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Darth Vader, Dark Jedi
Set: Rebel Storm
#21/60

Date Reviewed: April 4, 2006


Image from Wizards.com

Rating: 3.0
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale 1 being the worst.
3 ... average. 5 is the highest rating.

 
Scott Kempes

 

Darth Vader, Dark Jedi
Cost: 55
HP: 140
ATK: +14
DEF: 22
DAM: 20
Force: 5

Melee, Double Attack
Force Powers:
Force Grip (F1); replace attacks, sight - 10 DAM
Lightsaber sweep (F1); Replace attacks, attack every adjacent enemy once

CE: Whenever an allied non-force user rolls a natural 1, that character is defeated and all other allies without a force rating get +2 ATK. (These bonuses stack)

Welcome to the first MIni review! This week we are starting with the character that defined the saga - Darth Vader week. Today's Vader is one of the two from the Rebel Storm booster. His cost is a bit expensive, but for a strong, unique figure, its right where it should be. His attack and defense are also very strong as it should be for the dark lord, and his 20 damage is standard for a lightsaber wielder.

Multiple attacks are one of the 'triple crown jewels' for melee characters/force users (the other two being block and deflect). Most characters I am building a squad around should have one of the three if they are melee.

His force powers are very standard and unremarkable. The grip can be good, but at only 10 damage, rarely will it add up to anything substantial. Lightsaber sweep is never anything I have been fond of. It is one of the force powers they give a character just so they can do something else with their force points. Most people will stagger their characters so they cant be swept or leave them in Thrawn's bubble.

What makes this Vader unique is his CE (commander effect). This Vader was built to be the original Stormtrooper leader. Every time one of your stormies rolls a one, he dies, but every other character can get a +2, which can add up if you can get a couple of 1's to go. You definitely do NOT want to run this guy with heavy hitters such as Boba Fett, as it would be way too big of a loss to overcome should Boba roll a 1. You will also want to use any commanders in your squad to combine fire instead of attacking so you do not lose a beneficial CE.

Rolling a 1 can sound hard to roll very often on a D20(sometimes it is), but I have seen players pull this 3-4 times in a 200pt tourney. They use LOTS of stormies. Giving a +6 to any character, along with other boosting effects that are out there, can get a common Stormtrooper to where they are not going to miss very often.

100pt game: This guy can do alright as you will have lots of activations and Vader should be able to clean up what's left after your stormies are done.

200pt game: Here Vader will get much more support and can be run with a diversity of back-up, but you are still going to run this version of Vader for the CE. This means you will once again have a large number of little attackers. While there are better pieces for 200pt format, this guy will give you a solid center if you build correctly around him.

"Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?"
tfraase
Darth Vader. If you ask the casual observer about a Star Wars character, he will be the name on the tip of most peoples' tongues. He is well known, and to be feared in the context of the Star Wars universe. Darth Vader, Dark Jedi, does not invoke that type of respect in Star Wars Minis.
 
Let's get down to the nitty gritty. His stats to start. 140 HP; 22 Defense; +14 Attack; and 20 Damage. Add to that Double Attack; and five Force points, which can be spent to take advantage of Force Grip or Lightsaber Sweep. Grip is great for taking out pesky 10 HP figures, and adds some versatility to Vader, giving him some range. Lightsaber Sweep is great to avoid getting swarmed, or for moving and then attacking a cluster of enemies.
 
So you must be asking yourself, "What's the problem?". Well, the problem is his cost, which in a miniatures game, can make or break a character, regardless of abilities. At 55 points, he is five more than Boba Fett, who is arguably the most balanced figure in the game. Boba has stats that suffer slightly when compared directly to Vader, but when you add in Boba's great abilities, and the fact he is non-Melee (a ranged figure), he far exceeds what the Dark Jedi can do, to control a game.
 
There is one more thing Darth Vader, Dark Jedi brings to the table, that helps to make up for that higher price, however. A Commander Effect, which is very fitting, and in larger point games, can be very powerful. "Whenever an allied character without a Force rating gets a natural 1 on any roll, that character is defeated and all other allies without a Force rating get +2 Attack. (These bonuses stack.)" The stacking of the bonus is what gives this CE potential. It has a drawback, though, since if you bring a character like the aforementioned Boba Fett in a larger point game, and roll a 1 with him, he is defeated, regardless of Hit Points remaining. So the CE has to be used largly with grunt Stormtroopers, Elite Snowtroopers, and Elite Stormtroopers.
 
In a standard 100 point game, you simply can't fit enough grunts to take advantage of the CE, to justify Vader's slight overcosting. In 200, you can start to bring a large number of grunts, and you increase the amount of times you roll the die, boosting your chances of getting the CE bonus. With the addition of Thrawn since Universe, even this isn't your best bet.
 
