Since the announcement of Season 1, the IACP Steering Committee has been focused on gathering as much feedback from Skirmish players as possible. In our Season 1 Vote, we asked our voters some questions about what they thought about Season 1 and what could be improved. This article details what we learned from our voters.
We also asked voters about what the Skirmish Committee should be focused on for Season 2 content and future Season content. That data will be reviewed early next week.
If you want to share your feedback on what is discussed in this article, we’d love to hear it.
An Acceptable Amount of Changes
There were changes to 23 Deployment or Command cards in Season 1. The change to On the Lam was actually 2 separate cards, for a total of 24 card changes. The Steering Committee was a bit concerned that there might have been too many changes in Season 1. A strong majority of our voters found that the amount of changes was acceptable.
Several of our voters and play testers felt like they didn’t have enough time to play test every change we introduced. They felt like it negatively impacted their ability to evaluate cards they didn’t play against. We feel we failed these play testers for not organizing a IACP testing league at the very start of Season 1; that is something we won’t repeat in Season 2. Likewise we will do our best to encourage more play testing events, not just online but in organized play events. Since it seems FFG will not be producing Store Championship materials for Imperial Assault this year, the Steering Committee will be looking to make physical IACP play easier in Season 2.
In Season 2, the Steering Committee is shooting for roughly the same amount of changes as in Season 1.
Deployment Card Changes, Command Card Modifications & New Skirmish Map Scenarios Preferred
We asked our voters, “In your opinion, which of the following methods are acceptable ways to modify Imperial Assault through IACP to make the game more enjoyable for you and others?” In the multiple choice question, we listed several methods to change Imperial Assault. Our voters could pick one or more of the methods. The following table shows how many of each method was selected by our 53 voters.
|Method||Number of Selections (Percentage of total voters)|
|Deployment cards: Cost decreases or increases||48 (90.6%)|
|Deployment cards: Modifying existing card abilities and stats||39 (73.6%)|
|Deployment cards: Creating new cards to replace or use as an alternative to existing cards||40 (75.5%)|
|Deployment cards: Create new deployments not previously created by FFG||32 (60.4%)|
|Command cards: Cost decreases or increases||34 (64.2%)|
|Command cards: Modify existing cards||36 (67.9%)|
|Command cards: Create new cards to replace or use as an alternative to existing cards||28 (52.8%)|
|Command cards: Create new cards not previously created by FFG||26 (49.1%)|
|Rules: Modify core ruleset and/or create new core rules (e.g. changing 40/15/15 Deployment & Command card limits; limit 1 Hunter card played per attack)||14 (26.4%)|
|Rules: Create new design space in existing rules (e.g. a new trait; a new Beneficial/Harmful condition)||19 (35.8%)|
|Rules: Modify existing FAQ rulings from FFG||19 (35.8%)|
|Skirmish Maps: Create new scenarios for existing skirmish maps (C and D)||38 (71.7%)|
|Skirmish Maps: Take over the competative map rotation when FFG Organized Play drops support of IA||38 (71.7%)|
|Skirmish Maps: Create new skirmish maps||35 (66%)|
|Skirmish Maps: Modify existing scenarios for existing Skirmish Maps||28 (52.8%)|
Our voters strongly support updating existing Deployment cards. The least invasive way is via Deployment cost changes, and it’s no surprise all but 5 of our voters found this method acceptable. In Season 1, we found many cases where just a price reduction was all that was needed. Success stories include BT-1, Kayn Somos, Elite Probe Droid & Ahsoka Tano.
During our Season 1 play testing, we found that just reducing costs isn’t the whole solution for making some figures competitive. The price reduction for Luke Skywalker, Hero of the Rebellion from 10 to 7 was well received, but we received significant feedback that the figure’s attack pool & lack of reroll still holds back the figure from being great. Leia Organa, Rebel Commander has a similar issue with her price change; for her, it was her low Health that made her just too easy to be defeated within one attack.
Our voters recognize that sometimes more changes are needed, as a strong majority approve of modifying existing Deployment card abilities and stats. A strong majority also approves of creating new Deployment cards to replace or use as an alternative to existing cards.
