Season 10 Preview: The Power of Momentum

Cards! Cards that go Fast! Do I really need to put some philosophical preamble here? Let’s just talk about the cards!

74-Z Speeder Bike

I’m proud to finally be able to unveil a card that’s been waiting a long time for its IACP debut. One of the most iconic small vehicles in the Star Wars franchise since Return of the Jedi is the Imperial Speeder Bike, and now it will be playable in Imperial Assault skirmish games in the IACP!

We faced multiple challenges with bringing the Speeder Bike faithfully to IA skirmish as a vehicle defined by linear speed and reckless momentum in a game where figures are moving precisely back and forth on a grid while taking potshots from around corners. We also had to design a figure that had a distinct niche and play pattern from the other defining Trooper Vehicle group in the game, elite Jet Troopers, without eclipsing them in overall power and utility.

As indicated by our new base-size indicator on the card, these are a pair of large figures on a 2-space base, same as the E-Web and Dewback Riders. The Mounted ability combined with 5 base speed makes them the fastest figure in the game without any external support, as well giving them more flexibility to use their 2nd action for things while still being able to move and attack.

An example of the Speeder Bike’s abilities in action.

To mimic how these bikes move on screen and differentiate them from Jet Troopers who have Mobile, the Speeder Bikes combine Efficient Travel with the new Thrusters ability, which forces them to follow a linear movement path without being able to side-slip, but also allows them to ignore impassable terrain. While not fully Mobile, this helps them navigate over terrain features that otherwise severely hamper the movement of large figures that have to rotate to move. And to further encourage thematic positioning that represents firing the forward facing cannons on the bike, the Forward Mounted Blasters ability rewards you for attacking figures that are directly in line with the base of the speeder bike, mimicking a forward facing firing solution without trying to introduce something like firing arcs to Imperial Assault.

While Speeder Bikes might appear to have a significant edge over elite Jet Troopers in stats, they lack the positioning flexibility that Jets have being small figures with true Mobile and Fly-By, and their attack profile is weaker than a Jet Trooper attacking with the bonus die from Fly-By unless they are able to turn on the bonus damage from Forward Mounted Cannons, which in testing was more difficult than we initially thought. They are also unable to equip Vader’s Finest due to their 3rd attack die while Jet Troopers can use it to technically add a 4th die to their attack pool. Of course, the next 2 months of playtesting will be integral to making sure that Speeder Bikes and Jet Troopers co-exist equally in the Empire’s IACP sandbox.

Tress Hacnua

If it’s not Hacnua, I don’t talk Tuah!

Tress! Originally from Tyrants of Lothal, the final FFG expansion for the game that also featured Spectre Cell, Tress has always been borderline competitive, but her lack of an ability to convert surges into damage against the defender has always held her back, especially when her most important attacking abilities (Cleave and conditions) require her to successfully deal damage to the defender.

We experimented with what could be done with Krayt Dragon Fury and utilizing an X variable for different abilities, including counting all surge results not just on the dice, as well as having a surge for +X damage, but both of those ideas led to attacks that were possibly able to put out damage that was way above what we’d ever want to see from a 5 point figure.

It turned out that just a small addition of +1 damage to each of her condition surge abilities, Tress is able to much more consistently deal the minimum amount of damage needed to the target to be able to use her other abilities, specifically her powerful Cleave abilities, both her Cleave X ability and the Cleave damage from her unique Command card, Spinning Kick.

Speaking of Cleave, I’m very excited for one of the new innovations we came up with for this card, which is the addition of Leg Hydraulics! This version of the ability specifically gives her an extra movement after she attacks. Because of how the timing of the ability and how move X spaces works, Tress can use this ability before applying Cleave, which is specifically applied after the attack resolves. So Tress can attack something, move 1 space with Leg Hydraulics, and then choose an adjacent target for Cleave. I think this is small change significantly improves her ability to use Cleave more effectively and completely changes how it feels to play her, while staying true to her original character design and abilities.


With our new 6 month release schedule reducing our seasons to 2 new/updated figures per faction per season, we try to include a 7th figure slot for figures that we feel could be reintroduced with a very small change that requires less playtesting than a full overhaul like we do to many of our updated deployment cards. In previous seasons we did this for Bossk and then Jyn Erso, who got small tweaks to their deployment cost and health values, and to great success in getting them more tournament table time. (And yes, that means stay tuned on Friday for the brand new deployment card for the Mercenary faction).

This season we decided to give that slot to Dengar, who since his reintroduction to the game in IACP season 3, just hasn’t found much success or appeal in the competitive IACP metagame (we were being really conservative with Hunters back then, understandably). We thought that a simple boost to his damage would help bring him back into competitive viability. However, based on feedback from our playtesters, we realized that Dengar’s most unique contribution to the skirmish game comes not from his ability to kill things efficiently, but to efficiently spread Harmful conditions around the opponent’s figures to help turn on abilities like the HK Assassin Droids, or the brand new Capitalize card. Unsurprisingly though, when given the choice to use Dengar’s surges to deal conditions or deal damage, players would usually go with dealing damage, and when that damage killed the target, there were no longer any conditions on the table to turn on other condition-based abilities.

So we made a choice to implement a slightly more elaborate improvement to Dengar than we had originally intended. Now, for each surge result, Dengar can choose a hostile figure within 2 spaces of the target (including the target itself) to take a harmful condition of the opponent’s choice that it doesn’t already have. This includes surges from things like Blitz or power tokens, though it doesn’t include surges that are cancelled out by evade results. This allows Dengar to spread conditions amongst a limited area of effect to other figures while still being able to go for the kill on the target if the opportunity arises. The opponent still gets a say on which conditions they take, so unless you decide to go all in on a single figure, you won’t be able to stun multiple figures for each surge result, but you can use Punishing Strike to at least force 1 of those conditions to be suffered as a Stun. We’re excited for the possibilities Dengar creates for rewarding list-building around Harmful conditions.

Nemik’s Manifesto

Finally, we have our quirky off-the-wall skirmish upgrade inclusion for the season, Nemik’s Manifesto, based on the critically acclaimed Andor television series. This card is similar to Balance of the Force in that it changes the rules for how you can build your Command deck, allowing you to bring up 3 additional Command cards in your deck. A great card for list-builders who often find themselves agonizing between those fun and powerful 0 point cards that you want to take in a list. Keep in mind though that this doesn’t change the maximum total of 15 points you can put in your Command deck. Traditionally, diluting your deck with more cards than the minimum has been seen as a mistake in other games with randomized decks, but in Imperial Assault where decks are only 15 cards, there can be some advantages to including more cards, such as if you have a lot of self-strain elements in your deck and want to lessen the impact of milling random cards, or if you have a lot of extra card draw and want to make sure you don’t run out of cards in your deck before the end of the game.

But if the extra command card element isn’t appealing, Nemik’s Manifesto contains information for your figures to improve their mobility. As they say “wars are won by legs, not arms”. Similar to what heroes can do in a campaign, this card allows you to once per turn suffer strain to gain 1 movement point. While 2 strain might seem steep for just 1 movement point, that cost is mitigated by the card itself letting you include extra cards in your Command deck, and being able to move a figure 1 space without spending an action cannot be under-estimated in a game where figures rarely have actions to spare for other abilities if they want to also be able to attack during their activation.

Something something, Spirit of Rebellion, July the 4th, I’m sure you get it!

That’s all I have to share for now. Stay tuned and check back tomorrow for the final cards of Season 10. And make sure you sign up for the Season 10 playtest league which will run from July 8th through the end of August:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One thought on “Season 10 Preview: The Power of Momentum”