The All Terrain Scout Transport or AT-ST is one of the most feared sights on Imperial occupied planets. They are well armored, mobile, and versatile weapons platforms making them terrifying and powerful war machines. The AT-ST is the Empires first heavy unit and when included in a list is often the center piece of the army.
Base Unit Summary: (80 pt x2 unit comparison)
Damage Output - Ranged: Below Average: 3
Damage Consistancy - Ranged: Above Average: Impact 3
Damage Output - Melee: Below Average: 3
Damage Consistancy - Melee: Average: N/A
Damage Resistance: Above Average: 33.4% + Armor (78% against non-impact weapons)
Wounds: Average: 11
Threshold: Average: 72.5%
Range: Above Average: 1-4
Speed: Average: 2
The AT-ST is a mobile weapons platform, its primary job is to soak up a lot of focus that would other wise be going towards your troops as well as putting out a large amount of firepower itself. It demands your opponent focus on it or give up the portion of the board that it has claimed.
Base Unit Analysis:
The AT-ST is quite durable with 11 health, armor, and defensive surges - but its damage is low for an 80 point unit (and the AT-ST costs as much as 2.5 80 point units). For the points an AT-ST costs you could get 2 fully upgraded stormtrooper units and one bare unit and put out an expected 10 damage vs the AT-STs 3 damage. However the AT-ST comes with 3 hardpoint upgrade slots and 3 powerful weapons to equip which both change its role on the battlefield as well as bring it more in line with expected efficiency. The AT-ST also has the Arsenal 2, Impact 3, and Weak Point keywords allowing it to use multiple weapons per turn, deal large amounts of damage to vehicles, but also reducing is impressive durability when attacked from behind.
Unique Upgrade Analysis:
88 Twin Light Blaster Canon: The light canon adds 1.5 damage and Impact 1 to the AT-ST at a range of 1-3 for 20 points, bringing it up to 4.5 and Impact 4 making. This makes the AT-ST incredibly effective against vehicles. While this is the most expensive weapon option for the AT-ST it is also the highest damage output as well as the most versatile. When taking an AT-ST this weapon should be the first upgrade consideration and it highly recommended.
DW-3 Concussion Grenade Launcher: The grenade launcher only adds 1 damage to the AT-STs expected damage output at a limited range of 1-2, however it also adds the Blast keyword to the whole attack pool, effectively increasing the AT-STs damage output by 3 as long as you are expecting to be shooting at troops behind cover, raising the AT-STs damage output to an expected 6 in its optimal use situation. The grenade launcher is also a strong choice as an upgrade to the AT-ST, as long as you take its limited range into account. The DW-3 Concussion Grenade Launcher is situationally recommended.
AT-ST Mortar Launcher: The mortar launcher increases the AT-STs expected damage output by 0.75 and adds the Suppressive keyword to the attack, however the mortar launcher has a fairly restrictive range or 4-Table, meaning it can only attack things beyond range 3. The Suppressive keyword however allows the AT-ST to add an extra suppression to the target unit just for targeting them, in addition to the suppression they receive when you roll a hit. Although the mortar launcher does not add much damage to the AT-STs expected results it dose add an element of control by allowing you to keep your opponents troops pinned down. The mortar launcher is situationally recommended.
The AT-ST has 3 hardpoint upgrade slots as well as a comms slot and a pilot slot. There are several ways to build the AT-ST with its available upgrades, but it should never be taken without at least one hardpoint upgrade as its damage output is too low for the points you spend without upgrades and you have already invested in a platform that is paying for Arsenal 2. In most cases the AT-ST is taken with one weapon upgrade (most often the light canon) or it is taken with every upgrade slot filled.
Wave 2 Update:
With the addition of wave 2 expansions the AT-ST now have access to several new and useful upgrade options such as the HQ Uplink which is detailed in tactics.
There are several ways to play an AT-ST depending on what upgrades you give it, but in general the AT-ST is going to be a fire support unit dealing large amounts of damage and demanding that your opponent deal with it or give up the section of the board it has claimed as its own.
