How to Play Imperial Assault: Beginner Tips

Imperial Assault is an exciting, customizable game of tactical combat and strategic planning set in the Star Wars universe. While it’s an exciting adventure to embark on, this board game is quite complicated and can prove overwhelming for most beginners. 

Here are some beginner tips to play Imperial Assault:

  1. Get the official guide and miniatures.
  2. Play the tutorial to understand basic concepts.
  3. Learn to set up before you start playing.
  4. Understand the activation and status phase.
  5. Get familiar with playing cards and activating units.
  6. Focus on the game ending sequence.
  7. Don’t forget to try the campaign mode.

If you’re just entering the world of Imperial Assault or looking for some tips on how to play better, you’ve come to the right place! This guide will give you an introduction to the game, teach you the basic rules, and offer a few pointers to give you a head start against the competition.

Fun, in-depth strategy game that is a huge favorite of those who love the Star Wars universe.

1. Get the Official Guide and Miniatures

To play Imperial Assault, you’ll need a few things. For starters, you’ll need a copy of the game along with the official guide and rulebook. Reading through the official guide will save you a lot of trouble later down the road. 

If you want to make the most of this gaming experience, it’s best to get some miniatures as well as they will add a level of immersion and make the game more enjoyable.

2. Play the Tutorial to Understand Basic Concepts

Before you begin playing, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with how your pieces move around the map and what each component does.

The tutorial missions do a great job of teaching you how each character moves. Playing with someone who knows how everything works will help fill in any gaps and allow you to focus on other aspects of the game.

3. Learn to Set Up Before You Start Playing 

Before you begin playing it’s imperative to understand how the game is set up. Here’s an overview of the set-up process:

  1. Assemble map: The map is assembled by placing tiles to form a rectangle with one tile placed in each corner and two tiles placed along each side.
  2. Assign roles: Each player chooses one side (Rebel Alliance or Galactic Empire) and takes all of that side’s figures, cards, tokens, and dice from the supply area.
  3. Select hero figure: Each player takes their hero figure from their faction’s color group and places it on any starting space on their faction’s side of the map.
  4. Place activation tokens: At any point during a round, one of your heroes might need assistance. You can spend an activation token and use a character ability outside of your turn in these cases. The token is then placed on that character until you spend it again.
  5. Select deployment cards: Deployment cards form a significant part of your strategy in Imperial Assault. Learning how they work and when you should use them can give you a massive advantage over your opponents.
  6. Deploy figures: When deploying your figures, you’ll want to place them in advantageous positions that’ll give you an edge over your opponents. You can deploy your figures at the beginning of the game or during the deployment phase of the game.
  7. Place cards, dice, and remaining tokens: Place the dice, remaining cards, and tokens within reach of every player. You’re now ready to begin playing. 

4. Understand the Status and Activation Phase

The Activation phase and the Status phase are the two main phases during each round of play. They both happen sequentially and the next round begins only once both phases are over. 

Activation Phase

During the activation phase, players can perform one action for each of their figures. There are three types of actions that can be performed: move, attack, and special. 

Moving a figure costs one action, and attacking a figure costs two actions. Special actions are unique to each figure, and vary in cost and effect.

Here are a few things that players need to keep in mind during the activation phase:

  • Players should always try and activate their most powerful units and characters first. This will allow them to deal the most damage and take down the enemy’s units and characters as quickly as possible.
  • Players should always try to plan ahead during the activation phase. This means they should think about what they want to do next before their turn ends. 

Status Phase

The Status Phase is the last phase of a round in Imperial Assault. This phase is where all activations are resolved, ready deployment cards are deployed, and tokens are prepared for the next round.

It’s the only phase that doesn’t have an initiative order. Players can use this phase to heal their units, remove status tokens, and activate abilities.

5. Get Familiar with Playing Cards and Activating Units

Cards are the primary assets in Imperial Assault. They represent the equipment, abilities, and resources your units can use. You must use these cards to activate your units, which allows you to move and attack with them.

Playing cards represent different types of actions, two of which include movement and attacking. To take an action using a card, you must discard it from your hand and replace it with a token that matches its type. Tokens are placed face down so opponents can’t see your planned actions.

There are multiple expansions available but this excellent game has a lot going on – get used to the core game before looking at any expansions.

6. Focus on the Game Ending Sequence

The game ends when one player fulfills all objectives. This can mean winning by completing specific mission objectives or simply surviving longer than your opponents. 

Players should check that they’ve fulfilled their victory conditions at least every turn; you don’t want to miss a turn to find out your opponent has already won! The players must then check which of their unfulfilled victory conditions have been met so far, keeping track of it in their hero sheet or using dice as counters.

If a player hasn’t fulfilled any of his victory conditions, they’re out of the game. If there are still more than two players in contention for winning, continue playing until only one active player is left. The last one standing wins!

7. Don’t Forget To Try the Campaign Mode

Campaign Mode is a mode of play in Star Wars Imperial Assault. It’s a cooperative, story-driven campaign for one to five players on the map board and features narrative content from the entire game.

In Campaign Mode, players work together to recreate an epic tale of tactical combat and grand adventure. They’ll travel from one battlefield to the next, fighting Rebel forces and completing missions to ultimately become heroes of the Empire.

Additional Beginner Friendly Tips

While we’ve listed out the basics on how to get started with Imperial Assault, here are a few additional tips to keep in mind.

  • The goal of any game is to win, so focus on completing your objectives as efficiently as possible. You may be tempted to ignore your objectives and charge forward, attacking everything in sight. But if you don’t play carefully it’s easy for these skirmishes to end in disaster.
  • In a five-player game, completing all of your objectives at once can get tricky, so pace yourself. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should give up on completing as many as you can.
  • Stay flexible with your strategies and make changes according to the dynamic of the game. For example, if a rival player captures one of your objectives, consider switching targets or adapting another strategy entirely. 
  • If you want some more tips on how to play Imperial Assault (and maybe even come out victorious), consult the official guide here.


Imperial Assault is a tactical game with a lot of depth. It takes time to get used to the rules, and it can be hard to keep track of all the cards in front of you. But with practice you’re sure to get the hang of it. 

We hope this article helped you understand Imperial Assault better and gave you some insights into playing this complex, yet enriching game. If it sounds like one you need to add to your collection, feel free to support this site by clicking on the


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