Tag Archives: Attack Wing

Attack Wing 200 point league event #2

Captain’s Log: Star Date 13 (I’m REALLY not good at counting); After last month’s meeting engagements, reinforcements have arrived for all involved and all fleets are back to 200 point combat ratings. The contested area is shrinking, and the coming battles are sure to be bloodier than the previous fights.

The local Star Trek: Attack Wing community appeared to really enjoy opening up the floodgates and bringing 200 point fleets last month. Accordingly, that same setup was used again this month, but without the special flagship rules and on a standard sized map, so it was simply 200 vs 200, with up to 20 points to spend on any combination of resources.

Having gone through my collection during my recent move (one of several reasons for my posting hiatus), I was able to locate ships that I couldn’t find before, and I updated my list accordingly, removing the Federation ships, and slipping in one more ship for a few less upgrades.

Vulcan & Kazon Militia

Flagship Independent (Klingon) – 10

Tal’Kir – 26 (RiF blind boosters)
Cloaked Mines – 4 (I.R.W. Praetus)

D’Kyr – 26

Ni’Var – 20
(Flagship)
Combat Vessel Variant – 5 (Collective OP1 Prize)

D’Kyr Class – 24
Clark Terrell – 1 (USS Reliant)

Relora-Sankur – 26 (RiF blind boosters)
Donatra – 5 (I.R.W. Valdore)

Kazon Predator Class – 24 (RiF blind boosters)
Kira Nerys – 4 (Dominion War OP6 Prize)

Kazon Predator Class – 24 (RiF blind boosters)

wpid-img_20150221_133344888.jpg
The Vulcan / Kazon militia, lined up and ready to go. I may or may not have had to spend about an hour practicing and re-configuring to get the positioning right for a clean deployment and minimal collisions during the game, while close enough to share all my bonuses across the fleet.

 

Individually, there’s nothing particularly exciting or powerful in the list. But it’s effective as a group. The whole team can methodically roll forward in tandem, the dials are near identical across the fleet. There are multiple effects in play that boost all the other ships in the fleet. +1 attack die at range 2-3 from the flagship, +1 attack die from Donatra, +1 defense die from Terrell, and Kira Nerys Space Oprah does her thing too (“You get a target lock! And you get a target lock! You all get target locks!!!”).  Every ship in the fleet can take a beating, the most lightly defended ship in the fleet has 8 hit points and 1 defense die (the D’Kyr class with Terrell on it), but it’s not an obvious target as it has the lowest damage output of any ship in the fleet (action economy plans aside), and it’s tied for second lowest point value in the fleet.

When it comes to offense, all seven ships in the fleet have at least six attack dice on the opening rounds of engagement. Kira/Oprah’s Predator most likely rolls an unmodified attack, but the remainder of the fleet stacks a Target Lock and a Battlestations action together to put those dice to maximum effect.  And to top it all off, it’s hard to outmaneuver the group, as all of the ships have 180 degree firing arcs.

End result: It’s nasty.

Round 1

Opponent:

Alpha Hunter (Hirogen Warship)
Karr (Hirogen Warship)
Stalking Mode (Hirogen Warship)
First Strike (Collective blind boosters)
Sensor Network (Hirogen Warship)
Monotanium Armor Plating (Hirogen Warship)

I.K.S. Ch’Tang (OP Prize)
Chang (Chang’s Bird of Prey)
Barrage of Fire (OP Prize)
Monotanium Armor Plating (Hirogen Warship)

Scimitar
Romulan Commander (I.R.W. Gal Gath’Thong)
Fleet Captain Independent (Dominion)
Fire At Will (USS Enterprise E)
Full Stop (Scimitar)
Thalaron Weapon (Scimitar)
Monotanium Armor Plating (Hirogen Warship)

Bioship Alpha
Khan (8) (USS Reliant)
Once More Unto The Breach (I.K.S. Kronos One)
Monotanium Armor Plating (Hirogen Warship)
Quantum Singularity (Bioship Alpha)
Extraordinary Immune Response (Bioship Alpha)

List Commentary: Well, this looked nasty. I haven’t played much recently, so this would be my first match against the Alpha Hunter, and I knew in the back of my mind what the Monotanium Armor Plating did, but I didn’t realize how effective it would turn out to be during the match.

wpid-img_20150221_133711364.jpg
Note that Chang is in the back corner. This shows me that the player likely intends to approach quickly, because otherwise collisions will occur, scattering the squad.
wpid-img_20150221_133725312.jpg
My low skill values meant that I had to set up blindly, but with the opponent having chosen to include an asteroid field, I thought that I could probably pull the enemy ships through it by moving forward rather than turning to engage them immediately.
wpid-img_20150221_134905141.jpg
Not quite what I had intended, but the enemy formation was certainly busted up. Time to take advantage, and turn and engage before reaching the asteroids. I dropped my mines soon in an attempt to scatter the opponent even more.
wpid-img_20150221_142903991.jpg
Slow and steady, my fleet crept forward, picking off ships one at a time. The Bioship did a great job of flanking via Quantum Singularity, but I just ignored it in favor of chasing sure kills.

Battle: Space Oprah (Kira Nerys, for those who skipped ahead and missed that reference) got really shut down in this match, as Monotanium Armor Plating and a hefty dose of cloaking denied me a lot of target locks. But when you make a cloaked ship throw enough dice, eventually it’s bound to fail spectacularly, as I’ve learned first hand many a time. End result was a solid win. I believe I lost one ship in the closing moments, but I managed a near wipe of the enemy fleet, with only the Bioship surviving. We said it survived at least, either a critical hit was applied by mistake with shields still available, or shield tokens were left on the ship’s card after being damaged.

Round 2

Opponent:

Fighter Squadron 6

Federation Fighter Squadron

Federation Fighter Squadron

USS Enterprise E
Picard (9) (Starter Box)
Independent Flagship (Federation)
Dorsal Phaser Array (USS Enterprise E)
Reginald Barclay (Collective blind booster)

USS Enterprise Refit
Clark Terrell (USS Reliant)

USS Voyager
Janeway (USS Voyager)
Charles Tucker III (Enterprise NX-01)
Pavel Chekov (USS Reliant)

List Commentary: Another build that looks like it could be trouble. Those fighters can pump out a lot of damage if left unchecked, but luckily I have lots of shots available. It’s refreshing to see faction pure showing up at times, and I don’t really feel like this player was “missing” anything by not crossing factions. From what I gathered, my opponent was relatively new to the game,  and that makes him a potential force to be reckoned with in future games with this group.

wpid-img_20150221_145727973.jpg
It’s too nice of a fleet to mess up! I don’t want to shoot it! (But I suppose that I will…)

 

wpid-img_20150221_150542250.jpg
They all moved as slowly as the Voyager can manage, keeping the formation nice and aligned.
wpid-img_20150221_151029879.jpg
What better answer for a clean formation than a field of cloaked mines?

 

wpid-img_20150221_153403086.jpg
I call this one “Parting of the Fed Sea”. It took just about everything I could spare to clear that one fighter squadron and the Enterprise Refit, but I don’t suppose that’s bad for one turn’s shots.

Battle: I missed a few photos that I wish I had taken, because the next turn was tricky and I had to really scramble a bit. I slid forward and had Space Oprah hand out a stack of target locks onto the Enterprise E, but to my great surprise both the Enterprise-E and Voyager took advantage of their speed and 360 degree firing arcs to zoom straight past my formation. This gave the enemy got some unopposed shots out of the deal there, leaving me nothing but fighters to pick on. I followed up on this by turning the entire formation hard right, loading up on aux tokens, but I still had target locks for days, and I found myself outside of the Voyager’s range, which meant this exchange was very much slanted in my favor.

Soon after clearing the E, time was called on what was a tough game to be facing a relative newbie. This is especially notable because I feel like I got lucky killing that last ship, and we played 50 minute rounds, which is really short considering these fleets are roughly double the normal size. When we finished, he had a decent position behind me, and had destroyed my Suurok class flagship and one of my D’Kyr already. He would have taken damage from the mines to chase me, but there wasn’t a lot I could have done to force shots on the Voyager for quite some time. With more time in the match, that would have been a lot closer of a finish.

Round 3

Opponent:

Counter Attack Die
Elite Attack Die

Scimitar
Karr (Hirogen Warship)
Fleet Captain Independent (Dominion) 
Stalking Mode (Hirogen Warship)
Tactical Officer (I.R.W. Valdore)
Antimatter Mines (Starter)
Improved Cloaking Device (Scimitar)
Reinforced Hull Plating (Prototype 01)
Polarized Hull Plating (I.R.W. Praetus)
Monotanium Armor Plating (Hirogen Warship)

Valdore
Jean-Luc Picard (9) (Starter Box)
Tactical Officer (I.R.W. Valdore)
Breen Aide (Gor Portas)
Dorsal Weapons Array (Dominion Koronak)

Valdore
Gul Dukat (Dominion Koronak)
Tactical Officer (I.R.W. Valdore)
Boheeka (Dominion Koronak)
Dorsal Weapons Array (Dominion Koronak)

Prototype 01
Gareb (Prototype 01)
Cloaked Mines (I.R.W. Praetus)
Cloaked Mines (I.R.W. Praetus)
Jammed Communications (Arena OP Prize)

List Commentary: This may not be the exact loadout, but it’s pretty close. My opponent had consulted me for my opinion on this list as written and a couple of alternatives prior to the event, and this was definitely the one that I didn’t want to face. The Scimitar looks all big and mean, but the Valdores are just as dangerous, if not more so.

wpid-img_20150221_172643145.jpg
One of the few pictures that didn’t come out blurry from this match, this is halfway through the final turn.

