Season 1 Playtest Results: Imperials

To assist with the community vote, the IACP Steering Committee presents these summaries of the Playtest Survey. Overall, the Imperial faction seems to have been improved the most by our suggested changes by adding competitive Droid options to the meta, but there’s still work to do on our Trooper fixes. These results are current as of Saturday, June 29th.

BT-1 (cost reduced from 6 to 5)

Power Ratings:
Overpowered: 1; Strong: 7;
Balanced: 27; Underpowered: 3
Fun Ratings:
Not Fun: 1; Neutral: 7; Fun: 21; Very Fun: 5

BT-1 is a prime example of where a price adjustment is all that is needed to make a Deployment card better. While we heard some concerns about having a 4-die attacking Hunter cost 5, more testers felt like BT’s surge abilities (and specifically, the lack of surging for extra Accuracy) forces BT to be within reach of retaliation when he does commit to an attack. Most testers attached Targeting Computer to BT, which immensely helped with his Accuracy issues without making him able to snipe figure regularly from 6 spaces away.

Our playtesters were excited to be running Droids again in Imperials, and Droid/Hunter Mercenary lists that feature BT-1 and IG-88, two figures that are self-Focusing. The Skirmish Committee is very pleased to see that much excitement around BT-1, and hope the cute little murder droid finds a place in the competitive meta.

Elite Stormtrooper (cost reduced from 9/3 to 7/3)

Power Ratings:
Overpowered: 1; Strong: 3;
Balanced: 17; Underpowered: 14; Very Weak: 2
Fun Ratings:
Not Fun: 3; Neutral: 10; Fun: 16; Very Fun: 6

Changing the Stormtrooper deployment cost was controversial to a few of our playtesters and other players watching IACP testing from afar. It’s been said that the Elite Stormtrooper deployment is the baseline from which all other Deployments are judged. Why mess with the baseline?

The Steering Committee agrees that Elite Stormtroopers were the baseline early in the Skirmish game. When Jabba’s Realm was released, the power creep introduced into Skirmish figures in that expansion and subsequent waves & expansions left Elite Stormtrooper behind. Additionally, the Elite Stormtrooper card was designed in a Skirmish game where VPs were rewarded not from each defeated figure, but when all the figures from a Deployment card were defeated. Elite Stormtroopers needed to adapt or remain completely unplayable.

Most of our playtesters thought the Deployment cost reduction was a great start, and they shared that they enjoyed having the figures back on the table. Complaints about the card revolved around the figure cost. Players are giving up 9 VPs when all 3 figures are defeated, not 7. That would be reasonable if the Stormies could produce a little better offense output when pressed to do so. However, even with the Squad Training reroll, testers lamented their inability to push damage through.

We think the cost change is a good start, and the Skirmish Committee has some ideas about the 9 VP problem that we’d like to implement in Season 2.

Kayn Somos (cost reduced from 10 to 6)

Power Ratings:
Overpowered: 5; Strong: 16; Balanced: 17;
Underpowered: 6; Very Weak: 2
Fun Ratings:
Not Fun: 1; Neutral: 6; Fun: 17; Very Fun: 18

When the Steering Committee settled on dropping Kayn Somos down to 6 deployment points, we wanted to have him priced competitively compared to Thrawn and Emperor Palpatine. We immediately received feedback that, at his new price, he was eligible for the Death Trooper’s Field Tactics ability; the concern was that a Death Trooper would enable potentially up to 3 consecutive attacks together on Kayn’s turn. While Kayn’s attack isn’t the strongest in the world, he would be able to give figures like Elite Sentry Droids extra attacks per round. We acknowledged it could be an issue and wanted to see what a full Season of testing would show us.

To put it simply: Kayn has the most votes than any other Deployment card in the Overpowered and Strong categories. And while some of our testers’ concerns about Kayn’s power level were due to Field Tactics, others mentioned that he has too good of a Health pool for a 6-point Deployment card.

A significant number of our testers suggested raising Kayn up to 7 points, but also modifying his abilities to extend the range on his abilities similar to the Advanced Com Systems upgrade. That is a solution that we would like to see in an upcoming Season.

Elite Sentry Droid (cost reduced from 10/5 to 9/5)

Power Ratings:
Strong: 7; Balanced: 25;
Underpowered: 4; Very Weak: 1
Fun Ratings:
Not Fun: 1; Neutral: 11; Fun: 15; Very Fun: 6

The community wasn’t clamoring for a Elite Sentry Droid price reduction. But when the Skirmish Committee was evaluating figures that might be playable with just a price change, the Elite Sentry Droids stood out as a likely candidate. We were told by our testers that the Sentries never felt too powerful but consistently made a difference when being played. When paired up with price-reduced Kayn Somos or Thrawn, Sentries became even more formidable. While we didn’t get much feedback about the benefits of Elite Sentry Droids being brought into Mercenary lists via Elite Jawa, the impact these lower-cost figures have in the Imperial meta are notable and positive.

The Grand Inquisitor (cost reduced from 9 to 7)

Power Ratings:
Strong: 4; Balanced: 23;
Underpowered: 6; Very Weak: 1
Fun Ratings:
Not Fun: 1; Neutral: 4; Fun: 16; Very Fun: 4

The Grand Inquisitor suffers from the problem shared by all Force User melee figures: Once they engage, it’s difficult to keep them alive long enough to gain enough VPs before they give up their VPs to your opponent. We hoped that dropping The Grand Inquisitor down two points would allow him to be paired up with other Imperial Force Users who could also attack and draw attention away from him.

Our testers found a better teammate for TGI in Emperor Palpatine, giving TGI an extra attack and potentially a damage token to buff that attack. Even without Palp, our playtesters felt like The Grand Inquisitor’s abilities finally fit his cost. We’re hoping to implement some improvements to melee figures and Force Users in the future which will further increase TGI’s viability as a competitive piece; but for now, we’re pleased he can be fun to play with and doesn’t take a regular Imperial Officer activation or Zillo Technique/Rule By Fear away from players.

Elite Probe Droid (cost reduced from 5 to 4)

Power Ratings:
Strong: 4; Balanced: 13; Underpowered: 2
Fun Ratings:
Not Fun: 1; Neutral: 6; Fun: 7; Very Fun: 2

Like the Elite Sentry Droid, the Skirmish community wasn’t clamoring for a point drop in the Elite Probe Droid and we reduced its cost purely because it seemed reasonable and easy. All the written feedback we received about eProbes expressed approval for the unit’s efficiency at its new price point. Our playtesters were making 10-activation Imperial lists, discussing ways to make Elite Jet Troopers work with two Elite Probe Droids, using an Elite Probe Droid in lists where they’d normally use a Death Trooper. On the IACP public Slack channel, Elite Probe Droid was mentioned several times as a unit most likely to join the competitive meta; we definitely didn’t see that coming! This change to the Elite Probe Droid might be the hidden gem of Season 1.

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