Welcome back to 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 Core Set contains the first four squads available to players: two squads representing the main factions of the Clone Wars (Grand Army of the Republic, and CIS or Separatist Alliance), and 2 squads representing the factions fighting during one of the final battles of the Clone (Ahsoka and Clan Kryze vs. Darth Maul and Gar Saxon’s Super Commandos). Be sure to read our model and painting review part 1 here and part 2 here.
Grand Army of the Republic
General Anakin Skywalker (7 SP, 4 FP)
Liam_Jordan: He’s the main character of Star Wars for a reason right? With 11 Health and 3 Stamina he’s sticking around for the game and deals some real damage, lets dive into Skyguy and see what he’s got about him.
Force Jump – I’m still undecided if I’d rather have the full advance of Ahsoka or the Jump of many characters on cards, but I think overall the jump just pips it. Sure it’s a little less distance but it’s far more flexible allowing for better traction and opportunity as the game (and peoples terrain collections) start to expand grow over time. 1 Force for the flexibility this gives just seems really good – you’ll end up using this in most of Anakin’s activations and rightly so.
I’m Going to End This – At the time of writing this is the only way to get more than a single attack in an activation. The big stipulation here is that it has to be on the same enemy character, meaning you can’t send in Anakin to a point with two different enemy units and clear them off. Also costs 2 force so a pretty big investment, we’re looking at around 30% of your force for the round. However when combined with This is Where the Fun Begins you’re looking at something which can swing the struggle in your favour. You’ll use this far less than Force Jump but when you use it it will be massive.
Deflect – An always on reflect of damage? Why wouldn’t you want this? The iconic anti-ranged effect of the the films and series being brought to life in such a simplistic way is great. A lot of the time it just isn’t worth shooting at a Jedi with this because you’re already shooting into really good defensive dice and this just makes you even question if it’s worth it?
This Is Where the Fun Begins – This ability has a few stages, the first is that if Anakin wounds a Primary or Secondary unit you move the struggle token an additional space, this is a great momentum shift and one of the ways you can sneak a lead on your opponent, this is in addition to adding he normal momentum token for wounding someone, so you in effect double dip on what is already an inbuilt mechanic to ending the struggle. Secondly if you wounded a Primary unit you get to heal each Galactic Republic character. If you have a full clone based force with Jedi Primary/Secondary you’re looking at 8 heal actions off this, which is enough to help remove almost every ongoing effect you have on your units across the board or the equivalent of 8 recovery actions!
Anakin’s Stance Cards are very much selling him on being a combat monster (as you’d expect). His Djem So stance leaves him a little open at only 5 defence dice and defensive expertise capping at 3+, but on the offense you’re getting a bunch of crits via expertise and damage, damage and more damage. Getting 1 Crit from your 8 dice, and a couple of expertise rolls (so average) nets you 3 moves along the tree before taking into account your opponents defensive dice or even regular hits. This will take out most of the supporting units in the game or most of a Primary or Secondary units health. You’ll easily take out someone whose already been damaged, or just spend some force via I’m Going to End This to take them out from full and trigger the bonuses of This is Where the Fun Begins.
His more defensive stance Shien, puts him up to 6 defensive dice and a better expertise tree in exchange for losing his crit based offensive expertise for a hit based one. Here you’ve still got damage (it is Anakin after all) but have a lot more shoves and bunch of heals in the tree. Being able to shove 3 times off 3 stages of the tree is massive (and can take someone out of the fight for a round).
CC-7567 Captain Rex (4 SC)
Liam_Jordan: Captain Rex, also know as CT-7567, led the 501st in the absence of General Skywalker or Commander Tano through most of the Clone Wars and was even promoted to Commander to lead the 501st in supporting Ahsoka in the Siege of Mandalore at the end of the conflict.
Captain Rex served under Anakin as the equivalent of Ahsoka in secondary command of the 501st. Promoted to Commander prior to the siege of Mandalore he followed Ahsoka to bring Maul to Justice.
Get a Move On, Soldier – Rex’s tactic ability is great, allowing him to Dash and Hunker a Galactic Republic Character. This could be himself, a Clone, or most regularly a Jedi with the correct tag. Free Dashes are always great and this has a Hunker thrown in as well. Can be used to either get a character up the board prior to activation or to move one who’s been moved off an objective back onto it, with a hunker to help (re)claim and hold onto the point.
Defensive Maneuver – Clones love this. With the cover rule changes this allows for easier access at the cost of 1 Force. Extra movement is always great in this game and this is no exception.