Battle: This was to be far and away the toughest match of the day, and I wasn’t surprised in the least. My Vulcan / Kazon alliance lacks a lot of ability to react to my opponent’s moves, so the general plan is as follows: If there are enemies in front of me, float the group forward, shoot everything at something in range. If there’s nothing in front of me, say a prayer and start listing lazily to one side in search of target.

There’s not a lot of room in that plan for adjusting for highly maneuverable ships that can escape my forward arc, and there’s certainly very little ability to dodge mine fields, which is a big problem – 7 ships, 3 dice each… a single well placed set of cloaked mines will get 21 unopposed attack dice per turn, close to the damage output of some fleets at this scale, and for a mere 2% of the cost of said fleet.

To make matters worse, there’s still another 96% of the fleet to deal with. Namely, there’s a lot of action economy running around, translating into 3 attacks per turn that are all but guaranteed 5-6 damage to land home, and they’re all firing before any of my stuff. Then you can top it all off with the fact that the Jammed Communications upgrade is designed to temporarily cripple fleets just like mine, and it all looks to make for a bad day.

My solution? Slowing down to an average of a 0.5 forward movement as soon as those mines started hitting the field. With a 1-forward or 1-reverse movement not being sufficient to move completely through another ship, I caused all of my ships to collide and not move every other turn, taking 1-forward moves on the alternating turns. I gave up a lot of actions to do it, but it just made sense.

The durability of the fleet really showed itself here. By sheer luck, because I hadn’t been positioning it well, my opponent picked the Tal’Kir as his first target as our fleets engaged. Glance back up at the photo above, and you’ll see it at the top of the photo, still alive at the end of the game. The Tal’Kir has a neat little ability that says you can take an auxiliary power token to get an extra evade result each time you defend. So with two evade dice (thanks to Terrell), a timely Battlestations token spent on defense, and a stack of evade tokens, the Tal’Kir survived the opening round with somewhere around 3 hull points to spare. I put heavy damage on one Valdore, and scratched the other slightly, but didn’t clear anything from the table.

The next turn, knowing that it wouldn’t survive another round of shooting, I launched the Tal’kir right into the heart of the enemy fleet. It took damage from the mines, but survived with one hull point, and caused collisions and lost actions for both the Drone and the Scimitar. With this unexpected movement, half of the enemy fleet unable was unable to fire upon the Tal’Kir, and their shots went to my flagship, the Ni’Var, instead. With three out of four ships firing on it, the Ni’var’s three evade dice and Battlestations token had been overwhelmed, and the ship had taken a total of eight damage, holding on by a thread thanks to the durability boosts from the Flagship and Combat Vessel Variant. Now my opponent had a hard decision… the Drone would almost certainly be able to finish either the Ni’Var or the Tal’Kir, but the other would live through the turn. He selected the Ni’Var to destroy, and thus the Tal’Kir survived to break through the enemy lines and limp away from the fight.

Even with one ship in full retreat, and one ship and its’ aura bonus destroyed, I’ve still got 5 ships throwing lots of dice left at that point, and I put them to work, knocking out a Valdore and the drone ship just as time expired. A clever use of the counter-attack die resource took down another of my ships with those last attacks, but the battle was decided, as the Drone was worth more than either of the two ships that I had lost, and Gul Dukat’s Valdore was more than both combined.

Final thoughts:

Finishing 3-0 in a 8 (technically 9 with a player who had to drop) person event left me as the only undefeated player, yet I received a 2nd place finish by way of scoring less fleet points throughout the day than my 3rd round opponent. Sometimes, in scenario games, I suppose that might make sense, but I can’t say that it doesn’t irk me to “win” and be told that I didn’t “win enough”. By a similar token, though, I’ve been handed victories in events where I’ve gone 2-1 and that same player scored 3-0, but with less points, so I can’t say it wasn’t fair. What I can say is that I dislike the system. It’s extremely counter-intuitive, and hinges on unclear wording in the OP materials provided by Wizkids for events.

It was interesting to see what players are doing with ships that I don’t have (and won’t have), as the last thing I purchased was a Borg Scout Cube for a specific build last month, I don’t plan on buying anything more. With Star Wars: Armada approaching on the horizon, and the new Scum and Villainy faction releasing this week for Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures, I feel as though my time in the competitive ranks for Attack Wing is drawing to a close. I’ll still play casually at times, and I might enter in to the occasional Organized Play scenario just to see how it plays out, but the grind of event after event, and the constant flow of new ships and questionable rulings just doesn’t fit into my schedule as a priority anymore.

Live long, and prosper my friends.

— The Tabletop General

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attack Wing 200 point league event

Captain’s Log: Star Date 12 (I’m not good at counting); We find ourselves in peril. What had been billed as the largest War Games exercises to be held in quite some time has turned to live combat. Fortunately, the Vulcans appear to be on our side. 

This past weekend, we had a change of pace event for Star Trek: Attack Wing. A group of players that normally sticks to the scenarios provided by Wizkids threw it all out the window, and held a three round event with larger than normal fleets, semi-random sector conditions, and a small custom twist on the event.

The twist: Each player, in order of arrival, would choose a faction to represent, and must include a ship of that faction with a captain of that faction to serve as their event flagship. That flagship would have a short list of extra abilities that could be used to the benefit of the fleet. The flagship was given a list of abilities that it could spend 6 tokens on, ranging from 1 token to repair a friendly hull or shield point, to 3 tokens to force a reroll of any number of the opponent’s dice. Each token was worth 5 bonus points if unspent, but also was worth points to the opposition if unspent and the ship was lost.

Including that ship, players would have 200 points to build their force, up to 20 of which could be resources, and no more than 60 of which could be dedicated to a single ship. The game was to be played on a 6’x3′ surface, so there was going to be lots of room to move around, but we also had an extra 5-10 minutes (I forget which) added to each round to have time to close that gap.

Arriving a little late wasn’t a big deal to me, as I’m the only player I know that understands the power of Vulcan ships, and I was sure that I could have them as my choice for a faction to represent. Sure enough, they were still available when I arrived, and I was largely able to field my force as planned. I wanted to field a second Kazon ship but neglected to bring it, so some last minute substitutions were in order, and I brought more Federation ships than originally intended.

Vulcan Militia

Resources:
Fleet Captain Independent (Dominion) – 5
Counter Attack Die – 5
Flagship Independent (Klingon) – 10

Tal’Kir – 26 (RiF blind boosters)
Cloaked Mines – 3 (I.R.W. Praetus)

D’Kyr – 26
(Scenario Flagship)
Vanik – 3 (Collective OP1 Prize)
Tractor Beam – 0 (Collective OP1 Prize)
Auxiliary Control Room – 0 (D’Kyr)

Ni’Var – 20
(Flagship)
Kira Nerys – 4 (Dominion War OP6 Prize)
Combat Vessel Variant – 5 (Collective OP1 Prize)
Elizabeth Shelby – 3 (Collective blind boosters)

USS Reliant – 20
Mr. Spock – 5 (USS Enterprise Refit)

USS Enterprise – 22
Clark Terrell – 1 (USS Reliant)

Relora-Sankur – 26 (RiF blind boosters)
Donatra – 5 (I.R.W. Valdore)
(Fleet Captain)
Blockade – 1 (Dominion War OP6 Prize)
Subspace Beacon – 5

There may be something slightly out of place in the build, but it’s pretty close. I’ve been really happy with my Vulcans, in previous events and wanted to expand upon the theme: Decently sturdy (read: requires just over a single Borg attack to destroy), 180 firing arc, and can take both Battlestation and Target Lock actions to modify attacks. Add in a dash of fleet boosting effects (like Donatra and Terrell), and it had to be a recipe for success.

wpid-img_20150124_150442314.jpg
Green base: Scenario flagship. Black base: Resource flagship.

Round 1

Opponent:

Queen Vessel Prime
Tactical Drone  (Borg Sphere)
Feedback Pulse (Borg Sphere)

Tactical Cube 138
Flagship (Resource)
Borg Queen (Tactical Cube)
Ablative Hull Armor

Giant Borg Cube
Picard(9)?

List Commentary: I’m not entirely sure what else was on my opponent’s ships, or how that comes up to 200 points, yet stays within the constraints of the scenario. But thanks to my last second changes due to the missing second Kazon ship, I was scrambling just to get my forces onto the table and not delay our start.

wpid-img_20150124_134617987.jpg
Did I mention that that cube is BIG?

Battle:

I lucked out, winning a roll-off to pick sector conditions randomly (odd), and then randomly pulling the 1-in-5 chance to choose the sector condition (makes more sense now I suppose), between the 3 standard conditions, a custom one, or forgoing them all together. Knowing how badly it can hurt the Borg, and knowing that my ships wouldn’t be as vulnerable to it, I chose “Energy Flux” (1/4 chance to cut the attacker’s base attack dice in half before rolling dice).

In my aforementioned hurry, I messed up my formation in this first game, and had the two flagships reversed. It took a lot of shuffling around to get that fixed, but I wanted the prize ship in the back. I had plenty of time to do so, as the battlefield was far too big for the event, a 6’x3′ play surface, with two planets in the middle of the map, 16″ (or “Range 4”, if you prefer) apart. With the ponderous movements of the Borg around the planet, I wasn’t worried about being rushed. So a few intentional bumps and reverses and such later, I was happy with my formation and moving forward.

With the Giant Cube and the Octahedron moving over in front of my fleet, my opponent brought his Tactical Cube down the flank. The last thing I wanted was to let him in behind me, so I danced around a little bit more, alternating between reverse and forward moves. Just before it appeared that we would engage, I dropped my cloaked mines in the direction of the Tactical Cube, and backed up, hoping for either free damage on multiple ships, or to catch only one ship in range (you would think I would have a reputation for such moves by now in this group).

wpid-img_20150124_141549488.jpg
Big bad Borg are scared of itty-bitty mines.

