Season 5 Preview: Spies Like Us

From the crouching-but-deadly Jyn Odan to the furry-and-grenade-launching Drokkatta, the campaign heroes in Imperial Assault are both interesting and inspiring. Each campaign hero feels they are from the Star Wars universe both in visual and thematic design. With the exception of a few clunkers — sorry, Biv — campaign class abilities defined a role for that character within the strike force and implemented crunchy, fun mechanical game play options.

Translating these campaign heroes into unique skirmish deployment groups was less successful. Most unique campaign heroes didn’t replicate their dynamic & impactful gameplay from campaign into skirmish. It took Fantasy Flight Games until the Jabba’s Realm expansion before they finally made some campaign heroes that were strong in skirmish… for the Mercenaries. Rebel players’ collections were still filled with unique skirmish heroes that could never reach the great potential hinted by their design.

It was that potential in Unique Rebel heroes that led me to start fiddling around with skirmish cards. The Steering Committee has focused on increasing the action economy, attack outcomes and survivability of these figures by creating Elite versions of existing Rebel Unique deployment groups. In today’s spoiler article, I reveal our next wave of Elite deployment cards for the campaign heroes from The Bespin Gambit.

Covert Operative

When he was released, Davith Elso was a competitive option for Rebel players. During that era of skirmish play, it was already very difficult to play deployment groups with only melee attacks. Then his potential as a skirmish mainstay was further reduced due to the increasing power of ranged attackers starting with Jabba’s Realm. The combination of low Health and low attack output ultimately put Davith on the sidelines.

As IACP added cards to help Rebel Force Users & melee attackers, Davith still wasn’t finding much play. We found from our testing and your feedback that players want to use both of Davith’s abilities. But there’s a struggle getting value from Cut and Run because it is so difficult to trigger Fell Swoop — even when Focused and Hidden on his first attack, Davith struggles to pay the cost of two surges on top of a surge for Pierce 3 to confirm the attack results.

The Steering Committee feels this new Elite version of Davith solves his damage & usability problems. Fell Swoop now costs one surge, which makes it much easier to use when he’s Hidden and almost guaranteed when he’s Focused. To boost the attack performed as part of Fell Swoop, we also increased the damage on his other surge ability from +1<damage>, Hide to +2<damage>, Hide. You’ll notice Davith’s significant attack improvements once you get him on the table.

Davith’s Health, Speed and defensive stats stay the same. We like that players will need to guide Davith carefully into the fray in order to unleash his now-deadlier attacks. He improves armies featuring multiple Force Users in two obvious ways: As the second-lowest priced Rebel Force User, he frees up points for more support figures or skirmish upgrades. He also adds usage of Spy cards, either with just himself or paired up with Ahsoka Tano. We’re interested to see how our community plugs Davith into other list archetypes as well.

Aggressive Negotiations

Murne Rin, Davith’s partner-in-spies, never approached her full potential in the skirmish game. Players found it difficult to trigger Field Report in the first round and typically just forgot about the ability after that. False Orders became less useful when the meta shifted from using deployment groups with multiple figures costing 3 or less to groups with multiple figures costing 4 or more. Murne’s attack was weak even before Jabba’s Realm introduced other Leaders that could pack a punch.

We feel IACP’s new Elite Murne Rin can now meet the promises that her FFG card could not. False Orders no longer requires an action and affects hostile figures with a figure cost of 4 or less within 4 spaces. This dramatically increases Murne’s threat range as she can double-move and then force your opponent’s Elite Weequay Pirate, Greedo, Jet Trooper or Hera Syndulla to move or attack. A figure forced to move by Murne will trigger Parting Blow; a figure forced to attack must spend Beneficial conditions and can spend one of that figure’s attacking power tokens!

Field Report also gets reworked into a more impactful ability. As a special action, Murne can now Hide up to 2 friendly figures within 4 spaces. To keep Field Report balanced, it is limited to figures that have 2 or less dice in their printed attack pool. The Steering Committee likes the idea of Murne hiding figures like Elite Alliance Rangers, Jyn Odan, Elite Weequays and Murne herself; we didn’t want players to have to deal with a Han Solo or Onar Koma so easily Focused and Hidden.

Further increasing her value is the new Figurehead ability. Inspired from Murne Rin’s campaign class cards, Figurehead allows Murne to prevent a friendly figure within 4 spaces from suffering 1<strain> by forcing Murne to suffer 1<damage>. Because the ability triggers before that friendly figure suffers <strain>, Murne may use it before the new Under Duress card is exhausted.

These reworked and new abilities are combined with improved attack statistics and increasing her Health from 6 to 9. The Steering Committee thinks all these changes to Murne gives Rebel & Mercenary players more choice when picking their support and hybrid deployment groups. She may never replace Gideon or R2-D2, but she may offer better play options for certain armies compared to C-3PO or Hera Syndulla.

Go Undercover

The Steering Committee feels that these improved cards for Davith and Murne expands list building and play possibilities for the Rebel & Mercenary factions. They both seem to be closer to reaching their potential: It is up to you to reach it!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *