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Subject: Cross factioning... rss

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JT Payne
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I was wondering the opinions of those out there about cross factioning on your fleet. It seems you can take the best of the best and stack it on any ship you want and run that way, which is a different type of game play then what some of us had in mind when we heard about the game in the first place. I personally expected something a little closer to the X-Wing game where you chose a side and play that side. With this we can mix and match anything we want to and off set the scales of the game play immensely.

What are your thoughts? Has unlimited cross factioning made the game worse or better?
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I'm not sure it has made the game "better" but I would like to say it definitely hasn't game worse.

In the TV series there were quite a few times where different captains manned other ships for different missions so even "faction purists" could probably agree that this can be done - to a degree - within the limits of the shows depending on the scenario.

The only problem it creates is possible min/maxing but since the developers have allowed mixing from the get-go there shouldn't be something broken to the extent that it is the "best" option regardless of the opponent you will face.



Personally I like to play within the faction rather than mix but that is simply my preference.

If I were trying to win OP events/tournaments I would mix everything together.
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Leo Zappa
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I don't like it AT ALL, but then, I'm more into the "theme" of Star Trek than I am into playing competitive contests at gamestores to win prizes. Frankly, and I know I'm in the minority here, but the mixing of factions and time periods is a huge turnoff for me. I don't mind Klingons and Romulans cooperating in TOS-themed games, and Klings and Feds in TNG-themed games, but that's because those things "happened" in the context of the fiction. Again, I freely admit I'm not in tune with the STAW crowd on this one, but you asked.
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Scott Kelly
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desertfox2004 wrote:
Frankly, and I know I'm in the minority here, but the mixing of factions I don't mind Klingons and Romulans cooperating in TOS-themed games, and Klings and Feds in TNG-themed games, but that's because those things "happened" in the context of the fiction.


In DS9, you also had Federation, Romulans, and Klingons fighting the Dominion...and eventually you had the Cardassians also join those 3 against the Founders/Breen. So along that same logic, within the realm of this OP cycle (the Dominion War), there is precedence for mixing all 4.
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hesse honnolly
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most games have more aggressive teams when you mix factions. this game is no different.
all though i would rather faction pure, or like we did at my local store which is fed+kli or rom+dom
 
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Dave Benhart
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I don't mind fleet mixing at all. There were enough times that different races worked together that having a Fed, Klingon, and Romulan ship all in the same fleet doesn't bother me in the least. The Dominion were nothing but one big mixed fleet anyway!

Now inter-ship cross factioning is starting to bug me. I played in 3 OP2 events and 2 OP1 events. In OP1 3 of the top 4 had the exact same Captains: Picard, Martok, Donatra, but on different ships. I wouldn't mind if at least 1 store in my area enforced inter-ship factions. Only Romulans captains & upgrades on Romulan ships. Then it would force some changes to mix things up around here. There were 6-8 of us that played in all 3 stores events. Each store had 12-18 people, so I played the same people more than once in OP2.

OTOH, I also like having the freedom to mix things up. There are PLENTY of instances where crew where on other races ships. Thematically it doesn't bother me in the least. Because you can't really just take "the best of the best" and smash them all together. Some just don't work together. Picard & Martok (9) are pointless together, but both awesome captains. Yes, Sulu saw a lot of play in OP2 around here, but I won without him in my 3rd event.

In non-OP games it seems to be mostly faction specific, but many of the scenarios force that anyway.
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JT Payne
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Okay, I should clarify this a little I am not against putting different ships together, that happened so much during the shows/movies that it makes thematic sense. It is the mass inter-ship cross factioning that is going that is making the game to me broken and hard to compete with in the OP.
 
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Ted Kay
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I don't see a problem with mixing factions, on ships or in fleets.

The game was designed with this in mind. There's a built-in penalty during squad-building for doing it. I don't see a reason I shouldn't be allowed to put whatever I want on whichever ship I want, within the context of the squad-building rules. Why did I bother buying 3/4 of the ships if I can't use anything from any of them on the ships from whatever faction I happen to want to play tonight.

If you look at certain elements, like Picard, it becomes clear that mixing factions was considered with some depth by the dev team. Picard specifically allows actions that ships do not have on their action bars as free actions. The only reason this is stipulated is in the event he's on a ship that doesn't have Scan, Target Lock, Battle Stations or Evade. That is to say, any ship that isn't Federation.

As well, at this point in the meta-game, where there are about three or four options for most factions as far as ships go, it's really not fair to do things to players like pigeonhole Dominion ships into skill 6 or less Captains. That's a severe disadvantage.

I'm not trying to complain, but at this point in the meta-game, there simply aren't enough options available to restrict the game based on the notion of faction purity. If you want to run your fleet that way, that's absolutely your prerogative. Just as it is mine to build my fleet the way I want, within the rules of the game.
 
