There are some aspects of the Star Wars universe that developers can visit again and again and the snow-covered landscape of Hoth is one of them. There have been Hoth-themed sets before, but the new 2016 LEGO Star Wars Assault on Hoth set extends the possibilities for recreating scenes and battles from The Empire Strikes Back by bringing together a range of characters, weapons, craft and buildings.
LEGO Set 75098 Assault on Hoth brings lots of small elements and figures together for a big snowy battle.
The main aim of this new LEGO Star Wars set is to bring lots of individual elements together to create one big Hoff-themed building kit. Instead of simply creating one big battle scene, there are lots of small areas and models that tell the wider story of the Episode V scenes on this icy planet. Most of the action takes place around the trenches and base, where the rebels can fend off enemy attacks and plan their next moves, but there are other features that diversify the gameplay – from the feeding station for the Tauntaun to the control room and the ice cave where Luke has his encounter with the Wampa. These fights have a great sense of drama and urgency thanks to range of weaponry and posts. Players can close the doors with the gear mechanism, man the turret guns and fire stud guns and springloaded shooters at the advancing Imperial forces. There is also the spherical ion cannon with dual-firing capabilities, a model of a snowspeeder and an exploding function on the shield generator.
Another important selling point with this set is the range of mini-figures that have been included and the way that they have been designed to suit this specific set. Each character has been given an upgrade with a new design to the face and torso. This is clear with the Luke Skywalker figure that has been designed to fit the scene, but it also continues with the design of the helmets on the pilots and the faces of the Rebel fighters. Other important figures that are included are C3-PO, who can try and give some guidance in the control room, the big, scary Wampa, and a Tauntuan that Han Solo can ride in his quest to retrieve Luke.
Are there too many small elements when a more complex, unified building set would have been better?
Some critics have said that there is too much separation between the parts here, which means that there isn’t as much cohesion to the story. The ice cave just sits on its own to the side, waiting for that specific part of the story, but most of the battle stations can be assembled together with some sort of structure. There are also those that question the lack of detail and authenticity on this “ultimate collectors” model – such as the inclusion of a lookout post that doesn’t appear in The Empire Strikes Back. Die hard fans may find fault, but there is still plenty to keep younger players and builders amused. This breadth, plus the updated designs on the mini figures and sets, means that this 2016 LEGO Star Wars Assault on Hoth set does succeed in giving this classic scene an interesting makeover.