Hawkstrike

Comparison to other tabletop minis wargames

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So, considering Legion ...

Theme aside, how do you think the gameplay and mechanics will compare to other tabletop miniatures wargames?

I have no experience with other tabletop minis games except for FFG's Star Wars games; my wargaming background goes back to when wargames were all hex maps and cardboard chits. But interest in Legion has me looking at other games too, but with no baseline for comparison I'm wondering what makes for a good experience.

The games I'm seeing that are most popular seem to be Warhammer 40K, Warmachine-Hordes, Malifaux, Infiniti, Bolt Action, Flames of War / Team Yankee, and maybe Runewars. Can anyone with experience explain how the other games might compare to Legion?

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I played 40k 5-7th Ed. And Legion seems reasonably close.

Not really sure what you want to know.

Legion basic gameplay appears to be roughly the same, perhaps a little easier and faster. The hobby aspect (painting and modeling the minis and terrain) is identical, though with slightly less variation (Space Marines can be any color, Imperial Stormtrooper armor is pretty standard in paint jobs). Community seems solid considering the game isn't even out yet...

Wargames like this are pretty open, so there's going to be a baseline play series, and the ability to manipulate modes, options, and other details to create specific scenarios and such should you want to try specific challenges or narratives.

40k has been around for decades, and it's company has made some.... interesting choices, so it's hard to compare on that level. On the one hand legions rules may not be as tight, as it's a newer game and FFG tends to be more a "do what's fun for you" kinda operation when things get weird. On the other hand they also don't have the baggage and business oriented mulehattedness that GW is well known for ("Shut up nerd! Buy more stuff and shut up!")

As a setting Star Wars should work fairly well, if not ideally. The factions are pretty well known, there's a solid fanbase that will get involved just on Star wars alone, and it's a fairly kid-friendly setting as far as settings based on galactic scale near perpetual war settings go. With only two factions there may not be a huge amount of variety one army builds once what works and what doesn't gets figured out, but it also means getting enough models to play either sideis viable (and by extension only needing to find a willing opponent, and not needing to find someone with an army of their own).

Pricing remains to be seen, but for now it seems to be not too bad. 40k is well known for being stupid expensive.

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FFG has taken complex game archetypes and simplified them before with games like X-Wing. That game could have been a very deep stat heavy game but they made it fun for noobs and still fun for veteran war gamers while being easy to learn. They appear to have taken that formula forward with Legion.

I was able to talk with Alex Davy who is the lead on Legion while I was at Gencon. He said they they want the rules to be flexible and easy to use. He said the rules will be a basic template which gaming groups and time to their liking. The movement is going easy, there are templates just like armada and x-wing taking any difficulty out of movement. The attacks were simple to figure out without any help on my first demo. 

I really think there won’t be any other game quite like Legion because FFG are the masters of making simple to learn AND very deep games. 

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My guess the closest game might be Company of Iron (warmachine scaled down to 6-10 miniatures), with some taste of Armada. CoI because of scale (land, terrain, 6-10 pieces on board, dynamics of move-move or move-fire) and armada because ov movement templates, special dice, and cards.

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The game is almost an exact replica of Dust Warefare-  which is a good thing.  The suppression- reaction mechanic is the best thing about both games.  It adds a layer of depth to the   u go i go turn structure cause if your suppressed you may not be able to go   and when it is your turn your enemy may interupt you to react with a unit close enough  example...  I will run my troops into that structure and shoot at you.....  ok wait one min.. i will react to the end of their movment and shoot at you before your troops can shoot me.   Or... I must suppress those troops over there behind the wall before vader runs up and cutts them down.  It was an amazing dynamic in Dust, and I hope it reins true in SWL.

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8 hours ago, Bohun242 said:

CoI because of scale (land, terrain, 6-10 pieces on board, dynamics of move-move or move-fire) 

Expect that Legion will have 30+ models per side, not 6-10, it will also be played on a 6x3 table.

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I can tell you that it looks like they have taken some of the mechanics from some older Rackham games (AT-43 and Confrontation: Age of the Rhagnarok).  The cover rules are exactly the same as both games. The way that units activate is similar to both games.  The leader to leader for shooting and range distance is the same as both games.  The command distance radius mechanic is the same as both games.  The way that you buy special abilities for unit leaders and units was used in Confrontation.  These are all good things, though, as those games were a lot of fun, and I still play them even though they are OOP.  Also, both of those games rules were not translated very well from French design team and wasn't fully fleshed out before the company went OOB.  I believe that with FFG resources and design performance, Star Wars Legion will be one of the best miniatures games that ever existed, assuming they don't screw it up with too many special rules for units that destroy balance.

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To add to the original post question for myself:

I've been playing X-Wing and have looking to delve into a new miniature wargame.

Just before this game dropped I was looking at buying into Imperial Assault. But with Legion....will Imperial Assault still be a thing? I know IA is not the same type of game, but to a noob like me they "look" similar on the surface. Does it make since to invest in both for a casual player or will Legion kill IA?

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9 minutes ago, SpaceBall1 said:

Does it make since to invest in both for a casual player or will Legion kill IA?

