What is Tabletop Simulator?
Created in 2015 after a massively successful crowdfunding campaign by developer Berserk Games, Tabletop Simulator (TTS) is essentially a multiplayer sandbox that utilizes an accurate physics engine. TTS comes with a handful of games to play upfront, such as chess.
In practice, though, TTS really shines through its player-created mods. Enterprising coders and designers of all stripes have cobbled together mods that allows TTS to simulate popular games like Monopoly, Secret Hitler, Galaxy Trucker, Netrunner, and hundreds (if not thousands) more.
It costs $19.99 USD on the Steam store (although it can frequently be purchased for 50% off) and runs on both Windows and Mac, needing very low system requirements. I’ve only ever used it on a laptop and have had no problems. Even outside the context of Legion, it’s more than worth its price.
Tieren’s Star Wars Legion Mod
In October of 2017, not long after Legion was announced, a creator by the pseudonym of Tieren posted a TTS mod for the game to the workshop. (You can find it here.)
Tieren’s mod faithfully recreates the models, terrain, and rules from Legion on your computer at no extra cost once you’ve purchased TTS. It is an incredible feat, and a massive service to the community. It’s also easy to pick up after a game or two, as explained in this extremely helpful tutorial video (updated March 2019).
For many of you, the usefulness of this will be immediately apparent and you’re only coming back to finish this article hours later, having completed your first game.
If, however, you’re justifiably wondering whether you should drop $20 on TTS and the free Legion mod, let me illuminate a few really great reasons why it’s worth your hard-earned money.
Why You Should Buy TTS
Practice During the Down Time
First and foremost, TTS is for me an incredible way to save time.
The Legion scene in NYC is still growing, and it’s not always easy to schedule a match. Luckily, I can hop on the Legion Discord at any time, post in the #gamefinder chat that I’d like a TTS match, and get a game quickly in the comfort of my own home.
You’ll want a mic, for sure, and you can utilize either Discord’s chat feature or TTS’s in game push-to-talk mode to chat with your opponent. But as long as you signal that you’re new and testing it out, you’ll certainly find someone willing to show you the ropes. It feels clunky at first, as most things on TTS do, but you’ll quickly see just how good a job Tieren did in recreating the Legion experience in digital form.
Check Out Units Before You Buy Them
Legion isn’t the most expensive wargame on the market, but it’s certainly not the cheapest. I was recently considering purchasing another two 74-Z Speeder Bikes to run the popular Imperial list featuring three of them, some Stormtroopers, and Veers.
When I tried it out on TTS, though, I found that I didn’t really enjoy the list. It felt too swingy for my playstyle and I never managed to settle into the most efficient way to use it.
So without needing to spend $50 on those two expansions, I learned a lot about my own playstyle and that specific list, and bought some Snowtroopers instead.
Preview Upcoming Units
Tieren is also fanatically devoted to providing timely updates for units and upgrades as soon as they are announced. At the time of writing, we’re still waiting for Han and the Rebel Commandos to officially drop, but TTS has already thrown in units as far ahead as Chewbacca, the Wookiee Warriors, and the factional Specialists.
What better way to gain an edge over your local meta than to experiment with unreleased units and innovative lists?
Break Free of Your Local Meta
And speaking of your local meta, one of the absolute best parts of playing Legion on TTS is that you’ll play with folks from around the globe, whose own metas may be wildly different than your own.
Learning to play against gimmicky or otherwise unexpected lists is a massive boon to your own strategic expertise, and is deeply embedded into the TTS experience thanks to the Discord’s LFG channel.
All in all, I hope you’ll seriously consider giving Tabletop Simulator a shot. It’s a fantastic game with tons of player and creator support, and will only increase your love of Legion.
Check back on Thursday of this week for my interview with the legend himself, Tieren, as we talk about his experience developing the mod and his favorite Star Wars tidbits!
Happy playing, Commanders.