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Subject: Help, I'm not sure I am playing right. rss

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Zachary Gritz
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Several months ago positive reviews and our love for all things Star Wars led my gaming group into picking up Imperial Assault. After several attempts we found that we all generally hated the game. Now, I personally have played between 3-4 missions four different times with 9 different people. My group has attempted it two additional times without me (so six attempts). Our issue…How do the rebels win?
I am talking specifically about wining of missions (not the campaign as we haven’t made it that far) and am not at all looking at the skirmish mode.
My gaming group are all seasoned veterans of gaming having played a wide variety of games light to heavy and even dabbled in some RPGs. So my first question really: Is the Empire player supposed to play like a DM and let rebels have a good time and win? Everything I have read says no. In fact I have done a lot of research and found that the general consensus (is the game balanced forums) is that the game is favored for the Rebels to win most missions. I don’t see this as being possible and it makes me feel like I am misinterpreting a rule. Reminder I have now played with 9 different people who have all read the rule books and feel the same way.
Our main problem seems to be in the timing of missions, I mean the fact that the missions are timed. As I understand it the Rebels have a set number of rounds to accomplish a task. We always seem to run out of rounds or get hammered to death attempting a run. One mission (I forget which one off the top of my head) literally takes all but one available action (number of rounds x 2) from Jyn to get to the objective…and she is a fast character! I know you can stress to move more but it shouldn’t be this close. Are you never supposed to stop and shoot? I mean if that’s really how the game is played than how is it supposed to be played? I know its tactical and everything but is the tactics just running past Stormtroopers (not thematic at all really) and hoping you make it to an objective before your body soaks up too many hits?
Another thing is the secrecy of the objectives. Here might be a total misinterpretation of rules by the ten of us but what info exactly is given to the Rebels? One example, on a mission we had to cross a field of baddies and put something in a computer and then protect it. Apparently we only earned credits (our purpose for accepting the mission) for every two turns we spent adjacent to the computer. We as Rebels didn’t get to know this information so even though we were protecting several spaces away we earned nothing. How are the Rebels supposed to do anything in this game when you deal with that lack of information?
Even on second runs, where we knew the mission parameters, where baddies could pop out, how doors can lock etc…. the game just seemed impossible for the Rebels to win missions. So I gotta ask what might we be doing wrong? Feel free to shoot me questions about our style of gameplay but 10 of us total read the rules, reread them and just don’t get it.
FYI most of our losses are due to number of rounds running out and not squad wiping.
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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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The rebels win by a thread. They need to know when to rest, and when to run. And they usually need to make a very efficient cleanup during the first rounds. Also, priority target are imperial groups/figures that have not activated yet, and the absolutely top priority are figures that the rebels can defeat in one attack.

Also see What are some crazy or common rule-breaking mistakes your group made whilst learning the game?

Maybe read a couple of Play By Forum missions/campaigns which show very strategic and efficient plays from both rebels and imperials. It answers your secrecy questions too. (And search the forums, it is asked every once in a while. Basically: read both the flavor text and the associated rules block for each event - including mission briefing - when it happens. Do not read about future events, because they may not even happen.)

In Generous Donations the rebels do not know how they'll come with the credits, so I assume it was correctly handled by your IP.
See here: SWIA010: Generous Donations
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Jason Nopa
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There are SO many things that you can get wrong to make it harder for the rebels to win. But if you get it right, it should be fairly close until the Rebels start getting very strong, at which point it can get very swingy.

Things you need to look at: you can move across the board fast. Diagonal movement helps a lot. So 5 and 6 movement is huge. A double movement activation can get you to the other end, easily.

Heroes get to attack twice, most imperial units only once. In fact, heroes can do most actions twice, except for special ability actions.

Imperial player starts with units on the board in most missions, but start with no threat, or they start with double threat. Be careful about that for those missions played.

Hero choice is important, but so is Imperial class choice. Some heroes are weaker to certain class matchups. Understand that.

