Saturday, 28 December 2013

Winter Break

Ahoy,

I'm going to take a Winter Break until January 2. I'm heading out for a mini vacation and won't have time to post- AND my queue ran out. But I'll be back on the 2nd with a new article continuing where I left off on the Praetus. Take it easy and see you in the New Year!

-Gordash

Friday, 27 December 2013

Post-Boxing Day lists!

In keeping with my slower holiday schedule, I'll post up some lists that some people have sent to me. Let's start!

Jay's List

I.R.W. Valdore
Picard
Sulu
I like the Valdore Build, but personally prefer Engage. I don't think you need to load this down with any other upgrades though. This ship can be a great flagship in a list. 

Koranak
Gul Dukat
Not much to say about this, except that it's a killer combo and really doesn't need too much more to get some mileage. 

I .R.W. Praetus
Valdore
Additional Weapons Array
Cloaked Mines
Cloaked Mines
I'd probably not even bother with the cloaked mines, or only take one. 
Another list from Jay, who makes some EFFICIENT lists...

Vorcha
Picard

Vorcha 
Gen Khan

Vorcha
Gul Dukat

Command Tokens
Personally here, I'd use Donatra instead of Gen Khan... I'm not too worried about shooting first with this build- I'm much more concerned shooting first with a two ship build. In a build like this, I'd almost always take defensive command tokens- you'll have enough oomph with the battlestations from Picard and Gul Dukat. 
 

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Boxing Day Present!

Ahoy all,

Hope you had a good day yesterday. Today I'm giving you all the gift of squad building.

http://trek.mywargame.com/ships/list_ships/1

Happy Boxing Day!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!


In the future, there is only Trekmas!

Ahoy all! Merry Christmas!

What are you doing on the Internet? Go play some Attack Wing!
 

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Cloaked Mines- Do I really want to do this again?


Minepocalypse (completely devastating) or MineBama  (pretty good, but kinda disappointing?)

The answer to the above question is no- not really. In the months since Cloaked Mines have come out, they have not appeared in a ton of lists in the competitive scene. I've taken a few polls of the Toronto area, and they just haven't been appearing in a lot of lists. Part of the reason for the lack of cloaked mines is that the scenarios don't really lend themselves to their use. There is always some kind of orbital weapons platform that counts as a ship, and that means that cloaked mines are typically relegated to the corner areas of the board- areas that can be generally avoided. Two ship builds are popular in the area, and all cloaked fleets are actually NOT as popular as they used to be. Of course, OP3 was pretty much geared towards 3-4 ship builds, and OP4 has Orbital Weapon Platforms that make dropping cloaked mines very difficult. They just aren't seeing a lot of play.

I tried using them in OP2 and I think they probably did 2-5 damage throughout the tournament. Not a bad result, but certainly not game breaking.

In my experience, they haven't shifted the ground under our feet, they were amazing in theory, and then in actual play have been only okay. Part of the reason that they aren't broken is the lack of overlap area and the fact that you won't get hit by two minefields for the most part.

I still think that these mines are useful as either one offs, or in pairs, but I actually think that Antimatter Mines are fantastic for what they are, and are much more flexible than the cloaked mine.

In the context of the Praetus, I actually do not think the Praetus packing two cloaked mines is that great of an idea. I think the best way to run Praetuses (Praeti?) is by running them in packs, with attack and defense buffs- but who wants to pay the money for that when you can just run Klingon ships and have pretty much the same oomph WITH cloak on all ships.

At this point, unless there's an OP where there is a vast open space with no OWP or counts-as-ships, I don't think we're going to see cloaked mines get a lot of mileage. In friendly open games, sure, they can be a nuisance- but they haven't been affecting organized play too heavily.

Have they been a game chaner in your area? Have cloaked mines started to dominate your OPs?

Monday, 23 December 2013

The Praetus

Today we're going to look at the I.R.W. Praetus. We'll get right to it, and discuss why this is a very interesting ship. Here are the stats:

I.R.W. Praetus (Romulan Bird of Prey Class)/ Romulan Starship (Romulan Bird of Prey Class) (note: both ships cost the same and have the same stats but the generic version has 2 less action options)
Front Firing Arc: 90° Rear Firing Arc: NA
A: 2
E: 2
H: 3
S: 0
You may use the [Cloak] Action even if you have no Shields. Whenever you choose the [Cloak] Action, roll 1 attack die. On a [Battle Stations] result, your Hull sustains 1 Damage.
Actions: Evade, Target Lock, Cloak, Sensor Echo
Upgrades: Tech, Tech, Weapon
Points: 14

So, you're not going to bring down capital ships with this thing. Two attacks is almost as bad as it gets. Two evade is quite good, and will suit the generic version well (if you were ever going to run it). The three hull points is exactly where I expect a 14 point ship to sit. It has as many hull points as the defiant, and is 10 points cheaper (obviously the shields make up a huge portion of the defiant's points, but shields have to drop when you cloak!). You could easily run a list with 6 of these, Donatra and Terell and have a pretty crazy armada with 10 points left over. So why aren't we seeing a lot of Praetus lists in the same way that Tie Swarm lists are popular in X-wing?

Well, it has a lot to do with defense dice. The average number of defense dice on a ship in Attack Wing over a ship in X-Wing is higher. Cloaked ships will typically have 5-6 defense dice, and there are quite a lot of ships with cloak. Furthermore, the ships with cloak are VERY popular and are often in top competitive lists. The average defense dice of a competitive optimized list is quite a lot higher than in X-wing. So herein lies the problem of low attack dice. It's going to be very hard to theoretically land a hit if you're only rolling 2 attack dice. I say theoretically because that's what you're doing when you're building lists- you're thinking about the kinds of lists you're going to face, and planning your lists to be able to face every eventuality. Those eventualities are going to include cloaked ships- how on earth you are going to deal with a cloaked ship firing 2 attack dice per ship? I think the answer to that question is that you're not, and that you need a few heavy hitters in your list. That's probably why we're not seeing these things in bulk. In other words, the meta game doesn't lend itself to multiple small ships with 2 attack each.

Now, there are plenty of ways to make a list of multiple small ships work. In fact, I think you could make it work very well. For instance, you could run 6 of them, Donatra and Terell AND lvl 9 Martok, and get 4 attacks/ship, and 3 evades. That equals approximately 24 attacks per turn. That's actually not that bad, and it's probably actually a pretty decent list.

There's not much difference between running the Bird of Prey and the Praetus. You get to cloak, and maybe take a hit, plus you get an extra tech slot- and THAT'S the big elephant in the room. The cloaked mine. Of course, I'm not going to talk about the cloaked mine today. I'll save that for tomorrow, but I've already gone over some of my initial thoughts on the cloaked mine. I actually think that the list I spelled out above is better than a list with two birds of prey that drop two cloaked mines and then wait around to die for the rest of the game.


Sunday, 22 December 2013

Sunday Post- Send me your lists!

Hey guys,

Anyone have a particularly awesome list they want to share? Let me know if you've come up with something amazing.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

The rest of the stuff that came with the Defiant!


Klingon Sisko would be soooo much better than lvl 6 Sisko

Today we'll look at... The rest of the stuff that came with the Defiant!

First, we'll take a look at the cloaking device.

