Thursday, November 6, 2014

Still here

Capt's Log , Stardate No I haven;t given up :)

Greetings. Sorry its been so long since I last posted. I haven't had a chance to play much and life has been busy. Gig season winding down so hopefully can get back to it. Picked up the Scimitar the other day and want to get that on the table see how it helps the Romulans if it does help :)

Will try to get a basic review of the ship up soon and a couple of the current blind boosters as well. Lots to talk about just have to find the time to talk about it :)

till next time

keep after me to keep posting :)


Friday, October 3, 2014

Resitance is Futile - even in Mordor

Capt's Log - Now for something mostly different

We are just a bit out from the start of the new OP at our local shop. And there is still not a lot of info out there on what it will be. Hopefully the bricks have shipped but the info just hasn't gotten out yet.

No idea what I will do with my fleet this time around. May end up waiting till night off when I can see the scenario to do any building. There are rumors that the point total will change or will be altered as to how you should put it together. One rumor was that the blind booster ship would be allowed up to 70 pts. That would be nice as it may indicate some larger ships in the blind boosters this time as opposed to all small ships. Gives me hope for a Romulan heavy hitter. Not a lot of hope mind you :) Just some hope.

My play time right now is severly curtailed. I am currently staying with friends that live an hour from the shop, so play nights put me in bed very late. Not good when you have to be at work at 7 am :) Because of this I missed the Dominion War 3 OP two weeks ago at the shop.

I am also still in the midst of my fall gig run at the KC Renassaince Festival. Two more weekends to go with that then start working on the 3rd CD.

And also looking for a house and working out the logistics of relocating permanently from Tulsa.

As a side note I have put a tiny bit of time into Shadows of Mordor and if you enjoy the Open World style of the Assassin's Creed games you will probably like this. The game doesn't bring a lot new to the table(but it does bring one thing) but the systems they have used from other games work so well other companies have accused Monolith of stealing thier code. Basically take the free running of Assassin's Creed, the combat of the Batman Arkham games, some various other things and mix them all into a bowl and pour them out in a Middle Earth Setting pulled from Peter Jackson's movies.  And lastly add what Monolith calls The Nemesis System.

To sum up the plot, the protagonist watches his family murdered at the hands of Mordor orcs, gets trapped between life and death by the returning spirit of a long dead elf who also went thru a similar incident...meld their abilities together and go off to seek revenge.

Revenge in this case means attempting to single handedly wipe out the orcs of Sauron's army. Which brings us to the Nemesis System.  Sauron's army has a bunch of Capts and Warchief's... any time you get killed the orc who did the killing go up in skill and gets a promotion. Then behind the scenes these orcs will also challenge each other for position so you will see them change, some get stronger, some get weaker.  You can do side quests to actually influence this as well.

But the really neat thing is when you defeat an orc capt there is a chance that he won't actually die. For example at one point I was slain by an orc archer. When this happens the orc makes a comment about "gotta be a promotion for me in that", and sure enough you are treated to the cut scene of the orc becoming named, getting a promotion, and made a capt. Being the player I am I immediatly set this orc as my target and went to get my personal revenge. When I tracked down the newly minted Kuga The Archer said orc actually comments "So you survived," and I could see he was sporting new scars as a relic of our previous battle.

This is a small example, I also have one orc who has managed to pop me a few times and now taunts me everytime he shows up with such things as "when will you learn to stay down"

The orcs actually figure out that you never seem to actually die and this can make them nervous.

The system is pretty deep, each Capt/Warchief has strengths and weaknesses that you can discover and exploit, etc.

The Nemesis System as a whole brings almost a whole game within a game as you can choose to influence the orc power structure if you wish.

Makes for an interesting game for sure.

Until next time: Never trust anyone named Gollum

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Missed one

Capt's Log Stardate Currently living to far away..

Last night I had to miss my first OP event in quite some time. Currently I am living with friend in KC and have been for some time. Different friends as the time goes by. Anyway currently the house I am staying at is an hour away from the shop during good traffic. And I had forgotten to grab my ship bag when leaving the house. So I missed Dominion War 3 that was being run.  haha will give the other Romulan player a chance to be on the leader board for awhile :) :) :)

Hopefully soon enough things will settle down as I Resistance Is Futile is coming up. Whole new set of blind boosters and participation prizes. YAY!  Oddly I am conflicted about the way WK does these OPs.

I don't mind the blind boosters as much as the prize ships. More than one of these ships has had cards that turn out to be very powerful. I would prefer the prize ships be something more common as far as the cards go but something different as far as the ship itself goes. Perhaps even better painted? :)

The resources you get for the Participation prizes fall into this as well, if you don't do the OPs you miss out on Flagship, elite attack/defend die, etc. Things that you see in virtually every competitive build.

I realize that WK does this to drive up participation in the OPs but it doesn't really seem to work. We always have about the same crowd every time.

And the blind boosters are not immune. the Yeager with Shelby is a much wanted ship and currently only obtainable in the Collective OP blind booster bricks. But most of the blind boosters are nice additions but not something needed.

Anyway WK is not going to change it. I just wonder how long I can keep up with the OPs.  Hoping in this next set of boosters there is some decent Romulan love. something bigger than the last ones. I relaize that it is limiting by the fact that the blind booster ship has to build to 30 points. With something like a D'Deridex that is basically just the ship and a 1 skill free Capt.

But the Romulans need some love badly in the current game. Hopefully in Nov the release of the scimitar will help re-level the field for them.

Until next time I have been your very rambly host!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The End of the Collective

Capt log  Stardate Thank God that's over

With Collective OP3 this event comes to a close. This time at the shop there were not many people there. For one we found out during OP 2 you had to qualify. So that left out a few, and then life got in the way of a few others.

So there were only 4 people at this OP. That turned out to be good because everyone took home the Officers Participation Prize and a prize ship of some sort. I now have a Stargazer which is the one I wanted. More on that ship in a future post.

This scenario was voted he least fun by everyone present at the OP. It involved a fight with both  Borg cube and then an escaping Sphere. The cube could take up to 20 points of damage and it actually gained Defense Dice as it did. Up to 8 die total making it harder to damage as the game went on. And only the person who got the kill shots on the cube and/sphere got the battle points for them.

The strategy then was to be the last person to shoot the cube. Control of the cube went back and forth between the players. The cube each turn would move and then could make one attack at 12 die, 2 attacks a 7, or 3 attacks at 5. In my games I lost a ship to a one shot 12 die attack each time. Thankfully that was all I lost.

In reading the forums others seem to think this was a fun scenario. We shall see if that holds up as people start playing it competitively instead of just testing.

Once you killed the cube a sphere appeared and made a beeline for the farthest table edge. To get the points for it you had to kill it before it got off the table. It was thankfully easier to down than the cube.

Overall I like the concept of a co-op scenario. It feels very Trek. But this one more than the others didn't really seem well thought out. Whiz Kids as always could stand a bit more planning and testing.

The next Op Series is Resistance is Futile.. most likely centered around events on Voyager.

Meanwhile i need to get in some actual friendly games for a change and get back to talking about cards and ships :)

Until next time..resistance is a word that begins with R

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Busy Busy Busy

Capt's Log Star date where does the time go?

Greetings. My apologies for being absent the last couple weeks. Things are finally starting to move at the new job a bit and my fall music gig season has kicked off.  Oblagoatory link :) My Irish/Nautical music page  Basically I am what is termed a Celtic Pirate. I do Ren Faires, pubs, fests, etc that cater to the Irish/Celtic music crowd with a heavy dose of Nautically/Piratically oriented tunes as well. Currently performing at the Kansas City Renassaince Festival. Will be here until mid Oct with the exception of Setp 27/28 where I will be in Wichita for the Great Plans Ren Faire that weekend.

Anyway back to the topic at hand.. STAW! Tonight is Collective OP 3 at the shop. And I honestly find I am going only because I want to see what is in the new boosters. I have no real chance of winning and also find I am not really prepared mentally to deal with the power builds in a friend fashion. The downside to competitive play. And I still have no idea what I will fly fleet wise. Maybe will actually add in a flagship or some such this time.

