Start Collecting: Galactic Empire

“Long live the Empire”

Hello there!

Today we’re going with the next part of our “Start Collecting” series and in this one we will spot Galactic Empire! There is no “the best” product that you can buy at start, choosing between Core Set and Blizzard Force Battleforce Pack. It’s all dependent on the way you want to build your list. I recommend Battleforce as an addition to the core set. I hope this article and another text that will appear soon will spotlight some of the most popular lists and choices. Now I will, as always, describe each unit separately:

COMMANDERS:

AGENT KALLUS

Here we have one of the most flexible characters in the game.

His playstyle will be hardly dependent on your opponent’s list. He can be a decent melee fighter (not at a Jedi level, but still good). Most of the time you will want him to stay with the rest of your gunline at range 3 and shoot with them, effectively damaging enemies for 2-3 points each turn due to his Sharpshooter 1 (decreasing opponents’ cover value by 1) and Lethal 1 (he can spend one Aim token to Pierce through one of your opponent Block Result).

He also has sort of the most interesting keywords in the game. Contingencies let you bring aside additional Command Cards and Cunning let you win ties in Command Phase if you played Kallus Command Card. Kallus should always have his J-19 Bo-Rifle Armament Upgrade. It opens him a mentioned shots at range 3 and highly increases his melee potential (he can even withstand a melee fight with Force Users).

It’s really important to remember about his Flawed keyword (like Anakin Skywalker that I described in Republic article [HERE])- your opponent will get a single-use card that can lead your Kallus to panic out of the table. Keep aware of it.

To sum up: he’s a jack-of-all-trades, very much master of none. Works well with others.

DARTH VADER

Here we have old Vader, well known from the Original Trilogy.

He fears no man with his unlimited courage value (which he can pass to his fellow soldiers, of course). He can also “motivate” his soldiers with the Compel keyword which lets him stress them a little bit allowing them to perform a free move action. We can also see standard keywords for Force Users such as Deflect and Immune: Pierce. He can prepare an exhausted Force Upgrade at the end of each turn with Master of the Force 1 keyword as well as perform a free attack after move (Relentless ability).

While talking about attacks, I feel obligated to tell you that his lightsaber is the BEST lightsaber in the entire game. 6 red dice, Pierce 3, Impact 3 weapon can quickly decimate an opponent’s forces, even if they’re Armored well.

Personally I like Saber Throw on him, it gives him nearly unblockable range attack (as long as your opponent is not a mandalorians or has anything that provides an Impervious keyword to his units, it’s clearly unblockable by dice).

DIRECTOR ORSON KRENNIC

One of the most supportive commanders in the entire game.

He is a good support for low courage units due to the Compel keyword (he can give suppressed units an additional free move which is fairly helpful). He also has the Cunning keyword so he wins priority ties too when his commander-specified cards are played.

Another two good sides of Krennic are his 1-pip and 2-pip command cards (first gives you better order control and second prepares you for opponent deep strike as well as gives you an element of area control) and his Entourage: Imperial Death Troopers keyword. That one allows you to put one additional unit of IDT in your list, regardless of limitations while also allowing you to issue them a free order token each turn.

Krennic playstyle most of the time is hiding out of opponent LoS due to Krennic weak defense stats and he definitely won’t do anything on his own except for attack. Binoculars are good for him to provide more aims for your units. He’s definitely a must have if you want to play IDT.

EMPEROR PALPATINE

This is also quite a supportive commander (with quite high cost) but he has potential to deal MASSIVE damage (I’ll write about it later on).

At the start I want to tell something about his Pulling the Strings ability which is fantastic. He can give your heavy hitters unit an additional shot or even give them a move and a shot (if interested units have Relentless, Charge or Steady). He also comes with a standard Immune: Pierce, but without Deflect (he has built-in defensive surge).

You should bring him with a unit or two of Imperial Royal Guards which is definitely facilitated with his Entourage for them. Now something about his offensive power. He has an attack that he can use in melee as well as in range 1-2. It’s composed of double rainbow (2 red, 2 black, 2 white dice) with Pierce 2 and Suppressive which makes it quite dangerous as a stand alone but he also has access to his pip-1 “And now, you will die” which makes him a beast.