I’m Always First, Kid – Similar to the previous, extra movement is great. This (while having more triggers) is more movement with an attack thrown in for good measure. It’s perfect for moving a Rex who was shifted off a objective to help recapture if off your opponent, if he does damage to the opponent or shoves them off then even better!
Bring It On, Clankers – Clones like Hunkering and this add a bonus to Hunkering, what’s not to like for Clones?
Brothers in Arms – Steadfast is good, why wouldn’t you want to be Steadfast?
I mentioned that Rex has a great stance card and here we have it. 7 offensive dice and 5 defensive dice give him a really solid starting point to build off. His DC-17 Blaster Pistols are useable in both combat and from range 5 while his Clone armour gives him decent protection, but nothing to write home about. Offensive Expertise of 2 crits triggering at 3 dice is where your sweet numbers start to come online but either raw damage or double shoves in his first two stages are great. If you can make it all the way through you’ll be able to grab a reposition for even more movement from one of the most mobile characters in the game. If nothing else 7 damage is up there with some Primary characters and enough to clear supporting units off objectives.
501st Clone Troopers (3 SC)
Liam_Jordan: Anakin’s trusty 501st are also included in the core box. Being only 3 points they do lack some of what you’d expect in a supporting unit but that’s mainly on their stance card rather than in what else they can bring to the table.
Defensive Manoeuvre – This is on most of the Clones and I’m never going to not like it. Movement is great, Hunker is great. This is great.
Coordinated Fire (Strain) – Allows you to get more conditions out on the battlefield and that’s a good ability. A lot of other units have strain in their damage tree allowing for an additional 1 bonus damage as that’s already been applied here and at worst no one wants to take the effects of strain. A neat little ability.
Brothers in Arms – See Rex, Steadfast = Good.
Advanced Combat Training is the stance card of the 501st and it’s certainly where you notice their 3 points cost the most. Sure they can do a Pin/Stain/Reposition/5 Damage which is great, but you’re never really getting that. Lacklustre expertise really hampers your ability to roll your way out of trouble and the push I’ve been loving not appearing until the 3rd stage makes it slightly unreliable. Clone Armour is Clone Amour and will do it’s job under light fire though.
Assajj Ventress, Sith Assassin (8 SP, 3 FP)
Liam_Jordan: Ventress leads a pretty unforgiving life and ends up acting as Douku’s personal assassin/apprentice during the Clone Wars. This snapshot of her is very much pre Season 4 of the series. A fierce warrior Ventress is an excellent addition to lead any Strike Team.
Dathomirian Dexterity – Movement is great (spotting a pattern yet?) and Jump is maybe the best movement trigger and Ventress can do it TWICE? Great! You’ll usually use this the most out of the abilities on her cards so get used to all the tricks you can do. Being able to do it twice also lets her really get around pinning and still make it up to those high to reach areas.
Force Push – Maybe the best single ability in the game at the moment. Force push allows you to just remove any single character off any single objective as long as you’ve got force to burn. Combined with Ventress’s combat ability she’s one of the very few models in the game that can reliably remove 2 different units off an objective to claim it herself, as long as you’ve got the Force spare to do all she wants to do. Costs a lot in 2 Force but the payoff is massive.
Riposte – The melee version of Deflect from Anakin, it’s a useful tool which will hopefully put off people wanting to swing at Ventress through fear of the damage being inflicted, especially if they’re already damaged a little.
Slip Away – What do I keep saying about bonus movement being brilliant. More movement is good, and being able to free her to to move to another objective by targeting someone with a ranged attack she’s engaged with is brilliant.
Sith Assassin – Ventress’s identity stacks depending on who she’s wounding, but it’s a great ability. First off no matter who you wound you get to heal 3, then if it’s a Primary or Secondary unit you get to Jump/Dash and finally if it’s a Primary unit you get to refresh 2 Force. It’s great that it always gives you something and scales with the size of her target.
Form II Makashi is capable of ripping out a ton of damage early in the tree, and two free Crits from a single expertise is nothing short of awesome. Her defense here is nothing to write home about, particularly at range, but this side of the card turns her into a blender with the option for heals. Don’t sleep on the reposition and free ability in the middle; you’ll reliably get all the way through the tree on this side. Jar’Kai has you rolling more dice, but the expertise chart is not as strong. Much better defense, however, and the ability to string out a number conditions make this a more controlling option.