I have read the scenario and its another co-op type where you cannot shoot your opponent but you can use abilities on them. This one unlike the last one may turn out different in that people may actually work to shut you down. You then have to fight a Borg cube followed by the escape sphere. Could be interesting.

The latest Wave of ships was released recently as well. The Enterprise NX-01, the Borg Scout Cube, and the Vulcan Ni'Vaar. The Ni'Vaar is a retail version of the Ti'Mur prize ship. It will however give a third Vulcan ship to fly. I may end up with one of all three of these as the Scout Cube stats are more in line with the rest of STAW than the big cube and sphere.

I wish there was more of a casual play group around here but doesn't seem to be one. Need to find a few people willing to start one.

Will be back with a report as I am sure in the end I will go play in the OP. Again if nothing else to see what is in the blind boosters :)

Until Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars!(Thank you Kasey!)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

..aboard this tiny ship

Capt's log Stardate ...the science vessel? Really?

Well first post via ipad. We shall see how it goes.

Played Dominion War 2 tonight. Won 1 Lost 2 but had good showings in my losses.

The set up for this one is a planet in the middle of the table with an orbital weapons platform at the cardinal map points. These platforms shoot at the closest ship out to range 2 with a 4 die attack.

I was running a slightly different build. The Valdore with toerth as capt. Romulan tactical officer as crew, counter attack, plasma torpedoes.

Then i had the Yeager with Picard and Tom Paris, proton torps, and cheat death.

Then with the 13 pts i had left i had a wild hair and took the generic romulan science vessel with the 1 skill generic capt. For a 99 pt build.

The valdore could reroll a target lock use twice thanks to the tac officr. Toreth allowed a hit to convert to a crit and if i used a green manuever i added an attack die.

Picard meanwhile gained an extra defense die via Paris and cheat death would keep the ship alive a bit longer. Although it only came into play once.

I could have used my extra points to add a flagship or a fleet capt but i am still trying to stick to my 'non power' build strategy. Crazy i know :)

The first game i faced a pretty well stacked federation build. Lots of rerolls and dice control. However defensively the dice gods were with me all evening. I was consistantly rolling four ,five, even six evades. On the flip side i was only able to inflict a portion of my possible damage.

The first game i managed to destroy one of my opponents ships before he got all three of mine.

The little rom sci ship was the last to go. It flew around and just kept pinging away with its one attack die. The little guy is quite nimble however and i was able to keep him out of the firing line more often than not.

Second game was an all klingon build..cloaking vs partial cloacking. This time the dice gods were with me fully. I was still rolling hot on my defense but my attack dice finally showed up and my opponent was running very very cold on defense. Watched him whiff several times with no evades and mostly blanks on 6 dice. It hurt me a bit to watch it. And again the little science ship that could proved his worth actually getting the killing blow on one of the opposing ships...go go 1 die attacks!!

The third game was a mixes fed and klingon build. I was still rolling fairly well on defense but my attack dice started to cool and his defense was heating up...and in the end his dice control proved my undoing. But i still manage to get two of of his ships. In this game however the little sci vessel got overconfident and to far ahead of his mates and paid the ultimate price.

Overall that little guy more than proved his worth.

The main telling feature in these games was dice control. Being able to convert misses to hits. All three games came to a quick head right in the middle of the right side of the table mostly away from the weapon platforms. However trying to stay away from them did not leave you much room to move and there was more ship bumping tonight then i have seen yet.

It was an enjoyable event. I got to play opponents i had not faced before which was also a plus. In the end i kept my place as top romulan commander....course there are only two of us :)

In two weeks comes Collective 3 .... Oy haha

Before then more posts of course. Tonights games gave me a couple ideas for the next posts. Moving possibilities out of the norm etc

Until then never ignore the tiny ship!!

Make sure you check out all of the posts for the Blaugust Initiative

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, August 18, 2014

New gaming mat

Capts Log  Stardate - Getting my creative on!

For a while now I have wanted a new star field gaming mat. Two weeks ago I obtained the felt but had not had time to sit down and paint the star field.  So when I got home from lunch I is the day.

First I sat down and looked at some images. Orion has long been my favored constellation so i wanted to incorporate that. I found the following image on the web.

Then spent probably just under and hour to produce the mat below. for a first try I like it a lot. I may end up doing a second to try to get a brighter image but all in all this will work well.

I have also considered using the splatter method to add some depth of star field but I am afraid I may end up cluttering the mat.

Until next time - I shall by a beret and call myself picaso!


Make sure you check out all of the posts for the Blaugust Initiative

Gencon - the fiasco that was the Whizkids booth

Capts Log Stardate - what in the blue hell were they thinking?

Unfortunatly I was not able to attend GenCon this year. But I did have a bit of a dog in the hunt so to speak. A friend of mine agreed to see about getting the cloaked ship box for me. Only to get there at door opening and find them sold out every single day.

And that is the tamest of the stories coming out of genCon. Rude employees, lying employees, and just general crappy customer service. The forums are full of it and it had begun before the first day of gencon was out.

Now in the grand scheme of things not getting the box of ships won't hurt as they were for me just an item that if I could get great if not...oh well....

But the bigger issue is Whiz Kids once again completely mishandling the event. By most accounts there was a tiny number of boxes for sale and those were normally gone either before the doors opened to the general public or 5 minutes post. People were then told "come back later", " We have plenty", only them to be told sometimes quite rudely they were all gone.

WK has a history of this sort of thing. Every year they offer some promotion and every year they mishandle it. Never having nearly enough supply. Rude employees, etc. After many Gencons you would think they learn.

And then the public forum post today that went up spinning it as "unexpected demand", oy, seriously they actually expect thier customers to swallow that?

This is the sort of thing that will turn players off in droves and cause people who are borderline curious to back away and take thier money and playership elsewhere.

The pessimistic part of me is starting to fear for the future of this game. Time will tell. Hopefully they manage to finally start caring. They so far in the past have shown no inclination to.

I have already had discussions with players over that very thing. With this sort of practice it is also hard to continue to try to drum up support for the game.

Thankfully for the casual gamer it doesn't effect them nearly as much. As long as the main line is available in stores there is a game to play. But that will stay only as long as there is a following or the company continues to make product.

Here is hoping for the best.  Next back to your regularly scheduled posting about actual gameplay :)

Until, stay gold ponyboy stay gold


And make sure to check out all the posts in the Blaugust Iniative

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wolf 359

Capt's log Stardate -Holy crap that is a lot of wreckage

The Battle of Wolf 359, for those fans of the series this Two parter was a whale of a story. Picard captured and assimilated by the borg into Locutus. Riker in charge of the Enterprise with orders to destroy the cube with Picard on it,  a nail biter to be sure. And still to this day sits at the top or near the top of any Favorite Episode list.

When the Ent D arrives at Wolf 359 they find the fleet already dead basically. Debris everywhere and just a few ships left flying.

This battle is what the Collective OP 2 scenario was about. The Borg Cube Token sits unmoving 8 inches from the far edge of the play field and in the center. Around it before the game begins the players place 6 debris tokens. The debris tokens work as an obstacle for the player, meaning it gives the target an extra defense die and if you fly thru it you can take damage. If the Borg Cube Token(BTC) fires at a ship and is blocked by debris the ship takes no damage that turn, and the debris is destroyed and the debris token removed from play.

The objective is to put damage on the BCT, You recieved one damage token for each hit and crit, also as a bonus the first crit of a given turn gave you two hits and if ALL the ships in your fleet attacked in a given turn you recieved a bonus token for each ship that damaged the cube.

In all three rounds I used this to shield as many ships as I could for one turn.

The players both deployed on the side away from the BCT in a range one deployment zone. In each round I had there was not even any trying to interfere with the other player. I know there were some games that did have that but I did not get a chance to talk to any of those players about how their games went.

Now these round descriptions will be fairly short as its really just shooting at the BCT, getting shot at by the BCT , rinse repeat. So here is the highlight reel.

