It’d been years since id sat around the kitchen table with friends to enjoy a few ales, crack some silly jokes and roll some dice. Kind of a lost art that i’m glad I’ve rediscovered.
Fantasy Flights’ Imperial Assault could well be described as a Dungeon Crawler, much liked its re-themed predecessor Descent.
Using a modular board which can be placed together like puzzle pieces to form the map for that particular mission or match, there’s a limitless amount of variety in exciting game-play.
The game can be played 2 ways, the Campaign, where a team of Rebels fight together against the Imperial Forces (2 to 5 Players). Then there’s Skirmish mode. Currently a 1 v 1 game where 2 players battle it out against each other with their finest squads of either Rebels, Imperials or even Scum and Villainy (think Boba Fett, IG88 etc)
The Campaign plays across an over arching story that’s slowly unraveled as the missions progress, providing a cool and exciting story in the Star Wars Universe.
Players select a character to play throughout the story, and slowly upgrade them with loot, add ons and power ups. The Imperial player controls all the bad guys, and of course, tries to thwart the rebel players at every step.
Characters are represented by highly detailed plastic miniatures (which can be painted…of course…as my empty wallet can attest to..) and move across the spaces on the board by rolling a variety of dice. Attacks too are at the random fall of a dice, and a bad roll can certainly turn things against you very quickly.
Despite me being horrid at painting…i still have fun jazzing up the miniatures.
One of the neat aspects of the campaign, is that its similar to a “Choose your Own Adventure” in a way. Depending on mission outcomes, the player may progress to a new area of the game, or if they failed the previous mission, they are dropped into another area to contend with their lack of teamwork. This adds alot of replayability to the game, as there’s enough random Side Missions, and different paths to keep it interesting, and maybe a different endgame event…depending on how you progressed.
Strategy and teamwork comes into play, and the rebels must band together and play strategically to overcome the odds. Send in a Wookiee Brawler to smash some Troopers? Or play it safe and shoot from afar? The options are endless.
The modular gameboard that changes every mission.
Skirmish mode, is where my heart lies. Choose your best team with an allotted number of Purchase Points and go head to head against your friends army.
The beauty of this mode is grouping teams together that have a great synergy and can turn events quickly.
To help things along the way, you have a Command card deck, to throw out when the need arises. These are crucial to the game and can turn the tide quickly if you’re in a tight spot.
Lost a Stormtrooper from your Red Squad? Throw down a Reinforcement card and BAM!…he’s back in play!
Other abilities include things like Crippling opponents to lock them in one spot for a turn, Body Armour to deflect damage and even Jump Packs! (Think Boba Fett….Fly over them suckers to set up a counter attack!)
The Core Set contains a tonne of Characters to choose from, and the endless waves of Expansion Miniature Characters constantly churning out, the combination possibilities are enough to make even the most evil Siths drool with delight.
Now this is a very brief rundown of the game, but i felt inspired to write about it as it really has caught my imagination.
If you’re on the fence about it there’s a slew of vids on youtube, or better yet? Get one of the friendly staff at your local gameshop or convention to give you a tutorial.
“But…im not really into…like…boardgames…and stuff..Star Wars is cool…but…I dunno..” i hear you mumble.
Its ok. I was skeptical at first, and thought id have to read an Encyclopedia sized rulebook..and thought, “I dunno if im ready to go the whole..boardgame thing…”.
But, thoughtto myself, what the hell. Took the plunge and have not regretted a second. As opposed to huddled in front of the TV squinting at targets on Call of Duty, im setting up Boardgame nights with the lads from Retro Domination.
Drinks, heavily salted snacks, an awesome boardgame and most importantly, good friends.
Mos Eisley Cantina, usually pretty rough, but this is taking the cake…. “Hmmm trouble a’brewin….”