In the turn you played it in his activation he can take a wound and suppression to perform a free, additional attack. Due to that he can “nuke” enemies’ forces and “fry” them quickly. I highly recommend Anger Force Upgrade on him. In his nuke turn, before each attack he will get a free aim token which can highly improve his dice statistic.

Other good upgrades on him are Force Barrier (for some protection for your units, especially when you can refresh it every turn with Master of the Force) and Burst of Speed (which highly increases his “nuke” range).

Due to his high cost he requires skill to properly play and pull off plans.

GENERAL VEERS

This is another supportive commander for the Galactic Empire.

This is the cheapest one out of non-generic commanders (shh, be quiet, Krennic) but that doesn’t mean he’s weak. His Spotter 2 keyword (which can be upgraded to Spotter 3 with Electrobinoculars upgrade) is insane and greatly improves your action economy, tossing up to 2-3 aims around your army. But hey, he also has Inspire 1 (so can help your units with suppression problems) and very good Command Cards.

His pip-1 helps you kill opponent snipers and low HP units, 2-pip makes your Armored vehicle even more resilient and his pip-3 is a great option if you have suppressed units or ones that want to ready their exhausted upgrades without using Recover action.

IDEN VERSIO

Now we go with a much more aggressive commander as well as one of the most flexible units in that role in the entire game.

First I should start with an explanation of what I mean when I’m saying “flexible”. Iden has a Covert Ops keyword which can change her role to Operative, also giving her the Infiltration keyword (so she can be deployed everywhere on the battlefield beyond range 3 of any enemy unit). Second and more important in the case of defining her as a “flexible” unit is her Loadout keyword. It means that she can bring additional upgrades with her and switch them straight before the battle, after you see what’s on the opponent side of the field.

She has Quick Thinking which means she can get both, dodge and aim, in just one action. These tokens are very important to her due to Nimble (after you defend and spend dodge you will get that dodge back) and Marksman (you can use your aim to improve your results (change blanks to hits and hits to crits) rather than for rerolls).

Iden herself is highly resilient and this can be even better if she gets her Seeker Droid. There are many ways you can play her. She can be a nearly unkillable sniper with her DLT-20A or a dangerous mid-range shooter with her TL-50 Repeater.

Half of her potential is hidden inside her Command Cards, especially Pip-3 “Tactical Strike”. This card allows you to perform a strong Alpha Strike turn 1 if you combine her with an Imperial Special Forces unit. 

She is definitely one of the best commanders in the entire game and I will say she is nearly a must have if you want to play Empire. She also wants some ISF too.

IMPERIAL OFFICER

Generic commander for the Empire.

It’s a weaker version of Veers, with Spotter 1 and Inspire 1. Can be used when you need to maximize other activations or loadouts, especially in skirmish, but as long as you can, you should play Veers instead of Officer.

OPERATIVES:

DARTH VADER

Younger version of our beloved Sith.

He is faster (speed-2  instead of speed-1) and more focused on those awful, still living Jedi Knights (represented by Jedi Hunter ability, which lets him get surge to crits in attack when he is fighting with Force User).

Other keywords are like on his commander version, except he doesn’t have Compel. For the cost of 1 red dice on his lightsaber he got a ranged weapon named Force Throw with Blast (ignores cover) and Scatter (lets you move opponent minis in an attacked unit (except unit leader)).

He also got some Training Upgrade slots which can be filled with upgrades such as Tenacity and Seize the Initiative. One of the cheapest Force Users in the whole game, while nearly as strong as his commander version.

Definitely worth trying, especially that he is the cheapest of Imperial Force Users and one of the cheapest in the entire game.

CORPS:

STORMTROOPERS

The most common and popular trooper units across the whole Star Wars universe.

Your most flexible corps unit that can serve as Activation Padding, Elite Squad of heavy hitters (especially when supported by a unit with Spotter, I see you Veers) or Supports.

While they serve as Activation Padding I recommend to use them naked or just with heavy weapons if you need additional firepower. Elite ones should be equipped with a heavy weapon (preferably DLT-19 or RT-97C), Captain to handle with the suppressions and Offensive Push for some additional aims. Last but not least we have support ones that should bring R4 Astromech or FX-9 Medical Droid to heal your units.