An AT-ST equipped with the twin light canons is the most versatile of the build options, allowing it to use both its weapons at targets within range 1-3 or to split fire on one unit range 1-3 and one unit range 1-4. This is also the version that is able to destroy enemy armor the fastest with its Impact 4. This version of the AT-ST is happy both moving around the field terrorizing troop units as it goes or sitting further back and aiming while firing its weapons into the opponents harder targets. With an aim token this version of the AT-ST deals 4.9317 damage. If you are new to using heavy units or units with Arsenal, this is a good version of the AT-ST to learn with.
The AT-ST with the grenade launcher is focused on moving around the battlefield and exterminating enemy troop units at close range. While an AT-ST firing its main weapon with the grenade launcher is only expected to do 4 damage, because it is ignoring the possible 2 points of damage resistance provided by the heavy cover of its targets it is very consistent at doing large amounts of damage to troop units. This version of the AT-ST wants to be moving around quite a bit so that it always has a good option for its powerful but short ranged combined attack.
An AT-ST with the mortar launcher is generally going to provide long range fire support, using its main canon at a range of 1-4 to deal damage to enemy units and its mortar launcher on a separate unit to keep it suppressed and under control. Generally when an AT-ST with a mortar launcher with an aim token attacks, it is best to resolve the mortar attack first. It is the least likely to roll a hit and its primary benefit of 2 suppression only happens if you roll a hit. using an aim token on the mortar launcher raises its damage output from 0.75 to 1.125. It also allows you to spend the aim token on your main canon if you are able to roll a natural hit with the mortar launcher first. This version of the AT-ST is the least likely to move around, but it is a good idea to move it early towards an objective so that it can hold down a part of the board for you.
The AT-ST also has a pilot upgrade slot and the comms upgrade slot. Right now the only imperial pilot is General Weiss, although he is not exclusive to the AT-ST the AT-ST is the only unit at the moment that can take him. General Weiss allows you to exhaust the pilot upgrade in exchange for increasing your arsenal value by 2 making the AT-ST arsenal 4 for the round. There are three ways to optimally use General Weiss; 1) to split all of your attacks against different units, dealing a modest amount to each but putting out up to 5 suppression in one activation 2) firing the mortar launcher at a distant enemy to suppress them, firing the main weapon at a second target for a medium amount of damage and firing the grenades and light cannons at a close target for a medium amount of damage 3) firing the mortar launcher at a distant enemy and firing the other three weapons at a closer enemy for a large amount of damage. If you have all 3 hardpoint upgrades as well as General Weiss the AT-ST costs 250 points or essentially 3 80 point units, which would be expected to have 18 health and deal 12 damage per turn if we spend those points on Stormtroopers. The AT-STs armor and defense dice are good enough that it more or less accounts for the difference in health, and the expected damage output of the AT-ST using Weiss is approximately 8 (or the same as 2 fully upgraded Stormtrooper units). However the AT-ST does more damage against Vehicles, engages at a longer range, and does not diminish in firepower as it takes wounds like stormtroopers do. So although the AT-ST does not initially seem as efficient as the 3 troop units it costs the same as, its resilience, staying power, and inability to be suppressed will more than make up the difference over the course of the game.
If taking General Weiss then an HQ uplink could be a strong choice on the AT-ST, or if the AT-ST has the grenade launchers only then the Comms Jammer could be a good choice, otherwise it is generally best to not use the comms upgrade slot on the AT-ST.
When playing against AT-ST keep in mind that its primary purpose is to control a section of the board - so avoiding it entirely is playing into what the opponent wants. Although they do a lot of damage they are less efficient than an equivalent points worth of troop units, however unlike troops they don't slow down as you put wounds on it until it is almost dead. If you are going to deal damage to it it is best to do as much damage as fast as you can, otherwise the shots are more or less wasted (because you didn't decrease the output of the target where you could have elsewhere). It should be pointed out that the AT-ST is also the best target for Ion tokens at the moment - taking away one or two of its activations is the same as stopping 3 units worth of points and can be crippling for the opponent to come back from. If you can keep an AT-ST Ioned for a turn or two during the game it is almost as good as killing it, especially if you can do so for less resources than killing it.