Tag Archives: No Fleet Purity

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)

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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.

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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

 

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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Resistance is Futile OP3; Battle Report 1

A three-for-one post today, as I’ll be sharing my experiences with two tournaments on back to back days, as well as the design methodology that went into one of the lists.

Following the second Organized Play scenario of Resistance is Futile, I took a break from Star Trek: Attack Wing. This was partially due to time constraints around the holidays, partially due to frustration with the new rulings coming out from the support forums, and more than anything else due to a month long delay in shipping of the OP kits to venues. With the kits arriving shortly after the start of the new year, though, it was time to dive back in and see what I had missed.

My first event I approached as a casual warm-up. Having built up a sizable lead in the series standings, I was pretty much guaranteed the grand prize just for showing up. And rather than using the official scenario, the TO for this series elected to give the player winning initiative the option of several sets of terrain to place on the field, but it was otherwise a 120 point Ship-Pure brawl. Thus, I couldn’t actually practice the RiF 3 scenario here, and there wasn’t much tactical analysis to be done on the event. I made the mistake of trusting cloaking and (thus the luck of dice, which failed me). My record on the day was 1-2, cruising to the finish and collecting my copy of Tactical Cube 001 anyway.

The most significant event of the day was being blasted off the table by the new Deep Space Nine. In retrospect, I had plenty of maneuverability to isolate the station, and all the firepower I could need to take it out before my opponent’s other ships could fully engage. But for some reason I chose naively to ignore the station, thinking that I could avoid its’ range and firing arcs.

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With maneuverability to spare, I really should have rushed straight at the station while the Federation ships slowed to turn around.

After the event was completed, I went back to the participation prizes that were handed out for the event, including the aperture token to be used in the provided scenario. Having some free time and an idea tickling around in the back of my head, I looked back over my review of the scenario and went to work on finalizing the plans I had first dreamed up four months prior when the scenario was first announced – getting off the map as quickly as possible.

The way the scenario is designed, it’s almost impossible to get ships back to the Alpha Quadrant for bonus points, because they’ll take so much damage along the trip. It’s more manageable to destroy the conduit behind yourself, as you should be damaging the conduit faster than it damages you with most ships, but that doesn’t help if you’re limping in with only one or two hit points remaining, and nothing you bring along can help you other than the basic statistics of your ship. But escaping not only saves that ship, but grants you bonus points, as does destroying the conduit.

The store I was to play at the next day uses fleet points as the primary determination for standings, building the win/loss record in as bonus fleet points (25 for each loss [participation], 50 for each win). As a result,  losing the match but escaping to the Alpha Quadrant was worth a few more points than the bonus for winning, even if you didn’t manage to destroy the conduit, and way more if you did! But since you lose the game if your last ship on the game board is destroyed (regardless of whether or not anything escaped), and the exit was going to be so brutal to reach, most players had already hinted that they would be ignoring that part of the scenario and attempting to out-joust the enemy in the safe area of the map.

This particular store chooses to ignore the Wizkids’ recommended fleet format, instead allowing up to 90 points out of 120 to be spent on a single ship and not requiring the 3 ship minimum. In the past that has caused a lot of juggernaut builds to appear with minimal support, but I had heard that Borg Cubes and such had fallen out of favor there lately, being quite vulnerable to the new Dominion First Wave Attack Fighters and Federation “Fighter Squadron 6″ expansions.  I figured I might go against the grain and see if I could make it work to bring a Cube or something similar using every point I could spare from the escaping ship.

So I had two primary design elements in mind for the list: Build an escape ship, and build a juggernaut. In more detail, the escape ship needed to be as cheap as possible beyond 30 points, needed to be able to at least have a chance of destroying the conduit, and needed get into the conduit as quickly, taking minimal damage along the way. The Juggernaut needed to be able to duel with the entire enemy fleet on a 36″ by 18” playing field, and if not win, at least score 50-60 points worth of its’ own kills before it went down. As an additional consideration, I asked another player for his thoughts on the strategy at hand, and he really liked it. As a result, I needed to build in a few contingencies to my plan so that my Juggernaut build could defeat his, without weakening myself too much to other archetypes.

For the escape ship, I chose a generic Intrepid class. At 28 points, the Intrepid was above my mental budget for an escape ship, but with eight total hit points, four attack and two evade dice, it stood a good chance against the conduit if I could get it there quickly enough, and the availability of a white 6-forward on its’ dial meant that it would be better suited than any other ships to reach the conduit in a hurry. In fact, I had suspected for months that it could be done in a turn, but I had never sat down to test it before.

I had already two abilities that would be useful in boosting the Intrepid towards home: The Dominion Independent Flagship resource (gives a friendly ship at range 1 a free maneuver), and Picard Maneuver (Action: If you performed a 3, 4, or 5 forward this turn, discard this card to perform an additional 5 forward maneuver, take an Auxiliary Power Token, and all attacks against you this turn are with -4 dice). I didn’t love Picard Maneuver though, because it was expensive, it would actually force me to slow down to use it, and the scenario already had a ruling in the FAQ that stated the Borg attacks wouldn’t be affected by this text. Still, it was a starting point.

