In this post I’ll be writing about the TX-130 Saber Tank.
The Saber Tank is designed to be nimble and ready to meet the enemy where they are. The Saber can provide excellent infantry support as well as provide an excellent weapons platform. In Legion, the Saber Tank is very fast and maneuverable, but it can still repel a lot of damage and then return fire with massive effect. I’m going to try and pass on my plethora of Saber Tank experience to you in this article.
First though, who am I? My name is Tim Veldhuis, I go by Timbo in the Legion community. I have been playing legion for about a year at this point and have joined The Fifth Trooper article writing team. In Legion I have been around the competitive scene, making it to 4th place in Invader League Season 6, (with a Saber Tank list). I am also a member of Anakin’s Daycare Service in the Champion’s Circle of Yavin Base Team League (for now.)
- Offensive Output
- Loadout Options
- Fast and Maneuverable
- Massive Weak Points
- Needs Support
TX-130 Saber Tank
170 Points. The Saber Tank comes in at 170 points base. This is about what you would expect for a heavy unit. With upgrades you will have this unit sit around 200 points. 200 points can be hard to come by in Galactic Republic (GAR) currently, especially because the Saber really needs ~150 more points worth of units to reach its highest potential.
Defense. Coming with 9 wounds protected by Armor and red saves the Saber Tank can be a tough target to take down. There’s also the key word Outmaneuver on the Saber Tank, which allows dodge tokens to be spent to cancel critical results. This is especially good on an armored vehicle as it can cancel random crits rolled by non-impact pools easily, as well as cancelling Pierce or Lethal shots. You can also give the Saber surge tokens to raise its save even more. One huge defensive weakness is its 270 degree weak point. Do all you can to avoid letting your opponent shoot into your side or rear arc, or your Saber will start taking damage. Overall, the Saber Tank can be made to be the hardest heavy unit in the game to kill by far.
Offense. The main gun that comes on the unit card is a double rainbow (Red, Black, White) with Critical 1 and Impact 2. This pool already is pretty good. The Critical 1 often means you effectively surge on your offensive rolls. Critical and Impact on the same pool also means you have a good anti-armor weapon. However, I would never suggest bringing a saber tank without a secondary weapon. We will discuss them further later on, but in general you will be throwing about 9 dice with some good keywords.
Maneuverability. This tank is very maneuverable with Speed 2 and a massive 6″ base, combined with Hover: Ground. This lets you make some big moves forward, or decisive strafes to catch a unit out of cover. The full forward move is about 10.5″ (slightly shy of Range 2) combined with Range 4 firepower, the Saber’s threat range is just under range 6. The Saber is a Repulsor vehicle, which allows the it to move over or onto terrain less than the height of the tank (rather than half its height like a normal ground vehicle). The Saber Tank model is fairly tall which means that maneuvering is much easier compared to standard ground vehicles; you are less effected by a table with lots of terrain.
Plo Koon is the least taken pilot for the saber tank. Though he provides a good ability combined with the tank’s outmaneuver, his cost and the fact he exhausts means that he really isn’t taken. Plo Koon might be something to look at if you want a Saber Tank moving a lot (which you probably don’t).
Veteran Clone Pilot
A very good upgrade for your Saber Tank, which allows you to give your Saber Tank aims, dodges, and surges. This ability does exhaust and then ready during the end phase. You will get to use it once every turn, but not all the time. This pilot is really good at providing a few aims to your tank. My preference is to use Padmé for the same effect but better, albeit at a much larger cost.
Aayla Secura is a very good upgrade for the saber tank. She is a field commander, which is especially relevant for if you want to run a double Saber list. She also has Inspire 2 which can make an army with lots of Phase 1s a lot better. Additionally, if you have Aayla on a saber tank it allows you to use the GAR 2 pip, Air Support.
TX-130 Beam Cannon Turret
A signature weapon of the saber tank that unfortunately just isn’t good right now. 30 points for a weapon that can’t effectively get through heavy cover isn’t worth it. This weapon is super interesting though and I hope it gets revisited in the future.
TX-130 Twin Laser Turret
This hardpoint is definitely the one to take when you’re taking one. 2R 5B 2W with Critical 2 and usually a couple aims can be highly effective. This weapon is also 360 degrees unlike the main cannon or the ordinance upgrades, which can sometimes come in handy for dealing with units with a wound left that you don’t want to pivot to shoot. This turret’s biggest downside is range 3, which means you’re going to have to get a little closer to the enemy to use it.
