Dark Reaper

Imperial Assault Hero Guide – Part 1: Tier Lists

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Inspired by the thread «Hero descriptions to help people choose a character», I decided I wanted to dig a bit deeper into the various heroes available for campaign play in Imperial Assault. I have played through all the campaigns more than once, as well as all the Descent 2.0 campaigns several times. I have also played Warhammer and Warmachine/Hordes at a competitive level. I am probably not the best player there ever was, but at least I have some experience and should be able to provide a decent overview of the heroes. I have decided to separate the various heroes into tiers, people will probably disagree with where I put the various heroes, but this is how I see them and how I have seen them perform in our campaigns.

 

S-Tier

S-Tier heroes are a notch above everyone else. Not only do they excel at what they do, they also have some other tech that greatly benefits the team they are in. I have also decided to separate three heroes into a separate category –S-Tier+. These heroes are the very best the Rebels have to offer. Often changing the entire playstyle of any given mission.

S-Tier+ Heroes: Fenn Signis, Gideon Argus, Diala Passil

S-Tier Heroes: Mak Eshka’rey, Murne Rin

 

A-Tier

A-Tier heroes are solid performers that will fill their role admirably, but often does not have the flexibility or the “game breaking” abilities of the S-Tier heroes. They are nevertheless strong choices, but may need some help from the S-Tier heroes to really take off.

A-Tier Heroes: Verena Talos, MHD-19, Gaarkhan, Jyn Odan

 

B-Tier

B-Tier heroes leaves something to be desired. They can oftentimes do their jobs well enough, but they don’t have the necessary tools to be able to control the game or be flexible enough to be the shining start of the team. They require the rest of the team to do most of the work.

B-Tier Heroes: Saska Teft, Loku Kanoloa, Davith Elso

 

C-Tier

C-Tier heroes are the worst of the worst. They don’t do anything better than their counterparts and they are severely lacking in skills that would help them actually do their job.

C-Tier Heroes: Biv Bodhrik

 

Edit: I see I cannot edit the title after I have posted a topic. Too bad...

Edited by Dark Reaper

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Let's start at the bottom.

 

C-Tier

Biv Bodhrik:

I know a lot of people like Biv, I just can’t understand why. Of all the heroes in the game, he has arguably the worst starting weapon. The red dice is obviously brilliant, but for a character who wants to get in close and personal, his only surge option of +1accuracy is laughable. His yellow+red in combat is maybe ok-ish, but it is severely limited by not having any surge options base, having to be adjacent and costing 2 strain. His 13-4-4 statline is decent as is his ability to re-roll an attack die for a strain. His main problem is that he wants to be a frontline fighter, but that he doesn’t have a proper gap-closer

 

Skill cards:

Advance: Not really good enough. The possibility of moving extra spaces is always good, but compare this to “tactical movement” and weep.

Shake it Off: An OK skill. I would take it, but it isn’t close to Garkhaan’s condition removal.

Crushing Blow: I guess it is OK. The problem is that you pay 2xp to make a bad skill a little bit better.

Into the Fray: An actual good skill! +block is always good, even if it is situational.

Trophy Armour: About the same as a laminate armour. A laminate armour isn’t worth 3xp

Vibrobayonet: Again, it is not a bad skill per se, it just isn’t that good either. You will probably use “Close and Personal” only once per turn, which means it is a few more damage each round. By no means horrible, but it isn’t good and heroes need some good skills to shine…

Stay Down: Biv has 4 endurance. “Close and Personal” costs 2, this costs 2 and he doesn’t have a gap closer. On top of that, there are other heroes who do more damage and they don’t have all these restrictions.

Final Stand: This isn’t even not good; it is close to useless. My opinion is that this is the worst 4xp skill in the game. It is even bad by Biv standards. It is actually a gap closer, but it is such a horrible gap closer.

 

The main problem with Biv’s skill set is that it mainly supports his “Close and Personal” skill, which isn’t that good to begin with. It isn’t as game defining as “Charge” or “Havoc Shot” and he is way too situational to ever be a good hero.

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B-Tier

 

Davith Elso:

Davith seems like a fun hero. He has most of what a good melee hero needs, mainly a gap closer in “Force Speed”, and the ability to generate extra attacks via “Fell Swoop”. He also has the ability to become hidden with a surge, which is a character defining ability for him. Unfortunately, the hidden condition isn’t that hard to play around for the Imperial Player. Davith’s biggest problem is nevertheless that he starts with 11-4-4 and needs to be in combat to do work. He loses force speed if he is wounded, which isn’t too hard with 11hp, leaving him on spd3 with no gap closers. This is honestly horrible and is what makes Davith such a weak hero in the grand scheme of things. His Heirloom Dagger is an OK starting weapon, but nothing spectacular.

 

Skill cards:

Covert Operative: Probably a decent pickup, but nothing spectacular. There honestly aren’t that many times where Davith would have suffered 1dmg if it wasn’t for this card. Could be combined with Embody the Force, which you probably want anyway, which makes deflecting the attack a little more probable.

Elusive Agent: For a character who relies on becoming hidden anyway, this is a nice little help. It should ideally help you recover a strain per attack.

Blindside: Fantastic on paper, OK in practice. It is hard to walk across that many enemies without wasting attacks and without force speed you can forget about using this skill.

Falling Leaf: A nice little pickup. A yellow dice a round often won’t mean the world, but it is OK.

Force Illusion: It is good if it works. It probably won’t and 3xp is way too much.

Shrouded Lightsaber: One of the best melee weapons in the game for pure damage. You cannot afford to pay 3xp for it as you absolutely need both of your 4xp skill. This one is unfortunately a no-go.

Fell Swoop: Character defining and the only way Davith has of generating more attacks. You need this.

Embody the Force: You need this as well. While it isn’t as good as “Rebel Elite”, Davith’s 11hp makes it absolutely necessary to get some increased sustainability.

