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Subject: How many Tholians? rss

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Craig Foster
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How many Tholians do I need to make the web useful? Is two enough?
 
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Justin Hare
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In a 100-120SP game, probably no number would be useful. But if I had to make a wager, I'd say two. You can hash two weblayers together for 30SP and still have 90SP for a fighting fleet.

 
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Stephen Thorpe
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Kind of defeats the object of playing Tholians if you just stick them with some big ships.

In a 120 point game I'd go for 5 or 6 with upgrades and Independent captains (though I'd change the pictures so they all looked Tholian.

With that many the Webs quickly reach maximum damage capability.

OOh you've got me thinking now I might work one out and take it to the peak performance OP just for a laugh.
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Stephen Thorpe
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And here it is:

120 Point Tholian Fleet (Faction Pure)
Due to the scarcity of Tholian Captains and Crew I have used others but kept them restricted to Independents for Faction Pure. I'll just change the pictures to Tholians for aesthetic purposes when I field it. Kira Nerys becomes Dual Faction because of the Fleet Captain.


14 Tholian Vessel
03 Kira Nerys (CS5)
05 Independent Fleet Captain (Weapon)
00 I Stab at Thee
04 Energy Web
02 Ramming Attack
Ship Total 28

16 Tholia One
03 Loskene
03 Tholian Assembly
04 Energy Web
02 Plasma Torpedoes
Ship Total 28

14 Tholian Vessel
04 Chakotay
02 Research Mission
04 Energy Web
02 Plasma Torpedoes
Ship Total 26

14 Tholian Vessel
04 Calvin Hudson
01 Sakonna
01 Energy Web
00 Plasma Torpedoes
Ship Total 20

14 Tholian Vessel
00 Generic Pilot
04 Energy Web
Ship Total 18

Three ships to benefit from Kira's Target Lock Action with Plasma Torpedoes.

Kira's ship can use the ramming attack to do 6 dice at -3 defence and then a further 3 dice with no defence to all ships in range 1 from I Stab at thee and as this happens in the Action phase cloaked ships don't get their +4 bonus.

Loskene can grant additional movement through the Tholian Assembly and his Action on the Generic Captain; while Chakotay can use his action to move twice.
 
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SteRT wrote:
Kind of defeats the object of playing Tholians if you just stick them with some big ships.

In a 120 point game I'd go for 5 or 6 with upgrades and Independent captains (though I'd change the pictures so they all looked Tholian.

With that many the Webs quickly reach maximum damage capability.

OOh you've got me thinking now I might work one out and take it to the peak performance OP just for a laugh.


I'd say this. If you're going to do it, you should really devote the entire fleet to it. For 100-120 point games that's going to be 5-6.
 
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David Griffin
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In State of the Federation, Will Sanchez talks about how hard he worked to try to make the Tholians work but I think he decided they were just too fragile. They do talk about the Exploding lawn darts Tholian build though.
 
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Chris Adams
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carbon_dragon wrote:
In State of the Federation, Will Sanchez talks about how hard he worked to try to make the Tholians work but I think he decided they were just too fragile. They do talk about the Exploding lawn darts Tholian build though.


Any 5-6 damage ship has a decent chance of one-shotting a Non-unique Tholuan ship. 5 damage will definitely kill one without modifiers (unless they evade, but then you won't be doing that if you're trying to web). In 120 points I can run 3 keldon-class and 2 hideki fighters. With 5 attaches at 5-6 dice each (and taking a target lock) odds are you'll kill at least 3 Tholian ships on the first pass and the rest on the second. You won't even get behind them to hit the web (they're moving 1 speed each turn to keep the web connected and you'll be doing the same the keep shooting). The Tholians are just way too fragile and the web doesn't have enough going for it to be any kind of competitive in any environment.
 
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David Griffin
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Griffinman01 wrote:
carbon_dragon wrote:
In State of the Federation, Will Sanchez talks about how hard he worked to try to make the Tholians work but I think he decided they were just too fragile. They do talk about the Exploding lawn darts Tholian build though.


Any 5-6 damage ship has a decent chance of one-shotting a Non-unique Tholuan ship. 5 damage will definitely kill one without modifiers (unless they evade, but then you won't be doing that if you're trying to web). In 120 points I can run 3 keldon-class and 2 hideki fighters. With 5 attaches at 5-6 dice each (and taking a target lock) odds are you'll kill at least 3 Tholian ships on the first pass and the rest on the second. You won't even get behind them to hit the web (they're moving 1 speed each turn to keep the web connected and you'll be doing the same the keep shooting). The Tholians are just way too fragile and the web doesn't have enough going for it to be any kind of competitive in any environment.


I think that is what happened to Sanchez. And they don't exactly have super high captain skill either so they probably won't shoot first. It goes to the viability of the swarm build -- which is to say that swarms are really not viable in the traditional Tie-Fighter sense. Yes you can maybe do a science vessel swarm where you are using non-combat vessels with mines, but any swarm with enough ships is just too fragile against the large weapon values of STAW ships.

Interestingly, what STAW did is to not give us a single Hideki ship. Instead we got 5 in formation acting as a single super ship. Similar with the Peregrines. For the Tholians though, you could put them in a fighter squadron (see my Variant Tholian squadron) OR you can try to find some way for them to shoot first and/or survive at least 1 shot from a normal ship. I'm not frankly sure how you do that.

