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UPDATED: Winning Klingon Civil War OP And More Unbeatable Builds

November 2, 2017

(Edit: Updated with two versions of The Build)

This post assumes an understanding of Star Trek Attack War. Read an introduction of it here.

Yesterday I presented an example of an “unbeatable build.” (Chronological Chaos OP: An Unbeatable Build?) Is it truly unbeatable? The STAW Facebook forum offered several alternatives. While no one could offer a solution that would for sure beat it, several strategies were suggested that might “give it a difficult time.”

Today I want to talk about unambiguous unbeatable builds.

Klingon Civil War

First let’s talk about the Klingon Civil War OP (KCW.) KCW was a series of three OPs.

  1. Attack On Gowron
  2. The Battle of Mempa
  3. Baiting The Romulans

Through a series of good, but not great builds, and some lucky dice rolls, and some innovative strategy during The Battle of Mempa (The Deep Space Nine Space Station) I found myself in the lead at my Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS) going into Baiting The Romulans.

The KCW series awarded prizes for winning each month. The overall winner of the entire series won a prize as well. I was determined to win KCW3 Baiting The Romulans. I devised a fleet that could not be beat. It wasn’t that my build might not be beat. It was unbeatable. I certainly wasn’t the first to come up with the strategy, but I ran it to perfection.

KCW3, like most OPs, had some special rules. First, it allowed any Romulan ships to start cloaked. In fact, your build had to include at least one Romulan ship. Romulan ships that were Cloaked could use a 1 or 2 [Bank] maneuver templates when using the [Sensor Echo] Action. Each time you made one of these moves, you earned 5 victory points.

KCW3 was essentially a battle to the death. If one side destroyed the other side, the victor won the game. That’s pretty straight forward. If both sides survived, then the winner was determined by points. Destroying your opponent’s entire fleet earned you 130 points. The actual points for destroying a ship were based on how each ship was equipped.

I used the Romulan Science Vessel Swarm. The fleet was deceptively simple. You simply loaded it with Romulan Science Vessels. Science Vessels are cheap ships.

KCW gave you a “discount” on Romulan ships. They were two points cheaper. So, a Romulan Science Vessel was 10 points. That meant that armed with a captain that was Skill 1 and cost 0, you could field 13 of them. In my case, I opted for 12 of them and a couple of Cloaked Mines.

Why is it unbeatable? After all, at a measly Primary Weapon value of 1, and a lightweight single Shield and Hull value of 2, the Science Vessel isn’t strong enough to do damage to anything. It wasn’t designed to. In fact, combining the +4 Defense Dice that a vessel got for cloaking with the Evade value of 2, so long as the Science Vessel stayed cloaked, it was a difficult ship to kill. And that was the key.

My entire strategy was to line up my 12 Science Vessels and have them dance around the playing area using the Sensor Echo. During an evening of STAW, typically a player will play three games. Each game is an hour long. A typical “turn” takes 10 minutes or so. An entire game can be five to seven turns.

Using the Romulan Science Vessel Swarm, each turn I earned 5 victory points per ship. It generally takes a couple of turns to get your ships across the board to engage the enemy. By the time my opponent got within range to fire his first attack, I had already racked up 120 victory points. My opponents were able to destroy at most 3 of my ships during a game, earning them 30 victory points. In the same amount of time, I had earned 250-300 points. My highest point total was 350 points, more than double the amount of points he would earn for destroying my entire fleet.

Why was it unbeatable? Because, suppose that on turn three my opponent were to destroy 11 of my 12 ships (an impossible feat, but typically a condition that would win any game) he would only earn 120 points, I would have still earned 180 points in the same amount of time thanks to my Sensor Echo dance. And given that my opponents were running three ships, the most they could destroy in a single turn was 3 ships and that would take very lucky rolls. There literally was no way to lose. (I actually had some issues with that as I wrote about here.)

The Romulan Science Vessel Swarm was unbeatable because of the unique rules for the KCW3 OP. But, there’s another build that is unbeatable in all situations. It’s called simply The Build

The Build

Credit goes to Tucker Cobey, and his podcast State Of The Federation for exploring The Build and why it’s unbeatable. The Build is not a specific fleet. It’s a strategy that exploits a specific card: Warp Jump.

Warp Jump lets you remove your ship at the beginning of the Combat Phase and return it at the end of the Combat Phase. Obviously if your ship is not on the board during the part of the game where ships are shooting at each other, it’s going to survive. The Build requires one additional card. One of the rules of STAW allow you to score victory points if you steal technology from your opponent.

