Everyone's favorite lethal lizard is joining the Imperial roster and in this article you will find a breakdown of the Trandoshan Terror.
Offense (Surge to Crit)
Average Ranged Output (Pierce 1) = 2.38 Net Hits
Average Melee Damage (Pierce 1) = 2.5 Hits
Let’s take a look at the expected average wounds to a group of Rebel Troopers and Stormtroopers. We will always use this as our standard of comparison and this may change with the release of the Clone Wars units.
Average WoundsRebel TrooperStormtrooperNo Cover2.171.95No Cover + Aim3.092.65
Light Cover1.501.39Light Cover + Aim2.071.85
Heavy Cover1.231.16Heavy Cover + Aim1.711.56
Melee2.282.04Melee + Aim2.882.51
Durability = 8.4 Rolls (assuming you never regenerate which is unlikely)
*Durability is a stat we will use to track expected average number of defensive dice he will have to roll before dying. This calculation changes with abilities such as regenerate.
Speed 2 / Expert Climber / Unhindered
Bossk is a unique Operative, with no current parallel in the game. On a basic level, he appears to be a mirror to Chewbacca with his high health pool and low saves. However, this Trandoshan Bounty Hunter is not interested in supporting other Imperial units. His command cards, much like Boba Fett, only target himself. These cards are designed to make the already dangerous lizard into a lethal tool.
Offensively, Bossk is equally proficient in both ranged and melee combat. With a single aim, Bossk averages between 2-3 net wounds on anything he shoots at with his Relby-v10 Mortar Rifle. In addition, this weapon is Suppressive, allowing Bossk to afflict any non-vehicle with solid damage and suppression on every shot. As a result of this, Bossk’s ranged damage and suppression output on a single target in heavy cover is comparable to 2 snipers. In melee, Bossk’s output is slightly better than his shooting at target without cover. Also, with Expert Climber and Unhindered, he can reach most targets without being slowed by terrain. This makes Bossk a highly versatile attacker who feels comfortable at any distance, though it is worth noting that Bossk has no way to attack a target at exactly range 1.
Defensively, with a high health pool and low saves, Bossk has several strengths and weaknesses. Units with small dice pools and Pierce (snipers, Han Solo) get very little value out of shooting Bossk unless it secures a kill shot. Conversely, units that throw large amounts of dice (Z-6 Rebel Troopers, Death Troopers, Heavies) and catch Bossk out of cover can really punish him. But if Bossk is targeted and gets hurt, his Regeneration allows him to attempt to heal up to 3 wounds a turn with a 33.3% chance to heal each wound. Interestingly, the value at which his Regeneration maxes out is the same as his Enrage value. This means it is likely that Bossk will gain and lose Enrage through the course of a game, so long as he is not killed. This is also why Bossk is difficult to suppress, as the same attacks that target him to suppress have a chance to clear his entire suppression stack instantly when he enrages.
With solid offense and a complex defense, Bossk is already a competent hunter who can overwhelm all but the strongest characters with both blaster and claw. But his command cards are what truly make him one of the most feared Bounty Hunters in the galaxy…
This command gives Bossk a single mine to lay down, which he can then follow up with a speed -1 move away. This is intended to put him outside the range of his own Dioxis Charge token. It is important to note that this is not a move action, so it cannot be used to trigger Charge if he is enraged. It is also not a withdrawal, so he cannot leave a melee engagement. The damage output of this mine is 1.5 net hits initially, plus the additional inflicted wound from the poison token. Remember, regardless of whether the attack hits or is a dud, the poison token always goes on each target (Bossk/friendly units included). As a result, it can be reasonably expected that this weapon will inflict 2 Wounds to whatever it hits. Bossk is not required to Detonate the charge on the turn it is played, as the Detonate action is persistent until game end.
This card also has a unique interaction with Bounty. If a Bounty target dies due to the Poison token effect generated by this card, he gains the victory token from the affected unit.
It is worth noting at this card’s secondary damage ability has no effect on vehicles and droid troopers, meaning that only the initial blast will affect them. As a result, this weapon is best suited to hitting clusters of troopers.
