|Fully painted and ready for a fight!|
Recently, I've been playing a bit of Imperial Assault (Skirmish mode) with my daughter, and I also just finished up all the models from the Core Box set! Personally, the game itself (skirmish mode at least) is a lot of fun, the board is small so it doesn't require a ton of space, the gameplay is easy enough for my 6 yr old to pick up without sacrificing tactical gameplay. I was also impressed by the speed of play, despite having lots of models on the board, and not to mention all the various configurations and combos you can come up. There is even a small deck-building aspect that comes into play with the command cards and building your command deck. Oh, and there are multiple versions of some of the models within the core box, the ones with grey bases are basic versions, while the ones with red rings on their bases are more elite versions or of elite characters. (you'll see both versions below) I also wanted a very basic, untextured base that would be uniform throughout all the models, so I went with a simple, dry-brushed grey color that wouldn't distract too much form the actual models themselves.
Model wise, they weren't too bad. All one piece plastics, except the AT-ST, but even he was all push-togteher pieces. The level of detail isn't on the same scale of the typical miniatures game, but that is ok too, as they really are simply boardgame pieces. Cleanup of the mold lines and such isn't the easiest on these, and you'll be able to tell from the pictures. They are made of a soft plastic, similar to the cheaper plastics from Mantic or the Battletech box set, in that you can take a hobby knife to them, but a hobby file just seems to shred them up and can cause a further loss of detail. Just keep in mind that they are boardgame pieces and work them to a tabletop standard and I think you'll be happy with them once they hit the table. **EDIT: The expansions I picked up seem to be a better in terms of both mold-lines and the material feels a bit more firm...
Enough talk! My daughter has taken a liking to the Imperials, which means I tend to end up playing the Rebels or the Scum/Bounty Hunters. So, I'll start with the Rebels from the core set....
All the characters are named, and ironically, we have both a Fenn and a Jyn, but they ARE NOT the same characters from Episode VII and Rogue One! From left to right, we have: Fenn the Rebel Soldier, Gideon the Rebel Commander, Luke Skywalker (New Hope Version), Gaarkhan the Wookie, Diala the Jedi, Mak Eshka'rey the Bothan Sniper, and Jyn Odan the Smuggler. Imperial Assault came with cards for each of the characters, and I did my best to match the art on them. I really like Fenn, both model wise and on the table, I would really like to get a whole squad of similar looking rebels for him to lead, and luckily there are plenty of models out there that fit the bill! I also like the Bothan sniper, but with only 4 health, he dies really quickly!
Next, up is the Scum/Hunter faction. I've only played them once as a faction in a game, but since then my daughter has really taken a liking to the Trandoshans! (I'll explain later)
The Nexu, are the cat-like creatures seen in the fighting pits of Geonosis in the prequels, and are a good example of a basic type with a grey base, and the more elite type with a red base. I decided to also differentiate them further by having the basic match some of the art I found online, while I went for a more grey/white scheme on the elite. Cant really comment on how they perform, as they've only been used once, and even then, they didn't do much before dying....
Next up, are the Trandoshan Hunters. Personally, I'm a bit Bossk fan and collector of Bossk memorabilia (which there isn't a ton of btw), so of course, I think these guys are cool! I did the basic versions in the brighter colors, and my daughter specifically requested I do one of them in an orange flight-suit, and for the elite versions, I wanted to them to appear more "tactical" so I gave them black/grey gear. Tabletop wise, these guys are BEASTS! With their shotguns, if they can get in close, you are gonna be hurting! Two of these guys made short work of Vader in one game, and so far, that has been the only time Vader has actually died. My daughter seems impressed by them, and have taken them teamed up with her imperials as well.
Next up, the Imperials!
I'll start with the Stormtroopers. There are 9 of them in the core box, which you take in squads of 3 each. 6 Regulars, one squad of 3 elites. FFG did a job of making them work well as a squad, but individually, they may be a bit underwhelming. Perfect for cannon fodder... I mean Stormtroopers! They are all the same poses, which is a bit of a downer, but it does add to that "we are legion" aspect, expansions will add some different variants. My daughter seems to like bringing two basic squads with her. Personally, I really want to run 40 points of various Stormtroopers/Officers one day just to see what it plays like! Picture here is also an Imperial Officer, which I'll get into more below.
Here we have 2 more Officers and 2 E-Web Engineers. (Scouts) So you, get 3 Imperial Officers total, 2 basic, 1 elite. I did the basics in their black uniforms which matched the art, while the elite I differentiated by painting him in an Imperial green-grey color. (I also gave one of the basic ones a beard, and my daughter thinks he's supposed to be me!) On the table, they are meant to issue orders to troops, primarily as a way to push them forward. My daughter didn't seem too impressed by them, so they haven't hit the table too much, but I can definitely see their useful potential, especially as 2 pt pieces. The E-web Engineers are slow moving cannons, able to attack more than once in a round, allowing for high damage output if you roll well. With a movement of only 2, positioning them is key, or they can also be a prime target for the Officer's orders! My daughter brought 1 in our initial games, but it seems that they've been benched in favor for other models.
Next, Darth Vader and 2 squads of Imperial guards, 1 basic squad of 2, and 1 elite squad of 2. Vader is another BEAST, and my daughter tends to win or lose games based on his performance. At 18 points, he's just under 1/2 your total army, but comes with 16 health, high defense, and the ability to instantly force choke someone in LOS, or attack two enemies in melee at a time. So far, he's routinely one-shot any rebel that comes near him! If you've seen Rogue One, remember one of the final scenes in the movie, the one of Vader just carving his way through a rebel ship? .... yeah, he's THAT Vader! The Imperial Guards can be beat-sticks in their own right, but if you can keep them near Vader, with their ability to give allies a bonus to their defense, Vader becomes even harder to take down! For both Vader and the Guards I went back in after they were sprayed with some 'Ardcoat on Vader's armor and the Guards' helmets to give them that plastic-looking shine.
Next, the Probe droids. Nothing much to say about them, they are simply probe droids.... moving on!
Finally, the AT-ST! This was actually the first model from the box set that I completed, and I did it in about an hour. Just got sucked in, and it was a matter of simple drybrushing! I really like how he turned out, given the simplicity of how he was done. In a lot of ways, he reminds me of some of the digital art of AT-STs that was looking at while painting him. he's a pretty big, and imposing model as well. Honestly, I figured my daughter would want to use him as soon as she could, but surprisingly, he has yet to be used at all! I may have to give it a go one day, IF my daughter will let me ever play as the Imperials that is!
And there you have it! All the models from the core set, painted up in what felt like record time! (2 weeks or so, I think.) Once these were completed, I had yet again finished up ALL models, and with nothing left to paint on my painting desk, I promptly went out to my LGS to pick up some more Imperial Assault stuff! My daughter and I both wanted Bossk to go with our existing Trandoshans, she also requested a "Squad Leader" for the Stormtroopers, and we both wanted additional map tiles, so I picked up the Twin Shadows expansion as it looked like it also came with some cool rebels as well! So yeah, I'm looking forward to busting everything open, and get cracking on some new Star Wars models! If you are a Star Wars fan, and especially if you were a fan of the old Wizards of the Coast Star Wars game, you really should give this one a go! I know it is early in the year, but Imperial Assault is already a serious contender for my personal "Game of the Year" and I haven't even gotten to try the campaign at all! (waiting for the app to come out that allows me to play campaign solo)
Thanks for reading, May the Force be with you...