Most of the information on Sabine has been out for quite some time, and this week we saw the article which finished off the details we were missing. Also, if you have been following or played in the Invader League, she’s been legal to use and test run. I happened to run her in all of my games, in which I went 2 and 2, and she was a key piece in all of the games even the losses. We’ll go over her from a beginners standpoint, as always, by breaking down her keywords, health pool, courage value, attack and defense, Command Cards and last but not least tactic suggestions. If you never watched Star Wars Rebels, you’re probably like “who the hell is Sabine Wren” and the short term on that is that she’s a Mandalorian Rebel that is an expert when it comes to explosives and funky colored hair. She’s also known for her art skills with paint, which she paints multiple things over the course of the show. I highly recommend Rebels to any Star Wars fan, it was a fantastic series and I actually miss it.
Is she the Rebel version of Boba Fett, you ask? Kind of, but I’d argue that she’s a little different. Boba has more weapon options and range options than Sabine, and more importantly a higher courage value for suppression. Speaking of, Sabine has a healthpool of 5 and a courage value of 2 which is somewhat of a downfall in comparison. In lists without Luke, she’s susceptible to panic if she has 4 suppression on her as opposed to Boba who would just lose an action. She has Jump 2, which allows you to ignore terrain at height 2 or lower and moves speed 3!! She has Gunslinger, which if you remember from Han Solo is the ability to shoot two different opponents when performing a ranged attack. She has Impervious, which allows her to roll extra dice in her defense roll comparable to the amount of pierce your opponents attack has. Last but not least, she has Nimble, which basically allows her to keep her dodge token once she gets one. On offense she surges to crit, which is always nice, while rolling rainbow colored dice, and keep in mind it’s Gunslinger. On defense, she rolls the rare red defense dice for Rebels with surge to block, that damn Mando armor! Now while she does roll 2/3 for saves, don’t rely on them! You can, when needed, but don’t toss her somewhere and be like: She’ll be okay. That might not be the case.
Sabine Wren Upgrades
Electro Grappling Line
This was the final piece of information for Sabine and it was released earlier this week. There had been some question marks about her 2 pip Command Card, see below, but it starts to make more sense. The Grappling Line is very similar to Boba Fetts whipcord, however it’s not in the form of a command card, it exhausts, AND it costs an action. It’s caused quite a bit of questioning of whether it’s worth it, and if you have the extra points I say you toss it on. Even if you don’t use it often, it’s nice to have. Now, if you’re building a list and have 8 points left and it’s either Emergency Stims or this? Take Stims, every time. That said, I don’t think Stims is 100% necessary in CERTAIN list building which I’ll get into in the Final Notes segment.
Personal Combat Shield
Sabine’s Personal Combat Shield, if anything, is a sign of things to come when the Clones and Droids roll out….speaking of rolling out, Rolly Bois!!!!
How it works is that if Sabine is defending, she may use her shield token to add a block to the dice results before she rolls. This is good, because it works against a crit that gets through, unlike a dodge, but it will not work against pierce. I, personally, don’t think it’s worth the 10 points but that’s my opinion. It does however need a recover to bring it back to use, which again ties in with her 2 pip Command Card.
This is the most interesting of the group of upgrades. It’s sort of expensive at 25 points but it gives Sabine Dauntless, which allows her to gain a suppression token if she is suppressed but not panicked to perform a free move action. This is a way to preserve two actions with Sabine, but it goes hand in hand with her courage value of only being two and why I think she needs to be run with Luke or Jyn for their courage 3 bubble. Example: If Sabine doesn’t have Luke/Jyn with her and she has 3 suppression on her, she can gain one to move. Now she’s at panic levels, though. If she has Luke/Jyn, taking that extra suppression isn’t as scary. Now another note is the common issue of misunderstanding what Suppressed really is. It’s not having a suppression token on her, but suppression tokens equal to or above her courage value. It’s a common misconception. Sabine also gains Immune:Pierce in melee, which is a good contingency against Luke/Vader and even Bossk, who has pierce in melee. I think the Darksaber is an auto include for both of it’s added keywords. In my games, I only used Darksaber in one of them, but those added keywords. It sounds crazy, but they’re worth the points.
