Thursday, 2 January 2014

Praetus Wrap Up- The remaining upgrade cards

The make-up department didn't do that great a job on this guy...

I've returned from my winter break to bring you what you were waiting for: My opinion on the remaining Praetus cards.

First, we look at the Captain that was included:

Valdore (Romulan/I.R.W. Praetus Expansion)
Captain Skill: 5
When attacking, if your ship is not in the target ship's forward firing arc, add +1 attack die.
Cost: 3
Elite Talent Upgrades: 0

Valdore, for whom the fantastic romulan ship is named after, is not particularly impressive. I don't expect Valdore to be the focus of a list, but he definitely has his uses. The Praetus will often be fairly low on the priority list, and has a lot of staying power. Valdore is a cheap enough Captain and can force you to switch up your tactics to keep the Praetus out of arcs, which is a good goal in itself. Combine Valdore with an Additional Weapons Array, throw it all on a Praetus and you have a very decent scout ship that can get some very decent attacks off. Photon Torpedoes could also work with Valdore, but I think your best bet is the Dominion variety, since you'll often wind up within range 1 fairly consistently trying to get out of your opponent's arc. Decent, but not great, I wouldn't use Valdore on anything other than a scout ship that has a very good movement dial.

Moving on, we've got an okay tech upgrade

Polarized Hull Plating (Romulan/I.R.W. Praetus Expansion)
When your ship is hit, convert 1 [Critical] into 1 [Hit] result.
Cost: 2

You only get to use the ability once. It isn't as good as the Defiant's protection, but for two points is not that bad. I'd most like to use this on the Valdore, but that's not a possibility. It works best on a cloaked ship, and if you have spare points, there are very few romulan upgrades that are as efficient as the plating. The fact that you don't have to discard to use, or disable to use, make it possible that this is going to be a very frustrating card for your opponent. I wouldn't bother with it on anything other than a Warbird given that you want it to work multiple times.

Nuclear Missles are pretty terrible. Their low cost makes you take a second look, and that second look shouldn't last too long- these are bad. On anything other than the small romulan scout vessels, they are a complete waste of space. You could combine them with Valdore and put them on a Praetus, but I think you're much better off spending the extra points for photons, and potentially 5-6 attack dice over a potential 4 attack dice.

In all, I think this expansion is weak. I would have preferred some extra cards that would improve the viability of scout ships. Another captain would have been appreciated.


  1. Polarized Hull Plating is about the same as the Defiant's ability. Sometimes even slightly better than the Defiant. Here's why: The Defiant changes the dice when attacked (during Defender Modifies Attack Dice step), while the PHP changes when HIT (during Deal Damage step). That's a critical difference. Sure, if there's more than 1 crit out there, the PHP still gets a crit, but the PHP can counter a Toreth hit->crit modification while the Defiant can't. The PHP is a nice add to any ship with a tech slot, but I wouldn't build around it.

  2. Odd, I find Valdore to be one of the better Romulan captains. Passive conditional attack die adders are pretty big, which is why the big Romulan ships are so popular. His best use is probably with Dorsal Weapon Array, which works very well with Valdore or Khazara, especially in combo with active attack die adders like Scotty or Ni'Vek. DWA can easily get to a whopping 7 dice with Valdore on Valdore with Scotty, although you'll need some Martok or Strike Force trickery to cloak in the same round. His captain skill is a bit low, but not bad enough to impair him too badly.

    Also gives you another way to boost a key Energy Dissipator or Concussion Charge strike, although you have to work harder with those to get the bonus.

    Polarized Hull Plating triggers on each attack, which is pretty good for its cost. As Dave pointed out, its wording is odd, and works better against some cards than the Defiant text does.

    And yeah, even I have nothing good to say about Nukes. They're a grim preview of how terrible the weapons from Enterprise-era ships will probably be.

    A weak expansion with a very poor generic ship, few worthwhile non-unique cards, and only one real reason to buy multiple copies - but Cloaked Mines are so powerful and work so much better in multiples than alone, WizKids will still make their money on this otherwise sad little pack. I've seen Cloaked Mine cards sell for $10 by themselves - and I've never seen a Praetus sell without them.

  3. It's crazy that people are paying $10 for cloaked mines.

    1. Seems high to me as well, but not by a ton. Once you've got the one Praetus you'll want the pack's only value comes from the non-unique cards. If you want more than one Cloaked Mine available for tourney games, it's better to pay $5-10 for the card than $15 for a mostly-dead pack. If you're vehemently against playing Romulans at all, even the first pack is a waste if you can get someone to sell you the card by itself. CMs get used crossfaction a lot, and would show up even more often if they weren't so hard to come by.