Saturday, 5 September 2015

Imperial Assault: Sniping at Vader

Hi folks,

We have two missions left before the finale in our current Imperial Assault campaign, but before we could make our move on the final objective, Jimmy sprung this side-mission on us. Every now and then we have been given the opportunity to complete a mission to prevent him from getting a shiny new Imperial thing. Most of these missions have ended in failure, most notably the one where Jimmy obtained Darth Vader. This time around he was gunning for an upgrade to his stormtroopers, which can only mean trouble considering the number of the blighters we always face. Along for the mission we had Wade's Wookie tank, Heinz's speedy Jedi apprentice, Joe's human commander dude and my Bothan sniper, "Mak":

The weapon I have is a DXR-8 disruptor rifle. It is outrageously good. The Marksman Barrel and Tactical Display aren't equipped, they are just spare bits of kit.

Most games I have played move at a blisteringly desperate pace; you don't have any time to muck about (...or miss). If you want to win you need to kill things dead the first time and run like hell. My new weapon, a disruptor rifle, finally allows me to one-shot stormtroopers. This is a massive improvement, which I hoped would allow me to clear a path for the Jedi or Wookie to run through and complete the objective. We had the opportunity to take Han Solo, but decided not to; having Darth Vader appear right in front of us on the first turn would just slow us down. Besides, we all know what happens when Han brings a blaster to a lightsaber battle:


As always, the map was deceptively small. The briefing warned us that the base had a "reactive defense mechanism", whatever that means. We had to get through a door within five turns and destroy a mainframe computer. There were two ways to get to the objective, the long way (through a hairpin corridor) and the short way (by blowing up a door). Knowing that speed wins games, we all agreed that the shortcut through the door was our Plan A. We also wondered what horrible thing was going to happen to us as soon as that door was destroyed!

The setup. This post was proudly brought to you by lemon Solo, bananas, green tea pocky and baby monitors.

Turn 1: Our Wookie brawler charged forwards and smashed a Stormtrooper, cleaving into his squad mates in the process. The Jedi moved up as well preparing for a mad dash through the door next turn. I used my first action of the game to snipe the probe droid into oblivion. It was a lucky hit, managing enough damage to one-shot him: priceless.

Turn 2: I used my disruptor rifle to target the door and blast it apart with the help of an extra action, provided by Joe's commander. Blowing up the door increased the defense value of the objective door by 10 points; there's the reactive defense mechanism. Heinz's Jedi bolted through into the next room to confront an E-web gunner, while the Stormtroopers shot up the Wookie a bit before he pulled their arms off. We later figured out that the second shot I put on the door could not have happened, as the card I used to shoot past the blocking Stormtrooper had to be exhausted and didn't cover both shots. After playing through the game though it was decided that the effect of this was negligible, putting the second shot on a stormtrooper would have been just as helpful in the grand scheme of things.

Turn 3: The Wookie charged the Plan A door and cleaved the wounded E-web gunner in the process, killing him. Heinz's Jedi skipped through the destroyed doorway and headed for the objective door, which increased in defense value to 30. The Jedi started dealing damage to the door immediately but took damage in return thanks again to its reactive defense mechanism. During his turn, Jimmy brought another E-web gunner in directly behind us, pouring shots into my Bothan (owwww). Oh... and Darth Vader appeared at the start of the objective corridor. I positioned my Bothan and took a shot at Vader doing 5 damage! Do you think I got his attention?

Turn 4: Both the Jedi and the Wookie were now pounding on the objective door, taking damage from the door and from Vader's Force Choke. The Jedi survived the onslaught but our Wookie friend died a horrible death-by-doorframe. I moved Mak out of the line-of-sight of the E-web gunner and positioned him in the objective corridor. Our strategy now was target saturation to slow down Vader and put as many characters in position to win the game as possible.

Turn 5: We get the door down to 1 hit point and we are all held our breath. Surely we couldn't lose from here...

...Heinz makes his roll and it looks absolutely rubbish, but with some creative use of his special abilities he manages to put exactly one hit on the door. We scraped through with a win as Darth Vader breathed down our necks!

As the dust settled we organised our loot for the mission, deciding to buy a force pike for Wade's Wookie. It took a group effort and the selling of some excess kit, but he really needed it. Early in the game he struggled to finish off some Stormtroopers in the same way I used to struggle with my old rifle. As I have mentioned before, in such a fast paced game, you really do have to take things out quicker than that.

To finish the session off Jimmy gave us the briefing for the next mission, something about plans for a secret weapon. Sounds like the kind of thing "many Bothans" are going to die to neutralise, if you know what I mean ;-)

See you across the table,