Wave 4 Villain Pack – Bantha Rider

Bantha Rider painted and photographed by Matthew of www.oldenhammer.com

Bantha Rider painted and photographed by Matthew of www.oldenhammer.com

Campaign

It finally arrived, the might Bantha Rider! Its 21 Health is very intimidating. However, its ability to Trample adjacent hostile figures falls a bit flat in the campaign. Early campaign it is really hard to afford to bring it into play. Later in the campaign the ability of the Heroes to reduce the 21 Health, especially since the Bantha does not have a defense die, is usually developed enough so that it doesn’t stay on the board long enough to really matter. Depending on the mission, it might still be worth to bring it. If you can effectively block the Rebels from advancing through a narrow part of the mission, the 9 threat to deploy it can work out. Just don’t forget that he also has the Habitat: Desert trait, which means you can only ever deploy it on a mission with at least one desert tile.

The Agenda Set of the pack is certainly Mercenary flavored. Grevious Wound adds additional damage after a figure gets a harmful condition. Though it costs 2 and depletes after use. Relocated let’s you bring any deployment card to a mission, ignoring their Habitat trait. For 1 influence this currently can be used on Tusken Raiders, the Bantha Rider and of course the Wampa from the Return to Hoth box. In the future, if more mercenary cards use the Habitat trait, this card can become quite interesting. But for now it is kinda lackluster and feels like it was included to give the Bantha some action in a campaign regardles.

The included Agenda side mission Into the Wastes awards the card Tusken Weaponry. Attention, you need tiles from the Twin Shadows expansion to play this side mission. It is the attack variation of the Tusken Raiders in a can. All it does is give you the ability to do ranged or melee attacks with the deployment group you slap it on. This can come in handy if you have imperial class cards or Agenda Cards that require one of these attack types. But overall, the 3 Influence points are usually spent better elsewhere even if you are confident you can win it.

To recruit the Bantha Rider as a Villain for your campaign, you only need to buy the Pack! The Bantha Rider can be deployed like any normal deployment group! The included side mission Into the Wastes requires tiles from the Twin Shadows expansion!

Skirmish

This is certainly where this pack shines. The Bantha Rider is the swarm destroyer. It doesn’t roll a defense die, but has 21 Health! It has a massive 2×3 spaces base and is of course massive. But not enough pushing smaller figures out of the way, it can also Stampede to deal 1 damage if and when it pushes small figures around. And as icing on the cake it also got Trample which let’s it roll a red die to damage all adjacent enemies. Regular Stormtroopers or Rebel Troopers groups tremble in fear before this mighty beast. Really its only weakness is that it is incredibly easy to stun and that it really suffers heavily from being stunned.

But how would you like if your Bantha Rider has a way to get an additional move every round? Well Beast Tamer does exactly that, and more! For 1 deployment point, you get the ability to have one of your creatures move for free or you can have your non-sentient creatures interact with an objective once per round. This card makes Nexus, Wampas and especially Bantha Riders incredibly mobile. It is also not an attachment, so you can use its effect on a different deployment group every round!

So your trampling and stampeding Bantha isn’t enough? Command cards to the rescue! Why not try some Jundland Terror? 2 movement points, another Trample and you can include 2 of those bad boys in your deck. The chance of drawing this once before the end of the first round is at least 43% and even higher if you control terminals. But what about figures with higher Health? Crush is the answer. 4 damage to one of the small figures you decide to Stampede. Last but certainly not least, with Opportunistic, you can gain 3 movement points when it is not the Bantha’s activation and Stampede again!. This pack really is laser focused on the Bantha and its ability to deal damage to figures when stepping on them. To round things out, the pack also comes with 2 copies of Parting Blow. It is not really needed, though certainly appreciated and can augment your Nexus if you still haven’t gotten the Royal Guard Champion or the Wookie Warriors pack.

Update: The skirmish evaluation of this pack was brought down 1 point. Although the Bantha still is good against troopers, the current meta does hurt it a bit. It’s command cards are also weak enough to not make it worth picking up the first chance you can get.

The included skirmish map Coruscant Landfill only uses tiles from the core box.

Model

While not as tall as the two AT-STs from the core set, it is still larger as the repulsor tank. It certainly catches all eyes aroind the table. Also it is a good model to advance your painting skills. If you are in it for the flashy models, you definjtly should get that one.

Campaign Rating: 2/5 Furry Hoofs
Skirmish Rating: 3/5 Furry Hoofs