Rebel Veterans are here soonish, and we got our long awaited preview of their heavy weapon upgrade and the Mk-2 Medium Blaster emplacement.
A unit article! Sort of. I am going to try and get back to these now that tourney season is over. At least for like, a few weeks. I am presently working on a properly long article on my favorite crit lizard.
I’m not going to go overly deep into tactics, though I’ll make some suggestions below. This is a quick and dirty article, so we are going to focus on the unit card and some efficiency analysis on the weapons.
48 points. A little pricey for four dudes with white/surge saves, but not terrible.
1 health, white/surge defense die. What did you expect, red dice? At least they look like they wear more padding than your standard Rebel Troopers. Hey, it’s cold on Hoth.
Coordinate: Emplacement Trooper. Well this is pretty nifty, but how often are you really wanting to give orders to corps units? I sort of feel like Rebel Veterans are Tom from Office Space. Why can’t the commanders just give the orders directly to the emplacements? I’M A PEOPLE PERSON DAMMIT!
Defend 1. That’s kind of neat. Free tokens are good. Free tokens before the turn starts are better. You have to give them an order though, which isn’t ideal.
A-280 Blaster Rifle. 1 black dice, surge/hit. A Rebel corps with surge hit! You read that right. This is why these dudes are so expensive.
Unarmed. 1 black dice, surge/hit. Not terrible. You don’t want them here but they hit marginally harder than Rebel Troopers if they find themselves trying not to get murdered by Luke or Vader.
Heavy, personnel, training, gear, grenade slots. The standard corps fare, plus a training slot. That’s kind of interesting, though I can’t think what training upgrade I would give them, at present.
CM/0-93 Heavy Weapon Upgrade
Four white dice for 31 points… not gonna lie, that’s kind of uninspiring, given it is the same range as the Z-6 and on an equally squishy platform. Critical 2 is nice, but mostly redundant on a unit that already surges to hit. When equipped on the Veterans they come to 79 points, or 17 more points than a Z-6. Is it that much better? We’ll take a look below. Unfortunately this doesn’t really offer anything qualitatively different than a Z-6 (critical is just a way to tweak the dice) so we can do an apples to apples comparison.
Let’s hit the emplacement and then look at them together with the CM-93 upgrade.
Mark II Medium Blaster
38 points. Cheap. No complaints. They are a corps slot, which is worth pointing out. I don’t think you want more than 1-2 of these, as they aren’t terribly durable or flexible.
3 health, white/surge defense die. Squishy. Keep in mind it is one model, also. You can’t use cohesion tricks to swing dudes behind barricades to give them cover. Single base minis (especially larger ones) are easier to flank.
Detachment: Rebel Veterans. You can’t take them without taking a Veteran unit. Sad face.
Fire Support. Add their weapon to another attack pool. This is the Mk2’s money keyword. More on this later. Note it is just the weapon dice and keywords, not the unit, so you can’t add surge/hit to a pool that doesn’t already have it (though adding Critical 2 is almost as good).
Fully Pivot, Reposition. Handy given the main weapon is fixed front and emplacements can’t reverse. Unlike the E-web they don’t have plodding, so they can double move.
Sentinel. Standby range 1-3. Not terrible. Snipers are a thing though.
Mk2 Blaster: four black/surge dice, critical 2. Critical is mostly wasted on a unit that already surges to hit* but this would be great added to a pool that doesn’t, say… a Z-6, or pools with other keywords like Sharpshooter or Pierce.
I do love looking at points efficiencies, so I ran a bunch of stuff (including Fire Support pools) through the sim to see what it looks like. Take a gander at the table below and we’ll hit some commentary. For the Z-6/Mk2 Fire support pools I basically just assumed you were taking a naked vet squad to access the Mk2, so the point total is just a Z-6 plus the Mk2 plus 8 (the cost of vets over naked Rebel Troopers). That’s probably a little charitable, because naked-anything isn’t very useful. Well, actually lots of naked things are useful. Not corps units though.
The Z-6 and CM-93 pools always include the dice of their squad mates (no extra trooper upgrade). “c2” is Cover 2 and “FS” is Fire Support (combined pool).
That might be sort of hard to read on your phone, so I’ll break it down below. It is color scaled: blue/green is good and red/yellow is bad. The table is sorted by net hits per point.
A Z-6 plus Mk2 Fire Support pool is pretty terrifying. You are approaching 7 hits without an aim, which is going to put a Death Trooper level of hurt on something. If you run them with Leia you can use No Time for Sorrows to give the Mk2 an order (or relay it to them) and set up a surprise Fire Support shot.
The CM-93 plus Mk2 Fire Support pool is not quite as good, either on a per point basis or in straight up hits. You are rolling two less dice and your critical surge conversions are mostly wasted. You don’t want to Fire Support a CM-93 if you have a Z-6 around instead.
In general, the CM-93 is not very impressive. It is less efficient than a Z-6 against targets in the open, and the same against targets in cover. It brings your floor up just a little, but is that really worth a 17 point premium, given the unit isn’t any more durable? Maybe. I think I’ll just embrace the Z-6 chaos.
The naked Veterans are actually more efficient than the CM-93 equipped ones, which is extremely odd. The CM-93 is the only heavy weapon that actually makes the base unit less efficient when added to it (yes that includes the HH-12 and MPL-Ion)
Z-6 versus CM-93
Here is the hit chance of a Z-6 versus an CM-93, in raw terms. The percentages are cumulative; for example, a Rebel Trooper unit with a Z-6 has a 75% chance to get at least 3 hits/crits.
It is better… but is it 17 points better?
For fun, here is the hit chance of the Z-6 plus Mk2 Fire Support pool. Again, percentages are cumulative.
Well, that hits like a truck. Or a bus. A large, heavy, painful object. You have a 78% chance to get at least 6 hits/crits.
Other fun Fire Support combinations: Sniper teams, Chewie, Leia, Han. Brains and Brawn. That last one is pretty hard to set up but hilarious if you can manage it. Don’t forget you’ll need a face-up order token for Fire Support, so some of those combos require an uplink (either directly on the Mk2 or via a Veteran comms tech).
The Mark II looks pretty interesting, if you can keep it alive. Fire Support is a very powerful keyword. The Vets themselves feel like a tax, though, something you would run just to get a Mark II. Maybe that’s fine, if Fire Support turns out to be really good, but the CM/0-93 itself feels like a pretty lackluster upgrade. I wish I could just buy them a Z-6.
If you like running a naked Rebel Trooper unit for objective duty, I could see running a naked Veteran Squad or just with a comms tech and uplink, which comes out to 76 points for five black/surge dice. They are pricey janitors, but not terrible if the Mark II turns out to be any good. Plus they look cool. And by cool I mean warm.
About that Critical X
*Critical X is mostly wasted on surge/hit pools, because you are generally still rolling enough hits for them to be cancelled by cover/dodge/whatever. For example, suppose you are shooting a unit in heavy cover and you score two hits and two surge/crits. Your net result is two saves rolled. Conversely, if you had just scored four hits and no crits, your net result would be the same (two saves rolled). It brings your floor up a tad, but that’s it. The Vet + CM-93 pool nets at least two regular hits (not crits or surges) 67% of the time, which means the entirety of your Critical 2 is wasted against heavy cover more than 2/3 of the time. Against armor or high levels of Guardian (Chewie or Esteemed Leader) is where it starts to actually make more of a difference.