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Star Wars: Legion – Combat Preview

6 Minute Read
Jan 2 2018
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Combat in tabletop wargames can make or break the entire system – take a look at how it works in Legion!

When we went to GenCon 50 last year we got a demo of Star Wars: Legion. Needless to say, it was a pretty big draw at the show:

Today, we’re going to cover the combat of Legion in a bit more detail thanks to Fantasy Flight Games.

via Fantasy Flight Games

“Attacking your enemies is one of the most fundamental actions in Star Wars: Legion. Destroying all of your opponent’s miniatures is rarely your true objective in the game—but you can be sure that you won’t make much progress without attacking your opponent’s units and inflicting casualties. Like movement, the combat system in Star Wars: Legion keeps the action flowing quickly with the tempo of the battle, while still providing room for you to make clever tactical choices. To initiate an attack, you’ll simply use one of your unit’s two actions during its activation to attack—though it’s important to note that only one action per activation can be used to attack.”

The basics of combat are pretty simple:

  • Activate a unit
  • Use one of it’s two actions to attack a target
  • Select the weapon profile
  • Attacker rolls Attack Dice
  • Defender rolls Defense Dice
  • Check damage and remove casualties

There is a bit more to each step – but that’s the general overview of how combat works. For Melee, it’s very similar – only both players will roll attack dice and defense dice. Obviously, those units are limited to Melee Weapons only. They also can’t target or be targeted by ranged attacks from outside the melee combat.

In this example, the Stormtroopers are shooting at a unit of Rebels. They are using the E-11 Blaster Rifles which have a range of 1-3. Each model that is attacking get to contribute to the attack so the Stormtroopers get to roll 5 attack dice. The results of the attack are 1 hit, 1 surge and 3 blanks.

Each unit in the game has a unit card. On the right side of the card, it shows how they can spend surges (circled in red above). As you can see the Stormtroopers can spend surges to generate a single hit. So, the surge converts over to a hit and we end up with 2 hits and 3 blanks – not bad for Stormtrooper shooting!


At this point, we would like to point out that this game does use custom dice from FFG – White, Black and Red Attack Dice. White dice have the fewest hits. Black dice have more hits, and Red dice have the most damage of all three. It also has custom dice for defense as well – White, Black, and Red Defense Dice. Let’s take a look at the Rebels Card:

The Rebel Unit has a White Defense dice. For every successful hit generated by the attack, the defender rolls the corresponding Defense die. So the Rebels would roll 2 dice:

In this example, the defending Rebels rolled a blank and a surge. Luckily for them, their surge allows them to convert it over to a successful block. They still take a hit and lose a model based on their wound threshold from the card above.

“Some units—especially vehicles—have higher wound thresholds. This means they won’t be destroyed in a single hit, but they’re still far from impervious. Vehicles have a resilience value printed below the wound threshold on their card, and when they’ve taken wounds equal to their resilience, they suffer some form of severe damage. A vehicle may become damaged and sacrifice actions, it may be disabled and suffer movement restrictions, or one of its weapons may be destroyed, preventing you from using that weapon for the rest of the game!”


Suppression Fire – AKA DUCK!

In Star Wars: Legion, every time a unit suffers a ranged attack that generates at least one hit or critical, they also receive a Suppression Token. These tokens aren’t entirely bad as they represent the unit scrambling to find cover. But they also generate some negative effects as well. Looking back at the Rebel card above, you can see they have a Courage Value of 1. If a unit has a number of Suppression Tokens that meet or beat it’s Courage Value, the unit loses an action! And it gets worse…

If a unit has a number of Suppression Tokens that is equal to double or more of it’s courage value, then it becomes panicked and cannot perform any other actions besides a single move action towards the closest edge of the battlefield. If it moves beyond that edge, well, it’s gone as it has retreated from battle!

That sounds pretty harsh, right? Well the good news is that at the end of every round, units remove a single Suppression Token. Also, at the beginning of each activation they can attempt to Rally to and remove Suppression Tokens, too. Leader units also have a “stabilizing” effect on units which makes those Commanders even more important on the tabletop!

If you’re curious about movement, or how the command system works check out those links for more info from FFG. You can also check out even more info on how combat works by reading FFG’s full article HERE. Star Wars: Legion is up for Pre-Order right now from FFG as well!

Star Wars: Legion $89.95


Warfare is an inescapable part of the Star Wars universe, from the Rebel Alliance’s defeat in the Battle of Hoth to a few elite Rebel strike teams taking on a legion of stormtroopers on the Forest Moon of Endor. You can seize your chance to get your boots on the ground and lead your troops to victory with Star Wars™: Legion, a miniatures game of thrilling infantry battles in the Star Wars universe!

Star Wars: Legion invites you to enter the ground battles of the Galactic Civil War as the commander of a unique army of miniatures filled with troopers, powerful ground or repulsor vehicles, and iconic characters like Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker. While innovative mechanics for command and control simulate the fog of war and the chaos of battle, the game’s unpainted, easily assembled minis give you a canvas to create the Star Wars army you’ve always wanted to lead into battle—whether you fight for the monolithic, oppressive Galactic Empire or the ragtag Rebel Alliance.


“Concentrate all fire on that Super Star Destroyer.”

~Admiral Ackbar

Author: Adam Harrison
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