So you received a Core Set for the holidays, or perhaps you got a bit of money and are looking for a way to spend it irresponsibly. Either way, welcome to the world of Star Wars: Legion! We’re happy you’re here.
A Welcome, and Some Context
Detailed below is my best attempt at a buying guide based on the current state of the game, as well as what we might expect moving forward based on the info we have now.
A word of caution: unless you are 100% sure you’ll want to invest a lot of money in this game, I would stick with one faction to start with, either Rebels or Imperials. They’re reasonably balanced at this point (generally speaking Imperials favor their big, expensive toys like Vader or the AT-ST, while Rebels favor a larger number of expendable units) so just go for whatever you like best.
You might also consider trying the game on Tabletop Simulator first to see which army fits your play-style better. That way, you can get a feel for the game and see which units you’d like to buy before you go out and spend a bunch of money. Similarly, check out videos-on-demand from Yavin Base’s Twitch stream (home of the popular online Invader League) or read up on any of the blogs on my Resources page to see what people are saying about your preferred faction.
Further, check out the single elimination lists from Season 2 of the Invader League to see what lists are doing reasonably well right now (and that occasionally include some unreleased units, like Chewie). If you see one that really strikes your fancy on either side, you can use the below list to build towards it.
My original buying guide for paint and other supplies is still valid, but the pieces below have been updated to factor in all the new units we’ve gotten since the game’s release. You can purchase all of these units through your local game store, Amazon, or the Fantasy Flight Games website.
And finally, don’t be afraid to pop into the Legion Discord (link to the right) and ask questions before you buy. Everyone there would be happy to help!
NOTE: This is not a ranking of unit strength. This is what I believe to be an accurately ranked list of the purchases that make most sense for a new player given their overall strength, utility, and cost.
Legion Core Set ($90 USD)
Perhaps it’s obvious, but if you do not already have the Legion Core Set, you absolutely need to get it to play the game. Inside you’ll get the following miniatures:
- Darth Vader
- Storm Troopers x 2
- 74-Z Speeder Bikes
- Luke Skywalker
- Rebel Troopers x 2
In addition, you’ll get 8 barricades, 4 range ruler segments, 3 movement templates, and all the command, upgrade, and objective cards you’ll need to get started.
All of that is enough to do a simple two-player demo game, but won’t give you enough for a full 800-pt army from either faction (the specifics of which are detailed a bit more in my original buying guide).
To fully expand your army, take a look at the options below.
…Another Core Set ($90 USD)
“But I just bought a core set,” you might say. “Why should I get another one?”
At the end of the day, the Core Set is the best bang for your buck. The base cost is $90 USD, but as of writing it’s on sale on Amazon for $70 USD. And if you were to buy the units individually…
- Storm Troopers ($20 USD x 2 = $40 USD)
- 74-Z Speeder Bikes ($15 USD)
- Rebel Troopers ($20 USD x 2 = $40 USD)
- AT-RT ($15 USD)
- Dice Pack ($15 USD)
- Range Rulers and Movement Templates ($15 USD)
- TOTAL = $140 USD
Assuming you were to buy the Core Set at a slight discount of $70, you’d get all the units for your side at the same price plus a free dice pack and all the units for the other side as well. It’s a no-brainer for most Legion players and gets you very close to a viable full army on either side.
If you’re worried about price, check eBay or one of the Legion buy/sell/trade groups on Facebook (or even players at your local game store!) to see about splitting one or both of your cores for a reduced price. It’s a fairly common practice in the community.
General Veers, Snowtroopers (Imperial)
Leia Organa, Rebel Troopers (Rebel)
To flesh out your armies, you’ll want a second commander in either Veers or Leia, and you’ll want to fill in your remaining trooper units (Veers you’ll likely use on his own; Leia almost always works best paired with either Luke or Han). It’s extremely common to see players running the maximum of six trooper units in powerful lists; two core sets puts you at four of each, and you can easily bring yourself to five or six now.
The Rebel Troopers are the same you get in the core set, but the Snowtroopers will provide a more unique, close-range option for Imperials that brings in a nasty flamethrower and some gorgeous models.
The B Tier is where you’re fielding a mostly realized army, but the C Tier is where you’ll start to make distinct competitive choices.
Speeder Bikes, AT-ST (Imperial)
AT-RT, Rebel Commandos (Rebel)
Here’s where we start to get into faction identity a bit more.
On the Imperial side, you can choose from two popular lists by purchasing a third unit of 74-Z Speeder Bikes or the towering AT-ST, both of which pair extremely well with Veers and 6 trooper units (four Stormies and two Snow Troopers).
On the Rebel side, you can add in a third AT-RT (which was perhaps the most dominant early meta list) or buy a pack or two of Rebel Commandos, which allow you to choose between fielding a full unit of commandos or a pared down strike team of just two minis, wreaking explosive havoc up close or picking enemies off with your sniper from afar. They’re extremely popular and effective in the current meta, but do take a bit of game sense to use well, hence their position in the C Tier.
Big toys vs. cheap and expendable. Which sounds more fun to you? There’s no right answer!
Scout Troopers, Boba Fett, Stormtroopers (Imperial)
Fleet Troopers, Han Solo (Rebel)
Now we’re getting into fun but not entirely necessary toys. Boba Fett is my favorite unit in the game right now, but he takes some finesse and game sense to make proper use of, much like Rebel Commandos.
Scout Troopers fill the same role as Rebel Commandos but feel less critical to the average Imperial list. And while you don’t necessarily need a fifth or sixth Stormtrooper unit to be effective, it can never hurt to have options.
Fleet Troopers (the Rebel answer to the Snowtrooper release) and Han provide nuance to those dense Rebel lists, but aren’t picked quite as often. As you learn your play style you may find that you vastly prefer these units to Commandos or Leia, for instance, and should feel free to sub them in and out.
E-Web Heavy Blaster (Imperial)
1.4 FD Laser Cannon (Rebel)
There are some intensely strong lists running units like the 1.4 FD Laser Cannons right now.
However, despite their apparent plug-and-play nature (E-Webs can’t move and shoot, and Laser Cannons can’t move at all), their proper use really requires a deep understanding of game mechanics and strategy. They’re interesting, potentially powerful units but probably shouldn’t be the first thing you buy.
T-47 Airspeeder (Rebel)
Perhaps the lone truly “bad” unit, the T-47 Airspeeder (which you might also know as the Hoth Snowspeeder from Empire Strikes Back) is sadly also one of the prettiest models in the game right now.
Its weak guns and low health pool don’t quite make up for its high cost. It’s a beautiful mini and a blast to paint, but if you’re looking to be competitive off the bat maybe skip this one for now.
…And If You’re Interested:
Emperor Palpatine, Royal Guards (Imperial)
These units just came out two weeks ago and will take some time to really find their place in the meta. All signs point to them being reasonably strong, though, so if you’re a die-hard Empire lover feel free to replace Vader with Palpatine, and one of your bigger units for the Royal Guard.
Royal Guards (aka IRG) are tanky melee units, and Palpatine is a less tanky but still extremely potent version of Vader (Consider him the nuclear option).
In the next month or so the Rebels will see the release of Chewbacca and the Wookiee Warriors, who will bring similar changes to their side – although where Palpatine is the most expensive unit in the game, Chewie is specifically meant to be played and synergize with Han.
As always, leave your comments below for agreements and disagreements. There’s plenty of discussion to be had on this subject, and I’m sure you all have many thoughts of your own.
I hope that you enjoy your welcome into the Legion community – it’s a great game that’s only going to get better over time, and the current meta is a fantastic place to dive in.
Happy holidays, Commanders!