Not too long ago Timbo discussed using Chewbacca and Yoda in Grand Army of the Republic lists. This time I’m going to focus on Chewbacca’s use in Rebel lists. He’s had a bit of a glow up since his debut, where he landed with a bit of a resounding “meh” when he launched opposite of Boba Fett as the first Operatives of the game. He had a major rework that retooled some of his abilities to be more powerful, along with some cost cuts, and now he’s a great addition to the roster. Read on for advice on how to use him effectively.
- One of the highest Wound counts in the game
- Can intercept hits for other units
- Versatile, excellent in both Ranged and Melee combat with access to Pierce
- Excellent movement options
- White Save with no surge
- Has mediocre courage until about half health
- Command cards are exceedingly mediocre and require pairing with specific characters for best effect
Be sure to keep your RRG on hand. Chewbacca was reworked a fair bit since launch and so many models will come with out of date cards. I’ll point out these changes where approriate.
90 Points: Despite getting his card reworked he maintained his reduced point cost and for what you’re getting he’s very reasonably priced, easily slotting alongside another leader. He works best in tandem with others so that’s good.
Defense: For once, not white with surge, but worse! White without surge. This might seem a bit strange with Guardian 3 but that isn’t all bad. 9 wounds is a lot to carve through so without sufficient volume of fire he can weather the blows pretty well. Dice can fail you, but no matter how many hits an opponent gets they only have so many shots that can succeed. This doesn’t mean you should be completely careless, so use cover and line of sight to your advantage.
Offense: Chewie is one of the few characters who is adept both at shooting and melee. For shooting he has the excellent Chewbacca’s Bowcaster which a range 3 gun that does 2 Red, 2 White and has Pierce 1 and Impact 1. A nice versatile weapon for taking down enemy troopers and chipping vehicles. For close combat he has Overwhelm a 4 Red Lethal 1 attack making him even better in close combat if you can get there. Previously this attack didn’t have the Lethal keyword, and its addition brings up his value a fair bit.
Courage 2: Standard, low enough you need to be cautious about accumulating suppression if your poor defense wasn’t enough of a reason. Once you take 4 wounds though it becomes (-) and all those problems go away; at 5 health remaining you’re actually in a better place than full health.
Slots: 2 Training and 1 Gear. Training remains one of the best slots in the game, and since Chewie’s initial release a lot of seriously good options have hit the table that grant a lot of customization. We’ll go over what that looks like down below.
Enrage 4: A quirky rule that only kicks in when you take damage. After you’ve taken 4 wounds, just under half your health, Chewie becomes upset and gains Charge and his Courage becomes (-). This means he can’t be suppressed. It’s beneficial to get into this state, as it’s all upsides, but you have to take just the right amount of damage and when you have only 5 wounds with a White defense die (with no save) that’s a very risky place to be.
Guardian 3: When a trooper within range 1 is targeted, you can cancel up to 3 hits and have Chewbacca roll the saves instead. If he fails, he takes the damage. Obviously with a white die with no surges, you will take the hit more times than not (About a 84% chance of failure) but that’s workable.
Chewie has much more health to spare than others and he wants to take a little damage so he can enter his Enrage state. The trick with Enrage is that it requires you to take just enough damage to proc it but not go too far over that you’re at risk of being blown off the board! This helps meter the damage to what you want, when you want it.
Most rebel Heroes are pretty soft, with a white dice with surge and 6 health. While you can technically use this on any trooper unit you’re mostly using this to protect those Heroes from being shot off the board, and Chewbacca can take a few hits that others cannot afford to. Do note that the targeted Hero takes the suppression, not Chewbacca, even if he cancels all of the hits. Chewie’s guardian is particularly good against small pools with Pierce, like snipers.
Scale: Previously Expert Climber this has been errata’d to Scale which is one of the best movement abilities in the game short of Jump. In addition to being able to move up and down terrain without risk of damage to yourself, you also get to ignore difficult terrain for purposes of movement and get a free scale action before or after you move! This allows Chewie to get into places many otherwise can’t and keep him safely protected from too much enemy fire.
If you’re using him as a bodyguard this also does mean you should give that character some Environmental Gear or Ascension Cables so they can keep up, assuming they do not also have Expert Climber or Jump of their own.
Teamwork: Han Solo: As I described last time Han Solo has gotten a lot better than he did at launch, it just took him a little bit longer to get there. As one would expect, these two play off each other very well. For every aim or dodge token either gets, the other gets one as well. If you bring both, they have specialized roles, where Chewbacca is better at hitting one juicy target while Han can take out 2 smaller or weakened ones. So depending on what you need you can have one play support and the other attack. Or if they’re both in a position to attack, do both!
