web of webhead Episode III: Top 05 of '05
Welcome back to web of webhead. Our first two installments covered two of the factions in Star Wars Attacktix (SWAX), the Droid Army and the Wookiees. This time around I’m going to give you my picks for the top five figures of 2005, encompassing Series 1, Series 2, the Megas, the Battle Pack and Battle Case. Keep in mind these are MY opinions, and I hope this encourages discussion. Let’s get it on!
Clone Sergeant (SW/35)
The Clone Sergeant is the figure exclusive to the Battle Case, and hence, is something of a chase figure due to the fact that the Battle Case is both hard to find in some places, and sort of expensive to collect in multiples. The Clone Sergeant makes the list because he has the fastest speed of any Launcher in the game, by a good amount. You can say that the Republic Gunship in theory moves faster and shoots, but that’s an apples to oranges comparison. No other figure on a round base that shoots comes close to his speed. His special is remarkably flexible as well, as it works with Clone Troopers by name, not by class, giving you a lot of flexibility when team building. However, in the end you have a 20 point figure on a small base with a small missile, which keeps him out of the top five proper.
Destroyer Droid (SW/19)2)
The Droideka is an imposing figure on the battlefield, the only regular sized figure to offer two launcher attacks for one. A Destroyer Droid lets you “cheat” the game limitations by getting in at least one extra attack each turn as long as he is in play. Speaking of staying in play, it has a better than one in three chance of returning right back to your starting area upon defeat as long as one of his droid buddies is around, which is probably better than the Recover power from a Launcher’s point of view. The fact that the Destroyer Droid has only small missiles keeps him from being higher on the list.
Mace Windu (SW/19)
The Series 1 Striker Mace was the one figure singled out by the game's designer as perhaps being made too strong. A 30 point figure on a large base, with a decent chance at Recovering, Mace is a very solid attacker that is hard to take out. The only thing keeping Mace this far down the list is his slow speed, with more and more 12 speed strikers out there, a 10 speed striker just seems a little passé.
Ki-Adi Mundi (SW/G2)2)
The new Gold Based Ki-Adi is getting a lot of hype right now, and rightfully so. A fast, cheap Jedi striker on a medium base, Ki-Adi is aggressively costed for his base stats. However, when you add in one of the best, if not the best Special Powers in the game, you get an outstanding figure. The threat of a possible TRIPLE Jedi Attackback makes Ki-Adi the number one target in most games he appears in, allowing you to develop the rest of your figures accordingly.
General Grievous (SW/28) & (SW/T3)
Grievous is a powerful precision shooter, with the best missile in the game. More to the point, Grievous is the BEST shooter in the game in my opinion. He has a good cost, a powerful attack, and one of the better specials in the game coupled with nearly 50/50 odds, there isn’t much more to say about Grievous except that if you can get the Tournament version, you get all of this for 10 less points. A steal.
Darth Vader (SW/16)
This is the one pick that I’m sure most people will agree with. “Armored” Vader is quite simply a force to be reckoned with. One of two fastest figures in the game at 14 speed, Vader is probably “broken” when it comes to any Capture the Flag scenario. Add to that his weight and base size, making him harder to topple, and cap it off with a special that lets him Recover almost 2/3’s of the time, and you have the best, most aggressive striker in the game combined with being about the hardest to kill. Not much more left to say about that.
More Best Of:
Best Mega: AT-RT (SW/37), at 4 attacks per turn, this lone figure doubles your normal number of shots, allowing you to get five attacks in a turn if you wish. Oh, and his special could let him bring in his little brother, the Destroyer Droid in a pinch.
Best Wookiee: Tarfful (SW/29), the king of all Wookiees, the Vader of Wookiees, whatever you call him, he’s a beast.
Best Separatist: Cone Commander (SW/34), this starter figure is a well rounded shooter, with an extremely high chance of giving one of your Troopers *cough* Destroyer Droid *cough* a free shot.
Best Empire: Scout Trooper (SW/4)2), soon to be upstaged to be sure, but a decent “filler” character that benefits your Troopers, and has an above average special power ratio for 10 pointers.
Best Rebel: Luke Skywalker (SW/29)2) is one of the best figs in the game... no, really. Probably my “number seven” pick, he has great speed, a great mid sized base for a low cost, and a good chance of having his very versatile special “go off”.
Best Bounty Hunter: Bossk (SW/13)2) has probably the number one best special in the game. Unfortunately, it won’t come up very often, leaving a fairly basic (though left handed) shooter.
Best 10 Pointer: Grievous Bodyguard (SW/6)2), with speed enough to keep pace with all but the fastest strikers, and a good special that fires off fairly frequently for the cost, an all around good figure for the points.
