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Subject: Fighting narrow – OP 2 Play Test 2 rss

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HMS Iron Duke
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In my ongoing attempt to get a build in fighting shape for the next OP event I tweaked my Picard build, dropping Drex off the second Valdore, adding the Elite Attack Die and trying a new formation

A
........C
B


A= Valdore class with Donatra
C= Apnex with Terrell
B= Valdore with Picard

EDIT: The Apnex was planetward of the two Valdore.

My worthy opponent Alex played a three Klingon build with Gowron, Martok, and the Nu’daq in the named Klingon vessels placed in line-abreast. This being a friendly play test game we chatted about initial placement and Alex was chagrined to learn that the OWPs had a 360 arc. His initial idea was to run to the middle and shelter behind the OWPs but that went out the airlock with the 360 arc. We set up to my left/his right. My Romulan birds moved slowly, dropping into cloak while Alex moved forward. My formation was narrower than the Klinks so the G’roth (with Konmel as crew) started getting pinged by the nearest OWP. The OWP wasn’t hitting very hard so the G’roth was able to bring its shields back up to full strength each turn.

The alpha strike had me focusing fire on the Negh’var (die Martok die!) while he attacked Picard on the Valdore. I whiffed one defense roll and took a hit and two crits with the Valdore. The crits dropped both my agility and attack by one die apiece. I didn’t get the Negh’var down on the alpha but I got a big piece of it and it died the turn afterwards. The fleets interpenetrated and I was able to hit the Vor’cha on the pass through while the G’roth took enough damage from the OWP to drop its shields and put a hull hit on. On the interpenetration turn I decided to run Terrell forward and use his AOE to put an extra hit on the G’roth. This would have been fine except for the fact that I didn’t manage to kill the D7 that turn and crippled my Apnex to boot. This means no more Speed 2 Come About maneuver.

My come about to finish the pursuit became a problem as I now had Donatra (CS 6) behind Picard (PS 9) and I got all sorts of traffic jams as I needed to get the ship in cloak and reordered. It was just a mess. The G’roth only had a single hit left against three mostly intact Romulan vessels so we called the game.


Lessons learned:
My formation didn’t work. To maneuver effectively on a narrow field you need to play two forward, one back or line abreast. Otherwise the wheel to come about jacks up the formation. If you can jam Picard so he can’t do actions, all you are left with is a first shooter with no skills. Getting shot first isn’t happy time but it can be dealt with especially since he can’t drop back into cloak.

OP2 is going to be all about massive Alpha Strikes. Maneuverability isn’t going to matter much except for the ability to come about for a second pass. I can see ships with 180 arcs trying to thread the needle during the interpenetration turn and getting shots while just barely out of arc for return fire. That will depend on your opponent running a more open formation so that you can fit a ship base in between. Difficult but it might happen. You need to be able to crunch an enemy ship on the first round of fire.

One other possibility for setup would be to put your ships in your baseline facing to the left or right in the dead pocket between the OWP zones. Spend your first turns turning into the attack corridor and then advancing in the joust. This should expose your opponent to more turns of OWP fire if he set up in the more traditional “joust” arrangement
There are two strategies to dealing with the OWP fire. Alex used one and I used the other though it didn’t matter as much due to my narrow formation. Using Konmel or Mirok to keep your tank ship viable although it depends on mediocre attack rolls from the OWP so that you can regenerate your shields. The dodge tactic depends on overwhelming the OWP attack with 1.5:1 or 2:1 defense die ratio.
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Dave Benhart
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Nice write-up. From my play tests I think a come-about is almost mandatory just to get another shot on the enemy without fighting through the OWP field too much. First pass will (probably) be narrow, but that come-about after the fleets pass through each other will get the guns back on target quickly and avoid a lot of OWP fire.
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HMS Iron Duke
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I am now convinced that Donatra has to go on the Apnex. She needs to boost the two shooters and the Apnex needs Terrell's boost to get the best possible efficiency out of the Cloak shield. Unless you run line abreast you have to figure out how to get the Apnex far enough out to be closest to the OWP but still close enough to boost the Picard's Valdore that I am flying spaceward.
 
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D Conklin
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Mike Sisson wrote:
I am now convinced that Donatra has to go on the Apnex. She needs to boost the two shooters and the Apnex needs Terrell's boost to get the best possible efficiency out of the Cloak shield. Unless you run line abreast you have to figure out how to get the Apnex far enough out to be closest to the OWP but still close enough to boost the Picard's Valdore that I am flying spaceward.


