Imperial Assault: Jabba’s Realm Campaign Startup
Starting a campaign of any kind is an act of faith: in the other players you’ll be locked in a room with; in the system that will hopefully reward your investment in time; and that the experience of a linked series of sessions will be more rewarding than a string of one-off games. Recently, the Thursday Night Game Group got the Jabba’s Realm campaign for Imperial Assault underway, and we were not disappointed!
Without undue prompting (well, OK, I did send scans of the new heroes and class decks in advance) the guys chose all three of the new heroes from Jabba’s Realm. Davith Elso from the Bespin Gambit small box rounded out the four.
With a late cancellation we ended up running Trespass, the first mission, with three players who each got the Heroic reward card giving their heroes +3 health. The players opted not to play the fourth character between them as this was their first game with new heroes and they’d already have their hands full learning their new Rebel characters. Almost invariably, we have five people at the table but in cases like this Imperial Assault handles adjustments to the number of players so well. I decided long ago that absent players get any XP rewards and the group gets four players worth of credits at the end of the mission in the rare event that there’s a no-show. It keeps the campaign balanced and on track.
As is our custom, each Rebel hero got one XP that had to be spent before the first mission began. Not only is this more fun all around but it has helped us balance what can seem at times like an Imperial advantage. As Imperial GM, I’ve found this has worked out nicely for our campaigns. Only once did I have to give the Empire a free XP to play catch up.
Onar Koma was the sole hero who remained unwounded during Trespass. My strategy of going after the other heroes worked well for a while with two heroes wounded by turn four (of six). Koma then proved too tough a nut to crack. I never even got him down far enough that he needed to rest to make sure he didn’t get flipped. Mark chose Get Down as his initial 1 XP card and, despite some poor rolling, Koma shunted damage to play the role of bodyguard several times. Rush was a game changer, particularly on the final turn when Mark created space for John to win the game on the final die roll of the game.
Where Koma didn’t do as much damage as I thought he would, instead offering board control, John’s Vinto Hreeda damage output was surprisingly high. Many a Stormtrooper died by Vinto’s death-by-a-thousand cuts. With Shot on the Run as the initial 1 XP card John eventually won the game for the Rebels through extra movement and reliably finishing off wounded Empire troops. Re-rolls on his pistol attacks, Thread the Needle, and Boltslinger softened up or finished off whole units of Stormtroopers.
For reference, here’s Shyla Varad, the third hero from Jabba’s Realm. More thoughts on her once she gets some playtime.
Davith Elso was a force to be reckoned with in our previous Hoth campaign. Despite getting wounded first in the Trespass mission, Seth (the talented painter who lends us his painted minis) proved ‘Hawkbat’ is going to contribute this campaign as well. In addition to an astounding run of cancel results on the white defense die which kept Stormtroopers busy for almost three whole turns (hear the Emperor’s opinion on the white die here) the Elusive Agent bobbed and weaved his way through and around the bad guys to help clear a path to victory on the final turn.
As GM, I followed suit with one of the two Imperial Class Deck pulled from Jabba’s Realm, Hutt Mercenaries. Both new class decks fit the criteria of keeping campaigns more fun by allowing more, not less, of the good stuff into the game. Having a bounty token on the Rebels led to some fun banter and I could tell the way the bounty tokens were returned to me at the end of the mission that they indeed made people feel hunted. The starter card Wanted: Dead put through the final wounding hit twice but I can see the bonus surge for things like Bleed and Stun being more useful in the mid to late campaign. With the Rancor and Dewback joining earlier creatures like the Nexu, and Weequay Pirates joining hard hitters like Trandoshan Hunters, I’m thinking Savage Motivation will be my next purchase.
Jabba’s Realm: Trespass Mission Spoilers Below
The Trespass opening mission was tense all the way through. There was just enough threat to keep recycling the new Jet Troopers who are the definition of maneuverable with the mobile rule. Eventually they harried the heroes from behind mercilessly while several other new additions put up a substantial roadblock between the key objective and the heroes. Eventually, the Rebels were able to punch through but, once again, it came down to the very last dice roll of the game to decide it. Vinto Hreeda used his Shot on the Run to finish off the last defending Stormtrooper and activate the objective. Great game!
It seems our faith has been justified. I for one am really looking forward to the side mission to follow and I know the Rebels left feeling beat up but elated at pulling off a victory which seemed really unlikely at the start of the final round. Below is the modified campaign tracker we’ll be using throughout to keep it all straight.
Other posts in the Imperial Assault Series include:
How have you been enjoying your Imperial Assault campaigns and skirmish these days? Is it a favourite of your game group? Do you have balance issues?