Often Forgotten Star Wars: Imperial Assault Rules

January 11, 2017

This has been updated after reviewing the consolidated Imperial Assault rules.

Star Wars: Imperial Assault is a behemoth of a game and with epic scale comes the challenge of complexity. Fantasy Flight, to their credit, have done a decent job of making the game digestible with the tutorial mission and the two rules books: the Learn to Play guide and the Rules Reference booklet. Shut Up and Sit Down have a fantastic getting started video to bring new players up to speed as well.

Still, despite the quality of resources it’s easy to forget the odd rule here or there and so as an exercise I figured I’d do a deep dive into the manuals and collect up some of the rules that tend to be forgotten or misinterpreted.

#Strain and Endurance

  • Any additional strains added past a hero’s endurance by a game effect adds an additional point of damage.
  • A hero may suffer a strain to gain an additional movement point, up to two times per activation.
  • Once per attack, a hero may spend a single surge to recover one strain.


  • Conditions such as Bleed require at least one damage to be dealt for them to take effect.
  • Each ability that costs a surge to use can only be used once per attack.
  • Non-hero figures, such as Darth Vader, may not perform an attack and then a special ability that allows them to attack.
  • Abilities that cause a figure to take damage but do not involve an attack (such as Darth Vader’s force choke), are not considered an attack.
  • Objects can be affected by Blast and Cleave.
  • If during an attack the line of the sight to the target changes or the defender moves, the attacker must target another redeclare another target space for the attack. If none of the defender’s spaces are valid, then the attack misses.


  • Spaces separated by impassable terrain (dashed red) are adjacent and line of sight can be traced through it.
  • Difficult terrain can be entered for one additional movement point.


  • Conditions cannot be applied to objects and objects cannot suffer strain.


  • Items can be sold back to the shop for half of their face value.
  • Starting items can be sold back to the shop for 50 credits.
  • Each crate token the Rebel players have in their possession at the end of a mission is worth 50 credits.


  • The threat level is not the current amount of threat the Imperial player has, it’s the amount of threat that the player gains each turn.
  • Threat cannot exceed 20 or decrease below 1.

#Mission Setup and Deployments

  • The Imperial player may add a number of additional deployment cards, either Imperial or Mercenary, equal to the number of open groups in the mission setup. Unique units prefixed with a black square cannot be added unless the Imperial Player has earned them as a mission reward.
  • Reinforcements and deployments can only be deployed to active deployment points. The deployment points that begin the mission active are marked green on the mission map. Other deployment points are not active until specified by the mission’s rules, even if another rule allows a one-time deployment to any of those points.
  • Reserved figures, after being defeated, can be re-deployed during an optional deployment - unless the figure is a unique unit.


  • Agenda cards should be shown to the Rebels on purchase unless the card specifically says it should be kept secret.
  • Side Mission Agenda cards should be immediately presented to the Rebel players as a side mission option.
  • Forced Mission Agenda cards should be immediately played.
  • The Imperial Player, during the Jabba’s Realm, Heart of the Empire, and Tyrants of Lothal campaigns (or optionally any campaign) should discard down to four Agenda cards if they ever have more than four.


  • Heroes may have an unlimited amount of items but may only bring one armour item, two weapon cards, and three equipment to a mission.
  • Any items, except reward cards, may be traded between missions.


  • Rebel players may deploy a single ally that they have earned as a reward immediately after the Rebels have deployed their hero figures.
  • If the Rebel players deploy an ally the Imperial player gains threat equal to the ally’s deployment cost and may immediately resolve an additional deployment.
  • Allies are not heroes and cannot interact with crates or rest, and may only perform one attack action per activation.
  • Allies that are part of a mission do not give additional threat or an additional deployment to the Imperial player.

#Attribute Tests

  • When you fail an attribute test that requires multiple surges, you add the number of successes you did obtain as surge tokens to the object. The next attribute test attempt then gains that number surge tokens as successes, and then discards them at the end of the test.
  • Only heroes can perform attribute tests. Elite figures automatically have success one. Regular figures fail attribute tests.

#Large Units

  • Units only have to pay 1 additional movement point to enter the large unit and are not required to spend an additional movement point per space of the unit they move through.

#Attachment Cards

  • Some Imperial Class cards have the keyword attachment on them, these cards must be attached to a Deployment card during the deployment phase.
  • When the last figure in the group is defeated, the attachment card returns to the Imperial Player’s play are and may be attached when deploying figures in the future.

See Also

Last Updated: 2023-01-12 00:08