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Subject: Are Allies worth it? rss

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Luke Jacobs
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There are two missions left in the campaign, (our first) and the rebels have brought allies on missions exactly twice. Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca.

Their main concern is giving me extra threat.

Should they be using allies? If they use them well, are they going to find them worth the increased threat?

If they're a good choice, how can I encourage my players to use them more often? I want to table Kayn Somos with more troopers.

[EDIT] Part of the problem is that I was playing a rule wrong.
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Reserved 89
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Yes.
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Gergely Kovacs
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No

They generally die early (especially with the added Imperial figures the IP is able to table with the increased threat) and doesn't contribute much. I have yet to see an instance when an ally was worth the threat we gave to the Imperial player in exchange.
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Luke Jacobs
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Rinceart wrote:
No

They generally die early (especially with the added Imperial figures the IP is able to table with the increased threat) and doesn't contribute much. I have yet to see an instance when an ally was worth the threat we gave to the Imperial player in exchange.


Is there a change that would make you more likely to bring allies? A cost reduction? An ability to take a turn without using a hero turn?

Thanks
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Caleb Ludrick
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I think Luke is worth it, due to his Are of Effect reroll benefit he provides. Also C-3P0 is good; super cheap and free focus. Make sure they use the allies for the benefit they provide the heroes; take advantage of Lukes reroll, Chewbaccas protector ability, focus from 3P0. Don't try to make the allies just a lone wolf.
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Well like anything in a strategy game there are pros and cons and times when you would or wouldn't want an ally.

Later in a campaign the threat you are giving away is worth less as your powerful heroes can remove large amounts of threat from the board quite easily. 10 threat in mission 1 is worth much more than 10 threat in mission 10. So deploying an ally is often a good thing later in the campaign.

If the initial imperial deployments are powerful or in good positions then an ally is more of a risk because with the extra threat/deployments the heroes will struggle to deal with it. On the other hand, many starting positions are such that any bonus threat deployment by the imperial will just be cannon fodder for the heroes and mostly wasted.

So you have to evaluate each starting position on its merits and the stage of the campaign before deciding to deploy an ally or not.

It's also good to evaluate a starting position on whether you think you can keep the ally alive (e.g. by blocking LoS with your heroes). If you can defeat the extra threat you gave away (on top of whatever you would normally do) while keeping the ally alive then, assuming you didn't take too long about it, you will be in a strong position.

If you have Gideon, then deploying an expensive ally early in the campaign may still be worth it as Gideon can help you make use of that allies 3 dice attacks. Murne and MHD-19 may also change the decisions on allies.
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Alain Baum
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The Wave 1 allies, especially Han and Chewbacca, are very expensive for what they bring to the table.

FFG seems to have changed their strategy in that regards; the only two-digit cost allies since Wave 1 are the elite Wookiee Warriors (which are a force to be reckoned with) and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

I just finished a game with Lando, and he was very useful for his 6 threat.
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Gergely Kovacs
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mournful wrote:
Is there a change that would make you more likely to bring allies? A cost reduction? An ability to take a turn without using a hero turn?


I was a bit over simplifying the issue.

Anyways, Reserved 89's comment above is a very good analysis and pretty much says it all. Allies should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. I guess there are some occasions when they might make sense, but I think it is very rare.
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Pasi Ojala
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mournful wrote:
Is there a change that would make you more likely to bring allies? A cost reduction? An ability to take a turn without using a hero turn?

An ally doesn't cost you a hero activation. The rebels have 5 activations if they bring in an ally. When it is a rebel turn to activate, they activate any of their non-activated groups (heroes or the ally, whichever is ready).
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Benjamin Bottorff
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Allies are situational and should be taken on a mission to mission basis.

For instance, the mission where you have to cut through the 8 block door can be made trivial if you have Luke. In other missions it doesn't matter that Luke is pretty good for his cost, you still wouldn't want him.

In terms of general support, as the imperial player I found that Luke and troopers with Gideon's price discount were both pretty annoying.

I would generally avoid Han or Chewbacca just for cost inefficiency but it's worth nothing that on the final side mission where the imperial player already gets 10 threat at the start, he can't get more than 10 more from an ally and Chewbacca can exploit that pretty ably.
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Pasi Ojala
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Velensk wrote:
I would generally avoid Han or Chewbacca just for cost inefficiency but it's worth nothing that on the final side mission where the imperial player already gets 10 threat at the start, he can't get more than 10 more from an ally and Chewbacca can exploit that pretty ably.

Only if the imperial player did not spend enough threat for the optional deployment during Special Setup.

Note the correct order of the setup:
- Special Setup gives threat, the Imperial Player can use it in an optional deployment.
- Mission briefing is read
- Heroes arrive on and around the entrance
- Heroes decide whether to take an ally. If they do, the Imperial Player gets the corresponding amount of threat and an optional deployment.

