I am enjoying Imperial Assault. I got it as a gift for Christmas 2015. We have played two games so far both using the Skirmish rules and the scenario of “Get To The Ship.” The Rebel’s goal is to navigate through the outskirts of Mos Eisley spaceport and escape before the Empire captures them or the ship.
Imperial Assault can be played in different ways. Apparently the most popular is that of Campaign where multiple players devote time and effort into playing a series of interlinked games. This plays like a role-playing game in many ways with characters gaining XP and becoming more powerful as they gain levels and equipment.
The other way is Skirmish. It is a fun, fast-paced game in which two players create armies using their favorite Star Wars characters. The armies then face each other on the battlefield in a winner-takes-all skirmish mission. The skirmish game uses the same basic rules found in the Learn to Play booklet.Reading pages 1-9 gives you enough information to start playing Skirmish.
One important aspect of the Skirmish game is that players can build their own personalized armies. This seems to be more satisfying for my wife and I while we play because we want to control specific characters from the Star Wars universe. Additionally, my son (who is 3) was happy because he got a chance to play alongside his Mom as Chewbacca and R2-D2 which was fun and exciting for him. Although he didn’t grasp a lot of the concepts of the game, he did understand that he and his Mom were trying to get to the ship, blast the bad guys, and roll a lot of dice. So even a 3 year old can enjoy this game in Skirmish mode. Actually, he really enjoyed building the game board as it is the same material as a puzzle and fits together in much the same way. In fact, I think he liked that part the best.
I suggest using the Imperial Assault Team Builder to make armies. It’s free and easy to use.
The figures included in the game are great. They are essentially the same size as the old Wizards of the Coast Star Wars Miniature game, roughly 32mm or 34 mm in size. This is important to note as a gamer because now I have another purpose for all of my old Star Wars miniatures. I can not only use them with the Star Wars Role-Playing Game but now I can use them in Imperial Assault. However, please understand that as with any gaming industry, Fantasy Flight games requires you to use their miniatures in Organized Play and tournaments. ‘Nuff said.
Anyway, in the first game we chosen our lists and just tried to have even numbers without setting an army size. My wife and son decided to use the following list which came out to a 32 point army:
- Han Solo
Using the 32 points as reference, I chose the following army 31 point army:
- Boba Fett
- Stormtroopers (3)
And so started game #1 … we decided to give ourselves 10 turns to sort out this game.
So right away I realized that this was going to be rough because the Rebel player gets to activate and take two actions but the Imperial player only gets one action. That allows the Rebel player to move around the board like a rabid wamprat that’s had too many cups of coffee. Luckily, Boba Fett is fast with his jetpack so he was bale to get into combat while Iggy and his Stormtrooper buddies huffed along to catch up.
The actual combat started in turn 3. The Rebels were already well on their way to getting the ship and winning. Boba Fett started a shootout with Han Solo and Chewie started to make for the Skyhopper with the droids. This turned out to be a bad move for the Rebels … but we’ll discuss that later.
So Han and Fett trade shots back and forth, and seem pretty evenly matched. With the droids close, they are able to offer support to Han. And honestly this is where this list shines: Synergy.
So here’s how my wife’s Smuggler Synergy list works:
- Han is a Smuggler and a Leader. That means he has a few cool abilities that he lends to his friends. One of these is Distracting: While a friendly figure is defending, and you are adjacent to the targeted space, apply +1 Dodge to the defense results. Also he has Cunning: While defending, apply +1 Block to the defense results for each Dodge result.
- R2-D2 is a tough little scrapper in this game. Bobba tried to kill him several times without success. Also, the astromech has the following ability which is nice: Lucky: While defending, if you roll a blank result, add +1 EVADE to the defense results. Yeah, so Evade allows you to ignore all damage from a hostile model. Not to mention that R2 is able to Stun opponents if he rolls a Surge, meaning that R2 was doing a lot of zapping my dudes.
- Chewbacca has Protector: While a friendly figure is defending, and you are adjacent to the targeted space, apply +1 Block to the defense results. Limit 1 “Protector” ability used per attack.
- And last but not least is the Ewok Golden God, C3PO. He has two support abilites and a third that can be used as a Special Action. He can Cower: While defending, while adjacent to a friendly figure, you may reroll 1 defense die. This is a big deal to be able to reroll a defense die. Also, he has Distracting: While a friendly figure is defending, and you are adjacent to the targeted space, apply +1 Dodge to the defense results. And to top it off, he also has Inform as a special action. He starts talking about odds or shouting “We’re Doomed!.” Inform: Choose an adjacent friendly figure. That figure becomes Focused. Focused, by the way, gives the friendly figure an extra green dice to roll. Nice!
