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Subject: Rebels losing Aftermath rss

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Alexander Belyakov
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Hello, everyone!

I tried searching for a post about how hard it is for the Rebels to win the Aftermath mission, but it seems the general opinion is that Aftermath favors the Rebels, and some people actually lose the mission ON PURPOSE in order to see the other side of the mission tree.

In my experience as the Imperial player, we've played Aftermath twice, and the Rebels lost both times. And, frankly, I didn't see any glaring mistakes on their part, but the odds seem stacked against them. Both times they lost because all four heroes became wounded.

The group was Fenn, Gideon, Gaarkhan and Biv. I took Technological Superiority as my deck, as I heard that it was the easiest on the Rebels, and I wanted to make life as easy as possible for them.

In the first round they took care of the first terminal, the droid and the officer and set up shop near the door. I only had the three Stormtroopers remaining, who dealt some damage to Fenn and Biv.

In the second round they opened the door with the first activation (Fenn), after which Gaarkhan rushed the second terminal, but, unfortunately, was able to only deal 1 damage to it (because I placed the E-Web adjacent to it, so it had 2 Defense). Biv and Gideon managed to get into the building by the end of the round as well, so it was only Fenn outside. I believe I managed to wound Fenn by that point in the game, as he was surrounded by the Stormtroopers with dice re-rolls.

Because of this, I decided to go with the 7-Health terminals. In round three Biv and Gaarkhan tried to jointly finish off the second terminal, but 6 Health with 2 defense were just too much. Meanwhile, I had a Stormtrooper squad and the E-Web rain fire on them, which allowed me to wound Biv. Gideon, meanwhile, made his way around the squads and into the Storage Room, where he took some flak from the second Stormtrooper squad.

In round four I wounded Gaarkhan, and Gideon, who was close to being wounded, had to use both actions to rest and remove all Strain and almost all Damage from his sheet. My main objective became to wound Gideon, the heroes - to prevent this and to continue attacking the terminals. Gideon managed to survive, while Fenn managed to squeeze in and deal 4 damage to the third terminal while I didn't have anyone near it (my mistake).

In round five Gideon rested again, bringing his Health back up to 7 and managed to finish off the third terminal. I had an entire Stormtrooper squad attack him with re-rolls, but he was still alive with 2 Health remaining - good defense rolls by the player! There was only one Stormtrooper from the other squad remaining, and the heroes tried nailing him, but dealt only two damage. After this, of course, I activated him and finished off Gideon, whose luck ran out (needed 3 Blocks to survive, but rolled only 2).

So, the game ended at the end of round five with all heroes wounded, and the fourth terminal untouched.

In short, the main hero tactics were:
- rush the objectives mostly ignoring the hostiles
- ignore resting until the very end, when Gideon needed to survive
- ignore crates completely to save time

What could they have done differently? 7 Health terminals with 2 automatic Blocks seem insanely powerful. Resting seems to be a time killer - you're healthier, but the sixth round is suddenly over. They would not have been able to destroy the fourth terminal even if Gideon had survived - we tried it just for fun, and they still failed in round six, and I nailed Gideon again. Killing off troops seemed to be useless - I would just reinforce them with my Threat. Hoping to get something in the crates is too much of a gamble for a wasted action.

What's the secret of the players that say they have NEVER lost the mission as the Rebels? A bad Imperial player? Or some strategy that I and my friends are completely blind to?

My players seem to be rather discouraged by this, because they believe the game is skewed towards the Imperial player and it's no fun for the Rebels, unless the Imperial is not too bright and makes dumb mistakes. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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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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belyakoff wrote:
In short, the main hero tactics were:
- rush the objectives mostly ignoring the hostiles
- ignore resting until the very end, when Gideon needed to survive
- ignore crates completely to save time

The PBF games that the rebels won they did exactly the opposite.

- Have an efficient first round to clear as many imperials as possible. Heroes like Gaarkhan, Fenn, Jyn and Gideon can help here.
- Take out the outside terminal before opening the door. If there are actions to spare, get the crate. A Shock Grenade from there would be very advantageous.
- Group beside the door before opening it at the beginning of a round.
- Get the E-Web taken care of, preferably before it activates. Never leave an E-Web to the board if you can help it.

If you clear enough imperials you don't need to rest. Heroes can recover strain from the attacks, and use it to move with strain. Double-attack and get 2 movement points in an activation.


See SWIA007 Aftermath.
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Seth
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belyakoff wrote:
My players seem to be rather discouraged by this, because they believe the game is skewed towards the Imperial player and it's no fun for the Rebels


This, to me, would be a troubling sign from players I wanted to play a campaign with. Unless someone is truly less intelligent or playing poorly, both the Rebels and Imperial are going to win some missions and lose some over the course of a campaign. If losing one mission makes them discouraged and not feel like they're having fun, they probably would not enjoy or want to complete a campaign.

And if they're making that kind of judgement on a game that they just learned how to play... shake

They might have more fun playing with you in skirmish or in one-shot missions (choose Heroes with X amount of XP to spend on cards and Y credits to shop with and just run one mission, maybe the red side mission of one of their chosen Heroes).
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Alexander Belyakov
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ATT_Turan wrote:
This, to me, would be a troubling sign from players I wanted to play a campaign with. Unless someone is truly less intelligent or playing poorly, both the Rebels and Imperial are going to win some missions and lose some over the course of a campaign. If losing one mission makes them discouraged and not feel like they're having fun, they probably would not enjoy or want to complete a campaign.

