They have now shown Mace Windu, Commander Ponds, and the ARF Troopers. I will talk about how I think they'll all work together and individually. You can still consider this article speculation since everything can be way different on paper than on the table. Eventually, I will be writing Unit Guides on most/all of the units in the game, but that will have to wait until I can get some playtime in with them.
Primary - Mace Windu
- 6 SP - Woah! Our first ever 6 SP unit! This is not what I was anticipating but I am very happy with it. This means, in theory, that Mace is the single more powerful Primary in the game so far. This fact really becomes apparent as we look at his card.
- 4 FP - I think this is also perfect. Remember that the Force in this game is not a measurement of how good they are with it but more a measure of how the fore flows or flowed around them.
- 11 Stamina / 3 Durability - Another very tanky Jedi Primary. He is going to be a tough nut to crack, so much so that I might wager attacking him is never worth your time.
Rush to Action - This is a Tactic Ability with no cost. At the start of this unit's activation, choose another allied Galactic Republic unit. Each character in this unit and each character in the chosen unit may [Dash]. YES! This is arguably the best Tactic move we have seen so far. It can move Mace and then another whole unit, so 2 Characters if it's a Support unit. This is amazing, especially for Mace since he has some abilities where this could matter. I think on a large scale this is fantastic, I still think I prefer Rex's move as a dedicated Primary launcher since he gives them a Hunker. Getting to move some Supports is going to be a lot of fun and I think quite good, especially with Commandos who can use it to Climb.
Tempered Aggression - This is a Reactive Ability with no cost. When a character in this unit makes an attack, after all attack dice and defense dice have been rolled, this unit may spend any number of [Force Tokens] to use this ability. Reroll one [Failure] results in the attack for each [Force Token] spent. I like this ability. I think it will be a pretty rare use case. Since this ability will proc after dice are rolled. This is essentially for the occasion of, I need 1-2 more successes to get through all of their blocks. He has really solid die pools and stances, so I think this will be a non-issue mostly, but not bad. It will be easy to go overboard with this, so be careful not to spend too much force on it.
Shatterpoint - This is an Innate Ability with no cost. When this unit is chosen to activate with a Shatterpoint Card, if its active stance is Form VII Vaapad, it immediately makes a focus action, and the character in this unit have Impact  until the end of the turn. If its activate stance is Jedi Master, refresh [Force][Force] and one character in this unit may [Heal][Heal][Heal]. The one and only SHATTERPOINT! I remember during an interview where one of the devs, I believe Will Shick, said that Mace would have an ability called Shatterpoint, since then I have been so hyped to see what it was. I am not disappointed, at all. This ability is such a neat design. I really like that this will take some thought to properly utilize. I think, because of this ability, Mace will want to default to Jedi Master. I think the effect from it will be more generally useful than from Form VII Vaapad.
This will take some thinking and a little bit of luck, but it is also possible to cheese this ability slightly by using Luminara as your other primary. She can allow you to look at the top card in your deck before choosing to use it or a reserved card. The ideal solution is: Reserve Mace-> wait until the shatterpoint card is your top card -> use Mace with his normal order card and set him to the stance you need -> Use the shatterpoint card on Mace to do exactly what you need. If you're not so lucky, you can always try to reshuffle your shatterpoint card until it works out, but that's Force expensive and will likely just offset the value of Mace's abilities, particularly the Jedi Master effect.
This Party's Over - This is an Identity Ability with no cost. While a character in this unit is engaged, allied Galactic Republic characters within [Range] 5 have Steadfast and Protection. It is insane to me that we still have amazing abilities after what we've already covered. What is even crazier is that this ability is absolutely, hands down, his best one. This ability is good enough that, dare I say, you could potentially run a very good clone list without Obi-Wan (WHAAAAT). I know, I'm speaking heresy. Protection is a very good keyword, and having it available to all of your Units is amazing. Steadfast is also a pretty great keyword. It makes the job of the Clone supports a lot easier to accomplish: siting their butts on objectives. This ability rivals Kenobi's Knowledge and Defense, but I don't think it is better. I think it is good enough that now you don't need Kenobi. If you really want to go all in, take Kenobi + Mace and never die.
