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Star Wars: Imperial Assault» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Tough Rebel party, how do I challenge them? rss

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Afro Akuma
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I'm running our first Imperial Assault campaign as the Imperial player against a team of Fenn, Diala, Gaarkhan and Mak. So far, although their first mission was a close call and one or two of the side missions have been touch and go, the Rebels have won every single mission. They did get extremely lucky with A New Threat (having randomly sent the best hero for the job to each terminal) but their most recent missions have shown the value of higher-level Class Cards in a big way - Gaarkhan is constantly Focused and tears through enemies like soggy paper, Mak is always Focused, Fenn does big damage, Diala... is mostly utility but has been solid in that role.

I'm wondering what I can do to provide a suitable challenge at this point. Is it my Agenda Deck, the wrong Class Deck, my tactics, the Open Groups I'm bringing... I'm uncertain, but I'm hoping for some suggestions. I'm aware that these four heroes are considered among the uppermost echelon for the Rebellion (and that I'm fortunate for no Gideon) but at this point, looking at it more from a DM standpoint than as an opposing player, I'm legitimately concerned that their interest will wane if the game grows too easy.

I'm allowed to switch Class Decks, retrain my XP, or adjust my Agenda Deck. Currently I'm using Military Might. My Agenda Deck contains:

• Agents of the Empire (Imperial Informants purchased)
• Crimson Empire
• For the Right Price (High-Value Target purchased)
• Imperial Industry
• Inquisition
• Retaliation (Breaking Point purchased; Supply Deficit received)

I have 1 Influence left over to spend.

In addition to the core game, the secondhand set I purchased contains:

• Twin Shadows
• The Bespin Gambit
• Royal Guard Champion
• Boba Fett
• Hired Guns
• The Grand Inquisitor
• IG-88
• Agent Blaise
• Kayn Somos
• Bossk

Any insights would be a big help!
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The Grouch
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1) Switch to Subversive Tactics, widely regarded as the best core game class deck. edit: and pick Agenda groups that work synergistically, i.e. those which deal Strain and/or action-denying conditions with Subversive Tactics as your class.

2) Select Open Groups such that most cost <= 1 x TL with one at most 2 x TL (especially on side missions where you get that 2 x TL initial deployment), otherwise you will never have enough threat to get them to table.

3) Pick open groups that deal conditions like Stunned (Royal Guards) or Bleeding (Nexu) or Strain (Trandoshan Hunters) that will reduce the actions available to the Heroes.

4) Pick open groups that work synergistically, e.g. Imperial Officer can aid slow movement of Probe Droid, E-Web.

5) Send in Hired Guns if your Heroes start taking down whole groups in their first activation. edit: this is cause the HGs get a parting shot, so at least they'll get that before being wiped out.

6) Have at least one open group perceived as "big threat" like a Probe Droid or Nexu.

7) Be mindful of both your and the Heroes' victory conditions. Advance yours and counter theirs. Do they have a time limit? Action reduction and pinning them down in time-wasting combat is very helpful. Do you need to wound all Heroes to win? Don't waste fire on Wounded Heroes. Are there objective tokens Heroes must retrieve? Turtle around them the best you can with squaddies and other multi-unit groups.

Point for point, Nexu and Hired Guns are my favorite Open Groups.
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Afro Akuma
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Do you use the regular or elite Hired Guns?
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Joe
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Military Might works well with STs. Many people like to buff the eSTs,which really become quite strong. The downside is that STs work best when adjacent, making them easy pickings for Gaarkhan and Fenn. The Subversive Tactics class deck doesn't push troopers and will really slow down Gaarkhan and Diala. Unfortunately for you, Mak and Fenn won't be bothered by it much. I'd just stay with whichever class deck is fun for you to play.

They've been mentioned already, but hired guns and other cheap units are the way to go once the rebels are really powerful if they like to clear the board. Let them get easy one shot kills because they are less expensive for you and a shot fired means they aren't progressing the mission. White die defense is also good if they are putting out a lot of damage as you might dodge.

You can also try tactics for slowing them down. If they are taking the time to kill everything, try positioning your units further away. You might miss when shooting, but they might too or have to move away from their goal to kill your troops. The wasted time can really add up. If they are going straight for mission objectives and ignoring your troops, try blocking off passages. This works best in front of doors. I think heavy troopers are good for that. Remember, you can challenge the rebels by a war of attrition just as much as through direct damage.
 
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Rico P
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Several tips (I think Military Might is fine as it is)

If Gaarkhan's Rage/Diala's Battle mediatation are triggering too much (too many focus), get 1xp riot grenade to strip away their focus

Sustained Fire is one of the best card since it can override the "may only atk once" for Imperials

Focus fire on already-activated Rebels to wound them, considering wounding Gaar last if he bought Unstoppable

Heavy Stormies from TS are pretty solid

Dream of Military might player: slap 2xp Assault armor + 4xp Combat veteran on eStorms. Now those eStorms got 7HP, auto +1dmg, auto +1block, focus someone else if they die, AND they only cost 3 threats/each. Combo those death squads with your starter (free focus) + sustained fire = you can totally wound a hero

move->attack->move back for Stormtroopers to avoid Fenn's blast while still take advantage of their reroll


What class cards (xp) does the 4 heroes have?
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Afro Akuma
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Class Cards for heroes so far...