Next, I needed to figure out who would carry the talent. I needed a cheap captain with an Elite Talent slot, but I also needed a high Captain Skill, because I didn’t want to have to chase the Intrepid with my other ship to give the extra maneuver, the Intrepid had to move second. My first thought was Christopher Pike, he provides a good balance of skill (6) and cost (4), has a talent slot, and he would make crew on the ship cheaper, potentially giving me cheap cannon fodder to throw at the conduit. Rather than writing anything down, since the build was changing from moment to moment, I was just pulling cards that I planned on using out for reference, and Pike wasn’t where he was supposed to be in my card folder. Instead, I saw Benjamin Maxwell, who would be a skill 7 for the same cost, but before I could retrieve him, I also spotted the Stargazer version of Picard – same skill and cost as Pike, but his ability (Action: Disable all of your active shields and perform an additional green or white maneuver) was better than the Picard Maneuver, and eliminated the need for that 5 point card. I set up the map and tested the maneuvers – 6 forward (from the flagship), 6 forward (from the maneuver dial), 6 forward (from Picard) –  for a total of a 20 forward (when including the size of the base between maneuvers). The Intrepid was across the token and off the board with room to spare, weighing in at 32 points.

So that left 88 points for our combat beast, 10 of which were dedicated to the flagship card to make it all tick. At first, Tactical Cube 138 was an obvious choice, with two sets of ablative armor for a total of 70 points and 27 health (when including the flagship). But the players in my homebrew X-Wing RPG have taught me that without any sort of defense, 25 hit points can disappear really quickly. Thinking to the prevalence of the new fighters, I realized that I needed some deterrence and easy hits on them.  Cloaked Mines were immediately loaded in to my tech slot.

I started leafing through my crew cards, still feeling like I didn’t have enough defense to stall the game out if the matchup was bad for me, and I ran across One (Action: Discard this card to perform this action. For each damage your ship would take this turn, disable one Active Shields instead of destroying it. If you have no active shields, any excess damage is applied to your Hull as normal.) Against a full onslaught, that would be up to 9 extra hit points in and of itself. And if I could find a way to use it multiple times, that would just be silly. Accordingly, Weyoun was immediately added as the captain, who can be disabled to stop a card from being disabled or discarded. A cheap 3 point Admiral was added to the Intrepid to make sure that Picard could still move after Weyoun, and two points left over, with only weapons slots remaining on the Cube. The thought came up of trading in one of the Borg Ablative Hull Armor upgrades for a Transwarp Conduit card in case a bad situation came up, but the planning session pretty much stopped there, we would each tailor the build from that point to our liking and show up the next day ready to rumble.

David & Goliath

Intrepid Class – 28 (USS Voyager)
Jean-Luc Picard – 4 (Stargazer OP Prize)
Adm. Maxwell Forrest – 3 (Enterprise NX-01)

Borg Tactical Cube – 44 (Tactical Cube 138)
Flagship Independent (Dominion) – 10
Weyoun – 5 (5th Wing Patrol Ship)
One – 4 (RiF blind booster pack)
Energy Dissipator – 11 (Gor Portas)
Cloaked Mines – 4 (I.R.W. Praetus)
Transwarp Conduit – 6 (Soong)

Total: 119 points

We have the slingshot ship, and the hulking beast ready to take on an entire army alone, so the name seemed mostly appropriate. Nothing changed about the Intrepid, but I did switch upgrades and tactics with the Cube a bit. I was concerned more about dealing damage than I was surviving it, so one Borg Ablative Hull Armor was sacrificed in favor of the Transwarp Conduit. That way, I could move up, drop mines, and move back to my board edge, waiting for the enemy to come to me. Then once they had cleared the mine field, I could hop over to the opposite side and make them chase me back again. The other BAHA was dropped. I elected to use the generic Cube, and I spent three of my remaining four points as well in order to afford an Energy Dissipator – in case I found myself facing Borg (perhaps in a likely mirror match with my friend who helped with the design), the Energy Dissipator would be a guaranteed method of bypassing shields, and perhaps preventing any return fire at all. The last point was left on the table as an initiative bid, for once I wanted to be shooting first whenever possible.

 

Round 1

Opponent:

Constitution Class – 20 ()

Constitution Class – 20 ()

Constitution Class – 20 ()

Dominion Attack Fighters – 20 (First Wave Attack Fighters)

Dominion Attack Fighters – 20 (First Wave Attack Fighters)

Dominion Attack Fighters – 20 (First Wave Attack Fighters)

wpid-img_20150112_191930931.jpg

List Commentary: Well, here’s that fighter-heavy meta everyone’s been discussing. If I let myself get swarmed, that’s around 30 attack dice per turn coming in on my Cube. I have one attack per turn with my Cube, which would have to roll above the statistical average to kill a Constitution class ship in a single attack, and destroying the fighter squadrons would take 4 attacks each. Not looking good, but… I have mines, so we’re even.

Battle: So at this point, we’re reading through how to set up for the battle, and I realize I’ve made a potentially grave mistake. All of my planning for getting the Intrepid across Borg space in a single turn, and I assumed our deployment zone ran up to the edge of Borg space, but I was very wrong in this assumption. Accordingly, I took a 6-Forward with the Intrepid on turn one, but didn’t trigger any extra abilities, and found myself right outside of Borg space, no harm done. My opponent surprised me by turning his whole fleet towards the conduit, but didn’t move far.

