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Star Wars: Imperial Assault» Forums » General

Subject: Agenda Cards - Do they really add to the game? rss

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Cornixt
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I'm not sure the Agenda cards are really needed in this game. I see how they can let the Imperial player change the campaign a little with forced missions and a few unexpected "take that!" moments in a mission, but really they are just another layer of upgrades that the Imperial player has to keep track of, on top of his XP upgrades and mission tracking - which is already a lot more than the rebel players have to do.

I think it would be better if the Imperial player could just choose a forced mission at one or two points in the campaign, and Influence is only used to increase the threat level in some way.

Even the way that the different Agenda sets are organised seems a bit weird to me. So many small sets of cards to choose from at the start of a campaign, so you might feel that you can shape the campaign in a unique way. But then it is a small random selection of those cards to choose from after the mission, so you lose that option and have to make do with what is dealt.

I've only played through a campaign once, but it did feel overwhelming at the end with so many cards - although I did consciously avoid the forced missions just so we could finish the campaign more quickly, so that meant I had more secret agenda cards and agenda cards on the table than if I'd spent Influence on missions instead. I know the other players were feeling pretty overwhelmed just with their rebel characters, so they would have a really tough time, but they all want to be Imperial for the next campaign and I know it will go badly if I don't change something to simplify it a bit for whoever takes it on.

Do you think that the agenda cards are worth it to make the campaigns feel more different (or any other reason for having them) or just unnecessary complication?
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Christian Gienger
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They're important on a power level point of view. Several of the cards are very powerful and provide effect outside of the class decks. I wouldn't want to leave them out. If you do you need to compensate the IP. You can always choose cards that are easier to use than the use once/keep secret ones.
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Pasi Ojala
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Not having them would also reduce the replayability factor.

You can use a house rule that you can only have 4 agenda cards in play at the same time. It should encourage using them instead of hoarding and saving them to the finale.
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John Fanjoy
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An untested idea that just came to me:

Remove all Influence rewards from the game. Go through all of the agenda cards you own, and pull all of the "keep secret" agendas into a new deck. Before selecting open groups for a mission, the Imperial Player draws two cards from the Keep Secret deck. The IP may play one of those agendas during the mission for free (ignoring any additional influence costs). At the end of the mission, discard any unplayed agenda(s).

Overall, this variant is probably a nerf to the Imperial Player: if the IP is winning missions, they could be earning 3 Influence or more per mission. Also, this eliminates the once-per-mission agendas from the campaign entirely, which are very strong. However, it meets the criteria of being less things to keep track of long-term, and also this might be fun as it could lead to weird/unexpected situations that wouldn't otherwise come up in a campaign.

If you find this is too much of a nerf, or your IP just needs some help in general, you can tweak by increasing the number of cards drawn and/or the number of cards that are allowed to be played.
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Pasi Ojala
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I can predict that more often than not the two random agenda cards are useless in that exact mission, but would be very valuable in the next one.

So, it would end up being a big nerf.
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Andrew Sinfield
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Agenda cards are essentially the equivalent of items (both equipment and gear) in terms of campaign progression. Both sides get XP for their class/character cards. Rebels get to upgrade their weapons etc. Imperials get agendas.

So in that sense, they add something important - an additional sense of progression for the imperial player. Yes, some imperial players won't care, e.g. those who see themselves as a GM running a campaign. But for Imperials who are actively playing the game and want a similar experience to the Rebel players, I think they are needed.

Having said that, I don't think they are particularly well implemented. There's significant diminishing returns on villain/reward agendas and many agendas are fairly weak/situational for an often one shot effect (or an imperial player can just horde the best ones and use them all in the last game to win the campaign...) The persistent 2 cost agendas almost always end up being the 'best' option simply because they'll at least have an ongoing effect in multiple missions. And then you get some agenda sets that are frankly, just not very good. Honestly, the whole balance of them is kind of whack and could be revised - but I don't think removing them altogether is the answer.

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Pasi Ojala
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AbyssalFury wrote:
And then you get some agenda sets that are frankly, just not very good.

You only include the sets you want, generally to complement your choice of the class deck, and partly to combat the rebel heroes that the rebel players have selected.

There are only a few sets that are useless (General's Scheme requires you to commit to a very specific style). With different campaigns and class decks I have seen use for most of the others. Although there are a lot of agenda sets (28), and I have a few always-include (For the Right Price) or top picks, there is always space to fill with agenda sets that work well with the type of campaign strategy I'm planning to use.
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Thomas with Subtrendy
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YMMV with them.

I REALLY like the missions in the Agenda deck, and even though it's probably not the best strategy, I tend to base my Agenda deck off of what villains I might want to bring to the table. Then, every now and then, you might draw a really amazing Agenda card that could come in handy as well.

They're definitely not all winners, though- some are extremely contextual.

In fact, some of the three card sets seem like complete garbage to me. But I'm sure someone could put them to good use.
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