Sunday, 16 June 2019

Kelvin Counterparts: Attack Wing Mirror Universe Faction Pack: The Kelvin Timeline Part 2

We've covered the Enterprise and the alternate crew so let's turn our attention to Q'onoS and the Klingons for our second half of the Kelvin Timeline Faction Pack...

The two models included in this set are, frankly, excellent. Small scale they might be but the detail of the mould and the additional painted markings make for a great ship. Wizkids have crammed a lot in with the feathered panelling on the wings and the shoulder cannons (little out of scale these...) down to the vertebrae style neck connecting the command section to the main hull. Underneath is a little simpler with a flat hull complemented by some top notch detailing on the pair of warp nacelles hanging down from the wings of the engineering hull. For note, these ships and crew can be used either for the Mirror Universe or the Klingon Empire.

The influence of the classic D-7 is all too evident as it was on the larger and equally impressive version from Eaglemoss about a year back but I think this is just that tiny edge better because of the size of this one. It has to be one of the most exact reproductions from the franchise in the game and for once it's not let down by sloppy paintwork or misaligned engines. Instead we have a well presented Klingon vessel ready to take on the Federation.

Making a "second" appearance in the game is the IKS Amar last seen in its The Motion Picture guise as a K'T'Inga Class ship. The CG on the card shows it with purple tipped features  rather than the silver/greys of the miniature but we're not here to nitpick the image because it's all about the stats.

Now points-wise you at a disadvantage here because the Amar and the IKS Suvwl both rock in at 21 points versus the USS Enterprise's 28. Both ships pack four attack, one defence, four hull and three shield points plus the standard Actions of Target Lock, Battlestations, Cloak and Sensor Echo. They also mirror each other with slots for one Tech, two Weapon and a single Crew upgrade. Where they do differ is the Unique Action with the Amar able to fire its Primary Weapon if it receives damage while Cloaked (only once per game) and the Suvwl can add an extra attack die and reduce an opponent's defence by one should it be cloaked and not in the Primary Firing Arc of said enemy.

Both ships are geared towards dealing more damage leaving offence your best defence with these arrivals. Nor are they particularly quick with a top speed of four with full banking and 90 degree left and right turns at speeds two and three. The hard left/right at speed three as well as the reverse do incur the Auxiliary Power Token (red) penalty while the banking turns and forward of speeds two and one will get those removed (green). Considering the top speed there's a lot of manoeuvrability with these Klingons - even more surprising since these aren't more flexible birds of prey.

Kor is available as your highest skilled captain (seven) with a cost of four and the chance to equip an Elite Action as well. He has an interesting Action which wlll come in to play very well if you choose to employ it against your most powerful opponent. When attacking, Kor can add an extra die and then convert two Battle Station results into damage. If it's on the receiving end those Battle Station results can be converted to Evades and the ship gets to roll an extra defence die.

Kang is a little less flexible and will only be ever considered for use if you're going up against the Federation since his Unique Action specifically utilises one of that faction's ships. Should one be in your Forward Firing Arc then your captain skill increases from six to eight for that round. Kang too costs four points and can equip an Elite Action.

For two ships that can only add a single Crew upgrade you get a surprising four to choose from in this expansion. Koth could be a real asset to the ship costing two points and immediately disabling a Crew upgrade on an opposing ship. However, think a bit more and this could be a waste of resources since this is only used on Set Up and if your opponent is a half-decent player this will be reactivated sharpish. 

Also costing two points is Klingon Patrol. At the End Phase and as long as you;re not in the Forward Firing Arc of an opponent you can cloak. Admittedly this is nothing more than a Free Action completed at the back end of the round rather than the beginning - which will be all of two minutes in the real world.

Again for a cost of two is Klingon Guard. Offering a Combat Phase freebie of an Evade token, this one provides the chance to act after your opponents have made their move - or perhaps it'll assist you in a tight spot that you've noticed at the final moment. Low cost but with the potential to allow you an extra breath to get away. Simple but useful.

Finally, the most expensive of the Crew offerings is Klingon First Officer. It's a very unusual card in that it takes effect during the End Phase of the round and gives you a second chance to attack with the Primary Weapon. This in turn leads to the Captain being discarded and the First Officer being put in command with a skill of four which corresponds to the cost of the card. Slightly sacrificial however the chance to attack twice in the same round cannot be sniffed at if the opportunity arises.

Of the two Weapon cards, Disruptor Volley attaches an Auxiliary Power Token to an opposing ship within ranges one to three. Attacking with five dice there is no actual damage save this token although Attack Squadrons will lose an Attack Squadron token for each Damage or Critical Damage that is not cancelled out. For three points this is a very different type of attack than we are used to, reducing the opponent's tactical options for a short time and maybe reducing their speed choices next time round.

There's also the standard Photon Torpedoes card with again, the three point cost. Utilising the equipped ship's Primary Weapon +1, the Photon Torpedoes operate at all ranges and spends the Target Lock to fire. This one also has the benefit of changing all Battle Station results to Damage should the enemy shields be down. Brutal but effective, I'd never leave dock without this weapon option.

The Klingon Cloaking Device Tech card costs just two points to add on and offers two choices of action during the game. Either during defence you can convert one die result to an Evade (if cloaked) or you can drop three Time Tokens on it to cloak during the End Phase giving a second action to your go.

Finally the Elite Action, Overwhelm, is the only card that is offered up as just a Klingon option and costs you four points to equip. Featuring a pic of the Narada (?) it comes into play during the Attack phase allowing you to add one attack die to your roll for each ship that has attacked your target. One of the results can also be converted into a Battle Stations to just give that attack a bit more impact but you will have to disable it with two Time Tokens. Depending on when you play this will also determine if all or some or none of your ships will have attacked so best attach it to the ship with the lowest Captain skill so you will attack last.

So that's the second half of the Kelvin  pack and what a great assortment of alternative Klingon ships we have. This, along with the Federation ships not only gives you a two versus two scenario straight from the pack but also the chance to add all four ships into a Mirror Universe fleet which will be one heck of a mix and match. 

Wizkids have pushed the limits of the game here, trying new and unique card features alongside tried and tested favourites. The twin character cards as well as the Auxiliary Power Token attack are very distinct newbies to the game and provide some much needed variation that many of the later standard packs failed to provide. Looking forward to seeing what the Animated Series and Borg packs provide in the near future...

Check out more Attack Wing reviews in our online resource - and in the meantime let us know your thoughts on this expansion to the game - good choice? What else is missing?

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