In SFB the Tholian PCs were pretty fragile but any ship takes quite a lot of destroying in that game so they still hung on for a while. The larger Tholian ships like the CA or the DN were larger and bristling with phasers of all kinds. THAT sort of Tholian can be easily brought into STAW (see my Variants for the CA and the DN). But here in STAW, in a game where the ships die quickly, you just cannot easily make small fragile ships last long enough to be really viable. My best shot would be an armor tech card which gives them an extra 3 hull. That might allow them to last 2 rounds and that might be enough to make a swarm really annoying, but I think you'd also have to find a way to up their pilot skill (the way they did with fighters).
 
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Stephen Thorpe
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Plodding forward at move 1 a time is not how to play the Tholians.

Yes they should be slow played in the first couple of turns to get webs on the board but this isn't too far distant to a cloaking fleet slow playing the first turn to bring their cloaks up.

The thing is while out of 5 ships a couple should be basic the remaining should make use of cards that grant slots and reduce costs.

The best defence you're going to get will be attack cancellation for the first pass and you should be looking for ways to grant additional movement.

For example consider this:

Tholia One
Chakotay
Energy Web
Romulan Pilot

It is possible for this ship to be outside range 3 and still cause damage in it's movement.

Assume you are at the start of turn 3 having slow played by moving across your deployment zone dropping Web tokens.

Firstly your two generic captain ships will move dropping more web tokens. Then it's Chakotay's turn and he is just outside of range 3 of an opposing ship.

He does the following a normal movement at the maximum ( a straight or bank 3).

He discards the Romulan Pilot to move 1 straight.

He then uses the web action to lay a token as a free action (Tholia One ability).

Finally he uses his normal action to use Chakotay's ability to perform a 2nd Move of up to speed 3 (taking an APT in the process).

By taking the correct movements it is possible to end this second movement with the Energy Web guide overlapping the opposing ships base (as it moves with Tholia One).

Since it counts as an Energy Web token itself the opposing ship must take damage from the web tokens.

After the slow play and the web tokens laid this turn there will be:

13 EWT's and 5 Guides on the table for a total of 18

This means the opposing ship will take 9 dice of damage with no defence roll before it's even moved this turn.

Fragile yes but playable against other fleets of the same era. I'd say yes.
 
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Chris Adams
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SteRT wrote:
Plodding forward at move 1 a time is not how to play the Tholians.

Yes they should be slow played in the first couple of turns to get webs on the board but this isn't too far distant to a cloaking fleet slow playing the first turn to bring their cloaks up.

The thing is while out of 5 ships a couple should be basic the remaining should make use of cards that grant slots and reduce costs.

The best defence you're going to get will be attack cancellation for the first pass and you should be looking for ways to grant additional movement.

For example consider this:

Tholia One
Chakotay
Energy Web
Romulan Pilot

It is possible for this ship to be outside range 3 and still cause damage in it's movement.

Assume you are at the start of turn 3 having slow played by moving across your deployment zone dropping Web tokens.

Firstly your two generic captain ships will move dropping more web tokens. Then it's Chakotay's turn and he is just outside of range 3 of an opposing ship.

He does the following a normal movement at the maximum ( a straight or bank 3).

He discards the Romulan Pilot to move 1 straight.

He then uses the web action to lay a token as a free action (Tholia One ability).

Finally he uses his normal action to use Chakotay's ability to perform a 2nd Move of up to speed 3 (taking an APT in the process).

By taking the correct movements it is possible to end this second movement with the Energy Web guide overlapping the opposing ships base (as it moves with Tholia One).

Since it counts as an Energy Web token itself the opposing ship must take damage from the web tokens.

After the slow play and the web tokens laid this turn there will be:

13 EWT's and 5 Guides on the table for a total of 18

This means the opposing ship will take 9 dice of damage with no defence roll before it's even moved this turn.

Fragile yes but playable against other fleets of the same era. I'd say yes.


That trick works once. You bomb one keldon, the other keldons blow up the tholian vessel in one shot. The other tholian vessels (all non-named and without chakotay) then have to joust the rest of your fleet without any offensive options until the keldons/fighters overshoot you.

As you said, it might work on ships of that era, but it will never be competitive and at best it'll be a casual build.
 
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Stephen Thorpe
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Never said it was competitive in a standard OP. If the OP was TOS Era though a Tholian fleet could have a chance (and I've known shops run OP's on that basis).

Plus, I don't see where you get no offensive options from you can use the fleet above that has Plasma Torps on 3 ships and the chance of causing damage with a ramming attack.

Alternatively you can go with a build that uses movement shenanigans to a greater extent so that more than just Chakotay's ship can utilise the strategy described.
 
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Chris Adams
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SteRT wrote:
Never said it was competitive in a standard OP. If the OP was TOS Era though a Tholian fleet could have a chance (and I've known shops run OP's on that basis).

Plus, I don't see where you get no offensive options from you can use the fleet above that has Plasma Torps on 3 ships and the chance of causing damage with a ramming attack.

Alternatively you can go with a build that uses movement shenanigans to a greater extent so that more than just Chakotay's ship can utilise the strategy described.


If you're using plasma torps, you're not using the web (taking a target lock and re-enabling the torps eats up web actions). That's where I got the "no offensive options" since most people try to go the web route, otherwise they'd probably be using maquis Raiders (same thing with ramming attack).

As for the movement options you posted with Chakotay, without adding in means to tweak your movement, getting in a position to drop a guide on a ship for the damage is fairly difficult, too much to be reliable (same reason the original suicide attack was balked at). If the web was dropped in the attack phase (like ramming attack), it'd be much more viable of a strategy.

As it stands, it takes a lot of effort and luck to get this to work. Not saying you can't. Just questioning whether or not it's worth it to buy 5-6 tholian ships ($75-$90) for a fleet that marginally works.
 
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