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!

1 comment:

  1. Miles is probably overpriced by a point, but he does provide the biggest one-action shield repair in the game. Scotty is far more versatile. Konmel is cheaper (or the same cost crossfaction, where he belongs) and just as fast over the long run. Mirok is a super-repair for free, aside from being a poor-skill captain with no elite slot and requiring close formation flying.

    The one spot Miles shines is when you need as many shields as possible back RIGHT NOW and don't care about attacking. Those circumstances don't come up often enough to justify his cost in my experience, but maybe that will change in the future. Most times a Fed or Dominion player will be happier with Konmel (who has no drawback if you don't have cloak) or Mirok if they want shield repair.

    OTOH, if you've got points to burn (maybe in a big 300+ point team/fleet game or something) you could put Miles and Mirok on Kraxon and have Martok shout Miles into re-enabling every turn. Recovering three shields for the Kraxon bubble every round would be pretty obnoxious - but you'd have 35 points worth of ship never attacking, and tying up Martok as well. If you've got the budget to do that, the enemy probably has the budget to kill Kraxon in one turn too, even if you've flagshipped it for max durability. Still, if there's one place that Miles might pay for himself, it's on Kraxon.

    Given that the other (TNG) version of Miles is about 100% more useful when used with Weyoun, one has to wonder about where his real loyalties lay during the Dominion War. :)