Thursday, November 10, 2005

Darth Vader #17-2 Tips and Tricks

Darth Vader #17-2
Reviewer: Stephen

SPECIAL POWER: Force Push (Warrior)
ATTACK TYPE: Striker (Lightsaber)

Because of this figure's thick, black robes, I like to call him “Grim Vader” or “Darth Reaper,” as he reminds me a lot of the Grim Reaper. With his arms rotated above his head, he can make for a very scary striker, indeed.

Vader's special power can also be used to disrupt a formation that your opponent has carefully built...or draw one of your opponent's Warriors closer to one of your remaining strikers or shooters to make the kill that much easier.

Tip for attacking with Darth Vader:
Darth Vader is a spooky dude. His thick robes must slow him down, as he can only move 10 Tix in this incarnation. However, he's also got a wonderfully long saber, and it can be used to strike in two different ways. If you keep the point of his sleeve pointed straight down, you'll have a standard strike that can take out 4 well-packed 30- and 40-point figures. However, if you put the point of his sleeve straight up, he'll deliver a powerful overhand strike that can take out 5-6 packed 30- and 40-point figures! It can be a bit difficult to keep his hand up in this position, but if you do, the initial impact will send a single figure topping up onto its head, causing it to then bounce up between 6 and 12 inches off the playing field as it flies. If nothing else, this generates some interesting trick shot possibilities. To complete the ghoulish look (and to make it a bit easier to strike with him), point his left sleeve straight up, too.

Vader's special power can be used to disrupt an opponent's Warriors in a major way. You might want to push a threatening striker away so that your opponent's next attack attempt is thwarted. However, if your opponent is out of attacks for this turn, you may want to bring an opponent's figure closer to you (and/or out of formation) to make your next attack that much easier and deadly.

Tips for attacking Darth Vader:
The solidity of Darth Vader's robes help to keep him up in the face of launcher attacks. At 10 Tix, a small missile or Force blast to the upper chest or head will take him down. However, at 15 Tix, a Force blast can't knock him down, though it will knock him back a couple of Tix. Nevertheless, a well-aimed large missile to the chest can knock him over nicely. It'll take a half-power swing from a striker to knock him down, though a quarter-power swing will scoot him across the table around 10 Tix.

You'll likely want to attack Vader with the last attack of your turn. This will prevent any other attacks you might want to make on your turn from being thwarted. This can take some discipline, as Vader's considerable striking power can be awfully threatening. Because he's a slower striker, you might also be able to get the jump on him with a faster striker group (which might include his S1 alter ego, with 14 Tix of movement per turn).

Alternative Strategies
Let Vader hang back for a bit if your opponent advances toward you somewhat heedlessly. That way, you can surprise them with a Vader-sized chomp out of their forces when they get in range of his saber (the length of which s/he may not anticipate).

Or be bold and charge Vader into the thick of battle! Even if he falls, his special power can set your opponent's figures into a disarrayed mess, ripe for the picking off. And if he doesn't fall, your opponent will have to contend with an incredibly powerful strike that has some funky spin to it, if it's done properly.

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