Welcome to the first of the of our Star Wars Shatterpoint Squad Pack reviews. In these articles we’ll look through the contents of these packs and try and break down some of the abilities and tactics you can pull off with these new additions to the game. The first of the expansion packs available themed around the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars contains one of the main heroes of the time period, Obi-Wan Kenobi alongside 3 members of his faithful (until Order 66) Clone Legion in Commander Cody and two regular troopers.
Lets start off by taking a quick look at the models. First off Kenobi is in his classic ready to fight pose, exactly what I’d have gone with, perfect. Cody is very much surveying the battlefield and the 212th are more action posed, they’re all great models and really capture the spirit of the characters they’re representing.
General Obi-Wan Kenobi
So onto the rules, lets start with the main course in Kenobi;
General Obi-Wan Kenobi is very much the standard that I expect a lot of other Primary Characters—not just Jedi— to have to measure up to. With 8 Squad Points and 3 Force we’re very much on the standard line, along with his 10 Health and 3 Stamina. This what looks to be a baseline Primary. Primary Characters seem to have 9-11 Health and 3 Stamina alongside the 3 Force we’ve seen on every Primary with the exception of Douku and Ani. Lets get into what he can actually do on the table though.
Hello There – At the cost of a single force you get the commonplace Jedi mobility action. These usually come in one of two flavours: an advance or a jump. Kenobi gets his in the form of a jump, so the small dash tool. This is plenty to get around especially when combined with the fact he’s allowed to change elevation during this movement. In addition he gets 3 additional dice on his next attack this activation, in effect like a free focus and impact  action built in. You’ll end up spending a Force on this in nearly every activation, even if just for the movement. The bonus dice on the attack is then even better when you can get it. Getting 10 dice attacks is something not even Ani gets on a regular basis which really helps Kenobi push up the stance card results and have you reliably get what you need.
So Uncivilized – Kenobi’s only reactive ability working as an improved (at a cost) version of what Ani and Ashoka have from the Core Box in their Deflect ability. For the cost of 1 Focus you can gain a hunker token (giving an additional defence dice against ranged attacks) which pairs well with Kenobi’s Identity Ability.
Additionally this deals more damage than Deflect when your opponent rolls a single failure on an attack. Note: when in your defensive stance you can turn a Critical Success directly into a failure giving you a great chance to throw some damage back.
This is a great way of potentially taking out an opponent mid activation or better yet, just having your opponent feel it’s not worth attacking with units at all when their only target in range is Kenobi.
Patience – Order card manipulation is going to be a great skill to have in the game and this great at letting you find what you want when you need it. If you already have a unit card in reserve when you reveal Obi-Wan’s order card you can choose to put the card already in reserve on the top or bottom of your order deck and place Obi Wan in reserve…for free.
THEN you get 3 Heals and a Jump on Kenobi. This allows you to get him back into cover or back onto an objective if he’d been removed from either during your opponents activations, along with either removing up to 3 damage or conditions from himself or friendly units within 2. That’s all great, but where it’s really good is allowing you to find a specific character you need when you need it from your order deck.
Lets have a look at this example, you need the 212th to activate and have a few cards left in your deck. You pull Anakin, and put him into reserve, you draw again and get Kenobi, great, but still not the 212th. I use “Patience” to move Anakin to the bottom of the deck, reserve Kenobi and then get to draw a 3rd activation card finally pulling the 212th. Nothing else in the game at the moment allows you to draw 3 cards in a row to try and get the one you want when you need it.
Knowledge and Defence – Kenobi’s Identity Ability and what really makes the character stand out compared to the more offensive minded Anakin or the sneaky Douku. This has a few key things which need to be understood in terms of who it effects and how it effects them. The first sentence, states that all friendly units don’t lose hunker tokens while engaged.. This means that once you’ve gained the token on your units (from Defensive Manoeuvres, So Uncivilised or by Taking Cover etc) you won’t lose it until your next activation meaning everyone on his force is a little bit harder to take down.
