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Subject: Cloaking Device Balance rss

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David Griffin
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When I first started playing, the Klingons seemed unbeatable in their cloak and high dice. The combination of 5-6 defense dice and 4-5 attack dice was very hard to handle with Federation ships with 3-4 attack dice. When you add the better maneuverability of the Klingon ships (turnabout) they had quite the advantage.

They have disadvantages too -- they are action poor, not only having few chances to get additional actions, but also needing an action to cloak. And when cloaked, if you do get past the defense dice (often fickle) they are pretty easy to destroy. But it certainly didn't seem like that.

Disregarding Borg from the equation, it seems to me that they're pretty sensitive to a certain level of attack dice. At 3, they're nearly invincible. At 4 they're threatened but they're not going to stay up nights worrying about it. At 5 they're REALLY threatened and at 6 they're in serious trouble. Is it simply that? With new ships, cards, and flagships pushing up attack dice, is that the only real predictor of Klingon success? Since Klingon ships tend to be pretty bare, are they just sensitive to a particular breakpoint in attack dice and don't have the necessary upgrades to adapt to higher levels of dice?

This would be harder with a big fleet, but with a "small" fleet, the Federation have a lot of ways to bump up their defense dice, but the Klingons really don't (except for flagships).

Any of you Klingon players want to say what you think the breakpoint is and what the appropriate Klingon response should be? Thanks.

P.S. for bonus credit, the Romulans seem in even worse shape though they have slightly better defense and some attack cancellers. And NOW they have the Scimitar and Valdore which help.
 
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Xander Fulton
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I think you are selling short the impact of the modifiers.

25% of an attack or defense dice is the BS results, with half of the faces 'good' to begin with, so being able to take the BS action (which the Federation can) is roughly like increasing the number of dice you roll by 50%.

IE., rolling 4 attack dice with a BS conversion should yield 75% hits or crits - IE., 3 'good' results.

To get 3 'good' results without BS conversions, you need to roll 6 dice (odds are normally 50% hit-or-crit and 50% BS-or-miss).

So the Federation are getting the same averages with 4 attack dice that the Klingons need 6 to get. (Unless you have Drex or N'Garen, of course, but we are speaking to general averages - definitely don't discount the Federation advantage in action options!)
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Justin Hare
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Klingons - IMO by design - lack any real defense buff outside of cloak. So with most rolling Five defense, you have them averaging just under two evades each roll.

The exception is flagship Somraw, which averages 3.75 Evades per roll.

As for your threshold, it depends on the modifiers. A ship that averages three hits/roll will get some damage through, but slowly. If you can average 4, you'll do well. Averaging five or better a roll will gut Klingons quickly.

The trouble is that klingons have gotten almost nothing new in the last six months worth mentioning except for Chang7.

So, modern klingon tactics?
Win the war of movement. Chang provides stupid amounts of flexibility. With a hard two turn, Chang can use the pre and post movement sensor echoes to end his movement 1.5 Inches behind where he started or eight inches forward and to the right. You can't stand against consistent five hit attacks, so don't let them shoot you often.

Don't bother with Alexander or Bukah unless you have a Klingon ship with six hull or better. The risk of Being one shotted is too high with only 4-5 hull. On the opposite end, Bukah makes alexander amazing.

If you face a lot of Borg ships, get your hands on a few copies of auxiliary control room or the power grid card off the tal'kyr blind draw. Being able to do a u turn and still have actions - even just once a game - can really help ruin Borg ships.

on a high level, embrace cloak in slow games or against low attack fleets. Embrace your raw damage output when facing ships that throw really powerful attacks as cloak won't be enough.
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charles skrobis
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Honestly, I still feel like klingons are glass cannons.

they don't have much in the way of defense modifying save for the Somraw, and without that, I can roll no evades on 5 dice when cloaked often enough that my ship get 1 or 2 shot before I get to fire. This gets worse when they're using scan crew or scan effects, dropping your defense while raising their hit rate on your ship.

On the other hand, you can ramp so much damage with 3 ships at 5 primary weapon value each. With things like worf and N'garen you can pack 5 hits per turn. The other big thing I used to do was to ignore cloaking early, and use once more unto the breech, and throw enough damage to devastate fleets.

