Now Rolling: Star Wars: Imperial Assault: Skirmish Mode

I think it is safe to say that I play a lot of board games. Heck, if you are reading this, you probably do as well. To see how much/many I do play, I am logging my plays. While that might not be too exciting for you, I’m going to provide some insight on how they went, why I played it, the good/bad, and more in this new feature called NOW ROLLING (colon edition). It won’t be every game I played but the most recent ones.

First up, Star Wars: Imperial Assault

ia1
The Skirmish Begins!

Star Wars: Imperial Assault is a “two-in-one” game. On one side you have a long, semi-deep story campaign that will take you multiple days to finish. The other side is what they call “Skirmish,” and it is essentially a miniatures/wargame.

This part of the box has you selecting your own team comprised of 40 points and 15 special ability cards (with a point cost of up to 15). Each character has their own point value and smaller units can either be deployed as regulars or elites. Once teams are set, you determine the map you play on, who goes first, and then put your team on the board.

Gameplay has each person activating one unit (whether one guy or a squad of up to 3) at a time and then the other person does the same until everyone is done. You move your minis around the board, attacking the other player or activating special terminals on the board that change depending on the map. This is repeated until one person has acquired 40 points. Instead of just annihilating the other team, each mission gives you alternate ways to gain points. Though you will still have to wreck some havoc on the enemy to win.

There’s so much to like about this game. I’m a big Star Wars fan so obviously that is a big plus in my book. I wouldn’t say this gives you the best SW experience but it is easy to imagine this skirmish/battle happening somewhere in the universe while Luke is learning to become a Jedi (assuming you don’t bring Luke along with you).

painted

What also helped pull me into the universe is that I started painting my miniatures. This is the first time I’ve tried painting minis but they are coming along nicely and they become more fun to use. If I have someone painted, I am more likely to deploy them because how it will look. I am not too hung up on winning or losing in this game, just looking to have some Star Wars fun.

All the little plastics are incredibly detailed, there are so much life in them already that you don’t need to paint them. But the main reason I started painting mine are the Stormtroopers. The base game comes with nine of them and they hit the field in sets of three. If you don’t want to be confused by which is which, they give you stickers that you can put on their bases. This presented me with the opportunity of painting them differently and experimenting with them.

storm
Base Game Troopers w/Heavy Stormtrooper & Kayn Somos Expansions

If you aren’t a huge Star Wars fan, there is still something that will intrigue you, combat. Imperial Assault is based off of Fantasy Flight’s Descent mechanics. They’ve made tweaks that people say help streamline or makes things easier. I’ve personally never played Descent but I do know that this is fast and furious. It plays like that in the sense that it is a high damage game. When you attack, 9 times out of 10 you will do some damage. There is not much damage blocking or dodging which can be a large factor in dragging games down to a crawl. Last time I was playing this, there felt like no down time outside of deciding which unit to activate next.

All this praise but this game isn’t without its problems. The biggest problem is the same problem that potentially plagues X-Wing, Armada, and other miniatures games unless you are prepared, setup. With these types of games, usually only one of the people in my group owns a copy. What that means is that you have to tag on an extra 30+ minutes just for team building. You can try not to over think it but there will undoubtedly be a point where you second guess your decision and go back to change part of your team.

Combat is heavy in this game (duh?) but that could leave a sad feeling on some people who get attached to their team.  I don’t know how big of an issue this is with people but for people new to miniature gaming, you got to learn to let go of your soldiers on the field. They are probably going to get destroyed and you can’t let it get to you. If you are worried about someone targeting your favorite mini, use that to your advantage and set a trap. As Master Yoda says, “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” It will will serve you well.

All in all, I am very pleased with my experience with this game the more I play it. It was a fun and friendly game where I, the Rebels, lost to the Empire 41 to 32. It was a close game and came down to our last troops, but the Empire had a special ability cards to get a Shadow Trooper (black-painted, elite Stormtrooper) close enough to my sniper to take him down in one blow. Obi-Wan Kenobi became one with the force, C-3PO & R2-D2 were dismantled, and Fenn Signis went down gloriously. It was a sad day for the rebellion but a great day for gaming!

Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Genre: Tactical Miniatures/War Games
Player Count: 2-5
Duration: 90+ minutes

I hope you enjoyed this! In the future I hope to have these a little shorter. And feel free to follow my Instagram (@AdamDork) if you want to see more of my Star Wars painted miniatures!

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