This article is a unit guide to using STAP Riders in Star Wars Legion. Fast and agile vehicles for the Confederacy of Independent Systems, STAP Riders can zip around the field, avoiding enemy fire and hitting objectives before taking off again. STAP Riders can frustrate your opponent and leave them without much of an answer to your plans.
- Incredibly fast and maneuverable
- Has Coordinate with troopers and vehicles, which is most everything in your army
- Difficult to hit after moving (Agile)
- Fragile and will fall apart to focused fire or appropriate counter-play
- No Impact on weapons
- Require careful positioning to maximize Coordinate
75 points: Surprisingly reasonable for their role, and unlike many units they won’t get bogged down in upgrades that balloon the cost a ton beyond this. If you lean in on the strategy that these guys are good at, you will want to run three, but that means it’s only around a quarter of your list, leaving plenty of room left over.
Defense: White with…no surges. No Armor either, but you do get Cover and Agile to offer some protection and deflect a few wounds. That said, weapons with High Velocity and Critical will cut through those very quickly and cause them to break apart fast. You’ll want to slap some surge tokens on them too, if you can.
Offense: Repeating Dual Blaster Cannons: 3 Black Dice at Range 1-3, Critical 1 and Fixed to the front. It’s…solid, especially if you can get your target out of cover, which is much more difficult than it used to be. If you have a Linked Targeting Array (you should) it’s decent damage. The lack of Impact is notable relative to other units in the support slot; if you run STAPs you’ll need a plan for dealing with Armor elsewhere in your list.
Resiliency: – Nada, not surprising, given these guys got 3 wounds anyway. Once they start taking damage they shred apart pretty quickly anyway.
Agile 1: Gain a dodge token whenever making a standard move. Since you’re a speeder, you get a free move at the beginning or end of your turn, so it’s possible to make 3 moves in a turn and make yourself well shielded from most forms of attack.
AI: Move: This can be pretty awkward, even for a unit that wants to be moving, because of the timing. Note your compulsory move doesn’t count for this. Mostly this is going to prevent you from shooting when you want to be shooting. Generally you want to be giving STAPs orders all the time anyway for Linked Targeting Array and order control, so AI should be fairly avoidable.
Coordinate: Droid Trooper, Vehicle: STAPs can pass out orders to anything in your army that isn’t a living being, so it really only excludes most of your commanders and operatives but works with just about everything else. This allows STAPs to pull double duty as “nodes” for your order chaining, to give you a bit more legroom to spread your army out and be able to give orders to those more distant units. Most of the time this is going to mean your STAPs are giving orders to each other.
You’ll still want to keep your B1s tight to each other and not rely on the STAPs to bridge gaps between them, as STAPs tend to either A) outpace the B1s or B) die.
Cover 1: Immediately negate one non-critical hit. A nice little perk when combined with Agile to deflect another hit, though this is offset by how much more difficult it is under the new cover rules for speeders to get cover from terrain (in contrast to troopers which have a much easier time).
Speeder 1: Free compulsory move and fly over terrain of up to height 1. You’re speed 3 so these guys get really zippy. As stated above it’s basically a free dodge token as well.
Only one slot, Comms. Comms is often the most dubious of upgrades, but STAP have quite a few good options. The good news is that overall this keeps the cost really low, letting you focus that energy onto other things.
You’ll want a plan for how to get orders to your STAPs when they are away from the rest of your army, and having an HQ uplink on one is the easiest way to do that. Since they can Coordinate to each other, you don’t need more than one. Just make sure your Uplink STAP doesn’t die.
This is a great effect, but you could be taking Linked Targeting Array for a much more reliably useful effect in free aim tokens.
Long Range Comlink
A cheaper alternative to the HQ Uplink, it basically fulfills the same role but shaves a few points off if you need to make it count. The best use of this is with the Super Tactical Droid’s Direct ability, which allows the SuperTac to Direct to the STAP at unlimited range.
Command Control Array
Extending Coordinate out to range 2 gives you a lot more room to make mistakes and just plain breathe with your STAPs if your strategy heavily relies on them as nodes. It also is super cheap and you’ll basically not even notice its foot print on your list building.
Hacked Comms Unit
Possibly a fun take if you want to engage in some shenanigans. Since STAPs have a lot of movement they can get close to multiple units to try and grab an order off one of them, and then pass an order to another nearby unit. This is difficult to set up compared to a more sure-fire bet though, and you don’t generally want your STAPs close to enemy units.
Unlike Empire Speeder Bikes, STAPs should nearly always have orders, so this is not going to be nearly as useful for you.
Linked Targetting Array
This should be your go to comms upgrade for the rest of your STAPs that aren’t your “chain starter” (the one with Long Range Comms or HQ Uplink). STAPs have a decent attack and free aims make it even better.
It’s been said a few times that STAP riders have two main purposes in your army: to catch exposed units on flanks and to assist in completing objectives. Ideally, they will fulfill both roles. We’ll focus on those points.
STAPs have a respectable attack and can deliver it almost anywhere due to their speed. It is much, much more difficult to catch units out of cover now, even with fast flanking STAPs, but STAPs can still be useful in picking off units on flanks and can still get some out of cover shots, though you have to really work for it much more than previous. Activation control and timing is very important here; hold your STAPs in a safe spot until late, go with all of them back to back to zoom in and hit an out of position target, and then go with them immediately on the following turn to hit that same target again (or something nearby) and zoom away to safety.
Objective Based Play
Or, How to Make People Really Mad in Bombing Run. I want to state upfront that this strategy isn’t quite as easy to do as it was before, but it is quite doable and it’s not the only way to take the most advantage of it.
When STAPs first launched, and Dodge spam was beginning to pick up steam, the STAP was basically the best unit in the game at Bombing Run. While only Troopers can pick up bombs, they aren’t required to be troopers to start the game holding them. Every part of this unit was basically tailor-made to be good at the mission. Speeder 1 meant that they could move 3 times (at speed 3) and skip past many obstacles and units in their way while Agile allows them to grab up to 3 Dodge tokens. With Cover built in, few units really have the tools to shred through 6 wounds, because ultimately you really only need one model to get into the deployment zone and detonate the bomb. You might even be able to detonate on some enemy units in the process.
After Bombing Run, other clear choices where STAPs are helpful are Key Positions and Breakthrough. You’ll need a plan for your fourth objective that probably doesn’t involve the STAPs, like Recover (if you run Cad Bane as well) or Hostage (if you run a force user). Payload historically is a great choice for STAPs but it is a huge liability now with the new rules since it can’t move over terrain, so it’s best to drop it for something else.
STAPs are the essence of a support unit. They may not spot the biggest or flashiest guns but they are able to contribute to your army in a way few other units can. They can hit out of position units on flanks and contribute in meaningful ways to objectives that more static armies have trouble with. Taking them does require building around them and having a plan in mind to be use their ability, but when properly utilized can be extremely difficult for your opponent to overcome.