The key challenge comes at how it all revolves around captain skill where you need to fire first and hard, so if they skill ramp or just have naturally high skill, it's a pain to run through. This is why you need people like Chang and/or Atezbur to drop their skill and line up your shots better.
 
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Michael Nelson
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carbon_dragon wrote:

P.S. for bonus credit, the Romulans seem in even worse shape though they have slightly better defense and some attack cancellers. And NOW they have the Scimitar and Valdore which help.


The Romulans are just fine if one knows how to use them(maybe a bit weak to the borg, . The faction isn't built for direct combat, it's built for trickery. Use both mines. maneuver smartly to deny actions. The biggest problem I've seen people have running romulans is that they want to run the warships, the Scimitar and Valdore. I've never run the Valdore in an OP and I've only run the Scimitar once to try it out. Use any of the D'Deridex classes. Don't just pick your captain for his skill, pick a useful ability: Valdore works great on the Khazara, potentially bumping it up to 6 dice if you plan your strike right, 7 if you have Donatra. Mirok is only skill 4, but he is amazing on either of the OP ships. Use Advanced Cloak for action economy, and never allow your opponent to get a Target Lock -limiting yourself to green maneuvers isn't terrible if you know how to sensor echo. If your opponent isn't cloaked, use and abuse tactical officer. If you're afraid of Weyoun/Varel, equip yourself with counter attack to burn through their extra cancels
With the new build format, I'm going to start running counter attack dice more. With 6 defense dice, you can afford to lose one for the potential of some extra damage. Or fleet captain for a couple of tech slots for mines and some discounts across the board.

The blind ship makes for a great decoy - send it in ahead of your fleet to run interference, deny actions, take some pot-shots, and maybe even force your opponent to use a couple of discard/disable actions

Remember, you're the rogue - use any (tournament legal) tactic you can to get the edge - place those minefields so they block off a quarter of the board. use your lower skill captains to deny picard his billions of actions, etc.

And the final word of advice: DON'T PLAY YOUR ROMULANS LIKE YOU PLAY YOUR KLINGONS - It just doesn't work. The Romulans worst possible scenario is the joust - just kill the opponent with no obstacles and no objective
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David Griffin
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Church14 wrote:
Klingons - IMO by design - lack any real defense buff outside of cloak. So with most rolling Five defense, you have them averaging just under two evades each roll.

The exception is flagship Somraw, which averages 3.75 Evades per roll.

As for your threshold, it depends on the modifiers. A ship that averages three hits/roll will get some damage through, but slowly. If you can average 4, you'll do well. Averaging five or better a roll will gut Klingons quickly.


So in the early days with 3's and 4's (Galaxy) I was in a losing proposition, which matched my thoughts. Feds do have lots of ways to get those dice up though, including flagships and crew so even then if I had been playing smarter as Fed, I would have been better off. Now I'm thinking the Sovereign is very bad news for the Klingons with 5 native. I kind of think that each step up in primary weapon value should cost more than another 2 points.

Church14 wrote:
The trouble is that klingons have gotten almost nothing new in the last six months worth mentioning except for Chang7.

So, modern klingon tactics?
Win the war of movement. Chang provides stupid amounts of flexibility. With a hard two turn, Chang can use the pre and post movement sensor echoes to end his movement 1.5 Inches behind where he started or eight inches forward and to the right. You can't stand against consistent five hit attacks, so don't let them shoot you often.


There is Korak's partially assimilated bird of prey maybe. Good point on the Chang but if you're playing against a Sovereign with Dorsal phaser array, not only do you need to avoid the arcs but any position in range 1-2 right? Is that viable? Rather than needing to add a dorsal phaser array, they should have just given the sovereign 180 fronts and 90 rears so there was still a blind spot to exploit.

Church14 wrote:
Don't bother with Alexander or Bukah unless you have a Klingon ship with six hull or better. The risk of Being one shotted is too high with only 4-5 hull. On the opposite end, Bukah makes alexander amazing.

If you face a lot of Borg ships, get your hands on a few copies of auxiliary control room or the power grid card off the tal'kyr blind draw. Being able to do a u turn and still have actions - even just once a game - can really help ruin Borg ships.

on a high level, embrace cloak in slow games or against low attack fleets. Embrace your raw damage output when facing ships that throw really powerful attacks as cloak won't be enough.


