Season 8 Preview: Up from the Shadows

Hello everyone! This is Gabe, otherwise known as Destructor, and I’ve been asked to write a spoiler article for the Committee. For today’s spoilers, I would like to shed some light on a few ideas that have never really experienced their time in the sun. It seems that every trait and strategy imaginable has a Trooper option within the Imperial faction, but not all playstyles are as solid as they could be. So, without further ado, let’s level the playing field!

Leaders: You know, the figures that play Planning?

Now, it’s no secret that the Leader trait hasn’t been much of an archetype. Mostly, Leaders are either the trait you realize you have when you’re short a Command card or two, or something you quickly check for when you add Planning to your Command deck. Well today, we have a new option that might make you take a second look at who has the Leader trait.

Like Celebration (or inversely, Of No Importance), Field Promotion is an opportunity to gain 4 VPs with a simple card play. Yet this time, the trigger is any time a Leader defeats a figure, and it comes with a different cost. Unlike with Celebration, these 4 VPs are almost guaranteed and require very little on the part of the person playing the card, save for securing a kill with a leader. To balance this out, this ability comes at the cost of a potential 2 additional points for your opponent to score if your Leader is killed. Even if the Leader eventually dies, you will have still earned a net gain of 2 VPs, so the card might prove worth the slot even if you’re struggling to keep your figures alive. However, someone who can protect their attackers will find this card indispensable.

The most exciting prospect is simultaneously playing both Celebration and Field Promotion for a whopping 8 victory points. Maybe we’ll even see some more VP focused lists from the Empire or Rebels.

Regardless, 4 VPs could easily turn the tide of a game, so hopefully giving Leaders an easy way to earn extra points will incentivise players to keep heavy hitting Leaders in mind while building their list.

E-Webs: Everyone’s Favorite Speed Bump

E-Webs have long struggled to fit into the meta. In season 4, an attempt was made to bring the E-Web into the mainstream by upgrading the base card, and by giving it another option for area denial in their own special attachment, Overwatch. While the E-Web has begun to see play, it is rarely used without the Lie In Ambush attachment.

Now, IACP is re-costing Overwatch to 0 points, allowing all E-Webs to buff their area denial with an Overwatch token. Overwatch tokens allow you to block off hallways and guard objectives more effectively than ever before. You could also run 2 E-Webs, and cover an otherwise open hallway. Now, any E-Web can block off spaces for free, making them the ultimate deterrent.

This update could also synergize well with pushing abilities, giving E-Webs extra attacks. While the E-Web isn’t normally expected to attack, an unexpected push could quickly turn your deterrent into a power play. This was usually not worth an extra point in the past, but now that these synergies are baked in, the E-Web can see more frequent and more creative play.

Vader’s Finest: Wherefore art thou, Imperial Focus?

My personal favorite spoiler for today must be the update to Vader’s Finest.

Important Update: As of 4/18/23, after this article was posted, this card’s 2nd ability text to Focus a figure has been updated with “Limit once per group per round”. This text was not included on the card when this article was written, and opinions expressed in this article may not reflect the updated wording of this card.

Attachable on any Trooper, this card allows them to rise to the occasion and gain consistent Focus. For 1 point, you can boost the damage of any Trooper, and allow them to get out of dodge after a risky play. Additionally, if your Finest figures become Stunned, your action won’t be completely wasted. Your opponent definitely won’t want to leave someone out in the open, as Vader’s Finest will allow you to Focus, take your shot, and then duck behind a wall for protection.

This card could be paired with a single powerful figure to buff their stats, some Jet Troopers to gain incredible amounts of movement and dice, or your Stormtroopers to make them extra scary. Obviously I’m most looking forward to running Vader’s Finest Stormtroopers with Krennic to boost their damage out of this world, but the possibilities are wild. Heavies could take this card for free, and an Iden pairing could be really scary with her already incredible range and damage. However you use it, just be sure to move and Focus round 1 before you sprint out round 2 knowing your extra movement will keep you safe. In my opinion, I think Vader’s Finest will see a nerf in 8.1, but I sure would love to be proved wrong! The possibilities of Focus in Empire are endless, and I’m excited to see what ideas come from this incredible Trooper boost!

Scout Troopers: They’re like Mak from campaign, “but now, there are two of them!”

For our final spoiler of the day, I’ve saved the best for last. Scout Troopers are finally getting an upgrade!

Scout Troopers have long been one of the most difficult figures to play against in the game. The issue is, they hit like wet noodles. While some of their abilities were nice, their actual attack could more or less be ignored until everything else on the battlefield was destroyed. Even my non-gamer friends quickly determined that they just weren’t worth the points. However, after a long wait, Scout Troopers return with a vengeance!

They are retaining everything that made them annoying, but this time, their extra surge is now always available, making long range shots far more possible. Additionally, with Weaken no longer costing an action, Scouts can quickly maneuver away from oncoming threats, preventing them from having to choose between damage and safety. The Scouts are still only rolling 2 dice, but their damage now includes more options for players and more consistency, ensuring your 8 points never go to waste. You could even pair them with Vader’s Finest to let them sit still like a true sniper. Hopefully with these new changes, the Camouflage will be protecting a figure your opponent actually wants to eliminate. The troopers of Empire finally have their sniper support, and the Scouts certainly won’t be easy to take down.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s spoilers! Check back in tomorrow for some more exciting IA goodness!

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