First round I was with a Romulan player whose blind booster pull was the Jem Hadar attack ship. We had both more or less set up apart from each other an other than trying not bump into each other pretty much just shot at the BCT. I moved out my fleet and had two ships shot at by the BCT, The Maquis and Worf's Vor'cha. The raider was screened by debris and Worf managed to evade. In this game I did not loose any ships by our time limit game end. I put 70 damage on the BCT which was enough for a win. And got a better feel for what manuevers were needed to keep all of my ships firing. The 180 degree arc of the Koronak proved its worth as I was able to hold the BCT in the firing arc with no trouble. The 90 degree arcs on my other three ships proved more challenging. My 70 damage pts were enough to give me the win but not enough to give me the bonus battle point. In order to gain the bonus you had to have at least 20 more damage tokens on the BCT than your opponent at the end of the game.

Second round was with a highly tuned federation fleet who had pulled the B'moth klingon D7. Again this game I managed to use the debris to screen the maquis raider. meanwhile my vor'chas cloaks kept them safe. The Koronak I tried to get out of the 4 closest ships to the BCT. This game had almost twice as many turns as the round 1 which had started a bit late. This game manuevering was bit trickier and several times I had to move a ship out of its firing arc or slam into the cube.

We did have some semi exciting moment when the Voyager slammed into Worf's Vor'cha as they both tried to pass around the back side of the cube.  Even though we were not shooting at each other loosing your actions for a turn could really impact your damage rate and survivability.

Late in the game a combination of bumping and my defense dice going cold cost me both vor'chas. Loosing the cloak close into the BCT was not a good idea. :)

This round ended with me putting 75 damage onto the BCT. Unforunately my opponent racked up 95 pts and got the win and the bonus battle point.

Third round was with a one ship plus booster fleet. One fully loaded Bioship Alpha who had pulled the Yeager as his booster. This game went similarly to the second one. First turn I screened two ships with debris and he screened one. The other pieces of debris were never a factor. And again much like in the second game my defense dice went cold late in the game, and again both Vor'chas flamed out quickly leaving me with the Maquis raider sitting literally right in front of the cube. He went down soon after. This game ended with me having racked up 72 damage and my opponent finished with 85.

What made the differnce however was the bioship capt had used Counter Attack as his elite talent. So he was essentually getting two shots at the BCT a turn if he took damage. And rolling 7 attack dice that put up quite a bit of extra damage. A good play by my opponent. Until the last bit I was leading the game thru out. He got two turns of me being destroyed to fire at the BCT and it turned the tide in his favor.

Being a co-op type scenario this was vastly different from the previous OPs I have played in and I found the change to be both challenging and enjoyable.

the final Collective OP is the Battle of Sector 001 and this time the BCT really fights back. Should be fun.

Until next time may you never be one of the four closest ships to the BCT

And be sure to check out all the fun over at The Blaugust Initiative


Flights of Fancy

Capt's log Stardate at least the other player won't blow you up this time.

So Tuesday night I will be playing Collective OP 2 The Battle of Wolf 359

This is a bit different type of game. As you are not fighting your opponent. You are simply trying to put damage on the Borg Cube at the other end of the table. You cannot use any abilities or weapons against your opponent that damage them. You can use 'passives' but really that is pointless in this OP I believe. The idea is to get as much damage on the Borg Cube as you can. And if you spend time dinking around with the other player you just won't have time to get that much damage on the cube.

My fleet had two generic Vor'chas. the first Capt'd by Worf the second Nu'Daq

Hmm for some reason my Worf card is not showing up. But the Klingon version of Worf is a 3 pt 5 Skill Capt and his When attacking you may re-roll your blanks one time.  A rather handy ability. He is joined by N'Garen below which gives him a sort of Battlestations result as an action. Which is good as klingons mostly lack Battlestations as an allowable action. And Nu'Daq as you can see gives the same ability for free. again handy.

I then took the Named Koronak And Gul Danar as the Capt giving me the ability to reroll one blank But he also gets Battlestations.


The idea here is to give me as many attack dice as possible without giving my opponent much to be able to fiddle with ability wise. the rules of the OP event state you can not shoot or use abilities that directly damage your opponent but you can use abilities that do not directly damage them.

Some will already know that there is a second Cardassian ship that is similar that I could have taken. And the 180 degree fire arc on that ship as well was tempting. But the cloak gives me better defense against the Cube Tokens Unlimite range 5 die attack.

I will go ahead and put my booster ship here as well instead of in the next post.

My Blind pull for this OP was the Maquis Raider,  I don't have the card image handy but here are the stats copied from a thread on Board Game geek.  I had the Named Raider, Tooks Michael eddington as my Capt and put Focused Particle Bame on it.

Gavaroche (Maquis Raider)
Forward Arc: 90 Back Arc 0
Cost: 22 (20)
3 (2)
Evade, Target Lock, Scan, Battlestations
Action: Disable up to 2 Crew Upgrades and add +1 attack die to each of your attacks this round for each Crew Upgrade you disabled with this action.

Maneuver Dial: Identical to the Ch'tang

Weapon, Personnel, Personnel

Michael Eddington
Cost: 4
Skill: 6
Elite Talent: 1

At the start of the game, place three mission tokens on this card.

Action: Target a ship at Range 1-3 and discard 1 Mission token from this card. Target ship rolls -2 attack dice against your ship for each of its attacks this round.


Focused Particle Beam
Cost: 4
Range: 1-3
Attack: 3

Attack: Disable this card to perform this attack. During the Roll Attack Dice step of the Combat Phase, if you roll a hit or critical result on each one of your dice with this attack, continue rolling 1 additional dice, one at a time, until you do not roll a hit or critical result (max 3 additional dice). Add all additional hit and critical results from the additional dice to your total for this attack. Any blank or battlestation results from the additional dice are not added.

When the Particle Beam works it is nice and even when it doesn't I still get an extra attack die. It does mean however if I want to use it a lot I will have to use my action to reenable it each turn.

So That is my 120 Fleet for Collective OP2.  How did I do? Tune into the next post to see.

Go and check out The Blaugust Initiative

Until next time stay cloaked and hid behind the other guy!


Monday, August 11, 2014

Make it so

Capt;s Log Stardate - why does a Frenchman has an English accent?

Last time we discussed a bit about the Enterprise D. Now lets look at her capt. Jean Luc Picard.

In STAW terms Picard is one of if not the best capt choice in the game for general purposes. He is a 9 skill capt for 6 pts, which that right there puts him up front. Skill 9 is the highest base skill in the game at the moment. You can pump them up higher but it takes other cards to do it. So Picard moves last and shoots first much of the time.

Picard's ability is what really pushed him over the top. Each round you may perform Evasive, target Lock, battlestations, or scan as a free action. basically doubling the actions you get each turn. Pretty darn handy don't you think?

One thing to remember though is the rules specifically state you cannot take the same action more than once in a turn. Again there are cards that curcumvent this rule but most of the time not. Still Picard gives a lot of added punch. Target Loc + Battlestations which on a normal attack gives you a reroll of any misses and turns Battlestations results to hits. Significantly ups you hit percentage.

Battlestations + Evade for defense.

Battlestations + Scan for modifying dice on your roll and removing one defense die from whomever you are shooting at.

as you can see Picard brings a wealth of new choice and power to the table.

Placing Picard on any other ship and he is just as good really. You see him on voyager lot and you also see Picard show up on other factions ships. With only a 1 point faction penalty he is still only  7 pts for what you get.

As we move forward with the blog we will move into more detailed looks at what the card can do when combined with other cards.

Coming up next it a look at the fleet I will be flying tomorrow for Collective OP event 2 The Battle of Wolf 359. We will look quickly at the rules and see what I plan to do.

As with all current posts this is a Blaugust Initiative post. Be sure to check ALL the blogs in the Initiative for all sorts of gaming and other goodness.

Until then - avoid the delta Quadrant!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Space the Final Frontier....

Capt's Log Stardate really long string of meaningless numbers

No really originally the stardates were literally random numbers :)

But anyway the title of this post is the open phrase from one of the most famous monologues of all time. This has been voiced by Kirk, Spock, Picard, and others.

Which brings me to my topic today in a sort of oddly logical way, the Enterprise D from Next Generation Capt'd by Jean Luc Picard.  One of the best ships in Attack Wing.

