22 September 2017 | Star Wars: Imperial Assault

I Am No Jedi

Preview the Imperial Assault Ally and Villain Packs for Maul, Ahsoka, and Emperor Palpatine

Darth Vader: “Anakin Skywalker was weak. I destroyed him.”
Ahsoka Tano: “Then I will avenge his death.”
Darth Vader: “Revenge is not the Jedi way.”
Ahsoka Tano: “I am no Jedi.”
     –Star Wars Rebels

Three powerful Force users will soon make their Imperial Assault debuts in the three Ally and Villain Packs coming with the Heart of the Empire expansion. But for all their strength in the Force, there's not a single Jedi among them.

Associated with the Heart of the Empire expansion, these Ally and Villain Packs transform your campaign into a more dynamic and tactile experience. With these packs, you can replace the tokens for Maul,   Emperor Palpatine,  and Ahsoka Tano with detailed plastic figures. And their new side missions afford you greater use of your Heart of the Empire map tiles, even as they provide you the opportunity to bring these powerful Force users directly into the action of your campaign.

Simultaneously, these Ally and Villain Packs have plenty to offer your skirmish games. They come with powerful abilities that represent their connection to the Force, plus an array of command cards that introduce additional ways to harness the power of the Force, as well as to capitalize upon other tactical advantages.

The Power of the Force and Heart of the Empire

The power of the Force—and the desire to control more of this power—lies at the very heart of Heart of the Empire.

As the campaign opens, you learn that a team of Rebels has gone missing shortly after having informed the Alliance that the Imperials on Coruscant appear to be looking for a mysterious artifact, which the Empire hoped to use as a weapon. Then, after the Rebellion sends a new team of heroes to pursue the lead, you and your friends launch into action.

What begins as a simple firefight between Rebel heroes and a patrol of Stormtroopers, however, quickly escalates as the heroes learn the mysterious artifact is somehow connected to the mystical energies of the Force. And if the heroes had any doubts that the Force truly exists—or that the artifact could be connected to it—they are quickly dispelled as multiple lightsaber-wielding figures cross their paths.

Maul, Emperor Palpatine, and Ahsoka Tano all play their parts in Heart of the Empire, but these new Ally and Villain Packs allow you to expand those roles as you see fit. First, the figure packs allow you to replace these characters' tokens with a much more imposing set of sculpted plastic figures. Then, they make it possible to bring these characters into additional missions.

Each of these Ally and Villain Packs comes with a new side mission that you can fold into your Imperial Assault campaign—either as part of your ongoing Heart of the Empire adventures or as part of any other campaign. Win your mission, and you'll be able to bring the associated Force user into play during future missions, even when that character isn't scripted to appear.

As a result, these Ally and Villain Packs allow you to color your campaign with some of the most powerful Force-related abilities in the game—Maul's Double-Bladed Fury, Ahsoka Tano's Force Leap, or Emperor Palpatine's Force Lightning. And while they may not tilt the campaign fully and irrevocably in your favor, they'll certainly help.

Wielding the Force in Battle

As impactful as these Force users and their Force powers can be in your campaign games, they can make an even greater impact in the fast, heated battles of your skirmish games. Not only is each of these characters a powerhouse in his or her own right, but they all come with their own handful of command cards that allow you to strengthen your whole skirmish army with the powers of the Force.

Maul, Seeker of Vengeance

Sustained by Rage, Maul is an ultra-aggressive brawler and the first Force user to appear in the game's Mercenary faction. Although he is unable to recover any of the health he loses, Maul presents the game's first guaranteed activation; even if he's received enough damage to be defeated, Maul cannot be defeated until after he's activated in a round.

In a game that demands both players keep a close eye to every last point they can gain, the impact of this ability cannot be understated—whether it's simply because Maul's almost always guaranteed his chance to lash into foes with the red, yellow, and green dice he gains from his lightsaber and Double-Bladed Fury, or because it allows you the chance, in a tight match, to grab the last of your forty points before your opponent can score the seven points Maul would otherwise represent.


Even after he's suffered enough damage to be destroyed, Maul's rage sustains him, and he can try to cut down Obi-Wan to claim the Jedi's victory points before the Rebel player can claim Maul's.

Maul can further Wreak Vengeance with his command cards. There are five in the Villain Pack, and in addition to Wreak Vengeance, you'll find two more cards to boost your Brawlers— Looking for a Fight and Face to Face —as well as Deathblow and Chaotic Force.

As a Force-themed command card that can be used in any Mercenary list—and not just by one loaded with Force Users— Chaotic Force is particularly interesting. As a former Sith Lord, Maul understands that the Force flows through all things and binds them together, and this command card allows him to exploit that fact in any army loaded with Relentless Hunters or cards like Under Duress —the strain you deal will be far more damaging than the strain you take.

Emperor Palpatine, Sith Master

The most powerful man in the galaxy, Emperor Palpatine typically advances his agenda from the shadows, using others to do his dirty work. But when the time for action comes, the Emperor is arguably the deadliest foe you could ever imagine.