With all the shuffling going on, we probably shouldn’t have been surprised (but we were) to hear that there was about 15 minutes left in the match, and we had yet to roll any dice! I bluffed that I was okay with a draw, and set my dials. The following turn, the Giant Cube was still out of range, but everything else finally got to shoot. The Borg didn’t handle the Energy Flux well, though, and both attacks were cut in half, leaving the Tal’Kir damaged but alive. Meanwhile, I poured shot after shot into the Tactical Cube, stripping away its’ shields, armor, and starting in on its’ hull.

wpid-img_20150124_144555901.jpg
Last round? CHAAAAARGE!!!!

The next turn turned out to be our last, and I made it count. Kira Nerys put in some heavy duty lifting, handing out Target Locks all around the fleet, while everyone loaded up on Battlestations with their standard actions. I lost the Tal’Kir this round, with the Giant Cube finally bringing its’ guns to bear, but it’s cost was less than half of the Cube that was taken down in the process. A few more shots cleared most of the shields off of Queen Vessel Prime, but we stopped since time had been called and I had less dice remaining than he had health.

Round 2

Opponent:

Klingon Flagship resource

Regent’s Flagship
Riker – (OP Prize)

I.K.S. Neghvar

B’Rel Class (OP Prize)

B’Rel Class (OP Prize)

Vor’Cha class (Starter)

I.K.S. Maht-H’A (Starter)

List Commentary: I’m not entirely sure who is who around the Klingon fleet, I don’t play against them often. Worf, Gowron, and Martok, were definitely all in there somewhere. This seemed like it was going to be a tough fight, very similar to my “throw lots of ships out there with buffs on them” concept.

wpid-img_20150124_150446757.jpg
Captain’s log: Riker here. It’s day 37, and they still think I’m just a funny looking Klingon.

Battle:

Sector condition: Energy Flux, pulled randomly this time.

Having learned my lesson last round, and knowing it would take a while to move six ships on both sides of the table, I didn’t delay as much this game, and I targeted the center point of the map as the engagement zone, right between the planets. This seemed logical (there’s that inner Vulcan going to work) because all deployment zones got moved up towards the center as a result of the low amount of combat in the first round. It would be hard to disguise a flank attack in this case. We both banked in towards the center at the same time, right out of the gate. I followed that up by backing up for one turn, pulling the Klingons forward but not engaging yet.

wpid-img_20150124_152309611.jpg
Draw ’em in, boys! The trap is almost ready!

Then it was too late for the enemy to go around either planet and still get in several rounds of combat, and I dropped out my Cloaked Mines right in his way as I moved into firing position. We traded a couple of long range shots with our lead ships, to little effect.

wpid-img_20150124_153530378.jpg
Got ’em!!!

The enemy panicked at the thought of entering the mine field, which meant several ships were out of position, and wouldn’t ever fire in the game. This also gave me a beautiful turn of fire into the enemy’s flank.

wpid-img_20150124_155906116.jpg
Riker, meet Enterprise. Enterprise, meet crazy bearded Riker.

The Regent’s Vessel took the Enterprise down with it, but I was able to atomize several ships, and came out way ahead in the exchange. I couldn’t get them all before time was called, but I got close.

Round 3

Opponent:

Scimitar
Donatra (I.R.W. Valdore)

Assimilated Vessel 80279 (RiF OP2 Prize)
Martok(8) (I.K.S Negh’Var)
Alexander (I.K.S Koraga)
Advanced Weapon System (I.K.S Koraga / Starter Set)

Gor Portas
Flagship (?) (OP Participation Prize)
Weyoun (?)
Breen Aide (Gor Portas)
Science Officer (OP Participation Prize)
Energy Dissipator (Gor Portas)
Energy Dissipator (Gor Portas)

1st Wave Attack Fighters
Galor Class Phaser Banks (1st Wave Attack Fighters)
Aft Disruptor Wave Cannons (1st Wave Attack Fighters)

List Commentary: I hate that I’m missing a few cards from this build, because it was genuinely interesting. On first glance, you wouldn’t think that these ships would work well together, but they certainly do. There was no way I could let that Gor Portas get near my fleet. Between the scan, the Breen Aide conversion, and 3 actions per turn (standard, Martok, and Flagship free action), plus Donatra to help out, it would likely kill a ship per turn on its’ own by bringing down the shields and then laying into the hull with a follow-up attack. The remainder of the fleet had enough firepower to seriously dent a second ship each turn.

wpid-img_20150124_162700201.jpg
An interesting assortment of ships that I didn’t want anything to do with.

Battle:

Sector Condition: Meteor Storm. I actually pulled the “take your pick” card again, but I jokingly said that I might need to take the Meteor Storm to make things more fair, and he held me to it.

I had my deployment and approach figured out this time around, so things looked really familiar. The standardized terrain placement along with large starting distance between the fleets meant that I didn’t really have to react to much. I’d like to re-do this so that I end up with my AoE buffs in range of everyone still even after turning the formation, but by and large I like how things worked out. Just like before, mines were dropped between the planets after it was too late to go around, and my less valuable Federation ships took the brunt of the first attacks.

wpid-img_20150124_164645635.jpg
Well, it worked the last time, let’s do it again!

This is where the ridiculous amount of firepower in the list comes in handy. When the two fleets clashed, positioning saved me from a shot or two, leaving one of my Fed ships with a sliver of health remaining. But going back the other way, I cleared the Scimitar on the last shot of the turn. His dice weren’t bad, and there’s a lot of cloaked hull to chew through there, but six separate shots will eventually get something through.

Having taken lots of damage from the meteors, spread around my fleet, I knew something would be going down, and sure enough, the fighters and Klingons took out the Enterprise. But concentrated fire from the rest of the fleet took out the Gor Portas just as time was called, and this was another solid, if incomplete, win.

Final thoughts:

6’x3′ is waaaay too big for 200 points. And Vulcans do really well in a swarm. My pick of blind booster ships for winning the (low entry fee) event? Another D’Kyr, for my improved Vulcan build to be used the next time we run such an event. It was only logical.

— The Tabletop General

Fighter Squadron 6 Preview

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 Wave             Coordinated Attack

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.

Attack Formation             Tactical Pattern Theta

 

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.

Cover Fire             Defensive Maneuvers

 

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.

Support Ship             Squad Leader

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

Regent’s Flagship Preview

The passage of time must work differently in the Mirror Universe, because otherwise I can’t for the life of me figure out why the preview of the Regent’s Flagship is just now available on StarTrek.com. Not my call though, and I certainly don’t get any inside information, I just read in to what is released and share my thoughts, so my schedule is set by theirs.

The Regent’s Flagship is a relatively beefy ship, the first Klingon to sport a hull value of 7. Supposedly twice the size of its’ Prime Universe Negh’Var Class equivalents, the firepower is the same for regular shots, each having a Primary Weapon Value of 5. Where the Regent’s Flagship shines though, is in having enough guns pointing in different directions to be able to fire a 4 die attack at two separate ships instead of a single attack if at Range 1 of both targets. This has already been clarified by Wizkids to still count as a Primary Weapon attack, thus granting a range bonus and actually using 5 dice per attack. It struck me as odd that this Klingon ship couldn’t cloak by default, but after some research and understand that this is for story purposes. Looking at the action bar though, and given how poorly cloaking has treated me lately, I’m much happier to see a Battlestations action available to back up that high attack value.

The Mirror Universe version of Kira Nerys is very protective of her ship. She disables to counter a Crew Upgrade’s action that affects her ship, such as Worf (USS Defiant), Selok (R.I.S. Vo), or Crosis (Soong). There’s lots of things that Nerys gives you immunity to here, but it only helps against Crew upgrades, meaning Borg upgrades like Assimilation Tubules (Borg Sphere) and Tech upgrades like Projected Stasis Field (I.K.S. Gr’oth) can still affect your ship normally. Also, while disabling still happens to the blocked crew if that was a part of the activation cost, any canceled Crew action that requires discarding is disabled instead with Kira. Thus, it’s more of a delaying tactic, than a fully preventative one.

Regents Flagship              Kira Nerys

 

The crew of the Regent’s Flagship is underwhelming, at best.

Brunt is a one shot upgrade, who is discarded to place an Auxiliary Power Token beside an enemy ship during the end phase. Well worth the one point cost for him, it’s not an overpowering ability by any means, but it can be useful if applied at the right time. He’s the one crew member out of the pack that I’m most likely to use if I have a spare slot.

Bareil Antos is really cheap for a card that can repeatedly steal upgrades, but he isn’t guaranteed to succeed, and that bothers me as a competitive player – I don’t like abilities that aren’t guaranteed to function properly.

Brunt              Bareil Antos

Elim Garak works as a half-Admiral from a crew slot. He boosts the Captain Skill of captains on Mirror Universe ships, and can disable the Captain for an extra attack die on an attack. I’m not loving his functionality, but there may be some interesting mechanics down the road where you want to disable your Captain at some point and allow your Admiral to step in, and Garak can do that for you.

Odo works as an acceleration mechanic, allowing you to use a disabled crew upgrade’s action without having to spend an extra action to re-enable them first, but discarding that upgrade in the process.