The next turn, I used the flagship’s extra movement and a 6-forward on the Intrepid’s actual movement, and found myself in the conduit without needing Picard’s ability. That meant that I could have still made it the first turn. My opponent’s Constitution class ships backed up, beginning a shuffle in place that would continue for much of the game – they were only there for cleanup, he didn’t want to risk losing them. The fighters closed in, but I knew they couldn’t move extremely fast and had limited range, so I was able to take a few long range shots for free hits, and I dropped my mines in their way, but my opponent had no choice but to continue. Hit after hit; the mines battered the fighters, whose first wave of attacks were canceled by One.

I lost a couple of shields, but finished the fighters off before the Constitution Class reserves could arrive to help, and I was able to knock out two of those as well, the second just as time was called in the match.

Round 2

Opponent:

Borg Sphere – 38 (Borg Sphere)
Tactical Drone – 3 (Borg Sphere)

Borg Sphere – 38 (Borg Sphere)

First Wave Attack Fighters – 22 (First Wave Attack Fighters)

Dominion Attack Fighters – 20 (First Wave Attack Fighters)

wpid-img_20150112_190944016.jpg

List Commentary: My opponent had downplayed this list from the moment he walked in the door, saying that he didn’t expect much out of it, but I didn’t buy it. I had beaten him several times in the past by throwing more dice with basic Borg ships than his upgraded ones could manage. Now he was essentially running a newer version of what I used against him to such success, trading in a captain and a Borg ship for two squadrons of fighters. This was a lean and mean build that would be hard to beat with 120 points, and I was throwing 84 at it.

Battle: Having learned last time that it was possible, I sent the Intrepid off into the conduit on turn one. My opponent rolled well for the Borg, and I was forced to flee to the Alpha Quadrant almost immediately, having sustained heavy damage.

Back on the board, the Borg Cube shuffle caused some frustration for my opponent, who had engaged first with his fighters who did their best to dance around my mine field. I took no damage on the first wave thanks to One, but I misplayed the next turn. Expecting to be out of range or firing arc of all the enemy ships, I re-enabled Weyoun rather than triggering One again, and I lost all my shields that turn as a result, making the re-use of One pointless. Completely trapped the next turn, I hopped away with Transwarp Conduit, rolling back into the action with a better position the next turn. Thus, I managed to catch his damaged sphere in range, and killed it before it could return fire. I was still blasted by the rest of the fleet, but barely alive, and feeling good about my chances.

wpid-img_20150112_205801559.jpg
One sphere down, and one to go, but there’s trouble brewing with those fighters!

At this point, I switched gears and moved in for an all out assault. With his remaining sphere firing well after my cube, I was able to hit it with the Energy Dissipator, bring down the shields, and put major damage on his hull with a follow-up shot, and risked no return fire. Unfortunately, as you might be able to see in the photo above, one of the fighter squadrons barely had me in arc, and was able to finish off the Cube. It was a loss, but I still scored points for his sphere, my Intrepid, and the bonus for escaping. Hopefully that would be enough to keep things close.

Round 2

Opponent:

Voyager (USS Voyager)
Picard [8] (USS Enterprise E)
Once More Unto the Breach (I.K.S. Kronos One)
Transphasic Torpedoes (USS Voyager)
…?

Bioship Alpha  (Bioship Alpha)
Kirk [9] (USS Enterprise Refit)
The Weak Will Perish (Bioship Alpha)
Quantum Singularity (Bioship Alpha)
…?

Sideboard
Transphasic Torpedoes (USS Voyager)
…?

wpid-img_20150112_212742830.jpg

List Commentary: I got used to no upgrades on ships, so I forgot to take notes on exactly what else these two were carrying, but these are the items that were used in the game.

Battle: My Intrepid was off the board and doing its’ thing from the word “go”, so now it’s a 2v1 matchup for my Tactical Cube. With less ships than any other fleet I had faced thus far, my mines didn’t do much good. But One did his job, and did it properly this time, canceling heaps of damage for two consecutive turns. I normally laugh off anyone that uses a set, let alone two of them, but Transphasic Torpedoes and good die rolls had me hurting badly. Fortunately, I was able to turn the tide in my favor by a stroke of luck of my own, landing a hit with my Energy Disruptor to drop Voyager’s Shields, and following up with a Target Lock assisted blast that shredded through its’ hull in a single turn. From there, it was relatively simple cleanup against the Bioship, and a full win for my fleet.

Final thoughts:

My friend with a similar build went 3-0 on the day, playing smarter and doing better in round 3 against my round 2 foe than I had. But he got greedy, and left his escape ship in the conduit for one turn too many in one round, losing the ship and all associated bonus points. Accordingly, with the unusual scoring system in place at this venue, I managed a victory on the day, beating him out by a matter of around 13 fleet points, despite my 2-1 record.  Despite not facing his fleet, for which the Energy Disruptor was intended, the expense of 11 points was well worth the use I got out of it. Having the Energy Disruptor on the cube is practically priceless in venues that allow it; the Cube’s relative immunity to losing actions from collisions along with its’ large base makes it very difficult to avoid.

wpid-img_20150112_221100846.jpg
Start to Red base: Flagship bonus movement. Red to Green base: Normal movement. Green base to end: Picard’s action movemovement.

