The Imperial Corp

Hello and welcome back! Shore troopers have been out for awhile now and they shore are making waves. I’ve assimilated them into my list and have gotten a fair number of games in under my belt with and against shores. The corp options have really opened up for Rebs and Empire. We now have four options for filling out the corp slots. Today I want to take a look at all the corp options. This is the shore discussion, as well as a review on Stormtroopers, mortars and snowtroopers in respect to all that is new in the game.

Also quick shout out to Mbweha (You can call him Ben) of Team Relentless. If you haven’t already, check out his latest Youtube video which discusses bids and battle deck construction. Click HERE to head over to that video.

The Stormtrooper

Storms have since release, been the foundation of the Imperial armies. For the first year of Legion, the white wall of six storms was nothing scoff at. Storms are still my favorite corp option of all factions, especially with new toys on the way in the storm upgrade pack. We now have a wider range of point costs of corp units and storms fall right into that sweet sweet middle.

To elaborate, we now will see six point B1 droids hitting the field as well as more elite corp in the clone armies. Phase 1 clonetroopers are 13 points a piece and so are shore troopers. The middle ground the storms sit in becomes more apparent when the most common heavy weapons are included in the mix (See Chart).

Storms are becoming more diverse with new options being added including new personnel. I’m not sure yet how the storm captain or storm specialists will impact list building. They make storms quite a deal more expensive but open some very powerful plays. The storm captain could allow you to make that vital play for an objective, despite having a pile of suppression. Or the specialist storm could get you that free aim token when you need it most. Keep in mind too that storms can take either the captain or specialist with the DLT, and come in at 83 points, right at about the cost of shores. This creates a unit with 12 expected wounds and the ability to make a strong play.

The DLT-19 has long reigned the top choice weapon for the empire, being that it brings impact to a list with out draw back. I think the DLT-19 is still my choice of weapon going forward, as it’ll knock down those opportunists (who’ve seen more shores and less storms) taking armor.

These simple troopers are no slouch in melee, in fact, they and snows are the

Storms: Run Em’ Over with Numbers

At their price point, are still very efficient in numbers. For purposes of wounds per point, we’ll add it up as if we have four of a corp unit with the same heavy. So four units of DLT-19 storms would be 20 wounds for 272 points. With consideration of their red die 50/50 save, Storms have 40 expected wounds for 272 points. Click HERE to read a post from Orkimedes if you do not understand effective wounds. Compare these effective wounds to other corps in a quantity of four who have only a heavy weapon equipped. I like looking at it in quantity of four as it makes the differences more pronounced while taking five or 6 of any single type of corp is unlikely.

Corp Unit Effective WoundsPoints 
B1 Battle Droids33.73216
Rebel Troopers  w/ Z629.85248
Stormtroopers w/ DLT40272
Rebel Vets w/ CM29.85296
P1 Clones w/ Z640308
Shoretroopers w/T21B40336

Keep in mind, Rebels of course have a lot of dodges. Clones will have a ton of surge tokens floating around and droids will have some. The shoretrooper relay chain with aggressive tactics is a real thing, giving shores a surge token for a save each turn. But taking away all the extra fluff, you can see storms (and snows), have the same effective wounds as the top tier corp options, but at a cheaper price point. This is why I still love storms. This and storms actually punch harder in melee than shores. As storms surge to hit, AND, can reroll 3 punches with an aim. All this said, there is still value in storms for the sweet price they come in at.

The Snowtrooper

Ah the snowtrooper. Snows seem to be a rare thing as of late. They seem to have fallen out of favor for ranged options, especially shores. I’ve heard people gripe (myself included) that they are quite table dependent. Most short ranged units, such as fleets, fall into this hole. A dense table full of buildings is a paradise for snows, where as an open field with some scatter terrain is a death sentence for snows. In the right position however, I still think snows are insane because of steady.

