Back in May 2020, we announced a new structure and schedule for each Season, which included a 3 month playtesting period that would include 2 scheduled card adjustment updates for that season’s cards. It’s August 31st, and time for the first round of adjustments for Season 4. A huge thank you to Javier A. J. for producing all of these card images for us in such a short timespan. These adjustments have been made based on the play data we’ve collected from 68+ games over the last 3 weeks, as well as player comments on Slack and in the public surveys on this site. 12 cards have been updated for the v4.1 update. Here are the changes.
- Close Quarters now removes a die from the target’s defense pool.
Lists with Verena were not doing well during the first weeks of playtests, and feedback we got from players was that her Close Quarters ability felt pretty useless as there wasn’t enough reason to put her in danger close to the enemy when she could just sit back and shoot with a pretty good 3 dice attack. We’re hoping this new change, along with the free movement that was already added to Close Quarters in 4.0, will give more incentive to players to use the ability, and also add another tool to players arsenal to help deal with the white dice figures as well as double black die figures.
Built on Hope
- Primary ability on the card no longer reveals cards from the deck to the opponent, and now allows you to put cards on the top or bottom of the deck instead of just on the bottom.
Feedback from players was that Jyn Erso’s command card was too punishing to use, because it gave away too much information to the opponent about what was in their deck, and also was extra punishing when players found multiple good cards in the top 3 that they didn’t want to send to the bottom of the deck. Revealing the cards in this way was mainly an unnecessary holdover from a previous version of the card that was changed during committee alpha playtesting, and we realized it was no longer necessary. We hope that with a strong and versatile command card in her arsenal once again, Jyn Erso’s win rate will improve during v4.1 playtesting.
- Gains an innate +2 Accuracy and a surge for +2 Accuracy
Game logs and player feedback revealed that the Mortar Trooper was struggling to make range on any attacks that were available to it, especially with the introduction of Coruscant Senate Office, but also on smaller maps like Endor and even ISB Headquarters. Initially we were concerned that giving the figure too much range would make it too hard to counterplay against, but killing the Shoretroopers that give the Mortar its line of sight as a way to “blind” it has proven to be an effective counter measure. For a figure that effectively requires 11 points of your list, though it also brings along two decent figures in the Shoretroopers, the Mortar Trooper needed to have a more consistent impact on the game. We still want the Mortar Trooper to have a threat radius from its physical location on the map, so we are sticking with a version that requires accuracy from the Mortar itself and merely increasing the accuracy of its attack.
- Now becomes Hidden after they are deployed instead of at the start of the mission.
ISB Infiltrators seemed to be doing fine by most metrics, we just wanted to have more figures that are playable with Lie in Ambush. Because Lie in Ambush is fun.
- Replaced Regenerate with Hardy, the same ability but without the Recover 2 damage.
Trandoshans were in an interesting spot in Season 4.0. They were the most played Season 4 card by far, and they were the card we got the most comments about people feeling they were too strong or overtuned. Looking at the data, by the end of the 3rd week their win rate was below 50%, not a great indicator of a card that’s overpowered, but looking closer at the data revealed that when played with certain cards, namely Lie in Ambush and Zillo Technique+Extra Armor, their win rates were alarmingly high. We got more feedback from the community, and their recover ability was what we heard about the most, and gameplay revealed that people were having a hard time finishing them off if they came down in the middle of round 2 or if they were benefiting from Zillo and 2 block tokens. However a lot of people did enjoy the synergy between Trandoshan Hunters and Parting Blow with the Stun being removed as the end of the round. As a result, we are going to experiment with removing the Recover ability from the Trandoshans while letting them keep the harmful condition discard. After the next few weeks of playtesting, we will be evaluating whether Trandoshans, with their relatively massive attack power, are still competitively viable without the automatic damage recovery, and reassess with v4.2.
- Updated Indiscriminate Fire to use a similar damage dealing mechanic to the original card, while still being tied into Bossk’s attack action.
We got a lot of comments that Bossk was not pulling his weight as an 8 point figure based on the abilities we gave him. A lot of folks didn’t like how unreliable the new form of Indiscriminate Fire was, even though it could be very powerful with a good roll, it could also sometimes just do nothing at all, and that was not a good feeling when that was the only thing your 8 point figure was doing during its activation besides dealing attack damage (which Bossk is still very good at doing). As a result, we have overhauled the ability to now allow players to choose 1 of their non-red attack die after attacking and deal damage and strain based on that die’s result to every figure within 2 spaces of the target other than Bossk and the defender. This gives the player using Bossk a guaranteed result on a green die of at least 1 strain to each other figure at range 2 of the target, and gives players agency over what the ability does whenever they have taken the time to Focus Bossk or used a card like Tools for the Job or Bossk’s command card, Trandoshan Terror, which still works with the new Indiscriminate Fire. By limiting it to a non-red attack die, we have effectively kept the 2 damage per figure maximum, except for when Bossk is rolling a yellow attack die, which has a 1/6 chance to deal 1 damage and 2 strain. We hope this a improvement that makes Bossk slightly stronger but importantly much more fun to play.