Elim Garak              Odo

 

On to the Elite Talents. I Will Deal With Them Myself is a very inefficient card, designed for alpha strikes. As a 5 point discard, you may disable up to two Crew upgrade cards for 1 extra attack die each. To each their own, but that’s nowhere near worth taking for me. Intendant’s Orders is a little bit more reasonable, as a two point talent that is disabled to use, it removes up to two disabled tokens from your Crew upgrades. In a cross faction build, this would work extremely well with Riker from the USS Enterprise E, allowing you to disable him for an extra action for two turns in a row.

I Will Deal With Them Myself              Intendants Orders

The ever so popular phrase Make It So! makes another appearance; this is a one-shot ability allowing you to perform a free Action, at the additional cost of disabling a Crew Upgrade.

The rules lawyers are going to have a field day with this one. Know why? First, look really closely at the previous pair of Elite Talents and compare them to the other cards in the pack. Notice anything different? Maybe the Unique symbol? That’s right, these Mirror Universe faction Elite Talents have the Prime Universe unique symbol. Now look at Make It So! and Make It So (from the USS Enterprise E expansion). Does the exclamation point make it a differently named card, in case anyone was so inclined to want to take both of these for some odd reason?

Make It So               Fed Make It So

 

Moving on, let’s briefly look at Weapons upgrades. Photon Torpedoes, +1 die if this ship uses them. Insert yawning noises here.

Photon Torpedoes

 

 

Now for Tech. Tractor Beam looks to be a very interesting card – In exchange for an action, you can assign 0-2 Auxiliary Power Tokens to a ship at Range 1. Low skill captains are going to love this action, as your opponent’s captains with higher skill will be afraid to take red maneuvers as long as this card is in play. But again, it’s not guaranteed to work, and that bugs me.

Cloaking Device is a real head-scratcher. Again, I did my homework this time, so I know that the Regent’s Flagship didn’t originally have a Cloaking Device, but had one installed some years later. So thematically, this makes a lot of sense to include. But the card itself makes no sense. Compare it to the Cloaking Device from the Prakesh, available through the Resistance is Futile booster packs (no photo currently available) – the cards are identical in every way… other than the fact that the version from the Prakesh has a 5 point penalty for any non-Mirror Universe ship, as opposed to paying that penalty on anything other than this single unique ship (which is Mirror Universe and thus could have the Prakesh version at normal cost).

Tractor Beam              Cloaking Device

 

I’ve left one card out thus far that has been revealed in the official preview, because I wanted to save the best for last this time. Admiral Worf is absolutely an amazing card. A very cheap Admiral, he is the first released that does not grant a bonus to Captain Skill, but his ability is priceless: A ship taking his fleet action may grant another ship at range 1-2 a free attack. That sound you just heard was my brain exploding with possibilities, and I’m running at Warp Speed 9 right now working on a list to make maximum use of this ability, most likely leaning heavily on the Hideki Class Attack Squadrons.

Admiral Worf

Did I skip anything awesome here? Leave me a comment (they’re finally turned on, didn’t know they were off!) and let me know what you think of the Regent’s Flagship. While you’re here, don’t forget to check out my previews of the 1st Wave Attack Fighters and the Fina Prime ship, as well as my 2014 Gamer Gift Guide, just in time for the holidays.

– The Tabletop General

Resistance is Futile OP2; Battle Report 3

Time to see how well my memory is holding up. I’m almost a week overdue for posting this one, but it’s been a very busy week. Last Saturday, I played in the third of at least five instances of Resistance is Futile OP2 I’ll be entering this month for Star Trek: Attack Wing. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them or just want to refresh your memory, here’s a link to the scenarios.

And for the rest of you who just need a minor refresher or just didn’t feel like clicking the link, the basic gist of the scenario is that each player brings a Borg and a Rebel (Non-Borg) fleet, and alternates between the two playing against an opponent with the opposite configuration. My lists were similar to those from the previous event; this venue does not use the 3 ship minimum or 50 point ship maximum, my Borg configuration doesn’t change much, and since luck would have it that I didn’t get to play my Rebel list in the prior event, I still wanted to give that exact same list a spin.

Simple Shape Steamroller, v3.1

Borg Octahedron – 40 (39)
Tactical Drone – 3 (2) (Borg Sphere 4270)
Magnus Hansen – 1 (0) (Queen Vessel Prime)
Hive Mind – 1 (0) (Avatar of Tomed OP prize)

Borg Sphere – 38 (37)
Drone – 0
Borg Missile – 6 (5) (Tactical Cube 138)

Borg Sphere – 38 (37)
Drone – 0

Total: 120

Pre-discount total: 127

Again, I couldn’t get my hands on a copy of the Tactical Drone from Scout Cube 608 for a free (and useful) unique captain. The only difference between this list and the previous one is that I dropped the Borg Queen captain off for the Borg Missile – this event was held before the prior ruling was reversed by Wizkids and the Borg Missile dealt multiple Auxiliary Power Tokens in addition to destroying shields without defense dice, making it a must-have card to deal with the high defense versions of the USS Enterprise E.

Rebels Without Causes

Resource: Flagship Independent (Romulan) (10)

USS Enterprise-D- 28 (27) (Assimilation Target Prime OP Prize)
William T. Riker- 4 (3) (Assimilation Target Prime OP Prize)
Rebellion – 5 (4) (ISS Defiant)
Julian Bashir -2 (1) (ISS Defiant)
Tasha Yar – 2 (1) (ISS Defiant)
Quantum Torpedoes – 6 (5) (Assimilation Target Prime OP Prize)
Fire All Weapons – 7 (6) (Assimilation Target Prime OP Prize)
Dorsal Weapons Array – 2 (1) (Prakesh Resistance is Futile booster)

USS Enterprise-E – 32 (31)
Flagship Independent (Romulan) – 10
Jean-Luc Picard (+1 Tech version) – 5 (4) (USS Enterprise-E)
Attack Pattern Omega – 3 (2) (USS Defiant)
Adm. Maxwell Forrest – 3 (2) (Enterprise NX-01)
Elizabeth Shelby – 2 (1) (USS Yeager Collective booster)
Hikaru Sulu – 3 (2) (Constitution class Enterprise)
Tom Paris – 4 (3) (from the USS Voyager)
Dorsal Phaser Array – 7 (6) (USS Enterprise-E)
Tactical Station – 4 (3) (Stargazer OP Prize)
Multi-Adaptive Shields – 5 (4) (USS Raven OP Prize)
Enhanced Hull Plating – 4 (3) (Enterprise NX-01)

Total: 119

Pre-discount total: 138

As I mentioned previously, this list was unchanged from my prior build. The plan is still to send the Mirror Universe Enterprise-D in with weapons ablaze, and sacrifice it to weaken/eliminate anything that would give the Enterprise-E trouble.

Round 1

The TO for this event played the scenario to the letter of the law. Since I was leading coming in to the event, I was to play Borg against the runner up from the prior month’s Rebels.

Opponent:

USS Enterprise-E, Kirk (8), Cheat Death, Flagship (Ind. Romulan), Tom Paris, Elizabeth Shelby, Seskal, Dorsal Phaser Array, Tactical Station
USS Voyager, Mr. Spock… (?)

Not a good start, memory failing right from the start. I couldn’t begin to tell you what was on that second ship, and for some reason I only have photos of the Enterprise’s cards. What I do know about this build shows the ugly side of having to get your hands on prize ships and buying certain otherwise unused ships to make an optimal build; not having the USS Raven prize ship or an Enterprise NX-01, this player didn’t have access to the Multi-Adaptive Shields or Enhanced Hull plating that really make the Enterprise-E a hard nut to crack.

Battle:

In addition to not having photos of the Voyager’s build, I didn’t give it much time to work. It wasn’t that much less powerful than the Enterprise, and it was rolling way less defense dice, so it had to go first. My opponent did a good job of concentrating fire, and brought one of my spheres right to the brink of death just as I finished Voyager.

I still had two other ships at full strength, so I wasn’t worried about the outcome of the match, but taking one more hit and losing that ship would be a serious blow to my score. Knowing that I couldn’t keep that sphere alive through another round of shooting, I retreated it at full speed. I moved perpendicular to my opponent’s line of travel as opposed to away, thinking it would be easier to reach range 3 and be out of his firing arc than escape beyond range 3 within arc. The Enterprise had a couple Auxiliary Power Tokens on it thanks to my Borg Missile, so I figured he could be taking a green 1-bank to clear a token, so I dropped another ship right in the path of that maneuver, hoping to stop it short so that my damaged ship would be out of arc and beyond the Range 2 shot from his Dorsal Phaser Array.

wpid-img_20141115_135516855.jpg
Just before the failed retreat – the sphere closest to the Enterprise is the crippled one, see damage cards at bottom right. Octahedron takes a 3 to the East in a blocking maneuver, damaged Sphere moves 4 North. It almost worked…

I guessed right, the Enterprise revealed a 1-bank, and my plan worked out perfectly, but wasn’t enough; the sphere was still within Range 2 by about 2 centimeters. Sphere goes boom, Enterprise followed it shortly afterwards. It was a win, but not as clean of one as I had hoped for.

Round 2

This one was bound to be trouble. Now I had to use my untested Rebel list against someone that scored well with their own Rebels in Round 1.

