Thursday, 6 July 2017

Three Repaints for Wave 30

For those of us that missed them, this month's Wave 30 releases are a chance at a catch up.

Not one, not two, but three repaints fill out the quota and give us a Federation, Klingon and Romulan entry.

Let's start off for once with the Romulan IRW Valdore. The Class ship of the upgraded Warbird seen in Nemesis, this wife-spanned hunter is one of two released for the game and easily has the best finish. The other, the IRW Vrax from Wave 17, featured a lovely luminescent and translucent green finish making it appear as though cloaking. With the Valdore we can actually see the finishing surface detail from nose to stern without squinting. 

These repaints have been a real win in my opinion. The end result feels cleaner and less rushed and the bonus is the chance to grab one of the earlier ships that are now so hard to find (Excelsior being a prime example). For a ship of this scale the line work on the body of the Valdore is exceptional. The paint is cleanly applied and although it is one solid shade of green it's not overloaded to the point where definition is lost. 

So to the pack and the Valdore is the most powerful basic ship of the wave, coming in at a steady 30 points cost. For that you're getting one hell of a ship; four attack, two defence, six hull and rounded off with three shield points. There are the standard Action options of Evade and Target Lock plus the useful Cloak and Sensor Echo which have helped many a Romulan and Klingon ship dodge a nasty attack. The Valdore also provides players with two slots for Crew and two slots for Weapon upgrades to add to the devastation that the ship can offer up.

The unique action this time around comes into play alongside the Valdore's manoeuvre dial as when you play a green speed you get to add an additional attack die for that round. That will increase you up to five when in the combat zone and definitely give you an advantage. 

Movement is good but there's no reverse options with this one so you'll be ploughing into the action hoping to come out alive the other side. There are a full range of moves at speeds two and three although at speed three the 90 degree turns left and right are red. There's the chance to use the Come About as well plus the Valdore can step up to a forward speed of four if necessary. Not one of the fastest craft in the park so you'll be relying heavily on your firepower options and that six hull score to save your ass.

Over on the generic Valdore Class you lose the unique action plus a shield and a Weapon slot for a mere two point reduction in cost to 28. 

Captaining the Valdore is Donatra as occurred in Nemesis. It's a strong card even with the average skill of six and a cost of four points. Donatra carries the slot for an Elite Action but also allows all friendly ships within range one to gain an additional attack die. Now, imagine sticking Donatra on another Romulan ship and then coupling her in with the Valdore's unique action and that ship could technically end up using six attack dice each round it's in range of this captain.

If Donatra doesn't float your boat then there's The Next Generation's Tomalok. A captain skill of three and a cost of two will make him the more price-friendly option plus he gives you a distinct advantage when attacking from distance as your opponent can't roll an extra die when you're phasering them from range three. No limits on this one so it's repeat-use happy all the way to the bank.

The lone Elite Action of All Forward Disruptor Banks offers multiple use with a disable feature to limit just how much it can be effected. Adding one more die to your attack it can only be directed forward but linked in with some of the ranging options already discussed and you're looking at upwards of a six dice attack that can be repeatedly used in some cases and at distance. Four points is nothing for something that is as potentially powerful as this card alongside the other Valdore improvements.

If the cards so far aren't enough to have you considering the Valdore for your fleet there are two Weapon choices to boost your ship. Both cost five points and use five attack dice but are effective over different ranges. Plasma Torpedoes cost you a Target Lock as well and are disabled to allow you to re-roll any blank results at ranges one and two. Photon Torpedoes is more long range at two and three again with the disable and Target Lock constraints (one of the features of waves pre-16). In this case you can convert a Battle Stations result into a Critical Damage. One to use when those shields are down and you can make harder damage count.

Final card in the pack is Tactical Officer with a cost of three points as your Crew upgrade. When removing a Target Lock to re-roll attack dice, you gain an extra re-roll once per die. That's one to add into the mix of additional attack dice with the Valdore's unique action plus All Forward Disruptors with Tomalok stopping any additional defence at long range.

Destroy the Scimitar is the mission offered up here. As with the Vrax and the Scimitar it's a scenario from Nemesis and played as a three-person co-operative. I reckon you could easily turn this into a one-player game as the Scimitar token has a set movement style set out by the scenario. The end result is a simple one and I'm looking forward to tackling it (but might use my Scimitar instead of the token).

Second is the IKS Koraga. I must have a fleet of Birds of Prey now because there seem to have been that many - and D-7/K't'inga Class ships as well! 

This one is a redo from Wave Two and was the ship Worf was commanding - and lost - before the events of Deep Space Nine's Penumbra. Yep, we never actually saw this one on screen but what the hell here it is for Attack Wing.  

