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Subject: What's the ship pure meta look like? rss

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Jonathan M D Thomas
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After a solo cube royally thrashed a new shop running their 1st OP (Dominion war OP1). I wasn't there, but I heard it was akin to Little Big Horn where the cube was 1st and everyone else was fighting for 2nd. that shop quickly decided they wanted all future OPs to be run ship pure to prevent she silliness of off faction cards like Spock on Borg ships.

We have no other shops in town ship pure, so I'm not experienced playing in this manner beyond a few pick up games here and there. So.....for those in ship pure environments, how are each of the factions looking?

My thoughts:

Federation:
The Federation tend to play close to pure anyways and have a monopoly on the good captains. If I remember anything from the Admiral's orders days, the federation will be a force. Now with Voyager, Yeager, and the Refit, they have more options than ever.

The Borg:
The Borg lose a lot without Picard, Spock, and company, but they still have those ships. Faction Pure they get queen and reroll tactical drone who are both strong options and the dreaded Ass Tubes to go along with the 360 fring arcs. From games I've played they are still strong, but not shooting 1st with battlestations will tame them by leaps and bounds. I'd imagine they will still see a fair amount of play, but less as the solo cube variety.

The Klingon Empire:
The Vor'Cha and Negh'Var have been strong ships since the 1st day the game rolled out. Cloak isn't what it once was, but pure dice also don't stack as far. Barrage of Fire isn't talked about as much as it used to be, but it and projected stasis field give the tools to kill quite a few things. 3 Klingon ships with Martok and Gowron will always be a solid option and offer substantial firepower.

The Dominion:
The Keldons have been a force for a while and the new battlecruiser is one of the better ships currently in the game. The dominon lacks a bit in captains, but they have a ton of firepower options, especially now that volley of torpedoes can whallop 2 or 3 ships in one turn. Lower captains will hurt them versus the Federation, but they can put out a good hurt to whatever they get to shoot at.

Romulans:
The Valdore was once considered the best ship in the game. I used to use 2 regularly, but then the game progressed. The d'deridex's have always been underpowered IMO and other than the glass cannon Gal'Gathong firepower is hard to find. The romulans have a ton of solid captain options but none that are superb. They do have those cloaked mines that are situationaly quite destructive. Before the Borg, the Romulans were well positioned, but when you can't sensor echo and go out of arc, it hurts the cause. They really need the Scimitar to be a strong ship, have strong captains, give another good tech and hopefully have more crew to brong them up to speed IMO.

The Others:
No other faction of yet has a really good footing. The Vulcans are getting enough releases that they may be able to make some noise going forward. The Ferengi ship doesn't do much pure. 8472 can definitely be a threat pure but lose a ton of potency without a 'good' captain. With 6 attack it can always hurt something. The Bajorans have soem decent toys. Independant may just may be able to field something decent pure going forward with The Soong, S'Gorn, Vidiian and Hirogen ships.
 
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Scott Steiner
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Keep in mind, even in a pure environment you get around a few things. Using independent Flagship Cards make a ship both its original faction plus independent. Which opens the door for things like Khan and Lore captaining any ship out there. Lore on his own opens the doors to almost any talent being used. The Bajoran Captain Tahnas Lor does the same for tech upgrades.

 
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Noah Sager
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Faction pure favors Federation very strongly. At the same time, it punishes factions that WizKids has been hating on (*cough* Romulans).

The game was designed to mix cards and becomes unbalanced when you can't.

I do wish, however, that it was designed to better promote faction-pure. The purists have my sympathies!
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Larry DeStefano
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RequiemX wrote:
Faction pure favors Federation very strongly. At the same time, it punishes factions that WizKids has been hating on (*cough* Romulans).

The game was designed to mix cards and becomes unbalanced when you can't.

I do wish, however, that it was designed to better promote faction-pure. The purists have my sympathies!


Can purity be helped by handicapping? Does it always have to be a pure/non pure argument. How about given the Romulans extra points say 10-20 pts (example only) to play with. Just an idea.
 
