Into the Jundland Wastes

Preview the Bantha Rider Villain Pack for Imperial Assault

“These tracks are side by side. Sandpeople always ride single file to hide their numbers.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars: A New Hope

The Tusken Raiders have long harried the moisture farmers of Tatooine, riding out of the Jundland Wastes to steal, kill, and destroy. With the Bantha Rider Villain Pack for Imperial Assault, you can hire these lawless raiders to swell the forces of the Mercenaries faction in a skirmish or join the Imperial player in a campaign!

Like other Ally Packs and Villain Packs, the Bantha Rider Villain Pack offers much more than a detailed plastic figure. You'll find new missions for your campaigns and skirmishes within this expansion alongside new Agendas, Command cards, Deployment cards, and Rewards. Unlike many Imperial Assault Villain Packs however, the Bantha Rider Villain Pack has no corresponding larger expansion, meaning that the Bantha Rider enters Imperial Assault for the first time with this figure pack.

In our last preview, we ran the blockade and delivered vital supplies with the Alliance Smuggler. Today, we take up gaffi sticks and lead a Tusken war-party with the Bantha Rider!

Man and Beast

Tusken Raiders commonly ride banthas for easy transport across the desert and for an advantage during combat. Just as the towering bantha commands attention on the field of battle, the Bantha Rider occupies a unique space among Imperial Assault figures—it boasts the highest health of any figure in the game: twenty-one. However, it’s important to note that the Bantha Rider rolls no defense dice—a figure as large as the Bantha Rider is almost impossible to miss, and any damage that your opponent deals goes straight to this figure’s health. Despite its lack of defense dice, your opponent will need to concentrate fire over several turns to finally bring down the Bantha Rider.

During a mission, you’ll most likely want to incite the Bantha Rider to charge into a mass of enemy figures, where it can take advantage of its Massive keyword. The Massive keyword allows the Bantha Rider to move into blocked and impassable squares and push smaller figures out of its spaces, giving you the perfect opportunity to use Trample and Stampede. 

You can spend an action to use Trample, choosing up to three adjacent hostile figure and rolling a red die. The targeted figures must take damage equal to the die’s results, allowing you to deal significant damage to a group that cannot be reduced by defense dice. In addition, when you end your movement in spaces that contain hostile figures, the Stampede ability forces each of those figures to suffer one damage. By using the Bantha Rider as a juggernaut that you can loose at the Rebel heroes or your opponent’s strike team, you can deal massive damage before this beast is finally brought down.

A Deadly Raid

For your campaigns, the Bantha Rider becomes a dangerous ally of the Imperial player. Not only is he a formidable foe, he can push the heroes away from their goals and deal damage to them with Stampede by ending his turn in the heroes’ spaces. Although the Bantha Rider bears the Habitat: Desert keyword and can’t be deployed in a campaign mission that doesn’t include desert terrain, you can use the new three-card Agenda set introduced in this Villain Pack to pursue the heroes across the galaxy.

This Agenda set includes a new Agenda mission, Into the Wastes. On Tatooine, a Rebellion operative has acquired valuable date, but Imperial forces have captured the agent and are holding him deep in the Jundland Wastes. If the Rebel heroes want to rescue their friend, they’ll need to face the Imperial soldiers and the territorial Tusken Raiders that have thrown their lot with the Empire. The heroes may choose to avoid such a difficult mission, but if they do, the Imperial player gains the Tusken Weaponry Reward card, which can be attached to any non-Creature unit to greatly expand its attack options.

This Agenda set also includes other Agenda cards that can tip the balance in favor of the Empire. Relocated allows the Imperial player to ignore the effects of the Habitat keyword for one mission, transplanting units like the Tusken Raiders or the Bantha Rider into non-desert missions. Alternatively, you may use Grievous Wound after one of the heroes receives a Harmful condition, forcing that figure to suffer additional damage and strain. Whether you face the heroes on Tatooine or elsewhere in the galaxy, the Bantha Rider Villain Pack offers plenty of new adventures for your Imperial Assault campaigns. 

Crush Your Foes

In your skirmish games, you can use the Bantha Rider to crush your enemies. No other figure offers as much health as the Bantha Rider, and his ability to scatter and trample groups of figures makes him a powerful option for battling strike teams that focus on large numbers of figures. The Bantha Rider’s ability to deal damage to multiple figures in a single turn can go a long way towards leveling the playing field.

You may also take advantage of the new skirmish upgrade included in this figure pack if you include Creatures in your skirmish strike team. Beast Tamer is a one-cost, Mercenaries upgrade that you can exhaust at the start of a Creature’s activation to allow that figure to perform a free move. Alternatively, if a figure has the Non-Sentient ability, you may exhaust Beast Tamer to let the chosen figure interact freely during its activation. Since several skirmish missions require figures to interact to accomplish the mission objectives, Beast Tamer goes a long way towards making your Creatures useful in any situation. Even if the chosen mission doesn’t require the interact action, gaining extra moves every round makes Beast Tamer an important part of any strike team with Creatures.

You can also use the six Command cards included the Bantha Rider Villain Pack to gain an advantage. Parting Blow allows your Brawlers—such as the Bantha Rider—to interrupt and perform an attack when a hostile figure exits an adjacent space. The price is that your figure becomes Stunned, but an additional attack might be all you need to defeat a fleeing foe. Alternatively, you may use Jundland Terror at the end of a round to choose a Tusken Raider or Bantha Rider figure. The chosen figure gains two movement points and may make an attack or perform an action, letting you prey on enemy figures after your opponent has moved and activated all of his figures. 

When you rush into combat with the Bantha Rider or another Massive figure, you might use Crush to quickly overwhelm a single figure—when you end your movement in spaces that contain other figures, you can play Crush to choose a figure and force it to suffer four damage. When combined with the Bantha Rider’s Trample and Stampede ability, you can use Crush to finish off even dangerous foes. Finally, any Mercenaries figure can take advantage of Opportunistic . After a hostile figure suffers damage, you can play this card to give your figure three more movement points, helping you get to the perfect position for your next attack.

Tusken Terror

Journey out into the Jundland Wastes and mount your bantha—the Bantha Rider Villain Pack for Imperial Assault will be available soon! Pre-order your copy of the Bantha Rider Villain Pack at your local retailer today. 

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