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Subject: Dice Quality Options rss

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J Lin
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I noticed that a lot of people seem to try for maximizing number of dice rather than looking as improving their quality. I'm not sure if this is just a misconception from people trying to gamble on throwing more dice or the illusion that more dice is better because better baseline average hits. Regardless, here's a handy reference of ways to get maximized dice quality, reliably. For something to show up on this list, it needs to be something you can do repeatedly, without anything that requires a discard. If it requires a disable, it needs to be something you can re-enable by yourself without aid of another ship. Additionally, these combos do not use Target Locks, as target locks have a tendency to fail due to cloak and/or monotanium armor.

Ship Independent Combos
Mirror Tomalak + Mr. Spock - This can only be done on a ship with Scan as an action. If you do not have scan as an action, you can take either Alyssa Ogawa or Admiral Riker to get a scan action. Both of these can potentially add additional synergy due to the ability to remove a disabled/get a second action bar action. This is a relatively expensive combo, but works very well on many ships due to simply requiring scan actions. Tomalak's re-roll only works on Primary Weapon attacks.

Admiral Shanthi + Picard/Dukat/Tarr - This is a great combo that was introduced thanks to the Thunderchild. You take your action for Shanthi's targeted re-roll, and then you get a second action from Picard/Dukat to take the battlestation action. If you take Tarr, you get a free battlestation as long as you are in someone's forward firing arc, so it's still good most of the time if you need a Picard/Dukat somewhere else. This requires you target a ship at Range 1-2, though with Picard moving at skill 10, and Dukat at skill 8, this combo is usually one you can get off without problems. It has the added benefit of flipping cloak tokens for ships that like to stay cloaked.

Worf + Drex/N'Garen or Admiral Mendak - Worf + Drex/N'garen is pretty much the bread and butter of the Klingon combo. Additionally, if you are running him in a mixed fleet (such as putting Klingons on Romulan ships) you can either bring Mendak along or have another ship carrying Mendak. The Worf + Drex/N'Garen combo works very well for ships with multiple attacks; Worf's bonus applies to all the attacks, and Drex/N'garen only ever convert to 1 crit but will always convert battlestations to regular hits across multiple attacks. This is great for a 'shotgunner' build using the Disruptor Pulse, or the Regent's Flagship.

Kor + Drex/N'Garen + Crew - This one has a bit of a higher constraint for use. Kor lets you get re-rolls for each crew, but requires crew for each roll. This is generally weaker than the Worf combo, but can be made to work as an additional ship combo if you are already using Worf.

Picard/Dukat + Tactical Officer (Klingon) - This combo is introduced from the T'Ong. The tactical officer disables, but Picard/Dukat can take the base action to enable and then get their free battlestation action.

Ship Specific Combos

Ch'tang + Picard/Dukat/Tarr or Drex/N'Garen + Advanced Cloak (Throw in S'sesslak for lower chance of missed result) - The Ch'tang has a base re-roll for attacking while cloaking. Take Advanced Cloak to remain in cloak to keep this consistent, allowing you to use Drex/N'garen all the time. Alternatively, you can just keep recloaking and use Picard/Dukat/Tarr (keeping in mind that Tarr requires you to be in someone's arc, which is less favorable with a cloaking ship). You can take Drex/N'Garen with advanced cloak to take S'sesslak, allowing you to convert 1 blank after re-rolls into a battlestation to convert.

Edit: Another version that I missed is Ch'tang + Advanced Cloak + Ronald Moore. This is a risky version since you have a very low shooting initiative, but Moore's text allows you to disable him to place a Battlestation token during the Activation Phase. As this is not an action, you can technically disable him and spend your one action to immediately re-enable him.

Klingon Bird-of-Prey/Chang's Bird-of-Prey + Picard/Dukat/Tarr + Prototype Cloaking Device - A variant of the above using the Klingon Bird-of-Prey Class/Chang's bird of prey. In this case, you need to re-enable the cloaking device (in addition to getting the aux), so you want Picard/Dukat/Tarr.

