I'm finally back writing actual Legion articles, and we've got a new preview! Shadow Collective is rapidly approaching and AMG is slowly revealing the new cards. This past week we got the preview for the Black Sun Enforcers, the corps unit for the Black Sun. They are an interesting bunch, so let's dive in!
Note: Today we're only going to be talking about this unit in Empire and Separatists, a full Shadow Collective analysis will come later as more is revealed.
- Red defense
- Independent: Aim/Precise
- Good upgrades
- Range 1-2 weapon
- Don't count for corps limit
48 Points - More expensive than Stormtroopers but cheaper than Shores, and entirely more expensive than droids, this is an "Elite Jr." unit. You're paying a premium but the limitations are tough to work around in many cases, so it fits a smaller niche.
Offense: Four black and four white is a strong offense, but range 1-2 is not. This is the duality of man (or Falleen, I guess). Range 1-2 weapons on corps have infamously been tough to use, oftentimes needing support to get good use, but there are some upsides, which we'll discuss later! Red melee is strong too, but nothing to write home about. You want to be close, but not that close. All of this is bolstered through Independent: Aim and Precise 1 to reroll those pesky dice when they don't go your way.
Defense: Red dice! No surge, but that's the norm. Courage 1 and Dauntless means you may be rocking with some light cover most of the time too, which is neat. There isn't an intrinsic problem with their defense, but there is a problem with their offense that bleeds into their defense. You can't leave these guys out in the open most of the time, and being close range units you're going to want to duck and weave through buildings like you would a white save unit. Otherwise, you won't get any use out of your expensive unit.
This is interesting. Typically short range units are given an option to have a longer range weapon (even if it sucks; looking at you Barrage Trooper). Instead, they got an even closer range weapon. The great part is they actually may have priced it accordingly.
The Mag-Det Enforcer lobs magnetic grenades onto armor and blows it sky high. If that isn't the coolest thing you've read all day I don't know what is. The cool factor is great, but the utility may be lower. Blast doesn't often do tons at range 1, but isn't a useless keyword either. When it works it'll really help. Impact 3 is great with the additional three black dice, and it'll help you destroy anything that is in your path quickly. For three points more than the generic trooper, it isn't the worst option in the world, and can potentially provide some interesting strategies.
The other heavy is a Scatter Gun Enforcer, which is doing its best Fleet Trooper impression. A great weapon, ranged Pierce is never unwelcome, especially when associated with two red dice. This will be the more common unit and for good reason. Your dice pool becomes very scary when you combine the base weapons and the scatter gun, so don't ignore it just because it is close range.
The Black Sun Enforcer generic is a cool way to provide additional support despite being a generic. Cache: Dodge 1 is an added bit of survivability on a unit that needs it to get up close. 11 points is cheap, so you often will feel like you got milage out of this guy as long as you get a shot or two off.
The Black Sun Vigo on the other hand provides consistent support with Independent: Surge 1 and an increased courage. This bolsters two of your native keywords: Independent: Aim 1 and Dauntless. This is the typical cost for the "officer" upgrade in any corps unit, and it has the same general effect, but the direct synergy makes him super appealing. Don't sleep on the added defensive capability of a surge, and going from one to two courage is a massive jump in many cases.
A classic, this makes you closer to the enemy and thus more likely to use your close range guns. Not a lot more to say other than it's good.
This helps your offense even more, and with four white dice you're often going to be utilizing Precise 2. Another pretty generic upgrade, it helps your strengths pretty directly.
Ascension Cables is perfect on maps where you can appropriately duck and weave through cover. A strong way to close range, and relatively cheap too, this is an often underutilized upgrade that makes a big difference in some games.
The obvious choice for grenades, Frag Grenades provide you with red dice and surge: crit, which is the only offensive upgrade on this list in terms of raw dice value. The argument could be made that one black and one white is better because of the higher ceiling, but if you want more accurate dice then reds are the way to go.
You ever think about what an attack would look like if it had Impact 8? Well look no further, this is now possible. With Impact Grenades, the Mag Det Enforcer, and a personnel upgrade you can roll 8 black dice with Blast and Impact 8. Goodbye GAV. See ya later LAAT. Hasta la vista A-A5. This is silly, but someone will one shot an entire tank with this build and you will be laughing no longer.
