Star Wars-40k: The Rebel Problem

Okay, the first real problem of the Star Wars/40k project, and this is one I knew would loom its head right from the start – the balance between Stormtroopers and Rebel Troopers, the two basic units in the game.

Stormtroopers were relatively easy to put together (which is why I did them first and made the the ‘base line’ unit from which all other units would be based – a common strategy in games design). I just had to make sure the armour was not too good (3+ would have been too much) and that they did not lay down huge amounts of firepower (starting with BS 3, with BS 4 considered too much – pending playtesting, of course).


And what do the Rebels have? No armour worth speaking of (at best, you might say the Hoth guys had Sv 5+), many have pistols, and they need to reflect people from all walks of life, not battle-hardened veterans.

How do you balance that?

Well, I decided one tactic the Alliance might employ is choice – drafting from everywhere with no set training pattern can give rise to a lot of different troops who can do a lot of different things. So, this is the first draft of the Rebel Trooper Squad;


Troops slot, 30 points

Rebel troopers come from all walks of life and join up for many reasons. Some are Imperial defectors and even some clone troopers joined the Rebels. From the moisture farms of Tatooine to the marbled halls of Coruscant, Rebel troopers hope to shore up the struggling Alliance any way they can. What started out as countless local cells of loosely structured resistance groups, gradually turned into a galactic wide and well-trained infantry force. Many became experts in their field, developing highly useful battlefield skills.


WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv Unit Type Unit Composition
Rebel Trooper 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 7 6+ Infantry 4 Rebel Trooper
Sergeant 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 7 6+ Infantry (Character) 1 Sergeant
Veteran Sergeant 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8 6+ Infantry (Character)


  • Rebel armour
  • Blaster pistol
  • Concussion grenades


  • Stealth


  • May include up to five additional Rebel Troopers                                                       5 pts/model
  • May upgrade the Sergeant to a Veteran Sergeant                                                        10 pts
  • Any Rebel Trooper can upgrade his blaster pistol to a blaster rifle                     3 pts/model
  • Any Rebel Trooper can take a vibrosword                                                                     5 pts/model
  • Any Rebel Trooper can take thermal detonators                                                        5 pts/model
  • Two Rebel Troopers may take an item from the Special Weapons list.
  • The entire unit may upgrade its Rebel armour to a 5+ Armour save                    5 pts/model
  • The entire unit may be given Preferred Enemy (Imperials)                                     5 pts/model
  • The entire unit may be given one of the following special rules:                            5 pts/model



Hit & Run


Move Through Cover




Tank Hunters

Their armour is almost worthless – it might save them getting clonked on the head in close combat. Therefore, everyone gets Stealth which should encourage Rebels to hide a lot, and allows them to meet the Stormtroopers’ Sv 4+ on something like an even level (flamethrowers are not too common in Star Wars…). Stats are the same, except they drop a point of Leadership – while they may well be motivated, they do not have the indoctrination of Stormtroopers. They also begin with a pistol rather than a rifle, but are also a lot cheaper than Stormtroopers. That is, until you start giving them toys…

Squads can be slightly larger, going up to ten, and the pistol can be upgraded to a rifle, which all begins to bring them on par with Stormtroopers. I don’t have any human models with Vibroswords, but the fun thing with Rebels is that you can use all sorts of aliens in your squads. Thermal Detonators are very much something Rebels on a mission might have, but they are not standard issue. In addition, given their lack of structure, up to two troopers can take special weapons.

Finally for equipment upgrades, you can upgrade the armour to reflect models such as the Hoth defenders.

Now comes the fun stuff – you can further tweak your Rebel Trooper squads by giving them a special rule so you can specialise them for particular jobs. Want to bring down the TIE Crawlers, pick Tank Hunters (with suitable special weapon upgrades). Need them to hold their ground, pick Fearless. Want to get in the enemy’s face straight away, choose Scout, and so on.

Some of these may well prove to be far more popular than others, which may require a change to the choices or the points costs (it would be nice to keep the costs the same for all these choices), but that will come with playtesting. For now, these rules at least point to the direction I want to go in.

The Rebel Officer HQ choice gives similar options to a leader model which can then join a squad, giving the squad two of these rules – so you can do some interesting combinations. In contrast, the Imperial Officer has a watered down Voice of Command rule from Codex: Astra Militarum.

Oh, and while I am at it, this is what I currently have in the Rebel’s Wargear list;

Special Weapons

A model can replace its blaster pistol or rifle with one of the following:

– Light repeating blaster rifle                                                     5 pts

– Heavy repeating blaster rifle                                                  10 pts

– Missile launcher                                                                           15 pts

– Repeating sniper blaster                                                           5 pts


Special Issue Wargear

A model can take up to one each of the following:

– Blaster rifle                                                                                5 pts

– Heavy blaster pistol                                                               5 pts

– Thermal detonators                                                               5 pts

– Vibrosword                                                                               5 pts


Rebel Vehicle Equipment

A model can take up to one each of the following:

– Extra Armour                                                                       10 pts

– Searchlight                                                                              5 pts


Not a huge range, and I am not really expecting it to increase too much further, as the WotC range is actually quite limited once you move away from the characters.

Next up, I think we’ll take a look at two classic enemies. AT-ATs and Snowspeeders. Which is best?


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