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Trooper Group Variant Comparisons

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Hey everyone!

I got some really great feedback from you all about Heavy Troopers in my last thread, so I figured I'd see what you think about troopers in general.  Typically, I've found that I often overlook trooper variants- if I'm bringing troopers to a mission, I'm probably sticking with regular (or elite) stormies.  But I'm finding that may not always be the best strategy.

 

Curious in general what you think about these trooper variants- pros, cons, what they work well with, and what they can really excel at in gameplay:

Stormtroopers

Heavy Troopers

Snow Troopers

Wing Guards

Jet Troopers

 

Did I miss any?  (Purposefully left out E-WEB, since it's very much its own thing).   

 

Let me know what you think!  Also, I'm a little curious about some strategies with other units, too- Trandoshans, Weequay, Royal Guards, etc.  I see a lot of the strategy talk here is often about Skirmish, but Campaign is so different that I'm curiuous to see what may change.

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Early game, I prefer Heavies (6 health is hard to table, and the Red die does damage), then Snow Troopers (their damage is terrible, but Environmental Recovery Gear is a really painful damage-reset for early-game Rebels with starter weapons, plus it combos with all other Trooper units which makes them annoyingly cheap medics). In a vaccuum, probably stormies next, because of their reroll from Squad Training, then the Wing Guard (I find Keep the Peace too situational), and finally the normal Jet Troopers (they're really fragile and their Jets isn't a great skill), although if the map is full of difficult terrain I could see taking the Jet Troopers in a pinch.

Not sure I'd take any of them in the middle-to-late game as an open group, except maybe the Heavies since they still have some staying power. Though at 6 threat, it's hard to justify 2 normal heavies over 2 normal Royal Guards or Elite Weequays (or even normal Weeqays), though none of those are Troopers:P

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22 hours ago, subtrendy2 said:

Also, I'm a little curious about some strategies with other units, too- Trandoshans, Weequay, Royal Guards, etc.  I see a lot of the strategy talk here is often about Skirmish, but Campaign is so different that I'm curiuous to see what may change.

On this larger question, I usually base unit selection around my class deck and Agenda sets (similar I guess to how unit lists are built around the command card deck in skirmish... or command card decks are built around figure lists?). Any figure type can fit into any class/agenda deck, of course, but there are definitely some obvious synergies: Military Might loves troopers, Technological Superiority loves droids, Armored Onslaught loves vehicles/heavy weapons, Nemesis loves villains (and units with traits similar to villains, adjacent to villains, etc.), and so on.

To a certain degree, I think the choice of the actual campaign has an impact, too, since the campaign from a box set tends to include the Imperial/Scum figures from that set as reserved groups in campaign missions (lots of probe droids, trandos and royal guards in the core, Heavies and Tuskens in TS, Snowtroopers and HKs in RtH, Wing Guard in BG, Weequays out the wazoo in JR, along with some Jet Troopers). If that's the case, I'm less likely to include those units as open groups.

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I don't really get Wing Guards. Keep the peace is the worst ability IMHO. Maybe if you were playing subversive tactics I suppose. The thing is, I'm rarely willing to pay the damage to apply the strain. If you only have 2 health, you're a (2) cleave or (2) blast away from defeat. The rest of their traits are pretty typical trooper stuff.  I'd rank these guys as my least fav. Perhaps Keep the Peace was written more for skirmish?

Edited by VadersMarchKazoo

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42 minutes ago, Rythbryt said:

and finally the normal Jet Troopers (they're really fragile and their Jets isn't a great skill), although if the map is full of difficult terrain I could see taking the Jet Troopers in a pinch.

I'm surprised to hear this. I haven't played with my Jet troopers yet (starting JR next week). But, it seems that most of the chatter about them is positive. I thought they looked pretty fun.

