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Subject: Project Breen rss

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Andrew McLaury
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The Breen are one of the most mysterious forces in the Star Trek universe - except for a few minor references here and there, their entire onscreen arc is localized to the final chapters of Deep Space Nine. But the Breen remain an important force in that universe, as seen by their frequent appearances in novels, their appearance as major villains in Star Trek Online, and their Wave 0 debut into Attack Wing. Inspired by Thot Prad's work with the Cardassians, this project seeks to help capture the Breen into a more fully realized and functional faction of their own.

Once a week, for the next three weeks, this post will be updated with 1-2 additional ships, generally moving from the smallest to the largest. Printer-format sheets of cards, bases, dials and other tokens can be found at the Project Breen file page.

As a fan-made expansion, each card has a holodeck icon to inform other players that these are not standard game components. A holodeck simulation might not be real, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun to play from time to time.

Special thanks go out to Mr S Baldrick, for suggesting card ideas, and to JustinKase for suggesting card ideas and designing the Bioelectric Mines token.

Faction Rules card:

The Breen serve as an optional faction - depending on your scenario, they may form a Dominion alliance with the Cardassians and Jem'Hadar, or they may be acting independently, serving only their preferred state of isolation. The Breen have two unique rules - Power Transfer, an action designed to help keep their Secondary Weapons in operation while still stacking actions for dice quality, and the Side Arcs, a new type of firing arc that will be explored in future weeks.

Modeling the Breen
For guides on how I put together the models used in this thread, check out this post with breakdowns of each model.




The Frigate is the smallest ship available to the Breen. While it lacks the robust nature of the larger Battle Cruiser, it can be used as a cheaper platform for an Energy Dissipator, a support ship to activate the new Power Transfer action, or its unique rear arc can be exploited to mount Secondary Weapons.






The Battle Cruiser has the unique distinction of being the only Breen ship to be shown onscreen in a Star Trek property. In addition to a new Battle Cruiser expansion, the Chel Grett, this section also includes Breen-factioned versions of the two existing expansions, the Gor Portas and Rav Laerst, including Time Token variants of the Energy Dissipator and Photon Torpedoes Upgrades.

Chel Grett



Gor Portas



Rav Laerst






The Warship and the Carrier Vessel are an unusual pair of ships in Star Trek Online - each has, at various points, been identified as a "Sarr Theln-class" vessel. While the earlier Warship design gets to keep the Sarr Theln name, the two sister ships share the same SP cost, allowing for two different strategies at the same price point. Of the two, the Warship functions as a well-rounded, bulkier version of the Battle Cruiser, specializing in taking full advantage of the Energy Dissipator.





The Carrier Vessel is a tankier support vehicle, as it plays better with fighter squadrons, whether from their Dominion allies the Cardassians or their own fighters. While the Essai Zad is somewhat more challenging to build into a fleet than its higher Attack counterpart, its extra Crew slot can help enable a well-tuned combo.






The Capital Ship is one of two superheavy ship classes for the faction, and comes with a few new tricks - not only does it have a Primary Attack of 4, tied for the highest of any ship in the faction, it also features for the first time the Side Arcs - although it has very little maneuverability, it makes up for it with its broad firing capabilities.

Desna



Istapp:
Note: the Istapp is a bonus ship drawn from suggestions by forum members. Unlike the other ships, it cannot be played as a ship-pure vessel. Thanks to JustinKase, Mr S Baldrick, and Jonas Albrecht for ideas used here.






The Siege Destroyer is the largest ship available to the Breen, at a massive 1.6 kilometers. It is a tank in the purest sense, combining high Hull and Shields with a variety of defensive Upgrades to stay in the fight as long as physically possible.






The Attack Squadron prioritizes Agility instead of Attack or Shields. While it has a smaller pool of Squadron Upgrades to draw from and a lower Skill Value than previous Squadrons, it can synergize with the Breen Carrier Vessel, Thot Sanh, and Bioelectric Mines for deadly cohesion.





Weapons Depot Resource
To further the Breen's mechanical theme of specializing in Secondary Weapons, this Resource functions as a variant on the classic Reinforcement Sideboard, trading 10 SP and the Resource slot for a versatile assortment of Weapon Upgrades. As a Resource, this card is not unique to the Breen, and can be used equally by any faction.

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Sam Tillis
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I will be following this thread with great anticipation.
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Very cool customs, looking forward to more.
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Andrew McLaury
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Orloff wrote:
I will be following this thread with great anticipation.
Thanks! I appreciate to hear that. I'll be doing the next post on Monday, I originally meant to do this one last Monday but I got delayed, the next one will be on time, though.
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Sodoff Baldrick
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Consider me subscribed the Breen have always been on of my favorite species from DS9.

