Season 3 Introduction: Mercenaries

For Season 3, the Mercenary faction finds some old and new bounty hunters ready for the next job. Two of these bounty hunters players have been in Imperial Assault for some time; one returns from Season 2 for another go at the bounty. The other two are new to the game: Team players in a complicated profession. Additionally Season 3 makes some changes to denizens of Tattooine to promote more thematic list building options.

Below are the new & changed Command cards we’re introducing for Season 3. Remember that your feedback during the Season 3 Discussion period will help determine if these cards should be adjusted or dropped for Season 3 testing. Additionally please keep in mind that the card images below are not the final images that we’ll use for distribution for testing.

Changed Command Card: Boba Fett, Infamous Bounty Hunter

Season 2 may be best remembered by the IACP community as the Saga of Balancing Boba Fett. The Steering Committee produced one version of Boba Fett that didn’t do enough damage per round to justify his cost. Then the Committee modified Boba Fett in the middle of the season, which made him do too much damage within one activation. At the end of Season 2, we knew it would take another iteration of development for this infamous character.

For Season 3, we reviewed all the playtesting data in contrast to Boba Fett’s abilities. What we found is that his Wrist Rocket ability (which could cause up to 3 unblockable damage) and the fairly inexpensive extra attack on his Command card contributed to Boba’s damage output ceiling within a single activation being way too high. We also heard feedback from players who liked the “movement points as a resource” mechanic, but felt like Boba had way too many abilities on his Deployment card which made juggling movement points more cumbersome.

Based on that feedback, we are bringing a new version of Boba Fett into Season 3. Wrist Rocket has now been replaced with Wrist Cord, allowing Boba to push nearby figures into a space adjacent to him (like Shyla Varad’s Mandalorian Whip) and then Stun them. This ability will help Boba maximize the damage output of his Wrist Flamethrower and prevent high-value figures from double-moving away from him. Boba now has a static attack pool of blue/green/green, with the EE-3 Carbine ability reworked to let Boba spend movement points to change one of his attack dice into a red die.

Update January 23rd: Based on community feedback, we’ve changed a surge ability for Boba from “<surge>: +2 Acc., Pier. 1” to “<surge>: Pierce 1”. Some community members were concerned that Boba’s attack range becomes too great with his new attack pool and when Focused.

The Committee also reworked Boba’s Command card, Mandalorian Tactics (which replaces the FFG version of Mandalorian Tactics):

Players found that Boba’s Command card giving him a full 6 movement points (as per his Speed) often enabled him to unload all his card abilities in too devastating of a fashion. Additionally having a free attack for just a few movement points was also quite devastating in the same activation. Now players must choose between the two: Extra movement points or a free attack. Boba can still utilize Wrist Rocket, Wrist Cord and EE-3 Carbine outside of his activation when he is given movement points.

As we said at the start of Season 2: Our goal is to get Boba Fett right. For far too long, the figure has been virtually unplayable in Skirmish. While we didn’t quite get it in Season 2, we’re committed to keep working on Boba until we and our community feel like he’s right. We’re looking forward to hearing your feedback about using this Season’s Boba Fett.

Changed Deployment Card: Dengar, Ruthless Killer

Not too long after Fantasy Flight Games released Dengar, he became not viable in the Skirmish game: Unique figures with two die attack pools, even those who are Hunters, typically cannot put out enough damage. A shame, since his Contempt and Punishment abilities work with Harmful conditions in way not done before. When looking to improve Dengar, the Steering Committee wanted to make sure Dengar kept his unique feel and also apply more abilities to make him different than the other unique Mercenary figures. We were inspired by his primary weapon, the Valken-38 blaster rifle, which lays down a volume of fire. We also wanted to represent Dengar’s armor by increasing his defensive ability.

The Committee elected to improve it all. Dengar now becomes Focused before he declares an attack. This improves his overall damage output, increases the odds the target suffers 2 or more Harmful conditions, and also allows him to not be reliant on support figures for the extra attack die. He now has more Health and a static block bonus when defending. He also gains a surge ability that allows him to apply Blast 2 Damage to his attack results.

Due to all these improvements, the Steering Committee elected to raise his Deployment cost from 7 to 8. The Mercenary faction has plenty of inexpensive Hunters and Smugglers to choose from when building armies. We want Dengar to be extremely powerful, but at a premium price. We think Mercenary players will find it fairly easy to build an effective group of Hunters & Smugglers around this very vicious bounty hunter.

