Tag Archives: Enterprise-E

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.

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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.

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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).

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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:

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

– The Tabletop General

Resistance is Futile OP1; Battle Report 3

In my previous post, I referenced the fact that I attended one more event last weekend for Star Trek: Attack Wing, and that it was a very unusual event. Serving as OP1 of this particular Tournament Organizer’s Resistance is Futile series, the local group had decided to toss out the stock scenario in favor of head-to-head battles with random sector conditions (the three from the WKO events, along with some custom ones). In response to a poll of local players, the TO had declared Borg would be banned from this series, all lists must be fleet pure (one faction only for your entire force), and that we would be using 100 point lists without inclusion of blind booster ships.

Having already won two instances of OP1, I wanted to be welcoming to newer players if the opportunity came up, but put up a real fight if nobody but veterans showed up, so I had prepared two lists, and would choose the more gentle of the two if we had any newcomers arrive before I had to submit the list. Unfortunately, due to a whole host of outside circumstances including illnesses and scheduling conflicts, the attendance for this event consisted of  the Tournament Organizer, myself, and one more player who was new to this venue (the same fellow from the prior day with the dual Bioship fleet). To me, this just meant a chance to try something wild and crazy, so I was going to pull out my friendlier build and just have a fun game or two. I thought the other player agreed to play something more casual than competitive, but there must have been something lost in translation. Having misplaced my sheet, I had to rebuild my Vulcan fleet on the fly, and looked up to find a 100 point dreadnought build of the Enterprise-E staring back at me from across the map.

Not having a sheet to reference, and knowing that I built it in a hurry and got some things wrong, I’ve had to guess at what I put where in this build. It’s not exactly right, but it’s close enough to what I fielded.

Vulcans, take 1

Ti’Mur – 20 (Collective OP1 prize ship)
Vanik – 3 (Collective OP1 prize ship)
Combat Vessel Variant – 4 (Collective OP1 prize ship)
Tractor Beam – 0 (Collective OP1 prize ship)
*Didn’t realize until now that this ship only used cards that came with it. Interesting!

Ni’Var – 20
Sopek – 4 (Ni’Var)
Fleet Captain Independent (Klingon) – 5
Diplomacy – 0 (Collective OP1 prize ship)
Vulcan Commandos – 2 (Ni’Var)
Vulcan Commandos – 2 (Ni’Var)
Vulcan Commandos – 2 (Ni’Var)
Koss – 1 (Collective OP1 prize ship)
Combat Vessel Variant – 5 (Ni’Var)

D’Kyr – 26
Kuvak – 2 (Ni’Var)
Admiral V’Las – 3 (Ni’Var)
Tractor Beam – 1 (Ni’Var)

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Round 1/2/3

Opponent:

USS Enterprise-E – 32
Flagship Independent (Klingon) – 10
Jean-Luc Picard (9) – 6 (USS Enterprise-D [Starter Set])
Picard Maneuever – 5 (Collective OP3 Prize ship)
Fire at Will – 5 (USS Enterprise-E)
The Needs of the Many… – 4 (USS Enterprise Refit)
Adm. James T. Kirk – 5 (USS Enterprise Refit)
Mr. Spock – 5 (Constitution class Enterprise)
William T. Riker – 5 (USS Enterprise-E)
Hikaru Sulu – 3 (Constitution class Enterprise)
Dorsal Phaser Array – 7 (USS Enterprise-E)
Tactical Station – 4 (Collective OP3 Prize Ship)
Multi-Adaptive Shields – 5 (Collective OP2 Prize ship)
Enhanced Hull Plating – 4 (Enterprise NX-01)

Battle 1: Without knowing what the Sector Conditions would be, the TO had us place a total of 6 objective markers that would serve as obstacles until further notice. Seeing the Picard Maneuver coming, I tried to figure out a way to build a wall I could hide behind, with them but it just wasn’t working. I deployed towards the left side of the map, angling towards the board’s center, and the Enterprise-E lined up directly opposite of me as close as possible. I don’t recall what the Sector Condition was for this round, but it really didn’t matter. Turn one, my Vulcans eased forward and scanned; the Enterprise streaked forward with a long manuever, followed by disabling Riker for a Picard Maneuver to be right up in my face at Range 1, followed by a Target Lock on one of my ships from Picard, a Scan Token from the flagship, and a Battlestations Token from the ship itself. Having the opportunity to knock me out quickly, the Enterprise discarded Tactical Stations for +2 attack dice for the round, and triggered Fire at Will for a total of two shots at +1 attack dice each, one at each of my Suurok class ships (the Ni’Var and the Ti’Mur). With 7 dice from the Dorsal Phasers, 8 from the primary with a range bonus, one Target Lock, free Battlestations conversions from Spock, and not allowing me any defense dice thanks to his Scan Token, I lost one ship and another was heavily damaged in just this opening salvo. To make matters worse, the Picard maneuver reduces all attacks by 4 dice for that turn, so I managed to roll exactly one attack die back at him.

And then the TO re-read Picard Maneuver – it gives you an Auxiliary Power Token when used, which would have prevented all actions taken after it. My opponent and I talked it over, agreed that the Target Lock made a difference in killing my first ship or not, and scrapped the game, calling it a draw, resetting to see if I could do ANYTHING to this beast of a ship in a subsequent game.

