Last year the folks over at Fantasy Flight Games unleashed Star Wars Legion onto the world, a game that would go on to gather momentum with each release and gain thousands of fans around the world!
Naturally given the success of the game and its expansions, Fantasy Flight Games were very keen to repeat this and just over a year after the release of the first core set, the company announced a new core set would be joining its sister game in the form of Star Wars Legion: Clone Wars Core Set.
The Clone Wars set would be a nod to the era of the Star Wars universe that came directly before the original three movies (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi) and concentrate on the events of what was dubbed the Prequel movies (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith) and feature characters, vehicles and units made famous during those movies.
Anakin Skywalker and General Obi-Wan Kenobi would go up against Count Dooku and Darth Sidious, while Clone Troopers would fight against Separatists B1 Battledroids for dominance in the war-torn universe!
The anticipation of the new core set was pretty much rampant with dozens of YouTube sites such as Crabbok and Tabletop Oddity covering every aspect, a huge amount of chatter on Facebook groups and in Reddit forums and much more. The game was revealed unto the world earlier this year and a lucky few managed to get a copy at this years GenCon over in Indianapolis in early August.
Now finally the game is available for everyone to get a chance to pick up play!
Much like its sister game, the Clone Wars Core Set is built around a robust yet fairly simplistic engine designed by Alex Davy and features many elements that players of the original game will be very familiar with! We still have the same movement mechanics, same combat system (mostly) and the game uses the same style of cards for both units and characters alike, allowing them to be upgraded at extra costs, or take training or special abilities such as Force powers.
In fact, when you look at both boxes side by side, the only real difference is the artwork on the box featuring General Grievous and his droid army, as they attack clone troopers! Both boxes are the same height and dimensions, though its what is under the hood that is different!
The game contains 39 highly detailed plastic miniatures that represent your units and characters of both the Grand Army of the Republic lead by Jedi Master General Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Separatist Alliance which is lead by General Grievous, 8 plastic barricades, 15 Star Wars Legion dice, 3 movement tools, 1 range ruler, 8 unit cards for the models supplied, 40 upgrade cards, 14 command cards (6 of which are brand new), 12 battle cards, 107 card tokens, 1 turn counter and finally 1 learn to play rule booklet!
I have broken this down further to give a listing of everything in the game
1 General Grievous
Options for 4 sabers, 2 sabers, or 1 saber and a blaster
18 B1 Battle Droids
14 E-5 Blaster Rifle droids
2 E-5C blaster rifle droids
2 E-60R missile launcher droids
2 Rolling droid
2 Battle stance droid
1 Obi-Wan Kenobi
14 Phase I Clone Troopers
10 DC-15A blaster rifle troopers
2 Z-6 rotary blaster cannon troopers
2 DC-15 blaster rifle troopers
BARC Speeder with optional sidecar
B1 Battle Droids (x2)
Phase I Clone Troopers (x2)
BARC Twin Laser Gunner
BARC RPS-6 Gunner
BARC Ion Gunner
Smoke Grenades (x2)
Phase 1 Trooper (x2)
DC-15 Phase 1 Trooper (x2)
Z-6 Phase 1 Trooper (x2)
B1 Battle Droid (x2)
E-5C B1 Trooper (x2)
E-60R B1 Trooper (x2)
HQ Uplink (x2)
Ambush (Clone Wars Variety) (x2)
Push (Clone Wars Variety) (x2)
Assault (Clone Wars Variety) (x2)
Standing Orders (Clone Wars Variety) (x2)
Trained in Your Jedi Arts (1 pip)
Supreme Commander (2 pip)
Crush Them! (3 pip)
Hello There (1 pip)
Knowledge and Defense (2 pip)
General Kenobi (3 pip)
Unit ID (x18)
Vehicle Damage (x3)
Deployment Marker (x6)
Round Counter (x1)
The cards are very similar to those we have seen in previous expansions and the original core set of Legion before. Upgrade cards allow you to add extra troops to a unit, give them heavy weapons and gear or training, while the Command cards are used to issue orders and hopefully gain a tactical advantage over your opponent during play. In fact the only real change is the addition of the Surge mechanic and the addition of the new unit cards and miniatures.
While you could gain surges during the original edition of Star Wars Legion via dice rolls, now you can gain surges via the effects of commanders and other units during play. Surge tokens are issued to units and allow units to convert them to attacks or defense as needed. The wording of the description of the use of Surge tokens in the Learn to Play book is a little confusing and to be honest i am not exactly sure why they were included in the first place.
