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Pollux85

Hypothetical IA 2nd edition

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The X-wing announcement got me thinking, if there were to be a 2nd edition of IA, what would you actually want to see in it? 

I'm not talking about something as big as a new Core Box based around the prequels or the new trilogy. I'm just thinking about new mechanics or something that would seriously alter what's already out there, whether that's Campaign or Skirmish. 

When I got into IA I was honestly looking for an RPG that just really held my hand every step of the way as a DM. Right now IA has the RPG depth of Diablo. So if we got an IA 2nd edition, I'd want to see maybe 5 or 6 attributes for each character, more open ended and less combat exclusive missions (similar to what's on the app), more varied terrain, a cover or stealth mechanic of some sort (the HotE bubble shields were great, but I want more characters to be able to use them), and a revision of the agenda cards mechanic. Too often I find myself using the same agenda sets over and over because most cards are too situational to know if they'd be useful. They rarely turn the tide, and when they do it feels like it took so much work to get them that it's not satisfying to have them only be used once. 

And of course a new campaign that incorporated all these changes and addressed snowballing. 

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Posted (edited)

Regardless of new features, to me the big thing would be integration of  the 1.0 miniatures (like what Descent 2.0 did with the conversion kit).  If I had to start over because they resized all the minis to Legion size, I'm out.  I'm not rebuying everything again. 

Edited by keschnell

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11 minutes ago, keschnell said:

Regardless of new features, to me the big thing would be integration of  the 1.0 miniatures (like what Descent 2.0 did with the conversion kit).  If I had to start over because they resized all the minis to Legion size, I'm out.  I'm not rebuying everything again. 

Let alone paint everything again!

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21 minutes ago, thestag said:

I don't want to see a second edition of IA.

I see the release of X-Wing 2.0 to be a cash grab of the highest offense. XW is currently their best seller, I don't see how this doesn't offend the majority of their base players...

I get that, but I wouldn't call a box full of revised deployment cards, agenda cards, character sheets, tokens or stickers to help implement new mechanics, and mission maps to be a cash grab. That would take real work on FFG's part, and they can't just post all that online for free like a revised rule set. 

I guess what I'm asking is, what would you need to see in a 2nd edition box to have it not be considered a cash grab?

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20 minutes ago, keschnell said:

Regardless of new features, to me the big thing would be integration of  the 1.0 miniatures (like what Descent 2.0 did with the conversion kit).  If I had to start over because they resized all the minis to Legion size, I'm out.  I'm not rebuying everything again. 

Amen. The last thing I want is a more stormtroopers, or a bunch of First Order stormtroopers with the exact same deployment card abilities as the normal stormtroopers.

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I'm pretty happy without a second addition as it stands - I'm still not caught up with this one! Having said that, it could be fun if they introduced more classes into the characters. Maybe something along the lines of engineer / sapper, academic / scientist, or .... dancer / musician (?).

Max Rebo - smuggler / musician

Cost: 2

Health 4, Speed 2, Attack: - Defence: White Die

Special Action: Dance Floor - push each small figure within 3 spaces 1 space

Murder on the Dance Floor - If you are defeated by a small figure, that figure is also defeated.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Eddie said:

A more immersive campaign.

It's difficult... the choice was to use brand new heroes instead of canonical movie heroes. This destroyed any chance of having charismatic characters with a deep developed background. What I'd like to see are imperial and scum heroes and rebel overlord.

I agree that deeper storytelling and more RPG elements like in the app can add a lot to the campaign. Less combat and more storytelling also mitigate snowballing in combat power of the 2 factions.

Edited by Golan Trevize

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1 hour ago, thestag said:

I don't want to see a second edition of IA.

I see the release of X-Wing 2.0 to be a cash grab of the highest offense. XW is currently their best seller, I don't see how this doesn't offend the majority of their base players...

I agree with this.  The second I saw the article, the song Send Me Your Money by Suicidal Tendencies started going through my head. 

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I don't see the point. The campaign is the campaign, Skirmish is the side with the problems,

If you want your campaign (I'm assuming that's pretty much all you play because that's all you've mentioned) then you should be cheering for growth in the skirmish side. I've already given them an easy system (money and production wise) to exponentially grow the skirmish side of the game but I really don't think they're interested, hence the Legion off-shoot.