Key takeaways: Always read any card your opponent uses and you don’t know by heart. Also, don’t bring a logical argument to a gunfight.

Battle 2: We reset in almost the same position, but I had a little bit better of an idea of what to expect now, and I adjusted my deployment slightly. He deployed opposite to me once again, which ended up being slightly closer to the board edge than before. I knew I needed to survive the alpha strike, and then start denying him some actions to stand a chance. Our sector condition ended up being called “Explosive Gas”; any shots fired through the objective tokens would cause the token to explode, dealing damage to all ships at Range 1; didn’t matter, but it was a cool tactical concept.

This time my opponent did it right, standard move, Flagship Scan, Picard Battlestations, ship action to Evade, and then disabling Riker for the Picard Maneuver. Almost the same net result as last time, but as expected, both ships survived his shooting without a Target Lock to help out on one. I stood a chance, although a slim one, only facing a single attack and being allowed to roll attack dice the next turn. I considered my options, and the fact that we were awfully close to the board edge, and decided to potentially sacrifice a shot in order to deny actions, moving my ships to places I guessed the Enterprise might move, taking target locks with two ships I expected might have shots, and using the fleet action from Admiral V’las to disable Hikaru Sulu, preventing this defensive action. My opponent anticipated I would try to box him in, and in order to remove his Auxiliary Power Token he picked a speed 1 bank maneuver towards the board edge, which I wouldn’t have expected at all. It was a crafty move, as unlike the Voyager’s similar dial, the Enterprise-E does have a speed 1 reverse maneuver, which would have allowed him to not fly off the board the next turn. But unfortunately for him, he miscalculated how much room he had available, and he flew off the map on this turn, by the smallest bit of his ship’s corner! Vulcans win! Vulcans win! (In my best Harry Caray impression)

Key takeaways: Vulcans win! :)

Battle 3: Now things were serious. In order to tie for the event win, my opponent had to wipe out my entire fleet. We replaced the objective tokens for this round, setting up more of a traditional midfield asteroid field pattern akin to what you would see in X-Wing. I altered my deployment, still lining up in the left corner of the map, but this time I set up in a convoy, running parallel to the closest board edge. I’ll touch on this after a few more matches with the Vulcans to validate my thoughts, but this is part of an idea I’ve had on how they should be maneuvering to make the most of their dials, abilities, and firing arcs. Perhaps wanting a change of pace, or perhaps being suspicious as to what I was up to with my new deployment, my opponent deployed the Enterprise at mid-field, and prepared to approach more gradually. Our Sector Condition to start this round was entitled “Solar Winds”; at the end of the planning phase, after all dials are set, one non-damaging attack die was to be rolled for each ship – any critical hit results caused the ship to be moved with a speed 1 template directly towards the board edge to my right before beginning the activation phase.

For the first couple of turns, I had my fleet take long forward movements, following my board edge and scanning each turn. The Enterprise snaked its’ way through the obstacles, maneuvering in behind my convoy of “peaceful science vessels”. As my fleet neared the edge of the map and prepared to turn the corner, and the Enterprise was ready to enter firing range, both the Federation ship and one of my Vulcans were pushed by the winds. My ship was moved ahead and out of formation, and the Enterprise hit not one, but two obstacles; once thanks to the wind, and again with its’ movement. I knew I couldn’t kill the Enterprise, I just didn’t have enough dice to break through all of its’ defensive measures. I also knew that all I had to do was survive the round with at least one ship to take the “championship”. But I don’t believe in running from a (simulated) fight, and I couldn’t take full strength hits from the Enterprise and live, so I had to find ways to slow him down. I made a short stand, disabling Spock and taking some shots at the Enterprise. Somehow, I miraculously kept all my ships alive for a turn or two, disabled Riker and Sulu, and I picked off a couple more shields to add to those lost to obstacle collisions.

Solar winds pushed the Enterprise again, giving it an unexpected opportunity to evade my attempts to box it in, and rather than circling in place and continuing the fight, the Enterprise prepared to take a trip down the right side of the board in order to reset its’ disabled crew over the course of a few turns, not being able to re-enable more crew members than I could disable while engaged. The next turn, the Solar Winds sector condition gave out, only to be replaced with a Meteor Swarm! This hurt me way more than my opponent, as I had 3 times as many chances to get hit, and the Enterprise had more defense dice than my whole fleet to dodge the incoming space-pebbles, so this helped him in a battle of attrition. The Enterprise popped the D’Kyr carrying my Vulcan Commandos that had been itching to make a raid before moving out of firing range and slowly circling back towards the center of the field. I said before I wouldn’t run from a fight, but I wasn’t going to prevent the opponent from running or give chase at full speed either. Accordingly, my two remaining Suurok class ships followed the Enterprise, but I was careful to stay at long range. I definitely preferred the idea of having no shot over taking a big shot from the Dorsal Phaser Array. While resetting the Enterprise, Riker was sacrificed to The Needs Of The Many to recover the some of the Enterprise’s shields.

While my Vulcans were too busy arguing mathematical proofs to properly track their target and actually do any damage, the navigators on each ship still did their jobs, and over the course of the next 3-4 turns, I managed to stay at Range 3+, avoiding any Dorsal Phaser Array shots from the Enterprise. Perhaps my opponent was trying to play carefully amongst the obstacles on this trip through, or expected me to be more aggressive, or simply lost track of time, but the Enterprise never moved back into firing range before time expired on the match, giving me a loss in this match, but an overall victory for our three game “tournament”.

