It was Christmas 2015 and my older son Ethan and I were looking for a new game to play. We evaluated all of Fantasy Flight Game’s offerings and couldn’t decide which Star Wars game we’d like the best. Ultimately the ground-based combat of Imperial Assault inspired Ethan more than X-Wing or the Living Card Game. Come Christmas day, Ethan unwrapped the Core Set.
We tried the scaled-back beginner’s Skirmish provided in the Core Set. We weren’t exactly impressed — many of the figures in the Core Set either were too slow, too easy to kill or didn’t do enough damage. Later in 2016, when I learned about how the Jabba’s Realm expansion focuses on revamping Skirmish, I was interested in trying it out again. I bought the expansion and several of the A/V blisters and pulled Ethan into a game.
Both of us were impressed and had a lot of fun. Ethan’s Jet Troopers were worthy adversaries, able to dish out a hit (or a crucial Overrun) while weaving in-and-out of cover. Attacks from the newer Mercenary figures hit harder and helped pick up the pace of the game. While Ethan just enjoyed playing, I was hooked. Skirmish scratched an competitive itch that I didn’t know I had… and the game-designing itch I knew I had.
Immediately I started working on custom fixes bringing our Core Set pieces up to the new power curve set by Jabba’s Realm. Then I bought into the older expansions so I could start tweaking the figures in them. After a few attempts, I published a Google Doc with Skirmish Fixes and shared it around the Imperial Assault online community.
Up until late 2018, I was telling other strategy gamers how great Skirmish had become — a real diamond in the rough. Fantasy Flight seemed committed to making this second, bonus game of IA just as good as the campaign. But since the release of Tyrants of Lothal, the deafening silence from Fantasy Flight about Skirmish have left us players feeling like there is no hope for additional product and support.
If this is the end of FFG’s support for Skirmish, I’m not bitter. They’re a company that needs to do what’s best for them. But I’m not willing to give this game up just yet.
Before Worlds 2019, several members of the community and I started a conversation about what could we do to keep people playing Imperial Assault Skirmish in the event that Fantasy Flight was truly abandoning it. We want to involve the entire IA community in the process of balancing IA back towards a healthy meta and adding new, exciting content to the game. We want the game and the community to remain an important part of our lives.
The conversation evolved into starting this project and this project’s first set of recommendations: Season 1. With the changes suggested, we’re hoping to bring hope back to IA players who think this game has no future. Seasons in the future will continue tweaking the existing meta, adding new figures and also help newer players better compete with their limited resources. We, the IA Skirmish Community, wins so long as the game stays vibrant, lively and worthy of our time to play. We win when you want to tell your local gamers that Skirmish is a diamond in the rough to keep playing in person.
So we’re hitting the ground with Season 1 and we’ll take the next chance. And the next. On and on until we win… or the chances are spent.
We’re going rogue. Join us.