Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Engage: Something New

Nothing is funnier than this delightful picture.
Having wrapped up a review of the base set captains, I can move on to some of the other upgrades in the set, and some of their strategic uses. In the base set, there are two elite talents: Counter Attack and Engage. Let's take a look at Engage:

Engage (Federation/Starter)
Action: If you performed a Green Maneuver this round, you may immediately perform an additional Green Maneuver of your choice. Place an Auxiliary Power Token besides your ship.
Cost: 3

So, Engage gets you a free green maneuver of your choice. I'll point out the obvious and say that if you've equipped your ship with Engage, you can use it every single turn. Just keep performing green maneuvers, and you get access to this action. It's a pretty great action, and has not been seeing as much play as I think it should.

I've said before that this game is won and lost in the movement phase. If you can out maneuver your opponent, you can get out of your opponent's firing arcs and pretty much lay the beatings down without receiving any in return. I can't stress this enough- most of the skill in Attack Wing, like in X-Wing, is highlighted in the movement phase. There's a great bluffing game that can go on in the movement phase. The movement phase should also be the time in the game when you plan out who you want to attack, etc., Use your time in the phase wisely- try to throw off your opponent with your moves and try not to make it too predictable as to how you will move. Guessing your opponent's moves AND implementing a strategy in relation to those guesses is a part of the greatness of this game.

Engage let's you throw a lot of that right out the window. If you have access to Elite Talents, you're probably already using a high rank Captain. Engage lets you get out of firing arcs, and utilize your ships maneuverability to it's max. It's an incredible upgrade but will take a lot of practice to get right.

My suggestion is to equip it on an Enterprise D with Picard and Spock. You should be able to stay out of firing arcs while getting your ship into good positions so that you can keep firing on the turn afterwards.

Combine Engage on a ship that has sensor echo, and we're talking about something REALLY Nasty now. With Martok or Picard getting/giving out extra actions, you can move green, sensor echo, and then move green again. The Valdore is probably the best ship for Picard to be on with Engage because of the green Turn 2- you get access to complete 180s AND can still Sensor Echo to get the perfect line on your opponent.
You'll want to run this on a ship that is independent of your other ships and not relying upon buffs. Like I said, Enterprise D, Valdore or Neg'var are all examples of ships that are threats in their own right. With Picard, you pretty much get to see what everyone has done, and take the appropriate action to get your ship out of the way, or into a good firing arc.

 I think it's a great upgrade that has the potential to take your game to a whole new level. It also adds a new dimension of skill to the game- somewhat mitigating your opponent's ability to guess your moves. I haven't given it as much of a try as I should, but I'm definitely thinking of tooling up a ship to take advantage of Engage.

Furthermore- IT's NOT UNIQUE. If you have two starters, you can equip two ships with Engage. Grab Kirk and Picard, and tool these guys up for Engage shenanigans!


  1. I've used Engage as a part of my Ent-D build everytime. It's just that good!

  2. "The Valdore is probably the best ship for Picard to be on with Engage because of the green Turn 2- you get access to complete 180s AND can still Sensor Echo to get the perfect line on your opponent."

    I don't think this combo works. Picard is limited to one of the actions on his card: Evasion, Target Lock, Scan or Battlestations. He couldn't use his free action to sensor echo or engage as far as I know.

    1. Also, the Valdore's green banks aren't 90 degrees each. They're 45. So with engage you get to make a wide 90 degree turn. Not quite that useful with the narrow firing arc.

      I think engage probably works best on a ship with a wide firing arc (Kraxon, E-D, Reliant). Of those I'd say it's best on the E-D currently for various reasons. In fact, the Enterprise seems kinda bad without it.

  3. I probably didn't make myself clear enough on the Picard issue. You're right re: green turns though.

    Picard would NOT get to sensor echo or engage using his free action. He still gets his own action though, so you'd have to pick either sensor echo or engage for the ship action. He's still great for the Valdore, but as you'll see in a later article, I agree with you that his best place is on the Enterprise D.

    1. if you're thinking of building an engage build, of course. Otherwise, Picard has other places he can go!

    2. Just realized something about engage: Because you put an auxiliary token on your ship with it it prevents you from using Picard's free action. Ironically, Picard seems like one of the worst captains to use engage with :/

  4. You can use Picard before you use engage.

  5. The newly-released Excelsior is another fairly good choice for Engage captains, especially if you've got a secondary weapon that can exploit the rear arc at short range (eg Dominion photons) giving it 270 degrees of coverage at least some of the time. Any ship can use Dorsal Weapon Array (from the Keldon pack) to gain a limited-use 360 arc as well, which opens up even more potential for firing from odd arcs with Engage tricks.

    OTOH, Dorsal Array is also a partial counter to being outmaneuvered - 3 attack dice with no range mods isn't much, but it's a whole lot better than nothing.