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Star Trek: Attack Wing» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Let's break Flanking Attack! rss

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Kenn Mikos
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So I was playing around with some fleets incorporating the new retail fighters, when I noticed a couple of things about the new Flanking Attack upgrade: First, though I've several times heard it described as a "mini-Barrage of Fire", it has some major differences that make it, I think, even better than BoF.

First, the all-important text:
Quote:
When a friendly ship within range 1 of your ship is attacking an enemy ship that is also in your forward firing arc, if you haven't already attacked this round, you may discard this card to add a number of attack dice to that ship's attack roll equal to the number of Attack Squadron Tokens on your Ship Card. You cannot attack during the round you use this ability. No ship may be equipped with more than one "Flanking Attack"" upgrade.


Consider: While BoF specifies what kind of attack the "lead" ship will be making (the 4-die BoF attack itself), Flanking Attack does not. There's nothing stopping you from adding the FA bonus to a 6- or 7-die Primary Attack. More importantly, note that there's nothing preventing you from adding the FA bonus to a secondary weapon attack.

This brings up some interesting possibilities!

A couple of notes before we get started: Last time we played this game, according to the rulings we had at the time, everything worked. With the advent of the WizKids Online Rules Forum, everything in that thread was nerfed into non-existence (and not without good reason). I make no claim that the same might not happen here; in fact, I have already posted questions to the W.O.R.F. regarding all of the assumptions I've made building these fleets. If they decide to rule that the interactions don't work the way it appears they do, fine; until then, let's play around with the cards as written.

Next item: The purpose of discussions like this is not, in my opinion, to "break the game" for anyone, or to promote playing un-fun builds, or to "power-game" your way to the top of your local events; this is all about getting creative with the tools WizKids has provided to optimize the benefit we can get out of them in a particular situation. Whether or not you use any of these ideas depends on your playstyle, local play group, and many other factors. Even if you never decide to try one of these fleets, though, it doesn't hurt to think about what the next guy might try...

Finally: According to the latest edition of the Official FAQ, it seems that the new standard for tournament fleet construction is 120 points, 3 ship minimum, 50 point per ship maximum. That's the standard I've used for any fleets I've come up with, and I've assumed we're building for an event with no blind element. I also tend to build Ship-pure, since that's how my local events are run; if you spot a cross-faction build that works even better, feel free to share!

OK, back to the fun stuff: How crazy can we get?

Resource: Command Tokens (5)

USS Voyager (30)
Will Decker (2)
Montgomery Scott (5)
Transphasic Torpedoes (10)
Ship SP: 47

1st Wave Attack Fighters (24)
Flanking Attack (3)
Ship SP: 27

Total Build SP: 79

Assuming Voyager starts the turn with a Target Lock, we can spend a Command Token to get a free Battlestations, Activate Scotty for +2 attack dice, then fire the Transphasics with +2 from Scotty and +5 from the Flanking Attack. That gives us 17 attack dice. With Battlestations, we'll average 11 hits. Decker adds a crit to that, so we're looking at an attack that will, on average, one-shot anything smaller than a Sphere. Not bad, eh?

Suppose you don't want to play Feds? The Klingons can play too:

I.K.S. Kronos One (24)
Worf (3)
Drex (4)
Barrage of Fire (5)
Ship SP: 36

Vor'cha Class (26)
Gowron (4)
Ship SP: 30

1st Wave Attack Fighters (24)
Flanking Attack (3)
Ship SP: 27

Hideki Class Attack Squadron (20)
Flanking Attack (3)
Ship SP: 23

Total Build SP: 116

See, another thing I noticed is that there's nothing in the card text stopping you from using TWO Flanking Attacks if you have two sets of fighters. Yes, I've posted a question about this one at the W.O.R.F. too, but unless they answer, I can't see any reason to assume you can't.

So the Vor'Cha takes Gowron's action and the K'tinga activates Drex. Worf fires Barrage of Fire (at +1 from Gowron and +5 from the Vor'cha) for 10 dice, and the fighters add +5 from the 1st Wave and +4 from the generic Hidekis. Rolling 19 (!) attack Dice, with Worf's rerolls and Drex's conversions, results in 16 hits on average. Now we're up to one-shotting anything smaller than a Tac Cube...

The Dominion can't get the dice up that high, but they can do something that's just as scary in its own way:

Jem'Hadar Battle Cruiser (32)
Gul Macet (3)
Invaluable Advice (2)
Boheeka (2)
Phased Polaron Beam (5) (Range 1-2 version)
Ship SP: 44

Cardassian Keldon Class (24)
Ship SP: 24

1st Wave Attack Fighters (24)
Flanking Attack (3)
Ship SP: 27

Hideki Class Attack Squadron (20)
Flanking Attack (3)
Ship SP: 23

Total Build SP: 118

Here the BattleCruiser will take a Target Lock, then fire the PPB. Gul Macet discards Invaluable Advice for a BS token, then takes an aux to add +1 die. After the fighters Flank, we have a 13-die attack with Target Lock, Battlestations, and a Boheeka conversion. Once that's all factored in, we're averaging 12 hits - but this time, they're ignoring shields. That means, on average, this attack one-shots any base ship in the game...