Stormtroopers themselves are very aim hungry due to their big white dice pools as well as Precise 1 keyword (which lets them reroll one additional dice per aim) but can handle without Order tokens so you can focus on your main heavy hitters like Vader or anyone else.

I recommend to use them as act padding rather than elites do to their white attack dice that can be very tricky. T-21 is worth trying too due to Critical 2 that can be meaningful.

SNOWTROOPERS

They’re in the same price range as classic Stormtroopers but instead of Precise 1 they have Steady (free shot after move action). They’re slower (only speed-1) and have fewer options than their friends.

Only one viable heavy weapon on them is a Flametrooper (oh yeah, let’s break the Geneva Convention) and maybe Gideon Hask. They want to be close to the enemy due to that Flametrooper and due to that fact you can think about playing grenades on them (especially Fragmentation Grenades).

They have a good action efficiency with their Steady keyword but I highly prefer other corps.

SHORETROOPERS & MORTARS

These bad boys are your way to build a gunline in the Empire.

They’re Elite Corps for Empire and are Order Token hungry due to Target 1 (free aim after order is issued to them) and Coordinate: Emplacement Trooper (they can give a free Order to their Mortar Troopers every time they’re issued an order). And now on let’s talk about Mortar Troopers.

It’s a Fire Support unit (I described that mechanic in our Republic article, check it out) that can only be taken if you already pick Shoretroopers for your list. They can hit hard and stress out your opponent due to the Suppressive keyword.

I highly recommend picking heavy weapons on Shoretrooper as well as playing them with Krennic to get the full potential (Strict Orders+Aggressive Tactics+Compel).

SPECIAL FORCES:

IMPERIAL DEATH TROOPERS

Big, bad Krennic fanboys.

One of the most elite troopers in-game, Imperial Death Troopers are good in general. They practically don’t care about suppressions due to Courage 2 and Disciplined 1 keyword, they reroll 4 dice each time they spend aim due to Precise 2.

And of course they’re fine in securing the objective due to their Ready 1 keyword (which gives them aim each time they perform a Standby action). They hit hard, they’re resilient (red defense dice, surged) and they definitely should be played with Krennic.

Be aware of Pierce weapons in your opponents squad, it’s a weakness of IDT.

IMPERIAL SPECIAL FORCES & INFERNO SQUAD

Iden Versio groupies, on position.

Firstly let’s talk about the biggest fans of Versio, her infamous Inferno Squad. They consist of 3 models: Del Meeko, Gideon Hask and Seyn Marana noname ISF soldier, 2 HP each. They have Retinue to their lordess commander, Iden Versio, in addition to other keywords. That means every turn they’re in range 1-2 of her they get a free aim or dodge token.

On the other hand we got a squad full of noname ISF soldiers, 4 models, 1 HP each. They have a Marksman keyword, like Iden, and can Infiltrate, like Iden. They generally like Iden, just saying. They also have the Reliable 1 keyword (free surge token each turn, it’s important because they don’t have defensive surge). They’re an important part of Iden Alpha Strike strategy with her pip-3 “Tactical Strike”, which I have mentioned in her paragraph.

Generally one of the strongest Imperial units as well as one of my favorite units at all.

IMPERIAL ROYAL GUARDS

Servants and personal guardians of our lord and savior, Emperor Sheev Palpatine.

Some words about their abilities. Disciplined 2 (Emperors security should be well disciplined, right?) means they can get rid of 2 suppression tokens each time they are issued an order. Guardian 2 to protect other units, especially Palp as every of his wounds are important due to his “nuke” turn. Last but not least is Charge, so they can perform a free melee attack after moving. It’s very important, due to their high melee potential (when equipped with heavy weapon they can try to stand against Force Users).

They should definitely play with Palp to take care of him, but in any other situation I think we have better choices for this spot. They’re good for gunlines. melee skews and being a backline (for the last option, I recommend Electrobinoculars, just saying)

SCOUT TROOPERS

These ones are available in two versions, Strike Team (consisting 2 models) and full squad, consisting 4-5 models.