I would suggest Varel as a good option to keep Apnex alive past the first non-OWP attack focused at it. At 5 points it feels like you are spending too much, but if you're going to invest in Apnex anyway, might as well make sure it survives to do it's job, especially with Donatra on it. I suspect an opponent that knows what Varel does will not want to "waste" an attack, at least not early.
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Dave Benhart
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Mike Sisson wrote:
I am now convinced that Donatra has to go on the Apnex. She needs to boost the two shooters and the Apnex needs Terrell's boost to get the best possible efficiency out of the Cloak shield. Unless you run line abreast you have to figure out how to get the Apnex far enough out to be closest to the OWP but still close enough to boost the Picard's Valdore that I am flying spaceward.


It's not too hard to put the Apnex (C) far enough out but still close enough to A & B. All three ships can easily fit inside Range 1 of the corner during setup...and only part of the Apnex's base has to be within Range 1 of the other two ships. And the Apnex doesn't need to be the closest ship to the OWP, it just needs to be your closest ship. So what if the opponent wants to get closer to the OWP than you? Let them take the shots.
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Douglas Romero
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Why do you feel you need the Apnex? Wouldn't you be better using a 2 ship setup with Picard and Data on the ship closest to the OWP? Save the SP for upgrades. The Apnex adds so little to your offensive capabilities.

You can expect an average of 2 hits from the platforms. Picard takes an action while Data covers those 2 damage points while the defense die with 1.5 average of evade cover any additional damage. Or you can have Picard do battle stations on the approach so you make sure you don't get hit, in as much that can be possible. You can add weapons or upgrades to increase your versatility. And even go a little below 100 for initiative depending on your faction.
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Dave Benhart
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And Data would reduce the attack by 2 dice. Sulu is the better choice, but both are beat by a cloaked Apnex. The Apnex rolls 6 defense dice while cloaked. Data gives 2 evades + 1 die or 2.375 evades for a -2 attack. 6 dice = 2.25 and +2 attack from the Apnex. Plus Terell's ability.

Although I wouldn't take the Apnex. It's possible to fit another big ship in with 2 Valdore class. You just can't fly Picard with it.
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Douglas Romero
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davedujour wrote:
And Data would reduce the attack by 2 dice. Sulu is the better choice, but both are beat by a cloaked Apnex. The Apnex rolls 6 defense dice while cloaked. Data gives 2 evades + 1 die or 2.375 evades for a -2 attack. 6 dice = 2.25 and +2 attack from the Apnex. Plus Terell's ability.

Although I wouldn't take the Apnex. It's possible to fit another big ship in with 2 Valdore class. You just can't fly Picard with it.


Thanks for reminding me. I forgot about Data's -2 attack. However Domatra and Data as support in an Apnex would price more than adequate protection for the OWP, and have the maneuverability to give the 2 other ships the extra dice. I will post the build I'm thinking of in another thread for critique. Thanks.
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HMS Iron Duke
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I feel that the Apnex is important because I can stack the largest number of dodge dice into that vessel (Agility 2+ Cloak 4+ Sulu 2+ Terrell 1= 9 defense). Against OWPs or enemy ships 9 is tough to crack so the buff from Donatra is equally difficult to get rid of. Flying it planetward means that if something goes, it is the Apnex and not one of my shooters. Further, the Apnex carries with it a passive buff (Donatra) to both of my shooters.

In a different scenario that didn't have the OWPs in it, and depend (IMHO) on flying in a narrow corridor and the effectiveness of alpha strikes, I might fly a different squadron. This month though is about the joust.

Furthermore, a ship with tons of Action based upgrades can still only do one or two (with Picard or discarding McCoy) actions per round. What good are 4 different crew/weapon options when you can only DO one of them. I think it is unfocused and you end up with passengers, not fighters. Everything in the build is there for a reason and can/should be used every turn. One hundred points is too small a budged to pay for passengers who might get used.
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Dave Benhart
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Exactly. Actions aren't as important this month as avoiding damage.

The build I will probably run in at least 1 of my OP2 events uses Terell + cloaking to give all ships 7 defense dice. Terell's ship uses Sulu & gets 7 defense dice. Since the OWP only roll 4 dice (2 avg hits), 7 defense will evade that most of the time.
And all 3 ships still roll at least 5 attack dice, which is where I think the Apnex is weak.

But my god, 9 defense. That's just looking for mines to be dropped on it.
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