I'd only buy into IA if you were interested in the campaign game it offers.  Legion will be IMO vastly superior in every way to the skirmish system in IA.

So it really depends on what you want... Want to play though the IA campaign, then yes it's worth getting.  Because even if FFG stops making it, you can still play though the released campaigns.  But if you're looking for a TT war game, I would pass on it.

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To me it feels like they took the best things from their old miniature games and combined it into Legion. 

You can see some Dust Tactics /Warfare as well as Runewars, Imperial Assault and X-Wing /Armada influences. 

Edited by Reaver027

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Thanks for the insight! IA really caught my eye when they dropped BT1 and 000, so hopefully those get some love in the future for Legion.

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1 hour ago, SpaceBall1 said:

Just before this game dropped I was looking at buying into Imperial Assault. But with Legion....will Imperial Assault still be a thing? I know IA is not the same type of game, but to a noob like me they "look" similar on the surface. Does it make since to invest in both for a casual player or will Legion kill IA?

I play IA skirmish now, so you can imagine my quandary. The IA skirmish community is small; I expect this will split a number of folks off, and the scale of the games is very similar so even though they are different games I have a hard time with the idea of doing both (assuming I could afford that). 

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2 hours ago, VanorDM said:

I'd only buy into IA if you were interested in the campaign game it offers.  Legion will be IMO vastly superior in every way to the skirmish system in IA.

So it really depends on what you want... Want to play though the IA campaign, then yes it's worth getting.  Because even if FFG stops making it, you can still play though the released campaigns.  But if you're looking for a TT war game, I would pass on it.

It really depends on what you want from the game. IA is good for the campaign. I personally prefer the skirmish side of it though. It's quicker and can be done on a smaller play area than Legion is going to be. 

That doesn't mean I'm not getting Legion. I will. But I'm still going to play both. If you can only get one, you just have to figure out which system you like more and which system you're likely to get games with. 

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7 hours ago, VanorDM said:

Expect that Legion will have 30+ models per side, not 6-10, it will also be played on a 6x3 table.

I believe You have been deceived ;). 

As OP said, fluff aside, rules only. Trooper unit consists of 1 model that matters and 4-6 fluffy looking tokens indicating unit firepower and HP.  You measure movement from the leader, You measure range from the leader, leader caps objective point etc. Rest of the squad is here to look good. This is why Legion will not play like other 30 minis game. In eg. Warmachine, every single model in a unit have its own attack, You need to measure the range, LOS, You have to choose target for every model. This is 30+ models in play.

I love Warmachine, but that game has very steep learning curve. I believe Devs aim to make Legion classic easy to learn, hard to master because this sells better. And 10 miniatures is a good size for a game. Then, they added a visual layer with 30+ miniatures on the table, because 10 models games make much less profit in comparison to 30+ models games.

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9 hours ago, Bohun242 said:

I believe You have been deceived ;). 

As OP said, fluff aside, rules only. Trooper unit consists of 1 model that matters and 4-6 fluffy looking tokens indicating unit firepower and HP.  You measure movement from the leader, You measure range from the leader, leader caps objective point etc. Rest of the squad is here to look good. This is why Legion will not play like other 30 minis game. In eg. Warmachine, every single model in a unit have its own attack, You need to measure the range, LOS, You have to choose target for every model. This is 30+ models in play.

That remains to be seen, in the demo they said there are special rules if part of a unit is not in LOS etc, so individual positioning of the 'token troopers' is still important. I played 3rd edition WH40k for years when I was a young teenager, and the way the Legion demo worked was very similar to 40k, but more streamlined. Certain aspects of this streamlined I liked, like using the unit leader to determine if a unit can shoot another unit and the movement system. Armored units not having armor values or even different armor facings is something I'll miss, though that is no longer in WH40k either IIRC.

As long as we are not forced to use a 150points+ commander (really hoping for some nameless generic commanders) it should be possible to have over 60 models on the table in a typical 800pts game.

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Warhammer 40K

They have the edge in manufacturing miniatures, but you have to be able to stand the He-man appearance. One side moves, shoots and does melee with all troops, then the other retaliates with what is left standing. No real opportunity fire, serious flaw. Past editions were burdened with serious power creep (not even close compared to X-Wing) and bizarre points cost. Legion game play will be superior, but that's a low bar.

 

Warmahordes

Weird mixture of special powers, plays more like Magic than a miniatures game and definitely noob unfriendly. Point costs are adequate. I don't like it, but that is a question of taste, not quality
 

Bolt Action/Beyond the Gates of Antares

Units are activated randomly by drawing dice from a bag. Rather clever use of dice to mark the orders of a unit. Meaningful opportunity fire. Comes closest to Legion in my opinion.

 

Infinity

Very impressive miniatures, especially if painted by Angel Giraldez. Somewhat smaller scale than Legion: single troopers.

Clever reaction system, incredibly dumb "cheerleading" mechanism: you can spend all you activations on one killer unit, mitigated by opportunity fire, but still.
 

Flames of War/Team Yankee

Different scale, both the minis  (15mm) and the order of battle. From a reinforced company and up to a battalion, it is a tank game. (AT-ATs! sniff)

No opportunity fire, serious flaw, as always. Decent point system.

