Scout Troopers are Imperial special forces and vanguards, better trained and more self-sufficient than their infantry counterparts, but lighter armored to help keep them mobile. They are trained and equipped to be independent in most roles on the battlefield. In Star Wars: Legion the Scout Troopers are the Empires first elite unit option. Their training and equipment make them self-sufficient and versatile in many different roles - and as such see specialized use in the Imperial forces.
Base Unit Summary:
Damage Output - Ranged: Above Average: 4
Damage Consistency - Ranged: Above Average: Sharpshooter 1
Damage Output - Melee: Below Average: 2
Damage Consistency - Melee: Average: N/A
Damage Resistance: Below Average: 33.4%
Wounds: Average: 4
Attrition: Average: 1/figure
Range: Below Average: 1-2
Speed: Average: 2
Courage: Above Average: 2
Scout Troopers are elite skirmishing units. They are able to hold a zone or flank on their own with minimal to no support and can handle any job given to them.
Base Unit Analysis:
The base unit of Scout Troopers are a bit deceptive at first glance, they fall in-between the 40 and 80 point bench marks and are more or less average in that space - they have above average damage but below average survivability which tends to balance out and in many ways operate like Rebel Fleet Troopers. Unlike their Rebel Commandos counterpart, you wouldn’t be wrong to consider fielding the Scout Troopers without a special weapon or upgrades - but most people probably will and those upgrades change the unit drastically. For example, the Scout Troopers have below average damage resistance but if they are equipped with Duck and Cover they can benefit from heavy cover even out in the open raising their damage resistance from 33.4% to 66.7% or above average (against weapons without Blast or Sharpshooter). Additionally if we add on the Sniper to the unit we raise the points from 60 to 88 putting them clear into the 80 point metric, and we find that their average damage increases from 4 to 5 however the increase in points does change their efficiency down slightly but it remains above average. However when considering the Sharpshooter 1 and Pierce 1 keywords we find that they are actually delivering a greatly above average amount of damage against units in light or heavy cover and a moderately above average amount of damage against units with no cover. Keep in mind though that their lower than average range means you will have to work harder to deliver their above average damage. So we find that Scout Troopers despite being expensive are a rather efficient unit when they make it into range.
Unique Upgrade Analysis:
DLT-19x Sniper: The DLT-19x is a really interesting weapon for a troop unit. Its damage output is low compared to other special weapons (especially for its points) at just 1 expected damage (vs 1.8), but its keywords and unlimited range almost ensure that that damage is going through on the target of your choice making it on par if not more efficient over the course of an entire game. Sharpshooter 1 and High Velocity means that even if the target is in light cover with a dodge token the damage is getting through. If the target is in heavy cover you will need to roll 2 hits or a crit to get the damage through still... and Pierce 1 means that if you overcome their cover then the damage is bypassing their armor. Because of the unlimited range on this weapon however you are likely able to take an aim action when attacking a key target raising the weapons damage significantly to 1.5 and almost to average for special weapons. Because of how all of these factors come together the DLT-19x is an efficient weapon when used against the appropriate targets and is a recommended upgrade for the Commandos.
Sonic Charge Saboteur: The Sonic Charge is an interesting weapon and needs a little explaining being the first Arm/Detonate weapon in the game. As an action the Scouts can place a charge at range 1 and in LoS, however this is not an attack action so the Scouts can place a charge and fire their weapons in the same activation (even the saboteur). Then after every action that happens, anywhere on the table, in LoS of the Scouts or not, there is a response window for the Scouts to detonate the charge initiating a ranged attack against every unit within range 1 of the charge. Note that this window to detonate is after every action including the one used to set it, so you can toss it out and detonate it immediately, but since it is at range 1 the Scouts will hit themselves with the blast. It is also important to remember that any friendly unit with the Detonate: Sonic Charge ability can detonate charges, it doesn't have to be the unit who placed the charge. But now more about how this upgrade affects the unit; The Saboteur alters the overall efficiency of the unit changing the units expected damage output from 4 to 5 however he gives them a new way to play which drastically changes their role on in the battle. The charge itself does an expected 1.5 damage to every unit within range 1, meaning its effectiveness can be massive. The Proton Charges can add a psychological threat to the enemies units and subtly control how and where the enemy moves. It can also strongly deter enemies from clustering together and make them cautious to approach key areas. The Suppressive keyword also means that although this charge isn’t as threatening to all units on the table like the Rebel counterpart, it is extra terrifying to any troopers as one detonation can suppress most units or even panic them. Because of this the Saboteur is a more complicated piece to use than the Sniper, but potentially much more effective and is therefore a situationally recommended upgrade.
