In this article we will take a look at the Stormtrooper unit for Star Wars: Legion.
Stormtroopers are the backbone of the Empire, filling out the core of most Imperial armies. They are versatile and can fill almost any role depending on how you upgrade them. I am first going to cover a brief overview of Stormtroopers, then I will discuss all the different viable upgrades, and finally I will describe the main Stormtrooper archetypes and how to play them.
- Flexibility (Can be upgraded to fill different roles)
- Inexpensive red save unit
- Does not need orders to be effective
- Needs aims to do significant damage
- Courage 1
I will keep this overview brief, because there are so many variations of Stormtroopers based on what upgrades you equip. I will only cover the general stats of Stormtroopers in this section.
Stormtroopers and Snow troopers are the cheapest units in the Empire at 44 points (I am not counting base Scout Trooper Strike Team or Inferno Squad as they have mandatory upgrades raising the base cost). This low base cost and the wide range of upgrades available to Stormtroopers makes it possible for them to fill a variety of roles in your army.
While Stormtroopers’ base damage is the lowest per point out of any of the four factions’ core units, Stormtroopers can be very effective attackers with upgrades and aim support. I will go into more detail on the specific damage numbers in the upgrades section. Stormtroopers’ damage output varies heavily depending on upgrades. In general, they have weak offensive abilities unless heavily upgraded and supported.
Stormtroopers excel in defense because they have red dice saves. At only 44 points and 8 effective wounds (effective wounds is total wounds divided by save failure chance), the base unit only costs 5.5 points per effective wound. This makes them the cheapest unit in the entire Imperial roster per wound (tied with Snowtroopers). Stormtroopers are great at filling out an army and adding inexpensive bodies that can handle significant firepower.
Stormtrooper base units have little to no utility, but they can be upgraded to fill a wide range of support roles. They can take both the R4 Astromech Droid and FX-9 Medical Droid which provide healing for your vehicles or troopers.
At speed two, Stormtroopers are completely average but quickly degrade when they are suppressed because of Courage 1. They also must stay close to a commander so as not to panic at 2 suppression. Because of this, they are somewhat dependent on their commander’s courage and should therefore stay close the main force.
Stormtroopers have a wide range of available heavy weapons. The table below summarizes all the heavy weapon options and breaks down damage and points. It is also worth mentioning that while raw numbers are helpful they do not give the full picture. For example, the HH-12 is the best in almost every category, but since it has the keyword Cumbersome and must be exhausted after use, it is the worst option in the bunch. My top two picks for heavy weapons are the DLT-19 and the RT-97C. They are the best all-around options in my opinion, followed closely by the T-21. Del Meeko, Gideon Hask and the HH-12 in their current state should be avoided.
Del Meeko is expensive and his healing ability does not justify the cost in my opinion. Even in an armor skew I would prefer R4 astromech droids. His sniper is ok with some aim support because it gives a core unit Lethal 1, but this requires heavy aim support to useful.
The DLT-19 is the cheapest “viable” option for Stormtroopers, in my opinion. It is an inexpensive and balanced option. While the DLT-19 does not excel at any one thing, it is a strong choice against most targets. The DLT is range 4, has solid average hits, and does decent damage against armor. The DLT, while old, is still a great option for Stormtroopers.
Gideon Hask does not justify his cost in Stormtroopers. He does the same amount of damage as the DLT-19 for almost twice its cost. Unlike the DLT-19, Gideon can only attack at range 3 and does not have Impact, making him weak against vehicles. Gideon’s main ability, Coordinate: Core Trooper, is powerful in units such as Shoretroopers, but Stormtroopers do not benefit greatly from extra orders. Increasing a Stormtrooper’s courage by 1 is a solid ability, but the Stormtrooper Captain creates a similar effect for much cheaper and brings more utility. Overall, I would not recommend Gideon Hask in a Stormtrooper unit.