A grenade that I forgot from my Fleet Troopers article, Smoke Grenades are good now and can be used to provide cover to units who need to get in close! Combined with the constancy of suppression on these guys, you'll be in heavy cover in no time! For three points you can't argue with a portable barricade once a game.
When building a list with these guys, it's important to note that they don't count for your corps limit. No Vader running around with three Black Sun Enforcers, at least not without three stormtroopers right there with him.
We've also yet to see if the commanders will be able to be taken out of Shadow Collective, and there has been speculation for both. This means that Self Preservation is something that, as of now, will make them panic way more often. This is strongly thematic (why would the hired guns choose to stay and fight?) but mechanically creates a weird balance with Dauntless. You have to be careful to not leave yourself way too suppressed because there's no backup to keep you from panicking.
Who doesn't love the dark lord of the Sith leading a group of mercenaries with shotguns? This list uses Vader's strong corps presence to command heavy gunline. Vader can clean up what is left, and your short range shotguns can pick off remaining units. If looking for more activations, an Imperial Officer or Scout Trooper Sniper can be swapped in instead of some heavy weapons.
This may be how we see more Black Sun units outside of Shadow Collective. Just a single unit with a scatter gun heavy, this list utilizes a LAAT as a cheap gunboat that can get them closer. Two Death Troopers are a strong set of backup and keep your long range presence active.
I heard you liked LAATs, so I put LAATs with your LAATs so you can use more LAATs. This list goes all in on getting those Black Sun Enforcers close, but also has a good gunline behind to back them up. Governor Price is nice here as she throws a suppression out too, so they can trigger Dauntless and remove the downside of her ability. Veers and the generic officer are there for extra aims so your Shoretrooper shots are hyper accurate, and the Rudor Gunboat is enough to hold its own in a fight. Dare I say that this is the list I want to try the most?
Now this is wacky. Use the GAV to get your Enforcers close enough to throw some mines out and watch them blow things sky high! Making Range 1 a lot bigger by using the GAV base takes a unit that is marginally good and makes it marginally good and super fun! Otherwise you have some gunline support, Kallus provides some flexible offense and support, and Bossk picks off minis from a mile away. Probably a meme list, but hopefully a fun one, this is a great hodgepodge of some of Empire's most fun units.
Have you ever wanted to not shoot the first two turns of the game? Well look no further! Range 2 weapons always struggle, but this list completely removes the need to have faceup order tokens with only two units having AI. Rocket droids are nice and may provide enough fire to make up for the other 3 big units, but also may not be enough to also play the objective. I would be interested to see if anyone makes something like this work, even if it doesn't fully commit to the short range gimmick.
Look at little Shadow Collective Jr. Gonna cry? This list is just Maul and three enforcers with a decent bit of backup, which seems like it could be a decent Shadow Collective list too. Use Maul as the anvil, and then the enforcers as a hammer and watch your opponents weep as you look cool doing it. Just make sure you don't tick off Maul, he and the Black Sun have an uneasy alliance (Clone Wars season 5, Episode 14).
This list has its cake and eats it too. Loaded with upgrades and highly changeable, Bane and his Enforcers are able to put the smackdown on those in close range with a strong gunline to support from long range. Bane is good at objective control, and Kalani provides extra support for anyone close. If the Black Sun Enforcers are any good then prepare to see something close to this on the table.
The seps saw what the GAV was doing and did their best impression, and it is uncanny. Similar to the last list, Bane is there for objective play and a decent gunline backs up the Snail and Enforcers, but the major difference is Kraken and the Snail working in tandem to get up close and personal, letting the Mag Det Enforcers throw out some mines. Order control may be interesting here, so if you're concerned about that swap Aggressive Tactics for an HQ Uplink.
The Black Sun Enforcers look to be a tough nut to crack on paper. They have great upsides and rough downsides that will force players to carefully handle each keyword. I'm looking forward to putting them on the table once they come out, and I'll be back with more Shadow Collective content as they reveal more! Let me know your plans for the Black Sun Enforcers in the comments below, and be sure to tune in to Dice and Cardboard for more Star Wars miniatures game content!