Key takeaways: I think this game might have exposed a big weakness in the Enterprise-E. As much as I like the ship, I’m hesitant to point it out, but if I’m not sharing tactical advice and insights, then why put so much time and effort into running this site? The Enterprise-E is said by many players to maneuver decently well, as it has all straight maneuvers from speed 6 down to -1 available (skipping 0, obviously), and speed 1-3 banks, and its’ speed 3 turn is white; only the reverse and 6 forward maneuvers give Auxiliary Power Tokens. But that speed 3 turn is the only hard turn maneuver on the Sovereign class maneuver dial, and the ship does not have a come-about maneuver available. Accordingly, if someone can get behind the ship, it’s very hard to maneuver around to get a shot. If the other ship is content to stay at Range 3, as my Vulcans were, this removes Dorsal Phaser Array from the equation. Essentially, in order to cover this gap, the Enterprise E must take torpedoes that it would most likely never fire otherwise.

Final Thoughts

It’s fitting that the Vulcans won the day by only losing slightly, using mind games and strategy over brute force and aggression.

Although not a match for the endless stacks of cards to chose from for the Federation, the Vulcans have some really neat abilities. Their average stats are comparable to that of the Constitution Class ships, and all have 180 degree firing arcs. They probably won’t stand up in any environment including Borg ships, but in locations where Borg are banned or frowned upon, they’ll be able to do some really neat things.

Since this event, I’ve picked up a Vulcan Tal’Kir out of the Resistance is Futile blind booster packs, and it replaces the Ti’Mur in my updated Vulcan build which I will bring to semi-competitive matches (events that count for something, but I don’t HAVE to win) in the near future.

Vulcans, Take 2

Tal’Kir – 26 (RiF blind booster)
Kuvak – 2 (Ni’Var)
Tractor Beam – 1 (Ni’Var)

D’Kyr – 26
Solok – 4 (Tal’Kir)
Adm. V’Las – 3 (Ni’Var)
Power Grid – 2 (Tal’Kir)

Ni’Var – 20
Vanik – 3 (Collective OP1 Prize)
Flagship Independent (Klingon) -10
Tractor Beam – 0 (Collective OP1 Prize)
Combat Vessel Variant – 3 (Ni’Var)

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Here we actually get some synergy out of cards and a build that was thought out in advance, as opposed to “What can I throw together in a hurry to spend 100 points on these 3 ships?”. All of these ships want to stay at Range 3, circling the enemy slowly as opposed to going head to head.

The Tal’Kir benefits circling at range by getting 2-for-1 Evade Tokens out of the captain if not in an enemy firing arc, hard to do in a head-to-head pass. Stack that with the ship’s ability to take an Aux token for a free evade result, and the extra die at range 3 on primary weapon defense, and it’s hard for the enemy to put much damage on this ship, while the flagship’s boost gives this ship 4 attack dice at Range 3.

The D’Kyr gets a native bonus attack die at Range 3, and Solok can either take a free Scan to diminish opposing defenses, or a free Evade to boost his own. If you don’t think you’ll want a green maneuver next turn to recover from Solok’s Aux token, Power Grid can catch that for you. The flagship boost would make for 5 attack dice for the D’Kyr at Range 3.

And then you have the flagship Ni’Var, which gets a free scan each turn from the Flagship card, and gets a bonus die for attacking at Range 3 with a primary weapon and having a Scan, so you’re looking at 5 attack dice for this ship’s attacks at Range 3, with a scan to negate the range bonus, and another ship action to enhance the attack with.

It’s not complex, it’s not cut-throat, but it’s a change of pace that will throw a lot of players off because very few of us have seen Vulcan ships before, much less so in a fleet pure environment. And sometimes, that’s all the edge you need.

— The Tabletop General

Resistance is Futile OP1; Battle Report 2

I entered into another pair of Star Trek: Attack Wing Organized Play events this weekend. Saturday was the first run of Resistance is Futile OP1 for this particular venue. Just like my first run through, it was at a venue which I hadn’t played at before, although there was a good bit of overlap between the players at each of these.

Again, for those just joining us, I’ve previously provided a summary of the Resistance is Futile Scenarios. This scenario is a basic fleet engagement, with the added mechanic of trying to not catch the attention of the nearby Borg fleet.

A TO at my home venue is decidedly anti-Borg (not that I really blame him for it), and his takeaway from my previous report was that Borg fleets were only defeated by other Borg fleets in that event. Having seen how effective the Enterprise-E turned out to be in that event, I decided that it was time for me to give it a spin for myself, and brought it to Saturday’s event.

Mirroring the previous event, the build was 120 point constructed lists with no fleet purity restrictions, no more than 90 points allowed on a single ship, and the blind boosters were to be opened and given out as prizes. Knowing that there would be overlap in the players, and that I was one of three Borg players on Monday, I expected to see some of the same lists show up on Saturday so I could either prove a point, or be proven wrong myself. Turns out, the Borg were not represented at all in this event. We had 3 Federation fleets, 2 Klingon, and one (drumroll)… Species 8472.

So here’s what I ended up bringing:

My Fleet

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

USS Voyager – 30
Mr. Spock – 4 (from the USS Enterprise Refit)
Pavel Chekov – 3 (from the USS Reliant)
Tactical Officer – 4 (from the IRW Valdore [Starter Set])
Cloaked Mines – 4 (from the IRW Praetus)

Total: 120

I really don’t know what to call this fleet. The Bash Brothers? Borg in Fed Clothing?

Earlier in the week, one of my readers ran a similar build for the E alongside an Enterprise D. I made a mental note that the Voyager would have probably been a better choice, and I suppose I must have said it to him as well, because he said as much when he showed up with a near mirror to my this list for his own fleet.

Going from Borg to high-speed Federation ships might have given me pause in this scenario had I not already played it once, loss of mission tokens didn’t really affect anyone (or happen much at all) in the prior event, and I felt confident that I could stay inside the boundaries.

With this list, I present two targets: The Voyager is a much lesser threat, but can be killed in a normal amount of time. The Enterprise E is a much tougher nut to crack, but also brings a lot more firepower to the table. My hope was to pass the enemy after the first round of shooting, rather than slowing to get an extra shot as many players do. Having ships fast enough to do it,  I wanted the 360 degree arcs to be the only way that ships could fire if at all possible.

Round 1

Opponent:
Species 8472 Bioship, Picard (9), Quantum Singularity, Bioelectric feedback x2, Flagship Independent (Klingon)
Species 8472 Bioship, Donatra, Quantum Singularity

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Kirk might have had a reputation, but Picard really gets around with the aliens himself.

Match of the tournament, right here, I knew it, and the TO knew it, but that’s how it works out sometimes with a random draw for the first round of an event. With 6 players present for this OP, I knew  as soon as I saw this list that we were bound to face one another, but I was hoping to get in a bit of a warmup match first. I knew what to do with my list, but I hadn’t actually used it before. And I didn’t slow down and do the math until the combat phase rolled around, but Picard was capable of throwing eight attack dice with Scan, Target Lock, and Battle Stations every single turn. Ouch! I forgot how nasty the Bioships can be, because I never see them used in 100 point matches. With an extra 20 points to equip them and give them action economy, they get mean!

Battle: Having faced off against the other player’s variant of my list earlier in the week, my opponent was a bit cautious from the start, and wanted to wait to see that I would do first. He deployed in the opposite corner from my fleet, far right as I faced the table. Knowing that good positioning could potentially buy me an extra shot or two, I shot forward along the left board edge. The Bioships took small turning maneuvers for turn one, making sure not to overcommit, but leaving both ships in the no-fly zone and losing a couple mission tokens right off the bat. We closed to firing range on turn 3, but Picard’s ship was still within range 2 of the board edge on turn 2 because he was moving so slowly at an angle to avoid the Cloaked Mines I had just dropped, so he lost another token. Since Donatra was much less of a threat alone than Picard, I targeted his ship first as we got in to range, but I moving first meant I didn’t get Target Locks and I rolled poorly, doing very little damage. The fifteen dice of return fire wiped the Voyager’s shields and dealt a couple points to the hull.

Based on the relative positioning of the fleets, I knew the Bioships had three options: Come-about turns (and Aux tokens to go with them), potentially wasting a turn of shooting, or using their Quantum Singularities to re-position themselves. Accordingly, I took the tightest turns I could manage with white maneuvers back towards the battlefield’s center. I thought with that I would either would either still be in range with my actions against none for the opponent from the Come-abouts, be alongside the enemy and able to make use of my 360 arcs while safe from return fire, or potentially cause one ship to bump and lose their actions while the other used up the Singularity action, giving me a 2-on-1 shot. Also, moving towards the center, I gave less viable landing positions for the return from the Singularities. It turns out I was wrong as to which way the fleet would turn, and the Bioships moved towards the board edge before temporarily winking out of existence, giving up another mission token from Picard’s ship in the process.

Range 3 covers a lot of ground when you’re near the map’s center, and my opponent couldn’t find anywhere he liked to return his ships that wouldn’t commit him to flying by those mines again. Since he wouldn’t lose a token immediately, he placed his ships in a flanking position on the right side of the board, near the edge. The next turn, he moved up cautiously, knowing he needed to both be done with the Voyager and at least damage the Enterprise E on this pass, and also not wanting to hit the mines, but it was too cautious, and Picard lost his last token. After consulting the mission rules once again, I suddenly had a new target. If Donatra died or lost her tokens, I won the game regardless of what happened with Picard. Thankfully, my dice picked this prime opportunity to come back to life for me. I lost Voyager in the next round of shooting, but nearly cleared Donatra’s shields. The next round, I managed to get behind the Bioships, and snuck Picard’s critical hit through, which was turned into a Warp Core Breach via Attack Pattern Omega. Needing to repair that, the Bioships didn’t come-about like they probably should have, and Donatra’s ship regenerated, netting one HP back. The Enterprise E’s gunnery crew redoubled its’ efforts though, and hit with six out of seven attack dice that round, clearing Donatra from the field and immediately ending the match.