Shield tokens are something that was introduced with Sabine Wren and carry on over to the Drodikas in Clone Wars, making them difficult to take out of combat if you are not lucky.
The new artwork on the cards is fantastic and seeing as they are interchangeable with the older version of the game, you may be able to fill in any gaps with the newer cards. The command cards for Grievous and Kenobi are of course unique to those commanders, but the generic command deck remains the same, just new artwork!
A couple of new rules are given in the Advanced section of the booklet, specifically covering the clones and the droids.
Clones can spend Aim, Dodge, Standby and Surge tokens of any friendly Clone Trooper unit that is within range 1 and LOS! This can be put down to the constant radio comms between units as they advance up the battlefield and look for targets of opportunity.
The droids can’t be suppressed (they are not alive) which means they wont get any cover for being suppressed, and they are treated as vehicles when shot at by Ion weapons.
The miniatures are excellent and the main reason for picking up the game in the first place really. Like its sister game, Clone Wars is not playable (legally) right off the bat and you will need to add extra core units to both factions to have them legal to play as you need a minimum of three core unit choices. I find this very frustrating as a gamer, given how expensive games and miniatures are at the moment, that to be able to legally play the product you need to spend more money. I can understand exactly why, but this model of sales is not a very good one for the consumer and sadly more and more companies are adopting it.
The core set costs anywhere between £66 and £90 depending on where you purchase your copy (more details on where I got mine and how you can save money at the end of the review!) and to add an extra £20 on top of that just to be able to play the game you have just bought is not on. Sure if you are playing with friends or family it shouldn’t be a problem, but if you want to take part in a tournament or event, your forces will not meet the requirements of the entry sadly and you will need to pick up at least one extra core unit! This was a big complaint about the first edition of Legion, one that Fantasy Flight Games seems to want to avoid talking about.
That gripe aside, what you get for your money is a solid and fun game with lots of potential for enjoyment and future expansion. The rules are simple enough to get to grips with (mostly) over the course of a game or two and are well laid out for the most part, with lots of examples littered throughout the 32 page colour rulebook. There is an updated version of the full rules which goes into far more detail and covers all the cards, skills and keywords for the game, available for free download from the Fantasy Flight Games website, if you do get a copy of Legion (and I really do hope that you do!) I would strongly suggest downloading this and either printing it out or keeping it handy on a smartphone or tablet for easy reference.
I am not going to go into how the actual mechanics of the game work as I have already covered that in my review of the original game, instead, I am going to take a look at the stunning miniatures that come with the game.
A lot can happen in the space of a year and with Clone Wars it really does show. Fantasy Flight Games are one of the worlds largest games companies and are no stranger to having miniatures in their games, but Legion was one of the first fully-fledged miniature games for the company and some of the early sculpts and designs were good but not a patch on what they would later become.
A lot of flack was thrown towards the company when they previewed the Leia commander expansion pack, stating that the miniature looked nothing like the character, or just looked out of place. The model comes out and people changed their minds and many players really did welcome the new addition to the ranks.
Simplicity seems to have been the first thought when designing the miniatures for the game, as until very recently all of the units, commanders and vehicles were simply push-fit models that required very little experience on the side of the gamer to assemble them. Fantasy Flight Games, while it makes miniatures for its games, is not a miniature games company such as Games Workshop or Warlord Games, and as such it had to go through teething troubles to get things right.
The miniatures in the Clone Wars Core Set are divided into two factions, The Grand Army of the Republic and the Separatist Alliance, and in total comprise of 39 models between them, commanders, units and vehicles alike! The Republic models follow the same format as all of the previous miniatures in the Legion range and are made from a hard PVC plastic and are push fit assembly. Most tend to be push the arms into the body and add the head, or maybe a leg, with none of the miniatures being made up of more than five parts.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is the leader of the Republic faction in the core set and has some of the best facial details on a Legion miniature yet, looking like a very small version of a young(ish) Euan McGregor. He is captured in a stance holding his lightsabre and ready to riposte an attack with his Soresu Mastery of the Force. The animation on both the flow of the pose and the cut of the clothing is excellent and easily as good as any miniature coming from the bigger miniature companies and he assembles easily with no effort and very little clean up left to do!
