I enjoy playing Imperial Assault. Really, I do. However, as we near the end of our first campaign I am finding my early game choices hurting my ability to be Empire-like, which in turn hurts my enjoyment of the game. The family is loving the game right now, as the Rebels they are experiencing success after success. In a way the arc of the campaign has mirrored Star Wars IV thru VI arc–nobodies to heroes, to setback and struggle, to winning no matter the odds.
Last night was two scenarios, a story mission where the rebels won because of lucky placement on their part. For the mission they needed to find a secret door to escape. They did not know where the door was. When the door was revealed, three of the four of them were standing next to the door with ample opportunity to force the stuck door open and escape.
The second mission, I had Darth Vader and overwhelming odds. The rebels should have had to retreat to make time for Luke to do his mission. Instead, the jedi Diala Passil using Way of the Wampa or Sarlaacc or whatever it is called eviscerates most of my stormtroopers. Due to spacing my troopers were clumped together and she wiped them off the board and those she did not get, Fenn Signis shot. Leaving me with Darth Vader and whatever reinforcements I could cobble together with threat points. Then to add to the image, Darth Vader gets stunned. Stunned! He is Darth FRICKIN’ Vader, his is one character that should NEVER get stunned. Yet he did, back to back. Rendering him next to useless.
I was so frustrated, disappointed, and flabbergasted I tossed in the cards giving the Rebels the win. There was no sense of urgency. No sense of danger. No sense of EMPRIRE!
Here is where things get interesting. As this was our first campaign I chose what I thought, what looked like, the better Imperial skill cards and Influence deck. The skill deck Military Might, is good, oriented towards making Stormtroopers stronger. Unfortunately, the cards can be expensive and only apply to one squad at a time. Medic is awesome, useable by any squad. Assault Armor and Combat Veterans, awesome and really freaked them out, until they figured out that both cards only applied to one squad at a time (not necessarily the same squad).
My influence deck Internal Security Bureau, Lord Vader’s Command, Retaliation, For the Right Price and so on has been disappointing. Unrelated to the cards, but related to the game, I have had horrible draws. For the longest time I kept drawing cards I could not pay for and when I did start drawing cards I could pay for they were less than impressive. Given how few influence points the Imperial player gets and the size of the Empire, the cards should do more. At least I think they should.
Next campaign I will take a different skill deck and hopefully have better luck drawing influence cards. Before then, I hope there is errata that states explicitly, “During campaign missions, Darth Vader cannot be stunned. He is Darth FRICKIN’ Vader after all.”