Cloaking Device (Federation/USS Defiant Expansion)
Instead of performing a normal Action, you may disable this card to perform a [Cloak] Action. While you have a [Cloak] token beside your ship you may perform a [Sensor Echo] Action even if this card is disabled. This Upgrade costs +5 Squadron Points for any other ship other than the USS Defiant.
Cost: 4


I've already been over some of the issues with the cloaking device in my first installment on the Defiant. First of all, I really don't like that you have to disable this card. You're already paying 4 points for something that essentially comes for free on ships that can naturally cloak. You could argue that you typically trade off Battlestations and Scan for Cloak and that Battlestations with Cloak is pretty good- and you'd be right on the money about why they thought this card needed to disable. The Defiant doesn't get THAT much better with the cloaking device on board, but I think it disables because it would have been one of the only ships that could get battlestations and cloak fairly easily (outside of Picard/Dukat shenanigans).

Do I think it's worth the 4 points? Sure. It's pretty much what I thought it should be. I don't get the +5 for putting it on another ship- I'd rather it just not be able to be put on another ship at all. That's a bit more flavourful than paying 9 points to equip it on an excelsior. By the way- don't pay 9 points to put it on another federation ship.

I actually don't think this upgrade goes that well with Picard, but it goes great next to a ship with lvl 8 Martok- mainly because Picard doesn't let you reenable as a free action- but Martok will!

Overall, the Cloaking Device makes the Defiant cost as much as the Enterprise. It's a completely different KIND of ship, but I think it makes the whole package cost a bit too much overall. I agonize over equipping the Cloaking Device every time I'm thinking of running the Defiant.

Let's move on:

 Quantum Torpedoes (Federation/USS Defiant Expansion)
A: 5
Range: 2-3
ATTACK: (Target Lock) Spend your target lock and disable this card to perform this attack. If the target ship is hit, add 1 [Hit] result to your total damage. You may fire this weapon from your forward or rear firing arcs.
Cost: 6


 Quantum Torpedoes are the big shiny that every Federation player was looking forward to busting the game wide open. They didn't do that. I have, however, seen them pop up more often than the standard Federation Torpedo. They cost one more point than Photon Torpedoes and you can get an extra hit IF you get a hit through. I'm torn on whether these are actually any better than the standard torpedoes. When they're combined with Battlestations, Quantum Torpedoes could be better, but the standard Torpedo is decent even if they aren't combined with battlestations. If you're running Picard or Sisko, I'd say you should be running Quantums (if you're running torpedoes!).

Obviously, this upgrade has the same issues that regular torpedoes do, namely that you're replacing 3-5 attacks with 5 attacks, and you need to burn a target lock. There are some new upgrades that make these torpedoes viable, but they make your torpedoes cost at least 7 points, and again, replace 3-5 attacks with 5 attacks. They're really only good on a ship with a rear firing arc, and I've actually found that a savvy opponent can get either out of the arc, or stay within 1 of the rear arc, thus messing up your fantastic plans of getting your torps off.

I'm still not sold on the Quantums, I'm not sold on the Photons, or pretty much any other kind of torpedo.

That's it for the Defiant. It's a neat little ship, but I think there were some design decisions that keep it back from being a meta definer. I really want to throw it in my competitive lists, but I often find myself looking elsewhere. 

Friday, 20 December 2013

Attack Patterns!


Words are unneeded!

Today I'll be looking at some other upgrades from the Defiant package. Specifically, I'm going to focus on the Elite Talent upgrades.

Elite Talents, as I've said before, need to be considered carefully. They need to mesh with how you want to run your ship. They can take a strategy and add to it. Generally, you want to make sure that your upgrades are always adding to your strategy, instead of simply adding utility. This is the difference between a ship Captained by Picard, with Sulu AND Scotty AND Tactical Officer, and one captained by Picard, with Spock, Sulu and Uhura. One build has no redundancy, and another build has a lot of utility, but at least 3 points of redundancy built in. I try to avoid stacking my ships with too many potential actions as I want to be able to utilize the full potential of every upgrade if possible. Sulu and Scotty is not a BAD idea, mind you, in fact, it may blow games wide open, but you're going to be left with some points that aren't doing anything for you, each and every turn. 

Okay, so the first Elite talent that we're going to look at is Attack Patter Delta

Attack Pattern Delta (Federation/USS Defiant Expansion) 
Disable this card to re-roll your entire defense roll. You must re-roll all of the dice and keep the results of the second roll.
Cost: 3

Attack Pattern Delta is a hard ability to come by. If your ships can't cloak, don't bother. That's a pretty hard and fast rule- abide by the hard and fast rules friends- they will keep you from using Attack Pattern Delta on ships with 1-3 defense. The card has been generally put down as not very good, and I would agree with that assessment. You have to re-roll your entire defense roll. You can't keep the good stuff, like evade rolls or battlestations rolls. You'll be rolling defense dice on your Valdore and roll 2 evades and 4 blanks and Attack Pattern Delta is going to be a TOUGH CHOICE. If it was reroll x number of defense dice and keep y, it would be fantastic and worth every point. As it stands, it's one of those upgrades that kind of does what you want it to, but you'd really rather it do something else. It's not very good and really only usable in the situation where you roll all blanks. That situation is DREADED, so I can see some people adding this thing in for some insurance. There's no guarantee that you won't turn 1 evade result into 0 evade results. Most of the time, it's either going to be amazing or mediocre. I usually don't put too much faith into those kinds of upgrades. 

Moving on

Attack Pattern Omega (Federation/USS Defiant Expansion) 
If you damage and opponent's Hull with a [Critical], you may immediately discard this card to search the damage Deck for a 'Warp Core Breach' card instead of drawing a random Damage Card. Re-Shuffle the damage Deck when you are done.
Cost: 3

At first glance, this card is fantastic. You always want your opponent to get hit by a Warp Core Breach. It's sooo devastating to their plans. You have to actually land a crit, so you need some kind of manipulation to make sure it goes through. Toreth can give you some mileage on that front. The cost is about right for what it does- I wouldn't want this card costed any higher or lower. The discard is very good on a card like this and ensures that it isn't abusable. So, it's well designed, I'll give it that much. Other than that, we're talking about a one time use card that throws the biggest punch in the game. Expect that the captain using this bad boy will get hit hard and fast- no one wants to go up against Omega. I don't think it's amazing. If this card turned a blank into a crit, with no other effect, it would be better. You're already landing a critical, and criticals are pretty terrible to begin with. There are times when Warp Core Breach is actually pretty mediocre- in those times that the opponent just counts the ship dead from the moment it lands and still gets a few turns out of it. I generally leave it at home, but in certain builds, it could be very useful. 

Both upgrades are decent, but not great. I can only recommend Delta on a ship with cloak, and even then it's not very good. Omega is a lot of fun, but you may find it not giving you the oomph you desire. Generally, crits are pretty terrible to go up against, and Omega is a bit overkill. 

Tomorrow- Tech/Weapons!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Defiant Reviews- Captains


The episode sucked, but he did it!