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D Conklin
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One of the FLGS we play at enforces "semi-pure", meaning you can have different faction ships in your fleet but each must have in-faction captain and upgrades. I really like this compromise.

I personally so far have only run pure Romulan fleets with Gen Khan splashed in.
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Dan Lenson
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I personally don't have a problem with cross factioning per se, I just personally prefer to remain faction pure. Within my gaming circle, we just naturally fell into playing faction pure. I mean, its kind of counter-intuitive to do it any other way, right?

We haven't gone quite far enough to do era-pure though. The game is too small at the moment for that in my view. Faction pure keeps the dynamics of the factions intact. Era pure just cuts out options in a game that still doesn't have a lot to choose from yet, and would also only work one way (i.e. you would basically just exclude TOS).
 
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Mark Bakke
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How often would any fleet other than the Klingons win an event in an enforced "faction-pure" environment? Mixing and matching makes for much more competitive games, IMHO.
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Scott Kelly
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Bakkster wrote:
How often would any fleet other than the Klingons win an event in an enforced "faction-pure" environment? Mixing and matching makes for much more competitive games, IMHO.


I won both a Month 1 and Month 2 OP event with pure Romulan builds. It just depends on the scenario, setup, etc.
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Dave Benhart
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FortuneFavorTheBold wrote:

As well, at this point in the meta-game, where there are about three or four options for most factions as far as ships go, it's really not fair to do things to players like pigeonhole Dominion ships into skill 6 or less Captains. That's a severe disadvantage.


Skill 6 or less Captains aren't as severe disadvantage as you might think. The Romulans only have as high as Skill 7. And the Dominion can always use the Independent Khan skill 8.

I've also seen plenty of Skill 6 or less fleets win games. I won OP2 with Donatra (6), Valdore (5), and Mirok (4). I went up against a Picard and a couple of Martoks in my three rounds. They didn't help.
 
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Nicholas Bazzano
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I don't mind cross factions of various ships in fleets. I hate the blender on purée ability to mix factions within a ship. But mostly, I'm tired of the "Riker took command of a BoP one time in the seven seasons of TNG, but never actually fired a shot. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with Picard captaining the Neg'var while his Breen aide targets their Plasma Torpedo against the ship that destroyed them using I Stab at Thee" as justification for the cross faction hijinxs. Just own it, you want to win at any cost, and the rules unfortunatly allow it. Or, you're not super-hyper into Star Trek like some of us, and you're just playing a game with little toy spaceships.
 
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C. E. Freeman
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coastcityo wrote:
I don't mind cross factions of various ships in fleets. I hate the blender on purée ability to mix factions within a ship. But mostly, I'm tired of the "Riker took command of a BoP one time in the seven seasons of TNG, but never actually fired a shot. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with Picard captaining the Neg'var while his Breen aide targets their Plasma Torpedo against the ship that destroyed them using I Stab at Thee" as justification for the cross faction hijinxs. Just own it, you want to win at any cost, and the rules unfortunatly allow it. Or, you're not super-hyper into Star Trek like some of us, and you're just playing a game with little toy spaceships.


Or we are just playing a game with the rules that came with it or an OP event following the rules set forth by the TO.

I get the allure of playing faction pure. It can make for some fun games and scenarios. What I don't get is the condescending tone towards those who don't follow the ridged ideology of the faction pure. Just because you don't like mixed factions doesn't mean I can't enjoy them if that is how I want to play. Is there only one right way to play the game, the faction pure way? I hope not, because if there is I've been playing it wrong.
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Michael Ptak
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I wish the most powerful lists possible would ONLY be from maintaining pure faction builds, between ships, and between fleets. Mix-matching should have only been a novelty.

This one point penalty is really only a slap on the wrist for those who want to make whatever list they want to regardless of theme. It should have been a 2 or 3 point penalty per card instead, forcing players to think really hard if they want that out-of-faction upgrade. This also makes 5 point anything unthinkable on ships they shouldn't be on in the first place.

I would have wished for a 3 K'Tinga list staffed with Klingons using Klink upgrades to be able to trounce Picard and Donatra on Negh'Vars using Dominion weapons, because those captains are completely unfamiliar with and never served on those vessels or used that equipment.
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Eric B.
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Norsehound wrote:
This one point penalty is really only a slap on the wrist for those who want to make whatever list they want to regardless of theme. It should have been a 2 or 3 point penalty per card instead, forcing players to think really hard if they want that out-of-faction upgrade. This also makes 5 point anything unthinkable on ships they shouldn't be on in the first place.



Very much this. There is no penalty for mixing ships in a fleet and a nominal penalty for mixing upgrades. The cards being cross-shipped are ones that are so good (read: under-costed) that they are still a steal with the +1 point increase.

