Rebellions are built on hope

Season 3 Introduction: Rebels

The Steering Committee wishes to add new and exciting options for the Rebel faction in Season 3. We continue reworking Rebel heroes from the Campaign, this time featuring heroes from the very first Imperial Assault box expansion. We’ve introduced a Skirmish Upgrade change to encourage having more Wookiees on the table. Most importantly, players told us they want more options to improve Rebel Force User play; to do so, we taught one old Jedi Knight a new trick and we brought players a new Jedi Master deployment to use.

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.

New Deployment Card: Yoda, Jedi Master

On the Zion’s Finest #imperialassault Slack channel, the most requested character to be added to the Imperial Assault galaxy was Yoda. The Steering Committee asked what the community would like to see in the diminutive Jedi Master. We saw most players ask for a support character with powerful abilities, similar to Emperor Palpatine or Jabba the Hutt. Some of the abilities we put into this Yoda were inspired by our community’s development attempts at crafting their versions of Yoda.

We felt it was imperative that Yoda could only be in a Rebel faction army, not just from a thematic standpoint but also to prevent support figure power creep getting into the Mercenary & Imperial factions. So with his dedication to Rebels, the Steering Committee wanted to make Yoda have some abilities that helps all friendly figures and some that help just Force Users. All Rebel armies — especially those including Force Users — live and die by Command card draw; so Yoda allows players to draw a card without an action, but requires placing a card from the player’s hand on the bottom of the Command deck. Just Yoda’s presence on the battlefield soothes his allies, allowing one to remove all Harmful conditions at the start of Yoda’s activation. To give 900-year-old Yoda a reasonable thematic way to interact with enemies, he can use the Force to muddle the minds of two hostile figures.

For just friendly Force Users, Yoda can help them to maximize their attack output through a special action to Focus. Additionally his Command card can change the fate of an nearby Force User:

(Update January 23rd: Based on community feedback, we have reworded There Is No Try to be easier to read.)

The Steering Committee is excited to see the support combinations that Yoda brings to Rebel armies. Combining Yoda with both Gideon and Threepio leaves just 30 points for high-priced Rebel Force users like Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight or Ezra Bridger, leaving few points for upgrades or a generic objective runner like the Regular Alliance Smuggler. Using Yoda with just one of Gideon or Threepio requires careful play, as only Force Users near Yoda can be Focused. Some players might elect to use Yoda to replace R2-D2 in a Rebel army that doesn’t feature Force Users, so that player gains the benefits of having Yoda removing Harmful conditions from Wookiees (who use Wild Fury) or important mobile queen pieces (like Han Solo).

Yoda’s Deployment and Command cards are the most radical cards that the Steering Committee have created to date. We will be watching your discussion and playtest feedback closely to make sure his abilities are properly balanced against the standard list archtypes that are currently at the top of the meta.

We’ll reveal our recommendations on how players can represent Yoda in physical games in a future post.

New Deployment Card: Biv Bodhrik, Fueled By Vengeance

Up to this date, the IACP has created 4 new Elite Deployment cards for Rebel heroes featured in the Core Set campaign. For those previous cards, the Steering Committee looked at those heroes’ campaign class abilities for inspiration on their new skirmish cards. For Biv, we performed the same analysis and… found little inspiration. Building a new Biv card around multiple attacks triggered off a melee attack and class abilities that improve individual defense seemed unexciting.

Instead, the Steering Committee took inspiration from Biv’s visual and thematic design: A guerrilla fighter with a huge rotating blaster. This Elite Deployment Biv still requires him to get fairly close to his enemies, but now he can spread attacks across up to two of them within one action. We also liked the idea that a heavy blaster would cause distress, even if the attack misses. Therefore the Suppression ability forces Biv’s target to suffer up to 2 Strain dependent on that figure’s defensive results. It punishes figures rolling more than one die, but potentially causes a single white die defender to blank out, take all the damage from Biv’s attack, but suffer no strain.