Opponent:

Borg Tactical Cube 138, Tactical Drone (rerolls), Borg Ablative Hull Armor x 2

Borg Sphere, Tactical Drone (rerolls), Flagship (Ind Klingon), Feedback Pulse, Scavenged Parts

I might be missing a point or two off of his list, but at the same time, I think he was a couple points short of a complete build.

wpid-img_20141115_144359964.jpg

Battle:

Trouble, indeed. I spent the first couple of turns approaching slowly, trying to prime Riker with a couple free actions to take once he reached the combat. My opponent, expecting something tricky out of me, danced sideways for a couple of turns in hopes of screwing with that plan. We had to call the judge over for a ruling on how Riker’s free actions functioned, which took a couple of minutes (apparently my opponent and the Wizkids rules committee share a pitcher of Kool-Aid, since they ruled this week that his Free Actions don’t count as Actions). With the Sphere was out front for a moment, I hoped to deny a turn of shooting from the Cube on the initial engagement. On the turn we should have all entered into firing range, I took a 1-reverse maneuver with both ships. Unfortunately, I misjudged the range, and didn’t get a shot with the Enterprise D, and the Enterprise E’s shot was reflected by the Feedback Pulse. Then we had another delay while we got a judge’s ruling on Feedback Pulse (because “round down” doesn’t mention a minimum of 1 damage anywhere).

wpid-img_20141115_145518708.jpg
Right before I did the hokey-pokey in hopes of a 2-on-1 round of shooting.

Next thing I know, the Sphere has retreated behind the Cube, the Enterprise D has been blown off the map, and I’m trying to burn through 25 hit points of Borg Cube, with each move turning out to be a short chess match as we attempted to outguess and outmaneuver one another. Between my slow approach, the two rule debates, and the planning phases that took too long, I ran out of time before I could score a kill. The Enterprise E, as I ran it, wins that game with another 3 turns, and wipes the Borg entirely with another 4-5 after that. But there just wasn’t time in the match, and this one went to the Borg.

Round 3

Time to make up some lost ground. Being the higher ranking of my pairing, and wanting to further explore my Rebel fleet, I chose to play them. My opponent, not owning any Borg, had a rag-tag band that I didn’t know what to expect from.

Opponent:

USS Yeager, Khan (8), Photon Torpedoes …?
Enterprise-D, Kirk (9), Photon Torpedoes, Cheat Death …?
Bioship Alpha, Bioship Alpha Pilot, Quantum Singularity…?

Again, poor memory and no notes. I keep thinking I’ll get better about this, but with this odd format there were too many lists floating around and being swapped to keep track of who had what on which ship.

Battle:

This time, my Mirror Universe ship did its’ job, going in with guns blazing. Without a big Borg ship to outclass its’ hull, though, Rebellion was wasted, causing me to take a little extra damage, and not deal as much as I had planned on. The Yeager turned away from the fight (not being experienced with it, my opponent forgot it had no rear arc for torpedoes), and the Bioship teleported out with a few scratches just as the 3rd ship fell. My Enterprise E battered the Yeager, but took a couple of turns to do it (Picard had named Species 8472, the most threatening of the factions present), and the Bioship came back with a vengeance for the Enterprise D. There was no escape for Mirror-Riker, he went down in flames before Picard could arrive to finish up. Again, losing a ship at the last second hurt my overall score.

Final Thoughts

Oddly enough, a 1-2 record on the day scored me third place out of eight – while the battle points are used for the overall event, fleet points are used for scoring the individual events here, with a bonus granted for winning matches. Apparently, completely wiping my first and third opponents, and not being totally destroyed in my second match, I squeaked in a couple points ahead of the rest of the pack. The first place player on the day didn’t make it to the first month’s event, meaning that I still have a solid lead for the series. If I had to have a mere decent showing, this was the way to do it.

Bonus photos:

wpid-img_20141115_134709121.jpg

 

wpid-img_20141115_140808543.jpg

wpid-img_20141115_140748113.jpg

wpid-img_20141115_140643734.jpg

 

Back to the drawing board for my Rebels, and on to the next event!

– The Tabletop General

1st Wave Attack Fighters Preview

Putting aside my frustration with Wizkids for now, StarTrek.com has released the latest preview for next month’s Star Trek: Attack Wing releases. This release is the first of its’ kind, a retail version of the Attack Fighters resource which had been previously made available via Organized Play rewards only.

The statistics and health tracking mechanic for the First Wave Attack Fighters appears to have been carried over from the previous versions, but the preview images don’t actually show any of the stats. Borrowing from the Borg Drone token mechanic, there is a token for the Attack Fighters that is marked as “Start”, so presumably the statistics will be found on the opposite side of the tokens identifying the ship type and Captain Skill. Interestingly enough, the ship card specifies how many tokens are used, and the tokens shown are marked with the same name and unique symbol as the named version of the ship, leading me to believe that there may be a consistent difference in stats between the named and generic versions of the squadron.

1st Wave Attack Fighters                                             Attack Fighter Stat Tokens

The 1st Wave Attack Fighters expansion brings with it a new upgrade type, Squadron Upgrades. These upgrades are intended to enhance the functionality of fighter squadrons but aren’t available to other ship types. This lets you customize your squadrons to fit your play style and lets the upgrades work specifically with the Attack Squadron mechanics and uses.

When I look over them, the Squadron Upgrades available break down into 4 distinct categories: Offense, Defense, Support, and Utility, with two cards in each category.

For Utility, we have Aft Disruptor Wave Cannons and Photo Lock-On. Aft Disruptor Wave Cannons are a 5 point upgrade that lets you disable them to fire your Primary weapon out of your rear firing arc, a situational card, but quite handy if that situation comes up. Photo Lock-On costs 2 points, and is discarded in order to obtain a target lock within Range 1-2 during the Declare Target step of your attack. I feel that Photo Lock-On is an appropriately costed card for a minor bump in action economy and letting you lock on to ships that may have moved into range after your activation.

Aft Disrupter Wave Cannons                         Photo Lock-On

 

Under the Support heading, we have Escort and Flanking Attack. Flanking Attack costs 3 points and is a single use (discard) ability which allows you skip your fighters’ attack for the round and hand your attack dice to a friendly ship nearby for their attack. This will come in really handy for when your target has a lot of defense dice, or when your other ship is the only one with a target lock, or similar situations. Escort costs 4 points, and takes an action and disabling the card to grant defense dice equal to your squadron tokens to a friendly ship at range 1. Escort is a phenomenally powerful card, considering that the wording doesn’t even require you to remain at range 1, and you’re granting up to FIVE defense dice. Bring a higher skilled captain on a Dominion Battleship and trigger that action before sending your Battleship into the thick of the fight, while leaving your “escort” fighters safely out of range!

Flanking Attack                        Escort

For Defense cards, we have Cover Fire and Support Ship, each costing 4 points and only working once. Support Ship functions as a “Cheat Death” card for the squadron, being discarded instead of removing the squadron’s last token. Cover Fire allows you to add your current primary weapon value in defense dice to a single roll. Truthfully, neither one of these cards really moves the dial for me – Cover Fire isn’t guaranteed to help you out, Support Ship doesn’t help until you’re not putting out much damage, and in either case they’re stopping (at most) a single hit for 4 points, 20% of the squadron’s hit points for just under 20% of the cost, and tying up an upgrade slot at the same time.

Cover Fire                         Support Ship

 

Last, but not least, we have the Offensive cards; Galor Class Phaser Banks and Break Formation. Break Formation costs 5 points, and is disabled as an action to take a free Primary Weapon shot at -1 attack dice (max of 3) so long as you’re not within range 1 of a friendly ship. Not a lot of dice, limited economy use, and your ship can’t be near friendly ships… It’s useful against other fighters (being able to potentially remove two tokens in one turn with separate attacks), but in general this doesn’t look like a great card. Galor Class Phaser Array, on the other hand, costs 7 points, and does two very nice things for you – extends your attack range out to 1-3, and gives you +1 Primary Weapon Value.  Maybe a little too expensive to justify in most builds, but a great upgrade to the fighters in general.

Break Formation                          Galor Class Phaser Banks

 

All said and done, this is the first Attack Wing expansion in quite some time that I’ve looked at and said to myself “How soon can I get it?”. I don’t know about everybody else, but I’ll need multiple copies of the First Wing Attack Fighters. Who needs dreadnoughts when you can just swarm the enemy???

– The Tabletop General

Wizkids being Wizkids

For those of you who haven’t been following the rules debates for Star Trek: Attack Wing over the past few months, you’ve been missing out on one of the best comedy/dramas to have ever graced the gaming community or the internet.

Lacking an official venue through which questions could be fielded, the game’s original designer, Andrew Parks, took to the BoardGameGeek forums to impart his great wisdom upon the masses. Looking back upon it, I consider this a golden age for Attack Wing and its’ early “unofficial” FAQ; questions were answered directly and quickly, straight from the game’s designer. When Parks was pulled off of Star Trek for the Dungeons & Dragons: Attack Wing project, things were left in the presumably capable hands of Chris Guild. Guild took over the design of expansions, upkeep of this unofficial FAQ, and potentially the creation of scenarios for Organized Play events as well (unconfirmed).

Prosperity continued for a bit longer, as Guild took up the torch of upkeep of the FAQ on BoardGameGeek, but he would never prove to be near the benevolent benefactor that the community had grown to know and love in Parks. Answers to questions arrived less and less frequently, and were often simple thumbs-up responses to interpretations given by other users, as if Guild were saying “I don’t have any thoughts of my own on the matter, but this person’s interpretation seems decent”. Guild was also rumored (known) to have a particular favorite (Borg) among the multiple factions in the game (seriously, it was Borg) which he would preferred above all others as a Star Trek fan, and his rulings seemed to support this theory on a regular basis. Still, we did get rulings from him, and they were better than nothing (usually).

Then, just over two months ago, Guild stopped participating in discussions on the BoardGameGeek forums completely, with no notice or explanation as to why, and no official replacement appeared. For while, the lunatics did a decent job of running the asylum, as several prominent members of the Attack Wing community continued to make best-guess interpretations of new cards and combinations based on similar situations with prior cards. It wasn’t perfect, and now it certainly wasn’t official, but it was all we had to try in our attempt to make the gameplay experience consistent from venue to venue.