We're mostly playing casual and though I have some Borg ships I don't play them and neither does my usual opponent. I do have a couple of aux control rooms though.

Ok, on a related question, if you were working at WK, and you wanted to help out the Klingons, what kind of ships would you build them? What stats and what perks?
 
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David Griffin
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charles_skrobis wrote:
Honestly, I still feel like klingons are glass cannons.

they don't have much in the way of defense modifying save for the Somraw, and without that, I can roll no evades on 5 dice when cloaked often enough that my ship get 1 or 2 shot before I get to fire. This gets worse when they're using scan crew or scan effects, dropping your defense while raising their hit rate on your ship.

On the other hand, you can ramp so much damage with 3 ships at 5 primary weapon value each. With things like worf and N'garen you can pack 5 hits per turn. The other big thing I used to do was to ignore cloaking early, and use once more unto the breech, and throw enough damage to devastate fleets.

The key challenge comes at how it all revolves around captain skill where you need to fire first and hard, so if they skill ramp or just have naturally high skill, it's a pain to run through. This is why you need people like Chang and/or Atezbur to drop their skill and line up your shots better.


I'm assuming you're talking about the earlier Chang that disabled enemy captains.
 
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David Griffin
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koku ryu wrote:
carbon_dragon wrote:

P.S. for bonus credit, the Romulans seem in even worse shape though they have slightly better defense and some attack cancellers. And NOW they have the Scimitar and Valdore which help.


The Romulans are just fine if one knows how to use them(maybe a bit weak to the borg, . The faction isn't built for direct combat, it's built for trickery. Use both mines. maneuver smartly to deny actions. The biggest problem I've seen people have running romulans is that they want to run the warships, the Scimitar and Valdore. I've never run the Valdore in an OP and I've only run the Scimitar once to try it out. Use any of the D'Deridex classes. Don't just pick your captain for his skill, pick a useful ability: Valdore works great on the Khazara, potentially bumping it up to 6 dice if you plan your strike right, 7 if you have Donatra. Mirok is only skill 4, but he is amazing on either of the OP ships. Use Advanced Cloak for action economy, and never allow your opponent to get a Target Lock -limiting yourself to green maneuvers isn't terrible if you know how to sensor echo. If your opponent isn't cloaked, use and abuse tactical officer. If you're afraid of Weyoun/Varel, equip yourself with counter attack to burn through their extra cancels
With the new build format, I'm going to start running counter attack dice more. With 6 defense dice, you can afford to lose one for the potential of some extra damage. Or fleet captain for a couple of tech slots for mines and some discounts across the board.

The blind ship makes for a great decoy - send it in ahead of your fleet to run interference, deny actions, take some pot-shots, and maybe even force your opponent to use a couple of discard/disable actions

Remember, you're the rogue - use any (tournament legal) tactic you can to get the edge - place those minefields so they block off a quarter of the board. use your lower skill captains to deny picard his billions of actions, etc.

And the final word of advice: DON'T PLAY YOUR ROMULANS LIKE YOU PLAY YOUR KLINGONS - It just doesn't work. The Romulans worst possible scenario is the joust - just kill the opponent with no obstacles and no objective


I'll try some builds like that, but isn't the "Klingon" strategy actually viable now that the Romulans have a 6 PWV ship? There is an awful lot of dice here.

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Justin Hare
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carbon_dragon wrote:
There is Korak's partially assimilated bird of prey maybe. Good point on the Chang but if you're playing against a Sovereign with Dorsal phaser array, not only do you need to avoid the arcs but any position in range 1-2 right? Is that viable? Rather than needing to add a dorsal phaser array, they should have just given the sovereign 180 fronts and 90 rears so there was still a blind spot to exploit.


The sovereign's lousy maneuver dial and DPA limited to range 2 helps significantly. The 2 straight maneuver template for sensor echo + the ship base covers just over a single range band of movement. That gives you enough that in a good number of circumstances you can bounce out to range three. With Chang7 (assuming you were cloaked at the turns' beginning) you can do this even more easily. I don't run into sovereigns with torpedoes a lot, they almost always rely on DPA.

On a side note, sabotage is really fun to use on sovereigns

carbon_dragon wrote:
Ok, on a related question, if you were working at WK, and you wanted to help out the Klingons, what kind of ships would you build them? What stats and what perks?