Here she is in all her glory

Like most of the larger ships her agility is not much with only 1. But there are crew and things that can boost that. As well as evades and such. All in all I have found the Ent D to stand up pretty well. With 90 degree front and rear arcs she packs a nice punch. You can add Torpedoes as well easily.

The real gem though is the ability. You can make a 360 degree attack out to range 2. You do loose one attack die down to 3 but unlike Voyager there is no other penalty. Voyager has a similar ability and gets her full attack but also gains an Aux Power token. Ent'D's is better in most cases.

Really in STAW it is hard to do a ship post without talking about how to possibly crew her. If all you have is the starter you will want to put Picard on her. Picard is one of the best capts in the game. With his free actions, combined with your regular action you can do some damage. The Target Lock/Battlestations action combo is popular for example. We will discuss this more when we talk about Picard. That post is coming.

I don't have my cards handy as I am in Tulsa and they are in KC. Had to find the above image on the net. I cannot find an image of the movement card but the stats are as follows.

straights out to 4 with 1 and 2 being green moves
gentle turns of 1, 2, and 3 with the 1 being green
hard turns on 2 and 3 with the 3 being RED
and a Red 2 reverse.

That is reverse not come about. There is a difference. With a come about you move forward and then turn 180 in your facing. With Reverse you keep the same facing and just move the ship backwards. This I can tell you is very handy and can be an ugly surprise.

One thing I can recommend for the new player is to get a real feel for how far each of the template actually moves a ship. Some of them are farther than you would think. the gentle 3 is a good example.

Coming back to the reverse. This may be the most useful maneuver on the dial. More than once I have used that move to spoil what my opponent had thought was a great move. Nothing like moving your ship to come around and sit right behind the D only to find the D backing straight up on its move and ending up behind you. One of the beautiful moments in this game is when you out guess your opponent and get the better move choice.

Other than the reverse the Ent D is pretty standard. Moves decent but not outstandingly. Not that fast. Certainly not as fast as the Voyagers straight 6. But can move well enough that she has some surprises.

Balance wise this works. Fluff wise the D was far more maneuverable than shown here.

Alright that is the D. Tomorrow we shall talk about her Capt a bit.

Until then may your series be ever renewed!

And be sure to check out the rest of The Blaugust Initiative!

More random thoughts and Wil Wheaton quote

Capts Log Stardate Rambling thoughts

Today's entry will be quick. Well I say that but one never really knows. Been thinking more about yesterday's talk about casual vs competitive and what makes a player one, the other , or inbetween. There really is no reason a player can't move between the types. In fact in many games I often have. Especially in things like MMOs and online play.

I played original Everquest for ages and did some raiding there. In DAoC however I stepped up and did a LOT of raiding. Main tanking, healing, crowd control, etc for the raid. It was a lot of fun but it became a job. Cause often if you are not there the raid doesn't happen if you are one of those main needs.

With miniature games I have gone back and forth from wanting to compete in tournaments to saying more. Mainly because at one point I had a run of tournies where I got "THAT" guy like every single time. The one who would always find the most broken army, combo, what have you and liked to just rub it in opponents faces. I prefer the more gentlemanly game. You can destroy me, just don't rub my nose in it. Then you just become a douche. As Wil Wheaton says "Don't be a dick"

And in STAW I have already seen both this type of players, and my favorite, the stealth douche. The guy who on the surface seems friendly even though he has a fully tuned broken fleet. Then proceeds to make sure you know every turn just how good his fleet is. This sort of player is deadly to the rookie.

I have seen more new players turned off by this sort of play than anything else. Because they think that is the norm. In some games it almost is.. or at least was when I was playing it regularly(cough MtG..cough) ,

Hopefully even if you are a competitive player you are more of an ambassador for the game rather than the evil guy. Encourage new players, help them, teach them. No matter what camp they want to fall in. You will turn a casual player into a competitive one faster by being encouraging than by brow beating.

So anyway..tomorrow back to our regularly scheduled program. Perhaps a look at the Enterprise D or one or all of the other ships you get in the starter.

Until then remember Don't be a dick!


This post is a part of The Blaugust Initiative

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

casual? competitive? What's your flavor?

In many games, especially of the miniatures variety there are a couple of "schools" of play. Those who want to play competitively in tournaments, become nationally ranked(if the game has such a thing), win world championships, etc. And those who just want to have fun.

Now let me start by saying there is nothing inherently wrong with either approach and there is in fact an in between approach. There are those who play in the tourny's but while they like to win its more important to have a good time. Some of the best games I have ever had I have lost.

And you don't really need to choose one over the other. One can slide back and forth between the two extremes easy enough.

These days I am pretty firmly in the casual camp even though i do participate in the STA Organized Play events which is essentially the tournament scene for the game. But when I do so I go in knowing that there is only really an outside chance for me to win. I mainly play in them for two reasons, 1.. the participation prizes and 2. to get games in.

It is however still frustrating to just get destroyed by a highly tuned up tournament fleet. But it is the way it is unless I choose to start powering up. And for me that is not something I want to delve to deeply into.

And this blog is planned to stay mostly casual. I have talked and will talk more about the cards and ships you can get just for participating. and even winning when I manage to get ahold of one. for example I do have the vulcan prize ship from collective OP 1. But mostly I will try to stay to the cards available to the general public as we go forward.

I don't know anyone who likes to loose. So my aim is to help the casual capt to maybe see a few things they wouldn't have thought up. Not so common uses for cards or ships. Won't make you into a tourny wrecking machine but it will hopefully enhance or add to your fun along the way.

I have played games competitively and it gets tiring trying to keep up with the jones' all the time.

At this point i just want to enjoy myself, and not get destroyed every time out of the gate.

Stay tuned and hang in there is way more to come. This blog and game are just getting started.

And be sure to check out the rest of The Blaugust Initiative

till next time may your attack dice come up crits!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Learning the Ropes

Capt's Log - Stardate - In the Beginning...

I was thinking last night that so far I have talked here and there about the games verious details but not a lot on what to actually do. How does one start?

Over the years I have played a heap of ship games... Full Thrust, A Call To Arms: Babylon 5, BattleFleet Gothic, just to name a few off the top of my head. And that is just the space ship games. Have also played sailing ship games... its a particular interest of mine.

And Ship games in general have some of the same charactristics... mainly because even though space is 3D you only really have 2D to simulate it. Some plane games get around by using telescoping bases to denote different height levels. But most space ships games really boil down to sailing ships in space. They move like Age of Sail ships and they tend to fight like them. Cloaking and other abilities not withstanding.

Star Trek is no different. In fact the entirety of star ship combat in trek is modeled after sea vessels. The only time you see 3D used is for dramatic effect... for example Star Trek 2 when Spock tells Kirk that Khan's thinking is decidely 2 Dimensional, and the final episode of TNG All Good Things(part 2) when Riker comes in from under the enemy ship to destroy it. Other than dramatic effect 3D is conveinently overlooked. Babylon 5 and the new Battlestar Galatica did a bit better job but the Bab5 games goes right back to 2D space. Only so much you can do on a table top.

Something to keep in mind is you are limited by the 2D space we are using to simulate the 3D environment.

Anyway.. so you have your starter and maybe a couple extra ships and you are ready to put together a fleet.. so now what?

First I suggest you keep it simple. Add your Capts, maybe a crew or two , and a upgrade. Often this first upgrade is Photon Torpedoes. I do not reccommend going all in and upgrading ships to the max to start as how the cards work is often confusing. remember keep it simple. If you are in luck you have someone to teach you that has already played for a bit and is not in the 'beat them until they learn" camp.

But even with the best cards the name of the game is getting your ships into firing position and keeping them there, while getting hit as little as possible in return.

As I mentioned yesterday make sure to set up a table with a couple obstacles, maybe a planet to fly around. Setting up on a pure open table is okay for a teaching game but tossing in something to fly around helps them learn to maneuver. Again when i am teaching I often allow movement do overs if they make a wrong choice or thought they had made a choice other than what shows on the dial. It does happen. it is actually quite easy to choose the wrong turn direction.

