AMG gave us a new article today covering the Daimyo of Mos Espa himself: Boba Fett. We didn’t learn anything new from this article as we have already seen his unit card, command card and upgrades, but this is as good a time as any to take a deep dive into this infamous former bounty hunter.
Let’s start with the big one, Independent: Standby with Sentinel! Free tokens are always nice and it doesn’t get much better than a free standby. This is the thing that separates Boba from the rest of the units in the game. We’ll spend a good chunk of time on this later but for now I’ll just say it’s good, but not necessarily in the way you might think.
Boba has the standard Mandalorian Impervious, surging red defense dice and the rest of his keywords are pretty similar to the Empire version with a few notable exceptions. He still has Arsenal, Jump and Sharpshooter, and while his Arsenal value remains the same at 2, his Jump and Sharpshooter values have dropped from 2 to 1 for each, along with his speed sitting at 2 instead of 3. One other important thing to note: while he has Arsenal 2 he only comes with 1 printed ranged weapon and it does not have Versatile so if you want to make use out of that keyword you will need to rely on his command & upgrade cards.
He does gain Tactical 1 but the biggest change to be aware of is this version of Boba Fett does not have the Bounty Keyword. He has also lost the Comms slot that his Imperial counterpart has, which while far from the end of the world, does force you to make some tactical decisions on how you want to play him.
An important note this new Boba Fett is that like many of the other characters with multiple versions, he (and the Imperial version) can use all 6 of the Boba Fett command cards. We won’t talk too much about the original command cards here (we’ll save that for the strategy talk later) so let’s jump in and take a look at the new ones.
A SIMPLE MAN
This command card is the one that plays nice with Boba’s Independent keyword as it allows him issue an order to any unit, not just himself. It comes with different effects for if Boba is the one to be issued the order from the card. If he is issued the order then a unit at range 1 of him can perform a speed-1 move, making it a discount No Time For Sorrows. There are many scenarios in which you might want Boba to have an order, and sacrificing his Independent for a free move for another unit is a nice tradeoff. If Boba chooses to give someone else the order that is where things get spicy as he gains Marksman, 1 aim token and increases the range of his ranged weapons by 1 (to a maximum of 5). Pair that with his Independent Standby token and Sentinel for a strong threat before he even activates.
MAKING HIS WAY IN THE GALAXY
Boba does his best General Grievous with this command card. The card does prevent him from making any regular attacks during his activation, but what that allows him to do is double move into range if needed, which would also net him 2 aim tokens from Tactical 1. Thankfully this attack has both the melee and range 1 profile as well as Versatile so you dive into melee with a unit to stay safe and still hit any other legal targets in range. Note that when making a ranged attack with this card you do have to follow the regular rules of a ranged attack and therefore cannot attack units that are engaged in melee. Having blast on this attack is great as it is only 3 dice and Impact 1 means it shouldn’t be completely useless against Armored units which is another nice touch.
RULE WITH RESPECT
A sniper’s best friend. This is a great opening turn card when your army is still close together and Boba hasn’t begun his dive into the enemy lines (if that is your plan for him). He is always going to have a faceup order from this card as he (the Rebel version currently) has no way to pass that order to anyone else and he is a piece that typically wants to activate late in the early turns so you should be able to had the black die to every unit that meets the range 1 and line of site criteria. The range bubble can also be extended if you have Boba deployed in a transport, including a closed transport. 1 other key thing to remember is that placing the order token face down is the final step of activating a unit so Boba will have a faceup token during his activation and thus can add a black die to his own attack pool.
BURN BABY BURN
Boba Fett comes with 1 upgrade card and that is his Flame Projector.
This weapon is identical to the ZX Flame Projector command card with the addition of the Suppressive keyword. It does Expend so it is a 1 time use but it can be used any turn unlike the command card which can only be used the turn it is played. Being a ranged weapon means that it can benefit from the range increase of A Simple Man, and it adds another weapon to use (both in range and melee) for the Arsenal keyword. B1s beware, with Arsenal Boba can use both flame projectors in the same turn if he wants which can make for some seriously spicy dice pools.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
So how do you play this Boba on the battlefield? Given the lack of Versatile ranged weapons, he isn’t going to be able to pull double duty fighting both in melee and at range like the Imperial version can. While his ranged weapon does have pierce, it is only 3 dice. This makes him better suited to do consistent damage to units vs. wiping entire squads. His melee pool is a bit better with 3 red and 1 black instead of just 3 black, and being in melee is a safer place for Boba to be than out in the open. His Flame Projector does increase his offensive output for both so adding that by itself doesn’t really push you one way or the other. So while he is not great at ranged or melee combat, his can easily transition between the 2 so you do not have to commit to one with your upgrade choices to get the best out of him. You could even outfit him for both melee and ranged combat in the training slots by equipping him with both Tenacity and Up Close and Personal if you want.
