Resistance is Futile OP2; Battle Report 4

Relatively fresh off of a mid-level performance on Saturday, I took another shot on Monday at Resistance is Futile OP2 for Star Trek: Attack Wing.

Again, same as last time, each player brings a Borg and a Rebel (Non-Borg) fleet, and alternates between the two playing against an opponent with the opposite configuration, here’s a link to a more detailed breakdown of the RiF scenarios. This venue does not use the 3 ship minimum or 50 point ship maximum, and chooses to give the 1 point per card discount to ships as well.

Since I wasn’t happy with my previous performances, our group has played the scenario several times now, and this event essentially doesn’t count towards our standings if we don’t score better than our previous attempt (see RiF Battle Report 2, same event series), I decided to throw a complete curveball at everyone. I have a near perfect record in Borg vs Borg matchups, and I’ve been wanting to try to find a weakness in the USS Enterprise E builds that have been so popular of late. Second of Five, from Scout Cube 608, seems to do a fairly good job by stealing the Dorsal Phaser Array off of the E, but I didn’t want to buy a new ship just for this event even if I could find a copy of it. So I decided to go for the element of surprise and give up my discounts from the scenario, bringing Borg as my “Rebels” and non-Borg as my “Borg”!

Simple Shape Steamroller, v3.1b

Borg Sphere – 38
Drone – 0

Borg Sphere – 38
Drone – 0

Borg Tactical Cube – 44
Drone – 0

Total: 120

Simple and to the point, we’re just throwing tons of dice here. I had seen a tendency for our group to only bring two Borg ships, so I knew I would be throwing a bigger pile of dice than my competition. With Captain Skill 1 across the board, I’m basically always going to be moving first against other Borg who will be buying captains with higher skill to take advantage of their discounts; so I’ll be able to use the limited maneuver dial against my opponent and block them in for action denial too.

No, Really, This Is My Borg List

Scimitar– 38
Shinzon – 6 + 4 (Scimitar)
Double Back (I.R.W. Gal Gath’Thong)
Attack Pattern Shinzon Theta (Scimitar)
Target Weapons Systems (Scimitar)
Full Stop (Scimitar)
Fleet Captain (Romulan) – 5
Photon Torpedoes – 5 (Scimitar)
Cloaked Mines – 3 (I.R.W. Praetus) – Forgot for picture
Pavel Chekov – 3 (USS Reliant)
Tactical Officer – 3 (I.R.W. Valdore)
Advanced Cloaking (Collective blind boosters)

Chang’s Bird of Prey – 22
Chang – 4 (Chang’s Bird of Prey)
Admiral James T Kirk – 8 (USS Enterprise Refit)
Photon Torpedoes (Chang’s Bird of Prey)
Kunivas – 2 (Collective blind boosters)
Prototype Cloaking Device – 6 (Chang’s Bird of Prey)

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All cloaking, all the time. I was hoping to find myself facing off against an Enterprise E / USS Voyager combo list, and imagined myself gleefully dancing around with Sensor Echo actions at Range 3 and out of firing arcs until I could kill off Voyager and hit the E with Target Weapons Systems to pull off its’ Dorsal Phaser Array. This would be helped out tremendously by the fact that I had a skill 9 Klingon and a skill 11 Romulan captain, allowing me to move last in most matchups, thus giving my Sensor Echo actions maximum effect.

Round 1

I was assigned to play as my “Borg” at random for round 1. My opponent’s reaction to my list was a bit of confusion until I explained, he thought the TO had gotten the matchups wrong.

Opponent:

USS Enterprise-E, Khan (8), Once More Unto The Breach, Flagship (Ind. Romulan), Elizabeth Shelby, Koss, Boheeka, Missile Launchers, Cloaked Mines, Barrage of Fire, Dorsal Phaser Array
USS Voyager, Picard (9), Positron Beam, Transphasic Torpedoes, Mr. Spock, Tom Paris, Breen Aide

I had a matchup that I liked… or so I thought.

Battle:

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Initial setup

Things started off going really well. I moved up slowly and cloaked on turn 1, making sure I would be able to have all my maneuvers available to me. Anticipating a head-to head advance, my opponent immediately dropped his mines. Then Khan triggered Barrage of Fire on the second turn. I wanted nothing to do with that and was already planning a denied flank, so a free Sensor Echo pulled me back out of range, and if I did everything right, those mines wouldn’t come in to play. My opponent may have had a 15-20 point advantage from those discounts, but on turn 2 I had already negated 8 of them without a shot, and I didn’t plan on decloaking and letting those torpedoes and missiles come in to play either, which took up another 12 points of his list.

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After turn 2, I thought I was going to be alright. Never have I been so wrong.

But then things went south in a hurry. My opponent rolled 4+ hits each attack without needing the Target Locks that I was denying him. Even worse, my Evade dice went cold, bringing up all blanks on the first attack directed at Chang, and his measly 3-hull ship suddenly looked like swiss cheese in space. Things weren’t much better for Shinzon’s defense rolls, but he did get off a couple of shots. I got the shields down on the Enterprise E, but passed up on using Attack Pattern Shinzon Theta. It would have caused a crit to reach the hull, but I wanted to wait and use the Target Weapons Systems instead. Two pitiful defense rolls later, and Shinzon was out of the fight. Thoroughly frustrated and a touch embarrassed at how poorly my experiment had worked out, all I could do was sit and wait for the next game. Remind me to buy a Red Bull or five for my helmsmen next time I’m playing with cloaked ships.

