August brought three additions to the Attack Wing stable in Wave 25.
However, two of them - the Negh'Var and the Scimitar were just model repaints as was the case with Wave 24's USS Enterprise NCC-1701. The third is also a reuse of a miniature in the form of the Galaxy Class USS Venture seen in Deep Space Nine's The Way of the Warrior.
I won't go over the reviews of the Negh'Var or Scimitar again so please follow the links through to the original article for those two.
In the case of the Venture it is a straight repaint in itself of the Starter Set USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D. This time the duck egg blue paint scheme has been changed to a shiny silver but it somehow feels more complete and less hurried than the original piece. The paint around the warp engines and the deflector dish in particular was appalling and hurriedly applied. Here though the final coat is spot on with the escape pod hatches, phaser strips and even hull plating marked out nicely. The bussard collectors and warp engine grilles are also much more precisely painted; even the deflector looks decent enough for a model of this size. Minor note that the model doesn't have the additional phaser strips the ship has in The Way of the Warrior on top of the warp engines and there is a bit of a lean to the side on the engine pylons but it's still a big step forward in quality control.
With all of these recent repaints the workmanship has stepped up a level - but of a shame it's taken over 20 waves to get this down pat.
Right, onto the pack and the USS Venture drops a four attack, one agility, five hull and four shield points with the standard Evade, Target Lock, Scan and Battle Stations actions for a Federation ship. The Galaxy Class ship has additional slots for one Tech, two Weapon and two Crew upgrades for a total of 28 points. As for unique actions, the Venture will allow players to gain an additional attack die if they are using the ship to fire on a craft in the forward firing arc of another friendly ship. Certainly a useful action when it comes to helping out your fleet who might be looking at the wrong end of a phaser.
The generic version knocks a shield point off and provides three Crew slots and one Weapon slot for 26 points. Being an older wave ship, it also comes with a decent set of moves with a full speed five forward and up to a two in reverse. Both those reverse moves and the hard left and right turns at speed three will incur the Auxiliary Power Token handicap. It's one of the things this class is famous for in the game - great speed but lousy manoeuvrability.
Along with the generic captain option we have Donald Varley. Now he actually captained the USS Yamato in Contagion and there's no Admiral Hastur who is mentioned several times in the pack but then as we never saw that character this "had to do". Varley is a bit limp with a skill of four and a cost of three. He does offer an Elite Action slot and lets you have a Scan as a free action but with Federation ships you already have that as a basic feature which might make him somewhat redundant (although still cheap) but there are stronger, low skill Federation captains.
Over with the Weapons cards and we have the standard Photon Torpedoes with their Time Token regeneration feature. The biggie here though is the Additional Phaser Arrays which do align with the Venture itself which had this very feature (rear of the warp engines). Disabling this card drops your primary weapon up by two dice (here that would be four to two) for a second attack. For five points and the ability to use it repeatedly this might have a lot of use over a longer game.
The two Tech options both cost five points. Maximum Warp lets you perform a manoeuvre of two of less (forward) as long as you've already performed a forward move. It's a disable and it will cost you any free Actions you were thinking of using for the round but does offer superb evasive opportunities. High-Capacity Deflector Shield Grid is a dispose upgrade which will avoid two points of damage as long as you have one Shield still active. Again a useful defensive option in fleet operations to keep your capital ships flying for as long as possible. A big help especially since this has the turning ability of a truck.
Computer Core fits into either the Crew or Weapons category and adds a Tech slot to your ship. Neither a discard or disable, it also allows an Action to re-roll any one die in the round (token included as a reminder). Decent option here as that means for either attack or defence purposes.
Finally Galaxy Wing Squadron is this pack's Elite Action and it does rely on the player having a few other Galaxy Class starships on the fleet since its Action is to give them (within range two) an additional attack die for the round. Nice benefit but I would question how often you would see a fleet with a number of the sluggish-turning Galaxy Class ships played.
As for your mission, Galaxy Wing takes you into the Dominion War with two 200 point fleets; the Federation must field two Galaxy Class and both can carry Galaxy Class Squadron card even if there's no Elite Action upgrade on the Captain card.
For the Federation the goal is to capture the Cardassian capital (represented with the planet piece from the Starter Set) while the Dominion are there to put a stop to the plan. Invading the planet involves "beaming down" your Crew cards and then turning them into mission tokens. If you manage eight then the war is over. For the number of mission tokens on the planet you then roll the equivalent number of attack dice and if the Critical Damage symbol is on three dice rolled it's also game over for the Dominion.
It's a nice addition and a long time waiting for a second retail Galaxy Class ship. The repaint is a massive improvement and I hope this continues with the upcoming Voyager, Koronak, Borg Sphere and Defiant repaints due soon. As for the pack, for once there's an even split of offence and defence for Federation players. Nothing here that's particularly overpowering or a game changer but certainly bits that will help enhance your ships but not decimate the enemy in a hit.
Will the USS Venture or the repaints of the Negh'Var or the Scimitar be heading into your collection?
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