The Bird of Prey paint scheme has gone through a fair few variations since I got my first one. That was Chang's from The Undiscovered Country and in these later waves there has been more precision in paint application and more daring intricate detail particularly around the rear of the scout-size starships (this is actually supposed to be the larger K'Vort Class rather than B'rel). Truth be told, the Birds of Prey have long been one of the better paints and repaints in the series as well as some of the sturdier miniatures. Never a bad thing to have more and it does mean I can recreate the final battle from The Way of the Warrior with a decent size Klingon fleet!

The Koraga offers no surprises when it comes to stats with a four attack, one defence, five hull and three shield point combination (26 points total cost). As with the Valdore we also have the standard Evade, Target Lock, Cloak and Sensor Echo on the card plus two Crew slots and one for Tech and Weapons each.  Each time you defend with the Koraga while closed you gain an additional defence die - not sure how much of an advantage this is since a Bird of Prey will typically defend with five dice cloaked as it is.

Movement is identical in every way to the Valdore including the 180 turn at speed three so I'll refer you up for more details on that. As for the generic Bird of Prey, we lose a shield, a Crew slot and the Unique Action for a cost of 24 points.

With a skill of five, Worf is the strongest captain option here costing three points. He does allow you to re-roll all blank results when attacking however I think you would pick other Klngon captains ahead of this one. His brother, Kurn, is captain option number two with a skill of three and a cost of two. He provides an additional attack die as an Action but will mean you get landed with an Auxiliary Power Token. Maybe useful as a final strike or to get out of a sticky situation.

Advanced Weapon System (five points) is one of two Tech upgrades here and can be disabled to keep your Cloak token from flipping before rolling any dice. It's firing while cloaked if you hadn't realised! Second to that is the four-point-costing EM Pulse. Another disable rather than discard, the ship being targetted rolls one less attack and defence die for the round which will open it up to a lot of attacks if you've got yourself in the right place. I'd say especially useful against capital ships and the Borg!

With Crew you have N'Garen costing four points who can make significant changes to your attack roll, converting one Battle Stations to a Critical Damage and all of the others to normal Damage. That's got to be one to open up a lot of chances and isn't restricted to a discard or a disable which means it's an Action you can play as many times as you want. Nice card and not one I hear a lot about. Definitely one that is worth taking more time to understand effective uses. Also, what's the crack with this one if you have dice to re-roll?

Making the Koraga a family affair we have Alexander for three points. When at least damaged by one point, you can place a Battle Stations token onto the Alexander card and then during the Activation Phase you can move one of those tokens to beside your ship. It's a twist on the Free Action move but offers little option to combo with anything else from this ship.

Last up is the standard Photon Torpedoes card costing the usual five points and usable at ranges two and three. As it's from an older wave this does offer the Target Lock disabling caveat rather than Time Tokens.

With the Koraga you can Patrol the Badlands in a two player scenario which pits the Bird of Prey against the Dominion with the additional hazard of plasma storms. The core of the mission is for the Klingon ship to make it to the Dominion player starting area while navigating the Badlands and inform Command. The Dominion player need only eliminate the Bird of Prey but the plasma storms cannot be fired through...

With the number of storms in the playing field this is one of the trickiest scenarios I've seen for Attack Wing and one with the most obstacles in a two player format. Certainly one that'll make you think!

Finally we have a true classic and the only Miranda Class ship to be released as part of the retail expansions for Attack Wing; USS Reliant

No collection is complete without this one and now it bears the slightly pimped up silver paint job that all the later Federation Starships have to carry. Admittedly it's the cards in this one that really drew me to it rather than the horribly under-powered Reliant but the model is still worth a look over. 

Mine did come with bent nacelles but that just means it'll look perfect alongside my movie Enterprise refit (a repaint of this is due in Wave 31) in the Mutara Nebula which also has crooked warp engines - but that was the least of its worries in the movie.

The hull detail is nice and clean with distinct panel edges and for the size it's a decent enough replica. Sadly the 20 point Reliant is a bit of a weakling on the cards!

With just two for attack, two for defence, three hull and three shields, the USS Reliant is not going to be heading up anyone's taskforce. More of a support craft, the science vessel offers the Federation standards of Evade, Target Lock, Scan and Battle Stations alongside two Crew and a single Weapon slot. What she loses at distance however is made up for at close range with range one attacks gaining an additional attack die. Remember at close range you gain one die anyway so this means the Reliant effectively DOUBLES its attack power at close quarters.

As a class ship, that Action goes out of the window and you're left with a bit of a dud, reducing shields to two points, removing one of the Crew slots and costing 18 points. I seriously wouldn't bother. What it does have going is a good, full set of moves at ranges two and three which don't incur Auxiliary Power Token penalties making it one of the better ships to manoeuvre without it costing you the ability to perform an Action. She also has the option of a single speed reverse move but that will incur the token penalty. Still, for the chance to zip around unhindered it might appeal to some.

