In this unit guide, we’ll take a look at the Galactic Republic Fluttercraft for Star Wars: Legion.
“What if a helicopter shot out of its butt?”
This is where I imagined the sales pitch usually started for Appazanna Engineering Works™ when trying to land a sale of the Raddaugh Gnasp Fluttercraft to a small-town (tree) Chieftain known as Graysharwaroo. I picture the sales rep as a late-middle aged but handsome Wookiee, a retired Army officer who has a way with words (growls?) wearing aviators and a formal suit (sash). He normally speaks a more erudite form of Shyriiwook but he chooses now to use a more local accent while speaking to the local leader, who has final say on the tree’s budget allocation. “You can use this bad boy to patrol the streets (branches) from the safety of the air and the pilot ain’t even got to spend any time aimin’! Just fly past ’em and let yer best shooters take care of business. Heck G-Wook, I heard about how well you can shoot if it was you up there I’d bet you’d only need one ‘and, well…then I’d be in trouble HEH HEH HEH!” Everyone laughed as the waiter brought another round of drinks, and Graysharwaroo was quite pleased at the complement. He bought 20 units that night, to patrol a tree of 500 Wookiees.
Well, I suppose two paragraphs into my second article is as good a place as any to start talking about the actual game of Legion. Shortly after I signed on Timbo and I were discussing that Republic had two new vehicles to write unit guides for. We decided to split them up, and I called dibs on this thing as fast as possible, which I think only one of us regrets (and it ain’t me). Why mess around with an overpriced Roomba on ice skates when you can talk about the unit that easily has the most dynamic movement in the entire game? Sure it takes some prep work but once you’ve taken a sec to think about it the Radnaugh Gnasp Fluttercraft is an extremely fun vehicle to play, and is easily competitive enough to win…at the local level at least. I’ve played a few games with both varieties and have spent some time in the “lab” checking out some shorthand distances to know, which will hopefully help you along your own fluttery journey.
As a bonus, the model itself is amazing and allows you to get a lot of basing in just like the T-47. Readers with young children could even build it with them, then let them play with it like a regular toy. When it inevitably breaks after 30 seconds it will bestow upon them an important life lesson about the fragility of the things we love.
- With Reposition, a large base, and Speeder 2, can get from point A to point B with ease
- Is tall enough to see just about everyone
- Both variants are a reliable way to kill units that are separated from the rest, and the Gunner is the best fire support platform under 100 points
- Ain’t exactly competing with rock stars in the GAR support slot
- 6 wounds with Rebel (yuck) saves and a resilience of 3
- Is tall enough to be seen by just about everyone AND their mama
- The Bowcaster has to show its Forest Moon in order to shoot AND the Bomber can be difficult to line up the right attacks
- Both really want face-ups, which for vehicles are in short supply in this faction
Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not going to pretend that there’s a real use for a naked or jammer-only Fluttercraft when the BARC is the same cost. We’re going to cover the Crew upgrades (the “Gunner” and the “Bomber” for short) as if they were two different vehicles, because they are in every respect except for two things. The first is HOW they move. Pretty much everyone by now is familiar with the speed (unmatched) and relative freedom of the T-47 but the Fluttercraft is nearly as fast and FAR more maneuverable. The addition of 90 degrees of rotation to the beginning or end of every move is a literal game-changer. If you wanna be “there” the Gnasp can nearly always get you there. Whether or not you’re still there the next turn…well, that gets to the other thing they share.
Only as fast as an X-34, but it clearing height 2 and reposition go a long way….by the way: ugh, Reckless trucks, gross
This vehicle is arguably the flimsiest in the entire game. While it’s true that that in an open field it would be expected to outlive a speeder bike pair against the same shooting pools, bikes can do one thing that the Fluttercraft cannot…hide behind a building or a large rock. Sure it’s technically possible but good luck finding real life tables with terrain that will even give you a chance at that. For this reason, the placement and general staging area for your Fluttercraft should usually be your strong flank (aka, the edge where your best shooters are) as this will create situations where the enemy might have to expose themselves to get within range, which your good shooters can punish. As we get into the separate Crew slots, we’ll need to keep their shared fragility in mind; the Gunner needs to work hard to make attacks that don’t expose it more than necessary and the Bomber needs to pick its moment to dive in carefully. Both also depend quite a bit on order control, an unfortunate consequence with only a few answers (see the lists in the bottom for a couple).
