Is it still worth getting into Imperial Assault?

Hey guys I’m new to this community but I wanted to ask everyone something.
I just recently got the core box of Star Wars Imperial Assault for my birthday and I love it. However in a lot of forums and threads and such about the game availability seems to be an issue. I’m a bit of a completionist and I would love to collect the whole range eventually but it seems like it might be going out of print soon.
So I thought I’d ask you guys should I bother trying to collect all the expansions now? Should I maybe just wait for a second edition or a reprint or something? What do you think? Also any tips or things a new player should know would be welcome!


I’m not an expert but I wanted to say welcome! Hopefully there’s a knowledgeable person just about to see this thread and reply!

It may help if you let us know where in the world you reside as Asmodee/FFG distribution can be wildly different depending on where you are.

On a tangent, I’ll say I recently picked up a collection of an out-of-print game+add-ons cheaper on BGG than if I had bought all the different SKUs individually … it was still a good chunk of money but if you’re definitely going “all in” it’s something to keep an eye out for.

I’m in Canada, and oh as in from someone through BGG? I’ll have to check that out

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Hi! Welcome to the forums!

Let me start with the basic “full disclosure”:

  1. I work at a game store. As a result I have a lot of games that aren’t necessarily the most “affordable” due to employee pricing.
  2. I am an enormous Fantasy Flight Games fan, going back decades. I don’t like everything they do, but if I am a fanboi and that does tint my perspective.
  3. I am a huge, huge, huge Star Wars fan. Space wizards and laser swords, man, can’t beat 'em.

Okay, with all that aside:
Yes, Imperial Assault is incredible.

And we’re done here! Have a nice day, try the lamb…

Joking aside, FFG has made 4* games using their “Light RPG” rules: Imperial Assault, Descent (2nd Edition), Mansions of Madness (2nd Edition), and Journeys in Middle-Earth. Functionally, the rules are interchangeable with small variations, but the major differentiation is the campaign length (Descent and Journeys have very long campaigns, Imperial Assault has a short campaign, and Mansions of Madness has no campaign but has the best “Give me a random scenario to play” system).

And I love IA, much like you seem to! Hurray! It’s actually my favourite of the bunch, but that’s mostly because space-wizards-and-laser-swords, not because any specific mechanical reason.
So, should you get everything? Gosh no. And that’s because “the game” of Imperial Assault is really two games… the skirmish head-to-head game, and the Light RPG game.
The skirmish game… is okay. It’s okay. A solid 6 outta 10, there’s some fun to be had but it’s not really very good. And a lot of the expansions are specifically Skirmish expansions. This includes all the Rebel expansions and all the map packs.

Now, there are some skirmish expansions that work very well in the main game and with the Interactive app that controls the Empire (definitely the way to play, for the record… you can play with a human controlling the Empire, and it works, but the game is spectacular when it’s fully co-operative, and better balanced). Namely, all the expansion blisters for the Empire and Scum.

“But Marc”, I hear you cry, “The game says I can use the Rebel expansion blisters for the Imperial Assault RPG game as well!”

Ya-see… no. Sorta? But mostly no.
Let’s say I bought… oh, I dunno… the Inquisitor (an Imperial expansion blister). I tell the game I have the Inquisitor, and the App will randomly insert him into some scenarios as a boss! It may not (and if I get ALL the expansions, there’s almost no chance that it will just by numbers), but you MAY encounter him! Or the Emperor! Or Stormtroopers with jump packs (They fly now? They fly now.) and so on. But if you buy… Princess Leia… the game may insert her as a random piece of equipment that one of the heroes can use. Not as a hero, you can never play as Princess Leia, but you might, randomly, once per campaign, maybe get a chance to get her on your team and then… you can use her once and then she goes away.

It’s just not worth it. Honestly.

Now, there are boxed expansions that come in two sizes: “small” box expansions (Tyrants of Lothal, Twin Suns, and the Bespin Gambit), and “medium” box expansions (Heart of the Empire, Jabba’s Realm, Return to Hoth). 100% those are worth it. They add new baddies, new heroes, AND, most importantly, new campaigns that you can play (as much as I love IA, the out-of-the-box replayibility for the core game is quite low… add in even one more campaign, though, and you triple the replayibility, easy).

If it were my money, the correct order to spending is:

  1. Jabba’s Realm (neat heroes, neat villains, neat campaign)
  2. Return to Hoth (great heroes)
  3. Heart of the Empire (great villains)
  4. Tyrants of Lothal (but I’m a huge SW: Rebels fan, so YMMV)
  5. Twin Suns
  6. Bespin Gambit
  7. A few of the Imperial or Scum expansions that you think look cool.

Now, I’m going to point out that if you buy all of this, you’re dropping… at a rough estimate… $300-ish CAD ($200+ USD). Just in expansions. Good expansions, granted, but expansions. And there is a pretty reputable rumour that FFG has decided to stop making additional scenarios for IA, so this is it… there are fan-made ones, but I’m a sucker for ease and presentation, and the fan made scenarios tend to lack polish. Again, YMMV.

Are any of these expanions “necessary”? No. I would heavily recommend at least one “medium” expansion (Jabba is probably the best balanced) and one “small” expansion (any of them are good) just to make sure you have a deep pool you can go back to any time you want to play, with lots of heroes and villains and neat scenarios.

Oh, and buy a 2nd set of dice. I don’t know why, but as much as I love FFG, they almost always ship their games with half the number of dice you really need.

Hope that helps!