Krayton + Picard/Dukat/Tarr - Take the Krayton's action to disable a shield and get +1 attack die and re-rolls. Follow it up with Picard/Dukat/Tarr for your additional battlestation. This is a surprisingly decent combo since the Krayton turns into a 4-5 attack die ship.

Sutherland + ? - The Sutherland natively re-rolls at Range 3 and has a built in battlestation on the action bar. However, the range 3 band can be difficult to maintain. You can try taking Chekov for the aux clear on white combo'd with the Ind. Federation Fleet Captain to do the back-up-forward-clear combo to sit in the Range 3 band by coming in at an angle while your other ships engage and create a better looking target. This combo is the most finicky, as it relies heavily on positioning.
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Ashen von Ragend
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Correct me if i'm wrong, but rerolling dice is improving quantity, not quality. A reroll is just like rolling additional dice - the number of dice rerolled. So as long as you add at least the number of dice you originally had its better than rerolling - for thr same cost. Quality for me would be only methods of setting a die to a specific side.
 
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Evan
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Herr von Ragend wrote:
A reroll is just like rolling additional dice - the number of dice rerolled.

In a sense, yeah, but I think the most useful way to draw the distinction is that quantity is what sets the limit on the number of hits you can get in a single attack, whereas quality brings you closer to that limit.
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D Conklin
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kobold47 wrote:
Herr von Ragend wrote:
A reroll is just like rolling additional dice - the number of dice rerolled.

In a sense, yeah, but I think the most useful way to draw the distinction is that quantity is what sets the limit on the number of hits you can get in a single attack, whereas quality brings you closer to that limit.

Yeah, I've always thought of "quantity" as the pure number of dice you get to roll on the initial roll and "quality" as setting some of those dice, re-rolling them, and turning them.
 
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J Lin
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Generally, I quantify quality as one of the following:
1) It sets dice on a facing
2) It 'upgrades' rolled results directly by conversion (Such as blank to BS, BS to hit, BS to hit)
3) It allows you a second (or third) chance at 'wiffed' dice; blanks and BS results depending on what ship you are using.

The third one is very similar to just adding more dice in that statistically you'll get the same chance of coming up with a hit or BS result per-each dice rolled, but the distinction for re-rolling as being quality over quantity is that it improves what you've rolled over simply adding more to your base roll. The two are very similar conceptually and mathematically in regards to per-dice value, but the most important part in considering them - especially in regards to optimization and this list - is that re-roll effects generally allow you to target more than one dice, which makes them superior to adding more dice. It generally costs more per-dice to add extra hits than it does to 'upgrade' your hits into successful hits due to the plethora of re-roll multiple dice or re-rolling multiple time effects.
 
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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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Basic attack dice on a ship costs two BPs per die. That's true whether the ship has a narrow 90º arc or the entire 360º.

Then it comes down to whether it's more efficient to buy buffs to improve their number or their quality from the selection of cards available to buy.

Improving quality improves your chances of maximizing the number of hits possible with the dice you're rolling. Improving number increases the number of possible hits you can have. You're never going to have the opportunity to score 8 hits in one strike with 4 dice—even if those four hit every time. But with 8 dice, you have that chance—and the expected average is still 4!

That may be why some players are willing to give the edge in the decision to the number of dice they roll at one time. If they can get above average results on the maximum number of dice on that critical alpha strike...

In the early days, I think this was borne out and, IMHO, what makes the Klingons and Borg popular.
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J Lin
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There is a certain point, I think, at which the scaling for extra dice versus die quality loses out, especially due to the ability to start mixing extra dice effects plus aura effects.

A good example of this is a theoretical thought exercise wherein someone might want to, say, maximize the number of dice that you can get out of something like transphasic torpedoes. With aura buffing, we can easily add 4 attack die via effects such as Scotty, tactical station plus other ships carrying Donatra/Martok/etc without much effort. At that point, we can then choose to either further extend the number of dice, or go for dice quality. For whatever reason I see more people leaning toward providing more and more dice, trying to push that number higher and higher, shooting something like 17-20 dice, but without any quality/conversion at all.

