Right alongside the release of Star Wars Legion (which we reviewed here), Fantasy Flight Games released six unit expansion packs to aid you in the battle against the rebels (or the Galactic Empire, if you enjoy playing the rebel scum).
The packs released in the 1st Wave are:
- 74-Z Speeder Bikes Unit Expansion
- Stormtroopers Unit Expansion
- AT-ST Unit Expansion
- AT-RT Unit Expansion
- Rebel Troopers Unit Expansion
- T-47 Airspeeder Unit Expansion
Four of these unit packs include the same troop options included in the core box, they just offer additional versions of these in order to expand your 'force' options (or allow you to rain down more inexplicably inaccurate fire in attempt to bring balance to the dice odds).
The AT-ST and T-47 Airspeeder units, however, are brand new heavy unit options that allow you to bring a huge punch to the battle.
We'll talk about each unit expansion individually and what's included in each box.
74-Z Speeder Bikes Unit Expansion
The 74-Z Speeder Bikes expansion adds two speeder bikes to your force. The speeder bikes are the same as those from the core set, but as a fast attack unit, they are a great addition to any Empire army. You also get two Comms Jammer equipment cards, which work incredibly well if you can position your speeder bikes in the middle of the enemy force, but with their compulsory move, you'll have to think ahead to maintain the Jammer's effectiveness.
The speeder bikes are a great unit to include in your force and add a much missing fast moving tactical element to the Empire. Their current units are all fairly slow moving and usually move steadily forward, raining down fire as they advance. The speeder bikes allow you to force the rebels to react to them, allowing your other units to advance, as well as giving you great flanking opportunities.
Model wise, one of the included 74-Z troopers is in the same position as one included in the core box, but the other is seated as if turning the bike to the side. The sculpt of the commander turning to fire backwards is unique to the starter box. We've shown the alternative sculpts side by side in a image at the bottom of this article.
Stormtroopers Unit Expansion
The Stormtroopers expansion expands further on those included in the core box. It contains five standard Stormtroopers, including a unit leader and the option to add a HH-12 or DLT-19 wielding Stormtroopers to the unit. The expansion also comes with Grappling Hooks and Impact Grenades equipment cards to further enhance your units. Grappling Hooks make it less likely your unit will suffer damage when scaling walls, and Impact Grenades allow your units to deal damage to armoured targets, if they can get close enough.
Stormtroopers are the central part of your Empire force, so players building Empire armies will almost certainly end up purchasing a few of these unit expansions to rain down blaster shots on the rebels. Because you're able to include up to six core units, keen players may be looking to purchase additional core boxes, or up to four Stormtrooper Unit Expansions to take a full compliment into battle. For now though, at least one of these is an essential purchase, until we can get more core unit options.
AT-ST Unit Expansion
The AT-ST is the only new Empire unit in the first wave of unit expansions, but what a unit it is. With up to four weapons attached to it, it's a mobile weapons platform capable of taking out swathes of enemy units. It also comes with the option of attaching the General Weiss character, that if exhausted as a free action, allows you to use all four weapon attachments for that turn to really bring the rain (the units Arsenal 2 stacks with Weiss' Arsenal 2). All four weapons do have different ranges though, so be carful of your positioning if you want to use all four weapons in one round.
Regular troopers will have to roll critical hits to get through its armor, so it's only at risk from heavy weapons and shots from its lighter armored rear, so ensuring its flanks and rear are guarded is essential to its survival. At 195 points as well, it takes up a large portion of your army list, but the rewards are worth it if you can deploy it and get it into action effectively. Even without the extra weapons, it's a solid purchase for your force, as it rolls six dice to attack with its fixed weapon (two red, two black, two white) and some great combinations can be worked between flanking Speeder Bikes.
The AT-ST is the most complicated model of the game so far to put together, it's not difficult, but there are a lot more parts. I left a lot of the hinge parts of the legs unglued, so I could move them, and also only glued one connection on the neck, so I could turn and also remove it for transportation if required. It's a very dominating piece on the battlefield and will attract a lot of attention especially from those pesky Rebel blasters.
AT-RT Unit Expansion
The AT-RT expansion unit is the same as that included in the core box, but as with the 74-Z Speeder Bikes, this model has a different pilot sculpt. We've included an image of the different sculpts at the bottom of this article.
The only extra you will pick up with this expansions in the Comms Jammer card, but it can be very useful for disrupting your enemies' priorities when it comes to the order phase. The AR-RT itself is a great unit for the rebels, allowing them to bring some serious firepower down, and with its choice of three weapons, it allows a fair amount of variety and flexibility when putting your army list together. It also has a relatively low points cost for its firepower output.
