Prelude to Season 10 – IACP Balance Updates for July 2024

Greetings to all of you from the IACP Steering Committee. We’ve had quite an exciting 4 months since public playtesting was concluded on Season 9, which has included a map rotation and a lively season of online Vassal tournaments and League play in our IACP Discord.

For those who didn’t know, next week Monday, July 1st, we are going to start previewing the new cards that will be coming out for Season 10, which will be available on July 8th to play in Vassal and to print via pdf, and which we’ll be running our public online playtesting league starting July 8th. And I want to take a moment here to thank a special group of volunteer players who have been helping us for the past 4 weeks with doing additional internal playtesting and feedback for the new cards as well as on the changes we are about to announce here. The additional 4 weeks of intense playtesting and feedback on the cards means that we’ve essentially gotten a head-start on playtesting for Season 10 without having to pause competitive events for everyone else, which is going to mean Season 10’s cards will be that much ahead of the game compared to where Season 9 started off before release. So a big thank you to the following players for their time and help with making sure Season 10 hits the ground running.

  • BaconSecond
  • ClunytheMad
  • Destruct1
  • Destructor
  • Jayjaxx
  • Pon3d
  • Rivian
  • Tsoullrayan
  • Tu’uru

A reminder that these players acted only in an advisory role during the last part of Season 10’s development. The Steering Committee members had the final decisions though, so if there’s something about these changes or about Season 10 that you do not like, I want to stress that you should address your feedback or concerns only to the Steering Committee, @steeringcommittee in our IACP Discord or to

But before we release the new cards for the next season, we want to address some updates we will making to past cards based on how things have played out over the last 4 months of competitive play so that players will know the metagame context the new cards are going to be released into. We are going to be making changes to 4 cards as we finish up competitive play for Season 9. Two of the changes are to Season 9 cards which were labeled as “continued testing” status. The other 2 cards were fully approved cards from previous seasons that have proven a change is needed for one reason or another.

I want to stress that it is our priority to not change fully approved IACP cards unless we feel it is truly necessary to do so, as we understand that errata to cards with the approved status can be disruptive to players to invest both in high quality card printing and mentally into knowing what the cards do after they’ve been approved. In this case, 1 card was long overdue for a minor change that many many players have advocated for seeing and that we’ve been meaning to fix for several seasons now. The other card is one that has proven to be a problematic one for players to deal with in competitive and in a variety of different list configurations that makes it clear that changing any of its surrounding accoutrement will not sufficiently address or solve the issue.

I will discuss the changes to the 2 Approved cards first, then I will get into what our “continued testing” status on cards means (also called “probation” status”) for the cards from Season 9 and how all of those cards will be handled moving forward.

Approved Card Change – Rancor (Community Approved in Season 7)

Change – 2 black defense die changed to 1 black defense die. Added +1 block.

If you have been following along with the results of our Vassal tournaments this season, either by our blog our my youtube channel, you will likely be aware that Rancor lists have been quite popular this season and the focus of much public discussion. Initially we thought that the new 4 point elite officer combined with 4 regular officers, Temporary Alliance and 2 Rancors with Generals Ranks was the problem. However, more than 1 player has now proven through tournament play that Double Rancors are just as much of a problem without Generals Ranks when they equip Feeding Frenzy to add to the copious amounts of damage recovery already available through Voracious and cards like Apex Predator.

Despite its power, we know that Double Rancors is a popular and fun list to play, especially on the tabletop, and we didn’t want to do something that would make it illegal to play two of them or make them competitively unviable. As always, we feel that with cards that have established themselves among the player-base, the smallest, most pinpoint change necessary is going to be the best one for everyone. We also want to acknowledge that the players that have done well with Rancors are highly skilled in their own right, and not everyone who has brought Rancors to a tournament this season has suddenly found an easy path to a tournament victory or even top finish. With Rancors, we feel we’ve identified the main problem is that their 2 black defense dice, in combination with cards like Extra Armor, makes it too difficult to outpace their damage recovery when they get a few lucky rolls on the black dice, which creates a frustrating experience for the opponent of “1 step forward, 2 steps back”.

To address, this, and to make sure they do not become too easy to kill, we are replacing the 2nd black defense die with a static +1 block. We hope that this will both reduce the high ceiling of their defenses but also the high variance when it comes to attacking them and dealing damage, as it will now be harder to impossible to roll 4-6 blocks against an attacker that reduces a powerful high cost attack down to <3 damage, which could then just be Recovered away.