In keeping with The Wrath of Khan, the ship comes with both Federation and Independent faction cards. That's most evident in the captain cards where you get a pick from Khan Singh and Terrell.

Independent Khan is a strong candidate for the command chair here, allowing you to pick whatever upgrades you want from any faction without incurring a penalty. It's a massive, ridiculous win that opens just about every door whatever ship you stick him on. Add to that Khan will convert Battle Station results into Critical Damage if you spend a Battle Stations token during the round. Again there's no penalty or clause here making him one of the most high-powered captains in the game. Even with a cost of five points and a skill of eight it's well worth the price.

Captain Skill of two, Clark Terrell is the Starfleet captain of the Reliant before Khan gets his hands on the ship. Costing a single point, Terrell provides support to friendly ships at range one, offering them an additional defence die. The ship is all about these close quarter moves with all the advantages seeming to come at the closest distance. 

To the Crew and we have three point Pavel Chekov oddly pictured from The Final Frontier rather than The Wrath of Khan but anyway, he can remove Auxiliary Power Tokens after performing white manoeuvres rather than green which will stop your movements and Actions from being limited each round. Fairly cheap and very useful to keep your craft in the thick of the action and able to act.

Costing one point less (two) is Kyle. Formerly of the Starship Enterprise, he's worked up to Comms on the Reliant and can reinforce your ship by providing an Action that repairs a shield token but will reduce your attack dice by two for the round. Kyle is perhaps better suited to a ship with more than two dice for attack as with Reliant but if you are in close quarters it would mean you could still roll one die while fixing your defences.

While those are your two new Federation Crew candidates, Khan gets his own backup with Joachim for four points. He's a rather meaty upgrade to have on the Independent fleet as he doubles the amount of Damage Cards (two) which are drawn and you, the Independent player, get to choose which one is inflicted. No restrictions here so you could cause a lot of damage and really cripple an opponent for that final hit.

Follower of Khan is a budget card with a cost of just one point. A rare discard from this wave of ships, all remaining shields have to be disabled and a ship at range one/two can be targeteed as long as its not cloaked or has active shields. You can then remove a Crew upgrade from that ship. To be honest that's a lot of effort for a low cost card with not a lot to gain. If you're looking to fill a niggling gap on the cost then it's a good call but otherwise I'd head elsewhere - too many things to tick and remember before it becomes useful and at that point it may be too late to use anyway.

Both of the Elite Actions for the Reliant pack are Independent with I Stab At Thee... being the less expensive. Again a close range winner, it allows a destroyed ship to act out a last gasp of revenge, roll three attack dice and inflict the damage on all ships at range one. Oh - and there's no defence to be rolled against this one so it might be your last. For five points you can take Superior Intellect (but do you think in three dimensions...?) which is a discard option. You can target a ship at ranges one or two that is not cloaked or shielded and can steal one of that vessel's face up upgrades even if it takes you over your points quota.

That's a handy little addition that will up your own abilities at the cost of others and you could grab something very useful and powerful since there's again, no restriction on what you can have. Last up is the Photon Torpedoes card again with the original Target Lock and disable rules. Only a four dice attack here for three points and ranges two to three.

As you would hope and expect, Reliant comes with The Mutara Nebula. NCC-1864 has to be captained by an Independent (hmmm wonder who...) versus a Federation player with 40 points to either side. However, there are no shields in operation within the nebula, Scan and Cloak are useless and only a ship at range one can be Target Locked. All ships can perform Sensor Echo and gain two extra defence dice. No attacks can be made at ranges two or three which means that a lot of the Reliant's close quarters cards will be super-effective.

For a lot of veteran players, Wave 30 will be a waste of time since there's nothing fundamentally new here. For those of us that joined late it's another chance to get some of the killer packs. The Koraga isn't that interesting and is one of those packs that fades in the memory since there are other more prominent Klingon sets worth getting. The Valdore and the Reliant however are just awesome expansions and I can see why these have been re-released. There are some strong cards in here which will open up the game to those of us who didn't grab those important early waves and some of the more powerful ships and upgrades. Valdore is a cracking Romulan ship with some serious firepower while Reliant is almost a polar opposite, requiring clever tactics and quick thinking close up to be at its best.

Wave 31 will follow the same trend as 30 with three repaints - the Cardassian Hideki Class fighters, the movie USS Enterprise refit and the Jem'Hadar 5th Wing Patrol Ship filling its slots. Looks like there won't be anything new for a while then...

Good additions for new players or a waste of a wave? What's your pick from Wave 30?

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