Conversely, of course, dice quality means nothing when your ship has a low attack value; if you are normally shooting for 3 dice, then you are certainly probably going to want to bump that dice count to 4 or 5, even 6 if you can get it, as being reliably able to roll 3 hits is ultimately not going to win you any races. Doing this you can often times get quality and quantity.

However, there's a wide range of ships with 5-6 attack value before buffing, which can also be further bumped. My point about value of quantity, however, is that a number of buffs which provide you with +x dice generally are very costly either on the action economy or are discards, requiring further and further point investments to make them reliable. If you can turn a 3 attack dice ship into an 8 attack dice ship, but can only do that once every 3 rounds, for example, does that really work out to be worth it versus being able to, say, turn a different 3 attack die ship into a 4 or 5 attack die ship every turn? That's also largely an issue of what your local meta looks like.

Regardless, knowing the various number of ways you can provide reliable quality helps if you are on a search for quantity, as common methods of getting quantity may potentially mesh well with your search for quantity, giving you a wider range of options for building your lists.
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I generally play for dice quality (or accuracy if you prefer) rather than dice quantity. There are many upgrades where you can get +1 attack die in exchange for an action (or in axchange for an action later to enable whatever you just dissabled). Some are poor and others are just awful like Fed J Hayes who uses an action to get +1 attack but then takes a damage in return.

Adding 1 attack die gets you +0.5 extra damage so with say 4 attacks from your ship and playing one of these actions you go from 2 damage to 2.5. If you target locked or battle stationed as your action you would have got 3 damage on average. In addition each of these actions gets a minor benefit. Target locks can be kept over to next turn if you roll well and the BS can be used defensivly befroe you shoot or after if you diddn't roll and BS in your attack.

I much prefer cards and abilities that boost accuracy rather than adding dice, unless you have a combination where you get the accuracy benefits for free like USS Excelsior and its free scan in combo with Dimitri Valtane but then I would rather battle station for no extra points rather than buying a +1 attack-for-an-action upgrade.

Klingons and Romulans cannot generally BS so against cloaked targets they can't target lock either so here the +1 Attack upgrades can work if you have already used Drex/N'Garen. But I still don't rate Captain K'Nera or Kurn as decent cards.
 
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Steven Redfearn
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I see that Boheeka/Breen Aid and Alpha Hirogen/Gorn Commander have not been mentioned yet. Seeing as these provide an action based blank conversion in the former and a straight out blank conversion in the latter, I think they merit discussion as well. The Dukat/Boheeka combo has long been a Dominion players beat stick since the Koranak came out, especially at venues playing ship/fleet pure.
 
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J Lin
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I avoided single conversion cards as, while they're useful, in of themselves are going to be spotty in terms of what you can use them for.

Converting a single blank or battlestation result into another result is certainly an improvement and not without its uses, but rarely going to get you very far outside of those rare yahtzee moments. This initial list was mostly about maximizing quality, but I did bring mention of S'sesslak so I suppose it's only fair that I also include the others as it's useful to know what all of them are and what they do. Discards are still not included from this list as we're looking for consistency:

Captains
Cards that upgrade hits to crits are not in this list, as there's only one ship that can convert them to quality. See: Pagh.

Alpha Hirogen - Converts 1 blank to a hit when using your primary. Relatively low synergy due to it being a Captain. A less flexible version of S'sesslak.

Gorn Commander - generic blank to hit result when attacking. Same cost as S'sesslak with a lower Captain skill. This limits his usefulness somewhat. S'sesslak effectively replaces him due to it being retail, however Gorn Commander is not unique.

Martok(s) - Edited in to add Martok. The 5-cost 8-skill gives another ship in range 1-2 with less skill than him a free action. This was excluded from the original list because it is quality from an outside source. The 6-cost 9-skill Martok was excluded for a similar reason, but he adds +1 attack dice and a single die re-roll for all ships within Range 1 of him who have a lower captain skill. The 4 cost skill 7/+1 Captain/Admiral Martok give +1 attack dice, -2 defense dice (to yourself) that converts 1 hit to a crit; this is only worth quality on the Pagh, and takes an action.

Nu'daq - Converts 1 BS to a hit. Extremely inefficient compared to some other combos. Listed for the sake of completion.