And on my side, I didn’t have a lot of synergy, just a lot of badassery. Scum figures are mercenaries, so they often don’t play well with others. However, they tend to have some nice combat abilities. Who needs synergy when you can jus KILL STUFF, right?
So Boba Fett is fast with a Speed of 6. He has Mobile built right in which is nice. (Mobile is like Pathfinder for us WARMACHINE players.) The Mobile keyword enables a figure to bypass the movement restrictions of terrain, including allowing entrance to impassible or blocking terrain and ignoring extra movement costs from difficult terrain or spaces containing hostile figures.
So he was able speed ahead of Iggy and the Stormtroopers to get right into the thick of things. I figured out right away that shooting at Solo from a distance just wasn’t working because all of this Wookie and Droid buddies were giving him defense dice boosts. Luckily, using those three dice gave Fett a bunch of Surges to use Pierce 1 and Weaken.
Pierce 1: Allows Fett to ignore one Block from target’s defense rolls.
Weaken: While a character is Weakened, he subtracts a surge and an evade from his attack and defense results until the end of his turn.
So essentially, Fett pinned down Han and then moved into melee with him so that Battle Presence would go into effect. By this time Hand had four wounds from his 12. Chewie and the Droids remains behind Han because at this point my wife hadn’t figured out what Slam did. Chewie is a melee monster with the special ability of Slam. More on that later.
By turn 6, Iggy and the Stormtroopers had gotten into position. The Stormtroopers started shooting at the Droids while Iggy waded into melee with Han Solo. (Can you see me grinning?) However, Chewe has managed to blast two of my three Stormtroopers into Imperial Heaven.
According to Fantasy Flight Games, “IG-88 is one of the galaxy’s most feared bounty hunters, and any Rebel unfortunate enough to face this Droid in a mission may simply choose to turn and flee.” I can see why.
In battle, IG-88 has some awesome Surges provided by his armor, weapons, and programming. First, he applies a constant additional Block to every defense and two additional Accuracy to every attack, allowing him to shake off more damage and make successful attacks from further away. He can also spend a Surge to recover three damage as his internal machinery repairs itself. Finally, he can unleash the full power of his specialized weaponry by spending a Surge to deal two additional damage.
Iggy can choose any combination of two attack dice for his attack pool with the Arsenal ability. YES, ANY TWO ATTACK DICE. This ability offers IG-88 the opportunity to specifically alter his attack pool based on how close his target is. Two blue dice gives an attack maximum possible range, but you may choose to use two red dice against closer targets to cause the maximum amount of possible damage.
And on top of all that badassery the Relentless ability. With this ability, IG-88 will inflict a Strain on his target within 3 spaces. Finally, IG-88 has the Assault ability, which lets him make multiple attacks during each activation. Most of the Imperial player’s figures are limited to one attack per activation, but Iggy goes back for seconds.
Now Solo is in melee with Fett and Iggy. Iggy hammers away, making two attacks an activation with THREE RED DICE. Fett starts shooting at R2, and the remaining Stormtrooper is blasting away at C3P0. At the end of turn 6, my wife finally realizes what Slam does and things get interesting.
On turn 7, Han moves away from Fett and Iggy. This gives Han a Strain due to Battle Presence. He already has too much strain, so it turns into 1 Damage. This leaves Solo with 2 Health. R2 activates and fixed C3PO for 1 damage using Service. This leaves C3PO will 2 health. Then the astromech zaps Iggy and scores a Stun, making him unable to attack or move. Then Chewie lets out a battle cry and moves into melee with Boba Fett and Iggy.
By using Slam as an action, Chewbacca can choose an adjacent hostile figure and roll a Red die. The chosen figure suffers damage equal to the die result, and if the target is a small figure, Chewbacca can push it one space. So Fett is Slammed back a space and takes 1 Damage after resolving damage and abilities.
At this point my wife suddenly remembers that the name of this mission is “Get To The Ship” and not “Fight All The Crazy Bad Guys”.” She decides that running is the best option. She starts moving her figures towards the ship using both of their actions to move rather than fight.
Turn eight essentially ends the game although it goes on until Turn 10. Fett and Iggy stand in the long, long hallway blasting away as the heroes run towards the ship. Fett takes out Han right away, having no qualms about shooting the scruffy smuggler square in the back. The Stormtrooper (whom I decided to call Stanley) blasted C3PO into scrap. Iggy managed to kill Chewbacca on turn 9, leaving only R2D2.
The astromech made it to the ship, and escaped on Turn 10.
And so ended Game #1 …. with a Rebel … win?
The game was a lot of fun, and it can only get better from here as we learn the basics and the game gets smoother.