Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
21 Posts

Star Wars: Imperial Assault» Forums » Rules

Subject: Moving away from melee combat rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Matt Thrower
United Kingdom
Bath
Somerset
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Having played the tutorial scenario, I'm a bit confused about melee heroes.

Imperial units get two actions per turn, but can only attack once. So when my Stormtroopers were under attack by a melee hero, it seemed to make sense to move away, stop, then fire.

That meant the melee hero then had to move before they could attack. Essentially, she never got to use her hero "boon" to attack twice in a row, where her blaster-wielding companions did.

Plus, it seems a bit weird to be running away from melee the whole time.

Did we play this correctly?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pasi Ojala
Finland
Tampere
flag msg tools
Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
badge
The next Total Solar Eclipse holiday in 2024 in USA? See you there!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Move action gives movement points and finishes immediately. Spending those movement points moves the figure. You can spend the movement points before and after actions, so Stormtroopers can also perform the Move action, spend movement points to move a few spaces, Attack, then spend the rest of the movement points.

Heroes can suffer upto 2 strain during an activation to gain movement points. Also, Diala's starting weapon has Reach, and Gaarkhan can get a weapon or weapon upgrade giving him Reach, so opportunities to attack twice should exist even with careful strategy by the imperial player.

Running away to preserve your figures is a very good strategy, but it isn't always possible, because staying undefeated isn't the objective.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reserved 89
msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Gaarkhan uses charge to close the gap and give him his 2 attacks per activation. Diala can get Force Throw (1XP) after the first mission, which can be used to allow her 2 attacks per activation by effectively closing the gap between her and her target.

Biv and Varena have special abilities allowing them to attack multiple times, even if they use one action of their activation to close to melee range.

Plus as a1bert said, there is strain move and reach.

PS: If I were a lowly Stormtrooper, I would definitely be running away from a Wookie or Jedi...
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Roop
United States
Mendon
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
MattDP wrote:
Having played the tutorial scenario, I'm a bit confused about melee heroes.

Imperial units get two actions per turn, but can only attack once. So when my Stormtroopers were under attack by a melee hero, it seemed to make sense to move away, stop, then fire.

That meant the melee hero then had to move before they could attack. Essentially, she never got to use her hero "boon" to attack twice in a row, where her blaster-wielding companions did.

Plus, it seems a bit weird to be running away from melee the whole time.

Did we play this correctly?


Played correctly, and it is a valid Imperial strategy. As is hiding behind cover, moving 1 out and shooting, then hiding behind cover again. Or Moving from cover, shooting, then backing away to make ranged attacks more difficult. Or forcing a figure to use all their attacks on the stormtrooper (it's only target) before moving a Villian like Darth Vader. The strategy is endless.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donny Behne
United States
Fate
Texas
flag msg tools
designer
www.punchboardmedia.com/geaux-gaming/
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MattDP wrote:


Plus, it seems a bit weird to be running away from melee the whole time.


Clearly you've never stood toe to toe with an angry Wookiee before.

6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Craig S.
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
Basically, you are not going to be able to save your imperial troops from heroes that are determined to attack them and also be able to attack with those same troops. As an Imperial player, your troops are expendable. You get to reinforce and redeploy. The heroes do not. This is your main advantage as the IP...use it. If your rebel players are particularly dense, you may be able to run them around the board and cause them to ignore their objective in order to attack your troops...but if your rebel players are that bad, you're probably not having much fun. Firing and then moving behind cover to make the heroes use an action or strain for movement to get them in range is rarely a bad idea, though...just make sure you are getting your attacks in. The rebels will win every time if you don't.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve G.
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
MattDP wrote:
Having played the tutorial scenario, I'm a bit confused about melee heroes.

Imperial units get two actions per turn, but can only attack once. So when my Stormtroopers were under attack by a melee hero, it seemed to make sense to move away, stop, then fire.

That meant the melee hero then had to move before they could attack. Essentially, she never got to use her hero "boon" to attack twice in a row, where her blaster-wielding companions did.

Plus, it seems a bit weird to be running away from melee the whole time.

Did we play this correctly?

I think folks have talked around the point you're trying to make to some degree.

