Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Sulu and Styles

I'm Back! Well, it wasn't a long departure in any event. I'm finding it a bit hard to keep up my regular pace, but we'll see how it goes. I'll do a review of the Excelsior captains today. I think there's some interesting stuff here.

Hikaru Sulu (Federation/USS Excelsior Expansion) 
Captain Skill: 6
Action: Disable one of your [Crew] Upgrades to remove an opponents's [Target Lock] Token from your ship. Remove the corresponding token from the opponent's ship as well.
Cost: 4
Elite Talent Upgrades: 1

So, I think Sulu's captain skill is going to pretty much be a one-off use thing. Your ship is going to be pretty much on its last legs, and you're going to be looking for a way out of your predicament. This isn't the kind of action that you use every turn- and that's okay, IF the action provides a huge swing. Unfortunately, I don't really see this upgrade providing that swing. You already are going to have to disable an additional crew member to get anything out of Sulu's ability, and you have to burn your action. If another ship has the target lock and Quantums up, this is going to be the kind of action that is soooo clutch that it'll make you think you should bring Sulu in every game. To be honest, I think by the time you get around to asking yourself if its time to use Sulu's ability, your game is probably nearing its conclusion anyway. So, in sum- very clutch on the odd occasion, otherwise mostly useless.

There is also the fundamental issue of not being able to take Sulu pilot if you take Sulu Captain. Presumably, you've already evaluated whether you need Sulu Captain over, say, Sulu pilot, so this is probably a moot point. When compared to Sulu pilot, I don't think there's much of an argument in favour of Sulu captain, but maybe your local group is all torpedoes and no good sense. Who knows!

Okay, moving on- a man with........ Style?

Styles (Federation/USS Excelsior Expansion) 
Captain Skill: 3
Add 1 additional [Tech] icon to your ship's Upgrade Bar.
Cost: 2
Elite Talent Upgrades: 0

Fairly straightforward effect here. He adds a tech icon to your ship. Those tech upgrades are pretty awesome, so Styles is going to open up some pretty great options. Obviously the issue is whether you actually want to RUN Styles on a ship with any of those Tech upgrades, as he's a pretty crummy Captain, but if you find a particularly awesome federation/Tech combo and NEED to run it, Styles is your man. I'm Immediately thinking of the Ferengi EM Pulse, which would certainly combo well with Styles' lower skill. On a Reliant, it wouldn't be half bad!

So both of these guys have some merit, and Styles can be pretty good in a Reliant list or other low cost federation build. Pair him with another Reliant with Terell and you've got some TOS(Movie Era) goodness. When the Enterprise A comes out, it'll be a pretty thematic build with Sulu on the Excelsior, a reliant and an Enterprise A. 

At any rate, let me know what you think.


  1. But the Ferengi EM Pulse on the Miranda has the problem of the Miranda's firing arc being too good. You want something with only a 90deg front firing arc to use the EM Pulse. Ideally you want a ships WITHOUT a front firing arc, but I highly doubt we'll ever see that.

  2. There are very few low end options to use with Styles. I wouldn't want to throw him on anything above 20ish points.

  3. Styles is best used crossfaction IME. His low skill makes it easier to guarantee getting an action (ie cloaking) by the reducing the chance of a collision with a earlier-moving ship, and the tech slot is an enormous help to some ships. Good as the Valdore is, it's a heck of a lot better with the option to take an Interphase Generator. With 6 hull and a cloaked Romulan agility pool being low man in the firing order is bearable - even more so with the IG mounted.

  4. I wish Sulu's action didn't also cost a crew member.

    1. Makes it really easy to justify sticking Cyrano Jones on his ship, though. One of the better uses for Jones, although not as good as Conditional Surrender.

  5. After the crazy Dukat/Martok/Strike Force list I've been using, I'm fairly addicted to having action advantages. So some list that gave Sulu at least one extra action (to ease the annoyance of re-enabling crewmen) might make him a little more viable.

    1. True enough. If you stick him on a Klingon or Romulan ship, you've also got access to 1-point in-faction crew that make leaving them disabled pretty painless. You probably won't need to use his ability more than once or twice a game anyway unless you're facing a torpedo-centric fleet.

    2. i feel like we're really stretching to find a spot for sulu in a list lol.

    3. You have to admit it's a change of pace. Usually I find myself trying to find a reason NOT to use (non-captain) Sulu in a list. :)

      Captain Sulu's a ways off from useless, but he isn't great. If the meta shifts toward more torp usage (which the new Romulan ship this wave is encouraging a bit) he'll become better, but I doubt he'll ever be a must-take.

  6. Sorry about the lack of updates. Work is kicking my ass.

  7. A hundred apologies for the lack of updates. I should be able to bang out a few articles this week, but we'll see. The pace of work increased quite a bit and I'm having trouble keeping up with the schedule (obviously). I'm probably not going to post anything next week due to a pending vacation.