Today, I'm going to look at the Captains that came with the Defiant, and maybe get into some crew, depending on how long the captains take. They obviously had to make the main Defiant Captain be Benjamin Sisko, but I would have preferred the secondary Captain to be Worf. I really don't think Kira is a more iconic captain of the Defiant that Worf is, but I now know that by the end of wave 2, Worf will have three cards to his name. It's a small issue, but I think Worf is more known for his role on the Defiant than as a Klingon Captain.
Anyway, Sisko is the big Captain in this pack. Here are the stats:

Benjamin Sisko (Federation/USS Defiant Expansion) 
Captain Skill: 6
Once per round, you may re-roll any one of your attack or defense dice.
Cost: 4
Elite Talent Upgrades: 1

Siso gets to make one reroll, either attack or defence, per turn. Remember that you CAN'T REROLL A REROLL, so no waiting around to see whether your target lock is going to be any good. In fact, I'd say that Target Lock gets significantly worse when Sisko is around. Unless this has been FAQ'd, and my friends in the comments will let me know (or you know, I could do my own research!), Sisko doesn't jive with Target lock, but he goes well with battlestations. There's not much to him, and I wouldn't really use the Elite Talent slot for something like Engage. Counter Attack is a decent Elite Talent to throw on Sisko, or if you want to keep it faction pure, you could go with something like Attack Pattern Omega (which I will review later on this week). Personally, I would use the attack reroll only if I was not going to get shot that turn- I think the defense reroll is worth quite a bit more, but that's situational. There are very few ways to get a defense reroll in the game, and Sisko is a good captain for keeping your ship alive. 

Sisko + Sulu is a fantastic combo for keeping your Defiant, or even excelsior alive! 

That's not to say that you shouldn't ever take Target Lock- obviously there are going to be situations where Target Lock is a necessity, but just remember that you can't reroll a reroll. 

In my opinion, Sisko is a great defensive captain, and only an okay offensive captain. I would have preferred that he be skill 7. I don't really get the gripes that he should have been significantly higher than that, as I think Sisko was a decent enough captain that got his own ships blown up a few times- see Borg attack, first Jem Hadar attack. 

He's a good captain on a ship with a good amount of defense dice. I personally don't see him on the Enterprise D, as that requires a lot of work to keep it alive. 

I'll move on to Kira. Kira is a card that will either become very good at the end of the first round of expansion waves, when we find out whether the discard strategy is a very good one, or will continue to collect dust in the binder. 

STATS!

Kira Nerys (Bajoran/USS Defiant Expansion) 
Captain Skill: 3
If a [Crew] Upgrade on an enemy ship would cause your ship to discard or disable any of your Upgrades, roll 2 defense dice. If you roll at least 1 [Evade] result, ignore the effects of the enemy Upgrade. You do not pay a Faction penalty when assigning Kira Nerys to a Federation ship.
Cost: 2
Elite Talent Upgrades: 0

She costs 2 points on a Federation ship or a Bajoran ship, and 3 points on any other ship. I think she should have probably not paid a faction penalty on any ship- which would reflect her terrorist/freedom fighter role in the resistance. I don't see that these discard/disable abilities are prevalent enough to justify Kira's inclusion in any list. I would have preferred if she did something completely different. If you're finding that discard is a big meta consideration in your area, then I think Kira could get some mileage, but generally I think most people are leaving the Jem Hadar upgrades at home and instead just running decent lists!

Her captain skill, cost and elite talents are all to be expected. Nothing out of the ordinary here. I like that Bajoran is a faction, and I like that she can be cross factioned with the Federation. That this is specifically referenced on the cards shows me yet another argument in favour of allowing cross factioning in all tournaments- as Kira would otherwise be unplayable without this particular stipulation. I expect that the Vulcan faction recently teased will again open up this line of argument. To be fair, if you're running faction pure tournaments, I don't think Kira should be allowed in any event, as she's clearly way too powerful to allow cross faction. 

Is there anything else to say about Kira? I suppose she could work well on the Reinforcement Sideboard, but I'd probably just leave her on the Station. 

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Defiant Crew Cards! Review!


Looks of Bafflement when shown their cards on the viewscreen...

We're moving forward with the Defiant review by looking at the Crew cards today. Some nice possibilities are opened up by these crew cards, but they require a bit of a shift in perspective in order for their total possibilities to open up. Let's talk about some of those issues.

Some people who play this game will always tell you that you should fire your weapons at every opportunity. I think that holds a lot truer in X-wing than it does in Attack Wing. There are times that I'd rather preserve a cloak, knowing that my opponent will try and target lock next turn to get off torpedoes, than fire my weapons (Especially on a lone Valdore). These are the kinds of situations that make Attack Wing significantly different than X-wing. The crew of the Defiant are generally for self preservation, rather than for pure firepower. They still do not approach Sulu levels of flexibility, but they certainly have their uses. 

Myles O'Brien is a tad overpriced for the situation, but his ability is quite good. Here he is:

Miles O'Brian (Federation/USS Defiant Expansion)
Action: Disable this card to repair up to 2 Shield Tokens. You cannot attack this round.
Cost: 5

It's a very simple card and fairly well designed. He belongs on a ship that has 4+ shields. I could see him making quite a splash on an excelsior or the Defiant, or even the Enterprise D. Part of why I think he hasn't seen a lot of play is that the Federation doesn't really have shield manipulation as a viable strategy. Scotty's shield manipulation is not REALLY shield manipulation. It's simply a matter of getting hit on the shields, and then repairing shields. If you're able to repair 3+ shields in a game, you will have got your mileage out of Miles O'Brian. That being said, while I've said above that shooting every turn is not a hard and fast rule, there aren't going to be many turns where you don't want to shoot. If you're running away from your opponent on a Federation Ship, you're probably using some kind of Engage build to get away, and Miles O'Brian starts becoming very cost prohibitive in such a list. 

If shield manipulation becomes a viable federation strategy, Miles O'Brian will vault up the usability ratings. As it stands, I can never find a free action/points that I wouldn't rather just spend on something else. 

Oh, and he disables. Which he really doesn't need to do. He already comes with a huge drawback- he still wouldn't make it into many lists if he didn't disable. 

Moving on, Jadzia Dax!

Jadzia Dax (Federation/USS Defiant Expansion)
Action: Disable this card to perform an additional "2" Maneuver this round (forward or bank). You cannot attack this round.
Cost: 4

I'm getting a tad worried that the designers aren't opening up enough space with these cards. Jadzia Dax didn't need to take up an action. She could have simply been disable because- get this- SHE WILL NEED TO BE REENABLED WITH AN ACTION ANYWAY. To use Jadzia twice, you need to spend three actions, and for two turns won't be able to attack. That's a HUGE resource cost to get what is essentially an Engage off. Furthermore, you can't use Engage if you use Jadzia. She's less useful on the Enterprise than an upgrade that costs 1 less. Is Engage undercosted? I think Jadzia's answer is yes. 

I started out this article by saying that these cards were situational. I think Miles is a much better card than Jadzia Dax. I would be very surprised to ever see Jadzia Dax make a list and be the deciding factor. She's a resource hog. Don't bother with her. 

If you're looking for a Worf write up, I've already done one earlier in the Blog history. I don't think my opinion has changed much. In fact, I've soured a bit more on Defiant Worf. I don't think it fits his theme at all and that Defiant Worf is the card that Jadzia Dax should have been. The Defiant Worf ability is very science officer-esque. If you're going to release multiple versions of the same named officer, then the abilities should either be reasonably similar with some small differences that make a person agonize over which one is better for their list, or be so good in tandem that they could not possibly be allowed to exist in the same list. I don't see that happening with either O'Brien or Worf. 

