I wasn’t actually expecting to be playing Star Wars Imperial Assault this weekend. It’s one of those things that just sort of happens by sheer serendipity when friends and relatives decide that they’d rather play board games than watch the Super Bowl.
In contrast to my previous game session involving Star Wars Imperial Assault, this was an entirely different group and a different group means showing them the ropes my playing the Tutorial mission and see whether they were keen on trying more. We set the board up, I deployed my usual group of Stormtroopers, Imperial Officer, and E-Web Engineers, and they got down to choosing their characters, settling on female Han Solo, the Jedi wannabe, the pointy-eared sniper, and the good old-fashioned commando soldier.
Unfortunately, they had a lot more trouble than I’d expected. In the tutorial mission, the Jedi wannabe started off well, defeating the probe droid, but leaving herself exceptionally vulnerable to the E-web engineer who made short work of her in a round, using his ability to fire twice to bring her to a wounded state. On the other side, the mission was nearly lost when the stormtroopers all ran through, dashing towards the computers and hoping they’d be able to activate them. Thankfully, Sniper and Commando managed to dispatch them before it was too late.
Although they managed to win, it was a shaky start to say the least. Things didn’t improve in the first scenario, titled “Aftermath”, either. From the beginning, strong defense rolls and the probe droid engineering a well-placed suicide attack caused heavy damage against 3 of the 4 heroes. As difficult as it got, the situation only got worse, especially when the soldier found himself trapped in a room teeming with stormtroopers and an E-Web engineer while his allies helplessly threw everything they got into the very resistant door with the Jedi wannabe and Female Han Solo completely wounded. In spite of it all, the heroes managed to prevail, but like with my first group, it was a very close call.
We were able to eke out enough time for just one more mission, where I managed to bring out one of these bad boys.
Without spoiling too much, the scenario that the characters went through wasn’t conducive to a quick read and there were moments where I was confused since I wasn’t prepared for what was going to happen. I also missed a few details that were pretty critical and would have swung things in my favor if they had succeeded. What I did enjoy was the hopeless expression that lined people’s faces when I got a chance to bring out some Trandoshan Hunters accompanied by the AT-ST just to bring out the fear. The moment was an ephemeral one; they managed to get the situation under control by outmaneuvering me and ran out the clock. I successfully killed the commando though, so that was kind of nice.
Since we got through three missions (if you include the tutorial mission), the game clearly resounded with the group. The only negatives seemed to be the fact that Imperial Assault is very much dice-roll dependent. In the end though, I think good tactics will rule the day (I did have to make a few tactical suggestions since some people weren’t using their abilities at appropriate times) and like with my office group, am looking to advance the campaign just a little more!