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Star Wars: Imperial Assault» Forums » General

Subject: Extremely dissapointed by the core campaign. Is this supposed to be an RPG? rss

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Johannes Benedikt
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A few days ago, I finished the core campaign. I was the IP and picked the military might class deck, because I conciously didn't pick the best class subversive tactics, so that the game can be somehow interesting. Yet this failed completely

The heroes picked Garkhan, Diala, Jyn and Fenn and over the course of the game bought all the armor and top tier weapons.

The heroes won the first mission and the first games were kind of close (in the end I won them all however), but the second half of the campaign was ridiculous. The heroes had no chance at all, despite me giving the heroes the rewards for winning all missions, plus credits as if they searched all crates (which they didn't do at all) and then some extra credits on top of it. The games stayed kind of interesting because instead of wounding all heroes, I killed them off completely one by one, after wounding 3 heroes.

The last few missions were just awfull, despite intentionally playing bad as the IP (messing up movement, blocking doors very badly, not spending all my threat and so on), the rebels defeat was clear after just a few rounds.

Yet the final was the worst and I feel kind of offended by this subpar scenario (yet I played the "more balanced" finale according to bgg). This is supposed to be the climax of a 30 hour campaign? I could've wounded all the heroes by round 5 (from 12) when they just opened the first (of 3) doors, with 12 unspent threat in the bank and only 3 groups in play. After I senselessly suicided the elite artillary stormtrooper in round 1.

I continued to feed all my troops to the best of my capabilities to the heroes all while completely killing off the 3 wounded heroes, so Darth Vader at least once gets to hit the table in the whole campaign.

Maybe I played something wrong, but the fully buffed stormtrooper group seemed so imbalanced (5hp, +1shield, +1damage, +2 accuracy, and sustained fire for only 2 threat per unit), the agenda cards seemed also much too strong (can you really buy any agenda card as long as you have enough influence?) especially the one you can deplete after you defeat a hero to gain additional threat is imo the most powerfull card in the game for just 2 influence. In the end, I only used this agenda card and the other one that you can play to get threat (and you don't even have to trash this card), I don't want to imagine how one-sided this would have been if I spent more than these three influence throughout the campaign.

The biggest problem for the heroes was the dmg output and the lack of healing. We know you can heal with rest actions, but if you use your strain (which I think is necessary) you practically need to do nothing for 1 turn to heal ~5hp, which is so much less than what will be inflicted on you within 2 attacks in the later stages of the game, meaning that this way of healing is completely useless. The heroes did the best they could've done to avoid taking dmg, which came at the expense of not being able to quickly move through the map. Yet this prevented the IP to get the free troops and yet, before I got those free troops 3 of the 4 heroes were already wounded and I had 19 unspent threat; imo there was no way for the heroes to take less dmg, except if the IP just chose to do nothing.

Subsequently I don't know if this game will ever hit the table again, as appearently the IP is supposed to play conciously bad and dumb which is no fun for the IP and the hereos, or he plays competent and the heroes got no chance, which is also no fun for the IP or the heroes.

I can only say I'm extremely dissapointed by this game and think it's worse balanced than the shadow-rune campaign from Descent, except for the introduction which imo was the most balanced mission from IA, which imo is a joke in itself.



So what are your expiriences with the core campaign?
How did the heroes in your group play when they were successfull?
Are there any obvious mistakes we made?

happy gaming
regards,
DA_Maz
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Giannis T
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1) You surely played something wrong. You must have made serious rule mistakes.
2) The Rebels were real noobs, didn't understand the game at all and must have been terribly bad.
3) After all the bonuses you gave them they were still so far behind and you where killing them like nothing?

I am now on my 4th campaign.
I have made some great runs in previous campaigns as the IP but never dominated the whole campaign.
On my latest campaign which i am still in the middle the Rebels are really devastating and they are leaving nothing alive on their path. The Rebels have so many skills, choices, combos and firepower that is almost impossible for the Imperial to stop them especialy when they are full build.

Check the forums for possible mistakes you made, reread all the rules and make sure you told them all their possible moves and choices.
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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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1.Military Might is possibly the best deck while Subversive Tactics is the most annoying.

2.Winning Aftermath is bad, whichever side does it. Going through the other branch (losing Aftermath) gives rebels a better chance.

3.The harder finale is very hard for the rebels.

4.The first campaign is always harder for the rebels because they don't know what to expect, they purchase weapons that are only marginal improvements instead or saving credits for better weapons, and probably purchase class cards that do not have the best synergy between the heroes. The Imperial player can learn the game quicker and can prepare plans for each mission.

The first campaign is a learning campaign, even if there are no rules mistakes made.

Return to Hoth seems more tilted to rebels winning, but I'm playing a different class deck.

The minicampaigns are also better in that they are shorter.
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Giannis T
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Some quick reference to mistakes that are made many times.

