IACP Skirmish Archetype Primer: Imperial Droids

The Empire is a great faction in IACP to build a Droid-focused Skirmish list. Droids under the command of General Sorin have the ability to overwhelm an opponent with multiple attacks per activation and a variety of powerful surge abilities to Stun the opponent and grant themselves the Focused condition for future attacks.

Tabletop Admiral Link

Deployment Cards:

  • 9 Sentry Droid (IACP)
  • 9 Sentry Droid (IACP)
  • 5 ▪General Sorin (IACP)
  • 5 ▪BT-1 (IACP)
  • 4 Probe Droid (IACP)
  • 4 Probe Droid (IACP)
  • 2 Imperial Officer
  • 1 ▪Zillo Technique
  • 1 ▪Rule by Fear
  • 0 ▪Advanced Com Systems (IACP)

Command Deck:

  • (3) ▪ Iron Will (IACP)
  • (2) ▪ Call the Vanguard
  • (2) ▪ Second Chance
  • (2) ▪ Get Behind Me! (IACP)
  • (1) ▪ Rapid Recalibration (IACP)
  • (1) ▪ Shared Experience
  • (1) ▪ Negation
  • (1) ▪ Tough Luck
  • (1) ▪ Hunter Protocol
  • (1) ▪ Triangulate (IACP)
  • (0) ▪ Targeting Network
  • (0) ▪ Urgency
  • (0) ▪ Take Initiative
  • (0) ▪ Element of Surprise
  • (0) ▪ Planning

Something we like to do in IACP is take the many FFG cards that already have great designs and give them a new lease on competitive life by just reducing their cost. This doesn’t work for every card in the game, but this starting list is actually composed of only original FFG cards and re-costed deployments, so if you own these cards and figures in real life, you could play their FFG printed deployment cards and just note the changed deployment cost for each of them. All the other original text on the cards in this example list is still the same as their original printings.

Deployment Cards:

General Sorin

Re-costed to 5 from his original 8 points in FFG, General Sorin is the leader and center-point for this list’s strategy by providing powerful additional surge abilities to its Droids with the Advanced Firepower, especially BT-1 and the Sentry Droids. Both of those figures often roll a lot of surges with their dice pools, and Sorin provides a way to not lose out on the value from those surges. And additionally his Bombardment ability allows Sorin to contribute directly to the battle during his activation by allowing another figure to make a powerful attack, often Focused if it already attacked that round. And conveniently the Advanced Com Systems upgrade was lowered to 0 points in IACP, allowing Sorin to extend the range of both of his abilities out to 3 spaces instead of just adjacent.

Sentry Droid

Sentry Droids are the offensive backbone of this list, and they love having access to Sorin’s surge abilities, but they are also fully combat capable on their own now that their cost has been reduced from 10 points to 9. They can take long-range shots if needed with Charged Shot or be absolutely devastating by pulling off attacks on multiple figures per activation at the cost of -1 damage to each attack with Multi-Fire, meaning a group of Sentries can possibly perform 4 attacks in a group activation, with a possible number of those attacks being Focused. Don’t forget to take advantage of their built-in reroll from Targeting Computer, especially if you roll that single surge on the Green die.

BT-1 and Probe Droids

BT and the Probe Droids fill out the list with additional strong attackers. BT’s Assassin ability means he’s attacking with 4 dice, but you’ll need to get him pretty close because neither BT nor Sorin provide any accuracy bonuses. He can also split his attacks across 3 targets in a pinch with Missile Salvo, much like the Sentry Droids, but generally you want to avoid it unless there’s multiple targets with very low health in range. Probe Droids range is a bit better with an extra Yellow and a reroll, but similarly you don’t want to be attacking too much farther than range 3-4.

Officer, Zillo Technique and Rule by Fear

Then rounding things out with the essentials. Zillo Technique is possibly one of the most powerful cards in the game for its cost and often allows figures to survive attacks they shouldn’t have. Rule by Fear gives access to much needed Command card draw at the start of the game, and synergizes great with a few of the Command cards in this list that work from the discard pile. The Officer offers an extra activation and a figure to control terminals and objectives, but importantly it gives you a way to adjust Sorin’s positioning if you need to get those shared surges.

Command Cards

Protecting the General

A cool thing about Sentry Droids is they are Guardians. Iron Will is a fantastic card for capping the damage against your Sentry Droids to prevent one from being taken out by a big attack as long as they had more than 3 Health remaining before the attack. General Sorin is a key component of this list, and Get Behind Me! and Second Chance will help to keep him alive longer to benefit from his abilities.

Boosted Droid Efficiency

Droids have some great options for boosting their attacks with efficiently costed Command cards. Rapid Recalibration can change a bad roll into a great one, and Hunter Protocol is often the equivalent of adding 1-2 damage when your droids over-surge or don’t want to spend surges on Pierce. Shared Experience and Targeting Network are great cards to discard to abilities like Rule by Fear and Zillo Technique as they can be easily re-drawn later in the game. And as Trooper figures, the four Sentry Droids can all play Call the Vanguard to surprise the opponent with a free attack at the start of the round.

Alternative Options

There’s lots of great options to customize the list to your taste. Del Meeko is brand new to IACP and could easily swap out for BT-1 as a figure that can boost the other Droids in the list and offer support fire from a longer range than BT. Iden Versio brings a powerful attack as well as her Droid companion, which opens up some more fun command card options for Droid cards. Agent Kallus offers access to additional card draw and damage power tokens. And finally you could swap out the Sentry Droids for HK Assassin Droids with Temporary Alliance and include some Hunter command cards that also work well with BT-1.

In fact, Joey took a list almost exactly like this but with HK Assassin Droids instead of Sentry Droids, to a 5-0 record at the IACP tournament at Adepticon 2023. You can check out his list and others here: IACP at Adepticon 2023 – Lists and Photos

Final Thoughts and Insights

This list is a great starting point for Imperial players that want to get a taste for the swarm play available to the Empire, without going full-blown Stormtrooper swarm. Through the updates made in IACP, Droids are a legitimate force in the Skirmish game that can be played in multiple ways in the Imperial faction. Try them out for yourself and see that a mechanized Empire is capable of achieving.

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