What’s In The Box?
Building on the early release waves’ focus on the Clone Wars era, This Party’s Over adds some powerful additions to the Galactic Republic in Shatterpoint in the form of Mace Windu, Clone Commander Ponds and 2 Advanced Recon Force (ARF) Troopers, each with models and associated unit and stance cards.
There’s no instructions for assembly in the box (as per general AMG policy) but there is a sheet with a QR code to link directly to the assembly instructions on their website.
As can be expected from Atomic Mass Games these days, there’s a lot of solid production quality going into the models; hard plastic with crisp detail and, in this instance at least, a relatively simple build process compared to some other kits in the Shatterpoint range (I’m looking at you droids…). Mold lines are at a minimum and there was very little in the way of gaps to fill; the cuts on the sprues were in obvious, easily hidden places so assembly was straightforward.
Mace Windu is in a suitably emphatic stance, posed in a way that he’s either at the end of a forceful downward swing of his iconic purple lightsaber, or striding forward to engage an opponent. The sculptor has done a particularly stellar job in capturing Samuel L Jackson’s features (partially through the lens of the animated version in Clone Wars). Unfortunately the same can’t be said of the card & box art depiction of Mace which feels like an uncharacteristic mis-step from the usually excellent AMG graphic design team (it’s not bad but it just doesn’t look like Mace Windu, even accounting for the abstraction of the art style). With his flowing robes, sternly determined expression and sense of purpose, this is amongst my favourite Shatterpoint models to date, and I can’t wait to paint him up.
Commander Ponds is slightly ‘lighter; looking clone, the model equipped with just a trusty DC-17 Blaster Pistol, the sculpt is a handy nod to CT-411’s role in the game as more of a scout. The kit comes with an option for either a bare head or, uniquely thus far in Shatterpoint, a standard Phase 1 Clone helmet, adding some nice visual variety, something that follows through into the ARF Troopers and their own distinctive helmet style. The two troopers are both armed with blaster rifles; one posed with it raised to the shoulder, aiming to select a target, the other in a much more open stance, striding with arm outstretched, firing his rifle one-handed. The latter also comes with a ruined B1 droid as base-decoration (which I actually left off from my version).
What Does This Set Add To The Game?
This Party’s Over effectively pads out the Galactic Republic affiliation with some interesting alternatives for Clone support troopers, lots of potential mobility and, in the form of Commander Ponds, one of the most significant options within Shatterpoint squad-building in general.
Mace himself is suitably powerful and costed to match. With only 6 Squad Points, Mace is the most ‘expensive’ option currently in Shatterpoint when it comes to building a squad and is, for now at least, basically only available alongside Ponds (more on that later) and a 3 Point Support, giving a fair degree of restriction on Mace’s usage. With 11 Stamina and 3 Durability, the Jedi Master can take plenty of hits and his both sides of his Stance Card offer strong defensive mitigations. When engaged, this is boosted even further by the addition of Steadfast and Protection, bonuses he confers on any allied Galactic Republic character within Range 5. Mace thrives in melee in general, having no ranged attack of his own, he’s a model that wants to be getting into the mix as soon as possible in order to tap into his various buffing abilities and generally just cause an unavoidable amount of damage; particularly on his Form VII Vaapad stance side, which is amongst the highest potential damage outputs in the game at a whopping 11. With a free Dash when he activates (as well as another one potentially from Pond’s activation), Mace has access to reliable advancement towards the opposition and getting him to the thick of the fight where he needs to be. Tempered Aggression is, thematically, almost the offensive inverse of his one-time Jedi peer Dooku’s Surely You Can Do Better, allowing Mace to spence Force Points to re-roll his misses. This is the only ability Mace actually has in This Party’s Over that uses Force Points; everything else is ‘free’, making him one of the least dependent models in the game on that precious resource, particularly useful as he provides the top-tier of 4 to the pool himself.
Perhaps Mace’s most significant ability though is Shatterpoint; the skill that lends its name to the game itself and represents Mace’s capacity to recognize key nexus points in the direction of the force during significant events. In game terms, it, rather appropriately, comes into effect when Mace is activated using the Shatterpoint Card and, depending his current stance, can either boost his already fairly incredible damage output via Impact  and a free Focus or refresh 2 Force Points and Heal 3, either of which would be very useful but together make for a very tempting prospect and nigh on guarantee that Mace is going to make effective use of his activation.
Commander Ponds’ value to Shatterpoint is arguably significant beyond what the unit itself can actually do. At the time of writing, he’s the only 3 Point Secondary in the game which, if nothing else opens up some Squad combinations that are simply not possible without him at present (Vader and all the Inquisitors for example, not to mention the ability to actually field Mace Windu at all). The flipside of that, is that his actual abilities trigger exclusively when interacting with either fellow Clone Troopers or Galactic Rebublic keywords, meaning that, whilst those otherwise impossible squads might be available with him included, they’re not necessarily going to have an effective level of synergy and it’s debatable how much Ponds offers with his own attack potential in isolation. When fielded alongside Clone Troopers though, he offers some unique abilities that can have a tangible effect on the early game-state in particular. Forward Scout allows Ponds and any Clone Trooper Support unit in the same squad to deploy within Range 2 of their Primary, rather than Range 1. Whilst there’s a risk of exposing those units to enemy attacks early, it allows Ponds’ player to make an early play for objectives towards the middle of the board, or even to head towards an objective they’d otherwise tend to leave for the opponent. As the variety of Missions and Objective placement in Shatterpoint grows (as it’s due to later in the year), the value of this ability has a lot of potential to grow. His Incoming ability makes nearby Clones with a hunker token immune to Expose, something that pairs very well with most Clone support units and just adds to the defensive identity of the affiliation.
The ARF Troopers have some familiar traits for Clone support units, with the staple Defensive Manoeuvre and their own flavour of Coordinated Fire offering up Expose tokens. Like most Clones they also have additional bonuses from having hunker tokens, with Steadfast and a bonus Expertise result when defending against ranged attacks, giving them a greater ability to hang around and more difficult to shift from any objectives they’ve potentially claimed. They’re a more than viable side-grade to the other 3-Point Clones in the form of the 501st (and arguably better in plenty of respects), doing the same raw damage in of themselves but opening up enemy models via Expose for other units like Jedi to really capitalize on.
This Party’s Over opens up a lot of potential squad options for Shatterpoint with Commander Ponds and, with Mace provides a seriously powerful model who can dominate a game without hogging all of the Force Points. Likely to be a popular choice in general but particularly for players who like to run with Galactic Republic, the utility of the Clones, some great models and a true potential star of the game in Mace Windu makes this kit a great prospect. It’s not like anyone needs an excuse to paint up a purple lightsaber!