The threat dial does only go upto 20, but only if the imperial player didn't deploy anything during special setup the threat dial can reach that.

It's of course a mind game. The imperial player may want to save threat for later, but knows the rebels could take Chewbacca, so he should spend some of it. And then the rebels do not take Chewie.
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Alain Baum
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Velensk wrote:
it's worth nothing that on the final side mission where the imperial player already gets 10 threat at the start, he can't get more than 10 more from an ally and Chewbacca can exploit that pretty ably.

That's true if the IP does not spend his 10 threat (or part of them) right away for an optional deployment. I'd think that most IPs will do so, however.

Edit: If I had a credit for every time Pasi ninjas me...
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Luke Jacobs
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a1bert wrote:
mournful wrote:
Is there a change that would make you more likely to bring allies? A cost reduction? An ability to take a turn without using a hero turn?

An ally doesn't cost you a hero activation. The rebels have 5 activations if they bring in an ally. When it is a rebel turn to activate, they activate any of their non-activated groups (heroes or the ally, whichever is ready).


That would be a game changer.

Here's where I'm confused about that.
Rules Ref, page 5
"when it is their[the rebel player who has the ally deployment card] opportunity to resolve an activation, Rebel players can choose to activate an Ally...."

So what I read from that was, when a player has an activation, they can use it to activate an ally instead.

So have I been playing wrong this entire time? Is it, Verena has Luke's card, Verena has an activation, does Luke's thing, then does her own?

i.e. the player with the deployment card takes 2 actions with the ally then 2 actions themselves?
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Pasi Ojala
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mournful wrote:
Rules Ref, page 5
"when it is their[the rebel player who has the ally deployment card] opportunity to resolve an activation, Rebel players can choose to activate an Ally...."

So what I read from that was, when a player has an activation, they can use it to activate an ally instead.

The round consists of alternating activations and the status phase.

When it is time to activate a group, either a hero or the ally is chosen to activate. After the activation has been performed, that group has now activated and is no longer ready. All others are still 'ready' and can activate the next time it is time to activate a rebel group.

It is not a player's turn to perform an activation, it is the rebel side's turn to choose which of the unactivated/ready groups (hero or ally) to activate.

Yes, you have been playing wrong.

(Rebel, Imperial, Rebel, Imperial, Rebel, Imperial, Rebel, Imperial, Rebel, ... groups alternating for as long as either side has any group ready. Each deployment card is a group and each hero is a group.)
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Also, it dependes very much on the Mission. Chewbacca for example is a bad choice in early missions (the threat he gives the Imperial Player in a Threat 2 Mission would take 8 Rounds, in a Threat 6 Mission 3 Rounds). He also doesn't shine so bright if the Heroes have to rush to an objective, which - I think - are most missions. It just is easier to block a path if you have a lot of missions.

Later in the game, characters like Gaarkhan and Fenn take out an entire Squad in one activation, especially if the Imperial Player doesn't have buffing attachments. They can easily take out 15 Threat in 3 Rounds. On the other Hand, the Imperial Player will face a though decission if he wants to kill Chewbecca.

Now in an early mission or a mission which needs to be rushed, C3P0, R2D2 or an Alliance Smuggler can give you that edge you need.

The extra Activation is IMHO always worth it. Having Activation Advantage is a big strategic asset. You just have to chose the right ally for the mission.

Also, a very important rule is that the Imperial Player has to chose his open groups and read the mission briefing before the heroes chose an ally. That is a big disadvantage, let's say he knows the heroes have Chewbacca and a Alliance Smuggler, and only two open groups (in most missions, open groups are very limited). Because of Chewbacca, he will likely take an expensive group (especially because any threat over 20 is lost). So having an choice of different costed allies is a big strategic advantage for the heroes.

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As a lot of people have said, Wave 1 allies are really expensive threat-wise.

My wife and I have been playing a campaign and she got Leia. For her threat (8, I believe) she's been a huge thorn in my side for a long time. Even though she does often die, it's time that I could have been spent focusing entirely on the heroes.

As a general rule, I wouldn't bring along any allies that cost over 12 threat once you get to the point in the campaign where you start getting access to tier III weapons- not that it really matters, it's just an arbitrary location where the Imp player is more likely to start bringing in reserves that actually really benefit from having significantly increased threat. He's less likely to do so earlier on.
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Cracky McCracken
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mournful wrote:
Rinceart wrote:
No

They generally die early (especially with the added Imperial figures the IP is able to table with the increased threat) and doesn't contribute much. I have yet to see an instance when an ally was worth the threat we gave to the Imperial player in exchange.


