UPDATE: 3:15 PM – Shortly after putting this post out into the world, a new Rules Reference came out, and Luke Eddy confirmed the validity of this article. Relevant changes can be found on the 11/20/18 update, page 46 (range) and 51 (standby).
Legion, like many war games, is full of big, sensible rules that start to start to break down the longer you look at them.
Range is pretty plain on the surface: stick a ruler on the table and count. But there are a few specific situations where knowledge of FFG’s strict definitions and expectations comes into handy.
The word “range” alone appears more than 200 times in the current iteration of the Rules Reference, meaning its tendrils are everywhere, and knowing how exactly it works is vital to an accurate play experience.
Without further ado, let’s explore!
Range in Legion is measured with the provided range ruler, which comes in four segments. Each segment is 6 inches long.
Most units with ranged weapons (noted by blue circles on the unit or upgrade card) will show two range values. The first shows the minimum range, and the second shows the maximum range. If a unit’s weapon has only one range value, it is both the minimum and maximum range. These values go from Range 1 on the low end to Beyond Range 4 (or, essentially, infinity) at the high end. Melee technically does not count as a range.
Range is measured from nearest base edge to nearest base edge, and is declared as the overlapped segment nearest to the beginning of the measurement (so if an enemy mini’s base overlaps both range 1 and range 2, it is at range 1).
Importantly, range can be measured at any time. (X-Wing players: break your habits.) Whereas maneuver templates require that a unit be active in order to premeasure a movement, players can casually check range whenever they want (provided, of course, they don’t disturb the battlefield).
Finally, when measuring, range is broken down into three statuses: beyond, at, and within. We can illustrate using Tabletop Simulator’s range bands from a Stormtrooper unit firing on Luke Skywalker.
1) Beyond Range: No portion of the mini’s base is overlapped by the edge of the specified range segment.
2) At Range: Some portion of the mini’s base is covered by the edge of the specified range segment.
3) Within Range: All of the mini’s base is covered by the specified range segment.
As stated under the “Within (Range)” heading of the Rules Reference, if a unit is within range it is also at range. So don’t try to rules-lawyer that one away if you see “at” on a card.
But what about height?
We already covered the pre-game terrain measurement in the rules article on climbing and clambering, but what about if we’re measuring range to some snipers who are up at height 2? Do we factor that height into the range measurement?
Simply put: no, height does not factor into range measurement. When measuring range, think of it like a top-down, 2D surface.
Where Do I Measure From?
Here’s where things get a bit tricky. To measure range to an enemy unit, you always measure to the nearest base edge of the closest enemy mini. (Strategically, this means you’ll usually want to keep your non-leader minis behind your leader. For some fringe cases, see Orkimedes’s excellent article on the fundamentals of cohesion.)
But where do you measure from, then? Turns out, there are two cases that determine the answer:
1) When Attacking
To measure a unit’s ability to attack, you must measure from your unit leader.
No ifs, ands, or buts, even if your unit leader doesn’t have LOS and can’t contribute to the attack while the rest of your unit can. It must be measured from your unit leader.
2) Anything Else
In any other case, however, range is measured from closest mini to closest mini.
For an example, let’s take a look at the Limited Visibility condition card:
Limited Visibility specifies that Line of Sight beyond range 2 (or 3, depending on the round) is blocked.
Let’s say that during the first round your Stormtrooper unit is close to an enemy Rebel Trooper unit, but you don’t know how close. You measure, and realize that three of your Stormtroopers have the enemy at range 2, but the rest of your unit does not. Because range for Limited Visibility is checked from mini to mini (as this check is not an attack in and of itself), those three Stormtroopers would be able to shoot the Rebels.
As I mentioned above you generally don’t want to put your minis forward of your leader during cohesion, but Limited Visibility provides a fringe case where it could be useful to get an extra attack off.
Other important mechanics, like issuing commands, are also measured closest mini to closest mini.
An Important Example
As an additional closing exercise, let’s combine both types of range measurement into one by utilizing the standby token.
In the image below, the Rebel Troopers have just moved towards the Stormtrooper unit, which performed a standby action on its recent activation.
First, we check for the range 1-2 standby trigger. Only the non-leader Stormtroopers appear to have the Rebel Troopers at or within range 2 – the leader, as you can see from TTS’s measurement, is just out. However, since the standby trigger itself is measured mini to mini (since it is not an attack), standby is indeed activated for the entire unit.
Then, we check for an attack. To be able to attack off of the triggered standby, the Stormtrooper unit would have to have a weapon that has a minimum range of 3 to get to those pesky Rebel Troopers. This is measured from the unit leader. Since the Stormtroopers’ base weapon is range 1-3, they’re fine to attack.
I hope that this cleared up a few points regarding range. Again, it’s an easy topic on the surface that starts to get a bit confusing the further down you go – but with a little practice and intuition you’ll be getting it right in no time.
Happy rules-lawyering, Commanders!
PS: Here are the receipts from Luke Eddy in the Legion Discord regarding these specific rules.