These guys are our backbone unit and will probably exist in every list you make in one form or another. The unit is 40 points for 4 models with 1 wound each, courage 1 and with 2 heavy weapon options and a personal upgrade. They have access to grenades and gear for additional upgrades. Speed 2 range 1-3 is the golden standard so nothing extraordinary or a handicap.
Unit options and abilities
Their main drawback is the white defence die. They at least have surge-block, but they will only block every third hit on average. On the other hand, they got great offence for their price. 1 black die in both ranged and melee, the base squad has an average of 2 hits per attack which is better than stormtroopers base value.
The nimble keyword is a purely defensive ability. It allows the unit to regain any dodge token spent during an attack. It’s very powerful when attacked multiple times. It doesn’t help when you don’t have a dodge token or when only attacked once during a turn. This keyword is best used with commanders like Luke or Leia who have ways of passing out command tokens. Don’t be discouraged to use dodge actions when possible. Even if you never spend them, you can deter your opponent from attacking a well positioned unit. It can feel like a waste when you put 5 dodge tokens back in your supply at the end of the round, but rather that than put away your models.
The 2 heavy weapon options are the Z-6 trooper and mpl-57 ion launcher. The Z-6 is an anti-infantry weapon with 6 white dice att range 1-3 with no keywords for 22 points. 12 more points than adding a single trooper. The offensive output is quite big, it adds 1.5 average hits compared to 0.5 from an extra trooper. Since it adds so many dice, the dmg potential is enormous, however it can just as likely roll mostly if not all blanks. A white die without surge-hit only have 2 hit symbols on it. The price and dmg output makes this one of the most effective weapons in the game and I would not recommend taking a rebel squad without it unless you chose the other option. The addition of so many dice also gives you 6 more potential crit results that can hurt vehicles and go through dodge and cover.
The ion launcher has 2 red die and a range of 1-3. It costs 32 points so 22 points more than a standard trooper and is an exhaust weapon, meaning you need to do a recover action after each usage if you want to add it to your attack pool. So it’s quite expensive and a heavy drawback with exhaust and it adds 1.5 average hits just like the Z-6. It does however have some keywords: impact 1 and ion 1. Impact 1 let’s you turn 1 ht result into a crit result after dodge and cover, providing the defender have the keyword armor. Ion 1 means that if you deal at least 1 dmg to a vehicle unit, that unit receives 1 ion token and will lose 1 of it’s potential actions next round. So this gun, unlike the Z-6 is designed to attack vehicles. While 2 red and impact 1 will not destroy a vehicle, the ion token will severely hurt the defending vehicles next activation. Or even negate it completely if you have more than 1 of these weapons in your list. It is a heavy point investment though and if your opponent isn’t bringing vehicles it’s just a Z-6 that cost more and exhausts after usage.
Rebel troopers are our backbone unit. They will hold objectives, attack trooper and vehicle enemies and can serve both in the backline, middle of center of the battle. They are cheap and spammable with options for both anti-infantry and anti-vehicle. They will however die very easily and gets easily suppressed, use cover and dodge tokens as much as you can.
Builds and tactics
The bread and butter
- Rebel troopers – 40p
- Z-6 trooper – 22p
Total – 62p
This is the rebel bread and butter. It’s cheap and very spamable, it has an average of 3.5 hits per attack and are perfect for sitting on objectives. With courage 1 it’s easy to get suppressed and your main action is to attack. If you don’t have a shot you should always move towards an enemy or objective. If you can shoot, you should avoid the aim action even if it’s tempting. An aim token that re-rolls 2 black dice is okey, but re-rolling white dice without sure is barely worth it. If you can take a better position take a move or take a dodge token. This unit deals enough damage as it is and a dodge token with nimble will help them stay alive to claim objectives which is what will win you the game. Even the unit leader + the Z-6 trooper throws 7 dice per attack and does average of 2 hits, just the same as the base squad of 4 models.