Kalani, Super Tactical Droid (5 SC)
Liam_Jordan: One of the first of the Super Tactical Droids developed during the Clone Wars, Kalani is introduced to use in the TV series when they take command of a planet’s inhabitants trying to overthrow a monarch installed by the Separatists and pops up a few more times over the series. Programmed to a match to the most skilled Clone Commanders they’d take control of mass battlefields and warzones and grind them down using every tool at their command. It’s worth noting that Kalani costs 5 points making them the most expensive Secondary in the game at the moment, but do you ever get a lot for that cost.
Roger, Roger – A version of this tactic appears fairly often, but usually just effects another single character. Kalaini’s version effects every supporting battle droid within range 4. In terms of deployment you’ll usually be able to tag all backline objectives and all your supporting droids (from both squads once you start building your own strike teams) meaning you get 4 additional dashes, and we all know how much we all love bonus movement!
Tactical Network – Another out of activation move with a bonus tagged onto the end. Great for moving droids even further up the field outside of their activation and allows you to really shift some characters. At the moment it’s limited to B1’s or Magma Guard (in the Douku Box) but there’s every chance that the “Battle Droid” tag is going to keep showing up regularly for a long time yet!
Target, Concentrate All Firepower – Additional dice for droids on the field when they’re near another droid. Extra dice is great and turns the B1’s straight up to 8 dice attacks which is great for a supporting unit!
Complete Analysis – Deck Control is quite useful, and any strike team with Kalaini and the B1’s has a decent chance of being able to find the activation card it wants through Kalaini not costing force to reserve and the B1’s going to the bottom of the deck. Being able to reserve him without a cost is nice and further free’s up the force for more exciting things other characters can do.
Kalaini isn’t a slouch from range with a 2 expertise giving you a crit and 2 hits! With an improved version of clone armour he’s going to get a few defensive rolls but he’s not built to take a hit, after all most these Super Tactical Droids only fell when the Jedi finally reached them and removed their heads from their bodies. With damage, shoves, free abilities and even more damage along with a host of bonus options that gun should certainly be being fired most turns if possible!
B1 Battle Droids (3 SC)
Liam_Jordan: Cheap and easy to mass produce the B1’s were the main fighting force of the Separatist Alliances fighting force during the Clone Wars. Seemingly without number, what these drones didn’t have in individual brilliance they made up for in pure unadulterated numbers.
Combat A.I. Protocols – Similar to the clones but with more variety and more restrictions. Putting out additional conditions on targets depending on the situation is never a bad thing, but it also makes you want to keep the B1 models close enough to each other to trigger, adding to the feel of there always being more of them.
Well, I Guess I’m in Charge, Now – Originally controlled by a remote link (we’ve all seen what happens when the command ship goes down in Ep1 right?) they were upgraded to have individual processing power between then and the start of the Clone Wars. Being able to put their card to the bottom of the order deck allows easier fishing for the right unit as it doesn’t take up your Reserve slot allowing you to place yet another card there next while you go hunting for the one you want. Won’t come up loads but when it does it’s really useful.
I Hate This Job – In a game all about scoring objectives and standing on objectives having a benefit which only happens near objectives isn’t a terrible thing. Protection adds a little toughness to the unit they aren’t really getting from anywhere else bar their health pool.
Countless is the Stance Card for the B1’s. The key things to take away from here are that they’re OK at shooting and rubbish at anything remotely close to fighting in melee. Getting a reposition on the second stage is amazing however and keeps the Droids moving around and into a position to shoot without getting bogged down. You’ve also got an Expose on the tree which when combined with their protocols can easily be an additional damage in addition to making their E-5 Blaster Rifles useful.
The Independent Factions
Lord Maul (8 SP, 3 FP)
Rocco Gest: Seen first in The Phantom Menace as he’s brutally sliced in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Maul goes through a lot of soul searching after falling down a reactor shaft. Most of this soul searching involves getting very angry and gaining robot legs, but it mostly works out for him in the end.
Force Speed – A free advance for 1 FP? Yes please. I know Liam was very torn between Ahsoka’s Force Speed and Anakin’s Force Jump. I can see where he was coming from. I like Speed better. This amount of movement for “free” is too good to pass up. I’ll probably have other units in my list that can jump or scale or whatever. Gimme the speed every time.
There is No Place to Run – Messing with your opponent’s positioning is always something you want to do in these types of games. Maul gets to pull an enemy character in range 3 toward him with the range 2 tool and then the pulled character gets exposed. This is great for Maul as you’ll have him take 2 damage to activate the ability, yank an opponent off an objective and use that damage to boost the number of attacks in his roll and the enemy gets no expertise bonuses.
