Hey, you know how you basically need to figure out a way to deal with Jedi? The Royal Guard are here to help with that. These guys are the first non-commander unit to be really, really good at melee, though they do put out a surprising amount of ranged damage at Fleet Trooper ranges. Finally, a reason for Imperials to be forced to buy that 3rd dice pack to get 8 Black! Melee is where they are going to be be at their most effective though, chucking 3 Red / 5 Black with a fully upgraded team, and gaining Immune: Pierce which is so good for dealing with Lightsaber wielding jerks.
Their other key words are pretty darn awesome as well. Issue them an order to remove 2 suppression with Disciplined 2! Get into melee with Charge! Really make sure your commander never dies with Guardian 2. Hell, that one is a native Guardian keyword, so you can use them to protect things like your Flame Stormtrooper or other Royal Guard troopers. Or boost it to Guardian 3 when your commander is attacked buy putting Esteemed Leader on them.
Also 3 (+1 Heavy Weapon mini at cost!) with a native Courage 2 and 2 Health each means you're looking at 8 health for a trooper unit. I'm sure some of you are already thinking of putting Stims on them to go with their Guardian 2.
The equipment they come with isn't fully spoiled, but it looks to me like it might give whoever equips it some level of Scout. Probably Scout 1 to avoid giving Rebel Commandos an impossible to execute Scout 4 move. I can't quite read what the other two do. Some type of Frag grenade and what looks like Tenacity that has something to do with "defeated".
The Senate meanwhile is the most expensive Imperial unit in the game. A little fuzzy, but he looks like 210. You CAN run him and Vader in a single list, but it'll be more than half your total points! But... what a beast he will be. The first thing you might notice is Master of the Force 2 and 3 Force Upgrade slots. Might as well staple Force Reflexes onto him as well, but now he can do even more force power shenanigans! Force Choke? Yep. Once each turn. Force Pull? NO problem. Blast the equivalent of Mace Windu out of a window. Only Saber Throw really doesn't have a place as a viable upgrade card, because he's got a native 1-2 attack.
Oh, yeah, that attack is Melee AND 1-2. Rolls out a AT-ST's worth of dice, with Pierce 2 AND Suppressive. That alone is pretty nasty. But what's this 1 pip card he has?
If you don't scream UNLIMITED POWER when you play this card, are you even a Star Wars fan? Dump your health into FUCKING SOME SHIT UP. Assuming a full health Senate (and let's face it, with Guardian 3 guards following him, and Red Defense die plus surge, there's a pretty good chance he's full health) he can move, do his normal attack, and then attack 4 more times. At melee plus range 1-2. And then if you REALLY need to make sure something dies, you can kill yourself to do it. Oh yeah, and his other action can be to Pull the Strings to get another attack in. (Technically he can pull the strings on himself, but it doesn't grant him an extra attack, just lets him make his own attack in a stupid way! Anyways...)
Each attack has Supressive. Assuming each one hits, that's 12 suppression he's handing out before dying.
You're really going to have to figure out a way to deal with this.
His 3 pip is pretty cool as well, since with Entourage: Royal Guard you're going to have some weird looking unit compositions for your list. Assault is pretty good right? Nope, EVERYONE gets an order token.
Finally let's talk about the other force power he comes with: Anger. It's pretty good on Palpy giving yet another reason to not attack him until his escorts are dead. But Vader will LOVE this upgrade getting free rerolls on his Red attack dice. Plus it is cheap and doesn't have an exhaust! Perfect for your Implacable turn.
Imperial players have got to be happy about this, and Rebel players need to think about how they're going to deal with... well... Chancellor Sheev Palpatine: The Senate.