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Celonius

Is now a good time to start with this game?

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Since it came out in 2015 I've always had a lot of interest in starting to play this game, however for economic issues I was not asked to allow to start buying games, expansions, blisters, and others (I like to collect well the games with all their components).

My idea is to buy this month the main box, and from the following to buy an expansion and a blister of characters per month. Max would leave me 50-100 per month, so in a year I have a good material to enjoy.

The question is that right now I can afford it, however I am afraid that after these years the game is not so popular anymore, there is a risk that in a short time it will be discontinued or that a 2nd edition will be released as happened with X-Wing.

 

Anyone who is involved in the game has some intuition of how the game will go in the medium-long term?

 

By the way, with the App that you got, can you play your solo against the App or do you need more people?

 

Greetings.

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What are you buying the game for? To paint, to play the campaign, to play skirmish with friends, to play skirmish in tournaments, to play co-op/solo, a combination?

1 hour ago, Celonius said:

By the way, with the App that you got, can you play your solo against the App or do you need more people?.

You can play solo. You need to play with at least 2 heroes (I always play with 4) though.

In the long term the game will stop getting content like the majority of games. FFG said in their latest In Flight Report they're concentrating on the app, and we just got the Return to Hoth app campaign. What's next and when it happens is anyone's guess.

(I don't see a need for a 2nd edition. If it were to happen, I don't think it needs to go beyond rewriting part the rules with the amassed experience we have gained through the years.)

Edited by a1bert

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I can't see this going into a second edition the same way X-Wing did, as far as playing Skirmish goes.  Beyond rebalancing the deployment cards, they'd have to release figure packs and expansion boxes at a pretty aggressive pace to pull that off.

In terms of a "second edition" for the campaign side, Imperial Assault is basically the fourth edition of Doom (2004), so it would lead one to wonder what major improvements would be made to the campaign side to warrant a whole new edition that would get people to buy in rather than play with what they already have.  The app is the stop-gap there I think, providing the developers with easy ways to tweak deployment groups to be more in-line with whatever the scenario requires.  Much less overhead than releasing all these physical components all over again to a probably underwhelming response in a crowded market of dungeon crawlers.

It sounds like you are looking at playing the campaign, and potentially solo, so pick up the core and either Jabba's Realm or Hoth as your budget allows, play through the first campaign, then start doing the other 2 campaigns that align with the expansion boxes.  By the time you've played through all of that, you'll have had many 10's of hours of fun game play.  Get a couple of friends together and try running the Core campaign and the Hoth/Jabba campaigns and you'll have doubled your entertainment value without spending an extra cent.

From there, pick up boxes as you see fit if you have a play group (it only really takes one other person to play the opposite side), and if FFG adds another campaign, make that your next box purchase for sure.

As for the skirmish side's long term viability from current year, always in motion the future is.  Let's see what they say after Worlds in March.  Maybe when they do their Hyperspace Report this year, it'll actually be about all the Star Wars games and not just an X-Wing ****-off like last year, and we'll hear more.

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Totally not worth getting into... it’s not available on their own site!  The game’s dead!

(sorry, inside joke.  We see a thread at least monthly like this one: https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/284119-everything-is-out-of-stock/)

Seriously though, the app is a good indication that the physical products will continue to be produced for sometime.  Even if they don’t make anything new, there’s a ton of existing content.

 

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It's definitely worth it if you want to play Campaign in any form or fashion- it won't change and it's always there as long as you can find a few folks to play it with you. There's so much content that it will last you for quite some time to get through it all (I mean there's 6 expansions plus the base, plus all the character packs and even those each include 1 campaign mission). The number of campaign missions to be played has got to be in the 100s at this point, especially if you include the app (there's a few good fan-made ones as well I hear). And then there's the option to play the App instead, or you can find a number of folks through Discord that may be willing to do an online campaign through Vassal. Also if you're into painting, the minis in this game are a blast to pain.

If your interest was strictly for competitive skirmish, I'd be a little more hesitant (this is coming from someone who has placed at Regionals and Store Championships) right now because you will need to buy a ton of stuff to have a top tier list, and Spectre Cell is dominating the meta right now. Skirmish is an amazing system though, and if you're just wanting to play it casually you're in for a good time no matter what expansions/packs you decide to buy.

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Pretty much what people have said;

campaign with friends is good, and there are many to play through.

solo or with friends on app. Get core, then Jabbas Realm Or Hoth.

skirmish; be wary. Will only be as good as your local scene.

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Yeah.

If you want to play campaign mode, solo (with app) or with friends (with or without app), you're golden, get involved.

If you want to play skirmish... it's a great game but a really, really bad time to buy in.

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1 hour ago, Bitterman said:

Yeah.

If you want to play campaign mode, solo (with app) or with friends (with or without app), you're golden, get involved.

If you want to play skirmish... it's a great game but a really, really bad time to buy in.

bad time to buy in why?

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9 minutes ago, Celonius said:

bad time to buy in why?