Revenge, I Must Have Revenge – With only 2 Durability you’ll get to use this once before he’s taken off the board. The free movement and attack are nice, but it’s not really why you’re taking Maul.
Sustained By Rage – This is why you’re taking Maul. He basically gets to use his active abilities for free by taking damage instead of using force points freeing up your other units to use FP. Then, as a bonus, for each 3 damage he’s suffered he gets to add 1 dice to his attack roll and he gets to add 3 for each injured token.
Maul is an absolute beat stick. He is one of the few primaries to actually have a ranged attack and gets 7 dice for it to boot. Having a heal on the Sinister Cunning tree is good and helps mitigate the damage you’re inevitable inflicting to yourself, but the lack of moving criticals to failures, or even regular successes is kind of a bummer for both sides of the card. Dark Rage is the kill side and rolling 8 or 9 dice from Sustained by Rage means Maul is having a fun time ripping through his attack tree and his target. The trees both top out at 10 damage if you follow those paths, and both have decent debuffs to hand out, so the big difference here is Sinister Cunning giving Maul a decent ranged attack at range 4. The reposition on that side is really nice to help Maul get closer or back away after his double-bladed lightsaber finishes mowing down his target.
Ahsoka Tano, Jedi No More (8 SP, 3 FP)
Rocco Gest: Being Anakin’s Padawan (and basically Plo Koon’s at times) wasn’t easy for Ahsoka, but she learned to fight for what she thought was right and turned out very similar to her former master. Except for the whole “Darth Vader” thing. After leaving the Jedi Order, Ahsoka strikes out on her own.
Force Speed – A free advance for 1 FP? Yes please. It’s the same sentence as before because I want it just as bad all the time. I feel like I was pretty level headed about my take before, but I’m changing that. I’m calling Liam out. Jump is worse than Speed all the time. He can fight me about it.
What’s the Matter, Too Fast for You? – Pretty cool defensive ability and appropriately costed at 2 FP. Better than Protection and helps sell Ahsoka’s speed. It’s sort of similar to Asajj’s Riposte ability, but has the potential to deal out a lot more pain.
Deflect – Not so much a defensive ability and more of a combat deterrent. To back it up she does get 7 defense dice on the Reverse Grip side of her stance card.
Fierce Protector – This ability is the best thing on her card. A free out of sequence advance that can end in a heal or a dip in Ahsoka’s attack tree, it acts as a deterrent for your opponent to actually wound your units. This ability will also never go up in cost as Ahsoka gets wounded.
Ahsoka’s stance card is very attack and defense, Jar’Kai being the attack side, Form V Shien Reverse Grip being the defense side. Her defense expertise tree is excellent on both sides of the card and her attack expertise gives her that extra critical success on Jar’Kai. I think there is no reason to take her off the Reverse Grip side unless you’re aiming for to take out a character contesting an objective. Ahsoka has very good damage potential on both sides, but trading off 5 expertise for 3 crits means she is rolling a minimum of 6 damage plus whatever isn’t blocked from the remaining two dice. Having a heal as the second success on the Reverse Grip stance is super valuable to help her stay off wounded to use Force Speed for longer.
Rocco Gest: I was going to structure this by splitting up by discussing each unit individually, but the Mandalorians share so many abilities that I’m just going to talk about all of them here, I’ll discuss the individual units afterwards. You can read my painting guide for the Mandalorians here.
Pride of the Mandalore – Currently the Mandalorian secondaries both have this Tactic Ability allowing you to make another allied Mandalorian character perform a free jump move. Free movement is always appreciated in our wargames (please, I beg you to see the theme here). Important to note that the ability only lets a single character (see: 1 model/base) jump, so when using this you want to be careful not to set your Mandalorians too far out to move in range for the Mandalorians are Stronger Together trigger.
Jump Pack – This Active Ability is common among all Mandalorian units. For 1 FP characters in the unit can perform a jump action. Not quite free movement, but still nice to have a jump available at whim. Between this, Pride of the Mandalore, and regular movement options Mandalorians have really good maneuverability across the table.
Mandalorians are Stronger Together – This Reactive Ability has a base cost of 0 FP and is extremely powerful. All Mandalorians have this and it allows the unit to perform a free focus action when any character in the unit ends a move action within range 2 of another allied Mandalorian character. Notably this ability doesn’t trigger on movement performed outside of a move action. So the Pride of the Mandalore ability won’t cause this to trigger. Free focus is really great when all of the Mandalorians (except Bo-Katan) either have Sharpshooter  or Impact . Note: Jango Fett is not a Mandalorian so do not expect him to help you here.