1) A hero can use an unspend surge per attack to recover 1 strain.
2) The Imperials can only spend one attack per activation/ per figure.
3) You can't make an optional deployement of a single unit if the entire group was eliminated and is now on IP hands.
4) The IP shuffles the Agenda deck and draws only 4 cards during the Imperials Upgrade Stage.

and so many more...

I can't imagine with this strong team that they had against you losing so bad.

Jyn: OMG that Quick Draw. In my latest campaign when Jyn Quick Draws she got 3 damage and Pierce 1 before rolling the dice!!! BEFORE ROLLING THE DICE!!!

Diala: That reroll on defence. Attacking you and you can't throw a defence die. Way of the Sarlacc, Snap Kick, gives Reroll to her teammates, Force Throw.

Garkhann: So much health. Charge, Rage, Cleave, Rage from teammates...

Fenn: Moving himself or teammate 2 free movement points, Havoc shot, adding white die on his defence, Lonewolf and so on...


Definetely you are missing something.
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Johannes Benedikt
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GladiatorGr wrote:
1) You surely played something wrong. You must have made serious rule mistakes.
2) The Rebels were real noobs, didn't understand the game at all and must have been terribly bad.
3) After all the bonuses you gave them they were still so far behind and you where killing them like nothing?

I am now on my 4th campaign.
I have made some great runs in previous campaigns as the IP but never dominated the whole campaign.
On my latest campaign which i am still in the middle the Rebels are really devastating and they are leaving nothing alive on their path. The Rebels have so many skills, choices, combos and firepower that is almost impossible for the Imperial to stop them especialy when they are full build.

Check the forums for possible mistakes you made, reread all the rules and make sure you told them all their possible moves and choices.


I'm quite positive, I made no serious mistakes (as I know Descent very well and read the rules very carefully and everytime anything that seemed too powerfull came up, I looked it up in the RRG).

I still think it's extremely powerfull to give a unit more than one attachement and in the end I think I can pinpoint the unbalance to the combat armor wearing, veteran, granade wielding extremely cheap stormtroopers that were able to sustain their fire and heal themselves. They constantly output ~5dmg 3 or 4 times per round alone and soaked up tromendous amounts of dmg and actions. Even when the heroes managed to kill them, they are so cheap in the later stages of the game that I really don't know myself how I would handle them as heroes.

How did the heroes in your group handle these buffed stormtroopers?

a1bert wrote:
1.Military Might is possibly the best deck while Subversive Tactics is the most annoying.

2.Winning Aftermath is bad, whichever side does it. Going through the other branch (losing Aftermath) gives rebels a better chance.

3.The harder finale is very hard for the rebels.

4.The first campaign is always harder for the rebels because they don't know what to expect, they purchase weapons that are only marginal improvements instead or saving credits for better weapons, and probably purchase class cards that do not have the best synergy between the heroes. The Imperial player can learn the game quicker and can prepare plans for each mission.

The first campaign is a learning campaign, even if there are no rules mistakes made.

Return to Hoth seems more tilted to rebels winning, but I'm playing a different class deck.

The minicampaigns are also better in that they are shorter.


So if I want a pleasent expirience, I need to pick technological superiority (as anything else is OP or annoying), if I just own the core game?

I really expected that there is at least some kind of choice in class decks, but appearantly there isn't... imo the game should've stated that 2/3s of the class decks will give you a bad expirience.

GladiatorGr wrote:
Some quick reference to mistakes that are made many times.

1) A hero can use an unspend surge per attack to recover 1 strain.
2) The Imperials can only spend one attack per activation/ per figure.
3) You can't make an optional deployement of a single unit if the entire group was eliminated and is now on IP hands.
4) The IP shuffles the Agenda deck and draws only 4 cards during the Imperials Upgrade Stage.

and so many more...

I can't imagine with this strong team that they had against you losing so bad.

Jyn: OMG that Quick Draw. In my latest campaign when Jyn Quick Draws she got 3 damage and Pierce 1 before rolling the dice!!! BEFORE ROLLING THE DICE!!!

Diala: That reroll on defence. Attacking you and you can't throw a defence die. Way of the Sarlacc, Snap Kick, gives Reroll to her teammates, Force Throw.

Garkhann: So much health. Charge, Rage, Cleave, Rage from teammates...

Fenn: Moving himself or teammate 2 free movement points, Havoc shot, adding white die on his defence, Lonewolf and so on...


Definetely you are missing something.


1-4 I did that.

It seems like Jynn can only do this with a one-handed weapon, which drops her damage output significantly in the later stages of the game, so that her quick-draw becomes her only viable attack. Also I think the Jyn in our campaign only had the 3 bonus dmg and not the pierce.

Diala was using her fatigue to let other heroes reroll their dmg and got the "attack everything" skill only before the last story mission, so she became primary target. Also since she is melee she actually can only attack once most of the time.

