Star Wars Legion Core – Project Complete

The Force is Strong with this Game

I am going to start this one out with the following statement: This one is not my fault. 

A long time ago in a galaxy far, fa- I mean, a few months back. One of my gaming friends and Hobby Hangout community members assaulted me with a one-two punch, and really, there was little I could do. What did Clay do to me? Well, I guess I now know what Greedo thought in the pre-messed version of, A New Hope. First I was glamoured by images of his first game of Star Wars: Legion. I was instantly intrigued. Simultaneously another member and college friend was posting his games from across the country in my Facebook Hangout as well. Then Clay was kind enough to supply us with an article on my website describing his experience with Star Wars: Legion. That about sealed my fate: I was in.

As I stated in my previous post, I have a long time connection to Star Wars, and honestly, it was just a matter of time. It makes me feel better to have someone to shift some of the blame on. I jokingly blame it all on Clay. But, in reality it’s just a long-running obsession peeking its head up above water and huranging me a little. 

While I was neck-deep in anguish and despair over my escalating Pile of Shame total, I ordered the small 4-man box of Stormtroopers, lying to myself quite expertly that I was just going to see if I like the models and I did. I painted the Stormtroopers up in a way similar to the way Duncan showed us all in his Painting Academy. My wife and I decided that I would not order the Star Wars Core set until after I was done with my Iron hands project and the Marvel: Crisis Protocol project at least. I got through the Marvel minis in time for Robert’s visit. 

The Core Set

Needless to say, I soon had the Core Set in hand and as you would expect, the Iron Hands project I was working on is, well, lets just say I am still working on it. But, I am done with the Legion Core Set, and have a small force of Galactic Empire and Rebel forces ready to play with.

Darth Vader and one unit of Stormtroopers

The set came together quickly and was easy to build. The resin models come bagged in matching pairs; there are 7 of each trooper model per side, including 1 leader model and two heavy weapon models to choose from. The models push together and have enough tension to stay assembled while priming and painting, but allowing for slight disassembling to make painting easier. The only thing that has to be glued is the base, which comes in a separate color for each faction. 

Luke Skywalker and one unit of Rebel Troopers painted up in desert colors

Each faction gets a support unit as well. The Rebel force comes with a small walker unit with three heavy weapon options. A set of the speeder bikes from Return of the Jedi are included for the Empire side. These were also easy to assemble, but watch out, I didn’t notice that the flight stands had notches in them until it was too late; I had to do some minor hobby surgery to get the bikes to align with the front and back movement notches in the vehicle base; it worked out fine in the end. As a plus, you only have to figure out how to glue the walker on relatively straight compared to those same notches. 

Most importantly of all, each side came with a force wielder, and I couldn’t pick a better pair for the box; Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader looking as they did in A New Hope. Yeah, the fights might have been better in the prequels, but these two are the iconic father and son fight for the ages and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was excited to get Vader on the table; Kera usually plays the bad guys, but this time I was taking the reins of the Empire and she was going to play the rebels. 

The box comes with everything required to get going. It comes with 3 bespoke movement tools, a component ruler and a handful of customer dice, all of which are necessary for the game. Well, the ruler is merely four 6 inch sections, but it disassembles to be stored in the box. On top of the models described above it also comes with some super-simple barriers to use in the demo game and beyond. Lastly, there is a vast collection of tokens and cards for the units included, possible upgrades, commander cards and deployment maps. 

Speaking of box contents, I don’t need some noob friendly Learn to Play book, gimme the full rules, damnit. Wrong. The Rules Reference is free online, thank you so much Atomic Mass Games. This allows them to update it regularly. I printed mine on my laser printer and spiral bound it. I thought I was a genius, but a few minutes with the book made me realize how much of a reference it really is. The How to Play rules are the game. Don’t be a dope like me, just start there. The online reference is literally a book of rules references in alphabetical order so you can figure out how something works in regards to something else. So, I went to the included rules and read them. 

Models were built and painted. Rules were read and at least marginally understood. Now all I needed was a learning game. Cue the visit from Clay. 

The Gameplay

One fateful Taco Tuesday (what can I say, I am a sucker for a good Taco) Clay made his way to my place, and we got a demo game of Legion in after shooting the proverbial shit at lunch. I was eager to use the official Tatooine play mats I overpaid for on eBay. We set up some unpainted terrain that I had and some amazing looking crates that he made by hand. 

I had read the rules and mostly understood what was about to happen, and Clay straightened me out on a few things. We alternated deploying units. Then we set about it.

The 3 foot by 3 foot game mat that was way out of print when I got it on eBay

Immediately I loved the random alternating activations coupled with the gambling style system to see which side goes first. When fielding your army you come ready with a few command cards, either generic or pertaining to your Commander, in my case Darth Vader. 

Each command card has a pip rating, represented by 1 to 3 dots on the top left. You choose in secret at the beginning of the round. However many pips are on the card you use, you can put an activation token next to that many units, or in some instances a specific unit type. Yet whoever chooses the card with the fewest pips goes first. And you can only use the command cards once (well, other than the standing orders card which can be used whenever) so you have to choose wisely. 

