Developer Alex Davy on the Star Wars: Legion Rules Reference Update
“We have hope. Hope that things can get better. And they will.”
–Hera Syndulla, Star Wars: Rebels
An updated version of the Rules Reference for Star Wars™: Legion is now available! Of particular note in this update are point value changes for a number of units, which should encourage the use of more diversified armies at competitive events. This Rules Reference will formally go into effect on September 12th. Today, Star Wars: Legion developer Alex Davy goes in depth about these changes and how they could shape the coming battles of the Galactic Civil War.
Developer Alex Davy on the Rules Reference Update
Greetings Legion players!
What a ride it’s been for Star Wars: Legion! One of the greatest pleasures of my career has been watching this game explode out of the gate and bearing witness to all of the passion and creativity the community has poured into it from the day it was announced. It’s also been fascinating to see the many different armies players brought to events, and observe the ones that have had the most success.
When it comes to balance, every new competitive game has its unintended peaks and unanticipated valleys. After a little over a year of tournament play, we’ve taken stock of the state of the game. Over the course of this study, we identified a few major trends, analyzed what is and isn’t working, and formulated a plan for some careful course corrections.
Before diving into specifics, I’d like to outline our overall philosophy. First and foremost, it’s important to acknowledge that Legion is a hobby game, and players put hard work and passion into their armies. We want to ensure that players continue to feel that the time and effort they put into building and painting their forces is a valuable investment. With this in mind, we plan to keep these changes minimal, infrequent, and carefully targeted. To that end, we will be issuing points adjustments approximately once a year, prioritizing point decreases over increases and we feel that keeping errata to the bare minimum is necessary for the health of the game. It is our hope that this will allow players to field a much wider variety of units in a competitive setting and give them renewed interest in the lesser-used miniatures in their collections.
The vast majority of our adjustments are aimed at improving under-utilized units so that they can compete at the same level as many of the army-building staples players reach for time and time again. Vehicles, particularly from early waves, are seldom taken in competitive lists, and this update delivers large discounts to both vehicles and some of their key upgrade cards. A plethora of other updates are targeted at things like increasing the diversity of commanders that see play, deepening the pool of useful upgrade cards, and steering players toward lists that don’t rely as heavily on a full compliment of Corps units. As a rule, these changes will impact players collections in a purely positive way, allowing for much more diversity in army creation.
That said, it is sometimes necessary to take a sober look at the effect a unit is having on the game and take action accordingly. Rebel Commando and Scout Trooper Strike Teams equipped with sniper rifles are just such a unit, dominating competitive play and pushing a lot of fun Special Forces-rank units aside. Almost every top-level competitive list includes at least two sniper-equipped Strike Teams, and their utility in both list building and on the tabletop is undeniable.
Through extensive playtesting and analysis, it became clear that Strike Team snipers would need more than a simple points increase. Reliable, defense-penetrating attacks from infinite range, combined with the ability to protect the squad from nearly all danger through careful placement, make them a frustrating unit to face, and ensure that there is little opportunity for counter play. These tests, combined with the development of new content for future waves and the need for more granularity, led to a novel solution: the introduction of a new range band, range 5.
This range band will be retroactively applied to three units: The DLT-19x Sniper (Scout Troopers Unit Expansion), the DH-447 Sniper (Rebel Commandos Unit Expansion), and the 1.4 FD Laser Cannon Team (1.4 FD Laser Cannon Team Unit Expansion). In the case of the snipers, this greatly-reduced range band, in tandem with a slight points increase to the tremendously effective Strike Team units, brings these units down to a proper power level. In the case of the Laser Cannon Team, Range 5 allows this stationary unit much more board presence and utility, making it much harder for its opponents to simply avoid.
Moving forward, this addition to the game provides the Legion developers access to a new range band that, while powerful, still requires units to get closer to danger, opening up much more counter-play. Infinite range will also remain an option but can be reserved for particularly special weapons.
Finally, a brief note on the implementation of these changes: The printed points values on the cards will remain unchanged and will not be altered when these cards are reprinted or issued in future products. These original points values are designed to be used by new players and by casual players who prefer an unchanging game mode that they don’t have to keep track of. Official tournaments will be conducted utilizing the adjusted competitive play points values. Errata (such as changes to weapon ranges) applies to both modes of play, since in many cases errata is necessary for the rules to function correctly.
At this time, we do not intend to create an app to track and manage these changes, as it is our hope that they will be kept to a very manageable in number and frequency.
I hope you’re excited about these changes—and the bright future of Star Wars: Legion—as I am. Now go play with those T-47 Airspeeders!