Garkhan was the only threatening hero, but his dmg imo drops off in the later stages of the game and his bonus attack can easily be avoided. Quite able to kill one stormtrooper and wound the other 2 seriously, but not enough to really decimate them in one turn.

Fenn has his blast, but with 5hp and a ton of defence it's hard to get the blast off and even if he does, even his blast 2 won't kill the Stormtroopers in one turn. He can also use his white die only once per round to defend.

Imo they all were quite strong, but since they need to kill the stormtroopers in one activation to disable them and they had no real way of killing 2 of them in one activation, they were activating, healing and wrecking them in return and redeploying/reinforcing at the end of the round.

I really hope that I'm missing something, but I'm quite positive that I played every important and big rule correctly.
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Dan Mansfield
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My group had pretty much the same result, with the IP winning fairly easily even though the Rebels managed to eke out a win early on. We were all noobs with the game and probably made a few mistakes, but that's part of practically every game. The hidden information was really annoying, and none of us felt like the Star Wars theme was real strong. After all, aren't the stormtroopers supposed to be idiots who end up bumping into each other like the Three Stooges? And shouldn't the Rebels be aware of what the Imperials are up to, since they have such a great spy network?

We gave up about halfway through our campaign and haven't gone back to it in months. I may give the skirmish game a try sometime, but the campaign was too one-sided for my taste.

It's a tough game for noobs, and when the first experience isn't great, there usually isn't a second experience.
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People have reported campaigns tilted on both sides. I can't imagine any scenario where the game is played properly and it was as bad as you outlined though, especially with all the conditions you cited. Something is definitely off.
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Flavio Santos
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Sredni Vashtar wrote:
My group had pretty much the same result, with the IP winning fairly easily even though the Rebels managed to eke out a win early on. We were all noobs with the game and probably made a few mistakes, but that's part of practically every game. The hidden information was really annoying, and none of us felt like the Star Wars theme was real strong. After all, aren't the stormtroopers supposed to be idiots who end up bumping into each other like the Three Stooges? And shouldn't the Rebels be aware of what the Imperials are up to, since they have such a great spy network?

We gave up about halfway through our campaign and haven't gone back to it in months. I may give the skirmish game a try sometime, but the campaign was too one-sided for my taste.

It's a tough game for noobs, and when the first experience isn't great, there usually isn't a second experience.

I could bet that your imperial player hid too much information.
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Brad Ficek
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I just finished my first ever campaign as the Imperial Player. I won the first two missions and lost the rest, and honestly felt just steamrolled. So my experience sounds nothing like yours.
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Rico P
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Assuming you guys didn't make any rules mistake, I think it's be interesting to see your Rebel hero's class card purchases & weapons.


Fenn should be a wrecking ball blasting everything. Jyn should try to get as many quickdraw as possible (she's extremely deadly after getting Gunslinger). Gaarkhan becomes a should-I-attack-him dilemma after getting "Unstoppable", and Diala can be either a full support doing all those rerolls or a wrecking ball like Fenn...especially with Dancing weapons doing ranged cleave or Way of Sarlacc


My guess: Your Rebel players didn't realize the values of those 3/4xp class cards and bought many 1/2xp cards in the beginning. Therefore everything kind of snowballed after you bought that 4xp Combat Veteran, and it's already too late in the campaign when they decided to save up for those 4xp class cards


possible houserule to counter the snowball effect: give the losing side 1xp after losing 2 story missions in a row, so that the xp difference is always <=1
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reaching out from the in-between spaces...
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As the IP player, I tend to win when I distract the Rebel player. And by distracted, I mean I lure them into wasting actions attacking the Imperials instead of focusing on the objective.

As the Rebel player, if you have a choice of attacking an Imperial enemy OR interacting with a terminal (objective), you interact. But Players get into the mindset that they want action, so they attack.

Than the rounds wind down and the Rebels lose.

Jorune
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Glenn Leong
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I have played the campaign with a group as the IP using subversive tactics, boy was that a mistake. After a close loss for the rebels on the tutorial mission they subsequently lost every mission after. Most of the time the missions weren't even close. We got about half way into the campaign before they were too demoralised to continue.

The han solo missions were the worst, the one that has ig-88 was by far the most ridiculously one sided mission for the IP (see below for description). The other han solo mission was pretty crappy too where han solo and and some other villain have a shoot out and it's basically decided right at that point who wins...

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Rebel players would open a door to reveal han solo, along with an elite storm trooper squad, elite imperial commander. The objective then became keep han solo alive. Since there was a turn limit, the rebels rushed to get to the door. As soon as it was my turn I simply concentrated fire on han solo and killed him outright.
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Miikka Sohlman
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I also won handily with Military Might, and the Rebels broke so badly that they swore to never play the game again. (I still stubbornly buy every expansion...)