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1 hour ago, thestag said:

I see the release of X-Wing 2.0 to be a cash grab of the highest offense. XW is currently their best seller, I don't see how this doesn't offend the majority of their base players...

I don't want to disagree with you, but I do.  The problem with X-Wing at this point that it's out of control.  The make something new and break something else, they try to fix it and they ruin something.  The FAQ is bigger than the RRG, I feel like half the cards I have are errata'd to the point where they don't do what they say they do, and the top tables at each event all end up having at least one ship in common.  They could continue the cycle of break and fix, call it quits with the game in a bad state, or do this - overhaul everything.

As an X-Wing player, I don't want 2.0 for various reasons (money being right at the top of that list); but it's really hard to say it's unwelcome.

I'll probably just stick to 1.0 and be done with it, I only play casually anyway.

Now, on topic:

I've always been a little bothered that there have been mechanics in IA that are essentially exclusive to certain campaigns and the corresponding characters/classes.  @Pollux85 touched on this in his original post mentioning the bubble shields, but I'll use another example: power tokens.  Fenn or Verena will never be able to assign themselves a power token without equipment from HotE.  I'd like to see things like that rolled back to the previous existing content of the game.

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32 minutes ago, Golan Trevize said:

It's difficult... the choice was to use brand new heroes instead of canonical movie heroes. This destroyed any chance of having charismatic characters with a deep developed background. What I'd like to see are imperial and scum heroes and rebel overlord.

I agree that deeper storytelling and more RPG elements like in the app can add a lot to the campaign. Less combat and more storytelling also mitigate snowballing in combat power of the 2 factions.

Doesn't matter that much for the heroes. The players will always make the characters their own. I was mostly thinking about more charismatic characters for the imperial player. That way, whatever the character the players use, the world will feel more real. Adding a few more RPG elements will create a better immersion for the players instead of being a mostly tactical combat game.

What would work better is having thrawn or vader woven through the story of the campaign instead of "Weiss" or "Sorin". Having more recognizable characters join the players or fight against them might go a long way.

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Posted (edited)

I see a lot of really great suggestions for improving the campaigns (more narrative focus, more interactivity within missions, etc.) but to me none of those are things that require a second edition.  In fact that app has already proven that we can do a fair bit of that with the current ruleset.  Just release a new campaign guide with those elements and you're set - no need for a new edition of anything.

 

Likewise, I don't really see any need for a new edition in skirmish either.  I agree that it sucks that there are lots of old characters that can't be played competitively, but it's easy enough to fix that within the existing rules framework if they wanted to spend the resources doing it (either as one-off attachments, like we've seen already, or with a big skirmish upgrade box that I've seen people wish for).  I'd also really love to have an app like they announced for X-Wing that lets them change the value of cards that are over/under-played on the fly without needing to release physical errata.  None of what I've just mentioned requires a new edition, though.

 

Now I'm not an X-Wing player, but from what I've been able to gather the need for this was partly there because certain upgrades/tactics/ships combo'd so well together that they became known as a clearly dominant strategy. Worse still, that dominant strategy took away some parts of the game that were otherwise fun (e.g. 360 degree firing arcs took away the need to fly well and guess what your opponent would do to a certain degree).  We don't really have anything like that in IA skirmish. 

The closest parallels that I can think of are Zillo Technique for the imperials (you're never not going to take it and all new units must be designed with that in mind) and 3P0/Gideon for the Rebels and to a lesser extent mercs (again, you always take them and there's nothing they can really do to change that without releasing something even more powerful).  Yes it's not great that there are auto-includes, and yes if given another shot they could probably be better-designed using new mechanics like power tokens, but it's not a game-breaking problem and (more importantly) I don't find that it really sucks the fun out of the game like people were finding with the X-Wing issues. 

Edited by ManateeX

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3 minutes ago, ManateeX said:

I see a lot of really great suggestions for improving the campaigns (more narrative focus, more interactivity within missions, etc.) but to me none of those are things that require a second edition.  In fact that app has already proven that we can do a fair bit of that with the current ruleset.  Just release a new campaign guide with those elements and you're set - no need for a new edition of anything.

