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Mini of the Day

Lord Vader
Set: Bounty Hunters

Date Reviewed: November 03, 2006

Image from Wizards.com

Ratings:  Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale 1 being the worst.
3 ... average. 5 is the highest rating.

100 pt: 1.5
200 pt: 4.5



Sith Dragon


Lord Vader
Cost: 71
HP: 130
DEF: 21
ATK: +14
DAM: 20

Dark Armor; Twin Attack

Force 2

Leap; Renewal; Assault; Sweep; Master of the Force 2; Overwhelming Force; Sith Rage

Today we do the worst piece of the set. Not because he's bad, but because he makes up the most powerful and overused squad in the game. I can only speak for myself, but i am getting sick of these uber powered Vader's.

Stat wise it depends on your point of view as Ben would say. They are good stats, but they are the worst stats for most any Vader. Granted DA can really extend his life against shooters. Its the twin attack combined with all of his force powers and force renewal that make him just sick. I my opinion he should cost more than Bane.

By himself is he that good? No not really he has a low defense for Vader and has no defensive powers what so ever, but you will never run him alone so i don't think that matters. You are going to see him run with Mas Amedda and Thrawn for the nastiest combo in the game, dubbed Black & Blue. You run tons of Stormies. After your opponent is done activating you run a stormie out, swap in Vader. Vader can then Sweep, with two attacks on every target, or assault to give four attacks on one target. He can also either sith rage for four attacks at 30 damage or use overwhelming force to make it so all of those attacks can be neither blocked or bodyguarded.

I am sorry this guy is just too sick and i believe underpriced. As i said, he isn't real great on his own, but who the heck is going to run him without Thrawn and Mas? C;'mon. Before Mas amedda came out for the empire, this game was very well balanced, but the creation of the B&B squad has totally slanted the balance of power to not only one faction, but to one team. If we do get any type of national tourneys going, i would bet anything that it is going to be dominated by B&B.

100pts: Here he actually doesn't work. The top shooters will bring him down, and i don't know if he will stand up to Banes power. Its the guaranteed init the following turn from Thrawn that makes it so sick.

150: B&B owns this level. There just are not enough points to build a counter to this squad. It is nigh unbeatable.

200pts: Here there are enough points and options that it can be beaten, but it wont be easy and it wont be consistent. The best counters are going to be Mothma/clones, or characters with force absorb/defense that can really lower his options of force powers.

"Dude, the fat guy totally just blew up!" -Pink 5

Lord Vader is the deformed, spastic cousin of Darth Vader, Jedi Hunter. Where JH is a tower of nigh-invulnerable strength, LV leaps around the battlefield doing massive damage but suffering from the shark's eternal problem: if he stops moving, he dies.

Of course, sharks are pretty good at killing, and so is Lord Vader. Twin Attack, Lightsaber Assault, Master of the Force 2 and Sith Rage mean that he can move six and hit for up to 120 damage, enough to turn even Boba Fett, Bounty Hunter into a smoldering pile of bounty hunting kibble. Toss in Overwhelming Force and Lightsaber Sweep (which combines with Twin Attack for two attacks on every adjacent enemy), and you've got an extremely versatile damage-dealer who will definitely hurt you, provided he hits.

He's a really strange piece, though, with the lowest numbers of any version of Vader to date, and a Commander Effect copied directly from Han Solo, Rebel Hero. With a big target on his chest, and no Lightsaber Block or Deflect, he needs help getting to the fight sometimes. Fortunately for him, and unfortunately for variety in the high-end tournament scene, he pairs off with Grand Admiral Thrawn almost disturbingly well. Once you can plop the guy virtually anywhere on the board, you'll quickly find that any enemy won't last long against the onslaught he can deliver. Mind his Force Points, though, as he can blow through them very fast (and even if he stands still, he has to use Lightsaber Assault to hit hard, since he lacks even Double Attack).

The lead designer for Star Wars Miniatures once remarked that it was getting difficult to design Vader over and over, and wondered aloud if this version would be different enough. I think he succeeded, as this one plays completely differently than all others to date. He's a high mobility, fast attacking piece that won't just stand in the gambit area and collect points, lest he get shot to death (additional trivia: this is the only version of Vader since Sith Lord in the first set without a long-distance damaging power, so he really needs to get close).

