Tag Archives: STAW

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

Attack Wing – A Matter of Honor OP Prizes

Today in Star Trek: Attack Wing news: a sneak peak at the prizes for the upcoming “A Matter of Honor” Organized Play. This has been shamelessly copied down from a video posted by the one person outside of Wizkids / CBS that seems to get any advance notice regarding what is coming up in Attack Wing, Teri Litorco.

Participation prize – “Officer Exchange Program” (Resource) – 0 points: Select two factions. Admirals, Captains, and Crew of those factions do not pay a faction penalty on the other faction’s ships. Captains and Admirals equipped in this way (but not Crew) have their cost reduced by 1 point.

Prize ship: IKS Pagh – 26 points, 4/1/5/3, Tech, Weapon, Weapon, Crew – When attacking, you may convert one [Crit] result to one [Hit] result. If you do, you may convert one [Blank] result to one [Hit] result.

It’s an interesting new mechanic, and it keeps your [Crit] results from being wasted when hitting shields. I like it.

Kargan – Klingon Captain – 4 points, skill 6 – If you perform an action provided by one of your upgrade cards as your action for the turn, you may take a free target lock action and receive Auxiliary Power token.

Not a great card for general use, as Klingons don’t have a lot of upgrade cards that this would work with, but I can see it coming in handy in a specialized build for the action economy. Will have a lot of synergy with Surrender as Ordered, below.

Riker – Federation Crew – 4 points, Elite Talent slot – Does not pay a faction penalty on Klingon ships. Action: Disable this card to increase your captain skill to 10 until the end phase.

Meh. Fluffy, but Meh.

Surrender as Ordered – Klingon Talent – 4 points – Action: Discard this card to target a ship at Range 1 in your forward firing arc. That ship may choose not to attack this round and disable all Weapon Upgrades. If it does this, you may not attack the targeted ship this round. If it does not do so, or if it has no un-disabled weapon upgrades, you gain +2 attack dice against that ship this turn.

Doesn’t do much for me on its’ own, but could be useful for an alpha strike, provided that you find a way to modify your dice, such as getting a Target Lock from Kargan, above.

Phaser Array Retrofit – Klingon Weapon – 5 points – When attacking at Range 3 with your primary weapon, you gain +1 attack die and the defender rolls one less defense die. Can only be purchased for a Klingon ship, no ship may equip more than one Phaser Array Retrofit.

Cool ability, turning range modifiers on their head. Worth 5 points though? Questionable.

Tunneling Neutrino Beam – Federation Tech – 3 points – Disable this card to target a friendly ship at Range 1. Target ship repairs 1 damage to its’ hull. Your ship cannot attack this round. Pay no faction penalty when equipping to a Klingon ship.

A great ability for cloaking fleets that might end up taking a nasty critical hit on their hull. It’s not something I would run, but I can see a LOT of players liking this card.

All in all, it’s not a bad prize ship. Now we just have to sit around and wait for info on how to win it!

— 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)

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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)

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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.

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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)
…?

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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.

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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

Fighter Squadron 6 Preview

Fighters on your six… Fighter Squadron 6, that is. Teaser images have released today for one of Star Trek: Attack Wing‘s January 2015 releases, the Federation Fighter Squadron. Following closely behind the Hideki Fighter Squadron (click here for a review), these fighters prove that the Federation, as a fan favorite, can’t be denied anything that another race can have.

Curiously, no details were released on the ship cards in this pack, but if the Hideki model is followed, the generic Federation fighters will share the 5/0/1/1 starting line of the fighter squadron resource, and a bonus tile will be included for the named variant.

What was revealed, however, was a set of very interesting upgrades that are compatible with the Hideki Fighters as well (assuming you’re not playing in a faction pure environment. This time, the eight upgrades revealed are split down the middle, 50% offensive, 50% defensive/utility. I do love that all the upgrades have a reactionary feel to them, all of the upgrades can be used in some way simply by disabling or discarding them, which feels very appropriate for attack fighters.