 

Davith is one of those heroes who just looks much stronger than he actually is. He is so horrible when he is wounded that he is almost unplayable. A cool hero design, but a good Imperial Player will focus him early and make Davith nearly useless.

 

Loku Kanoloa:

Loku, the hero I would have put in C-tier if it wasn’t for the fact that I feel Biv deserved a tier of his own. It’s hard to pinpoint what Loku’s main problem is, but the fact that he has no way to get extra attacks, has a single blue dice on both strength and tech tests, and doesn’t provide a whole lot for his team all adds up to a pretty mediocre hero, to put it nicely. His 10-5-5 stat line is decent, at the very least; his +2 accuracy and recon token abilities aren’t very good at all. His starting weapon is OK.

 

Skill Cards:

Combat Spotter: Absolutely necessary pickup to even be able to use the recon tokens properly.

Scouting Report: The only action economy Loku has. Another must-have, although it prevents him from using more than one token on an enemy at a time.

Overwatch: Looks good on paper, impossible to use in practice. If you have line of sight to your target, you would rather shoot him than use overwatch.

Spectrum Scanner: OK skill. Good heroes don’t really need Recon Tokens to kill standard troopers in one shot, maybe decent against Royal Guards and the like.

Scout’s Guidance: You only have two recon tokens. One for crates and one for enemies. In other words, you can’t use this.

Study of Enemies: +2 health is good. Not 3xp good. There is some other text on the card as well. You probably won’t have to bother reading it.

Coordinated Attack: If this was a good hero, 2 strain would buy you another attack. Here it gives you a die, and only when another hero targets a figure with a recon token. This is garbage for 4xp.

Mon Cala Special Forces: Loku’s only really good skill. +Evade, Focus and strain recovery are all good abilities to have.

 

Loku can do good damage at range if he gets a good weapon. So can every other hero in the game. Give Diala or Garkhaan a Pulse Cannon and they will do well with it, even though their skills aren’t made for it at all. During our last campaign the player playing Loku couldn’t decide what to get after Combat Spotter, Scouting Report and Mon Cala Special Forces as all the skills were so bad. Loku’s only saving grace in my opinion is that Recon Tokens are pretty good during the first few missions where you often only do 2dmg to a Storm Trooper without buffs.

 

Saska Teft

I am not really sure what Saska tries to be. She has some support skills, but the device tokens pale in comparison to what the powerhouse supports put out. The problem with Saska isn’t necessarily that she does everything horribly, she just doesn’t excel at anything either. Nevertheless, of the three heroes I have classed as B-Tier, she is the strongest. Her 11-4-5 stat line isn’t very good, but her device tokens and how they work may come in handy, even though they aren’t extremely strong. She has an OK starting weapon, although the range isn’t very good.

 

Skill cards:

Unstable Device: Unreliable and random and takes a lot of setup. The added damage to the one using the skill makes it even worse. I don’t like this skill at all.

Tool Kit: Solid. This card gives Saska some much needed action economy in that it might save her or her teammates a few actions.

Structural Weakness: Again a very situational card. It might not even be used during an entire mission.

Energy Shield: I don’t understand this card. It is basically +1evade/block each round if that is what she is using her device tokens for. It is way too little gain for too much investment.

Gadgeteer: Finally, a really good skill. The added mod slot is golden and makes Saska with DXR-6 and a Tactical Display a frightening prospect. The problem is that she is still not as good as dedicated damage dealers. The extra device token is a neat bonus, although I feel it has to be combined with Remote Distribution for any solid effect.

Power Converter: Again, two strain to replace a blue with a red (best case) is approximately +1dmg. This isn’t really good, especially not for a 3xp skill.

Adrenaline Injector: This would have been broken if it didn’t require the move. With it, it is good, but not spectacular.

Remote Distribution: You probably need this ASAP for Saska to actually play the game, so you should probably pick it up.

 

Saska actually has some neat tricks and could be fun to play because of that. She does however lack a lot of the raw power that makes heroes really good. Her device tokens are often to flimsy and situational to really shine.

 

I'll try to come back with A-Tier heroes and fix some formating issues in the near future. :)

C&C are very welcome

Edited by Dark Reaper
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A-Tier

 

MHD-19:

One of the three new heroes introduced in the Return to Hoth expansion, MHD-19 is a support-character who focuses on healing by cycling through the supply deck for his medical card of choice. He has an acceptable statline with 12-4-4 and he is good at tech tests, although lacking in the strength test department. MHD-19 will probably be played as a hard support hero, where his ability to search the supply deck for items that will help his team mates really shine. His ability to become focused for not attacking on his turn can be surprisingly helpful, as it can be used for skill tests and helps the heroes advance through the mission faster. It also synergises well with Gideon, who can command MHD-19 to attack with the bonus green die. His starting weapon isn’t that good, except if you can get any mileage out of stun.

 

Skill cards:

Bacta Injector: A very useful skill that helps with action economy. MHD-19 can take away a stun or a bleed that would have costed the affected hero one of his actions. It also synergises well with abilities that move or makes a hero attack, as they often cannot be used when a hero is stunned. Should always be picked up.

Improper Procedure: Another skill that can help the action economy a lot. Since this is a guaranteed point of damage, it is perfect for knocking off that last point when your attack roll wasn’t that good. It is reliable, which I consider very important.

Field Surgeon: This depends a bit on how you build MHD-19. I don’t think I would use him for attacking all that much, so I would probably skip this. I don’t see it as very synergetic.

Fuel Injection: MHD-19 moves around a lot, and this skill makes him much better at it. I like it.

Adrenal Vapor: An extra yellow die for 2 strain is situational. If you really need surges, there are better ways to get it. I don’t rate this skill highly.

Miracle Worker: Provides some action economy. I am not over the moon about it, but it can be good in the right situations. It is especially funny if a (preferably white die) hero sits on 1hp and the IP only has strong attacks left.

Bacta Radiator: I love this. Between Bacta Injector and this, the times the heroes have to rest should be severely reduced.

