Star Wars Legion launched today, and my local gaming community was more ready for it than they even expected. We had a nice little build session and the excitement grew as the AT-ST pieces in particular came out of the boxes and began to take shape. My shop has had access to the demo for several weeks but the game itself definitely hid its potential until tonight. In a short skirmish on my grassy field playmats, my various 3d printed terrain pieces were placed about along with the barricades from the core box to create a dynamic and exciting battlefield. One side composed of a full complement of 6 rebel trooper units, Luke Skywalker, and 2 airspeeder vehicles, the other with the imposing form of an AT-ST, Vader, speeder bikes and stormtroopers.
By round 4 (of 6) the battlefield was littered with dead and injured troopers from both sides. Vader took up position in the middle of the fray with Luke finally coming forth to meet him. Two airspeeders lie in craters of their own making, downed by sustained blaster fire and sith lord flung lightsabers. The AT-ST stands unscathed raining hell down upon any who would peek out of cover, terrifying the men across the entire breadth of the board and preventing them from leaving their precarious defensive positions. The final blow came as Vader struck down Luke, narrowly escaping defeat himself, but scattering the rebel forces in a panicked flight from the battle.
This game is no joke. The suppression mechanic is engaging as troops become the pawns of the battlefield and even if you cannot eliminate them with damage you can pound them into submission with superior fire. With more troops on the board Vader becomes a force to be reckoned with and the AT-ST seems to reign as the king of battlefield control. I’m not discounting the rebel airspeeders however, they certainly benefit from their mobility and firepower but can’t risk getting too deep into the engagement too early much like the imperial speeders. Time will tell how this first wave will balance out but my store is currently waving an Imperial Banner, and I eagerly await the coming battles.
On the business side of things, i’m seeing great sales of this game across my town, with many players grabbing up complete sets and fielding full armies from either faction. Its just getting started and my group is already talking excitedly about the new commanders coming in the next 2 months, Leia and Veers. The release schedule is borderline frantic and if Fantasy Flight keeps the release pressure on they may very well complete their goal of giving Warhammer and Games Workshop a tough path to dominance in the miniature wargaming genre and I’m kinda rooting for them.