Is there a change that would make you more likely to bring allies? A cost reduction? An ability to take a turn without using a hero turn?

Thanks


The main problem i have with allies is they seem to lag behind the characters. Ok for R2 i guess.... but Han always seems to fall behind.
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Luke Jacobs
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a1bert wrote:

The round consists of alternating activations and the status phase.

When it is time to activate a group,....


Excellent, thanks for the clear explanation. Much appreciated.

a1bert wrote:

Yes, you have been playing wrong.


Well that makes me feel a lot better.
Hopefully I'll see more allies hit the table now!
 
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Pasi Ojala
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mournful wrote:
Excellent, thanks for the clear explanation. Much appreciated.

You're welcome. I have gotten a lot of practice.

You may also want to check out:
What are some crazy or common rule-breaking mistakes your group made whilst learning the game?
And tell your story as a warning to others. It would be appreciated. I had my share in the beginning.
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My group is pretty reluctant to use allies unless they're free. To encourage getting them on the board, we're trying a couple changes in a campaign we just started. All heroes and villains have their threat cost dropped to 75% (rounded up). It makes it more of a reward to win them. Additionally, the IP can include a villain in their open group without taking a spot.
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My group seems reluctant to bring allies too, but it seems like they can be pretty useful. They brought Echo Base troopers once, who pretty handily took care of the regular Stormtrooper group that they let me deploy, without taking any damage themselves. They still lost the mission, but not because they brought the troopers.
 
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The overwhelming sentiment is "mission to mission" and I agree with that, but the problem is in a lot of missions, but you don't really know what's going to happen nuless you've played it before. Chewie's Protector ability is very nice if you're facing a lot of cannon fodder, but if the reserved groups are all high threat enemies (t-Hunters, RGC, Royal Guard, etc.) then it won't be quite as useful. Additionally, the Imperial player can spend his threat on things that counter your ally and negate the advantages.

R2-D2 comes in very handy if there are mechanical checks on the map, but if they're all hidden behind a "Accomplish X to progress" you won't know to bring him. Sure, you can look around and potentially see the terminals everywhere, but if they turn out to be "X health, Def: Y" then he's not as useful. Sure, for R2-D2 you're not giving away much threat so it's unlikely to be catastrophic and the activation advantage alone could pay huge dividends depending on starting locations. (Think Return to Echo Base, forcing those Snowtroopers to move before you do is a giant book).

I think the biggest problem with Allies is that it gives the Imperial player more options, and when he already has the book of knowledge I don't want to give him more threat that he will be able to use to min/max better then us just haphazardly choosing to bring an ally based on the limited knowledge that initial conditions gives.

Lastly, I think if it's a Story Mission and the imperial player has a couple class cards that require threat to be spent then that needs to be taken into account. You're giving them an extra round to use those because without the threat they'd be useless until Round 2.
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Dave Medeiros
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I agree with the general sentiment that Allies are a mission-dependent choice, generally a better idea in later missions than earlier ones, with time a real consideration (you're a little better as a party, with a lot more enemies to get through in the first rounds).
I just played the Finale mission Last Stand; rebels brought Chewbacca (in a party with Gideon, Jyn, Diala, and Fenn). At that point the heroes were powerful enough to breeze through the extra enemies, with plenty of time to rest as they went before...
Spoiler (click to reveal)

...confronting Vader. There, Chewbacca came in very handy, because of his Slam ability:
(1) A way for an Ally to do damage twice in their activation (Attack as second action);
(2) Damage that doesn't have to get through 2 black dice with a reroll, avoiding the possibility of Imperials spending threat for 2 less;
(3) While also moving Vader around, disrupting his ability to do Brutality.

I recommend giving up on clustering rebels around Chewie for Protector once Vader's on the board; the rebels have to spread out to make him waste activations getting to them.
Fenn had the Pulse Cannon, which with a Focus and a reroll (thanks Diala), an extra 'zap' from Gideon's Called Shot, and various non-zap abilities (Trench Fighter, Veteran Prowess, Havoc with Suppressive Fire, and Weapons Expert) puts out unbelievable hurt -- like, 11 or 12 damage at a time before defense.
Diala is dangerous to Vader too, able to remove a defense die, and roll unprotected damage of her own (Snap Kick, Combat Knife), with a Force Push to put another point on Vader and push him away.
Jyn could dance with and away from Vader, delivering occasional Quick Draws. While Gideon removed Strain, and delivered two commands at a time. A deadly group, even for the Dark Lord of the Sith.


BTW, this was my first campaign of IA -- really liking this game!

 
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Probably want to put spoiler tags around all that stuff for the finale!
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Dave Medeiros
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jakers98 wrote:
Probably want to put spoiler tags around all that stuff for the finale!

Oops! Done, thanks.
 
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