April 29, 2019
Inspired by Intel’s excellent Adeptus Custodes article, I thought I would follow up along the lines of hobby enthusiasm, although my painting and modelling has been on a bit of a go slow the last few years, so I thought I would talk about something that has sparked my gaming juices. I am probably less well known to the Sheffield part of the community bar odd visits for Guildball, but a fairly regular visitor to Mansfield often found playing aganst John. I am an old school gamer, my first games had lots of charts, and some even used protractors to measure angles for movementii. Even today I prefer crunchier, meatier rules sets so when Star Wars Legion was announced I wasn’t entirely sold but the part of me that played with the old toys won out. I am glad it did, as I found a rule set that I think is really something special, even if Star Wars isn’t your thing hopefully this article might prompt you to think about what you love about your favourite games and share it.
So Legion, what is it about Legion I like? It would be very easy to now go off on a very pretentious essay, but I will try to stick to a few simple points.
Is it that heavy weight complex game, I am normally drawn to? No units are described by very few stats and keywords, with everything on a standard size card. A few keywords, some interaction with dice, and 3 stats, plus some weapon stats. Movement is even done by moving the leader then placing the rest of the unit in the vicinity, no individual measuring. It’s remarkably freeing, I am not wading through paragraphs of text, or carefully measuring 30 separate movements instead I am just putting my units where I want them and focusing on the mission (or annihilating the rebel scum).
The other thing is, units feel right, and storm troopers are so precisei while still having the worse shooting attack in the game. Not only do they feel right but Luke can face down speeder bike and destroy one deflecting back its fire with his light sabre.
This brings us to command cards, simultaneously determining initiative, bringing in real flavour for the heroes, and offering powerful abilities for the turn. Each one bar the most basic one can only be used once per game. Need to go first, then very few units will be able to go exactly when you want them to, and the bonuses won’t be overly powerful but that turn Vadar really needs to get to cheeky rebel about to run off with the Death Star plans it can win the game. It lets Han shoot first, Boba Fett unleashes a flame thrower, and the Emperor show you the full power of the Dark Side. It is wonderful set of choices, while at the same time trying to guess what your opponent might be doing.
I could write much more about missions, and the activation mechanic or a dozen other things but they may be possible future articles, So I will summarise, I love Legion because the rules are immersive, you are focused on your decisions. It brings the Star Wars universe to life; it naturally creates those cinematic moments. It has lots of meaningful decisions, and a lot of interaction and the dice bring tension and joy. Finally and perhaps the most importantly I have enjoyed every single game whether I am bringing order to the galaxy with unmatched Imperial firepower or I am being blown of the table.
With more and more units coming out from across the franchise, and the Clone Wars coming later in the year the game offers more and more choice, I may even get my Ewok army one day. If my ramblings have kindled curiosity I would be happy to try arranging a demo.
Why not share what makes a game you love special to you, while I go start to paint white, lots of white.
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