It was my birthday gift, had eagerly awaited the game for months before that already once I decided on the game to ask.
(Bloodrage and Runewars where the other contenders) Considering the price I figured it was better to ask my family to pool their usual birthday funds together for this one. Normally my siblings and my parents buy me a gift together, which was Lords of Waterdeep and Stone Age last year.
But this year, I wanted to go with something bigger!
First impressions when unboxing was certainly great, pictures don't do the great models justice. And mine don't seem to have real issues with bended weapons.
I've played the tutorial scenario, but when reading through the many mechanics it feels like the tutorial scenario is not adequate preperation. Only the basic stuff about movement and combat is introduced, but now I still don't feel confident/ready enough to start introducing the game to friends and family to play it with them.
With any game, I always like to get a very good grasp of the rules before playing the game with other people so that the game does not constantly need to be stopped to look up rules, hence I tend to play a game against myself first.
And for now it does appear this is my most complex game yet. The most complex game I owned before this one would be either Fortune and Glory or A touch of Evil.
I'll probably have to play the imperial player anyways, so I suppose I should just play through one or multible campaign missions on my own first against myself to truly get a full grasp of the rules?
Or play skirmish against myself?
Either way I really would like it that my guests can ask me any question about the game and that I'd be able to answer them.
None are too familiar with advanced board games, I'm the one who introduces them to them.
A couple of points I am a little concerned about right now..
-tracking of xp, credits and influence.
Writing it down simply does not seem that handy to keep track of it. I feel there could have been a better solution there. Like maybe tokens or such to represent these things.
-Moving through enemies.
This seems really weird that its possible and only costs two movement. I'm straight away just tempted to houserule this into not being able to move through enemies, not diagonally either in between two enemies.
But I have not played the game enough to know if that would mess it up.
To be fair I am very disappointed in the game box itself. The insert is clumbsy and makes it impossible to store the game once you punched out the tokens and assembled the AT-ST so I had to throw that out.
Could have used some more plastic bags too especially considering the manual recommends storing the stuff of each player in a seperate bag between sessions. I mean, all the other game stuff needs to be stored too after all.
As it is I already had to chuck all tokens in one bag because there are not enough and most bags are taken by the miniatures.
I also have to keep the box very steady when moving it around so the piles of cards won't fly through the entire box.
While I don't mind looking for alternative storing solutions to improve it, I never had a game that required this so desperately. And I have A touch of Evil with all expansions.
Getting a plastic box with small compartments to store all tokens was enough to fix the storage of that game but seems with this one that would only be the beginning.
That's all I can think of for now though. If possible I'll see if I can find space to keep the game up for some time on a table without having to store it away after every session since right now storage is a pain untill I find a solution to that.
Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
The next Total Solar Eclipse holiday in 2024 in USA? See you there!
Don't worry. Mostly everyone will make mistakes in their first plays. You soldier on, read the rules after each session, and fix mistakes for the next time. It will help if you avoid the mistakes other people have made: What are some crazy or common rule-breaking mistakes your group made whilst learning the game?
Don't house-rule anything before playing. Not being able to move through hostile figures will make mission unwinnable by Imperials blocking hallways and return you to Descent's alleged problems.
Writing down the rewards is really the best way to track XP, credits and influence. You can use electronic means as well using campaign trackers. (See the file section.)
If you decide to become the imperial player, then I also suggest you read through one or two of the Aftermath plays from Play By Forum threads to get an idea. (My campaigns in A1bert's Imperial Assault Play By Forum Campaigns).
There are also quite a lot of videos, but there are quite a few errors in them too.
It will also be useful to see what things people are asking in these forums.
Welcome to the game!
(Edit: Hint for storage - look for the threads here - Turn the insert upside down and re-fold it so that you will have one big and one small compartment in the core box. In time you'll come up with other solutions. Mine consists of 2 deck boxes, 3 plano boxes, a binder, and the Return to Hoth box, and Twin Shadows box.)
- Last edited Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:56 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:53 pm
Bryce K. Nielsen
Most of the in-game tracking already is done with cards or tokens. The only "writing it down" needs to be done between games, such as remaining XP, mission chosen, etc. It isn't that much to keep track of, especially for this type of game (tactical miniature game with a campaign). Download the PDF of the campaign sheet from FFG and print up a copy and just track everything there. It has worked for our group quite nicely.
Moving Through Figures
This one is actually quite essential to the game. Imperial Assault is actually an evolution of a previous game, Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) (which in turn was an evolution of two other previous games, Descent: Journeys in the Dark and Doom: The Boardgame), and in that game you were not allowed to move through enemy figures. This actually caused problems, since the bad guy can respawn figures, it was too easy to create roadblocks, making the heroes kill the monster instead of going to the objectives. IA changed that, and it's actually for the best. Trust us when we say if you house-rule this, you'll probably break the game.