True.but that's the only thing I could think off. So I guess we don't need a second edition as long as we get new narrative campaigns 😉

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, ManateeX said:

I see a lot of really great suggestions for improving the campaigns (more narrative focus, more interactivity within missions, etc.) but to me none of those are things that require a second edition.  In fact that app has already proven that we can do a fair bit of that with the current ruleset.  Just release a new campaign guide with those elements and you're set - no need for a new edition of anything.

 

 

Agreed. If calling it a 2nd Edition is a problem, FFG can call it something else. Between the IA app and the X-Wing 2.0 app, it's clear FFG has the tech to give the player tools to customize their play options. But as it stands right now, they haven't. What I really want is something that gives the more interactive and narrative play experience of the app, but that keeps the Imperial player as the one making those choices instead of the app's AI.

Of course we can do all this on our own, just as we can make up our own maps and deployment cards and don't need to buy new expansions to come up with new units. But I'd totally pay to have FFG quality materials that did it for me. Or an official document that I knew had been play tested and spelled everything out. 

Edited by Pollux85

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I actually just finished writing an article about this recently, but here's my basic principle on it: if we get a new core set, it has to be rewarding to both new and old fans.  Don't just take the core set, change the text and rules, and give us new sculpts of stormtroopers, trandos, and Diala.  Give us all new stuff.  New heroes.  New units.  New missions.  

 

Basically, make a brand new big boxed set that also works as a solid entry point into the game.  Anything else would be an insult to long term fans, in my opinion.

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Separate campaigns for imperial and scum factions, so we could play as a squad of ISB agents of bounty hunters.

More narrative focus in campaign mode.

A new skirmish mode where models can gain experience, level up or even die over the course of an OP season.

Separate unit limits for campaign and skirmish printed on the cards.

double sided deployment cards and enough cards in the box expansions.

Replace the map sections with a book of maps for quicker setup time and more complex campaigns.

More fluff.

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If more is going to be added to the campaign, should it increase the complexity of each mission with more game mechanics? I haven't played any of the missions outside of the Core Set. With just what was provided with that, I felt like there's enough for both the players and the Imperial player to do within a single mission. 

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I could do with the class system from Descent. For example if a character is a healer they can choose from Apothecary, Bard, Disciple, Prophet, Spiritspeaker, or Watchman. Basically their character sheet would be the same, but they would be able to swap up XP card or even multi-class (sort of). 

Other than that I would also be happy with recosted cards and a full campaign book.

One thing I am not a huge fan of is the Agenda cards. Every agenda card that is a deplete (once per mission) is far and away much more powerful than all of the other types. Rather than the influence system I think the imperial side should have both a class deck and a "dirty tricks" deck full of one use sucker punches. The agenda decks don't do a good job providing flavor. For example I could do the military might class deck and a Weiss' pursuit trick deck. The Weiss' pursuit deck would allow me to bring more vehicles. Or I could bring a subversive tactics paired with an Agent Blaise deck that gives the Imperials a spy theme. Or mix them up. Problem is the blister pack approach doesn't really support this and leaves the villains really feeling shoehorned in or vital to the core campaign and other villains awkward (a la Dengar in return to Hoth). :(

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I'm of the opinion that the current game doesn't need, and will never get, a second edition. I could see them relaunching the game system for the Clone Wars or sequel era eventually, and that could be a place for them to tweak the rules to account for all the lessons they've learned. But FFG currently seem to be very reluctant to touch eras outside of the Galactic Civil War... that may change. X-Wing 2.0 has separated the First Order and Resistance from the Empire and Rebellion, and the inclusion of new mechanics for Force powers and droid pilots has some folks wondering if they might be preparing for eventual Clone Wars updates. Legion design also allows for the possibility of new, additional factions.

I'd like to see them keep releasing expansions, of course. I had the idea of a homebrew expansion spanning Jeddha, Sullust, and Mustafar. Tiles would have an exterior lava environment on one side, interior mines on the other. Heroes would be a Sullustan engineer, a Guardian of the Whills; with a Saw Gerrera ally, Imperial engineer villain group, and some repurposed Clone Wars droids as another villain group. Something like that.

