Today we are going to take a look at the newly revealed commander for the Shadow Collective, Gar Saxon. We are also going take a quick look at the new pilots revealed for the Shadow Collective.
Gar Saxon is the newest revealed commander for the Shadow Collective. He comes in at a moderate points value of 105 and has plenty of upgrade slots to outfit him how you want to use him.
As a Mandalorian he comes with Speed-3 and Jump 2. This is about as mobile as a trooper unit can be in the game and will allow Gar Saxon to reach basically anywhere on the table he wants.
Gar Saxon comes equipped with two keywords that he will use as a commander, Allies of Convenience and Compel. Allies of Convenience will help him lead the entire Shadow Collective and may help with list building. Compel will help all your units keep on moving, especially for units that focus on mobility, looks at Super Commandos. Compel can help ensure they are where they want to be.
Defensively, Gar Saxon has the fairly standard Mandalorian stat line. Five health, red surging saves and Impervious. This type of defense is quite sturdy, however you do end up living (or dying) by the dice. With only five health, one bad dice roll and Gar Saxon could be removed from the table.
Offensively, Gar Saxon packs quite the assortment of options. He comes with surge to crit which helps him immensely. The weapons on his card are also pretty good. Two red dice in melee is pretty decent in a pinch. He also has a decent four dice pistol at range 2 with Pierce. Gar Saxon will certainly be a threat. His real offensive potential comes from his Armaments and Command Cards.
Gar Saxon comes with three different Armament options. He is able to take a maximum of two Armaments in any given list, meaning you have to leave at least one at home. What you decide to take will largely be determined by what role you want Gar Saxon to play and will of course affect what he is able to do.
Saxon’s Galar-90 Rifle
Gar Saxon’s first weapon option is a single rainbow (RBW), range 1-4 weapon with High Velocity, Lethal 1 and Long Shot 1. This is basically a sniper rifle and can deal some decent plink damage, especially combined with some of his command cards. This gun is 15 points however and I have a feeling that sniping at range just isn’t an effective use of Gar Saxon. With two aim spending keywords (Lethal and Longshot) it is also quite aim hungry.
Saxon’s Z-3X Jetpack Rockets
The next weapon is a Jetpack Rocket. Three red dice with Blast and Impact 2 is pretty decent. The unique thing about this rocket in particular in comparison to other Mandalorian rockets is that this weapon can be used more than once. It only exhausts, meaning it can be recovered, or Cycled as this card also has Cycle. This weapon also comes in at a price of 10 points which I think is well worth it. Also, keep in mind that Gar Saxon has surge to crit. Shooting this weapon at armor reliably forces two saves and has a decent chance of forcing three. Note that unlike Boba, Gar Saxon does not have Arsenal, so he can’t combine this with any of his normal weapons for a larger pool.
Saxon’s ZX Flame Projector
The last armament option is a flamethrower. Flamethrowers are incredibly powerful when used but generally the problem is getting them on target. At only 5 points I think the flamer is a great option for Gar Saxon. The flamer also allows Gar to be more flexible as his other weapons provide low but reliable damage where the Flame Projector can provide quite a bit of oomph when you need to clear a squad out at close range. This card comes with Blast, Spray, and Suppressive and is only a once per battle use. This weapon has the option of being used in melee or at range 1. In melee the Flame Projector is a good option to help get Gar Saxon out of a melee with a squad that just dives at him to hold him up.
Overall Gar brings quite a few options and I can see awesome uses for all of them.
Gar Saxon comes with the standard three command cards. These command cards add some benefit to both Gar and Special Forces units. Looks at Super Commandos.
3-pip Victory or Death!
A 3-pip that gives out 3 orders, good start. The card also gives out aims to units that receive orders from Gar Saxon. Gar himself benefits immensely from this as his weapons like aims, particularly his rifle. The Super Commandos that may or may not be running beside Gar also get an aim when ordered which is good. Remember the Commandos have Defend 1 so they’ll start the turn with an aim, dodge and an order. This card also gives Gar and all Special Forces units Outmaneuver for the turn which pairs well with free dodges.
2-pip Fight Another Day
A 2-pip that gives out 3 orders, pretty great. Also seeing a pattern that Gar might like to run beside two units of Super Commandos.
This card states that you cannot issue orders beyond Range 1 which is pretty limiting. However, when a unit gets an order they also get a dodge token. Paired again with Defend 1 on the Super Commandos, they will start the turn with 2 dodges and also Outmaneuver again from this command card.
1-pip Marked for Elimination
This card feels a lot like a command card that a bounty hunter would use. First off it only orders Gar which is fine. Gar Saxon also gains two aim tokens which is pretty excellent. You also choose an enemy Commander or Operative, anywhere on the board, and they get four observation tokens and two suppression tokens. This card is the one that Gar can use for some splashy damage. If you are running Saxon with his rifle this is the card that will allow the rifle to operate at its best. This card also can be used as a bit of a support card as it throws four observation tokens out which other units can use.
Overall Gar Saxon’s command cards feel fitting for a Mandalorian leader. Cards that help Mandalorians fight at peak efficiency. Also coming with a moderately splashy 1-pip which allows Gar to show off his combat prowess.
Gar Saxon Summary
Gar Saxon feels like a solid mid point commander, able to support his troops and still be an effective fighter. It will be interesting to see the lists people make. Especially interesting will be what weapons are used most often. He has a range of options; you could easily just take him practically naked with just recon intel (for box grabs) to use for his Compel and command cards, or you could kit him out with some of his many weapon options to pack a little more punch. Careful though, he gets pricey rather quickly.
AMG also decided to show off some Heavy Pilots for the Shadow Collective. While we know that the AA5 will be coming to Shadow Collective we don’t know what iteration or if there will be special rules or restrictions. Today we will assume that these pilots will be going onto the AA5 largely as it exists in Rebels right now, and that non-faction specific upgrades will be able to be brought into Shadow Collective.
Raiding Party Leader
A unique pilot that is a Field Commander. This Pilot also has Allies of Convenience which allows it to order other mercenaries. This pilot also adds Demoralize 1 to each friendly whatever symbol that is vehicle. Assuming that Swoop Bikes that AMG have shown us models for share that symbol (note the crossed axes are the ones the swoop bike models have), we could see some lists with quite a lot of Demoralize. While some lists really don’t care about that, others do. It’ll be interesting to see how much of an effect Demoralize can have when that many units can possibly have it.
If nothing else, this pilot is a Field Commander which is important by itself.
This pilot is very interesting. Adding an attack die to ranged attacks, with the color of that die being determined by a dice roll. This pilot is very interesting to the first type of list that I will be trying out in Shadow Collective. Maul, with a bunch of troopers and an AA5 providing backline support. Combined with either gun you can bring on the AA5 this pilot can really help add some oomph to your shooting. Adding a fourth die to the crit gun pool really adds some redundancy to find that one crit you’re looking for; it raises the pool to averaging exactly one crit, instead of under one crit.
With every release of information, the Shadow Collective just gets more and more interesting and many players are eager to get their hands on it all, including myself.