Friday, 13 February 2015

And on the Opposing Side: Klingon and Romulan Fleet Additions on Attack Wing


Last time we covered off my purchases to enhance Starfleet and this time it's the turn of the Klingons and Romulans to get a bit of the limelight.

I'm Starfleet through and through, stashing a bit aside for the Equinox and the upcoming Prometheus but what's the fleet without something to head off against? Also it means my dad is happy since his alliance of choice, the Klingons, have gained two ships. But first, the Romulans.


She's a predator. That was according to Jean-Luc Picard in Nemesis and cracking open the expansion pack you can hardly disagree when you take a look at the Scimitar. Aside from the high SP score for the ship alone, it's rammed with some killer features that make other ships pale in comparison. I think I'd be worried if I was going up against it with a couple of smaller ships and I'd doubt the Enterprise-E would survive in a head-to-head.

The miniature itself is one of the best. I didn't get it for the ship but the detail given the scale is fairly good and shows up how poorly presented some of the ships from the earlier waves were (Voyager and Defiant step forward please). Colour scheme is good and the all round markings are very distinct so top marks to WizKids for this one.

Already I've faced off against this formidable opponent in a three-way transgression with Voyager and the Negh'Var. Put it this way, if you get in the way of the one-off-use Thalaron Weapon you're in for a bad game since it can wipe out a good portion of your shields and hull in it's one hit which requires ten attack dice (note to self buy another set).

But is that all it can do? Not at all. Aside from the standard expectations of a cloaking device, sensor echo, evasive maneuvers and target lock, the Scimitar also comes complete with Shinzon for captain which effectively gives you free reign over your choice of Elite Action. This captain card only adds to prove that everything about the Reman warship is BIG and deadly. Improved cloak is another killer move allowing you to go invisible whether or not you have active shields or any auxiliary power tokens and it's evident that there are quite a few which are only applicable to this massive warship. 

In fact for most of the game I played against her I spent it running cloaked trying to find a way to take out Voyager first. And did we mention it's stupidly high hull points or the secondary shields? Probably not but if you want to last a while it's a good ship to go for. Only concern I would have is that you'll get slapped with a lot of critical damage cards to deal with in the later stages of the game but then that's the payoff for choosing one of the more powerful vessels available outside of the Borg Collective.

You also do give up some maneuverability with having the larger ship which is one of the drawbacks of using the Klingon flagship, the Negh'Var too. In the three-way dogfight Voyager easily outmatched the other two for pace proving to be a rather slippery target to hold down. On the flip side of that though the Klingon flagship is a bit of an enigma. It's definitely middle-of-the-road material with pretty impressive primary attack power and a decent hull score but gets let down by its lack of upgrade spaces, maneuverability and shield strength.  In fact lining her up against the Vor'Cha cruiser from the Starter Set there's one single point difference between the two and that's on hull integrity. 

Playing as a single ship does mean that the captain cards of Gowron and Martok are fairly pointless giving their leaning to assist other ships in your fleet (Martok does specify "friendly" rather than "Klingon" which might be key in battle) so you might end up picking a commander from another faction ship if it's a one-on-one situation. I did pick Martok purely to use the Elite Action option but would think again next time.

I do like using the Negh'Var with the photon torpedo advantage card but that's not an exclusive to this ship as many ships do have that feature although not always rear-firing however once you're in the middle of a firefight there's not much room to escape unless you're timing cloaks and sensor echoes to perfection. 


Which leads nicely into my third ship acquisition, Chang's Bird of Prey. 

I had promised myself I would stay true to the later The Next Generation and beyond timeline but when your dad's a massive fan of the Klingons and you want to ensure you have a worthy opponent in battle you have to make some concessions and this was mine.

This Bird-of-Prey came out in the same wave as the Scimitar we've already mentioned and in line with that ship the hull detail is decent (but not quite as good) with the wings down in the flight position. For note the previous Bird-of-Prey release had the wings in the lowered attack configuration and was a specific ship class. Here with Chang's prototype we simply have it listed as the Bird-of-Prey rather than B'rel or K'Vort.

One of the big draws here for me as a player/collector was the Chang card which lets you add in an extra sensor echo during maneuvering. Oddly it also comes with Gorkon (potential Fleet Admiral there) and Brigadier Kerla as your alternate captains. I suppose there weren't a lot of options between this one and Kronos One which was released earlier in the series. Notably against the Negh'Var it comes with many more ship-specific features and nuances only adding to a level of disappointment with the Klingon's flagship from Deep Space Nine.

For my dad though the selling point of Chang's ship was indeed one of those game-changing features - the ability to fire while cloaked. Now if I'd used this instead of the Negh'Var I think it would have helped push the advantage my way and given me more to do than duck and cover for most of the encounter (damn you Scimitar) however given that the trade off is the ship's main stats vs this one unique selling point you would have to verge towards the Klingon flagship. If you were points limited to smaller ships then I'd probably plump for this one to take on a Romulan scout or the Defiant for example (three-way cloaking!) but against the bigger ships there wouldn't be that much hope for success.

The Bird-of-Prey also benefits from some superb Elite Actions in Cry Havoc which links attacks and cloak while The Game's Afoot takes advantage of firing and moving making this small ship a dangerous beast to tackle. Looking forward to putting her up against the Defiant which I've recently acquired from across the pond.

Also these three give you the chance to get into the Star Trek universe with their packaged scenarios.  The Scimitar returns us to the end of Nemesis with the warbird taking on a Starfleet ship and a Romulan ally while the Negh'Var has Klingons vs the Federation to Destroy the Space Station in a revisit of The Way of the Warrior.  Finally Chang's Bird-of-Prey replays the two on one hunt that closed Star Trek VI.  All three are classic scenarios but playing them without the correct ships is sure to bug players who have chosen not to buy every ship every month.  Sad to say but another one player story wouldn't go amiss for those of us who can't get a regular two player fix or able to get to any of the events.

The Bird-of-Prey and the Scimitar easily outclass the Negh'Var on their features and specs making them valuable in any fleet but they do show up just how average the Klingon flagship is and the potential it's missing. OK so it didn't have a lot to do in it's limited appearances but I would have hoped for more than just picking up the surprisingly average Gowron and Martok cards. I guess from the fact this is from the earlier waves it's also why neither of these two managed to make it as Fleet Admirals. I still have to get to grips with this new slice of the game and will update on my experiences shortly.

Any recommendations to add to my fleet? What's your preferred non-Federation starship in Attack Wing? Why not let us know below!