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.


  1. A Dissipator ship might be better off skipping torpedoes. Since you are at Range 1 to fire the Dissipator, the ship's primary weapon will be 3+1, only one worse than the 5 torpedo, which does not get a Range 1 attack bonus. And with no torpedoes, you can take the generic ship. And since you aren't reliant on the Target Lock, the ship can do Battlestations instead, which might make the difference in surviving since it has 2+1 defense dice. And it is not reliant on attacking a ship that it already managed a target lock on, which won't always be possible.

    Breen Battle Cruiser 24
    Sar 1
    Energy Dissipator 5

    saving 7 points over the named version with torpoedoes

  2. Not so bad actually... but if you whif on the Dissipator, you don't get that second attack... c'est la vie I suppose, but not good for reliability.

  3. "And since you aren't reliant on the Target Lock, the ship can do Battlestations instead, which might make the difference in surviving since it has 2+1 defense dice."

    The Breen ships do not have Battlestations. This appears to be a common misconception due to errors on the HC Realms fleet builder list - they have Scan instead. It's a big part of why Gul Dukat is such a big deal for the faction, although he's pretty good for anyone.

    But yes, the torp + ED combo is probably overkill. Better to spend the points on Dorsal Weapon Batteries to compensate for poor firing arcs and/or better captain skill so your ED might actually deprive the enemy of a shot or two.

    I'd also stick EDs on both Breen. They're the best argument for using the ship at all, and having two of them will make it much harder for the enemy to kill them without getting off a shot.

    The indie flagship card that grants a free move to a friendly ship is also very good for getting off ED shots, although it doesn't help them work against cloaks or Sulu any better, sadly.

  4. Checked with Gordash on this and he gave the okay, so I'll just mention that I've got some repainted Dominion ships up on ebay right now at the following links:

    Solitary Kraxon with all the dials, tokens, and cards

    Four-ship fleet, again with all the bits

    Something a bit fancier than the factory paint jobs. If these sell, I may try more repaint listings in the future - these were fun to do, and I enjoy putting a personal touch even on games with prepaints.

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks! The fleet listing sold, looks like I may be keeping the second Galor/Kraxon, which won't make me feel too bad. I'm seriously disappointed with Dominion, but the shield bubble shenanigans remain a solid and unique tool in the kit.