Rebellions are built on hope

First Season 7 Update: May 31st, v7.1 – Important Future Dates Included

13 cards from Season 7 have been updated for the first out of 3 upcoming tweaks, 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3. If you were not already aware, below is the schedule for when the next 2 updates will be happening, along with the dates for the Season 7 community vote, competitive play and the release date for Season 8.

July 4th: 7.2 Update
August 1st: Final 7.3 Update
August 21st – 28th: Community Vote
August 29th, 2022 – January 29th, 2023: Season 7 Competitive Play
January 30th, 2023: Season 8 Official Playtest Release

While a lot of cards out of the 28 total cards in Season 7 got an update, we feel most of them are relatively small and directly address community feedback we’ve received from the first month of public playtesting. We wanted to try and get as many updates out in this first patch as possible to give us as much time as possible to get changes tested before the Community vote. If it turns out a change was not enough, we have 2 more scheduled changes to iterate and improve the cards further.

You can check out the original versions of all of the 7.0 cards here: https://ia-continuityproject.com/2022/04/19/season-7-preview-gallery/

If you want to join the discussion and leave feedback from your playtesting games, you can join us over at
Discord: https://discord.gg/vrCNGst4
Slack: https://join.slack.com/t/zionsfinesti…
or over on the IACP subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/IACP/

Mercenary

Taron Malicos

Summary:
“Non-companion” restriction added to Fallen Master.
Boulder Barrage now targets a space instead of a figure.

We got a lot of feedback from multiple players that having a 1 point figure like The Child companion be able to play a card like Lure of the Darkside to convert one of its actions into a powerful attack was a step too far for how much a 1 point companion should be able to do and was creating a significant negative play experience for the players that came up against it. We considered several possible solutions to how to fix this, and one of the ones we settled on was to add “non-companion” to Taron’s Fallen Master ability. We thought about making Lure of the Dark Side not playable by companions, but that was a lot of extra clunky text on Lure and also kept the door open for something like Force Lightning to still be played by the Child. We did make a change to Lure though, which you can read about below in the Empire section.

While we were already making changes to Taron’s card, we also realized that Boulder Barrage was a bit awkward when it came to large and massive figures, as it could target a space and then put a Rubble token 2-3 spaces away from the space he targeted if he was targeting a large figure, possibly 3 spaces away from the space he has line of sight to. We decided to change this ability to allow Taron to target a space instead of a figure, just like many other similar abilities. This allows more flexibility with how he can place Rubble tokens as he no longer needs to target a figure to place a Rubble token, while also remedying the corner case with large and massive figures.

HK Assassin Droid

Summary:
Surge for +2 damage changed to surge for +1 damage

Players have let us know that they definitely look powerful and feel powerful, especially compared to the old versions of the elites and regulars. As with a lot of other tweaks we are making this season, we are taking the community’s feedback to heart and hoping that the game data will catch up to what our playtesters are telling us as our we collect more game data and improve our sample sizes. But in these cases we’re also trying to make the minimum change necessary so as not to overcorrect as we have sometimes done in the past. While we did get feedback that Merciless felt like a very strong ability, we like what we’ve seen in terms of how players are building their lists around it by consistently including more cards like Punishing Strike and HK-47 alongside the HK Assassin droids, and we feel it gives the HKs a unique identity besides just being 4 point 3-dice Hunters that have rerolls and can play Droid cards.

To help compensate for the added strain that is often generated by Merciless and to help reign in some of their spike damage without hurting their consistency, we’ve reduced the surge for +2 damage to a surge for +1 damage. This actually makes their base attack much closer to the damage profile of the original regular HK Assassin droids, which we hope will further encourage players to prioritize getting the extra strain from Merciless by building their list around Harmful conditions.

Hired Gun

Summary:
Surge for Pierce 2 changed to surge for +1 damage.

Hired Guns are a card that seems to have generated polarized feedback among the community, with some players saying they have been too strong and some saying they have felt just right. The main criticism we’ve heard is that they deal too much damage for a 3 point figure that really costs 2.5 points, due to how easy it is to Focus them with self-damaging effects in addition to their always Focused Parting Shot. The detractors have pointed to the Pierce 2 as being too much in addition to getting Focused from taking damage. In reality, we find that Hired Guns tend to excel at beating up Rebel and Scum lists that generate less innate defenses against multiple attacks, while Empire lists have the higher defenses to take multiple small attacks while also having Zillo Technique to invalidate the Pierce 2 that makes Hired Guns so strong against a lot of Rebel and Scum figures.