The full squad is a close distance activation padding (in which case you can consider Sonic Charge Saboteur, but then you can just bring ISF which is better) and Strike Teams are played as an long distance activation padding and a tool for Area Control with their DLT-19x Snipers (2 black dice in range 1-5 with High Velocity and Pierce 1 is a good counter to everything that relies on dodges (some Rebel lists, Pykes, Force Users)).

They’re defense is tricky due to only a white surge dice.

SUPPORTS:

DEWBACK RIDERS

Small Stormtroopers riding on big lizards, what can go wrong?

They’re one of the best Support units in the game due to their low cost, big threat range (especially with Vader in your team) and deadly melee attacks. Their threat range is a result of a few factors: Spur (they can gain suppression token to increase their move speed by one), medium base, Unhindered (they ignore difficult terrain), Relentless (they get a free attack after move) and Reposition (they can pivot before or after move). All of these combined make them a real threat, even on range 3-4.

They are quite resilient due to 6HP, red dice saves and Armor 1. And at the end, they can hit very hard with their Razor Claws & Shock Prod (3 red, 3 white dice, Critical 2, Suppressive).

I can recommend them with Iden Versio Alpha Strike, when Dewbacks arrive after a “Tactical Strike” turn and just eat the enemies’ survivors or with Vader to maximize their Spur potential. If you are still considering buying it I have an advice for you: Just dew it! They’re da best in Dewpacks!

E-WEB HEAVY BLASTER TEAM

One of the worst units in the entire game.

Just a big gun that can’t move and shoot in the same turn due to the Cumbersome keyword. It’s definitely “good” at holding objectives due to the Sentinel keyword (which increases your Standby range) and quite high firepower but that’s all, nothing special, and you can use these points on different things.

74-Z SPEEDER BIKES

Speedy boys.

Their role on the field is to flank and outmaneuver your opponent and Speeder 1 which grants you an additional move before activating is quite helpful combined with their natural move speed-3.

Unit of Bikes consists of 2 minis, 3 HP each, each with a single rainbow attack (1 red, 1 black, 1 white dice, Impact 1), they’re quite effective at eliminating opponents’ low Armored units. They can resist some shots with Cover 1 and surged white defense dice, but not as resilient as you think and Sharpshooters can quickly kill them (especially with a small amount of Pierce added).

They’re good with Iden and wonderful in Battleforce squads.

HEAVIES:

AT-ST

Very big piece of plastic steel (its height means it will see nearly everything on the battlefield but can also be seen by everything).

11HP, full Armor (no hits will damage you, only criticals), surged white defense dice makes it so resilient. Your opponent needs approximately 16-17 crits to just get rid of it. And that’s not all of the good sides of this machine.

It has monstrous attacks thanks to its main gun, MS-4 Twin Blaster Cannon (double rainbow, Impact 3), as well as Arsenal 2 keyword which can be extended with General Weiss pilot upgrade to Arsenal 4. AT-ST can equip up to 3 additional weapons (Grenade Launcher, Mortar Launcher or additional lasers).

Drawback of taking this for your army is that it costs more than 25% of your available points at standard game format so you should be sure that you have a good game plan.

LAAT/LE PATROL TRANSPORT

It’s a first out of two Transport options for the Empire and I think it’s a worse one.

It also has a full Armor, Arsenal 2, and white surged dice. Only 8 HP means 12 effective wounds and full Armor changes it for 12 crits that must be rolled against you to kill you, statistically. It’s also Immune: Blast, Melee and Range 1 weapons which increases its resilience slightly more. It doesn’t have very high attack power but is much cheaper than AT-ST (but also can be seen by nearly everything).

I recommend building it as a transport OR a gunship, rather than two types combined.

TX-225 GAVw OCUPPIER COMBAT ASSAULT TANK

Another heavy vehicle with full Armor.

Here we have red, non-surged dice and 8 HP so 16 effective wounds that need to be crits. Here we also have Arsenal 2 with 2 weapons on board and with a slot to pick additional one. Due to Reposition ability this tank can also pivot before or after it moves, like Dewback Riders.

It can Transport one of your units as an Open Transport, which means the transported unit can shoot and perform other actions. In my opinion picking this tank is a case when E-Web is not that bad, because it can be embarked on this for additional pew-pew.

