The Rebel faction has always been a second rate force until now. A&E brings many useful figures for the Rebellion. At my local venue, almost anyone looking for a quick win will put together a Rebel squad with something cheesy like Boba Bounty Hunter.
Really, this set should be called "Alliance and Rebels". Two characters constitute 10% of the set: we have 3 Han Solos and 3 Luke Skywalkers!
Nonetheless, other factions have also received a number of excellent figures as well.
This set was also initially (and probably still is) marred by the controversial "25th Anniversary" square bases. I don’t know of anyone in the community who actually appreciated it.
Anyhow, onto my thoughts on the set based upon play experience and also forum discussions:
Quinlan Vos, Infiltrator
Initiative control is still one of the primary keys to winning, and this Quinlan brings that to the table for the republic and also excellent combat abilities.
Aurra Sing, Jedi Hunter
A robust shooter for the Separatists, but not as powerful/cost efficient as her Clone Strike Fringe predecessor (lacking the vaunted Accurate shot).
Biggs brings some good shooting abilities to the Rebels, but unfortunately is a bit costly for his stats and fragile. He’s only useful if you bring Wedge from the Universe set to provide the Evade commander effect to pilots.
Chewbacca, Enraged Wookiee
This Chewie incarnation is a melee monster in 100pt games due to his good HP/cost ration, but not very likely to get far in a 200pt game due to his low defense and the abundance of shooters or Jedi beatsticks.
C-3P0 and R2-D2
Pretty much an absolute for any competitive Rebel build these days at 200pts. This duo character brings the best of the 2 beloved droid minis’ abilities from the past sets (well, except Astromech’s cheesy flight tow) and then some! If you know you will be facing Thrawn, R2P0 is the way to go.
Elite Hoth Trooper
This reprint of the Rebel Storm figure is still one of the best costed Rebel troops out there.
Han Solo, Rogue
Another figure that is meant as a counter to Thrawn; otherwise he’s only above average for general use.
Han Solo in Stormtrooper Armor
Two Han Solos in a set! This Han is fantastic. His Charging Assault commander effect is great to pair with Luke Champion of the Force in a 100pt game; and opens up lots of possibilities in 200pts (Mara, Jaina, Ithorians…)
Han Solo on Tauntaun
Wait, there are 3 Han Solos in this set -- when did he start to rival Vader in making appearances in this game? Anyhow, to stay on task: Hantaun is an excellent multipurpose figure that brings good support (initiative control, healing, etc) and combat to the Rebels. However, as with most miniatures games, a jack-of-all trades is not usually as efficient as specialists, but he is still to be feared by your opponent.
Rebels have always been lacking melee, and he makes many older useless melee pieces good (vornskr, Leia captive, Ayy Vida, wookiee commandos, kaminoans, Bib, Aqualish Assassins). Not that useful in 100pt games due to the need of bring more allies to benefit from his commander effect.
Luke Skywalker, Champion of the Force
Finally a Luke that is outstanding, and for the Rebels nonetheless! Really can’t go wrong with any usage of this figure.
Luke Skywalker, Hero of Yavin
Another Rebel pilot! He’s a bit more expensive than Biggs, but is just as fragile – however he brings so much offensive power (double attack with twin!) and lightsaber deflect that he is quite usable.
Luke and Ben takes a bit of skill to use properly (and I don’t mean the fact that this figure is so big you need to be creative when positioning other figure around him), but once mastered, he (they?) again dominates with the Rebel squad. Quite a number of GenCon squads included this piece, if that means anything.
Mon Calamari Tech Specialist
This mainly anti-droid Rebel is good for what he does, but most people don’t run droid-centric armies anymore without any good Separatists being releashed..
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Spirit
Ghost Obi’s only disadvantage is his speed, and of course when using him beware of positioning him too close to enemy Jedi. Otherwise, he’s a boon to any Force user.
As with most Leia figures, you would use her for her commander effect only, and it is very useful for squads 150pt and up.
Though he is just a reprint of the Rebel Storm commando, he looks a bit more impressive than the original version. Usage-wise, he actually is now decent when paired with the Strike Leader and/or the Bith Black Sun.
Rebel Commando Strike Leader
A must for any Rebel squad with commandoes.
She’s a good commander for the Rebels, though the only hindrance is her commander effect is limited to 6 range. But she’s cheap, so worth the effort.
The Rebel pilots have always been quite useful with the introduction of Universe Wedge, even though they may not be top-tier.
Rebel troopers are good for filling up points and theme gaming, but generally not as useful, especially when compared with the similarly costed Stormtrooper.
Twi'lek Rebel Agent
Spotters have always been difficult to use, especially given that it is the same range as stealth effects. She seems more like one of those figures made to satisfy Star Wars RPG players.
Wookiee Freedom Fighter
Now this is a wookiee to be feared! He works well in any force that maximizes melee power.
The Empire gets another Recon and excellent commander! He needs to be paired with another Imperial commander (such as the A&E Vader) to maximize the squad’s potential.
Darth Vader, Imperial Commander
+6 defense to all troopers?! Sign me up for the 501st Legion! As his name implies, this Vader is designed more for his commander effect, but he still has excellent combat skills.
