Thanks to Luke coming round I was able to finally get Imperial Assault to the table for a skirmish game. We used the suggested first time skirmish teams from the skirmish manual, and played the Moisture Farm map using scenerio A – “Close to Home”. I was playing the Imperial forces who had initiative, while Luke had the Rebels.
Above: Darth Vader about to show just how destructive he can be by attacking Luke and Gaarkhan (the wookie) using brutality.
I was going to go off onto some fanciful journey of self awareness inspired by the battle between the fictional father and son Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. Comparing their relationship and portrayal to that of being a step father and my relationship to my step sons. With the battle between father and son in the game representing the struggle and conflict within the step family I was part of. Followed by some inner reflection on my regrets and failings as a step parent since the break up of our step family.
Then after this navel gazing I'd come back to the reality of playing my first skirmish game of Imperial Assault. Luke and I had to reference the rules a few times, but that was only natural for a first game. Luke made a good tactical decision of trying to take out Darth Vader first. Which he nearly pulled off. Vaders survival had hinged on one key decision. Down to two life points, Vader was nearly out for the count. One successful attack by the right character like Luke Skywalker would of finished him off. However the wrong character was activated first giving Vader a window to wipe out enough rebels to grab the win.
A couple of days later it was time to duke it out French anime style in Krosmaster Arena. What I loved about learning this game was the fact that the manual has a tutorial mode! Just like a video game the tutorial took you through playing the game gently using mini maps, and introducing new elements of game play in each of the seven tutorials. Sadly I didn't win any of the tutorial games against Luke. I'm not the tactical genius I thought I was.
Playing Krosmaster Arena really is the boardgame experience of playing Final Fantasy Tactics. Luke even made the comment while playing he wanted to play FFT later because of this game.
Apart from cost (for both games) being a possible sticking point in playing these games, they are not cheap. But then as soon as you start adding miniatures to a game the price always shoots up. Both games have gorgeous minis. I can see people being put off Krosmaster Arena by its cutesy cartoon look, especially of the chibi style characters. But don't let that put you off, there is a nice skirmish game here which can play up to four players.
There are some similarities between both games mechanically. But it's the differences that give each their unique feel. I love in Imperial Assault the turn order, and initiative swapping each turn, and being able to choose the order you activate characters. While in Krosmaster Arena I like how order of play for your team is decided by character initiative. Team building in Imperial Assault is more in-depth than Krosmaster Arena because you are also having to build a command deck.
I enjoyed playing both and want to get both to the table on a regular basis. However Luke preferred Krosmaster Arena. So much so that a regular thing has been set up to play the game. Next time it's a full game, with us drafting our teams from the limited pool of characters that I have. And yes the future does seem to see me at some point buying more figures.