Additionally, not every mission is winnable all the time. It can come down to dice roll luck, sometimes.


These threads are so common, but without actually sitting and watching your playthroughs, we can't tell if you got something wrong or if you could do something better. The game is complex in that sense...
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Craig S.
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Rebel objectives are not supposed to be secret. They should always know what they need to do to end or progress the mission, as well as all other conditions that end the mission.

The IP is supposed read absolutely everything in the briefing to the rebels (as many times as they want to hear it), and everything when new events trigger. The only thing the IP should not read out loud are the choices the IP does NOT make (if any) and the text of any events that never trigger.
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Scott K.
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First off, I would highly recommend the thread mentioNed in the first response about common rules mistakes. It took us multiple scenarios and reviews of rules to maximize what we could do on each turn.

The rebel victories in our two campaign play through have all been very close. Many wins hinge on one dice roll or one choice in using abilities for strain. Also, Empire in campaign is built for a straight up fight, whereas rebels are hit some and run more to get objectIves completed.

Decisions to stand and fight as rebel player often lead to defeat because you don't always know victory conditions from the start. Getting a few hits in and then progressing the mission is necessary.

Check out some YouTube videos of scenario play before you give up.

For me, the joy of the campaign style is the narrow margin of victory and the tension of dice rolls and strategy to barely escape the Empires grasp!

Good luck!
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Jorgen Peddersen
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I would not use Youtube vids as a guide. They are often fraught with common errors. However, you might want to look through some of the Play By Forum games accessible in the PBF subforum for the game. Looking through how some of those played out might show you how your play style differs.
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Stephen Cooper
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Owlstrike wrote:
Several months ago positive reviews and our love for all things Star Wars led my gaming group into picking up Imperial Assault. After several attempts we found that we all generally hated the game. Now, I personally have played between 3-4 missions four different times with 9 different people. My group has attempted it two additional times without me (so six attempts). Our issue…How do the rebels win?
I am talking specifically about wining of missions (not the campaign as we haven’t made it that far) and am not at all looking at the skirmish mode.
My gaming group are all seasoned veterans of gaming having played a wide variety of games light to heavy and even dabbled in some RPGs. So my first question really: Is the Empire player supposed to play like a DM and let rebels have a good time and win? Everything I have read says no. In fact I have done a lot of research and found that the general consensus (is the game balanced forums) is that the game is favored for the Rebels to win most missions. I don’t see this as being possible and it makes me feel like I am misinterpreting a rule. Reminder I have now played with 9 different people who have all read the rule books and feel the same way.
Our main problem seems to be in the timing of missions, I mean the fact that the missions are timed. As I understand it the Rebels have a set number of rounds to accomplish a task. We always seem to run out of rounds or get hammered to death attempting a run. One mission (I forget which one off the top of my head) literally takes all but one available action (number of rounds x 2) from Jyn to get to the objective…and she is a fast character! I know you can stress to move more but it shouldn’t be this close. Are you never supposed to stop and shoot? I mean if that’s really how the game is played than how is it supposed to be played? I know its tactical and everything but is the tactics just running past Stormtroopers (not thematic at all really) and hoping you make it to an objective before your body soaks up too many hits?
Another thing is the secrecy of the objectives. Here might be a total misinterpretation of rules by the ten of us but what info exactly is given to the Rebels? One example, on a mission we had to cross a field of baddies and put something in a computer and then protect it. Apparently we only earned credits (our purpose for accepting the mission) for every two turns we spent adjacent to the computer. We as Rebels didn’t get to know this information so even though we were protecting several spaces away we earned nothing. How are the Rebels supposed to do anything in this game when you deal with that lack of information?
Even on second runs, where we knew the mission parameters, where baddies could pop out, how doors can lock etc…. the game just seemed impossible for the Rebels to win missions. So I gotta ask what might we be doing wrong? Feel free to shoot me questions about our style of gameplay but 10 of us total read the rules, reread them and just don’t get it.
FYI most of our losses are due to number of rounds running out and not squad wiping.


