Season 8 Preview: Recon Report

Alright, operatives, we’re coming towards the end of the spoilers for Season 8. If you’ve read the intel briefs, nothing in this report should come as a surprise to you. You did read the briefs, didn’t you? Did you at least listen to the holorecordings sent to us by Agent Flock? No? Well, no matter. We’ll have you up to speed in no time. First things first, a top rebel operative is ready to re-enter the field.

“I was born gifted; I trained to become the best.”
―Verena Talos

That’s right, IACP fans, Verena Talos is being re-costed to 7. No other changes, just like Bossk yesterday. The John Wick of Imperial Assault is a fun and interesting design already that just isn’t quite worth the 8 points she was costed at. Her 11 health and conditional defensive bonuses feel a lot better at this cost, and the ability of her Close Quarters attack to “punch up”, using the attack pool of your opponent’s strongest figure, feels more exciting when she doesn’t cost (sometimes significantly) more than the figure whose gun she borrowed.

Unlike with Bossk’s card, Trandoshan Terror, we’ve elected to leave Verena’s command card, Master Operative, unchanged at 2 points. The two cards are certainly similar, both being buffs to a 7-point (formerly 8-point) Brawler’s unique special attack action. Apples to apples, though, a Focus and +1 surge is adding a good deal more than Bossk’s additional yellow die. And now that Verena’s less likely to be the most expensive figure in your list, you can justify using C-3P0 and Gideon to focus other figures, which lets you reap maximum value from Master Operative, in the same way IG-11 plays toward Guild Programming.

Brawlers and Spies are in interesting spots in the Rebel faction, so I’m interested to see what players can put together with Verena. I’m excited to get her back on the table, and start shooting people with their friends’ weapons. While I mull over some new Verena list ideas, have a look at this card that’s probably going to end up in most of them.

“You just walk in like you belong. They’re so proud of themselves, they don’t even care. They’re so fat and satisfied, they can’t imagine it. That someone like me would ever get inside their house, walk their floors, spit in their food, take their gear.”
―Cassian Andor

If you’re already familiar with IACP’s past seasons, you are probably thinking of another Command card when you look at Elusive. The similarity to its offensive counterpart, the Brawler Command card, Feint, is entirely intentional. Sometimes, the dice rolls just don’t go your way. When that happens, these cards come in to balance the scales of variance, by removing the dice least favorable to your plans.

Ultimately, the thing that most excites me about Elusive is the prospect of a Spy card that actually affects the Attack step. Aside from a Comm Disruption played on an opponent’s combat trick Command card, Spy cards don’t get played during an attack. Sure, there’s Hide in Plain Sight to prevent attacks altogether, and Data Theft letting them borrow combat Command cards from their opponents, but all in all, Spies’ attacks and defenses are generally quite predictable for a demographic so concerned with concealed information. It’s time the Spies have a trick of their own up their sleeves.

Sharp-eyed readers will of course have noticed two versions of this card shown above. One with reminder text, in italics at the bottom of the card, and one without. For those who print their cards, either version will be legal for play. The reminder text is something we’re trying out, as sort of an on-card FAQ entry, to help with easy-to-miss rules interactions on the card. Unlike Feint, where you would never intentionally cause yourself to miss by removing your necessary Accuracy, Elusive had to be worded slightly differently to only remove “symbols”, not “results”, so you couldn’t just force a miss by removing your opponent’s 5-accuracy blue die roll.

Another interesting detail is the fact that removing a defense dies isn’t a cost to play the card, but an effect. So if your defense die has already been removed by Element of Surprise or Wild Fire, or the results on your defense die have already been removed by Heightened Reflexes, then you might strongly considering playing your copy of Elusive, even if the attacker rolled poorly themselves.

“By order of the Emperor, Naboo is to be scoured.”
―Captain Lerr Duvat

Players in the IACP community are incredibly rewarding to create content for, because the level of community engagement in the process of design, even for such a small group, is so enthusiastic. It was a natural evolution of this fact that, in January, the IACP hosted a series of polls on the Imperial Assault forums, by which members of the community collaboratively designed this, the first ever product of the IACP Community Makes-The-Card competition.

Personally, I took a backseat to this process, chiming in only once it was time to choose art, because #GraphicDesignIsMyPassion. The end product is pretty wild. Accumulating tokens exponentially (Thrawn-style) as a special action. A deplete for map-wide AoE damage. The game’s first ever 4-point attachment (unless you count the Mortar Trooper, which doesn’t really count, because of how it’s scored).

And with a requirement to be attached to a unique figure of cost 4 or higher, who are you planning to attach it to? Heavy is the head that wears this crown, with a 4 VP price tag hanging from it. And if you’re thinking that the obvious choice is Jabba, sitting safely in your deployment zone, I’d say think again. Since accumulating tokens requires a special action, that means Jabba having to give up either granting a Focus or drawing a card, neither of which seems advisable. And the special action grants an attack, so if you’re confident you can protect the figure, you could use it with an attacker. Who’s tough enough, but with their attachment slot open for business? Maybe Boba Fett? I’m so interested to see what people decide to do with this card. Do you put it on Saw, and just leave him in the Deployment Zone like a Rebel Jabba, and wait for the explosions to happen? That’s thematic at least, I’ll say that.

“Save the Rebellion. Save the dream!”
―Saw Gerrera

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