Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Spock- The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems

Spock Scanning Spock
So today is a bit of a conclusion in my brief and unnamed series on equipping the Enterprise-D. I've looked at Picard, the Enterprise and Sulu, and now I want to look at one of the last pieces of the puzzle, albeit the most optional one.

Spock is, in my opinion, one of the absolute best 5 pt upgrades in the entire game. He will NOT work on every ship and, in fact, probably only works on one.

Spock works as follows: If your ship has a (Scan) Token beside it when you attack, you may convert all your (Battle Stations) results into (Hit) results. 

You get all that for 5 pts.

First of all, the temptation will be to pair up Spock and Kirk. That's a really thematic and interesting thing to do, but most of the time you'll just be wasting one of the two's ability. See, Spock and Kirk are not very synergistic. Kirk is only ever going to have one action on his ship (at this point in the game! Maybe a second action with McCoy, but even that's not a good option). Kirk wants to be equipped with expensive pilot upgrades that surprise your opponent. Spock, on the other hand, wants you to scan every turn. He's a science officer, and wants to know what's out there in the abyss. Kirk wants to surprise you with tactics and innovation, Spock wants you to take a cautious road, and will reward you with efficiency.

Spock is what every good upgrade is- PASSIVE. Look at that card. It requires no activation, no action, nothing from you but scanning. Normally, I don't scan. I'm sure there's a math hero out there who will show that scanning is actually not that bad, but unless the opposing ship has 1 agility and I need it to die THIS TURN, I'd rather Cloak/Battlestations/Evade in that order, adjusted for situation. Scan is very situation. With Spock, scan becomes your number one pick. You don't want a 5pt upgrade sitting around doing nothing. If you're paying 5 pts for an upgrade, you want it active each and every turn. If you're going to take Spock, you need a ship that will benefit from his presence, and won't need to do other things with its action, outside of critical dire moments.

Let's look at the basic Enterprise-D build.

Enterprise D
Captain Picard
Hikaru Sulu

That ship has great defensive capabilities- half a romulan cloak with dice manipulation. You're going to want to Sulu up every single turn. This ship is going to survive based on your ability to keep it out of firing arcs and Sulu's excellent pilot skills.
But what about the ship's offensive capabilities? if you're outside of the other ship's arc, chances are that you are not facing it head on (if you are, more power to you, but the D is a COW of a ship). You need to make every single hit count, because you need to bring those cloaks DOWN. On the Enterprise D, Spock fulfills two roles quite nicely. Firstly, he reduces the effectiveness of the opposing ships cloak; you're going to scan anyway, and scanning is great against cloaked ships, mitigating their defensive capabilities, which are already non-manipulable in most cases. Secondly, he gives you a battlestations action. He allows you to offensively take both scan and battlestations.

Adding spock to your Enterprise D, allows you to take mini cloak with mini defensive battlestations, offensive battlestations, and scan, each and every turn. That makes the ship not only one of the most expensive, but much more effective in offensive output than almost any other ship in the game. The Klingons got NOTHING on the Enterprise D with Spock.

Spock won't work on every ship. Heck, Spock won't work with every Captain. But, in the right setting, Spock is one of the most efficient machines in the game. He won't outright win you games, but if you're getting to the point where you can maneuver your ship like a pro, Spock is going to give you a devastating edge on your federation ships.

1 comment:

  1. Given the number of action-efficient cards that get bonuses for having a Scan token (of which Spock is the best, but there are plenty of others), it would surprise me very little to see upgrades start showing up that let you remove a Scan from an opposing ship. I've seen Concussion Charges used to strip Scan off an Ent-D with Spock on it - a very useful tactic, although it's hard to get the initiative to work out to make it helpful.