I’m not a tournament player, but I think a couple things (just from following the community):

- finding any kind of regular local skirmish game can be difficult depending on where you live

- attendance was down at many of the regional organized play events, making some to question the future of FFG still promoting and hosting IA organized skirmish events

- the latest release that everyone is playing is the Rebels Spectre Cell list, which has kind of broke the Meta. Many people are finding it boring to play against

- we don’t know what items if any are in the pipeline for future release. For competitive skirmish having new cardboard items is necessary as a new “puzzle” to solve and is a large part of the draw to play. Without anything imminent - it puts the future of the skirmish game in an unknown state

 

Having said all of that, for app/campaign play there is a TON of physical content already available and it’s reasonable to assume more app campaigns will be on the way. I just introduced a group of people to the game a few months back, and they absolutely loved it and are eagerly awaiting doing another campaign. 

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Been playing since Early 2017 (Campaign foremost), and its still one of our groups favourites to get on the table.

We've yet to play all of the expansion (couple left to go) and even if the expansions dry up, there are loads of missions we haven't even touched, and will likely weave together as some sort of alternate campaign. Plus there are loads of elements I intend to patch together as a massive RPG (although thats gonna take a while and when I find the time).

App is also great fun, only 3 campaigns on there so far, but you can play solo and hopefully more to come. Personally I love this game, and you've got a wealth of stuff to choose and play through, if you've had the bug to get it, go for it ;)

If you're a bit uncertain, maybe pick up just the core set, with that you can at least try the first app campaign and see if you like it (some rules differ from the main game, but it will give you a feel for how it plays). But full player co-op with the main game (not app) and me as GM is still our preferred set-up.

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Yeah,  I'll just echo that the skirmish mode is absolutely fantastic.  I played only campaign for a few years, then played one local tournament for fun and got completely hooked.  I've barely touched the campaign since and I spend lunch times building skirmish lists.

The downside, as has been mentioned, is that a lot of local skirmish scenes seem to be dying out a bit as content releases have slowed down.  Mine is one of those - I've started playing online using Vassal, and although it's still really fun it's not quite the same as a face-to-face game.  I honestly don't see a new edition coming (there aren't really any big rule changes needed IMO), so I don't think you'll need to worry about anything you buy going obsolete X-wing style, but it's just a matter of having someone around to play with.  

So if you can find a local group or you have enough interested friends to start your own group, I'd still recommend picking it up for skirmish.  If not, though, (and as much as it pains me to say it since this game is so great) you might want to hold off on it unless you really want to go all the way in and start practicing online, travelling for tournaments, etc.

 

Also: campaign is also great and it never goes out of style (again, I really doubt there's a new edition on the horizon).  If you're interested in that side of the game I'd say pick it up for sure.

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Copying from the Reddit discussion about the future availability of the expansions:

FFG said in the previous In Flight Report they are concentrating on the app, and have followed by the recently released Return to Hoth app campaign.

Selling expansions is the sole reason for creating new campaigns for the free Legends of the Alliance App, so it doesn't make sense to stop reprints. There might be temporary shortages of individual packs, but certainly not shortage of stuff to purchase.

Losing Imperial Assault due to losing their Star Wars license would affect much more than Imperial Assault. (Although we don't know what FFG's agreement with Hasbro contains.)

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On 2/3/2019 at 4:39 PM, Celonius said:

bad time to buy in why?

Without new releases, people lose interest. People who aren't interested don't play games or enter tournaments. IA games nights or tournaments where only three people turn up don't run again.

Also, the current metagame is horribly dull (Spectre Cell nearly everywhere, winning nearly everything)... less of an issue for a new player because everything's shiny when it's new, but existing players (including me!) are dropping out of playing as a result, further exacerbating the problem.

All this on top of the problems IA skirmish has always had (despite being a fantastic game) - minimum buy-in, product availability, unit/card balance...

If it's just you and a mate that might not matter (you can ignore "the meta" if you're only playing between yourselves), but unless my local community is enormously out of step with the rest of the world for some reason, in the wider player base it's hard to find anyone interested in playing either friendly or tournament skirmish games.

So, it's a bad time to buy in, because you might never get to use what you buy.

Campaign, though - can't recommend it enough.

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I'm going to throw in my two cents to offer a different perspective.

I'm primarily a skirmish player. If you're only looking to play competitive skirmish, then fine. Listen to Bitterman. He seems to sum up the feelings of the majority of competitive skirmish players. (You really need to stop being bitter, man. 😉

I'll reiterate the comments that skirmish is a fantastically fun game mode. I personally love playing skirmish casually. I like when players purposefully try different lists and combos and then take the time to enjoy a match or two in a relaxed environment. That's where the fun lies for me. Building thematic lists that are still viable is particularly my favorite part of skirmish like a Jedi or Sith list, a Han/Chewie list, a Mandalorian list, a Trandoshan list, an Emperor/Vader list, a Jabba/Boba Fett list, an IG/all droid list, an all bounty hunter list, etc. Skirmish is also a fantastic way to play your favorite Star Wars characters. Cameos in the campaign are cool, but I actually get to select and play iconic characters in skirmish and they're all pretty fun in their own right. I basically want to paint the picture that skirmish is a TON of fun and is not strictly a competitive mode or broken.

