Fighters on your six… Fighter Squadron 6, that is. Teaser images have released today for one of Star Trek: Attack Wing‘s January 2015 releases, the Federation Fighter Squadron. Following closely behind the Hideki Fighter Squadron (click here for a review), these fighters prove that the Federation, as a fan favorite, can’t be denied anything that another race can have.
Curiously, no details were released on the ship cards in this pack, but if the Hideki model is followed, the generic Federation fighters will share the 5/0/1/1 starting line of the fighter squadron resource, and a bonus tile will be included for the named variant.
What was revealed, however, was a set of very interesting upgrades that are compatible with the Hideki Fighters as well (assuming you’re not playing in a faction pure environment. This time, the eight upgrades revealed are split down the middle, 50% offensive, 50% defensive/utility. I do love that all the upgrades have a reactionary feel to them, all of the upgrades can be used in some way simply by disabling or discarding them, which feels very appropriate for attack fighters.
On offense, Attack Wave disables for an extra attack die for a given attack. Coordinated attack gives you an ability to add a Battlestations Token to your ship during your attack. Both of these are decent, but not a huge deal.
Attack Formation gives you the ability to set an un-rerollable die on the facing of your choice if you are at range 1 of a friendly ship; doesn’t make big waves in and of itself, but it’s a guaranteed critical hit in most cases (assuming that die isn’t canceled). Where that becomes critical (no pun intended) is when you combine that with Tactical Pattern Theta, which works identically to the “Target Weapons Systems” card from the Reman Warbird Scimitar, and is perfect for sniping a troublesome weapon upgrade like a Dorsal Phaser Array off of an Enterprise E.
For defense, Cover Fire lets you add your Primary Weapon Value to your defense dice for a single attack. Against an opening salvo from most small to medium ships, this is probably equivalent to giving an extra fighter token to the ship, as you’re likely going to cancel a couple of hits with the theoretical (ship stats unreleased at this point) 5 dice that this will add for that defense. Defensive Maneuvers gives a lesser effect, but a guaranteed one, disabling for an extra Evade token; keep in mind though you have to use this BEFORE seeing the attack roll.
Support ship is kind of ho-hum for me here, it’s a “Cheat Death” equivalent for a ship that will be very ineffective by the point in the game that it’s reduced to one hit point. Squad Leader, on the other hand, is a VERY interesting card. Giving you the ability to shoot earlier in the combat phase is nice, but giving free actions to other captains is great, especially when you’re out of range to do anything useful. Even with the limitation of only using Captain Card abilities, Squad Leader likely going to be the most prized upgrade card out of everything here in this pack, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what people do with it.
Maybe not as powerful as the Hideki First Wave Attack Fighters, Fighter Squadron 6 will still give you some new options, and it won’t be a big surprise to see two copies of this on in a lot of player’s collections once they release in January. Stay tuned for reviews of the rest of January’s releases (yes, I know I’m running behind).
– The Tabletop General