Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Tips for the IP Player, Part I: In Which We Talk About Dice

Greetings space travelers,
This is Tiberius, one of the admins here at Wretched Hive. For my inaugural posts here in Mos Eisley, we’ll be discussing five things for the IP player (though most also applies to anyone planning on playing Imps/Scum in Skirmish) – things I’ve found to be helpful/valuable in a campaign or few. So, grab some blue milk, spike it with something fizzy, and pull up a seat.
I run another blog dedicated to The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, but I’ll be alternating posts here and there this year. The topics we’ll be covering in the next few months are as follows:
1.       In Which We Talk About Dice
2.       In Which We Talk About Troopers
3.       In Which We Talk About Brawlers
4.       In Which We Talk About Metal-Stuff
5.       In Which We Talk About Unique Abilities
Before we can get into the meat of our IP tips, we need to talk about the dice. Yes, there will be grand strategy discussions, in-depth looks at different unit types, and plenty of discussions of weaknesses of the most powerful heroes. If you didn’t see your favorite type of unit in the list above – don’t worry, they’ll probably show up. Probably…
But before any of that can be translated into something remotely resembling third-grade English, we need to talk about the dice we’re rolling. We do this for two reasons:
  1. The dice are not normal – you won’t have had prior experience with them before.
  2. Everything the game eventually depends on the dice.

The Offensive Dice – Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue
In this game, we have four kinds of dice when we’re attacking. Generally speaking, units will have 2 dice (often of different colors), while elite units can get 3-4 dice (and some VERY RARE units can roll 0-1 attack dice). Let’s get a quick understanding of what these dice do.
Quick Key: Red = Damage, Blue = Range, Yellow = Surge, Green = lil-bit-o-ev'ryth'n
As anyone who has played one game of IA knows, there are three stats provided by any dice: range, damage, and surge (RDS). Depending on the unit you have, the base amount of range/damage that you provide will be capped by the dice you roll. If you look at the image above, though, with the exception of the Red Dice, there isn't much difference between them:
  • Blue dice average ~3 range per face, which is greater than the 1-2 range for Green/Yellow (but not much);
  • Yellow dice average ~1 surge per face, which is greater than the 0.33-0.5 surge for Green/Blue (but not much);
  • The damage for all of these is in the 0.8-1.3 range, which is negligible.
  • The Red dice, however, doesn't focus on Range at all (and barely focuses on Surge), which means that it does approximately twice the damage of the other dice.

What does this mean? The only thing that matters is whether you have a red dice or not.
For some units, bonus rules will come into play if you are a certain distance away from an enemy unit or you might be able to surge for 2 Damage (or Pierce 2 or Blast anything or Cleave 2) that could do more damage than getting the actual damage icons, but in most of the IP missions, you’ll be hard-pressed to deploy elite units if they’re expensive. In the main, most of the units you’ll be able to afford will be regular units – and precious few of those surge for more than 1 Damage (Trandos are a notable exception).

The Defensive Dice – Black and White
With a quick understanding of the offensive dice, let’s look at the defensive dice:
Unlike the offensive dice, the defensive dice are very different: a Black dice basically gets 2 Blocks against each attack. A White dice basically gets 1 Block and 1 Surge Cancel instead. What does this tell us? Use a Red dice against a White dice – the white dice will beat any other one dice. Assume that a Black dice beats any one dice.

Putting It Together: What Do I Target? What Units Do I Take?
What does any of this mean? When we’re choosing units for Open Groups, consider the units you’re facing and choose the units who can damage those units. If you’re fighting a white dice, know that he’ll take most of your surges away from you. If that’s the case, take units that roll Red dice (the Twin Shadows box gives you Tusken Raiders and Heavy Stormtroopers – regular versions are under 6 Threat to deploy) OR take units who don’t surge particularly well (Stormtroopers are good). If you’re fighting Black dice, take anyone who does surge well/do free bonus damage – Elite units (especially Tuskens), any Trandoshans, Wampas, and units who focus themselves are good choices.

Next Steps
     With this general guidance, we’ll get into specific units and who to use them against (and why) in the coming weeks. We’ll show different units and how they compare against different defense profiles so you can see the logic of what’s been provided above. Until then, I’ll save a spot for you at the table here in the Wretched Hive!

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