It's too bad, because this was probably one of the only opportunities that we're going to get to see some of these players become cards. Ah well. On to the Elite Talents!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Wave 1 Reviews- The Defiant


Your Defiant, most of the time! IT'S TOO FRAGILE!

The Defiant is one tough little ship. We're just going to jump right into the ship and take a look under the hood.

U.S.S. Defiant (Defiant Class)/ Federation Starship (Defiant Class)
Front Firing Arc: 90° Rear Firing Arc: 90°
A: 3
E: 2
H: 3
S: 4 (3)
When defending, convert all of your opponents [Critical] results into [Hit] results.
Actions: Evasive Maneuvers, Target Lock, Scan, Battle Stations
Upgrades: Tech, Weapons, Weapons, Crew, Crew
Points: 24 (22)

The Defiant has a pretty even stat distribution. I'm torn on whether this is a flavourful depiction of the ship from the show. On the one hand, it packs a decent enough punch and I don't think it should have been stronger, on the other hand, I think the ship has 1-2 too many shields. I would have preferred for the Defiant class to come in under 20pts. As it stands, the ship is about 4 points cheaper than the Enterprise D, which I think is too close. This thing is supposed to be a light battleship, not a few steps away from a massive flagship. So, I think it's a bit too point heavy for what it is supposed to be. I understand that it's an overpowered ship etc., I just think it could have done without the 4th shield.

Moving on, what the hell is with the dial on this thing? How does the Valdore have a better maneuver dial than this thing? I get that the come about is pretty unique on Federation Ships, but this is a missed opportunity to really translate the ship of the show to the game. It should have had a few more green maneuvers.

The special ability on this thing will ensure that you never take a crit, except in some very odd circumstances. It's very comforting to know that if you throw the Cloaking Device on this ship that you aren't going to take a crit and have it kill your ship right away. The problem is that it only has 3 hull points, and that really isn't enough to weather a storm, especially if the opponent can somehow get rid of your cloaking token or battlestations token. 3 Hull points is too few. I know that I'm kind of sucking and blowing here, but it goes towards how this is a ship that's pulling at a few too many threads, and not really hitting the mark. Just because it can avoid crits doesn't mean that it won't take three hits on the hull when cloaked. This leads me to think that the Cloaking Device on this thing may not be THAT great an upgrade, but I'll get around to a larger discussion about the cloaking device shortly.

Finally, the double weapon slot is pointless, but the double crew is useful, as you'll need a few crew if you want to make it a defense machine. The Cloaking Device is always an interesting decision on the Defiant. I've used it a few times, and didn't particularly like it, but I was also trying to force Picard onto the ship with the cloaking device and I actually don't think that it's a good match. If you're running the cloaking device, one way to run the ship would be to run it side by side with a Martok Ch'Tang, and put Sisko on the Defiant. Who says you can't run a fleet that's mixed and still full of flavour? If you go that route, you should probably still take Sulu to get an extra defense bonus, and take Quantum Torpedoes, because you can keep the Defiant cloaked until it's ready to unleash the Torpedoes. There are plenty of circumstances in which Martok is better than Picard- especially where you really need a re-enable action instead of one of the big four. 

Tomorrow I'll take a look at some of the other upgrades that come with the Defiant. RAMMING SPEED!!!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Wave 0 Awards!

The Awards of the Federation!
I'm going to do a brief overview of Wave 0 today, and hand out some awards- Here we go!

Most Flavourful Card: This award has to go to Captain Kirk. His ability is unseen anywhere else in the game. Sure you have to pay 12 points for it (15 if off faction), but it really is awesome to flip around "Cheat Death" and announce that you don't believe in the no win scenario. The picture is bright, and he has the highest skill you can get in the game. Fantastic card that really captures the essence of what makes Kirk such a great character. His cheeky smile reminds us that he always has something up his sleeve. 

Best Ship: This one is really tough to decide. I like the 360 arc on the Enterprise D, but I have to give the award to the Vorcha Class Klingon ship. It has a great maneuver dial, fantastic attack rating and really doesn't need any upgrades to make it viable. It really doesn't need any upgrades to be viable. This pick could have also been the Valdore, but the fact that the Vorcha comes in at 26 points while still being a heavy hitter, really makes it shine. You can't fit 4 into a list, but you can at least toss some decent upgrades/captains onto your three Vorchas that you wouldn't be able to add into a Valdore list.

Worst Ship: I wouldn't put any ship into this category in Wave 0. I actually think each ship is decent and can be played effectively. Don't let the haters tell you otherwise!

Best Captain: Picard. Hands down. The extra action is amazing. The extra action on any ship in the game is even better still. Picard is the best overall captain in the game right now (and will be for several waves to come!). 

Card Most Likely to Completely Change How You Play the Game: Engage. If you haven't played with it, you really need to do yourself a favour and test it out. Engage can turn games right around. A Valdore with Engage is probably one of the most versatile ships in the game. It is one of the cards that gets better the more you use it, and forces you to think a bit more strategically about your play. It's a great card. 

Best Crew Member: If you can get it off, Klingon Boarding Party is pretty amazing, but you and I know that that is never happening. Sulu is also a prime contender for this spot, and given the number of builds I've seen him pop up in, I'd give it to him, if he didn't have Drex breathing down his throat. What Sulu is to Federation Builds, Drex is to Klingon Builds- almost always there. I still think that Sulu wins this one, if only for the fact that he is a decent mini cloak that can go on any ship. 

Best Secondary Weapon: I think the best secondary weapon is Antimatter Mines from a rear firing arc, but more generally, I'd have to say Photon Torpedoes- pure attack and a bit of manipulation. Not very good, but also not very bad- will generally do what you need it to do and it doesn't make you a complete attack magnet. A decent way to spend 5 points, especially if you have a rear firing arc. 

Best Faction: Klingons. They're so well designed, so elegant in use and so hard hitting. At the end of Wave 0, the Klingons are the faction to beat. 

Worst Faction: The Dominion. The Dominion continues to search for a Raison D'etre, aside from the fact that they were a major antagonist in the show. The Romulans are also searching for identity in this wave, but the Valdore gives them some very good versatility. The Dominion really is the hardest faction to play. 

Needs To Do Better: The art department. They really need to brighten up these cards. Space is dark, but these cards don't need to be. 

Best Ship Sculpt: The Gor Portas. It looks very interesting and has a decent paint job. Very well done. 

Worst Ship Sculpt: I suppose I have to give this to the Enterprise A, but my real issue is with the Miranda. It should have been smaller, and then the Tinyprize wouldn't actually be so bad.
Hindsight Vindication Award: Cloaking. When this game dropped, people were shouting about cloaking being broken. From where I'm sitting now, cloaking is hardly busted, and there is plenty of argument against one of my main rules "always cloak". Watch for cloaking to get less good as the months go by. 