Here are two versions of The Build. This first one is more or less what they did on the show. The math’s a little off because they were assuming Captured was 2.

U.S.S. Pasteur [U.S.S. Pasteur] (22)
Calvin Hudson [Val Jean] (3)
Captured (1)
Adm Q [Q Continuum Cards] (1)
Lure [U.S.S. Dauntless] (4)
Second of Five [Scout Cube] (3)
Romulan Helmsman [I.R.W. Haakona] (2)
Cloaked Mines [I.R.W. Praetus] (3)
Cloaked Mines [I.R.W. Praetus] (3)
Total (42)

Sakharov [Sakharov] (14)
Vanik [Ti’Mur] (3)
Conditional Surrender [Krayton] (3)
Captured (1)
Jennifer Sisko [I.S.S. Defiant] (4 overridden to 2)
Systems Upgrade [U.S.S. Hood] (2)
Warp Jump [U.S.S. Hathaway] (3)
Warp Jump [U.S.S. Hathaway] (3)
Warp Jump [U.S.S. Hathaway] (3)
Total (34)

U.S.S. Grissom [U.S.S. Grissom] (14)
Gul Madred [Reklar] (6)
Faked Messages [S’Gorn] (6)
Li Nalas [Akorem] (2)
Diplomacy (5)
Systems Upgrade [U.S.S. Hood] (2)
Warp Jump [U.S.S. Hathaway] (5)
Warp Jump [U.S.S. Hathaway] (5)
Warp Jump [U.S.S. Hathaway] (5)
Total (50)

Senior Staff (2)

Fleet total: 128
(Fleet developed by Robert Fletcher, Tucker Coby and Joseph Van Der Jagt)

The second, developed by Tucker Cobey, in many ways is worse than the above; while it has to trade down from Cloaked Mines to Antimatter Mines (which are a little harder to kill time with), it:

– Has a ganking strategy that only a couple of cards can deal with
– Uses three of the worst ships in the game just to further the point
– Is ship pure

Galaxy Class (MU) [Assimilation Target Prime] (28)
Calvin Hudson [Val Jean] (3)
Transwarp Conduit [Soong] (5)
Second of Five [Scout Cube] (2)
Agony Booth [I.S.S. Enterprise] (2)
Jennifer Sisko [I.S.S. Defiant] (2)
Quantum Slipstream Drive [U.S.S. Dauntless] (5)
Captured [Dreadnought] (1)
Total (48)

Delta Flyer II [Delta Flyer II] (20)
Vanik [Ti’Mur] (3)
Full Reverse (2)
Sakonna [Gavroche] (2)
Quark [DS9 GenCon Promo] (2)
Warp Jump [U.S.S. Hathaway] (3 overridden to 0)
Warp Jump [U.S.S. Hathaway] (3)
Warp Jump [U.S.S. Hathaway] (3)
Antimatter Mines [Starter] (3)
Antimatter Mines [Starter] (3)
Captured [Dreadnought] (1)
Total (41)

Denorios [Denorios] (12)
Tahna Los [Akorem] (3)
Adm Matt Decker [U.S.S. Intrepid] (1)
Faked Messages [S’Gorn] (5)
Lure [U.S.S. Dauntless] (5)
Warp Jump [U.S.S. Hathaway] (5 overridden to 3)
Warp Jump [U.S.S. Hathaway] (5)
Warp Jump [U.S.S. Hathaway] (5)
Captured [Dreadnought] (1)
Total (40)

Fleet total: 130

(Fleet developed by Tucker Cobey)

The Build requires at least two ships each of them equipped with 3 or more Warp Jump upgrades and an upgrade that allows you to steal technology. The strategy is steal a single upgrade from your opponent and then run away from your opponent until the time runs out. Normally, the run away strategy doesn’t work because as you run, your opponent will chase you and he will be shooting at you the entire time. But, if you use Warp Jump, you can constantly stay out of range.

While strategies exist to combat The Rabbit, I talked about yesterday, or the Romulan Science Vessel Swarm, no strategies exist to beat The Build. Tomorrow I’ll talk about the idea that while STAW has the ability to build unbeatable builds, it comes at a cost.

This is the third in a series of posts about Star Trek Attack Wing:
An introduction to Star Trek Attack Wing
Chronological Chaos OP: An Unbeatable Build?
Throwback Thursday: Winning the Klingon Civil War OPs and more unbeatable builds
Friday: STAW is DEFINITELY Pay-to-play. . .And players should be grateful it is

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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