Round 2

This round is hereby entitled “Revenge”. Luck of the draw had me bringing my “Rebels” up against the same gentleman that I had played just a couple of days before in round two as well. He had traded in his Sphere for a Scout Cube to put a third Ablative Hull Armor on the tactical cube, but was otherwise pretty much running the same list as before. This time though, I didn’t have an experimental list to face him with, I had my own Borg ships.

Opponent:

Borg Tactical Cube 138, Flagship (Ind Klingon), Tactical Drone (rerolls), Borg Ablative Hull Armor x 3, One

Borg Scout Cube, Tactical Drone (rerolls), Feedback Pulse, Scavenged Parts, Magnus Hansen, Borg Missile

There might have been something else in there, I’m not entirely certain.

Battle:

This time, I had all the confidence in the world that I would do well. So much so, that I messed around a little bit, and deployed facing backwards, taking reverse maneuvers onto the field, which ended up confusing us both with my moves on the next turn (I planned them right, but got momentarily convinced that I had done it backwards). He slid his ships sideways left to right as I faced the field, trying to figure out how I would approach. Hoping to delay another turn and find a 3-on-1 shot, I slid sideways as well, right to left.

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The real Borg civil war.

This didn’t pan out as well as I had hoped, because he took an aggressive jump forward and had his Tactical Cube in a 1-on-1 situation with one of my Spheres.

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Ooops, in range!

I definitely got the worst of that exchange, but I got him to trigger One anyway, which essentially meant that the results would have been the same as if I had fired with at least two ships, because One re-enabled all his shields at the turn’s end, but his single usage was gone.

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Bump! Action Denied!

 

From there, it was a slug-fest, throwing fist-fulls of attack dice across the field at one another. Losing that first Sphere was inevitable, but I burned through his Tactical Cube’s shields quickly and started to chew on the Ablative Hull Armor. About the time I got through the last of that, my shields were down on my Tac Cube. A couple turns later, he drops my Tac Cube to a single hull point (running out of damage cards in the process, thus negating a crit), but fails to kill it before I finish his with my Sphere. My Tac Cube was the only ship that hadn’t fired yet that round, and I passed, calling for the next planning phase. He reminded me that I hadn’t fired my last ship yet; I looked at him, then at the Feedback Pulse on his last remaining ship, and confirmed that I wasn’t firing.

Full health Sphere and crippled Tactical Cube versus Full health Scout Cube, the outcome here looked inevitable, but I wanted to keep my Tac Cube alive. A full speed retreat gained me a single evade die at Range 3, and I regenerated, bringing my hull up to 2 points. His Target-Lock assisted attack landed two hits, and I rolled an evade. Still alive, Sphere goes to work on the Scout. I moved away at full speed again, and regenerate. Two hits, one evade die, and I rolled an evade again, hanging in there with one hit point. One more turn of fleeing, and I was finally out of range and able to regenerate in peace as my Sphere finished off his Scout.

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Safe!

Round 3

Now I’m back in this! (Sort of…) Sadly, my opponent had a higher score and wanted to go Borg hunting, which meant I was playing my cloaking list again.

Opponent:

Reman Warbird, Toreth, Admiral Hiren, Flagship Independent (Federation), Tactical Officer, Tal, Plasma Torpedoes, Interphase Generator, Advanced Cloaking, Invasion Plans

Scimitar, Shinzon (+ talents), 2x Cloaked Mines, Tactical Officer, Plasma Torpedoes

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So much for hoping for another Enterprise E build. With Shinzon in play on both sides, Chang no longer moved after the opponent, and with two cloaked mines in play for the opponent, this couldn’t go well for me.

Battle:

I gave it my best shot, but I was definitely not in a good matchup here. Toreth was a death sentence for me, as I was guaranteed to be taking critical hits. The Cloaked Mines seriously reduced my options to use my mobility, and I couldn’t get Target Locks for my Torpedoes, which meant that my opponent had an advantage in both health and damage output. I also couldn’t rely on shields, because his two Tactical Officers would make allowing Target Lock actions give him lots of extra hits.

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Initial setup.
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Placing cloaked mines, the set under the range ruler was already down and friendly.

There was a lot of fancy flying in this match, but I was out of my weight class here thanks to my opponent’s 15 points of discounts on his fleet. It didn’t help that my dice reverted to their rebellious stage from round 1. There was a quite humorous moment as he used Shinzon’s “Full Stop” talent in the photo below, hoping for a Top Gun  result (“Put on the brakes and he’ll fly right by”), but my Shinzon moved last, and had a “Full Stop” of his own, sitting at Range 1 and just outside his firing arc.

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Dueling Warbirds.

Still, cloaking wasn’t meant to be for my “Borg”, and one too many critical hits landed cleanly.

Final Thoughts

Oww.

Cloaking just isn’t for me anymore. There’s too many attack dice floating around out there, and even with the massive amounts of defense dice cloaking offers, the variance will kill you. It doesn’t matter if the opponent rolls zero hits three turns in a row somehow, but one round of rolling zero evades can easily kill a ship.

I’ve got (at least) one more run of Resistance is Futile OP2 to go, I’ll have to see what else I can come up with.

– The Tabletop General