I'm not sure what my plan would be. Klingons are the only faction that really plays with a 'disposable' ship mentality. I don't like the thought of shoving 15SP of upgrade onto a ship that can be one shotted so easily. This means that even though DefConOne, KBP, t'kar, PSF, Drex, Bukah etc. are really good cards, I'm leery to run them as I risk losing a lot of SP of upgrades with one bad defense roll.

My solution would probably be cheap, conditional passives or discards. Essentially, more cards like Alexander, Qapla, kunivas, Kerla (crew). More 1-2SP upgrades (with some 3SP). Cards you can shove one or two on to a ship without feeling like you committed to that ship living a long time. I still feel like Klingons excel with more, lean ships, so 5SP upgrades don't feel right.
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Michael Nelson
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carbon_dragon wrote:
koku ryu wrote:
[q="carbon_dragon"]


I'll try some builds like that, but isn't the "Klingon" strategy actually viable now that the Romulans have a 6 PWV ship? There is an awful lot of dice here.



you can make the klingon strategy work for romulans utilizing the scimitar. The basic klingon joust can work out for any ship that has good stats in the right places.
Building a romulan fleet for a joust, using the suggested 90+blind format, I'd go with something like this:

Ship 1 (43)

Reman Starship (36)
Donatra (4)
Tactical Officer (3)

Ship 2 (42)

Reman Starship (36)
Valdore (3)
Tactical Officer (3)

then use the last 5 points for customization or specialization against your meta: either of the resource dice, or give donatra attack pattern shinzon theta. maybe use a point to add Hiren to valdores ship then spend 4 points on an advanced cloak, or a talent that might see some use with the scenario. If you really want to fill a weapon slot on any ship with 4+ attack dice, grab the nuclear warhead mine. It gets dropped outside of your forward arc before the combat phase, so you could potentially toss it in front of an enemy that's about to shoot you for +1 defense dice.

Or drop the Tac officers if you play with a lot of cloakers, and run either mines or advanced cloak.
 
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David Griffin
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What do you think WK would have to build the Klingons as far as ships are concerned to help them, assuming there is a Klingon ship they haven't put out yet? Are the current ships (stats, perks) adequate, or do the Klingons need something more? A captain like Picard? A bigger ship? More crew?
 
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carbon_dragon wrote:
What do you think WK would have to build the Klingons as far as ships are concerned to help them, assuming there is a Klingon ship they haven't put out yet? Are the current ships (stats, perks) adequate, or do the Klingons need something more? A captain like Picard? A bigger ship? More crew?


I don't know what classes were shown on screen that haven't been released. I think the Klingons have the most solid spread of ships though. They have worthwhile ships running from 18-28SP. They have generic ships that functionally only change the attack/hull stats. They get: 4/3, 4/4, 4/5, 5/5, 5/6 PAV/Hull

You can get exactly what stats you want for your ship and the maneuverability differences are minor. The only real way to help them without making a Klingon-style ship with 4/2 or 6/6 PAV/hull is to come out with new named ships for existing classes with abilities good enough to pay 2SP for. I honestly don't care if they do or not. It is completely reasonable to run all generic ships for Klingons and that is a feeling largely unique to their faction. I actually think the Klingons have a fantastic set of ships to cover their style of play. I don't think they really have a turd of a ship except for the D7.

In ship pure settings, I'll pit Klingons against Federation, Romulans, and all the minor factions all day long. Species give me some pause because of Bio-Electric-Interference, but that's it. The two factions that run Klingons over are Borg and Dominion.

Dominion can modify their attack dice so effectively and have good cards that trigger off of scan. A battlecruiser with Gul Dukat and Boheeka should be hitting nearly 100% on every attack and has enough hit points that even Barrage of Fire doesn't guarantee taking that ship out before it fires. Beating Dominion with Klingons requires you to absolutely win a war of movement. The problem is that their best ship matches (save for sensor echo) Klingons for maneuverability. So they are the only faction that makes jousting an iffy idea.