In some games (both RPG and dungeoncrawls), melee combat is balanced against ranged attacks in some way. In Descent, the best die for damage was reserved for melee weapons. In other games, guns might consume ammo or provoke attacks of opportunity.

In Imperial Assault, melee is simply an inferior attack form. If you can burn endurance to charge, but all that usually amounts to is a patch for the fact that melee lacks range in the first place. There are situational benefits, where you can charge around a corner. However, on the whole, melee is just bad in this game. I know. I play the wookie, and I quickly grabbed rifle as soon it was possible to afford one.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reserved 89
msg tools
mbmbmbmb
steveg700 wrote:
MattDP wrote:
Having played the tutorial scenario, I'm a bit confused about melee heroes.

Imperial units get two actions per turn, but can only attack once. So when my Stormtroopers were under attack by a melee hero, it seemed to make sense to move away, stop, then fire.

That meant the melee hero then had to move before they could attack. Essentially, she never got to use her hero "boon" to attack twice in a row, where her blaster-wielding companions did.

Plus, it seems a bit weird to be running away from melee the whole time.

Did we play this correctly?

I think folks have talked around the point you're trying to make to some degree.

In some games (both RPG and dungeoncrawls), melee combat is balanced against ranged attacks in some way. In Descent, the best die for damage was reserved for melee weapons. In other games, guns might consume ammo or provoke attacks of opportunity.

In Imperial Assault, melee is simply an inferior attack form. If you can burn endurance to charge, but all that usually amounts to is a patch for the fact that melee lacks range in the first place. There are situational benefits, where you can charge around a corner. However, on the whole, melee is just bad in this game. I know. I play the wookie, and I quickly grabbed rifle as soon it was possible to afford one.


I don't think blanket statements such as "melee is simply an inferior attack form" are helpful. You need to look at the details. Melee is balanced against ranged in two primary ways: hero abilities and the weapons themselves.

Hero Abilities
It's true melee can be tricky on those characters that have no special abilities based around melee. I tried melee with Saska and struggled because I was so often having to spend actions either moving (as the OP highlighted) or resting (due to strain move.)

However, the melee specialists all have abilities to make melee great. Diala has Precise Strike, Snap Kick and Way of the Sarlacc as melee augments. Gaarkhan has Charge, Rage, Vicious Strike, Rampage and Brutal Cleave. Biv and Varena (who in some sense can be treated as melee heroes) have their own sets of abilities to augment "melee" combat.

For example, Gaarkhan using charge (especially with Unstoppable) can often make two attacks on a figure where a ranged character could not, either because of range (pistols often have a shorter range than the charge range of 4/5) or because of line of sight. And charge is not just "a patch because melee lacks range in the first place," it is also an incredibly useful movement tool because it uses the rules for "Move X Spaces" (i.e. it ignores extra movement point costs) and allows Gaarkhan to keep attacking while still moving towards objectives.

Weapons
Melee weapons actually do (in general) have higher damage than a ranged weapon of equivalent credits. They also have defensive possibilities (e.g. high impact guard), bleed and cleave. Cleave is great not just for the increased damage but also for the ability to defeat a wounded unit without spending an action. Blast is the ranged equivalent, but until Hoth only Fenn had it.

And don't forget, the melee hero abilities often synergise with the characteristics of the melee weapons.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve G.
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
reserved89 wrote:

I don't think blanket statements such as "melee is simply an inferior attack form" are helpful. You need to look at the details. Melee is balanced against ranged in two primary ways: hero abilities and the weapons themselves.

Well, I likewise don't think it's necessary to play devil's advocate and try to tease balance out by holding up the odd situational benefit as creating parity with a consistent disadvantage.

Quote:

Hero Abilities
It's true melee can be tricky on those characters that have no special abilities based around melee. I tried melee with Saska and struggled because I was so often having to spend actions either moving (as the OP highlighted) or resting (due to strain move.)

However, the melee specialists all have abilities to make melee great.

Are you arguing that other characters don't have abilities that improve on ranged weapons in meaningful ways? Otherwise, this does not amount to achieving parity.

