This article is a unit guide for both the Pyke Syndicate Capo and Pyke Syndicate Foot Soldiers in the game Star Wars Legion.
The Pyke Syndicate runs the largest spice racket in the galaxy. Because of their intergalactic presence the Pyke Syndicate requires a trained militia to both protect and enforce their rule on the black market. In Star Wars legion the Pykes are guns for hire which can ally with any faction in the game… for the right price. This article will give a summary of the two Pyke units and explain how you can play them on the tabletop. Enjoy!
- Playable in all factions
- Difficult to kill
- Strong firepower
- Vulnerable to High Velocity and Blast/Sharpshooter
- No support Personnel upgrades
Pykes are 44 points for the base unit and are 86 points in their most popular configuration (Pyke Syndicate Capo + P13-M Disruptor Soldier). This puts them on the more expensive end for a corps unit. For context a Shoretrooper with the T-21B is 84 points. They typically fill the role of elite core unit being both offensively and defensively effective in combat.
Pyke Syndicate Foot Soldiers have four different weapons available to them. Below you can find a breakdown of the average results of each weapon profile, but I am going to focus on the average damage of two popular loadouts. The most popular loadout is the Foot Soldiers unit with the Capo and P13-M upgrades. With this loadout the unit averages ~4.9 hits at range 3 unaimed. This means you can reasonably expect to push 3 hits through heavy cover even without an aim. 4.9 average is one of the highest average attacks out of all range 3 core units. For context 6 model Shoretroopers and 6 model Phase II Clone Troopers with the Z6 average approximately ~4.7 hits while costing 8-14 more points than the Foot Soldiers. The other popular loadout for Pykes is a unit with the Electro-Whip Soldier. This unit averages 3.5 hits in melee and has Immobilize. The Electro-Whip can be a good hedge against aggressive enemy units slowing them down with Immobilize 1. Overall, the Pyke Syndicate Foot Soldiers are highly effective offensively considering their cost.
|Name||Range||Avg Hits||Avg Hits With Surges||Keywords|
|Stun Baton||Melee||0.5 (Per Mini)||0.75 (Per Mini)|
|P13 Long Blaster||1-3||0.5 (Per Mini)||0.625 (Per Mini)|
|P13-M Disruptor Soldier||1-4||1.75||2.125||Impact 1|
|Electro-Whip Soldier||Melee/1||1.5||1.75||Immobilize 1, Suppressive|
Foot Soldiers are quite difficult to kill despite having white saves. It is more difficult to quantify the defensive profile of Pykes with effective wounds since they have both dodges and Danger Sense. In short they are extremely resilient to small attack dice pools since they can use dodges to avoid the few critical hits that get through cover. Then once the dodges have been exhausted, they have Danger Sense 2 to raise the chance of blocking. They are however very dependent on heavy cover to shore up their defense. That being said the Pykes are one of the most resilient corps units in the game when they are defending against chip damage.
Because Pykes have limited Personnel upgrade options they do not have as much potential for utility or support roles. They are only useful in combat and do not provide other support to the army.
Pykes have average trooper mobility with speed 2 and no additional mobility keywords.
Pyke Syndicate Foot Soldiers are playable in all 4 factions under the Mercenary rules and in the Shadow Collective Battle Force. You can field up to 6 Pyke Foot Soldiers in the Shadow Collective while you are limited by the Mercenary rules in all other factions.
Pyke Syndicate Capo
I also want to touch on the Pyke Syndicate Capo commander briefly since they are integral to the playstyle of Pyke Syndicate Foot Soldiers. The Capo is 48 points and has the keyword Aid. Aid makes it so the Capo can give any tokens it gains to friendly Pyke units at range 1. This ability is amazing for supporting Foot Soldiers. The Capo increases both the offensive and defensive capabilities of Foot Soldiers handing out both dodges and aims with Aid. The Capo also provides an important courage bubble for Foot Soldiers to overcome the drawbacks of Self-Preservation.
The Electro-Whip Soldier is the cheapest heavy upgrade option at only 10 points. This weapon is usable in melee and at range 1 and has the keywords Immobilize 1 and Suppressive. This heavy weapon is a solid option if you are wanting to save points but gives a unit of Foot Soldiers some more utility against aggressive enemy threats.
P13-M Disruptor Soldier
The P13-M Disruptor is the most popular heavy weapon upgrade option. The weapon is range 1 to 4 and has Impact 1. This gun is excellent for a variety of reasons. First, it can be used for long range chip damage and Impact 1 gives it some utility against armored enemy units. Once you close to range 3 the Disruptor makes the Foot Soldier’s attack pool hit quite hard. Overall, a well-balanced and solid heavy weapon option.
Pyke Syndicate Capo
The Capo is the most expensive Personnel upgrade for the Pykes at 18 points but increases the courage of Foot Soldiers by one and gives the unit Independent: Surge 1. This upgrade is amazing since it basically negates the drawback of Self-Preservation by giving native courage 2. Also, the surge augments the unit’s offensive abilities by adding roughly an extra hit to range 3 attacks.
Pyke Syndicate Foot Soldier
The Pyke Syndicate Foot Soldier adds an additional mini and gives the unit Cache: Aim 1. Considering this upgrade costs only 9 points it is an amazing value. The main drawback of the card is Self-Preservation which means the unit will struggle with suppression management. If you have Compel and a Pyke Capo unit in your army the Foot Soldier upgrade can be a great budget option.