Gar Saxon, Merciless Commander (4 SC)
Rocco Gest: This guy is mostly a bastard. Every time we see him in the stories he’s some sort of turncoat against his own people. He ends up serving the empire, but then gets cut down like the dog he is. He’s got cool armor when he’s working for Maul at least.
I’ve Got You in My Sights – This Innate ability has a lot going on. First off, Gar Saxon gets Sharpshooter  which means he will be adding 3 dice to his next ranged attack after triggering Mandalorians are Stronger Together. Next, his ranged attacks ignore cover. Finally, whenever Gar Saxon makes a focus action he gains a hunker token. This gives Gar insane output.
Pack Hunter – This Innate buffs his melee potency. You really want Gar for his ranged efficiency, but if your Mandalorians find themselves engaged with an enemy unit you can have Gar Saxon get in on that fight with an extra 2 dice added to his attack roll.
Gar Saxon gets 6 Dice on a Range 5 attacks and 7 dice on melee attacks. He gets 4 defense dice at range and in melee. His stance tree maxes out at 8 damage if you run through the whole tree (only 5 spaces) and he adds 2 crits and one damage at 4+ expertise in melee. His ranged expertise is giving him crits all the way down and dashes to boot. His attack chart has the option, after the second success, to go for more dashes and a pin, or more damage and strain. If Gar Saxon rolls he can get himself into nasty positioning to stop your opponent’s objective control. Because you’ll almost always trigger I’ve Got You in My Sights, he can whip out 9 dice out making him more than likely to get his successes and zip around the board.
Mandalorian Super Commandos (4 SC)
Rocco Gest: Gar Saxon’s loyal Commandos, or as loyal as anyone serving with Saxon can be. Nameless Mandalorian yabbos. Red and black looks good on them so they fight for Maul.
No Mercy – Great ability to try and deter the enemy from dropping out of combat. Either they run away and get closer to being wounded, or they stay in combat and lose our on positioning. Ideally they run away, get wounded, and give you a momentum token.
Victory or Death! – These two freaks wanna get IN on the opponent. Get their Mandalorians are Stronger Together activated for the free focus then shoot them headfirst into combat for two additional dice when they fight
These two are monsters in melee range. Their defense could be better, but they make up for it with extra crits on expertise and damage paired with debuff options on the stance tree. If you get further down the tree then the dashes are great repositioning tools, but they mostly want to stay put in melee and more than likely won’t achieve that amount of un-blocked success at range.
Bo-Katan Kryze (4 SC)
Rocco Gest: Sister of the late Dutchess Satine and ever faithful servant of her home planet and her people. As a Night Owl she fought with Death Watch to return Mandalore to it’s warrior roots. After Paz Viszla was slain by Maul she took up arms with Ahsoka to reclaim the planet.
Mandalore Will Survive – This is another great repositioning tool similar to Jango Fett‘s ability, however Bo-Katan get’s to do a focus action for free with Mandalorians are Stronger Together and the heal is a nice bonus to add on.
Some of Us Serve a Higher Purpose – This is great for securing objectives. Basically turning all Mandalorians within range 3 into Clone Commandos (I can’t wait to get my hands on these guys). Super durable objective holders with decent defenses.
Bo, despite being the leader of the shooty Mandalorians, is better in melee combat and copies Gar Saxon’s middling defenses. She has a decent combat tree, and you’re mostly aiming to pin targets with it, any extra successes you get out of it is gravy.
Clan Kryze Mandalorians (4 SC)
Rocco Gest: These ones are way more loyal than the Super Commandos. You can tell because they share Bo’s name in their title.
Helmet Visor – There isn’t a lot going on with these two. Just Sharpshooter  to complement their free focus action. Still very nice with their base ranges dice of 6 and a decent tree.
Kind of squishy in melee and middling defense at range, and only 7 stamina to go with their 2 durability, these two want to stay out of the fray. The tree is decent, giving them good debuffs to put on the opponent while being able to choose some repositioning. The Kryze Mandalorians are not your hammers here. They are your objective holders and they’ll be able to zip around the map to catch your priority objectives with ease.
This is a great set of units to start the game with. If you play “good guys vs bad guys” (the cards with blue on the boarders vs the cards with red on the borders) it makes a pretty even game. As soon as you swap the teams to do Mandalorians vs…Anakin and Asajj, the balance gets pretty wacky.