With the upcoming release of IACP Season 4 changes, the current tournament map rotation will be updated to bring in a new map on which to wage interplanetary galactic civil war through 28mm plastic miniatures!
With the release of Season 4 on August 3rd, 2020, the Steering Committee will introduce the competitive community to the Coruscant Senate Office map which was included in the Emperor Palpatine figure pack released by Fantasy Flight Games. This also means that the oldest map currently in rotation, Coruscant Back Alleys, will be rotating out of tournament play, leaving the current map rotation as
- Endor Defense Station (Captain Terro figure pack, Jabba’s Realm tiles)
- ISB Headquarters (Agent Blaise figure pack, Bespin Gambit tiles)
- Coruscant Senate Office (Emperor Palpatine figure pack, Heart of the Empire tiles)
With so many players now being forced to temporarily shelve their IA playmats and miniatures and play games online through services such as Vassal and Tabletop Simulator, the steering committee thought this was a good opportunity to rotate in a brand new map that has not ever been featured in tournament play before. Even though this also means that this map does not have a corresponding neoprene playmat offered by FFG, we are hoping that this will be less of an issue while players are already mostly playing on pre-setup digital surfaces anyway. We’re hoping that Coruscant Senate Office’s slightly larger profile and interesting layout will help benefit a different cadre of figures and strategies than the much smaller 3 previous maps, though this map also has plenty of hiding spots and doors on both sides that don’t automatically open that figures can use to help them close the gap to their opponents. Battle at Dawn features hold and control objectives and a hefty -3 Accuracy penalty on the first round, which steadily decreases to -0 with each subsequent round. In Priority Extraction, players must each protect a trio of senators to earn points each round, and must ultimately get them safely to one of two possible exits on opposite sides of the center of the map.
To go along with our more scheduled way of handling season releases and playtesting, we are also moving to a 4-month (17 week) map rotation schedule to prevent the map rotation from getting stale too quickly. The following dates will have map rotations on them where the oldest map rotates out of play, and the Committee introduces a new skirmish map to the tournament scene. The new map may be a map that’s already appeared in the tournament rotation before, an existing FFG created map that’s never seen tournament rotation, or a completely new map and missions that’s never been seen before! Here are the dates for the map rotations coming up in 2020 and 2021:
- August 3, 2020
- November 30, 2020
- March 29, 2021
- July 26, 2021
- November 22, 2021
With new seasons being released every 6 months, this will cause map rotations and season releases to be on a staggered schedule. This means that each season will have at least 1 map rotation mid-way through, and some seasons will have 2 rotations. This also means that no map that has rotated in since August 2020 will stay in rotation for longer than a year, which should help keep maps from overstaying their welcome.
We believe that a regular map rotation is the key to keeping the competitive skirmish game fresh and dynamic. The stable of maps and missions that are tournament legal can have a profound effect on which cards and strategies are the most effective, and shaking that up every 4 months will be an important method for preventing things from getting stale, especially in the middle of a season after folks have had a couple of months to try out the new cards and figured out some optimal strategies with them. Some of the worst periods for the game under FFG’s stewardship were the times when we went 8-12 months without a map rotation, and had no schedule or communication to let us know when the next map rotation would be coming, but we are hoping to not repeat those times.
With the ushering in of Corsucant Senate Office, we also say goodbye to the last map that was officially rotated in to competitive play by FFG, just prior to the 2019 World Championships, and was the battleground for the epic Finals game between World Champions Brett Kelly and Daniel Taylor. Back Alleys was an excellent map that was definitely on the more compact side, and was a favorite map for powerful melee figures like Darth Vader and Spectre Cell. Having now been in rotation for over a year and a half since March 2019, the Back Alleys have been the stage for many Imperial Assault skirmish battles, with countless gangsters slain and posters flipped. A salute to this map from the Maul expansion. Perhaps someday, it might return.
We look forward to hearing your input and gameplay stories from the new map rotating into tournament play on August 3rd.