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Star Wars: Imperial Assault» Forums » Variants

Subject: House Rule: Making Green Missions Viable rss

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Tim Garrett
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Howdy, all,

Just thought I'd write up a house rule I've been using to improve gameplay a bit:

When the Rebel player successfully completes an Ally (green) mission, or when the Empire unlocks a Villain through a Threat mission, that player may, once per game, choose to deploy the associated character at a legal time at half cost.

The main purpose of this is to make less-appealing missions see a little bit more use. Right now, the Rebels have very little incentive to actually deploy most allies in the campaign. Unlike the bonuses for other mission rewards, Rebel allies effectively cancel themselves out whenever they are used, as the Empire immediately receives their threat value. In fact, this will often work out in the Empire's favor, as a) many rebel heroes are overpriced, and b) villains are much, much more likely to benefit from their player's class and agenda decks than Rebel allies are from their players' abilities. As such, Luke, Han, and Chewie rarely have their missions played in campaigns, and it's a bit of a shame.

The same problem, to a lesser extent, plays out in the Imperials' side. Characters like Vader, the Royal Guard Champion, and Boba Fett are very powerful, but are also so expensive that they also rarely see much voluntary use.

By allowing the players a one-time discounted deployment, we add a fun new dilemma into the mix: the players are rewarded with a strong but not overwhelming advantage that can only be applied towards a single mission. Deciding which mission is the best candidate is the real challenge, and I feel like it's these sort of dilemmas that this game's campaign really shines.

My intuition is that this house rule will help the rebels a little more than the Imperials, but in my experience the Imperials tend to hold the advantage in story missions, finales, and most Bespin levels, so I'm not too concerned.

Has anyone played with a similar house rule? I'm curious what your reactions were.
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Rico P
Canada
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I don't give any "half-price" discounts to allies/villains, but I do play with houseruled unit costs for both campaign & skirmish (I've posted my full list of play-tested changes many times on BGG & FFG forums)

iirc for those figures it's:

Vader 13
RGC 12
Boba 10
Han 8
Chewie 12

Farm Luke's 10 is very well-costed though
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Germany
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My Rebels love using Allies, even high costed Chewbacca. You can't just bring any ally - you have to look at the mission and which ally makes sense. So no house rule there - Usually my rebels aim for a high cost and a low cost ally and green missions are popular.

The basic math is that it is crucial for the Imperial player to have the same or more activations as the rebels. Chewbacca can't be killed in one round by the same number of Imperial Figures and he needs a big commitment by the imperial player, and Units like Rebel Troopers and Rebel Saboteurs can be held back if they only have one figure left to still give that precious activation. Since the heroes themselves are very weak in the beginning, it is a bad idea to bring an expensive figure to the table, but as soon as heroes like Fenn or Gaarkhan can take out 6-9 points of Imperial Units in a single activation, Chewie or Luke are fine. I have the feeling some groups brought Chewie or Luke in Threat Level 3 Missions and now think they are "bad". Especially the passive bonuses Han, Luke and Chewie provide are very well worth it if the heroes reach a certain power level.

On the Imperial Side, however, I see the problem. Because of the Activation Advantage beeing so important and the need to sometimes block pathways with a bunch of units, expensive Allies like Darth Vader or the RGC are a difficult choice for the Imperial Player.

Part of that is the mission design, since in the base set most of the time the heroes need to reach a goal/location. If it is the other way around I suppose Vader or the RGC can work, as they are hard to stop.
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Thomas with Subtrendy
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I get the need for this sometimes, but there are other legal ways to reduce ally cost if your players do see that as necessary. Murne Rin, for instance, is always great at reducing their cost- every mission, if I call correctly, though only by 4 pts. Then, the Empire is getting a class deck Nemesis that will help as well.

I tend to try not to house rule too much, to avoid balance issues- if possible, I'd suggest giving these solutions a try, first.
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Tim Garrett
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Subtrendy Gaming wrote:
I tend to try not to house rule too much, to avoid balance issues- if possible, I'd suggest giving these solutions a try, first.


I totally get what you're saying, but as a proud owner of this game and all of its expansions, I've really come to the conclusion that its balance is pretty darn wonky. It's well-established here that many of the campaign missions heavily favor one side over the other, and the claim that it all adds up to a balanced campaign just doesn't hold up when the finales favor the Imperials so heavily. I'm not saying that the game is rigged in any particular way, but I'm not at all convinced that the game is optimally balanced, and I'm not nearly as averse to house rules in IA as I would be in what I consider to be more balanced games.

I've used Murne before, and while her ally skill was fun, I really wasn't sold on the character on the whole. More than that, though, what I find are the most interesting moments in IA aren't really the individual battles, or even the nail-biter missions, but rather on the key strategic decisions each side makes, be it buying agenda, class, and item cards, or selecting which side mission to pursue. I really like that this house rule adds another one of these decisions into the mix. That's why, while I'm certainly not pushing it on anyone that doesn't want it, I'm feeling right now that this house rule makes the game better.
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Thomas with Subtrendy
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Garriath wrote:
Subtrendy Gaming wrote:
I tend to try not to house rule too much, to avoid balance issues- if possible, I'd suggest giving these solutions a try, first.


I totally get what you're saying, but as a proud owner of this game and all of its expansions, I've really come to the conclusion that its balance is pretty darn wonky. It's well-established here that many of the campaign missions heavily favor one side over the other, and the claim that it all adds up to a balanced campaign just doesn't hold up when the finales favor the Imperials so heavily. I'm not saying that the game is rigged in any particular way, but I'm not at all convinced that the game is optimally balanced, and I'm not nearly as averse to house rules in IA as I would be in what I consider to be more balanced games.

I've used Murne before, and while her ally skill was fun, I really wasn't sold on the character on the whole. More than that, though, what I find are the most interesting moments in IA aren't really the individual battles, or even the nail-biter missions, but rather on the key strategic decisions each side makes, be it buying agenda, class, and item cards, or selecting which side mission to pursue. I really like that this house rule adds another one of these decisions into the mix. That's why, while I'm certainly not pushing it on anyone that doesn't want it, I'm feeling right now that this house rule makes the game better.


Fair enough, it sounds like you've certainly thought about it and you're at least not making the decision on a whim.
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