The first piece of our first release under new rules is Moff Gideon himself! As a Rebel and Republic player I am scared out of my mind to see how Moff and Dark Troopers mix up the legion world, as a good friend of many Empire players and a Star Wars nerd, I am stoked to see these guys wreck some boards.
Let's Start by taking a look at Moff Gideon:
- 100 Points
- 3 Courage!
- A whole mess of excellent keywords
- Surge: Crit and Surge: Block
- Red Saves!
- 5 Health
- Short Ranged
- Priority Target
100 Points - Solid for everything he can do, once he's kitted out he'll most likely be sitting around 120-140, which still is good for what he's capable of. I suspect he will spend most of his time being run pretty cheap, he might want to sit back and support the rest of the army before diving late and cleaning up.
Keywords - Like many of the new AMG units, Moff Gideon doesn't have any shortage of keywords on his card. Let's run down them really quick:
- [Free Action] Observe 1 - There is literally no reason to not use this if you can, Observe is strictly beneficial as a free action.
- Entourage: Imperial Dark Troopers - I knew it. I was arguing with my buddy for months about this and I was right. I knew there was no way they wouldn't give him Entourage: IDT. This makes the Darks even better than they already seemed, one getting a free order every turn and allowing you to bring 3 of them?! Yes, please.
- Ruthless - A new keyword! Ruthless is a really thematic and cool keyword. It's effectively just Darth Vader's New Ways to Motivate Them but on demand. It has a lot of really cool possibilities for your corps, especially for objective scoring. It is, however, worded in such a way that any corps units that are at range 1 of Moff Gideon cannot do this, it makes a donut around him like IG-11's 1-Pip. We do not know if this was intentional or a mistake but it's what we got.
- Sharpshooter 1 - Good. Makes him an even better choice as a Fire Support platform.
- Tactical 1 - Cool. Handy when you need it. Makes his 1-Pip feel a little like overkill but that's fine.
Offense - He is solid offensively, and he can pack a sneaky punch with surge: Crit. His gun is good for popping some wounds onto someone he's closing on with the Darksaber or someone who's closing in on him. He forces 2 saves with pierce 1 or 3 with an aim. Sharpshooter will also prove to be handy if you're using him as a Fire-support platform but we'll get to that later.
This is now the 3rd Darksaber we've seen in Legion and I think it currently sits in last place. My main concern here is that Moff is not a particularly effective melee unit. He's slow and doesn't have the best defense. 5 Black in melee is clearly nothing to scoff at though, especially with Impact and Pierce 1. Demoralize 1 is a nice add-on here, not quite as good as Dauntless or Cunning in my opinion, but with the suppression rules changing it could make a difference. Giving him Immune: Pierce is expected but also very welcome.
Defense - Not a ton to say here. 5 Health feels small until you see red surging saves. 15.15 Effective wounds is pretty damn good. He's Equal to Yoda, Palps, Mando, and Sabine. What Moff Gideon Lacks compared to all of them is a decent suite of defensive keywords. Keep him hidden or at least in cover.
Now, for the meat of this article. Moff Gideon's command cards.
1-Pip: Die at My Hand - I'm going to start off by saying I am really pleased with how AMG has been doing the command cards. In general, the units they have been releasing tend to have 2 really easy-to-understand and straightforward effects and 1 wall of text card which I like a lot. Moff is no exception. Relentless, 1 aim, and 1 dodge. Simple, yet effective. Relentless pairs exceptionally well with his tactical 1 and Darksaber. Like I said before, he's slow so this allows him to dive into melee and do work a whole lot easier. The 1 aim is cool but I have a strong feeling that this could've been 2 dodges and people would like it a lot better. He's not starving for aims.
2-Pip: You Have Something I Want: This is about to be the single most quoted card in the entire game. I can hear it now, 3 tables over at a local game night someone does a really poor Giancarlo Esposito impression, and I am here for it. This is Moff Gideon's "Wall of Text" card. Basically, it allows 1 unit of issued Dark Troopers to rocket boot across the map at the cost of one activation. This will absolutely see lots of play with Dark Troopers. It is such a handy effect for scoring or getting closer to the fight with how slow the Darks are. I think it not being available for the first round is a very good thing, this would be slightly abusable if so.
3-Pip: Moment of Consideration - This is the card everyone has been talking about since the reveal. Giving Fire Support to 3 heavy units, 3 corps, or a mix of the two opens up a lot of fun things for Empire. My, and likely a lot of people's, first thought was Boba being fire supported by an AT-ST. It's a bit off-topic, but Boba + AT-ST with Twin Blasters makes for 3R8B3W, Sharpshooter 2, Surge: Crit, Impact 5, Pierce 1, and most likely 1-2 aims. That's 11 forced saves on average. It can spike to 14 forced saves as well. Gross. Anyway, I think this card has a lot of really neat options and pairing to be explored for Empire players. I'm both excited and terrified to see what comes of it. I will also add, Dark Troopers are going to be a really good target for this card since losing their activation by fire supporting is less painful since they get two activations.
Command Slot(s) - 2 Command slots are really quite handy, it opens up a lot of really nice combos.
- Aggressive Tactics is, I think, going to be a pretty solid choice for him when using Dark Troopers. He will always be able to give out at least 1 surge via entourage, but on turns like his 2 or 3 pip he's able to give every Dark unit a surge token. Full armor plus surging red saves will make the Darks one of the tankiest units to defeat.
- Commanding Presence has a decent place as well, this will allow you to use Entourage at range 1-4 instead of just 2. It is also a decent grab for ordering the dark troopers that you rocket-booted across the map on a previous turn.
- Esteemed Leader could also be a decent choice for using corps to escort him to melee.
Training - I am going to be completely honest here, why did they give him this slot? What's the point?
- Tenacity is really the only choice here if you put anything at all.
- I could see an argument for Up Close and Personal since he lacks any other way of getting dodges, but how much shooting is he really going to do, if you're at range 2 you should probably just run into melee with the Darksaber.
Gear - Same thing as Training, what does he need?
- If you have extra points, Prepared Supplies can go into just about anyone's gear slot so I feel obliged to mention it here.
Armament - We already talked about this, see Offense above.
I am going to preface this with: I don't usually play Empire so some of my opinions here are probably a bit wack, however, I do build a lot of lists for my girlfriend who plays Empire and she tends to do very well with them. With that out of the way,
With the Dark Troopers fully revealed we can see they'll be pretty expensive. This list uses them and 3 T-21 storms to Fire support or be Firesupported. 8 activations feel light, but since Darks count for 2 each it will really feel like 11. Just don't let the Darks die.
This is the exploit of Moff Gideon's 3-pip. It is built, roughly, to make Boba being Fire Supported by an AT-ST as devastating as possible. Some T-21 Storms to Fire Support Moff or Strike teams is a nice add-on as well.
Once again, this list is built around Fire Support. Fitting as many T-21s and Fire Supports as possible. Shoretroopers Fire Supporting Iden or Inferno sounds excellent. It is hard to go wrong with Iden and the gang in general anyway.
These are just some ideas for how to look at and build lists with Moff Gideon. I am sure people out there will have some amazing ideas and execution of lists involving him and I am very excited to see them.
In general, I think Moff Gideon will be an excellent addition to Empire's faction. I think he has a lot of cool potential to be fun and competitive. I am, however, tempted to say he will be best when paired with Dark Troopers en masse. There are of course lots of different ways to build him and the lists around him.
Let me know in the comments what you think of Moff Gideon! Thanks for reading!