The 2023-2024 Star Wars Legion Championship season in the UK has officially begun starting at Element Games in Stockport. The TO and amiable host of the event on 6th – 7th May was Sam Page who has run a number of excellent two-day events in the past and this was no exception. Each victory forr each of the factions eventually counted towards a prize for anyone running that faction over the weekend. It wasn’t just Legion either, the store ran themed events for X-Wing and Armada as well.
Full disclosure from the beginning, due to family commitments I was unable to attend in person this time but had input from multiple people who were there and their experience.
Tables and scenery
As is always customary for my event breakdown articles, let’s begin by taking a look at the tables and terrain layouts.
First off, this table looks visually stunning! With the new climb rules, getting on top of this piece of terrain for Recover The Supplies and Hostage Exchange is less of a concern these days. I do think it is placed slightly off centre and there is a small tree instead that would be the key position. The biggest issue I can see is if comes to be that player one is on the Falcon by the engines and player two is at the front of the Falcon, they are both touching the same terrain piece so neither player gets cover. This is unfortunately the biggest issue with these large terrain pieces. They always look amazing and thematic but can cause some issues with rule interactions. Personally, I would try placing it far on the left or right of the table or have hanging over two tables so things such as I’ve just described are less likely to happen.
These tables everything a great table should be, with a good mix of eight one and two pieces along with height three. They have some area terrain, which can be either light or heavy and this also has quite a few line-of-sight blockers. Crucially, I think it works as a competitive table as well as keeping the theme throughout.
The Star Tours bus has crashed near an Imperial base!
This table was brought along by Joshua Barry alongside his incredible painted clone army, which unfortunately we didn’t get a photo of on here as they look great together. It looks brilliant but I do think it could do with a few extra pieces of terrain just because in the left-hand corner there is zero terrain for that player. A small niggle over an otherwise brilliant table.
This table is probably the only table I’ve seen that I have a real issue with. We have a total of two line of sight blockers but the biggest problem in general is that all four corners of the map have no terrain, especially at this end where the photo was taken from. It does look like there is no terrain in the deployment zones for battle lines, but this is a 6×4” mat. This table needs a lot more mixture of terrain types to be as good as the others.
This table is back on track with a good mixture of height and line of sight pieces. Unfortunately, it is void of area terrain and scatter terrain. I could probably forgive this though due to the imperial outpost looking so good.
Now this is my favourite table that I’ve seen. It has lots of line of sight blockers along with a mixture heights. It could do with a little more scatter terrain and perhaps mixing it up with the terrain outside of the hangers so it is less of a mirror of each other which creates straight firing lanes. The archways could also cause issues regarding the rules if you are touching at one end, so did that mean the whole piece of terrain is ignored for cover?
The Star Tours bus has managed to be repaired and made it’s way to a second imperial base. This has no cover in the corners closest to where the photo is taken, the other corners have terrain pieces just not these two. The other issue is this table has no light cover or any area terrain.
Overall, from all of the tables on show, thematically I’d give them 10/10 and certainly they are miles ahead of some other events in the UK I’ve attended in the past. From a competitive point of view, there were a few mistakes, which can be easily fixed for future events, and it certainly would not have prevented me from wanting to play. One thing to consider as well is that any tables with several ships on them can lead to some weird rule interactions due to the newer line of sight rules: you can now see from your feet to your targets’ feet and shoot them under those ships.
Faction Break Down
|Empire||66 (51%)||17 (40%)|
|Rebels||22 (17%)||10 (23%)|
|Separatists||17 (13%)||7 (16%)|
|Republic||16 (12%)||4 (9%)|
|Mercenary||7 (5%)||4 (9%)|
Empire still proves to be the most popular faction but is not as high of a percentage of players when compared to worlds.
Now let’s breakdown the top 8 lists and see how they did.
8th – Dave Nolan
Dave’s list is far from any standard archetype but putting Wookies in a bus is tried and tested method. However, not taking a heavy weapon to give them extra health is a surprise. Once you’ve dealt with the Wookiees being transported you then have to deal with the charging Tauntauns. Once the melee has arrived in the conflict safely the bus and the troopers can provide some cover fire until Sabine can arrive and clean up. It’s an interesting list for sure and going 4-2 with his only two losses to people higher up was a solid performance.
7th – Tony
Tony went for a double heavy AT-ST list which in the current meta can cause a bit of an upset against a typical Operative Vader Blizzard Force. He also took three bikes which we all know are a force to be reckoned with. It also gives his list a chance at doing the faster objectives such as breakthrough and bombing run without having to sacrifice fire power of the AT-ST’s. The biggest downside to this list is the lack of thumbs but luckily for Tony, they apparently were not the cause of any of his losses. Going 4 – 2 losing only to first and second place shows a good strong list and a strong player to match.