Combat Override: Yes, it is action economy, no, I don’t think it is a particularly good pickup. I don’t think MHD-19 will have a particularly good weapon and I think he will be spending most of his time supporting. Again, your mileage may vary.

 

As a support hero, MHD-19 is a strong, solid choice who makes his team better, like a support hero is supposed to do. I do think going all in for his attack skills can be a bit of a trap, but I am going to admit I haven’t really tried it and that I may be wrong. Your team won’t be severely hampered by going the MHD-19 route for your support and it should be tried. He is a well-designed hero and the only reason he doesn’t place even higher is who he is competing against.


 

Gaarkhan:

Gaarkhan is a hero that my friends play a lot and I have never played myself. He hits like a truck and has a very good base ability with his charge, which gives him ok action economy. His rage ability makes him hit even harder if he takes some damage. His 14-4-4 statline as well as his good starting weapon makes Gaarkhan a good melee damage dealer who I think lacks some subtlety and some really good synergistic abilities for him to be at the very top. Gaarkhan is one of the better starting heroes as he is easy to grasp and also because he really shines in the early game where his high health, his charge, his extra damage from focus and his good starting weapon helps him carry the rebels through the first missions. He also has some skills that will be very valuable lategame.

 

Skill cards:

Wookie Fortitude: A must pick-up. Bleed and Stun will wreck Gaarkhan’s day. This is better if you find some way to give him reliable strain recovery as Gaarkhan is a strain-heavy hero.

Wookie Loyalty: In my opinion a better version of Saskaa’s Energy Shield. Wookie Loyalty doesn’t provide the option for a surge cancel and it requires adjacency. On the plus side, it is only one xp and doesn’t require any setup. A free block each round.

Ferocity: Cleave 1 is probably not enough to reach critical mass and if you need surges it is counterproductive to change your green die into a red one. Speaking of it, the effect is miniscule anyway. It makes it harder for Gaarkhan to trigger his surge effects or recover strain, while the damage output won’t be that much greater. In addition, it only really works while he isn’t wounded. I would stay away from this.

Staggering Blow: Not good enough. It doesn’t work against a lot of enemies as they don’t have enough health, while others won’t care about stun as they are already in melee range or shoots anyway. Stay away from this one.

Rampage: This can be good. It lets Gaarkhan finish off heroes with little health left and can be especially devastating combined with cleave. It can be hard to set up, but if you can it will often work well.

Vicious Strike: Skip this. You don’t have that much strain to spare and you have to use it before you attack. If it was after, this would be more serving of its high cost.

Brutal Cleave: Extra attacks are always good, but there are lots of way to prevent this from working, which is part of the reason why I think Gaarkhans is often a bit clunky. He goes in and hits stuff, but it is often easy to play around. You can’t pull this off without reach and without standing next to your first target, but if you can, an extra attack is obviously amazing. I am a bit on the fence on this one.

Unstoppable: This is a good skill. I am generally very in favour of skills that increase stats and this one makes Gaarkhan into a 14-5-5 hero. It helps him with his strain problems, makes his resting more effective and it makes his charge much more effective. As an added bonus, you get a static +2 bonus to damage when wounded. Usually this wouldn’t be that good, as a character’s stats are severely reduced when wounded. Gaarkhan still has 14-4-4 however. This makes it hard for the IP to actually know what he wants to do with Gaarkhan. When Gaarkhan charges in, he can have 17hp with laminate armour as well as three sources of blocking damage (Wookie Loyalty, Laminate Armour, High Impact Guard) where 3mdg will make him focused and wounded will make him do more damage. A very good pick up.

 

As I said, Garkhaan is a very strong hero. He doesn’t really do much more his team, but he can sure give a beating. He is a big brute though and he lacks the control elements found in some other heroes. Nevertheless, he is a good hero which fits his design very well and also fits the melee fighter role very well. Try him!

 

Jyn Odan:

Jyn is a pistol and movement-specialist with a few tricks up her sleeve. She is arguably one of the heroes in the game who needs help from her team mates the least, but on the other hand she is also one of the heroes who helps her team the least. Jyn is very squishy with her measly 10 health and no skill cards to increase her stats, but she is a fun hero who spots quite a few tricks that you will need to utilise to get the most out of her. Her quick draw is basically an extra attack out of activation and is easily one of the best core abilites in the game, and her opportunist ability is nothing to scoff at either. Her starting weapon is easily one of the best in the game and with her extra attack, she is one of the most dangerous heroes from the get-go. Unfortunately, she has the staying power and endurance of a soaked biscuit. Her 10-4-5 is not the best, but it is at least workable. She is good at tech skills, which seems to be the most prevalent skill check for actually advancing the story.


Skill cards:

Quick as a Whip: A solid skill, although you don’t want Jyn to be targeted all that often. There are skills you really need to pick up for Jyn to shine though, so I am giving this a pass, at least until her necessaries have been picked up.

Smuggler’s Luck: Another versatile skill that you probably won’t pick up all that often. It is good, it’s just that there are things you need more.

Cheap Shot: A flat out buff to Quick Draw. Solid, but you are basically taking this for +1 damage once per turn unless you are up against melee troops or troops with multiple attacks. It is obviously much better if you have a longer ranged pistol and Trick Shot.

Roll With It: This one is a trap. While +1 block is very good for a squishy hero such as Jyn, she has massive endurance problem and the fact that you need to use this when the attack is declared simply isn’t good enough. Stay away.

Get Cocky: As I said, Jyn has problems with strain. Get Cocky helps mitigate her strain problems and can basically give you a free quick draw. A must-have-

Gunslinger: Jyn’s second must-have. Jyn can basically get a +2 dmg surge option and a +1 dmg, +2 accuracy surge option added to any pistol by buying the DL-44 in the Tier 1 shop without spending a mod slot. It also gives you an extra tactical display for 1 strain. In my opinion, this skill is why you take Jyn. It makes her a very solid damage dealer.