Key takeaways: Bioships hit just as hard as Borg, and are a little less predictable. Even players that say they aren’t scared of Cloaked Mines turn out to be scared of Cloaked Mines, even when they aren’t doing any damage. The mission tokens are hard to lose in this scenario, but if you’re not paying attention to them, they make a huge difference. I did panic a little for my standings in the tournament though, because it was ruled that even though I “won”, I didn’t get credit for killing Picard’s ship. Also, a player I hadn’t met yet had his own really mean Enterprise E setup, and he scored a big win in his own match. Since this venue compares total fleet points scored, giving a small bonus for winning a match, I knew I would not only have to beat him but do so decisively if we faced one another, a close win might still leave him with the lead…

Round 2

Opponent:

USS Enterprise E, Picard (8, crew), Independent Flagship (Fed), Tom Paris, Hikaru Sulu, Elizabeth Shelby, Multi Adaptive Shields, Ablative Hull Plating, Dorsal Phaser Array, Fire at Will (I think)
USS Voyager, Mr Spock, Pavel Checkov

Look familiar? This is actually MY fleet, but since it's the same ships, I figured it would be okay.
Look familiar? This is actually MY fleet, but since it’s the same ships, I figured this would be okay.

Battle: I was honestly expecting to fight the other player with an Enterprise E build this round, but it was not to be, we had to get this rematch out of the way. Last tournament, I faced this anti-Borg build with my Borg. This time it was closer to a mirror match. I thought it would have been a nastier fight than it was. But I was able to guess my opponent’s opening moves, and cause his Enterprise to collide with my Voyager, losing his actions in the process, and wiping out his shields on the first turn. Next turn, he tried to squeak by with a speed-1 bank, and didn’t quite clear my ships, losing his actions again. The E dropped like a stone without any defensive actions and with poorly rolling dice, and the Voyager followed behind quickly.

Key takeaways: For the second tournament in a row, movement and action denial really matters in mirror matches.

Round 3

Opponent:
5x K’Tinga class Klingons with Gowron on one ship, Krell on another.

wpid-img_20141018_155616_829.jpg
“It’s fine, we outnumber the Federation. We’ll be home before you can say [insert complicated Klingon phrase here].”
Battle: Somehow, this player had managed to defeat the other Enterprise E build in a close match in round 2. That meant all I had to do was wipe these ships out and first place was mine for the taking. And honestly, it wasn’t complicated. Two ships down on the first turn of shooting, two ships down on the second, one turn disengaged, and then the fifth ship down on the next turn. I think we spent more time discussing which ship I was shooting (“The K’Tinga. No, not that one, the other one. The one where the captain is looking off to the left of the camera. No, he shouldn’t be at full health, he’s the one that lost his shields to the Cloaked Mines…)”.

Key takeaways: Speaking of Cloaked Mines, they sped things up and my opponent blamed them for the loss, but it really didn’t matter here. Especially with Gowron being the first one to fall, I could have flown in circles for another 30 minutes before opening fire to finish them off, K’Tinga class ships with no upgrades weren’t about to do any serious damage to the Enterprise E.

Final thoughts

Species 8472 is tougher than I remembered, I’m surprised they don’t see more play.

A lot of Fed players are leaning heavily on the Enterprise E, so much so that I’m not seeing builds without it. Granted, it’s really effective, but it’s opening them up to some interesting problems that I managed to exploit the next day in a VERY unusual OP event. More on that later.

I turned down a second copy of the Avatar of Tomed, and picked the Dominion / Mirror Universe ship instead, since I don’t have it yet. Getting the last remaining booster as well, I brought home a second Kazon Predator, which makes me tempted to run a Kazon list in fleet pure play. It might be almost as fun as the Vulcans I used at the next OP. But again, more on that later…

— The Tabletop General

On “Netdecking”

The internet… how I love and loathe thee at times. Without the internet, the world as we know it wouldn’t exist. I certainly wouldn’t have this site with which I can reach out and share my thoughts, and for that matter I wouldn’t have my day job in IT either to be able to support my gaming habits. At the same time, competitive gaming, in whatever form it might exist in an alternate universe without the internet, would be a far more interesting and varied experience. Without the ability to share builds, strategies, and gaming concepts over long distances, every gaming community’s “meta-game” would be wildly different; things that see heavy use in one area might never be used at all elsewhere. Granted, gaming in general wouldn’t be quite as common, but this is my theoretical mirror universe and I’ll make it up the way I want to!

Anyway, disregarding the idea of alternate universes, let’s do some time traveling, back to the early 2000’s. I was still in high school at this point, and I had “big fish in a small pond” status as far as gaming was concerned. My school had a rather sizable group of kids who played Magic: The Gathering, and near half of that group had either learned the game from me, or from someone that I had taught to play. I funded my way into several other gaming ventures by buying and selling cards – someone would want to get rid of a box of “useless” cards for cheap, I would buy them and make a killer deck out of it, and then I would sell that deck for a hefty profit, sometimes even back to the original owner, and the remaining cards from the transaction that weren’t in that particular deck then piled up into the boxes upon boxes that I still have to this day. Those players would usually win more often than before, but they wouldn’t have the same success with the deck because they didn’t understand the concepts behind it.

To give a specific example, consider a deck containing (amongst others) the following five cards: False Demise, Iridescent Drake, Altar of Dementia, Horseshoe Crab, and Hermetic Study.