TO STANDBY, OR NOT TO STANDBY?
The question you do need to ask yourself when list building is whether you want to focus on the Independent: Standby or his command cards. With only 1 command card that he can choose not to give himself an order with and no comms slot for Comms Relay, you are not going to be able to have your cake and eat it too. A free Standby token at the beginning of the activation phase is strong, no doubt, but if you are taking it assuming you will get an extra attack or move each turn you might be in for a sore surprise. Standbys are easy enough to remove when Boba is out in the open, all it takes is a hit result from a ranged attack, and while Sentinel makes it harder to avoid triggering it it is not impossible. But therein actually lies the real power of the free standby token: it forces your opponent to play around it or remove it if they don’t want to deal with it. In a game where each unit is typically only ever going to get 6 actions across the course of the game, forcing your opponent to use even one of those to do something they wouldn’t normally want to do can be huge. Forcing an un-aimed shot or having a unit take a wider path to avoid range 3 or line of site can be huge benefits to you throughout the game.
The biggest downside to Independent: Standby for Boba is that it leaves him without an order in a faction that typically suffers with order control, which can leave him quite vulnerable as standbys need line of site in order to be used so if you can see your opponent, typically they can see you. Getting Boba engaged in melee can help with this a little as you should get at least 1 activation where is not out in the open to be shot. And if there is no force push on the other side and the unit you are engaged with doesn’t have a suppressive weapon you can always use your standby to move back into melee with them if they decide to withdraw. While that might seem like a waste of a standby, you did not invest anything into getting it whereas your opponent used an entire activation to basically keep the status quo. But if you are up against force push on the other side or you are keeping Boba at range you will want to make sure you have a decent support system for him to back him up. Improvised Orders is not going to be enough to rely on as that should be used more for delaying a unit’s activation than for searching for a specific one.
The other thing to consider is how good his command cards can be. Boba doesn’t seem strong enough to take on his own as a hero and not bring most, if not all, of his command cards. The sweet spot in my opinion is to pair him with at least 1 other hero, one that either does not care about having orders and get let boba take his command cards, or one that either wants orders or wants their command cards and can support Boba while he is utilizing Independent.
THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY
Bitter enemies turned best friends. Rule With Respect becomes quite versatile in this list as you can use it early to support the snipers and rebel troopers, or you can use it later to support Han and the fleet troopers. Reckless Diversion might arguably be one of the best command cards to pair with Independent: Standby as it prevents your opponent from attack Boba if he is positioned correctly. Boba wants to get up close in this list and when he does if your opponent may have to choose between focusing on Boba or Han and the Fleets that are running up behind with Chewie right there to soak wounds for his allies.
This list is about getting Boba in early and surviving as long as you can while doing as much damage with him as you can. He is supported by a decent gunline but that won’t win a game on its own. Start off with Rule With Respect then drive Boba up and play Making His Way In The Galaxy to hit as many units as you can, stacking dodge tokens in the process. Let him harass the enemy while your gunline provides supporting fire and focuses on the objective.
Rebels often suffer with order control and this might be as close as they will get to “perfect” order control. Infiltrate both Cassian and Lando and give yourself 4 operative tokens. You will usually ordering at least 1 operative a round but that gives you 3 more tokens to work with. Lando’s Contingencies also let’s you bring some of Boba’s more conditional command cards without being committed to using them.
Father Time remains undefeated as age has definitely taken it’s toll on this former bounty hunter. In many ways he seems like a downgrade from his Imperial version but since they are not currently competing for a spot in an army that doesn’t really matter. With the Mandalorian defensive suite he is going to be one of, if not the most durable unit in your army. While Jump 1 is obviously not as good as Jump 2, on most tables that won’t matter too often as height 2 terrain is usually more scarce than height 1 terrain. Boba doesn’t do any 1 thing great but he also doesn’t do anything bad either. Aside from some rare (and probably jank) lists he is not going to be the lynchpin of your army but he is a solid support piece, either as a distraction or cleanup for your other heavy hitters.