• Diala Passil
Force Adept
Force Throw
Dancing Weapon
[Shu Yen's Lightsaber]

• Fenn Signis
Tactical Movement
Trench Fighter

• Gaarkhan
Wookiee Fortitude
Wookiee Loyalty
Unstoppable
[Life Debt]

• Mak Eshka'rey
Disengage
Jeswandi Training
Target Acquired
 
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Rico P
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Looks like your Rebels ain't newbies to this type of games (I'm guessing they've played Descent/D&D/Tabletop RPGs before) - they pretty much nailed the optimal purchasing order


Looks like the Rebels have at least 6xps. If you're losing that much I'd ask your Rebels to allow you an extra 1xp bonus. So you'd have 7xp and I'd get:

Sustained Fire 3xp - one of the best Imperial card

Assault armor 2xp - give this to your eStorm. eStormtrooper are one of the best bang-for-your-buck (stat vs. threat cost) unit

You'll have 2xp left, save up for Combat Veteran next and also give them to your eStorm

I'd get Shock trooper last if you can afford it - it looks good on paper but you usually don't need the extra surge because of Stormtrooper's bonus reroll. ComVet > Shock Trooper

Gaarkhan bought unstoppable, so leave him alone to avoid triggering Rage and leave as the last guy to be wounded

You'd want to focus-fire the hero AFTER they have activated, this way that Rebel hero can't just activate then double-rest. Don't forget to trigger your "High-Value Target" agenda card, it's also one of the best card in the game

Combine everything including your starter MM card, there's a very high % someone will be wounded once/round from your eStorms alone: 4 Blue+Green shots with reroll and 1/4 shots will be focused. They have 7HP each (so not that easy to take down) and judging by the 6xps saved (campaign progression and threat level) you can bring back 1 every round
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Greg Tannahill
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Just at the basic level too:
* Don't undervalue Stun. Costing Rebels a whole action is devastating, particularly on maps with short time limits. At worst you've done damage equal to their Rest value in addition to whatever actual damage you did. For this reason, Imperial Guards can be great, especially if you're able to Focus them or give them a free surge to proc their Stun.
* Bleed is also amazing. If they take a turn to get rid of it, it may as well have been a Stun. If they don't, it's free ongoing damage.
* Nexu are gold. They're cheap, they Bleed (see above), and their template lets them block passages, forcing Rebels to kill them or pay the expensive move cost of moving through them. (Plus Pounce is "move X squares" rather than giving movement points, making it easy to get back in front if Rebels ignore you.)
* Trandoshan Hunters are your other go-to unit. They deal out massive damage. In a four-Rebel game you've got good odds of Wounding a Healthy hero just in one of their activations, which takes you a quarter of the way to Victory. Rebels will likely prioritise them as targets, which means they won't be on the board long, so be careful deploying them to make sure they get to act before one of them gets killed.
* Gaarkhan is all-or-nothing when you're ready to take him down. Don't start damaging him unless you're going to finish him, as you'll just Focus him. (That's generally good advice for all the Rebels - you need to be focusing them down rather than annoying them.) Bleed is also good on him for this reason - it'll keep damaging him without proccing his Focus power.

ALSO - it's okay to lose, as long as the Rebels are *having fun*. Sure, it sucks a bit for you, but you've enabled the fun of the other players. The game hasn't necessarily gone wrong just because the Imperial player got rolled - that's one of the risks you take on by playing Imps.
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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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(Pounce is "place within 3 spaces", which can use diagonals while move on a large figure cannot. Placing a large figure also gets you one space "for free" due to how within 3 spaces and large figure placement works. This makes Pounce amazing at getting around corners, and sometimes takes the Nexu further than 6 movement points and mobile can.)
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Dennis Godballe
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In addition to what everyone else have suggested already, I would try and use my threat tactically.

Building up threat to points in the missions, where you get to deploy something for free + optional deployments, lets you ambush the heroes. Sometimes it can be a real pain in the neck for the heroes to have stormtroopers or whatever deployed behind them. The stormtroopers can move+attack while other deployments block the passage for the heroes. A squad of stormtroopers can actually dish out a pretty amount of damage.

The last mission I played, I deployed an E-Web, some Snowtroopers, 2 Probe Droids and an Imperial officer in one turn. I let the Snowtroopers and the E-Web block the heroes future path and brought in the droids and the officer behind the heroes. Those 3-dice attack rolls hurt, whan you get the extra attack from the officer as well (Elite Imperial Officer)...
 
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Dennis Godballe
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GregT314 wrote:
ALSO - it's okay to lose, as long as the Rebels are *having fun*. Sure, it sucks a bit for you, but you've enabled the fun of the other players. The game hasn't necessarily gone wrong just because the Imperial player got rolled - that's one of the risks you take on by playing Imps.


Oh, oh, oh, but the Empire is overpowered and it's impossible to win as the rebels... devil
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Afro Akuma
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Thanks to everyone who commented!

I made good use of Trandoshan Hunters and Hired Guns to rapidly imperil a hero in the opening round of Homecoming. Tarpitting the narrow defile with stormtroopers and sending a redeployed Probe Droid around from the back threw them for a bit of a loop. I left this mission on Military Might, since thematically I felt having the 501st feel like stronger Stormtroopers made for a better narrative experience.

The garage fight definitely gave them pause; Luke became seriously injured, and I was able to build up threat using High-Value Target to keep the area fairly well covered. In the fifth round, they managed to eliminate just enough targets that Diala was able to Force Throw a Stormtrooper out of the area right before Luke's activation, getting him to safety.

Nevertheless, the goal wasn't to beat them so much as it was to challenge them, which this mission most definitely did. Three of them were fairly sure they'd already lost the mission before the Diala player hit on the idea of using Force Throw to dispose of an enemy, and even still it was a very tight mission and a tense conclusion.

Tl;dr my players had a much more challenging and rewarding mission. Thanks for helping make that happen!
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