Two weeks ago, Wizkids launched a new forum on their own site for official rules questions and hosting the FAQ which had been previously created/updated by Parks and Guild. It seemed like a positive thing at the time; not only would the change in location lend credibility to players who didn’t believe that the BoardGameGeek forums had any legitimacy to them, but this seemed to indicate that Wizkids would be taking a more active role once again in providing answers to these questions.

What nobody expected was that Wizkids would lock down the forum, and fill it with “logic” that would give a Vulcan an epileptic seizure. Nothing gets posted without being approved by a moderator, which on the surface may look like a method for keeping things on track and preventing spam. In practice, it means that questions that Wizkids can’t yet answer, or doesn’t want to answer, just disappear. I’ve posted somewhere around a dozen original questions or requests for clarification on a ruling within these past two weeks, and all but one have been ignored.

After the forum had been in existence for all of a single week, an announcement was posted that no new content would be posted for another week, as the rules team had been inundated with requests and would need to take the week to sort them out and come up with answers. Two days ago, the forum came back to life, with lots of answers to very legitimate questions, and most of them were consistent, if not necessarily to the community’s liking. On the other hand, several rulings were published that contradicted each other and/or the FAQ document published by Parks and Guild. Errata has been released for a handful of cards that were deemed too powerful, not only for game balance, but because (and I quote) “these cards are not thematic of the Star Trek universe”.

Let’s circle back to that one post of mine that I mentioned had appeared on the forum. This morning, I had fired off one more reply into the black hole about a ruling that was dubious at best, and didn’t seem to be based upon any prior rules or game mechanics. I asked what the basis was for that ruling, as well as what impact the ruling might have when applied to several other parts of the game. Seeing my name appear in the thread later on in the day, I was very happy to see that Wizkids had at least acknowledged my post. But upon reading the response, I realized that they didn’t answer all of my questions. In fact, a huge chunk of my post had been removed, and it appears for all the world that I never even asked about the basis of the ruling, only what it applied to! Not expecting anything of the sort, I didn’t think to take a screenshot of my post before submitting it, not that I could prove that it was submitted as such; but as I live and breathe, my post was edited by someone else before being approved and posted. This occurred without any notice to me whatsoever, and hid the fact that I was taking the Socratic method to point out the fact that they were changing a rule that wasn’t broken to something that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

As a local Tournament Organizer and good friend phrased it, “If I were a conspiracy theorist I’d swear they’re purposely sabotaging the game. Having a rules forum where you can pick and edit the questions is ridiculous.”. I couldn’t agree more.

This rant belongs on the Wizkids forums, but it would never be see the light of day if I posted it there. As much as I enjoy exploring Star Trek: Attack Wing, I’ve forbidden myself from touching the of the Dungeons & Dragons: Attack Wing because of Wizkids’ business model and disregard for a consistent and well planned rule set for competitive play. Ideally, I would like the variety of continuing to play X-Wing Miniatures, Star Trek: Attack Wing, and soon Star Wars: Armada at a competitive level in addition to more casual board games and video games. But there’s only so much time in the week, and only so much money in my gaming budget. Wizkids is making it really easy to decide which one of those items might not make the cut.

– The Tabletop General

Fina Prime Preview

Even a Star Wars fan like myself knows that away teams and boarding parties are a big part of the action in Star Trek, and Wizkids has tried time and time again to make them a viable part of Star Trek: Attack Wing.  The first ship from next month’s releases to be previewed, Fina Prime, appears to specialize in boarding parties, but in a little bit more of an old-fashioned way. Why use teleporters, when you can use a harpoon? Harpoons are way cooler, right?

So who would be crazy enough to bring a harpoon to a laser battle? Meet the Vidiian Commander, a far cry from a sane looking individual. He enhances abilities on several cards included with this pack, but has no unique ability without them. Considering his closest analog, Lore (from the Soong), has the exact same stats and cost plus adds a lot of versatility, I don’t see myself using this Captain except on Halloween.

His ship, Fina Prime, does include a new ability we haven’t seen before. As an action, Fina prime can take an Auxiliary Power Token to remove (not disable, remove) an active shield from a target at Range 1. This isn’t an earth-shatteringly powerful ability, but it allows you to do “damage” even if your opponent is outside your firing arc, and can’t be interrupted by those pesky defense dice everybody seems to be so fond of rolling when I shoot at them.

Vidiian Commander   Fina Prime

Correction time, when I said “a harpoon”, earlier, I meant a Grappler. Conspicuously missing from the previewed cards on Startrek.com was any sort of explanation as to what these “Grapple” tokens will do, but since the mechanic is limited to a Range 1 attack and uses tokens like the Borg Tractor Beam included with the Borg Sphere and Borg Tactical Cube,  I’m assuming it will have a very similar effect in limiting the movements available to the enemy ship. One thing to note, this card hits on one of my major pet peeves for mechanics in Attack Wing – this card is much less effective while the opponent’s shields are active. It makes sense as to why this would be the case (it’s hard to physically attach something to an energy field based shield), but it makes me have no interest in the card. If I’ve managed to get a ship’s shields down already, I want to be dealing damage; I could care less about control effects by that point. Combine the fact that you have to re-enable it to fire it again and that it requires a boost from the Vidiian Commander card to match Fina Prime’s primary weapon for dice (counting the bonus for Range 1), I just don’t see a big reason to bring it.

Grappler

 

While we don’t know for sure what effect a Grapple token will have, we do know a couple of the side effects. Denara Pel, a Crew upgrade included with the pack, can be discarded to cause a Crew upgrade on the target ship to be discarded. Functioning against cloaked ships, as well as not being restricted by shields or requiring your own to be lowered, this is a GREAT option for breaking the Weyoun + Varel combo (while Weyoun is disabled), as well as being an easy option to remove Elizabeth Shelby, Hikaru Sulu, or other such pesky crew members that make life difficult. The Grapple token enhances Denara Pel as follows: If there is a Grapple token on the target ship, Denara is disabled instead of being discarded during this action. Sounds good on the surface, but the Grappler is an attack, and it only gives that token once hull damage is dealt; so you’re unlikely to land it while you care about killing off crew, and Denara Pel wouldn’t be usable in this manner until the following turn, and then is re-enabled the next turn, and can be used again on the next after that. Recap: After shields are down on the enemy ship, Denara can be potentially used twice in a 3 turn span.  It’s a neat trick to remove two crew members, but if you’re in a position to do it, why not just kill the ship they’re on?

Sulan does something similar, sacrificing himself to discard a Crew upgrade on your target. With a Grapple token, he has an extra effect of disabling up to two other Crew upgrades on the target ship. Personally, if I was really worried about clearing multiple Crew, I’d just use both of these cards together, and forget waiting until after the Grappler is attached.

Denara Pel            Sulan

 

But why just send one Crew member, when you can send a whole team? Vidiian Boarding Party raids the whole ship, potentially killing up to five (with the bonus die from the Commander) crew off of the target ship. This card violates enough of my rules for picking upgrades to be excluded from my lists (4 points for a 1-shot action, only works at Range 1, doesn’t affect cloaked ships, doesn’t affect shielded ships, drops your shields to use it, and isn’t guaranteed to work). BUT… there may be something special about this card. I suspect that the unusual wording here is intentional and very important: “For each [Hit] or [Crit] result, the target ship must discard 1 [Crew] Upgrade of your choice.” Since the target ship is the one performing the discard action, this looks like it completely circumnavigates cards like Koss and Disruption Field, which would normally prevent other upgrades on the ship from being affected. Much less important, but continuing the theme of the ship, Vidiian Boarding Party is a free action if the target is Grappled.

Vidiian Boarding Party

 

 

One card left to cover here, I saved the best for last, and it’s already been named if you were reading the other cards. Hypothermic Charge is the remaining card that receives a bonus from the Vidiian Commander. A 3-die attack for 5 points and a disable doesn’t seem all that impressive, but the attack has two impressive qualities: If the opponent’s shields are up, they are ignored by damage from this card. Alternatively, if the opponent’s shields are down, this card has a built-in Target Lock reroll.

Hypothermic Charge

 

So Hypothermic Charge is nice and all, you say, but what’s the big deal about it? Consider the following ship and upgrades:

(Edit – On a subsequent look, I realized the Hypothermic Charge was Vidiian only. The sample build has been replaced, and is admittedly less effective now that it has been fixed.)

Fina Prime – 26
Lore – 4 (Soong)
Fleet Captain Ind/Klingon – 5 (Collective OP 2 Participation)
Attack Pattern Omega – 0 (USS Defiant)
Denara Pel – 0 (Fina Prime)
Sakonna – 1 (Gavroche [Collective blind boosters])
Erin Hansen – 2 (Collective OP 2 Prize)
Torsus – 1 (Soong)
Joachim – 3 (USS Reliant)
Hypothermic Charge – 3 (Fina Prime)

Total: 45 SP

With Lore’s ability to sacrifice crew, along with that of the ship itself you’re making attacks of up to 6 dice at a time that ignore shields, which means any hits you get past defense dice will land on hull. Opponent cloaks for extra dice since I’m ignoring shields? Fine, I get rerolls! Attack Pattern Omega and Joachim make any of those that are critical hits even more painful. Erin Hansen is discarded to ensure you’re picking the right maneuver to have a shot on your target, or is cannon fodder if not needed. Denara Pel is free, and can take out a crew member on a target, or be cannon fodder. Sakonna is free, and cannon fodder. Torsus can get you the first shot in front of captains with skill 8 or 9 (Lore is an 8 with the Fleet Captain upgrade) if needed, or can be cannon fodder like the rest if you’re already leading at skill 8. It’s unconventional, but I REALLY like it, and it all keys off of the Hypothermic Charge.

