Remember back in the beginning of Star Wars Legion play when every game had armor in it? Whether you were running the AT-ST, a couple of AT-RTs or the T47, it seemed like we all had armor at one point in our lists and we were having a blast. It was fun because it was thematic, it was also nostalgic and throwing up to 14 dice at another unit is amazing (thanks to Weiss’ giving you arsenal 4). Then the meta shifted and all of us “meta philosophers” told you the age of armor was over and so we (for the most part) moved on.
Then a shining light in a sea of minis caught our collective eye: The Occupier Tank.
Out of the gate this once again was a win for the Empire. Why did it make us all so happy when announced? First, unlike the Landspeeder it made sense. This was a replica from an amazing scene from one of our most beloved recent movies, not a round peg – square hole like the Landspeeder. Like the Star Wars Legion core set and the AT-ST and T-47 before it, the Occupier knocked on the door where we hide our inner child and said “come out and play”.
Once we were done ogling the tank like a dessert cart at a fancy restaurant, we realized it may actually be really good. Besides the sculpt being (at the release) one of the best sculpts FFG has put out, it comes with 2 different pilots that make perfect sense for the tank. They also can be used to upgrade the AT-ST as well. Oh, by the way it can carry other units. I mean… Come on!
Playing the Occupier in Star Wars Legion
In my mind I think there are really three ways you want to play the Occupier:
- Transportation – The Occupier can transport full units. Basically everything in your army outside of Speeder Bikes, the AT-ST, another tank and creature troopers can be transported by this beast. Very useful if I need a unit to get somewhere faster or I need to protect a unit until I get them into a favorable LoS/cover.
- Deterrent – Being able to hold an objective, table side or area is a really important part of Star Wars Legion. I have found that the tank is a great unit for holding onto land. It isn’t as expensive as the AT-ST and can deal out some damage, especially with the Pilots and hardpoints.
- Mobile Strike Barricade – That’s right, you can now have a moving barricade that shoots and protects your minis for the low low price of 155 pts! I think there is a lot to this that hasn’t been explored with the tank granting cover 2 and some LoS issues it is really a great way to get your trooper units into position safely.
Here is the down side, I believe that achieving all three of those in a single game is not possible. I really think that in order to be successful with the tank you have to pick one or two. Trying to do all three is a recipe for disaster and will really sour your tanking experience.
What Pilot to take?
This is by far my favorite pilot. I love free aim tokens and so does the empire!
“To be successful with the Occupier Tank you have to choose what you want it to do during a game, then stick to it.”
If I am transporting, I really need to be aware of my opponent’s unit deployments and how many of them will be able to get a shot off on the tank. The idea here is to get a unit into position minimizing wounds and maximizing distance. I want to reduce the amount of different attacks the tank will take. I’d rather one Z6 squad hit the side arc of my tank than 3 snipers and a Z6 squad. Because no matter how many wounds the Occupier suffers from one attack pool it only passes one on to the transported unit, but if the tank suffers one wound each from 3 attack pools your transported unit is suffering three wounds. In addition, if the Tank is destroyed your transported unit takes an additional wound.
As a deterrent the Occupier wants to help hold the objective or table side and needs to live as long as possible. For instance, if the objective is Key Positions I’ll want the tank and possibly other units to hold the position. This means that keeping my side arcs protected is really important. In this instance I can use other trooper units to cover the tanks sides and stop unwanted flanking. I would also then face the front or back of the Occupier towards enemy snipers stopping them from benefiting from the side arc impact.
Mobile Strike Barricade
The Occupier will most likely not Survive being a barricade. I am using the tank to move up my units behind/alongside it with minimal damage and maximum freedom. The idea here is if my objective is Recover the Supplies, the tank is trying to keep trooper units alive and cut a path to the objective so that the troopers can claim it. The tank then would cover their getaway. In this scenario I am probably ok with the losing the Occupier (as long as I know it won’t come down to points killed) so that I can get the points from the supplies. Unlike transporting, using it this way allows me to take more damage from multiple sources on the tank and also allows my troopers freedom to move and shoot.
What hardpoint to take?
More dice is the key to any good attack pool. I think the options here are amazing, 8 dice at one target with an aim or 4 dice at two separate targets with an aim.
Who loves the Tank?
I really think that all units love the Occupier but in my head these are the top 4 units that really really love the tank:
- E-Webs – The E-webs are an ideal companion to the Occupier. With Transported I can get my e-webs in the perfect forward position to hand out some pain or hold an objective. They love the speed/distance increase and can disembark then standby with their sweet range 3.
- Snowtroopers – Snows benefit in all manners here. They can get right in the mix quickly and take minimal wounds while being transported. With the Snowtroopers being transported in the tank you’re basically dropping a bomb off at your opponent’s front door. A well placed disembark then steady flame/frag combo can be devastating.
- Vader – I mean do I even have to go over it? Vader in a tank moving basically speed 4 across the board to be dropped off right where your opponent feared he would be. Scary business. Similar to the Snowtroopers the disembark then relentless to a saber throw is a deadly combo. You cannot relentless for melee from disembark but you can off of your second move action.
- Deathtroopers – With their range abilities and sheer dominance you can get a unit of DTs into the action and possibly in range of snipers and really mess up your opponent’s week.
The Tank really is loved by all other units for a variety of reasons. I think the above are particularly good with the Tank but are not the only units to benefit.
Here comes trouble
As a tank operator here are some obvious and not so obvious units to look out for:
- Stormtroopers with DLT – This is the classic anti-armor unit.
- Snipers – Specifically snipers on your side arcs. Impact 1 and Pierce 1 is no joke.
- Luke Skywalker – He is fast, has Jump 1 and he will be there before you think he will. He also has impact 2, Pierce 2. If he makes it to the tanks side arc, its good night Irene
- Rebels with Z6 and Frag Grenades – This seems like an odd combo but it is brutal at times. Take 10 dice and and surge to crit on a side arc and you can see 2-3 crits most of the time.
- Snowtroopers with Impact grenades – An oldie but a goody. Impact stacking on 5 dice is pretty good.
If you are feeling like there is something missing in your life and your list, I recommend giving the Occupier a shot. It is an amazing looking piece on the board, fun to play and is actually worth it’s point cost.
Jay Shelanskey is an avid gamer and the host of The Fifth Trooper Podcast. When he isn’t playing Star Wars Legion or other games he is hanging with his family and coming up with crazy new ideas. Jay can be found at podcast.thefifthtrooper.com or on facebook @fifthtrooper.