It’s not every day that you get to say you performed a 20-forward with one of your ships. But it’s perfectly possible, and then some. (Add in Romulan Pilot [Aj’rmr OP Prize] for another 4 [3 + base], Picard Maneuver [Stargazer OP Prize] plus Riker [Enterprise E] to trigger it, and you’ve got another 6 [5 + base] to add in, for a total of a 30-forward. My (very rough) calculations say that a maneuver of that length would take a ship from one corner to the other of a 36″ map, and slightly off. You know, just in case we get a weird enough scenario in the future where that might be required.

— The Tabletop General

Resistance is Futile OP2; Battle Report 4

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

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

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

Simple Shape Steamroller, v3.1b

Borg Sphere – 38
Drone – 0

Borg Sphere – 38
Drone – 0

Borg Tactical Cube – 44
Drone – 0

Total: 120

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

No, Really, This Is My Borg List

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

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

wpid-img_20141124_190133261.jpg

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

Round 1

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

Opponent:

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

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

Battle:

wpid-img_20141124_190539108.jpg
Initial setup

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

wpid-img_20141124_192129752.jpg
After turn 2, I thought I was going to be alright. Never have I been so wrong.

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

Round 2

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

Opponent:

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

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

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

Battle:

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

wpid-img_20141124_202646081.jpg
The real Borg civil war.

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

wpid-img_20141124_202655888.jpg
Ooops, in range!

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

wpid-img_20141124_204143388.jpg
Bump! Action Denied!

 

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

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

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Safe!

Round 3

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

Opponent:

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

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

wpid-img_20141124_212914049.jpg

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

Battle:

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

wpid-img_20141124_213436116.jpg
Initial setup.
wpid-img_20141124_213841969.jpg
Placing cloaked mines, the set under the range ruler was already down and friendly.

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

wpid-img_20141124_220040417.jpg
Dueling Warbirds.

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

Final Thoughts

Oww.

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

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

– The Tabletop General

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 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

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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…
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… 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!
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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

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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

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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.
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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.

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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 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.

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“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

Resistance is Futile OP1; Battle Report 1

In an attempt to assist with some of my home store’s declining participation in Star Trek: Attack Wing, I’ve been looking to slip in some casual games on what I would normally consider my off nights. I haven’t succeeded in doing so, but my inquiries on Facebook were met with an invitation to OP1 of Resistance is Futile at a nearby venue which I haven’t played at before. Hoping to be able to meet some new people and just figure out how things run elsewhere, I figured it was worth taking a stab at.

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.

I had no idea what to take for a fleet at first, especially not knowing the local meta. I’m very accustomed to the players and style of play at my local venue; in particular, we normally play 90 points ship/fleet pure, plus the 30 point blind buy. In contrast, this event used 120 point constructed lists with no fleet purity restrictions, and the blind boosters were to be opened and given out as prizes. Not having met any of these players before, I didn’t know what to expect out of their builds, having recently seen a post from a fellow in that area that bragged about obtaining his fifth Species 8472 Bioship, so… anything was a possibility.

One other note on squad building for this event jumped out at me – players were prohibited from spending more than 90 points on a single ship. Considering the most expensive ship in the game before upgrades is the Borg Cube, weighing in at 46 points, that just screams “dreadnought builds” to me. That made me expect to see more two ship builds (70/50 or 80/40) than four ship builds (35/30/30/25, or somewhere thereabout). Knowing that, I was really tempted to bring some sort of complicated swiss army knife style build, with a host of upgrade stealing to play tug-of-war with my opponent over our Weyoun + Varel combos, as I was certain I would see at least one of those. But truth be told, I don’t like playing that way, and I wanted something simple for my first contact (pun marginally intended) with this group. So here’s what I ended up with:

Simple Shape Steamroller, aka the Cheddar Cheese Cult.

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)
Magnus Hansen – 1 (from the Queen Vessel Prime)

Total: 120

The concept was simple: Deny the enemy any useful upgrades to steal, force the enemy to make attack runs on a mobile pillbox with 18 total attack dice, and concentrate fire on one ship at a time. I expected to lose at least one ship per game, as a coordinated assault from an entire fleet can easily take out a sphere. Thus my initial maneuvering would be an attempt to engage only part of the enemy fleet. After the initial pass, this fleet has a tremendous advantage over anything without some form of extended firing arc.

Knowing that I wanted to be in a chase position after the initial pass, my primary targets would be anything that could fire backwards – other Borg, rear-arc torpedoes, and ships with similar abilities. I tossed about the idea of a really odd maneuver: If I was in a position to do so going into the final round and saw an advantage in firing arcs to do so, I would hug one edge of the safe zone for the initial approach, then sacrifice the 30 fleet points required to move all three of my ships out of the safe zone for an uncontested shot, moving back in to continue the engagement on the following turn.

As they say, “No plan survives contact with the enemy”, which is followed in some circles with “…unless you’re an Ork, in which case your plan is contact with the enemy”. Not having Orks available in this particular Sci-fi setting, we’ll have to work with the original version of the phrase.

Round 1

Opponent:
Enterprise D, Mr. Spock (Captain), Geordi Laforge (Enterprise E version), Cheat Death.
Enterprise E, with Picard (8), Fire at Will, Admiral Forrest, Hikaru Sulu (Constitution Enterprise version), Tom Paris, Elizabeth Shelby, Dorsal Phaser Array, Multi-Adaptive Shields, Enhanced Hull Plating, and Independent Flagship (Romulan).