As with the original core game, you get two identical squads of Phase 1 Clone Troopers which each consist of seven miniatures made up from a Seargent, regular troopers armed with DC-15a Blaser rifles, and a choice of two troopers armed with either a Z-6 or a DC-15 heavy support weapon, to allow you to customise your units for battle. The units can also be upgraded from four regular troopers to five with upgrade cards as per the original core set.
Like Obi-Wan, each of the Clone Troopers is a multipart assembly that is normally just a case of gluing the head and weapons onto the main body of the model, though occasionally you may find that you need to glue a lower leg into place! As with Kenobi it is best that you glue all parts together before painting them and the instructions do say that plastic glue will work, I would opt for superglue for a better bond.
All of the troopers look perfect replicas of their on screen counterparts and could have just walked right out of the television program The Clone Wars. Animation on each is perfect and even though they have no facial details you can add some emotive stances to make them look the part by positioning hands or heads at angles. The expansion pack that will be released later this year will feature optional heads for the Clones.
Finally, for the Republic forces we get the BARC Speeder, a super fast vehicle that can be assembled with or without the sidecar option and a variety of weaponry choices. This is were we now start to see that Fantasy Flight Games are beginning to take the miniature side of the game into new directions as this is something that has many parts and will have to be assembled in much the same way one would assemble a Space Marine vehicle from Games Workshop! All the pieces are supplied in a clear plastic bag, and the assembly instructions are pretty good, but may confuse someone new to hobby building! The sidecar can be positioned left or right or behind the model, which is were the possible confusion can arise for someone who isn’t used to this kind of thing and just used to the pick up and play games that Fantasy Flight Games are renowned for.
Once assembled however it looks fantastic and much like the speederbikes from the first core set, the BARC looks fast and mean and ideal for taking over the battlefield.
Up until the release of this set, the most difficult models to assemble had to be the ATST and GRAW tank, but like the BARC Speeder, all the pieces for both of those units were all ready to assemble.
The Separatist Alliance models are a different thing entirely!
General Grievous is a huge imposing-looking miniature when assembled and stands as tall as Darth Vader, but unlike the Vader miniature, Grievous is a mulitpart kit that comes on plastic sprues or frames and must be cut from the frame before assembly. This is the big move for FFG and it will allow the addition of extra parts for models in the future, with Grievous already having several options for his build.
Because Grievous is a kit there are lots of options when it comes to assembling him. For starters his legs are both separate parts so his stance or pose can be adjusted to your hearts desire, and he also comes with the option of arming him with a lightsabre and D57 Annihaltor pistol, twin lightsabres and even quad lightsabres for that OTT look, add to this his trademark cloak and you have a pretty impressive miniature that is made up of over twenty parts. The assembly diagram for the model is pretty simple to follow, though be warned some of the parts are very small and pretty fiddly, especially if you have poor vision like myself!
Making up the bulk of Grevious’s force are the B1 Battledroids, with each being a multipart kit in its own right. Again the kits are made up from several pieces and each is numbered so you know what goes with what part if you follow the instructions you won’t go far wrong.
Finally, we get the Droidekas which come on larger bases and are again a kit that needs to be built up. There are two versions, the regular droid and the wheeled version, both can be built up, in essence, giving you four droids; though if the unit is in wheel mode it can’t attack!
I found the Droidekas by far the fiddliest of all the miniatures to put together and I have been making model kits for over fifty years now. Real care has to be taken when snipping the parts of both all of these miniatures from their sprues, or you run the risk of cutting or damaging the models. And unlike the more robust Clone Troopers and Obi-Wan miniatures, I would recommend using a model glue to assemble these miniatures.
The Clone Wars Core set opens up a whole new era for players of Star Wars Legion and will allow players to do some really awesome paint jobs on their units, especially the Clone Troopers who are not just limited to white uniforms! Already announced are Count Dooku and Captain Rex for release near Christmas, with more units and characters coming next year! A while ago I posted my own wish list for Legion and one of the things I mentioned on it was the possibility of another new game in 2020, most likely featuring the characters from the New Order and Resistance as seen in the latest movies! Of course, this is just speculation and wishful thinking on my part but if Clone Wars is a hit, which I am more than certain it will be, then it makes perfect sense.
The game is now available at good game stores everywhere and my many thanks to the folks at 6s2Hit for their help with this unboxing and the review.
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