Long time no see, here we go with the last big guide for Star Wars: Legion from our “Start Collecting” series (necessarily check our other articles from this series). In this last article we will spot the youngest “faction”* in the game – Shadow Collective. At the very beginning I’ll recommend buying two Starter Sets**, as it comes with pretty high value: Maul Commander and one unit of Pykes, Black Suns and Super Mandalorian Commandos.
* it’s more like Battleforce, rather than entire faction
** in this case you need also Essential Kit, but if you want to start your Legion collection with Shadow Collective, there is no better way of doing so
We will start with one of the Mauls’ greatest loyalists. Gar Saxon is a very flexible commander that can fill nearly every role on the battlefield, from sniper through bruiser to cache catcher.
We should start off with information that like all other Mandalorians in the game he is quite resilient but also very dice-dependant. His 5 on-card wounds compared with red, surged defense die lead us to 15 effective wounds, pretty nice. Addition of Impervious keyword (you roll X more dice if your opponent’s attack has Pierce X) makes him even more sturdy (and this can be further improved with Saxon’s Combat Shield). He has great mobility due to speed-3 move and Jump 2 keyword (once per activation you can ignore terrains of height 2 or lower when moving) which makes him a great cache catcher as I told before.
He also has a big variety of weapon options due to his Flame Projector, Galar-90 Rifle and Jetpack Rockets armaments. His pip-2 and pip-3 Command Cards benefit your Super Mandalorian Commandos too with a bunch of free tokens and Outmaneuver keyword (Dodge tokens can be spent to avoid critical hits). Important to say is that he has an Allies of Convenience keyword which allows him to give orders to your Pykes and Black Suns normally.
If you want to go with Mandalorians, then Gar Saxon is worth considering and may be your go through 🙂
PYKE SYNDICATE CAPO & BLACK SUN VIGO
These two will be your key point of roster if you decide to play either Pykes (in which case you will bring Capo) or Black Suns (Vigo will be your go through here).
Both will be pretty important in their strategy and both of them have one keyword in common – Aid. This ability allows you to pass any token (Aim, Surge, Dodge) they would get to another Pyke/Black Sun in range 1 and in line of sight at the cost of taking 1 Suppression token for themselves.
Both of them have 4HP but Vigo defends himself with red dice while Capo uses white, surged dice. Despite it, Capo is designed for more defensive purposes with his Independent: Dodge 1 and Danger Sense 2 abilities. First one gives you a free Dodge token at the start of the activation phase if you don’t have a face-up order token on him. Second one lets you roll up to 2 additional defense dice, equal to the amount of your suppression tokens. Black Suns are generally made about close-range aggression and Vigo is not an exception. He has the Dauntless keyword, which lets him make a free move in cost of suppression token if he’s already suppressed. Icing on the cake is his Independent: Aim 1 and you can use that token yourself or pass it to Black Sun Enforcers, so they can land a brutal hit on the enemy forces.
There is the first out of 2 Bounty Hunters on our list.
Of course he has a Bounty keyword which lets you put a victory counter on one of your opponents’ commanders or operatives. Then in the course of the game Bossk kills that character and survives until the game ends – you will score that additional point. He has Independent: Surge 2, built-in Scale (which makes him a decent climber as well as providing him a free clamber action either before or after his move action) 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. Bossk is also one of 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).
Do you like a peek-a-boo kind of playstyle? So he is the perfect choice for you!
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 (It’s a good idea to play Comms Relay on him so you can pass your order token even when you use his Command Card).
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.
One and only force user available for Shadow Collective.
He comes with some standard abilities for Jedi/Sith such as Immune: Pierce, Deflect and Jump. This Maul as well as his Separatist counterpart has his own, unique rule – Juyo Mastery. When he is wounded (and this version has access to this ability the whole game, due to the fact he’s autowounding himself with Wound 1 keyword as soon as game starts), he can perform three actions instead of normal two (+ any additional free actions). That means he can, for example, perform 2 moves, Force Push the opponent into melee and then attack him. He also have access to 3 additional Command Cards compared to his CIS version (greatly improving his options with healing and huge token sharing)
Last but not least important thing is his Armament upgrade which you will pick most of the time. The Darksaber completely changes your weapon profile (in fact of Sidearm: Melee, Ranged you’re no longer able to use your Double-Bladed Lightsaber), and makes Maul a Commander instead of Operative. In addition you gain Surge to Crits in attack (which slightly increases your damage and anti-armor potential) as well as Cunning keyword which auto-wins you priority ties when your Commander-specific Command Card is played this turn.
Maul is definitely hard to play but may win you games when you master him well.
PYKE SYNDICATE FOOT SOLDIERS
These are one of the driving forces in your army.