Bunker Buster Shells
Largely wasted on the Saber Tank, though could be good situationally. Combined with the Critical 1 from the main gun and possibly surge tokens the white dice are improved. These shells might be quite good in the skirmish format.
The only viable Range 4 secondary weapon in my opinion. HE Shells are very good if you want to engage the enemy at Range 4. HE Shells also make your dice pool 4R 2B 3W with Critical 2. These are definitely a really good option depending on how you want to command your Saber Tank. Note that high velocity will only work if you shoot with just the High-Energy Shells in a single pool.
Armor Piercing Shells
My personal favorite ordinance upgrade as combined with the main gun you will have 3R 4B 2W with Impact 5 and Critical 1. You can often force 7 or more saves on armored targets. Rebel AT-RTs cower in fear. I almost always have armor piercing shells on my saber tank as it means you can pretty reliably beat any enemy armor list. I even managed to defeat 2 AATs with repair bots in an Invader League 6 game, not something that can often be done.
There are 3 relevant comms upgrades to the Saber Tank.
Definitely a niche upgrade; but because of the big base you could potentially jam out a large swath of the enemy army. However, I wouldn’t recommend it as that would easily expose your weak points.
A good quality upgrade for the Saber Tank, especially if you are running an ordinance upgrade without a hardpoint, meaning your tank will be recovering a lot. Definitely an upgrade that is good, but not the best.
Linked Targeting Array
This is the comms upgrade you are almost automatically including with a Saber Tank. In most single Saber Tank lists, you are going to have an order on the Saber every turn, and this will generate 6 free aim tokens over the course of the game. This upgrade also allows the Saber Tank to go early in the turn if necessary and still have a decently aimed shot before your support units can provide a lot of aims to the tank.
Common Tank Builds
Range 4 Build
If you want to engage with your tank at Range 4 then the best upgrade for you is high-energy shells to get you a solid Range 4 dice pool. Now that you have Range 4 shells on the tank you could also equip the twin laser turret, though this is largely optional. I would suggest not adding a second weapon as that would just bloat the cost of the tank. Once you have your weapon loadout there are two more slots to fill. I would definitely take a comms upgrade. Either HQ uplink or Linked Targeting Array. In the Range 4 build, HQ uplink works fairly well as you will likely be recovering your shells. For a pilot I would take the Veteran Clone Pilot. The Clone Pilot helps get you aims, which this build can suffer to get as it will often be recovering. The Veteran Clone Pilot can also be used twice per turn if you recover. This allows you to use the Clone Pilot on defense before you shoot or possibly after you shoot. When running a range 4 Saber, always keep in mind that shoot, then recover is a good option. Often you will have enough aims from Linked Targeting Array, the Clone Pilot, or Padmé. If you shoot and recover then a move-shoot or other combination is available to you next turn.
Range 3 Build
Range 3 is my preferred build after a lot of testing. This gives you the options for weapons of the Twin Laser Turret or Armor-Piercing Shells. I recommend taking both. Both of these weapon options give different benefits and complement each other well. With the Armor-Piercing Shells you will be able to compete with any enemy armor. The Twin Laser Turret allows you to be more flexible as it doesn’t need to be recovered; it also gives you another critical value making your dice pool more efficient. In a Range 3 build I’d recommend a Linked Targeting Array for the comms slot as aims are key to making the Saber hit super hard. HQ uplink is also decent, but you should be able to give an order to your Saber every turn from command cards anyway. For a pilot I’d again recommend Aayla Secura or the Veteran Clone Pilot. It should be noted that no pilot is also an option, especially if you’re looking to bid, or have ways to achieve the bonuses the pilots give you in other ways.
This list makes use of a Range 3 saber as the focus piece. The saber will be flanked by a lot of support in Padmé, the Clone Commander, and R2/C3P0. This list also manages to fit 3 solid corps units and still allows for the direct/coordinate chain between the Clone Commander and Fives. You should seek to have an order on the Saber every turn (use Padmé’s authoritative keyword) and then use Direct to clean the bag and put orders on important clones.
If one Saber Tank is good, is two better? Probably not. Generally multiples of units in Legion is better than singles, but the Saber Tank is not one of those units. This list will for sure be fun and could pull off some good flanking actions. However, Padmé’s ability to supply tokens to one tank is amazing; but over two tanks it becomes very diluted. This list also has only naked corps, so all your shooting is found in the tanks with some support from the two ARC strike teams.
