One of the features that people appreciate most from Impact X is the unit guide as well as the efficiency rating of each unit, but it is also one of the aspects that people have the most questions about. What is it measuring, what are you comparing it to, and how do you use it?
The short answer is that I am measuring how effective each unit is along a variety of metrics compared to the same number of points worth of corps troopers.
For people who are interested more in the inner workings of the system and how I derived these metrics you can read the process below.
When analyzing a unit I made the following assumptions: that the card is appropriately costed, that the card fits its intended role, and that there may be some unquantifiable qualities or synergies built into the cost of a unit. To account for these unquantifiable or dynamic qualities the final grades will be a bit flexible and as such are just general guidelines by which to compare - not hard and fast rules.
Unlike X-Wing and Armada, Legion has many variables that are outside either players control (terrain density and placement, etc.), and there are many abilities that are difficult or impossible to quantify (target selection, board position, line-of-sight, figure volume, etc). Some units perform better or worse from game to game depending on how these factors interact.
Because Corps units are the building block of every army, and in general the most elementary unit - It makes sense to start our reverse engineering there. Rebel Troopers and Stormtroopers look different on paper and play differently on the table, but when played as intended they actually have nearly identical stats (damage output, damage resistance, speed, courage, etc.) - so my baseline by which I compare all units to is a derived amalgamation of Rebel Troopers and Stormtroopers or what I call an average trooper.
In beginning my deconstruction I compared them against each other in many different ways, but I found that the most useful comparison was to compare each unit upgraded with a basic personnel trooper and basic special weapon upgrade - although both Rebel Troopers and Stormtroopers both scaled nicely with each other from one set of upgrades to another, this particular combination came out at about 80 points which is a very nice number when looking at a list as a whole as it is 10% of your list - so this is the version of the units we will use to create our benchmark.
First let’s take the non-scaling stats they have in common and set that as standard:
Speed 2 (measured in inches plus base size plus times number of possible moves)
2 Actions per activation
The rest of the stats we compare scale by points or require a specific situation to achieve parody but in order to create a benchmark metric we need to find the middle ground where we can compare these units to each other. Let’s look at the things they do differently; damage output and survivability.
For damage output we find that a unit of Rebel Troopers with an extra trooper and Z6 on average will do 4 damage while Stormtroopers with an extra trooper and DLT will also do 3.625 damage. However Stormtroopers have precise and thus are encouraged to use aim tokens, and we find that when this same unit of Stormtroopers spend an aim token their 3.625 is now an average of 4 damage. So we can assume that 4 damage is the average damage for an average unit, and we can use that number to find our next number… damage resistance
A unit of Stormtroopers taking 4 damage will save against 2 of them (50%) with their red dice. A unit of Rebel Troopers on the other hand would save only 1.3 of them. However just like Stormtroopers and Precise, when we take into account the Rebel Trooper’s Nimble keyword we see that they will remove one hit with dodge and then save against .99 of the rest with their white dice for a rounded total of 2 (50%). Finding again that they are actually equal in both categories when played as intended. We will set our benchmark as a percentage not at a wounds resisted to better account for other factors in other units such as Armor.
Expected 4 damage output per attack
Expected 50% damage resistance
We now have what we will call our average stats: Speed 2, Range 1-3, Courage 1, 2 actions per activation, 4 damage, 50% damage resistance… and this is the benchmark we will use to compare all other units to. Using these numbers we can also create some derivative benchmarks that are useful to look at to account for the whole picture of a units efficiency which tend to separate more elite units from corps units.
RD; Ranged Damage; Expected average damage rolled using a ranged attack.
RT; Ranged Throughput; Expected damage actually done after accounting for damage resistance. (accounts for Pierce etc.)
RTC; Ranged Through Cover; Expected damage actually done through heavy cover and damage resistance. (accounts for blast, sharpshooter, etc.)
RTA; Ranged Through Armor; Expected damage actually done to Armor and damage resistance. (accounts for Impact etc.)
MD; Melee Damage; Expected average damage rolled using a melee attack
MT; Melee Throughput; Expected damage actually done after accounting for damage resistance. (accounts for Pierce etc.)
MTA; Melee Through Armor; Expected damage actually done to Armor and damage resistance. (accounts for Impact etc.)
DR; Damage Resistance; Expected percent chance to cancel damage done to unit.
EW; Effective Wounds; Expected number of damage needed to eliminate unit after damage resistance.
A; Attrition Value; Number of wounds needed before expected damage is 2 or less. (or no longer combat effective)
R; Attack Range; Range of ranged weapons
S; Speed; max potential speed of movement in inches (accounts for base size and multiple move / compulsory moves)
AE; Action Economy; Number of free actions or partial free or lost actions (accounts for Quick Thinking, Precise, Nimble, Ready, Exhaust, etc.)
C; Courage; Courage Value
If you are wondering what our benchmark unit would look like as an actual unit, here it is: