Making the most of your Minis, Issue 6!

Making the Most of Your Minis Home


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The Top 5 Commanders
A quick recap on who the top commanders are.

D&D to Star Wars Minis Conversions
An extensive guide on converting miniature stats from DDM.

COTF Preview Comments
Figure Ratings for the COTF previews.


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Schwager’s Top 5 Commanders in the Game

by Schwager

A quick recap on who the top commanders are. Champions of the Force is looming, and this list could change quite a bit.

1. Thrawn- For obvious reasons, Thrawn remains top dog in the game of Star Wars Miniatures. I don’t think we will see a better pure-tactics commander, not in Champions, not in Bounty Hunters. Initiative control is huge, Ysalamiri became even nastier after the new ruling stated that it grants Force Immunity, and the +3/+3 attack and defense boost with the switching effect never gets old. It is unlikely that there will be another miniature that is a point-for-point better commander than Thrawn.

2. Lando Calrissian, Hero of Tanaab- For 23 points, you get every bit of “warrior” you need out of Lando. Double attack, Oppurtunist, good stats…need I go on? But add to that one of the best commander effects this game has seen, and you have a piece. The fact that he is fringe, and Mobile attack has a use in every faction, is incredible. Hence, the two spot. The fact that he is Fringe also means that he is going to remain effective in the game, unless for some reason we see another commander that grants Mobile Attack.

3. Han Solo, Rebel Hero- Man, this guy is just nasty. A commander effect for Followers turns Boba Fett into a potential 60 damage hitter (not including criticals) with accurate, Greedo into a potential 30 damage hitter at +14 attack (with cunning and the commander effect), and gives the 17 point Boba Fett, Young Mercenary the potential to do 20 damage an attack with accurate shot and double attack. Mobile attack and Cunning Attack makes Han an offensive threat that can just be downright hard to bring down. He could be replaced in the top five, but will never lose his value to the Rebel faction.

4. General Veers- Being able to attack what you want is crucial, and that’s exactly what Veers brings to the Imperial armies. Negating Stealth is also key in many situations, and that’s why Veers is the number four guy. Veers will always remain a top Imperial commander, at the least.

5. Tarrful- Mace Windu with +20 attack could cause some real chaos. Tarrful is exactly what the melee-heavy Republic faction needs. +4 attack to all followers even helps out the ranged shooters that are based. Tarrful is the most likely of the top five to be replaced by a new commander, but as for right now, he is an excellent miniature to say the least.





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D&D to Star Wars Minis Conversions

by Huscarl

In a thread on the Wizards SWM forum, I've posted quite a few conversions of D&D minis to SWM stats. Despite the differences between the two games, this transition isn't difficult to make. Both miniatures games base their statistics roughly on the d20 RPGs (Dungeons & Dragons and Star Wars d20), and those two games are roughly based on the same math. That simplifies the process tremendously.

Neither game, however, sets its stats according to a formula, no matter how much people would like that to be the case. No formula can handle the interplay of basic stats, commander effects, special abilities, and force powers (or spells) even within a single figure, let alone when that figure is teamed with other figures. Synergy can magnify abilities that seem trivial individually into powerful, game-winning combos. No points-based formula can account for both a figure's individual strength and its potential combo strength.

Now, that fact has an obvious corollary -- the cost that is assigned to any character is not an absolute measure of its power. Does that cost represent what a figure can do on its own or when it's teamed with other figures that have complementary powers? Consider the case of Prince Xizor, for example. He has two commander effects -- one grants Accurate Shot to followers with Stealth, and one grants Grenades 20 to followers with Grenades 10. Is Xizor worth 40 points all by himself? When he has stealthy followers? Or when he has both stealthy and grenade-throwing followers? It can't be all three. In some cases he may be worth considerably less than 40 points, and in others he might be worth 45, 50, or more points.

All of that exposition is a long-winded way of stating, don't get too hung up on point costs. Assigning costs to miniatures is an art, not a science. Or, more correctly, it's a craft -- the process can't be automated, but it can be taught, and just about anyone can learn.

The Basics

Here's a list of SW minis stats and their DDM counterparts --

Faction Faction
Cost Cost
Hit Points Hit Points
Defense Armor Class
Attack Melee and/or Ranged Attack
Damage Melee and/or Ranged Damage
-- Level
Speed Speed
-- Type
Commander Effects Commander Effects
Special Abilities Special Abilities
Force Powers Spells

Let's consider them one by one.

Faction: D&D factions (lawful good, chaotic good, lawful evil, chaotic evil) don't translate well to SW factions. If you wanted, you could assign them this way -- LG = Republic, CG = Rebel, LE = Imperial, CE = Separatist. In practice, however, most of the DDM figures that you'll want to convert are monsters, and the best faction to place them in is Fringe. The exceptions are some powerful, evil, magical or magic-using monsters that are a good fit with the Sith. They can be slotted into the Imperial or Separatist factions if you want to keep them out of Rebel or Republic squads. Alternately, you can create your own Sith faction and rule that Sith creatures can be used in squads that include an Empathic character. To date, only the Nightsister Witch has that special ability, which effectively limits them to Imperial squads.

Cost: I prefer to keep the cost the same between both systems because it makes a good benchmark. This isn't strictly required, however, and in the case of more expensive DDM figures, it needs to be lowered (high-cost SWM figures are more cost-effective than high-cost DDM figures, which will be shown below).

Hit Points: SWM measures damage in increments of 10 points while DDM measures in increments of 5 points. In just about every case, I round up those odd increments of 5. DDM figures tend to have lower HPs than SW figures because SW figures cause more damage. To account for that, you could automatically increase DDM Hit Points by 35 to 50 percent in the initial conversion. There's another important consideration, however, that factors into Hit Points -- Level. Hold your breath a bit, because that's discussed below.

Defense: The relationship between SWM Defense and DDM Armor Class is almost linear. On the first pass, port over AC directly to Defense without alteration.
Attack: Like AC/Defense, attack numbers are effectively equal between the two games. The difference is that DDM uses different attack numbers for melee and ranged attacks and frequently uses different numbers between first attacks and subsequent attacks for multiple attackers. The key here is to consider which attack the DDM figure is geared toward. If it's primarily a melee fighter that happens to have a ranged attack, use the melee attack bonus. If it's primarily an archer, use the ranged attack bonus. If it has multiple attacks with different bonuses, these numbers are usually five points apart (e.g., +12/+7). An attack number between these two is the best solution. The first attack gets used much more often than the second because of movement, however, so weight your choice toward the higher number. In the case of +12/+7, for example, I'd give the figure an Attack rating of +10, or +11 if it isn't likely to make many double attacks -- or even +12 if its Hit Points are low enough that it is never likely to make a second attack.

Damage: Because DDM counts damage in increments of 5, you'll encounter lots of creatures with Damage 5, 15, or 25. Obviously, 5 must be rounded up to 10. Few SWM creatures cause more than 20 Damage, so 25 usually gets rounded down to 20. The middle ground of 15 can go either way depending on your sense of how dangerous the creature ought to be. As a balancing factor, you can lower its Attack rating slightly if you round up the Damage, or raise its Attack a few points if you round down the Damage.

You'll also encounter creatures with damage ratings such as "15 + 5 Fire." Add these two numbers together when considering the creature's SWM Damage. In most cases, DDM creatures will deliver the full damage. (Good players steer these figures away from targets that are immune to the bonus damage.)

Figures that cause magic damage should almost always have 5s rounded up rather than down, because their damage is less likely to be reduced by the target's resistances.