Another idea that could be cool would be replacing the side mission deck with a dedicated side mission narrative. Each narrative would have a given number of side missions designed to be played in order and integrated into a large campaign. This would reduce the feeling of the side mission interludes distracting from the main story, or feeling like a bunch of isolated and unimportant jaunts to random planets. Treat them as a subplot that's running alongside the main story mission, allowing you to build a better narrative and get some more interaction with particular allies or villains. You can do this to a small degree with Twin Shadows and Bespin already, I guess.

Finally, I think it would be cool to have a campaign played from the point of view of the Empire (Jabba's Realm already gave us bounty hunter-esque heroes and a mercenary based campaign). This would be pretty difficult, as you could only draw components from that box and the Core Set (which comes with a small number of Rebel figures, most of whom are named characters). I think a "Collapse of the Empire" campaign would make the most sense, here... set it on Endor during the events of Return of the Jedi. The "heroes" could be an Officer, a Scout Trooper rifleman, a Storm Trooper, and a Royal Guard. The Rebel "villain groups" could add Ewoks, some more generic Rebellion troopers, maybe some forest monsters, and stuff like that. The Core Set gives you access to Han/Chewie (perfect for the narrative as "villains"), and the Core Set heroes might even make an appearance as part of the Endor attack force (Gideon, Fenn, Mak all would fit). I envision a shorter narrative that includes the Battle of Endor, stealing something from Darth Vader's funeral pyre, and winds up in a trip to Dagobah. Because yes, Yoda would be a Rebel ally (villain?) pack for the expansion -- or rather, Yoda's ghost. Yoda as a force apparition would make his inclusion in other missions through the ally rules more sensible, and here it could lead to some sort of campaign showdown where the Imperial heroes are trying to take some artifact they got from Vader (kyber crystal? glove? his helmet?) and use it to corrupt a site of powerful Force energy on Dagobah. Yoda's ghost shows up to stop them. I mean, it's a weird story, but no weirder than the other ones we've gotten! And it covers a lot of ground, including Yoda and Endor and Ewoks.

I'm not sure any of this rambling addressed the OP, but these are some crazy ideas I have for the future of Imperial assault.

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Posted (edited)

To be honest (I'm a huge fan of campaign) I must admit that skirmish is the real game. If you go down the competitive path it can provide wide tactical depth, it needs player preparation and study of mechanics, it can ensure hundreds of hours of gaming and ideally infinite longevity like chess. Campaign suffers of design and production issues, also competition with Descent and many similar other games. Skirmish is the game, campaign should be considered just a plus. Unfortunately what dictates priority is marketing and that means campaign. It's a shame that skirmish is by design a much better and innovative game than campaign and regardless it gets polluted and constrained by all sort of campaign design requirements. I prefer campaign as a genre but I can't negate skirmish is just great in current meta and by itself would deserve all the money invested into expansions and packs.

Edited by Golan Trevize

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ManateeX said:

I see a lot of really great suggestions for improving the campaigns (more narrative focus, more interactivity within missions, etc.) but to me none of those are things that require a second edition.

You actually want the 2nd edition. Simple reason is that an expansion can give you all of that as an addition that can only be partially introduced in previously existing content. A 2ed can provide you with an upgrade box that can bring all the brand new and shiny rules and fixes into campaigns that you already own. It must be a way to rejuvenate and upgrade what we already have, rather than a way to push economy through marketing. I imagine a 2ed that will fix all cards, both skirmish figures and campaign heroes, it has to armonize rule changes with all those FAQs and different wording that is misleading. As a plus you get rules opening to all the new ideas that people were mentioning in this thread.

Edited by Golan Trevize

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Also, regarding the apparent lack of need for a 2nd edition just for campaign...

 

That's pretty much exactly what already happened for Descent, so I wouldn't take it off the table so easily. 

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Is there any rules that should/could be redone? Any major changes that could warrant a 2nd ed? Any house rules that improves the game, which could make the basis for an IA 2nd ed? Or, is IA perfect as it is?

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