Scour the Streets of Coruscant
What Heart of the Empire Adds to Your Imperial Assault Campaign Games
As the Empire grows ever more powerful, the Rebel Alliance constantly seeks a weakness in the galactic juggernaut. Invaluable to these efforts are the reconnaissance missions undertaken on Coruscant, the ecumenopolis capital of the Empire.
–Heart of the Empire
At its best, the Imperial Assault campaign game rockets from action to intrigue and back to action. While one player controls the Empire and all its seemingly inexhaustible resources, the other players become Rebel heroes, desperately fighting to complete key mission objectives even as Imperial stormtroopers are firing at them and their time is always ticking down.
And while each Rebel success advances the heroes toward their overall goal, and each Imperial success allows the Empire to more fully impose its tyrannical will on the galaxy, your campaign isn't truly over until the last beat of the finale's climactic action. Up until it's all finally resolved, there's a chance either side can win the larger battle and help steer the fates of countless millions.
All of this is still true in the new campaign introduced with the Heart of the Empire expansion. In fact, all the action and intrigue isn't just maintained; it's magnified.
The Future Is Always in Motion
There are sixteen new missions in Heart of the Empire. You start with Dark Recon, flying over the busy streets of Coruscant toward a rendezvous point with a group of local contacts claiming to have information on a team of Rebels that recently went missing. As soon as you land, though, the campaign explodes into action.
The globe-spanning city of Coruscant is the Empire's capital, after all, and it's firmly under Imperial control. Stormtroopers walk the streets and patrol the numerous balconies overlooking the city's skyways. Military droids, AT-DPs , and other vehicles serve as constant reminders of the Empire's strength. Spies and assassins roam the city in disguise. And once the heroes learn that the missing Rebels had been trying to locate a powerful artifact before the Emperor could get his hands on it, they'll find their mission leads them swiftly into a series of heated conflicts with many of these forces.
Moreover, in Heart of the Empire, the outcome of each of these conflicts leads to an important choice for the victor. The winner of each Heart of the Empire mission gets to select one of two options for the next mission, and this means your adventures can branch in all sorts of directions.
Your attempts to gather information about the missing Rebels and their discoveries may set you on the trail of a mysterious spy, lead you to the historical archives of the old Senate, or spur you to raid an Imperial holding facility. And no matter which of these missions the Rebels attempt next, they'll find it comes with its own dangers and its own rewards—including new revelations about the mysterious artifact you're racing to recover and new paths for you to follow.
So when you're playing Heart of the Empire, there's no telling exactly what your future may hold. It's always in motion and hard to see clearly. But it may lead you anywhere from encounters with Clawdite shapeshifters in the city's underworld to firefights with stormtroopers in the local diners. You may end up heading to the abandoned Jedi Temple under the cover of night, or you may even find yourself drawn into a violent and chaotic protest on the massively overcrowded planet of Taris.
Making the Best of a Tricky Situation
The problem with a critical mission in the heart of enemy territory is that someone's got to attempt it. And there's no point in attempting such a perilous mission if you haven't got a chance of success. That means you need to find a team of heroes who come completely loaded with courage, confidence, talent, and resourcefulness. To help you assemble such a team, Heart of the Empire introduces three new heroes capable of supporting each other when they have no one else to support them.
We already met Rebel Quartermaster Ko-Tun Feralo in our announcement of Heart of the Empire, and we learned a bit about how she excels at supplying her team with valuable power tokens, boosting their combat prowess or defenses. However, her value in your Heart of the Empire campaign goes far beyond the information that's presented on her hero sheet.
First of all, her Stockpile ability ensures your heroes will always be able to make the most of their limited supplies. Whenever Ko-Tun Feralo or another friendly figure within three spaces interacts with a crate, your team doesn't just draw the top Supply card, but gets to choose from the top five, take one, and reshuffle the others into the deck. The result is that you stand a better chance of drawing a useful tool like the Shield Pack or Grappler Arm at precisely the moment you need it most.
At the same time, Ko-Tun Feralo's class cards allow her to further refine her leadership role over the course of your adventures. Cards like Dig In and Fire Support Specialist make her a fantastic ally in combat while her most powerful class cards— Squad Cohesion and Self-sufficient —transform her power tokens from modest enhancements to truly game-changing tools for your isolated Rebel heroes.