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5 minutes ago, VadersMarchKazoo said:

I'm surprised to hear this. I haven't played with my Jet troopers yet (starting JR next week). But, it seems that most of the chatter about them is positive. I thought they looked pretty fun.

The elites are great. At 7 threat, 2 models with 7 health, 4 speed, a surge for +2D, mobile, Agile to a convert-a-block-to-an-evade, and Fly-By for an extra blue die and 2 movement points while attacking a target 2 spaces away are fabulous.

The normals cost 4 threat, are just 3 health, can only surge for +1D, and get just 1 movement point (and no free die) while attacking. So they boil down to mobile Stormtroopers who can't reroll a die, which I'm much less impressed with. :P Plus there are only 2 of them (versus 3 normal stormies), so the deployment card is easier for the heroes to retire.

I'd much rather have a Dewback Trooper at 5 threat than two normal jets, especially in the early campaign where a three-die attack will wreck rebels and the heroes will have to commit to several attacks to chew through 9 health.

Edited by Rythbryt

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12 minutes ago, VadersMarchKazoo said:

I don't really get Wing Guards. Keep the peace is the worst ability IMHO. Maybe if you were playing subversive tactics I suppose. The thing is, I'm rarely willing to pay the damage to apply the strain. If you only have 2 health, you're a (2) cleave or (2) blast away from defeat. The rest of their traits are pretty typical trooper stuff.  I'd rank these guys as my least fav. Perhaps Keep the Peace was written more for skirmish?

Theoretically their ability to Recover 1 makes up for this. In actual fact, their 3 health is so fragile that it's a big gamble, even in the early campaign. It's occasionally useful as a means of controlling the heroes (you use Keep the Peace to fully-strain Gaarkhan who doesn't have "Wookie Fortitude" (1xp) and is Stunned so he cannot rest and then "Charge" when he activates). But by the time middle-to-late game comes around, I feel like even new players have given their heroes weapons and/or abilities that manage strain to the point where Keep the Peace isn't much more than an annoyance (and experienced players almost always have both).

In retrospect, I might actually opt for the cheaper Jets over them, given that the Jets have the option to covert a block to an evade. That's usually a wash but sometimes it matters.

Edited by Rythbryt

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54 minutes ago, Rythbryt said:

On this larger question, I usually base unit selection around my class deck and Agenda sets

Also, I'd add that the Rebel Hero's in play make a big difference. When Fenn or Verena are in the game, regular stormtroopers are pretty useless. In Verena's case, regular stormtroopers equate to one more attack that she'll get that round. In my last campaign, I was happy to see neither of them on the board, which really allowed me to bring out more regular troopers.

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Glad to see I'm not the only one that's very skeptical about Wing Guards.  They were definitely one I was hoping to get some info on here (or at the very least, validation that they are kinda weak).  

As for Jet Troopers- I'm using them in Return to Hoth right now, and they're great.  I've posted this elsewhere, but I can use the Armored Division agenda card once per mission to bring them in for a single point of threat, then load them up with Vehicle buffs from my Armored Onslaught class deck to the point to where they're almost as good (if not better) than their elite counterparts.  Really painful and demoralizing for the Rebels when I can get units that good out for so little threat.  Though, as Rythbryt already pointed out, that's pretty situational in my case.  

 

So far, it seems like the majority of the discussion has been in regards to regular units.  Have you guys found the elite versions of troopers to be hands down more worthwhile than their regular versions?  Any elite versions that are typically not worth it?

 

 

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I also don't find Wing Guards useful. If they had 4 Health, maybe they would last two attacks...

The regular Jet Troopers are pretty good at running interference, and the elites Jet Troopers pack quite a punch.

As long as it takes two-three attacks to defeat the elite versions (whatever the brand of trooper) they have an upper hand for a while, but when the rebels power up, then it is often back to regulars to get more activations and waste rebel activations for the same threat cost.