My Saber List
This is the list I brought to Invader League Season 6 that I managed to achieve fourth place with. It is what I made after tons of practice and refinement. This list does have an 18 point bid, but feel free to innovate with it. If you wanted to you could easily add another Clone Engineer and have no bid. You could also drop the Engineer and have 36 points to play with and make the list your own.
Before you ever play a game with this list you will have to make it through deployment and battle card selection. With an 18 point bid, you will probably win blue player. If you win blue player you get to pick the board edge, which can be very important for the list as you want to be able to position yourself correctly. The first thing to identify on the board is where the action is going to take place and any firing lanes. See if you can find a way for your Saber to cover these areas. You are looking to have the Saber preferably up on a building (shorter than itself so it can move off) or some other elevated position to allow it as much vision as possible. You also want to have the spot where your Saber will go be within range of a good hiding spot for Padmé. When looking for a spot for Padmé you preferably want a place that is hidden from enemy view but still allows her to see the tank as Exemplar needs line of sight. This often just means having Padmé stand back from a wall a couple inches. I generally try and identify a primary and secondary spot for my army to set up, and pick the side of the board that provides the best Saber position as possible. Picking board edge is something that comes with a lot of practice and playing on a variety of tables. If you are red player, do the same thing but you are of course given your board edge. Also note, make sure to go over with your opponent what terrain pieces the Saber can and cannot go over in the pregame discussion.
Also in setup is the objectives/deployment/condition. Any of the cards in the deck above are fine. You especially want to be playing Key Positions, if possible. It is the best objective for this list, especially if the center terrain piece is such that you can displace units off of it. Generally, any objective that encourages movement isn’t great for this list. This list does however do fine with Hostage Exchange as Padmé provides extra movement with her 2 pip and standby sharing. I will be covering this in upcoming articles. For deployments you want to make sure that you have a route to your ideal location on the map. If you are red, you want to avoid deployments that force your army to split up, such as Disarray. Roll Out and Long March are usually the best deployments for this list. The only condition that is truly detrimental to the list is Limited Visibility as it shuts down the tank and the ARCS for two turns. However, it does allow for standby sharing to be easier, which you might be able to leverage to regain the advantage. I also like to avoid Fortified Positions as it makes it much harder for the tank to find light or no cover shots which makes its shots even better.
A huge thing to remember when deploying is to make sure to leave room for your Saber Tank, it has a huge base that needs to be fit somewhere. Sometimes you can fool your opponents with where you will put your tank by putting it elevated in a spot surrounded by troops, usually where your opponent doesn’t expect a placement.
There are usually two questions that immediately come to people in regards to command cards. “Why no Synchronized Offensive?” “How do you always give the tank an order?” The second is answered with Authoritative. The first is answered by flexibility. The clone 1 pip only is able to give an order to the Saber, Ambush can give an order to any unit. Synchronized Offensive also only gives 1 extra order, which with the Clone Commander’s Direct and Fives’ Coordinate isn’t worth the lack of flexibility.
Another very important note about command cards is to play Padmé’s 3 Pip Diplomatic cover on the first turn, not Divulged. This gives Padmé Reliable 1, providing a surge token to the Saber to beef up its defense, as well as the rest of the clones if need be.
The rest of the command cards all have their uses and can be played as they’re needed. Standing Orders also is very viable to be played as with a 9 activation list you often don’t want to win priority.
Commanding The List
I’m now going to dive into the actual running of the list. I’m going to go from least important to most important units.
The least important unit in the entire list is the naked Phase 1. Its job is to do objectives and then share tokens to the other clones, mainly an aim to the ARCs and dodges to all the clones. The Phase 1 almost always will be tapping one or two Vaps, grab one or two boxes on recover etc. The rest of the clones are all of relatively equal importance.
The list also has two ARC strike teams. These are quite important for providing long range shots into your opponent. Always try to have at least two aims available when you’re shooting with your ARCs, each shot is very important so you don’t want it to go to waste.
The two units of Phase 2’s are very different and serve very different roles. The Phase 2 with Z-6 is there to provide another heavy weapon, more tokens for your ARCs and to generally just be bodies. This squad is the most flexible of your units as it doesn’t have a predefined role, so it can fill in where need be. I often find myself using it early to tap a Vap. I also often use this squad as my hostage carrier as it has five wounds and is very hard to suppress when carrying a hostage.
