Written by Bald Mike
Welcome to my character article for Star Wars Imperial Assault. This article will talk about the hero character used in campaign mode for IA and will revolve mostly around playing the campaigns with the digital companion app. I spoke about the app and the campaigns in my previous article. There are definitely a number of heroes to talk about and cover many races from the galaxy far, far away. While not much is known about a lot of these characters, FFG didn’t give us much of anything in the way of back story, what we know is gleamed from card texts and information in campaigns in the Campaign Guide.
Daiala Passil is a female, Twi’lek Jedi who was trained by Jedi Master Shu Yen. We can assume they both served during the Clone Wars, though no official mention of them is made. In the Campaign Guide mission “Temptation” we can gather that Darth Vader killed her Master. There is text in that mission that reads “when Darth Vader is defeated: ‘Diala pauses, kneeling before the ghostly vision of her Master’s killer.’ This mission does seem to be an experience for Diala very similar to Luke’s experience in the cave on Dagobah during the Empire Strikes Back.
While we don’t know much about how Diala behaved, Fantasy Flight Games did leave us some clues as to what she would be like. From reading the flavor texts on her skill cards, to even the art of her hero sheet, you can pick up on a trace of arrogance. Not the most Jedi-like trait, but to be a Jedi alive during the Galactic Civil War period I guess you couldn’t be a traditional Jedi. For all we know, it could be the perceived arrogance that helped her survive Order 66.
Ok, let’s get into game play with Diala Passil. I’ll get the ugly part out of the way first. If you are playing campaigns with the digital app, she will not get a lightsaber. Yes it hurts me too. Many have gone with a “house rule” allowing her to either buy it later in the campaigns with around 700 credits or earn it as a 3xp class card. If you are playing the original campaign mode, using the campaign guide, and just your play group, Diala can earn Shu Yen’s Lightsaber as a hero reward during the aforementioned “Temptation” mission.
Ok, bad news out of the way. Let’s assume you’re like me and playing mostly just the app campaigns. On her healthy side Diala has 12 health (if playing two heroes the app gives you +10 hp and +3hp if playing 3 hereos), 5 endurance, 4 speed and rolls a white defense die. For her skills, on strength she rolls a blue and green, Insight she rolls blue, green, yellow and mechanics she rolls a single blue. She also has two built in skills on her sheet. Precise Strike: 2 strain-Use when you declare an attack with a melee weapon. Choose and remove 1 die from the target’s defense pool. Limit once per activation. Foresight: 1 strain Use while defending to reroll 1 defense die. On her injured side she looses 1 speed and 1 endurance. Her strength skill changes to blue and red. Her Insight changes to blue, red, green and her Mechanics changes to red. Diala also looses the Precise Strike skill. Red dice have only a single side showing a single surge so her skill tests will really suffer when she flips to her injured side. So keep her on her healthy side as long as possible. After recently playing through two of the app campaigns with my son on my YouTube Channel, these skill tests do come up during the campaigns.
So as stated earlier, if you’re taking Diala through an app campaign, you wont get a lightsaber (more tears), but what you do being the game with is Plasteel Staff. It is a melee weapon that rolls a green and yellow die. It has reach, which lets you attack characters one space away. The staff also can surge for the stun special condition or +1 damage. It also has one upgrade slot available on it. On a good roll you can get 4 damage on one green and one yellow die. Regular Stormtroopers and regular Imperial Officers are killed on just 3 damage each. Add an upgrade like Balanced Hilt, which lets you exhaust it to add a surge and you can add damage or stun to an enemy. Don’t forget that you can spend surges to recover strain, which can be clutch when you want to use her skills again or gain extra movement points. So while not a lightsaber by any means, it has some damage potential.
Let’s take a look at Diala’s defense. She rolls the white defense die. The white defense die has the dodge symbol (I’ll always call it X-men) which cancels the attack. Now as Han Solo said “don’t get cocky”. Those who lives by the dodge symbol, shall die by the dodge symbol. You can not count on that as it is only one side of the six sided die. There is also a blank side, and a side with only a surge cancel. So even though it has that one awesome side, in many ways the black defense die is better than the white. The black die has 5 out of 6 sides showing damage reduction. I like those odds better. What the white defense does better than the black is that it has 2 sides showing a block & surge cancel. So while not blocking a ton of damage it is good at canceling surges to keep enemies from triggering nasty abilities with their attacks.
Now in my humble opinion where Diala Passil really shines is her skills. Precise Strike can totally negate an enemies defense. Most of the characters in Imperial Assault only roll a single defense die. By taking two strain, Diala can remove the opposing character’s die, meaning they are just taking whatever damage results she gets. So now her starting melee weapon with only a green and yellow die feels even stronger than it normally would. The other good thing about rolling green and yellow is the odds of rolling more surges which can be spent to recover strain allowing Diala to use Precise Strike more often. Let’s not forget her second skill, Foresight. For just one strain it lets Diala reroll her defense die. Suddenly the white defense die got a bit better. While your odds of getting that dodge symbol have gone up, remember the words of Han Solo or else. Foresight will help keep Diala alive longer, but remember she is a melee based character and most enemies won’t be. She needs to be up close to attack, while enemies can shoot her from a distance.