The heavy troopers
- Rebel troopers – 40p
- Z-6 trooper – 22p
- Rebel trooper 10p
- Fragmentation grenades – 5p
Total – 77p
This is pushing the trooper squad to it’s highest dmg potential. The fragmentation grenades don’t only let’s the unit throw red dice instead of black the attack pool get’s surge-crit. This is a massive boon to the Z-6, adding surge-crit to that weapon is like giving it 3 extra white dice. The average trooper also goes from 50% hit chance to 87.5%.
The downside is of course that the grenades only work on range 1. However if you are going with the extra trooper I think the 5 point grenades are a no-brainer. The dmg output increase is so big that moving into range 1 is far better than aiming. This of course forces this unit to the frontline. This unit is made for advancing and taking objectives in the centre or in your opponents backline. A unit like this does become a target for heavy fire and suppression will keep them from moving and firing. Leia with strict orders can help this unit. “No time for sorrows” command card gives them an extra speed 1 move and strict orders makes them not lose their action due to a single suppression. Leia can also activate before them and use inspire and take cover for both suppression removal and a free dodge token.
The ion control
- Rebel troopers – 40p
- Ion launcher trooper – 32p
- Rebel trooper – 10p
Total – 82
The rebel trooper is optional, but when investing into the ion gun, you might as well add an extra body to protect that investment. This unit prefers to stay at the backline and then go towards an objective or just the center of the battlefield. If your not facing a vehicle this unit can feel like a waste, but they can still fire one shot just as well as the z-6 squad and they can still claim objectives. This unit is 1 out of 2 possible ion token generators for the rebels. I like a unit of these or two if I will not have any or very little impact weapons. They are not for destroying vehicles, but they will try to contain the threat of them by split fire the ion launcher against enemy vehicles. Vehicles like the at-rt or speeder bikes can be handled with regular weapons, but the at-st, occupier and rebel speeders have to much health to go through with standard attacks. If you want to bring down a heavy vehicle before round 6 you need to focus a few impact weapons on it quick, otherwise you might as well ignore them. The ion control is helpful with the latter option, you won’t destroy the at-st, but you can remove its actions. Even with one ion you can stop that aim token that would give you 2 more hits to save against or stop a vital move/pivot into range or arc. If you have 2 of these or can pull of a last/first activation you can give a vehicle 2 ion tokens, which simply denies that units entire action. For a 200+ at-st, losing just one attacks is devastating for its effectiveness. If your meta does not include a lot or heavy vehicles, then the launcher is often just a waste of points. I like to have one of the squads with me in lists without much impact, it can save your neck vs an aggressive at-st or double tank list.
The rebel troopers have access to grenades and gear. When it comes to grenades they are all 5 points and are all range 1 weapons. Concussion grenades is not bad, however if you get a shot of at range 1, the frag grenades are better vs most targets and it works if the defender is out of cover. Impact grenades is great for imperial corps since they swap white dice for black. Rebels on the other hand just get impact 1, sure great of you find yourself at range 1, however again I would prefer frag grenades since they work vs infantry as well and the surge-crit is enough if you want to attack an unit with armor.
When it comes to gear all the options are okey, however you don’t always need them and they cost a lot to put them on every trooper unit you got. They also arent any must have, but several nice haves.
Grappling hooks: not bad for a Z-6 squad or two to get into good positions, dependent on terrain.
Environmental Gear: again dependent on terrain, but not to bad if you got some extra points. Can help heavy troopers get into range 1.
Emergency Stims: good, but to expensive to put on these kind of units IMO.
Recon Intel: these can be used on heavy troopers to give them a small speed boost or ion troopers to help them get into range of vehicles.
Targeting scopes: you will aim very rarely, if at all so never take these.
So this is my thoughts on the rebel trooper squad. Agree/disagree, have some interesting tactics or builds of your own? Let me know in the comments. See you next time when we look at the rebel troopers cousin, the fleet troopers.