Meanwhile, the talented droid engineer Jarrod Kelvin brings his own support to the table in the form of his droid companion, J4X-7 , also known as "Jax," whose support underscores many of Jarrod's class cards.
Cards like Scout's Loadout and Slicer's Upgrades reflect the fact that Jax is—in many ways—an invaluable addition to the small band of Rebels, who can warn you of dangers on their way or keep you on pace toward your mission goals while you and your teammates are pinned down in combat.
In a pinch, Jax can even make valuable contributions to your combats, taking shots with a blue attack die or enabling Jarrod to fight with a Balanced Approach or a Leaping Slash . While Jax’s main purpose is to facilitate the heroes’ attacks with its Supporting Fire, Jarrod can even transform the droid into a threat of its own once he reaches the level of Mechanical Master .
In the end, though, if you recruit Jarrod to your team, it's not for his raw combat potential, but for the balance of his combat skills, his Droid Mastery, and his high tech score. For raw combat, you might turn to the bombastic Wookiee demolitions expert, Drokkatta .
Almost certainly bound to be designated as the "muscle" in your Rebel team, Drokkatta wades fearlessly into the beginning of any battle with the devastating MGL-9, which the Wookiee has dubbed "Boomer." And while Boomer doesn't have many native surges in its blue and red attack dice, Drokkatta's going to be able to trigger them more often than you'd expect thanks to the Dispersal Shot ability.
And all things Drokkatta just keep getting bigger—and louder—from there.
Taken altogether, Drokkatta's class cards celebrate the tremendous strength and resilience that come part and parcel with Wookiee heritage, even as they reinforce the Wookiee's taste in big, explosive weaponry. While cards like Charging Up and Wookiee Wrath make sure that Drokkatta can hit as hard and take as many hits as you might expect of any other Wookiee, Shrapnel Rounds and Repeater Cannon give Drokkatta the means to make those hits as explosive as possible. And if an enemy survives the Wookiee’s explosive fury, Drokkatta can simply Demolish them.
Even as it introduces these new heroes and their class cards, Heart of the Empire provides the Imperial player with two dramatically different ways to approach the campaign.
Opt to challenge the heroes with your Reactive Defenses, and you'll gain use of the companion figure 88-Z as well as an array of abilities that allow the Empire to make good uses of its new energy shields, Sentry Droids , and other technological defenses.
New to Heart of the Empire, energy shields are represented by new tokens that can occupy a space on the map and change the battlefield. These shields block line of sight, but they don't block movement, adjacency, or counting spaces. The sum is that you can use them to funnel the heroes into range of your blasters or melee attacks, and if you choose to confront the Rebels with your Reactive Defenses, you can use the Shielded card and 88-Z to deploy as many as one per round.
And since so much of this class focuses on 88-Z's ability to harass the enemy or boost allied forces with the Mechanical Protocol card, you'll want to think about using your experience to purchase a Remote Activator to better help you position the droid.
For many Imperial players, though, Heart of the Empire is going to be all about the Emperor. After all, there's the Emperor Palpatine token that strongly suggests you'll be able to bring the Sith Lord into action, and until you do, the Power of the Dark Side class provides you with all the devious, devastating abilities you'll want—giving you ample reason to chuckle smugly in the face of any so-called Rebel insurgency.
In the end, you know everything will proceed exactly as you have foreseen it.
The class starts with Manifest Aggression and swells with hatred as you move deeper into your conflicts. The more experienced you become, the stronger your ability to draw upon dark emotions such as fear, anger, and hatred.
Moreover, as there are always two Sith—a master and an apprentice—the Power of the Dark Side class allows you to raise one of your most powerful figures to the level of apprentice with the Unnatural Abilities card. Just imagine the looks on the Rebel players' faces when Darth Vader strides toward them, bolstered by an extra block and evade that he can use against every single attack.
The Stakes Are High
The Rebels are isolated in the Empire's capital city, racing to recover a mysterious artifact before it falls into Imperial hands. The Emperor himself is said to have a personal interest in the unfolding events. And there are rumors of mysterious shapechangers who have involved themselves in the proceedings, apparently serving in the employ of some third, shadowy party.
This is what you have waiting for you when you fly to Coruscant. This is what you have waiting for you when you step off your ship and into the Heart of the Empire.
At its best, an Imperial Assault campaign explodes with action and intrigue, and Heart of the Empire (SWI46) is Imperial Assault at its best. Head to your retailer to pre-order your copy today!
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