Typically in age of sail games you want to bring the most guns to bear which for those ships was normally a broadside. But for trek that is most often the front first arc. Most of the ships in the game(with some notable exception) have either a 90 degree front firing arc or 180 degrees. The ones with 360 can give you fits. Some ships also have a read firing arc which ifyou forget can make for getting a nasty surprise. I had an opponent forget about a rear arc once only to get forcably reminded when I hit him with a big quanton torpedo shot heh... ouch..

Anyway in general you want to get into either the side arc or rear if the ship doesn't have a rear arc itself. If you can get in there and stay in there you have it made. Of course its never that easy and one of the things I really like about STAW is the fact your moves are chosen first then hidden. You must learn to predict your opponents move. WAY easier said than done. But there is very little that gives more satisfaction of sliding into a position you know they cannot escape from.

For your first couple of games keep it simple, use the time to learn how the ships move.. what the different turns do.

Also DO NOT assume you won't bump if you have two ships together and they make the same move. They might look like they would stay together but the nature of the templates do not actually make that so.

But for your first games concentrate one learning the order of the turn, what to do when. When do take your actions, what the actions do. that sort of thing. Don't even worry so much about winning. Just in figuring out how it works. Once you have a handle on that start looking deeper at the cards and how they interact. The game is quite deep and it is not something that gets learned over night.

As always for the month of August this post is a part of The Blaugus Initiative

Until next time - May you always be in your opponents rear arc.

Monday, August 4, 2014

of Factions and purity - to mix or not to mix

Capt's Log supplemental - Stardate the eternal debate

This subject comes up time and time again in discussion of Attack Wing. Faction Pure, or mixed.
heck its not the first time it has come up already in this blog...sure it will not be the last :)

 Before we ramble on a bit lets set some definitions:

Faction Pure - all ships and upgrades in the fleet are from the same faction.

Ship Pure - all ships in the fleet contain upgrades from that ships factions but each ship can be from a different faction

Non Pure - pay the 1 point penalty build as you will.

The main "issue" with this debate is simple. the game is not designed to be played Faction Pure. The penalty for putting a non faction card on a ship is only +1 point. Nothing really. And this allows for some seriously devastating combos of cards. Especially when put on to the Borg ships.

Some people in the faction pure camp also allow independants on ships and still ruling that as "pure"

The problem with faction pure play, even after the design reason, is currently some factions are pretty heavily penalized when you enforce this rule. Romulans come to mind. They just don't have the cards. In fact I would go so far as to saying a faction pure game weights towards the Federation pretty heavily as they already have the most available cards to choose from. Although an argument can be made that this is in keeping with Trek in general. Being "fluff" oriented is not normally good for game balance.

Which brings up another point.. should the game be balanced? Again the Borg come to mind. right now they are powerful. Much like they were when they first appeared. Yep its in keeping with the trek story but it throws the game balance all out of whack.

It has always been my opinion that if you are going to build a miniatures game around a given universe some things will have to give way to balance. Given good solid play or outstanding play I should be able to take any fleet in the game and have a reasonable chance of winning. Die rolls and superior play by the opponent none withstanding. My choice of fleet should NOT be predicated on needing to play that faction to win.

I saw a similar situation in the A Call To Arms Babylon 5 game. When the 2nd edition came out the Minbari were deemed by some to be way overpowered. Without revealing anything that might get me a stern talking to :) if players thought the release list was powerful they should have seen the one the testers were sent...reminds me a WHOLE lot of the borg in STAW right now.

And while powerful Minbari are in keeping with the Bab 5 universe they are not in keeping with having competitive play with any faction.

In order to make Faction Pure trek viable there would need to be some card packs released to bring all the factions in line with one another.

Ship Pure seems to be a variation gaining popularity. In other words I can have a Fed ship, Romulan Ship, and Klingon ship in my fleet but each of those ships can only have that factions upgrades. This does go a long ways to helping keep the balance but does still leave a few combos in the hands of only a couple factions. So while we get closer to balanced its still not perfect.

Playing the game as designed however as has been stated really opens up some broken combos. adding Picard and company to a Tac Cube can get ugly. By the same token not all is rosey in faction pure land. I have seen a Fed ship rolling 8 attack dice with free scans and battlestations.  ouch :)

So waht is the answer? Honestly... a complete overhaul of the factions top to bottom with some actual external playtesting :)

What have we learned? Nothing really? Where you fall will depend greatly on who you play with. In casual games having house rules to correct the imbalances in the game is much easier. Just make sure those rules are spelled out and clear.

In Organized Play events its a bit murkier even though there are many who have house rules enforced on them. Oddly this is a stance I tend to avoid as much as possible even though I know it will mean lots of broken builds.

Until next time, keep the house rules clean and target locks on!

And don't forget the big Blaugust Initiative!


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Deck Building or Maneuvers.... which is most important?

Capts Log Stardate I like to move it move...

To begin the opinions expressed here and well thru out this blog are mine and mine alone. While I am often correct and rarely wrong :) :) :) :) these remain simply my opinions :) Now go forth and make my words the gospel of STAW...  no seriously this is just one players opinion so feel free to disagree. Even comment on it and we can discuss it. As long as you keep it civil. Now on with our regularly scheduled blog post.

Okay so there is a bit of a debate among STAW players about the most important part of the game. Deck Building seems to have a clear lead based on my totally non scientific manner of research. But oddly the general leanings tend to be toward the cards being more important than moving your ships.

This makes no sense to me. I have seen this happen on both sides of the table. A ship that is just stacked to the gills with as many roll modifying cards as they can get. Re-rolls, Free Battle stations, etc. Basically a ship that when it shoots is pretty much guaranteed a 75% or better hit rate. Only to see that player not ever get to use the ship because it has a 90 degree fire arc and they can never bring it to bear.

Part of this leaning I think is the nature of the way I see a lot of pick up games going. No obstacles to fly around, no planets to block line of site. Just an open killing field. This sort of playing field heavily weights the game into the stacked deck camp. Its is a whole lot easier to stay in firing position than when you have a clear field than when you have to go around planets or can get the bonus for hiding behind obstacles.

In a recent game I managed to save a ship and get a few more shots in by ducking behind and going around the planet on the map. Of course I have also managed to remove a ship I needed from a game for several turns because I choose wrong at the start about where my opponent was going to go and ended up with a planet between us for several turns. So yea it works both ways.

My main point though is ALL the great cards in the world will not help you if you can never get an enemy in the cross hairs. Being able to move your ships correctly and outguess where your opponent will be is far more important than having an unbeatable card combo. Because you never get to use the thing.

I have seen more game decided by good flying than I have broken combos. Thankfully.  But in reading what I can find online it varies from region to region. Everything varies from region to region. In the shop where I am currently playing there is a pretty active group that shows up for OPs, while just four hours down the road they are about to run their last OP and just stop because they don't have enough players.

Once again however I digress...back on topic!

One thing I have noticed the power players doing is finding ways to get around this goal. Using ships that have a 360 degree fire arc, which makes maneuvering far less important. And on the aforementioned open table makes those ships far far deadlier because now you can't get away.

I like to use open tables for teaching games the first time, or tables with only a couple obstacles, or one planet. Enough to give them a chance to see how those objects function in game. And fleet testing can be good on an open table. But at the same time you cannot see the real value of your build if you don't test it under all types of conditions.

In the end so far I have seen that maneuvering is still far more important than having the killer combo of cards. In fact some of the most successful builds don't have a lot on them at all. So choose wisely and in the end play the game, make up your own mind, and see what works for you.

As with all posts this months for more bloggy goodness on many topics check out the Blaugust Initiative

Until next time May you never face Picard on a Tac cube!

And don't forget Blaugust!!


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Turning around when you can't turn around

Capt's Log : Stardate why can't my ship turn around

Its a annoying fact that not all ships in STAW can turn around or as is termed in the game... Come About.

This is at times quite frustrating. But all is not lost there is now away to give any ship with a red maneuver a Come About.And that wonderful little card is...Skilled Helmsman which was the participation prize for the Tholian Web OP event.

