Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Kronos One Review Day Two: Captains

I laughed at this one, so up it goes!

Moving on with my review of the Kronos One, today we're going to look at the Captains that came with the pack. We'll start with Chang, because I think he could have filled a niche quite well, but is mostly a failure.

Chang (Klingon/I.K.S. Kronos One Expansion) 
Captain Skill: 6
Action: Spend your target lock to perform this Action. Disable the Captain Card on the ship that was target locked.
Cost: 4
Elite Talent Upgrades: 1

The Shakespeare quoting villain from Star Trek VI has made a decent appearance here. You need a target lock and another action. That's already a lot of resources. Target Locks are very good, especially on Klingon ships, and Chang is more often than not going to get put onto a Klingon ship. Most of the time, Target Lock is the only way you're going to get rerolls of your attacks, and having played the Klingon Attack List quite frequently, I am always looking for ways to get rerolls. So you've got to give up one of your best offensive actions, AND another action. You then get to disable the captain card on the ship that was locked. An interesting aspect of this ability is that there is no range requirement, so you could be at range 1-3 or even outside the range when you disable the card (unless this has been FAQ'd). The best Captain in the game, Picard, doesn't really get hosed by this card since he gets two actions and can use one of them to re-enable himself, and then use his Picard action to get something good. Kirk gets hosed, but Kirk isn't proving himself to be all that great these days. 

The Elite Talent is probably a waste of points, since most elite talents require an action, but if you can find a decent one that doesn't need an action and is useful, this could be a good place for it. 

Chang is designed to hose good captains like Martok, Picard or Kirk. The problem is that Chang needs SO many resources to work, that you're almost in as terrible a position as your opponent. For every two actions you have to spend using Chang, your opponent has to use one to re-enable Chang. The key to using Chang is to wait for just the right moment to pop his ability. You don't necessarily have to build a list around him- if you're facing a lot of two ship high captain skill builds, I'd probably think about putting Chang on a Science Vessel and letting him fly around being a pain in the butt. Otherwise, in a take all comers list, I don't think Chang has a place. He is designed to hose a certain kind of build, but the ability isn't THAT good and requires a LOT of skill to use properly. 

Moving on, Chancellor Gorkon is an interesting Captain with a very odd skill. 

Gorkon (Klingon/I.K.S. Kronos One Expansion) 
Captain Skill: 6
Action: Disable Gorkon to perform this Action. Your ship and ever ship that attacks you this round rolls 2 less attack dice.
Cost: 3
Elite Talent Upgrades: 0

Same skill as Chang, but less pricey, Gorkon is an anti-attack bubble. He requires an action to use. I think he would have been a bit more useful if he didn't require the action. As it stands, burning an action is always something that needs to be analyzed carefully. You want to be able to use the GOOD actions on your action bars every turn. Gorkon can get himself out of a jam pretty easily, but if you get in the Jam in the first place, you may be screwed. This is the same kind of insurance as the Corbomite Maneuver, except not nearly as good, and you can't spring it on your opponent a-la Kirk. Your opponent is hardly going to waste their attacks facing down Gorkon, but if you plan it correctly, that may be part of the point. 

Gorkon's usefulness is not going to be apparent in every build. He, like Chang, is going to be a captain that would have been useful in Hindsight, after you've faced a build that could have been hosed quite easily by their ability. In the planning stages, it's very hard to find a place for these two captains in take all comers builds. If there's a scenario at some point that requires you to keep a ship alive to the end of the game, that would open up Gorkon as a useful Captain. Currently, these two are pretty niche captains that won't end up in your builds or across the table from you very often.


  1. I've had nothing but good performances out of Chang, who can be absolutely crippling when used in combo with action-granters (be it Martok-8 or some of the indie flagships). He certainly requires support to get the most out of him, but dropping opposing captains to skill 1 with no card text is a unique and extremely versatile ability. Every good defensive captain is shut down by him for at least a turn, giving you time to kill their rides. Area boosters like Donatra and Terrell are shut down hard, especially if Donatra's on a Romulan hull. Even higher-skill captains like Picard, Gul Dukat and Martok aren't safe at all - they can't always afford to use their ship action to re-enable themselves (especially if it leaves them uncloaked) and the sudden shift in the movement sequencing can easily lead to a collision they thought they were safe from.

    Chang's a very powerful tool to have against any kind of build that relies on combinations of card effects and carefully-meshed order of activation. He's weakest against vanilla attack fleet builds with few tricks up their sleeves, but those fleets are dead meat against those same combo builds, so there's some rock-paper-scissors involved there. He doesn't belong in every fleet, but he's pretty darn good against the kind of "hero ship" builds that often dominate our local tourneys.

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  3. I figured there would be a few people who thought that Chang was a powerful captain. I think he gets better the more "hero-esque" your local group is playing. He IS good against that kind of build. I still don't think he's that great against Picard or Dukat, but is decent against Kirk or Martok.

  4. Absolutely. He's also strong against any captain with strong text and skill below the 5-6 range, which includes quite a few options including almost all of the stronger defensive captains. Also strongest against smaller fleets - disabling one captain out of four is not so hot and he's useless against skill 1 swarms, but dropping one of two or three captains to skill 1 and no text is much more significant.

    Not the easiest tool to use and he needs combo support for real utility, but strong in the right hands.