I didn't give them any mercy though.

One question: Did you also manage to get the Imperial Industry reward?
That together with Military Might is ridiculous. whistle
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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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In our first even campaign I was running Military Might against Fenn, Jyn, Mak, and Gideon. We were tied 3-3 in missions, but then I started to roll over the rebels, winning the campaign easily, even without noticing the possibilities of Sustained Fire. (High-Value Target is the best agenda card.)

Twin Shadows was against Subversive Tactics and a different IP (I was playing Diala as support), it was 2-2 (imperial win though).


Edit: In the Imperial Assault Play by Forum Wiki you can see the variety of the number of missions won and the finale winner. Play By Forum is a bit more strategic than face-to-face campaigns are though.
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Thomas with Subtrendy
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Sorry you had a bad experience, but I don't think this is indicative of some inherent problem with the game. As you can see, many of use here have had very different experiences. In fact, in my last campaign, I was struggling just to keep up with the Rebels, it was a lot of fun!

So, no offense, but I think your particular group may have just not meshed well this time- whether it was down to rules errors, player inexperience, or simple bad luck.
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Matthew Cordeiro
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I've played the core campaign once, and the Imperials won most (but not all) of the missions. I've also played the Twin Shadows campaign once, and the Imperials won 2 of the 4 missions. And in both campaigns, most of the missions were close and weren't decided until the last round or 2.

If you played all the rules correctly, as you stated, then the only other explanation is that the Rebels played suboptimally. My biggest takeaway from playing both with and against Rebels is that you have to focus on the mission objective more than just shooting enemies. If the Rebels try to clear the board, they will lose. If they don't move fast enough, they will lose. Regarding the Rebel class and item cards, I agree with what others have said. The high-cost cards are exponentially better than the low-cost cards. Often, saving up for something better is the best choice.
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Johannes Benedikt
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ricope wrote:
Assuming you guys didn't make any rules mistake, I think it's be interesting to see your Rebel hero's class card purchases & weapons.


Fenn should be a wrecking ball blasting everything. Jyn should try to get as many quickdraw as possible (she's extremely deadly after getting Gunslinger). Gaarkhan becomes a should-I-attack-him dilemma after getting "Unstoppable", and Diala can be either a full support doing all those rerolls or a wrecking ball like Fenn...especially with Dancing weapons doing ranged cleave or Way of Sarlacc


My guess: Your Rebel players didn't realize the values of those 3/4xp class cards and bought many 1/2xp cards in the beginning. Therefore everything kind of snowballed after you bought that 4xp Combat Veteran, and it's already too late in the campaign when they decided to save up for those 4xp class cards


possible houserule to counter the snowball effect: give the losing side 1xp after losing 2 story missions in a row, so that the xp difference is always <=1


Ok here are the skill choices (from what I'm sure they had, maybe I miss some skills)

Fenn: Take Cover, Suppressive Fire, Rebel Elite, Superior Positioning, Tactical Movement

Garkhan: Unstoppable, Wookie Fortitude, Brutal Cleave, Ferocity, Wookie Loyality

Jyn: Cheap Shot, Get Cocky, Roll with it, Smuggler's Luck, Quick as a Whip, Sidwinder

Diala: Art of Movement, Force Throw, Force Adept, Defensive Stance, Way of the Sarlac, Battle Meditation

Hipsu wrote:
I also won handily with Military Might, and the Rebels broke so badly that they swore to never play the game again. (I still stubbornly buy every expansion...)

I didn't give them any mercy though.

One question: Did you also manage to get the Imperial Industry reward?
That together with Military Might is ridiculous. whistle


No like I said, I only spent 3 influence throughout the campaign despite winning every quest and imo it was still overpowered.

I think if I used this card in one game, it would have been the last game of the campaign.

a1bert wrote:
In our first even campaign I was running Military Might against Fenn, Jyn, Mak, and Gideon. We were tied 3-3 in missions, but then I started to roll over the rebels, winning the campaign easily, even without noticing the possibilities of Sustained Fire. (High-Value Target is the best agenda card.)

Twin Shadows was against Subversive Tactics and a different IP (I was playing Diala as support), it was 2-2 (imperial win though).


Edit: In the Imperial Assault Play by Forum Wiki you can see the variety of the number of missions won and the finale winner. Play By Forum is a bit more strategic than face-to-face campaigns are though.


Cool thx for the link. Did you try any other imperial class decks besides military might and subversive tactics?

I also own the Return to Hoth expansion, yet I'm not sure if anyone is down playing it after this campaign. In any case, what class decks aren't overpowerd or at least pleasent to play against and fun to play?

Subtrendy Gaming wrote:
Sorry you had a bad experience, but I don't think this is indicative of some inherent problem with the game. As you can see, many of use here have had very different experiences. In fact, in my last campaign, I was struggling just to keep up with the Rebels, it was a lot of fun!

