Guest Reviewer: Stephen
In this tutorial, I will cover a number of shooting strategies. These range from the proper aiming and targeting of a gun or arm to techniques that can be use to stabilize your aim to which type of shooter to use in which situations.
The first step in successful shooting is establishing a solid base from which to shoot. If you can't stabilize your shooter, you can't hope to shoot consistently. Thus, below are some hand grips you can use on your figures to create a maximally stable base. Basically, you'll want to put your thumb on top of the button for the launcher, wrap your index finger underneath the launcher, and use the rest of your hand as a base that stands underneath the launcher to create a shooting surface from table to launcher.
This is how you'd do it with a right-handed figure.
Whereas this is how you'd do it with a left-handed figure.
This is a grip for a large missile launching figure.
And for a Force blast figure.
However, it may not always be practicable to create such a base if your figures are in formation. The most critical part of this is to put your thumb on the top of the launcher button and wrap your index finger around the launcher to provide a force to counteract that which you'll apply when you push down on the button. You'll also want to have some fingers of your other hand on the base of the figure to keep the figure from wobbling around when you shoot.
Like this, involving a 2x2 formation of Clone Troopers.
Alternatively, you can grasp the head of the figure to stabilize it, then put your thumb on the launcher button and wrap your fingers underneath the launcher to form a base.
Now, a bit about aiming your shots. Though you can just look down at your shooter and the figure you want to knock down, then draw an imaginary line between them to line 'em up, this doesn't take care of the elevation of the launcher. For maximum precision in aiming, you need to look down at the level of the back of the launcher to make sure you're not shooting above or below your target.
For launchers with only a button on top of the gun, you can just do your best to ensure that the surface of the button is level with the surface of the playing field to create a level shot.
When shooting from launchers with multiple protrusions, some of which line up along the top of the barrel, you should do your best to line up the button and the protrusion at the farthest edge of the barrel in an invisible line targeting a precise spot on the figure at which you're aiming. In this case, the missile is aligned to strike at the corner of the Super Battle Droid's snout.
With Force blasters, aiming can be a bit trickier on account of the weight of the projectile. You may find it useful to align the top of the Force blaster's hand with your desired target on the figure at which you're shooting.
The goal of shooting is hitting your opponent where he or she is weakest. For individual figures, this often means the head. However, the head is awfully hard to hit unless you're at point-blank range, so it's advisable to aim for the top half of the body of a figure. This will impart a maximum amount of angular momentum to the figure, giving it the best chance of toppling down. If you aim for the bottom half of the figure, you'll have to fight the friction of the base against the playing surface to start it rotating down.
You can also add to the angular momentum of your opponent's figure by shooting it from an angle, particularly if your shot is directed to your opponent's launcher. Not only will it send your opponent's figure toppling downward, it will also send it spinning around, subjecting it to the vagaries of uneven friction, which will hopefully help to spin it down.
Generally speaking, you should use the right projectile for the job at hand. Unless you're a really good shot (or really lucky), you should use a small missile for shooting only at 10 or 20 point figures. Large missiles can be used to shoot down 30 or 40 point figures with a surgical strike, unless the target has layers of molded robes (like Palpatine, Plo Koon, or Shaak Ti) that will distribute the energy of a missile shot diffusely. In these cases, or in the case when you want to blast away at a couple of figures at once, a Force blast or Grievous bolt are most appropriate.
However, if your opponents has bunched his or her figures into a formation, you have to make some choices. If your opponent has left some figures relatively unprotected (like those in the back line of a basic triplet), those should be the ones you try to pick off. However, if there are no easy targets (for example, if the figures are stacked in a defensive 2x2 formation), you'll likely have to use two attacks. The first attack should bust at least one figure out of the formation, then the second attack should target the outed figure for a knockdown. I prefer to use a Force blast or Grievous bolt for the first shot, then a small or large missile for the kill shot.
Here, a Republic Clone Trooper and Plo Koon face a mixed 2x2 formation at ~8 Tix away of Separatist Clone Troopers in the front and Clone Commanders in the back. Plo Koon takes aim at the launcher of the Clone Trooper on the left to use angular momentum to scoot it out of the formation.
Success! The left-hand Separatist Clone Trooper is peeled out of the formation, leaving the Republic Clone Trooper free to pick him off.
And with a good shot, the Republic Clone Trooper knocks down the Separatist Clone Trooper. Now, even if the formation reforms, it'll be a much weaker basic triplet instead of a solid 2x2, leaving plenty of points of attack.
This time, Shaak Ti aims for the space between the Separatist Clone Troopers, hoping to use the width of her Force blast to spread both troopers out of the formation.
Now, Commander Gree has a relatively clear shot at either of the Clone Commanders, either of which would be a staggering 30-point knockdown compared to the 10-point Clone Troopers. However, the Clone Commander on the right is not protected by a launcher behind him, so Commander Gree takes aim at the Clone Commander on the right.
And down goes the Clone Commander! Now the remaining figures in the formation may have to form a backwards triplet to have a prayer of staying stable.
Of course, the fantasied version of any two-attack combo on a formation is that the attackers somehow find a way to take down two figures at once. Here, Plo Koon and the Republic Clone Trooper face down the same formation as before. However, this time, Plo Koon prepares for a daring head shot to the Separatist Clone Trooper on the right.
Pop goes the weasel! Now, the Republic Clone Trooper has a shot at the Clone Commander on the right. Do you believe in miracles?
YES! The Republic Clone Trooper's shot was so good, it sent the Clone Commander flying right off the edge of the table, proving that a 10-point figure can still take out a 30-pointer with the right shot!
So, you now know how to steady your shooters to make them ready for an attack. You also know how to aim them to make sure your projectile has enough altitude to take out your target. You also know what missile to use for what type of target, and you also know how to shoot successfully, even at figures in formation. The main things that only experience can teach you now are the proper elevations to be used at the various distances from your opponent, the right spot to shoot on each target figure, and the best way for you to grip your shooters to make sure they're nice and stable, no matter how you're shooting.