(red) No, If skill is even amongst the group the Imperial player should actively try and win. The only thing I think the Imperial player should do is if 2-3 mission in a row are won by one side the Imperial player should give out winning rewards to the loosing side to help prevent snowballing.

(Orange) having missions timed is because you ate infiltrating as a small squad versus the empire. You can not JUST kill everything. Knowing a mission is timed means using your turns/rounds wisely. From what you are describing it seems there is a serious disconnect in using characters effectively and managing the time.

(green) This makes no sense to me. Even the biggest map in 2 activations (2 moves per action) Jyn can get all the way across the map. As another mention you can move diagonal, you can also move through enemy figures (1 movement point penalty) so the Imperial player cant completely block off an obj.

(Blue) I wanted to address this again, there is definitely something wrong by the 4-5th mission your characters should be geared up and much more combat effective but again I think there is a disconnect somewhere

(purple) the Imperial player reads EVERYTHING IN BOLD. When a mission starts you know exactly how to win and how to lose. With that said you mentioned "its not thematic running past storm troopers" If you listen to the story portion there are hints of what is going on in the mission. I am going to give an example. *the rebels hear a loud explosion inside the facility as the walls shake* That might be giving you a hint on whats to come.

I am always interested in the dynamic of other groups, PM me if you need anything more.
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Eric Phillips
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Quote:
I know its tactical and everything but is the tactics just running past Stormtroopers (not thematic at all really)


It seems thematic to me. How many stormtroopers did they kill in Episode IV when escaping from the death star or did they spend more time running from them and going for the objectives (Leia and Tractor beam Control)?

Same with the Battle for Hoth, the objective was to buy enough time for the fleet to get out, not kill everything in sight.

Trying to rescue Han from Boba? More running from Stormies.

That's kind of one of the themes, the Imperials have overwhelming numbers, but the Rebels have the creativity and such.

Quote:
So I gotta ask what might we be doing wrong? Feel free to shoot me questions about our style of gameplay but 10 of us total read the rules, reread them and just don’t get it.


Even with lots of people reading through the rulebooks, you could very easily group think yourself into incorrect interpretations that jack up the balance wildly. 12-16 missions played without a single rebel victory is a pretty extreme number, however, since you keep restarting the campaign I suspect a lot of those data points are the story mission "A New Threat."

A New Threat is set in the jungle at an abandoned base and there are three terminals at different parts of the map. I believe it's the one you are referring to where Jyn would need to use all but one action to get to the objectives. It's a nearly impossibly mission, so I would recommend always playing "Under Siege" as the first story mission after "Aftermath." It's a fun one that flips the script, and also has more than just two end results, so it's more like W-L-D, then W-L.

So, make sure to read the "Commonly missed rules" and also don't play "A New Threat."

Quote:
Feel free to shoot me questions about our style of gameplay but 10 of us total read the rules, reread them and just don’t get it.


What hero combinations have you used and what class deck is your imperial player using? Also, could you find out some of the names of the missions you played? That would make it easier to dissect your losses.
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Thomas with Subtrendy
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Another way to look at the revelation of rules is this:

The Imperial player reveals nothing about the board during setup, other than placing the Rebel spawn token.

The Imperial players reads the thematic intro as well as all rules for the starting section.

Whenever a new event is triggered, the Imperial player reads the rules for that section.

So, it's not like, for instance, Betrayal at the House on the Hill in that active rules will be hidden from certain players- rather, the Imp player just has the advantage of being able to read ahead a little bit.
 
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Jorgen Peddersen
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The Imperial Player actually should reveal one thing about the Map: any named tiles. Technically, he doesn't need to reveal them unless a player asks if there are any named tiles, but the names are not hidden information, so just outright stating it is fairer.
 
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Thomas with Subtrendy
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Clipper wrote:
The Imperial Player actually should reveal one thing about the Map: any named tiles. Technically, he doesn't need to reveal them unless a player asks if there are any named tiles, but the names are not hidden information, so just outright stating it is fairer.