The Scout Troopers have upgrade slots for a Special Weapon, Training, Comm, Gear, and Grenade upgrade card. This makes them one of the most customizable units to date.
The Special Weapon they take will dictate how you want to use them and what their role on the battlefield will be, and as such should be your first decision when upgrading them.
The Training upgrade options tend to be expensive but have strong abilities. If you are equipping a sniper to the unit it is a good idea to consider taking the Hunter upgrade, otherwise taking Duck and Cover to improve the units damage resistance is a strong choice.
The Comms upgrade is not essential for Scouts and one to consider skipping. However if you are playing a lot of command cards with issue order effects you can include HQ Uplink on the Scout to really push the efficiency of that card. For example if you are using Veer’s Imperial Discipline you can activate HQ uplink to gain the free recovery removing all suppression and readying HQ uplink in addition to the units who are issued orders and recover normally.
The Gear upgrade is also a non-essential slot for Scouts and can be skipped if short on points. However if you are playing a Sniper with Hunter consider taking Targeting Scopes as well. It may also be worth considering Emergency Stims on this unit as their survivability can be less than what you are used to on normal Imperial units and that last activation before they are defeated can be crucial
The Grenade upgrade is another place you can save points on the Scouts since the grenades will decrease your damage output. The Concussion grenades are only improving your cover reduction by 1 since Scouts already have Sharpshooter 1 and reducing your overall damage output so they are actually a detriment. Impact Grenades are a useful consideration if your army is otherwise lacking in ways to deal with Armor, but as an Empire force these probably shouldn’t be necessary either.
When Upgrading the Scouts it is very easy to over equip them, although they are already rather efficient so you have some room to play with their upgrades, especially any upgrades that help deliver them more consistently. Ideally when playing them you will keep the Commandos under 100 points at the most to keep their efficiency, if possible depending on the role you need them to fill and your playstyle.
Wave 3 Update:
With the addition of wave 3 expansions the Scout Troopers now have access to several new and useful upgrade options.
Fragmentation Grenades: These are incredibly strong on your troops. unlike the Commandos it is recommended on the Saboteur build and on the Sniper build because of the shorter range of the Scouts main gun. Frag Grenades change the 5 man units damage output from 4 to 4.375, however if you only through one Frag Grenade for the surge to crit ability and the rest fire their pistols their damage output is now 5.875!
Scouts can be as simple or complicated as you would like them to be and although a skirmishing unit, they can play in two different styles depending on the special weapon you chose, so I will address them in two general styles; Snipers & Saboteurs.
Unequipped Scout Troopers are not very survivable and their weapons are short range, they should avoid situations where they are able to be shot without being able to shoot back. Keeping them hidden behind LoS blocking terrain until the enemy is close enough to engage is a reliable strategy; keep this in mind when choosing where to deploy them as well. Although LoS blocking terrain is your most predictable way of getting Fleet Troopers into the fight, there are better ways. If you are able to get Rapid Reinforcements or Limited Visibility conditions for the mission, you are able to get the unit to where they need to be with almost no chance of retaliation. Under the Limited Visibility condition you will want to rush them forward into defensible positions as you normally would, however you can be a little more daring with the added range limitations. With Rapid Reinforcements the Scout Troopers are air dropped right where you want them to be, usually behind enemy lines although it could be near an objective too, where they can cause havoc and huge amounts of damage forcing the enemy to turn around and deal with them.
When playing the Scouts as a sniper unit you can play them fairly basically, as you would any other corps troop unit. But keep in mind that the sniper has unlimited range when you split fire and that the unit is at its most efficient against targets in cover. There are some interesting things to consider when playing Scout snipers over regular corps troops though. Because they have a courage value of 2 they can run fairly independently along a flank without greatly reduced risk of panicking. if you want to get fancier with them (and why wouldn't you?!) you can run them as skirmishers further away from your main force and harassing the enemy from hard opportune positions. because they don’t panic until 4 and have a strong chance of rallying they combo well with HQ Uplink allowing them to give themselves an order when needed as well as doubling the effectiveness of a ready action by removing the suppression and refreshing HQ Uplink. Whether you took HQ uplink or not, flanking is primarily how you will want to play the sniper variant. Another strong combo with them is the Hunter upgrade, with the sniper you can split fire targeting a wounded trooper gaining an aim token, you can then fire the rest of the squad at different target using that aim token... and freeing up your other action you would have used to aim to move instead or even get an additional aim token - making this build very action efficient. Keep in mind that the Scouts pistol is much shorter range than average Imperial weaponry and their armor is much thinner, meaning you will have to be clever in figuring out ways to deliver them - whether that is behind LoS blocking terrain or having more threatening units moving along with them.
