Double the Excitement!
Along with the release of the core set, AMG will be dropping two more squad boxes right on launch day. Today we will take a look at the Twice the Pride: Count Dooku Squad Box. This box comes with a Primary of none other than Count Dooku, Secondary Jango Fett, and Supporting Magna Guards. As someone who plays Republic in Legion I had little interest in playing Separatists in Shatterpoint but looking at some of these characters I don’t think I will be able to resist.
For this squad pack one thing is very clear, your opponent will need to make a lot of tough choices. There are so many tools in this pack that allow you to make your opponent second guess attacks or even prevent them from attacking your primaries or secondaries. On top of this there is even the rare potential to wound an enemy right before they activate, potentially giving you a double turn. All these tools will put your opponent on the back foot while you stare across the table with your signature look of superiority.
Count Dooku, Separatist Leader
Right off that bat, Count Dooku feels like the perfect foil to Anakin from the core box. Both have 7SP and 4 force points (but Anakin gets away with 1 extra Stamina). Where Anakin has a lot of aggressive abilities urging him to hit fast and hit often, Dooku gets a lot of reactive abilities to mitigate even the strongest of assaults and hit like a truck when your opponent has committed to the assault. Surely You Can Do Better is a really interesting ability allowing you to spend force points to reduce the number of successes on an incoming attack. Remember success does not directly equate to damage, depending on the combat tree this could prevent more than 3 damage, or prevent a critical condition token from being placed on Dooku, or even prevent your opponent from getting a critical free ability. Twice The Pride, Double The Fall allows Dooku to make a dash and a 5 die melee attack against an opponent who has just attacked him with a melee attack, But this only happens if the opponent rolls no successes. I think this won’t happen all too often but still often enough to instill fear in your opponent and make them think twice. Leader Of The Separatist Army is a normal tactic ability that allows an allied Separatist Alliance unit within range 3 perform a dash (notably this is the whole unit, not just one character). What is interesting about this ability though is that it is on a Primary, so far every other tactic ability has been on a secondary which has the potential to build a squad with 2 tactics abilities which will generate a lot of action economy. Last is Count Dooku’s Identity Ability, Brave, But Foolish. This ability lets you refresh 2 force points and then either dash or make a 5 die attack with a character from an allied Secondary Supporting Unit. Being able to refresh force points will be important to keep points ready for Surely You Can Do Better.
Form II Makashi is another example of Count Dooku acting as a foil to Anakin. In this form Count Dooku has a rather high melee defense of 7 dice but also a defensive expertise that can convert the crits that Anakin relies on to failures. Beyond that this form allows an equally strong melee attack at 7 dice where the expertise converts a large amount of crits. At range 4 Dooku gets access to Force Lightning with 6 attack dice and 5 defense dice with a limited attack expertise chart. The tree itself has a high damage cap, access to great conditions such as exposed and strained, a good amount of shoves, and starts with a good starting node choice that includes a reposition, a very strong opener.
Count Dooku’s other stance is Force Mastery which offers a stronger ranged option with more utility as opposed to raw damage. Dooku’s Defenses go to 6 dice at all ranges and his expertise chart only generates blocks. His melee attack gets weaker but maintains a strong expertise chart while his ranged attack gets stronger in dice and expertise. The combat tree gives players two options, one path to disarm, strain, and expose, or another option to recover, pin, and reposition.
Jango Fett, Bounty Hunter
Jango Fett starts as a fairly normal Secondary unit who costs 4PC, has 0 Force Points, 9 Stamina, and 2 Durability. Notably Jango Fett is also the first Secondary unit that does not have a Tactic ability (because Dooku has it instead). This is likely a thematic nod to him not really being a commander but a bounty hunter and I expect will be how tactic abilities are given out in the future. Another notable thing that is missing from Jango Fett is that he does not have the Mandalorian keyword meaning he will not get any synergies with the core set Mandalorians. Alright, enough about what’s missing, let’s talk about everything else that Jango is packing. Even though he is not a Mandalorian he might feel like one with easy mobility tools such as Jet Pack and My Client Is Getting Impatient. Capture Wire is a great tool in Jango’ Fett’s’s arsenal which allows him to pull an enemy towards him and pin them, making him great for objective control. As a bounty hunter, Jango gets the innate ability I’m Just Looking To Get Paid which will allow you to refresh force points and recover when Jango wounds an enemy Primary or Secondary unit. Not So Fast has potential to be a crazy ability, it lets you roll 5 attack dice and deal 1 damage to an enemy within range 3 for each success and crit (about 50%) but this happens at the start of the enemy units activation. This might require a ruling when it comes out but as I read it this means you can potentially wound an opponent and prevent them from activating, granting you a double turn.