So it turns out… not only was this a very familiar build of the Enterprise-E, he had actually pulled my very on build from here on the Tabletop General! He ran it without Montgomery Scott, as he had originally seen the list when I had originally posted an invalid build using the Romulan flagship and couldn’t fit that last crew member. He must have liked that version better, and he made it work well for himself. With 120 total points to work with, the Enterprise D fit in nicely as a complimentary ship, it could do similar things without posing so much of a threat as to be targeted first.

Battle: I was fully aware of how nasty of a fight I had just gotten myself in to, but I also knew that I had way more attack dice than this list could handle if I could play keep-away for a turn or two. That was easier said than done within the constraints of this mission, but I managed to strip the E’s shields relatively quickly, and thanks to some funky range on the first engagement turn I took a potshot at the D, taking off a couple of shields there as well. On the other hand, the Octahedron took a beating and a couple of early critical hits from Picard’s special ability. Picard shrugged off shots from all three ships without a scratch on his hull thanks to the Advanced Hull Plating, but that gave him a couple of Auxiliary Power tokens. With both sides being fairly close to one another at this point, I knew my best chance was to out-maneuver the E and move back to Range 3 while he cleared Aux tokens with gentle turns, and that’s exactly what happened. I switched targets and burned down the D in a turn, then after Cheat Death triggered I did it again the next round. From there the battle consisted of kiting the E around, staying at Range 3 and out of arc, rolling attack after attack until finally the dice fell in my favor enough to pierce the E’s hull on the last turn, just as time was called.

Key takeaways: It’s a small world, and my Enterprise E design has some real promise. Had I been playing a more traditional Borg build (i.e. a few more upgrades, less total attacks and hit points), I would have lost that game. He would have fared really well against the other Borg players in this event. Also, the Enterprise D should have been a much earlier target for me in this match, because it was easy to knock out and that would have reduced the incoming damage.

Round 2

Opponent:
Borg Octahedron w/ Picard (9)
Borg Sphere w/ Gul Dukat(7) (?)
Borg Scout Cube w/ Donatra.
The second captain might have been Mr. Spock, but I can’t say for sure, my memory is failing me a bit on this matchup.  There’s a couple more points that I can’t figure out what they were spent on here, but they didn’t play a role in the battle that I recall.

Battle: From the start, I knew that having a lower Captain Skill across the board was going to hurt, so I had to figure out a way to engage the enemy where I was able to deny at least one ship’s shots in order to stand a chance. Both fleets moved straight ahead on turn one, but my opponent moved his Scout Cube slightly slower, so as not to expose it as  an easy target. The second turn, he anticipated that I would move straight ahead, attempting to cause collisions and deny actions, so he picked small maneuvers. Instead, I spun all of my ships to the left, and surprised him greatly. This had all of the Spheres in range of each other, but Donatra had no shot for the first turn. I would have preferred to isolate a single ship, or at least let it be a Sphere I avoided, but avoiding the Scout Cube was enough to swing the battle my way.

My Octahedron got rocked by hot dice from both of the enemy Spheres, but it survived with a couple of hull points because of the lack of a finishing shot from the Scout Cube. My return fire then was able to slag the enemy Sphere with every last one of my 18 dice, without my third ship his Sphere would have survived. On turn 3, all surviving ships could engage, and Picard was the one to finish the Octahedron, as my opponent couldn’t risk it surviving the Scout Cube’s shot, so only the Scout Cube could shoot a Sphere, whereas in the Mirror Universe where my Octahedron was already killed, all three shots would have gone on a Sphere. Back in reality, my two Spheres heavily damaged Picard in return. With having to spend Picard’s prior round of shooting on my Octahedron, combat turn 4’s incoming shots didn’t finish off my first sphere, and Picard wasn’t long for this world galaxy. From that point, it was a mere formality to finish the Scout Cube and finish the match in what may have been record time.

Key takeaways: I was at a big disadvantage here with action economy and Captain Skill. Knowing that I would likely enter the first turn of combat with nothing but Scan tokens up against Target Locks and Battlestations from multiple ships didn’t make me happy, and that’s exactly what happened, but I survived it. I can honestly think back and say that one ship being out of range on the first turn of engagement changed this entire battle in my favor. It’s crazy to look over this match and see how many things changed as a result of that one lost shot. Granted, that was precisely what I hoped to do, but I honestly didn’t expect it to work that well.

Round 3

Opponent:
Borg Sphere with Gul Dukat (7), Tactical Officer, Independent Federation Flagship
Borg Tactical Cube with Picard (9), Tactical Officer, Full Assault.

Battle: I was not excited to play against this build, knowing how easily I could have lost to a very similar build in the previous round where action economy and Captain Skill were in my opponent’s favor, and the Tactical Officers’ extra rerolls would only make this worse. I could legitimately expect to take 6+ damage per shot from each ship.

