Theme and What is It?
Legends of the Alliance is a new app developed by Fantasy Flight Games to supplement their Star Wars: Imperial Assault board game. As such it is a Star Wars that allows players of Imperial Assault to replace the Imperial player with the app making the game fully co-op.
For the purposes of this review of Star Wars: Imperial Assault: Legends of the Alliance I’m going to assume that anyone reading this knows 1: what Star Wars is and 2: how the game Imperial Assault works. I will not be reviewing Imperial Assault. I will be talking about things that have changed from the original to the new app/expansion.
The mechanics of the game remain mostly unchanged. The biggest change is the Imperial Player is replaced with the app that tells the rebel players how to move the Imperial forces, hides decisions, and keeps track of much of the bookkeeping between sessions. It handles how the store works, keeps track of the party’s experience, and tracks their inventory. It also chooses the available side missions, decides what forces the players will face during the campaign, and keeps track of any story decisions the players have to make. It also comes with a unique story campaign.
There are two difficulties in the game, normal and hard. I’ve only done normal at this point and found it very difficult to complete, but if you’re a far better player than I the choice is there for you.
I was very excited about this. I’d heard it compared to the Mansions of Madness app and thought that would be a great use of the technology for this game. From the tutorial that teaches you how to play the game in three missions and the first story mission, all of which keep sections of the board hidden until the player’s open doors, I was enamored with this product.
Quality of Components and Insert
The app is simple to use. The text is readable and the archive function that allows you to go over things you’ve already read is very intuitive. The interface is well laid out and it’s easy to read all of the icons even on a phone.
All of the assets seem to be from the board game. They’re perfectly serviceable pictures and art that depict the various things and people you will come across.
I enjoyed the app a lot, at first. The story campaign provided has six missions and the possibility to be increased later. Not having to rely on one of our group being the Imperial Player was a lot of fun and an exciting prospect. However, there were some things missing that dampened the excitement as we went. First, you don’t create an event deck for your party. Which meant that we weren’t going to hit any of the side missions, personal missions, or imperial missions. A side mission did appear at one point, but it was entirely text based and gave us access to an ally for some of the following missions. The second problem was revealed on a second play through. There is only the one campaign. It starts as Han, Chewier, and Luke are receiving their medals on Yavin IV and continues on from there. It is always the same missions in the same order. The random element of when you have to face some challenges is gone. Missing the personal missions meant that we never saw any of our characters specialized equipment.
Difficulty and Age Range Suggestion
The app runs simply enough and the actions for the imperial characters was set up in a way that it’s easy enough to follow. If you can play the base game and follow along then the app should be a simple enough addition.
The app is good. It’s not perfect. I’d have preferred some more missions and a longer campaign. I’m saddened by the missing missions and the mission deck itself. The side missions being relegated to a simple text adventure with a couple of choices was interesting but ultimately not fulfilling, especially since I’m not sure you can fail at it.
That said it was a nice change of pace. I would clearly label this as a pallet cleanser that left me ready to play the game from the beginning with an Imperial Player. I hope they can update the app to include all of the things that are missing now and get that stuff in the works for later on. I like how the tactics and targeting work. I think the enemy actions are great, and I enjoy the bookkeeping the app does.
In the end, it’s a free app and I think that alone makes it worth taking for a spin and see if you like it. At the very least you’ll get one solid play through where one of you isn’t running the game.
And with that, may the force be with you.