Hello, and welcome to another Season 4 reveal article! This is Jake. This time, we’re taking a look at the new Shoretrooper deployment card, and the brand new card type introduced this season: Squad Upgrades!
The Steering Committee is proud to announce one of the most ambitious new units in IACP history! Debuting in Rogue One, the Shoretroopers are a visually striking Trooper with a unique look compared to other Stormtrooper variants seen throughout the Star Wars galaxy. We wanted to make a unique deployment card to capture that feeling, and the result is a group of quick-footed killers with strong artillery support on standby.
First, let’s take a look at the standard Shoretroopers. In battle, they are capable of using their high movement speed and Efficient Travel to confront and destroy the Empire’s enemies using their powerful (but inaccurate) E-22 blaster rifles. With a reroll from Squad Tactics and powerful surge abilities, Shoretroopers can deal a good amount of damage at close range. When they start deploying Grenades and Concentrated Fire, their damage potential makes them a great addition to the Empire all on their own. Additionally, the Shoretroopers with their 5 speed are quicker than any other Trooper squads in their point range (except for the Mobile Jet Troopers in impassable terrain).
But the Shoretroopers don’t need to deploy alone: they can call on powerful artillery support! With this brand-new Squad Upgrade card, your Shoretroopers will be able to call in fire support from the rear lines! We explain the ins and outs of the new Squad Upgrade card type in our FAQ article, so I focus on the rules and possibilities of the Mortar Trooper here.
The Mortar Trooper fundamentally changes the way the Shoretroopers play. Because the Mortar Trooper can fire on any enemy another Shoretrooper in its group can see, it doesn’t need to expose itself to enemy fire to deal damage. This is both a blessing and a curse: together with its allies, the Shoretroopers with a Mortar Trooper attached is capable of dealing a lot of damage in a single activation. However, if the Shoretroopers are defeated, then the slow and clumsy Mortar Trooper is out of position to have much impact on the battle (unless the battle is in or near its own deployment zone). Another way to silence the Mortar is to get into the deployment zone and defeat it. With 7 health and a black die, the Mortar Trooper is not well-equipped to survive direct fire from enemies Lying in Ambush.
For example, we see here how the Mortar Trooper is able to declare an attack against Jedi Luke using the Shoretrooper’s line of sight. However, because range is still measured from the Mortar, it will have to roll 8 accuracy to make the shot, rather than using the 3 spaces from the Shoretrooper to Luke. Because it is its own figure with its own surges, the Mortar Trooper cannot use the Shoretrooper’s surge for +2 accuracy, and must instead either roll 8 accuracy naturally, or use Deadeye or Lock On to make up the difference.
Together, the Shoretroopers and Mortar Trooper are a powerful tool to control the battlefield. The ability to call a mortar strike deep in enemy territory (on, for instance a C-3P0 box) will encourage your opponent to spread out his forces, which makes them easy pickings for Jet Troopers or Royal Guards to exploit the area control and press the assault. They also play well with the new E-Webs in establishing a zone of control. Together, the Imperial emplaced weapons can lock down the area around your deployment zone and dare your opponent to come to you. Either way, the Shoretroopers will make an excellent addition to the Imperial Trooper meta as they blaze a new trail with the Squad Upgrade cards.
This article is part of our Season 4 Preview series. All through July, the Steering Committee will be revealing the new cards from Season 4! You can discuss these cards in the comments here or on the IACP subreddit.