Legion 101: Mechanics, Part I
Zachary Barry Outlines the Basic Principles of Star Wars: Legion
Now that Kevin has got you started with Legion 101 and the hobby aspects of Star Wars™: Legion, it’s now time to go over the core mechanics of the game. The four topics that we want to go over today are Army Requirements, Terrain, Defining the Battlefield and Deployment!
In a standard game of Star Wars: Legion, you build an army of units, and the army of units that you build has requirements as well as restrictions. For starters, you have 800 points to spend on the units in your army. Within those 800 points, you have to follow the guidelines shown below from the Rules Reference:
As you may notice, you must include certain units in your army, such as one commander and three corps units, in order to create a legal, standard list. Once you have met those requirements, you can build the rest of the list to your liking! Star Wars: Legion is a great example of a game that allows your army construction to be guided by you and what you want to play. Think of all of the great units you can put in a list together and feel the nostalgia of Star Wars!
Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Stormtroopers, and the Imperial Royal Guard all come to my mind when thinking of Imperials. But maybe you want to resist the Empire and put the likes of Luke Skywalker, General Leia Organa, Chewbacca, and Rebel Troopers on the table to bring peace back to the galaxy! Perhaps you bought the new Clone Wars factions and want General Kenobi or Count Dooku on the battlefield! No matter what faction you decide to start collecting, Star Wars: Legion will always be an infantry-based objectives style game and the army that you put on the table will be the biggest key component!
Now that you've put your army together, we need to talk about the battlefield that it'll fight on. The terrain your army fights on presents unique challenges and opportunities for every battle and Star Wars: Legion can accommodate just about anything you can add to your board, from model train trees to wooden blocks. In fact, you can even build your own custom terrain from craft supplies to add your own personal touch to your battlefields. No matter what you choose, the terrain you fight on can affect your army in several ways. First, it provides them with valuable cover they can duck behind to avoid enemy fire. At the same time, however, cover can also hinder your units' movement, preventing them from reaching their objectives as quickly.
As so many types of terrain can be added to your battlefields, it's important that you and your opponent agree on the exact effects of each type of terrain before you begin. If you have any questions about terrain, be sure to check out the Star Wars: Legion Rules Reference here. It should give you a better sense of how to determine the effects of each piece of terrain.
Once your troops enter combat, they'll be doing more than just blasting away at one another. The terrain you choose will also affect how they approach their objectives. Next, we'll take a look at defining the battlefield.
Defining the Battlefield
You have your 800 point army ready. You have a friend with their 800 point army ready. What’s next? Putting together a battlefield (also referred to as a map at times)!
As noted in the reference guide pictures above, there are certain ways to define terrain across the battlefield. Take the barricades that you received in your Core Set, which are typically found on almost every Star Wars: Legion battlefield—those are always considered heavy cover. Then, of course, you may have some light terrain across the map, and perhaps some big items like trees and buildings. Perhaps your table has some sort of creek or river on it, and it seems like it could potentially be difficult terrain. I bring up all these options because the battlefield actually gets determined and built by you, the players! When the terrain is all laid out, you and your opponent have a friendly discussion over the battlefield to define the pieces on the table. It’s so simple even a Wampa could do it!
On top of defining the terrain, there are also the battle cards. Your Core Set will come with four cards for each category: condition cards, objective cards, and deployment cards. The starting player separates the cards by type, shuffles them up, and lays three of each facedown on the table. Once the cards are in place, you'll flip them over and see what options are in front of you. The starting player now has the first “veto," eliminating the leftmost card in whatever category they choose. Once each player decides on their two vetoes, it's time to deploy. Below is a perfect example of how defining the battlefield operates:
The final step before the game begins is deployment—which we'll briefly explain using the battle cards from the scenario pictured above. The objective is Breakthrough and the conditions are clear. Deployment in this scenario happens to be Battle Lines:
As you can see in both the blue section and the red section, there is a little circle with the number 1 inside of it. In your Core Set, you will find a set of range rulers. A single section of those range rulers measures the distance known as “Range 1.” With this in mind, you now can see that your deployment zone stretches across the length of the table and then up the table to “Range 1” from the table edge. Battle Lines is a simple deployment card to start understanding how deployment zones work. Now that you marked the table accordingly, each player will start to place their miniatures on the table until every unit has been placed.
You now know everything to assemble your army and set up your battlefield. You're ready to start your first game of Star Wars: Legion! Join us next time as we take a closer look at what to expect when you enter combat for the first time!