 

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It's hard to get the threat for the elites and they suffer a bit against Rebel teams that can generate evades since they tend to have the same dice as regulars and rely on surges to give them their better damage.  So often you just use regulars.  However against black die heroes they can really lay in the hurt and benefit more from agenda and class cards that will give them an extra attack.

I like Wing Guard, but you have to have a lot of things on the board to make them work, otherwise, meh.  Same with Snow Troopers.

The lack of reroll on Jet Troopers hurts a fair bit, but 4 cost can fit your threat generation well to make them a good pick.

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33 minutes ago, a1bert said:

As long as it takes two-three attacks to defeat the elite versions (whatever the brand of trooper) they have an upper hand for a while, but when the rebels power up, then it is often back to regulars to get more activations and waste rebel activations for the same threat cost.

 

Interesting.  See, that totally makes sense, but I usually used to figure that Elites were more late game material.  I'll totally have to keep that in mind.

 

27 minutes ago, Union said:

It's hard to get the threat for the elites and they suffer a bit against Rebel teams that can generate evades since they tend to have the same dice as regulars and rely on surges to give them their better damage.  So often you just use regulars.  However against black die heroes they can really lay in the hurt and benefit more from agenda and class cards that will give them an extra attack.

Yeah, totally agreed on those points.  

Quote

I like Wing Guard, but you have to have a lot of things on the board to make them work, otherwise, meh. 

Just curious, what have you found that makes them work?

 

 

edit:  Also, regarding the Wing Guards- could their relative useless as Open Groups (as far as many of us are concerned, at least) be a conscious decision on the Devs' part?  After all, while they could be balanced for the specific scenarios where they were included as Starting and Reserved groups on Bespin maps, it would be thematically silly to bring them in somewhere else.  Almost as a sort of Habitat, but incentivized rather than completely forced?  (that's my crackpot theory of the week)

Edited by subtrendy2

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2 hours ago, subtrendy2 said:

edit:  Also, regarding the Wing Guards- could their relative useless as Open Groups (as far as many of us are concerned, at least) be a conscious decision on the Devs' part?  After all, while they could be balanced for the specific scenarios where they were included as Starting and Reserved groups on Bespin maps, it would be thematically silly to bring them in somewhere else.  Almost as a sort of Habitat, but incentivized rather than completely forced?  (that's my crackpot theory of the week)

I don't know. So your theory is that they made them weak so no one would play them unless forced?:unsure:  I like the out-of-the-box thinking but I doubt it. Though, this could be why they didn't make them awesome, to ensure they don't dominate the meta. I think there would be better ways to limit their use. I certainly agree that Wing Guards belong in Bespin and Snowies belong in the snow (or at least desolate) climate. As IP, I wouldn't deviate from this.

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Weird.  My other computer logged me back into my original account.  

 

Anywho...

I'm mostly being facetious, but I meant not that no one would necessarily play them, but that they could be included in story missions where they'd make sense, but sort of discourage them as open groups.

 

Really, really unlikely.  Just a way for me to try to rationalize how weak they seem to be.

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With respect to the elite vs regular: I think E-snowtroopers are far superior to regulars. Mostly because the ~focus. Once you get them focused it's pretty easy to keep them that way. Would be nice with Military might starting card to get things rolling. The regulars are OK, but nowhere near as good. IMO

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21 hours ago, Rythbryt said:

I'd much rather have a Dewback Trooper at 5 threat than two normal jets, especially in the early campaign where a three-die attack will wreck rebels and the heroes will have to commit to several attacks to chew through 9 health.

I don't understand your comparison here: obviously a 5-threat Dewback Rider is better than a 4-threat Jet Trooper group; that's not a good comparison. What other 4-threat units you'd rather have is more useful information. Or if you'd rather have even a 3-threat Probe Droid and save the 1 threat for later.

