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. 


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. 


  1. Sisko's pretty good with torps, which require you to toss out your Target Lock to use - better one reroll than none, since blanks or a second battlestations are no help. OTOH, torps are hard to use in general and most cost too much. His offensive reroll is very strong if you have battlestations out - 75% chance of turning a blank into something useful, and given the low attack values on most Fed ships, more than one blank is fairly rare.

    He's good with Sulu on anything, but not better than Gul Evek or Sar, so if you just want a defensive captain and don't care about skill or elite slots there are cheaper options even crossfaction. Most of the "good" comes from Sulu, really.

    His skill of 6 isn't amazing, but Fed wins ties against every other faction, so he's more like a 6.5 - not like there are any skill 7 Feds for him to lose to, after all. That seems plenty good enough for him, he did get shot down rather a lot. What elite talent to take with him really depends on your fleet needs and what his ride is, but not using one seems a bit of a waste. If you can get your mitts on a Disobey Orders it's a pretty good choice and very cheap for the versatility it offers - just have to win a Southerland and resist the urge to sell the fool thing.

    In the end, you take him because yeah, he punched a nigh-omnipotent being in the face. We'll probably see some Q cards eventually. If the game designers have a soul, they'll make any ship with Sisko aboard immune to them. Heck, when the Bajoran stuff comes out maybe we'll some some Orb/Prophet-related cards, maybe with Sisko-specific bonus game text.

    Kira as a captain is about as lame and uninteresting as she was in the series. How she got a card slot this early instead of a Fed Captain Worf is beyond me - with this sort of prioritization, I suppose we should be thankful there wasn't a Tasha Yar in the core box too. Kira's skill:cost ratio is poor and her game text is horrible, as boarding tricks still don't matter much - although she does offer some defense against Weyoun + Miles shenanigans, for whatever little that's worth.

    Hmmm...come to think of it, if there was a Tasha Yar crew upgrade card, it would probably have Kira's game text, wouldn't it? Or maybe the Redshirt's. :)

  2. Re Kira - even if one day there is a meta full of Crew upgrades used to disable/discard other upgrades, it is still difficult to imagine that you would have an Upgrade that is so important that it needs an investment to protect, but is also disposable enough that you can afford to put such a low skill captain on the relevant ship. Kira might have made an interesting Crew upgrade that could be useful some day, but taking a crappy captain also brings the opportunity cost of not being able to use any of the very good captains on the ship.

    1. Sulu is arguably important enough to be worth covering, if they ever make decent boarders or something like TNG Miles that can be used repeatedly. The former's not likely - we've seen an array of boarding effects ranging in cost from one to five already, and they're kind of locked in at this point. The latter, though - Miles + Weyoun selectively disabling upgrades through shields at excellent range is not funny, especially if you can find a way (eg Martok) to re-enable Weyoun every turn and spam the trick. If they make something similar but easier to get repeated uses out of, the "security officer" text from Kira and that one Klingon will be worth a serious look.

      OTOH, her captain skill is really poor (made worse by initiative - Bajor is horrid) which is not a good selling point. Maybe we'll see something down the road (maybe a cheap Elite talent?) that lets a ship take a second captain as a "First Officer" or something, getting the game text from both and providing a backup in case of an injured captain crit. That would be a cool wrinkle, and very fluffy.