Anyway, I'd imagine that there are some that disagree with the above. Let me know!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Advanced List Building Workshop- Critique the List

Yesterday I posted up a list I'm toying around with. Here it is:

Koranak 26
Gul Dukat 5
Boheeka 2
Cloaking Device 4
Dorsal Weapons Array 3
Dominion Flagship 10

Jem'Hadar Attack Ship(20)
Suicide Attack 5

Jem'Hadar Attack Ship(20)
Suicide Attack 5

So it's Dominion Pure, the Attack Ships will get a boost to their defense dice. I would also consider the Independent Flagship which allows a ship to perform a white or green maneuver for free- thus getting it in range for a suicide attack. The ind flagship that boosts defense dice would also not be bad.  Should the Attack Ships just use dominion photons?

I'm also thinking that I'd rather swap out Boheeka and the dorsal weapons array to toss Engage on the Koranak- which could improve the maneuverability of the ship.

In almost every list that I'm running a big ship, I consider using Engage.

Rich, a frequent poster and very thoughtful individual, posted up the following:

 If you're really trying to get the most out of Suicide Attack, the Indie flagship that grants an extra maneuver to a nearby friendly ship would probably be a lot better choice - it's much easier to get in position for a ram when you can grant a free green or white maneuver almost every round. Same stat bumps on the card as the Dominion one (so no +Attack, sadly) but it gives a free Target Lock, which means you'll get (potentially) Battle Stations + Target Lock + Scan or Evade every single round for the Koranak, depending on whether you need offense or defense.

OTOH, you've got 50 points tied up in one ship with Agility 2, a disable-to-use cloak, and a total of 9 hits to kill - and only 4 while cloaked. That won't last long even when the cloak's up, and it'll melt in no time if they catch you without it unless you quick-kill enemy ships - which, admittedly, suicide attack is very, very good at.

I don't think it'll work well against an optimized tourney fleet, even if your opponents stay in-faction.

If you're willing to cross-faction yourself, something like this would probably be better:

Koranak 26
Picard 7
Sulu 4
Dorsal Weapons Array 3
Indie Flagship (Dominion flipside) 10

Jem'Hadar Attack Ship 20
Suicide Attack 5

Jem'Hadar Attack Ship 20
Suicide Attack 5

Similar play style, but spamming Sulu's action gives better overall durability than the cruddy disable-required cloak does (since your shields stay up) and Picard gives you first shot against almost anyone, which is meaningful when you're throwing 5 dice with free Target Lock and Battlestations.

You might also try:

Keldon 24
Dorsal Weapon Array 3

Kraxon 26
Gul Dukat 5
Sulu 4
Dorsal Weapon Array 3
Indie Flagship (Dominion flipside) 10

Jem'Hadar Attack Ship 20
Suicide Attack 5

I still don't think it's great, but flagship Kraxon will help keep the other ships alive a bit longer, it's still fairly hard to kill with Sulu running, the Dorsal Arrays will keep the Cardassian ships plinking away for a while even after they're inevitably outflanked, and the flagship's granted-move ability will help the Keldon come around much more quickly than usual as well as delivering the Jem'Hadar suicide strike.


I'm very interested in the first fleet, and moderately uninterested in the second fleet. Part of the list's strengths, I think, is that the opponent will probably not be able to avoid suicide attacks, and that should create some perceived threat that may cause the opponent to evaluate threat differently than they have in other games. I'm actually less interested in the Dorsal Weapons Array without Engage. The Kraxon has a few problems that we'll eventually get to. Here's another list I'm thinking, which assumes that Dukat has stolen a Romulan ship:

Valdore
Dukat
Engage
Indie Flagship (dominion flipside) 10

 Jem'Hadar Attack Ship 20
Suicide Attack 5


 Jem'Hadar Attack Ship 20
Suicide Attack 5


The Valdore can stay alive for longer, and will have 7 defense dice with battlestations. You'll have target lock every turn as well- I really like this build and it's fairly simple- not too many moving parts. 

Since writing this article up yesterday, it has come to my attention that there are individuals around the internet that think that the Suicide Attack is a terrible upgrade. Remember that you don't need to drop your Suicide Attack on the first turn! With every turn that these ships stick around, the Suicide Attack becomes a larger threat. The ability to perform an extra white or green maneuver is not simply to get your suicide ships into position to alpha attack with suicide attacks, but to get decent positions to make attacks. With every hull point/shield that comes off of the opposing ships, your opponent will be weary of the suicide attack. If they start focusing on the Jem Hadar Ships, well, the Valdore with Dukat, Engage and the Flagship upgrade is going to be chasing down other ships, taking them out. The Valdore is very difficult to bring down at 7 defense dice with Battlestations. Finally, at skill 1, these Jem Hadar ships can be used as blockers as well- blockers that will become HUGE threats as the attack phase opens up! I'm not saying that it's an amazing build, but one that could get some mileage out of the Suicide Attack.  

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Dominion Week pt 6- Upgrades


So many Weapons!

Today, I want to talk about the remaining upgrades from the Gor Portas pack. Generally, I don't think too much of the ship or the upgrades, as I think it was a bit of a lost opportunity to really give the Breen some design space that wasn't just "Put More Weapons on This Thing!"- I understand that the Breen are supposed to be a super weaponized faction, but perhaps they could have done this by actually making the secondary weapons REALLY good and REALLY worth their points.
For its points and stats, the Gor Portas needs to be able to deliver secondary weapons fast and hard. It is not a ship that is going to stick around very long without taking evade, and if you're taking evade, you aren't target locking- a prerequisite for torpedoes. Anyway, I've seen these things go down fast as their multiple weapons typically make them a high priority target. 

The first weapon upgrade that I want to focus on is the Energy Dissipator:

Energy Dissipator (Dominion/Gor Portas Expansion)
A: 3
Range: 1
Attack: Disable this card to perform this attack. If this attack hits, the target suffers no damage, receives 1 Energy Dampening Token, and you may immediately attack the same ship again with another weapon. This upgrade cost +5 Squadron Points for any non-Breen ship.
Cost: 5

First things first, it's actually not that bad. It has to be used close up, so your opponent is typically going to get some shots in on the Portas, but you should be able to weather the storm. If not, well, better luck next time! You don't need a target lock, which means that you don't need to telegraph your moves. You get a bonus attack as well, which lends itself nicely to throwing another 5 pt weapon upgrade on this thing! Of course, the only other weapon that comes with the expansion is the Photon Torpedoes, and they can be launched at range 1, which means that you may get an extra 5 attacks if you manage to get your 3 attacks through! 

My problem with the Dissipator, is that it's probably one of the biggest fire magnets in the game, and generally has to go on a ship with a 90 degree arc. Your opponents will be looking to take this thing down asap or getting out of its way. Here are the Energy Dampening Token rules:

Energy Dampening Token(EDT) (for the Weapon: Energy Dissapator from the Dominion/Gor Portas Expansion)

This card explains the rules for an Energy Dampening Token and serves as a reference to remind players of it's effect.

A ship with an EDT assigned to it has the following special rules.

1) As soon as the ship receives the EDT, disable all of it's remaining Shields and remove it's [Cloak] Token, if any.

2) While the ship has the EDT it cannot attack or raise it's Shields.

3) During the Planning Phase, the owner does not assign a Maneuver Dial to this ship.

4) During the Activation Phase, the owner moves the ship as if it were assigned a White 1 [Straight] Manuver. After executing this Manuver, remove all EDTs from this ship. It may now perform Actions and attacks as normal.

