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  1. I am going to copy the following anecdote that my brother posted earlier today: 'A few years back, I took my son to a run down comic convention, to meet one of my favorite actors of all time- Peter Mayhew, the Mighty Chewbacca! When we finally got to meet him, my son said “What happened to your fur?” Without missing a beat, Peter said “Why I had to shave little boy!” We got a few autographs, and he even let us take a picture free of charge- What a great guy...sad to hear he just passed away...RIP Chewbacca - you will always be revered in our household! May the Force Be With You on your journey to the other side!'
  2. I actually had this conversation with my friend yesterday. He was discussing how his local Warmachine scene has dried up and he feels the game is close to dying and that makes him no longer excited to play. That led to us talking about Imperial Assault, and how I didn't have the same concerns. I explained that I had had a mindset shift now that I've backed a couple of kickstarter games like Conan where there will be no ongoing retail releases but the community continues to crank out new scenarios for play. I play the **** out of that game and it doesn't bother me that I won't have more figures - I already have plenty. The same goes for Imperial Assault - there will be fan created content like new campaigns and skirmish maps, and some will no doubt be excellent. I look forward to playing them all.
  3. Ah yes, he was the closest. He was performing rear guard action. The Hired Guns were placed at the top right green deployment point in an attempt to herd them away from the red terminal as they stormed the bunker to destroy the grey terminals. He activated first after I deployed them and fired at them before they activated so they never got the chance to advance and block the way back as I had initially intended. Great thing to point out though!
  4. Okay, I am back with a new single mission run-through. I had three new players (well, two completely new and one who only knows skirmish) want to try campaign style play, so today I ran them through Brute Force (my new go-to favorite for this) at 0XP/2 Threat. The players chose heroes while I set up the map. I sorted the heroes by role (support, Jedi, sniper, etc.) so they would have some idea of what they were about. They chose Gaarkhan, Loku, and Diala, and then picked MHD-19 as a hero for them all to share. The person who picked Loku said he was excited to play a sniper until he came over and saw how small the map was... I gave them the mission details and they balked at hearing they only had 5 turns and asked for a bonus turn since they were new, which I agreed to. As it turns out, they were super close to winning on turn five but a bad damage roll on the last grey terminal by the second-to-last hero to activate meant the last hero to activate moved away from the red terminal to shoot the grey one and finish it off. When they learned that now they had to head back to and interact with the red terminal, they realized how close they had been to winning that turn. It was seriously down to one die roll that they lost. Then they reminded me about that bonus turn I promised them... So, yeah, they activated the beacon and survived the extra turn, allowing a Rebel victory. All the players were happy and excited, so it's a win for me because they all want to play again. Rebel Highlights: 1) Gaarkhan was wounded for 4 damage by a focused elite Stormtrooper. He then used his own focused attack to smash that trooper into paste in one hit. 2) MHD healed allies for something like 15 damage over the course of the game. He also picked up a stun grenade from a crate that he was able to catch 4 Imperials in the blast due to the small map. 3) Loku gets a bad rep, but he may be MVP this game. With zero XP and only starting weapons, the Recon Token was such an important factor in helping the Rebels kill Imperials, not just the tougher ones like the Elite Stormtroopers, Elite Probe Droid, and Nexu, but even lesser enemies. Picking a sniper seemed like a mistake when he saw the board but wound up working out really well when he kept killing Hired Guns at crazy range and their parting shots missed because they couldn't reach him back. 4) Diala was a Dodging machine. She only had one wound left for the last two rounds and I threw everything I could at her, but SHE JUST KEPT DODGING! It was actually pretty amazing and produced several chains of cheers and high-fives around the table. 5) Everyone was sad when I killed one of the Wookie Warriors, but when I dropped the elite card on the table and they realized all it did was make the other one angrier, they thought that was awesome. Imperial Highlights: 1) I finally remembered to focus my elite Stormtroopers when one dies! 2) I forgot to use my Imperial Class card all game! (Not that it mattered, it was Precision Training, I remembered to use the rerolls on the troopers and elite droid, and my dice were hot anyway.) 3) The Hired Guns were hilarious. Missing at range 3, channeling their best Greedo impersonations! 4) The heroes all moved away from the first probe droid when it went so they would be out of Self-Destruct range. But then the Imperial Officer, activating near the end of the turn, ordered the probe droid to fly up and behind the heroes, allowing me to sacrifice the droid to hit multiple heroes for 2 damage. This was a sneaky but effective move and I'm shocked I've never done it before. It was nice to learn a new trick! 5) The look on their faces when I dropped the E-Web, and when I dropped the additional forces when the door opened... priceless! So yeah, this went well, and we may start Twin Shadows now using the same heroes!
