The War Is Just Beginning
A Look at the Maximum Firepower Events for Star Wars™: Legion
"The Rebellion is reborn today. The war… is just beginning."
–Luke Skywalker, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The game is your gateway into the Star Wars galaxy. It allows you to enjoy ferocious battles between miniature troopers, Force users, and towering combat vehicles—all taking place while blaster fire rips through the air in all directions. It's a hobby and an outlet for your creative talents. Our Twitter feed is full of your fantastic paint work and customizations. It's a game that invites you to explore both tactics and narratives. And it's a game that can be played competitively.
If you are looking to test your wits and firepower against the best opponents you can find, Star Wars: Legion Organized Play offers a range of tournament experiences. Your local game store can host any of its seasonal Ground Assault events as a single day tournament. Select retailers will soon be able to host the game's prestigious Rallypoint Qualifiers; we'll have more information about these soon. And then you have the top-level Maximum Firepower events hosted at conventions and similar events.
Maximum Firepower events invite the game's very best and most enthusiastic players to bring their armies, form their strategies, and prove their worth. These are top-tier events that are certain to challenge even the most experienced generals. Newer players attending these events are certain to learn all kinds of new tricks and tactics. And there are, of course, prizes, including invitations to attend the High Command event and march further along your path to the World Championship!
In August, we ran the first of these Maximum Firepower events at Gen Con Indy. Over the course of three epic days of Star Wars infantry battles, we saw all manner of strategies, and we saw four different players earn their invitations to the High Command: Nicholas Freeman, Dustin Foran, Ryan Sliwoski, and Eric Reynolds.
Several attendees participated in more than one Maximum Firepower event, as well as Sunday's Team Battle. One of these players was our first undefeated Maximum Firepower player and High Command invitee, Nicholas Freeman. We spoke with Nicholas to get a picture of the event from his point of view.
Nicholas Freeman on the Maximum Firepower Events at Gen Con Indy
Fantasy Flight Games (FFG): Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Let's start at the beginning. What first drew you to Star Wars: Legion?
Nicholas Freeman (NF): I have loved competitive miniatures games since I started playing them around the age of thirteen. I had recently left another popular game after it had an edition change that I didn’t love, and Star Wars: Legion came out at the exact right time for me—plus I’m a life-long Star Wars fan.
FFG: So I take it that you got in at the start of the game?
NF: I started following it when it was announced—maybe four or six months before it was released—and then I pre-ordered two of everything at launch.
FFG: What is it about miniatures games that draws you to them over other types of games?
NF: I think, for me, the appeal of miniatures games is that you have full control over your army, and luck isn’t as much of a factor as it can be in card games. I am never stuck waiting to draw a card. I have all the tools I need at the start, and then I have to figure out how to apply them. The control and mitigated luck appeal to me.
FFG: Does this mean your interest in miniatures is less in the immersion created by the figures and their interaction with the terrain than the measure of control you gain over the myriad moving pieces?
NF: I think it's both. I like the immersion, the hobby, and the tactics. Most of the other games I played had all those aspects, but I think for Legion specifically, it was that you start with all your cards in your hand. There is never a situation where you pay for tools in your list that you don’t have access to when you need them.
FFG: You played in all three Maximum Firepower events at Gen Con, and then you played in the Team Battle afterward. Were you already planning to go to Gen Con before the Maximum Firepower event was announced, or did you decide to attend the show specifically for Star Wars: Legion?
NF: I decided to go to Gen Con specifically for the Maximum Firepower events. As a competitive player, the invitation to the High Command event was important to me, and I figured that since there were three invitations available—and because the tournaments were each capped at 32 people—my game skill and experience gave me a pretty reasonable chance of getting at least one of them.
FFG: Anything beyond the potential invitation to the High Command that factored into your decision to attend?
NF: I was also interested in seeing what people were playing outside of my local meta and meeting some of the online community I had met and spoke with previously.
FFG: How did the event measure up to your expectations?
NF: It ran pretty consistent with what I would expect from any miniatures tournament, with the exception that there were no arguments over rules—as often happens in other systems. The rules are simple and clean, the community was really receptive to judge interpretations, and there was little arguing amongst players.
It definitely felt like a convention tournament to me. There were a lot more people playing, and the people playing were at a higher skill level than a local tournament. But everyone was still friendly and welcoming, even to the newer players.
FFG: Which of your games stood out as highlights, and why?
NF: To be honest, the games that I lost are more or less the only ones that I remember. They stuck out to me because the games that you lose are the games that you take lessons from.
FFG: You lost your first game on Friday after your opponent just barely managed to keep enough of his unit leaders alive to steal the victory with objective points…
NF: I was playing a double AT-ST list and got a bit overconfident. My opponent got really clever in a way I wasn't expecting and was able to steal one scenario point out from under me at the end of the sixth round. At that point, I had a chance to eliminate the rest of his units from the table and win anyway, but he made one last white die defense with Leia for the win.
I remember that game because if I wasn’t overconfident and had placed my AT-STs a little further forward he wouldn’t have been able to make it to my objective in the first place.
FFG: So for players looking to learn about Star Wars: Legion competitive play, what would you describe as the difference between casual and competitive play?
NF: The game plays very similar at both levels, but I think the competitive players are more aware of the scenario and more precise in placing their units.
In casual play, people will often move forward and place their units in cohesion close to the leader, where the more competitive players are very exact in where they place things to maximize the cover they will get and limit their enemies’ line of sight.
I also notice that in casual games it is more about defeating units, and that is where a lot of the fun happens. In competitive play, you are focused on getting the scenario points, and defeating enemies isn’t your first priority.
FFG: How do you help the more casual players notice those things and get themselves ready for more competitive games?
NF: I don’t expect everyone to do this, but I actually give my opponents tactical tips while we play. More importantly, I explain to them why the advice can help. I think that is a big reason I got the sportsmanship award all three days.
FFG: We appreciated it. It was clear that you were a positive influence throughout the event! And in a parallel universe, you could have been the guy crushing and demoralizing your opponents. We were all glad that wasn't the case.
NF: Me too… A game as young as Legion needs as much positive uplifting as it can get. It would be easy to crush someone and gloat, but that doesn’t build the community and can have a negative impact on the number of people who play and how much they enjoy it.
FFG: Was there anything you hoped to accomplish at the Maximum Firepower event beyond qualifying for the High Command at next year’s AdeptiCon?
NF: I was looking to make new friends. Since the game is so new and the community is still developing, I was looking to meet as many people as possible and to make in-person connections, which I was able to do. I met some people who lived kind of close to me, as well as some of the podcasters and frequent posters on the forums, and we are still continuing conversations we started at Gen Con.
FFG: What are your future goals for Star Wars: Legion? I presume you want to place as well as you can at the High Command and try to get to the World Championship. Beyond that, what are you looking to accomplish?
NF: I am definitely trying to qualify for the World Championship. Beyond that, I am really enjoying providing analysis on my Impact X blog and trying to help build and guide the community in a positive way.
Prepare Your Troops
Want to take your games of Star Wars: Legion to the next level? Test your mettle at an upcoming Maximum Firepower event. You can find a list of upcoming Maximum Firepower events on the Star Wars: Legion Organized Play site. Be sure to check with your event organizer to learn how the event is being structured and how the prizes are being distributed.
In the meantime, keep your eyes open for more Star Wars: Legion news, including a look at the Rallypoint Qualifiers and their prizes!
in our forums!