Having bought some new Imperial Assault figures, from Zatu Games no less (cheap plug), I was keen play and so called up my buddy Sam and told him to make a team so I could smash it down in visceral galactic combat! When we unveiled our squads we were both surprised that we had gone for close combat melee based teams.
Rebels - To Me(lee) To You
The idea here was to maximise attacks. Biv can do double attacks with 'Close and Personal', Verena the same with 'Fighting Knife', Davith (if he rolls two surges) with 'Fell Swoop' and then Gaarkhan, once he has taken damage, can attack twice on his turn.
Imperial/Scum - Giving Hugs
Sam had a similar idea but lacked any figures with range. His whole squad required base-to-base contact for attacks (well, the Royal Guard have the 'Reach' ability which allows them to melee attack from one extra square away). Let battle commence!
We randomly drew a card for the skirmish map/mission and came up with the following....Shadow War, oooooo, sounds ominous! To win any game of skirmish you must be the first player to get to 40 points. Each enemy figure you defeat garners you points equal to their deployment value, so if we take a quick look at Sam’s team above, we see that the Wampa is valued at eight so if I kill him I would get eight points etc.
However, here’s where the fun begins. Each randomly drawn mission gives you objectives where you can earn bonus victory points.
In Shadow War there are generators that are worth a whopping 20 points if destroyed! This highlights one of the unique elements of Imperial Assault compared to other 1v1 skirmish games in that it’s not just a case of wiping the entire opposition form the map (although that is always a satisfying feeling!).
Right, deployment time. I put my, sure to be, victorious Rebels on the right-hand side of the map in somewhat of a spread formation, with the intention of blasting down the middle of the map in an attempt to get off a few quick ranged attacks before Sam could get into melee range (which I didn’t mind anyway). His insidious evil empire were deployed on the left.
The generators were all deep in enemy territory and the key decision was whether to commit to attacking a one or splitting up the squad. The opening few turns were devoid of actual combat as we both positioned our forces.
I had a few pot-shots at the door that separated the central corridor, but unfortunately Biv’s shot went wide whilst Diala attempted to slice it open with a lightsaber thrust, doing minimal damage. Gaarhkan and Davith made a big move to the right in an attempt to pull a quick strike whammy and catch the enemy off guard. Meanwhile, Sam moved most of his troops to the left in a big show of force. Typical tyrannical Empierish behaviour.
Verena decided enough was enough and quick timed it around the corner to confront one the imposing Royal Guardsman. “You’ll not gain a foothold here!” she exclaimed and with a rapid-fire combo she smited the lone figure and vanquished him into the night. First blood Rebels!
It was however, short lived as the might of the Imperium descended on poor Verena. She was no match for the power of the Royal Guard Champion and she let out a blood curdling scream as his twin bladed staff cut her in half, her limp body slumping to the blood-soaked floor. Revenge was truly sweet. Hearing Verena’s cries, I rushed Diala and Biv across the map in a bid to confront the evil menace.
Meanwhile, on another part of the map, whilst Gaarkhan held the terminal, granting me extra command cards each turn, Davith and the Wampa stood on either side of the door, each not wanting to be the one to finally break it down as that would grant first attack to the opposition. Galactic stalemate! Arrgghh.
Sam was playing a canny game and rather than press on, he held his forces tightly bunched. Being a hot head, I couldn’t just sit back so Diala pushed forward and I played my ‘Sarlacc Sweep’ command card allowing her two attacks in one turn. First she targeted the Champion and rolled two hits and one surge (super quick combat guide – pointy squares are hits and lightening bolts are surges which can be used to trigger special abilities. On the black and white defensive dice, triangles are blocks which counter hits and broken circles are evades which counter surges).
Curses, his fluky defensive roll meant zero damage! Next up was an attack on the Guardsman.