We also understand that the ability to rush Rancors in to attack the opponent’s deployment zone round 1, via elite Officers and General’s Ranks, is another major issue that creates unfun games for players. Which is why we are also adding “Imperial Only” the the elite Officer’s Executive Order. I’ll talk more about this later in this announcement for the elite Imperial Officers, but we’ve decided that elite Officers being able to give a Rancor 6 movement for just a single action on a 4 point figure is not something the game really needs, therefore we are allowing this specific combination to exit from the game.

We are aware that this is still possible for 1 extra deployment point with the FFG elite Officers as long as Generals Ranks remains unchanged. However, before we change another card that has been approved for several years now and is quite popular in a wide variety of different lists, we want to see how these changes to the Rancor and the Officer do and then reassess down the line if General’s Ranks also needs to be changed. We will be keeping our eyes on General’s Ranks going forward in case it is the card that needs to be changed in the future.

Approved Card Change – Clan of Two (Community Approved in Season 4)

Change – Child companion is no longer counted for the purposes of control while incapacitated

This was the change that was a long time coming and has been slowly simmering for the past couple of seasons. Every few months we get people asking why The Child companion can control objectives even while it’s in the incapacitated state, which otherwise works pretty much like the figure is no longer in play other than being retrievable for a VP. This rules quirk is both confusing and frustrating for players who come across it, as it can be used to create situations where the Clan of Two player activates and moves the Child onto an objective after activating its base figure and then, if attacked, has an incapacitated figure sitting on an objective that can’t be damaged or interacted with in any meaningful way to remove it from that objective.

As we were in Season 4 while trying to get the power level on this card right, we are okay with Clan of Two being a companion card that allows its companion to control objectives (Ugnaught Tinkerers also work this way), but we do understand that the interaction between that and the incapacitated status preventing damage and abilities from affecting the child can be frustrating and feel very unfair and unintuitive, and we feel its worth putting out this change to make it work the way players expect it to.

Season 9 Continued Testing Approval Status (aka S9 Probation cards)

At the end of every playtesting period, we ask the community to vote on the new cards to tell us which cards should stay and which should be removed. Cards that don’t get enough votes either way enter into a probationary status called continued testing. These cards are playable in tournaments but must go through future community votes until approved or removed, and are subject to change while in continued testing status.

In Season 9, we had 7 cards enter into continued testing status. These cards will remain on probation until they are either fully approved in the community vote or disapproved and removed from IACP.

  • Meditation
  • Ewok Warrior
  • A New Hope
  • Elite Imperial Officer
  • You Will Not Deny Me
  • Fennec Shand
  • Dangerous Prey

Going into Season 10, we’ve decided to make adjustments to 2 of these cards after the past 4 months of additional competitive play they’ve gotten.

Season 9 Continued Testing Change – elite Imperial Officer

Change – Cower has been removed. Executive Order can only target Imperial figures.

The first change was addressed above, but the power of Executive Order combined with the abilities and support cards of the Rancor has proven to create a play pattern that is extremely undesirable to play against. While other lists have popped up using a swarm of Officers to rush forward powerful massive figures, none of them have yet to be proven quite as potent as with the Rancors. This change will also make it much easier for us developing new cards in scum without having to balance them with elite officers.

The 2nd change is more of an issue with the officers themselves. With their health increased from 5 to 6, in combination with Zillo technique, elite officers are already now very difficult to defeat in 1 attack. Cower being able to fish for a dodge over 2 attacks was very often increasing that number to 3 attacks to defeat this powerful 4 point figure, which was frustrating and made it overly difficult to counter officer based strategies by taking out the officers.

Removing that defensive reroll significantly reduces the officers chances to dodge and force a 3rd attack to take it out, and even increases the chances of them being taken down in 1 attack by increasing the chances that they are stuck with a blank defense roll.

Season 9 Continued Testing Change – Fennec Shand

Change – Speed 5 reduced to Speed 4

Fennec has not been as conspicuous as officers this season, but our players report that she continues to feel extremely strong and that a big part of what makes her so difficult to pin down and manage is her extreme mobility. When combined with her extreme attack range and her generous defensive stats, her 5 speed allowed her to efficiently access hard-to-reach parts of the map and get attacks off from positions of safety that’s hard to dig her out of.

Reducing her speed from 5 to 4 should help make her a bit easier to deal with and make it feel less like she can seemingly be anywhere she needs to be the moment she needs to be there.

So far we have not seen or heard of the other 5 continued testing cards causing any problems in the metagame. Once we have the full data from the results season 9 league and casual games, we’ll be reassessing these cards to see if they need any further changes in the 9.1 update to improve their playability.

As always, a huge thank you to our dedicated community of players who provide us with feedback on cards and their performance from their games and help us to zero in on the exact causes of issues so that we can figure out the best minimal changes. We are excited to show you all what we’ve been working on for Season 10 as well as for the next map rotation announcement coming next week as well. Stay tuned!

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