In this article we’ll take a look at the newly previewed Mandalorian Super Commandos for Shadow Collective.
What is this? They let her come back for another hot take on Shadow Collective units? Why yes, they did indeed! Or they just haven’t noticed that I still have access to the blog. Either way, here I am, and today we’re going to take a first look at the Mandalorian Super Commandos!
I am SUPER excited about Shadow Collective and especially these guys. The Battle Force concept that AMG is bringing to the game is going to open up a lot of doors for those little fringe groups that may or may not be affiliated with the four factions. The possibilities are … more well than you can imagine!
Mandalorian Super Commandos
Jumping right in, we have a card that looks equivalent to the Rebel Mandalorian Resistance at first glance. Unit size is 3, Red saves with Surge/Block. Impervious, Jump 2, Speed-3, plenty of upgrade slots and pretty dangerous at Range 2. They’re even close in point cost!
But then things get different. We’ve got the Shadow Collective affiliation in the corner, and the little tab to the right of it indicating that they’re Mercenaries, and like Maul, there are no factions in the circles indicating that they cannot be hired by any of the factions. Only the Shadow Collective battle force can take them for now. Let’s dig in a bit deeper!
We’re straying from what we know of Mandalorians now. There’s no Nimble! Oh wait! We get Defend! So just by issuing an order, we get a dodge token. We also have Independent: Aim, so if we don’t get issued an order we get an aim token. We can also play Aggression, take one fewer order token and give the Super Commandos an aim (from the command card) and a dodge token from their ability!
We also have a third weapon option at Range 3, increasing their threat range. Not as dangerous as range 2, with double black dice, but nearly so (1 black, 1 white). These ‘mandos come well armed! That also means you can split your fire between two different dice pools. Granted with three models (we’ll get to heavies in a moment) that’s not a lot of dice. There’s also no attack surges, so there’s another difference as well.
Upgrades – Combat Shields and Jetpack Rockets
We also got some equipment options revealed as well. You can really stack the unit pretty well with these.
First up we have Super Commando combat shields. Pretty straightforward, we get two shield tokens, but no Recharge ability. At 10 points that might be a bit steep, especially if taking multiple units. Shield tokens are pretty nice though, because you can use them to pick critical hits and cancel them, allowing your dodges to do their thing. The lack of Recharge on the shields is concerning, but also keeps you from having to worry/struggle with deciding just when would be the best time to use that recover action to get them back.
Next we have Jetpack Rockets. Similar yet different to their Resistance counterparts, we’ve got a range 4 threat now! With a heavy upgrade in place this gives us a one time attack with 4 red dice with both Critical 4 AND Impact 4 and ignores all attempts at cover. For 8 points, it’ll be worth it to make some vehicles keep their distance. (I’m looking at you Spider Droids). The critical is mostly relevant as they don’t normally surge (Blast and Impact 4 are going to maximize your paint against armor and cover, anyway).
Comms Upgrade – Emergency Transponder
A hotly speculated card in the Legion Discord, and wagered on at Canto Bight and back alleys everywhere, the Emergency Transponder was revealed today. I’m not disappointed in the least. At just 4 points, you can grab an aim token, a dodge token or remove a suppression. Granted this can only be used by a unit that is pulling from “the bag” (or your chosen method of random selection) so as a Separatist army or any list with uber order control, you aren’t going to see this much. If you fly by the seat of your pants, like a lot of my lists do, then this can be something you like very much!
Since this upgrade triggers before the Rally step, it can be extremely pivotal in keeping a unit from fleeing the board, or making a difference between just one or two very important actions that activation. I’m liking this quite a bit! Secondly, some vehicles, like my LAAT/le, often do not take advantage of the comms upgrade slot. I was using the Onboard Comms Channel, but have found that after they leave the command range or their transported unit has left, there’s not a lot going on with that upgrade. I could add this upgrade for a mere 1 point difference and get a free aim or dodge token on my LAAT/le at a pivotal moment. Two aims if the Baron is using one of his Recover/Attack turns. I think we’ll see a fair bit of this card being used.
This seems especially interesting on units that have a comms slot but aren’t vehicles (for LTA) and don’t have training slots (for Offensive Push) which would otherwise provide token generation. I’m looking at you, B2 Battle Droids.
Heavy Weapon Upgrades – A Plethora
Wow! Options!! So many options! I fear I’m going to have to run multiple Super Commandos squads just to get a feel for everything going on here. They are a bit pricey, but I feel like anything added to this unit just makes it a bit more solid.
First up is the generic Super Commando. Judging from the name you’d think they were just another generic mini for the squad, but wait, here comes Cache: Surge 2! There’s our missing attack surges!
Next we have the Gunslinger. Remember how I said that Super Commandos are really dangerous at range 2? This mini gives us two extra white dice and Lethal 1… but no Gunslinger (that would be a bit complicated for just one mini to have it, but kinda cool). With that Independent: Aim, it’s a slam dunk for Pierce 1!
The Marksman (without Marksman). This mini makes that range 3 threat a bit more threatening. With an extra red die and Precise 1, that free Aim from Independent will synergize perfectly!
Finally we come to Rook Kast. I’ve been waiting for my girl, y’all. Obviously she’s the leader of the band, but she’s also bringing and extra wound and red attack dice because she’s fierce! We also get Retinue: Maul, and working near him gets her unit a free aim or dodge token. On top of all the other bonus tokens, she’s just bringing a little more.
So on the surface, we are looking at another expensive special forces unit that has too few models to be useful (looking at you ARCs and Mandalorian Resistance). I feel though, that we need to take a look at these units in a different way. They are harassment units, and the Super Commandos are no different. I’ve seen someone who uses units like these to pop in, unleash a volley of fire and then run and find cover before you can ever respond. Having access to a decent Range 3 pool makes a huge difference here. Inspired by this, I’m absolutely going to do the same kind of thing with the Super Commandos. After all, that’s a large part of what the Shadow Collective has going for them, and I intend to see if I can make it work!