Welp, the dice pool is pretty good and those last two keywords are great! But there’s that one thing…
Here’s where I wish this game had an option for 180⁰ firing arcs. I realize it would have meant printing a different base but I think it would have made a substantial difference for guns that can rotate a bit but not all the way such as this, the ISP, the LAAT…hey wait a minute what’s up with this Grand Army of Glaucoma?! Don’t worry though folks, I’m saving the Canon Accuracy of the Republic for my last faction, which gives me plenty of time to find a comic that reference’s Jango Fett’s performance on a Snellen chart.
Anyway, while you may occasionally dive for a stray strike team on Disarray or some such, the usual name of the game here is KITING. For reasons we’ve already covered, a Fluttercraft Gunner CAN shoot whatever it wants but until the end game it SHOULD focus on targets that are both strategically relevant and at the edge of the enemy army. DO NOT dive in to shoot something juicy if doing so will allow multiple aim shoots with decent dice pools. Most heavy corps are going to easily average one inflicted wound, some like Clone Z6, shores, and T21 will do two. I’m sure I don’t have to do the math for you, if you’re more likely than not to be rolling a vehicle damage dice after two shots then you’re probably in the wrong place. Diving late game or when you’re about to die anyway is certainly a valid strategy, but that should almost never be your starting point.
Generally, you will find yourself doing 1 turn circles (usually more like freaky circles) or figure 8’s that take place over two turns. This takes some getting used to as there are a lot of variables at play. You want open shots, at the maximum feasible range, on units that matter, which have a face-up corps within range 3, and at a firing position that won’t leave you hanging. For this reason I will say that your default choice should usually be to Move, Shoot, Move. An aim will leave you cold if it means you die or sacrifice a nice open shot next turn; a dodge will leave you chilled to the bone compared to diminishing or negating enemy shots by getting some distance from them.
A quick note on how the Gunner should time its compulsory: use it in the way that will allow you to escape threats most efficiently. If you’re starting close-ish to the enemy it may be worth it to take a small move, then turn, then book it out of there with a compulsory. Remember, you want to shoot at the edge of range if you can then book it away from potential threats. Let’s get into a couple specific ways to fly this thing.
“The 360 Bow-Scope” and the “Lazy 8”
This is the simplest maneuver to grasp and the one that requires the most setup (could often be a turn 1 triple move to do so) if you want to do it totally perfectly. The idea is to start and finish outside shooting range of the opponent (Bow-Scope) or to sacrifice distance for angles or a different target next turn (Lazy 8, thanks to my little brother Greg “Pilot” Paul for the tip on what this is called in real life). If you don’t get perfect angles they may be able to jump out and get you, but this is why we mentioned the strong flank earlier: if your opponent is too aggressive then your own guns can make them pay for every inch.
“The Flutter Wave”
Named after a relatively common but notoriously difficult to (medically) treat arrhythmia, this follows the same general principals as our first maneuver but allows us to close more distance and potentially get better angles in exchange for less wiggle-room in our final position. You can do this maneuver as a “Lazy 8” as well but no matter which direction you use for your last movement you have to remember to go the distance that both leaves you safe and (if relevant) close enough to your commander and any fire supporting units to do what they need to do.
Beta blocker’s often won’t even touch this, a simple DC cardioversion usually does the trick though and if it doesn’t keep refer to EP for an ablation
Gunner: Comms Slot
Honestly? I think the right choice is usually nothing, clone lists these days (pours whiskey while staring into the distance) don’t usually have 5 points to spend on what amounts to 2-3 tokens but if you have a Generic Commander->Comm relay scheme it would certainly make a lot of sense. None of the others are worth it in my book, including HQ because while order control is lovely it’s usually not an amazing choice to recover when you need to keep moving.
If nothing else I consider the Bomber to be the most unique unit in the game. Overrun attacks are not ranged or melee, they are a completely new form of throwing dice at a specific enemy unit. You can sort of think of it as a melee vehicle with relentless if they could stop and attack in the middle of a larger movement. Please refer to our Quick Guide for the full details but the important stuff is that Overrun attack attacks…
- MUST target ONE enemy unit that the vehicle overlapped at some point during a movement
- CAN target engaged units
- CAN be done multiple times per turn even against the same target, up to the Overrun “X” number of times to be exact…however, only one Overrun attack can happen per movement so the Bomber must overlap enemies on two different moves to do two attacks
- Since they aren’t ranged attacks there is no cover, no fire support, and no suppression unless the weapon is suppressive
Long story short, the Bomber can either rain a surging and suppressive but non-pierce/impact Darth Maul saber on a single unit or cause chaos to an enemy blob. Like the Gunner it can be useful to dive on enemy units that are hiding separately from the rest of their army, but otherwise you’ll ideally keep it towards the back of your strong flank until you see the best chance to do a move->move->compulsory-move overrun (ideally towards the end of the turn). Then, you usually will want to go early with them to do two more attacks OR rely on the fact that the enemy will have bigger fish to fry from the rest of your army than wasting activations killing this thing.
