Written by Bald Mike
In my last article I gave an overview of the state of Star Wars games, from a certain point of view. Today I’m going to dive a little deeper into my personal favorite, Star Wars Imperial Assault.
Released in 2014 by Fantasy Flight Games, Imperial Assault is classified as a board game, but with a miniatures game feel. While the figures (mostly) come assembled, vehicles you have to put on a few pieces, they are not pre-painted. IA is for 1-5 players and has multiple ways to play. Originally the campaign mode was meant for multiple players with one person taking on the role of the Empire and others taking on the role of a hero fighting the forces of evil. Depending on the outcome of missions both the bad guys and good guys could earn xp and new cards in a role playing type system.
The skirmish mode for Imperial Assault quickly became very popular and was the format used for tournaments. In this you built a team of 40 points worth of characters, here is where you could take Han, Luke and other iconic Star Wars characters, and a deck of mini cards and challenge an opponent. The maps played on could be determined randomly or you and your opponent could agree which mission to play in friendly games. When it came to tournaments, there were usually 3 tournament legal maps at an event so going into the tournament you knew which ones to practice for. You could score points for objectives and taking out opposing figures. You could build a force from Rebels, Imperial or Scum & Villainy. There were cards that would let you mix Scum into either lists, if memory serves correctly, at best you could only add in one or two. I did play in a few small local events, but skirmish wasn’t my favorite.
Now with two solid game modes you would think “wow, that’s a lot of value for that initial $100 price tag” and you would be correct. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! In 2018 FFG released the Legends of the Alliance companion app for Imperial Assault. Not only does this app offer a collection tracker, as there are a lot of figure packs available for this game, but also offers new ways to enjoy the game. The first is a new way (and my favorite) to play campaigns. Now everyone can be a hero, or with the release of the Jabba’s Realm box, a “borderline” hero. The app controls the bad guys in these campaigns weather it’s the Empire or Jabba and his minions trying to stop you. The Core set unlocks the Flight of The Freedom Fighter campaign as well as a tutorial mission. The big box expansion Return to Hoth unlocks the campaign of the same name as does the Jabba’s Realm box. It is also important to make sure you’ve checked off the figure packs you own which will allow those characters to possibly show up during the campaign. In a campaign my son and I played Jedi Luke showed up and helped us out on a mission. It goes both ways though. While it’s awesome collecting everyone’s favorite bounty hunters, more than once we had to fight against IG-88 and Bossk!
Also in the app are Raids. Think of these as one off missions. You pick your heroes, take some gear and go. Unlike the campaigns, which consist of several missions, these are one and done. You are trying to get the best possible score at the end of each Raid through credits earned as well as Fame. Pick your favorite characters and see who you get the best scoring with. Currently there are two raids available. Malastarian Outpost which requires the Tyrants of Lothal and The Bespin Gambit box expansions. There is also The Gray Cap Catina raid which requires the Twin Shadows and Heart of the Empire to play. These boxes contain the map tiles needed to set up the battlefield for these raids.
While IA’s future is uncertain, we haven’t gotten anything new in over a year and only a vague comment from someone at FFG this year, it is a game still worth jumping into today. While you can’t save the galaxy as Luke or Obi-wan in either of the campaign modes, you can play them in skirmish mode. Don’t let that deter you from the campaigns though. Not only are the stories great, but they do adjust depending on which heroes you bring to the adventure. In the first one I played with my son I used Vinto Hreeda, a Rodian who wasn’t a Rebel, but not a villian either. In that story Vinto’s cousin is mentioned. You can also play as a Jedi in exile, a former clone trooper, and even a medical droid who isn’t afraid to pick up a blaster. There are some great characters created for this game and I can’t wait to play more of them.
So if you want to gather a small band of your favorite characters and challenge a friend to a game, take on the roll of the Empire and challenge a group of friends to stop you, or take control of couple heroes yourself and topple the Empire. Imperial Assault could be the Star Wars game you’ve been looking for.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I am Bald Mike from G3GeeksandGamingGurus. Check out our YouTube channel for various games and follow us on Facebook. Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy and keep on gaming.
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