At time of this post, snows are the only unit with steady. Tauns and Dews just came out and they have relentless, so they can pull the same dirty tricks. But steady is one of those keywords that kind of breaks what you know of the game. It allows snows to peek a boo out, take a shot, and move back out of sight, leaving no chance for return fire. Especially true with understanding of the range rules. Being that, a snowtrooper leader can move flush up against a wall to get into range 1 of an enemy unit on the other side of the wall. The snows can cohere out as far as they can to see the enemy, take a shot and then move completely out of LOS from all enemeis. Even though the snow leader can’t see Jack, Jack doesn’t get cover because of the flametrooper.

This is insanely powerful but requires a position be made available by the set up of the table. Table set up is out of the players hands at tournaments and game days. Therefore snows are a risk to take to any game day or tournament.

Another issue in today’s game for snows will be Dews and Tauns Tauns, as well as a possible resurgence of Vader. These units would love to munch on snows. Snows hiding out behind are a wall aren’t safe from a force push exposing them. Dewbacks with their armor 1 and red save would make them a hard target for snows and their flamethrower.

To make things worse, snows become a liability with Luke Skywalker’s new command card ‘You Serve Your Master Well’. If Luke takes control of your snows, and they move back towards your army and flame your units… yikes.

All this said, I think there is a place and purpose for snows. They make a good line backer unit, a good unit for holding a corner, and they are the kind of unit that can effectively move in a pressure an area of the board. One thing lists heavy with shores/mortars will struggle with is pushing into the opponent. As they want to be hanging back and shootings, snows can push in and take ground.

Snows will also be a huge threat to B1 Battle droid squads. The introduction of the CIS armies will create a niche and increased value for snows.

The long time effective build of Snows was upgrading them with an Officer, grenades, and the flamethrower. Recon intel also included often. The officer was important to have courage 2, helping ensure snows get both their actions. This made snows quite pricey however, coming in at 93 points, or 95 with recon intel. I haven’t seen many people fit snows into their Krennic lists. With Krennic, the officer upgrade becomes less necessary, making snows much more affordable.

Shoretroopers

The shoretrooper is currently the top tier corp unit of the game in terms of points and probably will be until P2 Clonetroopers hit the field. Shores with their heavy weapon, the T21B, cost 84 points. Shores are offensive powerhouses. They cost 16 points over stormtroopers with DLTs, and shores earn those 16 points through ranged offense alone as they have no more expected wounds than storms.

The T21B (their only heavy weapon) makes shores great. It is ranged 1-4, rolling two black and two white dice with critical 1. Because it rolls 4 dice and has a critical 1 keyword, it doesn’t have the range 4 weakness the DLT-19 has. The range four shot of the DLT-19 was fine if it’s an open shot. But if shooting a unit in cover with the DLT-19, you’re basically shooting to suppress. The T21B on the other hand, is excellent for taking range 4 pot shots, often getting 1-2 damage through even heavy cover.

Shores have the keyword ‘target’. Which gives them a free aim token when they receive an order during the command phase. Though they do have precise 1 like storms, a free aim token is always a good thing. This adds to their offensive efficiency. Target is a action economy keyword, keeping in mind all units in the game have at most 12 actions, anything that generates a free action is value town.

To synergize with the Target keyword, I’ve seen scopes be common on shores. Scopes bring the cost of shores up to 88 points. I feel scopes are a good choice, as the shoretrooper dice pool feels quite swingy. Scopes helps to ensure your aim tokens are getting value. I’ve come to expect from a shore squad with just the heavy weapon, a roll out of 3-4 damage, and to add a damage with each aim token spent. The cool thing is though, the heavy weapon is so good, that even after a couple wounds the shores still can easily get a respectable roll of damage.

Mortar Troopers: Order Shenanigans

Now one would think, in terms of Legion’s game design, giving orders to corp units is bad. It always was. However the other keyword Shoretroopers have is ‘coordinate emplacement trooper’ keyword.

Coordinate Emplacement Trooper: When you are issued an order, you may issue an order to a friendly emplacement trooper at range 1.