Now, I'm going to play devil's advocate for the campaign cause everyone is praising it for good reason. However, it's not perfect (no, skirmish isn't either) and I want to give you a complete picture like you've been getting with skirmish.

First and primary challenge is getting the same group of people together multiple weeks in a row for sometimes a few months. That's a big commitment when you have life going on around you. There are some unbalanced missions and some that seem downright unbeatable. That can happen to both the Empire and the Rebels. Snowballing is an issue where one side can get very powerful if they win multiple missions in a row. There's more than a few threads on these forums concerning house rules and ways to combat this effect. Some Rebel heroes and Imperial agenda decks are definitely more powerful than others too, so proper selection is a huge part of game setup. Lastly, you might run into the issue of gamer experience. Some players are more experienced in tabletop games and others aren't meaning the table can get lopsided. If your Imperial player, who is essentially the game master, isn't very good or they are exceptionally good and doesn't make the effort to keep the game balanced, no one is going to have an enjoyable experience.

Even with all of that though, the campaign is the bread and butter of this game and it's super entertaining. You'll definitely get plenty of mileage and many a good time out of it.

Overall, Imperial Assault is a exceptionally fun game! It's three games in one and I think it's totally worth the value of picking up.

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On 2/2/2019 at 6:31 PM, cleardave said:

As for the skirmish side's long term viability from current year, always in motion the future is. 

Why did I read that in a Yoda voice?

Yes, this game has been "dying" since I started playing it years ago. Whenever I think it's dead because of lack of content, I think about Armada players. They have gone through a greater drought than us. Frankly Armada is a wicked game for trilogy purists like myself. 

I've always maintained that IA is the best value of FFG star wars games. You can play campaign with friends or by yourself using the app. You can also play skirmish with a friend or competitively while using some pretty iconic Star wars characters with uniquely characteristic traits (see Greedo slow on the draw). 

Is it as huge as X-wing or Destiny? No. Is it being pumped up like Legion? No. Is it dead? No. 

Is it handicapped due to FFG's relations with Hasbro and Disney? Absolutely. Hasbro has Star Wars rights to board games, so IA has been a source of sticky grey stuff. Disney wants to dictate ALL of the Star Wars universe's narratives. So, IA campaign gets slowed down in swampy Degobah water. 

Rest assured, if it dies, you can always play campaign, or design your own skirmish maps/scenarios. While Armada and X-wing may appear to be stronger tournament games, they really rely on playing with others who own equal amounts of stuff.   

Edited by NeverBetTheFett

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2 hours ago, NeverBetTheFett said:

Disney wants to dictate ALL of the Star Wars universe's narratives. So, IA campaign gets slowed down in swampy Degobah water. 

Sidebar, I wonder if that's had an effect on any of the recent campaigns (spoilers below for HotE and ToL.

 

Seems like canon is creeping just a bit into recent story missions, particularly the AT-TE one.  I wonder if Disney is wanting for their dungeon crawler to be more canon-friendly lately?

 

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The beauty of the game is that there is no need to paint or build if you choose this option. If you only buy the big box set and the box expansions, you get the tokens to represent all the characters/figures that are in blisters.

For the base cost of the game, you get a campaign that can be played many times over with different characters which in turn lead to different story arcs, you get the rules and a start for skirmish, and with the app, a pretty decent solo-play.

You also get to hang out and converse with cool cats like a1bert, subtrendy2, and NeverBetTheFett,.

X-Wing became bloated and cumbersome, that's why they had to go the 2nd edition. Imperial Assault is some time off for that situation.

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1 hour ago, TheEldarGuy said:

X-Wing became bloated and cumbersome, that's why they had to go the 2nd edition. Imperial Assault is some time off for that situation.

That's a really good point.  For the sheer amount of content that this game has (and it's a lot) there really isn't a ton of bloat.  Some errata here and there, but really just for the skirmish scene.  I've gotten other games that get completely bloated with a single expansion, so it's really pretty incredible how streamlined IA still feels.  

 

And totally agreed that we have a nice little community here. :)

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5 hours ago, NeverBetTheFett said:

Why did I read that in a Yoda voice?

I mean, it was a Yoda reference...

Quote

Is it handicapped due to FFG's relations with Hasbro and Disney? Absolutely. Hasbro has Star Wars rights to board games, so IA has been a source of sticky grey stuff. Disney wants to dictate ALL of the Star Wars universe's narratives. So, IA campaign gets slowed down in swampy Dagobah water.

FIFY

Also, this is the real testament to IA's worth; the powers that be are doing everything in their power to essentially make the game fail, and yet here we are.  It's like the "Major League" of tabletop games.

For you millennials and younger on here, Major League is what we used to call "a movie".

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