June 26th, 2023
3 cards from Season 8 have been updated for the 2nd of 3 planned updates for Season 8, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3. Here is the schedule for the remainder of Season 8 playtesting for those not already aware.
- 8.2 changes – June 26th
- 8.3 changes – July 31st
- Community Final Approval Voting – Aug 21 – Sept 1 (final day to vote)
We are at the point in the playtest period where we’re mostly fine-tuning things and working out solutions to more complex problems that did not need to be as urgently fixed. This is why you’re only seeing 3 cards changed compared to 8.1’s 14 cards changed. 8.2 really has 1 big change to a figure that has not gotten a lot of love yet, and a small change to a figure that is pretty well loved by the players that have been using it, but needed just a little bit of the kinks ironed out to get it where it needs to be.
Before I go over the changes, I want to formally introduce our newest member of the IACP Steering Committee, TheSecondFlock, aka Wesley. Wesley’s been a part of the IACP community for a little over a year now, but in that year he’s shown a great deal of insight into the game’s design and mechanics and has asked questions and made suggestions in the IACP Discord that has led to many improvements and corrections to IACP card templating and designs. I can proudly say that even though he is my co-host on the Rebel High Command podcast, I didn’t have to say anything at all for the other members of the Steering Committee to bring up his name and nominate him all on their own as the next Committee member. And TheSecondFlock’s input has already been tremendously helpful in implementing this batch of changes, so a big thank you to him for jumping right into it with us this past week.
You can also see the game log data we’ve had available while implementing these changes here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/17h4Z86YTUkeHHWG0tDOYzR8MkWdw3DdI-EhLREMl2ko/edit?usp=sharing
Kuiil has been struggling this season to find a niche with players, and is the Season 8 figure that has gotten the least amount of play so far. Even with the Mounted ability, his low speed and large figure profile pretty much mandates he bring the Beast Tamer card along with him, which artificially increases his cost by 1 point. At 5 points, he’s pretty big points investment for what he can do. We like the support niche that he fills in Scum lists as a figure that offers help with movement in a very unique way compared to Imperial Officers and Gideon Argus, and we realized that the best way we can probably help Kuiil fulfill that role in a competitive manner is to reduce his cost by 1. To match his new cost, his health is being reduced by just 1, down to 8. However he is also losing his surge to Recover 2 damage, so that will affect his overall durability as well. Instead he gains a surge for Stun, which is actually informed more by theme to match what we see on the show when he is first introduced, firing stun rounds into the wild Blurrgs harassing Din.
Desperate Escape (formerly Blurrg Charge)
Arguably the biggest change for Kuiil comes in the form of a new command card. Blurrg Charge was a fun card, but we felt that Kuiil’s command card was a bit of a missed opportunity to better support his supportive niche without overtuning his deployment card. It was also another chance to dive into the source material again and really try to match Kuiil’s narrative arc in the show on the card.
Kuiil’s niche in the game is as an escort figure to another slow figure that wants to close the gap to the opponent quickly, and then act as a guard for that figure using his large base, high health and guardian cards like Get Behind Me and Bodyguard. His new command card leans into that play pattern while being as flavorful as possible to his actions in the season 1 finale. It also dives into new design space for unique figure command cards, allowing the card to be used for two different effects depending on whether Kuiil is still alive or has been defeated.
We feel that Scout Troopers are actually in a really good place right now in terms of their performance in the meta, so this change is not really meant to be a nerf or a buff, but rather an improvement to their core gameplay loop. That loop is actually quite a lot of fun, but the problem is that it gets solved quickly and is just a bit too easy to always reliably pull it off every single time no matter what, which can also be frustrating to play against knowing that neither luck nor ability will eever be able to bail you out of being stuck in that loop of your figures constantly being weakened and the Scouts attacks always being boosted because of that. We were hesitant to mess with something that didn’t seem to be broken, but once we figured out this updated version after 8.1, we wanted to make sure we got into playtesting to make sure it gets a chance for players to try it out.
The new gameplay loop for Scouts will feel very similar to the previous iteration, with a -1 evade and reroll on the first attack and likely a +1 surge on the 2nd. However now that the Weaken condition is tied to a surge, it’s no longer a 100% guarantee on the first attack, leaving a small window of hope for the defender to escape the loop if the Scout doesn’t reroll into a surge or if the defender can mount enough bonus evades to counteract the new Find Weakness. Of course there are ways to mitigate this for the Scout, including a Focus from Vaders Finest or a surge token from Thrawn or Krennic, so now there is a bit more consideration of risk and reward for the Scout player to think about.
This new version is also a bit more straightforward in its presentation of how to use it, and eliminates the confusing nature of presenting players with a false choice. In the previous version it was just objectively better to always choose the Weaken+reroll on the first attack, then get rewarded with both the reroll and a surge on the 2nd attack, along with the lingering effect of Weaken on the defender. But this created a trap for some players to make the wrong choice if they didn’t take the time to think through how much they were missing out on if they chose the bonus surge on the first attack instead of the weaken.
TL:DR, we think this version will play out a bit better for people without changing too much how strong Scouts are in the competitive metagame.
I’ll finally say that we are aware of the existing combo of Saska, Cassian, Ugnaught Tinkerer and Chewbacca that has recently been reinvigorated by the new Technician cards and competitive updates to Saska’s abilities. We have already identified what we think will be the most appropriate way to deal with this combo if it is an actual problem, however we are going to give it some more time to get more playtesting and prove itself to be truly problematic, as nipping this in the bud now will not give us any further information about whether this is truly a degenerate combo or a viable and valuable new list archetype for competitive play featuring a fan-favorite Wookiee figure.
Huge thank you again to everyone who playtests these cards and submits their Vassal Game logs to us for analysis. You can find more information on the playtesting process and how to log and submit your Vassal replay logs to us on this article: https://ia-continuityproject.com/2023/04/19/season-8-preview-season-structure-and-playtesting-league-explained/