And still, the game design of Legion would lead one to think that ordering more corp is still just meh. But thanks to the comms upgrade that emplacements can take, ‘Comms Relay’, there is 0 draw back to issuing orders to your corp units. You can play coordinated fire, giving 3 shore troopers a free aim token, AND get an order to your commander, your operative, and your IRG. Seems good right? This in fact may be the best thing about shores. Cause now you are giving the shore unit a free aim action, as well as generating more order tokens out to other units.

Combine all the order shenanigans with the Aggressive tactics command card, and your shores become even more effective as they hold surge tokens. Some have called shores mini Deathtroopers and feels pretty accurate.

All this happens because of the DF-90 mortar troopers. The mortar troopers pull their weight in points if they are shooting each turn. They come in at 41 points with comms relay. They only roll 3 white dice, but they have the critical 1 keyword on the mortar attack as well as suppressive. So with each attack you’re really hoping to generate 2 suppression and get a crit or two through cover. The mortar weapon shoots at range 3-4 which allows you to keep your opponent at arm’s reach away, perfect for giving them the knock out punch.

Shoretroopers: I’m Shore There Are Weaknesses

I don’t believe shoretroopers are the end all be all as they do have their drawbacks and weaknesses. Firstly, being that they are more expensive units, any damage they take is more points earned for your opponent. As mentioned in the Stormtrooper discussion, Shores have no more effective wounds than storms. When you think about how many matches have come down to points destroyed, its probably a lot. Trading any of your corp unit pawns for opposing shores should be an up trade for you. Shoretroopers also increase the value of nukes, such as Bossk’s Lying in Wait, Boba’s rocket, Son of Skywalker, and most vehicle attacks.

The game of Legion is an objective focused game. Corp units have long been the work horses of a match. They are adept at breaking/repairing Vaporators, intercepting transmissions, as well as carrying boxes. Knowing what I know about government, I’m sure stormtroopers spend a field day training carrying boxes.

Quick men! The Imperial forces need this coffee!

Anyways, the point is, you’re paying a premium to have the elite corp unit that shoretroopers are. To get the best return of your points spent, you want them shooting, and doing objectives could be done by cheaper storms. Add to this that when taking shores, you’re likely taking mortars, who also are not great at contributing to objectives.

More so, in terms of the the shore/mortar heavy lists taking advantage of Aggressive Tactics, there’s a gaping weakness of immobility there to take advantage of. Players playing a 3/3 list will want to keep shores at range 1 of mortars to coordinate an order, and mortars with relay have a range of 1-2 to relay the order. This creates a list that has has limitations on how far units can stretch out. This and mortars can’t move and shoot. Players playing shore/mortar heavy lists look to set up a strong gun line to shoot and chill. And if you play a game of setting up a gunline and trading fire with a shore heavy list, you may be setting yourself up for a loss.

During turn 0, aim for objectives and deployments that will require movement and actions of units. Intercept transmissions forces shores to get into the middle to contest the center point, and mortars likely will not want to go there. Recover the supplies may force the shore player to move outward and to use the shores’ valuable actions to gather up boxes. Sabotage moisture vaporators is a good one as well for eating up shore actions. Heck, even KP can be a struggle for a shore/mortar player, if you make good trades through out the match, they may struggle to get into the center KP.

All this sums up to say look for ways to make the shore/mortar heavy list move around, rather than allow them to aim shoot every turn. If you’re the kind of player that sees Legion as setting up two opposing armies against each other and shooting it out until a victor emerges, I expect this to have fallen on deaf ears.

Mortars can be easy targets for picking off early without consequence, to give yourself the defender’s advantage. Also by picking off mortars, you start to chip away at the synergy of the commas relay/Aggressive tactics shenanigans. Another shut down to the mortar relay lists are comms jammers. Comms jammers were reduced to be a five point upgrade, and it has a sizeable impact against empire, clones, and droid lists.

Wrap Up

This turned out to be a longer post and to keep from ranting, we better call it a day. Each corp unit of the Imperial army serves a purpose and each has their own role to fill. Try turning different knobs until you get the right mixture of units for you! Good luck commanders!

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