21 hours ago, Rythbryt said:

Not sure I'd take any of them in the middle-to-late game as an open group, except maybe the Heavies since they still have some staying power. Though at 6 threat, it's hard to justify 2 normal heavies over 2 normal Royal Guards or Elite Weequays (or even normal Weeqays), though none of those are Troopers:P

Normal Royal Guards cost 8, and Elite Weequays cost 7, so you can't get those for 6 threat. I'm just confused about your comparisons, you need to compare things that cost the same amount otherwise there's no point :huh:

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On 6/1/2017 at 3:17 PM, subtrendy2 said:

Curious in general what you think about these trooper variants- pros, cons, what they work well with, and what they can really excel at in gameplay:

Stormtroopers

Heavy Troopers

Snow Troopers

Wing Guards

Jet Troopers

I generally agree with what's been said so far, but here's my take on it:

rStormtroopers - I don't usually want to take up open group space with these. If you get them from the mission sometimes it makes sense to redeploy or reinforce, but unless you have some serious buffs for Troopers I wouldn't bother bringing them - though, as a1bert said, when you get to late in the campaign they can be used to take up more activations. But you probably need some kind of buff to make them do more damage or they're still not worth it. And a lot of the time you'll just get them as initial or reserved groups.

eStormtroopers - Early-mid campaign these guys are great: hard to remove, deal 3-4 damage per attack pretty reliably - but you don't usually have the 9 threat you need to deploy them. And (as previously mentioned) if the Rebels get some evade-granting upgrades, they do pretty poorly. So again - probably not worth bringing as open groups unless you A. have a way to bump up to that 9-threat level quickly or B. Have some good Trooper buffs. But if the mission hand them to you, probably not a bad reinforce target.

rHeavies - haven't used them much. If you're facing a lot of white dice on a smallish map, then they're quite good. If you have ways to give them rerolls, movement, or accuracy buffs, and can get the 6 threat to bring them out (like the 2x threat level increase on a side mission at threat level 3), then they can be a big problem for the rebels. Oh and another nice thing is that they're pretty immune to evade-adding abilities. But it's very easy for them to fall behind - there's a huge difference between having 4 speed and having 3.

Snow Troopers - I hate snowtroopers. Both kinds. They deal so little damage (no rerolls, surges for pierce instead of damage), are too expensive, and their healing ability is pretty much useless past the early campaign. Again, if they're handed to you, sometimes you can reinforce, but I never feel like bringing them as an open group. 7 threat is so awkward.

rWing Guards - again, not having rerolls here really hurts their damage output. Keep the Peace is fine (it can be a real hassle early on, or toward the end of a mission when the heroes are really strained up), and it's true that sometimes you'd happily take 1 damage to make a rebel take 1 strain. But like others have said, going to 2 HP makes you very vulnerable to Cleave 2, blast, etc. So, again, probably not a worthwhile open group.

eWing Guards - These guys get the rerolls, have +2 damage surge, and a recover 2 surge... that seems pretty solid for 9 threat. I haven't used them though, and I suspect that you often run into the same problem mentioned before: it's hard to save up 9 threat. If you manage to pull the recover 2 off without sacrificing damage though (with HP buffs, adding surges), then these could be a serious mid-campaign threat. Maybe the Imperial Black Ops deck would work well with these guys?

rJet Troopers - I think the best thing about these is their threat cost. 4 threat is *much* easier to save up than 6 threat early in the campaign. Their damage output is quite low from lack of rerolls though. These work best as harassers/skirmishers, especially if there's a lot of terrain to get through. Being able to get in and out of combat easily is good, and sometimes their Agile ability can be really annoying for the rebels, preventing them from recovering strain on an attack when they otherwise would have been able to. Overall, not bad units, and easier to bring in than a full 6-cost group. If you have any kind of Trooper buffs, or are facing a lot of rough terrain in a mission, you can definitely consider these.

