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Pojo's Star Wars
Mini of the Day
Date Reviewed: April 26, 2006
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale 1 being the
3 ... average. 5 is the highest rating.
First, we had
Vader Week, reviewing Darth Vader, Dark Jedi; Darth
Vader; and Darth Vader, Jedi Hunter. We followed
that up with Killer Commanders Week, where we looked
at General Veers; Lando Calrissian, Hero of Tanaab;
and Grand Admiral Thrawn. Last week, which marked
our third week of reviews, we covered Triple
Threats; taking a look at Yoda, Jedi Master; Emperor
Palpatine, Sith Lord; and Mace Windu, Jedi Master.
Starting off the fourth week, we will look at some
Beginning with the Seperatist Hailfire Droid. Taking
a quick look at it, you may be less than impressed.
36 points gets you 60 HP's, a pathetic 13 Defense, a
respectable +8 Attack, and 30 Damage. You get some
nice special abilities as well, for the price,
though. Damage Reduction 10 makes this droid immune
to fodder pieces, and reduces the damage of solid
shooters like Boba, Aurra, and Durge. This is
especially effective when used with a bodyguard and
Repair. Lightsabers ignore the effect, so Jedi are
still to be feared. Being a droid, it is, of course,
immune to critical hits. This droid is a mounted
weapon, so can only combine fire with other mounted
weapons or an adjacent Gunner. This droid is also
Rigid (meaning it can't squeeze) and Huge, so that
immediately takes it out of the tournament scene for
100 points. The droid also has some speed with
Wheeled, meaning it "Replaces Turn" to move up to 18
squares and attack.
This slightly overcosted droid has one more thing
going for it, that starts to make it's point cost
come in line: Missles 40. You read the damage
correctly, 40. This droid, in the current DCI 200
point scene, can cause serious first turn collateral
damage. It requires a second Huge figure to
guarantee that you can pull it off (assuming you win
intitiative), as you will need to place the Hailfire
second to have it "spill out" of the starting area.
Since you can't use Wheeled the same turn you use
Missles, set up is the key to a first round Missles
40. Perhaps the best thing about Missles (of any
damage value) is the fact that your opponent makes
the roll. I personally find it to be a nice head
game, since he/she is the one who actually rolls to
see whether or not damage is done. Against low
defense figures, this can sometimes backfire, as it
may be better to target the figure, and roll, to
deal 30 damage. Against high defense figures, or
anytime you have a large cluster of figures, Missles
is the way to go. It gets around Abilities like
Molecular Shielding and Lightsaber Deflect (although
the Force user in question can still reroll a failed
save). Best of all, it can't be bodyguarded.
Now, Missles 40 has a few more drawbacks. First,
since this is a droid that has access to some great
Attack boosts, sometimes Missles 40 won't help at
all against high defense figures. Especially now,
since Abilities given through CE's are treated as if
the figure had it on the card (this isn't
necessarily true for DCI, it depends on how your
judge handles it until the updated FAQ is released).
If you bring General Grievous, Supreme Commander; an
Super Battle Droid Commander; and a Battle Droid
Officer; you can simply remain stationary, have
Double Attack granted by Grievous and a +4 to
Attack, have Careful Shot +4, and be given +4 from
the BDO's Fire Control Ability. This gives the
Hailfire a +20 Attack, two shots, and a potential 60
total damage. Second, Missles 40 can't be used with
Wheeled, as previously mentioned, which hampers the
flexibility of the droid somewhat. Third, it can
backfire to hurt the Hailfire itself. Say you are
dow n to your last figure, and your opponent is down
to his last figure: You no longer have Attack
boosts, and the +8 won't do it. Missles has a better
chance to actually hit, so you use it, but then you
have to risk the save yourself. It also can't be
used in place of a regular attack, during an Attack
of Opportunity (which would cause you to run the
risk of the droid hurting itself, but in a case
where you were going against something like a
bodyguard squad in 200, might be worth it, if it
could be done).
Which will make you wonder why you didn't just bring
the X-1 Viper Droid for a mere 10 points more.
Granted, the Double Attack Grievous grants will go
unused, since the Viper already has it; but it also
brings an additional 70 HP's, the same 30 Damage,
and Molecular Shielding, which is the bane of the
best shooters in the game, to really take advantage
of the +20 Attack. Damage Reduction is nice, but I
think I'll take Molecular Shielding and the 50%
chance of having a shooter squad hurt themselves for
me. Bodyguards can take any damage that gets
through, while Wat Tambor and other Repair figures
keep the Viper ticking. The Damage Reduction is
useless against Lightsabers, anyway, and shooters
have to be adjacent to the X-1 to get around the
Shielding, leaving you to deal an easy 60 damage.
So where does that leave the Hailfire? Well, Missles
40 on the Starship (RotS Starter map) is hard to
pass up. At the moment, it is the only useable map
for DCI 200, and it is pretty easy to build to set
yourself up for a first round Missles, if you win
initiative. That one reason alone is enough for most
players to bring the Hailfire in a DCI 200. Damage
Reduction 10 is certainly useful, especially when
combined with a bodyguard/Repair loop. All in all,
though, the X-1 for a mere 10 points more, offers a
lot more when paired with the Seperatists. Twin X-1
builds are popular, though and with good reason; so
perhaps the best way to really make use of the
Hailfire, is to make him the fire support for your
X-1 in a 200 point build.
