Hello and welcome back fellow commanders! In this post, I’m going to touch on the surface of the big discussion that is quality vs quantity in Star Wars Legion. QvQ has been a topic brought up and discussed by players and podcasters before. It is a deep subject that divides players.
To this end, we will be looking at quantity vs quality in regards to number of minis an army fields. Not wounds, or effective wounds, but just minis. The pieces that take up space on the field. You might be asking, “Why should number of minis be considered?” And to that I say, its about the resource that is space. Specifically, the good space. The space that is heavy cover or a flanking shot.
To start with, lets consider how many minis are in a list on average. We are going to total up the minis, and then total without sniper strike teams included.
Lessons from Adepticon
If you didn’t catch my write up on my Adepticon list, check it out here. The list was very different than what I was running prior to the event. It consisted six corp units, Officer, Boba, IRG, and a strike team. This list hits the table with 39 minis. Taking out snipers, 37.
My Invader League season 2 list and Yavin Base Team League list were very similarly structured. Bringing Veers/Boba, 3 Storms DLT, 1 snow trooper unit, 1 IRG and 2 snipers. I had two officer upgrades on corps. I would consider this a balance of quantity and quality leaning slightly more towards quality thanks to the officer upgrades on the corp units. It hit the table with roughly 32 minis. Taking out snipers, 28 minis. My win rate with a list like this is much higher than that of the corp spam used for Adepticon. This prompted the writing of this topic.
Let’s look at some of the Invader League S3 Single Elims lists.
Orkimedes has made a self proclaimed soulless list. If you forget what it is, click here to go to Table Top Admiral. His list has 40 minis hitting the table. He has 6 Corp units, Bossk, Veers, and 3 sniper strike teams. Excluding the strike teams, he has 34 minis.
Compare this to a Season 3 list of more quality, such as Nicky Myland’s double bounty list seen here. It has 31 minis, 25 after strike teams removed. Double bounty list is the most common this season and all fall closer to this number of minis.
On the lowest end, with Starscream’s tank/Bossk list, he has 28 minis, 24 after removing sniper strike teams, and 23 if you don’t count the tank. So in comparison to Orkimedes’ list, he has 11 fewer minis and comparing to my Adepticon list, 14 fewer. Importantly, these are are minis that compete for the same space.
Competition for Cover and Natural Selection
During the YBTL, my team mate Screwtape, ran a Vader list through the whole thing. He made some changes to it after the first match, and one was dropping a snow unit in favor of another storm unit. The main reasons for this was because he had a ton of close quarters power already with Vader and IRG. The second was because he found the snows competed with Vader and the IRG for heavy cover which was sometimes limited, and when it was limited, the snows lost. Meaning they were the ones left in the open, or in a position of cover more likely to be flanked.
This and my lesson from Adepticon made me realize, it gets crowded when you’re running 6 corp. Before, the most corp I ever ran was 5, and one was always a naked unit meant for objectives and taking minefields to the face. Going from practically 4 corp to 6, added 10 more minis to the table which needed cover.
Part of this may have been because of the Adepticon tables, but I found my units being shot at in the open way more often than they ever had been before. The Adepticon tables had a lot of line of sight blocking terrain, but often very few positions of scatter terrain or cove such as crates. I was running 5 storm trooper squads. They were constantly crowding each other out of good positioning. So while I had more troopers, they died quicker.
As more units are added to Legion, we will see competition for positioning expand. Currently snows/Vader/IRG/scouts/Sab strikes compete for those forward positions. Sniper strike teams compete with themselves for the best sniping positions. Boba Fett uniquely by using jump, can find his own places of cover. Armor vehicles don’t require cover but rather, provide more of it while reducing the number of other minis in your list.
Seeing it Everywhere
After I started thinking about space as a limited resource, I notice it becoming in issue for me or my opponent in every match. And its not always just about your troopers in cover but also getting that flanking angle. In my single elimination match against Kingsley, there was a rebel Z6 unit that had gotten the perfect line on my storms for an open shot. Later in the round, he tried squeezing another Z6 squad into position to also get that open shot, but he was unable to do so. He said out loud, “that squad is the only one that is able to get that shot”. As I said, when you are aware of space as a resource, you’ll see it come up more and more.
In my Invader League season 3 round robin match against the Notorious Scoundrel Endless, his rebel troopers and Sabine were constantly being shot at while they were caught in the open. In our match, I had 3 DLT storms, 1 naked storm, vs his 5 Z6 rebel units. He had to push into the center of the map as it was intercept transmissions. Endless was quickly crowding his own troops out of the very limited cover available for his push and he was feeling it. Here is a screenshot of his units at one point, closer towards the end of the match.
In the circle, is the practical example of a barricade. Endless had to push into that center, and he was pushing from a Major Offensive deployment, that pipe piece was all he had for the masses of his units to group up around. There was a cliff, sure, but units on that high ground wouldn’t be able to contest the center transmission. He could have swung around the left or right, but I had covered those lanes with Boba and snipers.
Imagine instead, if he had few Z6 squads, and instead, his beloved Landspeeder. The troopers he did have would have been nestled up in heavy cover for every attack, making the few units go further. And he would have a unit capable of pushing without concerns of cover.
In this picture, we have the blue X being a squad leader covering a long firing lane down the middle. The double orange lines behind pipe represent the cohered minis in that unit. The green X is in a position trying to flank. With the Blue X squad having the pipe to themselves, at least 3 of the minis should be able to sit snugly up against the pipe, granting heavy cover.
Comparatively, if two squads are trying to crowd behind the pipe, It may look like this.
Now the flanking green X squad leader has at least the closer Blue X squad out of heavy cover. The Blue X squads cohered in lines back to make space behind the pipe. They will have cover from anything shooting up through the center of the map, but they became more vulnerable to the flank.
Cover preserves your units, allowing you to get more value out of them for the points you are spending on them. Fewer minis makes maintaining cover from all angles easier. Every battlefield is different, every match plays out differently. Often times however, you’re pushing a lane and cover is limited.
Discussion on this quality vs quantity topic can go on and on. It can go so much deeper. I’m writing a blog post and not a book, so we’ll end it here. I hope I got the gears turning. I challenge you to take note during your matches, of times when you could have kept units in cover or got a flanking shot, if your own minis weren’t in the way. Reach out to me on discord or in the comments below if you want to share your thoughts about quantity vs quality.
Also be sure to check out the Team Relentless page! Thanks for reading!