So, no offense, but I think your particular group may have just not meshed well this time- whether it was down to rules errors, player inexperience, or simple bad luck.


No need to be sorry, but thanks for your sympathy. I really hope there isn't an inherent problem with the game, yet I have to have some reasons to argue with my friends why a second campaign won't be a waste of time for half of the campaign.

So far I thought about convincing them that they could've done better last game by providing them ways they could've dealt with the buffed stormtroopers, but the problem is that I have no idea how I would've handeled them, that's why I asked if anyone had any success in playing against them.

cordeiro wrote:
I've played the core campaign once, and the Imperials won most (but not all) of the missions. I've also played the Twin Shadows campaign once, and the Imperials won 2 of the 4 missions. And in both campaigns, most of the missions were close and weren't decided until the last round or 2.

If you played all the rules correctly, as you stated, then the only other explanation is that the Rebels played suboptimally. My biggest takeaway from playing both with and against Rebels is that you have to focus on the mission objective more than just shooting enemies. If the Rebels try to clear the board, they will lose. If they don't move fast enough, they will lose. Regarding the Rebel class and item cards, I agree with what others have said. The high-cost cards are exponentially better than the low-cost cards. Often, saving up for something better is the best choice.


I think the Rebels knew that you have to be quick and focus on objectives, yet they weren't successfull with this strategy the whole campaign, because they were dying too fast. So they were trying to minimize the potential dmg they take by killing the troops first and I even fed that artillery trooper without dealing dmg with it. I got no free troops and had 12 threat in the bank, yet they were still going down in round 5, not to imagine what would have happened if they rushed through the map, dead in 3 rounds maybe, in a game that's supposed to last around 12 rounds.

thx for all your answers, yet no-one has seemed to answer a very important question:

Was anyone really successfull in dealing with these kind of buffed stormtroopers? If so how?

Since the first playthrough is tilted against the Rebels, if I don't want to waste another 30h on the next campaign, should I play without secret information? (as it seems to be only balanced when the Rebels know the secrets).
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Chris Guild
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I'm still in my first campaign and Darth Vader has come out at least 3-4 times. I feel like every game has been close and I know exactly when I messed up and started to lose. My rebels are really smart though, this is the first time they've played, but they're all D&D players and computer nerds. They're working really well as a team, so I enjoy nickel and diming them with Subversive Tactics; which I should not have picked seeing as it's my first campaign. I think if it's a group's first time and no one has played the IP should pick Military Might.
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Rico P
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DA_Maz wrote:
ricope wrote:
Assuming you guys didn't make any rules mistake, I think it's be interesting to see your Rebel hero's class card purchases & weapons.


Fenn should be a wrecking ball blasting everything. Jyn should try to get as many quickdraw as possible (she's extremely deadly after getting Gunslinger). Gaarkhan becomes a should-I-attack-him dilemma after getting "Unstoppable", and Diala can be either a full support doing all those rerolls or a wrecking ball like Fenn...especially with Dancing weapons doing ranged cleave or Way of Sarlacc


My guess: Your Rebel players didn't realize the values of those 3/4xp class cards and bought many 1/2xp cards in the beginning. Therefore everything kind of snowballed after you bought that 4xp Combat Veteran, and it's already too late in the campaign when they decided to save up for those 4xp class cards


possible houserule to counter the snowball effect: give the losing side 1xp after losing 2 story missions in a row, so that the xp difference is always <=1


Ok here are the skill choices (from what I'm sure they had, maybe I miss some skills)

Fenn: Take Cover, Suppressive Fire, Rebel Elite, Superior Positioning, Tactical Movement

Garkhan: Unstoppable, Wookie Fortitude, Brutal Cleave, Ferocity, Wookie Loyality

Jyn: Cheap Shot, Get Cocky, Roll with it, Smuggler's Luck, Quick as a Whip, Sidwinder

Diala: Art of Movement, Force Throw, Force Adept, Defensive Stance, Way of the Sarlac, Battle Meditation


The class cards aren't too bad. 2 possible reasons I can think of why your Rebels had a hard time:

1 - The order of those purchases. Fenn's Tac Move is one of the best card in the entire game. Diala's Defensive Stance combined with her default Foresight means there's a fairly high chance to dodge+become focused. Jyn with Sidewinder means she's got a virtual speed 8 or more (default 5+1 after attack+2 from Sidewinder)

2 - Perhaps your Rebel players were really bad at those tactical games. I've played with at least 4 different groups, and you can see the difference in decisions made by ex-D&D players vs. decisions made by TtR/Love letters/Monopoly level players

some recommendations if you guys are going to do another campaign:

