For the longest time the rebels really only had one corps unit. Rebel Troopers at 40 points were just too good for what they wanted to accomplish. Their initial cost has been adjusted though, and they are now tied for cheapest, which feels right. I think that fleet troopers are one of the most commonly forgotten "iconic" Star Wars designs, and so seeing them on the table is always something I enjoy. Today, we'll be looking at how to appropriately use this short ranged powerhouse, what makes them good, and how they compare to their other generic friends.
- Both Surges!
- 40 Points!
- Lots of dice!
- Ready 1 is very situational
- Range 1-2 Weapon
- White dice (not just defense, but offense, and rally too!)
40 Points - This is tied with the Rebel Trooper and I think that it is the perfect place to be. This is not an upgrade from Rebel Troopers, but a side-grade. You can argue that there are upsides and downsides to both, but between the base unit and heavy upgrade changes these two units can end up playing very differently.
8 white dice with a full unit! This puts your potential damage very high, but your actual damage is often nothing to write home about. Don't turn away just because of white dice though! With some upgrades these can be deadly, or naked they can be a potential threat.
Ready 1 is an offensive keyword as well, but it can be used very defensively when played well. Fleet Troopers can hold areas really well because of their affinity toward Standby and short ranged weapon. Just like in the movies, these guys do their best when in hallways. Hopefully, though, these guys survive a bit longer than they did on the silver screen.
You're going to have to use line of sight blocking terrain to make these guys work. Being short ranged means they're often not able to sit in one spot and shoot the whole game. Instead, they are supposed to dive in, get some good shots off, and if they survive then they play a cover based game. This is a similar playstyle to normal Rebel Troopers (and much of the rebel catalogue) but they have to leverage range way more than their buddies, so sometimes it is better to stay outside of your opponent's range and be a bit slower rather than rushing in and getting yourself killed.
Ooh boy, this is where fleet troopers get good. Native Pierce on a ranged weapon is sweet, and two red dice only make it better. This is what you bring if you aren't bringing them naked, and for the cost of a Rebel Trooper + Z6 Squad you get a very different, but just as potent, unit.
This guy, on the other hand, struggles. He has come down a whopping 14 points since release, now sitting at 19, and somehow he still isn't used. An exhaustible weapon that is just hitting range 3 is lackluster at best, especially with that dice pool. Blast has a certain allure, and Impact 2 isn't bad, but its tough to justify over the Scatter Gun.
I love bringing personnel units in a Fleet Trooper squad because the options that Fleet Troopers have are greater than others with their close range and high damage potential.
For 7 points you get another 2 white dice, bringing your total to 10 white dice (and potentially 2 red dice) and an additional wound. You truly can't go wrong with extra offense, and I find myself bringing this generic extra trooper more than any other in the game.
This is the cream of the crop though. If you have the extra 9 points to spend on this guy then you are set. At courage 2 your Fleet Troopers can survive suppression a lot more, and Inspire 1 is a good support tool for the surrounding units. An additional wound and two more white dice as well, it is the best of both worlds!
I find the 2-1B is great for lists where the fleet troopers are running alongside heroes or expensive units like Mandos or Pathfinders. You aren't required to use it on other units though, and so this can really be two more fleet troopers if you want, at the price of never getting to shoot with this mini (though the value isn't quite there).
I find myself finding a way to fill this slot more than usual as well! There are a few options that fit here:
Recon Intel looks good because it gets a close range unit closer to start the game. At 2 points, its tough not to like this upgrade, so don't be afraid to take this if you have a couple points to spare.
With a bit of support (a unit with electrobinoculars, Unorthodox Tactician, etc.) this is my go to. 4 points to make your white dice more reliable is great, and in a unit with an extra Fleet Trooper and the Scatter Gun trooper you are producing a lot of hits. For only two points above Recon Intel this isn't a bad choice at all.
This card is always map dependent, but it helps in a lot of situations, especially for a short range unit like Fleet Troopers. I would recommend bringing this card if you either A) know what map you're playing on or B) are wanting to run alongside a unit like Luke or Mandos that have native terrain navigation.
Let's be honest, when you have a range 1-2 weapon a grenade is pretty redundant. Typically a range 1-2 weapon makes up for close range by being stronger, and in many cases with your fleet troopers, its more of a trade off to take one. If you're going to bring a grenade, I would suggest...
Everyone's favorite, this can let you roll 7 red dice, or 3 red dice and 8 white dice, all with Surge: Crit. This helps your offense significantly, and sometimes you'd rather roll 7 hyper accurate dice rather than chuck a massive pool. These examples use the squad with a Scatter Gun trooper and an extra trooper, where you've already committed a fair few points to this squad. If you've got points to spend and have spent everything else you can, this can work; otherwise, I wouldn't bother.
Droid Poppers are situationally good and still let you roll massive dice, but oftentimes aren't worth the points. I included them here because Fleets can make use of them more than almost any other unit in the Rebel arsenal. I wouldn't recommend any other grenade though, other units do better what the other grenades want to accomplish (and you don't have to be at range 1 to use them).
A list that doubles down on everything it does, Han Chewie Double Bus Fleets (or "Lone Star's Eagle 5 Brigade") is a fun close range list that has multiple options for what is inside the bus, all of them deadly. Most of the time I would start with the two non-officer Fleet squads in the bus, and then R2 and the other Fleet Squad are nice options to be picked up later.
Girl Power! This is another fun list that puts some lesser used units on the table. A "jack of all trades" list, you can get a lot of milage out of the mobility of this list. Use Jyn and Leia's command cards and upgrades to play defense, and then use Sabine and Clan Wren as close range finishers. Highly defensive and incredibly versatile, this list is just what you're looking for if you want to keep your fleets alive (either from dodge tokens, or because there are high value units flying all around the board).
Hello, what have we here? This list uses Fleets as a sort of "honor guard" for Luke, and it uses them well! Tough to deal with a strong melee threat and a strong close range threat all at once, and it is a lot of dice chucked each turn!
Far from the units they released as, Fleet Troopers have found a nice place in the rebel arsenal. One of the scariest close threats in the game, and a unit that has one of the largest dice pools in the game, Fleets aren't something to ignore. Let me know how you use Fleet Troopers and what builds you have for them in the comments below, and stay tuned for more Legion, Armada, and X-Wing content in the coming days!