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Banned? Whaddaya Mean It’s Banned? (A Star Trek Attack Wing Post)

March 10, 2018
  • Fluidic Space
  • Inversion Wave
  • Quantum Singularity
  • Quantum Slipstream Drive
  • Spatial Distortion
  • Subspace Vortex
  • Transwarp Conduit
  • Warp Jump

This post is about Star Trek Attack Wing. (Find a introduction to it here.)

WizKids, the manufacture of Star Trek Attack Wing recently posted an online notice banning not just a list of cards, but all cards of a particular type. (Read the notification here, or scroll down for the full text.)

This has never happened before. Unprecendented. Unheard of. This is something new.

Actually, if you consider it, every new release of a ship we’ve never seen before hasn’t happened before. With the new set of releases we have been introduced to Gold Pressed Latinum. It was unprecedented. We also got a Klingon/Ferengi b’rel ship. That was unheard of. We’ve had a flurry of W.O.R.F. rulings this month clarifying long standing rules questions. That was new.

My point is that even though WizKids has never banned a card before, we shouldn’t be shocked. They do new stuff all the time. And actually, they have banned a few cards.

Let’s look at some of these banned cards. I’m not sure what it says about my obsessive personality that I own multiple copies of each of these cards.

Fluidic Space

Faction: Species 8472

Ship: Bioship Beta

Instead of making a normal move, you may discard this card to remove your ship from the play area and immediately place it back anywhere in the play area, but not within Range 1-2 of any other ship. You cannot attack or perform any Actions on the round you use this ability. This Upgrade costs +5 SP if purchased for a non-Species 8472 ship and no ship may be equipped with more than 1 “Fluidic Space” Upgrade.

Inversion Wave

Faction: Independent (Ferengi)

Ship: Quark’s Treasure

Instead of making a normal move, you may discard this card to place your ship anywhere in the play area within Range 1-3 of your current position. Remove all Tokens (except Critical Hit Tokens) from beside your ship and place an Auxiliary Power Token beside your ship. You cannot attack on the round you use this ability. No ship may be equipped with more than 1 “Inversion Wave” Upgrade.

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Quantum Singularity

Faction: Species 8472

Ship: Bioship Alpha

ACTION: Discard this card to remove your ship from the play area and discard all Tokens that are beside your ship except for Auxiliary Power Tokens. During the End Phase, place your ship back in the play area. You cannot place your ship within Range 1-3 of any other ship. This Upgrade may only be purchased for a Species 8472 ship.

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Quantum Slipstream Drive

Faction: Independent

Ship: U.S.S. Dauntless

If you reveal a maneuver with a speed of 5 or greater, before performing the maneuver, you may discard this card to remove your ship from the play area and discard all tokens from beside your ship except for Auxiliary Power Tokens. Then, immediately place it back in the play area, but not within Range 1-3 of any other ship. You cannot attack during the round you use this ability.

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Spatial Distortion

Faction: Independent/Mirror Universe

Ship: Kyana Prime

ACTION: Discard this card to remove your ship from the play area and discard all Tokens that are beside your ship except for Auxiliary Power Tokens. During the End Phase, place your ship back in the play area. You cannot place your ship within Range 1-3 of any enemy ship. This Upgrade may only be purchased for Krenim weapon ship.

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Subspace Vortex

Faction: Independent (Xindi)

Ship: Weapon Zero

ACTION: Discard this card to remove your ship from the play area and discard all Tokens that are beside your ship except for Auxiliary Power Tokens. Immediately place your ship back anywhere in the play area, but not within Range 1-3 of any enemy ship. You cannot attack during the round you use this Action. This Upgrade may only be purchased for a Xindi ship.

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Transwarp Conduit

Faction: Borg

Ship: Soong

ACTION: Discard this card to remove your ship from the play area and discard all Tokens that are beside your ship except for Auxiliary Power Tokens. During the End Phase, place your ship back in the play area. You cannot place your ship within Range 1-3 of any other ship. This Upgrade may only be purchased for a Borg ship.