1 - use this thread
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1331517/how-balanced-each-s...
as a guideline and readjust the difficulty as you see fit. Are the Rebels losing? "Accidentally forget" to bring out those stormtroopers! Are the Rebels crushing you? Bring out an extra E-web! I'd say any scenario with a win/loss ratio bigger than 60/40 warrants some kind of readjustments (ex. A new threat, Flying solo, maybe Drawn in, maybe Chain of Command, The source. "Temptation", Brushfire, and Aftermath are fine to play as it is)

2 - use the bonus xp houserule, mentioned above

3 - remind Rebels to focus on objectives, and don't go min-max as Empire: High-Value Target (2 inf) and Imperial Industry are some of the best cards in the game. Play suboptimal/cutthroat as you like, but aim to have the mission come down to the last dice roll
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Johannes Benedikt
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ricope wrote:
DA_Maz wrote:
ricope wrote:
Assuming you guys didn't make any rules mistake, I think it's be interesting to see your Rebel hero's class card purchases & weapons.


Fenn should be a wrecking ball blasting everything. Jyn should try to get as many quickdraw as possible (she's extremely deadly after getting Gunslinger). Gaarkhan becomes a should-I-attack-him dilemma after getting "Unstoppable", and Diala can be either a full support doing all those rerolls or a wrecking ball like Fenn...especially with Dancing weapons doing ranged cleave or Way of Sarlacc


My guess: Your Rebel players didn't realize the values of those 3/4xp class cards and bought many 1/2xp cards in the beginning. Therefore everything kind of snowballed after you bought that 4xp Combat Veteran, and it's already too late in the campaign when they decided to save up for those 4xp class cards


possible houserule to counter the snowball effect: give the losing side 1xp after losing 2 story missions in a row, so that the xp difference is always <=1


Ok here are the skill choices (from what I'm sure they had, maybe I miss some skills)

Fenn: Take Cover, Suppressive Fire, Rebel Elite, Superior Positioning, Tactical Movement

Garkhan: Unstoppable, Wookie Fortitude, Brutal Cleave, Ferocity, Wookie Loyality

Jyn: Cheap Shot, Get Cocky, Roll with it, Smuggler's Luck, Quick as a Whip, Sidwinder

Diala: Art of Movement, Force Throw, Force Adept, Defensive Stance, Way of the Sarlac, Battle Meditation


The class cards aren't too bad. 2 possible reasons I can think of why your Rebels had a hard time:

1 - The order of those purchases. Fenn's Tac Move is one of the best card in the entire game. Diala's Defensive Stance combined with her default Foresight means there's a fairly high chance to dodge+become focused. Jyn with Sidewinder means she's got a virtual speed 8 or more (default 5+1 after attack+2 from Sidewinder)

2 - Perhaps your Rebel players were really bad at those tactical games. I've played with at least 4 different groups, and you can see the difference in decisions made by ex-D&D players vs. decisions made by TtR/Love letters/Monopoly level players

some recommendations if you guys are going to do another campaign:

1 - use this thread
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1331517/how-balanced-each-s...
as a guideline and readjust the difficulty as you see fit. Are the Rebels losing? "Accidentally forget" to bring out those stormtroopers! Are the Rebels crushing you? Bring out an extra E-web! I'd say any scenario with a win/loss ratio bigger than 60/40 warrants some kind of readjustments (ex. A new threat, Flying solo, maybe Drawn in, maybe Chain of Command, The source. "Temptation", Brushfire, and Aftermath are fine to play as it is)

2 - use the bonus xp houserule, mentioned above

3 - remind Rebels to focus on objectives, and don't go min-max as Empire: High-Value Target (2 inf) and Imperial Industry are some of the best cards in the game. Play suboptimal/cutthroat as you like, but aim to have the mission come down to the last dice roll


thx a lot for your informative and usefull answers.

There are a few things I wanted to adress:

My gaming group for this game played quite a few games of Descent 2.0 and I had the impression these games were always quite close except the first ones. Even the first half of the IA campaign was always kind of close (they won the first mission) with one or 2 exceptions, which was the reason I kept rewarding the heroes as if they won each mission and add a little gold on top of it. I had the feeling this achieved keeping the game from becoming one-sided. However the second half of the campaign (especially the story missions) was very one-sided eventhough I started to play suboptimally and even I couldn't come up with better tactics/moves to defeat myself, which is why I wanted to ask around how successfull Rebel players dealt with these pesky upgraded Stormtroopers.

I was going into this game hoping this was very much in the vein of Descent, where every party is supposed to play as best as they can making for an extremely tense and exciting expirience. And it worked out quite a few games in IA.
The thing you mention, "readjusting the storymissions" or GMing the game is no problem for me, as long as I know that I go with an RPG mindset into this (hence the threat title), however this will make the game into quite a different expirience than what I thought it was and imo the gaming group has to know about this to not feel kind of betrayed. As this is a campaign game, I really wanted to use my progression (skills and attachements) and tried to keep playing at the best of my capabilities while just bringing in less troops, to keep the expirience the same. Yet the upgraded Stormtroopers alone proved to be much too capable in just killing the Rebels on their own and being kind of an unbeatable force.