Quote:
For example, Gaarkhan using charge (especially with Unstoppable) can often make two attacks on a figure where a ranged character could not, either because of range (pistols often have a shorter range than the charge range of 4/5) or because of line of sight. And charge is not just "a patch because melee lacks range in the first place," it is also an incredibly useful movement tool because it uses the rules for "Move X Spaces" (i.e. it ignores extra movement point costs) and allows Gaarkhan to keep attacking while still moving towards objectives.

As I mentioned already, Gaarkhan's ability is sometimes useful (such as for running around corners), but that situational (and endurance-draining) utility does not occur with the frequency of the far more consistent benefit of being able to double-attack at ranges greater than zero.

Quote:
Weapons
Melee weapons actually do (in general) have higher damage than a ranged weapon of equivalent credits.

Okay, I'm happy to be wrong on this. Maybe it's just been luck of the draw. Let's try an example. Death Hammer has a red and blue die and +1 damage built in. It's built for close-range (but still not zero range) damage. What melee weapon of equivalent level weapon trumps that output?

In Descent, they went out of their way to make sure melee had distinct advantages. Even beyond the red die, there was the innate ability to use a shield or off-hand weapon. A two-handed weapon could surge damage up by a greater amount than other weapons or runes. Bows and runes occupied both hands, and the latter doesn't work with armor. That level of balancing just isn't present here.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Craig S.
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
I just finished a campaign with Gaar on our team. All I can say is...I think maybe you aren't playing melee characters correctly...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve G.
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
csouth154 wrote:
I just finished a campaign with Gaar on our team. All I can say is...I think maybe you aren't playing melee characters correctly...

That's a fairly typical statement of dismissiveness for a forum like this. Since we're making baseless suppositions about others, maybe your assessment of his awesomeness was exaggerated. Or maybe he would've been even better with a blaster.

But feel free to elaborate on how to play melee characters correctly.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pasi Ojala
Finland
Tampere
flag msg tools
Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
badge
The next Total Solar Eclipse holiday in 2024 in USA? See you there!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not dismissing you dismissing his good experience using Gaarkhan.

I'm playing against Unstoppable Gaarkhan with Rampage, BD-1 Vibro Axe with Balanced Hilt and High-Impact Guard, with Diala in the game (with Force Adept and Battle Meditation) and I really need to be mentally prepared that Gaarkhan usually takes out one whole Stormtrooper group (or maybe two figures from two Stormtrooper groups) during the first rebel activation. He's a very effective starter. While taking up strain and being less useful on the second round, that is a devastating blow to any imperial plans, giving the rebels a chance to get an upper hand in the number of activations and board positions during the first round.

You don't need any melee characters in the group, and taking two is pushing it (Diala can be a very effective support when she's not built to be a fighter first), but when you have one, you can certainly find ways to put your melee character to good use.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Craig S.
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
Being able to move 5 counted spaces and attack in one action is insanely powerful, especially when you consider that he might recover one of the two strain during the attack. When he's got the Vibro Axe...then the Force Pike?? Dude...he's sick.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve G.
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I'm sure Gaarkhan can do cool stuff. I occasionally do something cool with him. Sometimes even with a melee weapon. Having said that, I'm not convinced that invalidates saying that a melee weapon's lack of range is no big whoop, which is the crux of this thread.

One thing I'm curious about is how folks even afford all those little add-ons like the impact guard. We're around the halfway mark, and upgrading weapons to level 2 seems to suck up everything, even after selling the level 1 back. Does there happen to be a point near the endgame where all weapons are upgraded and then folks start buying add-ons, or are funds being fueled into one character at the expense of others?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pasi Ojala
Finland
Tampere
flag msg tools
Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
badge
The next Total Solar Eclipse holiday in 2024 in USA? See you there!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
steveg700 wrote:
One thing I'm curious about is how folks even afford all those little add-ons like the impact guard. We're around the halfway mark, and upgrading weapons to level 2 seems to suck up everything

Maybe check out the PBF campaigns for how the credits are spent. For example here are links to each rebel upgrade stage.
1.Collect crates when you can, especially if you lose missions. Mak with Supply Network can help you find Valuable Goods.
2.Never buy a weapon that is only marginally better. Buy modifications that can be used on later weapons.
3.If Diala is playing support, she does not need a new weapon.
4.If Gideon is in play, he does not need new weapon (only Laminate Armor at some point).

steveg700 wrote:
Does there happen to be a point near the endgame where all weapons are upgraded and then folks start buying add-ons, or are funds being fueled into one character at the expense of others?