  5. This is exactly why I am worried about Monolith's new Batman iteration of the Conan game Mechanics - they added two new dice with incredibly swingy results. It seems to be going from more of a resource-management American-European game hybrid to more of an American-style purely swingy-dice based mechanic. Which doesn't mean I didn't throw my money at them - it just means I will try the new version of the rules out before investing in any new versions. This house-rule seems way too close to a mechanic I am already skeptical of...
  6. I have always wanted Scout Troopers and Speeder Bikes, and have accepted that whenever they come, Ewoks will probably join them. I am ready for this.
  7. Ultimate spoiling is a clever idea, but incredibly game changing. It may not be a balanced way of dealing with an unbalanced card.
  8. Just downloaded this to my phone. This looks amazing and I can't wait to try it!
  9. Thanks doktor grym! That's a heck of a comprehensive write-up! Since this campaign is with new players who either don't know the game at all or have only played skirmish, I luckily won't need to worry about things like them anticipating my picks and working to offset them. You make a great point about sacrificing units if it will allow a needed card to trigger in order to force the opportunity to use it - I'm going to keep that in mind.
  10. That's a great idea for a teaching mission! I like running Twin Shadows for that reason - that moment Boba Fett shows up for Han gets such a great reaction from the players. I never thought of suddenly having an ally show up to help them out, but I'm going to remember that for my next game with new players.
  11. I came home from work with a craving for Imperial Assault, so I played solo, right hand vs. left hand style, and had a blast. The Imperial Entanglements mission is a keeper! It's essentially just capture the flag, campaign style. Basically, there are terminals at both ends of a long narrow map, and each side needs to retrieve something from the opposite terminal and bring it back to their terminal. I didn't bother with the 0 XP level and went right ahead with the same heroes and purchases I had done for the IG-88 mission (Twin Shadows setup, Biv, Davith, Mak, and Murne with the same gear and class card purchases as last time). The only change-up was Lando instead of the Alliance Smuggler to make it a legal list. What a close game! In the end, both Han and Lando were killed and every hero except Biv was wounded. At the top of turn 9 Biv sprinted the token to the terminal for the win. The token kept changing hands as the Imperials wounded whoever held it. It was really a fun and perfectly balanced game. I won't even try at 0XP as the 3-xp 1600 credits Twin Shadows setup worked so well that I wouldn't even bother trying at another level. I have to say that I thought that the lack of a turn limit would favor the Rebels, but that wasn't the case at all. This is probably my last game session post for a while. My friend is visiting from out of state in April and if we get a chance I hope to run him through Brute Force as a learning mission. I am going to pack up my travel box to prep for running that, and a second box for running a skirmish map, and put the other boxes away for now. I wish everyone well in their one-off campaign play experiments and look forward to hearing how it goes for you!
  12. Ha! That's what I get for choosing to do this at 1:30 in the morning. I was done with the Precious Cargo/Alliance Smuggler map so I just grabbed my pile of mission sheets and skimmed through the bottoms looking for maps that mostly used the same tiles, and this one did. It never occurred to me it was an agenda mission, but if I was more awake I probably would have realized it. Thanks for pointing that out. I also didn't read the Company of Heroes card carefully and forgot it only applied to unique heroes. Truthfully I was also just lazy and didn't want to go dig out another figure when I already had the smuggler sitting right there from his own mission, so I didn't look very hard. I've noticed that the tiles used in Binary Revolution are almost exactly the same as those used for Imperial Entanglements, so I set that map up and hope to try that one if I get the chance. If I try it solo again I'll just use the same heroes, but this time I'll dig out Lando to make it legal. Lando and Han, side by side, sounds like a fun time to me!
