Darth Vader, Boba Fett and Bossk are three of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars galaxy and YOU can field them for the Empire in Star Wars Legion but…should YOU?
In a game that is constantly evolving and where power creep is a very real thing, do these big name bad guys, some of whom have been out since near the games initial release, continue to strike fear into our enemies? What are their strengths, weaknesses, best uses and are they efficient and effective in a competitive Legion environment?
With this article, I intend to take an exhaustive look at these three Imperial Operatives and answer all these questions and more! This will provide valuable information to both Imperials who wish to field these villains and also opponents looking to counter them.
We have quite the journey ahead of us, and as you read this, remember that much of the contents are the opinion of a player who has concentrated on Empire only since the games release and played at a reasonably high level, but…it is exactly that – opinion. There will be builds and tactics that I may not have included here and that doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t viable.
With all that said and without further ado, let’s get started shall we…
Boba Fett - Infamous Bounty Hunter
Boba Fett has enjoyed a great deal of success in Legion since his release until the emergence of Clones and Droids. In the previous period, unit defenses were weaker, attack dice pools were smaller and there were fewer threats that could match his speed and expertise at snagging objectives.
Droids brought large squads of spammable units that Boba struggled to make a dent in and could send a lot of firepower back at him at range 3. Clones brought even larger and more accurate attack dice pools and combined with these newer units and their usually lower costs, Boba Fett’s reign of terror came to an end at his current points cost.
Recently the RRG update dropped his cost from 140pts to 125pts and he may have found some room to play. He is now priced more appropriately and in line with other similar operatives but with no update to keywords or command cards, is he still playing catch up with newer units and heroes?
Current points cost: 125pts (down from 140pts)
Keywords: Jump 2, Arsenal 2, Bounty, Impervious, Sharpshooter 2
Effective Wounds (Expected hits before defeated): 15.15 plus Impervious
Surge to Crit on Attack
Red Surge to Block on Defense
Attacks (Snapshot of expected wounds against specific targets)
What can we draw from this? Boba Fett has a lot of weapon and attack options but his damage output is not high. You want to keep him out of melee at all times and you want to involve his carbine in every dice pool.
He needs a way of being fed a minimum of 1 aim every turn that he is shooting and even then he can be inaccurate and cause a low wound yield.
His most accurate and devastating attack is with the Flame Projector and if you know you are facing a white save opponent, this card may be worth taking. In tournament environments where you can’t guarantee your opponent (the flame projector has a low damage rate against red surge troops) this card is best left behind. It requires Fett to get in close to his target and often leaves him in a position where he will receive a lot of incoming fire or be susceptible to a melee counter charge.
The Jetpack Rocket also needs to be combined with the carbine at range 3 and is useful at putting final wounds on Armor (expecting 2-3 wounds) to finish tanks or finishing off a bounty target or below strength infantry squads. You can likely take a strike team out from any faction with this attack but have to consider if that is worth what may be Boba’s strongest attack for the duration of the game.
Something to be aware of is the emergence of Force Barrier, Situational Awareness, Vigilance and Portable Scanners in the current meta. Force Barrier and Dodge tokens both have the ability to severely limit or neuter Boba Fett’s attack potential. More often than not he is attacking at range 3 with his carbine (2 black dice) and a single Dodge token will very often mean he misses his target completely with an end result of zero wounds.
Whipcord (1 Pip)
Boba’s best command card and indeed one of the best command cards in the entire Empire arsenal. Whipcord has many uses and will win you games when played to influence objectives or stop an aggressive melee unit in its tracks.
It can be a fantastic card to play as a follow up to grabbing a box in recover the supplies, to pin an opponent’s unit in place who had infiltrated on a center box, to stop a scoring unit in the final turn of Key Positions/ Intercept Transmissions or Payload, or to freeze a rampaging force user or melee unit and give you breathing room to blast them with the rest of your army.
Because it is a free action and Boba has speed 3 and Jump, you can often cover a lot of ground, freeze a target and then fade back into LOS blocking terrain. You can also double move to reach a target which will often catch an opponent off guard.
The other upside of this card is that if he is engaged in melee with the unit who has been whipcorded, he can perform moves which allow him to escape the melee and get to safety. As well as the offensive abilities Whipcord offers, it effectively doubles as a “Get out of Jail Free” card. As a one pip Boba usually has a 50% chance to go first and even if your opponent beats him on the roll off, his Mandalorian armor can usually tank a single shot from a lightsaber or strong melee attack.
ZX Flame Projector (2 Pip)
The Flame Projector is counter intuitive in many ways to how you should play Boba Fett. It requires the Bounty Hunter to often put himself in dangerous positions and in front of large infantry squads to get use out of it. Because a heavy weapon is removed second to last, he often doesn’t kill the whole squad and ends up looking down the barrel of a half strength squad looking for payback. Infantry units are also usually not alone and so it leaves the possibility that he gets swarmed either by other squads guns in the area or even charged in melee which Boba wants to avoid most of the time.