For FoW I recommend US vs. Germans. Most fun and with the other nations they went a bit off the rails historically.
 

Never could bring myself to try Malifaux. Miniatures and background are too off colour for me.

 

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The whole "my entire side activates, then your entire side activates" design space is a turn off to me for some of those games.  Back in the day (hexes and chits) this was pretty common design but had its problems -- both boring for the non activating player and often meant your entire game collapsed in our round. "Interleaved" (alternating) activation seems to be better design on the whole.

What games have good opportunity fire rules? I recall those being very awkward in games like ASL and MBT (having to put a unit in overwatch with an overwatch chit being quite a damper -- to "gamey".)

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1 hour ago, Hawkstrike said:

The whole "my entire side activates, then your entire side activates" design space is a turn off to me for some of those games.  Back in the day (hexes and chits) this was pretty common design but had its problems -- both boring for the non activating player and often meant your entire game collapsed in our round. "Interleaved" (alternating) activation seems to be better design on the whole.

What games have good opportunity fire rules? I recall those being very awkward in games like ASL and MBT (having to put a unit in overwatch with an overwatch chit being quite a damper -- to "gamey".)

Second ed 40K and Necromunda had opportunity fire in the form of overwatch. Third ed 40K had the "sweeping advance" rule for opportunity fire. Warmachine/Hordes has some interaction during your opponents activations such as retaliatory strike or countercharge. 

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On 9/23/2017 at 0:18 AM, Bohun242 said:

As OP said, fluff aside, rules only. Trooper unit consists of 1 model that matters and 4-6 fluffy looking tokens indicating unit firepower and HP.  You measure movement from the leader, You measure range from the leader, leader caps objective point etc. Rest of the squad is here to look good. 

Not entirely true,. Yes you measure from your commander only, but you measure to every model in the group you're targeting, so far we have seen that if more than 50% of the group is in caver than that cover is applied to the defence, it also looks like LoS will effect what units can be removed, though to what extent I don't think we are 100%. So positioning your squad vs enemy positioning is a thing and you won't be just moving a commander around with a bunch of fluffy looking tokens. 

However yes it's far simpler than every figure to every other figure. 

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On 9/22/2017 at 6:18 PM, Bohun242 said:

As OP said, fluff aside, rules only. Trooper unit consists of 1 model that matters and 4-6 fluffy looking tokens indicating unit firepower and HP.

Which is little different than many other game out there.  Sure in other games you're supposed to measure the distance for every model but no one really does that, and in those games the other models are little more than HP and firepower markers.  Just like Legion.

If you're going to apply that line of logic to Legion you need to apply it to every other game out there that effectively functions the same way.

40k, Warmahords, Bolt Action, ect... All function in much the same way, individual models don't actually count for much of anything, other than adding dice and acting as a HP counter.

So if you consider those games to als have 10 or less models, than that's true of Legion, but that's also not how anyone I've ever encountered either IRL or online thinks about it.

Edit: Also you said it was on scale with Company of Iron, and yet that game is designed for 10-15 miniatures.  Which is not true of Legion, also the OP never said "Fluff aside, rules only" he said 

Quote

Theme aside, how do you think the gameplay and mechanics will compare to other tabletop miniatures wargames?

Anyone who believes that there's no difference between having 30-40 models per side is no different then having 10-15...  Well I don't think I need to say anything more.

Edited by VanorDM

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Hm, you always measure from the unit leader, but when you determine line of sight, you need to see any model of that group. So the other models do matter. Also when you want to be in cover, more than 50% of that group have to be in base contact with the cover. If not enough models fit there, you are not in cover. Additionally the models with heavy weapons (DLT, AntiTank) do matter. So I think it's a little more than one unit with hitpoint markers.

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Not sure if this has already been mentioned, but Star Wars Legion dispenses with the 'stat line' style of gameplay also. 

So in Warhammer 40K and Age of Sigmar, for example, a miniature or unit has a 'stat line', which tells you what you need to roll to hit on a D6, or how many hits the unit can take, what it's save throw is on a D6, etc. 

Legion moves away from this with custom dice reflecting the miniatures stats, rather than the mini itself. 

I'm very much used to the former style of wargame, so this will take some getting used to, but I can also see the benefits of the style FFG have gone for, making it easier to add things to a unit via upgrade cards, rather than it being set in stone on paper in a stat line or unit entry. 

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3 hours ago, Sk3tch said:

However yes it's far simpler than every figure to every other figure. 

Which is not how most other games actually work.

Infinity, Malifaux, and even IA actually work that way.  But most others don't, or at least don't for all or even most of their units. 

40k or AoS most definitely don't.  Neither does Bolt Action or Flames of War.  Warmahordes doesn't for many of it's units.  Sure Jacks and such do, but you treat most everything else as blobs of guys where any single model doesn't actually matter much.

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5 minutes ago, VanorDM said:

Which is not how most other games actually work.

Yeah for sure, some do, more don't. Just that the example give was one that does. It seemed to be based on a false assumption that the rest of the group don't have any in-game effects.  

 

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