Iridescent Drake               False Demise                Altar of Dementia

hermitic study               Horseshoe Crab

For those following along but not familiar with Magic terminology and gameplay, these cards don’t do much on their own, or if played improperly, but they’re tough combos if deployed right. Playing Hermetic Study on the Horseshoe crab allows you to spend a basic renewable resource to trigger that damage dealing ability over and over, which turns that creature into a living machine-gun capable of wiping out multiple creatures per turn and burning down your opponent’s life total quickly. As to the other three cards… False Demise is basically a one-shot resurrection for a given creature, but Iridescent Drake with False Demise on it can bring itself back from the dead an infinite number of times, allowing you to completely remove the opponent’s draw pile instantly by sacrificing the creature over and over via Altar of Dementia. This in turn causes the opponent to lose the game the next time they should draw a new card into their hand.

In order to be the most effective possible with this build, False Demise is saved to play on Iridescent Drake, and only that enchanted creature is sacrificed to Altar of Dementia; while Horseshoe Crab was the only creature to put Hermetic Study on. Sure, there could be emergency uses for cards, but in general, those two combos didn’t mix. If sacrificing the Horseshoe Crab to the Altar of Dementia twice would win the game for you, by all means go ahead and play False Demise there, and do your thing. Or if your opponent was near death but had blocking creatures you couldn’t get past, use Hermetic Study on whatever you have available to do direct damage.  Still, those uses needed to be the exception, not the rule. These two are fairly obvious as distinctly separate combos to experienced Magic players, but I wanted an example that would stand out here for discussion’s sake.

Meanwhile, back to that group of Magic players… we were an odd lot in general, an intersection of several social groups. Within that group, I had a particular nemesis that I could never turn down a chance to play and beat.This young man, who shall remain nameless, had previously been unwelcome around me for very personal reasons (you might say it was a matter of honor, in the way that teenagers look at the world), but he had a reputation as a skilled Magic player and I wasn’t one to back down from a challenge. We played on a fairly regular basis for a while, and I don’t think I would have liked him even without the past issues, but I had to admit he could give me a run for my money. Soon, however, I learned that he was giving me a run with someone else’s money, and lots of it. Coming from a wealthy family, he saw no problem with spending lots of his parents’ money on buying Magic cards on the internet, and he wasn’t even picking out which cards to buy. Instead, my rival was looking up the deck lists of recent major tournament winners, and just buying everything that they used, recreating that deck, and bringing it as his own against my home-brewed decks.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of the term “netdecking” – finding a design for what to bring to a game on the interNET, and bringing exactly that as your DECK (or fleet / army /etc). This was a new concept to me at that point, and I didn’t like it. I still don’t, really. Even though I’m happy to provide some of my own ideas, I enjoy discovering a game’s mechanics and combos almost as much as I enjoy playing them. So what he was doing felt odd to me, it felt cheap, and it felt like he was cheating.

But even facing championship caliber decks, I still won more than my fair share. The decks he would recreate were designed to win high level tournament matches, and a lot of things that I did at the time wouldn’t have made the cut at that level. As a result, he would often hit a figurative Wall of Stone playing against me, because his decks didn’t have answers to the problems I presented him with; they were designed for a different setting. To be successful with a given build, it’s important to know the goals behind the design, the idiosyncrasies of the build, and what to do when your initial plan falls apart. Going back to magic terms, is it more important to do damage to your opponent early, or not take any unnecessary damage? Should all of your spells be cast as quickly as possible, or are there specific ones that should be held back for a key point in the match? Players can learn these answers for themselves as they play the game, but the answers aren’t necessarily packaged in with the shopping list they pulled off of some random website, despite the fact that the player who originally designed that list has thought those questions out thoroughly.

Fast forward back to this week: As I mentioned in my recent battle report for a tournament at a new venue for Star Trek: Attack Wing, I lucked in to facing a player who was using a variant of a Federation build which I had prototyped in a previous article as a thought experiment for fighting the against the Borg. He made me sweat, but I came away with the victory because that design (and the general tactics that I provided with it) wasn’t specific to the scenario in play. I had based my design of that ship with a standard 100 point build in mind, in which you would face no more than two heavy hitting Borg ships: Spheres, or Tactical Cubes, or even the new Octahedrons. But in this event, with 120 points, I had three such ships and as a result I was able to overwhelm his defenses; in particular, thanks to the extra shot per turn from the 3rd Borg ship, he had to load up on more Auxiliary Power Tokens to keep powering his Ablative Hull Armor than he could clear from his ship in a turn, but he continued to take easy maneuvers with his ship in order to clear those tokens, which resulted in having him unable to shoot at my fleet for multiple turns, making the problem worse.

In theory it was the right build to beat my faction (by my very own theory, no less), and I would consider what he was doing the right move if I only had one ship remaining to fire on him. But the combined fire of my multiple ships available in this scenario made his resistance… well…  futile (I couldn’t pass up on that one). Knowing that the odds were against the Enterprise E clearing those tokens off as fast as he was taking them, I would have given up on taking small maneuvers which would clear the Aux tokens, and instead I would have accepted that the Auxiliary tokens would be there and would be preventing his ship from taking utility actions like Evades or Target Locks, and I would have tried to work my way into range and finish off another ship to reduce the quantity of those tokens being given. But recognizing that situation only comes from experience, both with the game and the pieces in play, and he was not only just trying out this build for the first time, but also relatively new to Attack Wing. I’m sure once he gains more experience with both, that fight would be even harder still for the Borg if replayed.