The only thing I could've done at this point was either not using my progression (which makes the whole campaign thing kind of inexistent for the IP) or simply not attacking with the Stormtroopers, a situation that kind of ruined the end of the campaign for me.

The thing is, I really like the Descent-expirience and I want to play another campaign of IA (I already own Return to Hoth), yet I have to convince my gaming group this won't end like it did in this campaign. The fact that contrary to my first imperssions the Military Might class seems to be the strongest class deck, is a good first argument to come up with (maybe someone can recommend me a fun but balanced class deck?).
Readjusting missions with bad balance, might be another one. Maybe you can tell me from your expirience what adjustments work best for keeping the Descent-expirience of the game, so preferable some fixed adjustments that can be determined at the start of the mission (like gaining less thread per round, or troops troops suffer damage or the like on deployment).

Also I really like your list of imbalanced agenda cards, are there more?
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Tim Garrett
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I'd just like to mention, since you said that you own Hoth, that I'm an enormous fan of the Precision Training class deck. It's very entertaining, very thematic, and not particularly powerful. It really lets you build up the theme of progressively stronger Imperial forces, probably some militarized wing of the ISB, while still giving the Rebels plenty of chances to overcome it.

As far as your situation goes, it does sound pretty unique. My best explanation is that your group either got pretty unlucky, or you might be at a higher skill level than them. A couple of suggestions:

1. If it's an option, consider getting one of the other players to take over the Imperial side- you might find that suits your group the best.

2. If you do decide to stay on as the Empire, here are a couple of thoughts:
-You already mentioned that you were handicapping yourself. There are some ways to make this actually pretty entertaining. Restrict yourself to deploying thematic units rather than optimal ones (make sure that, when you're on Tatooine, you always deploy Tusken raiders. Royal guards will only appear on levels that Vader does. etc.) Also bear in mind that scum and Imperial forces don't always get along very well, and may in some cases start shooting at one another!
-A Rebel-favoring house rule I really like is that when the rebels unlock an ally, they also unlock the one-time ability to deploy him in a mission at half the threat cost. This can really give them a nice boost on a difficult mission, and makes those green missions a little bit more profitable!
-As already suggested, if you can pull it off, don't hesitate to handicap yourself without the rebels knowing. If they're having a rough game and the rules are about to give you a free elite group of stormtroopers, maybe they're just regulars? Instead of spawning Trandoshans right on top of the rebels, maybe they're stuck deploying on the other side of the map and will have to take a couple of turns to catch up? Only really seasoned rebel players will notice, and it'll make the game seem a little more balanced (and, probably, more exciting for everyone!).


Do bear in mind, though, that this may just have been a rough way for them to learn the rules, and that their next game could go quite a bit better. I'm also a big fan of the Hoth campaign- I think it favors the rebels a bit more than the vanilla campaign does, and the missions are interesting and varied in what they call for. If you are able to start a new campaign, I'd definitely go for that one!
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MadeOf RealPanthers
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I, too, have had only one-sided experiences with the Core Set.

First campaign, I was the rebels. I made some mistakes in my team comp and builds. Running BudgetChewie, Diala, Fenn, and Jyn maybe wasn't bad, but my purchases were. I totally didn't grok Diala. I won the first two missions and lost every one after by a tremendous margin. IP played Subversive Tactics, so once he got Weary Target it was gg. We chalked this down to not really understanding the rules, synergies, etc.

Second campaign, I was IP, subversive tactics. My buddy (who is a league skirmish player) played rebels with a stronger squad, built well (Fenn, Gark, Gideon, Jyn). I completely dominated him. It was a joke. Imperial Industry helped a great deal.

Spoiler (click to reveal)

I especially liked the final mission. Kill Weiss. Surprise doors! Kill Weiss again! fckin ridiculous. I do not see how any rebel team would win that, unless the IP made some very silly mistakes or was playing wrong


So in both cases the IP dominated. Subversive tactics is huge. But actually, so is the humble stormtrooper. Those free re-rolls are a game changer. Because even once the rebel is strong enough to one-shot them, it still costs an action (or strain), and in the later game, 2 threat is cheaper than one rebel activation imo.

What we have learned:

--much of the difficulty curve/control comes from the units the IP brings in. Royal guards, elite probe droids, and nexu, plus standard ST, are all extremely powerful for their threat cost. As IP, you can tailor difficult while still having fun if you take slightly worse units in.
--the FAQ makes a difference. Nerfing the royal guards makes a difference
--avoid the strongest class decks
--leaking a bit of mission info can be a good way to remove some of the outrageous bullsh*t that the rebels face. Some of the surprise events aren't just surprises, they're totally imbalanced and fun-destroying. Free units is one thing. Doors coming down, funky activations - these are game rule-breaking variations that no one can plan for and they're just frustrating.
--on that note, some people say 'oh I don't want to give up winning just cos my rebels are crybabies'. Fine. Play it solo. Can't do that? Make some concessions, act like a grown-up.
--having multiple rebels playing can generate some cool solutions that a solo player alone might not see. As a 1v1 game, i think it favours the IP more because he/she'll have all the info. In a 1v4, it might be more balanced. Maybe - though I see you had a group so I dunno.