 As you can see Skilled Helmsman is a 5 pt resource.  Here is the movement template you get with that resource.
So what good is this? As you can see by the card text you can give any ship with a red move this move instead. Like all red moves it does give you an Auxiliary power token, which is an annoyance but no more so than any other Aux token :)

I like this resource. Now arguably Flagship is better but its also more points.

For example the Romulan D'Deridex does not have a Come About move on the card. Yes it does have a 2 reverse but that is not always what you want to do. It takes a minimum of two turns to turn the thing around and so this move is handy. Its pretty satisfying to watch an opponent who thinks they have moved to where you cannot get them realize that you can in fact whip around and shoot them again next turn.

For a resource its not outstanding but it is useful and more useful I think than most people find it.

You can find plenty of folks who have multiples of this and are willing to sell or even give it away and they can be had for cheap on ebay if you missed the Tholian Web OP.

You do not see this a lot in the competitive game as most folks want the 10 pt flagships. But I can easily see this if you just don't have those ten points or don't want to spend them.

What about you? In your local scene do you see this played at all?

For other various blogs hit up the Blaugust Initiative!

Until next time target their engines and open fire!


Friday, August 1, 2014

Blaugust comes

Capt's Log Supplemental Stardate: Misc postings

There will soon hopefully be many more postings here. I am going to participate as much as I can in a little contest/initiative being spearheaded by a friend of mine calleed Blaugust.

The Link

The idea is to one post a day for the entire month of August. With my new job and everything else I don't know if I will make that.. probably won't but I am certainly going to try. I have a few card reviews in the pipeline already as well as card reviews, combo suggestions, etc. Plenty of things within STAW to talk about to fuel the posts and more stuff happens all the time.

So stay tuned for a month of posts!!

Until then set course second star to the right straight on till morning

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Casual vs Competitive - Or Sunk ship before you set sail

Capt's Log - Stardate - prepared to be boarded!

While I am working on a big ship review post here are some random thoughts about the different camps that tend to play most games and are certainly present in STAW.

The shop I have been playing at started the Dominion War OP series again last night. I already have the participation prizes from these but its also one of the few ways to get in multiple games.

But the OP environment is also where the competitive game exists. The OPs are not normally casual events. Which means when I bring a non tuned fleet to one of these I am going to get stomped on.

For this event Borg were disallowed. I don't recall an exception being made for the Soong ship but quite often a distinction is made. And since one player was allowed to take one I am presuming the ruling was for independant since the ship had no borg upgrades.

I have been wanting to start flying the Romulans for a bit so made the wild hair choice that I would play them in this OP.

The T.O. wanted faction pure only but then decided that he would not make it mandatory. I ended up playing faction pure simply by nature of my build but for the next DW OPs I will be tweaking my fleet load out and will most likely end up non pure.

Right now in the game faction pure hurts the borg/federation the least and Romulans the most it seems. But since no borg were allowed anyway this wasn't an issue. The Feds have a TON of cards to choose from so faction pure doesn't really hurt them much at all.

My fleet for this looked pretty laughable really. I am well aware going into these that I am going to most get stomped on.

The build for this event is 100 pts. I have to say I do prefer the 120pt game. And am hoping soon to play some even bigger pt value games.

I apologize for lack of pictures, I am writing this post in a place I don't have access to my Dropbox.

I will instead provide links to the cards in question where I can find them.

My fleet was 3 ships, the Named Valdore , with The Romulan Cmdr(no link) his ability is as an Action you can allow him to fire first in the attack phase. This didn't come into play but only because the two times I should have used it, I forgot about it hehe..opps.

Next I had The Khazara,  with Toreth , her ability came into play a lot.

And finally I had the generic D'Deridex with Valdore and was able to use his ability several times over the three games of the OP.

Before the OP started I did get in a few turns with a friend who is just starting the game. mainly to help him get some table time and to start getting a feel for what I had concocted.

Right now the Romulans are kind of shafted in STAW , hmm a lot like in Trek Online, ooo Conspiracy Theory!!!.... but I digress... like I do.....

Romulans lack a big hitter in their faction pure fleet. The Valdore is the biggest they have at 4 attack, followed by the D'Deridex, and then a bunch of small ships. I don't have all of them and I have I think four with at least one more to get to complete what is available currently. The big hitter for Roms in hopefully coming in November with the released of the Scimitar.

He was using Klingons so there was a whole lot of cloaking going on. I have some pics of the first few turns, I will put up a battle report of the incomplete game soon. I feel like even when you do not get to finish a game there is useful information to be learned.

What I learned, or rather what we confirmed was that to make this even remotely workable I was going to have to fly well and keep the ships flying together. And shooting the same target was going to be a must. But even that turned out at times to not matter.

This fleet build of mine , not really even close to optimized for this Scenario, let me set the stage.
Standard 3x3 table, the DS9 token is in one corner, the wormhole token in the other. In between are 8 mine tokens set out by the players as part of the set up.

Now my fleet that needs to stick close together has to dodge mines. Mines that replicate, if you hit the mines you roll one attack die, if it is a hit/crit you roll again, repeating until the result is not a hit. no evading...Translation, DON'T HIT THE MINES... um.. duh?

Thankfully Romulans are pretty darn maneuverable but still puts a kink in the ol' battleplan.

First game of the OP I hit exactly the topic that sparked this long post. My opponent was flying a totally tricked out two ship Fed build, Enterprise and Voyager with all the trimmings, Flagship And Admiral Kirk, Sulu, some other cards. Basically every turn he was getting free battlestations, free scans, shooting first, and just generally kicking my ass all across the table. I think the game lasted three turns and that was just because he whiffed a couple rolls.. of course he was also rolling 6 and 7 attack dice and getting all hits due to the battlestations, and when you are only rolling 4 to 6 defense die, you LACK battlestations and scan,  and your opponent is rolling like a madman... not a lot you can do. Multiple times he would end up with 6 dice that had read 4 crits and 2 hits. You really just can't fight against that no matter what you do really :) The Dice Gods are fickle.  And one of the factors in STAW is being able to manipulate your die rolls, re rolls, etc.

The first game ended in flames for me, as I expected as soon as I saw the fleet across the table.

Second game did not go a whole lot better. This time I faced Bioship Alpha with Gowron piloting, and the Soong borg ship with a Gorn Capt.(from the Arena OP prize ship)..

This time I deviated from the "stay together" plan and sent the generic D to capture the station, in the previous game I had felt the shooting from that and it was not pleasent. But fast as they are there was no way my Romulans were beating Voyager to the station. In this second game my opponent had already decided to mostly ignore the station.

I targeted the Bioship and began to slowly chink away at the shields...easier said than done. The Dice Gods were still not smiling upon me, and they were smiling across the table. Again faced with highly modified rolls and rerolls.

Now before we go any further let me state for the record that yes I knew this going in. I could have take a two ship build and tooled it up. However I was testing, and attempting to stick with the event organizers preference of faction pure. haha but not being able to get a shot off is always frustrating. And the Romulan ships are a bit on the expensive side for what you get. 30 for the Valdore compared to 28 for the Enterprise-D.

I was able to whittle the Bioship down to 4 hull left before all three of my ships were destroyed.

My worry here is the price of entry into STAW is climbing if you want to be competitive at all. If you want to have even an outside shot at winning an event. The causes of this are numerous. From power creep in the ships to poor testing and planning by the company. Placing very powerful cards in prize ships is a horrid idea. Only a small percentage of the player base will even get these cards/ships. Thus you start to narrow down the field considerably. I am all for unique and/or limited prizes. Just not game changing ones(ie Conditional Surrender).

Third game I finally matched up against another mostly casual player. Note we are in the bottom end of the brackets :) I won that game due mainly to be a better pilot. My opponent was playing Dominion and had the 4th Division Battleship and the Gor Portas. Can't recall what crew he had on them.

This time I said hell with the station and flew all three ships together and kept them together as long as possible. It was only when I had to split them to go around a couple sets of mines that I jaunted the D'Deridex over and took the station.