When it swings back to you to activate a unit, you can either activate one that you already placed a token next to, or you can pull a random token. Each token has a corresponding unit type on it; if you pull the “troop” icon, you have to use one of your troop units. Fairly easy. But also refreshing. I couldn’t count on doing whatever I wanted as I saw fit, I had to react to not only Clay’s decisions but also the random order of the units activating while choosing when to use the ones you predetermined. 

The included movement tools were familiar after learning Marvel: Crisis Protocol earlier in the year. The vehicles have little notches built into the front and back, into which you have to insert the end of the movement tool, thereby restricting the movement of vehicle models. Infantry models get to move freely along the movement tool and are based on the squad leader, which is moved and then the rest of the squad is placed within the shortest movement tool of the leader model. 

Clay advancing Skywalker towards the objective in the center

Determining range is also handled quite easily. A four-part range ruler is included. Each segment is 6 inches. If something is within the second segment, they are range two. Doesn’t get much easier than that. Knowing that, you could use a tape measure, but the included collapsing ruler works fine. 

Then you start rolling the bespoke dice. There are 3 types of dice:d6s, d8s and d12s. These come in two colors, white for attacking and a red/brown kinda color for defense. I have seen some truly cumbersome custom dice before (lookin at you, Crisis Protocol) but these are easy. You either have a hit/shield, a miss, a crit or a surge. Some unit cards or abilities allow for suggestions to be extra successes, some don’t. Done. 

So my Stormtroopers roll 4 white d8s to hit, and then Clay rolls brownish dice for each hit to see if he defends, cover subtracts hits as well but cant remove a critical. Any successes left after does a damage. 

I mentioned unit cards. The game supplies cards for each unit in the box. It also comes with one of each potential upgrade for each unit. I was thrilled by this aspect of the game, having played Warhammer 40k for nearly forever and being required to pay for every damn rule or unit entry I wanted/needed. Each card has a point cost, and some basic stats, including how many models come in the unit. On the side it also lists the available upgrade slots, allowing most units to take an extra trooper, so you could take another basic model or a model with a special weapon. You can also take gear, training and other options, each with an additional point cost. Best of all, when you buy a new model or squad, the unit card and the available upgrades are included. 

The stormtroopers fought exactly as I expected. They didn’t hit as often as I wanted to but the armor kept them alive. The speeder bikes were fun and devastating. Clay brought some rebel troopers, who could actually hit me, but crumpled when I managed to hit them due to forgetting to wear armor. Silly Rebels. His wookiees took a beating before they fell. All felt right.

The walker that Clay brought was interesting. I had wondered how vehicles would feel different, other than movement, and it turns out they have the armor rule. This means only critical hits cause them damage. Lucky for me I took a missile launcher, which also has a rule to turn several successes into crits; too bad his walker was smaller than a barn because my troopers in white barely managed to hit it.

A touching family reunion

And then Luke and Vader got into it. That bit of the gameplay was important to me: would the force users feel special? First odd, their lightsabers allow them to ignore armor while simultaneously making them immune to the ignore armor rule. Just like other units, they get upgrade options, including force powers. Sure as shit, I took force Choke and Throw Lightsaber. I had a good time, winging that blade of angry red light through some rebels and even choked the last hit point out of a wookie. When Luke and Vader engaged, it got really interesting. We were both picking one-pip command cards to try to go first, throwing up dodge actions and then attempting to murder one another. The back and forth went a few rounds, it was certainly dicey a few times and in the end, Vader prevailed. 

He moved to the center objective after striking his son down, and Clay and I tied. I had a great first game, and I have continued to paint both empire and rebel models so that my wife and I can battle it out on the dusty plains of Tatooine. 

Thank you, for getting me acquainted, Clay. Can’t wait to throw my lightsaber at your rebels again soon.

What’s Next

I would like to say that eventually I will get more models, but, well, I already have a goodly sum for the Empire and nearly as many models for the Rebellion scum, er, I mean side. I have to finish painting up what I have left for now and do a video on the collection. 

I need to get some terrain for the Tatooine mats I purchased. I am unsure if I want to buy, build or 3D print some scenery. I do know my Gothic ruin stuff for 40k absolutely looks out of place. I also need to weather all of the miniatures and stain the bases to match the game mats I purchased, but I will wait until I am happy with the collections as a whole to do that.

And the mercenary faction has been announced by Atomic Mass Games, led by the post-cut-in-half Darth Maul, so, yeah, that’s gonna happen, too. Stay tuned.

[This post was originally published at Otherverse Games & Hobbies]


Obsessive and neurotic collector of little plastic men, novels about the same little plastic men and paints to make the little plastic men pretty. Married to Kera, who puts up with him and pretends that she doesn’t hear him speaking to the little plastic men in between making pew pew noises in the hobby room. Requires adult supervision. A menace to himself but rarely to others. More beard than man

More about Tyson | Tyson’s contributions