That being said, I can understand and respect the rule. I don't like it and I think it dilutes player choices by just pushing people to take the most powerful cost-effective ships and the most powerful cost-effective upgrades and combining them. This actually undermines (ironically) player freedom when it comes to making lists for a competitive environment.

And I don't buy the thematic argument for a second. For every episode where you have something like Riker serving on a Klingon ship, you have twenty episodes where cross-factioning between personnel and ships doesn't occur. And the difference between something like Riker serving temporarily aboard a Klingon vessel and a list that features Picard on the Gor Portas with Donatra in a Klingon warship and Weyoun on a Romulan science vessel is a difference in kind, and not just a difference in degree. But I think at the end of the day the min-maxers realize this too and just hide behind the "everything's thematic!" shield.
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Bob Anderson
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I don't like cross-factioning in this game, for a multitude of reasons.

1. Initiative. I've got one 33 points of Federation,
33 points of Klingons, and 33 points of Romulan? My opponent has 99 points of Klingons. Who gets the initiative?

2. Jean-Luc Picard.
Jean Luc is a max rank captain, who brings an additional skill to the table. He's almost worth playing federation alone for. Yet, I can stick him on a Neg'Var, and be able to shoot from cloaked and bring battle stations to the table. There is no ship in the game that is not made better by adding Jean-Luc to the bridge. None. Even the worst ship in the game is made better by having Jean-Luc on the bridge because of that additional skill being brought to the table, and perhaps a skill that is often not available within faction.

3. Special penalties for Special upgrades.
We've got cards like Cloaking Device, that has additional point costs when applied to ships other than the Defiant. We've got other abilities like Suicide Attack and Muon Feedback Waves that can only be applied to certain ships. In these cases there is some reason why these additional restrictions are being applied. Are you saying that it's not possible for a Klingon Vessel to use Suicide Tactics, but it's totally ok for the Kraxon to mount a Cloaking Device with an Advanced Weapon System? There needs to be some level of consistency here.

4. Faction balancing.
There are literally hundreds of "tabletop miniature wargames" out there. All of them have their unique differences, and many of them share many similarities. One of those similarities shared is strengths and weaknesses of a faction. In Attack Wing, it could be viewed as a weakness that the Klingons don't have access to Battle stations, but all it takes is 7 points and I've got the ability to bring Battle stations to it. Feeling disadvantaged because your faction cant cloak, for the low cost of 10 points, you can mount a Cloaking Device on your Kraxon, and while you're at Quark's Starship Parts Store, why don't you toss in an extra 4 points and mount some Cloaked Mines on her as well. Wargames are a puzzle, where you try to maximize your advantage, and minimize your weakness. In ST:AW, thanks to cross factioning, it just takes 1 additional point to virtually eliminate that weakness.

PS: Thanks to the OP3 Reinforcement Board, let’s say I put that federation cloaking device on the board. It costs 4 points on the board. When I take that aux power token and mount it on the Kraxon? I still only paid 4 points to put it on the board. So where's the drawback? I don't think taking one turn to shuffle it in with a 1 move is the same drawback as paying 10 points for it.

 
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JT Payne
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I am getting the consensus here that people are leaning both ways, but with a heavier lean towards a "semi-pure" cross factioning. Where as you have fleets assembled from multiple factions, but crewed by faction pure. I honestly like the idea of semi-pure simply because you can have the options, but have to think about it more and the game breaks down to tactics instead of number crunching again.
 
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John Sowerby
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I'm actually trying faction pure,as much as possible, though I'm going to break that rule with my next purchase. Jem Hadar 5th Wing Patrol Ship, which is going to get a Fed Crew, as I want to be able to run the Robinson from DS-9.
 
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JT Payne
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[q="Norsehound"]I wish the most powerful lists possible would ONLY be from maintaining pure faction builds, between ships, and between fleets. Mix-matching should have only been a novelty.
[q]

This I believe would have been not only doable, but a hell of a lot more fun in the long run.
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Dave Benhart
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Alyksandyr wrote:

3. Special penalties for Special upgrades.
We've got cards like Cloaking Device, that has additional point costs when applied to ships other than the Defiant. We've got other abilities like Suicide Attack and Muon Feedback Waves that can only be applied to certain ships. In these cases there is some reason why these additional restrictions are being applied. Are you saying that it's not possible for a Klingon Vessel to use Suicide Tactics, but it's totally ok for the Kraxon to mount a Cloaking Device with an Advanced Weapon System? There needs to be some level of consistency here.

4. Faction balancing.
There are literally hundreds of "tabletop miniature wargames" out there. All of them have their unique differences, and many of them share many similarities. One of those similarities shared is strengths and weaknesses of a faction. In Attack Wing, it could be viewed as a weakness that the Klingons don't have access to Battle stations, but all it takes is 7 points and I've got the ability to bring Battle stations to it. Feeling disadvantaged because your faction cant cloak, for the low cost of 10 points, you can mount a Cloaking Device on your Kraxon, and while you're at Quark's Starship Parts Store, why don't you toss in an extra 4 points and mount some Cloaked Mines on her as well. Wargames are a puzzle, where you try to maximize your advantage, and minimize your weakness. In ST:AW, thanks to cross factioning, it just takes 1 additional point to virtually eliminate that weakness.