*in reality, it’s closer to 10 games, but several of them are one-shots, out of print, or were failed experiments before they settled on the refined ruleset they now use.


Also, like, the main selling point of those packs is that they give you minis. There’s a few cards in there, mostly for skirmish, like one or two for if you’re playing the game the pre-app one-vs-many mode. But mostly, it’s minis. And it turns out that a LOT of those characters, there’s a token version of them in the core or expansion boxes, you’re just “upgrading” to a mini (I don’t agree that this is an upgrade, personally). So it’s not clear to me that you’d even, necessarily, need the mini-pack to use that character with the app. (I could be wrong.) But anyway. Yeah. Super not value for money, although they might come closest if you actually play skirmish. Which, as you say, is kind of a shrug inducing prospect.

I’d secondly point out that the prospect that FFG might do a new edition is not a reason to skip this one and wait. It is potentially a very good reason to rush buying this one. It does happen that they do new editions that are basically just a tightening up and reworking of the same core game (sounds like the latest Twilight Imperium is that)…but Descent 1st Edition and 2nd edition are very different games. Same with Arkham 2nd and 3rd. And Runebound 2nd and 3rd. And Mansions of Madness 1st and 2nd. Etc. It’s possible that a second edition of Imperial Assault will be even better, certainly. But odds are good it will play quite differently.


Wow awesome, thanks so much for your replies I really appreciate you taking the time to fill me in on things. I’ll definitely try to pickup the box’s when I can, and not worry about the other packs as much.


The Legends of the Alliance app is well worth looking into. There’s a campaign based on the core box, and another one that requires the core box plus Jabba’s Realm, and a third one that requires core box plus Return to Hoth. I think grabbing those two expansions will give you the best return for money in the long run.


Now I really want to buy Imperial Assault. Missed out on a second hand copy on eBay by a quid last week.

Welcome to the forum


To echo what others have said, definitely get at least the Return to Hoth and Jabba’s Realm box sets. You will want them to flesh out the app with more campaigns. More heroes to choose from is good too. More cards for the Supply deck and items to purchase is good too.

I do recommend playing the 1 vs All campaigns that come in the box sets as well, as that is a lot of content to ignore otherwise. However, there are some attempts at an Imperial AI on BGG (I have heard really good things about RedJak’s Automated Imperial) that can keep it fully co-op.

I enjoy having the minis, so I do buy the character packs, even if most of them are only really useful in the skirmish mode, which I have never played. The ones I have heard that are best to get because they do not have tokens in boxed expansions are the Jawa Scavenger, Captain Terro (for the Dewback), and Obi-Wan Kenobi (for his lightsaber item). I own none of these yet.


I’ve tended to grab the ally and villan packs mainly as I wanted a models to represent the main characters from the films. It seemed wrong to have Han, Chewy, Leia, Lando and the droids just represented as plain tokens, especially as Luke and Vader come as minis in the core box.


Same here. Never had it on my radar, because who even has the time to play all those campaign games, but @Marx and @malkav11 made it sound really enticing.

/Oh great and now I see that it’s apparently out of print (at least in Germany). Well, I enjoyed the 5 minutes of excitement while they lasted.

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I assume: because it keeps the headline price down, but if you get seriously into the game you’ll spend more. I don’t think that’s even particularly cynical, though one could see if that way; I think the original X-Wing core box is a really good introduction to the game.


Ok now I want imperial assault.


Yes, join the Dark Side!


Haha, seriously! I made a trade the other day and opted for Mansions of Madness 2nd edition but now I’m having pangs of regret (Imperial Assault was the other offer). I actually had no idea it wasn’t purely a skirmish game.


Imperial Assault is MSRP $100. I can’t imagine they couldn’t have squeezed in a few more dice for that. :stuck_out_tongue:

I love Mansions of Madness 2nd, FWIW. I think it has a really great investigatory feel and because the app handles all the GMing you have no idea what to expect except that it won’t be good. I have yet to try the app version of IA, so hopefully it’s also similarly good, but…can’t vouch for it! It’s definitely the best version of FFG’s one vs many designs, but I’d much rather play full coop in general.


Yeah, but you can often find it for $60-80. At least, I only paid $60ish when I got it. Of course as you get more expansions, that total keeps going up and up. :wink:


I’ve not used the MoM 2nd app, but by all accounts, it works better than the IA app. Mainly because IA was released as a 1vAll game, so the units activation priority doesn’t match the cards completely, but it kind of does? So you need the cards, but have to ignore most of the info besides basic stats.

I do enjoy IA, but I wish it had a better one-off mode, like MoM 2nd. They did release a Raid map, but I think they’ve only done the one.

My son was actually asking about getting it off the shelf, but I’m always torn. I love Star Wars, but setting that game up always feels like a chore. I think I’d have been slightly happier if FFG had done away with all of the tiny little 2 square/grid map pieces, and opted for a bit less variability in the “levels”.

@MitchtheDM If you do go down the rabbit hole, and pick up a couple of the big box expansions, I would recommend looking at some home made storage options online. The big ones being a token holder (a simple Plano box works wonders) and a binder of some sort to store the tiles. I’ve yet to do this myself, which is a big reason the game doesn’t hit the table more often.

There are a few threads on BGG and Reddit if you do a search.

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I can vouch for all of FFG’s dungeon crawler type games being a storage nightmare out of the box. Actually, practically all their games, period.


Truth. I’m sure it has nothing to do with their wonderful custom insert, The Trough.

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