I get that this thing is very powerful if it goes off. It's probably the best weapon in the game for sheer swingy effects, but I'm still on the fence about ever really running it. 
Part of the Breen problem is the low captain skill, (generally that's part of the dominion problem to begin with). Unless you go off faction, which is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, but you'll be running a 40pt Gor Portas at that point, and it'll be gone pretty quickly. You need a high skill captain to really take advantage of the EDT, and then you really want to be able to follow that up with a Photon Attack. I just think you're putting a lot of your dominion eggs in one basket. 

All of this can work, it'll cost you, and you need to run a very specific kind of fleet to do it. Add to that that it won't be that maneuverable, and I think the EDT is great on paper, and really meh in practice. 

The Photon Torpedoes are not as good as the federation torps, so let's see how we can make this viable. We may have to break our rule of only one weapon, but if you're using an EDT, you might as well go balls to the wall! (and only the EDT makes me want to break the rule).

Kraxon 26
Mirok 5

Gor Portas 26
Sar 1
Energy Dissipator 5
Photon Torpedoes 5

Breen Battle Cruiser 24
Gul Danar 2
Photon Torpedoes 5

That's not too bad of a build, and stays pretty faction specific. I wouldn't look at swapping in Fed Torpedoes, since they are generally range 2-3. I would probably look to replace the Breen Battle Cruiser all together with a Koranak going forward, but that's a decent first build. 

Let me know if you think I'm out to lunch.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Domion Week pt 5- Breen Captains and Crew


The acting range goes from light green, to dark gree...

Today I'm going to look at the Breen Captains and Crew, mainly because I want to wrap this up by Friday and try to write some kind of overview on Saturday, before starting in on my reviews of Wave 1 next week. Now that I've reviewed most of the expansions, I'll be able to discuss a bit more strategy in these articles without having to constantly refer to cards that I may not have reviewed yet, or introduced. Most of you will already understand how every card works at this point, but the exercise is more for the beginner- giving them a way to easily get into the game by having a ton of articles that they can readily access.

Okay, so let's discuss the Breen. These yahoos violate one of those important rules about Star Trek- you should always be able to see the alien's face since, you know, you're going to want to name some of them and give them some personality. I really think that this was a very ill conceived race from the very beginning. I'm rewatching DS9 right now, so maybe I'll come around on them, but overall, I don't like that they're fairly indistinguishable from one another. 

Let's look at Toth Gar, the Breen Pike!

Toth Gor (Dominion/Gor Portas Expansion) 
Captain Skill: 6
All your [WEAPON] Upgrades cost -1 Squadron Point.
Cost: 4
Elite Talent Upgrades: 0

Remember the rule of acquisition in yesterday's post? Yeah. Even if you violated that rule, AND YOU SHOULDN'T, you're going to save 3 points. Toth Gor, with his captain skill 6 will cost you one point. He/it/she? does nothing else. You're going to be able to equip your 5 point photon torpedoes for 2 points, if you brought two other 5 point weapon upgrades! This is inconceivably terrible. Toth makes Pike look good. You could equip Red Shirt, Sulu and Uhura on a Pike Enterprise D, and essentially get Sulu for free. Those three upgrades could actually all be usable on one turn. With the Weapon discount, you typically only get one attack (although some recent cards break this rule) and you'll be left with two upgrades that aren't really doing much except taking up space. 

No. Toth Gor and the Gor Portas really lend themselves to a strategy that is terrible. Until secondary weapons get better, leave this at home. 

Sar is not bad. Here are the stats:

Sar (Dominion/Gor Portas Expansion) 
Captain Skill: 2
When defending, your ship rolls 1 extra defense die.
Cost: 1
Elite Talent Upgrades: 0

One point, for 1 extra defense dice. Normally an extra agility costs two points. This card is already netting you an extra point. You don't have to activate it, and if you throw Sar on one of those Romulan ships with the cloak and the 2/3 agility, you're looking at 7/8 defense dice. Not bad at all. If you're running a ship that you would otherwise not put a named captain on, I'd probably always run Sar. At two points, Sar is a bit less good, but there are very few ways to get +1 agility, so it's actually still not that bad. Sar with Cloak is a great combo AND you could still find a place for Sulu to bring you up to 9/10 defense dice and it wouldn't cost you that many points. 

Overall, Sar is a really decent captain that I'd consider adding to almost any list that includes an unnamed captain.

Breen Aide is the only crew card that came with this expansion, and it is also not that bad.

Breen Aide (Dominion/Gor Portas Expansion) 
If your ship has a [SCAN] Token beside it when you attack, you may convert 1 blank result into [DAMAGE] result.
Cost: 2

Breen Aide is not a bad card to throw on a Galor. You'll already be scanning if you use Antiproton Scan, so I can see Breen Aide giving you some extra use. It doesn't cost much, and you get an almost guaranteed damage result. It's actually quite good. You can't stack it with too many other scan effects since there are some FAQ restrictions on multiple activation from one token, but again, if you keep your Galor cheap, Breen Aide is actually not a bad upgrade. The Federation has cheaper scan options now over and above Spock, so I'd probably take a pass on cross factioning into the Federation, but for a Galor Dominion build, Breen Aide is a decent upgrade. 

Tomorrow, the remaining upgrades.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Cardassian Week / Breen Week pt 1 / Dominion Week pt 4


The Breen are pretty suave...

Today we continue Cardassian week by looking at a Breen Ship! WHY DID THEY DO THIS? I think the Dominion, so far, has been mishandled. I would have kept the Cardassians as a play alone faction. I get why they threw them together, but if we're getting a Bajoran faction at some point, I don't get why they just couldn't split these guys up, or put two faction pics on the upgrades - that wouldn't have caused too much confusion. Anyway, my gripes aside, let's look at the Gor Portas.

I think this is probably one of the best sculpts in the game right now, but I probably haven't played with one since the first few play throughs of the game.

Gor Portas (Breen Battle Class)/ Dominion Starship (Breen Battle Class)
Front Firing Arc: 90° Rear Firing Arc: NA
A: 3
E: 2
H: 4
S: 4(3)
Although you much be Target Locked on a ship to fire a Torpedo at it, you do not need to discard your Target Lock when doing so.
Actions: Evasive Maneuvers, Target Lock, Battle Stations
Upgrades: Weapons, Weapons, Weapons, Weapons, Crew
Points: 26 (24)

A few things that stand out pretty quickly. Three weapon slots! Okay guys. Rule of Acquisition #301:

Don't put more than one weapon upgrade on the Gor Portas. 

You guys can disagree with me about some things, but my goodness, not this one. Don't make your Gor Portas cost more than 30ish points. It doesn't have that great a movement dial, it doesn't have that great of a hull/shields, and it has no cloak. This thing is going down pretty quickly without some other defensive upgrades. Additionally, it has no tech slot, so even if a cloak comes out at some point that could be thrown on any ship, this ship ain't getting it. Only one crew slot means that you can throw Sulu on the ship, which isn't that bad of an idea.

It doesn't even scan and only has 3 base attacks! This gets worse and worse. So how do you make the best of a bad situation? You're probably tempted to kit out your Portas with a whole bunch of upgrades. Remember rule #301. I've never seen one of these things last enough turns to make more than 1 weapon count.