The internet can be a wonderful medium by which to exchange ideas. A small portion of those ideas can be concerned with how to design a winning build for your miniatures game or card game of choice. But without context, without knowing the goals and constraints with which the concept was created, and without taking time to learn those for yourself, success isn’t guaranteed just because you have a superior design. That’s why here at the Tabletop General I try to give context, to share not only what I’m doing, but why I’m doing it. You might have an army of tanks to take on the enemy’s cavalry, but an army is only as good as the orders it’s given.

— The Tabletop General

Ban the Borg; Beat the Borg; Long live the Borg

As I’ve pointed out in previous articles regarding Star Trek: Attack Wing, the Borg faction takes a lot of flak from players for being overpowered. Their surprisingly nimble movement dials combined with the min/maxed statistics and 360 degree firing arcs make the Borg very difficult to fight against, and the newly released Queen Vessel Prime is just as tough as the original Borg Sphere in that regard. Online discussion boards are being frequented by more and more players calling for the Borg to be banned, that they break the game, and that they take the fun out of playing. Recently, a Tournament Organizer whom I have great respect for has banned the Borg faction from upcoming events which he will run at my home venue, and I was initially at a loss for how to react to that.

I had decided on Borg as my faction of choice long before their rules were ever published. The basis of the complaints about the Borg are valid, they’re tough and ruthless. Bringing the same fleet that won tournaments a year ago into matches including the Borg just doesn’t work, even if it can stand up against other factions. I regularly hear very similar statements about new releases being overpowered from players in other games too, but they normally fade quickly. Some X-Wing players panicked for the ten minutes it took to learn how to fight TIE Phantoms; bringing turrets and/or high pilots with high Pilot Skill. For my Warhammer 40K players out there in the warp, who remembers the Imperial Guard “leafblower” lists when that first hit the tournament scene, or the old Tau Fish of Fury Devilfish wall? “That’s so broken!”, “Nerf that build please, [game designer]!”

Those are just a couple of things that were all considered game-breaking when first seen, but players adapted, tactics changed, and happy and competitive gaming continued. It blows my mind that the reaction here isn’t to find a counter, but to ban the faction entirely. Maybe the game is that unbalanced, but a course-correction is surely due, and may already exist, whether players realize it or not.

In the case of Warhammer, it has traditionally been the very next army to be released that will have a hard counter for the previously game-breaking unit. So let’s make like Vulcans and extend that logic by looking at what is being released now for Attack Wing now that the Borg are pretty much all released (only the Oversized Borg Cube remains in the published retail pipeline), and how we might use it against the Borg.

For the sake of theorizing, we’ll assume that we’re building for an OP event that is 90 points + a blind booster, playing with ship pure (or fleet pure) restrictions, the build below is legal under both.

Long Live the Sovereign

(List updated on 10/12/14 to fix invalid upgrade slots as pointed out by a reader in the comments below)
USS Enterprise-E
 – 32
Flagship Independent (Federation) – 10
Jean-Luc Picard (+1 Crew version) – 5 (from the USS Enterprise-E)
Fire At Will – 5 (from the USS Enterprise-E)
Adm. Maxwell Forrest – 3 (from the Enterprise NX-01)
Tom Paris – 4 (from the USS Voyager)
Elizabeth Shelby – 2 (from the USS Yeager [Collective blind booster])
Hikaru Sulu – 3 (from the original Constitution class Enterprise)
Montgomery Scott – 5 (from the original Constitution class Enterprise)
Dorsal Phaser Array – 7 (from the USS Enterprise-E)
Enhanced Hull Plating – 4 (from the Enterprise NX-01)
Multi-Adaptive Shields – 5 (from the USS Raven OP Prize)
Total: 85 points

This loadout of the Enterprise-E stands in with five hull, six shields, and throws from six to nine attack dice, even out of its’ printed arc at range 1-2 thanks to the Dorsal Phaser Array. A free Evade action from the flagship card enhances your defense slightly, and then you can choose between a Target Lock for offense, a general purpose Battlestations, Sulu for pure defense, Montgomery Scott for repairs or extra punch, or Admiral Forrest for extra maneuverability as the ship’s standard action. If you’re facing multiple targets, Fire at Will allows you to take -1 dice and fire at two of them (standard shot plus Dorsal Phaser Array).

What really gives this ship an advantage on the Borg is defense dice: One agility base, plus one for the flagship, plus one for Picard, plus one for Tom Paris, plus one for Elizabeth Shelby (against Borg), plus two and a Battlestations conversion from Sulu, plus one and scan immunity for Multi-Adaptive Shields while your shields are up, plus “free” evade results from Enhanced Hull Plating if the shields are down. While your shields are up, that’s seven defense dice with conversion and one or all blanks reroll. Once shields are down, you lose one defense die, but can have two free Evade results per attack at the cost of Auxiliary Power Tokens, used as lightly as needed to keep yourself actions available, but heavily enough to keep your ship intact. In a head-to-head fight you’ll lose a few hitpoints to the Borg if the dice aren’t with you, but you’re going to hit the Borg even harder, and as an added bonus, with Picard at the helm you’re firing first (Captain Skill 8, 9 with the Admiral).