Speed: Just about everything in SWM moves at Speed 6, while DDM creatures have speeds ranging from 2 to 14. Speed, however, is a much more important tactical consideration in DDM than it is in SWM. In most cases, all Speeds from 4 to 8 (which accounts for at least 80% of all DDM figures) can be set at 6. Speeds at the extremes of the range -- 2, 3, 9+ -- can be accounted for with special abilities if that speed is an essential part of the monster's character. In many cases, you can slow down a fast figure to the standard Speed 6 without losing anything significant and maintain some of the inherent simplicity of SWM. On the other hand, you're already making things more complex by converting from one system to another, so don't shy away from adding special abilities in cases that warrant them.

Commander Effects: Lots of these can be transitioned directly from DDM to SWM with only minimal rewording. Bear in mind that nearly all DDM commander effects work only on figures within six spaces.

One commander effect that has no counterpart in SWM is the commander's rating, which modifies initiative rolls and morale checks. You definitely pay a premium for DDM commanders with high ratings because both initiative control and morale are so important. When converting highly rated commanders, consider lowering their cost, boosting their commander effect (dropping the 6-space restriction, for example), or upping their stats to compensate.

Special Abilities: This is another case where the conversion is easier than most people expect. Lots of DDM special abilities have direct counterparts in SWM, but they go by different names. Powerful Charge, for example, becomes Momentum, and Hide becomes Stealth. This is a case where familiarity with both games is useful. Happily, the latest edition of the SWM rules book contains a description of almost every special ability in its glossary. Scanning it can jog your memory when you have that nagging feeling that a special ability exists in SWM under a different name.

Some DDM special abilities, unlike SWM, have limited uses. A monster's intimidating roar, for example, might be useable only once per game. You can handle this three ways.

• The first is to give the creature unlimited uses of the special ability. Consider this only if it's a weak ability or it's unlikely to get used more than once or twice anyway.
• The second is to note in the special ability description that the ability can be used only once per game. There isn't much precedent for this in SWM because it requires a type of bookkeeping that the game doesn't favor. It's easy to implement, however, if you don't mind the small, added complexity.
• Convert the special ability to a force power, then give the character just enough force points to use it once. This also allows the character to use those force points for rerolls and makes it vulnerable to Jedi Hunters, but in most cases, that doesn't have a big effect (unless you use lots of Jedi Hunters in your game).

In those cases where there is no SWM counterpart to a DDM special ability, just take your best shot at making up a new special ability in SWM terms. Again, this is easier than it sounds. Where there's any question -- simplify. If a DDM special ability isn't the same as anything in SWM, but it's similar to something, go with the similar rather than making up something new. If a DDM special ability allows a saving throw, allow a Save 11 to negate it or reduce its effect (negating is better, because that's the SWM default). Don't worry too much about names. "Dark Armor" sounds like something that ought to be restricted to Sith, but if a giant ape merits that ability, don't bother giving a new name to the same ability. Players will appreciate the simplicity.

Finally, don't forget about Melee Attack and Double Attack. Many DDM figures are only capable of melee attacks, but it's easy to forget that's a special restriction in SWM.

Force Powers: Much of what was stated about special abilities applies equally to spells and force powers. Unlike special abilities, which often correlate directly, the relationships between spells and force powers are rarely direct. Most of the time, you'll need to exercise some creativity, and write up a new force power. The main requirement is … confidence. Specifically, cones and lines can translate to a radius from the user or from the target. This means most area effects gain some power (through flexibility) in the transition. At the same time, saves translate to simple "Save 11 negates," which makes most area effects less powerful. In the end, those two things balance out enough to make it a wash.

Here are a couple of examples of translations that I've done.

The Dark Naga has the spell Bigby's slapping hand, a very useful spell in DDM. Its description states, "sight; target creature provokes attacks of opportunity from all creatures that threaten its square; DC 20." That converted to "Force Trip (Force 1; range 6; replaces attacks; all adjacent enemies can make attacks of opportunity; save 11 negates)." On balance, this is a bit weaker than its DDM counterpart -- the range is limited, and the save is easier to make. I allowed it to be used three times instead of only twice by giving the character 3 force points. That also gave the Dark Naga the added flexibility of having force points to use for rerolls, which is a significant advantage on its own.