I rolled four hits, two of which he cancelled, and one surge. I used that to ‘cleave’ (a surge ability) two hits onto the Champion so the net result was both took two damage. It was okay but I knew she would be in trouble next round. Somehow she actually survived the next round of attacks, deftly calling on the force as she dodged blows that would have cracked the skull of a lesser trained combatant. Not to be outdone by his compatriot, Biv sauntered in, his magna pulse rifle loaded for bear.
It was at this point I played ‘Single Purpose’, a card that allows a character to use the same special action twice in one round. The even better news here is that Biv’s special action actually allows him to perform two attacks, so in essence he would be getting four attacks! Prepare to eat hot lead...or hot lasers....or whatever it is this meaty rifle fires.
To add further pain to his, soon-to be-dead, target, Biv would be rolling an extra dice on his first attack due to being focused (the little green token next to his figure). At this point I asked Sam if he wished to concede. He declined while shaking his fist, the true sign of Imperial arrogance. Let’s take a look at what happened:
- Attack One– I rolled three hits and two surge. He cancelled two hits and one surge. Net result, two damage.
- Attack Two – I rolled five hits and two surge. Boom take that! But wait, you see that little target shaped thing on the white dice? It’s a dodge! “That can’t be that bad I hear you exclaim.” Dear friend, I regret to inform you that it is indeed ‘that bad’ for it means the complete attack fails. Net result, zero damage.
- Attack Three – I rolled four hits, he cancelled one. Net result three damage.
- Attack Four – I rolled six hits and one surge and you guessed it, he rolls another dodge. There is only one of these symbols on the white dice so it’s one in six and he did it twice! As you can imagine I cursed his name.
After all was said and done the Champion had taken five damage points. If we add that to the two from Diala’s earlier attack, he had now taken seven damage towards his starting health of 10. However, I still wasn’t done and played another card. Observe.
Look at that text. ‘If the target was not defeated’. Is the card mocking me? Does it somehow know about the two dodge rolls that Sam had previously made? I could hear the laughter in the background. Actually, it wasn’t in the background, it was coming from Sam straight into my face.
As you can also see, the roll he made didn’t help my mood as cancelled all but one hit. The Champion had survived! As the attack ended, the Champion made himself tall, a gleefully sinister smile invisible behind his hidden, non-marked visage. It's fairly obviously to all that Biv did not survive the following onslaught so we can just skip that part.
With victory in his grasp, Sam knew that destroying one of the generators would put him close to winning so he advanced the Nexu as well as his remaining Guardsman. A now bleeding Diala retreated and had a final swipe with her lightsaber but it was in vain and as she faded from consciousness, her last thoughts were of the Nexu's razor sharp fangs as them buried themselves deep into all too Twi'lekian flesh.
Over on the other side of the board I made one final push to try and get Davith next to a generator so I could at least make an attempt to destroy it. He had abandoned the central path and veered to the right-hand-side but as he proceeded down the corridor the Wampa sprung out and will a raging flurry, attacked Davith leaving him stunned and bleeding. Not good. On the next turn it was all over and Davith joined his fellow Jedi in that weird ghost like state you see in the movies.
I wanted to get something from the game and the death of the Champion would have been a moral victory if nothing more. I moved Gaarkhan towards the enemy and then using a command card to activate him again, charged the smug warrior in red and purple.
Gaarkhan swung his mighty vibro-ax and roared as the blade lodged itself in the Champion's right hand shoulder pad. The blade had bit through but only inflicted one damage which agonisingly left the Champion still standing, his life hanging by a thread. Unfortunately that would be the last action for the Rebels as the following turn Gaarkhan was swarmed and the Empire raised their glasses to a famous, if one-sided, victory.
Imperial Assault Battle Report One - Summary
- If you're going to split up your forces, make sure you do not leave an objective poorly defended.
- There is no harm in changing tactics, but don't do it too late in the game. I should have pulled back Davith and Gaarkhan much sooner.
- Try not to have wasted actions. I had Diala and Davith at the door trying to break it down for too long and didn't even finish the job.
- Be mentally prepared for dice rolls that will go against you.
Chief vs Sam
Star Wars Imperial Assault 0-1