It makes perfect thematic sense for the Defiant's Cloaking Device to be installed on any ship. It was a loan from the Romulans anyway. There's no reason we couldn't see the Dominion capture a Romulan cloaking device and figure out how to use it, other than the writers never wrote that scene.
Also, 10 points is not "the low cost". That's almost a whole extra (small) ship. Very rarely would it be worth it to install anything with the +5 penalty on other ships or out of faction.

When it comes to the Tech/Weapon upgrades, those were not always unique to each faction. I can understand the argument that we rarely saw crew work together on different ships during the show, but we did see it happen more than once. That means it happened at least some of the time and should be an option in game. Maybe the in game penalty isn't enough, but outright denying it as an option doesn't fit the world and theme that this is set in.

FYI, I've never had Picard on any of my OP builds. I figured people would be complaining about Donatra & Sulu being outside of faction a lot more than Picard. Those are the two characters I see all over the place.
 
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Dave Benhart
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TheLimey wrote:
I'm actually trying faction pure,as much as possible, though I'm going to break that rule with my next purchase. Jem Hadar 5th Wing Patrol Ship, which is going to get a Fed Crew, as I want to be able to run the Robinson from DS-9.


And this is why the "no cross factioning ever" argument fails. It happened in every show. It's a viable option in game. There is an in game penalty for doing it. People need to either accept that others will do it and move on, or stop playing the game.

Now if some stores want to enforce no cross factioning in their OP tournaments, I'm all for that. The rules do say "If all players agree...". Well, if the TO doesn't agree, he's still one of the players. Staying in faction does require a different type of thinking when fleet building and makes for a different style of game. I just don't think it should be banned outright from every game.

Neither way takes away from the enjoyment of the game for me. I have just as much fun putting my fleets up against "pure" or "mixed" ships or fleets.
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John Sowerby
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davedujour wrote:


I just don't think it should be banned outright from every game.

Neither way takes away from the enjoyment of the game for me. I have just as much fun putting my fleets up against "pure" or "mixed" ships or fleets.


I tend to agree, though I think the faction penalty is a little cheap.
 
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Bob Anderson
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davedujour wrote:
It makes perfect thematic sense for the Defiant's Cloaking Device to be installed on any ship. It was a loan from the Romulans anyway. There's no reason we couldn't see the Dominion capture a Romulan cloaking device and figure out how to use it, other than the writers never wrote that scene.


I want to call out "other than the writers never wrote that scene." I get it. ST:AW is a starship miniatures wargame based upon the Star Trek IP, in which there are 6 TV shows, 12 films, and countless novels/comics/etc. What has been written can be used as justification of almost anything. But the rules by which an author creates great fiction are not the same rules by which game mechanics should be based upon. Eventually, we will have Borg in this game. Because of the presence of 7 of 9 in Voyager, that totally means we should be able to have The Borg Queen captain a Valdore. I mean, just because an author did not write it that scene does not mean it doesn't make sense, right?

Themeatic reasons can't apply when talking game design and game mechanics. There are thematic reasons why Kirk always wins, but in game design and game mechanics we make that it a possibiliy that Kirk can lose. It could be luck if the dice go the wrong way. It could be that the person who is playing Kirk is not great tactically and drives his ship like a rowboat. Or it could be that the other player had the better day.

As the rules (design and mechanics) of the game are currently written, you are allowed to have Kirk captain the Neg'Vhar with a crew full of Klingon's. Thematically, the only way Kirk's on a ship full of Klingon's is when he is in the Brig.

Now, I play by the rules of the game. When I'm facing my opponent, I'm not looking at their fleet with a rainbow of differant factions and taking the joy out of their victory. In fact, I'm likely going to field an equally opposite rainbow of differant factions against them because they are the rules of the game. I'll still get alot of enjoyment out of being bested on the field of battle by a superior opponent.

But that does not change the fact that I feel this is a stronger game (and will continue to grow in strength) if you were to adopt a rule of faction purity. It will allow the game designers to examine the metagame and create new tech/crew/ship abilities that alter that metagame on a faction by faction basis. Right now, Cloaking is a super powerful ability. Maybe the next wave will bring in some upgrades that shift that meta slightly. In a faction pure environment, people would need to adapt and overcome. Perhaps you see Romulan players staying out of cloak because of the presence of this new sweet domionion or federation ability. In a cross faction system, you just need to do some more math to account for a new variable.

However, in the end, this conversation is almost moot. Wizkids is not going to alter the faction purity rule.

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