This article will cover the newly previewed Super Tactical Droids for Star Wars: Legion.
You want hot takes? I got hot takes.
This is not going to be a proper unit guide; that will come later after these dudes are in the wild for a bit. This is basically just going to be a preview of the new stuff, with some takes from me.
Let’s dig right in.
Super Tactical Droid
We will hit some of the new keywords here and then look at how the three tactical droids are different from each other. All three of these are unique (yes, even the generic) which means you can only take one Super Tactical Droid, period, regardless of which version you take. These guys are divas.
I’m going to restrain my disdain for the existence of this keyword here and just talk about the tactical implications. If you want to hear me soap box about it, feel free to listen to this Scoundrels Episode.
This is a really strong keyword. Yes, CIS can sort of mitigate the downsides of AI through careful list building, tight positioning, and use of coordinate, but mitigating AI and ignoring AI are very much not the same thing. Override is especially strong for units that have AI but don’t have coordinate or good access to faceups, which is actually a lot of good units: dekas, BX droids, B2s, and yes, Magnaguards. It’s also a nice little safety valve for your B1s if your coordinate chain gets broken up (or if you want to do that on purpose to spread out).
You do have to take a suppression when you activate this (on the Super Tactical Droid ) but droids don’t really care about suppression until you get to panic territory, which is minimum four for the Super Tactical Droid. That’s a lot of uses of Override per turn, and you can obviously just recover if it gets out of control (and Kraken can take Endurance since he has a training slot), or use the free Recover from the Super Tactical Droid’s three pip.
The practical outcome of Override is it lets you throw all the usual CIS list building restrictions out the window. Want to just run six B2s with no T-Series? Go nuts. Triple dekas? Sure! Three BX sniper units that can just aim and shoot every turn? Why not? Basically you can just build a list like any other faction now and take whatever unit mix you want without having to worry about faceups and such.
This is basically like Calculate Odds, except the suppression goes on the unit doing the calculating instead of the target unit. Free tokens are great. CIS can’t multiply tokens with Teamwork like Rebels can but there is still a solid place for this in most lists. Personally, I’m going to be following Maul around with Kraken and feeding him dodges and aims all game.
A Tale of Three Droids
Lets take a look at the three different Super Tactical Droid options and highlight their differences.
Generic Super Tactical Droid
Two command slots, a comms slot, a gear slot. Decent spread for a commander. This guy is also reasonably tough (basically the same defensively as Rex or Veers) which is way better than the generic T-Series, who is made of peanut brittle. If you are tired of T-47s hunting down and murdering your T-Series, the Super Tactical Droid might be the upgrade you need.
This is also a nice keyword spread; Strategize is nice to shell out some tokens while chilling in the back, Direct is great for kicking off your B1 chain (or giving on order to something else, since this is AI Unit instead of corps like the T-Series). Note this is both more and less restrictive than the T-Series Direct; you won’t be able to direct to a unit that has had its AI keyword removed, like a B2 with a T-Series personnel upgrade.
The primary difference between the Generic and his two brethren are the presence of both Direct and Override. His Override is worse than Kraken’s (Range 1 instead of 2) and his Strategize is worse than Kalani’s (again 1 instead of 2) but he gives you Direct and Override at the same time, for five points less than the other two.
If you are are running a “traditional” B1 chain CIS list, Kalani is your droid. He doesn’t have Override, but he has double Strategize, which is kind of amazing (there aren’t any other support commander card actions that give out four tokens at once like this). He has three (!) command slots. I’m not sure exactly what you are using those for… probably Aggressive Tactics, Vigilance, and Commanding Presence so you can Direct at Range 4? I dunno. I will say that B1s with free aims and dodges are actually kind of not terrible (so are B2s).
Kalani also has Reinforcements, which is kind of a whatever keyword on him personally. It’s usually reasonably obvious where a support commander like Kalani is going to drop (ahem, near your giant blob of dudes) so I’m not sure how much information you are really hiding from your opponent here.
