Monday, 8 November 2021

Attack Wing: Romulan IRW Haakona, Breen Gor Portas, Klingon IKS Somraw

Another month and thanks to a find via Australia, the Attack Wing collection continues to grow.

This time we're tackling the Klingons, Romulans and Breen with three older expansions. Our jump in point is the IKS Somraw seen in Enterprise and the only Raptor pack offered to date.

An 18 point ship, the model of the Raptor Clas ship is well detailed for its size with clear panelling and an oddly light finish which makes it look a little bleached. I would have hoped for something a bit darker green however the accented red stripes and darker feature blocks do provide good definition. There's some artistic licence here but let's dive into the real meat of the pack.

The Somraw's three point attack is well worthy of the low cost although don't expect much more for your money with one defence point, three Hull and two Shields. As for standard Actions, you'll be piloting a ship without a Cloak or Sensor Echo feature. This one carries Evade, Target Lock and Scan alongside one Tech, one Weapon and one Crew upgrade slot. Fortunately this unusually light Klingon ship does allow you to convert up to two Battle Station results on a Defence roll into Evades. Note that the ship itself only has a single die for Defence meaning you'll be relying on finding a suitable upgrade option to help you out as much as possible.

The generic version loses the Crew upgrade slot as well as a Shield and the Unique Action for 16 points. As for movement, the Somraw maxes out at speed four with full bank and hard turns at speeds two and three. Speed one allows for banking and none of the standard moves aside from the speed three hard about (180 turn) come with the red warning of an Auxiliary Power Token, making this fairly manoeuvrable.

Along with a generic captain there's Somraw Commander who rides in with a Captain Skill of five at a cost of three points. His long range attack is a blessing which keeps his ship out of trouble and allows for maximum damage as if attacking at range one. He adds a further die to your strike at the cost of an Auxiliary Power Token. This can only be used if one of said tokens is not already in play on the ship. 

The sole Weapon addition is the standard Photon Torpedoes (three point cost) card providing fire fore and aft at ranges two and three. As with the earlier sets it comes with the Disable feature once Target Lock has been utilised and one Battle Station result can be converted over to Critical Damage. 

Surprisingly there's only one Crew upgrade card in here with Bu'Kah. Costing four points you can ditch her off to repair two Hull points as long as you've performed a Green Maneuver. A large cost but one that will extend your ship's life in the game.

Tactical Sensors is the higher priced Tech upgrade (four points) which can be disabled to place a Scan and a Battle Station token besides your Raptor (and only a Raptor). Certainly one to up the defensive capabilities of the Somraw it'll work well in conjunction with the ship's own inbuilt Unique Ability to convert a Battle Station to an Evade if necessary.

The less expensive Shockwave for two points is a discard that would get you out of a sticky situation to perform a speed one reverse  instead of your chosen move. A good one if you have a high captain skill and can see where you may want to get out of danger rather than plunging further in. Good tosee this one isn't limited to use on the Somraw or a Raptor.

Last up for upgrades is the Elite Action, Klingon Honor. Tragically using the explosion from The Undiscovered Country as its backdrop, the five point price is worth it for the reusable nature of the text. Disabling the card adds one Attack die to your roll as well as converting a Damage into a Critical Damage. Sounds good - but the price on the other side is the loss of all defensive capability for the round which then aligns with the picture - it's a suicide tactic that makes sure you go out in a blaze of Klingon glory. Expensive but one fun way to end your appearance on the table!

The Somraw's mission is Escape the Gas Giant and sees a Federation player taking on the Klingons with 80 points apiece. Moving near the Gas Giant (represented by the large planet token) will incur additional damage as the two sides fight it out and even at range three there's still some effect on players' ships. Ultimately the goal is to escape with at least one ship in tact after defeating your opponent while enduring the stresses of the star. A cool twist on the standard two player game but nothing super exciting here.