We hope that by converting Pierce 2 to +1 damage on their 2nd surge, we actually see a slight decrease in Hired Guns effectiveness against Rebel and Scum lists while actually slightly improving their effectiveness against Empire by removing Zillow’s ability to completely invalidate one of their surge abilities.

Cad Bane

Summary:
Surge for +1 damage, pierce 1 changed to surge for +2 damage

We’ve been pretty happy with Cad Bane so far, and he is a very popular figure this season who’s stats just aren’t quite where we’d like to see them for a popular figure that’s gotten so much play. We feel there may also be a learning gap for players as well as they get used to optimizing Cad Bane’s I Make the Rules Now, a unique movement ability which has so many options and opportunities for optimal play can sometimes be easy to miss. Changing +1, pierce 1 to a straight +2 damage is a very small improvement to Cad’s attack that also goes back to Zillo Technique again and hopefully improves his matchup against Empire lists while likely keeping his damage output the same in many other instances.

Rancor

Summary:
Crippling Blow’s effect changed to the target becomes Stunned
Surge for +2 damage changed to surge for +3 damage

We’ve gotten positive but also mixed feedback on the Rancor, with the main critique being that the unbreakable Stun from Crippling Blow is just especially backbreaking to high cost melee figures. If a Rancor can activate first and get in an attack on something like Vader or Jedi Luke, it can basically invalidate those figures for an entire round, facilitated further by having Reach and extra movement from Beast Tamer. There is also no way to counter the pseudo-condition that got placed by Crippling Blow as it isn’t a Harmful condition that can be discarded by an ability, which means there’s very little counter-play available. While 7.0’s Crippling Blow is a cool design space that might make more sense on a Command card, we hope that by converting it to a regular Stun, players will still be able to dedicate list and deck slots to countering it so their melee figures aren’t just completely invalidated.

The other criticism we’ve heard from players that have played a lot of games with Rancor was that it doesn’t quite do enough damage per attack to justify sacrificing a figure to its Voracious ability. We’ve taken another inspiration from its campaign version and upgraded the surge for +2 damage to a surge for +3 damage. We found this had a lower overall impact than swapping a green die for a red or adding a straight +1 damage. We’ve also heard the frustration from a couple of players that the Rancor can be very difficult to bring down when it’s able to make multiple attacks from Command cards and use the surges to Recover lots of damage. This has been a recent development and so far we are still looking into whether this is something that happens often with the Rancor or was perhaps a confluence of random factors like command cards, dice rolls, and lots of chip damage from lower power attackers. We hope that perhaps by making its other surges more alluring, there will be a greater opportunity cost to using the surge for Recover, but we will reassess the Rancor’s durability as the playtest season plays on.

Empire

Lure of the Dark Side

Summary:
Changed target hostile figure from “within line of sight” to “within 4 spaces”
Edit: Corrected from 3 space limit to 4 space limit (5/31/22)

While we got a lot of feedback about having companions using this card through Taron Malicos feeling very unfair, we also got a decent amount of feedback about this card being used by normal figures as well and how that was also leading to unfun experiences. After talking to players and taking stock, we realized that a big part of the negative experience was having to account for melee figures being able to reach all the way across the map in the early with a hidden card to use your own resources against you, and those figures being able to then move back into an extremely safe position right afterward, a huge reward with almost no risk. It was very difficult to play around and very easy to lose a key figure to this card that seemed like it should have been safe and positioned well out of harm’s way.

We removed the range restriction from the card originally as a way to give melee-bound force users a way to interact with ranged opponents that had an advantage by staying far back at range. However this was probably an overreach, and it seems we may have choked on our aspirations a bit (sorry I promised I would use this line). We hope that by shortening the range to a 4 space limit, it will increase the amount of risk that has to be taken to use the card and reduce the amount of times it can be used during the first round to disrupt early positioning, all while keeping the increased reward the same and still giving melee force users something to do if they are too far away from a hostile figure to perform an attack.