Kraken has one relatively important disadvantage relative to the other two Super Tactical Droids, and a lot of very significant advantages.
That disadvantage? No Direct. Direct is a really strong keyword, but if you are taking Kraken you might not be running the type of list that needs it. You can also just buy an uplink on a B1 unit if you really need a similar effect. Kraken’s Strategize also isn’t quite as good as Kalani’s, but I think that is pretty clearly offset by his other strengths.
There are two primary things that Kraken does considerably better than Kalani and the Generic: Override 2 and his offensive profile. Override is one of the primary reasons you want to be taking a Super Tactical Droid in the first place, so Kraken is a clear choice there if you want to just break the list building restrictions open and run a bunch of stuff with AI. The other thing Kraken really brings to the table is his offensive profile, which is a lot better than the other two. Not only does he have four red dice (!) in melee with Charge, he also has Sharpshooter 2 with two surge/crit black dice and native Pierce at Range 3. CIS tends to lack ranged Pierce (your options are basically BX snipers, Cad Bane, or Saber Throw on Dooku/Maul) so this is a huge asset to a CIS list.
Kraken also has a training slot, which you should definitely be throwing Endurance in to mitigate the suppression cost on Override and Strategize.
In addition to just being general badasses, the Super Tactical Droids also have their own set of pretty legit command cards. Lets take a look.
The Too Will Suffer
I think this is Kalani electro-shock torturing someone? I dunno. It looks unpleasant.
Anyway, this is a solid “ambush plus” one pip. It doesn’t work on Commanders or Operatives, so there are lists it really won’t do much against. However, there are certainly a lot of lists out there that rely on timely orders to heavies, support units, or special forces, and this is going to be fairly clutch against those. Generally you want to play this in a situation where both players want priority and your opponent needs that priority on a specific unit that isn’t a commander or operative. If you play this when your opponent doesn’t want priority, they can just shell out an extra order to help mitigate the draw effect. They can also use things like Direct or HQ Uplinks to do the same, since the opponent gets to choose the order they kick back.
Some more great card art here, with Kraken punching Anakin in the kidney. I guess that’s where his four red dice in melee come from.
Anyway, this is another situationally great card. Disengage is a strong keyword, present only on a couple of command cards (Duel of the Fates and Trained in Your Jedi Arts) and Jedi Luke. The clearly intended use of this card is when you have a unit in melee with something they don’t want to be in melee with; this seems particularly great on B2s, who are sort of vulnerable to getting tied up in melee with things like Jedi and Wookiees. Now they can just casually stroll out of that engagement and then blast the offending unit in the face with their arm cannons.
This also could be used on Magnaguard or other melee units (like Kraken himself) to prevent them from being tied up by enemy units.
Also, Impervious and a free dodge token, as a nice little bonus.
Do Not Underestimate Our Means
Lots of elite droids there standing behind Kalani. I would be afraid.
Both effects on this are solid. If you don’t use the Divulge effect, it is Imperial Discipline lite, with a free recover on two units. There are a lot of CIS units that would love a free recover; B2 HATs, Dwarf Spider Droids with Ion, AATs, B1s with uplinks and/or rockets, BX droids with shields/offensive push… its a long list. You can also use a Sith Probe comms relay to give Maul a faceup with this and give him a free recover, as it doesn’t have the same “must be issued order by card” restriction as Preservation Protocols.
The Divulge effect is pretty interesting and very open ended. There are quite a few CIS units that you would want to deploy last; STAPs and BX sniper strikes come to mind immediately. In the case of STAPs, you probably are running a high activation list anyway, so the Reinforcements effect could just be a bit of a waste. BX sniper strikes are much more likely to take advantage of this though; you can place all three BX strikes with lined up shots on turn one (since they have scout 3), and then do aimed triple taps on the first turn with faceups or Override. Seems good.
There you have it. The Super Tactical Droid will break open CIS listbuilding (even more than it already is) and really give droid players some new ways to play. I would be excited, if my circuitry allowed it.
Next time we’ll hit the Magnaguard and the Dwarf Spider Droid.