Crew
Boheeka - Converts 1 blank to a hit result while you have a battlestations token. Very easy synergy to use with Mendak/Picard/Dukat.

Breen Aide - Converts 1 blank to a hit result while you have a scan token. Good synergy with Tomalak/Spock combo.

Omet'iklan - Converts any result into a hit result, but only with your primary weapon. At a 5 point cost with a Jem'hadar restriction, this is very combo unfriendly.

Ships
IKS Pagh - Converts 1 crit into a hit in order to convert 1 blank into a hit. This has excellent synergy with Worf or Kor with Drex/N'garen combos, as you will always have a critical hit to convert due to their effects. Especially important because it doesn't require you to be cloaked to use the effect, making the lifespan of the boat much higher than some other combinations. (Toreth, Borg Korok and Admiral/Captain Martok convert hits to crits)

Resources
I generally didn't list resources as they are harder to get, they retire, can potentially consume a lot of fleet points, and their usage varies much more wildly venue to venue. However, I'll list quality ones here for reference.

Klingon Flagship - All other Friendly Klingon ships within Range 1-2 of the flagship may convert 1 blank to a hit.

Romulan Flagship - All friendly Romulan ships within Range 1-2 of the flagship can re-roll any number of their dice.
 
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Steven Redfearn
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SeijiTataki wrote:


Alpha Hirogen - Converts 1 blank to a hit when using your primary. Relatively low synergy due to it being a Captain. A less flexible version of S'sesslak.

I disagree with your assessment of flexibility here, because mathematically they are the same: with any action that is not a BS, Ssesslak is looking to convert a rolled BS (25% probability per die) and Alpha Hirogen is looking to convert a rolled blank (also 25%). When both take a BS action, they are both looking to convert a blank (also 25%).
 
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J Lin
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My comment is more that his ability can only be used for the primary attack, which is why I said less flexible, and not less efficient.

Edit: For example, with the information above, I can take the Gal Gath'thong, S'sesslak, Mendak and a plasma torpedo. This gives me a 5 attack die that doesn't require a lock, gives me a re-roll, a battlestation and a blank to battlestation conversion to further up quality. Because the Hirogen only applies to Primary Weapons, I can't use him in this combo.

Similar to the notes for other Captains whom only work for Primary, reducing their ability to combo into different special abilities or attacks that might be multi-hits or such.
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Steven Redfearn
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Yup, I forgot that the Alpha was restricted to primaries. I tend not to use very many secondary weapons, have to change my brain gears over.
 
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John Victor
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A favorite I've used a couple of times is Excelsior, Spock, Valtane. Free scan, free target lock, take a BS, and reroll 2 attack. Throw on Type 8 Phaser and that's 4 quality attack against 1 less evade.


A new favorite is Voyager, DeSoto, Hood Riker, Refit Chekov. Bonus agility for a total of 3 dice. Convert 1 agility BS to evade. DeSoto rerolls the other two agility (or all 3 with another crew). Take a BS for the attack, and Chekov can clear the aux from Voyager's 360 strike on a white maneuver.
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Steven Redfearn
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wiegeabo wrote:
A favorite I've used a couple of times is Excelsior, Spock, Valtane. Free scan, free target lock, take a BS, and reroll 2 attack. Throw on Type 8 Phaser and that's 4 quality attack against 1 less evade.



Page 14 of the rule book "modifying attack results": an attack die that has been re-rolled cannot be re-rolled again unless a card effect specifically says.
Valtane cannot re-roll a die already re-rolled by the TL. But, for example, Romulan Tactical Officer can.

But, Spock/Valtane with a torpedo is pretty good, especially on the Yeager.
 
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Brian Johnsen
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SeijiTataki wrote:
Drex/N'garen only ever convert to 1 crit but will always convert battlestations to regular hits across multiple attacks.
This ruling seems to indicate that the BS-to-Critical conversion happens for each attack:

http://www.wizkidseventsystem.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=25...
 
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J Lin
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So it would seem. It makes sense with the way they've subsequently chosen to rule 'each' effects; was simply going off the interpretation of how they've previously handled 'this round' effects.
 
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