With his built-in Pierce 3 and melee attack of red and green, the Emperor can dish out damage to even the most heavily armored units. And if your opponent hopes to avoid the Emperor's attacks by staying at distance, he or she will be disappointed to learn how little the Emperor is constrained by his limited speed of "3." With his Force Lightning ability, Emperor Palpatine is able to damage and Weaken foes with a terrifying consistency, especially when you consider the fact his damage completely ignores his target's defenses.

But it's the Emperor's ability to manipulate a battle from behind the scenes that is most powerfully presented by his Emperor and Tempt abilities, as well as through the assortment of command cards introduced in his Villain Pack. Emperor allows Palpatine to influence your skirmishes like a puppet master, perpetually threatening to target your opponents with attacks from nearby E-Web Engineers,   Probe Droids,  and AT-DPs.  Of course, Palpatine's Emperor ability lends even greater value to the powerful attacks of elite units like BT-1,   The Grand Inquisitor,  and Darth Vader.  And while he's goading them to attack, Palpatine can make their strikes even more effective with his Tempt ability.


Not only can the Emperor grant BT-1 an extra attack, but he can boost the droid's lethality with a damage power token as well!

 

Palpatine's command cards amplify these powers by extending their range—with Unlimited Power —and to coordinate them. For example, you might play Prepared for Battle to assign a token to a nearby ally before using Emperor to command that ally to attack. You might even play Dark Energy to thrust some unfortunate Rebel next to Darth Vader in anticipation of the damage he'll do once permitted to strike with the Emperor ability.

Meanwhile, if Emperor Palpatine is heading an army with a limited number of powerful figures, Corrupting Force can help even the odds against lists that hope to swarm you with a horde of weaker figures. A point or two of damage won't break a character like Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader, or Maul, but it may very well leave other units like Gideon Argus,   C-3PO,   Imperial Officers,  and Weequay Pirates —on the verge of death, and easily finished off by a single use of Force Lightning.

Ahsoka Tano, Rebel Instigator

Forced to confront such powerful dark side Force users as Emperor Palpatine and Maul, the Rebels on Coruscant will be more than delighted to welcome Ahsoka Tano and her talents to their cause. With her Twin Sabers and Vigor, Ahsoka Tano brings the sort of determination and energy that just might help the Rebels win their battles—whether on Coruscant or another planet.

A Force User, Leader, and Spy, Ahsoka is capable of playing a range of roles within your army, but no matter how you intend to factor her talents into the larger composition of your army and command deck, you'll find her eager to contribute—always ready to leap into melee and press the attack.

With both Vigor and Force Leap able to modify her movement—separately or in combination—Ahsoka is far faster than her speed of "4" would suggest. The truth is that her speed is much closer to six or eight, depending whether or not you want to store a token. This means her melee attacks are also far deadlier than they would initially appear, especially when you factor in her Twin Sabers ability.

Because she can cross the battlefield so quickly, Ahsoka can direct her melee attacks wherever they're most effective, rather than slicing at the nearest foe simply because it's closest. This means she'll be calling her own shots, rather than reacting to your opponent's positioning of his or her units.

Ahsoka can bolster your forces even more by drawing upon the abilities made possible through her five new command cards.

  • With Force Push,  Ahsoka or your other Force User could pull an enemy into reach of your melee combatant, thrust Diala Passil into position between two enemies she could strike with her Sarlacc Sweep, or fling an enemy combatant just far enough away from one of your wounded units that you'll have a chance to heal before the enemy strikes.
  • Force Jump allows Ahsoka to move as many as thirteen spaces in a turn, in combination with Force Leap and Vigor, or it allows someone like Obi-Wan to rush to the enemy with unexpected speed.
  • Balancing Force introduces a measure of healing that's only symmetrical if your opponent has three damaged figures that you haven't already finished off.
  • Fool Me Once takes advantage of Ahsoka's Spy trait and breaks the loops created by Leia Organa and command cards like Targeting Network.
  • Finally, while Ahsoka's signature command card, Right Back At Ya!,  doesn't strengthen any of your other units, it still strengthens any army that Ahsoka joins. Playable any time your opponent declares an attack against Ahsoka, the card deals a free point of damage, much like Luke Skywalker's Jedi Deflect ability, except that it's not restricted to ranged damage and Ahsoka can increase the damage to three points if she spends a token during the attack. So long as this card is in your hand or command deck, then, your opponent has to think carefully about declaring attacks against Ahsoka, and that fact can give you a psychological advantage in your battles.


When the three damage Ahsoka could deal him with Right Back At Ya! could destroy him, The Grand Inquisitor has to think twice about attacking her.

Wield the Force

"For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is."
     –Yoda

Star Wars wouldn't be the same without the Force and its mystical influence upon the galaxy. Neither would Imperial Assault. The game distinguishes its units through their unique abilities, their class cards, and the command cards available to them in the skirmish game, and the game's Force Users feel decidedly different than other units.

Now, as we look forward to Heart of the Empire, we can look forward, too, to the release of three new Ally and Villain Packs that harness the Force and its energies, using it to defend their allies or attack their foes. When Maul, Emperor Palpatine, and Ahsoka Tano arrive, how will you make use of their connections to the Force?

Share your thoughts on our community forums. Then head to your local retailer to pre-order your copies of the Maul Villain Pack (SWI47), Emperor Palpatine Villain Pack (SWI48), and Ahsoka Tano Ally Pack (SWI49) today!

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