Jedi Master is Mace's more Defensive leaning Stance. That's not to say it is bad offensively, but just not quite as good at dealing raw damage. He's getting 6 attack dice in melee and none at range. 6 Defense die in both melee and at range. His attack expertise is really quite good still. It is generating only Crits and all levels. His defensive expertise on this stance is one of the best we've seen so far, if not the best. 1 Expertise gets him a block and a Strike Delete, 2-3 gives him a Block, a Crit Delete, and a Strike Delete, 4+ gives him all the same plus a free Jump. This is incredible. Deleting dice is fantastic. His combat tree is also really good, it's just focusing less on damage and more on Conditions and Effects. In his first 3 boxes, he gets 2 Shoves and an Expose. You can get up to 3 Shoves if you go down his bottom branch with 4 Successes. This tree still caps out at a very respectable 8 Damage from 5 Successes. I think this is likely his default stance simply because of how defensive it is and the Shatterpoint effect.
From VII Vapaad
This is Mace's more Offensive-oriented stance. He's getting 7 attack dice in melee and none at range. He also gets 5 Defense dice in both melee and at range. His attack expertise is identical to Jedi Master. His defensive expertise is still good, but considerably worse than Jedi Master. He's mostly just getting blocks, which is still really good, but he doesn't have any Icon Deleting stuff. He does get Crit->Strike which is good but contingent on you rolling enough blocks for it to matter. His attack tree is really the main reason to use this stance. In his first 3 successes, he can get up to 7 damage. The tree caps out at 11 damage from 6 successes. It has a decent slew of Conditions and Effects, but no Shoves. This stance gets even better when you use its Shatterpoint effect. Getting 10 dice with attack expertise that is only Crits should net you a good amount of success. On average it'll roll, after expertise, 3.25 Crits and 3.75 Strikes. That's really not bad as far as averages go.
Overall, I am really excited to get Mace on the table. He seems like he will be an incredible asset for the Republic, and lists in general. I can't wait to try him with Anakin, Obi-Wan, or Luminara, I think all 3 options are great.
Secondary - Commander Ponds
- 3 PC - WOO! Finally, a 3-point secondary! This opens up list building by a ton for all current Primaries. This does mean that Mace will always have to bring Ponds until we get another 3-point Secondary or a 2-point Anything.
- 0 FP -
- 7 Stamina / 2 Durability - Yikes, this is a bit low. I am fine with this since Mace is so good, but damn, he's going to fall like a sack of potatoes. This just means keep him away from the big fight for as long as you can. Luckily, 1/3rd of his abilities are only useful during deployment, so if he goes down after that it's not the end of the world.
Charge - This is a Tactic Ability with no cost. At the start of this unit's activation, choose another allied Galactic Republic character. The chosen character may [Dash]. Yesssss, another moving Tactic! This one is not limited to Jedi like Ahsokas so you can double Tactic move any Republic Character with Rex + Ponds now. This, in addition to Rex and Mace, will make for an absolute buttload of extra moves, which are always incredible, especially if they're free.
Incoming - This is an Innate Ability with no cost. Allied Clone Trooper units within [Range] 3 that have one or more [Hunker], have Immunity [Expose]. Holy Moly. This? On a 3-Point unit? This ability is going to really help the durability of clone lists. Obi+Mace+Ponds, if a clone in that list has a Hunker, they'll be much harder to move or wound.
Forward Scout - This is an Innate Ability with no cost. When deploying a squad that includes this unit, allied Clone Trooper Secondary characters and allied Clone Trooper Supporting characters may be placed within [Range] 2 of the first placed character from that squad's Primary Unit, instead of the normal [Range] 1. I was wondering when we'd see our first deployment shenanigans. I like this a lot, I am glad it's limited to just Ponds' squad, but I think it's still effective. I've seen the measurements, this ability will allow your Clones to contest mid-line objectives on their first turn and still have 1 extra action to shoot or whatever. This could be a good way to get some early Coordinated Fires and Pot Shots off. The more you proc CF: Pin and Expose the better off you're going to be.