Finally, most dominion weapons don't need a target lock to use. WHY DID I SPEND THOSE TWO POINTS? For an extra shield? It's just not that good.

So, I suppose you guys know where I stand on the Gor Portas. I could be wrong, but this thing doesn't have the actions, doesn't have the upgrade bar, and doesn't have the stats to be worth investing into. Even if you threw some of the federation torps on this thing, it doesn't have a rear firing arc, so you dont even get that functionality.

Not impressed.

Tomorrow: The Breen come out to play!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Cardy Scum pt3- Weapons and Tech

DAY THREE!
 
Hello again friends and welcome back to part three of my look at the Galor Class expansion kit. If you haven't guessed it yet, I'm not a huge fan of this expansion. I think it gets some things right, but is overall a miss on the designer's part. It's not BAD, it's just that there's such a thing as elegance in design, and this expansion doesn't really hit that bar. In comparison, I think the Neg'Var expansion set is so well designed, that it approaches the pinnacle of what a good expansion can be. Additionally, the TOS Enterprise has so many useful parts that it doesn't really matter that the ship isn't that good, you're still going to get good value out of the expansion. The Galor- not so much.

The first tech upgrade I want to look at is Antiproton Scan

 Antiproton Scan (Dominion/Kraxon Expansion)
If a [SCAN] Token is beside your ship, add +1 attack die when firing against a ship that has no Active Shields.
Cost: 4


I don't understand why there has to be a stipulation that the opposing ship have no active shields. I still think that at 4pts, it wouldn't be that swingy. It would probably be best if it had the stipulation that it could only be equipped on a Galor class ship. I think that would actually make this a very decent upgrade. It's not that it's a bad upgrade, it's a bit too expensive, but I can see the use against cloaked ships. If your meta sees a lot of cloaked ships, this is a great upgrade for you.

It's really more of a hosing card. If you've played Magic The Gathering, you've probably encountered cards that affect one type of land, or one colour in particular. Protection from Red is amazing if the entire field is playing red. That's what I think Antiproton Scan is like. It's a great card to put on the Sideboard card and swap in just in case the opponent is running a clone fleet.

The second Tech card is EM pulse:

EM Pulse (Dominion/Kraxon Expansion)
Action: Disable this card to target a ship at Range 1-2. The targeted ship rolls 1 less attack die and 1 less defense die this round.
Cost: 4


This is where I think they should have brought the Ferengi Pulse into regular rotation. I really don't like this EM Pulse. It's a much worse scan, with the added bonus of causing the affected ship to roll 1 less attack dice. The disable is a bit overkill as well. I don't think this would be particularly busted if it didn't have the disable. Disable+Action had better be good- because I could just scan every turn and save 4 points to equip an Anti Proton Scan. I think the Anti Proton Scan is a much better upgrade for the points, even though I don't necessarily throw my full support behind it.

If you're at range 1, there's also the chance that you're just negating the +1 attack range 1 bonus. Meh. 

Sure, this stuff has situations where it will be good, but it's not going to swing the game. If you find that these cards are really good, try out a list without them in it, and see if the game really is much different.

Finally, the Forward Weapon's Grid:

Forward Weapons Grid (Dominion/Kraxon Expansion)
A: 5
Range: 1-3
Attack: Disable this card to perform this attack. You must divide the attack between 2 different ships in your forward firing arc. You may divide your attack dice however your like, but you must roll at least 1 attack die against each ship.
Cost: 5


This weapon actually isn't that bad! It is a pretty terrible card on a Kraxon, since it only nets you +1 attack, and really only at Range 2 and 3, but it is pretty great on the Reliant, or the Praetus. For the most part, you're hoping to net 4 attacks on one target, and 1 on another target, because weight of dice is always so much better. The fact that you don't need a target lock really makes this thing shine. Try to throw it on ships with a 180 arc, with 2 attacks- The Miranda is probably your ship of choice for this bad boy.

Tomorrow- The Gor Portas!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Cardy Scum! Dominion Week pt 2- Kraxon Upgrades

 
I really do like this joke...


Today I'll look at the some of the upgrades on the Galor and give my initial opinion on them. 

Gul Ranor is pretty useful if you want to go in a straight line. I think it's obviously worse than just equpping a useful captain with Engage, but sure, I can see Ranor's use. I've never seen him played competitively, but that's not saying too much! Stats below!

Gul Ranor (Dominion/Kraxon Expansion) 
Captain Skill: 5
Action: Perform an additional 1 [STRAIGHT] or 2 [STRAIGHT] maneuver. Place an Auxiliary Power Token next to your ship.
Cost: 3
Elite Talent Upgrades: 0

Captain skill 5 is nothing to write home about, and I would have liked to have seen an Elite Talent on him, but if you take him, you'll be using his action as often as possible to get the most out of unreturned fire from a 180 degree firing arc. He's a bit of a one trick pony, but it actually isn't a bad trick. He's made for a 180 arc though, so don't go throwing him on a non-Galor. His cost is actually quite nice for what he does. The token is not that big of a deal, since you'll be using a green maneuver next turn anyway to get rid of it. Overall, a decent captain to have in your toolbox, but I would have rather seen him have a free Engage, and I don't actually think that would have been overpowered- since there are so few ways to get extra actions outside of captains. 

Next up, Gul Danar. Is Danar decent? Sure! I get the feeling that the Dominion really is meant to be played as a swarm. The initial ships certainly don't lead one to that conclusion, but knowing where the line goes, I think these captains were designed to be cheap things to throw into a 4-5 ship build. 

Gul Danar (Dominion/Kraxon Expansion) 
Captain Skill: 3
When attacking, you may re-roll 1 blank result.
Cost: 2
Elite Talent Upgrades: 0

There isn't too much to be said here. Passive rerolls are never bad, and are actually decent when you're not looking for too much out of your ship. Gul Danar, which also rarely seen, would be fine in a bit fleet, adding a bit more aggression to one of the bit players. 

Glinn Telle is a card, in my opinion, misdesigned. I would have preferred that Glinn Telle do something with shields or with scan. Given that the Kraxon is going to be scanning and taking hits quite often, it would have been cool to have scan affect your shields in some ways. Alas, we are left with the current version, which is mostly useless.

Glinn Telle (Dominion/Kraxon Expansion)
Action: Discard this card to target 1 ship in your forward firing arc at Range 1-3. That ship rolls 2 less attack dice this round.
Cost: 3

There are going to be times when Glinn is really going to make a difference. Those times will be relatively few and far between, and there is not too much incentive to keep him around, given the fragility of these Dominion ships. You can only shield shenanigans for so long before someone just forges ahead and blows up your Kraxon. Glinn Telle may be putting off the inevitable, but it should probably be a disable, and cost 4 points. One use cards have to be good to give them consideration. They have to provide either decent insurance against something happening (uhura) or a big boost to attacks (once more into the breach). Glinn doesn't do enough to justify the high price of using the ability. 

Tomorrow, Tech and Weapons.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Cardy Scum! Dominion Week!

 
It's going to be jokes like this... all week long.