Cumbersome and exhaust are simply too much of a downside to make this weapon worth it especially because you can already get solid anti-armor damage with the DLT-19 or T-21.
The RT-97C is the most expensive generic heavy weapon for the Stormtroopers and it justifies that cost. The RT-97C is range 4, does the most average hits, benefits the most from aims, and is very points efficient. The only drawback to the RT-97C is its expensive price and lack of Impact or Critical, making it ineffective against armor. If you are in an armor heavy meta, the RT-97C may not be the best choice for you. If your play group does not play armor often, it is hard to go wrong with the RT-97C.
The T-21 is a close 3rd behind the DLT-19 and RT-97C. The T-21 is a critical machine, it averages more crits than hits in its attacks. The things holding this gun back are its cost and range. It costs more than the DLT-19, even though it fills a similar role and is shorter range. In most cases I would prefer the DLT-19 mainly due to the fact the DLT-19 is range 4. That being said the T-21 is more effective than the DLT-19 when firing into cover and armor. It also loses less efficiency as models are killed in the unit. With just the unit leader and a T-21 you average 1.25 crits unaimed, meaning you can still punch through cover.
Overall, the multiple personnel upgrades for Stormtroopers allows you to tailor them to a specific role in your army. You can make them more of a support unit with the Droids, or increase their damage with the Captain or Specialist. It is also totally okay to leave the Personnel upgrade empty to make your Stormtroopers more inexpensive and pad activations. You may be wondering why I am not including the Imperial Officer or Imperial Comms technician. The Stormtrooper Captain is a cheaper and more useful alternative to the Imperial Officer personnel upgrade, essentially making it obsolete in Stormtroopers. I believe that the Imperial Comms Technician does not bring any real value to Stormtroopers either.
R4 Astromech Droid:
The R4 Astromech Droid is a great upgrade if you are running armor. This upgrade can turn Stormtroopers into a support unit alongside your armor.
FX-9 Medical Droid:
The FX-9 Medical Droid is a similar upgrade to the R4 but this unit heals trooper units. The FX-9 Medial Droid is best when supporting expensive units with strong saves such as Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Boba Fett, and Death Troopers. The FX-9 does not justify it’s cost unless you are healing expensive units, such as the ones I mentioned earlier. You are better off just giving a generic Stormtrooper upgrade if you are just looking for more bodies on the table.
This upgrade is quite simple. It just adds an extra stormtrooper model to your unit. I typically do not use this upgrade. I find it is better to leave the personnel upgrade empty unless you are bringing a utility upgrade like the Droids or amplifying your damage with a Stormtrooper Captain or Specialist.
The Stormtrooper Captain is my personal favorite choice for upgrading Stormtroopers. The Captain gives you the ability to ignore suppression for a turn and also gives the unit a training slot. The Captain, combined with Offensive Push, turns your Stormtroopers into a more robust and powerful corps unit. This makes them able to ignore suppression on pivotal scoring turns and gain aims on the turns where you move in to shoot.
The Stormtrooper Specialist is a solid option for augmenting the damage of a Stormtrooper unit. The only drawback to this upgrade is the fact your unit is still susceptible to suppression. Because you are investing so many points in your Stormtroopers, you want to make sure that you have a commander who can help fix their suppression issues with abilities like Compel and Inspire.
I always leave the gear slot empty. I do not find the extra cost to be worth the benefit. However, if you are going to use gear, these are what I believe to be the two best options.
If you do not care about a bid and have two extra points laying around, Recon Intel can get you a better turn 0 deployment.
If you are building an army that is heavily aim oriented, Targeting Scopes can make your Stormtroopers even more effective.
Sadly, grenades are terrible on Stormtroopers. You do not want to be at range 1 of anything, so putting points into a range 1 attack is a waste of points.