Overall rating in 100: 2 (not the stand-alone piece that Jedi Hunter is, he can't shine in this format)

Overall rating in 200: 4.5 (with the right support, completely devastating)

Zeroph Zeal
Lord Vader

Points: 71
Hitpoints: 130
Defense: 21
Attack: +14
Damage: 20
Faction: Imperial

Abilities: Dark Armor, Melee Attack, Twin Attack, Unique

Force 2, Force Leap, Force Renewal 1, Lightsaber Assault, Lightsaber Sweep, Master of the Force 2, Overwhelming Force, Sith Rage

Commander Effect: Followers within 6 squares gain Advantageous Attack (+10 damage against an enemy who has not activated this round).

I'm going to get straight to the point. This Vader DOES NOT replace Dark Vader, Jedi Hunter. IT DOES, however, pose another option. One of the biggest things about Lord Vader is that he is our first real-playable commander Vader. Previous commander Vaders involved losing some of your own units to make others better, like Vader from the movies. This piece takes a different approach to it. As his commander effect is obviously this piece's most unique aspect, I'll look at that first.

Followers within 6 squares gain Advantageous Attack.... an extra 10 damage against enemies that have not activated this round. Now the Imperials have access to Han Solo, Rebel Hero commander effect. Is this good? Heck yes. This is even better because the Imperials have access to the ever-popular Mas Amedda, making ALL your units have this powerful ability, regardless of range.

But Lord Vader doesn't really stop there. He does have fighting abilities, as well. Granted, not nearly as good as his Jedi Hunter varient, but still good. His stats leave something to be desired for a Vader, though, but it was more than made up for by his commander effect. Let's face it. For 71 points, I'll want a little more than even 130 hitpoints with 21 defense and +14 attack. These aren't bad stats, but take a look at Jedi Hunter, which is a tad higher.

He also falls short comapred to his Jedi Hunter varient in abilities, mainly the Jedi Hunter ability itself. It still has his trademark Dark Armor. He traded his Multi Attack for Twin Attack (which is actually quite for a reason I will reveal later.), and is still Unique. No surprises here.

But his force abilities add to his fighting style and gives him a much different playing style than most other Vaders. First of all, he has a sub-par 2 force, but this is common when pieces has Force Renewal, so it isn't bad. He also has Master of the Force 2, making him extremely versatile. Think about it.
Combined with Twin Attack, two of any of his abilities can be game-breaking. Lightsaber Assault... get four attacks. Lightsaber Sweep... attack each adjacent enemy TWICE (which is much better with Force Leap as he can get in cool places without AoOs.), Overwhelming Force... a punch to the face for Lightsaber Blockers and Bodyguards, and Sith Rage... an extra 10 damage to each of his attacks. (combined with something like Lightsaber Assault, you are talking about four attacks for 30, 120 damage. NICE!) This makes him versatile in battle.

But remember, he isn't really a warrior. He is meant to be a commander. What I would do with Lord Vader is sit him back for awhile with Mas Amedda, letting your troops benefit from the effect... and then send him in once he obtains a few Force Points by Force Renewal and have him annilihate any opposing forces remaining.

As for the argument that will eventually ensue... Jedi Hunter or Lord Vader? It depends on the army. Thrawn armies love Jedi Hunter, and generally Jedi Hunter is better for most squads and you can really just throw him in. Lord Vader requires more of a squad based around him, but in the right squad he will proove more useful than the Hunter would. Playtest him, have fun.

100 points: 1/5 ONE OUT OF FIVE? ZEAL WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING? Well, he is a 71 point commander when you could be using Jedi Hunter, which is MUCH better in this format. Duh.

200 points: 4.5/5 Victory for the Imperials.

Sculpt: 4/5 His helmet looks a little... arkward, but besides that he looks pretty flawless and cool.
SWRogue57 Lord Vader

Cost: 71
HP: 130
Def: 21
Atk: +14
Dam: 20

Special Abilities: Unique, Melee Attack, Twin Attack, Dark Armor
Force Powers: Force 2, Force Renewal 1, Force Leap, Lightsaber Assault, Lightsaber Sweep, Master of the Force 2, Sith Rage, Overwhelming Force.
Commander Effect: Each follower within 6 squares gains Advantageous Attack

WOW!!! What a figure! But what’s up with the Spaceballs pose? Just kidding. Let’s take a look at the 7th version of Darth Vader.