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Warp Jump

Faction: Federation

Ship: U.S.S. Hathaway

At the start of the Combat Phase, before any attacks have been made, you may discard this card to remove your ship from the play area. At the end of the Combat Phase, after all other ships have attacked, place your ship anywhere in the play area, but not within Range 1-3 of any other ship. All Tokens that were beside your ship are removed. You cannot attack during the round in which you use this ability.

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Warp Jump-Like

All of these cards have been lumped under the category of “Warp Jump-like” cards. Rather than limit themselves to a specific list of cards, WizKids banned a functionality.

From this day forward, all cards that grant Warp Jump-like effects are now banned from tournament play. A Warp Jump-like effect is any effect which removes a ship from the play area and then places it in the play area in a different position either immediately or at a later time.

WizKids then listed the current group of banned cards sans the Transwarp Conduit card. First let’s address the Borg Transwarp Conduit. It should be allowed, right? I mean, it’s not on the ban list, so it’s good, right?

Wrong. WizKids didn’t ban individual cards. They banned “all cards that grant Warp Jump-like effects.” Here’s what Warp Jump says:

At the start of the Combat Phase, before any attacks have been made, you may discard this card to remove your ship from the play area. At the end of the Combat Phase, after all other ships have attacked, place your ship anywhere in the play area, but no within Range 1-3 of any other ship. All Tokens that were beside your ship are removed. You cannot attack during the round in which you use this ability.

Here’s what Transwarp Conduit says:

ACTION: Discard this card to remove your ship from the play area and discard all Tokens that are beside your ship except for Auxiliary Power Tokens. During the End Phase, place your ship back in the play area. You cannot place your ship within Range 1-3 of any enemy ship. This Upgrade may only be purchased for a Borg ship.

“But, Rodney, they aren’t exactly the same. We are a game of details. Transwarp Conduits has ships come back in the End Phase, not the Combat Phase. They are different! It shouldn’t be banned!”

You’re right. The text isn’t exactly the same. Maybe they wanted it done differently. Except, let’s look at the Spatial Distortion Upgrade card.

ACTION: Discard this card to remove your ship from the play area and discard all Tokens that are beside your ship except for Auxiliary Power Tokens. During the End Phase, place your ship back in the play area. You cannot place your ship within Range 1-3 of any enemy ship. This Upgrade may only be purchased for a Krenim weapon ship.

That is a direct cut-and-past from the Transwarp Conduit card text. All I did was swap out the Borg ship with Krenim weapon ship. Obviously, WizKids wanted to ban Transwarp Conduit. It’s why they banned a type of card. For example, Quantum Singularity also has the exact same text. Except it says Species 8472 ship.

“But, it’s still not on the list! The list is the thing! We live and die by our lists! Only cards on the list are banned!”

Not exactly. Think about Subspace Vortex. We showed it above. It is on the list, so it should be banned. No question. But, what about Subspace Vortex? No, not that Subspace Vortex, the other Subspace Vortex.

The second one is on the list. Should it also be banned? Nope. The 5SP Subspace Vortex is clearly not a Warp Jump-type card. It helps you go fast, but doesn’t let you remove your ship from the play area. I think this is why WizKids banned the functionality, not just a specific list of cards.

Why do this?

Several online posters have asked “Why would WizKids go to this extreme?” Are these cards really that dangerous?

In a word, yes. These cards, especially Warp Jump, break the game. With the addition of Gold Pressed Latinum and the ability to bring back discarded cards, the problems get even worse.

Recently I wrote an article about “Unbeatable Builds.” The Warp Jump build was simply called “The Build.” Some of the best players in the game set out to test if Warp Jump could help you win in a way that was unbeatable. Robert Fletcher, Tucker Coby and Joseph Van Der Jagt playtested it extensively. They determined that Warp Jump would not only allow you to win every single time, but you would do it in a way that was really, really boring.

Essentially, you could steal a card from your opponent and then use Warp Jump-like cards to run away until the time ran out.

WizKids sponsors regular tournaments, including National and World championships. It’s terrible for a tournament if you know coming in that a particular person is going to win. Sure that was okay for golf when Tiger Woods was still a golfer, but for the most part, you want some balance. And the game is called Attack Wing. Not steal something and run away and hide for an hour Wing. The Warp Jump-type cards let people win games, and tournaments without actually attacking anyone. That’s not how the game was designed to be played.