Trick Shot: Great for ensuring that you can actually use quick draw. Trick Shot also helps Jyn staying alive by staying behind walls and still being able to see her opponents. It also greatly increases the effect of Cheap Shot and the stun ability.

Sidewinder: An interesting prospect. 2 spaces each time you attack means that you can move 9 spaces and make three attacks each round, with an effective cost of 0 strain if you use Get Cocky. This means you will have to drop Trick Shot though, as you simply won’t have enough exp for everything.


Jyn is a cool hero concept and a very fun hero to play. She has amazing movement and very good damage output, making her a glass cannon who values positioning and clever play. She will absolutely need a Combat Coat to help her horrible 10 health, but even then she won’t be a meat shield by any means. She only has 4 endurance as well, so her rest actions aren’t that effective. My main gripe with Jyn is that her stats are so weird. Many of her skills gives her the ability to move after attacking and makes her want to attack as often as possible. On the other hand, movement is the only thing she has a high value in, while her health and endurance are both subpar. She also does very little for her team, but that can be forgiven due to the immense amount of work she can do on her own. She is probably the weakest of the four heroes I have placed in the A-tier.


Verena Talos:

Finally, one of my absolute favourites, Verena. I am going to go out on a limb and say that Verena is the best designed hero in Imperial Assault. She isn’t broken, but she is a very good hero who benefits a lot from the right synergies. Of all the heroes, she is the one I had the most difficulty placing. I rate her higher than Gaarkhan, but this is mainly due to other heroes and how they effect Verena. Verena is arguably the hero in the game with the most flexibility regarding build as I don’t think she has a single bad experience card. Her skills also reward getting close and personal, but she may need some help getting there. Her Close Quarter ability is one of the coolest abilities in the game and it is so much fun if you manage to destroy a tank or something else with a nice attack pool. Her 12-5-4 statline is very solid, I love her skill checks (Blue+Green on everything), her duck and weave ability can be amazing with the right synergies and her Fighting Knife shouldn’t be underestimated. There are several rolls which may kill a Stormtrooper outright. Her biggest problem as a melee hero is that she lacks a really good gap closer.


Skill cards:

Combat Momentum: Movement is king. This one is a must pick up. It really helps Verena get where she needs to be, in the fray. The only problem is, she needs to be next to someone to use it.

Create Opening: Situationally very good. If you need that extra damage to go through, Create Opening can be an invaluable skill.

K’Tara Maneuver: This is as close to a gap closer Verena gets. A solid skill, even though it doesn’t help her engage anyone far off.

Student of Battle: This is one where you will have to make a choice. Do you expect to use Close Quarters as often as possible? Then you may want to get this. I think it is a good skill, but it isn’t a clear cut choice.

Improvised Cover: This combined with Duck and Weave means that Verena will have +1 evade and +1 block against any given shot. It also means that if you walk up adjacent to a figure with 1hp left who has already acted, your IP will be hard pressed to shot you, as it will kill the figure and trigger Close Quarters.

Point Blank Shot: If you are using the DL-44 or the Sporting Blaster, this is approximately a +2 damage increase (due to red v. blue and the Pierce 1) I haven’t done the math on how this compare to melee weapons, so I am not sure if it is a trap, but it looks legit. It also stacks with K’Tara Maneuver, which s melee weapon doesn’t.

Combat Mastery: An extra attack for 1 strain, although with some restrictions. Verena doesn’t have anything that makes her melee weapons better, nor does she have anything other than Point Blank Shot for her guns. If you want volume, this is good, but I would probably drop Point Blank Shot and get a real gun instead of a pistol then.

Master Operative: WOW! +1 Endurance on a hero with Endurance 5. And you get to be focused when using Close Quarters. Colour me impressed. Endurance 6 opens up a lot of possibilities and makes Verena an even cooler character to play.

Verena Talos is supercool! If you haven’t tried her already, you should. She is easily the coolest of the melee centric characters and is a character where proper positioning is rewarded. If she is with Fenn or Gideon her stock rises even higher and she is probably one of the best heroes in the entire game, but she can still do damage on her own. She doesn’t really do anything at all for her team though. Not a single one of her skills benefit anyone else in her team, but that is perfectly ok given her personal output.

Edited by Dark Reaper

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S-tier

Mak Eshka’rey:

Your friendly neighbourhood sniper. Mak sports a combination of great single target damage and evasiveness that can make him a pain to handle for any Imperial Player. Mak is typically given a big gun and being told to run rampant with it. His skills can make him a deadly adversary that can take down most enemies without breaking a sweat. Forget recon or device tokens, Mak is perfectly capable of taking down any threat without excessive buffs to his damage. His hero skills, ambush and covert, help Mak in his sniper role by giving him easy access to Pierce 2 and a stealth skill that makes him hard to target by enemies with ranged weapons. His 10-5-4 statline isn’t top notch by any means, but it more than gets the job done for a hero such as Mak, who need stamina more than he needs movement and is hard to target. His starting weapon isn’t very good, but it is useable for taking out Stormtroopers when combined with ambush. Getting Mak a better weapon should be prioritised.

 

Skill cards:

Disengage: The card Mak should never have been allowed to have. This card makes it extremely hard for the Imperials to even target Mak and makes him do all kinds of movement shenanigans. The possibilities this card gives to a player is worthy of its own guide. Needles to say, you should always pick this up as soon as humanly possible.

Supply Network: A solid card that I don’t prioritise at all. In my opinion, cycling the deck isn’t as important in Imperial Assault as it is in Descent, and for this very reason I would not pick this up.

Target Aquired: Surprisingly bad. Since this is an exhaust, you can’t really use it as much as you would like to and it can’t be combined with extra attacks from No Escape, Gideon or Murne on the same target. I would advise against this.