Cons: Compared to Jedi Hunter, he’s got -10 HP, -2 Def, and -2 Atk. He’s a little easier to hit with no defensive Force Powers other than Overwhelming Force. However, Dark Armor helps. Still, if he had Jedi Hunters stats, he would cost more that Exar Kun.

Pros: Where do I begin? Let’s see. We have a mostly offensive Vader with Force Renewal and can use two force powers per turn. That leaves many options open. You can move him into position, and then use Lightsaber Assault and Sith Rage to possibly do 120pts of damage. Or, you could move into a crowd using Force Leap to get into the perfect spot and use Lightsaber Sweep to do 40pts of damage to each adjacent character. There are so many possibilities. The point is, this Vader can move and make four (or more with LS) attacks. This Vader isn’t a beatstick, he’s a slaughterhouse. To top that all off, his CE gives Advantageous Attack.

100pts: Believe it or not, I have seen this Vader take down some good squads of this size. If you use him here, make sure to take advantage of his CE. 3.5/5

150pts: Obviously he is the character who you squad is built around. For half of your point cost, be sure to keep him in cover until you can make your move. 5/5

200pts: There are plenty of support pieces in either Imperial or Fringe Factions to have a lot of fun building squads here. Lord Vader is an excellent figure to build any Imperial Squad around. 5/5

SW Rogue 57
The Fang Lord Vader------Imperial

Cost: 71

Hit Points: 130

Defense: 21

Attack: +14

Damage: 20


Dark Armor---Melee Attack---Twin Attack---Unique

Force Powers: (Force 2)

Force Leap---Force Renewal---Lightsaber Assault---Lightsaber Sweep---Master of the Force 2---Overwhelming Force---Sith Rage


Followers within 6 squares gain Advantageous Attack.

Alright, my first review! Let’s get started.

This particular mini falls somewhere between a beatstick and a commander; can’t stand alone, and costs too much for a commander. And that’s why you’ll fail to see him in 100pt games. His Hit points didn’t maintain the 140 every other Vader had, but that can be overlooked...or can it? With a defense lower than every other Vader, he’ll be getting hit often. But not to fear, Dark Armor will prolong his lifespan about 70 hitpoints, with all the 30dmg minis in the game now. But this brings up another point, which I’ll scold later. It has a startling low attack score (+14, the same as Vader, Dark Jedi), with the regular 20 dmg. Twin Attack has its benefits over double attack, especially because this mini has Lightsaber Assault.

Now with the stats of a 60pt beatstick, it better have good abilities, or else nobody would ever play it. It does. It starts off with Force 2 (Ouch!), but not to fear, it has Force Renewal, so that can easily be overlooked. It lacks Double Attack, (a must have for any mini above 40pts) but with lightsaber assault, you’ll mostly be doing 4 attacks each turn. Master of the Force 2 adds for some deadly combos. Overwhelming Force is an interesting ability, but you probably won’t see it be used as much as Sith Rage/Assault/Sweep. Force Leap...well on the bright said, it’s the first Vader to have it, but it’s nothing great. Now, remember when I told you I’d bring up another point in the first paragraph, here it is. NO DEFENSIVE POWERS. For the most part, I won’t be paying 71 points for a beatstick-commander with no defensive powers. No defensive powers, low defense, lower hit points....what does this thing have!? Dark Armor. But what I would really like to see: Coruscant Guards with ‘Vader’s Bodyguard’. Oh well.

Onto his Commander effect. This won’t alter the tides of the battle that much in 100pt games, you’re still going to lose. In 150pt games...maybe, but I doubt it. In 200pt games he will shine for his fullest glory, teamed up with Mas Amedda, thrawn, veers, and a multitude of stormies.

So the ratings are...

100pt: 1.75 (no defensive powers for a format ruler by beatsticks)

150pt: 2.2 (you can make use of his CE a little, but not any much more)

200pt: 4.7 (especially with Mas Amedda, Veers, and Thrawn)

May the Force be with you.

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