If playing a one-off game against a predominantly white save opponent (CIS or Rebels), this card may be a possibility if you are very careful about using it. Otherwise you should leave it behind.
Z-6 Jetpack Rocket (3 Pip)
Boba Fett’s big hit card. In the past, before the improved defenses and massive dice pools of the current meta, this card was considered pretty deadly. While it struggles to impress many in today’s game, it still has its uses and can elevate the Bounty Hunters attack for that one all-important strike. Finish off a vehicle or a hero at range 3, combined with the carbine and perhaps claim a bounty. You’ll usually want Jetpack Rocket in your deck to give Boba one decent attack that has that ability to turn the game if used correctly.
Fast and maneuverable. Speed 3 and Jump 2 gives Boba Fett an amazing threat range. He can move to threaten nearly any part of the board and redeploy to react to an opponent’s threat very quickly.
Mandalorian armor when combined with heavy cover and denying him as a target behind LOS blocking terrain will usually mean Boba can survive shots that would kill lesser units. Always remember that Legion is a six turn marathon and Boba is a unit best suited to picking at your opponent over the length of the game rather than going out in a blaze of glory on turn two.
Boba can usually clean up 1-2 wounds a turn, use him to finish off activations that are hidden in difficult areas where your opponent thought he was safe. Make sure you are planning out aims ahead of time to guarantee those wounds. If the opportunity arrives, swipe a bounty but don’t put Boba Fett in a precarious position to do so.
Often operates outside of command range on a flank. This can make it difficult to achieve good order control over him when not playing his command cards
Low hit points and even with great armor saves, occasionally the dice will desert you. Never use Boba Fett as a tank (without building your list heavily around it) and always try to work angles to present as few opportunities to shoot at him as possible.
Jetpack Rocket is Boba Fett’s biggest attack. Even this will only net 3-4 wounds depending on the target. He isn’t capable of doing large amounts of damage so don’t get him into shoot outs that he will lose.
Boba Fett comes with two Training and two Equipment slots.
Duck and Cover: Boba doesn’t need more suppression and is usually in heavy cover or behind LOS blocking terrain. Ignore this upgrade.
Endurance: Boba has 3 Courage and is doing his level best not to be a target to multiple units at a time. He shouldn’t regularly build up enough suppression to require this upgrade.
Hunter: Boba Fett desperately needs a constant supply of aims to ensure he is causing wounds with his often inaccurate black dice. Hunter or Offensive Push is seriously recommended.
Offensive Push: As mentioned with Hunter, one of these upgrades is near mandatory. Offensive Push is 2 pts cheaper than Hunter if you are trying to save points. Offensive Push can also be used against vehicles and infantry squads where Hunter requires multi wound units. It’s recommended to save Offensive Push for your Jetpack rocket turn unless you’re in the vicinity of a spotter.
Overwatch: Boba Fett usually double moves or uses some combination of move/fire every turn. He very rarely takes standbys and wouldn’t get regular use from this upgrade.
Seize the Initiative: This newer card is very useful for addressing one of the Bounty Hunters greatest weaknesses, order control. It’s also very useful to allow him to capitalize off an allies one pip, basically granting him orders on two, one pips if you take whipcord (and you should take whipcord). This card is strongly recommended.
Situational Awareness: Boba Fett rarely takes Dodge tokens as mentioned above. Ignore this upgrade.
Tenacity: Boba Fett strength is in moving and picking off units with his carbine, he wants to avoid melee whenever possible. Ignore this upgrade.
Ascension Cables: This upgrade seems like an extravagance when Fett already has Jump for one of his two actions. There will be times when he is trying to get in or out of difficult terrain but that can be achieved for cheaper with Environmental Gear if needed. Ignore this upgrade.
Electrobinoculars: Boba Fett struggles to get aims on himself, he doesn’t have time to be sharing them with other units. Ignore this upgrade.
Emergency Stims: If you are using Boba as a tank and are bringing multiple Medbots, E-Stims could be considered. You need to think carefully about this approach as the large dice pools in the current meta could end your dreams of victory prematurely but this approach has seen some success in the past.
Environmental Gear: Can be useful for moving to or from objectives in difficult terrain on a double move. For 2pts and especially on TTS where maps have adopted a formula of center points often being difficult area terrain, this is a worthy investment.
Grappling Hooks: Boba Fett is unlikely to ever use this upgrade.
Portable Scanner: Boba Fett is not a support character and doesn’t buff other units. As with Electrobinoculars, ignore this upgrade.
Targeting Scopes: Boba Fett does not roll enough attack dice to make use of scopes.
Recon Intel: This is a near mandatory upgrade for Boba Fett. If you need to rush the center box (or stop an opponent from doing so), Recon Intel combined with a single speed 3 move will hit a center objective on many deployments. It also gives the Bounty Hunter a head start in flanking an opponent or zoning out and opponent’s infiltrator.