In my experience you can expect to buy two Tier I modifications, two Tier II weapons and two modifications and perhaps a Combat Coat and Laminate Armor and one Tier III weapon and something else from Tier III during a campaign.

You optimally need to equip one hero with a high-damage weapon combination as early as possible. You generally do not want to spread the first few new items around.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tyler Q
Canada
BC
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
steveg700 wrote:
I'm sure Gaarkhan can do cool stuff. I occasionally do something cool with him. Sometimes even with a melee weapon. Having said that, I'm not convinced that invalidates saying that a melee weapon's lack of range is no big whoop, which is the crux of this thread.

One thing I'm curious about is how folks even afford all those little add-ons like the impact guard. We're around the halfway mark, and upgrading weapons to level 2 seems to suck up everything, even after selling the level 1 back. Does there happen to be a point near the endgame where all weapons are upgraded and then folks start buying add-ons, or are funds being fueled into one character at the expense of others?


My group didn't spend so much of their credits on the class 1 items unless it was very beneficial. As a result, they have more credits to spend on class 2 or even 3 items.

That being said, after each mission, they tend to focus on who was weakest and why and try to buff that trait up. They also take into consideration who typically does what (fighter/support/mission objective) and see what items come up that would stack. Mainly, they focus on 1 character at a time depending on the items.

I get what you're saying about range being important and melee perhaps not stacking up. For melee however, heroes have abilities that are built in that allow them to close distances or just simply move and then double attack.

That's not to say ranged attack heroes don't have move and attack abilities as well but...

Diala = force throw on herself plus 2 (more)strain for 5 non move action movement points plus plasteel staff and reach. Maybe even 1 free dmg if force throw is used on an enemy and thrown towards her.
Biv = double attack (close and personal)
Gaarkhan = move and attack combo ability(charge)
Verena = crazy move attack move combos (close quarters and exp. abilities)

Don't have the game in front of me so I can't go on much more than that. I suppose it's not so much melee weapons being better, but a character's abilities syncing with melee.


2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pasi Ojala
Finland
Tampere
flag msg tools
Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
badge
The next Total Solar Eclipse holiday in 2024 in USA? See you there!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
(Diala can't Force Throw herself. It has to be another small figure, usually the target, or a friendly figure that needs extra movement.)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve G.
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Okay, thanks for the advice, guys.

We generally followed those guidelines. We have the Death Hammer and the T-21. Last mission, we bought a couple of add-ons, one that let a blaster re-roll a die and another that could be exhausted to add +1 damage. Gideon has graciously resigned himself to not getting a better weapon.

And that's it. We just got access to level 2 items, but the Imperial makes it sound like we're at least halfway done, so I gotta hope we're going to see the credits rolling in a little better. We do grab loot crates when we're able, especially when we see a loss coming.

I notice that a lot of the support for Gaarkhan comes from seeing a heavily-upgraded version of the character, so I think I'm evaluating him from a different standpoint than people who've completed a campaign and that badass version is the one that springs to their mind. But is it really the version a player spends most of the campaign playing?

Since melee is at point-blank range, that ability to one-shot enemies is way more pronounced than it is for a ranged cat who can shoot from cover and be missed outright. It's the difference between looking godlike after smiting two heavy troopers dead and having your character sheet flipped over by two wounded heavy troopers.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Fanjoy
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
steveg700 wrote:
I notice that a lot of the support for Gaarkhan comes from seeing a heavily-upgraded version of the character, so I think I'm evaluating him from a different standpoint than people who've completed a campaign and that badass version is the one that springs to their mind. But is it really the version a player spends most of the campaign playing?
I actually think of Gaarkhan as being an early-campaign powerhouse. Gaarkhan's Vibro-Ax is probably the best starting weapon. In the core game, it's the only one that can deal 5 damage, and that's not a terribly uncommon result if you also count 4 + Cleave as "5 damage". Cleave is also important as a kind of action economy early in the campaign, as it's one of the few ways to finish off an enemy with 1 HP remaining without spending an entire action just on attacking that enemy.

