Imperial Assault is brought to the world by the same designers that created the fantasy dungeon delve game, Descent. Now you get to have similar fun adventures in the world of Star Wars. Wielding blasters instead of bows and light sabers instead of swords. There have also been improvements to the game system but the best part of the game is getting to interact with the Star Wars universe.
Similar to most role-playing games one player will be a dungeon master type controlling the forces of the Empire with enemies ranging from basic Stormtroopers to a mighty AT-ST. While the other players (up to 4) will be controlling various characters allied with the rebel alliance. The rebel characters range from commanders, smugglers, and honorable wookies. Expansions add droids and a resident of Mon Calamari. Plus some missions let players interact with familiar characters from the original trilogy.
The combat system remains based on rolling attack dice versus defense dice similar to Descent. However, the designers have altered the dice so that they have different interactions which add some deeper layers of strategy. Surges used to activate special abilities can now be cancelled by new symbols on defense dice. Most importantly the chance to miss is now placed on one of the types of defense dice making some opponents appealing targets!
One of the best improvements was changing the order in which players take their turns. In the past all of the heroes would activate followed by all of the enemies. Now it alternates between a hero and a monster group. This makes it so throughout the mission the two sides can interact more directly and respond to changing tactics as players try to satisfy different objectives. This alteration was added to Descent through the app Road to Legend.
The campaign mode of Imperial assault provides a great story as the band of rebel agents attempt to uncover a plot of the Empire to bring the galaxy under heel. Lots of interesting rewards come from the missions including each hero having a specific side mission available to directly increase their abilities. The story of the campaign branches based on who wins the encounters allowing for replayability as different groups might fall into different branches than others.
Each of the heroes - and now even the Empire player - comes with a very unique ability set that can be upgraded over the course of play increasing usefulness in battle and/or making them even more deadly. Higher grades of weapons and armor are made available as the game progresses making the players more of a dangerous group as they try to foil the Empire’s plans.
Lastly, if in the end you enjoy more of a skirmish than a long mission there is a large amount of skirmish maps that you can play against another player to try to win in a single combat situation, with different goals for victory also available. This provides more of a war gaming feel as you construct your forces based on point values. This additional way to play the games provides even more ways to enjoy the Star Wars universe.
Imperial Assault has proven to be very popular and has come out with a few expansions already. These bring in some of the characters from the universe - such as Leia, Boba Fett, Lando Calrissian, Luke Skywalker and many others. Each time you open the box it is like you are falling into some of your favorite adventures from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.