Back in 2016, when I started to get more interested in the skirmish side of the game, one of the most popular and powerful Scum lists in the game at the time was a list called Beast Machines. It made use of the powerful and brand new at the time Beast Tamer skirmish upgrade that had just come out of the Bantha Rider expansion pack, along with a smattering of the faction’s strongest Droid and Creature figures at the time.
Today I get to share with you some of the powerful new and returning cards for Creatures and Droids in this season, along with some other returning cards to bolster the Mercenary faction’s toolkit.
The Rancor makes its proud return in Season 7. Though it did receive a 1 point reduction way back in Season 1, the Rancor has constantly struggled to make an impact on the continuing competitive skirmish scene, though it has remained a fan favorite figure for casual games thanks to its massive presence on the battlefield and it’s bombastic command card options for generating lots of extra attacks.
For Season 7, the Rancor has gotten a full makeover with 3 brand new abilities, though it still keeps a few of its old tricks. Its durability has been massively bolstered, gaining a 2nd black defense die as well as a surge for Recover 2 as it devours its enemies!
The Rancor’s Cleave has also been upgraded to Cleave 3, and it has an updated Trained ability that allows it to reroll a die on attack or defense, though it costs a strain each time as it fights its feral nature to perform such tricks. Its Brutality ability has been replaced with a new special attack, Crippling Blow, which leaves the target unable to move for the rest of the round if the attack hits.
Though this Rancor’s Training has somewhat tempered its Brutality, that doesn’t mean it isn’t still able to attack multiple times a round. It’s final new ability, Voracious, inspired loosely by its campaign card’s ability, allows the Rancor to ready its Deployment card once per round by defeating a nearby friendly figure, making the Rancor the only figure in the game that can activate multiple times in a round without using a command card. Just make sure to bring plenty of Loth-cats and Jawas to keep your pet Rancor full and ferocious.
I also want to say that this current card frame really doesn’t do this artwork justice. We’re using old-school card frames for this playtesting season in an effort to reduce man hours spent on photoshopping cards that are ultimately bound to change as the playtesting period progresses. However, rest assured that the classic IACP card frame that you love with its wonderful extended borderless art box will be returning with the Community Approval vote, and I’ve put in a little preview of what this amazing Rancor art might look like once it’s inserted into the IACP frame.
Creatures as a trait are also getting a boost this season with a new Command card. Savage Vigor will punish any attacker that rolls more than 2 attack dice, giving Creatures a better chance to close the gap and get into mauling distance of their opponents.
HK Assassin Droids
And of course the 2nd half of the Beast Machines are the machines. HK Assassin Droids finally get to join HK-47 in the ranks of IACP. Regular HKs were a popular figure when they first were introduced back in Return to Hoth, but were soon eclipsed by the elite Weequay Pirates from Jabba’s Realm. Now the elite HKs have been updated to bring their abilities back in line with the power level of the rest of the game, as well as adding a new ability that plays directly into 2 of Scum’s existing faction archetypes: strain and harmful conditions.
The elite HKs get a healthy point drop from 11/6 down to 8/4 to match the regulars, as well as getting an extra +1 Health and keeping their Priority Target ability to shoot through figures. They now receive a proper surge for +2 damage rather than 2 surges for +1, and they’ve also had +2 Accuracy added to their surge for Weaken to make their long range attacks that much more reliable. The HKs are also keeping their Targeting Computer and Versatile Weaponry abilities to reroll both one of their own attack dice and one of the defender’s dice for better consistency between attacks.
Their new ability, Merciless, rewards players for building around Harmful conditions, as well as being an excellent figure to fit into a strain list. When they attack, if the defender already has a Harmful condition, they will suffer 1 strain from the attack as well. Of course, the HKs can self-start this ability for their partner by using their surge to Weaken, but players that bring ways to deal out lots of Harmful conditions in their list will double the amount of strain that this ability can deal in one activation!