Jeswandi Training: This card combined with Disengage makes Mak into a very flexible hero who will create a lot of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”-situations. This is also an example of what makes the best heroes so much better than the bad ones. Loku has Study of Enemies, Mak has Jeswandi Training. Both gives a nice health boost, Mak gives the ability to become focused every round, while Loku’s does almost nothing. Oh, and Mak’s is 2xp while Loku’s is 3xp. This should always be the second skill you pick up.

Execute: Free strain AND the ability to remove all white dice from the target’s defence pool. This is extremely valuable for when you want to secure a kill on a Nexu or someone with Cloaking Device. I highly value abilities that reduces variance and this is one of them.

Expertise: This is great for action economy as it is basically an extra action for a strain. That being said, I don’t usually pick it up. This is because Mak has such a great skill-set and he wants to focus on killing people...

No Escape: ...with skills such as these. Again, Loku has a skill that makes him add a dice to an attack made by someone else against a target with a recon token, Mak has a skill that gives him a free focused attack against someone for the same amount of strain. Picking this skill up gives Mak the ability to take down big targets almost effortlessly within a single activation.

Decoy: An ability that lets you evade an attack and perform your own focused attack instead. While good, Mak has so many other good skills that this one is often a pass.

 

Mak deals damage and he is really good at it. His pierce2 on tap where the strain is easily recovered through his Execute skill, Mak will have no problems taking down even the heaviest armour. The ability to gain extra attacks and his easy access to focus also helps accentuate this damage potential. His best friend is Gideon and the old man let’s Mak perform even more high quality attacks each round. A Mak with Jeswandi training and a Combat Coat will have 14hp and Covert and will be incredibly hard to take down. He is undoubtedly one of the stronger heroes in the game.

 

Murne Rin:

Murne Rin is a relatively new hero, introduced in the Bespin Gambit expansion. She is a master of covert and espionage which is reflected in her skills. Murne’s starting ability is False Orders, which lets her order an enemy to attack their own. This is stupidly broken against decks such as Technological Superiority that relies on attachments. Seeing as Technological Superiority is arguably the best Imperial Class Deck in the game, this is a very strong ability to have. Her Figurehead ability is also very good and synergises well with her medium ranged abilities. Her 12-4-4 statline is ok and her starting weapon is surprisingly useful for a primarily support focused hero.

 

Skill cards:

Company of Heroes: A card which was probably meant to see people fielding Han Solo and Chewbacca without feeling like they had taken a bolter shot to the gut. Instead, it is probably going to be used for bringing Lando in for 2 threat. A very solid card if you have the right ally.

Sonic Bellow: Combined with the starting weapon’s ability to push people away, this can set up some tricky situations for the Empire. It will completely ruin Royal Guards’ day.

Rebel Propaganda: This synergises well with Figurehead, both giving Murne more health and additional options for recovering strain on her allies. A good card, but not a must-have.

Professional Aide: A surge on an attribute test or an attack that you can tap while attacking or testing. This is a versatile card and something you should absolutely consider picking up if your team isn’t that good at attribute tests or struggle to roll surges on their attacks.

Solidarity: With this skill and the correct positioning you may not need to ever take a movement action again. This also helps Murne immensely if she gets wounded as she only has a movement of 3 and movement actions will often be a waste of time.

Double Agent: Another very solid skill that helps Murne wreck Havoc on her enemies. Stunning someone and moving them two spaces can very well mean they will be useless on their next turn.

Waylay: Murne’s arguably best skill. You will want a ranged hero and a ranged ally to benefit from this, but it basically gives Murne up to three attacks for the cost of one action and 3 strain. You should get this, trust me!

Lead from the Front: The only one of Murne’s skills I am not completely sold on. Those are nice buffs, but I can’t see Murne wanting to attack all that often, which leaves us with a +1dmg and a +1pierce buff to her False Orders, maybe with +accuracy as well. It isn’t bad, it is just that Murne Rin has a fantastic skill deck. I would opt out of this.

 

Murne is a very good support hero that brings something new to the game, mainly people attacking their own team. This means that attaching cards to units for special abilities isn’t entirely beneficial for the Imperial Player anymore, which changes things up a bit. Murne also has ample access to stun, while being a condition that mainly hampers heroes can also be useful when fighting Imperial, especially combined with placement effects. Her Waylay ability which allows her to hand out an additional two attacks when using False Orders makes her an incredibly efficient support hero that shouldn’t need the fanciest equipment while her Figurehead ability should at least prevent the Imperial Player from wanting to target her with every attack he has available.

 

S-Tier+

Gideon Argus:

Gideon is the original support hero from the Core Box. He has a secondary skill that no one can remember (it’s Stun on his gun while he is healthy), an ok 10-5-4 statline and he is the best hero in the game at skill tests. He also has the best character skill in the game, Command. Command is ok when starting out as it allows you to be more flexible with your hero activations as Gideon can give away one of his actions to another hero by spending 2 strain. However, many of Gideon’s class skills synergise with his Command ability and makes it very useful. Gideon has an ok starting weapon, but he will probably not fire it very often and will often carry it to the end of the game. The biggest problem with Gideon is that he might be a bit boring to play as he is an all-out support hero who will seldom be the one actually rolling the dice and taking down the big bad Imperials.

 

Skill cards:

Called Shot: Good skill. “While” is as always a keyword. This is often the extra surge that helps defeat an enemy, it could even be the recovered strain that lets another hero pull off another one of his skills.

Military Efficiency: A flexible skill that I don’t think I have ever picked up. Gideon has so many other good skills, he won’t attack that often, and the block to evade is too situational.

Air of Command: A much needed health boost as well as making Command much easier to use. This one is a no-brainer later in the game as Gideon can stand further back and not be so exposed to enemy fire.

Mobile Tactician: Chances are you’re going to use command every turn, so this is a must-have. With Masterstroke it becomes insane, letting you get 4 movement points every turn for free.

For the Cause: Focused shots are good. Still, you will probably skip this one as there are some even juicier options in this deck.

