Fantasy Flight has developed some of the biggest Star Wars tabletop games around, including X-Wing, Armada, and Imperial Assault. The company has relatively recently expanded into the world of true miniature-based warfare with Star Wars: Legion, which brings together armies large and small to do battle on your tabletop. Your armies can consist of a few units and a vehicle or two or several AT-AT's and Speeder Bikes flanked by troopers and tanks if you so choose, and that flexibility is part of what makes the game so addictive. ComicBook.com recently had the chance to dig into the Star Wars: Legion Starter Set, and we're here to give you the full rundown on what we think about the game and whether it's the right fit for you.
First and foremost, there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding to jump into Legion. The biggest thing is a simple one, but it matters, and that's space. We played a game at our office conference table, and that was still a bit cramped, and your ordinary dining room table will probably be as well. The game recommends 3' x 3', and it means it, though for the core set that doesn't hurt you as much. Once you start bringing in tanks and other vehicles however that space gets eaten up quickly, and to get the most out of those units' range and movements you're going to want to have ample space to maneuver. The same goes for terrain, which the game recommends using, but honestly not having any for the starter set didn't make us feel as if we were missing out.
Once you get into actually playing the game, there is a bit of a learning curve, especially regarding giving orders and unit-to-unit combat. The issuing orders phase was actually the trickiest thing for us to get locked down, as it can be affected by the units you decide to give orders to as well. Here's the phase in a nutshell: On your turn you will randomly pull an Order token and resolve a unit that matches that token, that is unless you decide to issue an order, which allows you to choose one or a few units to activate during your turn directly before you have to randomly draw. Once we managed to get the hang of that and the limitations regarding it (like that your units have to be a certain distance from a Commander unless you have an ability stating otherwise), the game really picked up in pace.
Our first turn took a while, but after that, the second and following turns took a fourth of that time. That's when you start really getting into the deeper aspects of combat, like whether or not you should move Luke Skywalker into a group of Stormtroopers on his own to keep them from blasting at your other unit or if you should hammer a vehicle instead to knock away it's resilience so you can hamper its abilities.
The more comfortable you get with your skills and options the quicker the pace moves, and only having two actions per turn keeps the momentum moving to create a compelling back and forth between players. Combined with the activation process that also keeps players from being overwhelmed with their options, as you are only dealing with one unit at a time.
As for combat, it's quite entertaining, and while some won't love that it relies on dice rolls, I personally do. That randomness factor is what makes it feel fluid and exciting, as even if you're facing heavy odds (like say one trooper versus a whole squadron) you still might have a small sliver of hope, especially with how Stroomtroopers can still miss you with six attack dice at their beck and call.
The miniatures themselves are stellar, and while the assembly can be a bit monotonous, it isn't difficult, just time consuming, especially when you start adding little accessories to vehicles (looking at you Speeder Bikes). These miniatures beg to be painted, but look fantastic even without full color, and you'll quickly want more in your army.
The Learn to Play manual divides things into a starter game half and an expanded half, though the second half doesn't go back over some of the things from the first half, and that can lead to some confusion, especially in your first game. That's why you'll want to keep the Rules Reference handy for your first game, and you'll probably be checking it a lot during initial play. It's a lot to take in, so if you miss a few things don't stress, as you'll just learn for the next game.
The notion of commanding an army in miniatures combat might be a bit daunting to some, but Fantasy Flight does an excellent job of giving the player a wealth of options while also keeping the moment to moment gameplay tight and entertaining. You'll quickly get lost in the feeling of being a general as you command your Imperial or Rebel troops against the enemy, and you don't need more than the starter set to make that happen. That said, if you're looking for even deeper options you'll definitely want to pick up an expansion or two, but the great thing is it's not a necessity. Good luck not getting addicted to Star Wars: Legion after playing this, because we sure are.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Star Wars: Legion is available now.
Published By: Fantasy Flight Games and Asmodee
Designed By: Alex Davy
Art By: Henning Ludvigsen
For all the Star Wars fans who have ever wanted to kick butt with Darth Vader, Star Wars Legion is definitely a game they’d enjoy. Having no experience at all with miniature war games and being more of a console gamer, I was a little skeptical about Legion. My concerns came from just looking at all the pieces, making me think this would be too complex. There were many rules, but after our first round and some trial and error, the game became easier to play. I enjoyed playing this as much as Star Wars Battlefront II and I believe that is because both games are tailored to please the core fans.
I had a turn where I rolled the dice and my Stormtroopers missed every shot out of 5 chances to attack. I found that more funny than anything because it’s what you’d expect from a Stormtrooper, and being able to use Darth Vader’s Force Choke only sweetened the game that much more.0comments
I believe this game is perfect for any lover of the franchise, and will also be a fun time for fans who don’t usually play these type of games. They’ve certainly made a new player out of me for sure! - Richard Adams
Let us know what you think about Star Wars: Legion in the comments, and make sure to hit me up on Twitter @MattAguilarCB for all things Tabletop!