Saturday, 30 November 2013


Look at the range of talent on display in this picture- astounding!
Today I'm going to examine a few of the other upgrades that come with the various Klingon Ships. First up, Sabotage:

Sabotage (Klingon/IKS GrOth Expansion)
ACTION: Discard this Upgrade to target a ship at Range 1-2 that is not Cloaked and has no Active Shields. Discard 1 (Weapons) or (Tech) Upgrade on the target ship.
Cost: 3

At some point I will probably write up a list that exclusively uses these kinds of upgrades. Is there a weapon or tech that you're particularly worried about? Nope, me neither. You MAY, at some point, get two points ahead with this if you can strip off photon torpedoes, but don't hold your breath. If the ship is not cloaked, and has no active shields- WHY NOT TARGET LOCK and BLOW IT UP? It makes no sense why they push these kinds of cards, but recently it would appear that the designers are exploring other space- which is good. 

It's not that these cards couldn't be good, they absolutely could be great IF they did something else. If they gave a passive ability, like a +1 hull or shields, or some kind of other passive buff like a reroll of one attack dice etc., then I could see them getting a lot more use than they do now. As it stands, they just aren't good enough to take up 3 pts that could be allocated elsewhere. 

I really like the idea of affecting your opponent's ship, but these are one time use cards, that only get used at the tail end of a ship's life. What happens if your opponent doesn't bring weapons or tech? That's a perfectly likely scenario in organized events. 

Let's look at another of these upgrades:

Korax (Klingon/IKS GrOth Expansion)
ACTION: If your ship is not cloaked, disable all your remaining Shields and target a ship at Range 1-2 that is not Cloaked and has no Active Shields. Discard Korax and any 2 (Crew) Upgrades of your choice on the target ship.
Cost: 3

NOOOOO!!!! Next upgrade!

Cyrano Jones (Independent/IKS GrOth Expansion)
You begin the game with one Tribble Token beside your Ship Card
Cost: 3

I probably should have looked at this card last week, but now that I've gone and done it, I have to go ahead and post the Tribble Info. 

Tribble Token (for the Crew: Cyrano Jones from the Klingon/I.K.S. Gr'Oth Expansion)

This card explains the rules for the Tribble Token and serves as a reference to remind players of its effect.

A Ship Card with at least 1 Tribble Token assigned to it follows special rules:

1) During the End Phase, add 1 Tribble Token to your Ship Card (reguardless of the number of Tribble Tokens it already has).

2) If your Ship has 1-3 Tribble Tokens, add +1 attack die whenever you attack and +1 defense whenever you defend. Ignore this rule if your Ship includes any Klingon Captains or Crew.

3) If your ship has 4-5 Tribble Tokens, there is no effect.

4) If your ship has 6 or more Tribble Tokens, roll 1 less attack die whenever you attack and 1 less defense dice whenever you defend. This penalty is doubled if your ship includes any Klingon Captains or Klingon Crew.

5) You gain the following Action:

Action: If your ship is not Cloaked, disable all of your remaining Shields and target a ship at range 1-2 that is not cloaked and has no Active Shields. Place any number of your Tribble Tokens beside the target ship's Ship Card. You cannot transfer any Tribble Token that you recieved this round.

Okay, so your ship gets a tribble, and then adds a tribble token every turn. The sweet spot is 1-3 tribbles, and you really don't want these on Klingon ships. 

Remember the problems with the other upgrades above? Yup, you get to make a soon to be dead ship tribbletastic. Of course, you've got to put up with tribbles for a few turns at least. 

This stuff is really fluffy and I really appreciate the effort. The effects are cool and very thematic. You really have to build around Tribbles in order to get the most out of them. With Tribbles increasing every turn, and you only getting a static increase, I don't see that they will ever be any good. This is not an upgrade that you want to include on any ship. Eventually, they're going to be terrible for your ship if you can't unload them. 

The in game effect, while fluffy and thematic, will likely frustrate those individuals looking to benefit from this card. You're going to find that you're waiting around a lot to unload them, and then they are going to die in a fire as the ship unloaded upon blows up because it was already pretty weak to begin with. 

Leave all of this at home.


  1. The other cards are iffy, but I have to disagree on Cyrano and his furry friends. In exchange for a crew slot and four points (at least outside of a hypothetical indie ship or using Captain Khan) you're buying any Klingon-free ship three turns of +1 attack and +1 agility, and two more turns of zero penalty. That's one heck of a bargain, even if you never use the action to dispose of accumulated tribbles. And if your opponent doesn't close aggressively on turn 2, you might even be able to hang back and spread that bonus to another friendly ship from beyond their weapon range while delaying the penalty till turn 7. The commonplace "1-forward-and-cloak" turn 1 ploy used by Klingins and Romulans can easily set you up for that.

