IACP Skirmish Archetype Primer: Rebel Ranged Brawlers

Are you a newly enlisted Rebel looking to try out IACP skirmish but don’t know where to start? Well, you’re in the right place. The following list has been my favourite to play and became my main list as I went from winning the odd game here and there to consistently having close games even with experienced players. Now let’s flip the script and start with the recipe before I dive into the inspiration and how it works.

List on Tabletop Admiral

  • 9 Cara Dune
  • 8 Zeb Orrelios
  • 7 Biv Bohdrik
  • 7 Luke Skywalker (Hero of the Rebellion)
  • 3 Gideon Argus
  • 3 R2-D2
  • 2 C-3P0
  • 1 Unshakable
  • 0 Heir to the Jedi
  • 0 Heroic Effort
  • 2 Call the Vanguard
  • 2 Get Behind Me!
  • 2 Heart of Freedom
  • 2 Parting Blow (x2)
  • 1 Ambush
  • 1 Close and Personal
  • 1 Deathblow
  • 1 Feint
  • 1 Negation
  • 0 Element of Surprise
  • 0 Fleet Footed
  • 0 Looking for a Fight
  • 0 Self-Defense
  • 0 Take Initiative

First off, what are the “auto-include” deployment cards for a Rebels list? Almost every Rebel list will have the “Rebel Care Package”, which is Gideon Argus, R2-D2, and C-3P0. You basically need to have a good reason to not include one of these figures, which usually revolves around including a different support that is better for your specific list than the one you replaced. If you are running all Unique figures, then don’t forget to add Heroic Effort!

Now, onto the rest of the list. If you are like me and like lightsabers, you’ll be tempted to throw together as many Force Users as possible and go wild. The problem is, a full melee list is not easy to pilot in this game and I would say, not beginner friendly. Experienced players know how to play against melee units, so if you just run straight at them, your figures are going to be removed before they get their attacks in. This experience lead me to pivot towards adding ranged attacks to the roster. Though the main trait amongst my attackers is Brawler, there are other themes in the list. The three Brawlers have ways of attacking multiple times in their activation. Three figures (Biv, Zeb, and Luke) all have ways to do ranged and melee attacks, with Cara also benefitting from being adjacent to her targets. All four figures have relatively high health pools and/or innate defense, meaning they are not likely to be removed from the board in a single activation. With one point remaining, Unshakeable is there to make sure Cara isn’t sitting around stunned, which I’ll get into more later. The first iteration of this list included Extra Armor, which is a good filler in most lists but adds to the list’s already high health and defense. This list was created during Season 7 playtesting, where Zeb was updated and Luke’s “Heir to the Jedi” upgrade was added.

Next up is the command cards. Usual includes for any list are: Element of Surprise, Fleet Footed, Negation, Take Initiative, To The Limit, and Urgency. Heart of Freedom is also frequently included in Rebel lists. So why are some of these missing from this list?

If you are new to Imperial Assault Skirmish, you may not realize that To the Limit is only usable after a special action and not just any action. Also, attempting to use it to gain a move action will leave you disappointed, since the move action gives you movement points equal to your speed. However, the action ends before you spend any of these movement points and To the Limit will then leave you stunned and unable to use these movement points. Given this, maybe there would be a situation where I want Gideon to move, use a special action, then use his other special action. With limited resources, bringing a card that MAYBE one of your supports would like to use is hard to justify. Urgency is a good card for threatening figures that your opponent expected to be out of reach. You will also notice a few other cards in the list that add movement points, which is very important for a melee (or melee-ish) list. However, the movement points gained from Urgency all need to be used at once and are not bankable. I have found in this list that my attackers often want to break up their movement. I also don’t want to send one of them out on their own to a place the rest of my list can’t also get to. This card could replace Self Defense in the list, but I like the fun combo that Self Defense adds.

Onto the cards that ARE in this list. First, we have the Brawler cards. With Cara Dune able to set off Parting Blow’s trigger herself, 2 of this card are included to raise the chances of having this card in hand early for an explosive activation. Looking for a Fight gives the other Brawlers the ability to push a hostile figure and set off Parting Blow as well. Since this team lacks a way to mitigate opponent dodges and really needs every attack to hit hard, Feint is there to remove that result from the defense roll at a cost of losing an attack die of your choice. With these cards in mind, what is my ideal and fun combo with Cara? Well, once you are in range of a couple key targets, move in range of at least one target. The first attack is normal (hopefully focused) and if you are positioned to Blast, don’t use Shock and Awe to replace the yellow die with a red. After this, you want to be adjacent to the target of all of the following. Use Smash, rolling a red die to apply damage before moving the target from one adjacent space to another (noting that there must be another adjacent space for them to be moved to). This gives you the opportunity to use Parting Blow, giving Cara another attack, and since you are adjacent, you likely won’t want to use Blast and can use Shock and Awe to change the yellow die to a red. Parting Blow interrupts the movement. Therefore, after the attack is resolved, the figure enters another space adjacent to Cara. If the figure is left on one pesky health, that’s when you play Self Defense to finish them off. This also works even without Parting Blow, if the Smash didn’t get you the 2 damage you were hoping for (for example).

The two unique figure cards I include are “Ambush” and “Close and Personal”. Both of these cards provide movement and damage output. Biv’s card specifically adds to his “clean up hitter” style, as along with Multi-fire, he can make 3 attacks on his activation. Call the Vanguard is another opportunity to give Cara a full move and attack. This card and Parting Blow are both potential out of activation attacks for Cara, which is why Unshakable is included in the list to remove stun or any other harmful condition from her. With 3 potential melee attackers, Deathblow gives out 2 extra damage when they attack a ranged attacker. Last but not least, Get Behind Me! is usable by both Zeb and Luke, giving extra movement and some target control. When playing in a competitive setting, there is often a timer meaning you will play 3 or 4 rounds. With these 4, heavy hitting, high health/defense figures, they are a lot to deal with when they all engage at once. In most games, 2 of them will be removed from the board. It is often the case that one will be sitting with a couple health left and your opponent will want to remove them before they get to activate. This is exactly when you want to use Get Behind Me, buying you an opportunity to have one more heavy hitting activation before they are removed from the board and making your opponent work even harder to finally score the 7-9 VPs.

Like most Rebel lists, this list wants to stick together in the first 2 rounds. This gives them time to load up on Focus, given out by Gideon and C-3P0, while benefitting from 3P0’s added defense bonus. When presenting Cara, adjacent to difficult/blocking/impassable terrain and C-3P0 as the only target to your opponent, they will seriously question whether or not their attack is going to do anything. Keeping the four attackers close together during engagement not only makes them hard to chew threw, but allows the multiple attacks per activation to benefit from Luke’s Inspiring ability and get a reroll.

This list gives an introduction to a variety of IACP content, both in the deployment cards and command deck. There are newly created cards, simply recosted cards, and cards that went through more extensive adjustment from their original form. After trying out this list, there are other ranged Brawlers in the 7 point cost range that could be considered including Jyn Erso and Verena Talos (as of Season 8). Although not my proudest game, a game with Verena swapped in for Biv can be seen here where you can see some of the things I mentioned in action!

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