Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Jem'Hadar Attack Ship- Crew Review

There's nothing funny about these guys...

 Moving on with our reviews, we're going to take a gander at the Crew upgrades that come with the Jem Hadar Attack Ship. Not surprisingly, we're looking at actual Jem Hadar! Fluff wise, since there are so few crew on crew battles, the Jem Hadar are very difficult to represent effectively. Those of you who want to play Dominion are clearly drawn to the Jem Hadar, but I can imagine that they are somewhat underwhelming. This is part of the limitations of the game, and may be rectified at some point- but I wouldn't hold your breath. As it stands, they occupy the discard space, and I don't think that space is particularly good.

Toman'Torax (Dominion/5th Wing Patrol Ship Expansion)
Action: Target a ship at Range 1. Discard this card and 1 [Crew] Upgrade of your choice on the target ship (even if that ship is Cloaked or has Active Shields). This Upgrade may only be purchased for an Jem'hadar ship.
Cost: 5

First of all, you could very easily use Toman'Torax with Weyoun and have a ship that can strip crew off of other ships. If your local gaming group is filled with big fat ships with lots of crew, Toman and Weyoun could be a great counter to that strategy. He costs 5 points, but that's because you can use him even if the ship is cloaked and has shields. This is probably the best discard card, and makes the strategy moderately decent, even if you don't end up using him in combo with Weyoun. Toman isn't bad. I know, hell has frozen over. A discard card isn't bad. Of course, you have to be at range 1, but if you're not in a position to attack, or are in a position to land a pretty devastating strike, but are being hampered by Sulu- this is a card that is going to be great. Against some builds, however, you're going to struggle. This card is probably a pretty decent sideboard card, if you're using that particular upgrade. Toman definitely is as good as a discard card should be- I'm put off by its high cost, but can understand it given the presence of Weyoun. 

Omet'Iklan (Dominion/5th Wing Patrol Ship Expansion)
Whenever you attack with your Primary Weapon, you may convert 1 result into a [Hit] result. This Upgrade may only be purchased for an Jem'hadar ship.
Cost: 5

Omet is a very decent crew upgrade. The ability to turn a blank into a hit, or convert a battlestations into a hit so that you can save the token for your defense roll is something that you should consider including into your build. The three native attacks on the Attack Ship are a bit weak, but if you have the ability to make your roll more efficient, (see Spock on the Enterprise D) then you'll find that three attack dice can get the job done against a cloaked ship. There's not too much to say- he has a high cost, but the ability is very good, and you get to use it every single turn with no drawback. This is definitely one of the better straight dominion upgrades. 

Virak'Kara (Dominion/5th Wing Patrol Ship Expansion)
Action: Target a ship at Range 1. Disable this card and 1 [Crew] Upgrade of your choice on the target ship (even if that ship is Cloaked or has Active Shields). You may then use that Upgrade's Action (if any) as a free Action this round. This Upgrade may only be purchased for an Jem'hadar ship.
Cost: 5

Finally, we are left with Virak. This is a pretty unprecedented card. There's not a lot of comparison to be made with existing upgrades, except maybe superior intellect- which doesn't get a whole lot of play to begin with. You have to use it on a Jem Hadar ship, but Sulu and Spock and Scotty are still going to be pretty darn good on an attack ship. Whether or not you include this upgrade will be mostly dependent on what kinds of fleet you anticipate facing. I think I would still rather have Toman, but I can see how you could make the case for Virak. Both are pretty high on the threat meter- your opponent definately doesn't want to lose the stuff they paid for, but they most certainly don't want to have that stuff used against them!

For the most part, these are very good crew upgrades. They cost a lot, but they can have huge effects on the game. I think these cards are going to need a lot of playtesting to determine where they fit in best. They require an action, but Virak gets you a free action, and that free action could wind up being Sulu! With Weyoun, I think I'd want Toma over Virak, as I think the potential benefit of stripping crew is higher than just disabling the crew- but again, this will need some playtesting. They definitely require some out of the box thought- Let me know if you've run these guys to some success.


  1. I think all the Jem'hadar crew upgrades are badly handicapped by WizKids' bizarre release pattern on the Dominion ships. Five point upgrades are very hard to justify putting on fragile 5-6 hits-to-kill Attack Ships, no matter how good they are. Omet fits nicely on the upcoming Battleship (which will have a blank to deal with in the average shot) but he's rather overkill on an Attack Ship. The other "boarder" crew are most useful on a mobile platform that can afford to crowd in on the enemy, which would seem to be the Attack Ship's role - but inflating their cost by 25% is awfully steep and just serves to draw fire onto a ship that can't take much already. The unreleased (and unscheduled) J'H cruiser would probably be a better fit for them, but who knows when/if we'll see it come out. Maddening - the faction could desperately use a 26-28 point cruiser hull, which is probably where they'd fall.

    Weirdly, my local meta is pretty much perfect for using Virak and Toman, because you see Sulu and Scotty and (to a lesser degree) Konmel and Drex a lot. Crew-heavy "hero ship" builds have won three of the last four weeks here, and two of those were multiplayer free-for-all fights. Don't think you'll manage to get an Attack Ship with one of them aboard into range 1 in very many games, though - they'll be priority targets for anyone with any sense. OTOH, two Attack Ships with the Kraxon is not a terrible mix, especially with the Kraxon running a flagship card of some type, and the shield bubble could get you there in decent shape to start stripping key crew.

    1. The Jem'hadar crew upgrades are also hurt by their deployment restrictions, which keep you from using them on other Dominion ships that might benefit from them more. This pattern continues with the three new ones in the Battleship pack - only one of which can be fielded economically on anything a J'H ship. This is intensely annoying and serves as yet another handicap for Dominion players, especially purists. Breen with Energy Dissipators would love Omet, and they could also be used to deliver the boarding crew to range 1 better than the more fragile Attack Ships - but that's forbidden by the card text.

      What nitwit playtesters thought the Jem'Hadar had to be restricted from use on more than half of their own in-faction hulls, but Sulu and Scotty crossfactioned were just fine? Idiocy.

  2. Can I just say I completely agree with the above? Yes. Yes I can!