After looking at all of it, I’m unimpressed with the Fina Prime‘s central theme, but there’s a gem in the Hypothermic Charge, and the actual rules for Grapple tokens may change my overall opinion. What are your thoughts?

— The Tabletop General

Resistance is Futile OP2; Battle Report 2

Everybody has an off-night from time to time, where nothing goes right, luck isn’t on your side, and you don’t truly your hobby. Last night was that night for me, as I had a quasi-successful but unsatisfying night of Star Trek: Attack Wing to wrap up a long and stressful day. The bad day in and of itself was work related, and it had me mentally fried before leaving the office late, arriving at the venue for this particular organized play session late, without having eaten anything, and only half prepared for Resistance is Futile OP2.

For those new to the site and to Attack Wing OP play, you can check out my summary of the Resistance is Futile Scenarios, but the high level briefing of this month’s event is that players are intended to bring two separate fleets, one Borg, one Rebel (non-Borg), and all pairings will have a Borg and a Rebel fleet facing off against each other, with the intent of playing each at least once. Great concept, mediocre rule system to support it: a 1-point per card discount heavily favors the rebels with their cheaper and more plentiful cards; but this night may have ended up proving how overpowered the Borg are in being able to overcome that advantage.

Many players don’t enjoy the Borg being a part of the game, feeling as if they unbalance things too much, so not everyone has a Borg fleet available. But as far as I’m aware, 7 of the 8 players present in this venue had Borg to use, and the 8th player only had to use their “Borg” fleet once. Overall for this event, there were 11 games played (traffic caused a first round bye), and Borg won 8 of those 11, or 8/10 if you toss out the game in which the “Borg” fleet had no Borg in it. With a 10-20 point advantage for the Rebel fleets depending on fleet designs, and all fleets being built with the knowledge that their opponent will most likely be using Borg, to have only beaten a true Borg force twice is surprising in a generally solid of a group of players; and I can give a first hand account of how those two wins happened. At this point, my Borg will be going on the shelf for any events that I’m comfortable playing anything else; I can’t lie to myself and say they are suitable for casual or semi-competitive play; I value winning as much as any competitive gamer, but I don’t have any use for an auto-win button.

As to my experiences in particular yesterday, I scrambled to assemble my two lists in time for the event’s start. My Borg list was  a 3rd rendition of the Simple Shape Steamroller list, modified slightly at the last minute when I found that this venue granted the 1 point discount on ships as well as on their upgrades (note that this is NOT the general case, as per the this entry on the Wizkids rules forum). My Rebel fleet combined the heavy defenses of an Enterprise E led by the obvious Elizabeth Shelby with some of new and shiny Mirror Universe toys with potential for several high powered attacks, along with the game’s first taunt mechanic.

Simple Shape Steamroller, v3

Borg Octahedron – 40 (39)
Borg Queen -6 (5) (Tactical Cube 138)
Magnus Hansen – 1 (0) (Queen Vessel Prime)

Borg Sphere – 38 (37)
Tactical Drone – 3 (2) (Borg Sphere 4270)
Hive Mind – 1 (0) (Avatar of Tomed OP prize)

Borg Sphere – 38 (37)
Drone – 0

Total: 120

Pre-discount total: 127

I wanted to run a “free” 1 point Tactical Drone from Scout Cube 608 as the captain on the 3rd ship, but was unable to find one for sale. Without the 1 point discount on ships, I would have used the same Tactical Drone from the Borg Sphere on the first two ships rather than the Queen.

 

Rebels Without Causes

Resource: Flagship Independent (Romulan) (10)

USS Enterprise-D- 28 (27) (Assimilation Target Prime OP Prize)
William T. Riker- 4 (3) (Assimilation Target Prime OP Prize)
Rebellion – 5 (4) (ISS Defiant)
Julian Bashir -2 (1) (ISS Defiant)
Tasha Yar – 2 (1) (ISS Defiant)
Quantum Torpedoes – 6 (5) (Assimilation Target Prime OP Prize)
Fire All Weapons – 7 (6) (Assimilation Target Prime OP Prize)
Dorsal Weapons Array – 2 (1) (Prakesh Resistance is Futile booster)

USS Enterprise-E – 32 (31)
Flagship Independent (Romulan) – 10
Jean-Luc Picard (+1 Tech version) – 5 (4) (USS Enterprise-E)
Attack Pattern Omega – 3 (2) (USS Defiant)
Adm. Maxwell Forrest – 3 (2) (Enterprise NX-01)
Elizabeth Shelby – 2 (1) (USS Yeager Collective booster)
Hikaru Sulu – 3 (2) (Constitution class Enterprise)
Tom Paris – 4 (3) (from the USS Voyager)
Dorsal Phaser Array – 7 (6) (USS Enterprise-E)
Tactical Station – 4 (3) (Stargazer OP Prize)
Multi-Adaptive Shields – 5 (4) (USS Raven OP Prize)
Enhanced Hull Plating – 4 (3) (Enterprise NX-01)

Total: 119

Pre-discount total: 138

The idea with this list was to approach slowly and make players fight the Enterprise-D first. The Enterprise E is a beast when fully equipped, especially with Shelby’s bonus against Borg, but it can’t always stand up to a full fleet of firepower (the law of averages eventually shows up) and doesn’t pump out enough attack dice on its’ own to guarantee that it will outrun everything that the opponent throws at it in a DPS competition. Unless it can borrow Admiral Forrest’s action to turn back in to the fight a little faster, the Enterprise-D’s poor maneuver dial combined with the lack of a reliable out-of-arc shot means that it will do most of the damage it’s going to do on the initial pass. Julian Bashir and Rebellion combine nicely to minimize the damage it will take, but force the opponent to shoot there first, or Bashir can be saved to force a shot to be wasted later on in the match. This means that the Enterprise E should still have shields and be free of Auxiliary Power Tokens during the heaviest combat, allowing it to do its’ work properly.

 

Round 1

In round 1, I was randomly assigned to play my Rebel fleet against… (insert drumroll here)… Nobody! With traffic detaining our eighth player until round 2, I received a bye in this round, which at this venue is good for a “win” with a score equal to the average of the 3 winners’ scores. So I took this opportunity to snap a few photos, decompress a bit, and work on my battle report for the previous day’s event.

Table 1

wpid-img_20141110_193444281.jpg
A rag-tag rebel fleet of unlikely allies (Khan is helming the Nova Class) approaches the newly discovered “Low-Rider” class Tactical Cube and its’ diminutive cousin. All available firepower was poured into the Cube, which had lots of hit points, but no more offense than any other Borg ship. There’s just not enough dice, and the Cube’s captain kept forgetting about an Auxiliary Power Token on several crucial turns…
wpid-img_20141110_200340133.jpg
… which led to a very sad Borg Queen sitting on the sidelines. How exactly did it happen, you ask? Well, the attack dice that did the deed are right there on the green-nebula map. Where did they come from? Glance down to the next photo!
wpid-img_20141110_200442649.jpg
Kirk had completely forgotten the Enterprise-D doesn’t just use it’s primary firing arc, but his alien love interest of this episode leaned back onto the weapons console and blew up the Tactical Cube by accident! The Scout Cube proceeded to out-duel the Enterprise, but a “Cheat Death” at the buzzer led to the Borg being defeated by a handful of points.

Table 2

wpid-img_20141110_195140562.jpg
Riker stopped and asked the Borg for directions, and they were happy to tell him where to go. (Click for a hint – what the table looked like after this turn)

Table 3

wpid-img_20141110_195203172.jpg
A slightly mangled quote from the player with the bioships: “I maneuvered perfectly, but I just couldn’t manage to roll hits.” His dice rubbed off on me, sadly.
wpid-img_20141110_200429100.jpg
Between a rock and a hard place. This ended about like what you would expect.

Round 2

Sooner or later, everybody runs up against a hard counter. Sooner or later, karma comes around and bites you. This was my turn for both. Having been designated “Rebel” the previous round, I was now to play my Borg against a Rebel list consisting of two Sovereign class ships built to go Borg hunting.

wpid-img_20141110_215318940_hdr.jpg
Each row of cards is one ship. #SoRidiculousItsPainful

Opponent:

USS Enterprise E, Independent Romulan Flagship, Picard (8, tech), Independent Flagship (Fed), Tom Paris, Hikaru Sulu, Elizabeth Shelby, Multi Adaptive Shields, Ablative Hull Plating, Dorsal Phaser Array, Tactical Stations, Cheat Death
Sovereign Class, Mr Spock, Dimitri Valtane, B’Elanna Torres, Dorsal Phaser Array, Photon Torpedoes, Transwarp Drive

Battle:

This one was ugly. Spock was an easy kill; with no defensive upgrades he was knocked out in a single round of shooting. But I lost my Octahedron on the next turn of combat before it could fire again, and then you’re looking at a souped-up E ready for exactly what it was designed to kill (2 full health Borg ships) that had none of the possible tricks to bust the defenses (Borg Missiles, Crosis, Assimilation Tubules, Magnetometric Guided Charges, etc). I had been trying to run this list so lean and efficiently that I hadn’t included protection against hard counters when I had the points available.

I tried and failed to maneuver to Range 3 and out of primary arc, as my opponent guessed every move I made. The same goes for when I tried to block his movements and deny his actions. To make matters worse, I couldn’t buy a decent attack roll. The odds on a single attack die to roll a hit or critical hit being 50%, 75% with a target lock reroll or equivalent ability, I was managing at most three hits per attack out of six dice (I think the true average was around 20-25%). Dice get hot, dice get cold, it’s part of the game. But when the opponent is rolling 7-8 defense dice with rerolls and conversions available, I wasn’t busting through anything. I destroyed two out of his six shield tokens before my Borg were wiped off the board.

