This weekend we started what will be a month a half long journey through the deserts of Tatooine as we play through Jabba’s Realm, the latest expansion for Imperial Assault. For those of you who may have buried your heads in the golden sands of the planet with two suns, Imperial Assault is a miniatures game released by Fantasy Flight Games and based on the system designed for their flagship dungeon crawler Descent.
In the campaign version of the game one player takes on the role of the game master, the imperial player who controls the ebb and flow of the game, leading glorious legions of stormtroopers as they attempt to unite the galaxy. While the other players take on the roles of villainous, rebellious scum, rule breakers of the worst kind, who seek to upset the Emperor's apple cart.
In the opening scenario for Jabba’s realm the players crash land on the desert planet, not far from the palace of the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt. Fearing further imperial entanglements the rebels must take out the closeby imperial base, under the control of the feared stormtrooper Captain Terro. Our Heroes were Vinto Hreeda and Shyla Varad, a rhodian vigilante and a mandalorian mercenary.
The first scenario is a simple one, gain access to the base and destroy it using the console inside. As the rebels only had two heroes they would activate twice per round. As the imperial player I began the game with three groups, a stormtrooper group, a jet-trooper group and an imperial officer.
My opening volley was excellent, reducing Vintos health to less than half, but by the end of round 1 my groups were largely vanquished and by the end of round 2 the players had broken through the barricade, triggering a few more imperial’s to turn up but also netting them some allies in the form of the Weequay Pirates.
With my Jet troopers pinned down by pirates and my threat being at a pathetic 2 points per round (threat being the currency the imperial player can use to summon more troops) I was finding myself a little overwhelmed.
In turn three I managed to wound Vinto, by concentrating my fire on him, but Shyla was barely injured at all. By the end of round 3 Shyla was in position to breach the base and I needed her to, I needed the reinforcements that were inside. The door opened and revealed another stormtrooper group and the fearsome Captain Terro himself.
Terro is armed with a flamethrower, which has a nice area attack, and mounted on a dewback which affords him three free movement points a turn. Unfortunately all Shyla had to do at this point was reach the console. She could not activate it if there were stromtroopers adjacent to it, so I clustered my troops around the computer and prayed for mercy from the mandalorian.
Shyla rushed the troopers, standing boldly in their midst and denying Terro his flamethrower attack, as it would kill his troops guarding the console. At the start of turn 5 Shyla used her whip to move the last of the troopers away from the console and activated it for the win.
Overall, this was a hard mission for me, as the imperial player. The low starting threat meant that once the rebels had dealt with my initial groups reinforcing was rather a pointless exercise. Also, the initial groups were fairly weak and once killed the players had an immediate action advantage, taking 2 actions to my 1. Had I been able to hold the heroes outside the base until the end of turn 5 I might have won, as clearing all three stormtroopers would have proven difficult in a single round. However Shyla’s special ability to move small based models made holding objectives next to impossible.
Terro is an impressive fighter but his secondary attack, from his flame thrower was easily nullified by the heroes hiding between my troops. Had I used the flamethrower I would have essentially thrown the game so Terro simply watched impotently unable to prevent the destruction of his base. At least we got that Rhodian rat Vinto!