Imperial Assault

Imperial Assault

Nine of eleven games into the campaign mode and we’re still discovering major rules. As in total game changers.

I hate this. I reject that I’m just not…whatever, smart or attentive or thorough, enough, to figure out the rules faster. FFG designs fun games but their usability is getting worse and worse.

I think some of it is that their design philosophy is…I don’t know. Nonlinear? Honestly their games remind me a little of RPG rules, which traditionally are not presented in a linear fashion. More like, here’s the combat chapter for when it’s time to fight. A chapter for this and that subsystem, and they don’t need to be taught in any particular order because the rules don’t build on one another.

The other thing is that they’ve taken exception-based rules to a new level. There are precious few underlying principles that will guide you to the right answer. Or if they’re there,I can’t tell because hardly any of the game relies on them.

It’s exhausting and frustrating and maybe even a little humiliating for us,a table of smart and experienced players, to keep discovering important new wrinkles. It makes for a game comprised entirely of edge cases.

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12 thoughts on “Imperial Assault”

  1. That is the FFG way. I played like, a half dozen games of Arkham Horror before my friend who owned it actually knew how all the rules worked.

    And of course each discovery he made made it harder for us to win.

  2. In our case, the rebel heroes have been walking all over the Imperial player (me). I couldn’t be sure of the game was deliberately skewed toward the heroes, so I didn’t question and investigate what seemed like easy assumptions to make. Assuming there are underlying principles you can fall back on, which I think might not be the case.

    So each time we uncover something, it ratchets up the rebel difficulty. But now they’ve won so many missions that the heroes are completely blinged out.

    Everyone says they’d like to run the campaign with the rules fully understood. And everyone says they’d be perfectly fine never playing it again.

    I think I’ll hold onto it a while and see if the skirmish game is better.

  3. It’s also a very easy mode for me to fall back on: the collaborative GM, happy that the players feel heroic, not pressing my mechanical advantages.

  4. Yeah, I’m definitely not a killer GM and tend to run games with the intent to make sure everyone has fun, so that might be difficult for me.

  5. This is the Jyn side mission: she goes in, calls out a Transhodan from the casino and hilarity ensues.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that the side missions don’t appear to scale up very well. They might be hard-ish early but they’re a cakewalk later. I believe this was mission # uh…8? 

  6. If you can somehow get the rules right, and the Imperial player plays balls-out? Yes.

    Getting allllll the rules right has thus far eluded us though. Probably a thorough cover to cover reading of the FAQ (third party, unofficial) is in order because the questions tend to highlight very commonly overlooked rules. Which is to say, nearly all of them.

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