Rallying Shout: Two free strain recovery every turn for another hero in LoS with no restrictions of either start or end of activation. Loku should learn from this. This makes Gideon a must when playing against Subversive Tactics.

Hammer and Anvil: It’s a trap! While this skill sounds absolutely amazing, Gideon will seldom (or never) attack and he doesn’t have the strain to spare to use this in addition to Command, which he will always use.

Masterstroke: Now we’re talking! You should get this as soon as possible. Each time Gideon uses Command, he gets another one for free. I talked about how certain heroes break missions and this is how Gideon does it. The first time we played Fly Solo we got Han out by moving him around with Masterstroke Command, Tactical Movement and Force Throw for an additional 13 spaces in a single turn. Masterstroke and Mobile Tactician essentially gives Gideon three actions for the price of one; a movement action for himself and two actions of your choice to your allies. All this for the same strain cost as placing a recon token on an enemy. This means that a wounded Gideon can gain 6 movement points (Mobile Tactician+strain), give away two actions and rest on a single turn. Not bad for a Move3 hero.

 

Due to the extreme action economy granted by Command, Gideon is still the go-to support choice in Imperial Assault. All his abilities help his allies immensely and he continues to be useful after he is wounded. The fact that he can also move around allies and most mission specific characters makes him an incredibly versatile hero that should be considered in every party. Keep in mind that Command not only gives extra attacks, it gives extra attacks to the heroes of your choice, which means that the guys with the biggest weapons, usually Mak or Fenn, are the ones gaining bonus attacks. That could be Blast4-6 due to Fenn’s Havoc Shot or a bunch of extra damage due to Mak’s Ambush ability.

 
 

Diala Passil:

Diala has a lightsaber on her artwork and it is therefore quite easy to picture her as a typical melee hero. There are a lot of things that will go wrong if you play Diala as primarily a melee DPS hero and she will be nowhere near the potential she has if she is played as a semi-support hero. During the early-game she can excel at taking down Stormtroopers due to Precise Strike, but she doesn’t have the all-important gap closer that melee heroes need to be relevant. She has a good statline with 12-5-4 and her Foresight with a white defence die makes her surprisingly resilient. Her starting weapon isn’t that good, but it has Reach and Stun which may prove useful in some circumstances.

 

Skill cards:

Force Throw: Fantastic skill card. For two strain, Diala can easily dispatch any enemy hero left on 1 hp (~88% success) or she can use it to move her allies or enemies around the map. This is especially good with heroes such as Verena who wants to be up close or simply wanting to be adjacent to someone when they die. It can be used on allies to speed them up, it can be used to block LoS for Imperial models and lots of other things. This should be picked up quickly.

Force Adept: Another fantastic skill! The ability to re-roll attack rolls or attribute tests is fantastic and makes several of Diala’s other skills, such as Force Throw, even better. The extra blue die on tests is icing on the cake. The hardest thing about this card is whether or not to pick it up before Force Throw.

Battle Meditation: Due to Diala’s nature as a semi-support hero and the heavy strain cost of her abilities, Diala will rest a lot. Battle Meditation gives her the chance to hand out focus every time she does so. Highly valuable.

Defensive Stance: A good skill that will make Diala a little more survivable. With foresight, she has a roughly 30% chance of dodging, so she can actually trigger the focus fairly often. 2 blocks and an evade can often also cancel an entire attack.

Art of Movement: A very useful skill, although it is debatable whether or not you want to pick it up. If you want to get in close and personal for Sarlacc, the extra movement and ignoring difficult terrain is tremendous help. I do however think that this is a subpar build for Diala and that you should focus on her other capabilities.

Snap Kick: Again, a solid skill that will help you finish off enemies with low health in melee. Like some of her other skills, this also forces you to be close, which you won’t always be.

Way of the Sarlacc: If this connects with three or more enemies it is really good. Most of the time that won’t be the case. Again, it depends on how you build Diala, but I honestly think this one is a trap. If you have several enemies clumped together, there are other heroes, such as Verena, Garkhaan or Fenn, who can also clear clusters really well.

Dancing Weapon: This is actually a very interesting pickup. Diala never attacks more than once in any given turn, so the once-a-turn-restriction isn’t really all that troublesome. With a weapon with proper cleave, this is a solid pickup, especially combined with force throw.

 

Diala is a fun hero, seeing as she has so many options with her builds. Her support skills are tremendous; she doesn’t hand out attacks like Gideon, but she supplies her team with re-rolls, Force Throws, focus and the occasional attack herself. Due to this, Diala is one of the more flexible heroes who usually has the right tool for the situation and makes the party work together just a little bit better. Try her out!

 

Fenn Signis:

Last, but not least, my favourite hero of the bunch. Fenn is your classic DPS character with a twist, he also has one of the best support abilities in the game. Fenn has two very good abilities in Havoc Shot and Lone Wolf, letting him blast enemies and recover strain easily. His blue+green on every test makes him very flexible and he can go pretty much anywhere and test anything with a 67% chance of at least one success. His starting weapon is ok, as is his 12-4-4 statline.

 

Skill cards:

Tactical Movement: The best 1xp skill in the game. This lets Fenn focus on other stuff than doing move actions, as the two movement points and two strain will let him move 4 in any given turn, while his Lone Wolf will help him regain one strain, for a total of one strain used. It can also be used on allies to move them away from blasts, moving them through a door, moving the close combat heroes closer to the enemy or mission specific characters closer to their goal. For heroes Like Verena, Tactical Movement is a godsend as it helps her do her job much more effectively. It can even be used with Gideon’s Called Shot to help him get LoS to the target Fenn is going to shot. This card should always be picked up after the first mission is completed.

Take Cover: An extra white die is obviously good, but Fenn has many good skill cards and this shouldn’t be a priority.

Adrenaline Rush: A very strong skill card that should be a consideration late game if you have enough XP. This is often additional healing for Fenn as he isn’t as strain heavy as some other heroes.