TIP: Combine Recon Intel this with New Ways to Motivate in a Vader/Fett build for a hilarious move where you can hit a center box, pick it up and jet away all in one activation.
A typical build for Boba Fett costs a total of 136pts:
A Comparative Look
How does Boba Fett compare to similar units across all other factions?
We need to compare him against other fast moving Operatives and Special Forces that perform similar roles:
It’s very hard to quantify rankings between units in legion. This rough system tries to do so straight off the unit cards and doesn’t take into account command cards (all units benefit in different ways from various command cards), wound loss depleting some of these statistics for certain units or synergy inside the faction. While this is subjective and not greatly accurate, it does give some insight into the full strength units in a vacuum.
When looking at the units in this manner, Boba is ranked 3rd of 5 and considering the units above him are considered A tier or higher (he also rates top of the three Operatives compared), that’s a good place to be.
What are an opponent’s initial thoughts when they see Boba Fett put down on the table opposite them?
Orkimedes:“if I have a squishy bounty target (T-Series) I am somewhat worried, and will need to be extra cagey with them. If I have a force user, I try and steer clear so I don't get whipcorded. Boba has very effective force user zoning with whipcord. If I don't have either of those things, I try and just keep him at a distance and mitigate his small pool with dodges, and hopefully avoid objectives like recover. If you don't have ideal bounty targets and you aren't playing on a Boba-friendly mission like Recover he is easier to neutralize.”
ODSTGeneral17:“That is going to be hard to deal with and we have to worry about the whipcord”
ASpaceViking:“Eat the dps from him and let him shoot me... but don’t let him whipcord my focus piece without dying for it or for him to back door an obj. I can tank Boba shots as long as I box him out of clutch big obj plays”
Endless: “be prepared to take damage from the 3 pip, it's hard to avoid on close deployments. Once opponent plays whipcord he becomes very vulnerable to being engaged, if opponent gets too aggro with him focus him down, he only has 5 wounds. Boba is the R2D2 killer!”
TwopennyQuasar:“I make sure to keep him at range 3 as much as possible and try to anticipate the rocket/whipcord play”
Thrawn:“I used to fear him, especially as a player using a force user, but in a world with large/very dependable dice pools Boba (even with point’s changes) still feels lacking.”
KUPiranha:“Mobility and some pretty nontypical imp stuff. I'm scared of a good Boba player but a bad Boba player is probably the worst.”
TalkPolite:“Try to limit Mobility, and be aware of his ability to pick at weakened units”
GhostWalking:“When he's across the table, I'm more aware of keeping some extra insurance for my "safe" objectives due to Boba's mobility, and in dealing with him I like to try to focus him down early if he gets exposed due to order control/lack of activations by the opponent. Wookiees, AATs, and Fire Support are my biggest tools for dealing with Boba.”
Jasonisconfused:“A surgical tool for safely stealing objectives and finishing characters with bounty. To mitigate him, keep your characters with your army and don't let him play Recover the Supplies.”
LukeCook: “very durable unless focus fired. He’s great at objectives, always be conscious of his ability to solo push a flank. Without his rocket card his damage threat is limited to range 2. Don’t forget about whipcord! And be careful with bounty.”
Boba Fett has been on the table for a long time. Most opponents are aware of his tricks and are especially wary of his Whipcord which can really upset a Force User. As Boba has such a low offensive output, many players will be willing to take a few shots from him as long as they can secure their objectives. They will be looking for you to make risky plays and put him in harm’s way, try to resist that if possible.
Boba Fett is a vulture and a scavenger. He is not the apex predator of legion he once was but he has the ability to finish off almost any unit in the game if you use the rest of your list to work with him.
Looking at Boba Fett in detail, it’s obvious you are not taking him to wipe the board clean of units in a blaze of fire and bullets. His damage output is low and he is a scalpel that picks his targets and puts 1-2 wounds a turn on them, finishing weaker squads, scoping leaders off objectives and heavy weapons or claiming a bounty if it presents itself. His greatest asset is his speed which means he has a massive threat range and is something opponents have to be constantly considering.
Bounty is a balancing act for him as he needs previous damage stacked on a target before he can try and claim a bounty (He is incapable of one-shotting most targets other than generic officers). This often means a bounty is accidentally killed before Boba gets to take a shot as you work the target up to that sweet spot where he can finish it off.
At first glance he looks to be fairly costed for his points compared to similar units. As with many units from the first waves, he is suffering a little from older keywords (or the nonexistence of newer keywords) and command cards which could use a refresh compared to newer releases. He does struggle with accuracy with those black dice, often operating far from Officers and heroes who can grant spotter. The Target or perhaps even Tactical keyword would go a long way to fixing this as his biggest weakness.