Pykes and Black Suns have a keyword in common too and it’s the Self-Preservation, which means they can “borrow” courage, when checking whether they panic, only from a commander with the same affiliation (Capo for Pykes and Vigo for Black Suns). Pyke Corps share Danger Sense 2 and Independent: Dodge 1 abilities with Capo but also have an additional keyword – Outmaneuver, which lets them spend Dodge tokens to cancel crit results (increasing their survivability). They have two Heavy Weapon options and both are very decent. First one, P-13M Disruptor Soldiers gives you range 1-4 (similar to sniper squads) RBB dice weapon with Impact 1. This is such a great option for controlling open spaces and poking enemy units from range they can’t reach you. Second option is Electro-Whip Soldiers, which gives you attack that you can use at range 1 as well as in melee with 2 red dice and Suppressive and Immobilize 1 keywords which let you pin down your opponent unit for a few turns when used correctly.
Pykes are not a heavy-hitter type of unit but they can poke your opponent with little to no loss on the Shadow Collective site.
BLACK SUN ENFORCERS
Do you lack some heavy hitters? Here is the answer for your doubts.
BSE are close-range shooters that can devastate your opponent’s forces quickly. They share Dauntless and Independent: Aim 1 keywords with Vigo but are also capable of rerolling one more die for each aim they spent due to Precise 1 keyword. They also have 2 Heavy options to choose between and again, both are good but one of them is kinda special. First one is a Scatter Gun Enforcer and it’s nothing more than RR range 1-2 weapon with Pierce 1 (which allows you to ignore one block while the opponent defends. Second One is Mag-Det Enforcer and here is where the fun starts. Range 1 only weapon with 3 black dice, Blast (ignores cover) and Impact 3 is fire, especially when dealing with armored units or vehicles. I highly recommend picking Fragmentation Grenades in the Mag-Det unit due to giving them surge to crit in attack with a pool of 1R 7B 4W makes 5-8 average hits, depending on opponent defense dice.
These ones are pretty much more heavy hitters and I like to play at least one unit in my lists.
SUPER MANDALORIAN COMMANDOS
They’re Mandalorians and come with some common Mandalorian-things of course.
We can find here speed-3 movement, Jump 2, Impervious and red surged defense dice. As a mercenary unit they have an Independent and will gain 1 Aim token at the start of activation phase if they wouldn’t have a face-up order token. But don’t worry if you decide that you need to give them an Order token – here we have a Defend 1 keyword which will give them a free Dodge token.They have sort of Heavy Weapons options but I want to spot just one and it’s a Rook Kast. Rook Kast has 2 HP and gives your unit Retinue: Maul so at the start of the Activation Phase, each round you’re in range 1-2 of Maul, you will gain 1 aim or dodge token for free and free tokens are always worth.
SUPPORT & HEAVY
SWOOP BIKE RIDERS
Speeder option for Shadow Collective.
They have such an interesting mechanic of Overrun attacks (twice per turn, after you move through your opponent mini/unit you can perform a free attack against a unit you moved through), Independent: Aim 1 or Dodge 1, Reinforcements (you can setup this unit after all units without Reinforcement was setted) and some standard keywords for this kind of vehicle – Speeder 1 (compulsory move before or after activation and ignoring terrain height one or lower) and built-in Cover 1.
They may be very interesting in the Raiding Party Leader strategy that I will describe in a future Build Your Army: Shadow Collective article.
A-A5 SPEEDER TRUCK
Categorically one of the best vehicles in the whole game, at least if we’re talking about support role.
It has a broad spectrum of application due to choices you can make with its crew. Gonk Droid makes your truck more resilient, Backworld Medic gives you healing options, Unorthodox Tactician give aims to your units and R5 are building up your aggressive potential. Most of the time you will use 1 or 2 trucks with Backworld Medic on board to heal your Maul and other units and deliver 1-2 units of Black Suns or Mandalorians straight into the middle of the fight with its Transport keyword.
It demands mentioning that this unit doesn’t have a built-in weapon and you need to equip it separately. I highly recommend AG-2G Quad Laser but weapons on A-A5 are not necessary at all, especially when you play 2 Trucks – weapons make them pretty expensive.
This truck may also serve as a mobile barricade for your units (especially Maul) and you should use that fact as many times as you can.
WORTH TO MENTION:
Mercenaries Command Cards – Ploy, Aggression and Discretion let you don’t give face-up order tokens to your units and you should use it as much as you can. Your units have Independent keywords and don’t need these order tokens. Aggression and Discretion will also give your unit a free token for each not-issued order.
I hope this guide helped you with your choice about buying order and thank you for being with us through the whole series.
Writer: Gerard “Alchemistttt” Zyśk
Reviser: Bartosz Chrulski
Reviewers: Oskar Kida, Sparks27