All in all, this version of Vader not only costs too much for what he can do, but has been overshadowed by Darth Vader from the Revenge of the Sith set, and more recently, Darth Vader, Jedi Hunter from Universe. His Force powers are nice, but are too few, and he doesn't have enough Force points to truly take advantage of Grip. He has no defensive measures, save for his high defense, which is among the highest in the game. He has no damage boost to make up for his lack of Triple Attack, which at his cost, even taking into consideration his CE (which is too unreliable to count on), is sorely missing. Sadly, the first Vader introduced into the game by the initial Rebel Storm set, is arguably the worst, plagued by growing pains typicalto any new game. He is missing some of the best Force powers available, simply because he was first.
 
So how do you make use of Darth Vader, Dark Jedi? In a fun game, starting at 300 points or more against close friends; recreating scenes from the movies; and as a representation of Vader for the RPG. He has a classic Force Grip pose, and that alone makes him worth having for any true Star Wars fan.
Ten-Eyed
Man

Rob Heiret
Darth Vader, Dark Jedi

Many people’s only version of Vader, the Dark Jedi is obviously intended to lead a large group of flunkies (probably flunkies wearing white armor and having famously bad aim, if we’re being honest with ourselves). As a standalone piece, DVDJ is solid, but probably not worth your 55 points (excellent defense of 22, good attack of 14, a whopping 140 hit points, and some fairly yawnworthy Force powers on which to spend his generous five Force points). Obviously we have to look at his wonderfully flavorful Commander Effect to see the reason for his cost.

Understand that as a piece from the very first release, the Dark Jedi is geared toward a “generals leading troops” metagame that never did materialize in Rebel Storm, and his Commander Effect shows this. If you team up DVDJ with, for example, Boba Fett, you’re going to be a very sad clown indeed when Mr. Fett rolls a “1” and dies to give Joe Stormtrooper a +2 to attack. On the other hand, if you’re running the classic “Darth Vader and 9 Stormtroopers” squad, you’re going to squeal with delight every time one of those loveable losers rolls a critical miss.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Aha! But the Commander Effect only works on non-Force-using characters. If I back up Vader with only Force-rated characters (and maybe some droids, since they’re always immune to Commander Effects), then I’ve got no troubles.” Technically, you’re right, except that we’ve gone back to spending 55 points a little unwisely.
The moral of the story: only run Darth Vader, Dark Jedi with a load of disposable grunts. You might also consider using grunt-enhancers like General Veers or Grand Admiral Thrawn, but then those commanders probably shouldn’t risk an attack unless you really need them to.

Overall rating: 3
  textDarth Vader, Dark Jedi
Cost: 55
HP: 140
ATK: +14
DEF: 22
DAM: 20
Force: 5

Melee, Double Attack
Force Powers:
Force Grip (F1); replace attacks, sight - 10 DAM
Lightsaber sweep (F1); Replace attacks, attack every adjacent enemy once

CE: Whenever an allied non-force user rolls a natural 1, that character is defeated and all other allies without a force rating get +2 ATK. (These bonuses stack)

Welcome to the first MIni review! This week we are starting with the character that defined the saga - Darth Vader week. Today's Vader is one of the two from the Rebel Storm booster. His cost is a bit expensive, but for a strong, unique figure, its right where it should be. His attack and defense are also very strong as it should be for the dark lord, and his 20 damage is standard for a lightsaber wielder.

Multiple attacks are one of the 'triple crown jewels' for melee characters/force users (the other two being block and deflect). Most characters I am building a squad around should have one of the three if they are melee.

His force powers are very standard and unremarkable. The grip can be good, but at only 10 damage, rarely will it add up to anything substantial. Lightsaber sweep is never anything I have been fond of. It is one of the force powers they give a character just so they can do something else with their force points. Most people will stagger their characters so they cant be swept or leave them in Thrawn's bubble.

What makes this Vader unique is his CE (commander effect). This Vader was built to be the original Stormtrooper leader. Every time one of your stormies rolls a one, he dies, but every other character can get a +2, which can add up if you can get a couple of 1's to go. You definitely do NOT want to run this guy with heavy hitters such as Boba Fett, as it would be way too big of a loss to overcome should Boba roll a 1. You will also want to use any commanders in your squad to combine fire instead of attacking so you do not lose a beneficial CE.

Rolling a 1 can sound hard to roll very often on a D20(sometimes it is), but I have seen players pull this 3-4 times in a 200pt tourney. They use LOTS of stormies. Giving a +6 to any character, along with other boosting effects that are out there, can get a common Stormtrooper to where they are not going to miss very often.

100pt game: This guy can do alright as you will have lots of activations and Vader should be able to clean up what's left after your stormies are done.

200pt game: Here Vader will get much more support and can be run with a diversity of back-up, but you are still going to run this version of Vader for the CE. This means you will once again have a large number of little attackers. While there are better pieces for 200pt format, this guy will give you a solid center if you build correctly around him.

"Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?"


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