Fives’ squad is your most bulky unit, taking up a massive 116 points. This unit has seven wounds and throws eight black dice. It also has a point of Repair with the Clone Engineer. This unit needs to always be at Range 2 of the commander to receive a Direct order to Coordinate. This unit is mostly used as the bulwark of the list. Make sure not to lose wounds unnecessarily and it can become a monster in the late game. The single point of Repair should usually be used as soon as the first wound is taken on the Saber so that the Engineer isn’t tied to Range 1 of the Saber.
The generic Clone Commander is also a great buff to the list overall. It brings in the Air Support play, and can throw some surge tokens around which is often a concern with this list. It also of course can provide aims and dodges to the clones around it. Of special note is that if you find yourself in a tank duel or another scenario where the Saber is going to take a lot of fire, the commander can bolster the tank and Padmé to provide two extra surge tokens to the tank per turn. This is usually the most effective way to duel AATs as you can’t use your dodge tokens but you can still use your surge tokens. Also insure that the Clone Commander is at Range 2 of whatever you want to use Vigilance on. This is usually Padmé, but if you’re in a trooper fight you can keep two dodges around if you keep them on corps. This is usually most applicable in the late game if the Saber hasn’t taken any wounds so you know it will live but your corps are in danger.
Saber Tank and Support
The tank and its support pieces are of course the most important part of the list. What do we do with these pieces? The goal is to keep everything alive and get really good quality shots with the tank. Basically you want Padmé using Quick Thinking and then taking another green token. If you aren’t going to get a great shot, take another dodge, if you have a good shot lined up take an aim, and if the enemy is getting close, take a standby. Even if you don’t think a standby will be triggered it can be very useful for zoning your opponent out. R2-D2 should always be at Range 1 of Padmé and also try to be at Range 1 of the tank. By being at Range 1 of both you can Repair and Calculate Odds in one turn. Be very careful with Calculate Odds though as it does also give a suppression which will strip a standby on Padmé. This means if you’re trying to zone out a force user it’s more important to have a standby down then an extra aim and dodge.
Speaking of green tokens, you’ll have a lot of them, be careful how you spend them. Padmé should have Reliable 1 from her card Diplomatic Cover. That surge should be saved for defense and spend the clone troopers’ tokens first if able. Also be conscious of what kind of shooting your opponent has when spending dodges. Dodges should always be prioritized for piercing shots. All your clones and the tank should have a surging red save, this means that a dodge token spent on a non-piercing shot saves 1/3 of a wound, whereas a piercing shot saved is a full wound saved. The tank also has Outmaneuver of course, which means you can spend dodges on crits. When you are hit by an impact shot, be careful how you spend your dodges. Impact occurs after dodges are spent, generally this means I use my dodges to strip any natural crits out of the attack pool and let the impact value go against my save, then Repair any damage.
Saber Go Brrrrrr
The next green token to spend is aims. You can generate up to five aims a turn, Linked Targeting Array, aim action on Saber, aim action plus Quick Thinking on Padmé, and Calculate Odds from C3PO.) Often you’ll actually have four sometimes three. When shooting the main gun plus the Twin Laser Turret with four aims the average number of results is 8.372. This means you are averaging over six saves past cover. This is how you defeat enemy units. Getting a full boat of 9 results is also not uncommon, keep in mind you can also spend a surge off Padmé to increase your offense as well. The other dice pool is the main gun plus armor-piercing shells. This dice pool, with four aims averages 7.597 results through armor. That result, on average, will defeat a rebel AT-RT in 1 shot, as well as put a lot of damage on most armored targets. You can of course shoot with less aims which is important if you need to go first with the tank to wipe something. The average results with 1 aim is 6.698 with the main gun plus the Twin Laser Turret. This is still really good of course, though it can swing a bit with only two red dice.
This list is overall quite fun to play and was fairly effective for me in competitive play which definitely can’t be said about a lot of vehicle lists. I’m excited to see in the future how this list holds up and how possible future errata may see this list possibly grow in value, especially if GAR points stay the same but clone trooper centric lists lose some strength.
Saber Tank Summary
The Saber Tank is one of my favorite units in Legion and has been my favorite Star Wars vehicle ever since Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (2005) where I also made the Saber go brrrrrr.
Overall the Saber is a super tough unit that, with support, can be made into an offensive and defensive powerhouse. The saber also has very good customizability with a variety of upgrades and builds that are very good and viable.
My next article will cover the other unit mentioned a lot in this article, Padmé Amidala.