Best non-booster product: Wal-Mart exclusive Battle Pack, a great bargain with a Series 2 booster (about 7 – 8 bucks), a Republic Gunship (about 10 bucks) and three nice Gold Based figs, all for around 20 dollars. A great set for someone first getting into the game.
Best starter: Series 1 (Vader versus Kenobi). This of all the starters I like best because it gets right down to the crux of Episode III and gives you the major players, a great introduction to the game.
That’s it for this year. As good as this year was, I have a feeling the Sophomore year of Attacktix will really tell the tale, with Series 3 on the horizon and Transformers Attacktix on it’s way, it should be a good one. See you next time!
Read more web of webhead Episodes I & II
In response to webhead's post, Stephen would also like to add HIS best of list.
Honorable mention: Yoda (SW/30)
If you're a person who likes to play a defensive striker game, Yoda is your guy. His defense is excellent, being very hard to knock down form all but a few Tix away, and his special power means death for the figure that strikes him down more than three-fourths of the time. His speed is also excellent, which allows you to control the playing field with him against all but the fastest strikers. However, his awkward strike tends to "top off" opponents' figures, rather than propel them in a straight line. Thus, it's harder to pull off multiple kills with Yoda than with other strikers, particularly if his hand is glued to his lightsaber.
Fifth place: Destroyer Droid (SW/19)2)
Because the Destroyer Droid has an extra-stable tripod stance, two missile shooters, and a Trooper Attacktix class, it makes a fabulous support figure for a Droid Army team. Why only a Droid Army team? Because it has about a one-third chance of returning to the starting line only if a Droid Army figure remains standing on its team. However, its 40 point cost, combined with its firing only small missiles, makes it an awfully expensive bit of laser-bait. Especially because the skinny panel joining its arm and legs is a guaranteed push-down target that can let even a small missile shooter take down the Destroyer Droid from 15 Tix away.
Fourth place: Gold-based Ki-Adi-Mundi (SW/G2)2)
Yes, Ki-Adi-Mundi's refurbishment is by far the best of the three in the Battle Pack. Not only does his special power get upgraded in power and probability, but his movement gets bumped up 2 Tix, adding a needed burst of speed to this powerful striker. In contrast, gold-based Nute Gunray's special power upgrade (though a lovely add to the Droid Army) is still wedded to a small missile shooter. Nevertheless, a three-Jedi Attackback is only useful if there are a) up to three Jedis b) in good attack range. Thus, you'll need to keep gold-based Ki-Adi-Mundi out of the range of your opponent's attacks for at least one turn (and possibly two or three) so that his special power won't be triggered prematurely, thus wasting his speed. Alternatively, he might make a good back-line figure in a striker unit â€“ but then, the figures in front of him might be decimated before his special power becomes useful. Plus, his saber hand still tends to snap off at the wrist; unfortunately, Hasbro didn't glue it in any better than they did in the Series 1 issue.
Third place: General Grievous (SW/28) & (SW/T3)
This guy's a monster on the battlefield. His wide-hitting bolt is to be feared, and his amazing ankle flexibility allows him to bend forward or backward so that he's almost parallel with the playing field, allowing him to aim and fire around figures or terrain that would otherwise block his shot. Plus, at 30 points, he doesn't break the point bank on 100-point squads. And to top it off, his Attackback special power lets a couple of Droid Army figures take their revenge, should their Captain fall. However, the same provisos about Ki-Adi-Mundi's special power apply here, making General Grievous an obvious target for opening salvos from your opponent, particularly if he's left alone on the starting line. The trigger on his gun is also awkwardly recessed into the gun itself, making firing an issue for those who aren't used to it. The Tournament edition General Grievous knocks 10 points off his cost, but it also knocks 2 Tix off his speed, which makes him perhaps the least advantageous Tournament figure compared to the regular figure.
Number two: Obi-Wan Kenobi (SW/38)2)
When I saw the special power probabilities on the Series 2 Mace starter, I grew rather pessimistic that Series 2 Starter Kenobi's Recover power would have anything close to a 50% probability of coming up. However, when it was posted that his Recover power was only 8% less probable to come up than Series 1 Starter Kenobi's Sacrifice power, and the orange Clone Trooper in the starter set had a more probable Jedi Attackback, I got a bunch of these starter sets for myself. With his saber pointed inward, this 30-pointer Jedi Warrior can knock down as many figures as Mace Windu, and his Recover probability (which requires only a lowly, cheap Trooper to activate) is slightly higher than even Armored Vader's! So why is he only number two on this list?
Number one: Darth Vader (SW/16)
Because only 10 more points and a slight hit to the Recover probability buys you a bigger base, a more substantial figure, 2 more Tix of movement (making him the fastest figure in the game), and a longer and more powerful strike. Armored Vader's Recover special power also requires only a Trooper to activate, which he can leave behind while he charges through your enemy's lines, knocking them down mercilessly while taking hits from small missiles with impunity. For now, this guy is the striker to include at least one of in a squad, particularly if he's paired with another fast, lower point striker (Starter 2 Kenobi, perhaps? Count Dooku?).