Being the Resourceful Gunslinger that he is, Jango Fett is pretty versatile with his Custom Blaster Pistols. His Ranged (Range 4) and melee profiles are the same at 6 attack dice and 5 defense dice but they differ at the attack expertise charts. At range Jango Fett will generate more crit results from expertise which should allow you to reliably traverse the combat tree. Once you get into melee you won’t generate as many crits or successes but you will generate free damage which is relevant because a bulk of his damage is on the last node of his tree. Jango Fett is also another character who gets a free ability from his combat tree, in this case his Capture Wire.
As a supporting unit the MagnaGuards get more health than the average coming in at 10 Stamina and 2 Durability and are only 3PC which makes them a little awkward to list build with given the units we currently have available. In most media we have seen them in MagnaGuards act as bodyguards and that is exactly what their abilities are tailored to do, it’s even the name of their first innate ability, cleverly named…Bodyguard which allows them to grant Cover to any allied Primary and Secondary Characters within range 2 of them. Their second innate ability, Intercede, allows them to prevent your opponent from attacking your primaries and secondaries but only if the enemy is engaged with you are you are not wounded, look out for your opponent trying to get that first wound on these droids from range. MagnaGuards also have access to Protection Protocols, this ability allows them to advance when one of your separatist primaries takes a move action, meaning they will never be too far from protecting your primary.
The MagnaGuard’s Defensive protocols are simple but effective and exactly what I would want to see on a unit like this. Defensively they are nothing too special having 5 defense dice and a normal defensive expertise chart. While they lack a ranged option their melee profile is pretty strong for a supporting unit. They get 6 attack dice in melee and the expertise chart converts to a lot of crits. On top of this the combat tree starts with 2 shoves right off the bat.
Strike Team Building
With the limited units we have available it’s hard to go too crazy with list building yet but let’s try to get creative.
|Squad A||Squad B|
|Count Dooku, Separatist Leader||Asajj Ventress, Sith Assassin|
|Jango Fett, Bounty Hunter||Kalani, Super Tactical Droid|
|MagnaGuard||B1 Battle Droids|
This is the standard Separatist alliance strike team available at launch and provides the most overlap in Separatist Alliance tags. Aside from having more Separatist Alliance units to use your abilities on or trigger your abilities off of, the MagnaGuard seem to benefit the most here. Kalani will be looking to use Roger, Roger to grant them more mobility and Tactical Network to let them attack and shove more opponents off of objectives. Asajj will also like to have the MagnaGuard nearby as they will allow her to easily slip away without putting your weaker b1s in danger.
Twice The Pride Of Mandalore:
|Squad A||Squad B|
|Count Dooku, Separatist Leader||Lord Maul|
|Jango Fett, Bounty Hunter||Bo-Katan Kryze|
|MagnaGuard||Mandalorian Super Commandos|
This list splits our tag synergies up between Separatists Alliance and Mandalorian. I know Jango Fett does not have the Mandalorian tag but as a Bounty Hunter Jango Fett stands out as a fairly independent unit. Beyond that this list tries to synergize by being annoying to deal with in melee contesting objectives. Bo-Katan will make your Mandalorian Super Commandos hard to kill and the reason we go with the Super Commandos over the Nite Owls is thanks to their ability to punish opponents trying to withdraw from them. Lord Maul is another example of an independent unit but I like the idea of having the MagnaGuard near him. Once you get Maul damaged to the point where he is hitting like a truck, get him close to the MagnaGuards so your opponent will struggle to wound Maul but you can keep him at that high damage for longer.
I am not someone who set out to play Separatist characters when Shatterpoint was first announced but man these spoilers are making me want to collect them as well. So far, AMG has shown that the units for this game will be packed to the brim with theme and I can’t wait to see them all on the table!