This stance is really not bad for a 3-point Secondary. He's throwing 6 attack dice at range and 5 in melee. He's getting 5 defensive dice in both melee and at range. His ranged attack expertise looks a lot like Rex's. It shows 2 strikes for 1-3 expertise and 2 crits for 4+. His melee expertise is... better? I find this a little strange, but I guess it makes up for the fewer dice. His dice and charts have conflicting ideas of what they want to do. His defensive expertise is the standard for clones, generating 1 Block off 1-2 and 2 blocks at 3+. The only weird/funny thing here is that it is called "Phase II Clone Armor" even though he is clearly wearing Phase I Armor. His Combat Tree is neat, and about what I'd expect from a 3pc unit. He's capping out at a solid 7 damage off 4 successes. He also gets options for Shove + Disarm or Repos + Pin.
Overall, I am pretty excited about Ponds. I wouldn't say he's my favorite clone by any means, not even top 10, but he's still quite cool. I am mostly excited because of the ways he opens up list-building both in and out of the Republic faction.
Support - ARF Troopers
- 3 PC - Another 3 PC Clone! We are no longer forced into taking 501st with 7SP Primaries.
- 0 FP -
- 7 Stamina / 2 Durability - This is in line with the rest of the Clone Support units. Be careful with them, and don't go into unnecessary fights. Avoid melee at all costs, especially with Secondaries and Primaries. Take advantage of all the Heals, Hunkers, and Defensive tech that Republic has to offer.
Defensive Maneuver - This is an Active Ability with the cost of 1 FP. Each character in this unit may [Dash]. If any characters [Dash], this unit gains one [Hunker]. This is the same as all of the other clones. It is extremely good for positioning and incredible for their defense, especially alongside Obi-Wan.
Coordinated Assault [Expose] - This is a Reactive Ability with no cost. When another allied Galactic Republic character makes an attack as part of a combat action, before dice are rolled, this Unit may use this ability. If the targeted character is within [Range] 5 of a character in this Unit, the target gains [Expose]. OH, LORD. CF: Expose on a 3pc unit! This is crazy, I was not expecting them to have CF: Expose at all. Expose is, by far, the best condition to hand out, and these guys do it right before you roll the dice. That means there is no getting rid of it before a big attack! This ability has brought the entire faction up by a ton. Anakin and Mace love this, a lot. This is probably the only CF ability I would tell you is worth spending any force for once they're wounded.
Brothers in Arms - This is an Innate ability with no cost. While this unit has one or more [Hunker], characters in this unit have Steadfast. This is good since they'll have plenty of Hunker tokens. This can be quite handy while contesting an objective.
Lay Low - This is an Innate Ability with no cost. When a character in this unit rolls defense dice during a [ranged] attack, if this unit has one or more [Hunker], add [Expertise] to the roll. This is a very interesting ability. I like it. It should make them slightly more durable than the other clones, but only some of the time. This ability is interesting because it only helps you out sometimes. If you roll no native expertise, this ability is great! If you roll 1 native expertise, this ability does nothing! If you roll 2 natives, this is great! 3+, it does nothing. It's pure luck, but those few times it procs, you're going to love it.
This stance is also quite good! They're throwing 7 attack dice at range and 5 in melee. They get 4 Defense dice in melee and at range. Their range attack expertise is actually pretty solid, 1-2 is not the best, 3 is good, and 4+ is fine. Their Melee attack expertise is about what you'd expect. It's not that good. I will probably be okay in a pinch, but they really don't want to be in melee anyway. Their defensive expertise is the standard. The Combat tree is interesting. I don't think we've seen a branch that ends with 3 successes yet. They cap out at 5 damage from 4 successes, but the big thing is early damage unlike 501st. They get a Pin and a Shove and then have the choice between Disarm or Expose. I think they could put in a pretty solid amount of work, and they should be decent at pot-shotting.
Overall, I am really excited about these guys. I am not a big fan of the 501st, and I think these guys will likely replace them in most of my lists. CF: Expose should prove itself to be very good. They will likely be a priority target, so be very careful with where you place them.
I think this Squad Box is going to add a ton of stuff to the Republic faction, and quite a bit outside of it too. Mace is likely going to be stomping people around for a few weeks until we figure out how to fight him. His abilities and skill in combat should prove themselves to be very handy. Ponds is going to open up list building by a ton and I can't wait to see lists that bring a random clone with them. It's going to be funny to see Grand Inquisitor, Vader, Reva, Fourth Sister, Fifther Brother, and Ponds. 5 Black cape-wearing, red saber wielding, Sith Lords and Assassins followed into battle by a single pure white armor Clone.
That's all I have for this article, thanks for reading!