Attention on Deck!

The specialists pack has hit the scene and with it, comes the exciting addition of officers! Table top simulator has given me an opportunity to add and try out officers (as personnel upgrade not commanders) starting in the fall. My invader league season 2 single elimination list, made use of the officer upgrade.

Today, I’m going to share some of my thoughts as to why I think the officer is strong upgrade to units.

The Imperial Officer

The officer personnel upgrade costs 20 points. You can look at it as a lump 20 point upgrade, or look at it as an extra trooper (11 pts), plus 9 more to get courage 2 and inspire. If you ask me, its a steal to get 1 more courage and inspire for 9 points.

Inspire– After your rally step, remove 1 suppression token(s) from another friendly unit at range 1-2.

Leader – The officer becomes the leader, meaning its the last miniature to be removed. A bit more on this later.

Why Courage is a Big Deal

Legion is won by objectives, and to get those objectives you need units. There is a balance in the game between three things. Taking the objectives, defeating your opponents units, and preserving your units.

Any of these three things require actions and each action should have purpose and work towards one of these things. Taking an aim and shooting works fully towards defeating opposing pieces. To shoot and dodge works towards defeating units and preserving your own. Movement can work towards any of these ends in combination with any action. Whether it be moving towards objective, moving in a flanking position to kill, or moving into cover to preserve.

Now consider if your unit is suppressed. Take one action away from a unit and look at those same examples. You can shoot an opponent’s unit. Completely offensive, and not as offensively effective as taking aim and shooting.

You’re unable dodge and shoot. Though preservation of your unit is forced by the light cover a suppression gives, it doesn’t help you if you’re already in heavy cover. You’ve lost the choice to move prior to shooting, to get a better angle on the shot. And you’re unable to move after shooting, to move towards the objective or in better cover. Losing an action feels bad man.

Effectiveness of the Officer

A courage 1 unit with 1 suppression will have a 33% chance to rally and keep both actions. With 2 suppression, only a 11% chance to rally both suppression tokens off to keep both actions. Large chance of losing an action with just one suppression. Plan on it if you have 2.

A courage 2 unit with 2 suppression, will have a 56% chance to rally one suppression off, and keep both actions.

Add in the inspire keyword. Because officers bring this keyword, you don’t need to spam a list with officers for every unit to have 2 courage. X inspire means its that much harder to suppress X number of units.

Because of inspire, the officers really shine. If a corp is shot at, and suppressed, activate a nearby officer and clear that suppression. Opponent may respond by suppressing the unit again, but, that’s still one less unit suppressed on your side. That means you can do what you want to do, fredom.. hooray.

Considerations of Space

I look at courage 1 on corp units, and I see a limitation. Corps units are very efficient for their cost, especially the DLT Storm. But one courage means they are stuck to be near a commander.

The playing field of the Legion is 3×6, but your corp units are often kept in the 18 inch courage bubble of your commander. Many empire lists are running 1 commander, so that bubble is all you get.

How much space does the bubble cover? So its range 3 out both directions from commander. So 18+18=36. But the base size needs to be included, so the bubble diameter would be closer to 37 inches. Deploy your commander on battle lines, in the dead center, and that leaves roughly 18 inches outside the bubble on either side. Not being able to safely send units out to those flanks limits where you can put pressure on your opponent. It also limits your angles, which may help you get those out of cover shots.

Other Perks of the Officer Upgrade

Over the many games I’ve played with officer upgrades, there are two perks that has come up many times. First, since the officer is the leader, it is the last miniature to be pulled from the unit. For storm troopers this normally means a single storm trooper that may run and hide to preserve points, and contribute nothing more. But if the last mini is the officer, you can hide the officer out of LOS and still make use of inspire.

Having officers around also allows you to utilize your commander more aggressively. Being that, if your commander dies, you have a courage two unit to promote. Notably a courage unit that is likely in the mix with your other units, unlike snipers who may be hanging back, or IRG who may be pushed ahead.

Storms or Snows

In my list, I’ve used an officer upgrade on one storm unit and one snow unit. The officer on the storm is very niche and fits to my play style. The officer on the snows is much more universal, as the benefit of it is much more obvious.

Remember, all actions should work towards the objective, killing your opponent’s pieces, or preserving your units? Well snows are there primarily for one thing. Killing your opponents units.

Having two courage makes snows much more effective in that they are very likely to get both their actions, which they very much need for a double move. You’re also getting one more model on the unit, which keeps the flame trooper alive longer.

Officer on a storm unit can be used as a flanking unit, or a unit to support the rest of your forces. Veers only has inspire 1. Its nice to have another unit with inspire around to peel off suppression. In a Boba/Veers list, the officer storm can go out and support Boba, or go to a different flank.

Closing Thoughts

I’m very excited to see how much impact the specialists pack has on the current state of the game! I don’t expect the officer upgrades to be for everyone, but give it a try and it might surprise you.

Stay classy, and shrug off that suppression. Thanks for reading!

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