Droids are also receiving support in the form of an updated Command card, Triangulate. The original card had a lot of potential as an action that could do up to 3 damage to a target without attacking it, but it was very situational and often difficult to set up. We’ve taken cues from a newer Command card that’s similar to Triangulate in many ways, Pack Alpha, which was a Creature Command card released in Tyrants of Lothal that worked similarly but allowed the player to move their Creatures into the necessary positions to deal the damage.
The Droid figure using the updated Triangulate gets to choose any 3 friendly droids on the map (including itself) and move them 1 space. Then you choose a hostile figure within 5 spaces and line of sight to the Droid that played the card. For each of the Droids that you moved (maximum of 3) that have line of sight to the chosen hostile figure, that figure suffers 1 damage. Being able to deal up to 3 damage to a hostile figure with a non-attack action is quite strong, especially for Droids which have access to extra actions through the Overdrive Command card, but very few of which have the Assault keyword. You can also use To the Limit after you’ve used a Move action and played Triangulate to perform an attack as well.
Speaking of HKs and Harmful conditions, Season 7 brings with it an updated Punishing Strike Skirmish Upgrade. This card gives players full control over their Harmful conditions once per round, allowing you to do things like convert a Weaken from Boba’s Flamethrower into a Stun. This card finally receives a much needed cost reduction from 2 down to 1. We’ve also updated the way the card is worded so that if you have a figure that would be dealing a Harmful condition that the target figure already has, you can exhaust Punishing Strike to deal a different condition to that figure instead. Previously, you had to discard the Harmful condition you just dealt to swap it for a different one, and since you can’t deal a Harmful condition to a figure that already has that condition, it didn’t work when you were trying to avoid Weakening a figure that was already Weakened, etc.
We’ve also cleared up some ambiguous wording with how Punishing Strike interacted with dealing Harmful conditions to your own figures, allowing you to do things like playing Parting Blow and then swap out Stunned for Weakened or Bleeding on that friendly figure. Punishing Strike at 1 point can only be used against hostile figures. However, in IACP you are allowed to use the original versions of cards instead of the new versions (except for Assassinate and On the Lam; we’ll be officially laying this rule out in the next FAQ update), so if you were a player that was really into being able to use Shyla’s Mandalorian Whip with Parting Blow and Punishing Strike to get around that Stun, you’ll still be able to pay 2 points for that ability.
And finally for today, we have the updated Hired Guns. These were spoiled during our livestream tournament coverage of the “Adepticon at Home” Vassal tournament that happened on 4/16, so definitely go check that out if you haven’t already.
Hired Guns bring some much needed low-cost muscle to the Scum faction. Down from 6 points to 5, the elite Hired Guns now boast a surge for Pierce 2 rather than the second surge for +1. And to show that they’re out to protect number one and not interested in sacrificing their own lives for an employer, they’ve dropped the Disposable ability also found on the regular Hired Guns, and replaced it with the self-preservation ability, which gives them a Focus whenever they take damage. This gets pretty nasty in combination with their trademark Parting Shot ability, meaning that they will always be Focused when their Parting Shot gets triggered.
Of course, fighting harder when taking damage means that you as their commander are incentivized to damage your own Hired Guns as often as you can to whip them into fighting shape. Throwing them onto the front lines where they are certain to meet their doom, or using your own figures to deal damage to your Hired Guns on round 1 to get them pumped for the first attack, like using Mando’s Wrist Flamethrower or Onar’s Rush. You could even hire them into an Empire list with Emperor Palpatine to have the Emperor sacrifice an Imperial Officer to his Force Lightning in order Focus up a team of Hired Guns and Royal Guards all in one go! If anything, you’ll get a lot of attack power by Tempting these Hired Guns with Emperor Palpatine’s tempt ability, as long as you’re tempting them with cash…
Thanks for checking out today’s Season 7 spoilers. We’ll be releasing more spoiler articles each day of this week, and plan to have the entire Season ready to print and playtest on April 25th. Be sure to bookmark the Season 7 playtest spoiler gallery to keep track of all of the cards that have been spoiled so far.
Oh yeah, and I promised to give you a little peek of what that Rancor art will look like in its full IACP card frame glory. Isn’t she just beautiful?