Pykes rely heavily on dodges for defense. Prepared Supplies gives the Pykes an extra dodge they can use at any time. This is an expensive but great effect.
Recon Intel is only 2 points and gives a unit scout 1. This upgrade provides extra positional advantage during deployment for only a few points.
Because they rely so heavily on cover you can justify Smoke Grenades, as a one of or two of in your army. This upgrade can help give your Foot Soldiers cover when they need to cross an open part of the table.
How to Play
Pykes are deadly at range 3 and can shrug off chip damage when in cover. Typically, when playing them you need to manage two things. You need to make sure they are in cover and have proper dodge support. Cover is often table dependent, but Foot Soldiers die quickly when caught out in the open. They rely on cover to block the first few hits and get full value out of dodges. Pykes are still just white save units and will perish to large attack dice pools. Dodge support is usually managed by Pyke Capo units providing the Foot Soldiers with extra dodges from Aid. I will often focus most of my dodges on my most exposed Foot Soldier unit then rotate that unit out once its dodges have been spent. The ability to choose which unit receives the dodges from Aid can be a game changer. For example, you may have a Foot Soldier unit with a box from recover the supplies that needs to survive and escape to safety. Each Capo unit in your army can feed two dodges to that unit between Independent: Dodge 1 and simply taking the dodge action. Similarly, you can keep a one model unit alive on a scoring turn by pumping multiple dodges into it with your Capos.
The main weakness of Pykes is their reliance on dodges making them reliant on cover and extremely vulnerable to high velocity. Snipers in particular can chip away at Foot Soldier units quite easily killing valuable models. When playing against snipers it is more important to close the gap and bring the fight to range 3 where your Pykes will excel. On the approach do your best to stay out of line of sight of the snipers. Once you are at range 3 and in cover there are not many units that can trade well against them. Foot Soldiers also struggle against Dark Troopers. Dark Troopers have full Armor and Blast. While the Disruptor has Impact 1 the Foot Soldiers rely on large hit counts to do damage. Armor completely blocks these hits. Then the combination of Blast and a large dice pool removes cover from Pykes and destroys the white save unit. When playing against Dark Troopers you need to do everything you can to stay out of their range 2 Blast attack.
There are many ways to loadout the Pykes but here I am going to focus on the two most popular ways to play them. You can also play Foot Soldiers with no upgrades as activation fodder.
Cheap Whip Unit
The cheapest option beside running the Pykes with no upgrades is the Electro-Whip Soldier. This unit is a great “flex” unit and can also be spammed at only 54 points. Multiple Electro-Whip Soldiers can stop aggressive enemy units in their tracks. The main drawback of this unit is its reliance on range 1 for full effectiveness. At only 54 points the unit is flexible enough to justify its inclusion. 5 black dice at range 3 is also not the worst attack profile.
Elite Capo Disruptor Unit
The most common loadout for Pykes is the Capo and P13-M Disruptor. This loadout fixes the courage issue from Self-Preservation and gives the unit a devastating 8 dice range 3 attack. The Capo+Disruptor can out trade virtually any other corps unit at range 3. While this unit has a high price tag at 86 points it is great in combat and objective play.
Pykes can be run in all 4 factions so this is in no way an exhaustive list of how you can play them. Here are some of my favorite ways to play them in competitive lists.
Shadow Collective Double Bounty
The one place you can fully spam Pykes is in the Shadow Collective. You can pair the Foot Soldiers with a variety of units in the Shadow Collective but I find they lend themselves well to the gunline strategy of double bounty. This army uses Bossk to overcome the weakness of having no real long range threats in Shadow Collective, and Cad Bane for objective play. The Pykes function as a deadly gunline which can shred most threats at range 3. While your opponent is struggling to deal with the Pykes you are free to flank with Cad Bane and pressure bounty safely with Bossk. This army is the most on theme scum army in my opinion combining bounty hunters and the Pyke Syndicate.
Shadow Collective Maul Pykes
This army was extremely dominant when the Shadow Collective was first released. Since then, there have been a variety of nerfs to both Maul and the Pykes but the army is still competitively viable just in a more balanced state. This army is your classic force user + gunline list. Maul plays objectives or dives into the enemy army taking the attention off the gunline. The main drawback of this army is its lack of long-range firepower. You need to close the gap to range 3 quickly so you are not killed by long range attrition.
Cassian Boba Pykes
The Rebels are also a faction that relies heavily on dodges, so they pair quite nicely with the Pykes. Currently Cassian is essentially an auto-take for competitive Rebel armies. This army uses Cassian for long range dominance then backs it up with Boba, K-2SO, and a gunline. The Pykes are harder to kill than other rebel core units and pack a punch. They give the army some extra health to push objectives and hold important areas.
Anakin Padmé Pykes
The Pykes have some surprisingly good synergies with Anakin. Ploy is a way to get around Anakin’s flaw card, and Exemplar gives the Foot Soldiers even more dodges to use. This army leverages token sharing to further augment the Pykes’ effectiveness.
Overall, the Pykes are an awesome and flavorful unit in Legion. They bring the seedy underbelly of Star Wars to the Legion tabletop. I hope this article encouraged you to get Pykes off their sprue and onto the table!