Well, to be fair, this is coming from one player who has played four missions against me and lost all four of them (Aftermath twice, Under Siege once and one of the side missions). The others seemed a bit overwhelmed, but they enjoyed the game and want to play again. I would say that I myself am a bit discouraged, because so far I've been winning all missions (despite making some sub-par decisions from time to time), but it would've been better if it were win/lose/win/lose, as I look at this game as a GM in an RPG - I want the heroes to get some hard-earned wins, and not lose constantly. I'm even ready to fudge some stuff, but I don't want to insult them by taking actions, which are obviously sub-optimal.
 
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Quote:

My players seem to be rather discouraged by this, because they believe the game is skewed towards the Imperial player and it's no fun for the Rebels, unless the Imperial is not too bright and makes dumb mistakes. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


Well, i would say for new players the game is skewed towards the imperial. But by loosing the first mission they get the easier path. The next story mission in case you loose Aftermath is much easier for the rebels than the one you would get if the rebels won.
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J-o Jankowski
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Sooo my thoughts on helping your Rebels

First mistake, they attacked the officer and the probe droid first. Stormies are a much bigger threat in that first room, they deal good damage and taking all 3 of them is not ideal. They are the biggest threat to the Rebels starting the mission, and should be the first deployment group killed.

Officers are pretty weak, and they have that chance to dodge, I wouldn't waste actions on killing them in this scenario

The E-web can be a problem, Biv would have been a good shot to try and take it out with close and personal. Then after its defeated attack the terminal (it having that 1 less health makes a big difference). If you can coordinate this correctly, you should be able to take this terminal out before the end of round 3.

As mentioned, crates are always good.

Once the E-webs down, its pretty straight forward from there, kill off stormies, kill the terminals. Our Rebels are constantly winning this mission, imperial player only really has had a shot when they have Show of Force from the MM deck.

Hope this helps!
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Michael
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I can see losing this mission if the rebels have never played a game like this before.

Winning formula tends to be:

- At the end of round 2 there shouldn't be any imperials on the board, the first terminal has been destroyed, and all rebels are near the door.

How should the rebels know to do this? The imperials have 3 groups in reserve. As an approximation assume the exact same forces that were on the board at the start of the game are in reserve. Can the rebels handle the sustained fire of 8 or more imperials? Not likely. The most obvious trigger for this is opening the door, so the forces outside have to die before opening the door. There is an obvious time crunch with 4 terminals and 6 rounds, so there is no time to waste either. 2 rounds is enough time to kill and get in position.

Take a moment to look at the map at the start of the mission. A reasonable approximation of what needs to happen is each rebel needs to move ~4 times total or two rounds worth. There are 4 terminals to destroy and 6 rounds to get it done. Looking at distances it's quite reasonable to expect round 1 and round 2 involve a combination of fighting and forming up on the door.

I consider any movement that isn't toward your long term goal a potentially wasted movement. If a player moves to the row that is farthest from the door they also have to move back to the row they were in. That's half a move action. Coordinate moves between the team so that everyone can move as efficiently as possible.

- Do things that you expect will trigger reserve deployments as early in a round as possible (in this case the start of round 3).

This gives you time to react. (I learned this habit from Hero Quest and the X-Com pc game.) You don't want to see 3 reserved groups placed after your last rebel's action. That's a lot of incoming fire you cannot respond to.

- The e-web should be destroyed in the first round you see it.

It hits hard, really hard. It is placed in a spot where it will have good LoS. It also has the ability to recover. It's too big a threat to allow it to keep shooting at you. It is possible to leave it standing and successfully manage damage from it with LoS, but that's a potentially bigger problem than it's worth as a clever imperial player will use troopers to defend the terminal near it in a way that forces the rebels to take fire.

- Get crates.

In the first few missions the contents of the crates are generally quite powerful since you don't have any abilities or weapon upgrades yet.
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Alexander Belyakov
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Thanks for the detailed responses, guys!

We tried it again with two players in "everyone plays for everybody" fashion just to see how it goes. We managed to finish the mission in Round 5. Like you proposed, we cleared out everything outside the door and picked up the crate in Rounds 1-2. Then proceeded to destroy the E-Web and the second terminal in Round 3, mopping everything else up in Rounds 4-5.

Three wounded heroes in the end, but the fourth one, Gaarkhan, was almost untouched. All of this despite one rather bad roll for the Rebels in Round 1 (wanted to take out two Stormies and the droid with Fenn's two attacks and the Havoc Shot ability, but one attack didn't inflict any damage).
 
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Bill Davenport
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sorry to necro an old post but figured i'd put my two cents in here, as the imperial player during a campaign your job isn't to win it's to have an engaging experience and keep the rebel players either just barely winning or just barely losing. you're more of a "dungeon master" than an "opponent". If you're constantly winning... hold back a little or give yourself a little less threat, until the rebels start gaining a little ground. if you just constantly beat the rebels they'll get discouraged and not want to play.

If you want to go balls to the wall and always win, play skirmish mode. At least that's my opinion
 
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