Again, both fleets started by moving straight ahead to enter the safe zone of the scenario, although I advanced the Sphere opposite his slightly more than the other two ships. I thought about playing keep-away again with another lateral movement on turn two, but realized I probably couldn’t pull it off, and would lose out on actions in the process (Scan Tokens wouldn’t help much here) so I changed my tactics and barreled straight ahead at full speed, getting into range so that I could take Target Locks on the Cube with all 3 ships. Just as I hoped, Gul Dukat’s Sphere colided with mine, losing both his actions. The Cube didn’t move up as far and wasn’t as close to my ships on that side to start with, so he got all of his, but better partial denial than none. The Octahedron’s hull value is high enough to get past the Cube’s special rules regarding overlapping bases, but I just didn’t think that far in advance what the likely engagement range would be.

Still, with all three ships surviving the first wave, I was able to put some solid damage on the Cube quickly, in spite of my dice turning against me (21 unopposed attack dice with Target Locks turned into about 9 damage on turn one). The Octahedron bit the dust on turn three for the second game in a row, but killing the Tactical Cube on the same turn as the dice came back to me was a perfectly acceptable trade. In the following turns I was able to press my numerical advantage against the Gul Dukat’s Sphere, as well as get in the way and deny his actions one more time, and he soon followed the Cube into oblivion.

Key takeaways: Without utilizing upgrades and discounting the base size, there’s very negligible difference between the Tactical Cube and a Sphere in a firefight. More dice > less dice. Lots of actions > some actions > no actions. And thanks to action denial, Borg mirror matches can favor lower Captain Skill if you can maneuver well enough and/or read your opponent’s hive mind.

 

Final thoughts

It’s still crazy that I faced a variant of a ship loadout pulled from my own article to start the night. It fared really well against other opponents, and was a real burden to kill. I don’t know if it survived round 2 or not, but I did see it outlast an opposing E and two Valdore class ships in round 3.

Speaking of crazy things, I just outgunned two other Borg builds who got to shoot first and had a better action economy. That doesn’t happen often.

You can do some really funky stuff with 120 points for your build. I’m rather glad that I dodged the 6 Constitution Class swarm; I think I would have been okay, but it hurts my head to think about it. I really expected to see more nasty combos here without any purity restrictions, but maybe I just didn’t face them. I heard enough discussion from the group to know that they’ll be there eventually though.

And with a 3-0 record and relatively impressive fleet points, I brought home first place on the night, which came with a copy of the Avatar of Tomed, a rather cool looking ship if I do say so myself:

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— The Tabletop General

Hit and Run tactics in X-Wing and Attack Wing

What’s better than blasting your opponents’ star fleet into sub-atomic dust? Doing it without taking any return fire, of course! But that’s easier said than done most of the time in miniatures gaming, including in X-Wing miniatures, but also especially in Star Trek: Attack Wing. The simultaneous movement phases, largely simultaneous combat, and universally equal firing ranges make it very difficult to arrange to be able to fire upon your opponent without them being able to fire back. Right now, your only options to do that are to fire first and score a kill, or completely outmaneuver your opponent with your initial maneuver, possibly assisted by having a 360-degree or rear firing arc thanks to a special ability or turret weapon. Y-Wings and Millennium Falcons can sometimes manage that in X-Wing, Borg and some Federation ships can also manage free shots thanks to their larger firing arcs or special abilities. What I want to discuss today is another method of avoiding incoming fire in both game systems; moving AFTER shooting.

My favorite X-Wing Miniatures ship released thus far is the TIE Interceptor. Fast and maneuverable, the Interceptor is tough enough on its’ own, but picking a named pilot that fits your battle plan makes the ship absolutely lethal. I tend to like Turr Phenirr, whose special ability is that he can take a boost or barrel roll action to move his ship after he attacks in the combat phase. This ability often lets him fire off his shot early in the round (PS 8 if I recall correctly, or perhaps PS 7), and then dance out of enemy firing arcs, hide behind asteroids, or even move beyond maximum range of the opponent’s guns. Pair that up with the Push the Limit talent, and he can follow that barrel roll with a boost (and vice-versa), or take a focus or evade action if you can’t avoid taking fire. Turr isn’t the only pilot that can pull these sorts of shenanigans; Jake Farrell, from the Rebel Aces expansion can potentially do similar tricks, as I’ve discussed previously in my Focus Factory Refit article.

Star Trek: Attack Wing doesn’t have an equivalent ability yet to allow you to move after shooting and avoid return fire, but there’s one coming, and you get some flexibility with it. Recently previewed on StarTrek.com, the Val Jean is an Independent ship with several really cool cards included. My group tends to play by Faction Pure rules, so the fact that these cards are Independent faction is a huge plus, as thanks to the Independent version of the Flagship resource cards from the Dominion War OP’s, any ship can be made dual faction between its’ original faction and Independent, and these cards become legal.

The two cards in particular that I’m most looking forward to out of this expansion are Chakotay and Tuvok. Chakotay allows you to use your action and take an auxiliary power token in order to take an extra movement, anything on your ship’s dial. Tuvok, on the other hand, lets you disable him after attacking in order to perform a speed 1 forward, bank, or turn maneuver.

So straight out of the box, Chakotay gives you lots of extra movement abilities and extreme positional advantage on any lower skill captains, and in some situations Tuvok can let you fly out of the opponent’s arc after you get your shot off. If you can increase your captain’s skill with something like an Admiral card and/or a Fleet Captain resource, those abilities get even better by happening later in the activation phase (more info available on where to make your second maneuver) and earlier in the combat phase (less incoming fire before taking your extra move).

