No One Is Ever Really Gone

“Always in motion, is the future” … until it becomes the present.

This past week, at Star Wars Celebration, a fan asked the question we’ve all been asking for months, and we finally got the answer from FFG that we’ve been expecting: “We currently have nothing additional planned as a physical product for Imperial Assault.”

(This video provided by Gold Squadron Podcast shows the FFG Panel’s response. The IA question is asked at about the 1 minute mark.)

Campaign players may keep their cautious optimism: the cooperative app seems to have been doing well, and we all have every reason to believe that FFG will keep updating the app for a strong incentive to buy the EXISTING physical materials.

But those of us who play Skirmish need to plan for a different future. While FFGOP has signaled a coming map rotation (the Endor Base map), and they’ve written that league-style play will be rewarded with alt-arts of older deployments (again, great news for campaign players, who previously had to get their materials off a secondary market from skirmish tournamenters), we all don’t expect a lot of attention on the skirmish game.

There may be a Spectre Cell official ruling. There may be small questions answered if they’re sent in quickly. There may be a handful of physical maps produced for another year or two.

But meanwhile, it’s on all of us.

That’s the bad news … and the good. Because we all now have every reason to understand that community-driven efforts are the future of quality Skirmish play. There are hundreds of people spread across continents who are invested in a healthy, fun meta-game. The player community knows a lot of what that needs: no single dominant list, a diversity of list-building tools and archetypes, serious consideration of how to bring unused figures into meaningful play …

… and the promise of new content.

Our IA Continuity Project has expected since the beginning that we’d need to carry the torch at some point: this clarifies the timing. We take seriously the responsibility to be transparent and timely with the community, to avoid imbalancing the meta-game, and to give players plenty of reasons to be excited.

It’s been done before. Other games have lived and thrived past the official end-dates of their product. And the IA community has great tools for this – people already used to creating campaign content, experience with community design, physical swag that’s been created in the past, and community spaces for conversation, and the power of online tools like Vassal to experiment in real-time as we go.

We’re still building towards exactly what our capacity may be. But we know that together, this community can keep the Skirmish game we love fun, fresh and worthy of our time. Watch this site for updates and keep sending us your thoughts and playtest notes.

Did you just hear in your head John William’s orchestra swell into the final notes of “The Rebel Fleet”? Yeah, me too.

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