We've just started Hoth. I'm rebels, and I've won the first few missions, but my pal has been taking sub-optimal units. I wouldn't say the missions favour rebels. My pal could have smashed me if he took in stronger units and subversive tactics. Though the first two with only 2 threat is nice.
I reckon the stats suggest rebels are winning Hoth missions more often largely because IPs are trying out new class decks and units, and haven't quite focussed on the killer units. It was easier in the core campaign, when there were fewer options. But I'd expect those stats to change.

My chief complaint with Hoth is the boon/bane mechanism. All the rebel boons suck and all the banes are ace, which means, when combined with Influence missions, you're forced to do alot of missions you don't want.
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Jeff Hickey
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We just finished our first run-through of the core campaign. I bought the game, so I was the IP (which was fine by me). We were all new to this, so there was some minor mistakes in the beginning, but nothing too drastic. If anything, it was remembering to use the cards you had. For instance, I had the Military Might deck and forgot about the "Show of Force" focus ability so many times. It was pretty laughable how unintentionally easy I made it for the Rebels sometimes.

Anyway, they had Jyn, Diala, and Fenn (and them using the Heroic reward card). I have to admit... I was a bit dismayed after a couple missions. Once I started treating it more like a GM role (still played to win, but I wasn't "focused" on it, if that makes sense), I had a lot more fun with it. As long as the Rebel players felt it was a good challenge, I was ok win or lose. I did cream them on the Han Solo mission and tried really hard to win the "Chain of Command" mission simply so they would go into the finale with more of a "we could lose this" thought. But nope... I had it (Chain of Command) planned pretty well, but luck was on their side in this one. Anyway, the finale was also close (made both Jyn and Diala withdraw in round 11) but Fenn was able to "win" it with his 2 activations that round. So close! But even though I only won 1 game in the campaign, I don't feel discouraged to play again. We're actually starting Twin Shadows tonight and I know we'll go through the main campaign again (now that I also have several of the figure expansions).

Strangely enough, I won an ebay bid on a TON of Descent stuff, so the original plan was to play that, but while waiting for it to come in, we started IA. Now I'm not sure when we'll get to Descent. LOL
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Allen T
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I played as Rebels with one other guy and a few rotating players, against one Imperial player. I can't tell you the name of the class the imperial played, but his Stormtroopers had jetpacks-
Me and the other consistent player had Fenn and Budget Chewie(brilliant), other players had Jyn and Diala.

Every mission until the last two had two or three Rebel players, and we simply crushed the Imperial player to the point where he didn't even
want to finish the campaign. He finally read the end of the campaign book and noticed
Spoiler (click to reveal)
all that matters is winning the final mission
so he saved his cards and just stomped us with 4 players in the last two missions. It also didn't help that for the last two missions we had all four players, two of which had played about 1/4 of the campaign each, and we just gave them equal XP and credits so when they re-joined they had partly forgot how to play, and had to juggle a significant number of new abilities/upgrades/etc.
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Benjamin Bottorff
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You asked about the buffed stormtroopers that imperial might can field. This seems odd given my experience going for the same effect. I would regularly bring in a squad of elite troopers fully upgraded but these troopers sometimes would still frequently go down in a single attack (rebel lategame weapons with bonusus do silly damage) and although they did quite a bit of damage I certainly wouldn't credit them with being any more instrumental to my survival of the last scenario than the basic royal guards or tandoshans.

Now granted, they got pretty much every piece of equipment that they wanted and had a good set of characters for forcing troopers to stay spread (Fenn/Gideon/Mak/Diala) but I don't think I could have played in a way that would have made my troopers that much more relevant. With a royal guard shielding them they might have been able to survive an extra shot but if there's a royal guard next to them then they'd inevitably be taken down by blast as Fen would be letting off 3-4 shots per turn with gideons help. (Fenn practically used actions to shoot and rest, and gideon only commanded and rested for the entire last third of the campaign. I exaggerate slightly as I would try to keep my troops where they wouldn't be melted so cheaply but their action efficiency was painfully potent and tactical maneuvers is an extremely flexible card.)

I will say that I believe that even if the rebels are doing pretty well in a campaign, both the finales favor the Imperial player however there's good odds that if the rebels are struggling the entire campaign it's likely because they aren't sufficiently exploiting their options or the imperial player got very lucky early and the snowball is crushing them.
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