- Changed attack pool to Blue / Green / Red, swapping the Yellow die to a red die.
The Mandalorian was doing okay in his games, with his flamethrower being a strong secondary ability that could be used alongside an attack in the same activation with some good positioning, and his Disruptor Rifle picking up kills on attacks that would have frustratingly left a target at 1 Health left. However we saw that his win rate was not where we wanted it to be, and felt that Blue Green Yellow with his surge abilities was an attack not quite matching an 8 point figure. Swapping the Yellow die to a Red should give him a slight boost to his damage output, especially when he’s Focused. We’re hoping that this in combination with the update to his command card below, will help to make the Mandalorian a high-value figure in the Scum faction.
- Added 2 movement to the card.
These were the special limited use weapon for the Mandalorian seen in the TV show, but unfortunately we didn’t see anyone playing the card successfully, and we got a lot of feedback from people that the card was difficult to use without giving up a much better attack or flamethrower because of the action cost. We looked at several possible solutions for improving this card without making it too powerful, which we felt removing the action cost would do, and realized we could apply the same solution that we had applied for Mando’s Flamethrower ability. Adding 2 movement before using the ability made it feel less costly on Mando’s action economy while still preventing a nightmare activation where Mando attacked and used Flamethrower and Whistling Birds all in the same activation. Protip: You can pull it off with To the Limit, but we’re okay with it costing 2 command cards and a stun.
Clan of Two and The Child
- Removed the strain cost from Force Heal and changed it to recover 1 damage and discard a harmful condition.
These 2 cards ended up having a bit too many moving parts and specifically the strain cost on the Force Heal requiring it’s user to give up a precious command card or two to use the ability made it so that ability almost never got used, and the card’s meta performance suffered as a result. This was a case where theme unfortunately got in the way of function, and so we are removing the strain cost on Force Heal which was meant to be a thematic nod to the child’s lack of experience with the Force. This also allows us to clean up one of the more confusing lines of text on Clan of Two about when the child can suffer damage (only while it is being attacked). To prevent the ability from being overly abused in lists that focus on healing hard-to-kill figures like Boba Fett with other healers like MHD, we’ve reduced the ability to Recover 1, but have added the ability to discard harmful conditions to give a similar level of utility. We hope that being able to use the Child for more than just its incapacitate ability will help it to find a viable, and adorable, niche within the scum faction and larger metagame.
- Attack pool changed to Green/Green/Blue
- +1 damage ability removed
- surge for +3 accuracy reduced to surge for +2 accuracy
- surge for Pierce 1 added
- Self-Destruct Protocol now grants 3 movement before rolling
- Self-Destruct Protocol now uses the same wording as Parting Shot and Dying Lunge
This was definitely the card with the most changes from its initial released version. In addition to a lower than desired win rate, we got a lot of feedback about IG-11 not being exciting for a 9 point figure in Scum. Many comments talked about his Self-Destruct being too difficult to use and his Rapid Fire attacks feeling too close to Vinto’s but without some of Vinto’s cooler tricks. We”ve buffed IG-11 up to a 3-dice attack to better match his 9 point deployment cost, and updated his surge abilities as well. We’ve also changed how Self-Destruct works to allow the IG-11 to move 3 spaces instead of just 2, so he can better walk down that long magma chamber to his glorious end. We’ve also changed the the trigger condition to match those of Parting Shot and Dying Lunge, so that the ability can’t be circumvented by killing IG with non-attack damage. This also means you can now combine Self-destruct protocol with the card Last Resort, but you have to deplete Last Resort before you can get the movement from Self-Destruct Protocol, so you’ll have to plan ahead if you want to roll 2 red dice on the same figures when IG-11 dies.
- Now converts Blast to Cleave
- Exhaust to reroll now available to Sabine Wren
While Maul has been performing very well with The Darksaber, we have received feedback that the Weapon of the Ancients makes Sabine worse because of inconsistent damage, and she cannot surge for extra damage without hurting herself. Therefore, the 4.1 Darksaber rectifies these issues by opening the reroll to Sabine and changing the possibility of damaging herself to the ability to cleave. Now, a lucky Sabine can use multiple attacks with Cleave to damage multiple enemies, but not herself!
So there you go, all the changes for Season 4.1. I hope you all enjoy the updated cards and continue to have fun testing Season 4 for the community. The playtest league will continue on through November 1st, and you can jump in if you haven’t already by going here. If you’re playing on vassal, keep uploading your game logs to the IACP dropbox folder, even if they’re not official playtest league games, we want all the data we can get. A huge thank you to ThereisnoTry for getting the Vassal module updated, the v4.1 updates are available to play on Vassal in the 12.4.2 module available here. And also thank you to Trevize, who will be posting the update to his Tabletop Simulator module soon after this article goes up.