Friday, 8 November 2013

Engage- Part 1

So cool... so awesome...
In my next installment, I want to focus on a List built around Engage. I'm very intrigued by the possibilities here. I think there are a few ways that you can create a list based around Engage, and want to explore that in this series of  articles. 

Currently, the meta is filled with Klingon Attack Builds. These builds are easy to pilot, but have a few vulnerabilities that you can exploit if you can move around them. Doing so involves movement shenanigans, and Engage Builds are made to provide the most effective movement shenanigans possible.
So, to begin, you have to decide whether you want one independent ship with Engage, or multiples. Right now, I'm going to build around Engage being on every single ship in the fleet. This also means that the fleet is going to be 2 ships strong, instead of 3 ships strong. You could go for a Hybrid build, but as you'll see, the first ship with Engage is going to cost a LOT of points, and you'll be left with 50pts for 2 ships- which is probably too few. 

Building around Engage, you want to consider a few things right off the bat- Synergy between the ships is going to be very hard. You'll be dealing with a lot of decisions in the movement phase and you don't want to have to take into consideration another of your ships when moving- it creates too many moving parts. You want both ships to be reasonably independent of each other, both able to deal a lot of damage and get out of arcs asap. 

I think this will be a no brainer, but the Engage works best on a ship with a large firing arc. To that end, the Enterprise D is the absolute best ship for Engage to be on for a number of reasons. 

1. The Enterprise D has a straight ahead 3- this allows it to leap front a set of ships, essentially moving a 7 in one turn- Moving 3 and then moving another 3 (which is a longer move than a move 6 since you get to stop in between the two moves). 

2. The Enterprise D has a 360 firing arc- you can move 3 and then move 3 and get behind a ship and still fire your 360 arc weapon and likely get a +1 attack die for being at range 1. 

3. The Enterprise D has enough utility slots that it can manage the large amount of upgrades necessary to make this work effectively. 

4. While the rest of the movement dial is not that great, slight 1 greens are still fantastic for getting out of a tough spot and their usefulness is improved by the 360 degree arc. 

5. Rear Firing Arc in case you want to bring antimatter mines- which are going to be great with this build if you can get behind the opposing ships. 

Having established the Enterprise D as a great ship to build off of, we have to decide which Captain is going to pilot the thing. The Captain needs to have a pilot skill, so you're going to have to spend a fair amount of points here. You clearly want Picard for his flexibility in terms of actions. Another important aspect of this build will be firing first- you NEED to be able to take down targets before they can respond with their own fire. This means that you need to shoot first. Picard helps you do that, and you want him as your Captain. 

So we're about to spend 37 pts on a ship, but we haven't increased the effectiveness of the shooting in any meaningful way. Remember, you're going to usually be spending an action on Engage to get out of firing arcs. What are you going to do with that other action? Well, in my opinion, you're going to want to make your shooting as good as possible- take Spock. Spock is a fantastic upgrade on the Enterprise D with Picard- He reduces your opponent's defensive capabilities and increases your shooting abilities without having to take battlestations. Spock is your first crew upgrade. Now we're at 42 pts. 

At this point, you can probably stop spending points on the Enterprise D, but I don't think we're done. I think you want a crew upgrade that will give you some insurance against a really bad movement. Enter- Uhura. 

When I busted open the TOS Enterprise expansion, Uhura was a card that struck me as very good. In my play since then, I've mostly been using Klingon Attack Builds, and have let her go off to the wayside. In examining Engage, I've come around to Uhura's usefulness. Uhura is a 3pt insurance policy. Most of the time, you're going to be able to pilot your Ent-D well enough to get out of Arcs but there are going to be times when you're going to run up against the wall- Uhura is the solution to a bad movement phase. Here's how she works:

Nyota Uhuru (Federation/USS Enterprise Expansion)
Discard Uhura immediately before you move in order to change your Maneuver for this round.
Cost: 3

Very simple. Your movement phase eliminates your action and you're going to be shot by 3 klingon ships- use Uhura, make another move. I think Uhura is pretty essential on this ship and mitigates your lack of skill or your opponent's overabundance of skill. She adds 3 pts, so we're now at 45 pts. 

You now have to decide whether you want to put Antimatter mines on your ship. Personally, I think there's enough psychological threat in having them on the ship that your opponent will think twice about running a tight formation, especially since you're almost guaranteed to get behind him on a good turn with Engage and Uhura. Do NOT use photon torpedoes. This should be general advise on the Enterprise D- I do not think that they are an effective upgrade, but I'll deal with this in a separate post. If you're adding in mines, you're going to be at 50pts. 

The ship looks as follows:

Ship: Enterprise D
Captain: Picard
Pilot Skill: Engage
Crew: Spock and Uhura
Weapon: Antimatter Mines

It's very hard to explain just how maneuverable this thing is. You mitigate a lot of the Enterprise's maneuverability issues if you can take two soft 1's a turn. Your 360 arc is incredible as you want your opponent try to guess where you'll be next turn, and you ALWAYS get to see your opponent's strategy and take reactive steps to mitigate the damage that you're going to receive. It's a great build that gets you out of some hairy situations. 

In the next post in the series, I'll take a look at what I think would be a good accompanying ship for the Enterprise D. Hint: it'll be in Tandem with my review of Captain Kirk. I'll then turn around and look at some strategies for countering this build. 

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to look at your "strategies for countering this build" post.

    A staggered, not-so-tight formation from the opponent, coupled with rear firing arcs and mines is probably the best deterrent to this sort of build, but then you're tailoring your list to counter the Engage build...