Updated: Jun 22
I love what AMG did with B1s in this game. Instead of making them super weak they put 3 on a base to evoke swarms of them on the field. It’s good to have these iconic units contribute meaningfully and feel like they are more than just fodder or filler.
B1 Battle Droids are available in the Shatterpoint core box.
B1s come in at just 3PC, the lowest cost we’ve seen yet for a support. Currently this means they’ll fit in best with either a 7SP primary (who has to take a 3PC support currently) or an 8SP primary with a 5PC support (Kalani).
As is the norm, B1s come with as a two character unit, which helps their output and presence in the objective game. I don’t really know where to put this, but B1s come on the larger, 50mm base. This means they can move faster than units on a 40mm base and body block more effectively, but also some of the core set terrain doesn’t have space where they can fit. Since a lot of people will probably be using core set terrain for a while, this could be an issue. As more custom terrain is made and used it should be less of an issue. When making terrain, please make sure 50mm bases can fit!
B1s have 10 stamina, which is pretty high for a support. Of course they have terrible defense, so this is a great example of quantity over quality. Very thematic!
Combat AI Protocols is like a reaction, but isn’t. By being an innate ability instead it will never cost force, even when B1s are wounded/injured. It functions a bit like clones’ Coordinated Fire abilities but with both more options and limitations. Having an enemy at range 4 of both B1s is harder than it sounds, but still very doable. Strain and expose are two great conditions, and the choice between them depending on the situation is pretty sweet. Note that this works on B1s themselves, but it doesn’t trigger until after the combat action is complete, meaning both characters have attacked. This means you can’t put the expose on between their two attacks. You can toss a strain on prior to an enemy using many reactions though. Worried about a force user using Deflect against you? They’ll think twice about giving you two damage if they take three.
Well, Guess I’m in Charge Now is kind of whatever. The option for deck manipulation is never a bad thing. We’re still awaiting a forum ruling, but generally it’s believed that you cannot use this ability if you already have something in reserve.
I Hate This Job helps supplement the B1s poor defense. Protection with 9 stamina is a lot to chew through. However, beware of someone shoving the B1s off the objective during an attack, since by the time the damage pool is applied you’ll no longer have Protection.
At range, the expertise chart is not too bad for a 3PC support. In melee or defense it’s absolutely miserable. You’ll want to be contesting objectives to keep Protection on as much as possible.
B1s will average 5 successes prior to defense at range, or 5.6 with 8 dice (from a focus or Kalani). The combat tree isn’t too flashy, but if you can get one attack to spike and get the third spot then then it can snowball a bit with the exposes. Ideally the first B1 gets lucky and puts an expose on, then the second can more easily get 3 successes to reapply it, then you toss a strain on with Combat AI Protocols to finish it all off.
One thing B1s really lack is in-activation movement. Most Separatist synergies provide out of activation movement, but sometimes you really want to move twice in a turn. The reposition at spot 2 on the chart is very helpful for this. Sometimes it may be best to attack a unit with poor defense to have a better chance at the extra move, rather than attacking someone you are trying to wound.
Synergy & Wrap Up
|+ Pros||– Cons|
|Serviceable attack with potential to chain exposes||Poor defense|
|Don’t need force, even when wounded/injured||Reliant on attack results to get two in-activation moves|
I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how effective B1s can be. They aren’t game wreckers by any means but for a 3PC unit I can’t ask for much more. The upside is pretty nice with their volume of attack dice, especially with Kalani around. I would mainly be using them in lists with a couple other battle droids to get lots of use out of Combat A.I. Protocols. Kalani is nice to have around for the potential extra attack dice, and B1s are an OK, but not amazing, target for all the extra attacks Separatists dish out.
If I end up in a situation where I “have to” run B1s because of my primary and secondary choices then I am not feeling bad about that, but in a Separatist list I’m reaching for MagnaGuards first at the same point cost.