Her printed health of 12 is average with a lot of characters, remember she gets more if playing app campaigns as one of two or three heroes. Diala’s 5 endurance is on the upper end of the scale with the average character having 4, and her speed 4 is average, only a few characters have 5 speed. That speed stat can be her biggest weakness. As I mentioned earlier, Diala is a melee based character and can only attack adjacent enemies and enemies one square away. On some maps there are long corridors which quickly turn into shooting galleries. Diala either needs to quickly close the gap to the enemy shooters or use terrain to hide from them. This can get tricky, forcing difficult decisions during game play. Do you take strain to get extra movement points to avoid getting shot at or to close the gap? Or do you save the strain to use your skills in key attacks and defenses when you get to the enemy?
Ok, time to look at Diala’a skill deck. At the 1XP you get to chose either Force Throw or Force Adept. Both have a strain cost to activate abilities, so rolling surges is going to help her keep using these abilities. Force Throw costs two strain and exhausting the card to use. Seems costly, but it is worth it. When you do choose another small figure within 3 spaces and test Insight. If you pass, push that figure 3 spaces. Then if the figure is hostile, it suffers 1 damage. There is a key line there “if the figure is hostile” let that sink in for a minute. Thats right! You can use it to push a friendly figure! This can be huge in the right situation. A friendly figure is two spaces away from a crate that could hold valuable items, but also needs to take some shots at a group of pesky Stormtroopers. Well you only get two actions a turn so it’s impossible to accomplish a move, open the crate, and shoot Stormtroopers. Well here comes Diala to save the day. She can use Force Throw to push the character to the crate, then that character and open it and use it’s second action to attack the enemies. Force Adept will let you or a friendly figure reroll one die while attacking or performing an attribute test. This feels more situational, sure it can be great when you are trying to finish off an enemy and didn’t roll enough damage, so you can get another crack at it. The second half of the card lets you add 1 blue die to a strength or mechanics skill check. This seems very blahh to me, the blue die has two sides with only a single surge icon on it. Super situational when a skill test is clutch to finishing a campaign objective. In this case I would take Force Throw more often over Force Adept.
Coming in at 2XP you have the choice of Battle Meditation or Defensive Stance. If you take Battle Meditation, when you rest test Insight, if you pass (which you should easily roll 1 surge icon), choose yourself or a friendly figure to become Focused. Who doesn’t love rolling an extra green die on their next attack? My problem with this card is that it is only during a rest action. In my campaign experience you don’t have a lot of time to waste resting. There’s enemies to defeat and tokens to grab. Defensive Stance feels more like a natural fit. The first half of the card says “When you use Foresight apply +1 block to your defense result. So not only are you getting a defensive reroll, but you’re adding 1 block result to it. So now you can get two blocks and a surge cancel or two blocks, even the blank now isn’t truly blank, it will still block one damage. The bottom half of the card is even better! If you are attacked and take no damage from that attack you become Focused. With Diala’s ability to reroll her white defense die, you have better odds than most on that dodge symbol showing up which triggers Defensive Stance, giving you a Focus token to use on your next attack. No doubt in my mind that I would always choose Defensive Stance.
At the 3XP level you have the choice of Snap Kick or Art of Movement. Snap Kick is another card you exhaust to use. If you do, after you resolve an attack with a melee weapon choose a hostile figure next to you and roll 1 green die. That figure takes damage equal to the damage symbols shown on the die. On a character like Diala that doesn’t have to be adjacent to an enemy to attack, this doesn’t seem like the better skill for 3XP. So let’s take a look at Art of Movement. First part of the card is simple and really helps a melee based character, “apply +1 speed to your hero”. Simple and straight forward and very helpful when Diala needs to get behind cover or needs that extra movement to engage enemy characters. BUT WAIT THERES MORE! The second half of the card says you ignore additional movement point costs when entering difficult terrain or spaces containing hostile figures. This card makes her very mobile which can be huge in keeping her out of harms way. No question about which of these two skill I would take.
Finally at 4XP we have Dancing Weapon and Way of the Sarlacc. Both require one of your two actions to use. Dancing Weapon allows you to make a ranged attack, using the dice pool of your melee weapon and add a blue die to it. It also gains: Surge-+2 accuracy and +1 damage. This adds a decent ranged attack option to a melee based character, but unfortunately it comes late in the campaign so may not be worth it. Way of the Sarlacc costs one of your actions and two strain. Then you get to perform a melee attack against each adjacent hostile figure. So if you can close the gap on that group of Snowtroopers, you can use your second action to make an attack against each one. If you have the strain to spare, you can use Precise Strike to remove one of the defenders defense die to land a solid hit.
Diala Passil can be a literal dancing weapon with the right skills and a lot of strain. When upgrading and purchasing new weapons, keep in mind she will often be strained starved. Meaning her 5 endurance won’t last long, as she has many options and tools that want her to take strain to use. While anything that would add a red die would be great for adding damage, there is only one side showing a single surge. Diala wants and will need plenty of surges to not only trigger abilities on her weapons and skill cards, but to also recover surge allowing her to use her skills more often. So looking back at all this as a total package, Diala may be the first Jedi to say “I don’t need no stinkin lightsaber”
I’m Bald Mike from G3GeeksandGamingGurus, thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope it helps when you begin your next Imperial Assault campaign. As always stay safe, stay healthy and keep on gaming!
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