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Jason Becker
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rangarth wrote:
Keep in mind, even in a pure environment you get around a few things. Using independent Flagship Cards make a ship both its original faction plus independent. Which opens the door for things like Khan and Lore captaining any ship out there. Lore on his own opens the doors to almost any talent being used. The Bajoran Captain Tahnas Lor does the same for tech upgrades.



Locally, everywhere I've been playing changed to faction and/or fleet pure after the Dominion War. When one store decided to run a second Dominion Campagin starting in March, they decided to go faction pure.

One of the stores has taken it so far to say independent is listed in the initiative order, so unless your entire fleet is Independent, no independent cards (unless they're dual affiliated).

It makes everything interesting and so far I've only seen the four factions being played in the Fleet pure environment (Fed, Klingon, Dom, and Borg). But then I see other people's builds on here and think, man, I could totally have fun with that...but I really don't see the stores moving from faction pure anytime soon; we have a lot of hard-core Trekkers playing in the area.
 
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Xander Fulton
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The problem with the Borg, of course, is that even in "faction pure" environments - they can still get Spock or Valtane.

If someone else brings them, anyway. Federation Spock + ass tubes = Borg Spock. Takes a little more effort, granted, but for someone so powerful for Borg builds...worth doing.
 
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Jared Voshall
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RequiemX wrote:
Faction pure favors Federation very strongly. At the same time, it punishes factions that WizKids has been hating on (*cough* Romulans).

The game was designed to mix cards and becomes unbalanced when you can't.

I do wish, however, that it was designed to better promote faction-pure. The purists have my sympathies!


I'm not entirely certain about that - the Klingons have a very solid base to build from, and can deal out a lot of damage even when staying faction pure. The Dominion, while having started out on the weak end, now have Dukat, Volley of Torpedoes, and the Jem'Hadar Battle Cruiser on the power side of things, and Antiproton Scan, Dorsal Weapons Array, and the Kraxon on the utility end.

The borg are also strong contenders in this race, with a number of very solid (though expensive) upgrades. Assimilation Tubules make an excellent Ganker, while Borg Missiles can seriously mess with any action-heavy build after the initial round of combat.

The main thing that the Federation has is options. They have enough options to allow you to run almost any kind of build you want - though often not as well as other factions can. While this is powerful on its own, I do not feel that they have an advantage over three of the other four factions. Romulans, however, could certainly use a boost - though a Permacloaked Valdore/Galga'Thong (using the Collective blind ship upgrade) combo could really dish out the damage and keep up the Romulan defenses, particularly with a few Tactical Officers in tow to max out their target locks.
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Jared Voshall
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Tantive4 wrote:
rangarth wrote:
Keep in mind, even in a pure environment you get around a few things. Using independent Flagship Cards make a ship both its original faction plus independent. Which opens the door for things like Khan and Lore captaining any ship out there. Lore on his own opens the doors to almost any talent being used. The Bajoran Captain Tahnas Lor does the same for tech upgrades.



Locally, everywhere I've been playing changed to faction and/or fleet pure after the Dominion War. When one store decided to run a second Dominion Campagin starting in March, they decided to go faction pure.

One of the stores has taken it so far to say independent is listed in the initiative order, so unless your entire fleet is Independent, no independent cards (unless they're dual affiliated).

It makes everything interesting and so far I've only seen the four factions being played in the Fleet pure environment (Fed, Klingon, Dom, and Borg). But then I see other people's builds on here and think, man, I could totally have fun with that...but I really don't see the stores moving from faction pure anytime soon; we have a lot of hard-core Trekkers playing in the area.


Yeah, this is one of the reasons that two of the stores here have gone Ship Pure rather than Faction (one from Mixed Ship, one from Fleet Pure). It gives a reason to run the one-to-two ship factions without having to obtain multiple copies of the same ship, and keeps most of the cross-faction cheese out of the game (though Donatra can still show up all over the place).
 
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dennis Wong
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In faction pure the Borg are still very tough. The Federation is probably the best counter - you get 2 ships that can also shoot 360 plus you can use fighters. The Dominion isn't bad either, you can fit 2 ships that each shoot with at least 5 dice plus fighters into a 100pt build.
 