The Grand Inquisitor

Summary:
Saber Throw restricted to non-adjacent targets

The two strongest pieces of feedback we got from players on the updated Inquisitor was that it felt strange to always be correct to use Lightsaber Throw even against adjacent targets, and that being able to use the Precision reroll when attacking an adjacent target with Saber Throw was making it too easy to reroll for extra surges to get the Cleave 3 at range.

We realized that a very small change to Saber Throw could help solve both of these issues, which was to restrict Saber Throw to only targeting a non-adjacent figure. This makes it impossible to use the Precision reroll with the ranged Cleave from Saber Throw, and gives players more of a reason to use the Inquisitor’s normal melee attack instead of it just always being to correct to use Saber Throw no matter what.

Purge Commander

Summary:
Attack pool changed from Blue/Blue/Green to Blue/Green/Yellow

Players seem to be happy with the Purge Commanders so far, however something the Steering Committee members had noticed during their playtesting sessions was the Commanders were able to hit at very long ranges due to their Blue/Blue/Green dice pool in combination with being to use their Coordinated Hunt reroll on their own attack, much longer range than intended.

By swapping a blue die for a yellow, they retain most of their original attack power but now have a much more reasonable range.

Purge Trooper

Summary:
Cortosis Armor removed
New ability added: On the Hunt

Purge Troopers are the biggest change in the season so far. Multiple playtesters expressed how underwhelming the Purge Troopers were in their 7.0 state. While players found the Loadouts interesting, the base model supporting them was compared to a cross between a Death Trooper and a Riot Trooper, but with the limitations of both and with little of the upside. Their low speed and lack of damage output, even when the best Loadout was chosen to counter the opponent’s list, were cited as issues holding this figure back.

The Steering Committee leaned into their role as a specialized Hunter and gave them a new ability that would help them perform a lot better in specific situations without just making them stronger in every situation. The new On the Hunt ability helps them close the gap to melee range specifically when they are hunting unique figures, and also adds +1 damage to their attack when they use the ability to perform an attack targeting a unique figure. The extra damage only applies when performing the attack from the ability and doesn’t apply for extra attacks like the batons or Pummel.

Additionally, the Reach ability has been restored to the Electrostaff to help it stand out from the other Loadouts. The Electrobatons seem to be the overwhelmingly most popular choice for granting an additional attack, while Electrohammer probably has the clearest use-case of when to bring it for being useful against swarms and large figures. The Electrostaff was intended to useful against some queen pieces like Vader, Chewie and Royal Guard Champion and will be helped out by On the Hunt against those figures, but also meant to be more generally useful against figures that have powerful 2-dice defenses like the AT-ST or Rancor or rely on defensive power tokens like Riot Troopers. Adding Reach should help make the staff more useful against these non-unique figures as well, even without On the Hunt.

Rebels

Leia Organa

Summary:
Battlefield Leadership changed to grant 1 movement point instead of 2

Leia has been one of the most successful updates in Season 7, often being paired with Luke Skywalker, Hero of the Rebellion and heralding the return of the Wonder Twins list as a competitive archetype. We are happy to see such an iconic character doing well in competitive play after being sidelined from the game for so many years. However, some players expressed concern to us that when playing against her, it often feels like Battlefield Leadership is too easy to set up by the Leia player and too difficult to avoid by the opponent, aided by the 2 movement points added to Battlefield Leadership and Leia’s own 5 speed.

Since we had not seen any complaints about the change to Military Efficiency that were not purely hypothetical, we focused on the other major change we had added to Leia, the 2 movement points added to Battlefield Efficiency. Most of us feel that the main thing holding Leia back before her recent update was how difficult it was to set up Battlefield Leadership without leaving a figure out in danger to perform the bonus attack. However it became clear that 2 movement points is a lot for a figure to be able to reposition during Leia’s activation and was likely an overcorrection. We are going to test Battlefield Leadership out at only granting 1 movement point to the 2nd attacker and seeing if that helps to restrain the ability a little more without going back to it being too hard to even use at all. We are also keeping in mind that she originally costed 8 points and that she is not necessarily locked in at 7, but we want to use these longer playtest seasons to make smaller more gradual iterations than we have in the past so that we can avoid overcorrecting if possible.