There is a super important thing to be aware of if you’re considering using this vehicle: the way displacement rules apply to repulsor vehicles with compulsory moves. You will ONLY displace non-engaged regular trooper minis and even then can only do so at the end of your compulsory move. While the reposition allows you to plan that compulsory move better than any other vehicle, you still need to plan the hell out of it. Generally you can follow these guidelines:
A. If you are able to displace someone worth attacking by starting with a compulsory move then you should usually do so
B. If you are not, then you should save the compulsory move for last to allow you the chance for attacking from far away
C. Remember that you can never displace in the middle of an activation, it either has to be the first full movement you do or your last
It’s important to know the basic distance your base will go, especially when you’re playing Key Positions and are gunning for a late game upset with a displacement.
“The Kachirho Drift”
The above pre-supposes you began with a compulsory move and the opponent displaced behind you. As long as terrain and other troopers aren’t causing you extra grief (granted, they often will) you can make up for going too fast and allowing your target to displace behind you to try and hide. Thanks to reposition, however, there’s no escape!
Bomber: Comms Slot
If you’re going to be diving face first into the enemy as a prerequisite for doing any damage then it only make sense to take the jammer. As is usually the case, hacked comms unit would be good too but you cause far more disruption by just preventing face-ups. What’s more, the so-so dice pool of the bomber means that it’s NORMALLY not much of a threat to droid players, but forcing several AI attacks on, say, the final turn could be a game-winner.
Guns, Lots of Guns
Two commanders and a relay on the DC-15, which allows fives and your two Z6’s to be available to lend fire support when needed. You could also easily downgrade one naked DC15 to a Z6 to get another LTA in there, you should be able to get an order on each Fluttercraft on every turn except Attack of the Clones and Air Support
Doomed Marriage: Bomber Edition
Anakin has been my man lately, replacing my former relationship with Obi Wan (more on this tale in a few weeks) and this is a variation on the list I’ve been running with him lately. The Bomber here often won’t have a face up so you have to be kinda careful with the timing, ideally waiting to engage until the wookiees do.
The Battle of Kashyyk
A very fun list that gives you a little of A and a little of B, feels thematic, still have a basic 4 dice fire support option each turn.
I’ll be real: I don’t think it’s very likely that either of these are going to show up at a final table at a convention-level event. I do think that both crew options are 5 points too expensive, but clones have small cost issues in other areas (all the corps & heavies are too pricey with the new rules, don’t @ me) that if adjusted could make up for it. However, since I think they’re poor candidates for spamming anyway, either unit can easily be “splashed” (see the Anakin list) into something that doesn’t really depend on its efficacy to win games. Of the two, I currently have more faith in the Gunner because of its ability to kite the enemy while still contributing to offense but a jammer Bomber can cause a lot of mischief that would allow it to pull its own weight even if it doesn’t kill a lot of minis.
More than anything I hope that those of you who own some GAR minis will consider grabbing one to put it on the table and give it a shot. Playing with one of these is the closest Legion has gotten to arc-dodging in X-Wing or flanking a big ship with a Corvette in Armada, a rare treat in a game that is mostly about hiding and scooching. I cannot stress enough how rewarding it is to pull off cool plays with this unique vehicle, just don’t be too sad if it ends up as kindling by the end of turn 3.
ADDENDUM: Oh My God, Just Magnetize Them!
Ok, it’s been almost two years since this posted, but with the new Battle Force, Fluttercrafts are better than ever! But on podcasts and around town I hear the same thing. “Gosh they’re so spindly!!! I can’t take them to a tournament!”
WRONG! MAGNETIZE! HERE’S WHAT TO DO!
- Buy magnets
- After the propellers have been assembled, CUT OFF the little nubbin on the bottom that’s supposed to fit into the slot on top of the body. ADD A MAGNET
- After the body is contructed, ADD A MAGNET TO THE TOP, then, you guessed it, ADD A MAGNET TO THE BOTTOM WHERE THE BODY FITS ONTO THE PLASTIC STAND
- Glue the plastic stand to the base, then…PUT A MAGNET ON IT.
Check out my store champs winning army below. All three of those bad boys are double magnetized (propellers-body and stand-body) and they got around fine, it also allowed me do sweet rotations with em during the game. It takes five minutes, I’m tellin ya…DO IT!