The Chraal has the special ability Breath Weapon (replaces attacks; cone; 20 cold damage; DC19). That doesn't tranlsate at all well into a SWM special ability, so I converted it to an existing force power -- Force Grip, which causes less damage and affects only one figure. To compensate, I gave the Chraal 2 force points, allowing it to use the power twice instead of once. That allows the Chraal to target its attacks more carefully and, as noted above, gives it the added flexibility of having force points to use for rerolls.

Type: There is no equivalent attribute in SWM, and it isn't needed, so ignore this one.

Level: This is the trickiest DDM stat to factor into the conversion. It's very important in DDM, determining not only how likely a figure is to make a successful save but also how likely it is to run away from combat when it is reduced to one-half its starting hit points. Level has no equivalent in SWM. What to do with this key stat?

As far as saves go, all you can do is ignore it. Everything saves on 11+ in SWM, and that's that. Just go with it and don't worry about it.

Level's effect on morale saves, however, is of vital concern. In DDM terms, everything in SWM is effectively Fearless, and fearlessness is a huge advantage in DDM.

In mathematical terms, a morale check is a Hit Point multiplier. If a creature fails a morale check, it effectively halves its hit points. How to account for that in SWM terms?

One way is to use the eyeball method -- just go with something that feels right. But here's a mathematical tool to help. This formula lets you determine what a DDM figure's real, effective hit points are, based on its level. The formula assumes a commander level of 4, which is the average for all current DDM commanders. (If the figure has the Fearless special ability, this isn't necessary. Its effective HPs equal its printed HPs.)

Effective HPs = Printed HPs x ([Printed Level + 4]/20)

In other words;

• Add 4 to the figure's printed Level;
• Divide that total by 20;
• Multiply that quotient by the figure's printed HPs;
• The result is how many HPs the figure can be assumed to have.

For example, the Chimera has 75 HPs and is Level 9.

• 9 + 4 = 13.
• 13/20 = 0.65
• 0.65 x 75 HPs = 48.75 HPs, which rounds up to 50 HPs

So, in a DDM skirmish, the Dragonne (over several games) will perform as if it really has 50 HPs, not 75. That should be used as the basis for judging its SWM hit points.

The Numbers

This seat-of-the-pants approach is fine for people who are comfortable with game design and have a good, intuitive grasp of numbers and probability. Many people, however, don't meet either of those prerequisites. For them, I offer the following statistically-based method. It doesn't cover commander effects, special powers, or spells/force powers, but it will handle other stats.

Be forewarned that this statistical analysis is really applicable only to average cases. There are many, many instances where it will give distorted results. Always keep that in mind.

The analysis is based on the figures' rarity. That is, commons are compared to commons, uncommons to uncommons, and DDM rares to SWM rares + very rares. There's much variation within those classifications, but it seems the most valid baseline.

In both games, figures become less cost-effective in terms of basic stats as their rarity increases (AC, HPs, attack bonus, and damage decline in relation to point costs). The difference is made up for in increased commander effects, special effects, and spells/force powers. The exception to this is HPs -- SW figures actually become more cost-effective as their rarity increases.

To determine the SWM stat for a particular figure, multiply the DDM figure's stat by the factor listed below and round off to the nearest appropriate number. Remember to use DDM effective HPs, not printed HPs.

Stat Common Uncommon Rare
Speed 0.8 1.1 1.4
AC 0.8 1.2 1.7
HPs 1.0 1.4 2.0
Attack 1.1 1.3 1.4
Damage 1.8 2.5 2.0

Example: Consider the Chimera, whose HPs were translated to effective HPs above. It is a rare figure.

Speed 6 x 1.4 = 8.4, rounded to 8 -- I'd consider that close enough to 6 to remain unaltered, but some others might give the Chimera a special ability allowing it to move 8.