It didn’t seem right to take Biv’s Close and Personal ability away from him. So the Committee elected to put it on Biv’s new Command card (which does NOT replace his existing card “Stay Down”):

As the surge abilities on Biv’s Deployment card are reworked around benefiting his ranged attack, the Committee wanted this free melee attack to use an unique set of surge abilities. Biv’s original Command card “Stay Down” works when “Close and Personal” is played, allowing Biv to make another ranged attack against the same target. While the Committee doesn’t think running Biv with both of his Command cards is efficient for competitive play, we think that some players might have a lot of fun trying to pull off Biv’s combo. (Update January 23rd: Since the initial post, we’ve reworded this card so that Biv can perform this melee attack without spending an action. It was intended that Close and Personal replicate Biv’s old Deployment card ability, which combines a melee attack with a ranged attack.) (Update February 11th: This post initially indicated that “Close and Personal” replaces “Stay Down”, which was not what the Committee intended. This post has been corrected.)

With his Suppression ability and traits of Hunter & Brawler, Biv seems to be a good choice for players who want to build Mercenary “Strain Train” lists. But we hope Biv also sees as much play on the Rebels, potentially pairing up with Sabine Wren or Elite Alliance Rangers to provide some high-damage Hunter gameplay.

New Deployment Card: Saska Teft, Underworld Innovator

For the other hero from the Twin Shadows expansion, the Steering Committee felt like the design for Saska Teft’s current Skirmish deployment card did not provide value to the player, both as a Smuggler & Spy on the board and as the Rebel faction’s only way to bring in a Mercenary deployment. We experimented with several new designs. Some overly simplified the character as a cheap objective runner with Shady Contacts. Some designs that utilize the device mechanic from Saska’s campaign class abilities using power tokens.

In the end, we felt like Saska’s best role in a Rebel army should be providing a low-cost Smuggler Spy that allows the Shady Contacts ability. In this new Elite Deployment card, her cost is now down to 4 and her Health is adjusted to match other Smugglers & Spies at that cost. We slightly improved her primary attack, giving her better range and the ability to both Weaken and Stun a hostile figure. Her Unstable Device ability remains the same; we feel that it provides slightly better value now that Saska’s Deployment cost has dropped. Her Command card “Hidden Trap” stays the same.

We’re hoping that this version of Saska inspires more list-building diversity in the Rebel Army faction, especially for Smugglers. Now Mercenaries like Elite Weequay Pirates, Hondo Onaka and Greedo can fight for the Rebels alongside Han Solo (and Han’s Skirmish Upgrade card) and Ezra Bridger.

Changed Deployment Card: Fury of Kashyyyk

Since the start of this project, the Steering Committee has made changes in order to promote more Wookiee lists within the Rebel faction. In Season 1, we reduced the deployment and figure cost of Elite Wookiee Warriors. The community approved of these changes but noted that the figures struggle to produce enough attack output to be a solid choice in list building. In Season 2, we created a new Gaarkhan Elite Deployment card. As of this writing, the Season 2 Community Vote is still ongoing, but early returns indicate the community will approve this change as well. Our playtesting data from the new Gaarkhan card indicates that the unique Wookiee is fun to play but sometimes must charge deep into enemy lines, causing him to not gain Focus from his support allies for a subsequent attack.

Instead of trying to further adjust the individual attack outputs of these Wookiees (and of the Regular Wookiee Warrior deployments), the Steering Committee elects to drop the cost of the Fury of Kashyyyk card from 2 points to 1. If your opponent doesn’t finish off Gaarkhan or your Wookiee Warrior figure with this attachment before it activates, the Focused attack will be punishing; if your opponent does finish off that Wookiee, then it probably took away an attack against a higher-value target and may yet cause your opponent more pain if you happen to have Dying Lunge in your hand. Even grenade-launching Drokkatta could opt to take Fury of Kashyyyk over Targeting Computer and flank your opponent away from her support figures.

Changed Deployment Card: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Knight

This season introduces three new Command cards to empower figures with the Guardian trait. Currently within the Rebel faction, there are only four unique figures that have the Guardian trait: Chewbacca, Zeb Orrelios, Gaarkhan and CT-1701. We felt like there should be more Rebel Guardians, as sacrificing one’s own well being for an ally seems on-brand for Rebels. We also wanted this new Guardian to also be a Force User, in order to give lists with multiple Force Users the potential to do damage mitigation and redirection.

We felt like there was no better representation of a Guardian than an old hermit who sacrificed himself fighting his former friend to protect that friend’s child from evil. Thus Obi-Wan Kenobi gains the Guardian trait. We’re not altering any other abilities or statistics on his card for now; we want to see how he works in concert with other Rebel Force Users and Yoda first.

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