So what in all this long post am I trying to say? In some ways I am not sure. It started out as one thought and kind of wandered around as I went. Overall, the point is this. As a casual player, if you are going to play in the Organized Play events you have to go into knowing that you are going to be outgunned most if not all the time. These are the current STAW Tournement scene and as such bring out the ultra competitive, and every type of 'nightmare' player out there. But they also do bring out the casual player, the trick is helping the casual player to not get discouraged when he gets romped by the power player. And some of the best game conversations I have had have been with the ultra competitive types. I like to discuss the meta..just don't like trying to make sure I have the biggest and baddest all the time.

Its frustrating but its also a challenge. Can I maintain my own playstyle and still come up with a build that does decent? Honestly I don't know. But I do know that trying to set into that power player mindset leads very easily to a whole bunch of ugly. I personally just don't need to win so bad that I will nitpick my opponent to death or quibble over whether or not that corner of the base is over the line or if I am placing the range template in such a way that as long as you are looking at it from the angle I have placed it, then it appears I am in range. Or the quick measure and call out of range hoping your opponent won't notice. Or the not wanting to show the card you are attempting to play. hahaha nope not gonna take your word for it on a card I have never seen :) And yes I have seen all of that and more. But I know that going into it. and going into it I make up my mind to do what I came here to do. Play the Romulans and start seeing if they can be workable. and have fun. Always always always have fun.

Again I realize much of this sounds like I am complaining. haha and I somewhat am but NOT at the players themselves. Its not the players fault that the Borg are so powerful. Or that certain card combos are broken. Do I think you shoupld play certain combos? no...but there is nothing against the rules about it.

It is however something that has to be dealt with by those chosing to play the game.

It's also a bit of a now win situation for the T.O.s. You want to make sure you keep people playing in order to keep the game alive. But you can't go making house rules that penalize players to much. I think we are seeing that quite a bit too. As much as I hate the borg being overpowered I also hate having to be in a position to rule them non allowable. Either way you go someone is going to get angry.

Not a problem that can be solved quickly for sure.

Until Next time - Spend the points , use Picard :)


Friday, July 18, 2014

Somthing Wicked this Way Comes

Capt's Log Stardate - oh Holy Crap!

“The Borg are the ultimate user. They’re not interested in political conquest, wealth, or power as you know it. They’re simply interested in your ship and its technology. They’ve identified it as something they can consume.”

“The hall is rented; the orchestra engaged. It’s now time to see if you can dance…”
—Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2: Episode 16 “Q Who”

And with those words Q blasted the Enterprise and Crew into the delta quadrant and sparked the first encounter with what was at the time and really probably still is the most terrifying enemy Picard, his crew, and the Federation have ever faced. The unfeeling, compassionless, cyborg juggernaut.. The Borg.  The final line of that quote sent chills down my spine then and is still one of my favorite lines from the show.

And that block of text is also what prefaces the rules sheet for The Collective OP event 1. And boy was it a whopper.

This event was a blind draw booster event. You made a 90 pt fleet and then you received a blind booster with a ship in it. You had to build your last up to 30pt ship from the ship in the booster for a total of 120 max fleet pts. I drew the Vorta Vor a TOS era Romulan Bird of Prey. While I was hoping for the Yeager I was just as pleased to get the Romulan ship as they need all the help they can get :)

Before my booster draw my fleet looked like this...

Ent D with Capt Spock

Picard shanghai's the Voyager.

 So with have Picard on the Voyager with Dimitri Valtane, Photon torpedoes, and Cheat Death. While Spock is in the Enterprise's center seat with Tom Paris and another set of Photons. Putting right on 90 pts. The Voyager setup cost 49, the Ent-D 41. Let the Games begin.

My opponent had Klingons and pulls the Yeager as I said. I am sure Lt Shelby came in useful later when he was playing the Borg player. heh. Here is his fleet. He had Martok in the Neg Var and Worf in the vorcha with drex as crew.. this is a wicked combo.(more on this later)

we deployed. He had initiative which really didn't come into play a lot anyway. We both deployed to the left of the BCT(Borg Cube Token) and hoped for the best and that that damn cube would hopefully not cause to much havoc. In this scenario you cannot do anything to the cube. In order to have a shot at avoiding its attack you must spend an action and put a resistance token on your ship. And then during the end phase when the cube attacks you roll one attack die. If the die result is a critical you resist the attack. Otherwise if you have any crew or upgrade the cube assimilates one at random. If you have none it makes a 5 die attack.

Now at first I thought I had screwed up on my initial move... I found out in the third game it was possible i had in fact been victim to a loose maneuver dial. I had put all three of my ships on a straight 3 to just move out and get engaged with the klingons. But when i turned them over the Vorta Vor's dial was on a curve... this cause the Voyager to bump into it. Again at the time I thought I had simply chosen the wrong maneuver. but at any rate I had to live with it. So Voyager lost its action.

Spock however got a target lock on the Vorcha as it was coming in.  this game however for the entire game my shooting was mostly ineffective. The few times I manged to score good rolls so did my opponent evading everything :) Who knew Klingons were so agile ....

And as it turns out they can shoot TOO! First turn my opponent strips the shields off the the Enterprise and part of them off the Romulan .... Then the borg cube moved in and took the photon torpedoes off the enterprise... that was the only casualty the cube in the first turn.

So the picture below is the Second as we started. You can see where the cube went as we prepared to move. you will not the aux token on the Romulan ship and that she is still cloaked. the advanced cloaking device allows you to put an aux power token on and keep from flipping your cloak if you attack.

In order to clear the way I kept the vorta vor comin around in a tight turn. Moved the enterprise on forward and had a lovely rear arc shot on the vorcha or a 360 degree shot on the neg var. The Voyager i did a turn and burn to attempt to get it out of range of the cube.. as you can see that did not work out so well. Second turn firing I chose to take my 360 degree arc shot at the vorcha since I no longer had the torpedoes. I manged to burn off more shields but that was about it. Meanwhile the poor vorta vor took a pounding nearly blowing up this turn escaping with one hull left.

For the rest of this game I have no pictures as somehow I managed to delete them. But the story they tell is not pretty. The next turn the romulan was destroyed, a turn later so went the enterprise. I did manage to do a bit more damage but never was able to get any of my opponents ships destroyed. Not an auspicious start to the event for sure. The cube is just ugly, very hard to avoid the attack and the way it moves keeps it always in your face unless you get some decent moves in.  Had I designed this scenario I would have changed the mandatory movement of the cube slightly so that instead of only putting the random move tokens down on valid moves I would have put them down on all four and if the arrow came up in an arc that had no ships the cube would simply not move that turn.

Getting your ships into the right position was more important that ever. I found it however impossible to keep my ships in good firing position and OUT of the range 2 or less of the danged cube. Which of course is the point as this scenario is replaying the initial encounter whereupon the Enterprise barely manages to escape. It was certainly a terrifying thing to try to avoid.

The second game I put up a win. I was facing another Klingon this time with the maquis raider as thier random ship. I destroyed two ships to his one and so put up the W.

This shot is about midway thru that game just before ships started blowing up. Again the cube is just mangling the enterprise...something oddly poetic about that really as it was truly doing a bit of show reenacting hahah. Next turn after this picture I destroyed the raider, and got the Bird of Prey the turn after that. Meanwhile my ships actually survived the encounter allow with much gear and crew assimilated.

This third and final game I did not get any pictures of. i did have more of the first two games but those files were deleted before I could upload own fault for not paying closer attention when I went to upload them to dropbox for safe keeping... irony...

The third game I lost but did mange to score some more pts. The cube itself tried to destroy the Enterprise by ramming it twice.  And in a bit of getting tired and not paying close enough attention I managed to fly one of my ships just over the boundary line thus leaving the play field..

Even still I came close to pulling this game out as we were left with one ship each in the third game I had a badly mauled Enterprise and he the Dominion Battleship. My opponent did a lovely comeabout move putting him right on the tail of the Enterprise..however in an effort to just move away from the cube I had myself done a reverse 2 which put me in a beautiful position and for once my shots hit home savaging what was left of the battleship... had I had one more turn I think I would have gotten it because the ship is not fast enough to get away.

What did I take away from these games that would help the new player/tactician?...

