There was once a time when good Star Wars miniatures for massed gaming were a holy grail. West End Games had gone out of print and the prices were high, while Knight’s were a pain to put together, the plastic toys were too big and the blind box collections a pain to accrue unless you loved Ebay. Even Imperial Assault felt small.
Actually, who am I kidding, good Star Wars miniatures for gaming are still highly desired. Step forward Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) and their new Star Wars: Legion game, where the L word stands for lots and lots of plastic figures.
Star Wars: Legion
Yes, the Star Wars gaming crusade continues with the all-encompassing power of a Death Star, from X-Wing to Armada to everything else. Star Wars: Legion will see you pit small armies of infantry figures against each other, as well as some vehicles. Well, to begin with, we all know someone will cover a patio with them quickly and bring their own AT-AT.
The starter box comes with 33 (possibly 32mm?) miniatures, speeder bikes and a walker to bolster squads of Rebel Commandoes, Stormtroopers and actual Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker models you can throw into the fray.
The miniatures are unpainted plastics, which we are promised will be easy to assemble, and plastics technology has come on an awful lot recently so substantial forces of good, custom painted troops are in our grasp. Or they will be soon, providing you can find someone to collect rebels. We’re promised that you can flood the field with a mass of cheap troop types, build a smaller force round armour, and other ways to meet your play style. Design comes from the man behind X-Wing and Armada, Alex Davy, and those are great games with a sense of Star Wars.
Fantasy Flight know people want good rules rather than just figures to use elsewhere, so what’s going on in the game. This is a skirmish system built around squads, which have to be activated and then take two actions each, no more moving and shooting your entire force before the enemy gets a go.
Each squad can be customised by cards before the battle (as well as painted your way), and FFG went to lengths to point out that movement will squad based, so you measure one figure using “jointed movement tools” and all the rest move as you wish providing the squad ends up cohesive. The movement is a good microcosm of what we know: this is not a game for tape measure fiends, this is a more casual, fun experience… where you can throw light sabers at the enemy.
We are promised an advance on form up and run rule sets with movement, cover, careful timing and hard decisions about who to activate and when (if you can).
The potential of Star Wars: Legion is massive, as there’s an awful lot of aliens and characters that could be running about your battlefield if the game succeeds, from Gamorrean Guard to Boba Fett. FFG have promised to roll out expansion figures at a swift rate, so there should be something to interest most Star Wars fans quickly.
Of course, given the depth of Star Wars lore, you can still get annoyed by the pips on a sleeve should you so desire but the target audience includes people who’ve never played with miniatures before. FFG have promised a flood of their own: painting guides, tactics tutorials, the whole… well, let’s not mention a certain other miniature war gaming company who Star Wars: Legion jumps straight into battle with, ordering forward just as compelling background and even more iconic armoured troops.
The Core Set for Star Wars: Legion is aiming for a March 2018 release.