You can switch things up to taste if you like, of course, especially with five points unspent in this prototype build. If you’re worried about Assimilation Tubules, as most players are against the Borg, you probably shouldn’t; no one individual upgrade is providing all of the power of this list, or would prove to be decimating if the Borg had it for themselves. The one card that would really hurt to have stolen is the Dorsal Phaser Array, but there’s two free weapon slots available as this is listed (one more from the ship, plus one from the flagship), and you can afford to put a second copy of the Dorsal Phaser array on by trimming just two more points from the list. Where would you find those two points? Perhaps by trading out Fire at Will for Attack Pattern Delta (from the USS Defiant), which would give you a second chance on those defense dice if you truly whiff on a roll against something other than Borg (because Shelby has them covered), or Attack Pattern Omega (also from the Defiant) to be able to turn Picard’s guaranteed critical hit into a guaranteed Warp Core Breach. True, the Borg can take a Regenerate action to repair the Warp Core Breach if they survive its’ first check, but that means that they’re not shooting that turn, which gives you another turn to pile on more damage!

 

This list also doesn’t lose much effectiveness against other factions, only Elizabeth Shelby’s effectiveness is diminished. In fact, with the Dorsal Phaser Array, this ship acts like a Borg ship that can maneuver normally, since you’re taking a page out of the Borg’s book (dare I say, “assimilating” their tactics?) and not caring about firing arcs in the least.

This whole list started out as an experiment, what can we do with a newly released ship to out-duel the Borg. A few minutes later and I do believe that I had rather fight the Borg than try to take down this ship. That may change once I get my hands on the ship and see its’ maneuver dial, but somehow I doubt it.

So how does your gaming group handle the Borg? Are they allowed, frowned upon, ignored, or banned? And what suggestions do you have for equipping the Enterprise-E differently and making it even meaner?

— The Tabletop General

To Whom It May Concern: Please nerf Paper. Scissors is fine.
Sincerely,
Rock

Enterprise-E STAW expansion preview

Earlier this week, I discussed some of the options soon to be added into Star Trek: Attack Wing by the Val Jean. Now the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E preview is available, the second of the wave 8 ships to be shown in detail. As per usual for an Attack Wing expansion, there’s a couple of amazing cards, and then a large collection of upgrades that will never see the table except for fluff purposes.

Make It So: A 5 point one-shot item that prevents disabling of another upgrade as a part of that upgrade’s cost to use. That’s a waste of the paper it’s printed on.

Advanced Shields is another upgrade that should never see the table. For 5 points, this Technology upgrade costs your action for an extra shield that is discarded at the end of the turn if unused. Let’s rephrase that… for 5 points and a tech slot, you get access to another version of an Evade action that doesn’t trigger anything that works off of Evade tokens. True, if you have access to a second action, you can use Advanced Shields and take an Evade too, but this doesn’t combine well with Enhanced Hull Plating from the Enterprise NX-01, because that upgrade triggers off of having no active shields, and the Advanced Shields require you to still have active shields in place.

So what’s actually good in this expansion?

The NCC-1701-E is the first Sovereign class hull to be released, and it’s a beast with 5 attack, the standard Enterprise 1 evade, 5 hull, and 5 shields. The named ship ability reads as follows: “You may fire a Torpedo at an enemy ship without needing a Target Lock. If you do so, place an Auxiliary Power Token beside your ship.”. This is a pretty neat ability that reduces the actions required to fire a torpedo, and gives you the option of using your target lock for re-rolls, but with a basic attack of 5 dice, I really don’t see spending an extra 6 points to bring the included Photon Torpedoes for only one more attack die. But I do like the ship as a whole, maneuver dial pending.

The only place in my mind that Torpedoes really shine is when they are fired out of a rear arc when you otherwise do not have a shot. The Dorsal Phaser Array takes that out of the equation. Costing 1 point more than the primary weapon value of the ship it is equipped on, the Dorsal Phaser Array essentially lets you fire your primary weapon in any direction at range 1-2, and does not disable or require any actions to use. The wording does suggest that it is still a secondary weapon though, and thus would not give an extra die at range 1. Also, sorry if I got your hopes up, Dominion players, but this upgrade is restricted to Federation ships with hull value 4 or greater, so it’s of no help to your angry pregnant space whales battleships.

Now, most of the 5 point discard Talent cards are a waste of points in my book. Fire At Will! may be one of the exceptions. If you insist on bringing torpedoes, be sure to check out this Talent. Fire At Will! allows you to make two attacks in a turn, one Primary and one Secondary both against separate targets. Actually, even if you don’t bring torpedoes, check this out anyway (remember, the Dorsal Phaser Array from the previous paragraph is a Secondary Weapon).

Last but certainly not least, there’s now another version of Captain Jean-Luc Picard worth taking. With a captain skill of 8, he has 1 talent slot and costs 5 points. This version of Picard lets you add your choice of a Crew, Tech, Weapon, or Talent upgrade slot to your ship, making many ships more flexible than they previously had been. Additionally, after setup, you can choose a faction to give Picard a bonus against; he rolls +1 defense die against that faction’s attacks, and he can trade in 1 attack die per shot for a guaranteed critical hit result against that faction too!

Too long; didn’t read version: Buy the Enterprise-E, but outside of Picard, Fire at Will, the Dorsal Phaser Array, and the ship itself, you might not want to bother with getting the cards out of the packaging.

Did I miss something great here? How do you plan to use the Enterprise-E? Leave me a comment and let me know.

– The Tabletop General