‘Why Play?’ is a new series of articles focusing on some of the lesser played games in store, with players explaining exactly why this game is worth your time! To start off, Alex Grinstead argues for why playing the skirmish mode of Star Wars: Imperial Assault can be as, or even moreso, rewarding than the campaign game!
I picked up Imperial Assault, a ground based Star Wars miniatures game, on the release day from my shop. I opened it to discover that the campaign was entirely about Rebels and that the person playing the Imperial side was effectively a games master in a combat miniatures roleplaying game. Despite this I played several games of the campaign but it always seemed too focused on the rebels winning. So I decided to start playing the Skirmish mode as it’s the mode played for tournaments. Skirmish felt fair playing compared to the campaign and much more customisable.
Advantages to Skirmish
- First of all you can choose to be any of the three factions: Imperial, Mercenary or Rebel.
- Both Mercenary and Imperial have an upgrade of “Temporary Alliance”. Which allows Mercenary to play up to two Rebel Deployment cards and Imperial up to two Mercenary Deployment cards.
- It focuses on a points system making it fairer for both players.
- All of Fantasy Flight Games’ OP kits contain promo materials in which you can compete to win using the Skirmish system.
- Playing Skirmish also grants you access to a fifteen point Command deck consisting of fifteen cards that allows you to boost or otherwise assist your units at that critical point in the game.
- The Return to Hoth Expansion has added some new Skirmish Missions in, with the ability to play Skirmish with four players instead of just two, either as two teams or as a free-for-all allowing you to have twice as much fun!
- “Massive” figures can enter the interior during skirmish for example an AT-ST can walk into a two space wide corridor sideways.
Fantasy Flight Games have become reputable for their awesome plastic miniatures across all of their games and in Imperial Assault there is no exception. The majority of the miniatures come with no assembly required at the exception of some of the “Massive” miniatures such as the AT-ST. They’re unpainted in coloured plastic, which I like because I can get them painted exactly how I want them, especially handy if you need to tell the difference between all of your storm-troopers!
What about those promo materials? The Organised Play tournament kits will contain things like alternate art deployment cards, acrylic tokens, dice bags, a medal for the winner and potentially more things in the future.
As someone who has played a number of different wargames I think Skirmish is not only better than the campaign but I also think it’s better than other skirmish based games such as Deadzone and Infinity.
Imperial Assault Skirmish ticks all the boxes for me when it comes to wargames and the fact that it’s Star Wars as well makes it the greatest ground based wargame I’ve played.
I hope one day Fantasy Flight Games makes a new game mode that turns Imperial Assault into a full scale wargame, using a gaming mat instead of the tile system. Fingers crossed for an AT-AT model!
I know many people have picked up Imperial Assault but haven’t even tried the Skirmish mode. I hope this article convinces those people and many more that there’s a lot more to Imperial Assault than just the campaign.