Death troopers have been out and available for Star Wars Legion for some time now, on Table top simulator and real life. After getting some games in with them myself, and seeing others use them, I’m ready to share some thoughts.
If you don’t listen to the Notorious Scoundrels podcast, you should. I already shared my thoughts about the DTs on their last episode! Read on if you prefer to read content or if you want the information reinforced.
The Unit Card
DTs bring the best of everything, and they pay for it. At a base cost of 76 and an heavy weapon upgrade of 34, they can quickly cost around 115-120. In short they are super storm troopers, taking what storms do and improving upon it in every way. At base cost you get…
-four minis/one health each
-Surge defense and offense
-movement speed 2
-Free aim with Krennic’s two pip..
Oh I mean, … Ready 1.. **Looks around** Anyone getting use out of this?
They have two heavy weapon upgrade options. The DLT-19 adds 2 red and a white dice. Equivalent to the offensive output of a storm unit with a leader and DLT remaining.
DTF-16 feels more like an unique personnel option rather than a heavy weapon. At 22 points, she is quite a few points cheaper than the DLT and her weapon is meh for it. She becomes the leader of the unit and brings the compel keyword to the battlefield. DTF-16 is indeed a female and I don’t recommend googling DTF-16 on a work computer.
Anyways, DTF-16 is a very unique upgrade bringing a powerful keyword to your army. Some Rebels would kill to be able to have compel. If Krennic isn’t your jam, DTF gives you a way to get compel attached to a unit that also brings a strong anchor unit. I feel there is a powerful list or tactic waiting to be discovered which makes use of compel attached to DTs. Testing required.
Storm troopers with a DLT have a problem pushing damage through heavy cover once they are down to just the DLT and leader. In comparison, the DLT weapon on the DTs is pretty sweet. Imagine all those shots you’ve taken with leader storm and DLT, and add to it, a black die or 2 more white die. You’re much more likely to get that damage through heavy cover, as you have a higher likelihood to get crits or 3 damage with just two minis remaining.
DTs have unique to them, the config upgrade. This upgrade for 8 points feels mandatory to make them fully efficient. One side gives a range 1-4, black dice suppressive weapon. The other side is a range 1-2, red dice with the blast key word. This weapon does exhaust and does require a recover action to use again. Both sides are nasty, but for me, its the range 1-4 weapon that steals the spotlight. More on this later.
DTs have a plethora of upgrade slots they can take, including training, gear, and comms. I’ve been running them with hunter. I have three reasons for hunter. Multi character lists are very common right now and DTs get a huge benefit from an aim token due to having precise two. Lastly, shooting a wounded hero unit for the free aim allows you to recover your config weapon.
Recon intel could be good if you want them to get into a strong position on turn 0 where they can sit and chill taking shots at range 4. E-stims in my opinion, bloats their price up more than the value you’d get out of saving the two wounds for another round. I see no reason for 5 points of grenades when you can take the 8 point config.
They can take a comms upgrade, and this can be combo’d with Krennic’s entourage keyword by taking comms relay. You’d want a specific reason or tactic for wanting to transfer an order token from DTs to something else. Something to keep in mind however.
Medics and IRG
It seems everyone figured out real quick that DTs need medics or IRG nearby to really shine. I’ve been using the medics myself. If your 19 point medic brings back two DT’s, that’s value town. IRG can save wounds up front but medic has the advantage of being able to heal those crits.
My teammate Screwtape loves to point out that if you activate your DTs first in a round, then your opponent can shoot at them but they’ll be shooting an already activated unit. And assuming you have two medics, your opponent has to put 3 wounds through on them to even have any damage stick to the next round. This makes them feel like a bad target.
I picked up from a game Kingsley was streaming, his idea of an elite special forces list. Consisting of two DTs and one IRG, with veers or krennic at the helm. I haven’t had a chance to use this yet myself. I did play against Nathan Wiles in an Invader League match and he was running a list such as this. Believe me, dealing with DTs that have IRG next to them is a real pain. If you’ve tried this list out and have found success with it, let me know on discord or in comments below!