This card is not extremely complex, though there are some interesting plays to be made with it. At a basic level, this allows Bossk to double-tap a single target, inflicting heavy damage and suppression. In addition, if Bossk has Hunter, both of those attacks will generate a free Aim on a wounded target. This seems to be a very consistent way to secure a bounty.
An interesting interaction occurs if Bossk is Enraged or at 2 wounds. Bossk can perform a ranged attack (first action), take a wound and double move into melee (free action plus second action), and trigger Charge to attack again. Combined with Tenacity, this can be an effective way to kill or suppress one target and then lock down another. It is important to remember that this play cannot be made against the same target if the ranged attack starts from absolute maximum range 2. Because Bossk has a range 2 minimum on his ranged attack, and a double speed-2 move will put you a few millimeters short of absolute range 2, the charge attack play would have to happen on a different, closer target. However, if you are within the range 2 band and not at maximum range 2, you will be able to charge the same target.
For a Tenacity Bossk interested in a Bounty target that is already wounded, it may be worthwhile to move into melee (this does require him to be enraged and take the extra wound), and then take both attack actions. With almost 3 net hits per attack, and Pierce 1 on each, this melee rampage is capable of dropping most targets in a single flurry.
Lying in Wait
This card is often used on an opening turn in a Bossk list. He remains behind Line-of-Sight-blocking cover until the end of the turn, generating 8-12 aims, then moving out, and taking a shot, rerolling dice until he reaches 5 Criticals. This allows him to ignore all cover and mitigation (dodge, guardian) on his Bounty target and inflict early damage. If his target is already wounded, Bossk has solid chance of dropping a character in the first turn.
This card mostly sees use for a shooting Bossk in Turn 1, but the aims are not restricted to that category, so it could be used with a double move into melee and almost guarantee 4-5 hits that way later in the game. It is notable that this card also has an interesting interaction with Palpatine’s Pull the Strings, because Bossk can stack up 4 or 5 aims, have Palpatine pull the strings to allow him to fire with those aims, and then continue to gain aims because he still has a faceup order token and has not activated yet. Then bossk can activate last and shoot again with 4-5 more aims.
Bossk has no unique upgrades…
Training Slots (2)
Hunter is recommended on Bossk. It is almost as if they put him on the card art...The combination of command cards Bossk has, plus access to Bounty, makes Hunter an incredible upgrade for Bossk.
Tenacity is recommended on Bossk. While Bossk does have a long-range weapon, his melee is equally as potent. Bossk comfortably dishes out around 2-3 wounds, as his regeneration statistically is likely to remove 1 per turn at that level. As a result, keeping Tenacity up on him is very possible. The upgrade increases his melee as such…
Average Wounds Rebel Trooper (White with surge)Stormtrooper (Red, no surge)Melee + Tenacity2.982.56Melee + Tenacity + Aim3.623.04
Sentinel is situationally useful on Bossk. The combination of Enrage and a powerful gun means an Enraged Bossk can take a standby that cannot be shot off as long as he remains Enraged. However, because of his Regeneration, it is possible that he could be immune to suppression while taking the action but lose the immunity at the end of his turn. Therefore, it is likely this upgrade is most useful when Bossk can be given a standby outside of his activation (Krennic’s 2 Pip - Deploy the Garrison).
Endurance is situationally useful on Bossk, as a melee-centric Bossk could be suppressed. However, it is worth noting that every Imperial Commander has a way to manage or work around suppression on Bossk (Pull the Strings, Compel, New Ways to Motivate Them, Inspire X), so he is still likely to get 2 actions in a given turn. For the points, there are better options.
Duck and Cover is not recommended on Bossk, as he does not have Low Profile or Danger Sense and has a threshold of health where he cannot even take suppression.
Gear Slot (1)
Emergency Stims is a strong option for any character, and Bossk is no exception. This upgrade is recommended, especially if a list lacks other forms of mitigation (medics, Guardian X, etc). Combined with medics and his regeneration ability though, this becomes an incredibly powerful combination.
Targeting Scopes is situationally useful on Bossk. Lying in Wait and Hunter generate a lot of free aims for Bossk. This creates a very offensive ranged attacker, as the returns on melee are minimal.