The Hailfire is a really strange piece. It sort of
looks like it should be a big ol’ tank, like the
AT-ST or the Viper Droid, but it’s really a bit of a
glass cannon. Its 30 damage and Wheeled ability
says, “Use me as a fast attack piece for early game
kills,” while its pathetic Defense and 60 measly Hit
Points say “Keep me in the back and throw missiles
at your enemies.”
Like most pieces whose role is not completely
obvious, the secret to successfully using a Hailfire
Droid is to be careful and opportunistic. Wheeled is
a terrific ability, but you should resist the
temptation to use it in the early game, when your
opponent is still at full strength. In the early
game, the HD should be sitting behind some other
piece with a real Defense, using Missiles and/or
Separatist droid-buffing abilities to make 30 damage
double attacks at a +16 to hit (Battle Droid
Officer, Geonosian Overseer, Super Battle Droid
Commander, or a BDO and General Grievous, Supreme
Commander, for those playing along in the home
game). It’s worth mentioning, by the way, that a
Hailfire’s Missiles 40 ability cannot be reflected
by the X-1 Viper Droid’s Molecular Shielding, making
it a good turret to kill the popular “tank covered
in mirrors” from a distance.
Damage Reduction is sort of an odd thing for such a
fragile piece to have, but it does carry one major
advantage in the Separatist faction: Darth Sidious.
Sidious’ Pawn of the Dark Side ability lets him
grant an extra turn to a non-unique follower, at the
cost of doing 10 damage to the follower afterwards.
Of course, a piece with Damage Reduction 10 never
feels a thing, which can allow you to visit all
sorts of blazing carnage on your opponent’s forces.
“So when should I use Wheeled?” I hear you ask. The
correct answer is, “When your opponent starts trying
to run from the Hailfire.” If your opponent starts
to pull back and try to regroup, Wheeled makes it
very difficult, since 18 squares before attacking
lets you cover a substantial chunk of the board.
The bottom line is that the Hailfire Droid has the
potential to be truly terrifying for your opponent,
but unlike Viper Droids and certain Jedi Hunting
Sith lords, you can’t just send it into the thick of
the battle and start blazing away. Like a real-world
artillery piece, the HD should be in a protected
position in the back, at least until the game is
Overall rating in 100: 2.5 (it’s really too fragile
and hard to support at this level)
Overall rating in 200: 3.5 (with careful use, it can
dish out big damage, though you probably shouldn’t
think of it as the centerpiece of the squad)
review this week is the Hailfire Droid. This is our
first HUGE Review!!!
The Hailfire is an interesting little bugger. He
weighs in at 36 points and is an uncommon huge. Now
Let’s find out if he is worth it.
Pros: He Deals 30 damage, that’s about average for
Huges. What’s even better though is Missiles 40.
Forget your attack, make your opponent roll and see
if he gets dealt 40 damage or not. With a +8 Attack
as a base, he isn’t that good for regular attacking.
Another Pro would be his Damage Reduction 10, which
now he basically has 120 HP. Wheeled is another
great ability for this guy. It gives him lots of
movement to be able to Attack.
Cons: He’s Rigid. He won’t do any good unless he’s
in a Droid Squad. A 13 Defense just doesn’t cut it.
Anybody can hit him and bring him down pretty
quickly. That’s pretty much everything.
100 Points of Droids: If you have the needed support
from the BDO, you’ll be ok, but The Hailfire only
works well when he’s with his Droid Comrads.
200 Points of Droids: He’s much better here. Team
him up with a GG, Supreme Commander and you’re set.
You’ll have a +16, Double Attacking Hailfire Droid
dealing out 30 damage a shot. Now that’s kick!
1/5 w/o Droids 2.5/5 With Droids
2/5 W/O Droids 4/5 With Droids
Droid, DR 10, Missiles 40, Mounted Weapon, Rigid,
Okay before we go any further, i feel it necessary
to forward a rule change that would have caused me
to change what we are reviewing for Sep Droid week
had it come down first. The ruling on CEs has just
been changed so CEs that grant abilities are now
treated as the affected character has that ability,
allowing for it to stack with other CEs that grant a
straight stat. Why is that important? Lets find out.
Today's Droid is perhaps the greatest character to
never achieve a darn thing. At 36 point, the
hailfire needs to be a piece that can hold a corner
of your army for a good part of the game. It doesn't
It has 60 HP. Not good for a 35 pt figure, but with
DR10 it not only gives it 120 HP against 20 pt
shooters, but can effectively neutralize armies
loaded with characters that only do 10 DAM. Another
BIG downer is that it only has a 13 DEF, which is
absolutely atrocious for a 36 pt figure. Pretty much
anything and everything has a good chance at hitting
it, provided it can do at least 20 DAM.
