Death Troopers are an elite variant of the Stormtroopers who are part of Imperial Intelligence. They serve as protective details and bodyguards for important Imperial officers and members of the Tarkin Initiative, as well as being used as special-mission experts and specialized commandos. In Star Wars: Legion Death Troopers ar the fourth Special Forces choice for the empire and represent an elite strike force and shock troopers.
Base Unit Summary:
Ranged Damage: 3 - 80% efficient
Ranged Throughput: 1.5 - 80% efficient
Melee Damage: 3.5 - 125% efficient
Melee Throughput: 1.75 - 125% efficient
Damage Resistance 66.8% - 125% efficient
Effective Wounds: 6.5 - 77% efficient
Attrition: 2 - 53% efficient
Range: 1-3 - 100% efficient
Speed: 12” - 100% efficient
Courage: 2 - 200% efficient
Death Troopers are elite skirmishing unit similar to the Scout Troopers. They are also able to hold a zone or flank on their own with minimal to no support and can handle any job given to them. However, unlike the Scouts, the Death Troopers want to focus on the psychological aspect of the fight and to hold a zone or objective rather than sneak around continually advancing.
Base Unit Analysis:
Death Troopers have a lot of moving pieces to look at, both in the upgrades they want to take and the way in which they want to be played - but we will look at upgrades in the next section. The base unit of Death Troopers has three weapons available to them all of which put out less than average damage for their points, however if we take into account their Precise 2 keyword we see that the Death Troopers deal exactly average damage with any weapon after accounting for aim. This means that the Death Troopers are equally good at all ranges as long as they are played carefully and deliberately. Despite their high damage resistance their low attrition value indicates they want to be played as a cautious even defensive unit. They are likely to shrug off most hits, however any missed defense rolls or weapons with pierce mean a dead soldier and significantly reduced effectiveness for your Death Troopers. This gives us a suggested playstyle for Death Troopers in which they want to move into a position they will not want to move from where they can aim and attack units with limited risk of recourse. This seems like a similar style to an average Stormtrooper gunline though so why pay the premium to take Death Troopers over Stormtroopers? The increased damage reduction and more consistent damage output at range makes them more consistent and a more impactful and dense activation which can be an advantage when frontloading your turn to get ahead of attrition or scenario.
Unique Upgrade Analysis:
DT-F16: for 22 points and a weapons specialist upgrade spot DT-F16 adds 1 black and 1 white with at range 1-3, increasing your range 3 damage output from 2.5 to 3.5 . This increase brings the DT up to average at average range damage output, however after the points increase the unit is still below average points efficiency. However DT-F16 also adds Compel to the unit, allowing the DT to act as pseudo commanders. This can make the units near her not lose their second action due to suppression (as long as one of those actions is a move). Combine this with something like Darth Vader’s infinite courage and you could never be denied actions from suppression. DT-F16 keeps the units damage output at a consistent level to its starting point, but adds an extra wound and compel for fairly cheaply, making her a good addition to the unit.
DLT-19D Trooper: This upgrade adds 2 red and 1 white die with Impact 1 to your attack pool increasing your damage output by 2.125 to a total of 4.625 for 110 points - or just slightly below average. Combine this with the E-11D armament and increase the units range to 4 and this can be a very efficient unit to engage at range and control the enemy. The DLT-19D although expensive is a great addition to the DT unit and should be considered in most cases.
E-11D Configurable Armament: the E-11D can be configured to be a short range or long range weapon. In the short range configuration it exhausts to roll 1 red die with Blast at range 1-2 making the units damage output 3.5 and ignoring cover, not a big difference from the 3.0 normally expected but the addition of Blast makes them a lot more versatile. Because the short range configuration rolls red dice it is much more likely to generate the expected number of hits and is very predictable - the standard configuration on the other hand will likely roll the expected number of hits, but can roll much higher or lower and will be significantly reduced vs cover. The E-11D has a second configuration though, the long range configuration. This version rolls 1 black die with Suppressive giving the unit an expected damage of 2.5 which is still below the line of efficiency, but it comes at range 1-4 making it the first entire unit of troopers able to attack at range 4. Because this configuration outranges almost all other troopers and it is Suppressive, this can be used to put out suppression at longer range than opponents can retaliate from allowing you to control the opponents activations and the pace of attrition in the game. The Configurable E-11D a great upgrade to have for versatility and expanding tactical options, it is not essential but you will never regret taking it.
Suggested Starting Point:
Ranged Damage: 5.125 - 79% efficient
Ranged Throughput: 2.563 - 79% efficient
Melee Damage: 4.375 - 90% efficient
Melee Throughput: 2.187 - 90% efficient
Damage Resistance 66.8% - 125% efficient
Effective Wounds: 8.125 - 55% efficient
Attrition: 3 - 46% efficient
Range: 1-4 - 133% efficient
Speed: 12” - 100% efficient
Courage: 2 - 200% efficient
The Death Troopers have upgrade slots for a Special Weapon, Arsenal, Training, Comm, Gear, and Grenade upgrade card. This makes them one of the most customizable units to date. However they are already struggling to keep their balance on the edge of efficiency, so every upgrade they take must have a purpose or they quickly become inefficient.