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Larry DeStefano
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Tantive4 wrote:
rangarth wrote:
Keep in mind, even in a pure environment you get around a few things. Using independent Flagship Cards make a ship both its original faction plus independent. Which opens the door for things like Khan and Lore captaining any ship out there. Lore on his own opens the doors to almost any talent being used. The Bajoran Captain Tahnas Lor does the same for tech upgrades.



Locally, everywhere I've been playing changed to faction and/or fleet pure after the Dominion War. When one store decided to run a second Dominion Campagin starting in March, they decided to go faction pure.

One of the stores has taken it so far to say independent is listed in the initiative order, so unless your entire fleet is Independent, no independent cards (unless they're dual affiliated).

It makes everything interesting and so far I've only seen the four factions being played in the Fleet pure environment (Fed, Klingon, Dom, and Borg). But then I see other people's builds on here and think, man, I could totally have fun with that...but I really don't see the stores moving from faction pure anytime soon; we have a lot of hard-core Trekkers playing in the area.


What about ship pure??? You can have different factions but the ships themselves cant be mixed....Maybe that would be the best of both?
 
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Larry DeStefano
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XanderF wrote:
The problem with the Borg, of course, is that even in "faction pure" environments - they can still get Spock or Valtane.

If someone else brings them, anyway. Federation Spock + ass tubes = Borg Spock. Takes a little more effort, granted, but for someone so powerful for Borg builds...worth doing.


True for sure, but at least they would have to pay for ass tubes and then use them, before they get to use spock so it would help a little.
 
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Jason Becker
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hadrian132 wrote:
Tantive4 wrote:
rangarth wrote:
Keep in mind, even in a pure environment you get around a few things. Using independent Flagship Cards make a ship both its original faction plus independent. Which opens the door for things like Khan and Lore captaining any ship out there. Lore on his own opens the doors to almost any talent being used. The Bajoran Captain Tahnas Lor does the same for tech upgrades.



Locally, everywhere I've been playing changed to faction and/or fleet pure after the Dominion War. When one store decided to run a second Dominion Campagin starting in March, they decided to go faction pure.

One of the stores has taken it so far to say independent is listed in the initiative order, so unless your entire fleet is Independent, no independent cards (unless they're dual affiliated).

It makes everything interesting and so far I've only seen the four factions being played in the Fleet pure environment (Fed, Klingon, Dom, and Borg). But then I see other people's builds on here and think, man, I could totally have fun with that...but I really don't see the stores moving from faction pure anytime soon; we have a lot of hard-core Trekkers playing in the area.


What about ship pure??? You can have different factions but the ships themselves cant be mixed....Maybe that would be the best of both?


That is going to be my suggestion, try and loosen up the restrictions a bit...plus also add in dual affiliations and/or cards that allow you to use them w/o the faction penalty. I think that is the key, if I can get everyone to agree that you can use any card, as long as there is not a faction penalty associated to it...that way you can use some of the other things out there and get a little creative.
 
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Xander Fulton
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hadrian132 wrote:
XanderF wrote:
The problem with the Borg, of course, is that even in "faction pure" environments - they can still get Spock or Valtane.

If someone else brings them, anyway. Federation Spock + ass tubes = Borg Spock. Takes a little more effort, granted, but for someone so powerful for Borg builds...worth doing.


True for sure, but at least they would have to pay for ass tubes and then use them, before they get to use spock so it would help a little.


Sure, but the point is that the worst offenses of Borg-faction-mixing are not really countered by faction restrictions.

But it DOES nerf the non-Borg factions power-combos that can weaken the Borg (Varel + Li Nalas + Goval, or Weyoun-6 + Conditional Surrender + Anyone, or Gul Evek + Sulu + any cloaking ship, or etc...)

At the moment, my feeling is that faction-purity restrictions hurt the other factions more than it hurts the Borg.
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Justin Hare
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XanderF wrote:
hadrian132 wrote:
XanderF wrote:
The problem with the Borg, of course, is that even in "faction pure" environments - they can still get Spock or Valtane.

If someone else brings them, anyway. Federation Spock + ass tubes = Borg Spock. Takes a little more effort, granted, but for someone so powerful for Borg builds...worth doing.


