Tuesday, 16 June 2015

On the Other Side of the Mirror: Attack Wing's Wave 14 Opponents

Your opponents will be taking your fleet a little more seriously with two great additions to the Attack Wing range.

Taking us, firstly, to the 22nd Century we slide into the Mirror Universe and encounter the ISS Avenger. A sturdy little NX Class starship the model is very good given the size with a moderate level of detail all over.

Thing is you could make the model out of platinum but if the cards and stats are a bit rubbish then it would be utterly useless.  Now the ship itself isn't the highest powered ship available with zero shields and a maximum move of three but this means that HeroClix have accurately noted the difference in generations of the franchise and the nuances between ships.

It wouldn't be good to have the Avenger up against the Sovereign Class for example but in its own era it would hold its own. Comparing her against other ships in this wave though you might stand a chance since her stats are similar to those of the USS Pegasus - albeit a bit lower. Her movements are also a little more restricted with only a maximum of a three and some of those restricted and in need of auxiliary power to make them happen.

Looking into the crew and upgrades,  you have a choice of four captains. One is a nondescript Tellarite but the other three all have their benefits. Black can be utilised as either an Admiral or ship commander, allowing you to make a sensor echo maneuver whether your ship has a cloak or not but does mean you gain an auxiliary power token for your sly efforts. 

Gardner looks very angry and his special feature does back up his scowl with you gaining an attack die but losing one in defence on the round you choose to utilise him. Then there's the token goatee-wearing Vulcan in the form of Soval. who has a cracking little benefit that you can stick any upgrade you want onto the ship he commands and there's no penalty. Both he and Black will also allow you to keep your tech upgrade card.

The Avenger comes with a nice set of upgrades too. The Andorian Helmsman allows an additional movement during the combat phase of the game while the Orion Tactical Officer lets you pull either Weapons Malfunction or Munitions Failure from the Damage Deck, dealing severe consequences on your enemy should they be hit with a critical damage icon on the defence die. Both are low points draining upgrades that will certainly make a lower ranked ship stand a fighting chance - the question is will you relinquish that faster, larger vessel for more devastating attacks.

That bigger, faster and generally nastier ship certainly isn't the Krenim Timeship or, as it's known here, Kyana Prime. This thing turns like a truck but with a six on hull and a four on your shields it will take some beating. It can execute small reverse maneuvers under auxiliary power (red moves) which does give a slight advantage over the clunky Avenger. Yet it won't go down without a fight especially when you check out what it's packing. Model-wise it's OK with some nice purple/black colouring and a fairly good reproduction from the two-part Voyager classic.

The Krenim can play as either an independent race or as a part of the Mirror/Alternative universes faction. While everyone else is relying on quantum torpedoes, that silly thaeleron weapon (!) or a phasing cloak you can take on the whole universe by erasing it!

There's a choice of three captains as per usual with one of those being the generic, low point-using officer as well as Kurtwood Smith's calculating Annorax and his first officer, Obrist. Annorax provides an extra tech slot for your upgrades and allows a dice reroll if you disable one of your upgrades so there's a good two-for-one offer with him as captain. His right hand man costs less but doesn't have the flexibility with his action but through the use of the card and disabling a secondary weapon upgrade you can stop a nearby ship from taking a pot shot.

Those are your only "person" options with the timeship as the remaining six cards all focus on the unique temporal aspects of this expansion. Temporal Core reduces the number of attack dice that can be rolled against you in a phase while Temporal Wave Front gives you the chance to disable upgrades on ships within your forward weapons arc. I'm a fan of the Chroniton Torpedoes too which act just as they did in Year of Hell and ignore any shields that may be in operation, causing damage directly to the hull of the opposing vessel. Yes it requires a target lock and disabling the card but it's a game-breaker for sure, using five attack dice instead of the standard four.

Spatial Distortion is a different take on "Get Out of Jail Free", letting you remove the ship from play and reset her out of weapons range and remove all active tokens except for any auxiliary power ones in operation. This is a really neat action and could save your skin at the last minute turning a defence into a deadly offence. Causality Paradox costs an opponent one of their upgrades to reactivate one of yours but none of these comes close to the timeship's signature move, the Temporal Incursion. Costing a huge nine points to upgrade your ship, this feature allows eight attack dice to be rolled at the expense of a target lock and the card itself. For every critical hit you make the opposing vessel also loses an upgrade and for regular damage one upgrade is disabled. 

This could leave that Klingon, Federation or Romulan vessel without it's finishing move and the Krenim ship in command of the game. I'd say pairing this with Spatial Distortion could win you the game as there's nothing else I'm aware of that has this kind of potential to wreck your opponent's chance of victory.

This pack's special mission, entitled Temporal Incursion sees the Krenim player attempt to erase a planet from existence with a Federation ship out to stop them. Ideally you're going to want Voyager (got that one) equipped with all that funky Borg tech that came in the expansion and should fit on board given the 80 point limit. Ablative armour and transphasic torpedoes first please.

Combined with the USS Pegasus, Wave 14 has a wide range of abilities and faction opportunities with Starfleet, Independents and the Mirror Universe covered. The quality of the models certainly varies and I wouldn't go for this series purely if you're looking at a ship collection. For one thing Eaglemoss produce much more finely detailed craft (no offence WhizKidz) and this is much more about the features, actions, crew and tactics than the ships. They are merely there to represent your situation. I can live with their lower level of detail given their nature and the tiny scale. Wave 14 has an interesting and certainly varied selection to choose from. While there's no "super" ship here, these will give your fleet a neat trick or two extra if you're planning to mix and match your elements.

The reduced stats for the Avenger make perfect sense given its placement in canon. Likewise I recall the Timeship being flaky once you got past all the temporal science that shrouded it so the figures add up. In battle the Timeship is definitely a secret weapon and well worth holding back using your upgrades until later in the game as they provide a heavy blow. Using them early could leave her open to general attack and a quick exit.

The Avenger and the Krenim Timeship (I can't call it Kyana Prime, it just feels wrong) are my only recruits from alternative universes so far but getting any more seems a waste of funds since the other releases so far are all duplicate models with different cards. I might push to a couple but my main focus remains Federation/Klingon/Romulan. The next few waves in that case will be peaking my interest no end.

Wave 15 sees the arrival of the USS Prometheus (must have), the Bajoran Ratosha and the Klingon Bird-of-Prey Ning'tao. Wave 16 brings the USS Pasteur, the Dauntless (independent and Starfleet options perhaps?) and the Ferengi Kreechta.

Wave 17 in August adds the Akira Class USS Thunderchild, Klingon D7 IKS T'Ong and IRW Vrax. September's 18th wave Quark's Treasure shuttle from Little Green Men, the Species 8472 Bioship Beta and the Nebula Class USS Phoenix although pics suggest it actually looks more like the Sutherland due to the shape of the rear pod. 

Checking out the boadgamegeek page it also suggests we have four more waves planned beyond that with the IKS Rotarran, the Delta Flyer and the Constellation Class USS Hathaway all set to feature as well as a variety of other alien vessels.

Fan of Attack Wing and added these to your fleet? How have you been using them? What advantages do they give you? Let us know below!

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