Thursday, 15 September 2016

Playing Imperial Assault

Just as promised, here I am with an Imperial Assault AAR. Just played it last weekend, but couldn't post about it til now. OK, I guess that a full report talking in detail about the mechanics and so is quite out of place right now; the game has been rolling for a while and it's hardly new by now. I bet that everything regarding those things has already been discussed (way better than I could) in many other places. Shame I don't know them, so I'm talking about the game just my own way :D

So first things first. To play this game you'll need... your original trilogy OST for background. No, not the other trilogies. You need the original trilogy, of course. That's out of question :P

Once we've established our minimum requirements, we can go on the game itself. The quickest way to describe it is... well, Descent with Star Wars minis. Yup, it's essentially the very same game (you had a review of Descent here, so I may refer you up to that post for the insights of the game).

The scenarios are always modular, so you can have quite a good rate of different configurations with the board pieces. We played this one first:

Three rebels against the Empire
In this scenario, the rebels must destroy all four comm stations on the board. The Empire will be receiving reenforcements as turns go by.
Each character has a couple of actions, they can move up to their speed value and attack/defence work with the funny colour dice. Depending on ech character you'll roll different dice, the numbers on them stating the distance the shot can reach and the symbols determining how much damage it inflicts. The defence dice work quite similarly, each symbol displayed reducing the harm in one point. Besides, special features (the lihgtning symbol) can appear, each one depending on the character (i.e., extra damage points in attack, reroll a die, etc.)

So the action begins!
But you know... the Empire strikes back
Rough start, that's a hell of a firefight
Not only for the Imperials, the rebel veteran has 5 wounds
 Rebels were not doing bad, but they weren't fulfiling their objective at all! This was not about killing Stormtroopers, but destroying those stations! This game was to be 6 turns long and we had spent two of them!

Time to push forward!
Imperial reenforcements. All officers enjoy poking eyes!
Finally some harm is done to the first machine!
The station is destroyed and the rebels advance
The door is also destroyed! Free pass to the Imperial outpost...
No! The door blocks again and new reenforcements arrive!!
Things are getting pretty difficult...
The rebels realise they are not going to achieve their objective, so at least they kill everyone they can
The door is finally destroyed, but that's no good news for the rebels!
Last act of defying heroism. Whatever
So the end of the sixth turn arrived, and the end of the game with it. The rebels had failed to meet their objective, but they had given a hell of a fight. Well, that's something!

So first impression... I had forgotten the pros and cons of Descent, and Imperial Assault has them all. Once you get into the game, everything is quite easy going; but until you reach that point, all the preparations and different cards, tokens and stuff are rather overwhelming. Gasp. Approaching the game for the first time can be slightly disencouraging, as the learning curve is a little bit steep. However, the game experience totally pays off after a couple of turns.

In fact, as the game was quick (not more than half an hour maybe?), we run another scenario! Rebel Fanfare!!

We used the other three rebels, so we could see them all in action. Fun thing about this one is that we could get to use an AT-ST... but operated by rebels! The Bothan in the party has gone frenzy and has taken control of the machine. But the Imperials are not defenceless. They have a Royal Guard Champion and Darth Vader himself!

Well... this escalated quickly
This is going to be bloody
So the firefight starts! There we go again!
The Champion proves himself to be a tough nut to crack. Darth Vader... No comment
The rebels focus their attacks on Vader... until he falls!
But the Imperials do exactly the same on the AT-ST
Until it's finally destroyed!
By now, the three rebels were severely wounded (when a character receives as many harm points as their life value, the mini is not taken from the board; the character stat card is flipped and the rebel keeps on playing with decreased stats and skills, showing that has been injured). So the Imperials had imposed their rule again!

The Imperial March sounds while the Rebellion is being crashed. Maybe next time we will have... a new hope (the Force theme sounds smoothly on the desert...)

So, in conclusion, the game is fun and swift once you get immersed into it, but getting to that point for the first time will require some of your undivided attention. Oh, and a table to deploy the hundred cards you need! :D


  1. Interesting reports, thanks. Thats a small table size! I think I'd subconsciously expected something bigger! Your painted stuff looks great out on the table though.

    1. I thought so! :D I haven't seen all the scenarios in the rulebook, but you can of course find much larger boards for another battles. Besides, being modular pieces mean that you can combine quite impressive displays with a limited number of tiles :)

  2. I take it you played the story game with an umpire playing the Imperials? I have found that when playing the imperials you shouldn't be too crafty and strategic, because that will often prove too hard on the rebel players. As you say, it's a fast game with a limited time to fulfill the rebel objectives, it's easy for the imperial player to delay them too long.

    So play in the spirit of the movies: stormtroopers come running and shooting without any regard for their own safety and the game will be more fun for all!

    1. Haha, in fact what I found is that the game is quite Imperial friendly! The name on the box should have given me a clue :D
      Right, if the Imperial player knows a little what he's doing, he can ruin any effort by the rebles, they have to really focus on their goals. Lessons learned...

  3. Great report. I entirely agree with your assessment of the game. After playing a few of the campaign games, I naturally gravitated towards the skirmish mode of the game. It's even lighter and quicker than the campaign, which can get bogged down in cards as the quest goes on and on (just like Descent).
    By the way, your minis look fab in the pictures. I love the dramatic lighting effect from Diala's lightsaber.

    1. Thanks! Right, it took me some time to acknowledge what was each card for, what could I discard and what to keep at hand. Campaign mode must be quite an organizational effort!!

  4. Really great looking report!
    Lovly minis also mate!

    1. Thank you! The game was enjoyable, board & minis made a nice combo :)

  5. I keep seeing great reviews and great battle reports for IA. I guess this needs to be my next purchase.

    Thanks for sharing Suber!

    1. The game is definitely fun; if you are familiar with Descent (and play more than once a year to whatever, as seems to be my case), you'll skip most of the fussy things from the beginning. Besides, a game with Star Wars minis! What other reason would you need? :P

  6. :D :D :D
    The full text is "Fuck calm, die in battle and go to Valhalla" :D
    I'm so making my mate wear it for the next time we play Blood Rage! :D