Darth Maul #26-2
ATTACKTIX CLASS: Warrior
STAR WARS CLASS: Sith
POINT VALUE: 30
SPECIAL POWER: Vengeance (Jedi if have Leader)
SPECIAL POWER RATIO: 14/26 (54%)
ATTACK TYPE: Striker (Dual-Bladed Lightsaber)
Darth Maul is perhaps a less power figure than his dual-bladed lightsaber might suggest. However, he still has two different modes of striking that have significant consequences both for the kinds of combination shots you can perform and for his ability to withstand attacks.
His special power will make your Jedi rue the day they ever saw Maul about half of the time, but only if Maul has a Leader supporting his attacks. Thus, his Master...err...Leader will be a prime target for attacks.
Tip for attacking with Darth Maul:
Darth Maul's double-bladed saber positioned at the chest level requires some more advanced striking skill than a novice may possess. When I try to strike with my left hand in its normal striker support position, the left side of Maul's saber hits the knuckles of my left hand before the saber has much of a chance to whip around much in its strike. Hence, I have to hold Maul's base much lower, with my hand almost flat against his base. In this way, I can strike down 3 of 4 tightly grouped 40-point Force blasters with the right side of Maul's saber. You might be able to claim an additional figure if there's a way for you to snake the left blade of Maul's saber behind the back of a 30-point or lower figure of your opponent's.
If you're less familiar with striking (or just can't get Maul's saber to work for you), you may want to keep his saber lifted over his head and strike with the right side of the saber alone. This is a somewhat less powerful strike than when his saber is at chest level, but it will still take out 3 of 4 tightly grouped 40-point Force blasters. If you use this strike on a single figure, the figure will be sent spinning head over heels and popped upward somewhat (like with Darth Vader's overhand strike, but not as far up in the air). This can interfere with doing straight combination kills, but it can make for some interesting trick combinations (e.g., skipping one figure over another to hit a third, more valuable figure farther behind the second one).
Tips for attacking Darth Maul:
Darth Maul's vulnerability depends greatly on the position of his saber. With his saber raised above his head, at 10 Tix away, a small missile to his back (but not his chest) will knock him down. At 15 Tix away, a large missile or Force blast to the back or chest will take him down nicely. Additionally, a Force blast to the saber he holds on his right side will often be sufficient to twirl him down, even at 15 Tix. Also, a quarter-power swing will often suffice to knock him down with a striker.
However, if his saber is down at chest level, a small missile even at 5 Tix away will likely not be able to knock him down, no matter where it's aimed. Furthermore, only at 5 Tix away can a large missile have a strong chance of taking him down. At 10 Tix away, a Force blast can take him down, but from 15 Tix away, unless you can get a *really* lucky shot on his lightsaber, even a Force blaster can't take him down with his saber at chest level. Furthermore, you'll need at least a half-power swing to strike him down.
Maul's special power will ensure that your favorite Jedi is toast about half of the time...but only if your opponent has a Leader in play. Thus, to protect the Jedi on your squad, you should take out your opponent's Leaders before taking on Maul. However, if Maul's on the field, you might also want to limit the number of Jedi in your squad.
Darth Maul's strong defensive capabilities make him a useful choice for a first-line striker, particularly with his saber down at chest level. When properly used, he can maraud through your non-Jedi opponents, and when he is knocked down, he can exact his Vengeance on the peskiest Jedi on the field for your opponent. Just make sure you have a Leader left on your team!
However, his slower speed might make him suited for the lead of a secondary advancing squad (perhaps protecting a Leader in the rear). You might then want his saber extended above his head to put some spin on your opponent's figures as they crash into each other, once they've been spread out by an initial attacking force.