For the Rebel players at the moment, it's going to be deciding between how many AT-RT's and T-47 Airspeeders you want after your core army purchases, and that will ultimately decide if you need to purchase more of these beyond the core box.
Rebel Troopers Unit Expansion
The Rebel Troopers unit expansion, as with the Stormtroopers unit expansion, offers the same miniatures, but includes the Grappling Hooks and Impact Grenades, which as above, allow your troopers better movement over vertical terrain and allow you to hit armored targets if you can get close enough.
The Rebel troopers, until more core units are released, are the backbone of your Rebel force and many players will want to purchase up to four of these packs to meet the maximum amount of core units allowed in your army. With the option to add the heavy weapons, or keep them as a wiley blaster filled unit with their Nimble attribute, they can tie-up enemy units and force them to make mistakes, move into the open, or put more firepower into the unit that could have been used elsewhere.
They're quit a versatile unit. and I think that even into the future of Legion, we will see them as a constant force on the battlefield.
T-47 Airspeeder Unit Expansion
The T-47 Airspeeder is a a great inclusion in any Rebel force and adds the fast attack options they were missing in the core set. With the option to add the rear mounted weapon, and the Arsenal 2 attribute, you will be able to speed through the enemy and bring down fire on all sides. It also benefits from Cover 1, due to its speed, so don't be scared to take some risks with it.
The rear weapon mount means that you can attach the Ax-108 Ground Buzzer to lay down some serious blaster rounds, or the Mo/Dk Power Harpoon that is a direct counter to the AT-ST and can pull it round to expose its vulnerable rear and demand it moves to bring its arcs of fire back online.
At 175 points, it's only slightly cheaper than the Empire's AT-ST, so going head to head with it could be risky, but with three red and three black dice for its fixed attack, it packs a punch. This will almost certainly be an auto-include for any Rebel force.
The model itself is relatively easy to put together. It comes as a solid model, with you only having to attach the back and upper flaps and the front blasters. The upper flaps can be positioned up or down, and I've positioned mine in the photo above with one up and one down, with the intention of eventually angling the model on the base, to give it the impression of banking. My only issue with the model itself is that with the top hatch coming fixed as part of the model, it's lines look to clean when unpainted for my liking and the scale of the model feels a little small. Looking at images from the movies and other scale releases, the Airspeeder is a lot smaller than expected, but it feels dwarfed by the AT-ST. It is however still a great model, and an essential piece on the battlefield.
The first wave of Star Wars Legion Unit Expansions build up what is already available to the Rebel and Empire players. They bring much needed options to both sides and build on extremely well with what's already included in the core box.
The new units of the Airspeeder and AT-ST are going to be more appealing to players, but the duplicate units are also going to be required to keep your armies flexible, and, especially for the core units of Stormtroopers and Rebel troopers, legal as well.
The cost of building a force at this time is still relatively small compared to some war-games, but the buy-in for new players will still feel substantial compared to a board-game.
Legion has a growing community online and I've seen some exciting model modifications and paint schemes already. Star Wars Legion, after the initial core and Wave 1 expansions release is in a solid place, and while everyone always wants more army choice options, those included so far do offer a fair amount of flexibility while players all learn the core game.
Several units have already been announced for the subsequent waves, and it will be an interesting time for Legion as the rules are played and tested on a large scale, and a meta begins to emerge on the organized play scene. I look forward to being a part of its growing future.
The Bottom Line:
If you want to take Star Wars Legion beyond the core set, some of these purchases will be essential. They extra models for both sides add variety and core battle options. The model quality is great and the buy-in costs are much cheaper than other wargames but considerably more than a board-game. If you want to take your Legion games to the next level, this is where you begin.
Get this game if:
You have any kind fondness for Star Wars. The models alone are worth it to a Star Wars fan.
You want to take you're love of Star Wars tabletop gaming to the next level.
You want to rain down fire from an AT-ST on rebel scum.
You want to laugh as you turn an AT-ST round to face the wrong direction, and then blast it apart with your Rebel troopers hitting the weak spot.
Avoid this game if:
You don't have the Star Wars Legion Core Set.
You don't want to assemble models.
These copies of the Star Wars Legion Unit Expansions used for this review were provided by Asmodee UK.
What do you think of Star Wars Legion? Are you on the Light or the Dark side? Have you found a unique force to surprise your opponents? How many speeder bikes do you own?
The Star Wars Legion Wave 1 expansions get the same score as the core legion box. They add extra elements for both sides, but don't change the core mechanics beyond the extra force options. In order to push your force further legally, most players will be purchasing additional core boxes or Stormtroopers or Rebel Troopers before other purchases. The minatures theselves are FFG's usual high quality and we look forward to seeing where they take Legion.