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Hailfire Droid
Set: Universe
#8/60

Date Reviewed: April 26, 2006


Image from Wizards.com

Rating: 3.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale 1 being the worst.
3 ... average. 5 is the highest rating.

 
Xoulrath

 

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 droids.

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.
 
Ten-Eyed
Man
 
Hailfire Droid
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 winding down.
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)
 
Darth Sideous

 

Our first 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!

Overall:

1/5 w/o Droids 2.5/5 With Droids

2/5 W/O Droids 4/5 With Droids
 
Sith Dragon

 

Hailfire
Separatist
Cost: 36
HP: 60
DEF: 13
ATK: +8
DAM: 30

Droid, DR 10, Missiles 40, Mounted Weapon, Rigid, Wheeled.

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 do that.

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?"

 
Vesuvan Hailfire Droid Review

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.

Tournament

100pts 2.5/5 not enough points to support properly

200pts 3.5/5 with the proper support 2.5/5 without support

300pts same and 200
 
KC Tyler The Hailfire 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.


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