At the outset of every match of Legion, we feel great. We sit the 800 points of units we’ve painted out on the table and feel proud. All 30 or so Stormtrooper minis in their knightly armor shining in the light. Every rebel peasant painted like a misfit. Unified for a cause under their banner of rebellion and empowered by their savior, the Z6. A turn goes by… Your opponent opened with Veers’ maximum firepower and you with Leia’s coordinated bombardment. The minis are flying off the table on both sides like bath towels off the Walmart shelves on black friday. The attack dice roll average and the defense dice stab you in the back. By the end of the turn everything is hunkered into cover and in range of each other for a full on fire fight. Neither side charging each other but rather, prepared for a war of attrition. A couple turns go by and the corp of that once proud 800 point army looks like it’s going the way of the dinosaur. Your plano case starts to fill back up, and your opponent clicks their minis back onto a easy bake oven cooking sheet one by one. Tilted by his comment about magnetizing bases, you continue to try and shoot him off the table when you know you should play the objective. Your attacks, they keep failing to get through heavy cover. You find yourself grabbing 2 red and a white die and praying for a crit. You realize, the war of attrition has taken its toll.. and you realize too late… you’ve lost.
the action or process of gradually reducing the strength or effectiveness of someone or something through sustained attack or pressure
Attrition in terms of Legion, is constantly occurring during the match. Every time you pick minis belonging to a larger unit, up off the table, the strength or effectiveness of that unit is reduced. Mini’s with one wound per mini, such as corp units, feel the effect of attrition the most. Being that with each wound a corp unit takes, they are losing an attack dice. Units with more wounds per mini, such as Imperial Royal Guard or Wookie Warriors, are slower to feel the weight of attrition. Lastly the heroes and vehicles of the game, your Lukes, Boba’s and Tanks, don’t care how many wounds they have… until they’re dead.
Maybe you’re new to the game of Legion. Or maybe you’re just absorbing content, either way, read on for tips on staying ahead on the attrition war.
Always Take Heavy Weapons
I already mentioned units with one wound per mini lose attack dice with every wound taken. This includes most corp units in the game. What can keeps corp units effective however, even after losing half of their unit, is their heavy weapon.
Since the heavy weapon is the last mini to die, the damage of corp units is back loaded to their final wounds. Just watch out for the choke force power as it can pick heavy weapons out of units. Also watch out for being terrain scoped.
The Z-6 is a beautiful example of back loading damage and a reason why so many rebel players love their Z-6 troopers. If you take a rebel trooper unit and add an extra trooper, you have a 50 point unit that rolls five black dice out the gate. But say they lose 3 troopers in one attack, you’re left with 2 black dice. This quickly became a pitiful attack, one which you have a 25% chance on average of producing a single crit to get through heavy cover. Compare that to spending 12 more points to instead have that fifth trooper be a Z-6. You’ve taken 3 wounds and instead of rolling 2 black, you’re rolling 6 white and a black. Not only has your average of one crit gone way up, but you have pretty good chance of multiple crits or hits getting through cover. This will be true of the P1 clone troopers with Z6 as well, even more so as they make it rain surge tokens.
One of the reasons B1 droids are so efficient defensively, is that their standard heavy weapon of three black dice, is hidden behind 5-6 more wounds. Each wound a B1 loses is a cheap white dice gone but as long as you have your heavy, you have some fire power. Which keeps them fighting the fight long into the battle. So all in all, most of the time you want to list build with heavy weapons on corp.
Bring a Focus Piece (heroes and Vehicles)
A focus piece is often what your list is built around. The list may be an ordinary twins list, focused around the actions of the baddest of baddies, Luke Skywalker. Or the list may be built around our Lord Vader. In either example, both lists have a piece capable of dealing huge damage, even after taking multiple wounds.
Where these pieces get you ahead on the attrition wars show more so when you get them into the later turns of the game at full health. Imagine dealing with Luke Skywalker, when he’s just jumped over a wall and into your army on turn 4. Your corp are likely tattered and throwing ping pong balls at him. Turn 5 he takes a couple wounds and doesn’t care, he finishes it out and ends you on turn 6.
Vehicles can really be a pain to shoot. It gives you a bad feel to be rolling for crits, just to see a hot roll of 6 hits go to waste. Try being aggressive with a vehicle turn 1, or at least, making it the ‘easiest target’ on turn 1. While the rest of your army safely gets into better positions to start the engagement on turn 2. If your opponent has shot the armor, they might go all in on it, which can back fire on them easily if their list is not well suited for blowing up armor. Their other option may be to decide to ignore, meaning all the shooting at it they did in earlier turns will go to waste. Either way, your goal is to leverage the firepower of your armor on turn 1 and 2, while making the rest of your list difficult to get good shots on.