The XY Borg ships (sphere, cubes, QVP) beat Klingons because you can't win a war of movement against them because of the 360 and they throw too many attack dice to think of relying on cloak to outlast them. The XY designs are BS, min/maxed from the ground up and really don't have a balancing factor. So expect them to be OP in any setting. You said you friends don't use them and be happy for it. The assimilated ships (assim BoP, assim Galor, Avatar, Soong, ATP) are actually balanced and you can beat them with a war of movement.

In a cross faction setting, I took a rainbow fleet to GenCon using Picard and Dukat on Negh'vars with interphase generators, Invaluable advice, Superior intellect, and auxiliary control rooms. Quark and a fleet captain gave me the extra tech slots. I tore up most Borg players (which was nearly everyoner) because ACR allowed me to do u-turns and still bring up cloak/BS. I'm not saying it was a pushover, but cross faction cards gave Klingons all the buffs they are missing. Better defense, better action economy, ever more maneuvering options, and unrestricted access to battlestations. There's a good reason Klingons have extremely limited access to battlestations. Giving them any of those give Klingons a huge shot in the arm but also homogenize them with other factions and I don't want that. It removes the glass cannon feeling unique to them.



As for captains? Martok8 and Martok9 are fantastic. They have a solid if unexceptional set of CS7s. Their CS6s and CS5s are arguably the best in the game with NuDaq, Worf, Gowron, and maybe Korok. The only other CS5s and CS6s that feel like they compare are Donatra, Weyoun6 (only in cross faction settings), GenKhan, and Spock.

Honestly, I'd like more mid level passive captains that give buffs to attack. They already have autoconvert BS, reroll blanks, reroll BS, add attack die conditionally, and Klingon flagship gives an autoconvert Blank. I would have suggested just a straight 'add attack die, take APT,' but Gul Macet does that. Maybe something like reroll up to X attack dice, take an APT.
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carbon_dragon wrote:
What do you think WK would have to build the Klingons as far as ships are concerned to help them, assuming there is a Klingon ship they haven't put out yet? Are the current ships (stats, perks) adequate, or do the Klingons need something more? A captain like Picard? A bigger ship? More crew?


They need ships with access to battle stations and ways to modify defense dice or some way to keep shields up while cloaked.
 
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J Lin
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I feel like having superior defense while cloaked would be more a Romulan theme. For Klingon thematics, I'd feel like they should instead get some sort of leveraged ability for attacking from Cloaked, or something that just generally makes them more aggressive.

Abilities that give them quality of dice (things like BS conversions of free re-rolls, either all the time or from cloak) or increasing the number of dice would work. Some ideas off the top of the head:

Spending your cloak token to get an extra attack die (IE: You drop cloak immediately, and can't raise your shields until the end phase, but now you're attacking with 6 or 7 die) to simulate a sudden ambush with guns blazing.

Additional ways to grant sensor echo, or additional options for Sensor Echo (A-la Echo, using bank templates instead of straights) to encourage Klingons to position themselves out of arc for bonuses such as:

Additional die or re-roll or conversions for attacks made against an opponent while outside of their arc. This encourages more considerate battle tactics that still supports aggressive shooting/movement even in spite of an era when your opponents can fire at 360.
 
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David Griffin
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SeijiTataki wrote:
I feel like having superior defense while cloaked would be more a Romulan theme. For Klingon thematics, I'd feel like they should instead get some sort of leveraged ability for attacking from Cloaked, or something that just generally makes them more aggressive.

Abilities that give them quality of dice (things like BS conversions of free re-rolls, either all the time or from cloak) or increasing the number of dice would work. Some ideas off the top of the head:

Spending your cloak token to get an extra attack die (IE: You drop cloak immediately, and can't raise your shields until the end phase, but now you're attacking with 6 or 7 die) to simulate a sudden ambush with guns blazing.

Additional ways to grant sensor echo, or additional options for Sensor Echo (A-la Echo, using bank templates instead of straights) to encourage Klingons to position themselves out of arc for bonuses such as:

Additional die or re-roll or conversions for attacks made against an opponent while outside of their arc. This encourages more considerate battle tactics that still supports aggressive shooting/movement even in spite of an era when your opponents can fire at 360.


The Bank echoes remind me of the Phantom in X-Wing. They definitely help in positioning (as long as you aren't up against the Borg). And it still helps some against the Dorsal phaser array because of its range limitation.