Average WoundsRebel Trooper (White with surge)Stormtrooper (Red, no surge)No Cover + Aim + Scope3.302.80Light Cover + Aim + Scope2.612.28Heavy Cover + Aim + Scope2.171.93
Recon Intel is situationally useful on Bossk. It can allow him to get into firing range turn 1 or behind LoS blocking cover to set up a Turn 1 Lying in Wait.
Environmental Gear and Grappling Hooks have no value on Bossk, as he already has the abilities granted by these cards.
Bossk works very well in lists that can contribute to his long-range firepower and help set him upto claim Bounty. A typical Bossk will have Hunter and Emergency stims, with Tenacity included if points allow. This allows him to consistently benefit from Aim tokens and maintain a strong offense at all ranges.
Bossk pairs very well with “middle-managers,” as both Veers and Krennic are relatively cheap and have passive abilities that synergize well with Bossk.
“In my list, I run Krennic and Bossk along with a unit of Death Troopers who have a Comms Relay. If I use any of Bossk’s command cards, I relay the order from Entourage back to Krennic. And if I play voracious Ambition, I do the same strategy to Bossk. This allows me to keep both Bossk and Krennic out of my order pool, no matter which command card I play on a given turn, leaving me only Special Forces and Corps.” – John Griffin
Bossk also plays well in a double bounty list with Boba Fett though this list does come with its own limitations. Double bounty is excellent because it allows two targets to be bountied, virtually guaranteeing that by the end of the game, one of your two bounty hunters will most likely have claimed at least one bounty token for the victory point. On low-objective games such as key positions or sabotage the moisture vaporators, this can typically win you the game. However, there are some shortcomings to this list. First is the choice of commander. Some like to take a generic officer because if he dies, you actually upgrade your courage value by nominating Boba as your commander. Others like to take Krennic or Veers, but you now run into the second issue - what is the optimal command hand? The 6 cards available from bossk and boba only issue an order to themselves. Therefore, it is possible to have a sub-optimal token pull and have to activate the non-command card bounty hunter too early in the turn. This is why improvised orders is important in this list. If you choose to add a named commander such as Krennic or Veers, which bounty hunter cards do you cut in favor of their command cards? If you pay extra points for a named commander, is it worth it to strip away their command cards from your hand?
“My opinion is that when playing double bounty, you want to use a generic officer with improvised orders. You park that officer behind line of site blocking terrain next to bossk or snipers and use him to 1)inspire 1 every activation, 2) generate an aim for a sniper or Bossk, and 3) recover every turn to refresh improvised orders every turn to hopefully help your limited activation control” - Joe DePinto
Bossk is very vulnerable to Force-users, as most have Pierce Immunity and large dice pools with Pierce and the ability to attack multiple times in a single activation. Bossk needs to be kept at a distance from these units, unless they are already softened up, at which point he may be able to finish them before they make their big play.
Bossk is a powerhouse, to be certain, but he’s not invincible. He maintains one of the worst saves in the game, and when wounded enough, cannot benefit from the suppression cover bonuses. This means that attacks with large dice pools are the best tool for bringing down the Trandoshan. Unfortunately, many units with large dice pools are out-ranged by Bossk, so aggressive flanking may be the most effective route.
Statistically, Luke Skywalker using his Son of Skywalker command card should be able to take Bossk down from full health with the linked attacks. This, combined with Luke’s own Immune:Pierce ability, make him a solid counter to Bossk, as he can use Line-of-Sight blocking cover to get within range, then take down Bossk before he can react. SImilarly, Sabine with the darksaber is likely to achieve the same result on a last-first double attack play.
Like Chewie, if you wait for an opportunity for Bossk to make a positional mistake, or activate too early and too aggressively, you should just continue to shoot at him until he is dead. With his poor saves, it is likely to not take a whole bunch of effort to kill him if he misplays. Many people will go for an agressive dioxis bomb play, but this will generally put Bossk in a very unsafe position and though you may take a lot of damage from the poison tokens, you can typically punish his over-extension by honing in on him and killing him that turn.