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!


  1. Your blog is developing quite well. I've been playing since November and am always looking for more information. I have a question though...

    Your first game against the Klingon player. How did he have initiative? Am I missing something?

    You had Picard (CS 9), Spock (CS6) and, I assume, Livianna Charvanek (CS 6).
    He had Martok (CS 8 or 9 depending), Worf (CS 5) and, I assume, Benjamin Maxwell (CS 7). That gives Picard Initiative. He moves last and shoots first in this game. Then Martok, Maxwell, Spock, Charvanek, and, finally, Worf who moves first and shoots last.

    Again...Did I miss something?

  2. When you use the squad building rules you don't use the normal init rules . But in this case we used the alternate init rules which state the person with the smallest fleet point total gets initiative. He was one point less than me. I would give you the page in the rule book but I don't have it in front of me at the time.

    Also in some shop games we will often dice for Initiative. But again in these case we were using the squad building init rules.

  3. Init really only comes into play when you have capts at the same skill as well. And he had the lowest skill capt who did in fact move first and shoot last. I probably should have been clearer on the actual move/shoot order. Will try to remember for next time :)