Rather than attempting to move out of firing arc, an alternative use for Tuvok may be to run away from the opponent and get out of range. Unlike X-Wing, Attack Wing features many ships that can fire secondary weapons from their rear arc. Playing cleverly with captain Chakotay’s extra movements and flying away from your opponent, keeping the opponent in rear firing arc, I think it would be possible to ensure that you are either on the edge of range 3, or out of range entirely. If you’re out of range, no harm done, try again next turn. If you’re in range, fire those torpedoes and then use Tuvok’s ability to move almost a full range band away from your opponent!

The following build of the Federation Enterprise NX-01, ridiculous as it may be, will be the biggest pain to kill that your opponent faces for quite some time. This ship is is only legal as it is listed without faction purity rules in place, but would likely be just as effective with a couple less crew members and using the Independent Dominion flagship card instead (which makes the ship dual faction and gives a free target lock for your torpedoes). In its’ present form, my hurried math is right (my usual list builder is bugged at the moment and I was in a hurry to finish this article), it checks in at 58 points including the resource card attached. That gives you enough just points in a standard game to add on a relatively spartan bruiser-type ship, such as Voyager helmed by Picard, or a mostly naked Borg Sphere.

NX-01 “Tactical Retreat”

Enterprise NX-01 – 16
Chakotay – 5 (Val Jean)
Fleet Captain Ind./Klingon – 5 (Collective OP 2 participation)
Cheat Death – 5 (USS Enterprise)
Superior Intellect – 1 (USS Reliant)
Adm. James T. Kirk – 5 (USS Enterprise Refit)
Tuvok – 3 (Val Jean)
Hikaru Sulu – 2 (USS Enterprise)
Pavel Chekov – 2 (USS Reliant)
Elizabeth Shelby – 1 (USS Voyager)
Sakonna – 2 (Gavroche, The Collective blind booster)
Tom Paris – 3 (USS Voyager)
Photon Torpedoes – 3 (Starter Set)
Photon Torpedoes – 3 (USS Voyager)
Tactical Station – 2 (USS Stargazer, Collective OP 3 Prize)
Enhanced Hull Plating  – 0 (Enterprise NX-01)

The whole idea is to keep your opponent behind you at range 3, fire your torpedoes, then use Tuvok’s extra movement to get out of range. Combining Admiral Kirk with the Fleet Captain gives a total captain skill of 9 for Chakotay, so there are very few captains who will shoot before you can get your extra move.

When somebody does get a shot at you, with 4 base evade dice, staying at at range 3 at all times, and using Sulu and Shelby as needed, you’re rolling 5-8 defense dice at a time, with some re-rolls and conversions available. For anything that gets through that, you can use the Enhanced Hull Plating to absorb up to two hits per attack at the cost of auxiliary tokens. If a lucky shot does get damage through, you’ve got Cheat Death available to bring you back to life.This is the toughest ship you’ll ever see with only 3 hull points.

Those auxiliary tokens are going to be added to by Chakotay’s extra movements, but not as many as you would think. Since Pavel Chekov doesn’t have any form of limit in uses per turn, if you use Chakotay’s action to take a white maneuver, the added auxiliary token should essentially bounce right off (ruling pending).

The “Tactical Retreat” won’t alpha-strike anyone right off of the table, but given time it can do some serious damage with those torpedoes, and it won’t go down easily. Once all the included pieces have been released, I look forward to bringing this out and just seeing the look on my opponents face as I spread out all the upgrades packed on to this one little ship.

– The Tabletop General

Collective OP3 – Resistance is Futile

More Star Trek: Attack Wing goodness today. I didn’t forget how to count, and I’m not forgetting to discuss Collective OP2, but I thought discussing my Collective OP3 build before the month was over and while the scenario is still seeing play might be of use to some of you. Perhaps especially so, seeing as since against conventional wisdom for our group the TO for this event opened up cross-faction upgrades, thus this build may be more representative of what you will find at other venues as opposed to our usual faction pure events.

In this event, the climatic finish of The Collective event series, the scenario recreates a battle from Star Trek VIII: First Contact, the first Star Trek movie which I saw in a theater. In synopsis, this battle involves a Borg Cube attacking Earth. With last minute help from the Enterprise and her crew, the Cube is destroyed, but a smaller Borg Sphere being carried by the Cube escapes and travels through a temporal anomaly in an attempt to go back in time and assimilate Earth before the Federation is ever dreamed of. And I thought Back to the Future made a complicated timeline…

This scenario is the only point in the Collective OP series in which the Borg Cube Token can be destroyed, albeit with great difficulty, and should the BCT actually be destroyed it includes a secondary objective of pursuing and destroying the escaping Borg Sphere Token before it can leave the board. This scenario is unique in that there are no win conditions other than having the most fleet points (normally consists of your surviving fleet), and players cannot attack each other (other than by using the BCT to do so) but both players lose 30 points from their fleet point score if both Borg ships are not destroyed, quite possibly causing some 0-0 draws. On the other hand, players can reclaim 20 fleet points for each of their lost ships by destroying the Cube or Sphere, and gain a bonus Battle Point (counts towards the tournament standings) for getting the kill shot on both. So the name of the game is either survival, or teamwork, and you design your list without knowing which your opponents will pick.

