Spear of the Empire
The Royal Guard Champion is definitely a force to reckoned with in Imperial Assault. He has some of the highest offensive power in the game. He is fast and has a number of ways to perform extra attacks with each round. With an ideal situation between command cards like flurry of blades and new order, as well as his Brutality ability he has the potential of making 6 attacks in a single round. The Royal Guard Champion is the spear of the Empire, capable of ripping through hostile forces with incredible speed.
The RGC has some incredibly impressive stat lines. He comes in at a hefty 15 points with 13 health and 6 speed. The biggest thing here is his incredible 6 speed. The only other unit we have seen with speed like that is the Nexu (and Boba Fett, however I’m thinking of units we currently have). However unlike the Nexu who are limited in tight spaces and around corners due to their size, the RGC is small and has no trouble in tight locations. He is more than capable of jumping past enemy ranks, or moving through difficult terrain, or covering vast distances incredibly quickly. This is even more the case when paired with an Imperial Officer. His six speed make him excellent for objectives, since very little can slow him down.
The Royal Guard Champion uses the die of a focused Royal Guard (Red-Yellow-Green) for his attacks, and a Black-White defense. His damage out though not quite the level of Vader’s is still very high his likelihood of doing 3+ damage is about 97%, 4+ damage comes in at 76%, and doing 5+ damage is about 45%. The RGC’s surge probabilities are also quite solid. With less than a 14% chance of failing to surge at all and nearly a 50% chance of rolling double surges will allow the RGC to either add damage, pierce through blocks, or bleed the enemy. (Find all the stats of the RGC dice here) With a single attack any cheaper unit will very likely fall to the RGC and stronger ones will likely start bleeding, which for Rebel squads will hurt significantly.
Though the RGC doesn’t have quite the epic defense of Vader with the white die he has a chance of dodging an attack completely. Below is the table of a Black-White die combination.
|Probability of 0||8.333333||41.66667||83.33333|
|Probability of 1||25||50||16.66667|
|Probability of 2||33.33333||8.333333||0|
|Probability of 3||25||0||0|
|Probability of 4||8.333333||0||0|
With the Black-White defense the RGC will likely get 2 blocks and one evade each round, occasionally worse sometimes a lot better with the dodge. Even Vader will have to take his time to punch through his defenses.
Brutality is a phenomenal offensive ability. Unlike Vader who has such a slow speed that his Brutality is relatively easy to avoid as long as you stay out of range or stay away from each other, the RGC you need to keep in mind all of your positioning. When facing Vader or RGC it isn’t always most beneficial to avoid brutality but rather it is important to know when to allow brutality if you are granted an advantage. With 6 speed the RGC can make it wherever he wants essentially, and can easily sneak behind enemy lines to brutality. This is obviously even easier when paired with an Imperial Officer. Brutality is a really awesome ability that fits directly into the feel of the RGC giving him the possibility of an incredible number of attacks each round.
Executor is a ridiculously good ability. The one thing of note when looking at Executor is how does this ability limit the RGC and how does it enhance him? Executor limits the RGC because if you are to use the RGC to his full speed and race around the board, no ally can keep up and he will be out of range of the Executor ability. However if a specific location must be held the Executor ability will result in a weird defense of weaker units. Your opponent now can either attack the difficult to kill RGC or easily kill some officers or storm troopers, and risk being killed by the RGC. It is an incredibly potent ability and when using the RGC ensure you keep your allies within 3 spaces. Because of this ability I really like pairing the regular Royal Guards with the RGC. This is so that RGC will receive an extra block while the Champion defends the Guard with the threat of Executor. This puts your opponent in the position of choosing what he thinks is the lesser of two evils.
Guardian is one of the best key words in the game, probably only behind Hunter, and Leader at this point. Guardian cards include; Guardian Stance, Emergency Aid, Bodyguard, Hold Ground, and Provoke. The two most interesting of these cards are Hold Ground, and Provoke. Hold Ground will force adjacent units to stay where they are next to you. This works excellently with the RGC who can only perform melee attacks. This is also an excellent card for Royal Guards when paired with the RGC. So they can force enemy units to stay in place and move the RGC up to attack. This card can also be very useful for stopping hostile units from going after objectives giving room for your own objective runners.
Brawler cards include; Parting Blow, Cripple, Counter Attack, and Close the Gap. All these cards have their uses and can find a place in different lists though they might not always be worth the cost, Cripple is the one stand out. Cripple works similarly to Hold Ground however you must target a single unit. The advantage is you don’t have to stay adjacent to this unit for the effect to still be in place.
I think the Royal Guard Champion is well worth his points. He can easily be used for objectives with his strong defense and incredible speed, however he is one of the best offensive pieces in the game as well. Though Vader can deal more straight up damage comparing single attacks, the Royal Guard Champion has many ways to perform extra attacks in each round. If you were to use the Crimson Empire (listed below) using Flurry of Blades on the RGC and reactivating him with New Orders, setting up a Brutality, as well as triggering Executor, would mean that the Royal Guard Champion would be able to perform 7 attacks in a single round. Though this is the most ideal of circumstances, a Royal Guard Champion can naturally perform 3 attacks a turn with no command card help. His incredible speed and quick piercing attacks are why I think of him as the Spear of the Empire.
Royal Guard Champion
2 x Royal Guards
4 x Imperial Officers