There is Another

Summary:
Recover 3 damage replaced with Draw 1 Command card

Leia’s new updated Command card has been a bit of a paradox. Being able to play other figure’s command cards is a fun but fairly niche ability to put on a Command card, which meant we had to include a secondary effect on the card to help it compete for a valuable slot in players’ Command decks, an effect which needed to be simple enough to take up only 1 line of text. Recover seemed like a good choice to help Leia survive into the endgame to be able to play other figure’s Command cards. Damage recovery is a somewhat all-in strategy that players seem to either love or have no interest in, and Recover 3 as the secondary effect on this Command card didn’t seem to be interesting enough to enough players to warrant including in every Leia player’s Command deck. On the flipside however, we realized that when players did bring the card and were able to play it for it’s full effect to Recover 3 damage, it made Leia feel both incredibly tanky and made it much less punishing for players that used her Battlefield Leadership ability very aggressively in ways that would normally get Leia quickly killed.

To both attract the interest of players that don’t see as much value in Recover and to also encourage more conservative play with Leia’s Battlefield Leadership ability, we are replacing the Recover ability with a straight Draw 1 Command card ability. This makes the value of the card more apparent at a glance, as it replaces itself with a draw when played, and also leans more into Leia’s Military Efficiency ability by helping dig out the cards that got shuffled into the deck more quickly.

Neutral

Smuggling Compartment

Summary:
Non-Spy trait restriction removed
Exhaust cost removed from 2nd ability
2nd ability now looks at top and bottom card at the same time

We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from players about Smuggling Compartment so far. People seem to like having the option to bring something that can protect their hand from Spy cards and other forms of hand disruption, and are finding interesting ways to make use of the ability to peek at and move cards between the top and bottom of the deck before the draw phase. The main piece of feedback we got from players was that it was frustrating that even when building a non-spy list, it’s often the case that one of their figures incidentally has the Spy trait, just because there are so many spy figures in the game, one of the main reasons for this card’s creation in the first place. We also realized that there’s a lot of hand disruption in the game that doesn’t require the use of Spies specifically, like Headhunter, Hostile Negotiations, and Stall for Time, all of which can be used with Smuggling Compartment anyway.

We have decided to test out allowing this card to be played alongside Spies. While there is still concern that this might give Spies too much control over both their opponent’s and their own Command cards, we feel there is a good chance it will not cause problems if used alongside Spies and that this should be allowed to be playtested by the community, preferably starting sooner in the season rather than later.

The other thing we noticed in the stats was that lists that included the card were losing a lot. It had just 2 wins out of 12 games reported (initially 0 wins out of 10 games in the stats). While we don’t want this card to necessarily be a huge factor in winning games for 1 point, this extremely low win rate seemed to be an indicator that the card was probably too close to being a 1 point handicap for the lists that were using it. While we initially thought that making players choose between looking at the top and bottom card of their decks would be an interesting choice (do I see what my next draw is and throw it to the bottom, or do I check if the card I really need right now is stuck at the bottom of my deck?), it turned out to be a bigger limitation than realized because of how few rounds there are in a typical game of skirmish and thus how few times this card’s secondary ability actually gets to trigger during a meaningful round in the game.

To help increase the general utility of the card, we’ve made two changes to the 2nd effect. It no longer requires and exhaust, so using the card for its primary effect of stopping hand disruption no longer means giving up it’s secondary effect. And it now lets you look at both the top and bottom card with each use, and lets you move either one to the top or the bottom. A list with Command cards that are important enough to spend 1 point to protect from disruption will probably also enjoy being able to move the top card of their deck if it is not the card they want or, if the card they need is stuck at the bottom of the deck, being able to move it up to the top.


Well, those are all the changes this time around. Let us know what you think about the Season so far using any of the social media link listed above, or just leave a comment down below. You can also fill out our Season 7 playtest survey if you’ve played with the cards using this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe37sj7N7dfRri74xUrkDXxWxSMN3GoXh5CEFM2BTESyCLaKQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

Thank you!

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