eJet Troopers - I have to admit, I'm a little biased toward these because they just won me a mission (the rebels were blocking the last healthy hero in a corner, but there was a patch of impassible terrain next to him and they were able to fly in and take him out), but I think they are seriously strong. Hard to take down (because of their high HP, 2MP from Fly-by, mobile, and agile) and great damage if you can get within 2 spaces, they are quite useful. Their biggest downside is their awkward threat cost, but sometimes you can get around that. They have great synergy with a lot of things too: Technological Superiority to give them Cloaking Devices and Adaptive Weapons (swap that extra blue to an extra red!), Military Might to let you give them a 4-dice attack (!) boost their HP up to 9 (!!) and bring them out for 6 (!!!), Armored Onslaught for vehicle buffs, Hutt Mercenaries to give them something to do with extra surges... Lots of crazy stuff. If you can afford them these are pretty scary units.

The only one you missed was the Dewback Rider, which I think is pretty great but also situational. If you're facing a lot of AOE damage, then this is probably better to bring out than even a group of regular stormtroopers. If you're facing a lot of single-target damage though, then you'd rather have more bodies to absorb actions. Also, a lot of the normally good attachments won't work well on these guys because it's just a single figure. So definitely situational, but pretty solid.

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On 6/3/2017 at 11:52 AM, Stompburger said:

I don't understand your comparison here: obviously a 5-threat Dewback Rider is better than a 4-threat Jet Trooper group; that's not a good comparison. What other 4-threat units you'd rather have is more useful information. Or if you'd rather have even a 3-threat Probe Droid and save the 1 threat for later.

Normal Royal Guards cost 8, and Elite Weequays cost 7, so you can't get those for 6 threat. I'm just confused about your comparisons, you need to compare things that cost the same amount otherwise there's no point :huh:

That's a fair point. One thing I hadn't factored in was how much easier it is to accumulate 4 threat than 6, which is definitely a thing (especially early campaign, though it persists throughout). There's definitely missions where it's important not to fall too far behind in the activation count, so I'm glad you mentioned that.

I guess where I'd come down is that if I had to spend 4 threat early campaign, I wouldn't be excited to spend it on Jet Troopers. 4 is kind of a hard spot to do a comparison since there's not too many units to choose from as alternatives: the Nexu and Hired Guns, I guess, both Scum. Personally, I'd rather have either of those units than 2 jet troopers, by a pretty wide margin. Especially early campaign where Parting Shot has a good chance at dealing damage to lightly-upgraded heroes and a Nexu wreaks havoc on offense and can be really tough to bring down thanks to cunning. (Plus it's not a small figure which messes with pushes, whips, etc). But maybe I'm undervaluing something the Jets bring to the table.

My larger point on the Dewback, Eweequays, Royal Guards, etc., was more a concern about investing in low health units in the mid- to late-campaign. Since  the IP can bank threat and doesn't have to spend it as soon as it accumulates, all other things being equal and so long as I won't surrender a win condition by waiting, I'd prefer to save 4 threat until I have 5 for a Dewback--or reinforce a Royal Guard unit--than throw that threat into a cheap unit that I know has no staying power. This is especially true if the heroes have characters like Fenn (Blast), Verena, Sarlacc Diala, Fell Swoop Davith, Rampage Gaarkhan, or any other heroes who make mincemeat of low health imperial grunts.

* All of the above assumes, of course, that I'm trying to optimize my play as the IP. When my children are playing as the heroes, of course I spam 3 health stormies... purely for thematic and story reasons.

Edited by Rythbryt
I eliminated the mystical reference to "Elon"... who IS Elon, anyway...?

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22 hours ago, Rythbryt said:

I guess where I'd come down is that if I had to spend 4 threat early campaign, I wouldn't be excited to spend it on Jet Troopers. 4 is kind of a hard spot to do a comparison since there's not too many units to choose from as alternatives: the Nexu and Hired Guns, I guess, both Scum. Personally, I'd rather have either of those units than 2 jet troopers, by a pretty wide margin. Especially early campaign where Parting Shot has a good chance at dealing damage to lightly-upgraded heroes and a Nexu wreaks havoc on offense and can be really tough to bring down thanks to cunning. (Plus it's not a small figure which messes with pushes, whips, etc). But maybe I'm undervaluing something the Jets bring to the table.