The take away here is, using your key units effectively can help you bound forward in winning a long game of attrition.
Use Guardian Units
There are very few guardian units in the game currently. They are the Imperial Royal Guard, Chewbacca, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. General Grevious has a command card that grants guardian for a turn. And the esteemed leader upgrade allows nearby corp to use guardian.
Guardian is a big deal in the attrition war, mainly, speaking of the IRG and Chewie here. Both of these units have very cheap wounds per point. The IRG wound/point comes out to 12.5 per wound, and Chewie at roughly 10.5. This means, trading wounds for either of these units for corp units, isn’t a bad trade in term of points you’ve invested, AND, it keeps your corp units’ attacks firing strong for longer. I was saying this before shores were a thing, and now, the guardian got even better, with each hit taken away from a shore unit making up .5 points and preserving offense dice.
With shores and vets being a hot new thing with mighty ranged attacks, guardian’ing them shows very strong potential. Chewie will continue to shoot at full strength regardless of how many wounds he takes. Also, Chewie isn’t the kind of centerpiece hero that runs the game and makes your winning plays. Its okay to sack him in interest of maintaining the firepower of your gun line. (Rebels have a gun line?)
The clone army has an interesting potential with Obi Wan, especially in consideration to his command cards. If clones get medics, Oh Vader help us. Obi’s three pip, can generate a ton of dodges for him which he can use during guardian to up his save. His two pip can generate a ton of surge tokens for him and clone troopers, who can share those surge tokens. My theory, is that the clones could stand toe to toe with a Krennic/DT/3shores/3mortar list, as the clones would practically have red saves with surge to block AND can pass hits over to Obi wan. Especially the sniper hits which going into Obi’s guardian, can’t get value from pierce. Would love to hear/see some testing of this match up.
Upgrades That Help with Attrition
The royal guard were already mentioned as being useful in the attrition war thanks to guardian. Add to that, they can take tenacity for 4 points, which gives them a red dice when they are wounded or have lost a model. Tenacity is a perfect example of an upgrade that makes your troops go the distance.
Medics are an upgrade mini on your corp units which doesn’t add anything out the gate. But as the game continues, and your corp take wounds, you can bring minis back, keeping your units healthy and strong going into the later turns.
Emergency Stims can delay a unit taking two wounds until the end of their next activation. This would allow your big units like death troopers or IRG to maintain a better dice pool until next turn. I can’t say this is good however, especially post points increase. But could be fun. Fun…
Aggressive tactics should be mentioned I suppose. This broken card, in combination with the mortar/comms relay hand shake on par to the power level of a car salesman’s hand shake, can make your imperial red saves even more frustrating for your opponent. Perfect for not only crushing your opponent but making them hate the game as well as leave them questioning why the card isn’t called defensive tactics. If you’re handshaking list work to it’s fullest potential, they’ll buy the car. (Buy car meaning to start playing the Aggressive Tactics list as well)
10/10 recommend this card for the war of attrition as well as every other list focused around making this blue shell of card work. I highly recommend you play lists built around this card if you were one of the following: You used Biggs Darklighter in 1.0 X-wing, You only picked Oddjob playing Godleneye multiplayer on the N64, you only rush dark templars in Starcraft, or if you only camp and use snipers in first person shooters.
To Finish off an Activation vs. Spreading Fire
Focusing fire to finish off an activation is good. No doubt about it. But sometimes, it can be better to spread your fire and weaken multiple units. Bikes and Taun Tauns are a good example of this. Both these units often come in threes, and their are two minis to each unit. If you are able to remove one mini from each of three units of bikes or tauns, you’ve just ruined their ranged fire power, especially if you’re maintaining heavy cover.
Bikes are more susceptible to this, as they only have 3 health with a white surge save. They also do not have a dice fixing melee attack. If you have to deal with other threats coming from your opponent while they are shoving 3 bikes down your throat, try picking one bike mini from each unit and ignore them until the other threats have been dealt with.
If there is anything to take away from this post, it’s that there are ways to increase the power of your list over the long run of a game. Try to recognize during the earlier turns, if the match is going to be a long drawn out war, or if its going to be a rush to win. Thanks for reading.