Rebel Commandos are the rebel special forces, better trained and prepared than their infantry counterparts. They are trained and equipped to be self-sufficient in their role on the battlefield. The strike team deploys in a squad of two men focused primarily on the special weapon they bring to the engagement. In Star Wars: Legion the Rebel Commandos are the Rebels 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 Rebel forces.
Base Unit Summary: (40 point unit)
Damage Output - Ranged: Below Average: 1.25
Damage Consistency - Ranged: Above Average: Sharpshooter 1
Damage Output - Melee: Below Average: 1.25
Damage Consistency - Melee: Average: N/A
Damage Resistance: Below Average: 33.4%
Wounds: Below Average: 2
Attrition: Average: 1/figure
Range: Average: 1-3
Speed: Average: 2
Courage: Above Average: 2
Role: Upgrade Dependent
Rebel Commando Strike Teams are elite units specializing in different roles depending on the weapon they bring. They are able to hold a zone with charges or pin down and assassinate enemy units from any distance with the sniper.
Base Unit Analysis:
The base unit of Strike Team are a bit awkward to analyze on their own, they come in around the 40 point benchmark after equipping the mandatory special weapon and their performance and role heavily depend on which weapon you take. For example, just like the Rebel Commandos the Strike Team have below average damage resistance but if they are equipped with Duck and Cover they can always 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). We will cover the two weapon options and their respective efficiency in detail further into the article.
Unique Upgrade Analysis:
DH-447 Sniper: The DH-447 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, but its keywords and unlimited range almost ensure that that damage is going through on the target of your choice. 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 1.47 and almost to average for special weapons. Because of how all of these factors come together the DH-447 is an efficient weapon when used against the appropriate targets and is a recommended upgrade for the Commandos.
Proton Charge Saboteur: The Proton Charge is an interesting weapon and needs a little explaining being the first Arm/Detonate weapon in the game. As an action the Commandos can place a charge at range 1 and in LoS, however this is not an attack action so the Commandos 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 Commandos or not, there is a response window for the Commandos 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 Commandos will hit themselves with the blast. It is also important to remember that any friendly unit with the Detonate: Proton 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; unlike the Commandos saboteur the Strike Team Saboteur increases the overall efficiency of the unit changing the units expected damage output from a below average 1.25 to an above average 2.875 and he gives them a new way to play which drastically changes their role on in the battle. The charge itself does an expected 1.625 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. Because of this the Saboteur is a more complicated piece to use than the Sniper, but potentially much more effective and is therefor a situationally recommended upgrade.
The Strike Teams 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… however it is strongly cautioned to not take upgrades other than the special weapon as the unit is already pressed against the wall for efficiency and any additional upgrades need to be very well utilized to make up the points difference.
The Special Weapon is mandatory on the Strike Team and which one 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 Commandos 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 Commandos to really push the efficiency of that card. For example if you are using Leia's No Time for Sorrows you can also activate the Commando's HQ Uplink to gain the free move in addition to the units who are issued orders normally.
The Gear upgrade is also a non-essential slot for Commandos and can be skipped if short on points. However if you are playing a Sniper consider taking Hunter.
The Grenade upgrade is another place you can save points on the Commandos since the grenades won’t increase your damage output. The Concussion grenades are only improving your cover reduction by 1 since Commandos already have Sharpshooter 1. Impact Grenades are a good consideration if your army is otherwise lacking in ways to deal with Armor, but otherwise skip these as well.
When Upgrading the Strike Team it is very easy to overspend on them, keep in mind they are already up against the wall in terms of efficiency and the more upgrades you put on them the worse they get. Ideally when playing them you will keep the Commandos under 50 points at the most 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 Rebel Commandos now have access to several new and useful upgrade options, although none of them are recommended on the 2 mand strike team.
Similar to the Commandos the Strike Teams can be as simple or complicated as you would like them to be and although less of a skirmishing unit they still play in two different styles depending on the special weapon you chose, so I will address them in two general styles; Snipers & Saboteurs.