Gaarkhan's Charge ability also has good action economy - you're essentially getting 4 squares of movement for the price of 2 strain (and it's even better value if you're going through enemies or difficult terrain). And remember, with the Red + Yellow combination, you're more likely to be able to spend surges to recover strain than many other starting weapons, which will be less likely to roll surges and/or will need to use those surges to get enough damage to finish the target. It is a drawback that you have to go where the Imperial forces are to get value out of Charge, but the counterpoint is that the Imperial forces are usually going to be between you and the objective (or they aren't doing their job ).

The Deathhammer is pretty comparable to the BD-1 Vibro Ax. They're both Tier 2, and both cost 600 credits. Both have a guaranteed range of 2 squares. Deathhammer has a +1 Accuracy surge, but you probably don't want to risk that often both because that's a very inefficient use of surges and also because R+B doesn't roll many surges. Deathhammer gets a flat +1 damage. BD-1's green die in place of the blue die is worth +1/6 damage and +1/6 surge. The surge abilities of the BD-1 are significantly better, though: while the Deathhammer just has one surge for +1 damage, BD-1 has a "+1 Damage + Bleed" and Cleave 2 available. Cleave 2 is a monster, as it's a very safe way to clean up an enemy with 2 HP left while working on another enemy (and note that in combination with Rampage, that includes full-health Stormtroopers and Officers. Wow!).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reserved 89
msg tools
mbmbmbmb
@steveg700 (I haven't quoted because it gets too unwieldy)

I think your arguments are based on looking at single factors at a time. For example ranged is better because, well, it has range. Or show me a melee weapon that beats the Deathhammer for single-target damage (a weapon clearly designed to be the best for its price at single target damage.) However in a game this complex there are always a multitude of factors to consider.

When comparing weapons for instance, I would consider: single target damage; range; cleave; stun/bleed; reach; upgrade slots; price; chance to recover a strain; chance to apply a condition; ability to make use of bonus surges.

So in terms of weapons, it appears that you are looking at the first two factors and ignoring the rest. I claimed that in general melee weapons do more damage than ranged, but yes it's not always true because single-target damage isn't the only thing of interest. For example, while the Vibro-ax has the highest damage of the starting weapons, the Plasteel Staff has low damage: presumably because it has stun.

With respect to heroes, no doubt the designers have tried to balance each character in the game and no doubt melee versus ranged was a consideration for them. Each character has a particular play-style(s) and role(s). Yes, ranged characters like Mak obviously have abilities to augment his attacks. But in his case he is focused on single target damage. On the other hand, Diala, Varena and Gaarkhan can all be very good at taking down groups of figures.

Also the melee characters generally have higher base health and/or endurance and abilities to help them deal with damage. And speaking of "tanks," having defensively strong heroes getting in the way of the imperials can leave the imperial with the annoying choice of attacking a character who is well equipped to take the damage or accepting a tactical disadvantage to try and get past them to attack a weaker hero such as Gideon. If I were Imperial, a Gaarkhan at the back with a rifle is a Gaarkhan who is rarely going to get focused from Rage. I'm not arguing a Gaarkhan with a rifle isn't viable, but some of his abilities will play a less prominent role.

While I can't argue against your personal experience of charge versus two ranged attacks, if you think it is merely situational I think perhaps you are missing out. I've played two campaigns with Gaarkhan and I can safely say he charged almost every round and it had far more value than just closing the gap so he could attack.

PS Gaarkhan with the BD-1 Vibro-ax could make two attacks on a figure e.g. 6 squares away whereas with the Deathhammer he could not (due to the DH's effective damage being cut in half at range 4-5)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tyler Q
Canada
BC
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
a1bert wrote:
(Diala can't Force Throw herself. It has to be another small figure, usually the target, or a friendly figure that needs extra movement.)


Skipped over the words "another small figure" on the card. Nice catch!

That's okay Diala, I'm still a fan!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.