Now I can guess what you're thinking: "That's a lot of moving parts. There's a lot that has to go right for that to work." That's absolutely true, just as it was with the "Volley of Torpedoes" craziness. However, unlike the Volley dreadnought, if you don't get that optimal shot with any of these fleets, you're still left with a pretty darned solid all-around fleet to work with.

So what do you think?


Edit: Fixed the math for the Fed fleet.
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Thomas Landy
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These are very interesting and I really can't see anything wrong with them. The only ruling I could see coming down the pipeline is that the flanking ships also have to be within range. This would make it a lot more difficult to pull off since you'd have to maneuver your fleet exactly into the range 2 sweet spot for it to work. But man, when it works...
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Kenn Mikos
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I'm pretty sure they've already confirmed that. The fighters also have to be in range 1-2 to use the Flanking Attack. Like I said, there are a lot of things that have to go right.

On the other hand, if they don't, you still have potentially a 4-ship fleet with two sets of fighters... Which are pretty tough on their own.
 
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Evan
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(Yeah. But we already knew this, given the way they've specified that range is a component of arc.)

Nice analysis! The one part I think stawrulesteam could potentially balk at is flanking the same attack more than once, but that's not really a big deal either.

I'm trying to think of other secondaries that would benefit from this...a flanked Magnetometric Charge would be pretty good for taking out cloaked (or just high defense) ships, and Phaser Strike and Concussive Charges could get interesting at high attack values.

And Shinzon Theta could make the raw damage output even more ridiculous.
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Kenn Mikos
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kobold47 wrote:
(Yeah. But we already knew this, given the way they've specified that range is a component of arc.)

Nice analysis! The one part I think stawrulesteam could potentially balk at is flanking the same attack more than once, but that's not really a big deal either.

I'm trying to think of other secondaries that would benefit from this...a flanked Magnetometric Charge would be pretty good for taking out cloaked (or just high defense) ships, and Phaser Strike and Concussive Charges could get interesting at high attack values.

And Shinzon Theta could make the raw damage output even more ridiculous.


Ooh, I didn't even think about APST. Nice one.

Another one I was thinking about: Reliant Khan firing Missile Launchers, with each of the missiles Flanked, with Joachim aboard might not have the same raw damage output, but could pretty reliably cripple two ships in a single attack.
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Wispur Kultus
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kobold47 wrote:
(Yeah. But we already knew this, given the way they've specified that range is a component of arc.)


Do you happen to know where they've stated that range is part of the arc?
We haven't been playing it that way at our store. whistle
 
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Kenn Mikos
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Wispur wrote:
kobold47 wrote:
(Yeah. But we already knew this, given the way they've specified that range is a component of arc.)


Do you happen to know where they've stated that range is part of the arc?
We haven't been playing it that way at our store. whistle


That was one of the many changes they made on 11/17 when they re-vamped the FAQ. There isn't one specific announcement about it, but any time they discuss a card that talks about being in or out of a firing arc, they now include the range requirement as well.


The clearest example I can find: http://www.wizkidseventsystem.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=20...

stawrulesteam wrote:
Quote:
Borg Soong wrote:
After performing a 5 [FORWARD] Maneuver, if there are no enemy ships in your forward firing arc, you may perform an [EVADE] Action as a free Action.



If, after moving, there are ships in my forward firing arc beyond Range 3, can I still perform this free Action?

Yes, you may place an evade token as a free Action since they are not within the limits of your forward arc.
 
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Waspinator
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From the FAQ:

Quote:
32.
A firing arc is defined as the area within Range 3 of the printed arc on a ship’s base
Example: The Soong Borg Ship may perform the ship’s special text and place an Evade token as a free Action as long as an opposing ship is not within Range 3 and within the ship’s forward firing arc
 
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Steven Redfearn
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Wispur wrote:
kobold47 wrote:
(Yeah. But we already knew this, given the way they've specified that range is a component of arc.)


Do you happen to know where they've stated that range is part of the arc?
We haven't been playing it that way at our store. whistle


http://www.wizkidseventsystem.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=19...
 
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David Griffin
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I think we expected that the commercial version of fighters would be LESS powerful rather than MORE powerful when it came out. Flanking attack at least as a range limitation but with the squadron upgrades and the larger number of tokens, it seems like fighters are immensely powerful. Do we really want to play Battlestar Galactica?

I played a sort of test game and the flanking attack combined with Gul Dukat on a Keldon class one-shotted the Enterprise E. Kind of confirms the hypothesis, and that was just a normal 1 fighter squadron plus a couple of perfectly normal Cardassian ships.

Your very impressive builds make me wonder about just cramming as many fighter squadrons into the same build as possible. They're so hard to destroy that they'd vaporize the opposition long before you could even kill a single squadron wouldn't it?
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Steven Redfearn
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I put that theory to the test in the last OP I played. It was effective against a 4 mini cube swarm, but I didnt get to play against Klingons or other fighter builds. I expect to see more fighters next OP and then more use of multi attack weapons.
 
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