speaking of slots, why don’t we just lead with the upgrades…
Heavy Weapon Upgrades
Phase Is uniquely have a variety of heavy weapon upgrades that are seen in competitive builds; the Z-6, the DC-15, and the RPS-6 are all common, and even the shotgun has a place. Let’s look at each.
The average hit references in here will be a standard format; counting the dice colors followed by the averages. The X/8 numbers are a typical way to do quick math for an attack pool; add up the paint on all the dice you are throwing and divide by 8.
Z-6 Phase I Trooper (23 points)
This is not your Rebel Trooper Z-6. Sure, on its face, statistically it is the same; 4B, 6W, for an average of 28/8 or 3.5 hits.
However, Clones have vastly more access to both aim tokens and surge tokens, via token sharing and other effects. A single surge token increases your Z-6 average hit pool by nearly a full hit (since the pool is so large), while more surge tokens (or surge to crit/hit via fire support) bring it up to a very impressive 38/8 or 4.75 hits on average. The Z-6 is an ideal fire support platform for attack pools that already convert surges, because of the huge quantity of dice you are throwing.
DC-15 Phase I Trooper (26 points)
A slight analog to the Stormtrooper DLT-19, the DC-15 has some advantages over the Z-6, for which you pay an extra three points. You can take potshots at Range 4, which is a little punchier than most two dice pools at that range because of Critical. It adds Critical to your pool, which allows you to save some surge tokens for defense, since you will be converting the first surge in each of these attack pools with the native Critical instead of surge tokens.
A six dice pool is less good for fire support, but the DC-15 brings about 4 hits to the table on average when fired with its squad mates, which is more than the Z-6 when you don’t have extra surges lying around and aren’t fire supporting.
I like to bring a couple of DC-15s along if I can afford it, primarily to save those precious surge tokens and provide some Range 4 poke. You can also get some surprise fire supports in at Range 4; adding two red dice and Critical onto a sniper pool can chunk some models off at a range your opponent thought they were safe from Fire Support.
RPS-6 Phase I Trooper (21 points)
The RPS-6 is very common as a one off for anti-armor. It brings a similar attack profile as a Z-6 (28/8 with less dice for 3.5 average hits) while being a couple points cheaper. The primary drawback is Cumbersome, which certainly limits your flexibility, but less so than other Cumbersome weapons. It doesn’t exhaust, and it’s a good Fire Support unit; when you Fire Support you are giving up an action, which is usually moving, and the RPS-6 can’t do that anyway.
Being able to add Impact 2 onto other attack pools via Fire Support is also pretty amazing, especially when you can combine it with Critical or Surge/Crit. My favorite ridiculous anti-armor Fire Support is into an Anakin Saber Throw: 4R, 5B, 1W, surge crit with Impact 5, for an average of 6.64 Impact hits with Pierce 3. That will one-shot a DSD Spider Droid from full-to-dead 78% of the time.
The RPS can also pull the same “surprise Fire Support at Range 4” trick as the DC-15.
DP-23 Phase I Trooper (22 points)
The least appreciated of the Phase I heavies, the laser shotgun. Range 2 isn’t great, and it’s only one less point than the Z-6, but it’s a shotgun with Pierce, on a much more durable platform than the comparable Fleet Troopers. The game is also currently dominated by melee/close range threats, so it is somewhat more likely than it used to be to get this short ranged pool on target.
Like the Z-6, the DP-23 is very solid with surge tokens around or into Fire Support where you can convert surges.
There are two upgrades we are going to hit here, but they are both good ones that are well worth their cost in the right build.
Phase I Clone Specialist (11 points)
Though not quite as cost effective as the Stormtrooper specialist, the Clone Specialist is easily the most versatile, giving you access to a dodge, aim, or surge. Most of the time, this is going to be an aim token, though there may be situations where you want one of the others.
If you don’t have a specific plan for the training upgrade that comes with the Captain, the Specialist is a great choice for an extra body with an on-demand token. This is a popular choice alongside Fives to make an extra beefy seven wound Clone unit. I also think it’s pretty interesting in a DP-23 unit for some extra punch once you’ve closed the gap, and I’ve found your DP-23 tends to get ignored until that happens.
Phase I Clone Captain (12 points)
Oh Captain, my Captain. Not only does the Captain give you an extra body and on-demand suppression mitigation (very important on a Courage 1 unit), he gives you a training slot. There are a lot of useful things Phase I Clones can do with training slots…
The Captain gives you access to the excellent training upgrade slot. There are several options that are viable here, depending on your build.
Overwatch is my go-to for an Anakin/Padme list, where you can spend Anakin or Padme’s standby tokens via Exemplar, or for Yoda where you can do nearly the same thing (between Guidance and his three pip). A Phase I unit with a Captain, heavy, and Overwatch makes for a very beefy corps unit that can zone effectively at Range 3 and ignore suppression on demand. It’s a little pricey, at between 89-94 points (depending on whether you run the RPS, DC-15, or Z-6, all of which are good choices here), so I wouldn’t run more than 1-3 of these, but they’re a great unit to supplement Anakin or Yoda.
What is beefier than a unit that can spend dodge tokens to cancel crits? A unit that can spend shared dodge tokens to cancel crits. Dodges have always had something of an agency problem relative to aims; if a unit takes a dodge, your opponent can just shoot something else. With Clone Token sharing and Exemplar, however, a dodge on one unit is a dodge on all your units (with good cohesion) and with Situational Awareness your opponent has no recourse except to just try and plow through the dodges, if they don’t have High Velocity. Clone lists built around Situational Awareness and dodge sharing are extremely durable, and are often built around Obi-Wan and Padme. Obi-Wan provides even more durability to your spacedudes between Barrier and his Guardian, both of which still work just fine against High Velocity.