One..check your maneuver dials. Remember those two missed moves I mentioned up there. After the second one when I was 99% positive the move that showed on the dial when I turned it over was NOT the one I had chosen,  I checked the dial and it was very very loose and would not tighten down. I put it on the move I wanted and just used my normal natural move to turn it over and it was enough to move the dial to the next option. Will have to be really careful of that in the future.

Next - in this scenario while your upgrades may not do anything they will suck up assimilation attacks leaving your capt intact.

Again, maneuvering is the most important aspect. When you get a ship out of position it can take several turns to return it to the fight if the ship doesn't have a come about on the dial.

Never underestimate the utility of just backing up. Saved me a couple times and as noted above once put me in perfect position had I not run out of time.

Learn the cards. Even I was annoyed with me having to constantly ask what crew/upgrades/weapons/etc did. Plus it a lot easier to plan tactics when you know what those cards are by name.

And finally.. Borg just suck. Not the cube token, the playable ones. The two highest pts scored were both Borg players and no one else was really even close. Right now as the meta stands they are rough to beat. BUT I still do not think it impossible. One of the Klingon players hung in for a long time. Federation I am still looking for the secret.

Okay so this one was long...but oddly not near as long as had ALL my pictures gotten uploaded. Once again I can only promise to do better. I think next event though I will only take detailed pictures of one game and try to make sure I get everything.

Next event is in two weeks and the shop is replaying the Dominion War. Next Collective Event is next month. I plan on trying hard to get to the DW event as well as some pick up games.

And finally tell me what you want me to cover. I have planned things like Card reviews which also detail some possible uses. Repainting "guides" or at least repainting posts showing what I did and how. More battle reports, Ship reviews same as card reviews.  Possible fleet list options...  but what do you want to see? I know there are people reading which is exciting. Help me spread the word also. There is not a whole lot of STAW stuff out there in general and even less for the more casual player who wants to not get wiped off the table but is not interested in making sure they have the most powerful fleet.

Until next time - beam me down to the planet and lets find the bar!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Colored Bases

Capt's Log Supplemental - Those bases cost what?

I am still writing the battle report from last nights Collective OP 1 event. Was a fun time had by the players it seemed. I went 1 for 3 but manged to score pts in 2 rounds. The Borg Cube in that event is brutal. But we will get to that later.

Anyway this is just a quick write up. I like the concept of faction colored bases but but paying 5 bucks for 4 bases wasn't really something I was inclined to do. I have also seen a method of use a sharpie to color them but as I do not have a bunch of colored sharpies I went another route.

What i DO have are several of the Tamiya Transparent colors. Including green, red, and blue. Right now I am not worried about Dominion as I don't have many of them yet. And not sure I will actively play them when I do although they seem a solid fleet when i have played against them.

So while taking a break from certification study for my job I grabbed some bases and went to work. These paints dry quickly so it doesn't take long to get two coats on. Each on of these is two coats of the given color.

I think they turned about pretty well and will look great in the table. I promise in the future I will make sure to shrink the images down. hehe.

Until next time Come about and set heading for home!

Monday, July 14, 2014

another teaching game

Capt's Log StarDate - how long can he keep making pseudo witty statements,

I was going to take pictures of tonight's game but ended up more focused on making sure we were getting things right than anything else. Tomorrow I will take a few at the event I promise :)

Played a teaching game tonight with a friend to introduce him to the game. It is often said that the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. This game actually did help me quite a bit start to cement in the basic rules. Still a lot to learn and I expect that in the OP event tomorrow I will not do well.  But one never knows, stranger things have happened.

right now I am concentrating on playing Federation. My opponent tonight brought Dominion in the form of a 4th Division Battle Ship and the Gul Portas.  I had the Enterprise-D and Voyager Capt by Picard and Riker respectively.

Mainly it was again run up and get into combat. he did try a bit of fancy maneuvering as we began.I very nearly manged to turn the Portas into atoms on the first turn of shooting but could not quite get all of it.

I kept my ships in firing position for two turns then made a slight tactical error and the voyage remained out of position for the rest of the game. My opponent very nearly destroyed the Enterprise but in the end I manged to get both of his ships mainy due a tactical error on his part and the slow plodding battleship was unable to get turned around in time to get any more firing off.

It was a good game that helped both of us. I think at this point I will not make a complete failure of a showing at the event tomorrow. Looking forward to it. And have been wanting to add the counter attack die to my arsenal :)

And I am still seeing being able to move properly as more important than the cards you have. He never was able to use his energy disappators on me as he was out of position by the time he wanted to use them. Although his positron beam ignoring shields rather sucked when it hit :)

Now back to doing re-paints. will post some more pics along with a bit a methodology for what I did. I also plan soon on starting to post card reviews. Once I get a few more games in and have a better handle on what the abilities do, when they fire, how they fire, etc. We are only getting started folks so hang on for the ride :)

Until next time, Exit spacedock 1/4 impulse!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Random break at work post ---- The Borg

Break time log.. stardate almost time to leave for the day. well closer than when i got here this morning.

At this point in the ST:AW "meta" game many players feel the borg are broken. I have not yet had a chance to play against them(won't play as them) but looking at the stats and then looking at what I have to fly against them I agree. Conditionally...

I always enjoy the challenge of trying to be able to consistantly defeat the undefeatable. But right now there are few borg countering abilities out there. And I would prefer that the other factions did not have to rely on card combo's alone to get it done. I have always loathed it when put into game situations that require only one specific counter forcing you to plan only for that situation. I have always preferred to make my fleets/armies/etc more general in their ability to handle opponents. I would rather rely on my skill as a player than on having the exact correct ability combo.

With that being said I think much of the issue surrounding the unstoppable borg has to due with a couple things. One The wave style release. We don't really know what the developers have to play with but its easily conceivable that they have way more ships and cards than the players and so may not even see the problem.

The other issue is lack of external testing of new ships and cards. I do believe that Whiz Kids is testing. I just question the amount or depth of those tests. When you are testing a game and you are the designer you have to consiously go outside the rules. As the designer you know how the game "Should" be played. You know what the "spirit" of the rule is as well as the "letter". Players only really have the letter of the law and have to often ask what a rule really means. If this were not the case then an official FAQ and Errata would not be needed.

When you allow regular players to test you game you will quickly discover holes you never knew existed. Players will find every loophole and quirk. because they think like players not as designers. they are only taking thier best guess at a rules intent. Sometimes they will break things unintentionally and others they will abuse it on purpose.

having external testers has its own risks. Disclosure early of material is the obivous one. But all to often testers will find a broken ability and not report it. keeping it to themselves so they can get a leg up on players for a few days until the rest of the world figures it out. Not the point of testing at all but it happens... a lot.

Point of all this is two fold.. one I would like to see more testing before releases. But two.. wait and see before the final verdict is rendered on the Borg being broken.  Of course NONE of that helps when you are getting thrashed by them over and over now :)

until next time... scan for life signs and load the torpedo tubes!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

First repaints

Personal Log Stardate still friggin today get on with it....

As I mentioned in my first post. the paint jobs that come on the ST:AW figures are... less than stellar...

So tonight I set about repainting. However when one has not put brush to a mini in over two years and has let his paint case sit in the garage.. not to many pots survive and after that long they do NOT want to be reconstituted. But I did manage to get one done.

For reference here is where we start..

Oof those are hard to look at. Now even after just some shading these thing start looking better....

Just that alone is a huge improvment. And honestly I thought about just giving them all a couple coats of wash and calling it a day.. BUT NO!  It was around this time when I start to move to detailing that I starting discovering dead paint after another... I think in the 4 tray case I may end up with one tray. Again this is what happens when you sit them in an Oklahoma garage for two years :)

But I did get the Intrepid finished and I think it came out pretty decent for someone who hasn't painted in two plus years. My hands were very shakey though making a lot of this even harder haha.

This picture is actually slightly darker than the mini actually appears.  overall I am please. this looks way better than the stock paint job and makes my ship easier to pick out on the table.

I will continue to post the results of my repaints unless people tell me they enjoy the in between pics as well.

Next game is Monday, then an OP event on Tuesday that includes a blind draw booster. That should be interesting.

So until the next post. Stand down from red alert and head to 10-forward!