I typically don't do this unless it's pertinent to the rules. For instance, if a tile is named "Shuttle" and a Rebel objective is "Escape to the Shuttle", obviously they're gonna need to know that.

If a tile is named "Underwater Basketweaving Production Facility" and it is simply for flavor and found nowhere in the Rebels' current rules, I don't mention it.
 
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Joe
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Back towards the OP's question on the Generous Donations side mission, I'd say yes you did play it wrong, or the rebels weren't paying attention.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
In Generous Donations, after The Virus is uploaded, the IP needs to let the rebels know about getting mission tokens and how the IP can stop them. While the rebels don't know they need tokens to earn credits, the IP does need to say their objective is to claim 12 mission tokens.


If you aren't having fun with IA, you should move on to the many excellent games out there. If you do want to stick with the awesome game IA is, try picking up the Return to Hoth expansion. The Hoth campaign plays differently and current feedback says it favors the rebels more.
 
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Jorgen Peddersen
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Subtrendy Gaming wrote:
Clipper wrote:
The Imperial Player actually should reveal one thing about the Map: any named tiles. Technically, he doesn't need to reveal them unless a player asks if there are any named tiles, but the names are not hidden information, so just outright stating it is fairer.

I typically don't do this unless it's pertinent to the rules. For instance, if a tile is named "Shuttle" and a Rebel objective is "Escape to the Shuttle", obviously they're gonna need to know that.

If a tile is named "Underwater Basketweaving Production Facility" and it is simply for flavor and found nowhere in the Rebels' current rules, I don't mention it.

If a tile is named, then it does have significance. The rules on p2 of the Campaign Guide also mention that named rooms are not hidden information.
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Thomas with Subtrendy
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Clipper wrote:
Subtrendy Gaming wrote:
Clipper wrote:
The Imperial Player actually should reveal one thing about the Map: any named tiles. Technically, he doesn't need to reveal them unless a player asks if there are any named tiles, but the names are not hidden information, so just outright stating it is fairer.

I typically don't do this unless it's pertinent to the rules. For instance, if a tile is named "Shuttle" and a Rebel objective is "Escape to the Shuttle", obviously they're gonna need to know that.

If a tile is named "Underwater Basketweaving Production Facility" and it is simply for flavor and found nowhere in the Rebels' current rules, I don't mention it.

If a tile is named, then it does have significance. The rules on p2 of the Campaign Guide also mention that named rooms are not hidden information.


Sure, that may be the rule. I just try to streamline it as the Imp player and not give the Rebels useless information. So let's use the relatively spoiler free "Aftermath" as an example. Spoilers marked for anyone else who hasn't played it yet.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
There are two named tiles: Atrium and Storage Room. Atrium is named because at the end of the turn of the Rebels opening the door, the Imp player has this option: "The door to the Atrium closes andis locked. A Rebel figure can attack the door (Health:8, Defense: 1 black die). The red deployment point ls now active."
At no point does the Rebel play need to know what the Atrium is, because by the time that information is relevant, there isn't really anything to do with it.

Similarly the only reason the Storage Room is named is because Stormtroopers and an Officer deploy to there. So, I point out that they deploy to the Storage Room when I deploy them, but not before.


I suppose knowing named tiles can help the Rebels anticipate upcoming events, and if your Rebels are consistently doing poorly this may be a small advantage to grant them, but otherwise it just seems like it takes some of the excitement and exploration out of the game.
 
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Jak Mac Ewen
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couple of suggestions:
Always move towards the objective, attack only when needed
Rebel's choice of characters is important,every combo requires a different
play style to win.
Finn with blast is a great way to kill stormies'.
Imperial figures must be placed as close as possible to their entry
That means they will be adjacent to each other, since the Rebels
always go first,Finn should be able to kill them all.
Rebel characters that are faster is a good choice too.

I don't understand how your Rebels always lose.
Have you tried using different Imperial players?
I do agree that running from Stormies IS thematic, that's ALL heroes do in the films.
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