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The Ferengi’s Desperate Attempt to Hold Off The Borg (STAW)

March 21, 2018

This post is about the table top game “Star Trek Attack Wing.” Read a brief intro to it here.

We were doing it wrong. We understood that. We didn’t care.

My son and I have been enjoying the new Star Trek Attack wing upgrades and ships. He’s always favored the Borg and the Federation and I love the Ferengi. Even when they were a weak faction, they were my favorite. Now that they are one of the strongest races in the game, even without the rest of the Independent faction upgrades, they are a lot of fun.

We decided to play a 130 pure-Borg vs pure-Ferengi battle. All cards had to have either the Borg or the Ferengi symbol on them. Of course I could have used Lurin and turned any ship into a Ferengi ship.

Captain Lurin

That wasn’t the point. These are not fleets we would run in a tournament. Our FLGS runs penalty pure. So, especially the Ferengi would have had access to hundreds of other cards. Nope. For today we wanted to try just the Ferengi ships and upgrades.

We set up using the Obstacles Scenario. He ran three ships, all generics. Two Borg Octahedron and a Borg Scout Cube. He took advantage not only of the new cheaper cost of the Borg ships, but new captains, paired up with the Borg Queen as his admiral on the Scout Cube, along with Fleet Commander. Of course he used the Assimilation Tubules. But the only other upgrade he used was the new Technological Analysis, to deadly effect.

The Borg

I went with four ships: two old ones (Kreechta and Nunk’s Marauder) and two new ones (Lurin’s Bird-of-Prey and the generic b’rel.) I used a mix of new and old captains. Gint was my admiral. My ships were all equiped with the new new torpedoes. In fact, my son let me “cheat.” I own a single copy of the new Photon Torpedoes. However, he agreed that since we were doing more a proof-of-concept game, we would just assume every ship had the new torpedoes. My ships were a mix of Crew and Tech.

The Ferengi

I’m not sure that flying strategy had a big impact on the result of the game. He set up his ships in the middle of the North edge with the Borg Queen’s Scout Cube a little more toward the East edge. I placed my two b’rels in the middle of the South edge, with my two d’Koras off toward the East edge.

The Borg strategy was to come straight through the middle and engage as quickly as possible. My Ferengi strategy was to sweep around toward the East to attempt to pick off the weaker Cube before the octahedron’s could close to Range 2. I made it about half way.

My original plan was to close to Range 1 with the Lurin BoP and use Prak’s ability to force the Borg to sacrifice their action.

I couldn’t get close enough to make that work before I got hit. Although Lurin’s BoP has the Cloak ability, I chose not to use it. I would have had to discard my Metaphasic Shields when I inactivated my shields. Since we were playing the Obstacles Scenario, I figured I might need the ability to keep my action if overlapping an obstacle. It never really came into play.

I did take advantage of Gral’s text.

During the first couple of turns as I was making my sweep to the right, I discarded Gral during the End Phase to gain 2 GPLT. During the following Activation Phase, I paid 1 GPLT to bring Gral back. Turns out this was also a cheat. The GPLT rules state you can only bring an upgrade back from the dead one time. At least this cheat wasn’t on purpose.

I did cloak with the generic BoP. I had the Kemocite on board and it certainly makes the ship speedy.

I didn’t realize just how powerful this card was. More than once it saved me from bumping another ship because of close quarter flying. I placed Quark (who was hiding Thought Maker) and the Kemocite into the Cargo Bay. I will attempt to put Kemocite literally on every ship I can in the future. It’s not just the extra 2 movement. It’s the fact that you can decide at the time you turn your dial wither you want to use it. I also hid a couple crew under Daimon Solok. Being new to the cards, I screwed this step up too. I placed a 4SP Tactical Officer. Solok lets you hide crew with a cost of 3SP or less.

Picking the final two ships was a challenge. I went with Nunk’s Marauder for the free Scan action. I could then couple that with the Ferengi Probe to double the range bonus if I could close to Range 1.

Bractor was a natural choice as captain for any ship with the Ferengi Photon Torpedoes. The fact that they place an Aux token beside the target ship means that Bractor is going to be rolling a lot of bonus dice.

Being an “old style” captain, Bractor didn’t have any GPLT on his own. I added Rules of Acquisition Elite Talent to give him some GPLT to play with. It became clear that every ship needs GPLT.

Letek was my crew.

With a good supply of GPLT, Letek’s Aux token is easy to remove and he’s cheap to buy back. (One time only!)

The final ship was the Kreechta. I put Tarr on as the captain for his free Battle Station token. This was less important now that Ferengi can buy Battle Stations with GPLT. But, having it for free meant I could buy a Scan or an Evade. There was a lot of learning happening during and after this engagement. An astute reader pointed out that Borg do not have a Forward (now called a Primary) firing arc. Against the Borg, Tarr should not get any free Battle Stations.