AC 19 x 1.7 = 32.3. This is way out of line with existing SWM Defenses, so it needs to be toned down. (This is one of the problems with such a statistical analysis -- SWM rares and very rares in general have lower costs than the typical DDM rare but roughly equivalent Defenses.) I'd ignore the statistical result and translate the AC directly to a Defense of 19.

Effective HP 50 x 2.0 = 100

Attack +12 x 1.4 = 16.8, rounded to +17

Average Damage 10 x 2.0 = 20

Final Adjustments

After all the conversion work is completed, the final step is to compare the new stats to those of other SW figures costing roughly the same. If your results seem out of line with other figures with similar costs, then adjust up or down until the result seems about right.

Finally, playtest the figure. Match it up against a few SW figures and see how it performs. If it appears balanced, you're done!

COTF Preview Comments

by abhorson

Barriss Offee
Faction: Republic
Cost: 17
Hit Points: 60
Defense: 18
Attack: +8
Damage: 20
Special Abilities: Unique, Melee Attack, Rapport (with Luminara Unduli), and Synergy (with Luminara Unduli)
Force Powers: Force 2, Force Heal 20

This piece was a great piece to play test, I assumed that the Rapport was 1, so I played the game with Barriss, Unduli, Quin-Lan Vos, Ankian Jedi Knight, and some cheap clone and fringe. Barriss's Main Role in the match was a healer, plus she was a cheap piece to take out little pieces like clone and storm troopers. I won the match and Offee ended up killing 57 points worth of small non-unique pieces and Bossk.
Over All: She's a nice healer for 17 points, and great for killing little pieces, but she needs to stay away from big and unique pieces.
Rating: 4 ½/5

Republic Commando Scorch
Faction: Republic
Cost: 16
Hit Points: 30
Defense: 17
Attack: +9
Damage: 20

Special Abilities: Order 66, Grenades 10, Satchel Charge, and Stealth
I truly like this piece! The satchel charge is a great ability, I had no problem annoying my friend when Lobot's override became worthless. His Stealth combined with +9 and 20 dmg made him a nice shooter also, but the life is low but stealth should keep him from being shot at if you play right!
Over All: His main purpose is to counteract R2D2 and Lobot, so have fun with Scorch
Rating: 4/5

Varactyl Wrangler

Faction: Fringe
Cost: 6
Hit Points: 10
Defense: 12
Attack: +3
Damage: 10
Special Abilities:
Empathy - Allies with Savage within 6 squares lose Savage.
Grenades 10 - Replaces attacks: Range 6; 10 damage to target and to each character adjacent to that target; save 11.
Melee Attack - Can attack only adjacent enemies

For this piece I can only say, Thank you ROB! This piece will do and does wonders for the game. I play with some acklays, and all I said to my friend Jon Riley was "Say hello to my little Friends!". Rancor, Acklay and all savage characters are now two times better, plus we have another fringe with grenade, for Xizors commander effect! Great Piece!

Over all: Great piece for Savage, and now we have a better use for Xizor!

Rating: 3 ½ / 5

Dark Trooper Phase II

Faction: Imperial
Cost: 20
Hit Points: 50
Defense: 16
Attack: +7
Damage: 30
Special Abilities:
• Droid - Immune to critical hits; not subject to commander effects.
• Flight - Ignores difficult terrain, enemy characters, low objects and pits when moving.

I like this piece and it did well overall except that the imperials have the greatest commander effects and this piece was screwed to receive any of those bonuses, The 30 dmg was a great thing to pack, also flight made this piece not so cumbersome to field. I liked this piece, nice addition to the imperials grand navy.

Over All: Nice piece to pack heavy dmg.

Rating: 4/5

Cost: 32
Hit Points: 60
Defense: 18
Attack: +10
Damage: 30
Special Abilities: Unique, Droid, Cunning Attack, Flamethrower 20
This piece is a great addition to my team. A piece that can hit for 40 damage and has a nice atk is just great, everyone should field this piece.

Rating: 5/5


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