  13. Man, I am a glutton for punishment. I couldn't sleep last night so I got up and set up the board to play by myself, left hand vs. right hand style. I used Binary Revolution, from the IG-88 pack. It is a simple map and a simple mission. Destroy IG-88 and his two copies before the end of turn 6. The randomly drawn heroes were Biv, Davith, Mak, and Murne. Wow, what a difference some XP and gear makes. At 0 XP and credits, the heroes were slaughtered by turn 4. They simply had no way to mitigate the black die plus 1 block defense on three IG-88s and no way to handle point blank 2-red die attacks. They only managed to take out one copy before they went down. I actually forgot to use the Imperial class card the entire game, but I didn't need it. With the Twin Shadows setup, the slaughter went the other way, and the heroes decimated the board by the middle of turn 4. This time, Davith had Pierce 3 and reach on his lightsaber, Biv had +1 damage and pierce 1 on Up Close and Personal from his Vibrobayonet and a modded DL-44, Mak was consistently focused and moving 4 spaces away for an easy Pierce 2 with improved damage (even with his starting weapon), and Murne basically shot enemies into better positions and took strain off allies. She also brought along the Elite Alliance Smuggler for free, and he kept stunning IG-88 to stop assault. One highlight was positioning. Murne would push a stunned IG-88 so he wasn't adjacent to anyone and the closest target was Davith at 2 spaces away, who was always hidden. This meant no two red dice attacks because they would auto-miss, which resulted in a lot less damage being dealt to the heroes. Plus by staying more than 3 spaces away, it meant relentless wasn't triggering, and that was a source of a lot of the pain in the first attempt. It's possible that this slaughter was only possible due to a lucky draw of the right heroes and gear for the job, but I'm not sure. Diala would have been removing defense dice, and even Loku would have been useful since there are three high-health priority targets and his tokens would have offset their auto +1 block, and that's at 0 XP for those heroes. At 3 XP, Saska could have gotten her +2 damage vs. Droids card and Jyn would be stunning him as he activates. So I think other heroes would have been just as effective in this mission. I also don't think scaling up would have made a difference. You win once those three targets are dead, so you are going to focus fire on them, and IG-88's health the the only thing that scales at higher threat. If anything, they would only be easier to take out as you leveled up. I'm not sure what the most balanced XP level would be for this mission.
  14. Okay, to round out this experiment, I ran the Brute Force mission twice with the second group of heroes (Diala, Mak, Jyn, and MHD-19). At 0 XP, the heroes crushed it. They won in turn 4, and even had time to grab two crates as extra booty. Mak and Jyn where wounded and one of the Wookies was close to death, but it wasn't a close game. The Wookies themselves did most of the work. The heroes were too weak to deal with the Elite Stormtroopers and failed to one-shot terminals, but the Wookies were cleaving damage around like crazy and the Imperials had no figures left to activate. It was, however, a lot of fun. It also was an incredibly fast game. It only took an hour, probably due to a combination of mission familiarity and already having the tiles connected from earlier. Using the Twin Shadows setup (3xp, etc.), this was a much closer mission, and took about the same amount of time to play. The heroes won, but they needed every single activation in turn 5 to go perfectly in order to do so. In fact, early on it didn't look good for them at all, and I thought for sure they would lose early, but they rallied and came back. Abilities and gear were key here, and the extra point of threat made a huge difference as well. In the end, 3 of the 4 heroes were wounded, but MHD had healed up a near-death Wookie warrior so the alternate win condition wasn't really feasible anymore. A really enjoyable down-to-the-wire game. My winter break is over, and I am back to work tomorrow, so my days of prolific gaming are done and I won't be able to continue this experiment for a while. For now, my verdict is to use the Twin Shadows setup to run these one-off side missions as that seems to result in the best balance without it being overwhelming for the players to remember which abilities they currently have access to. I also really liked the random drawing of heroes, and I left the heroes from the first games out of the drawing for the second so they wouldn't be re-used. I think it is okay to pick hero abilities and gear after mission setup so they aren't going in blind. It's not fun to waste XP on something like abilities that affect attribute tests when there are no attribute tests in the mission. Regarding the missions, I highly recommend Brute Force as a simple mission for a one-off session where you don't want to think too hard and there are no consequences when you lose. Set out the beer and pretzels and just have fun!
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