    The eventual penalty is bad, but by turn 6 the game has often degenerated into the last two or three ships on the table limping around trying to line up shots. Shields are often down, cloaks may have failed due to collisions and shield depletion, and the smaller number of ships on the table make it easier to get in positions where taking a transporter action is a better option than (say) re-enabling an upgrade or taking a "just in case" evade. That's especially true if you're passing 5 or 6 tribbles to an enemy ship, which equates to a +1/+1 to your ship and possibly an immediate -1/-1 to theirs. Just make sure you kill that ship before it can beam them back next turn - but with the swing those tribble bonuses and penalties just applied, that ought to be pretty easy.

    Also, regarding the "boarding" crew:

    " If the ship is not cloaked, and has no active shields- WHY NOT TARGET LOCK and BLOW IT UP?"

    The obvious answer is because you don't have the target in your firing arc. All the transporter function upgrades are 360 degree arc, and they mostly reach out to range 2. Disabling an upgrade may not help much, but if it strips Sulu or Spock from an opposing ship that you couldn't shoot at, it's better than nothing. It's even better if they didn't have you in arc either so you don't pay for being shieldless (assuming you had any left) but even if you do die under their guns, the fact that the boarders go off as an action means even the best Captain skill level can't stop them from taking someone with them.

    Yes, you don't use them if you can shoot instead, but for 1 point they add a decent emergency capability, especially in combination with any ability that requires you to disable or discard a crew. Cyrano himself is also good for that - discarding him for Conditional Surrender or disabling him with Captain Sulu to shake a lock doesn't cost you a thing.

  2. I haven't played with Cyrano yet, but as I noted in your D7 review, I plan on experimenting with him. I want to try spreading the tribbles to my ships, and seeing if I can manage to overcome some of the disadvantages. I have no idea if it will work, but even if it doesn't, it will be fun :)

    As Rich said, I think there is potential. Especially if you can manage a small ship that hangs back as a tribble repository. Could be worth it.

  3. There's potential, sure, and in some scenarios it could be pretty neat. I'd probably never run it in a competitive game, where I need all my upgrades to be upgrades- the added pressure of getting rid of tribbles tokens would be a bit too much.

  4. One of those scenarios is the Month 1 OP event, which is practically made for Cyrano and his pets. That big , permanently shieldless station is a fine dumping site for excess tribbles, Cyrano is a completely expendable Away Team member, and the presence of the station lets your other ships voluntarily drop shields for an action (without even sending any crew - you can choose captain and/or any number of crew to send, and "or zero crew" is legit) if you want to try spreading the tribbles to two ships for multiple bonuses. The mines will disrupt an enemy formation that's trying to rush you to prevent all the tribble trickery from going off, and if it looks like they aren't going to contest Cyrano's single-handed takeover of the station, go ahead and send him a tribble early on. DS9 still gets the bonus - marvel as it fires 6 die attacks and actually gets a defense die when fired at, at least for three turns.

    Just leave the Klingon cards home if you're going that route.

    1. I love this idea! I may have to try it at a very late Month 1 event I have next week.

  5. I saw Tribbles used in Month 3 with all the shields down to put troops on the planet. It was amusing to see but I think the player ended up in the middle of the pack. Only really useful if the shields are already going to be down though.

    1. I went 2-1 in Month 3 using Tribbles for fun. But I won the event due to the extra Battle Points I got from controlling the planet on my wins, despite one of my opponents having a 3-0 record (he ignored the planet entirely). OP1 and OP3 are probably the best venues for Tribble bonuses, I doubt I'd use them anywhere else. But I LOVED using them for the AR-558 scenario.

  6. Took 2nd in a late-run OP1 tourney last night, using a 2-ship build with tribbles, and would have had 1st if I'd played a touch smarter. If a cruddy 2-ship config (without Strike Force, even - no AO's at the event) can do that well with them, a proper 3-ship fleet or a Strike Force would have been even better. The bonus is much easier to maintain than I expected, and the penalty much easier to avoid. In one round they provided me with a bonus on both ships for rounds 2-4, which swung the fight for me. In another they fatally debuffed the last opposing Klingon ship, giving me a win with 1 hull point remaining on the table.

    These things are really solid for 4 points, especially if there are guaranteed "tribble dumps" on the table like OP1's shieldless DS9 (which got up to about 15 tribbles in one game) or the OWPs in OP2 and OP4. They aren't broken levels of awesome like Cloaked Mines are, but they're good. Very much considering running them in OP4 and using them to debuff selected OWPs - since they won't even shoot me if I don't fire on the planet that round, dropping shields is much safer, and contributing 1 die to a combined shot makes a gun satellite pretty darned useless. I doubt I'll have time to spawn enough tribbles to debuff two sats, but maybe it'll surprise me.