The second part only effects Galactic Republic Units and might play a big part in what secondary and supporting units you wish to take in your force. This second part allows you to use Hunker Tokens (Max 1) for additional defensive dice in melee, further adding to just how tough Obi-wans forces can be to get through. Primary units might have to change stances to move from 5 to 6 defence dice in melee, Obi-Wans entire force just has to stand there with their tokens. Finally after the attack has been made the Galactic Republic unit may remove their hunker token, doing so allows them to heal for 1 (damage or condition) for each hunker removed and then Dash. This keeps them both healthier and in the best location for you.
With the Day 1 changes to how Cover works, having Hunker tokens are doubly effective at defending your troops; this ability is going to be a key part of Clone Trooper lists.
Playing with Obi-wan and using this ability as a way of playing totally changes the way your force will play in the game and means it will become the toughest force to move we’ve seen in the game so far.
Kenobi’s stance cards allow for two different styles. The Form III Soresu is a stance with less dice in offensive and 1 less dice against ranged attacks but has a slightly more reliable expertise tree (straight bonus Crit). With heal being on the first tree and then access to a lot more down the tree (up to a max of 4) means you can really bring him back up before switching out to the more reliable Form IV Ataru which you’ll be in a lot of the time.
Having 2 more offensive dice almost makes up for the lack of bonus Crit on 1 Expertise but you have up to a maximum of 4 shoves (alongside 9 damage) means you can really expect to get enemy characters off the control points when needed. Defensively Ataru has the best single ability out there in terms of dice manipulation during a Crit into fail, this is so good and coupled with 6 defensive dice (plus more for Hunker(s)) and additional blocks also granted by Expertise means Obi-wan is the best current tank in the game. Remember you can also use that Hunker Token from Knowledge and Defence to move out of range of a second attacker if the opportunity presents itself keeping him standing and in the fight even longer.
Clone Commander Cody
Commander Cody, Obi-Wan’s trusty sidekick through the Clone Wars, is an astute tactician who makes his fellow troopers stronger. While not as gung-ho as Captain Rex, he is still more than capable in a fight.
CT-2224, also know as Clone Commander Cody, is the Secondary unit within the boxed set. Costing 4 points and having 9 Health and 2 Stamina he’s also hitting our expected averages in every sector.
We’ve got a Big Problem – A great ability, this tactic happens at the start of Cody’s activation and allows him to place an expose marker on a chosen character within range 5. This really ramps up Cody’s potential damage output but turning off his opponents defensive expertise for an attack. This will usually directly translate into 1 or 2 fewer blocks but can be even more. For example, it completely turns off an enemy Obi-Wan’s ability to turn a Crit into a Failure.
The hard part of this is having it ready to go off. If you pull Cody early you’ll struggle to have anyone in range you need to have a way to move him up the board (like Rex) early on to allow him to get within range 5 of enemy characters contesting the middle objectives.
Defensive Manoeuvre – This is a near universal ability on clones allowing them to Dash and gain a hunker token. This pairs incredibly well with Obi-wan allowing them to keep moving up and board and retain the action which might normally be spent on taking cover on something else. In addition it also allows to them take cover in addition to this and moving giving them 2 hunter tokens really keeping anyone alive.
Say Goodnight, Clanker! – Granting Cody Sharpshooter  after a Focus Action for an additional 3 dice really turns his attack up to 10. Enemies being targeted don’t benefit from cover either. In combination with We’ve got a Big Problem and a Focus action you’re looking at a 9 dice attack, against an enemy with Expose and no cover; you’re going to be able to make your way down that combat tree fairly efficiently, doing up to 10 damage!
Bring it Down – Cody’s last ability is a real force multiplier allowing supporting Clone Trooper units to reroll two of their failure results when within 4 of him. Re-rolls are at a premium in the game and access to a possible 4 sets of 2 rerolls for attacks in a turn in a brilliant skill to have. However just be aware that range 4 isn’t a massive range and once again Cody nearly always will have to advance up for it to be useful for the clones to make the most of it. So while a really powerful ability positioning and order of activation is going to be key to make it really shine.