My larger point on the Dewback, Eweequays, Royal Guards, etc., was more a concern about investing in low health units in the mid- to late-campaign. Since  the IP can bank threat and doesn't have to spend it as soon as it accumulates, all other things being equal and so Elon as I won't surrender a win condition by waiting, I'd prefer to save 4 threat until I have 5 for a Dewback--or reinforce a Royal Guard unit--than throw that threat into a cheap unit that I know has no staying power. This is especially true if the heroes have characters like Fenn (Blast), Verena, Sarlacc Diala, Fell Swoop Davith, Rampage Gaarkhan, or any other heroes who make mincemeat of low health imperial grunts.

Okay, that makes sense - you'd rather save the threat for a later round and deploy more expensive, but harder to kill groups.

And I totally agree with Nexu/Hired guns being more appealing for 4 threat than Jet Troopers 90% of the time. But there are times when you can't bring mercs, or you need to be able to interact (though again, HGs are better for that than troopers). And of course if you have buffs for troopers, it can make them much more valuable.

And, like you said - if you feel like playing a little nicer, you can avoid bringing the Nexu. In my opinion, it's by far the most difficult 4 threat to deal with early in the campaign (assuming you don't have some buffs for other types of units).

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On 6/3/2017 at 1:34 PM, Stompburger said:

rJet Troopers - I think the best thing about these is their threat cost. 4 threat is *much* easier to save up than 6 threat early in the campaign. Their damage output is quite low from lack of rerolls though. These work best as harassers/skirmishers, especially if there's a lot of terrain to get through. Being able to get in and out of combat easily is good, and sometimes their Agile ability can be really annoying for the rebels, preventing them from recovering strain on an attack when they otherwise would have been able to. Overall, not bad units, and easier to bring in than a full 6-cost group. If you have any kind of Trooper buffs, or are facing a lot of rough terrain in a mission, you can definitely consider these.

I was about to post exactly this before I read your post, now all I have to say is "I agree" :).  Their 4 health cost makes them easier to bring out, you can use their agile to prevent strain recovery, and (like Subtrendy already said) their vehicle keyword can help them in certian situations, particularly with armoured onslaught.  They're not phenomenal, but in some situations they can be helpful.

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The heroes in my campaign have now become so powerful, I'm thinking of going back to rTroopers! Sure, they have Fenn, but they also have Mak with the gun that lets him roll BGY, auto focus and No Escape. Gideon's one action meant a dead Terro on the spot, and it wasn't even close. Maybe I can just swarm them.

SPOILER: The missions where I can't take any scum figures really suck for me. I'm stuck fielding troopers and sending them in to die. Meh.

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22 hours ago, burek277 said:

The heroes in my campaign have now become so powerful, I'm thinking of going back to rTroopers! Sure, they have Fenn, but they also have Mak with the gun that lets him roll BGY, auto focus and No Escape. Gideon's one action meant a dead Terro on the spot, and it wasn't even close. Maybe I can just swarm them.

SPOILER: The missions where I can't take any scum figures really suck for me. I'm stuck fielding troopers and sending them in to die. Meh.

As the campaign goes on, you want to go from regular to elite and then back to regular once heroes can one shot kill elites.  That way you can spam them every round and cause them to waste attacks that do 5 to 10 or more damage on 3 health troopers :D

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I'll definitely try that!

SPOILER Last week, they played the mission on the Ketanna, and killed rJet Troopers, eJet Troopers, 2 rProbe and 1 eProbe Droid on turn one. I did wound Fenn in return, but Mak rolled three dodges in a row to really rub salt in the wound. :D

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