If you have room for the points the ideal loadout for Sabine is probably: Emergency Stims, Grappling Line, Darksaber which puts her at 163 points total. Some might prefer to put Recon Intel on her and perhaps Tenacity, even though I think Gunslinger Sabine is better than Darksaber Sabine….but still taking the Darksaber for the keywords. I was running Sabine with Recon Intel and Darksaber in the Invader League but that’s ONLY because I was running a Luke/Leia/Sabine list in three of those games and I wanted to get 10 quality activations out of it. Loading her up with more points would have meant that I would need a naked Trooper squad or drop down to 9 activations.
EXPLOSIONS! This is extremely fitting for the explosive loving Sabine. For anyone that plays Imperial Assault, she tosses a grenade in there as well. If there’s something FFG does great, it’s keeping things super thematic which is great. Sabine gains Arm2: Thermal Charge which works just like Saboteurs. The grenade has to land flat on the board and in line of sight in range 1 of Sabine. Unlike Saboteurs, Sabine gains a free speed 1 move to get away from the blast if possible. Right now, it’s not very clear if the free move actually allows you to detonate but that’s how we played it in Invader League. Remember, Detonate can be set off at anytime after any action. Also, from what I understand: when Sabine detonates her thermal charges, you have to detonate both. You can’t choose to detonate one or the other, it’s both or none. So keep that in mind if you’re trying to save them for later.
With two upgrades that exhaust for Sabine it makes sense that her 2 pip command card gives her a free recover. This is also pretty large for if she gets focus fired by your opponent and starts to rack up suppression tokens, which is less than ideal. Now the interesting this is the graffiti token, which has to be in range 1 and in line of sight, while also touching non area terrain. What the Graffiti token does is quite interesting in itself: it allows units in your army roll an extra rally die when in range 1 to 2 and in line of sight of the token, I believe. This could come in handy for units that are suppressed and need to remove a token or two, that extra die is nice to have.
Legacy of Mandalore not only allows you to give an order to Sabine but it allows you to give orders to two trooper units. If those units happen to be a commander, operative or a special forces unit, she gains either an aim token or a dodge token for every one that meets the requirement. She also gains Inspire 1 for the round. Keep in mind, the order on herself DOES count towards her receiving those tokens!
As someone who has run her with both Luke and Leia, I did find myself using this early simply for activation control. I know that may be an odd strategy and maybe not the most optimal use of the card, but I like to have control of who I activate and when, and doing it this way allows me to take all three tokens on Sabine. I specifically put 3 dodges on her in one game to deter a Maximum Firepower shot from Veers. Just an idea!
Sabine is a nice addition to the Rebel side of things and she needs to be used very wisely. Don’t toss her out there with the mindset of “well she saves two thirds of the time, she’ll be okay” because there are flaws to that. First: red dice can and will fail you. Second: She only has a courage value of 2, panics at 4. (unless you bring Luke or Jyn) You’re better to use her as a unit that can play objectives well and like a scalpel not a hammer like Luke. Don’t look at her and think: play super aggressive and delete units. That’s not what she’ll do. She’s better at being maneuvered into wide open gunslinger shots, playing objectives, and using her speed 3 to her advantage positionally. Then the moment your opponent bunches up their army, drop Explosions! on them! Red dice save characters for the Rebel side of things is nice to have and I see Sabine fitting in very well in a lot of Rebel listbuilding. I think she’ll see the table quite often! I guess the interesting thing about Sabine is all the ways you can load her out. If you can afford those stims, do it! Recon Intel, the grappling line, personal combat shield will all be in a battle for each other in her gear slots. I still think you take the Darksaber but don’t use it unless it’s absolutely necessary! It’s there to give you dauntless and immune pierce in melee more so than to make you play aggressive with her. Of course, these are just my opinions! If you want to go slice and dice with the fabled Darksaber, do it!
May the Force be with You!