One of the most often asked questions is how do I build a good command card deck in Imperial Assault?
One of the most important aspects of Imperial Assault Skirmish is taking the right command card deck to the battle. Imperial Assault has two list building components built in. The deployment cards and the command deck. Obviously what miniatures you field is important to the game and forms the core, but command decks–well it can win you the game.
As powerful as they are, not all command cards are made equal. This article will give a broad overview to help a beginner get a better idea of what command cards to include in a deck.
Include command cards that give extra activations or extra attacks.
Back in my first article I explained how actions and activations are central to Imperial Assault. That means any card card that gives you an extra activation, an extra attack or an attack outside of an activation is practically an automatic include. There are many cards that do this with different variations, but most often they are tied to specific figures.
They also tend to cost a lot of points. But they are definitely worth putting in the deck as they help compensate spending 10 plus points to take one figure instead of a squad of troopers. Here’s a brief list that fall in this category:
- Luke’s Son of Skywalker
- IG’s Blaze of Glory
- Gideon’s Take it Down
- Vader’s Lord of the Sith, Force Lightning
- Chewie’s Debt’s Repaid
- Diala’s Sarlacc Sweep
- Gaarkhan’s Furius Charge
- Biv’s Stay Down
- Royal Guard Champion’s Flurry of Blades
- Kayn: Rally the Troops
- Loku: Coordinated Attack
- Dengar: Pay Back
- Boba Fett’s Mandalorian Tactics
Include command cards that upset an opponent’s plan.
This sounds vague, but I’m referring to cards that surprise the opponent while giving you a strong advantage. These cards can help turn games.
Maybe your opponent thinks they are about to wipe out an important figure, but, wait, you play Miracle Worker! Game changer. Of course good players won’t be surprised by these cards as they probably have them memorized, but a properly timed powerful card will put even the best on their back foot. Here are some examples:
- Take Initiative
- R2D2 Terminal Network
- MHD-19 Miracle Worker
- Lure of the Dark Side
- Single Purpose
- New Orders
Include command cards that support your traits or maximize what you want to do.
The first two points are about finding cards that are strong. You’ll find them in many lists that have the same figures or sometimes in all lists no matter what faction is played. This point is about finding synergy in your squad. Look at the traits you have in your squad and find command cards that play off those traits. This will also help you figure out your preferred style of playing as certain traits lend themselves to certain styles. Some popular examples are:
- Parting Blow
- Close the Gap
Following these three tips will get you pretty far, but you’ll still have space in the deck. What you put in there should compliment your play style. Do you like to move around the board a lot? Try cards like Urgency to get you going where you want. Do you really hate getting your attack completely and utterly negated by the X roll of a white dice? Add Element of Surprise. Didn’t have points to include Gideon? (Always have points to include him if you can.) try Focus.
It’s hard to go wrong when you are making your first deck of command cards, just try them. But try to avoid cards that require specific requirements to use. I included Parting Blow above, because it is so strong, but it could actually be a dead card if you never get close enough to an opponent. If you have too many of those cards in your deck you can have dead hands.
Also try to avoid cards that require an action. Take Cripple for an example. It sounds great, but one less action means one less opportunity to attack, one less opportunity to move out of line of sight or into better position, or it may mean one less interaction with an objective. Of course if the action leads to an attack that is great, but there are plenty of cards that are like Cripple that just don’t do enough for the price of an action. Sure it is good in some circumstances, but it isn’t general enough.
Command decks are one area you can really experiment with to gain an edge on an opponent. In competitive tournaments, many of the lists may look the same. People will play the good lists so they have a more consistent chance of winning. If you end up playing one of those types of lists, then the command deck is one area you can differentiate yourself and surprise an opponent with a matching list. Playing a card that helps you fight against what you may think are popular lists can give you just what you need. For example, if you expect to face a lot of unique figures then play Celebration.
This list is not definitive and as the game progresses, card values will change and suggestions may also lose some of their value. But this is a great place to start in building a command deck in Imperial Assault skirmish.