True for sure, but at least they would have to pay for ass tubes and then use them, before they get to use spock so it would help a little.


Sure, but the point is that the worst offenses of Borg-faction-mixing are not really countered by faction restrictions.

But it DOES nerf the non-Borg factions power-combos that can weaken the Borg (Varel + Li Nalas + Goval, or Weyoun-6 + Conditional Surrender + Anyone, or Gul Evek + Sulu + any cloaking ship, or etc...)

At the moment, my feeling is that faction-purity restrictions hurt the other factions more than it hurts the Borg.


I would disagree. Almost all of the major Borg disadvantages are compensated for with cross factions using one or two cards. Picard, Spock, Gul Dukat and flagship all give the Borg what they are missing most: Multiple useful actions a turn and battlestations. The most disgusting one recently was Klingon Independent Flagship, Picard, and Valtane on a Tac Cube. Opening swing, it was rolling 7-8 dice with battlestations and a 2 die reroll. It was one shotting all cloaked ships. Pure faction, Borg have no way to modify their dice like that. I don't worry much about assimilation tubes. They see very little use in my area and they burn actions and drone tokens.

As for cross faction power combos against borg. Really, only the attack cancelling combos are cross faction that I'm seeing.

Feds use Voyager/Ent-D with high captain skills, extra actions, and either Admiral Kirk or Mile O'brian to shut down critical cards.

Klingons have the magic bullet of Martok8/KBP/PSF. Add in Klag if people are using Koss as well.

Romulans get interphase generators, varel, counter attack (I'm not as familiar with them).

Dominion get the energy dissipator, which is stupid powerful against pure faction Borg and not so great against cross faction borg. They also get the new battlescruiser, which is durable and can lay in the hurt.
 
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Will Sanchez
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Dont forget that in a ship pure meta, borg may not need ass tubes since the power combos are limited. Seems pretty easy to get behind a Klingon Fleet using Transwarp Conduits... ;-)
 
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Evan
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dwedmon wrote:
In faction pure the Borg are still very tough. The Federation is probably the best counter - you get 2 ships that can also shoot 360 plus you can use fighters. The Dominion isn't bad either, you can fit 2 ships that each shoot with at least 5 dice plus fighters into a 100pt build.


And what I find most interesting about this is that the shift to Fed and Dominion Borg-killing fleets (which seem to be more popular than ever around here even as the number of Borg continues to decline) helps to further cement the Romulans' position as the Scissors to the anti-Borg Paper.

It's easy to say "this faction is better in pure environments, and this faction is worse," but the ensuing meta dynamics are much harder to predict, and in many cases make an even bigger difference than whether or not you can cross-faction Spock.
 
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In my experience, extremes of any kind are usually bad, or at least not optimal. Though I like pure faction better than wildly mixed faction, perhaps neither is the perfect solution. The better solution might be restrictions on the extent of cross factioning (by limiting the number of cross faction upgrades, perhaps by an exponentially increasing cross faction cost so that 1 is easy, 2 is expensive, and 3 is REALLY expensive).

Or maybe the designers should give some of the other factions some cards that they like as much as Picard. Even I want to play Cyrano Jones once in a while or use the Dorsal Weapons array on a Galaxy generic.

What I want really doesn't matter, it's what the TOs want that does. And my venue is increasingly faction pure (not even ship pure). I might like it a little better (as a Fed player) than the wilder cross factions, but I can't help feel that there is a better compromise if anyone was interested in making it.

While I admire someone like Will Sanchez's ability to construct a build that can devastate his opponents with combos of different factions no-one else thought of, I'm not sure it promotes fun play for everyone, or allows the other players the fiction that they have an even chance in the competition. And you want to preserve that fiction because it's what makes people keep trying rather than switch to some other game that's cheaper (which is most of them).
 
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Matthew Ting
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hadrian132 wrote:


What about ship pure??? You can have different factions but the ships themselves cant be mixed....Maybe that would be the best of both?


thumbsup

I personally feel this is the best combination of "fluff" and gameplay, and is what we've been doing locally.


jmdt784 wrote:
The Ferengi ship doesn't do much pure.


