Thursday, 9 January 2014

Jem Hadar Attack Ship- Tech

Was this a metaphor? DS9 blowing up the Enterprise? Me thinks Mr. Moore was making a statement...

 Today, I'll take a look at the Tech upgrades that come with the Jem Hadar Attack ship. I'm not entirely sure that one of these should have been a tech upgrade over a weapon upgrade.

First up is the Suicide Attack:

Suicide Attack (Dominion/5th Wing Patrol Ship Expansion)
Action: At the end of the Activation Phase, you must make a 1 [Straight] Manuver and place an auxiliary Power Token beside your ship. If your ship overlaps an enemy ship destroy your ship and roll 8 attack dice to damage the enemy ship. That ship rolls defence against this attack. This Upgrade may only be purchased for a Jemhadar ship.
Cost: 5

There's a whole lot to say about Suicide Attack- until you actually use it a few times. Following that, you're left saying "Boy, that doesn't really work all that great does it?" Sure, you're going to absolutely destroy a ship once in a while, but most of the time, you're going to land about two hits, and you're going to be out at least 25 points. The problem is that the 8 attack dice are very hard to manipulate, given that the attack requires an action. Sure, you can pair the attack with Martok and get an extra action, and that's probably a decent way to try to get this thing to actually be decent. There's a whole lot of talk on the internet about pairing this thing with Cheat Death. It's not a bad plan, but you're looking at a 35+ point ship, that has very few hull points, and may or may not get off a suicide attack before it finally dies. There are much better ships that are a lot more consistent than a Cheat Death Suicide Attack. I think if you're looking at that option, you've gone down a dark hole and need to turn around and walk back towards the light.

If you're dead set on running Suicide Attack, remember not to blow your top off too quickly. With every hull point you strip off the opponent's ships, your Suicide Attack becomes more powerful. Save it for a situation where you absolutely HAVE to use a Suicide Attack. This is a last ditch effort, and I think you'll find that you get far more mileage out of your points if you use it as such.

Moving on, we've got an upgraded scan option:

Long Range Tachyon Scan (Dominion/5th Wing Patrol Ship Expansion)
When attacking a ship at Range 3, you may spend 1 [Sensor] Token to force that ship to roll 2 less defense dice this round.
Cost: 2

It costs two, and if it cost any more it wouldn't be even worth considering. As it stands, two points is what this upgrade should cost. It's not great, and it's especially not great because you can only use it at Range 3. This upgrade would be fine if they dropped the Range 3 restriction. It would give the Dominion a decent Sensor option upgrade. It may have to be bumped up to cost 3-4, but it would be a very good card. As it stands, I don't expect to see this very often across the table. I'll certainly almost never use it.

Tomorrow- Weapons!


  1. " Sure, you're going to absolutely destroy a ship once in a while, but most of the time, you're going to land about two hits, and you're going to be out at least 25 points."

    How do you figure two hits? Your average result will be three hits and a crit, and per the FAQ there's very few things that apply to either the attack or defense rolls. No Evade, no cloaked dice bonus. There are very few ships that are likely to cancel even one hit with their base agility, and you're not likely to waste an SA run on a ship with an active Sulu or Tetryon Emissions.

    Trading 25+ points worth of ship for ~3 damage isn't all that attractive, but if it gets a kill you're ahead on points in almost all cases. That's a bigger deal in tourney play than in casual.

    The fascination with Cheat Death probably stems in part from the fact that Suicide Attack is much easier to land with higher-skill captains, since you have a better idea of whether to take the SA action or not when you move later in the turn. The minimum cost is too high for my tastes even if you can somehow manage to land SA twice, but some people claim to have made it work.

    The indie flagship card that grants a friendly ship nearby a free maneuver might make SA good enough to really be reliable even with low-skill captains. Similarly, the rare-as-hen's-teeth Romulan Pilot is an enormous boost for would-be kamikazes, and at 3 points crossfaction leaves you at a bargain-ish 28 points minimum.

    All that said, yeah, it's a bad upgrade, but it still sees a lot more play than Long Range Tachyon Scan.

  2. SA AND I stab at thee could also be useful on a ship with Data against swarm fleets. Aim the Attack ship at whatever Martok is in and even if you don't knock him out the D7s are going to be hurting.

    Most of what I had to say was better said by Rich

  3. I definitely lowballed the hit number. I tried out the indie flagship with the Suicide Attack ship, but I found it underwhelming. The whole strategy is not very good at the moment.

    1. True, but it does have some good matchups. Against loaded 2-ship fleets trading one or even two 25-point SA ships can still leave you well ahead on points and board position, and the SA bypasses a lot of the defensive benefits that hero ships often run under. Still an uphill struggle, but a better exchange rate than you get against most 3-ship configurations.

  4. Update- No new article today. I forgot to put one in the queue last night and I can't access at work. I'll put something up for tomorrow and round out the review. Apologies to the regular readers!