Weapon Expert: Fenn doesn’t need the extra accuracy. He usually wants to stay quite close because he wants to pick up

Trench Fighter: WOW! An extra +2dmg on a single target within 3 spaces every single turn for no strain cost. In some circumstances this can be equally as good as an extra attack. Compare this to other damage buffs, such as Recon Tokens and see how much easier this is to apply and how this often has a greater effect.

Suppressive Fire: This is also a very strong skill that should be considered. Fenn can do a lot of blast damage and the IP will often have to choose Stun to not have all his models die.

Superior Positioning: This isn’t all that bad, but I have never picked this one up. Fenn doesn’t move a lot, so the effect often does not trigger. You could probably make him into a tank with this one and Take Cover, but why would you do that...

Rebel Elite: when you could pick Rebel Elite instead? You should rush this skill after Tactical Movement. This gives a lot of stat buffs to an already very strong hero, making him 15-5-4, which is very good. It also gives Fenn blast2 on all his Havoc Shots. Blast2 is significant on its own, but with Suppressive Fire, the possibility of Gideon commanding and/or the Under-Barrel HH-4 mod it becomes extremely good. If Fenn has the Under-Barrel, a Pulse Cannon as well as Trench Fighter and Suppressive Fire he does so much damage that he will more often than not take out every single figure in a deployment group.

 

I have no idea why they decided to give arguably the strongest damage dealer in the game one of the best movement skills as well, or why they decided to introduce the Under-Barrel into the game when Fenn could already blast as much as he could. Anyway, Fenn is my top one hero pick in the game. even ahead of Gideon due to his high single target and blast damage as well as his movement shenanigans. It is close though, and Gideon with Mak or Fenn is in many ways equally stupid. Anyway, as many probably can agree on, Fenn is usually the star of the show in any given campaign.

 

So, this was a long one. I hope you will read this to the end. Feel free to disagree and please tell me why I am wrong! :)

Edited by Dark Reaper

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Opening up a hornets nest here.

Anyway, Your post is good and well thought out.

I think your S+ tier should just be S tier and your S tier heroes be in the A tier as i dont think there is that much power difference between your A and S.

As for the more controversial heroes, Davith has been really great for me so far but I do agree that he is crippled by being wounded. I think he is somewhere between A and B.

Loku is really good in the early stages of the campaign but he gets outpaced by Mak in the late stages. Loku does do his job sufficiently and the +2 accurcy is really good on Hoth. He should only be 1 stage removed from Mak, not 2.

I agree with your Saska placement, if you play her as a hybrid she can do work but wont really exceed B tier.

I am not 100% convinced Biv deserves C tier, but I am not go8ng to argue too hard. I am planning on tweaking his 4 xp skills to bring him to par.

Dark Reaper likes this

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Thanks for the reply. Opening up a hornets' nest is fine by me, I want to have a discussion, and I think that is primarily achieved by trying to argue one's view. Davith is good, as long as he isn't wounded. 11hp for a hero who has to be in the fray isn't much.

I disagree on Loku vs Mak. I'll come back to why when I explain my thoughts on Mak. Thanks for the reply. I hope there will be a good discussion on the topic. If someone manages to change my view I consider that a win.

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Biv's Final Stand is one of the better 4 XP cards in the game.  It decides missions.  Used early it can firmly put the Rebels ahead, used late it can wreck a boss.  He's strain heavy, much like Gaarkhan, but works well with proper support, unlike Loku who can never work well.

 

Biv does has a bunch of weak or trap cards, the ones you should get are Trophy Armor, Vibro Bayonet, Into the Fray and Final Stand.

 

Saska's unstable device is one of her better cards, at least for 1 point, but it's something that requires synergy.  If you have a BD-1 and are cleaving for 2 or Fenn doing 2x blast 1 and leaving a lot of things at 1 health, this will often finish them for instance.  Her Energy Shield is good in practice, at it's worst it's equivalent to preventing a wound, but since you get to pick and choose when you use it, it will let you turn that 1 wound + bleed hit into a nothing, or stop that surge for 2 or for the needed accuracy.

 

Saska's support is very weak, so she really needs to leverage her extra mod slot for good damage, but since her extra action is the Unstable Device which doesn't synergize with her mod slot, on her own she's pretty weak.  She synergizies with Gideon or Murn who can give her the extra attacks to really take advantage of that mod slot properly.  Without them she's definitely on the weak end.

Edited by Union
subtrendy and Dark Reaper like this

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I am awaiting the rest, but i think Verena is too low in your tier list. But let's see your reasoning first.

 

My main problem by reading your post is that i got the Descent feeling when you judged the heroes. That they should absolutely destroy the Imperial troops in the first or second hero activation and cruising to victory. I played a mission on Wednesday and Saskas energy shield skill helped to prevent some serious conditions by blocking the damage or the surge. Your description of that skill sounded like it should make the hero invulnerable for that attack to be considered as buy worthy. 

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I think one of the main issues in your analysis (and how most people analyze the heroes) is that you over-value basic action economy. Sure, getting multiple actions for the cost of one is great, and it's great when you can get it.

 

But you can get "action economy" of a sort just by making your single action more effective. It's the difference between making two average attacks or one very powerful attack. Both can mean defeating a figure (or two) for the cost of one action, but which one is better depends on the situation and your overall strategy. Loku's and Saksa's tokens can keep you from having to use your "free" action to take a second attack at a figure who didn't quite die, for example.

 

Consider Biv and Gaarkhan - all other differences aside, if you compare Charge and Close and Personal, Charge seems a lot better. But they both take 1 action and 2 strain. If Biv uses a move to get to his target, and then uses Close and Personal to defeat his target, that's essentially the same as Gaarkhan using Charge and another attack to defeat the same enemy. There are differences of course, and I'm not arguing that Biv is as good as Gaarkhan - just that I don't think he's as bad as you think.

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Loku's recon tokens are amazing when used correctly. Verena using them to her advantage all the time in our games, also Saska's gadgets, to just help defeat those figures to chain up her special ability.

