Sabine wren unit analysis
Sabine wren is the second operative released for the rebel alliance and is a main character in the TV show star wars rebels. She is an ex bounty hunter, who attented the imperial academy while being a mandalorian in an important clan as well as a practiced demolition expert and gunslinger. How did they got all that into on character, I don’t know. However this translates in game to an operative that can do a bunch of different things. So this analysis will go over her rules and options as well as some build options as well as lists and command card building.
Unit options and abilities
Sabine costs 125 points and have a training, armament and two gear options. She has 5 hp and 2 courage and the impressive red defence dice with surge-block as well as surge-crit for attack. She got rainbow guns with one of each die with pierce that she can shoot at two different targets with gunslinger. To help increase her great defence she has the nimble keyword along with impervious allowing her to gain extra use from dodge tokens as well as rolling extra defence dice when facing pierce weapons. As if that wasn’t enough her speed is 3 and she got jump 2 wich make her the most mobile non vehicle unit in the rebel alliance.
Her first slot to cover is training and that is a powerful category with alot of options. So I will start with the ones I don’t recommend:
Duck and cover since she already has a strong defence and with courage 2, suppression will be a problem. Overwatch, Sabine is very mobile and will most likely move around every round, she won’t do alot of standby actions and her weapons won’t reach anyway.
The rest are all good choices:
Hunter is a good upgrade for any unit, free aims when attacking wounded units like commanders, creatures and emplacements. Hunter gives extra value on gunslinger since you can either get aim on both attacks or do a attack on a wounded target for the free aim and save the aim for the second attack. Offensive push is a free aim on a move action and only 4 points. The drawback is the exhaust to use it, so you will have to keep it for one crucial turn or spend actions recovering. Tenacity might seem stupid on a shooting operative, but this is more of an insurance thing. With only 2 black dice as a melee attack, Sabine can get engaged and then you have 2 options: Stay and fight with an attack that’s weaker than a rebel trooper squad or spend an entire activation to withdraw. Tenacity gives you an extra dice with ⅞ hits on it as long as sabine is wounded and will help you fight your way out. Endurance is the last current option and it allows you to remove a suppression at the end of your activation, since Sabine is only courage 2, this is a decent option to help you avoid having suppression tokens left into next round.
Sabine have the option to bring along the darksaber. It’s an important mandalorian artefact that is a lightsaber, but it’s black. Sadly it’s not as powerful as most other sabers currently in game, but it gives Sabine the option to go toe to toe with jedi, sith and crazy four armed cyborgs alike. It’s a 5 black dice melee weapon with impact and pierce 1 giving you an average of 2-3 dead stormtroopers per attack. While it’s not much compared to the real sabers, it does boost her melee combat almost threefold. However the saber is more than just a big stick, it gives Sabine immune pierce in melee as well as dauntless. While impervious helps vs pierce, being immune makes a big difference vs the large saber attack pools with pierce as high as 3. Dauntless is also worth gold on Sabine due to the fact that she lacks abilities like charge or relentless and much like Han Solo is very dependent on move – shoot or move – attack. Dauntless lets you do a move action as long as you are suppressed, but not panicked. I find that the darksaber is more important now than ever since each faction have 1-2 powerful lightsaber units at their disposal.
Again let’s start by removing the bad choices:
Grappling hooks and environmental gear is both wasted when you already got jump 2 and speed 3. Targeting scopes, while she will use aim tokens, it is rare for Sabine to miss with more than 2 dice. Electro binoculars, well you won’t wanna waste any of her actions
The better options:
Recon intel is honestly ok on any unit, it gets you a small speed boost in deployment. While it is nothing crazy, it’s still a decent option. Emergency stims is not as easy to put on each character anymore since it’s now a whopping 12 points. However it still gives you the possibility of another activation from your operative. I rarely use this card anymore due to the price, but it is not a bad choice if you got the points.
Electro grappling line. This is a fun card that steals the whip cord from boba fetts 1-pip command card for only 5 points with exhaust to use. It gives 2 suppression and 2 imobilise tokens on a trooper unit at range 1. Potentially wasting a melee characters entire activation or stopping a unit from escaping or grabbing an objective. Clearly more powerful in some matchups more than others, but well worth the 5 points. The second is the personal combat shield wich gives you shielded 1 and cost 10 points. A shield token is like a buffed dodge token instead of removing 1 hit, gives you a die set to block that can’t be pierced. A bit overkill with the darksaber, but as nice thing to have espechially vs pierce 1 attacks like snipers.
Explosions is the-1 pip card and gives order to Sabine who gains the action to arm 2 thermal charges. This is the offensive card that makes Sabine special and has a huge potential since the charges are area weapons with blast and attacks every unit at range 1 from the charges. The attack itself is only 1 white and 1 red with surge-crit. However together it will deal some damage and while it only does average of 1.25 hits it is the combined power of causing each unit to roll 1 save each time and gain a suppression. If you can hit 4 or more units with both charges you will cause alot of saves and shower the enemy army in suppression tokens. So the plan is to setup a turn where you can play this card and hopefully go first, jump in and drop these charges in range and line of sight to as many units as possible. Then you gain a free speed 1 move action to move away from the detonators so you don’t get hit yourself and blow up the enemy line.
This is plan and might not always succeed, but it is very powerful if you can reach the gunlines or deathballs of the republic or empire. However sometime the plan will fail and your opponent activates before you and they can move to engage Sabine wich hampers her ability to bomb. However you can still arm the charges while engaged and this will hit Sabine with her own charges, but with her defence she can often survive it. So my tip is to only play this card when you either can arm and hit targets without moving or if you opponent don’t have any unit that can engage you easily. The ultimate activation is where you can first shoot with gunslinger then arm – free move then blow the charges. However this is not easy to setup.