When playing the Scouts as a saboteur unit you can also play them simply like any other corps troop unit, however they play much differently when you start to utilize them fully. Unlike the sniper variant the saboteurs will want to be right in the middle of the action to maximize the threat on their range 1 charges. Ideally the saboteurs will find a place near an objective using their Scout 1 ability to get there before the enemy, and then cover the enemies approach in as many charges as possible. This should discourage the enemy from approaching and hopefully funnel them into tighter lanes of fire for the rest of your forces to concentrate on. If the opponent chooses to proceed through the charged area anyways it is very important to keep in mind that you have a window to detonate after every action, so don’t get greedy. It is better to wait and see if the opponent will put more units into the area before detonating - the more units you can hit with one charge the more valuable the saboteurs are. There are also some fun tricks to keep in the back of your head when playing saboteurs - firstly any friendly unit with the Detonate: Sonic Charge ability can detonate and friendly charge of the matching name. This encourages saboteurs to be brought in multiples, when one dies the other can still make use of the existing charges. The second neat trick is that the range 1 on your charge isn't always a detriment. Although the normal action pattern for the saboteurs is to place a charge and then move away and detonate it, if you are able to get a dodge token either through a command card or an action it can sometimes be beneficial to place a charge and take the blast. The expected damage on a charge is 1.5 - if you have a dodge token that would be reduced to .5 however because the charge surges to crit and you can’t dodge crits the actual number is .625 damage meaning you are almost at a coin flip to have 1 wound go through that you still get your 33.4% chance to save against - which means your actual chance of suffering damage is 33.3%. So if you have a dodge token you can drop a bomb at the feet of an enemy unit (maybe even multiple) and detonate it immediately possibly dealing .333 damage to yourself and 1.5 damage to the enemy, giving you both two suppression which means that they are likely to lose an action or panic, but because the saboteurs have already acted that’s not a concern however they now benefit from Low Profile increasing their suppression into heavy cover... and if you are able to get the dodge token without taking an action you can also shoot meaning you potentially deal 6.5 damage and give yourself heavy cover at the 33.3% risk of taking 1 wound. That is a very efficient activation if you can get it to happen.
Another fun trick to keep in mind is that ground vehicles such as the AT-ST provide light cover which the Scouts upgrade to heavy cover, meaning that the Scouts can advance behind an AT-ST for mobile heavy cover keeping them safe but still mobile and able to get up close to do the work you need them to do.
Because Scouts can be played in two different ways we need to talk about two different ways to counter them.
When up against a sniper unit who is generally going to be further from the opponent’s main forces it is best to ignore them if you can, staying at range 3 or beyond - if you are able to do this then the opponent spent nearly 100 points on what amounts to 1 damage and 1 suppression a turn which is hugely inefficient and it allows you to focus your work elsewhere giving you a large attrition lead. If the sniper unit gets more into the mix then engage them as you would any other troop unit, especially with weapons that ignore or bypass their cover / low profile if you are able. Their low damage output means that they are primarily paying for their versatility and their independence and if they are not using those then you also have a small attrition lead in points.
When up against a saboteur unit how to handle them depends on the objective and terrain. If it is an objective that doesn't require you to move towards them then don't - engage them at a distance and they are wildly inefficient for their points. If it is a scenario where you do have to approach them then they should be your main focus (permitting that other units aren't more immediately threatening). In a scenario where you have to approach the enemy, the more turns the saboteurs have to prepare the more dangerous they become. If you are unable to remove the saboteurs before you have to make your push through their charged area try and do it with armored vehicle units first as they will shrug off most of the damage and not take any of the suppression, and try to not pile up your units in one area, but don’t be afraid of having a charge detonate on one unit as it isn't a ton of damage (although the out of turn attack and tons of suppression can be very disruptive).