On offense, Attack Wave disables for an extra attack die for a given attack. Coordinated attack gives you an ability to add a Battlestations Token to your ship during your attack. Both of these are decent, but not a huge deal.

Attack Wave             Coordinated Attack

Attack Formation gives you the ability to set an un-rerollable die on the facing of your choice if you are at range 1 of a friendly ship; doesn’t make big waves in and of itself, but it’s a guaranteed critical hit in most cases (assuming that die isn’t canceled). Where that becomes critical (no pun intended) is when you combine that with Tactical Pattern Theta, which works identically to the “Target Weapons Systems” card from the Reman Warbird Scimitar, and is perfect for sniping a troublesome weapon upgrade like a Dorsal Phaser Array off of an Enterprise E.

Attack Formation             Tactical Pattern Theta

 

For defense, Cover Fire lets you add your Primary Weapon Value to your defense dice for a single attack. Against an opening salvo from most small to medium ships, this is probably equivalent to giving an extra fighter token to the ship, as you’re likely going to cancel a couple of hits with the theoretical (ship stats unreleased at this point) 5 dice that this will add for that defense. Defensive Maneuvers gives a lesser effect, but a guaranteed one, disabling for an extra Evade token; keep in mind though you have to use this BEFORE seeing the attack roll.

Cover Fire             Defensive Maneuvers

 

Support ship is kind of ho-hum for me here, it’s a “Cheat Death” equivalent for a ship that will be very ineffective by the point in the game that it’s reduced to one hit point. Squad Leader, on the other hand, is a VERY interesting card. Giving you the ability to shoot earlier in the combat phase is nice, but giving free actions to other captains is great, especially when you’re out of range to do anything useful. Even with the limitation of only using Captain Card abilities, Squad Leader likely going to be the most prized upgrade card out of everything here in this pack, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what people do with it.

Support Ship             Squad Leader

Maybe not as powerful as the Hideki First Wave Attack Fighters, Fighter Squadron 6 will still give you some new options, and it won’t be a big surprise to see two copies of this on in a lot of player’s collections once they release in January. Stay tuned for reviews of the rest of January’s releases (yes, I know I’m running behind).

– The Tabletop General

Regent’s Flagship Preview

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

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

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

Regents Flagship              Kira Nerys

 

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

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

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

Brunt              Bareil Antos

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

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

Elim Garak              Odo

 

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

I Will Deal With Them Myself              Intendants Orders

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

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

Make It So               Fed Make It So

 

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

Photon Torpedoes

 

 

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

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

Tractor Beam              Cloaking Device

 

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

Admiral Worf

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

– The Tabletop General

Resistance is Futile OP2; Battle Report 4

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

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

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

Simple Shape Steamroller, v3.1b

Borg Sphere – 38
Drone – 0

Borg Sphere – 38
Drone – 0

Borg Tactical Cube – 44
Drone – 0

Total: 120

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

No, Really, This Is My Borg List

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

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

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

Round 1

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

Opponent:

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

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

Battle:

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.

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

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

Round 2

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

Opponent:

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

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

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

Battle:

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

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The real Borg civil war.

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

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Ooops, in range!

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

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Bump! Action Denied!

 

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

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

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Safe!

Round 3

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

Opponent:

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

wpid-img_20141115_144359964.jpg

Battle:

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

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

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

Round 3

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

Opponent:

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

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

Battle:

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

Final Thoughts

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

Bonus photos:

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

– The Tabletop General

1st Wave Attack Fighters Preview

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

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

1st Wave Attack Fighters                                             Attack Fighter Stat Tokens

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

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

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

Aft Disrupter Wave Cannons                         Photo Lock-On

 

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

Flanking Attack                        Escort

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

Cover Fire                         Support Ship

 

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

Break Formation                          Galor Class Phaser Banks

 

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

– The Tabletop General

Wizkids being Wizkids

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– The Tabletop General