Thursday, 16 January 2014

New Releases- The Somraw

The Somraw in monochrome
Big news for Attack Wing fans: There's another wave on the horizon. Is it just me or are they releases coming a bit too fast? I enjoy the release schedule for the most part, but could definitely use a breather. They could widen the release window to 4 months and I don't think anyone would be all that upset. Far be it from me to decry a company putting it all on the table, today I'll be looking at the Somraw. The Somraw is a pretty neat ship. Take a look:

I.K.S. Somraw (Raptor Class) Front Firing Arc: 90° Rear Firing Arc: NA A: 3 E: 1 H: 3 S: 2 Each time you defend, you may convert up to 2 of your (battlestations) results into (dodge) results. Actions: Evasive Maneuvers, Target Lock, Sensors Upgrades: Tech, Weapons, Crew Points: 18

The ship is odd for the Klingons. There's no cloak, and only one evade- this thing is fragile. With two shields and three hull points, it'll go down to a stiff breeze. The idea, I suppose, is to possibly spam them, although I'm not sure that that's a great tactic. You could conceivably fit 5 of these into a list with Donatra and shooting 20 shots per turn, I just don't think that it'll hold up into the late game. The text is very defensive, but most of the time you're going to only be rolling one defense dice without cross faction upgrades. I can think of a lot better places for Sulu. 

I often see builds that are constructed without the mid to late game in mind. These spammy lists NEED to win in the first few turns or they start playing a war of attrition that they really can't win- especially without upgrades. Be mindful of the late game- think about how your spam list is going to deal with the loss of 1-2 ships. Certainly, spam lists can take some players by surprise, but I find that lists with 5 ships tend to have very large blind spots that can be exploited. My Engage Builds wouldn't have too hard a time against big packs of ships given the blind spots that these builds are going to have. 

Anyway, moving on, 

Somraw Commander (Klingon/I.K.S. Somraw Expansion) 
Captain Skill: 5 Each time you attack at range 3, if you do not have an auxiliary power token beside your ship, you may add +1 attack die. If you add the attack die, place an auxiliary power token beside your ship. Cost: 3 Elite Talent Upgrades: 1
**Elite Talent**

Klingon Honor (Klingon/I.K.S. Somraw Expansion) 
ACTION: Disable this card to add +1 attack die and convert 1 [hit] result in to 1 [critical] result during any one attack you initiate this round. You cannot roll any defense dice this round.  This upgrade can only be purchased for a klingon captain. Cost: 5

Somraw Commander is not particularly good, and Elite Talent is also not very good. There are too many restrictions on the Commander's ability. I don't expect this to show up a whole lot in lists. Klingon Honor when paired with the Commander can net you 2 extra attack dice, no defence rolls, an auxilliary token and cost you an action, all at range 3. COME ON. Who is going to play that?

Bu'Kah (Klingon/I.K.S. Somraw Expansion) 
If you performed a green maneuver this round, discard this card to repair up to 2 damage to your hull. Cost: 4

Not bad. You'll often be performing green maneuvers with Klingon ships- their dials are quite good. 2 damage to the hull is VERY useful on a Klingon Ship. Bu'Kah could easily make the crew of a Neg'Var and make his points back very easily. It's a great card. Worth the price of the expansion if you run Klingons with any regularity. 

Shockwave (Klingon/I.K.S. Somraw Expansion) 
Instead of moving normally during the activation phase, you may discard this card and disable 1 of your torpedoes to disregard your chosen maneuver and perform a Red 1[Reverse] full astern maneuver instead. This upgrade may only be purchased for a raptor class ship. Cost: 2
Tactical Sensors (Klingon/I.K.S. Somraw Expansion) 
ACTION: Disable this card to place a [battlestation] token and a [scan] token beside your ship. This upgrade may only be purchased for a raptor class chip. Cost: 4

These cards are decent until you notice that they can only be purchased for the Somraw. They will gather dust in your binder. 

So without getting into these cards too deeply, I don't see a whole lot of reason to buy the Somraw. There's Bu'Kah, which is quite good, but the rest is underwhelming. I suppose the Klingons were due for a ship that wasn't worth purchasing so I'm not that upset.


  1. This ship is an Enterprise (NX-01) era ship, and fits in well with the Praetus. I'm looking forward to some small games with the NX ship, the Praetus and the Somraw on the table. The competitive organized play games are fun, but always playing at 100-points leads me to disregard some of the less-amazing cards. In smaller games or for scenarios you might find uses for some of them...but if focus is specifically on the OP usefulness of this expansion you're right that it could be skipped over without much sadness.

  2. It's too bad. I enjoy small encounters very much in this game, but most people are probably tailoring their purchases to OP events. Unfortunately, this is probably not going to make a huge splash.

  3. A terrible, terrible ship, and a weak expansion pack overall. The only place it's going to shine in would be some theoretical "NX-01 Era Only" game, which would be pretty limited in terms of ship variety. It certainly will not serve as a good basis for a swarm fleet, where the lack of defenses and low starting attack score makes it pretty much hopeless, especially against cloakers.

    Bu'Kah is the standout card in the set, and well worth consideration for crossfaction use. It's one of what, two effects (the other being Mirok) in the game that can fix hull damage right now, which is particularly good for cloakers - and it lets you fix problematic crits easily too. Another extremely good card to use with Weyoun-6, if nothing else.

    Somraw Commander might also be noteworthy as one of the cheapest captains in the game (tied with Data, IIRC) with an elite slot. Engage and In'cha both get better when you have a lower-skill captain who can exploit them to force higher-skill captains into collisions more easily, and cheap is good if you're running a suicide bomber on an expendable ship with I Stab At Thee. His text is weak-ish but not utterly useless, especially in combination with a secondary weapon that doesn't take long range penalties, making him a decent potential sniper.

    And personally, no, I don't think the waves are too close together. Too far apart and much too uneven in quality, if anything. X-Wing is struggling locally simply because their support has been too slow coming and their organized play s a joke. Don't want to see Attack Wing suffer the same problem.