Only my second D'Deridex Warbird, the IRW Haakona seems to hold some form of legendary status within the Attack Wing fold. A 30 point starship, the model is a repeat from the Starter Set although it would take 12 waves before reappearing. While the three point Attack and two point Defence are nothing to write home about especially if you compare to the Somraw above, the Warbird rocks it out on Hull and Shields with six and four points respectively. She might not be a hard hitter but the Haakona may take a while to take down. She also packs in three Crew and two Weapon slots plus a standard set (for Romulans) of Evade, Target Lock, Cloak and Sensor Echo. A large fleet is also super-beneficial as the Haakona gains an additional Primary Weapon die for every additional Romulan ship in your fleet when attacking cloaked. There's an upper limit of four but for a faction pure game she's a massive advantage.

The generic D'Deridex is reduced by a Shield, one Crew slot and the Unique Action to cost 28 points - but it severely loses the attraction over the hefty onslaught of the Haakona. Compared to the Somraw, it's exactly as manoeuvrable but instead of a speed three come about there's a speed one reverse that will incur an Auxiliary Power Token. High Weapons and good to move - what else could you want?

There are three skilled Captain options in here too with Mendak (six point cost), Taris (four points) and Centurion (two points) all adding something to the mix. With a skill of six, Mendak also offers an Elite Action slot. He targets a friendly ship at a maximum of range two and then can place a Battle Station onto it as long as one isn't already in place, nor can the target ship use that Action this turn. Taris might be more useful with a lower skill of five but costing the same. She allows you to discard a Crew upgrade from your ship to declare a target outside your forward firing arc. No need for Target Lock or torpedoes here which is a benefit and easily reusable as long as you have a number of Crew. Centurion is skilled to two and allows players to re-roll one Battle Station result. Fairly decent card here at low price  that might offer a better hit ratio.

There are three Crew card options in here with Romulan Security Officer upping your Captain skill by one point dependent on how many of this card are equipped to your ship up to a maximum of four. There are three in the pack which reduces your options with the Haakona since there are the same number of cards in total regardless of duplicates.

Romulan Security Officer can also be disabled to re-roll a blank result during defending so it has decent dual use in the game for its two point cost.

Romulan Helmsman can be disabled if you play a Red Maneuver to treat it as though it's a White Maneuver for two points. Finally there's Romulan Sub Lieutenant who costs four points. 

His ability is somewhat more complex. Discarding the card targets a ship at a maximum of range two and if that vessel has a Hull value of six or more then it has to disable two active Shields. If the Shield value is less than six it only disables one. This greatly reduces the number of hits required to take out an opponent and could ideally be comboed with something that would offer up a straight attack afterwards.

A trio of Weapons upgrades all have a cost of five points a piece. Disruptor Pulse hits with three Attack dice at a maximum of range two. Understandably a disabled card to complete the attack, every target in the forward firing arc and in range is hit with a separate three die shot. This is a powerful attack to have in one card and to be reusable is even better.

Plasma Torpedoes spend a Target Lock and hit with five Attack dice with any blank results rerolled. Operable from forward and reverse arcs, the torpedoes can hit at up to range two. Last up is Disruptor Beams which can have an effect from ranges one to three. Again a disabled card, it carries an increased possibility of damage. For every hit suffered another Attack die is rolled and if you roll at least one Damage or Critical Damage then the target receives another hit. The Haakona has a storming set of Weapon upgrades here that are essential to any self-respecting Romulan fleet.

Finally and with probably the longest script ever is Make Them See Us!. It's also very reliant on a very very specific set of circumstances and costs five points. In this case you need to remove a Target Lock from a ship you have already selected and be overlapping with either your own ship's base or manoeuvre template. Both ships take damage up to four hits determined equal to your speed in that manoeuvre. The captain with the higher Skill rolls the number of defence dice equal to the difference between the Captain Skill levels and deducts any evades from the result. 

Yes... it's a big one with a big hit reward but could backfire and cause you major issues. I'd say this is one of those last gasp moves to ensure you take something with you at the very end.

