This is the week where a small group of 5 Boardgame Monkeys are kicking off on Thursday 23/11 our Jabba’s Realm campaign on Imperial Assault. Perfect opportunity for a post and some background material/information to kick-start this from the
right foot side of the force.
You should definitively check out the great blog On Sean’s table which was great content. In particular this article about Imperial Assault from which I will share key input below, that we will use ourself.
Starting a campaign of any kind is an act of faith:
- In the other players you’ll be locked up with committed to play the game
- In the system that will hopefully reward your investment in time
- In the experience of a linked series of sessions that will be more rewarding than a string of one-off games
Setting The Scene (from the movie):
As its name alludes to, Jabba’s Palace is the giant residence of the infamous gangster, Jabba the Hutt. Located on the planet Tatooine, Jabba’s Palace is visited only once in the films. At the very beginning of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, C-3PO and R2-D2 arrive here to deliver a message from Luke Skywalker to Jabba, demanding the release of the Carbon-frozen Han Solo.
The two droids are given as gifts to Jabba, and he puts them to work, without releasing Han, as was the agreement. Princess Leia (with Chewbacca as a “captive”) and Lando arrive in disguise to penetrate the security of the palace, and eventually Luke Skywalker himself arrives, after some more training.
After the heroes are captured, the part the Palace plays in the story is over. Recognizable features include Jabba’s entertainment chamber, battleroom complete with the Rancor, and the droid torture room where C-3PO and R2-D2 are taken to be hired.
Close combat is the only way to go here, and the winding hallways and multiple level can leave you confused and lost. Falling in the pit is quite an experience, but it is possible to elude the Rancor if you fall in. Try and cram yourself into a wall and wait until the Rancor attacks another player and run for the door.
Campaign Introduction :
If the video below doesn’t start – have a look here.
Cover your basics:
Players participating to this campaign have at least the “core box campaign” under the belt and should have read through the key rulebooks (in plural) ensuring a fast “get into the game” for the entire group:
- Imperial Assault – Learn To Play Guide
- Imperial Assault – Reference Guide
- Jabba’s Realm Rulebook
- Imperial Assault – Official FAQ
There are two new rules in the Jabba’s Realm expansion to take into account:
1. Imperial player cannot have more than 4 agenda cards in his hand. (Only applicable for this extension).
2. If you have one or more expansions, then you choose half of the deck rather than 6 cards during the rebel upgrade state.
I like both rules as they prevent power creep for the imperial player and gives more options to the rebel players. Just for clarifications sake, only the new item draw mechanic includes the “if playing with one or ore expansion” clause. They probably didn’t go back to testing products released a little while ago and decided to stay on the safe side and not touch prior products.
Tweaks and House Rules:
Hand picking one or two tweaks can redress some of the issues you might be experiencing as you work your way through campaigns. If you put in a tweak and it’s making a mess of things, take it back out again
While not a game balance issue, combining all the expansions has a cumulative unpredictable impact such as the increasingly, random selection of side missions causing a lack of campaign focus.
With access to more expansions and figure packs overload is creeping in but we’re unwilling to limit hero and Empire troop choice to just one or two expansions. In result, you can have campaign cohesion problems, especially side missions seem to be a series of random, unconnected events. Hand-picking a very limited side mission deck in keeping with the overall campaign location or theme is the answer here.
Then, if you want random, blindly choose from this streamlined deck. While it may take some of the narrative away it will tightly focus the overall story line and keep up much-needed story cohesion.
Jabba’s Realm has only 4 side mission slots, one less than Hoth and they happen earlier in the campaign. I’d suggest including the 4 individual Hero missions because we want to see those characters and their buddies in action.
It feels like Rebel heroes were taking too long to get powered up. Implementing a house rule where each hero obtain 1 experience point (XP) upfront before the start of the 1st mission that they can spend freely is helping boosting the rebels crew.
- While the 1 XP hero class cards are not super-powerful but immediately make the Rebel characters more fun to play and more likely to do well in early missions. This, in turn, translates into greater rewards for the Rebels – more credits and better gear to play with.
- In the long game this also allows heroes to bank early XP rewards so that the awesome 3 and 4 XP cards are attainable sooner. If they’re lucky they might end up with a three xp card after the second mission.
- The other mini-expansions: Twin Shadows and Bespin take this approach by jumping into shortened campaigns with tricked out heroes from the beginning