6th – Frazer Eden
This might be the list that forces me to eat my words about the 501st not being a good Battle Force as Frazer managed to go 4 -2 with it over the weekend. He’s built his Anakin to be more defensive, taking force barrier along with offensive/defensive stance making the most of exemplar and trying to keep as many of his expensive Clone Troopers alive as possible. I think this is a good idea in the matchups against things like Dark Troopers and Blizzard where if you can “weather” the storm of the initial damage whilst picking off their units you can take the lead. Having the full ARC squads with the sniper is also a disgusting shot to fire support from them with the phase 2 squad. If the ARCs are at range two and the phase 2’s are at range three then this dream combo generates 11 black and one red dice with critical one and should have at least one aim to either reroll or gain pierce, all with sharpshooter one and generating two suppression tokens. Against armor the BARCs can start a fire support shot to have two white eight black two red with Impact 2 and Critical 1. As someone who is currently looking at playing Clones I really like this list the more I think about it!
5th – Eliot Kimpton
This Imperial Remnant list is only taking a single Dark Trooper unit but is making the most being able to take the HH12’s in the Death Troopers. This combo allows the unit to shoot 7 black at range 4 with Impact 3 and Suppressive. Now this seems reasonable enough but when you consider that the unit receives a free aim if outside range 2 of the commander, the unit can shoot recover all day long as long as they’re still at range. The synergy of the recover/shoot is a good combo and with Precise 2 means rerolling 4 dice with that single aim. The underrated unit that will catch people out with this list is not the Dark or Death Troopers or even the two bikes. It’s the scout troopers with the T-21 that you need to keep your eye on. Eight black and four white with Critical 2 and Sharpshooter 1 is a great dice pool. The independent Aim or Dodge allows you to play defensive for the first turn as they move into position with that Scout 3. Once in position, they can start pouring on the damage.
4th – Cockles Faulkner
When I knew I was going to write up an article on this event and heard Cockles was as attending, I never actually imagined I’d get to discuss his top four finish! For those of you who aren’t familiar with our “That’s No Moon” podcast, it’s a regular running joke that Cockles is in the realm of, “it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts”. Low and behold, he shocked us all! For his list, he had a standard build but he took the more aggressive Anakin upgrades compared to Frazer. The four RPS Phase I Clones are a great Meta call against all the Dark Troopers. Unfortunately, it does not have much to help counteract Blizzard Force, which was his only loss of the weekend. A great showing otherwise!
3rd – Lew
The first Blizzard Force we come across in the top eight and it is not the usual meta version! Lew decided to drop a bike and a HRU unit to add an AT-ST but keep Vader in the list. I like the idea of the AT-ST in Blizzard Force and I think in the mirror match does have an advantage especially since he still has a Vader, whereas it’s normally one or the other. He also kept three bikes to still be able to take advantage of the battle deck that Blizzard also enjoys. Overall, an interesting take on what we already know is a strong list.
2nd – Chris Rees
Chris brought the Empire double bounty archetype, very similar to the one Luke Cook stormed to victory with at Worlds back in March. Chris’ changes include swapping IG-88 for Bossk along with dropping a unit of Shores and Mortar to add in two Storm Troopers with HH-12 to give him the impact that Luke’s list was lacking. This has some great long-range firepower to deal with Blizzard and Double Dark Troopers whilst also having the threat of bounty against all other match ups. The only loss Chris had was against the overall winner and I fully expect Chris to be bringing this list to a few world championship qualifiers.
1st – Olly Dier
The other “That’s No Moon” podcast host stormed to victory with his second win at a two-day event in the UK. Olly hasn’t made a single change to the list that saw him finish fifth at Worlds and why would he? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! His key difference in this list to what you might expect in a standard Blizzard Force lists is his preference for Commander Vader instead of Operative Vader. He does have one less activation in exchange for taking the medical droids, but they get used to give Vader 12 health or help the HRU units win in a range four-gun fight. This flexibility and speed from the entire list with Vader’s Burst of Speed makes it a list to be wary of and its six game winning streak against some tough opponents on the way shows why.
As I mentioned before, I was unable to attend in person but I still followed the entire weekend closely via Game Uplink and our group chats, always excited for the results and trying to get the full story from as many games as possible. Even with the UK meta of the lists played not changing much from Worlds, it doesn’t stop events being enjoyable to watch. It will be interesting to see how much changes when we get our first reveal off the back of the points update at UK Games Expo next month.
I should give a shout out to Element Games and most of all, Sam Page and his events hosting. They’re well-organised and prize support is excellent with plenty of promo cards and goodies – first place even took home a full Darksaber replica! Everyone I know who went had great weekend (as I have had myself in the past) and we are eagerly anticipating any of his future ones. If you ever find yourself up in the North-West of England around the same time he is running one, I fully recommend going to check it out!