As discussed in the unique upgrade section, you will probably want to take the Arsenal and the Special Weapon upgrades depending on what your intended use is for the Death Troopers. The Death Troopers can also skip the grenade slot as none of the existing grenades improve their damage output beyond what their Arsenal Upgrade can do and it is also at a shorter distance.
Putting HQ Uplink in the Comms Slot could be very valuable to the Death Troopers because their arsenal weapon exhausts so it will maximize their recover actions and order control. It also allows them to operate out of command range, give themselves an order, and then interact with the objective before other units. However it does reduce their efficiency quite a bit and should be considered carefully when upgrading them.
The Gear Slot is also a valuable upgrade slot for them to increase their damage resistance and attrition value. Emergency Stims can give two DT’s an extra turn to act, and your medics an extra turn to get into position to revive the fallen troopers.
The Training Upgrade is the place the Death Troopers will find the most value. Duck and Cover is quite strong at increasing their survivability - gaining light cover and denying a point of damage can be a big advantage in their attrition. Hunter can also increase their damage output significantly when using their white dice weapons - 4 rerolls on white dice that surge to hit increases their damage output by quite a bit and can be quite strong on the right target. Finally, Sentinel which can be used to increase their utility as either a scenario unit or a combat unit by allowing them to trigger standby at longer range and either attack or move to safety more often, combined with their Ready 1 keyword they will be quite efficient with their aima and standby tokens.
Death Troopers are quite a versatile unit, but you will find that they are slightly better at defense than offense and thus should be used in a capacity that takes advantage of that. Because their damage output is relatively low and they quite expensive it is best to be mindful of how many you will take and how you will use them, it’s usually best to include only one maybe two units of the Death Troopers in a list.
There are two main ways to play Death Troopers on the table, but they are somewhat similar and both rely off the same mechanics, just using them in different ways.
The first way to play the Death Troopers is the Take and Hold Death Troopers. These DT will make their way into position (ideally near an objective) and deny enemy access - this will give you an edge in scenario presence and board control. This could be taking and holding a contested objective, like the center point of Recover the Supplies or Key Positions. In this style of play the DT will want to be fairly well equipped and focused on defensive upgrades like Sentinel and Emergency Stims to keep them in the game long enough to see the mission through, while HQ uplink will allow them to focus on a recover / standby play style that will make the most use of their keywords… and they WILL want to be making use of standby and recover to make the most use of their key words since you are paying for them and their efficiency hinges on it.
The other way to play the Death Troopers is the Strike Death Troopers. Unlike the Take and Hold Death Troopers, the Strike DTs will make their way with the bulk of your army and then continue past to engage the enemy and slow them from advancing. This style they will not be focused on the objective, but rather focused purely on being a thorn in your opponent’s side. Keep them in cover in a position where the opponent can’t ignore them and draw their attention. This version of Death Troopers will be Similarly upgraded to ensure they last in their position. Although they ARE going to die, you want to ensure that they last for at least two rounds. The goal is to be enough of a pest that the rest of your forces can get into position and get the upper hand in scenario. These Death Troopers will want more well rounded upgrades, although Overwatch is still excellent on them, you will also want to consider Hunter. the Arsenal, Special Weapon, and Emergency Stims are essential upgrades in this play style. The extra health from Emergency Stims and the extra body are essential to keeping the unit around long enough to slow down the enemy forces.
Keep in mind that with both these styles of play, the Death Troopers are going to be a main focus of the enemy and unlikely to last the whole game - but that should be accounted for in your plan. Their point is to be an early game damage magnet giving you an advantage you can push later into the game.
Also keep in mind that in both play styles you will likely want to equip the DT with the E-11D, the DLT-19D, Overwatch, and possibly Emergency Stims. This will make them approximately 130 points, or almost as much as two Stormtrooper units with DLT. The Stormtroopers will do approximately 3.5 damage each for a total of 7 while the DT will do 4.625 as a unit. The Stormtroopers also have 10 health with a 50% save while the DT will have 5 health with a 66.8% save. This makes 2 units of Stormtroopers the optimal choice in nearly every circumstance. However a unit of DT have an advantage of range and flexibility over the Stormtroopers that can be leveraged into a game advantage. Specifically being able to engage from much farther away, and being able to optimally use standby against most units. Making DT a more complicated unit to use than the equivalent number of Stormtroopers but if played well, well worth their cost.
Death Troopers were designed to stick around and be a thorn in your side. They are well equipped to resist damage and to engage most units from longer distances than they can retaliate from. However their defenses are rooted almost entirely in their defense diece. If you target them with a high value weapons with pierce you will eliminate them fairly quickly. Especially Strike Team snipers whos efficiency skyrockets when targeting Death Troopers. Lightsabers, Force Lightning, Boba Fett, and Chewie are all also great ways to remove them.
Another great way to deal with them is volume of low quality dice. Because the Death Troopers have their longevity tied up in their defense dice they can fall under the weight of buckets of dice and statistics. Units like Fleet Troopers or Z6 therefor are also great at taking down DT.
However you decide to remove them from the battle is fine, but they should be high on your list of priority targets. You must deal with them, otherwise the Death Troopers will give your opponent leverage over the scenario and pace of the game that you can’t afford to give up without a fight.