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. 


  1. I find the Cloak upgrade is more helpful for the Dominion Keldons than it is for the Defiant. Same annoying disable requirement, same cost, but fewer restrictions, a slightly tougher hull to decrease the chance of being killed under cloak, and once the first firing pass is over they really need the protection, tighter turning, and movement shenanigans that sensor ghost allows. Defiant has such good shields and better base agility (and Sulu in-faction) that risking a whiffed cloak roll is harder to justify than it is on a Keldon-class, especially when you have to pay for it.

  2. Agree completely. See DS9 "The Return part 1" for why the cloak on the Defiant is loads of meh.

  3. If you want a real head-scratcher, consider the Tetryon Emissions card compared to the Defiant/Keldon cloaks. Fewer agility dice, no sensor ghost option, and the same crippling disable requirement, but you don't have to drop your shields to use it, there's no ship/class install penalties, and it even stacks with cloaks. It's an interesting similar-but-different effect, and in a lot of ways it might be a better choice for Defiant than the Defiant cloak actually is. Rather have 5 dice while keeping my 4 shields up than 6 dice without them. A Keldon, OTOH, is only losing 2 or 3 shields and needs sensor ghost to turn once the enemy gets behind you.

    Tempting to say it's also better than Interphase Generator is for natural cloakers - IG offers better one-shot disaster insurance, but TE is reusable and 8 or 9 agility dice on a key turn or two is just brutally demoralizing for your opponents.