A majority of our voters want to see brand new Deployment cards that haven’t been introduced to Imperial Assault previously. We wonder if the majority (60.4% of all voters) would be higher once we have many of the already-created Deployments fixed first. However, eventually adding new Deployment content to IACP will expand the lifetime of the game. 4-LOM and Zuckuss fans: Keep the faith!
The acceptance of reducing Command card costs (64.2% of all voters) and updating Command card text (67.9%) are roughly 5 votes less than the acceptance of reducing Deployment card costs and updating Deployment card text. Most of the written feedback we’ve received about changing Command cards mentioned that trying to use the changed Command cards in physical games was difficult. Using the existing card and trying to remember the change mid-game frustrated some of our players. Also, there was no good way print off changes to Command cards and disguise that changed Command card in a player’s hand. For Season 2 the Steering Committee will be providing printable cards on a PDF that can slide inside a Command card sleeve with an existing Command card.
Another voter told us that changing Command cards was not desirable because those changes would affect large groups of figures and it would be harder to balance. The Skirmish Committee shares this voter’s concern. The last thing we’d want to do is change a previously unused Command card into the next Negation, Take Initiative or Element or Surprise. However, we feel that there is a wealth of existing Command cards that, if improved slightly, would empower some figures of the same Trait or attack type enough to make those figures viable for casual and competitive events. For example, the Skirmish Committee has been investigating how some Force User cards could be improved so that Rebels and Imperial Force Users might have some diversity in the Command card deck.
Our voters’ desire for IACP to create Command cards — either to replace existing cards or brand new cards — was not especially strong. Situations where the Steering Committee may create a brand new card in the immediate future revolves around future upgrades to unique Deployment cards. For example, if the IACP rework of Boba Fett does not include the “Battle Discipline” ability, Boba Fett’s existing Command card would be worthless. In this case the IACP would issue a new Command card that best fits with Boba’s new abilities.
At the start of Season 1, the Steering Committee tried to depower Hunter cards via a rule change. The Skirmish Community spoke up loudly that changing a rule was not something they were interested in. At the end of Season 1, voters showed us that the dislike of rule changes… has not changed.
In the future, the Steering Committee will keep dialog open about rule changes, especially if a rule change may enable more design space and/or play styles. But when addressing existing problems with the game, we will only suggest a rule change where we feel that all other methods of correction are impracticable. And even then, we will listen to the community for solutions that we may not have considered that doesn’t involve a rule change.
Currently FFG Organized Play still has at least one new map to rotate into the competitive map list and is running events at least until 2020 Worlds. Once FFG OP stops handling the map rotation, IACP will likely pick up the responsibility. A solid majority of our voters (71.1%) is acceptable to IACP taking it over when that happens.
The Steering Committee was surprised to see our voters’ strong desire for new Skirmish Map Scenarios (71.7% of total voters). We are excited to create “C” and “D” scenarios for older, previously tournament-legal maps. We’ll likely start development on new scenarios for either Season 3 or once we know FFG OP has finished managing the tournament map rotation. It will help our development efforts knowing that we don’t have to spend time worrying about adjusting existing “A” and “B” scenarios — our voters wasn’t as keen on that idea.
IACP was Fun, Fresh and Worthy of Your Time
We’re excited that so many of our voters felt like IACP met this criteria for them. We want to continue to improve the IACP experience for players so that, when we ask this question again in the Season 2 vote, we have even more voters participate and a “yes” vote even closer to 100%.
Within the text feedback forms and in conversations on the Zion’s Finest slack channel since the vote has concluded, we have gathered some feedback about our methodology for voting. Some voters felt that a strict “approve/disapprove” vote with an acceptance threshold of greater than 60% was too restrictive. In particular, voters who didn’t get a chance to play test certain changes felt uncomfortable being forced to answer the mandatory question about those untested changes. There are also some concerns about selection bias; that voters may have approved the changes on the fact that any change is a good change.
The Skirmish Committee will be looking into possible alternatives to the “approve/disapprove” method for Season 2 that might better represent the consensus of voters. We already utilized different data collection methods in the Playtest and Announcement Surveys, including a 5-point agreement scale and providing opportunities for players to describe why they found a particular change good, bad, fun or not fun. Ultimately this project depends on the participation and democracy of the players; if we can improve on the final voting methodology, we will.