I'd disagree, it's a great spoiler with a 1 skill captain and EM Pulse. I've seen several local players pull that off in our ship-pure events.
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Jared Voshall
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wedge772 wrote:
jmdt784 wrote:
The Ferengi ship doesn't do much pure.


I'd disagree, it's a great spoiler with a 1 skill captain and EM Pulse. I've seen several local players pull that off in our ship-pure events.


I would say both are true - there's not enough to the Ferengi ships to fly a full fleet pure, and they don't have enough options to run more than 1-2 different builds with them. However, those few builds are chock full of unusual tricks and gimmicks that most opponents won't see coming, and the ship itself is one that is often underestimated.

From personal experience, I've run a semi-pure Ferengi fleet (subbing in Khan and Joachim with the Independent Battlestations flagship to keep it faction pure), and put in a solid showing in the event, even going so far as to take out a double Jem'hadar Battleship build with minimal losses.
 
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Bob Anderson
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XanderF wrote:
The problem with the Borg, of course, is that even in "faction pure" environments - they can still get Spock or Valtane.

If someone else brings them, anyway. Federation Spock + ass tubes = Borg Spock. Takes a little more effort, granted, but for someone so powerful for Borg builds...worth doing.


I guess it depends on what their definition of "Faction Pure" is.

If it is a ship pure environment, I can use cards like Ass Tubes to bring Spock from my Fed Ship to my Borg Ship. I could also use a reinforcement sideboard to captain swap Picard to that Borg ship. Sure, it's action intensive... but it's there.

Faction purity does not protect a venue from degenerate combinations. I wish more people would realize this.
 
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Nicholai Fugate
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I just want to throw out there that the nicest thing about either ship-pure or faction-pure events that doesn't get talked about much is the fact that, I believe, it brings and can in the future bring more players into the game.

An issue I've had with the game in my area is that I play a lot of different games (LCGs, Dice Masters, etc) so for monetary reasons I've always focused just on the Federation and the Klingons. The events in my area are not pure in any way, but early on I could still compete with my limited number of ships because the number of ships and total number of combinations weren't that big, but as the Dominion War continued I became less and less competitive since I didn't have at least 1 or more of every ship. What I think faction or even ship pure events do for the game is that they can draw people in who are afraid to play due to the staggering number of ships out there now, but if they thought they could just buy Federation ships or 2 different factions I think it would help grow the game. I know several of my friends would have been much more likely to play if they could have focused on one or two factions. Their chosen faction may not be competitive against everything, but as in every meta in every game each deck/fleet/list has strengths and weaknesses.

Being able to keep costs down and still be reasonably competitive was a big reason I played Magic: The Gathering so much as a kid because I played heavily from 4th Edition - Masques block where multi-color wasn't the big thing it has become in later years (or the earliest years) so my friends and I all split the colors and each of us had really great collections of cards but only for perhaps 2 colors.

Of course, faction and ship pure events would appeal to Star Trek fans that are more into the theme too. While most X-Wing players I know play both Empire and Rebellion there are some who only play a single side to keep costs down and since they don't worry about "missing" out on cards/ships from the other side.
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David Griffin
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Alyksandyr wrote:
XanderF wrote:
The problem with the Borg, of course, is that even in "faction pure" environments - they can still get Spock or Valtane.

If someone else brings them, anyway. Federation Spock + ass tubes = Borg Spock. Takes a little more effort, granted, but for someone so powerful for Borg builds...worth doing.


I guess it depends on what their definition of "Faction Pure" is.

If it is a ship pure environment, I can use cards like Ass Tubes to bring Spock from my Fed Ship to my Borg Ship. I could also use a reinforcement sideboard to captain swap Picard to that Borg ship. Sure, it's action intensive... but it's there.

Faction purity does not protect a venue from degenerate combinations. I wish more people would realize this.


It does a little if it's totally faction pure. Then you have to get Spock from a Federation player's ship which is understandably trickier.
 
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Keeping the pure/mixed arguments out of this, one growing issue with ship pure I feel is there are just more cards being designed specifically with mixing in mind. Generally captains (Khan, Khan, Lore, and Vanik), but their abilities are less useful if they're forced to only be ship pure.
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