Let’s start off by saying that this isn’t the first time I have stepped out on my love: The Empire. I dabbled almost a year ago at PAX Unplugged and ran a double air speeder list as an excuse to not actually try to play for real. At the time I was deathly afraid of losing. We had been maybe 14 episodes into our Star Wars Legion podcast (The Fifth Trooper) and we were picking up some notoriety in the community and I didn’t want to be embarrassed. I didn’t want people to see how bad I was (or at least how bad I thought I was). At that time, I didn’t take it seriously and used it as an excuse. This time though, I am going all in.
There has been a lot of talk in the Star Wars Legion community lately that the Rebels are not good, or specifically, are out matched by the Empire… I don’t agree. I think that the rebels in most cases are being misplayed. I think the Empire is easier to play, more forgiving and has shinier toys and therefore attracts more players. With more players there are more reps, more matches against Empire and just more data for people to work from. That being said, if we looked at the Star Wars: Legion worlds breakdown it’s a 50/50 split. Something must be good about them if half of the top players are using them, right? So, the question must be asked: are most people playing rebels wrong? Or just not trying them at all?
When deciding on the switch to Rebels, that conversation is for sure in my head. Also, I want to become better at Star Wars Legion. I want to be more educated, versatile and flexible when it comes to playing. In my head the only way to take the next steps for me, was to switch factions and take it deadly serious. I did have some takeaways and lessons from playing against rebels already that could help me in my list building:
- Patience & Ingenuity – Both factions can benefit from this, but I think Rebels in particular need this. Think about all the movies, books and documentaries on any rebel incursions factual or not and what do they all have in common? They hide, wait and attack weak points. This is the same in Star Wars Legion. Be patient, setup fire lanes and use your surroundings to your benefit. Think of it this way: If the Empire is a cluster bomb – big, flashy and deadly on multiple fronts, the Rebels need to be a sniper – hidden, methodical and precise.
- Command Cards – The command cards are a huge part of this game. Most players can get thrown for a loop if they get out played in a command phase or lose a commander’s set of cards. I think this is a huge attack point for Rebels – beat your opponent in the command phase and you can demoralize them for the rest of the turn.
- Weakness as a Strength – As everyone knows Rebels are weak on defense. When you see a Z6 unit out in the open as an Empire player you just hear in your head “Meats back on the menu boys!” Rebels can use this as an advantage. Bring your opponent in close, setup some juicy bait they can’t resist and distract them. You now can use that distraction to flank the other unit, grab an objective or attack some where else.
Building a Star Wars Legion Rebel List
When I began to build my Rebel list, I knew I wanted to do “Fly Boys” (Luke/Han). Luke is one of the best units in the game and I believe Han is severely undervalued. Why? I think most people don’t look at a unit’s overall value to include the command hand. I don’t mean the value of each command card from a unit; I am talking about the ability to use that card and maybe not use your unit that turn. Han, in my opinion, is best when kept back until turn 3 or 4 (maybe later depending on time) and letting his cards do the early work. Change of Plans and Reckless Diversion are such great control pieces and match those up with Luke and his cards and you have an answer every turn.
I knew who my commanders were going to be, now I needed to flesh out the rest of the army. When building a Star Wars Legion army list I go in this order: Commander(s), Special Forces, Corps then filling gaps. When I was looking at the Special Forces, I decided to go ultra Meta for this list and go 3 snipers. The next step with corps units I started to really look at all Z6 squads vs putting in some Fleet Troopers and was really going back and forth. I like Fleets but they are very dependent on terrain and in my mind are a gamble. It was serendipitous that right as I was thinking this through there was a conversation happening where Kyle and David (from the Notorious Scoundrels) were discussing a similar list and brought up using two Rebel Officers and a medic in those Z6 squads. Now, I have never run a medic before and frankly have talked a lot of crap about them on both podcasts, but how can I grow as a player if I don’t try new things? I decided to add the medic and the 2 officers and see where it took me.
At the time of this articles release I have run this list 3 times and absolutely love it. Here are some things I am really enjoying about it:
- Officer Squads – The inspire 1 is amazing and having 2 of them on the field feels good especially with all the suppression going around now. Having that extra black die in the attack pool as well is really nice. They are the work horse of this list.
- Han Solo – When played right, Han is a sledgehammer. If you can get your opponent out of position and start gunslinging it is a sight to behold. I like him as a late game piece that kind of waits until a critical moment then pops out and says not today my friend. His command cards are great too and I love that new aspect of the game for me – messing with opponent’s command hands.
- Medic – Ok, ok, ok…. I was wrong. They are a great way not just to keep your snipers alive but to also keep your Z6 squads at full strength. I think in my defense they are way more crucial in a Rebel list than an Empire list
Though I am only a few games in I believe that I am already seeing things different. It is forcing me to think out decisions, be patient and focus on terrain more. I believe that all of us can benefit from switching factions to become better Star Wars Legion Players.
Fly Boys Star Wars Legion List
2 x Rebel Troopers, Z-6,
1x Rebel Troopers, Z-6,
2 x Rebel Troopers, Z-6
3x Strike Team, Sniper
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.