Monday, 13 January 2014

Resource Review ~ Elite Attack Die

If you’ve been attending the OP events at your FLGS, you’ve probably been amassing ‘resources’. Every OP event, each participant receives a ‘resource’ to use in regular or organized play. You may only include 1 resource in your fleet, and you may only use said resource once per game round. How useful are these resources? Let’s find out, in a series I’ve lazily named ‘Resource Review’.

Starting with the OP1 resource: Elite Attack Die (EAD)

At first glance it seems killer - a stacked attack die that has no blank side, and that has the potential to hit twice! But taking a numbers approach, is it worth it?

Someone much smarter than I has already run the numbers, and the bullet points are as follows:

  • Probabilities for the Regular Attack Die:

Hit: 3/8 = .375
Critical Hit: 1/8 = .125
Battle Stations: 2/8 = .25
Miss: 2/8 = .25

  • Probabilities for the Elite Attack Die:

Hit: 3/8 = .375
Critical Hit: 2/8 = .25
Battle Stations: 2/8 = .25
Double Hit: 1/8 = .125

  • The 'Hit' and 'Battlestations' values have no effect in comparison to the regular die, as both die have the same ratio.
  • Based on a value assigned to each outcome, an expected value for the particular die can be calculated:
Expected value of Regular Attack Die: 0.6875 per roll
Expected value of Elite Attack Die: 1.125 per roll

 Looks pretty sweet, doesn’t it? But hold on. A little more number crunching and we find that the Elite Attack Die roll is worth 1.64 Regular Attack Die rolls. When compared to an upgrade that would provide you with +1 attack die, and you’re comparing 2 regular attack dice to 1 elite attack die (worth 1.64 regular attack die). And since 2 > 1.64, it would appear that rolling 2 regular attack dice trumps 1 elite attack die. The elite attack die costs 5 points, so if you can accommodate an upgrade that gives +1 regular attack die for those points or less, the numbers say go for that upgrade.

So the numbers say +1 regular attack die is the way to go. Of course, there is more to it. 

First, the Elite Attack Die is versatile, able to be used among your entire fleet. Most upgrades that provide an extra attack die have some limitation (must be within range 1, must be a friendly Klingon ship, must be a ship with a lower captain skill, etc.) or require the use of an action. The EAD is not restricted in any way - at any point during your attack phase, you may use the EAD on any ship, without spending an action.

Second, with a battlestations you are guaranteed a hit. No way around it, when you’re rolling with the EAD and a battlestations, or a battlestations heavy list (i.e. Spock), a guaranteed hit will ensue. And because of the first point above, you’ll always be able to use the EAD on any of your ships – why not make it that one with battlestations?

Third, the EAD has 2 critical hits. Twice the chance of landing a crit can sway the game. And when those crits are … critical (i.e. Attack Pattern Delta) the Elite Attack Die can pay dividends.

All in all, the EAD is a versatile tool that can come in handy. Numbers-wise it may not be better than rolling an extra attack die, but there are many builds where the versatility of the EAD will best that one extra die.


  1. "And when those crits are … critical (i.e. Attack Pattern Delta) the Elite Attack Die can pay dividends."

    I think you mean Attack Pattern Omega there.

    The "auto-hit with Battlestations" aspect is most significant when using Energy Dissipators, most likely with Gul Dukat at the helm of a Breen cruiser. It's also potentially helpful in some tourney scenarios like Month 4's "kill Starfleet HQ" rules or the OWPs upcoming in Month 5.

    Overall, it seems to be a rarely-used Resource locally. I haven't seen one in play since Month 3, whereas the Command Tokens and Flagship cards show up all the time.

    1. Thanks for the correction. You are right - Attack Pattern Omega is what I was going for.

      Indeed, auto hit with battlestations can be significant when using multiple upgrades like the Energy Dissipator - Concussive charges, Quantum Torpedoes, and such ...

      Locally I don't see it in play much either. Even in OP2 and 3, I didn't encounter it much ...