FFG always uses that 3 column shaped cardboard insert. It's not really meant to store the game, more to keep things separated during shipping. They honor the "Gamer knows best" rule on how to store their own games. Throw away the insert and come up with your own. In the beginning, I just bagged everything and kept it in the starting box. Now, I have the Hoth box that stores all my cards with a card separator from The Broken Token, and I have my Twin Shadows and Bespin box store most my figures, and the main box stores my big figures and tiles.
Some general advice:
- Teach your new Rebel players you don't need to "kill them all". Look at the objectives and focus on those. Sometimes yes that means removing some badguys, but more often than not, it means rushing to that terminal taking one or two hits on the way.
- As Imperial, consider saving your Threat to coincide with events in the mission. Many events will give you extra threat. If you're also saving some threat, BOOM you can unleash some serious power on the Rebels.
- I highly recommend picking up Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Twin Shadows or Star Wars: Imperial Assault – The Bespin Gambit and playing that first. The core box campaign is long, about 20 to 30 hours long. Unless you have a very dedicated group, you probably won't get through it. The small box campaigns are only 4 missions long, about 8 to 10 hours long, and you can most likely complete that in a few sessions, but still get a great Imperial Assault feel.
Good luck, and welcome to a great Star Wars game
What they give you in the box is terrible for tracking a campaign. I came up with two ways:
All campaign numbers on a single page: https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/137156/one-page-campaign-...
Individual card for each player: https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/135613/card-size-tracking...
One keeps everything in one place, the other means each player can keep note of their own in their own bag. I'm still not sure which I prefer. Either way, you need a number of plastic sandwich bags so each player can keep all their cards in them.
Fair points about moving through figures.
But on the other hand, the heroes rushing through gunfire, taking the hits to reach the objective and strain might be an exploit on the other end of that spectrum too.
And being able to block the way seems to make sense but of course the rest of the game would need to be designed with that in mind.
Then again in the tutorial mission Jyn got a grenade from the crate and killed an officer and a stormtrooper with that in one hit so there seem to be downsides to having imperial troops next to each other.
(certainly was the highlight of the tutorial mission that ensured the imperials couldnt win anymore)
For the storage I think I'll ask about it in the gamestore where it's from since they know their stuff so they might be able to direct me to a store near me or website where I can get stuff sorted out.
A plastic box with compartments for all the tokens that fits into the box is currently my first priority, and I'll need something for the cards too.
Currently already a bit overwhelmed by the basegame so not sure if I'll get an expansion so soon. I think for starters I will play the aftermath mission against myself first to get a better feel of the game.
Once confident enough about that I might consider getting one of those small expansions for a shorter campaign.
Either way it will probably take some time to get through a campaign. Never played a game before thats played in sessions but I like the idea, pretty sure my cousin would like that too but I don't know yet if he'd like it enough to truly wish to continue every week.
We tend to get together once a week to watch a movie, play videogames or boardgames. And Game of Thrones when there's new episodes.
Other than my cousin, I lately also play boardgames with my two nephews of 13 and 15. They liked every boardgame we played so far but I am not sure yet how they will enjoy a game like this. If they enjoy it, it might actually be possible to work through a campaign at a reasonable pace.
For issues of storage, I got the broken token imperial assault set. for just the base game you should be able to fit everything in. I own everything for the game (and i mean everything) and it still works great, but I keep the tiles in the hoth box, and the skirmish stuff in the Jabba's realm box.
For tracking stats between missions I tried every type of pdf's or spreadsheet, then I learned of an Android based tracker from coolgrass, which is the best of the best!
Nothing else is slightly comparable to it.
So if you have an android tablet or smartphone throw away pencils, papers and everything else and download
- Last edited Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:43 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:42 am
You aren't alone! I am a new player (bought the game in January), who had ZERO experience with any boardgames above monopoly. I literally could not be more of a newbie in terms of advanced tactical boardgames. I know that feeling of being overwhelmed when first unboxing everything and reading the rules. This game requires a ton of research and patience to finally "get it". But once you do, it is totally worth it. I'll give you some thoughts since I think my experience has some similarities with yours.
- Imperial Assault Core set actually has two separate games in it, Skirmish and Campaign. They have slightly different rules, cards, etc. If you want to play campaign, just take all the skirmish cards, token, skirmish guide, etc and put them in a separate bag/area/whatever. Just setting that second game (skirmish) pieces aside, you can focus on the campaign stuff, that helps to cut down on some of what you need to "manage" mentally.
- I started out with playing a campaign against my son (who is 12). We made insane mistakes, and literally for the first three or four missions had to look up in the rules reference guide or this website for every turn. I am not kidding - EVERY...SINGLE...TURN... To his credit he had a lot of patience and stuck with it because, well....those figures just look so darn cool (and he is a crazy star wars fan, so he really wanted it to work). So just expect that for the first couple missions you will need to have the Rules Ref Guide handy and an iPad to search this site.