Symbol of Rebellion
This is the 2-pip card and again also give order to Sabine and gives her an option to drop a graffiti token on a piece of non-area terrain at any point of her activation. In addition she recovers at the start of her activation. The graffiti token is a morale beacon that gives your units an extra dice in their rally step and removes one from your opponents to a minimum of one. For this to trigger the units needs line of sight and be at range 1-2 of the token. This can be benefictial to both Sabine and your troopers, but I have rarely have it impact my opponents rally due to the minimum of 1 dice rule and strict orders being common. However the real treat of this card is the free recover action. If I pick this card I try to maximise the effect, by using exhaust upgrades. Offensive push, electro line and combat shield. These cards can all be readied for free by this card. Also this card can prevent Sabine from panic. If you have 2 or more suppression in the command phase and no access to inspire this card guarantee that Sabine get’s 2 actions thanks to the recover.
Legacy of mandalore
This is the 3-pip card that makes Sabine act as a commander for a turn. She gains inspire for the round and gives orders to herself and 2 troopers. In addition she gains either an aim or dodge token when she issues an order to either an operative, commander or special forces. My usual tactic is to give order to herself and your commander wich gives you one of each token which is usually enough since she got nimble. The last order can either be given to whatever needs it or another special forces for either another aim or dodge. I usually try to use this card on turn 2-3 depending on deployment and/or terrain. This can both give you control of some units and Sabine can try to do a move and shoot on any frontline units your enemy has. The aim can help you shoot through cover since she lacks sharpshooter, but has surge-crit and the dodge with nimble can let her tank alot of hits while the rest of your army moves up. As a rebel player I want my opponent to shoot at Sabine as she have twice the defence of most other rebel troopers and with nimble, impervious and combat shield she is very hard to actually wound. Red dice can ofcourse fail, but having her act like a fire magnet with her strong defence, you can give the rest of your units some saftey while moving up the table. If she gets showered with suppression, you got your 2 pip card to clear it and refresh your shield. If you opponent tries to ignore Sabine when she is at range 2, you can play her 1 pip and blow up the enemy. Regardless of your opponents choice, Sabine delivers.
In addition to her upgrades and cards, she works alot like Han Solo. Courage 2 is limiting as being suppressed is easy if you don’t have inspire or the 2 pip card and that only works one turn. If you get attacked by many small attacks and/or by suppressive weapons like Bossk, mortars, barrage generator cannons or droidekas. You will end up with having to stay put with only one action where you might not always get to use gunslinger or just move and miss your attack.
Use her Speed and jump to try to keep out of sight when she is dodgeless and use her great mobility to use gunslinger and sidestep terrain to avoid having to shoot at heavy cover without aim due to the lack of sharpshooter. If you use the saber, remember that she don’t have charge and will have to rely on a single speed 3 to move – attack the same turn.
I will present 2 options of Sabine which I prefer. One with saber and one without.
Sabine wren jedi hunter
Sabine wren 125p
Electro grappling line 5p
Combat shield or emergency stims 10-12p (optional)
Total 159p (optional not included)
This is Sabine for the modern age of all the lightsaber wielding units out there. Darksaber will help you both survive vs lightsaber users and strike back. The grappling line can be used to stop a melee characters right in their tracks, essentially losing their activation. She is very expensive though.
Sabine wren classic
Sabine wren 125p
Offensive push or hunter 4/6p
Personal combat shield 10p
Electro grappling line 5p (optional)
This is how I used to play Sabine. A mobile gunslinger that tries to get extra value from the 2 pip card. The electro line is useful, but you might just want to stay away from any melee users with this build so it’s ok to skip. Offensive push and hunter are both good choices and it’s up to personal preference.
So as with any operative, you will need to pick a commander. I will start with the commanders I don’t recommend:
Han solo, while it’s not a terrible pairing the problem is that Chewie is a better choice due to the teamwork rule and command card overlap.
Luke Skywalker due to the fact that with operative Luke being released you will have so much command card choices that you won’t get enough value and both units will have to compete for order tokens. Lukes courage 3 is helpful, but with his high cost with force powers + Sabines you are putting alot of points into 2 units.
Rebel officer is enough with an unit like Sabine. He also have both inspire 1 and take cover 1 which is just enough for Sabine.
Leia Organa is much the same as the officer, but with all the extra candy of her abilities. Her command cards also works pretty well with no time for sorrows giving Sabine extra movement and with her 3 pip you can go inspire + take cover and then fly away with Sabine fresh and dodged up for action.
Jyn Erso is my new favourite partner for Sabine. Her courage 3 is really good for Sabine since it makes her much less likely to panic and with the darksaber you can have 5 suppression tokens after rally and still move – attack thanks to dauntless almost removing her courage weakness. Inspire 2 is of course great for Sabine without the saber. In addition her 2-3 pip cards also works great with Sabine. With trust goes both ways you get both the needed inspire and teamwork so Jyn can token up both herself and Sabine with quick thinking. Complete the mission is great for a saberless Sabine since that turn she won’t be able to be suppressed and as long as she is in the courage bubble, she still needs 6 tokens to panic.
Sabine is a powerful operative that work well with most lists, but due to her price and order token need, she prefers to work with support commanders that can keep suppression tokens off and dodge on. She is a very mobile character that can dish out pain on multiple units and tank damage. In addition she has the tools to handle the recent addition of force users. She can do alot, but don’t be afraid to let her tank damage. Any attacks that you get to roll Sabines red dice against is the life of a rebel trooper saved.
How do you play Sabine? Do you have any suggestion for unit analysis or tactics articles? Let me know in the comments.