4

The last time I played Star Wars: Imperial Assault with my friends, I played as the Empire. If I recall correctly, during the first campaign mission (after the tutorial mission), the mission ends after round 6 if the Rebels haven't yet achieved their goal. The Rebel players were understandably miffed when the mission ended unexpectedly. This, however, conflicted with my reading of the rules, which state that the game is a game of hidden information. I know, for example, that if an Imperial deployment can be triggered by a Rebel action, such as the opening of a door, the Rebels should not be aware of this. The rules are not entirely clear on which parts of the mission scenario are "read-aloud" text and when those rules should be read. Some things are explicit ("Read this section in it's entirety when X happens") while others are not.

So, exactly what mission details should the Rebels be made aware of? Should they have been made aware of the "lose" condition so they weren't blindsided by the mission ending as abruptly as it did?

I am looking for either A) a canonical or errata-based answer that explicitly states what pieces of information should be read out loud to the Rebel players from the campaign scenario and when that information should be read, or B) information from an experienced Imperial player that has dealt with this situation and can explain to me what pieces of information should be read and when.

The rules as they are written are not entirely clear, and there was nothing I could find in the errata or the FAQ that clarified this detail.

  • Having not played this game, it would seem like atrocious game design to not actually teach your players their failure condition. It doesn't even have to be perfect information, but at the very least they should understand that there is a time limit, somewhere in a given range. – monoRed Oct 20 '16 at 20:36
  • @monoRed Agreed. The problem is, there is a place in the rules that kind-of sort-of says, "Don't reveal information to players." Then another place in the rules that says, "Reveal [some information] to players when [some condition] occurs." And in the specific example in question, it ends because the Rebel presence has been discovered and they can no longer achieve their objective. So yes, it does make sense to tell them "Your time is limited, complete your objective quickly," so that's what I gave them, but even they felt it was unfair (and I tend to agree). – LegendaryDude Oct 20 '16 at 20:40
7

Things the Rebels can know

The mission briefing

The Imperial player reads the “Mission Briefing” section of the mission’s rules aloud to all players.

Rules Reference: Mission Setup

The full effect of any triggered events (both story text and effects)

Each event can contain any combination of story text and additional rules that apply to the mission. When an event is triggered, all of the text and rule information within that section is read aloud and resolved, in order.

Campaign Guide: Mission Events

Note that mission effects are either instant (marked with a ▶) or ongoing (marked with a ◆). The non-italicized text after the mission briefing is almost always an event of this sort, so should be read out loud.

Rules referencing the mission ending or progressing (which are followed by the Rebel Alliance symbol)

Certain rules reference the mission ending or progressing, followed by the [Rebel Alliance] symbol. This indicates that the preceding text is an objective that the heroes are attempting to fulfill, which should be emphasized to the Rebel players by the Imperial player.

Campaign Guide: Mission Events

Any previously stated rules

[Rebel players] are always allowed to ask the Imperial player to repeat any current or previous rules.

Campaign Guide: Hidden Information

Things Rebel players aren't supposed to know

Event summary

This section is used for the Imperial player's reference only and contains abreviated versions of event triggers.

Campaign Guide: Event Summary

Effects not chosen when the Imperial player gets to pick an effect

In some cases, an event will require the Imperial player to choose one of a number of effects, which can be instant or ongoing. When he chooses one, he reads the effect aloud and resolves it, but he does not read or resolve any of the unchosen effects.

Campaign Guide: Mission Events

Anything in the Campaign Guide not read to them by the Imperial player

Rebel players are not allowed to read any of the information found within this Campaign Guide, but they are always allowed to ask the Imperial player to repeat any current or previous rules.

Campaign Guide: Hidden Information

In other words, the Rebel players are allowed to listen to what the Imperial player reads from the Campaign Guide, but cannot read the Campaign Guide for themselves (since that would allow them to read something they weren't supposed to know). Note that this clearly says that they can ask the Imperial player about rules that have previously been revealed, so the Imperial player must have been allowed to tell them something.

This seems to have been the rule you were rather hung up on. I agree it's probably bad wording, so I'd like to suggest this rewrite that goes with what I think is the spirit of the rules:

Rebel players are not allowed to directly read any of the information found within this Campaign Guide, but the Imperial player must read aloud any information that they are instructed to reveal from it. Rebel players are always allowed to ask the Imperial player to repeat any current or previous rules.


Your particular situation

If I recall correctly, during the first campaign mission (after the tutorial mission), the mission ends after round 6 if the Rebels haven't yet achieved their goal. The Rebel players were understandably miffed when the mission ended unexpectedly.

Unfortunately, this was something the players should have known. As shown above, the rules says that the Imperial player should read aloud:

  • The mission briefing
  • All triggered effects
  • Rules that include the Rebel Alliance symbol, marking the mission progressing or ending in the Rebels' favor

All three of these are present in Aftermath, the first mission:

Mission Briefing

[...]

◆ The mission ends when all terminals are destroyed [Rebel Alliance symbol], at the end of Round 6, or when all heroes are wounded.

So the Rebels should have been informed of this point because it was in the Mission Briefing, was an effect, and had the symbol indicating that it was for mission progress and should be emphasized to the Rebels (in this case, that the terminals needed to be destroyed). And of course, the players are allowed to ask you to repeat it whenever they want to.

I know, for example, that if an Imperial deployment can be triggered by a Rebel action, such as the opening of a door, the Rebels should not be aware of this.

You are correct that in Aftermath the Rebels should not be made aware of this ahead of time because it was not part of the Mission Briefing or any other previously revealed event. But once the trigger for the event happens (in this case, the door being opened), the entire event text must be read aloud to the Rebels.

  • Simply amazing. Thank you for summarizing; I had read all of these rules at one point or another but putting it all together like this I feel like I finally understand how this is supposed to work. – LegendaryDude Oct 20 '16 at 23:59
  • @LegendaryDude Glad to help! I recommend also checking out the Unofficial Imperial Assault FAQ, which does a good job of summarizing commonly missed rules and various rulings. That was a godsend to our group because we had a lot of trouble with learning how to play this game. The rules could definitely have been improved for clarity! – Thunderforge Oct 21 '16 at 0:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.