Guest Reviewer: Stephen
Here's a tutorial for those interesting in improving their striking game. Because ImageShack's gallery view doesn't display things as I'd like, I've posted the text of it here. Beware, this is very picture heavy (16 x 250 kB images). You can see the Photoblog version of this tutorial here.
To start a successful strike, scoot your striker up to the target figure, making sure the striking surface (blade or paw) is parallel to the figure you want to strike down.
Now, this is the key. Twist the *base* of the figure, not the striking surface! Angle the striking surface at about a 20 degree angle from the figure to make it fly approximately straight away. Hold the tip of the striking surface between the tips of your thumb and index finger as you rotate the base of the figure between the thumb and index finger of your other hand.
If you follow these directions, this should be the result. The bar in the middle of the screen is a 15 inch ruler. Hence, I was able to knock a 40-point Force blast figure about 24 inches (2 feet!) across the table. The smaller the base of the figure you're trying to strike, the farther it'll go, which offers up some interesting possibilities...
Consider the case when your opponent has spaced his or her figures across the playing surface (these clones are about 5 Tix apart). You can use one of your opponent's figures to take out the other! Again, sidle your striker up nice and close to the figure you want to strike (the farther away the second figure, the lighter the base of the first figure should be). In this case, Starter Kenobi is attempting to knock a Clone Trooper (10 points) into Commander Bly (30 points).
Hold the striking surface of your striker and hold the tip of it between the thumb and index finger of one hand. Turn the base of the striker with the thumb and index finger of the other hand. Position the striking surface about 20 degrees from being perfectly parallel with the figure you're going to strike.
If you've gotten the angle of the striking surface correct in the previous step, the first figure should smack right into the second figure, knocking them both down and giving you a beautiful two-for-one combo! In this case, both figures would have flown off the edge of the playing surface, but for the rails on my table. But what if your opponent has bunched figures up together?
This time, you'll want to get your striker up nice and close to the heaviest figure in the group. This may take a few Tix to accomplish properly, but it should be worth the effort. Note that Shooter Obi-Wan (40 points) is heading a group including a Super Battle Droid and a Clone Lieutenant (20 points each).
For pure power striking, make sure the striking surface covers as much of the lead figure's body as possible. Also, keep the striking surface perfectly parallel to the lead figure's body to ensure that the force of the strike is distributed as evenly as possible to the other two figures, as well.
If you've kept the striking surface as close to the lead figure as possible, you should be able to knock down all three figures, if your striker is powerful enough. The Clone Lieutenant fell off the table shortly after this picture was taken, and the other two bounced off the rails. A sweet three for one!
And now, you know how to strike like a pro, using only a striker available in the starter set! You know how to put real power in your swing, which will allow you to score multiple kills with one hit, whether your opponent spreads his or her figures out or keeps them together.
Interweaved striking surfaces
The key to defending against a gang of shooters is to bunch your figures up in such a way as to maximize the defensive power of the whole group. In this case, stacking your strikers in a 2-figure-wide column - with the figures with the largest bases in front - is ideal for this purpose. However, because you're dealing with strikers, you can also use each figure's outstretched striking surface to provide further support for each figure. Here, you can see how each Jedi has another Jedi's lightsaber in front of him to maximize stability of the entire group. You should be able to do the same with hand strikers, interleaving the hands to "catch" figures that would otherwise fall. Let's see how this works against heavy fire.
Here, the group of four Jedi faces a pair of Force blasts at 5 Tix away.
One Force blast, directed at Striker Kenobi, does very little to perturb the integrity of the group.
And a second blast directed at Striker Kenobi still doesn't knock down any of the figures. Now the strikers can regroup and knock down the Force blasters mercilessly, probably with just one strike!
The striker group packs itself up again, this time to deal with a pair of large missile shooters.
A single missile shot at Agen Kolar's head doesn't knock anyone down.
Nor does the second missile, which has just managed to spin our intrepid Jedi around a bit. Again, the Jedi can regroup and spank the shooters right off the playing field.
Run from strikers!
However, if your strikers are going to combat other strikers, it's best to keep them spread out as widely as possible. Recall what happens when you pack a bunch of shooters together; the same will happen to even the best packed of strikers.
Observe the mischievous, impish "Baseball Bat Yoda" approaching an unsuspecting group of strikers.
And the damage he has wrought upon them, even though they were standing in their most tightly packed and interleaved group. Hence, when confronted with another pack of strikers, break up and knock them all to the ground with one or two well-placed strikers of your own, then group back up if only shooters remain in range to provide maximum stability to your striker group.