Best of the Rest
Best Mega: Republic Gunship (SW/31)2)
Not only does it offer a portable large missile launcher, it lets you transport a figure across the battlefield. Furthermore, the new targeting mechanism makes it harder (but not impossible) to take down with a single attack. The new targets are also not prone to popping back into place (like the AT-RT's and Boga's) after they've been knocked down. They seem to be so successful that they'll be used on the Jabba the Hutt Mega for Series 3.
Best Republic: Medic Droid (SW/20)2)
A unique figure that brings any figures of yours back from the dead. This figure's unique action is almost guaranteed not to break â€“ and even if it does, you can just use a counter or something similar to keep track of when to bring a figure back â€“ no need to play the booster return lottery with Hasbro! However, this may not be terribly useful in 100-point games without figures surrounding it to protect it.
Best Rebel: Luke Skywalker (SW/29)2)
Yes, his foot is covered in something, but that something helps to keep him up, even with direct shots at his base. Plus, he gives the nascent Rebel team a lot of mobility from the start and a relatively cheap yet effective striker.
Best Wookiee: Tarfful (SW/29)
The paw with the most punch, the Wookiee with the wickedest whap, the longest-lasting Leader (medium-probability Recover special power): It's Tarfful, an indispensible Wookiee team anchor.
Best Separatist: Palpatine (SW/17)
Hard to knock down, equipped a unique Force blast and a medium-probability Recover special power that belies his Sith origins, and featuring a fixed firing angle, Palpy is a great figure to learn about the basics of (Force blast) Attacktix shooting. Plus, if he's knocked down on his right side, his Force blast might just have a nasty surprise for your figures that lie in front of him!
Best Empire: Royal Guard (SW/07)2)
The Empire is probably the weakest team so far; expect this to change greatly in Series 3. The Royal Guard wins over the first Imperial Vader because of its higher speed, lower cost, and better special power (Rescue vs. Force Push?!?).
Best Bounty Hunter: Boba Fett (SW/30)2)
It's almost hard to take this figure seriously, particularly if Tion Medon has snuck up behind him and is about to give him a nice thwack on the bottom. Still, his low center of gravity when he's bent down makes him hard to knock over (like Yoda), and his Capture special power is more probable than Bossk's. Furthermore, if you have some Specialist Scout Troopers on your team (or some other Bounty Hunters), his special power will act just like Bossk's.
Best 10 point figure: Jedi Knight (SW/01)2)
My prejudice may be showing through on this one, but hear me out. Unlike the Series 1 or 2 Grievous Bodyguards, 10 Jedi Knights' Attackback special powers work together when thrown together in a squad. Furthermore, their strike is more powerful than that of a Grievous Bodyguard, and they're just as fast as a Series 1 Grievous Bodyguard. If you get these guys swarming together in two flanks of five (or four, if your opponent goes first and knocks two off the starting line), you've got a force that's nearly unstoppable if you peel off attackers from one flank and keep the other flank formed up tightly.
Best novelty product: Wal-Mart Battle Pack
A Republic Gunship ($9.96), a Series 2 booster pack ($6.97), and three gold-based figures (at least $9.99 on eBay) for between $18-$22? What a great way to introduce the game to newbies! Even the two-for-one Series 2 booster Mega Packs won't give you as thorough an introduction to the game as the Battle Pack (though they're better for building armies or building up trade bait).
Best starter: Series 1 (Kenobi vs. Vader)
Though individual figures in Series 2 starters (Mace starter Clone Commander, Starter 2 Kenobi) might be better than individual figures in the Series 1 starter, this first starter pack gives some decently powered figures on both sides of the Star Wars universe to start up epic battles. I have 6 of them, at least.
Worst figures: 30 point, small missile shooters without gold bases
Without some incredibly potent and probable special powers, these figures will almost always be relegated to the trade/dust heap. They can't knock much down from a distance, and they tend to be built so that they're not too hard to knock down. Series 1 had three of these clunkers (Padme Amidala, Bail Organa, Nute Gunray), and Series 2 had only one (Princess Leia). C'mon, Hasbro! Do you think politicians can't handle powerful guns for some reason? Give the ladies, senator, and viceroy some credit. Give 'em either the big guns or the big special powers if they've got a big point cost. The gold-based Nute Gunray did the latter, which would make me happy enough to play him in the rear of a Droid Army squad. As for the rest of these...well, let's just say I won't be playing a Senate team featuring the fearsomely bad Padme-Bail-Leia trio anytime soon.