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!


  1. "I can only recommend Delta on a ship with cloak, and even then it's not very good."

    It's fine (even crossfaction) as an insurance policy against bad rolls any time you're rolling 4+ dice. Cloaked ships get the most out of it because they take so few effective hits to kill while their shields are down, but you can easily be looking at 4-5 dice on a flagship with Sulu running uncloaked. You can get excellent mileage out of Delta in a two-ship fleet, where any big defensive whiff can be game-wrecking. The mere threat of a massed reroll can discourage enemies from even trying, pushing shots onto other, less important targets. Eight dice to evade with Sulu and an on-call full reroll laughs at even Klingon attack fleet shots quite nicely.

    Not a universally useful upgrade, but like you said, you need to build for synergy, and the added layer of evade insurance inherent in Delta is great for hero ships. Just don't use it with Gul Evek, who does its job way better than it does. Having Evek on one ship and Delta on the other in a two-ship cloaking fleet is absurdly nasty - won my last tourney for me, that combo did.

    Omega is at its best against cloakers, since they tend to suffer from crits earlier and more often than shield users. Particularly good with anything that can convert dice to crits, notably many photon torps and Toreth. Warp Core Breach isn't an auto-kill, but it sure does hurt more than average. Particularly mean against those idiotic Keldons - they have only one speed 1 maneuver available, making ejecting the warp core pretty much not an option.

  2. What was the list that you won with?

  3. My memory may be faulty, but IIRC it was something fairly close to:

    Valdore (30)
    Gul Evek (3)
    Montgomery Scott (6)
    Hikaru Sulu (4)

    Negh'Var (30)
    Martok (5)
    Attack Pattern Delta (4)
    Cloaked Mines (4)
    Antimatter Mines (6)
    Nyota Uhura (4)
    Konmel (4)

    And yes, that's six points of utterly useless antimatter mines there, since the Negh'var lacks a rear arc to deploy them in - and it arguably cost me another six pints in buying Uhura and the named Negh'var, since the Uhura+AMM combo looked really strong. Nyota is always useful though, so I didn't feel too bad about that.

    Still managed to win pretty handily in a seven-man field with a little luck and some bad tactics on my opponents' part. AP Delta saved Martok's hide at least three times over the tourney, and the closest I came to losing a ship was Martok ending the final round with one hull and two shields (both of which had been repaired by Konmel). Having Sulu and Scotty on the same ship was a bit inefficient on paper, but it worked surprisingly well in practice. Nothing wrong with having to make some choices on what to use when both choices are very good ones.

    I've got some new toys to play with for next tournament and may try a variation on the theme, or I may switch to a more traditional three-ship force, still undecided.

  4. Oh my goodness. That list makes my mind hurt! I'll have to try out Gul Evel on the Valdore...

  5. Oddly, my opponents tended to react the same way. :) Pretty much zero fluffiness, but it's a tourney with (effectively) money on the line. I abandoned all thought of playing faction-pure after getting murdered as straight Dominion in my first outing - mostly by cloaked mines and Picard in every opposing fleet, I might add. Repaying the favor with this sort of thing was very satisfying.

    It's not optimized at all (stupid antimatter mine error) but any time you're using Martok in a fleet with Scotty on a cloaked ship, you've got some nastiness going on.