Older ships (pre-cloaking era) would have Battlestations. Maybe they need a bigger one pre-cloak like the C8 Dreadnought from SFB or the B10 Battleship. Lots of dice, no cloak, better shields, and battlestations.

Maybe it's as simple as cloaking being a free action or something because the Klingons are just SO action poor. More ships like the Excelsior that can get a free action ... most of the time might make a big difference.
 
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carbon_dragon wrote:
When I first started playing, the Klingons seemed unbeatable in their cloak and high dice. The combination of 5-6 defense dice and 4-5 attack dice was very hard to handle with Federation ships with 3-4 attack dice. When you add the better maneuverability of the Klingon ships (turnabout) they had quite the advantage.

They have disadvantages too -- they are action poor, not only having few chances to get additional actions, but also needing an action to cloak. And when cloaked, if you do get past the defense dice (often fickle) they are pretty easy to destroy. But it certainly didn't seem like that.

Disregarding Borg from the equation, it seems to me that they're pretty sensitive to a certain level of attack dice. At 3, they're nearly invincible. At 4 they're threatened but they're not going to stay up nights worrying about it. At 5 they're REALLY threatened and at 6 they're in serious trouble. Is it simply that? With new ships, cards, and flagships pushing up attack dice, is that the only real predictor of Klingon success? Since Klingon ships tend to be pretty bare, are they just sensitive to a particular breakpoint in attack dice and don't have the necessary upgrades to adapt to higher levels of dice?

This would be harder with a big fleet, but with a "small" fleet, the Federation have a lot of ways to bump up their defense dice, but the Klingons really don't (except for flagships).

Any of you Klingon players want to say what you think the breakpoint is and what the appropriate Klingon response should be? Thanks.

P.S. for bonus credit, the Romulans seem in even worse shape though they have slightly better defense and some attack cancellers. And NOW they have the Scimitar and Valdore which help.


I agree with some of what you said the Klingons were the easy button at one time, however I still saw Federation win regularly. Borg came out and a few other high attack die ships and klingons had a harder time of it, but I don't think they are total out. Thier meta has to change a bit. Three kilingon ships, one with PSF and one with BOF can see those big ships one shotted. It all comes down to who goes when and excetera. Knowing that Picard is still highly used, you can plan around the higher captian skills easily.

Klingons do need a little love in the defence area, new crew and tech selections would be great. Admiril Gorkon is horrible IMHO , usa a action and risk getting nothing. Transforming all Battle stations to evade would have been worth it.


All Klingons need is a few new Vor'cha class (Bortas, Qu'vat etc.) releases with useful ship abilities along with Captians, crew, and tech. They don't have to be easy button cards just good synergy cards.

I dont think Kligons need big Mega ships however pumping out B'rel and ki'tinga class ships is not helping. It would have been nice if they had cards worth taking. (talking about B'moth, Changs BOP, Koroks BOP) I do like a few cards in the sets however they are ehhh. I have no idea what class the up coming Ning'Tao will be some of you diehard trekkies may know which one it is.
 
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I'll just circle back to the breakpoint issue for a bit. When I was using 3 PWV ships, the Klingons were invincible. With 4's I had a chance but I was still making my point the hard way. But at a certain point, about 5 (Galaxy with flagship, Mirror Galaxy, Sovereign) the Klingon ships (especially small ones) stand a pretty good chance of being one-shotted, even through 5 defense dice.

When you take (as I did recently) 2 Sovereigns with Indy Klingon flagship and a little defensive upgrading to give them 2-3 defense dice, suddenly you're throwing 6 dice and the Klingons really feel helpless. Unlike my Federation, they can't just add Tom Paris or Sulu to the ship (if they are trying to play pure). They're action poor (because of the need to cloak partly) and their defense poor except for the cloak itself and their shields don't protect them while cloaked.

The line is fuzzy, but they go from unassailable to dead meat pretty quickly. If it weren't for 360 fire, that might be not so bad because they can usually out-maneuver anything that can threaten them, but that's tough against the dorsal phaser array and it's impossible against the Borg.

You could move the line a little by adding ships with 2 and 3 evades, or by adding some passive defense buffs (Tom Paris in Klingon dress) and that might allow them to slug it out with Sovereigns though it would make them totally invincible against 3 PWV ships.

I don't have an easy answer either.
 
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