If you have a Stormtrooper Captain in your unit, you gain a training upgrade slot. This is best filled by Offensive Push. Stormtroopers benefit greatly from aims, and this card is an inexpensive way to gain extra aims. With a commander like the Imperial Officer or General Veers it is easy to have one aim from spotter then move and exhaust Offensive Push. An attack with two aim averages ~5.5 hits in a DLT-19 Captain unit and averages ~6 hits in a RT-97C Captain unit. This number of aims is easily obtainable in Empire armies when you have Offensive Push. This card makes your Stormtroopers a solid alpha strike unit.
How to Play
Role & Archetype:
Understanding the role your Stormtroopers are filling is important for both army building and gameplay. I placed Stormtroopers into 3 general archetypes: Activation Padding, Elite Stormtroopers, and Support Stormtroopers. These are not hard and fast rules, but they are meant to help you identify the best way to upgrade your Stormtroopers for a specific function.
Stormtroopers’ low cost makes them useful for filling out activations in an army. Since many objectives can only interact with troopers, it is important to have troopers in vehicle or creature trooper lists. When playing naked Stormtroopers, you are often hiding these units and solely using them as objective playing units. In an army like Vader Dewbacks, the Stormtroopers only job is to stay alive and play the objective while all the melee units wreak havoc. If you are running an army that does not have a heavy skew of threats and has points to spare, you can run Stormtroopers with just a heavy weapon like the DLT-19 or T-21. For example, in a Vader Bossk army, you need additional units to battle outside of just Vader and Bossk. However, you still want to concentrate most of your points on your two focus pieces. Adding a heavy weapon makes it so your Stormtroopers can still fight alongside your heavy hitters, while still adding cheap activations. In an army like this, a Stormtrooper with a heavy weapon is an inexpensive timing neutral unit that can help buy time as you wait to activate your focus pieces.
Stormtroopers upgraded with a heavy weapon, Captain, and Offensive Push are what I refer to as “Elite Stormtroopers”. First, I want to clarify when you want to select elite Stormtroopers instead of Shoretroopers. While Shoretroopers are very powerful core units, they require orders to fully be effective. Stormtroopers with Captains are timing neutral and do not need orders to be effective. Therefore, in an army where you want your core units to pack a punch but also have order hungry focus pieces, like in Double bounty or a solo Vader list, Elite Stormtroopers are a great option. I use Captains instead of Specialists because suppression is a huge issue for Courage 1 units and the best way to deal with suppression is Strict Orders, which requires the unit to receive an order (if you have access to Compel, the specialist can be a better option). If you are planning on running an army where you give corps units orders, Shoretroopers would be a better option than Stormtroopers with a Specialist or Captain. Elite Stormtroopers are meant to be independent, self-sufficient units. The Captain’s ability to ignore suppression for a turn justifies the 4 point premium of the Captain + Offensive Push over the Specialist (again, unless you have Compel). The Elite Stormtroopers archetype is best option if you have the points to spare. 4 to 5 Elite Stormtroopers are a solid core and, when supported by Spotter, can do some serious damage. With two aims the unit averages ~5.5 hits with a DLT-19, and ~6 hits with a RT-97C. This is enough damage to cripple an enemy unit in one shot. While expensive, I believe that Elite Stormtroopers should make up the backbone of any Hero Centric army, because they do not require orders and are devastatingly effective with aim support.
The final archetype I want to go over is the Support Stormtrooper. These function similarly to Activation Padding Stormtroopers, but the difference is that they follow around whatever unit they are meant to support. For example, a unit with just a Medical Droid plays objectives but also stays within range of whatever unit it is supposed to heal. You want to bring Support Stormtroopers into a list with vehicles or expensive red save units such as Vader, Palpatine, Boba and Deathtroopers.
Overall Stormtroopers are a solid unit and can fill a wide variety of roles in your army. Being intentional about the upgrades you select and the way you play them will help maximize their effectiveness. I believe that with the correct load out and army to support, Stormtroopers are just as deadly as ever. I hope this article gave you some new ideas on how to play Stormtroopers and helps motivate you to put them on the table!