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Darth Vader, Unleashed
Set: The Force Unleashed

Date Reviewed: Dec 12, 2007

Sith Dragon Darth Vader, Unleashed
Cost: 50
HP: 140
DEF: 23
ATK: +15
DAM: 20

Double Attack; Dark Armor

Force 2; FR1
Force Sense

Force Grip 4 (4F, replaces attacks, sight, 40 DAM)

Lightsaber Throw 5 (5F, replaces turn, Choose one enemy within line of sight, ignoring cover, and make two attacks against chosen enemy and each character adjacent to that enemy).

YAY! We finally get the the Force Unleashed previews. Once again we kick off the new set with the man in black himself - Darth Vader in the new and improved unleashed version. Just a quick note. You will see some short cuts in my reviews. FR1 is force renewal 1. (X)F is the cost of the force power with X as the number of points.

Okay, what a beast this Vader is! First off keep in mind he is only 50 points - tied for the second cheapest Vader ever. For that 50 points you are getting Vader's full fledged 140 HP and 23 DEF. His attack is -1 from a couple of the other Vaders, but a +15 is nothing to sneeze at either. His double attack is pretty standard, but add in dark armor and you are going to extend that HP by quite a bit. I don't care what else he has, these are fantastic for only 50 pts!

Like about every Jedi in this set, Vader has force2 and force renewal 1. This is to augment the ginormous (yes i just said that) force powers that they all boast. This Vader has no defensive abilities what-so-ever, but he does boost some serious offense. First of all he can strip the enemy of stealth with Force Sense. That can be handy since Mara loves toting a Bith in a lot of builds.

A lot of Vaders have had force grip, but this isn't just force grip. This is force grip and then throwing you into a wall. This power follows all normal targeting rules, so no cheating there. You have to get around the Ug screen, but once you do, you can slam someone for an automatic 40 DAM! Downside to this is that it costs 4 force points. You will usually get one off. Two depends on who and how you play. Anymore and you will need to be toting RS Emperor.

Finally, you have a power that is just - wow! Lightsaber Throw 5 replaces turn, but it breaks targeting rules for starters. If you can see an enemy you can attack it. Stealth is irrelevant. Distance is irrelevant. The only thing you cant ignore is if there is a character adjacent to Vader as the power does not ignore adjacency. You then get to attack the target and every character adjacent to it. This pretty much screws over bodyguards, and makes it much harder to use R2 astromech. That can be up to 40 DAM on all figs you can attack.

100pts: Don't count this Vader out of this format. With RS Emperor and 3 ugs, you can churn out a nice piece of damage fairly quickly. Vader can force grip twice fairly quickly thanks to the emperor, but then it might be a bit of a struggle after that against the likes of Bane. However, at only 50pts there are a lot of options to also get in some very nice shooters.

150pts: This is a great format for Vader, Unleashed. Thrawn is a natural companion to get Vader into position for a sweet Throw. RS Emperor is going to be a must as well though to get his force points stretched to the max.

200pts: More of the same except you have even more points to work with..and even more characters to catch in clusters. Nom is really going to fear this guy not only for the Throw but force sense as well. This Vader is fantastic. His enemies are force immune characters and the Muun Tactics Broker. Those won't slow him down too much as Grip may no longer work against force immune characters, but Throw will work as it affects Vader and not the target. Give him a go and see what you think!
Darth Vader, Unleashed

Cost - 50
Hit Points - 140
Defence - 23
Attack - 15
Damage - 20

Melee Attack, Double Attack, Dark Armor

Force -2
Force Renewal 1

Force Sense
Force Grip 4 - 4 Force, sight, 40 Damage, replaces attacks
Lightsaber Throw 4 - Force 5, Line of sight, Make 2 Attacks against target and each adjacent character not counting cover.
Force Sense - enemy charcters lose stealth for the rest of the round.

Hello fellow sentients! Stilla here to review one of the sweetest minis to come out in the new Force Unleashed set. Today we get the Barry Bonds of Vaders. And let me tell you, this guy swings for the fences!

Every Vader that has come out seems to fit its own role in your squad. Jedi Hunter is for killing Jedi, Lord Vader was used primarily for the "Thrawn Swap" style squad. Imperial Commander Vader is used for Stormie swarm squads and so on and so on...This is what I call the "Ranged Vader."

 His stats are what you would expect from a major character such as Vader. His cost of 50 is pretty sweet considering all that he can do and the SERIOUS threat this guy can be. His 140 hit points can take a decent beating before he falls, although he has no defensive force powers. Defense of 23 puts him up there with the elite defensive characters and Dark Armor extends his life all that much more. Attack rating of 15 is solid and will hit more often that not. His stats are solid but his real threat comes from his force powers.

First off is Force Sense. This power is feared by alot of players. Ask anyone who has played Super-Stealthed Order66 squads or Nom Boms that use fringe characters. This power strips you opponents figs of stealth across the board. This lets you clear "bombs" and shoot at those pesky Sevs. Stealth based squads are beginning to lose their uberness with the amount of characters coming out with this power.

Force Grip 4 does 40 damage to a character in line of sight. This does not mean you can choke anyone on the board. The range restriction is not there, but you must still use standard targeting rules for this. The Grip will not only be a threat to grunts, but now major characters have something to fear from it near the end of the game.

By FAR my favorite Power he has is his Lightsaber Throw 5. Being able to target anyone on the board makes this a VERY powerful ability. Since it "ignores cover" you can hit virtually anybody. You opponent wil have to be careful not to leave figs adjacent for too long or they're going to pay dearly. The amount of damage you can do with this is just huge. The 5 force points that this costs kinda hurts, but the Empire does have a force battery. Even the threat of this power can cause your opponent to make mistakes. They may be so concerned about avoiding Vader, that they can be vulnerable to your shooters.

As far as what to build with him, the first thing that comes to mind is Thrawn. Thrawn makes it so your opponent doesn't have to make a mistake to feel the pain. Vader getting dropped anywhere to unleash his Grip or Lightsaber Throw is nasty. I think he would be good paired with a power shooter. Boba, Mercenary would be a good choice if you use Thrawn.

All in all, I think this guy is going to see some SERIOUS play time. At least in my local scene. This Vader has potential to be in almost any format at almost any level of play. Only time will tell how he gets used and the squad builds that will come around with his new ranged attack options.

Rating - 4. Different. Dangerous. Just plain SCARY!
Sculpt - 4.5. I can just picture this guy lobbing someones head off.


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