IACP Archetype Primer: Heavy Weapons

Heavy Weapons were a strong trait in the early days of Imperial Assault skirmish when Rebel Saboteurs and Heavy Stormtroopers were at their apex, but they became outclassed as the Saboteurs were nerfed and the game went on and other traits received more powerful deployment and command cards. However in IACP, Heavy Weapons have been restored to their former glory and are an explosive force to be reckoned with. 

The new star of the Heavy Weapons command card suite is definitely Overwhelming Impact. At 3 points, this card will add a huge kick to your Heavy Weapons attacks, adding damage and surges based on how many defense dice the defender rolled. This is great for giving you the surges you need to trigger your figure’s powerful Blast and Pierce abilities. Additionally, you get to ignore all extraneous defense results modifiers from the opponent, meaning anything that is adding block or evade results to the opponent’s defense results without actually rerolling the dice, will be ignored. 

The other new card introduced in IACP is Reduce to Rubble. This 2 point card adds some major explosivity to your attack and can even modify the battlefield itself. Dealing 1 damage to every figure within 2 spaces of the target (including the defender), it also drops a Rubble token down on the target space and each adjacent space. Rubble tokens were introduced to the game by the Heart of the Empire expansion, and turn any space they’re occupying into difficult terrain. 

Collateral Damage is still a great card for getting that extra 2 damage on a nearby figure to finish it off, especially when combined with Blast and other area-of-effect (AOE) damage. Heavy Fire is a fantastically underrated card that I believe is close to being a staple in any list that features cheap 2-dice Heavy Weapons or Vehicles like Rebel Sabs or Jet Troopers. You can actually choose the defender as one of the figures to receive damage, and it deals damage to them regardless of whether the attack itself misses or deals damage, which makes it kind of like a reverse Zillo Technique, allowing you to finish off a target that would have survived with 1 Health. And of course you can also use it to finish off nearby figures that may be left on 1 health remaining, without having to waste a full attack on them. In conjuction with a low cost attacker, the Stun and Bleeding are absolutely worth the damage control you get with this card. Targeting Computer is at its best on Deployment cards that can attack twice, either because they have 2 figures, or because they have the Assault keyword like the AT-DP or E-Web. 

Lock On is still totally fine, especially if you don’t have another way to deal with Dodges besides Element of Surprise, but you might find yourself cutting it to fit other cards. The extra accuracy can also come in handy sometimes, as can the -1 evade to force through a crucial surge ability. Maximum Firepower is expensive and clunky to pull off, but with Rebel Saboteurs who can draw line of sight through other figures, it can sometimes be good. Heavy Ordnance is unlikely to be better than Positioning Advantage in most decks, but I have sometimes used both cards in Rebel Saboteur lists as a way to push 1 damage through against the defender so I can use my surge abilities to trigger Blast instead of having to use them for Pierce, because you can’t use Blast unless you deal at least 1 damage to the defender. Finally, while not a Heavy Weapon only card, I have found Blitz is at its best in a Heavy Weapons List where you are trying to get your powerful Blast surge abilities off as reliably as possible. 

Rebels have a lot of great support options for Heavy Weapons. Gideon Argus, C-3PO and R2-D2 are as important as ever, with Focus giving your figures increased Range, damage and surges, and R2 drawing into important Command cards. As I’ve mentioned, having the surges you need to trigger your Blast abilities is important, especially with Rebel Saboteurs who are hungry for surges but don’t roll many attack dice. Ko-Tun and Murne Rin can help boost your surges for your initial attacks. Saw Gerrera is a great support figure if you are building your list around Blast damage and other damage spreading effects, able to discard a command card to deal an extra damage to 2 other figures near the target, as well as Weakening nearby figures whenever a hostile figure is defeated, making it easier to get surges through against them. 

On the Imperial side, the newly updated elite Officers are great for giving your slow but hard-hitting Heavy Weapons extra attacks, and can become even more effective with The Generals Ranks attached. Del Meeko and General Sorin don’t support Heavy Weapons Specifically, but a lot of Empire’s Heavy Weapons are Droids or Vehicles, making them helpful in a list that has those figures. Finally, 2 of Empire’s best Heavy Weapon units, Heavy Stormtroopers and E-Webs, are also Troopers, which means they benefit from Trooper support, including Director Krennic.  

Sample Lists


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This list uses Ko-Tun and Murne to power up the Rebel Saboteurs for big Blast damage attacks against adjacent hostile figures, while Drokkotta brings the big single target damage when Focused but can also contribute to the Blast party as well with their AOE surge abilities and Demolish ability. Saw Gerrera and Heavy Fire ratchet up the AOE damage to its maximum potential, sometimes allowing you to deal up to 9 damage to a figure you’re not attacking with a single Rebel Sab attack if you have the right command cards in your hand. 

Some neat tricks with this list is to use Induce Rage to convert your harmful conditions from Heavy Fire into power tokens, and to use Wild Attack with Ko-Tun’s Dead Precise ability to add a Red die to your attack without needing to worry about the increased chance of being Dodged. 


Copy and Edit List in Tabletop Admiral Listbuilder 

This list operates on a similar axis, Focusing up the Heavy Stormtroopers with Vader’s Finest, but now we’re using Krennic, Thrawn and a Death Trooper to pump them up with power tokens, and Krennic will even double your Troopers power token output, which on top of being Focused from Vader’s Finest, will make them especially deadly so long as you can keep them within 3 spaces of Krennic. We have a similar deck of Command cards, however we now have access to some power Trooper cards like Call the Vanguard and Concentrated Fire to be played with our Heavies or Death Trooper. While the Heavy Stormtroopers don’t love Blitz as much as Rebel Saboteurs do, it’s still a great card with Krennic or Thrawn. Another trick with this list is To the Limit, which can allow your Heavy Stormtrooper to be able to Move, Focus itself, and then attack with that Focus all in the same activation, and you can also use Heavy Fire on the attack so that you take the same amount of Stun for using both abilities. 

Heavy Weapons are one of my favorites traits to play with in Imperial Assault Skirmish, I just love dealing out tons of damage with Blast and AOE effects to opponents that leave their figures bunched up too close to each other. If you love big explosions and tons of damage tokens being dealt by a single attack to multiple figures, I encourage you to give a Heavy Weapons army a try. 

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