Command the Empire
Preview the Forces of the Empire in Imperial Assault
“Your friends, up there on the sanctuary moon, are walking into a trap, as is your Rebel fleet. It was I who allowed the Alliance to know the location of the shield generator. It is quite safe from your pitiful little band. An entire legion of my best troops awaits them.”
–Emperor Palpatine, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Take command of highly-trained Stormtroopers and fearless Rebels in Imperial Assault, an upcoming miniatures game of tactical combat and Star Wars adventure for two to five players!
Two complete games are available within Imperial Assault: a skirmish game and a campaign game. In the skirmish game, you and your opponent muster custom forces and clash in a head-to-head battle over conflicting objectives. The campaign game, on the other hand, offers you the chance to join an expansive narrative, playing a series of missions that form an overarching story. Whether you play a campaign or a skirmish, Imperial Assault allows you to battle alongside iconic heroes and terrifying villains.
In past previews, we’ve examined the heroes you can play throughout the campaign. Today, however, we turn our attention to just some of the units available to the Galactic Empire: armored Stormtroopers, assault walkers, and even the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader.
Command Your Squads
One of the most ubiquitous signs of Imperial might across the galaxy is the grim white visage of a Stormtrooper. Rebel operatives everywhere have learned to fear the presence of a Stormtrooper – where there’s one, there’s always another. As the Imperial player in the campaign game, you must foil the Rebels and achieve your own mission objectives. Countless squads of Stormtroopers provide you with some of the warriors you need to achieve this goal. Vital information about your Stormtroopers is shown on their Deployment card, shown to the right. At the bottom of the card, you’ll find the Stormtrooper’s listed Health, Speed, Defense, and Attack, and on the upper left-hand side of the card, the number of bars illustrates how many figures make up a Stormtrooper squad: three, in this case. The Deployment card also lists any special abilities that the squad possesses, as well as any surge abilities that can be triggered during combat.
Stormtroopers possess two surge abilities: they can spend a surge in combat to deal an extra damage or gain two additional accuracy. What’s more, all Stormtroopers possess the Squad Training ability. Whenever a Stormtrooper attacks while adjacent to another friendly Trooper, it can reroll an attack die, maximizing your attacks while you keep your Troopers in formation.
Even among Stormtroopers, some squads are more experienced or better trained. As you battle to defeat the Rebel scum, you can call upon elite Stormtroopers, which use a different Deployment card. These Stormtroopers feature more Health than traditional Stormtroopers, and their surge abilities are more potent. Elite Stormtroopers still bear the Squad Training ability, but they gain the Last Stand ability, which allows them to become Focused when another Stormtrooper is defeated. To balance these increased abilities, elite Stormtroopers have an increased threat cost, shown in the upper left-hand corner of their Deployment card. We’ll examine threat and the Imperial player’s other tools in greater depth in our next preview.
Capable commanders empower your Stormtroopers and the other soldiers of the Galactic Empire to reach greater heights of effectiveness in any mission. You can bring added control to your armies with the help of the Imperial Officer. Imperial Officers have a variety of surge abilities, granting additional damage, accuracy, or the Focused condition to themselves. The Imperial Officer’s true potential, however, lies in the orders he delivers to other soldiers. Every Imperial Officer has the Order ability, which can be triggered as an action and allows a friendly figure within two spaces to perform a free move.
Elite Imperial Officers take the control of your army to a new level. Aside from improved Health and surge abilities, elite Imperial Officers gain the Executive Order ability. This ability is identical to the standard Order ability, but the figure that you choose may move or attack. With Imperial Officers in your forces, you can coordinate and command your troops much more efficiently, maximizing the amount of damage that you bring to bear against the Rebel troops.
One of the Galactic Empire’s most common heavy weapons is the E-Web heavy repeating blaster, a weapon that compromises portability with high-output firepower. You gain access to this powerful weapon with the E-Web Engineer. This figure offers a punishing amount of attack dice, and the Assault ability allows it to perform multiple attacks during each activation. Under normal circumstances, the Imperial player’s figures perform only one attack per activation, but the E-Web Engineer transcends that rule.
The E-Web Engineer’s other abilities can prove crucial in a firefight. His surges can be spent to gain additional damage or to recover damage, and the elite E-Web Engineer adds an extra block to all defense rolls and three additional accuracy to any attack. Unfortunately, the E-Web Engineer also has the Tripod ability, which restricts its options for using actions: the E-Web Engineer can either move or attack on a single turn, but not both.
The Galactic Empire’s All Terrain Scout Transport, or AT-ST, is another massive heavy weapon that swells the Imperial arsenal. This assault walker offers unparalleled firepower and nigh-impregnable armor, as well as the ability to pierce enemy blocks and spread blast damage onto figures adjacent to its targets. This vehicle even has an on-board Targeting Computer, allowing it to reroll one attack die on each attack.
An AT-ST is a truly formidable power, but its size brings both benefits and disadvantages. AT-STs have the Massive keyword, which allows them to ignore the restrictions of difficult or impassible terrain. They are unable to enter interior spaces during the campaign, however, and the Awkward ability prevents them from attacking adjacent figures. Maneuvering an AT-ST to produce the most consistent amount of firepower is a full job, even for adept tacticians.
AT-STs are a terrifying presence on the battlefield, but any Rebel would prefer a pair of these walkers to the arrival of Darth Vader himself. In battle, Darth Vader is perhaps the most fearsome foe to ever oppose the heroes of the Rebellion. His skill with a Lightsaber allows his attacks to cleave through flesh and armor alike, causing deadly amounts of damage. Darth Vader’s abilities make him even more dangerous. Brutality allows him to perform two attacks with a single action, threatening two different figures at once.
As a master of the dark side, Darth Vader bears the Force Choke ability, which allows him to force a figure in his line of sight to suffer two damage and one strain. Because this ability doesn’t count as an attack, Darth Vader has the chance to perform up to two attacks with Brutality and still use Force Choke, enabling him to mow down squads of Rebel soldiers with ease. If any warrior is foolish enough to attack Darth Vader, he’ll quickly find a nigh insurmountable challenge. Darth Vader rolls two black defense dice when defending, and his Foresight ability allows him to reroll one of these dice. With a combination of fearsome attacks and stalwart defenses, Darth Vader is more than a match for any Rebel he may face.
Lead the Galactic Empire
Imperial Assault gives you the chance to command the fearless soldiers, devastating vehicles, and iconic villains of the Galactic Empire. The heroes of the Rebellion may attempt to infiltrate your bases or sabotage your operations, but with the unlimited power of the Empire at your back, you can crush the insignificant Rebels before their mission even begins. There are even more units available to the Galactic Empire in Imperial Assault, including the Emperor’s Royal Guard and mechanical Probe Droids, which will be revealed elsewhere.
Soon, we’ll look at the Mercenary units that join the soldiers of the Empire in battle, but next week, we’ll look at the Imperial player’s powers throughout the campaign, including summoning reinforcements with threat, gaining Agenda cards, and purchasing new Class cards.
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