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My only issue with these kinds of lists is that each hero is considered separate, but you never play a campaign with just one hero (and preferably not with just 2 either). All of the synergy considerations are either ignored or mentioned in passing, but they are what are very important in the campaign.

 

If a hero can spend an action which saves the rebels two actions in the future, it's a big gain for the team, although when the hero is considered alone that hero would be a bitsize for a squad of Stormtroopers, or maybe more fittingly for the Nexu.

 

So, I'm still waiting for someone to write about how each hero can make the other heroes better in what they do. When that is considered, you will see that abilities you wrote off as unneeded and too expensive suddenly start to pay off with dividends. A little boost to the rebels through good synergy between abilities early in the campaign will give big dividends throughout the campaign. (Like Energy Shield preventing rebels becoming stunned or bleeding, thus saving them actions, or Combat Spotter allowing rebels to attack the figure they need to defeat to win the mission through enemy figures.)

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Also, thanks for all the comments so far. I'll love it if this turns into a good thought-provoking discussion. I'll reply more in depth tomorrow.

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My only issue with these kinds of lists is that each hero is considered separate, but you never play a campaign with just one hero (and preferably not with just 2 either). All of the synergy considerations are either ignored or mentioned in passing, but they are what are very important in the campaign.

 

If a hero can spend an action which saves the rebels two actions in the future, it's a big gain for the team, although when the hero is considered alone that hero would be a bitsize for a squad of Stormtroopers, or maybe more fittingly for the Nexu.

 

So, I'm still waiting for someone to write about how each hero can make the other heroes better in what they do. When that is considered, you will see that abilities you wrote off as unneeded and too expensive suddenly start to pay off with dividends. A little boost to the rebels through good synergy between abilities early in the campaign will give big dividends throughout the campaign. (Like Energy Shield preventing rebels becoming stunned or bleeding, thus saving them actions, or Combat Spotter allowing rebels to attack the figure they need to defeat to win the mission through enemy figures.)

 

This is exactly my thought!  It seems a lot of the complaints about the game always pick on something on its own without considering how its affected by everything else.  Like certain imperial classes are more powerful against some rebels, and weaker against others, or heroes always have to work together.

 

An example I've mentioned plenty of times is playing Hoth with the rebels being Saska, Loku, Diala and Verena...  and my players are using Verena as the primary attacker and EVERYBODY else for support/achieving objectives.  Saska's gadgets and Loku's recon tokens and Diala's re-rolls and battle meditation and force throw buff Verena amazingly...   Working together, in the one group, they wiped out 8 figures in one round...  It was a mission they couldn't win as long as an imperial was on a certain tile (won't say which mission, to not spoil it), and I'd moved all my groups there and thought I'd won the mission, and every single one of them was decimated by the end of the round...

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Also wanted to say (as my previous post was just a criticism) that I think this is still a really great analysis! Even though I disagree on some points I think you have some good thoughts and I appreciate the work you put into this! :)

angelman2 likes this

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Interesting. I think the tier depends to the group too.

 

Every hero should have a "tier" depending on the group, Like "Tier A, Best with:...".

 

i.e. Gideon is a good. Gideon with Mak is awesome.

 

Some hero are below their tier with heroes with they do not have synergism. Some other go over their tier with hero with they have good synergism.

 

I hope to see soon the rest of the guide.

rbaker1978 likes this

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I've started my  RtH campaign with MHD-19 last week and I am 3 missions in.

Let me tell you, having this hero is crazy good especially in the early campaign (if played well).

 

MHD-19 is playing alongside Gaarkhan, Verena and Loku,

1st activation of any round, start with MHD-19 digging for Artificial Stimulants (" When you suffer strain, place that strain on this card instead of your hero sheet. Discard this card when it has 4 or more strains.  During your activation, an adjacent hero may claim this card")  and pass it to those can do crazy abilities with 2 strains. In this case, it was given to Gaarkhan or Verena. A Gaarkhan starting with a pool of 8 Endurance to consume before being strained out is SCARY! And I can foresee Verena claiming this later in the campaign. On paper, with proper gear and class cards, she can do a dance of death with 2 attacks and 4 Close Quarters attacks in 1 activation. That just spells terror for mid to late game imperial player.

 

TL:DR

I would easily put MHD-19 in S+ Tier.

Also the Gaarkhan-:-Verena-:-MHD-19  combo should be S++

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So, things took a bit longer than I would have like to, but I have updated the third post with MHD-19 and Gaarkhan. I will try finishing Jyn and Verena later today.

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I'd love to hear what you think is the best group of heroes you can assemble. I'm about to start on the Return to Hoth campaign and the Imperial Player is an associate professor, so it's gonna be a really tough campaign. I'd be happy to get all the help I can get.

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I'd love to hear what you think is the best group of heroes you can assemble. I'm about to start on the Return to Hoth campaign and the Imperial Player is an associate professor, so it's gonna be a really tough campaign. I'd be happy to get all the help I can get.

I plan to make the next part about picking a party. I don't think you can go wrong with Gideon, Diala, Fenn and either Verena, Mak or Garkhaan.

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I'd love to hear what you think is the best group of heroes you can assemble. I'm about to start on the Return to Hoth campaign and the Imperial Player is an associate professor, so it's gonna be a really tough campaign. I'd be happy to get all the help I can get.

I plan to make the next part about picking a party. I don't think you can go wrong with Gideon, Diala, Fenn and either Verena, Mak or Garkhaan.

 

 

 

I'd love to hear what you think is the best group of heroes you can assemble. I'm about to start on the Return to Hoth campaign and the Imperial Player is an associate professor, so it's gonna be a really tough campaign. I'd be happy to get all the help I can get.

I plan to make the next part about picking a party. I don't think you can go wrong with Gideon, Diala, Fenn and either Verena, Mak or Garkhaan.

 

 

Cool. Thanks.

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