Be careful about Weak Point 1: Sides keyword (everytime, when your opponent in your side arc attacks you he will gain an Impact 1 for his attack pool, so can annihilate your Tank quicker).

MERCENARIES:

At the start I want to describe the Bounty keyword, because each named character on this list has this. You place victory token on your opponent Commander or Operative at the start of the game. If your Bounty Hunter which assigned the token to a unit slayed a marked unit a token is moved to it. If at the end of the game your Bounty Hunter still lives, you score additional Victory Point! It’s very important and can be your tie-breaker.

boba fett

Probably the most (in)famous Bounty Hunter in the whole Star Wars universe.

He got many buffs in the recent Mercenaries update with the release of Shadow Collective. He will be also buffed soon by getting 3 new Command Cards.

Starting with his survivability, Fett has 5 HP and red, surged defense dice which means 15 effective wounds. He also has Impervious (he rolls additional defense dice equal to Pierce value of attack) which means Boba is not that vulnerable to Pierce. Nice addition is his HUGE mobility. Having a move speed-3 and Jump 2 means he can shorten the distance in no time. He also gains a free token each turn he didn’t get a face-up order token due to his Independent: Aim 1 or Dodge 1 ability.

I have left his offensive potential for the end of abilities summary. He has Arsenal 2, Sharpshooter 2 and 2 built-in ranged weapons. He gets access to additional weapons through a game due to his Command Cards. Now you see why he can be a centerpiece of your army, Boba can definitely be your playmaker, getting objectives and becoming a big threat to your opponent due to his mobility, damage and survivability.

He’s a scalpel, so try to shut down single units and don’t dive in between your opponents’ forces.

CAD BANE

He’s kind of a peek-a-boo.

You want to hide behind a height-1 building and in your activation just Jump on it, make a free shot out of Steady, and then move down to hide again, using Ascension Cables upgrade, which you definitely should play. He’s also quite resilient due to his Independent: Dodge 2 (at the beginning of each turn you’ll get 2 dodge tokens if you don’t have an order token, so it’s a good idea to play Comms Relay too).

Additional worth mentioning is Cad Bane-only mechanic that lets him start game in reserves while also placing 3 face-down Bane tokens on the battlefield. One token is nothing but Smoke and Mirrors, the second one is Kablamo! which detonates when the opponent comes close enough dealing potential high damage, and third is Here I Am! which spawn Bane in its place, issuing him an order, or teleports him to his token if he’s on the battlefield at the moment.

His role is to distract your opponent rather than deal massive damage.

BOSSK

There is another Bounty Hunter but with a much more different playstyle.

Of course he has a Bounty keyword too but his Independent is changed to Surge 2. He has built-in Scale and is a pretty good sniper with his range 2-4 weapon with Pierce 1 (especially if you feed him with aims using his Pip-3 “Lying in Wait”). He can be also runned as a merciless berserker due to his Enrage keyword (which will give him a Charge and infinite courage if he’s wounded enough) and good melee weapon profile. He’s also one and only two characters in-game that can heal themselves without any upgrades. It’s possible due to the Regenerate 3 keyword (which lets him heal up to 3 wounds at the end of his activation, which slightly increases his survivability and makes that your opponent must kill him in a single turn or just leave it as it is).

I recommend not running him as a melee character (it’s a waste of his good ranged profile). You should feed him with aims as much as possible too.

PYKES

They’re definitely worth trying in Empire. They’re the best performing corps unit in the whole game by now. They have good defensive capabilities and also a decent firepower when equipped with P13-M. They’re vulnerable to suppression mechanics so I recommend running them with Pyke Syndicate Capo personnel upgrade.

BLACK SUNS

These can be your good anti-armor option, especially when Transported with your GAV or LAAT. They are interesting option due to Mag-Det Enforcers and Scatter Gun Enforcers. Definitely worth trying.

I hope this guide helped you with your choice about buying order and see you in the next article! 

Over and out, Gerard from MFW

Credits:

Writer: Gerard “Alchemistttt” Zyśk

Reviser: Bartosz Chrulski

Reviewers: KingOCake, Sparks27

 

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