- I did a ton of research in the evenings (when he went to bed) to figure out the game mechanics (what does activation mean? redeploying troops?, threat vs threat level, interrupt? etc,etc). Just read the Rules Reference Guide and then search this site for any terms that you are unfamiliar with. I also found some videos online which showed campaign play. Just seeing other people go through their turns helped me understand how the mechanics worked. Again, I had zero experience in this area, sounds like you have more. The more prepared you are, the quicker you can resolve and answer rules, making gameplay speed up (a little at first, but you will get better).
- Storage for this game is a mess, and you need a lot of space if you want to keep it out on a table. We have a large poker table that we are using for our campaign (in the middle of the finale), and we use most of the space. Last week I purchased the Broken Token organizer insert, and that means that long terms storage is easer and organized. Also if I do have to put the game away off our table, I can set it back up much faster than having to sort through sandwich bags of tokens, cards, etc (which is what I did before). Broken Token has trays for all the little tokens, terminals, etc - which means you just take them out of the box and put them on your table which speeds in the setup time.
- On Storage/Setup here is a pic of our setup on the table (can see how much room it takes up). You can see some of the trays that come with Broken Token and how you can use them on the table for play to speed up setup.
Here is a pic of my storage now. Broken Token keeps everything organized. I still use four large freezer bags numbered for the tiles (1-10,11-20,21-30,31-39), I find that is still the fastest way for me to setup the new maps.
- If you are playing as the Imperial Player in a campaign, there is a little bit of balance management you may need to do when playing against your nephews. There were times against my son that I had to "ease up" a little otherwise it would have looked like I executed "Order 66" against him. He did get a little frustrated if I steamrolled him in a mission. Too many of those experiences and your rebel players will just quit, and not want to play again. So, there were times when I played it easy (just a little), to make sure he had some wins. In our recent campaign (my daughter and wife are playing with my son as well), I have been able to go virtually "all out" and its been pretty close this point. Having my wife has helped my kids make better tactical decisions, so I have had to do little "managing" of balance. Personally I feel like a campaign is less about playing to win, more about telling a little story and having fun. But... I still want to crush that rebellion
This is a great suggestion. At first I wasn't sure what I thought about reading through a board game online like that but it's actually quite enjoyable and you can learn a few things here and there along the way, especially if you are new to the game.
Regarding storage, I agree that I am disappointed in the lack of effort FFG has put in their storage solution. Compared to others such as coolminiornot who put some good thought into their packaging, FFG just throws it all in one bag and then into the box. There are a lot of threads about people's various solutions to this problem. I recently finished building my own inserts and have been meaning to upload some pictures of what I've come up with. I'll have to get around to posting some pictures soon...
The general advice posted by the others is great and there is a lot of good information that can be gleaned by the experts here and on the FFG forums. The game has a fairly steep learning curve but once you start getting the basics down, you will start learning some of the nuances and before you know it you'll have the rules down fairly well. That was my experience anyway. Hang in there, this game is a TON of fun, one of the best games I've ever played and definitely worth getting through those early struggles!
Those broken token inserts look great, but I live in the Netherlands. I do like to get organised but prefer to do that for not too much money so want to get some stuff from that either from a dutch website or store.
That way I'll have more money left for expansions.
I did see a descent plastic box in a store in my village, and they will get more of them tomorrow. I asked about it.
It was one with eight compartments of descent size, but I think I'd need another one for all the tokens. Not sure if the larger size they get in tomorrow will fit in the box so might need to opt on buying two of the same.
Still looking for something for the cards though.
Having the figures in compartments would be great too, save for the AT-ST but the cards and tokens are my first priority.
Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
The next Total Solar Eclipse holiday in 2024 in USA? See you there!
Ok, it seems I need to add my storage solution (before Jabba's Realm - but they will fit too). It hasn't really changed since - I think I can fit the new small figures into the existing plano boxes. If not, then I'll take a third one for the mercenary figures.
The tiles are in the RtH box with its refolded upside-down insert - big tiles in the bigger compartment, smaller tiles, the doors and the threat/round counter in the smaller one (and also the unused agenda sets in a ziplock bag). The RtH box and the planos had space for Bespin Gambit and more figure expansions, but if I need to carry the AT-ST's, Bantha, or Rancor, I need to take one more box with me.
Each of the non-core tile sets are each stored separately in the Twin Shadows box.
Well I picked up my storage solution, I picked up three plastic boxes with eight compartments and three small cardholder boxes.
One cardholder box is enough to fit all the cards in, I put some of the smaller cards on the side to find them easier.
I used one plastic box for all tokens and the doors, the second one for the miniatures save for the AT-ST and there's still a third box left.
I still have two card holder boxes and a plastic box with eight compartments left for future expansions.
If there was room in the box for it I would have put another card holder box in there and would have used it for dice.
Still, I am quite happy with my solution, cost me the same as a rebel soldiers package would have cost me so not too bad and I feel this should make it easier to keep track of all components and I have already enough stuff to organise expansions that will likely follow in the future.