Now to the attack. A +8 is not very good at all, but
here is where the rule change comes in. Before you
were allowed to combine the battle droid officer and
either SC Grievous or the Super Battle Droid
Commander, to add a +8 ATK fora total of a +16 to
your dice roll. Now, because the SBDC grants an
ability where SC Grievous gives a +4, they can all
stack giving non-unique droid followers a +12 to
their base. This little character now has a +20 to
its attack rolls for a whopping 30 DAM. That is
awesome! Even Jedi Hunter has to fear this.
As for its own abilities, it has some strength there
as well, the DR 10 is good as this piece would
really stink without it, and the wheeled can be good
because it allows you to either move 18 or move 18
then attack (sorry folks. can't missile off of the
end of that). The Hailfire is very mobile because of
this. The rigid can be a problem depending on what
maps you are playing on. Play on any of the Endor
maps and you will do fine just fine.
It is the Hailfires last ability that really makes
teams change how they play. I really do not like
missiles or grenades because Jedi get at least 2
rolls to make the save and that is generally who you
HAVE to hit to win. I have seen people make all
their saves multiple times in a row, and that gets
frustrating. But the flip side is this - at 40 DAM
you only need them to hit once or twice and then
your opponent will really be hurting! It is a good
ability to use if you are rolling under 50% on the
D20, but never count on it to hit or you are going
to end up in trouble.
Now for the piece itself; To effectively play the
Hailfire you are going to need lots of support
because the hailfire is such a fragile piece. To be
effective it really needed another 10-30 HP even
with the DR - either that or a much higher DEF. Jedi
can take this thing out in a turn as they easily
bypass the DR10, so the Hailfire needs to keep its
distance. The 13 def also makes it easy to hit from
your opponents big guns. Keep this guy in back and
make sure you have other pieces to draw your
opponents attention away from it or it wont last
long. For 36 pts it needs to be around for awhile.
100pt: Nope. There are WAY better pieces than this
thing in 100 pt. Droids generally don't do well in
this format because they need lots of support to
even be competitive. Don't play this here.
200 pt: Here it can at least find some support.
Either just play one, or try for a very mobile squad
that can run up, hit, then fade away to repair. The
success of your squad will lie more with your other
pieces than with the Hailfire. That having been
said, it can still be a decent support piece. 30 DAM
and a well boosted attack (double attack if close to
Grievous) is nothing to sneeze at, and one mistake
by your opponent could find a missile ripping
through their ranks. Just make sure you play it
smart and keep it alive as long as possible. If
there is a lightsaber involved.....RUN!
"Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?"
The Hailfire Droid or doughnuts of doom as it is
know in our area. Lets see what 36 points gets us
today: 60hp, Def 13, Attack +8, Damage 30. Yep you
heard right 30 damage. Its special abilities are
droid, Damage reduction 10, Missiles 40, Mounted
Weapon, Rigid, and Wheeled. Droid is not a drawback
in the seperatist roster, because they have plenty
of minis that get around of the no commander effects
so it is immune to critical hits which is great.
Damage reduction is always wonderful. Missiles are
fun but rarely used, I will explain later. Mounted
Weapon and rigid suck and are often the death of
this figure. Wheeled is another good ability that
not often used. When you face a separatist droid
force their are a few support pieces that you almost
always see Wat Tambor, Battle Droid Officer(BDO),
and often General Grievous Supreme Commander(GGSC).
The problem with fig is that it has a low attack,
however, BDO and GGSC boost this up to 16 if within
6 squares of GGSC and being huge that is not hard.
Now GGSC also grants double attack so it has just
been grounded and missiles and wheeled are no longer
used as much, why deal 40 with missiles when you can
deal 60. Wat Tambor gives it droid mark so that
damage reduction is working overtime and protects
your commanders from accurate shot. On its own the
hailfire droid is a fair mini, but when played
properly with a droid force it can be a headache
even for Vader Jedi Hunter.
100pts 2.5/5 not enough points to support properly
200pts 3.5/5 with the proper support 2.5/5 without
300pts same and 200
Droid is one of the best pieces for the Separatists.
Lets start with stat Hitpoints are at 60, Defense
13, Attack +8, Damage 30 cost is at 36. The Hailfire
droid special ability is what makes him so good to
use , with damage reduction 10 unless it is hit by a
lightsaber it can reduced damage. Then you have a
droid so it immune to crictial hits and can’t use
commanders effects, put that with missiles
40(Replaces attacks: sight; 40 damage to target and
to each character adjacent to that target; save 11)
this ability alone gives it fire power against lot
of enemies. It has mounted weapon and rigid so it
can only combine with character that have mounted
weapon and cant squeeze but it wheeled so it can
move 18 squares and attack which is so great you can
pretty much get anywhere you want on a map in one
turn. In game play you can have General Greivous
where this character can benefit from his commander
effect give it a extra attack at 30 damage is great
or you can use a cheaper substitute like Geonosian
Overseer who cost 16 compare to Greivous 44. The
only down side to the Hailfire Droid is Hitpoint and
size being a huge figure can make him a easy choice
to take out but in a 200 point game he can become
very good with Characters that boost it stats or
multiple Hailfire droids in a Separatists army.