More Than Miniatures
Guest Writer Charles Bryers on the Operations of Star Wars™: Legion Organized Play
"I can't kill my own father."
–Luke Skywalker, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
The greatest warriors and the greatest generals share many traits—strength, skill, dedication, discipline, and an eye toward efficiency. But the truly revolutionary warriors and generals? The ones whose actions may dramatically alter the fate of the galaxy? These heroes are marked by something else, as well—a vision that allows them to see and understand things in ways that others cannot.
In Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker saw and followed a path that remained hidden to even the wisest of Jedi before him. Yoda and Obi-Wan knew that Luke had to confront Darth Vader and the Emperor, but they thought he had to destroy them in order to defeat them. Luke saw another path; he saw the good that still remained in his father, and he risked his life to draw it out. Luke succeeded, and his decision ultimately resulted in the Emperor's downfall and the Rebel Alliance's victory in the Galactic Civil War.
The galaxy's greatest warriors and generals will find plenty of battles and battlefields to conquer in Star Wars™: Legion. The game's setup ensures that every game offers you new objectives and interactions with deployment and terrain. These variables add new challenges to your battles, and whether or not you emerge from these battles victorious will depend, once again, upon your strength, skill, dedication, discipline, and eye toward efficiency. You'll need to balance the troops you commit toward your objective against those you'll use to counter your opponent's initial charge. You'll need to establish your perimeter. You'll need to assess your opponent's weaknesses. Every battle needs a plan…
But what about the true visionaries? The ones looking at these battles differently? What if there were more to gain? After all, to quote Yoda, "Wars not make one great."
As much as Star Wars: Legion is your gateway into the Star Wars galaxy, its battles are as big—or small—as you make them. Your tournament-style skirmishes are fun and challenging. But there are other ways to explore all that Star Wars: Legion has to offer, and the Operations introduced by Star Wars: Legion Organized Play may lead you to see and enjoy the game in new ways. For more information about these Operations, we turn to guest writer Charles Bryers, who shares his own introduction to these Operations and how they have enriched his games.
Guest Writer Charles Bryers on His Introduction to Operations
In my area, the buzz around the release of Star Wars: Legion was intense, and I did my best to stir up interest in my gaming community for months in advance. Finally, it came out, and I immediately fell in love with the way it presented the Star Wars galaxy and handled its battles.
I wanted more and was eager to see what Fantasy Flight Games was offering with its Organized Play. My first taste of the game's Operations came with Operation: Gathering Forces, which I played at my Friendly Local Gaming Store (FLGS).
The escalation model of Operation: Gathering Forces, combined with the weekly league structure outlined in the Recruitment Kit, allowed our group to grow our forces gradually, even as we were learning the game together. The Operation was a great introduction, and by the time we got to week four, our small community was ready for those big 800-point games.
For those who haven’t yet explored what Operations involve, they’re essentially event guides that offer your FLGS alternative event structures outside of the standard 800-point game described in the rulebook. In other words: Operations are a whole lot of fun.
Three New Operations
Since Star Wars: Legion Organized Play features three new Operations each season, they do a great job of keeping the game fresh, and the Operations from Season Two 2018 each come with their own set of unique challenges.
- Operation: Massing Superiority continues to play with the themes and possibilities of escalation. It starts with a 400-point skirmish and builds toward an epic 1000-point battle. Some alternate achievements have been included and add their own spice to your games, too.
- Operation: Take the Hill is an entanglement event based on shorter games that use smaller forces. The Operation includes a unique battle builder to define the battlefield with a bunch of fun new deployments, objectives, and conditions. My personal favorite is one of the new objectives named Secure the Drone. I haven't played this yet, but I can’t wait to see Stormtroopers and Rebel Troopers staring menacingly at each other while they desperately try to reprogram a very confused R2 unit.
- Operation: Blue Metal introduces a thematic narrative and branching gameplay structure. Over the course of its sessions, two players battle for control of an abandoned mining facility. Extra rules, unique missions, and Targeting Scopes for everyone! If you're looking for an Operation that really makes you feel like your battles might change the shape of the Galactic Civil War, this is where the action’s at.
Experiencing the Narrative
Recently a friend and I immersed ourselves in Operation: Blue Metal. As a huge fan of narrative gaming, I was positively chuffed that Fantasy Flight Games had developed a ready-to-go, interconnected, branching Operation full of flavor text and player-specific objectives.
One player becomes the Red Player, and the other becomes the Blue Player. They are assigned different objectives, and face different developments as they play through their battles. Taking up the role of Blue Player I received my first mission briefing:
“An abandoned mining facility lays at the far end of our position. We have received intel that enemy forces want to reopen its production.”
Not on my watch!