This week, I'll look at the Wave 0 Dominion releases and their upgrades. I want to start by saying that I understand why they didn't include a fourth ship in the initial release, but it had the effect of delaying the dominion being able to be played competitively. Sure, some people have had some success with playing the Dominion, but the initial ships were more in the "advanced" column than in the "beginner", and I think this turned a lot of people off of the faction. Furthermore, I think they got the order of the ships wrong, and should have first released the Keldon instead of the Galor. While the Galor is more iconic, that's kinda pushing the definition of the word. Let's not even get into the discussion about how the Cardassians should have probably been their own faction apart from the Dominion, but I get why they wanted to lump them together, for the sake of not having to include a whole bunch of text on the bottom of each of these cards saying "faction penalties do not apply etc.,"

So we'll start with the Galor itself. The model is great. The ship has a number of odd choices built in, which I think hurt it from the beginning. 

Kraxon (Cardassian Galor Class)/ Dominion Starship (Cardassian Galor Class) Front Firing Arc: 180° Rear Firing Arc: NA A: 4 E: 1 H: 4 S: 4(3) Whenever a friendly ship within Range 1 of your ship receives damage you may transfer any amount of that damage to your own Shields, if possible. Actions: Evasive Maneuvers, Target Lock, Sensors Upgrades: Tech, Tech, Weapons, Crew Points: 26 (24)

The front firing arc is great. I like that cardassian ships generally have a 180 firing arc, and aren't as unfocused as the Federation. It really gives Cardassian ships a unified feel. Where I think this thing falters, is in the movement dial. Given that the Neg'Var has an amazing turning dial, can cloak, has 5 attacks and is only 4 pts more expensive for the generic version, I don't understand why the Galor doesn't have a better movement dial. The 180 firing arc is not SO good that it couldn't have used a few better maneuvers. 


The Kraxon is the only ship in the game that can act like a tank, but isn't strong enough to do so, and requires you to go off faction to really get the thing working. It's like they had a great theme, but didn't want to commit. The ship seems unfocused. 


If you're using the Kraxon as a tank, you have to do some solo practice (or multiple practice tests with an opponent) on range bands. If you can master staying out of range bands while still being within range 1 of other ships, I think this ship can be pretty good. It is definitely not a ship that can be effectively run by a beginner. If you're running a dominion fleet, the time you spend practicing with the Kraxon will pay off. 


It should have had battlestations. I don't get the choice to leave it up to Gul Dukat to provide that particular action. 


Finally, I'm reticent to advise really beefing this thing up. I think you have to either be committed to the tank strategy, or forego that and keep the ship simple. They'll give some builds a run for their money, but it's a very comparable ship to a Vor'cha, and the Vor'cha completely outclasses this thing. The firing arc is not that big of a deal on a ship with a great maneuver dial. 


One way to run a beefy Kraxon is the following


Kraxon

Mirok
Scotty


If you're outside of firing arcs, you can use scotty to give you some serious firepower, or if you've taken damage, you can use scotty to repair shields and keep you in the fight. Same with Mirok. 


This strategy could work well in a three Galor build, or even with some smaller attack fighters.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Sunday Extra- Your Article Here

To Whom it May Concern,

Write up an article. Send it to me. I'll take a look at it and see if it's something I'd like to post up on the site. I'm most interested in crazy builds, odd strategies, different ways to play, etc. In fact, I don't particularly care what you write, as long as it's about Attack Wing.

So send me something. I think we're building up a decent community here, on Board Game Geek and on Dakka. If you haven't stopped by the X-wing forums on Dakka, take a gander and post in our ongoing threads.

See you tomorrow with the first day of Dominion Week!

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Apnex Upgrades!!

 
Something about Muons!


Today I'll go over the Tech Upgrades in the RIS Apnex expansion, including the Muon Token and the Interphase Generator. One of these tech upgrades is very good, and the other is very middle of the road. 

The Muon Feedback Wave works as follows:


Muon Feedback Wave (Romulan/RIS Apnex Expansion)
Action: Discard this card to place a Muon Token beside a ship at Range 1. This upgrade may only be purchased for a Romulan Science Vessel
Cost: 4


The Muon Token explanation is found below:

Muon Token (for the Tech: Muon Feedback Wave from the Romulan/RIS Apnex Expansion)
A ship with a Muon Token assigned to it follows these special rules:

1. A Muon Token stays with a ship until it is removed.

2. During the Activation Phase, after the ship moves, the ship takes damage to its Hull equal to the number of its current Maneuver -1. The type of Maneuver does not matter, just the number.

3. After the ship performs a Green or White Maneuver, it can spend an action to remove the Muon Token.


A few things spring to the mind the first time you take a look at this thing. It's really too bad that this is a Discard ability. I understand that a Muon Token is a pretty terrible token to have beside your ship, but I'm of the opinion that it is a bit obvious when it's coming, and you should be able to avoid taking any damage from it. That being said, you'll be restricting what your opponent can do in the movement phase, which is never a bad thing. The fact that the Muon token sticks around makes it that much better. 

I've used Muon Tokens a few times, and once an opponent gets used to them, their usefulness plummets. You'll club some baby seals, but you won't get much long term use out of the things. I think these things need a revamp, as they aren't really seeing much play. I'd probably take out the discard, and put in that it requires a target, instead of just hitting all ships in an AOE. That would certainly increase the usefulness of the science vessel, and you probably still wouldn't see more than 1 taking up space in lists. 

I'm rarely interested in this upgrade, but have found it to be decent when I play draft. 

The below is something a bit better, and definitely raises some eyebrows:

Interphase Generator (Romulan/RIS Apnex Expansion)
When defending while you are Cloaked, you may discard this card after all the dice have been rolled to reduce the damage from a single attack to exactly 1 [DAMAGE].
Cost: 3

To be honest, I would never put this on a science vessel. I would prefer to equip this onto a Klingon ship. The only other Romulan ship that it would be worth equipping onto would be the Warbird, and I honestly don't see too many of them or have too much love for them right now. If they had a rear arc, I think they'd be pretty fantastic, but as it stands, the Warbird needs some love. On a Klingon ship, this thing is bonkers. If you can find room for three in a 3 ship Klingon list, I think it is a decent investment. On the science vessel, however, you want something offensive in your tech slot, and this just keeps the ship alive- which is great and all, but what's it going to do? Probably nothing. 


Captain Mirok is actually not bad. Mirok gives you a fairly rare ability for cheap- it can repair shields without having to deactivate attacks to do so. Here's the profile:


Mirok (Romulan/RIS Apnex) 
Captain Skill: 4
After you move, if at least one friendly ship is within Range 1 of your ship, repair 1 damage to your Hull or Shields.
Cost: 2
Elite Talent Upgrades: 0

A relatively cheap captain that works well if you're running some smaller ships. It also repairs hull points, which is also very rare. This card could work well in a swarm build with a Valdore at the centre, or on a Dominion ship such as to Kraxon, surrounded by Jem'Hadar attack ships. I would run this upgrade in lists with a large centre ship, and multiple small ships, to increase the chances that there will always be a ship within range 1 of yours. You want this ability to go off, so it'll need to be on a ship that can weather the initial attacks. Very good captain with a nice passive ability. 


Next week- The Dominion Wave 0 reviews. Following that, I'll start in on Wave 1, and by the end of January should be on to Wave 2, at which point we'll be looking ahead to Wave 3! I expect that by the time Wave 4 hits i'll be all caught up lol!