Speaking of aims, here are some aims. Clone love their aims, and this gives you a free one when you move. Hard to go wrong here, especially when you are kicking off a Fire Support.
Let’s move past the upgrade section and talk about…
There are some nasty fire support combos available. My favorite ones involve opening with units that already surge/crit or hit, to convert all the surges on your P1 dice. Things that add keywords like Blast, Sharpshooter, or Pierce are also great.
I am not going to dwell too much on fire support tactics (that is worthy of its own article and indeed will be) but here are some of my favorite combos.
Z-6 supported by DC-15 (or anything else with Critical X)
Fire support is all about converting those surges. Adding Critical 1 isn’t quite as good as just the entire pool having surge/crit, but it is the next best thing, especially if you also have some surge tokens lying around (preferably on Exemplar units so you can spend all of them). This pool is 64/8 (if the DC-15 is also at range 3) or 8 hits before accounting for any extra surge tokens lying around.
Yoda supported by Z-6
Surge/crit on top of a Z-6, plus Blast. 58/8 or 7.25 hits with Blast. Gross. This is best done on Yoda’s two pip turn, where you can take advantage of Relentless to extend Yoda’s attack range (and maybe Burst of Speed too). You can also use Guidance on that turn to set up the Fire Support from an unexpected range by moving your Phase I unit; and if that unit has a face up from Yoda (and not from a Clone Commander’s Direct) they can take a free Relentless shot off the Guidance move too before they Fire Support.
Anakin Saber Throw supported by Z-6
Again with the Surge/Crit, this time with three red dice and Pierce 3(!). 59/8 for 7.375 hits with Pierce 3. Most of the time this is just going to pick up an entire unit, especially if you can get a flanking shot to circumvent cover.
Anakin is also great supported by an RPS into Armor (as mentioned above under the RPS entry), where you are talking about a pool with Impact 5, Pierce 3, and Surge/Crit.
Echo Strike Team supported by just about anything
There are a lot of possibilities here, since Echo has Sharpshooter, Lethal and Critical 1. The most fun Fire Supports are the ones you can surprise your opponent with; if you Fire Support Echo with a DC-15 at Range 4 or an RPS-6 at Range 4, you can have a 4-5 dice pool that will chunk some models off reliably at a range where they though they were safe.
Wookiees supported by Z-6
Bowcaster Wookiees (whether you are talking about the melee version or the ones with Carbines) have surge/hit and a strong pool with Pierce, which makes them ideal for kicking off Fire Supports.
Lets talk about the bantha in the room. Clones used to be able to share all the things; now they can just share one thing. You know what? That’s still pretty great. Token sharing is all about action efficiency; you are essentially transferring actions from one unit to another unit later in the turn, with the flexibility to not have to decide which unit that is until you need the token.
The largest impact the “one token per attack/defense” has on sharing is surge sharing; you can’t spend both a shared aim and a shared surge on offense or a shared dodge and a shared surge on defense, and generally you want to be spending the aim/dodge if you have to choose. So how do you make it so you don’t have to choose? 1) Generate your own surge tokens (Reliable, Bolster, Aggressive Tactics) and/or 2) Share additional tokens via something besides clone trooper: Exemplar or Yoda.
Exemplar lets you get around the Clone Trooper sharing “cap” by providing another source of tokens, and there is no limit to how many Exemplar tokens you can spend. With Anakin, Padme, and Bolster, you can load up to five surge tokens per turn onto Exemplar units, and use those like a battery for all your sharing needs. You can also, of course, share extra dodge and aim tokens this way, in addition to standbys, which is not something you can get from your fellow clones anymore.
Deciding which tokens to spend and when is also important; generally I spend from least flexible to most flexible; spend your own tokens first, followed by your one shared clone token, followed by Exemplar/Yoda tokens last. This way you hopefully have more tokens available for later units without wasting too many.
Lets close out with a couple quick list ideas centered around Phase Is.
Anakin and Padme go together like peanut butter and jelly. Their chemistry on the Legion table is certainly a lot better than on the silver screen, anyway.
Anakin can spend Padme’s tokens, she can spend his, and both of them lean into generating extra tokens for your clones, including standbys. This list has three units in it with Overwatch. The Phase 2 mortar is kind of underwhelming in the firepower department, but it is a cheap way to get access to an extra unit with Overwatch and generates another surge token at the beginning of the turn. Depending on whether you take Padme’s three pip, this list generates 4-5 surges at the start of each turn, with two more from Bolster after the Clone Commander goes.
This list also has some great fire supports, particularly off Anakin’s Saber Throw.
Similar structure, swapping out Yoda for Anakin/Padme, because Yoda is amazing. There are some really nasty tricks Yoda can pull with Guidance and Clones to do things like set up unexpected Fire Supports (see above under Fire Support section) and he’s a very capable linebacker against melee threats, which is normally a problem for a clone gunline.
Speaking of Clone gunlines, that’s still a thing you can do. Your eyes do not deceive you; this is an 11 activation GAR list. This might work better with BARCs instead of ARCs, but that’s an easy swap.
You have a lot of faceup orders here with Fives and two copies of Direct, so you can spread out the surge tokens and also leverage Strict Orders to get around the suppression issues Phase Is often have. The DC-15s here allow you to save some of those precious surges for defense.
Phase Is have had a bit of a rocky history over the course of their existence in Legion, but they’re in a decent spot right now with a lot of different options on how to kit them out. I’ll be playing them (probably) at Adepticon… I randomized my faction and got GAR. I’ll say one thing for them; they are really fun to paint.
For the Republic!