My Rebel forces locked and loaded their blaster rifles and got on the comlink to call in some serious air support. No way were the Imperials going to capture that mining facility. Except… they did.
Game 1 of Operation: Blue Metal opens with both forces rushing laterally across the battlefield to capture the mining facility, attempting to inflict maximum casualties upon their opponent and intercepting transmissions as they go. Lots to achieve!
Needless to say, our forces quickly got stuck into each other. My opponent’s AT-ST blew Airspeeders out of the sky left, right, and center, while Luke Skywalker valiantly subdued the Imperial Stormtroopers attempting to get to the mining facility. Even though I managed to capture the key objective of the mining facility, the Imperials had decimated my Rebel forces on the way there, comfortably intercepting all the transmissions in the meantime. Victory to the Imperials.
This is where I felt Operation: Blue Metal started to get REALLY interesting. As the Operation moved forward, the winner of Game 1 was tasked with defending the mining facility while the other player (you can say it… loser) took on the role of attacker. At this point we had really started to get into the narrative. We shifted the battlefield around so that it better represented what a defended mining facility may look like—barricades out the front and my opponent’s General Veers standing heroically on a protected balcony, yelling orders to the Stormtroopers below.
I gathered in my Rebel leaders, and gave them a rallying speech:
“Intelligence doesn’t know what they plan on doing with the mine, but we have to get there quick!”
Good enough for me! In spite of my best efforts (and excellent speech) Game 2a also went the way of the Imperials. Turns out Veers is pretty good when directing Imperial forces from a reinforced position. Who knew?
The game really came down to a pivotal moment when Luke Skywalker had scaled the mining facility wall in an effort to finish off Veers for some sweet bonus victory points. He was unfortunately stopped short by some very poor defensive dice rolling on my part. Imperial Victory. Again.
With the Red Player victorious in Game 2a, Operation: Blue Metal proceeded to Game 3a. Had I managed to scrape together a victory as the Blue Player, we would have played Game 3b. Games 3a and 3b are completely different, as are Games 4a and 4b. This is where the replayability of this Operation really comes into effect.
The rest of the afternoon resulted in the Rebels surrounding and crushing the Imperial forces in Game 3a with the help of some cheeky Targeting Scopes. Spurred on by their first success for the day, the Rebels attempted to push onwards to victory and get enough of their forces into the Imperial deployment zone to capture the mining facility. Game 4a was again a Rebel victory, as my forces shut down the mining operation before the Imperials could get their hands on the precious metals deep beneath the frozen ground.
We had an absolute blast playing through Operation: Blue Metal.
The Operation's narrative led us deeper into the game. We took on the characters of our army, designed the battlefield to suit each of our games, and made a few questionable tactical decisions to match the story we were playing out on the tabletop. The games weren’t just focused on which player was going to win, but instead on enjoying the whole experience of the Operation. Given the level of replayability that Operation: Blue Metal offers, I can’t wait to take on the role of the Red Player and aim for some of the games we didn’t get to play.
In the end, Operation: Blue Metal, Operation: Massing Superiority, and Operation: Take the Hill each bring their own flavor to your Star Wars: Legion events. Together they provide an immense level of flexibility that allows your FLGS to run three really unique events, in three totally different structures (single-day, weekly, or rivals), that will challenge and reward players in new and fun ways.
If you haven't already, I encourage you to dive in and try something a little different from the objectives, deployments, and conditions you’re already familiar with. Of course, you can download the Objectives to play with your buddies, but you shouldn't overlook the larger Organized Play experience. I am so far very impressed with the effort to focus Star Wars: Legion Organized Play on thematic gaming that takes players outside of their 800-point comfort zones. More ways to enjoy your games of Star Wars: Legion can only be a good thing. Get involved!
Charles Bryers is the producer of a YouTube channel where he strives to share the best Star Wars: Legion news, tactics, and gameplay. When he’s not playing Star Wars: Legion, Charles can be found rolling blanks in Star Wars™: Destiny, crashing Star Destroyers in Star Wars™: Armada, or justifying his strange roleplaying choices in Star Wars™: Edge of the Empire. If it’s gaming, and it’s Star Wars, Charles is all over it!
Explore More of What Star Wars: Legion Has to Offer
Take your games of Star Wars: Legion to the next level with Organized Play and its Operations!
The Operations from the Recruitment Kit and Season Two 2018 Ground Assault Kit are available for free download from the Organized Play website. You can enjoy them at home with your friends, or you can immerse yourself even more fully in the galaxy's greatest ground battles by heading to your friendly local game store and getting involved with your local community. New friendships and custom prizes await you when you do!
Enjoy all that Star Wars: Legion has to offer by adding new challenges and narrative context to its battles. Fight your way through the Operations currently online, and keep your eyes open for more information about the battles and Operations to come!