Tarr is also an old school captain, but unlike Bractor, Tarr doesn’t have an elite talent. I added Admiral Gint with the Rules of Acquisition talent and Grand Nagus.

I didn’t end up using the Grand Nagus. But, for 2SP I figured it was worth having. In hindsight, I’d swap it out for Kemocite. However, Gint has another advantage. Gint gives every Friendly Captain the possibility of not having to spend GPLT. I forgot about him half the time and the other times I never managed to get the GPLT savings, but considering how useless the previous Ferengi Admiral Zek was, Gint is well worth bringing on every trip.

The Battle

The game was pretty evenly matched. The Borg managed to steal the Torpedoes from the generic b’rel which made a huge difference. More than stealing tech, the Technological Analysis Upgrade let the Borg blunt most of my attacks. Fortunately the Ferengi Torpedoes don’t require a Target Lock, but the Borg wiped out a lot of Battle Stations, Scans and Evades.

At a critical point in the battle, I had all four of my ships at Range 1 with both the Cube and an Octahedron. Both Borg ships were damaged. I had hopes of killing both of them.

Lurin’s ship abilty of getting to fire first and choosing who fires second was much more critical than I thought it would be. Lurin and one of the d’Koras fired. Next the Octahedron fired at the remaining d’Kora and gave it the worst possible Crit: Stunned Helmsman.

That ship lost out on 4 attack dice with quality. I managed to kill the Cube, but the Octahedron escaped. In quick succession they eliminated the Lurin and the Kreechta. Nunk’s Maurader was then caught in a cross fire and disappeared in a cloud of space dust.

For the final round, it was fitting that my final ship was the generic b’rel. Because the fight had a very Klingon “It’s a good day to die” feel. I was down to a single Hull hit left and there was no way for me to get out of range of the octahedrons. I didn’t even get a shot off, as one of the drone captains still had more drone tokens than my Captain skill of 4.

Lessons Learned

Even though I lost pretty soundly, I came away very pleased with the new Ferengi.

Gold-Pressed Latinum

Wow. This is a real game changer. I expect Ferengi captains will become very popular. Even with a non Ferengi captain, Admiral Gint teamed with a strong captain via Fleet Commander Resource is going to strike fear in the hearts of a lot of unsuspecting opponents. Consider Upgrades like Rules of Acquisition and Crew Gral and Nava, GPLT is going to play a major part in many fleets. All the GPLT Upgrades require a Ferengi captain.

It’s not like adding the Co-Pilot resource to your fleet. It’s like adding Co-Pilot to every ship in your fleet that is captained by a Ferengi.

Kemocite

I admit I didn’t appreciate this Upgrade before this game. It seemed like a gimmick, niche card. It’s not.

I own one copy and I’ll be buying the Ferengi Faction pack a second time to get another one. It should get serious consideration for inclusion on every ship. If you have to give up your only Tech slot, it’s probably worth it. I didn’t use a 5 come-about, but knowing you can extend your come-about to 5 for 2 SP is well worth it. Also, because the color of the maneuver stays the same, it lets you make 3 banks and 4 straights and still clear an Aux.

Lurin’s Bird of Prey

Lurin’s BoP definitely “punches above its weight.”

The ship ability of getting to attack first and choose who attacks second cannot be underestimated. Lurin’s lets you “save” the attack of a low captain that might otherwise never get to fire. Add in the fact it is native Ferengi and therefore Independent, and it costs 18SP, a 4SP discount from the old pricing. It’s as good as we thought it was going to be.

Generic b’rel Class

I only need three words.

Thirteen Squadron Points.

Ferengi Photon Torpedoes

Yes. They are that good.

I’m not sure how these could be any better. Two time tokens so they fire every other turn. No Target Lock needed. Primary and Secondary arc firing. Range 1-3. Same Attack value as the ships Primary Weapon Value. And, the killer is the target ship gets an Aux Token even if they block all the attack dice. For 2SP. These are going to be showing up on a lot of non-Independent/Ferengi ships. Even paying a 1SP penalty, they are worth it. And place them with Sakonna or Calvin Hudson and they might end up being free.

What it means to you

Even though the Ferengi didn’t take the day against the Borg, the point was to try out the new Ferengi upgrades. I loved the Ferengi when playing them was a labor of love. They have been transformed into the secret sauce that will turn strong fleets into elite killing machines. Thematically, it seems odd to picture Ferengi captains and admirals leading mixed fleets into battle. But, the idea that Ferengi and their Gold-Pressed Latinum will screw up traditional battle strategies fits perfectly with their reputation.

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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or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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