When playing the Strike Team as a sniper unit you can play them fairly basically, as a long range damage dealer and suppression unit. Capitalizing on the sniper’s unlimited range you can fire at critical units that are threatening your other units or the objective. Remember that the sniper is it is at its most efficient against targets in cover light cover with a dodge token. Just like the Commandos there are some interesting things to consider when playing Commando snipers over regular corps troops though. Because they have a courage value of 2 they can run fairly independently along a flank with greatly reduced risk of panicking… although with only 2 wounds you need to do your best to avoid taking any shots at all. The simplest way to keep them safe is to deploy them well at the back of your forces and keep them there, aiming and firing every turn for a consistent reliable 1.47 - if you have a second aim token from Hunter for example you are up to 1.8 - keep in mind that 2 damage is considered average for a 40 point unit, however if you can keep the unit alive the whole game and shooting every turn they should surpass the attrition value of a more traditional 40 point unit. 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 shorter distances on the flank or holding down more remote objectives. Just like with the Commandos, the Hunter upgrade is valuable on the sniper, however with the Strike Team you are unlikely to split fire - you can however take an aim action and targeting a wounded trooper gaining a two aim tokens, almost guaranteeing they get 2 hits and greatly increasing your likelihood of generating crits to take out commanders with Guardians or enemies in heavy cover or even put some points on Armored units - making this build very action efficient and very consistent reliable damage where you need it every turn. When playing the sniper keep in mind it is more about a slow constant trickle of damage to make them worth their points.
When playing the Strike Team as a saboteur unit you will have to play them much differently than a full Commando unit or a sniper Strike Team. 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 out of line of sight and near an objective using their Scout 2 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: Proton 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 - this is even more emphasized with the limited wounds and fragility of the two man Strike Team saboteurs. Although the normal action pattern for the saboteurs is to place a charge and then move away, if you are able to get a dodge token or willing to sacrifice the unit it can sometimes be beneficial to place a charge and take the blast. The expected damage on a charge is 1.675 - if you have a dodge token that would be reduced to .675 however because the charge surges to crit and you cant dodge crits the actual number is .75 damage meaning you are likely 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 just barely under 50% (49.95%). 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 dealing .5 damage to yourself and 1.675 damage to the enemy, giving you both a suppression which means that they are more likely to lose an action, but because the saboteurs have already acted thats not a concern but 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 4.75 damage and give yourself heavy cover at the 50/50 risk of taking 1 wound. It can also sometimes be worth it to suicide bomb the unit if you are able to hit 3 or more units with a single proton charge. Because this unit is small and generally not as threatening as other units you will have on the field, you can often sneak this unit in close using terrain to block LoS and the threat of other units to deliver them. Once in position they can move in and drop a bomb in a crucial area and detonate - you are almost guaranteed to lose the unit, but if the enemy is turtled up or guarding a tight area and you can land a bomb that is likely to do five or more wounds in one blast, this can be a very effective use of the 40 points you spent on the unit. The reason this is not a recommended tactic for the Commando saboteurs is because you are almost guaranteed to lose the squad and the full Commando squad can put out more consistent damage over the course of a game as well as it being worth more in attrition to your list.
A couple tactics that the Strike Team have in common however is that the unit leader and the special weapon are one and the same, meaning that the special weapons LoS is the same as the units. It also means that you can keep the non-special trooper behind LoS blocking terrain to grant the unit heavy cover as well as allowing the unit to take wounds without the fear of losing the weapon completely. If the unit does take a wound you have to remove the non-leader first and in the event that the leader is the only model eligible to take wounds you then remove them and replace one of the other figures with the unit leader, meaning that your special weapon is always last to leave. The unit can also use your land vehicles as mobile cover - for example the ATRT grants Cover 1 which Low Profile bumps to Cover 2 which gives the Strike Team reliable cover wherever they need it without having to take a suppression to gain it.
Because Strike Teams 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 your main forces it is best to hit them with your own infinite range weapons if you can such as Coordinated Bombardment or Maximum Firepower- Ignoring the Strike Team snipers is not as solid of a plan as ignoring the Commando snipers. if you do choose to ignore them then the opponent has spend 50ish points on what amounts to 1 damage and 1 suppression a turn which is hugely pretty efficient and can really add up over the course of the game. If you are able to flush them out with your own flankers such as Bikes, Fett, or the T-47 you should but keep in mind the hierarchy of threats your opponent has. Although their consistent damage is annoying and will add up over the course of the game, their low damage output and distance away means that there will generally be more pressing units to deal with. The best outcome if you don’t have long range weapons or fast flankers to safely deal with them is to keep the fight on at the objectives and use LoS blocking terrain to hide your critical units as much as possible… the snipers infinite range means you are unlikely to be able to prevent them from getting a shot every round, but you can give them less desirable shots if you use terrain well.
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 to 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 take the least damage and 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 suppression can be disruptive). If it seems like the opponent may be sending them in to make a suicide bomb run then you can use their low health and damage resistance against them - a well placed stand by can end them before they get close enough to drop the bomb on your forces.