More Star Trek: Attack Wing goodness today. I didn’t forget how to count, and I’m not forgetting to discuss Collective OP2, but I thought discussing my Collective OP3 build before the month was over and while the scenario is still seeing play might be of use to some of you. Perhaps especially so, seeing as since against conventional wisdom for our group the TO for this event opened up cross-faction upgrades, thus this build may be more representative of what you will find at other venues as opposed to our usual faction pure events.
In this event, the climatic finish of The Collective event series, the scenario recreates a battle from Star Trek VIII: First Contact, the first Star Trek movie which I saw in a theater. In synopsis, this battle involves a Borg Cube attacking Earth. With last minute help from the Enterprise and her crew, the Cube is destroyed, but a smaller Borg Sphere being carried by the Cube escapes and travels through a temporal anomaly in an attempt to go back in time and assimilate Earth before the Federation is ever dreamed of. And I thought Back to the Future made a complicated timeline…
This scenario is the only point in the Collective OP series in which the Borg Cube Token can be destroyed, albeit with great difficulty, and should the BCT actually be destroyed it includes a secondary objective of pursuing and destroying the escaping Borg Sphere Token before it can leave the board. This scenario is unique in that there are no win conditions other than having the most fleet points (normally consists of your surviving fleet), and players cannot attack each other (other than by using the BCT to do so) but both players lose 30 points from their fleet point score if both Borg ships are not destroyed, quite possibly causing some 0-0 draws. On the other hand, players can reclaim 20 fleet points for each of their lost ships by destroying the Cube or Sphere, and gain a bonus Battle Point (counts towards the tournament standings) for getting the kill shot on both. So the name of the game is either survival, or teamwork, and you design your list without knowing which your opponents will pick.
I designed my list with the above in mind, as well as considering a couple other details about the scenario. Control of the Borg Cube Token rotates between the two players, starting with the player with the highest standing in the event series. With a slight lead coming in to the event, I could count on control in all three matches. But regardless of who currently controls it, the BCT must move towards ships each turn, and it must fire each turn if it can, even if that means that you shoot your own ships with it. Transwarp Conduit and Quantum Singularity immediately sprang to mind as a way to make use of this rule. Additionally, the BCT causes damage to your ship if it collides with you and your ship has a base hull value of seven or less. Only the Borg Cube has a higher hull value without resorting to Flagship upgrades, so it was an obvious choice to bring for this scenario, and it conveniently has access to the Transwarp Conduit. The Cube is also one of very few ships that can potentially mass enough attack dice to break through the Borg’s defenses once it is rolling up to 10 defense dice late in the scenario. But what’s better than using Borg to fight Borg? Using invincible Borg, of course!
Collective 3 Borg-ish
Resource: Fleet Captain Independent (Klingon) – 5
Borg Tactical Cube – 44
Weyoun – 5 (Fifth Wing Patrol Ship)
Diplomacy – 1 (Collective OP1 Prize)
Adm. James T. Kirk – 8 (USS Enterprise Refit)
Koss – 2 (Collective OP1 Prize)
Crosis – 4 (Borg Soong)
Varel – 10 (R.I.S. Apnex)
Photon Torpedoes – 5 (USS Enterprise Refit)
Transwarp Conduit – 6 (Borg Soong)
Before you call me crazy for it, I know the torpedo was unusable, but it was the only way to fill the ship up to exactly 90 points with what slots I still had available, and the surviving points would become a tie-breaker in the case of a complete mirror match.
I pulled the Klingon ship from the blind booster pack, I took the named version of the ship (the I.K.S. B’Moth) for utility, the upgrades didn’t really matter as they never came in to play. The biggest reason I took the named B’Moth was to be able to streak in at full speed towards my opponent and deliver a payload of Admiral Kirk’s Fleet Action to disable something critical. It did get used once, but it wasn’t really that important in the end.
The whole idea was to have an invulnerable ship, and destroy my opponent’s whole fleet with the BCT before trying to actually complete the scenario.
And in case you don’t know all the cards well enough to know that resistance really is futile against this list, here’s how it all meshes together: The Fleet Officer upgrade lets my Cube have 3 crew members, gives a discount on the crew, and works with my Admiral to give me a free Elite Talent. Any time that my Cube would take an attack from the BCT, Varel is “discarded” to cancel the attack. Weyoun disables to save Varel, and on the next turn, I re-enable Weyoun. Koss protects all other upgrades; and in a pinch Crosis lets me steal Koss back if anything gets to him, or lets me steal something protecting the opposing fleet. I also have the option of disabling Weyoun to save Crosis for re-use if needed. Diplomacy is a backup if something gets past Koss and disables Varel, or lets me prevent the opponent from getting a kill shot on the BCT for a turn if something unexpected happens. Admiral Kirk can use Diplomacy even if Weyoun is disabled, and also lets me give a fleet action to the booster ship to disable enemy upgrades if there’s something just as cheesy going on in their list. Subspace Distortion lets me warp off the board and force the opponent to move the cube towards themselves and shoot themselves on the turn they have control, or if I’m in a horrible position when the BCT is destroyed, I can warp to intercept the Borg Sphere Token and cause it to start bumping my ship every turn, slowing down its’ escape slightly. Also, the Cube doesn’t lose its’ actions for bumping anything other than the neutral cube due to its’ special rules, and as mentioned earlier it has a high enough hull value to not take damage from the cube token bumping it. Cheese City.
The list fared well, although I felt a little guilty about it when the players who could catch me in the standings didn’t attend the event. In the first round, I played a young fellow who was new to the store. I took mercy on him by only killing a couple of his ships instead of just wiping him out, and together we managed to kill both the cube and the sphere in what became a very fun match (and an educational one for him). In the second round I faced a bit more of a veteran, who was a good sport about the whole thing I suppose; the sphere got away from me with 2 hull remaining, but his fleet had been wiped out within just a couple of turns, The third round wasn’t played, because the results were set at that point, (nobody else had managed to kill the BCT at all in their first two rounds), and the crowd generally didn’t like the scenario.
The list can be legitimately be called cheesy and cheap. I honestly had fun designing it, but not really much fun playing it (outside of the “Hey… you want to kick this thing’s rear?” moment with the new kid). But it’s effective, it demonstrated to our group why faction purity is a really good thing to have, and the TO had already suggested Weyoun + Varel to another player in our forums as a viable build, so I had to bring my version. And in return, it brought me a Stargazer and an Assimilation Target Prime home.
Have something better for this scenario? See a potential weakness? By all means, let me hear about it in the comments. Alternatively, if you decide to use the build or a variation on it, I would love to hear about your experiences and the wailing lamentations of your foes.
Meanwhile, I’ll be cranking on ideas over the next couple weeks to figure out how to do this scenario again, this time with faction purity in play. It won’t be pretty.
– The Tabletop General