Based loosely around the episode of the same name, Contagion is the Haakona's special mission. Placing one Federation ship against a D'Deridex Warbird, the scenario sees the two ships attempting to download Iconian data while also tackling crippling malfunctions caused by orbiting probes. First they'll take down upgrades before hitting Shields and Hull so it's a race to recover the information - but there's a twist - because players will need to work together to remove the malfunctions from their ships and escape. This is a brilliant concept and very much foreshadows Alliance which has expanded on that co-op scenario. Definitely looking forward to trying this one out!

Last up and actually one of the very first expansions released is the Gor Portas. The lone Breen entry to the game, the ship is allocated to the Dominion meaning it'll be lining up with Cardassian and Jem'Hadar ships if you're staying faction pure.

Weighing in at 26 points, the Breen starship attacks with three dice, defends with two and has four Hull and four Shield points. Heavily armed, the Gor Portas offers four Weapon upgrade slots and just one Crew slot with standard Evade, Target Lock and Scan Actions. As for its Unique Action, the ship does need to have a Target Lock in play to fire torpedoes but you don't discard it once used. Not that's a bit nifty.

The model itself is quite impressive too with a black base coat accented with almost pink highlights to draw out the detail. Bit of a shame this was its only appearance in the game as a later wave could have redone the paintwork and offered some more Breen alternatives. Sadly we only have this one.

It's generic version loses a Shield, a Weapon slot and the Unique Action to cost 24 points. While it's well armed, the movement for the Gor Portas is a different matter. With red arrows on sharp three turns and the Come About, the ship is manoeuvrable at lower speeds which might make it seem like an easy, slow moving target until you get close. We'll come to it's Weapon abilities in a minute...!

Given the slots for upgrades, Thot Gor is your de facto Captain unless you're thinking of something radically different. With a Skill of six and a cost of four points, the Breen commander reduces the cost of each Weapon upgrade equipped by a point meaning you can take full advantage of those slots. Sar isn't too bad with a one point cost and a Skill of two. He also makes the generic version with no ability sort of redundant since he provides an extra defence die unconditionally.

What is bizarre with the Gor Portas is the lack of cards in the pack. Four Weapon slots is massive and there are just two upgrades with the Breen warship. One is the five point and very expected Photon Torpedoes which utilises Target Lock as standard with five Attack dice while Energy Dissipator provides damage but only at very close range.

A further disabling card, if the attack hits then the target ship receives one Energy Dampening Token and then you can immediately attack again with another Weapon. For the effects you then have to refer to the accompanying reference card which shows that the target ship loses Shields and cloak if applicable. Nor can it attack and during the subsequent Planning Phase it can't move and in the Activation Phase it then moves at speed one forward. Once all this is complete then the ship returns to its normal sequence of events. 

As it's a close range attack (one), this certainly means that any second or third bombardment onto the enemy ship is likely to incur some heavy damage. Only for Breen use, I'd be equipping this.

The only Crew upgrade in the set is Breen Aide who allows you to convert a blank Attack die roll into a Damage point as long as you have a Scan token in play. Not even needing to disable to use, this is only two points but adds a bit of kick to your attacks.

The Gor Portas mission is unusual in that it's a three player game rather than the standard two person set-up. The Breen have to manoeuvre by two Mission Tokens out in the field before heading to a third representing Cardassia Prime and therefore escape. 

This is The Fall Back to Cardassia Prime and "alliance" players are there to stop the Breen from getting to their safe haven. Both Federation alliance players have just 35 points while the Breen Battle Cruiser has slightly better odds with a 50 point payload.

I'm fairly pleased with the turnout on these three packs with the Haakona just beating the Gor Portas in my preferences here. The Breen ship is horribly light on upgrades and even the captains don't have Elite Action slots. The mission is nice but as a pack, the Warbird is an absolute storm of a set and highly powered. I didn't expect that to be the stronger pack but it does push me now towards the Vulcans, Dominion and Romulans as my top three factions of choice in the game.

Next up on Attack Wing
- the Dominion Faction Pack: Cardassian Union

You can check out all our Attack Wing reviews over on the Gaming Section!

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