I designed my list with the above in mind, as well as considering a couple other details about the scenario. Control of the Borg Cube Token rotates between the two players, starting with the player with the highest standing in the event series. With a slight lead coming in to the event, I could count on control in all three matches. But regardless of who currently controls it, the BCT must move towards ships each turn, and it must fire each turn if it can, even if that means that you shoot your own ships with it. Transwarp Conduit and Quantum Singularity immediately sprang to mind as a way to make use of this rule. Additionally, the BCT causes damage to your ship if it collides with you and your ship has a base hull value of seven or less. Only the Borg Cube has a higher hull value without resorting to Flagship upgrades, so it was an obvious choice to bring for this scenario, and it conveniently has access to the Transwarp Conduit. The Cube is also one of very few ships that can potentially mass enough attack dice to break through the Borg’s defenses once it is rolling up to 10 defense dice late in the scenario. But what’s better than using Borg to fight Borg? Using invincible Borg, of course! 

Collective 3 Borg-ish

Resource: Fleet Captain Independent (Klingon) – 5

Borg Tactical Cube – 44
Weyoun – 5 (Fifth Wing Patrol Ship)
Diplomacy – 1 (Collective OP1 Prize)
Adm. James T. Kirk – 8 (USS Enterprise Refit)
Koss – 2 (Collective OP1 Prize)
Crosis – 4 (Borg Soong)
Varel – 10 (R.I.S. Apnex)
Photon Torpedoes – 5 (USS Enterprise Refit)
Transwarp Conduit – 6 (Borg Soong)
Total: 90

Before you call me crazy for it, I know the torpedo was unusable, but it was the only way to fill the ship up to exactly 90 points with what slots I still had available, and the surviving points would become a tie-breaker in the case of a complete mirror match.

I pulled the Klingon ship from the blind booster pack, I took the named version of the ship (the I.K.S. B’Moth) for utility, the upgrades didn’t really matter as they never came in to play. The biggest reason I took the named B’Moth was to be able to streak in at full speed towards my opponent and deliver a payload of Admiral Kirk’s Fleet Action to disable something critical. It did get used once, but it wasn’t really that important in the end.

The whole idea was to have an invulnerable ship, and destroy my opponent’s whole fleet with the BCT before trying to actually complete the scenario.

And in case you don’t know all the cards well enough to know that resistance really is futile against this list, here’s how it all meshes together: The Fleet Officer upgrade lets my Cube have 3 crew members, gives a discount on the crew, and works with my Admiral to give me a free Elite Talent. Any time that my Cube would take an attack from the BCT, Varel is “discarded” to cancel the attack. Weyoun disables to save Varel, and on the next turn, I re-enable Weyoun. Koss protects all other upgrades; and in a pinch Crosis lets me steal Koss back if anything gets to him, or lets me steal something protecting the opposing fleet. I also have the option of disabling Weyoun to save Crosis for re-use if needed. Diplomacy is a backup if something gets past Koss and disables Varel, or lets me prevent the opponent from getting a kill shot on the BCT for a turn if something unexpected happens. Admiral Kirk can use Diplomacy even if Weyoun is disabled, and also lets me give a fleet action to the booster ship to disable enemy upgrades if there’s something just as cheesy going on in their list. Subspace Distortion lets me warp off the board and force the opponent to move the cube towards themselves and shoot themselves on the turn they have control, or if I’m in a horrible position when the BCT is destroyed, I can warp to intercept the Borg Sphere Token and cause it to start bumping my ship every turn, slowing down its’ escape slightly. Also, the Cube doesn’t lose its’ actions for bumping anything other than the neutral cube due to its’ special rules, and as mentioned earlier it has a high enough hull value to not take damage from the cube token bumping it. Cheese City.

The list fared well, although I felt a little guilty about it when the players who could catch me in the standings didn’t attend the event. In the first round, I played a young fellow who was new to the store. I took mercy on him by only killing a couple of his ships instead of just wiping him out, and together we managed to kill both the cube and the sphere in what became a very fun match (and an educational one for him). In the second round I faced a bit more of a veteran, who was a good sport about the whole thing I suppose; the sphere got away from me with 2 hull remaining, but his fleet had been wiped out within just a couple of turns, The third round wasn’t played, because the results were set at that point, (nobody else had managed to kill the BCT at all in their first two rounds), and the crowd generally didn’t like the scenario.

The list can be legitimately be called cheesy and cheap. I honestly had fun designing it, but not really much fun playing it (outside of the “Hey… you want to kick this thing’s rear?” moment with the new kid). But it’s effective, it demonstrated to our group why faction purity is a really good thing to have, and the TO had already suggested Weyoun + Varel to another player in our forums as a viable build, so I had to bring my version. And in return, it brought me a Stargazer and an Assimilation Target Prime home.

Have something better for this scenario? See a potential weakness? By all means, let me hear about it in the comments. Alternatively, if you decide to use the build or a variation on it, I would love to hear about your experiences and the wailing lamentations of your foes.

Meanwhile, I’ll be cranking on ideas over the next couple weeks to figure out how to do this scenario again, this time with faction purity in play. It won’t be pretty.

– The Tabletop General