Ouch.

Round 3

Both matchmaking and setup took forever in this event thanks to the complexity of the lists and scoring, so for this event which was scheduled to start at 6PM, the 3rd of the 50 minute rounds began at approximately 10:30PM. Being tired, hungry, frustrated from the previous match, and assuming I was well out of the running at this point, I found myself assigned to play as Borg again against the Rebel list from Table 1 in Round 1. My summary of his list is purely from memory, as I was running on auto-pilot and didn’t get a photo of his cards or make notes of the list.

Opponent:

Nova class, Khan (8), Photon Torpedoes, Joachim, Attack Pattern Omega
Enterprise-D, Kirk (9), Photon Torpedoes, Cheat Death, Transwarp Drive
Bioship Alpha, Bioship Alpha Pilot, Montgomery Scott, The Weak Will Perish

Battle:

Again, I was on mental autopilot here, and I didn’t give the Bioship the respect it deserved – Scotty plus The Weak Will Perish makes for an eight die attack with a double re-roll! Fortunately, the Borg Shuffle, as I’m semi-affectionately calling my shell game performed with my Borg to keep making the healthier ones looking like easier targets, did its’ job here, and the incoming damage from the opposing fleet was spread across several of my ships. There were some interesting tools in the opponent’s list, but he’s still learning to use them and some of the finer points of the game like focusing fire and how various cards and ships interact. For instance, Khan (8) is awesome with Attack Pattern Omega or with Joachim, but not on a ship with two attack dice and no weapons upgrades. So the Nova class didn’t really contribute anything, and with no defensive upgrades of any kind in his fleet, it didn’t take long at all to clear board of threats and walk away with a victory.

Final Thoughts

So while I’ve logged my score for the month, this venue runs two copies of every OP event, and counts your best score towards the overall standings. Not knowing how well everyone did in run #2 of OP1, I may see if I can find time to give this one another shot in two weeks’ time to make sure I’m still up at the top. I don’t know that I see tons of Attack Wing in my future with Star Wars Armada coming up on the horizon, but it would still be nice to go out on top.

As for this event, after everything was totaled up, I somehow landed a second place finish by all of 1 (!) point. Thinking back on how the TO was scoring the event, I suppose it works out. Rather than scoring a differential, or purely what you killed, the TO gave everyone points for the ships in their fleet which survived the round.  Everyone except for 1st place lost a match with 8 players, so there were 2 other players at 2-1, who all seemed to have hard-fought battles. I kept everything alive in the 3rd round, and I don’t know if anyone else at 2-1 managed to keep all of their ships in either game. Having the 3rd ship in my fleet than none of the other Borg fleets had meant that I had one more mission token, so that “perfect” victory was worth an extra 8 points, which helped me overcome potentially being behind by a point or two after the average score from the first round’s bye.

Thanks to the prize allocation method at this venue, the player winning the fellowship prize essentially received my blind booster ship. In turn, with two of them up for grabs, for the second night in a row I got to say….

Zoidberg B'Rel Prize Ship

 

It had to be done.

— The Tabletop General

Resistance is Futile OP2; Battle Report 1

After holding serve at my home venue and kicking in the metaphorical door last month as I introduced myself to a couple new groups with a surprising amount of success (4 wins and 1 fellowship prize out of 5 appearances), we’re now in to month two of the Resistance is Futile organized play series for Star Trek: Attack Wing, and I wasn’t going to be taking anybody by surprise this time around. The first OP2 event in the area was this weekend. The TO for this series doesn’t use the scenarios provided by Wizkids (as per the preference of the usual group there), and instead held a basic 3 round tournament using the new suggested tournament format recently published by Wizkids.  This event was held at 120 points, single faction fleets (fleet pure), with no other objectives beyond destruction of the opposing fleet. Setup included of a planet and/or a set of obstacle tokens at the discretion of the player with initiative.

I had four different fleets designed coming in to the event, with the intent of choosing which to use based on who else was attending the event. I had builds for Mirror Universe (very suboptimal in fleet pure play, suitable against newbies), Vulcans (surprisingly decent), Federation (Tried, true, and tough, but less effective with the 50 point limit on ships), and Borg (lethally efficient). Surveying the group, there were 6 players (including the TO) present, most of which I would call tough competition, and I knew that there would be at least two fleets consisting of three Species 8472 Bioships, a very interesting matchup for Borg, so I brought them out to play with a near-identical build to the list I used in my first RiF OP1 event in the prior month.

Simple Shape Steamroller, Take 2

Borg Sphere – 38
Drone – 0

Borg Sphere – 38
Drone – 0

Borg Octahedron – 40  (generic version of Queen Vessel Prime)
Tactical Drone – 3  (from the Borg Sphere)

Total: 119

Borg Fleet in formation
The Borg “Cheesing” for a photo at the start of round 2. I love the detail from my new camera on this shot!

This version of the list drops Magnus Hansen from the Octahedron, giving me a 1 point initiative bid – with the lower quantity of maneuvers available to Borg, I didn’t want my opponents throwing out a planet token that would be extremely difficult for me to maneuver around. I was soon to learn that I had it backwards, I wanted that planet token!

Round 1

Opponent:
Enterprise E, Picard(8) …?
USS Yeager (Collective blind boosters), Mr. Spock …?
USS Voyager, James T. Kirk (8) …?

wpid-img_20141109_134258790.jpg

I didn’t think to take notes on what was where in my opponents’ lists in this event, but this was pretty close to what you would expect out of these three ships – Defensive upgrades and Dorsal Phaser Array on the Enterprise E, utility upgrades on the Voyager, and the Yeager set up as a relatively cheap torpedo boat. The list did clock in at 119 points as well, and my opponent won the roll-off for initiative and proceeded to drop a planet token in the center of the map. Not what I thought I wanted to see, but then I realized that I didn’t have any reason to come around the planet, and I could use it to split the enemy fleet.  The opponent deployed at an angle (as per the photo above), lined up to skirt by the planet and pointed directly at my ships. Unable to move directly towards my opponent, I feinted as though I would pas the planet on the other side, then halted and waited behind the planet. Sure enough, Yeager and Voyager cleared the planet on the turn of engagement, but the Enterprise didn’t make it around. If I recall correctly, one of the Federation ships got a shot off, but the other didn’t manage it. Three Borg ships returning fire took care of the Yeager and dented the Voyager. With the two remaining Federation ships separated, it was only a matter of time before the Borg swarm could burn down Voyager. Shelby made it a little harder to take down the Enterprise E, but it’s not as tough of a nut to crack with a 50 SP limit.

Round 2

Opponent:
USS Voyager, Picard(8)
USS Reliant, Kathryn Janeway
USS Enterprise Refit
Federation Attack Fighters

wpid-img_20141109_151100030.jpg

 

Oh, look! More Federation! This was an interesting build, and the only fleet out of 6 to bring more than 3 ships (if you count the fighters). This build worried me a bit, mostly because I couldn’t figure out what the idea was for Janeway on the Reliant. Still can’t, really, I’ll have to ask its’ creator next time I see him. I also knew that with Fighters included, there was enough dice here to make a battle of attrition less than optimal – I would only shoot before the Enterprise, and Borg ships aren’t THAT hard to burn down with focused fire. With the initiative, I placed a planet token, knowing now how Borg like having cover. The idea was to force the opponent make an attack run near the planet, deny as many shots as possible, and follow behind them once they turned around.

wpid-img_20141109_152007585.jpg
Borg science vessels hide from the warmongering Federation assault fleet. The Octahedron was REALLY good at hiding, currently off of its’ base here due to my tight formation.

This worked out even better than I could have hoped. From the position above, there were no shots this turn, but the opponent  couldn’t move all his ships in the same direction the next turn. Without focused fire on one of my ships, I knew I had this one in hand.

wpid-img_20141109_153749969.jpg
Target acquired!

 

wpid-img_20141109_154346657.jpg
You thought the Enterprise was going down first, didn’t you?

The survivors proceeded to turn and run away. I could catch them, but I was barely able to clear the Reliant before the time was called in the round, and the Federation Fighters survived. That was a little odd, but it didn’t do any harm or change the outcome in any way.

Round 3

Opponent:
USS Voyager, Mr. Spock
USS Yeager (Collective blind boosters), Clark Terrell
Enterprise E, Picard(9)

wpid-img_20141109_134305660_hdr.jpg

Oh, look! More Federation! Again! It seems that somehow the Federation fleets had taken care of Species 8472 all afternoon. Either that, or they were scared, so I now I was up against the TO, which meant that coming in with 220 of 240 possible points, a solid score would win the event even if I lost the round.

I got a planet to shield myself behind again, but I messed up my deployment in this round and couldn’t get all three ships behind it without risking going off the board. Now I was just trapped in the corner! As a result, my opponent was able to focus fire and quickly destroyed one ship, and heavily damaged a second. Had he pressed the advantage, he had a good shot to survive, but he split his shots on a crucial turn and took shields off of the healthiest ship instead of destroying a second ship, and the extra damage he received in return proved to be his downfall.

One B’Rel, please! Thank you!

Here’s a handful of bonus photos from the other matches at the event:

wpid-img_20141109_141654851.jpg

wpid-img_20141109_152444594.jpg

wpid-img_20141109_141641495.jpg

wpid-img_20141109_143804891.jpg

With one event down, it was time to go back to the drawing board and finalize my first pair of fleets for the real OP2 scenario being run the very next night. No rest for the wicked!

– The Tabletop General