Death Star Gunner
A great looking figure with good stats and abilities to boot. His main liability is that you’ll probably want to use him for offense, but his Gunner ability is for combining fire and may be wasted.
Death Star Trooper
Why bother using these when you can have Stormtroopers at the same cost?
The heavies are almost essential to any Stormtrooper force, but I would rather use the older sculpts than this reprint.
Imperial Governor Tarkin
Another great leader for the Imperials. As usual, you shouldn’t use him in 100pt games.
Just to show you that I have nothing against reprints, I actually like this Scout sculpt much better than than the original. Scout troopers are useful if you know how to maximize their stealth (i.e. with the Bith Black Sun).
It’s about time we received another sculpt. It seems Hoth reenactments are the most popular battles people are interested in, and I’m surprised it too so long. Snowtroopers are a little more cost efficient than Stormtroopers; however they are more expensive and in a game where activations are king, Stormtroopers are more often the weapon of choice.
Look at all the abilities you get for 17pts! He’s like a Swiss Army Knife, and is worth every point.
As many would agree, Stormtroopers are the best low cost trooper in the game. This sculpt is good only because you can line them up well with the square bases to make an impressive line formation.
This guy looks like he’s constipated or raising his hand to ask permission to go. Again, I personally feel the Rebel Storm officer was one of the best sculpts and would pick that any day over this reprint.
Stormtrooper on Repulsor Sled
Perfect for use with Thrawn swapping, his stats are good for his cost also. Now the same can’t be said for the way it looks…
Mara Jade, Jedi
Mara’s a great value for her cost – a good mix of melee and range attack.
Boba Fett, Enforcer
This is the cheapest Boba (well, not count the kid), and takes some finesse to use and is not a brute like Boba BH that anyone can exploit. Once mastered, he can be quite deadly.
Swarms have never been a proven strategy offensively, so I would say avoid this guy.
Evade makes him a bit more survivable for being a spotter, and he is quite cheap so may be worth the risk.
He would be essential in any squad if his commander effect wasn’t so specific. But for his cost, what he brings to the team is still decent.
Ewok Hang Glider
Fun to use, but not terribly competitive. But we can finally stage the Endor bunker battle!
As stated with the Chadra, swarms don’t seem to work offsenively; though this figure does bring some more variety to George Lucas’ cuddly bears.
Another reprint where I prefer the new sculpt. Stats-wise, his defense is so low he’ll probably never be able to get into melee range.
Human Force Adept
So cheap and ripe for abuse – pair with any commander that gives bonuses to force users. The same cheapness, though, can be said of his costume… this one is definitely one that will be going under the Exacto.
Jabba, Crime Lord
Fans have been waiting for a usable Jabba, but unfortunately the Crime Lord isn’t it. If only his ability applied to Uniques as well, since most useful Fringers are.
Jawa on Ronto
Amazing amount of HP for his cost – though otherwise he is quite average. But who doesn’t love Jawas, and double bonus for being on a Ronto!
This little guy just might be worth it: if you are lucky and are able to evade just one hit, he’s already made up his cost.
Lando Calrissian, Dashing Scoundrel
Wizards delivers again with the cape-less Bespin Lando. He works great with Lobot (a given) and just about any squad with good commanders to complement his shooting.
I don’t hear much about this figure, but I’ve always liked his previous interation in Clone Strike (for his cheap ability at least). Now the figure looks good as well. Huzzah!
This yeti is better than his Rebel Storm predecessor and above average, but suffers the same as with most savages, even when paired with commanders to mitigate that.
Another average Fringer… has some potention except for his pitiful attack.
The Snivvian may actually have some use, given that almost everyone packs at least 1 Unique these days.
Looks good as background character in Cantina dioramas and scenarios, but nothing beyond that.
As with some previous figure comments, he suffers from the same problem – he won’t be able to make it to the enemy to unleash his melee powers.
Not much use except for theme games.
It’s always fun to see an Imperial squad using Wicket – he brings a of “reverse” commander effect to the enemy and can stay hidden with stealth.
Advance Agent, Officer
I’ll review these 2 Vongs together, as they’re not worth rating separately. They are not bad, but at this point still don’t contribute much to making their faction too competitive.
Yomin’s decent, especially if you bring Nom in your squad.
That's it for now. Review Force Unleashed soon (just in time for the Legacy set ).
Proprietor and Chairman Emeritus of The Naughty Palace
This is why i love BGG. I'm online wondering to myself, "Is there anywhere that might do a figure-by-figure review of the Alliance & Empire SW Minis set?" And here we are. Big thumbs-up for this, quite helpful.
Glad you found it helpful! I wasn't sure if BGG was the right place to post it -- as the line between a collectible game vs. a true boardgame is not so grey for some people, but just did since most other SW minis forums would just cause this to get buried in all the other discussions.
Give us a review of all the sets if you have the time. In particular, I'm interested in reviews of Bounty Hunters and the new set Legacy of the Force. Good work.
Thanks for the compliments.
I'm posting the Force Unleashed review now. Legacy will take me a few weeks to put together my thoughts as I'll need to play with or against the figures a few times with my group.
I can start Bounty Hunters next and have it ready in a few days.