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For 50 Points, Vader, Unleashed is...
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:16 am 
Master of the Order
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Given that we know stats for a total of 5 out of 60 pieces, it's tough to say for sure, but right now I have to agree with Dean (welcome back btw). 50 points is a bit low for a piece such as this.

It's not just the Vader character itself, it's the faction he's in. This guy is a modern-day B&B gem. Again, without knowing what else is coming for the Imperial, if all I had from FU was the new Vader, this is probably what I would play at 150 points:

50 Darth Vader, Unleashed
37 Grand Admiral Thrawn
25 Stormtrooper x5
20 Admiral Piett
09 Ugnaught Demolitionist x3
08 Mas Amedda


Forget about his force powers for a moment, this Vader is the cheapest beastick version to date for his stats. It's too bad they didn't put him in the new starter set as a promotional piece for the next expansion. (Him and Obi-Wan Unleashed would have been better than what we actually got with a set of all reprints, IMO).

You basically spend the first few rounds building up force, then you end a round by swapping him into position for a LS Throw 5 (or Force Grip 4 if it's more advantageous). Win init, activate Vader for the power strike of your choice, then swap out with Thrawn. For the rest of the round, your surviving Stormtroopers are attacking at +11 for 20 damage each.

The traditional lessons learned in SWM are that melee Force users with high defense (this Vader has 23, on par with SL and JH) and damage negation abilities and Force powers can survive in close range combat situations. As pointed out earlier, the days of Tow Cable movement are over when versing an Imperial team with either this or VSA. Currently, mobile shooters are really the only chance an opponent has of combating this new B&B combo (pieces coming in the new set notwithstanding).

So, the point of all this being that although Vader can only use his Force powers every few rounds, he won't need them much more often than that. In the intermediate rounds, while he's rebuilding his Force level back up, he's beating down in hand-to-hand with his Lightsaber or taking a breather while his Stormtroopers wear down the enemy.

Even in 100 pts., he's going to be tough to deal with. Here's something I tinkered with as an idea over the weekend:

50 Darth Vader, Unleashed
20 ASP-7 x2
15 Stormtrooper x3
08 Probe Droid
06 Ugnaught x2

The Stormtroopers are mainly there to keep attacks off of Vader while he's building up Force. The ASPs help move him around when its not his turn, so he can LS Throw and then get ported to safety. Even with only one ASP, he can grip for 40 and then move away behind a wall to do it all over again.

Once the enemy has closed to melee range, he can just beat them into submission.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:14 am 
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That's a good point, Fool. I hope that Obi Uneleashed will be a good match up for him.

However, in comparison to Vader IC, for 3 points less, you are also no longer getting the massive defense boost to the Stormies, and you don't get Riposte and Deflect. Honestly, Vader U reminds me very much of Lord Vader. All offense and no defense. In SWMs, I think offense based pieces should always be costed more aggressively than defensive pieces. Defensive pieces will tend to stay in the battle longer, thus doing damage spread out over time. In Vader IC's case, that means more and more time that stormies are nigh un-hitable (I hate playing against that CE).

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:36 am 
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Imagine this 150 pt. scenario:

My proposed B&B vs. Broken Boba or some post-FU variant...

R2 has just towed a JWM up and plans to reach Thrawn on the next round to start beating. I move an unactivated Stormtrooper 12 squares to where he almost has LOS to the targets. Then, I activate Thrawn, and swap my unactivated Vader, who has 8 Force, with the Stormtrooper. Vader activates going up to 9 Force moves to gain LOS to the JWM and uses grip for 40 damage to the JWM.

Next round, I win init, and Vader goes first. He goes up to 6 Force and I LST5 against the JWMs. I need 8's to hit him and 6's to hit R2, and I get 2 tries against each. As long as all 4 hit (which odds are that only 3 of the 4 will most of the time), then R2 is dead and the JWM is standing there with either one less FP (for block) and/or another 20-40 damage. Thrawn activates, swaps, and then my remaining Stormtroopers in close proximity to Thrawn are +11 for 20 damage AND with Force Immunity.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:04 am 
Master of the Order
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Oh, there's no doubt it could be a nasty combination. It just means we all have to, once again, learn to play differently. That's one of my favorite things about this ever evolving game. Every time a new set comes out, it's like re-learning the game all over again. New powerful squads emerge, new power combos....If things didn't change, we'd all get bored. So, pieces like Vader U that shake things up a bit are pretty cool, IMO. The key is just going to be in proper counting. Just like with Lord Vader B&B. and proper movement.

