I see a lot of 'we have just as many reports of imperials having a hard time winning' justification for the balance of the campaign. That may well be true as far as averages, but I think there are specific setups where it isn't just imbalanced, it's actually fully impossible for the rebels to win. Let's dig into the details of my experience playing the game thus far. All three of us are experienced players, very good at strategy, all playing it to the max. Referring to the rules frequently to resolve questions, see if we can push advantages.
First, the setup. Two heroes, Fenn and Gideon. We have our +10 upgrades and guaranteed two activations per turn.
Now, the missions:
Aftermath (rebel win) - We hung around outside a little too long, since this was our first mission. But we figured out that we could run past enemies, and we just barely made it under the deadline.
A Simple Task (rebel win) - We really took our time on this mission, and cleared the board right before grabbing the adrenal implant, then ran through the late-deployed royal guards to the exit.
A New Threat (imperial win) - With only two heroes, we calculated that it was literally impossible. With three key places to run to, two heroes couldn't cover it. Side note: pretty cheap that the Nexu spawns right on top of the middle console such that it had to be defeated before we could attempt to unlock it. Then of course once that AT-ST shows up, you better be far away from it, can't be running across the middle of the board!
Homecoming (imperial win) - This one was quite close. because of some late-stage deployments which put four total imperials in that final room (and we needed to take it down to two), it came down to one final roll, where Luke tried to unlock his ship. It didn't happen, and time ran out before we got another chance. Very difficult, but possible.
Fly Solo (imperial win) - Because we lost the previous two missions due to deadlines, we only killed a Imperial or two then rushed to open the door. When Han was faced with all the enemies we had run through he died quickly. I don't recall if there was a final time limit there, so we might have done better to try to clear the board out more before freeing Han, but I hear that he would have had lower health. I fail to see how, when the Imperial knows the path you need to take, you can keep a low-health character alive. Yes, he can run twice per activation. But imperials can move X spaces then attack with range, and he can only absorb like three or four shots.
Target of Opportunity (imperial win) - At the beginning, when we were notified of the nerf to the Rebel Sabateurs, I was worried. I did a couple checks and realized that only best-case rolls would even get us a net effect of 1 damage to the door (8 health, 5 defense). We did make a mistake sending two heroes to the console instead of one to the console and one to the Sabateurs. But given the time limit we moved as fast as we could and were quickly all camped out in front of the door with Elite Imperial Guards and Elite Trandoshans sniping at us. The problem was that in four attack rolls over two rounds, the Sabateurs did zero damage to the door. Fenn did a little bit with an extra-die attack, via Focus from the Adrenal Implant. Our savior ended up being Fenn's Vibro-Ax, with its Cleave 2. When the imperials didn't retreat far enough after attacking, we were able to damage the door bit by bit. In Round 6 we got the door down but we weren't able to do six damage to the final target. Very close to impossible. Fully impossible if the Imperial player had been more careful with placement and just waited us out, preventing that Cleave 2.
Okay, so our record is four losses and two wins. Were some of the missions close? Yes. But I cannot think of many mistakes made by the Rebels. I've come to believe that absolutely perfect play on the Rebel side only gives us a slim chance. A perfect example is the door door roll in Target of Opportunity. We get there in mid-Round Three, and you can do the math on the number of rolls we'll have against the door. It's extremely disheartening to know that we can't even guarantee one net effect to the door for each of our 4-6 Rebel Sabateur rolls. Even an average of one net damage per attack would only get us part of the way!
In the case of A New Threat, I don't think it's possible with just two heroes.
I'm definitely a bit frustrated.