One of the goals of the IACP project is to give players new possibilities and strategies for list-building outside of just the established norms for each faction. While we don’t want to see established favorites cast aside or weakened, we don’t want the Empire to just be the Vader faction or Mercenaries to just be the Hunter faction, etc. Each faction should ideally have multiple viable list-building options and archetypes available. We like to look at what cards have already been introduced the game that aren’t currently competitively viable, but could provide alternative list-building options to players with maybe just a tune-up and a new coat of paint. Cards like the new versions of Under Duress and The General’s Orders that offer rewards for players that build their lists around certain strategies and card types.
For the Rebel faction, we kept coming back to a card that we have actually tried to introduce in a previous IACP season. In Season 3, the Steering Committee thought that this card could function without just a reduction in cost but without any other changes, and unfortunately it didn’t work out. The card didn’t get any attention or play from the community, and was removed from the community vote. We knew we owed it to fans of the card and the iconic figure trait it represented to get it right the 2nd time around and give the card the attention and innovation it deserved.
That iconic figure trait I mentioned would be the Wookiees, and of course that card is Fury of Kashyyk. We know that many IA players yearn for the chance to play a competitive Wookiee list in skirmish, and we wanted Fury of Kashyyk to make all the possible Wookiee lists viable, whether it’s Chewie+Gaarkhan+Drokkatta or full on Wookiee Warrior Rushdown. Knowing that we would be doing a full overhaul of the card, Fury of Kashyyk was an opportunity for us to take a deep look at Wookiees as a trait and figure out what they needed to be competitive in the skirmish game. What were their strengths and weaknesses that we could address and play off of?
The new Fury of Kashyyk keeps its ability to Focus any Wookiee that suffers 3 damage, but no longer requires that damage to come from an attack. It now has 2 new abilities, the first of which grants Reach to all Wookiee figures. As Chewbacca and Drokkatta are ranged attackers and Gaarkhan already has Reach, this is a bonus specifically for the regular and elite Wookiee Warriors, which we found struggled to reach their targets otherwise.
The second ability grants elite (red bordered) Wookiee melee attackers an additional Pierce 1 for each friendly wookiee within 2 spaces of the defender, to a maximum of 2. Since the attacker is counted for the ability and is likely within 2 spaces of the defender if they are preforming a melee attack, elite Wookiee Warriors and Gaarkhan will get an automatic Pierce 1 on their attacks no matter what, but can upgrade to Pierce 2 if a friendly Wookiee is nearby to help batter the target. This ability rewards players who include a high density of wookiee figures in their list rather than just splashing a couple, and really helps the lower power level Wookiee figures meet their full potential, while still offering modest benefits to the stronger Wookiee figures in the game.
Fury of Kashyyk isn’t the only support Wookiees are getting this time around. Both Wookiees and Heavy Weapon figures receive a new Command card option in the form of Overwhelming Impact. Originally designed just for Heavy Weapon figures, we noticed that the strongest Heavy Weapon attacker in the game was also a Wookiee, and that both Heavy Weapons and Wookiees did not share any figures with Hunters (except BT, the real winner of season 5), which meant we could give the card a little extra juice without needing to worry that it would become another Assassinate arrow in the quiver of a Hunter figure.
This card was designed to help figures like Wookiee Warriors, Heavy Stormtroopers and Rebel Saboteurs break through tough defensive strategies and figures. This 2 point card makes your Wookiee or Heavy Weapon figure hit harder the more defense dice the defender rolls. It gives you the damage and surge icons you need to make sure you can trigger your Blast or Cleave keywords on your attacks. It also allows the attack to ignore any defensive bonuses from the defender that they didn’t roll on their defense dice. C-3PO distracting ability and Cunning got you down? Extra Armor tokens and Zillo Technique giving you fits? Boba’s armor chafing a bit? This card lets you shut out all of the defensive noise and cut straight to the point.
We hope that along with the other offensive Command cards revealed for traits that were previously less supported, a wider variety of figures will have the power to break through the iron defenses of the queen piece figures that still in some ways dominate the competitive skirmish landscape so that a wider variety of strategies and figure types become viable.
Welcome to IACP Season 5. Don’t lose an arm out there.