New Deployment Card: 4-LOM, Ambitious Droid

4-LOM and Zuckuss are two of the most requested figures for Imperial Assault. That desire has carried over into IACP. The Steering Committee thought it would be fitting that the first IACP brand new Mercenary deployment cards would be this popular pair.

We researched the lore on the duo, both the old Expanded Universe materials & the current Disney canon, for inspiration. We liked the idea that 4-LOM rewrote his own programming to become more than a protocol droid. We chose to represent that by allowing 4-LOM to choose one Trait at the start of each round to use. This creates all sorts of exciting list synergy and Command deck possibilities: 4-LOM could choose to be a Smuggler and become eligible to use On the Lam to save his own skin. The droid could also become a Force User, allowing Maul to finally have a Mercenary partner in crime.

4-LOM’s attacks hit hard due to his use of the W-90 concussion rife. The blasts hit so hard that 4-LOM can even push the target of his attack one space, setting up allies for future attacks. The rifle was given to him by Zuckuss, the droid’s long-time partner in bounty hunting. During their time together, the pair learned to work as a team. We reflect that with 4-LOM’s Shared Intuition ability, which works with any nearby friendly Hunter.

According to one story, while 4-LOM was working with Zuckuss, 4-LOM suffered catastrophic damage. Zuckuss was able to repair 4-LOM, but a lot of what made the droid unique was lost; this caused 4-LOM to break his partnership with Zuckuss. The Committee thought that this lore made for an incredible mechanic for 4-LOM’s Command card:

Players can prevent 4-LOM from being defeated immediately, causing opponents to sink another costly attack into removing the droid from the battlefield. This survival comes at a steep cost, as 4-LOM loses access to two of his abilities!

New Deployment Card: Zuckuss, Gand Findsman

As with 4-LOM, the Steering Committee looked within the existing lore of Zuckuss to find inspiration for his in-game abilities. Zuckuss carries a GRS-1 Snare Rifle, which uses special stun net ammunition to entrap his targets. We represent this special weapon with a surge ability that allows Zuckuss to Stun a target so long that his attack did not miss. Given his partnership with 4-LOM, we felt Zuckuss could work competently with other nearby Droids as well, boosting his success in attacking. Shared Calculations opens up list building possibilities with Jawa Droid armies.

Furthermore, Gand Findsman have a strange mystical connection to the world around them, giving them incredible tracking and hunting skills. This connection is not the Force, but something different. We opted to represent this mystic power by allowing Zuckuss to become Focused for every attack, and giving him the ability to interrupt the activation of his prey with his Command card:

The group chosen by Zuckuss is revealed to the opponent. Even so, Zuckuss gains the ability to react when that group activates, by either performing an attack on an exposed figure of that group or by performing a move to get into a better position. This extra attack or move can happen before or after Zuckuss activates.

The Steering Committee hopes that our implementation of 4-LOM and Zuckuss meet the expectations of their fans who have longed to have them added to the game. We’ll reveal our recommendations on how players can represent 4-LOM and Zuckuss in physical games in a future post.

Changed Deployment Card: Elite Tusken Raider

With many Unique figures getting added or changed this Season, the Steering Committee wanted to add in at least one non-Unique deployment for the Mercenary faction. While the Trandoshan Hunter deployment cards still remain the most requested non-Unique card to fix, we couldn’t quite find a design that was exciting. Instead we took a look at the Elite Tusken Raider and was able to find a new combination of abilities that improves them significantly.

The key problem with FFG’s design of the Elite Tusken Raider was having Cleave as a surge ability. This forced the ranged Tusken Cycler attack to explicitly not use surge abilities at all, making it weaker than figure’s melee attack: Not only did it lack consistent damage output vs. any sort of defender with modifications, it lacked the range to prevent a Tusken Raider from shooting from a safe distance.

We opted to rework all of the Elite Tusken Raider’s attack options. We replaced the Cleave 2 Damage surge ability with a Pierce 1 surge ability. Additionally the Tusken Cycler is no longer prevented from using those surge abilities, and also gains a static Accuracy bonus to allow the figures to have enough range to guarantee reaching targets up to 4 spaces away. The expected damage output of this Tusken Cycler is now sightly worse than the melee attack but is much better than what was possible via the FFG Elite Tusken Raider card.

The Committee hopes this change to the Elite Tusken Raider allows for more Tusken themed groups: The Bantha Rider can pair up with 2 groups of Elite Tusken Raiders for a cost of 25 total points and allow the player to fully utilize Jungland Terror Command cards. These changed Tusken Raiders also become interesting selections when building a Brawler-heavy Mercenary list.

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