Commander Cody being a secondary unit only has a single stance but it’s a decent one. 4 Defence dice and the standard Phase II Clone Armor mean he’s not the toughest by himself but with a Hunker Token he’s about a resilient to attacks as the offensive stances of the Primary Characters. Offensively you’ve got an attack starting on 6 dice which you can make up to 9 if the scenario presents itself.
In terms of the combat tree you’ve got damage at nearly every stage along with an early pin (which when combined with the Pin of the 212th translates into another damage). Then you have a bottom branch of 5 damage and a strain or a more conservative 3 damage and an ability (Defensive Manoeuvres) along with 2 shoves, which sometimes is far more valuable than the raw damage.
As an example of this being around range 5 from an objective with a single enemy contesting you can We’ve got a Big Problem the target, focus, do a 9 dice attack, shove them back twice, follow up on the shoves, trigger Defensive Manoeuvres and take the objective off the enemy.
212th Clone Troopers
The 212th are the Clones under the direct command of both Obi-wan and Cody serving in many a battle in many a sector and we’ve got a good representation of them in this game.
To get the basic’s out the way, they’re a 4 point Supporting Unit with 2 models. With 7 Health and 2 Stamina we’re once again looking at stats which are going to become the measure which all future units are measured against. Lets get into their abilities shall we?
Defensive Manoeuvre – See Cody above, it’s great!
Coordinated Fire – In effect it’s an additional effect on every combat action attack you made. Prior to dice being rolled if another Galactic Republic character makes a combat action you apply Pin to the target unit if within 5 of a character in this unit. As a lot of attacks inflict Pin as part of their combat tree you’re going to have this at worst result in 1 additional damage a lot of the time, however it’s also a way to really help tie people up and slow them down or force them to use actions to clear the pin marker. It looks like a lot of the Clones are going to have a version of this and Pin is potentially the best of the lot.
Brothers in Arms – Another Clone ability doing the rounds. As you’re going to be spending a lot of the game with Hunker tokens on clones this is a nice little additional benefit. However when combined with Obi-wans ability for friendly units to retain Hunker tokens in combat it moves this to another level. Being able to avoid the first shove result in the enemies combat tree is great, especially as a lot of models have an early shove but a second one isn’t until a later stage in the tree.
The Stance Card for the 212th, Bullseye Training, is pretty simple. With only 4 tracks on a single branch it’s all about doing what you can to get to the end of the track or apply all the effects. In terms of raw damage (not that that’s the most important thing) you can apply 8 damage (per clone!) which is really high from a supporting unit. Pin, Shove and Expose are all great effects and being able to apply the Pin and Expose from the first clone ready for the second clones shot is great and gives you a decent chance of getting the 4 damage off the 4th track. Lets just try and make sure they aren’t having to fight in close combat though.
In term of defence they aren’t the best. 4 at range is OK but 3 in melee is asking for trouble, they will go down when someone looks at them a little mean in a lot of scenarios.
So where do we go from there? I think you’ve certainly got a set style of play with Obi-wan, clones go sit on objectives and don’t die. In addition to this as a complete Strike Team this Squad really balances out the Clone Squad of the Starter Box (no matter the Primary) and gives you a solid core to build from going forward. This is potentially the single best box in the game at release, it totally changes the way a theme of models work and will do for some time to come as a result of how Obi-wans Knowledge and Defence works. I’m not going to really talk about Strike Team building this early on due to the limited models available, but if you want a nice themed force which plays well on the table then you’re taking this box, along with the clones from the Core Box and pick another Primary of your choice to lead, Maul, Ani or Ahsoka all work really well, but we’ll have a much deeper look at this into the future.
Did you miss our review of the Shatterpoint Core Set? Check it out!
Goonhammer Media Partner Danger Planet recently posted a YouTube breakdown of this set, including tactics. Find it here!