“But, Rodney, banned? They’ve never banned a card before. Banning doesn’t fix anything. I built my entire fleet around these cards. I spent a bunch of money to buy multiple copies of the USS Hawthorn (the ship that Warp Jump came with.)”

Actually, WizKids has a long history of banning cards. They’ve banned over 30 of them. They ban a card every couple of months. Most recently they banned Condition Alert.

The next card to be banned will be Scan Cycle.

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Everyone accepts the idea that Resources get banned. Sure, we call it retiring them. But, there is no real difference between a banned card and a retired card. Neither type is playable in tournaments. In all other ways, you can choose to use them. If your friendly local game store likes to use Warp Jump-type cards, they can do that. If you want to play with your friends, and use these cards, you certainly can. But, in a tournament, you cannot use these type cards. Just as you cannot use retired (banned) resources in a tournament.

Is it new for WizKids to ban upgrade cards?

Of course. In fact, I can completely sympathize with those players who bought extra ships to try to get these cards and use them in their fleets. In fact, here is my personal collection of newly banned cards.

I have a few. They are all now obsolete.

What doesn’t grow dies. There have been many exciting additions from WizKids in the past year. Some of the changes have been easy to adopt. Some have been more challenging. Some are still causing some headscratching and frequent double checking of the rulebook.

What doesn’t grow, dies. It’s exciting to see Star Trek Attack Wing growing, alive and well.

Here is the complete text of the WizKids announcement. Read it on the WizKids site here.

Welcome Star Trek: Attack Wing Fans!

Since the inception of the new rulebook we’ve paid great attention to the buzz amongst the community and the feedback our play-testers have given us. More frequently than anything else, we often hear about Warp Jump-like effects as well as stealing cards.

For those of you not familiar with Warp Jump-like effects, they allow you to remove your ship from the play area and place it back either immediately or at a later time. With strategic planning, a skilled player can both negate the positioning aspect of Star Trek: Attack Wing and completely avoid combat while forcing opposing ships to maneuver through Cloaked Mines. Both of these things are bad in a dogfighting game that’s built around combat and maneuvering. Furthermore, the way in which scoring for stolen cards works in conjunction with Warp Jump-like effects means a player can steal cards from a ship, earn points for them, then avoid combat for the rest of the game. By using this tactic via Warp Jump-like effects, they ultimately win with the handful of points they got from stealing a card. This is a problem that goes against the spirit of the game.

Today, we’re going to do something about both Warp Jump-like effects and stealing. While looking for an appropriate solution to these problems, we looked at multiple solutions such as making all Warp Jump-like effects unique or making it so that stolen cards don’t reward points to anyone. After discussing and testing we found that some of these solutions were too much and others were not enough. Ultimately, we settled on the below solutions.

From this day forward, all cards that grant Warp Jump-like effects are now banned from tournament play. A Warp Jump-like effect is any effect which removes a ship from the play area and then places it in the play area in a different position either immediately or at a later time. This DOES NOT include docking and launching shuttlecrafts because docking and launching are two separate abilities. Below is a current list of cards that are now disallowed in tournaments:

• Warp Jump

• Quantum Slipstream Drive

• Fluidic Space

• Spatial Distortion

• Quantum Singularity

• Subspace Vortex

• Inversion Wave

In regards to stealing, we are now treating it like discarding for the purposes of scoring. Now, instead of points being scored per card stolen, any card that is stolen, assimilated, discarded, removed from play, or otherwise removed from a ship will only be scored by the opposing player once that ship is destroyed. This means that if you steal my Mr. Spock Crew Upgrade from my U.S.S. Enterprise, you WILL NOT earn points for him until the U.S.S. Enterprise he was previously equipped to is destroyed.

We truly appreciate all of the constructive criticism and patience we’ve received from all of our fans. We’re very dedicated to making Star Trek: Attack Wing the best that it can be so please continue to let us know how YOU, the fans, think we can make Star Trek: Attack Wing better and better!

Live Long and Prosper,

-The WizKids Team

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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. 

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
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LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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