Season 5 Preview: Locked and Loaded

Before each new Season, it gets more and more difficult for me to contain my excitement for what the Steering Committee has in store for our community. We have such a great time pushing each other’s designs further. Once I think we’ve met or exceeded your expectations, it’s tough to keep it to myself; I want to tell everybody!

In this Season 5 Preview, I’m happy to reveal two modified cards for Imperials that open up new army-building possibilities for you. The first card I’ll spoil today is something our community might not know they wanted (editor: but that some of you asked for specifically!): Modifying the Imperial skirmish attachment The General’s Ranks.

While the Steering Committee was brainstorming ideas to promote diversifying Imperial gameplay, we thought The General’s Ranks could make an impact for Vehicles, Spies, Troopers & Heavy Weapons. Instead of trying to change the card’s abilities to fit a 2-point cost, we changed the card from Unique to Elite, allowing 2 copies to be played, and dropped the cost to 1 point. This allows up to 2 non-Unique deployment groups to benefit when moving or attacking outside of their activation, increasing the amount of figures that gain benefits when ordered to move or attack by a figure like the General Weiss, General Sorin and Emperor Palpatine.

When regular Imperial Officers were rightfully errata’d by FFG in 2015 to grant 2 movement points instead of a full Move, the brand newly released General’s Ranks card was badly hurt as it only triggered when the attached figure performed a move outside of its activation, thus no longer working with Imperial Officers. The Steering Committee has corrected this interaction so that now any time a figure with this attachment gains movement points, that figure gets to move 2 additional spaces.

This newly changed skirmish attachment works well on single-figure deployment groups with powerful attacks. The obvious benefactor is the AT-DP, whose usage dropped significantly when it was prevented from using our Imperial Retrofitting skirmish upgrade. With our current skirmish map rotation, we think there’s potential in running multiple Massive Vehicles like the AT-ST in combination with The General’s Ranks, Imperial Retrofitting, Elite Imperial Officers, Sorin and/or Palpatine. The IACP-improved Elite E-Web Engineers and Dewback Riders may also work with The General’s Ranks due to their lower Deployment costs, allowing players to add another hybrid or attacking Deployment group to your army. Even with multiple-figure Deployment groups like Elite Jet Troopers, this improved skirmish attachment adds more synergy with Sorin and works with Call the Vanguard. ISB Infiltrators are a natural fit for this attachment thanks to their Raid ability.

Players may also consider using The General’s Ranks on the newly-upgraded Elite Heavy Stormtrooper deployment card:

The Steering Committee has been working on changes to Heavy Stormtroopers since the inception of IACP. Some are quality-of-life changes that made it into this version: Increasing the static Accuracy bonus to +3 & increasing their Speed from 3 to 4. But the other changes didn’t make Heavies feel different than any other Imperial Trooper. This season we think we finally created 2 new abilities that make Heavies different and fun to play (at the expense of Composite Plating).

Modular, initially suggested by Jake Petersen, allow players to modify their Heavy Stormtroopers to better fit their battle plan. With this ability, players can attach Targeting Computer, Suppressive Fire, Lie In Ambush, Cross Training, Survivalist or The General’s Ranks for free, as the 1-point Deployment cost is reduced to 0. Players can also try out Vader’s Finest, which would cost just 1 Deployment point when attached to the Heavy Stormtrooper group.

We also wanted Heavies to have a better chance at using their powerful surge abilities. The attack die combination of blue/red has a fairly low threshold for rolling surges, limiting the Heavy Trooper’s overall damage output. The new Spray Fire ability sacrifices the Heavy’s static Accuracy bonus for a guaranteed surge result. We like the thematic feel of this ability — it makes sense a heavy repeating blaster would be hard to control firing in a spray of blaster bolts! We found in our initial testing that a full deployment of Heavies with their Speed increase can get close enough to threaten both individual and multiple adjacent targets with heavy damage output, especially with extra movement from General’s Ranks or Suppressive Fire.

Imperial Troopers Have Entered the Base

Season 5 is the best IACP Season yet. I say that every year, but this is the best Season because the improvement in cards like The General’s Ranks and Heavy Stormtrooper show the Steering Committee’s extensive cooperation and effort that has been building for years. Season 5 has more fun in store for a Imperial Massive Vehicle and the Heavy Weapon trait with– whoops! There I go again, blurting out things that aren’t yet their time to be revealed. You’ll see soon enough.

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