All of Chewbacca’s cards are designed to work in tandem with another hero. Partially a side effect of experimentation with the concept of Operatives in the game it gives him a unique playstyle. The down side is that Chewbacca relies heavily on his pairings to maximize their effectiveness. It also means you’ll likely get one card at best of the three. About the only positive from that is that it does cut down on clutter in your hand if you don’t bring one of those characters. Additionally, there is now a fourth command card with Yoda that is locked behind Republic, which was covered expertly by Timbo but we’re here to focus on the Rebellion.
My second favorite of the bunch, especially since its release Luke has two different variants, both of which work with this. If both have face up order tokens and you activate one, you can then activate the other immediately after. While with commander Luke it was certainly a solid card, you can get a lot of work out of this by waiting for Chewie to get Enraged so both him and Operative Luke can charge in and really ruin someone’s day. The problem of course is that’s a lot of points to spend on two operatives when you factor in you’re going to need a commander as well.
Brains and Brawn
Pairs with Leia and the standout worst of the bunch. If Leia takes a shot, Chewie contributes his Bowcaster to the attack pool on the same target. It’s not…bad exactly, Sharpshooter 2, Pierce 2, Impact 1, 2 Red, 3 Black and 2 White is a pretty great pool; it’s that Leia needs to get uncomfortably close to make use of it due to having a Range 2 pistol. She can do it thanks to Chewie running interference, but it’s just not what you want her to do. She’s meant to hang back with your gunline and delegate orders, not get into point blank firing range.
My favorite card of the bunch and for good reason. There’s a good chance you’re bringing Han to support Chewbacca (or the other way around) and Han has some great cards. Change of Plans and Sorry About the Mess beg to be recycled and used a second time to mess with your opponent. The only problem is to play this out you’re ultimately going to spend half the game setting it up (Using Han’s card, then Notorious Scoundrel and then whip out Han’s card again) so use it early.
Two training slots and a gear slot. Really good for a beat stick like Chewie, you couldn’t really ask for better
This slot got very crowded since release and there are tons of great options that it’s very difficult to pare down. What you take depends on how you hope to use him.
A brand new card that came with the GAR re-release, Protector lets you block Critical Hits with Guardian. This is likely more essential in Rebellion than it is in GAR, due to having so many soft heroes. The rise of Critical Hits in the meta is at times regrettable but we must adapt.
Into the Fray
Another card that came with the GAR re-release but probably more useful for Rebellion. GAR Chewie gets Reliable 2 but Rebel Chewbacca does not. A surge to defense doubles your chances of saving to 33%, putting him on par with other Rebel heroes. If you want a bodyguard in Chewbacca I’d put these together for the best opportunity at soaking up hits.
Duck and Cover
Another defensive choice but a distant 3rd at that. Chewbacca is going to soak up a lot of hits so he likely doesn’t need the extra suppression, as at only Courage 2 before Enrage you’re taking a risk of him bolting. Not what you want in a bodyguard.
Great for a more offensive Chewbacca. If you bring Han, it becomes practically mandatory as it doubles your yield and gives him one as well.
A practical must take, it’s begging for him to use it, especially paired with Offensive Push. 5 red dice, paired with an aim token from Offensive Push to proc Lethal, you are going to rip a unit to shreds!
A good pick because it’s a good pick for just about everyone. Cheap, versatile and good for getting a melee beast like Chewie up faster than usual.
A fun pick on a high wound character, especially one that’s going to get shot at a lot. It only gives him one extra turn at most but if you’re in melee range that might be all you need to rip some arms off before he goes down.
I already discussed a Han and Chewie list last month and I stand by that one so I’m going to pitch something else: Pairing him with Luke. This gets expensive fast due to Luke also being an operative and needing to bring the Rebel Officer to cover the Commander slot but this is a lot of melee damage.
I still bring the Bowcasters on the Wookies because you want those 3 extra ablative wounds and tons of Impact and Pierce to get you through some of the tankier lists out there. Wookies are a bit overplayed at this point, I can respect that but when you got Chewbacca at the helm how can you not have him leading a bunch of his savage brethren to victory?
Chewbacca has come a long way, after a pretty dismal launch where he didn’t see much use he now has an extremely strong Niche as a bodyguard and melee beatstick. In a faction filled with a lot of soft gunner type Heroes he makes an excellent compliment who excels both at shooting from medium range and getting up close in melee to dispatch with problems personally.