Although, pieces like Vader Unleashed prove even more why we need maps that give Melee a bit more of an edge. ESPECIALLY in light of the KMG stuff.

Boris' above squad would rule on Mustafar or Geonosis, or probably even Deathstar, but I think it would have a bit more trouble on something like Muunilist or Ruined base. Doors will still cause you headaches.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:06 am 
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I understand the scenario, but you must ask yourself this: How often is the towed Weapon Master *not* engaged/dead in 7 rounds?

While I think there is powercreep present, I do not see this scenario played out often (in GenCon when I played B&B, I had every Weapon Master dead way before 7 rounds of play (I think Engineer kept his alive the longest)). While I was playing aggressively, as my situation deserved, the JWM will have to advance quickly.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:12 am 
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I voted "right on the money." I just don't see him getting more than 1-2 big force strikes per game unless you use RS Palpatine, and if you invest 90 points in a combo like that it had better be pretty powerful. Compare the 90-point DVU/Palpatine combo to my favorite 102-point Landspeeder/Leia/Han RH combo, and I guess I don't see a big problem... yet...


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:21 am 
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Lets not go crazy imagining perfect scenarios in which a 50 point figure, supported by a 37 point fig, is able to expend all his force points to kill a 9 point figure and cripple a 26 point figure.

I think he's maybe right on, maybe still a bit too expensive to use competitively.

Without any "cheap" force powers, Vader is a one trick pony unless you bring in another 40 point character.

To me, force grip 4 is worse than force grip 2 or 1 in a lot of situations. I am much more likely to have the force to use the grip before HTH and also it is likely that I can take out 10hp or 20hp characters (which are way more common than 40hp).

I'll admit that there are times when force grip 4 is better, but it seems more often worse.

Lightsaber Throw 5 is SWEET, having to wait till round 3 to use it though isn't as sweet.

I look at this guy as a 50 point Jacen - has 1 big trick except for 25 points more I get a MUCH more durable body. I admit, that just for his base stats 50 points is probably in the neighborhood.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:30 am 
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dvader831 wrote:
Yeah, about the synergy, though. From my POV, the Apprentice and Vader never work together. Vader tells his Apprentice what needs to be done, and he goes off and does it. No working together. I guess they brought this aspect along to the minis.


I agree completely with this. I don't think Vader and his Apprentice ever actually work together, so why should there be synergy between them?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:37 pm 
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This Vader is a beast, but like VA, they both have 2 very good force abilties, but cost A LOT to use them. This just isn't smart to completely trust that Vader will win the game with his force points alone.


Vader, thrawn, RS palp, mas, and 3 stormies, ( or 5 ugnaughts ) is a new 150 squad, which is deadly on Korriban. Win initative, move thrawn 6 away from vader and palpatine, then activate vader uses grip for 1st turn pwange. But you can't be sure you will do well after that.

I voted he's costed right, because he just isn't that insane, considering his force abilties are so costly, and even when you have to force points to do it, you aren't gaurenteed to use his ability, because he may not have LOS.

He has the best defense for his cost, but besides that, he only has dark armor for defense, and no cheaper force abilties to help him out, for offense or defense, when he has one or 2 force points.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:25 am 
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Who cares if Vader is undercosted. He is stil awesome. I doubt he will dramatically change modern miniatures gameplay.
Besides his abilities cost a lot of force points. against some squads that have high movement, and damage he will fall... hard.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:17 pm 
Really Cool Alien from a Cantina
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@Fool,
You don't play competitively, but have a problem with this Vader?

Honestly, I feel that R2 should be played differently now.

More of a yo-yo style, Tow, move and attack or move away. Next round, attack, move and tow or move another fig adjacent and then tow.

However, if you leave R2 or the towed fig where they can be seen on the first turn you deserve to lose him, just like if you let him be seen if Boba is across the board.

Its no big deal, but my problem is that now these types of abilites are available to a select group of factions.[/quote]


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:50 am 
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I think my no R2 Jedi sprint squad may see a LOT more play.

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