Role on the Battlefield
The role of the DTs is what I predicted wrong before their release. I long used one or two units of officer storms as a flanker/skirmisher unit. I thought DTs would compete for this role. They can fill a skirmish role sure, but they can do so much more. The DTs can be a fill whatever role you want them to, as they are deadly at all ranges. Even range four. And this is where I’ve discovered them to be effective, as an anchor.
What I’ve found, is the DTs make a great anchor unit, meaning they set up in heavy cover, and they stay there, the entire match. I’ve ran them with the DLT upgrade, hunter, and the config. By setting them up in place, you can always use an action to recover the config, and shoot something range four away. Hunter makes multi wound enemies the ideal target, as you can recover, and shoot with an aim token in this way. Medics and IRG, make this anchor role even stronger.
It has proven worth it to spend points on medics and IRG to preserve the DTs to allow them to roll a large dice pool, and push damage through cover. In my experience, they consistently hit 5-7 damage at range 4 with an aim, but only if, they have all minis left in the unit. This is why it’s important to preserve them.
It goes without saying DTs pair nicely with Krennic. He has the entourage keyword for them after all. Entourage ensures the DTs get an order token each round, allowing them to proc disciplined keyword. It also allows them to go first in the round if they are at full strength and you think they will be shot at. As I said earlier, this makes them a bad target for your opponent. It also allows them to go later in the round if that’s better. Basically, entourage is awesome.
Krennic’s two pip, deploy the garrison, thanks to ready 1, gives the DTs a free aim token if you allow them to receive the standby token. This is a round where you can recover the config and take a range 4 shot at any target.
Krennic’s three pip, Annihilation Looms, puts suppression on every trooper unit. Order of operations tells us that the suppression is applied, then the order is issued to the DTs. This makes the DTs resilient to the AL play.
Veers’ 3 pip has synergies as well. Imperial Discipline allows a unit to perform a recover action. This allows the DTs to refresh their config, giving them a turn they can aim and shoot rather than recover shoot. Veers’ spotter action is also a natural fit with DTs. It allows the DTs to move and shoot each turn and still have an aim token if Veers has spotted for them first.
Keep your head down! Sniper!
DTs are a good target for snipers. By saving DTs back on turn 0, to be a later deployment, you can choose a position that can keep them out of LOS of some or all of your opponent’s snipers. Try to minimize how many snipers can see your DTs and have a ideal path or anchor point for your DTs that avoids taking 3x sniper fire.
When I think about how to kill DTs, I think, reduce cover, and pierce. Literally what snipers do and most hero units. Watch out for Chewie, Leia, Han, Veers, and Palpatine. As all these units have pierce, have surge to crit, or have sharpshooter.
I mentioned they are deadly at all ranges and on paper that should be true. I didn’t want to just completely ignore their range 1-2 fire power, but in my games with them, I’ve yet to make a range 1-2 attack with them using the config.
Typically, getting them in closer exposes them to a plethora of threats. Melee units, or shorter range piercing units. The config weapon adding red dice and blast is something to keep in your back pocket and a tool DTs bring with them. They can actually be a line backer unit!
If you’re making a short range attack, keep in mind you can use different weapons. So assuming you have a full unit, rolling 6 white dice and one red for blast and add whatever the heavy weapon your running, gives you a much higher damage ceiling than 4 red plus heavy weapon, which will be more consistent but capped at 5 damage. Aim tokens also change the consideration of what the better roll is.
According to Screwtape’s maths, with an aim and the DLT heavy, rolling 4r 5w is ideal.
DTs surpassed my expectations, and if you haven’t used them yet, I highly recommend giving them a try. Treat them like a centerpiece unit, and use them to punch hard. Let me know your thoughts or tactics using DTs on the discord or in the comments below! Thanks for reading!