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Game review: Imperial Assault Bespin Gambit expands on Star Wars adventures

Posted June 16

In the expansion Bespin Gambit for the Star Wars Imperial Assault board game, gamers will find a full campaign of six new adventure missions and two skirmish battles supporting the locales and landing platforms of Lando Calrissian's Cloud City.

To kick things off, new miniature figures are included for two heroes (force user Davith Elso and Ithorian intelligence master Murne Rin), six wing guards and three Ugnaught tinkerers. Figures that go with this set purchased in separate character packs are Lando Calrissian, Bossk, ISB Infiltrators and Imperial agent Blaise.

It's important to note that with the two new heroes introduced in this expansion, there are completely new decks of class cards. The play options are completely different from previous hero characters found in the main game and previous expansions. New item and supply cards can be gathered to customize a character even more. There is a lot of replay value here.

A new rule introduced in this expansion set is the use of companions. When triggered in the game by certain effects, companions join a neutral character (the Ugnaughts) and activate on the turn of that character. Companions can even use a main character's surges to perform actions. They can also be affected by certain things in the game at certain points during a mission. They add flavor and options for adventures.

Another new rule pertains to the Jedi hero playable character, Davith Elso. His "hidden" condition in melee combat allows him to hide from enemies by using a surge. This decreases his chance to be hit by ranged and melee weapons. But what's even better is the ability for him to gain an automatic surge on a future turn as he becomes "unhidden" by performing a sneak attack.

A whole new set of cards, tokens and colorful tiles are included in the expansion, and one of the skirmish battle maps and campaign missions uses the carbon freezing chamber that captured the smuggler Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back movie. How cool is that?

The theme surrounding this expansion is an underground war between rebel and imperial operatives in Cloud City. An agent connected to Lando Calrissian infiltrates the Imperial Security Bureau and gains possession of several Imperial secrets. But the operative disappears mysteriously. Alliance forces work to find out what happened while Imperial forces seek to recover the top-secret information.

For example, at the start of the very first mission, players meet up with Lando Calrissian and proceed to a safe house. Along the way, there is a run-in with Imperial forces, and player characters are hard-pressed to destroy holocams and Imperial forces to remain undetected.

One of the coolest things about this expansion is the ability to play the adventures within as side missions to a bigger campaign or as a separate mini-campaign. The rulebook contains fun little adventure epilogues when Bespin Gambit is used as a mini-campaign. At the end of a mission, it will direct gamers to an epilogue at the back of the book that has a brief story and player rewards. It then indicates the next adventure mission available.

Bespin Gambit is an excellent expansion for one of the best adventure board games on the market. If a gamer owns the Star Wars Imperial Assault base game, this is a no-brainer purchase. If a gamer does not own Star Wars Imperial Assault, get to the nearest game store and purchase it. Yes, it's that good. It's like playing through the movies. Thank you, Fantasy Flight Games, for bringing this wonderful game to the market. Find out more at Fantasy Flight Games.

Email: rmorgenegg@deseretnews.com

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