Scan is big for the Breen. Might I suggest a "Breen Weapons Officer" with an ability similar to Spock. Some kind of ship ability to give a scan would be cool.

"Type 3 Disruptor" similar to the new Fed weapon from the Hood. You could even make it 3pts if you just wanted to make reskin that included the faction penalty.

And something about Organic Technology from the reference in Voyager's episode "Scorpion".

You definitely need to come up with something for "Algae Paste".


Like the Kazon the Breen have a lot of unexplored potential in STAW, thanks for your efforts.
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Sodoff Baldrick
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If you are thinking of making fighter or a smaller craft there is this cool image
(http://en.memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Quarren_patrol_ship)

It is from Voyager's "Workforce" episode, but they used the studio model from the Breen Battle cruiser with out the front piece. So to anyone who hadn't seen the episode it looks like another Breen ship.

Here is another pic same episode.
(http://www.startrek.com/database_article/workforce-part-ii#2)
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Val Cassotta
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These are looking fantastic - been worth the wait

Power transfer is a cool ability, and I have always been a fan of the idea of a ship with broadsides arcs.

The Breen Sentry feels like it should be called Breen Commando/Infiltrator.

I picture a Breen Sentry as actually preventing a card from being disabled/discarded by an opponent. Him taking the hit instead

Liking the Bioelectric Minefield too - needs a token


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Andrew McLaury
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Thanks for all the suggestions! One of the Elite Talents was kind of lame and snuck back in due to a last minute switchup, so I'll make sure to design an Algae Paste talent and show it off next week. Breen Weapons Expert will also show up, so don't worry. I did have a Type 8 Phasers clone at one point during playtesting, and while it was popular and helpful to the Breen, it was a little too useful and not especially thematic, so ultimately it won't be in the final package - but the Breen do have a lot of unusual ways to get Scans, Battlestations, and other tokens that should help make up for it.

Organic technology was definitely one of my biggest inspirations for this expansion set, and I think I approached it in a number small ways such as the Bioelectric Mines and Antibody Torpedoes. One of my playtesters had never heard of the Breen before, so I described them as "big wooden ships that shock the metal ships into submission." Not sure how accurate that is, but I love the idea.

On the case of the Quarren ships, I saw them a lot when researching the Breen, but ultimately I did end up doing the Bleth Choas design for the fighters because I had an easier time getting those the right size for the fighter tree. In the future, if I do a race, say, Krenim that's harder up for content, I might "borrow" ship looks from aesthetically similar species, but the Breen seem pretty well setup by themselves.

I'll change the title on Breen Sentry to "Breen Infiltrator" on my Monday update, as well as add your Minefield token to the new token sheet, if that's all right with you. I seemingly forgot what a "sentry" was when I put the card together, definitely plan on fixing that rather than introducing to the world another Li Nalas or Koss clone.

EDIT: Breen Sentry/Infiltrator is in fact going to change, the current effect would actually be pretty great as the Algae Paste effect.
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Val Cassotta
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Glad you liked it, and of course you can use it - it isn't like you couldn't make it yourself anyway - and it doesn't server much use without your cards

Some other card suggestions (if any strike a cord for ideas, feel free):

Cortical Implants : Unique discard on use Tech Upgrade that can be discarded at the end of the Planning phase, allowing you to look at 1 other ship's movement dial - and adjust your dial.

To represent getting some inside knowledge from a prisoner via the Cortical Implants.


Cloak : Just a straight over port from the Dominion Cloaking Device card - maybe make it different by requiring Hull size 4+ (or 3-, if you see it as being on smaller ships).


Breen Machinations : Unique Discard this Upgrade to reduce this ship's Attack value by 2 and increase Agility value by 2 until the end of the round.

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Andrew McLaury
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JustinKase wrote:
Breen Machinations : Unique Discard this Upgrade to reduce this ship's Attack value by 2 and increase Agility value by 2 until the end of the round.


I don't have a good slot for this card as an Elite Talent, but can I do it as a Captain? I've been meaning to add a card for Thot Uhlak from Star Trek Tactics II, since he's canon to the Wizkids universe but he doesn't have a card yet.

Thot Uhlak: At the beginning of the Combat Phase, you may discard this Captain's assigned Elite Talent Upgrade to reduce your ship's Attack Value by 2 and increase its Agility Value by 2 until the End Phase.

Obviously, it has an Elite Talent slot, but what Captain skill do you recommend? The Captain Skills are pretty well distributed between 2-8 so far, so any number is equally valid.
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Val Cassotta
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You don't have a 4 yet Alternatively, instead of discarding the elite talent, could put timing tokens on the captain and he can't use the ability again until they are all removed. Just thinking while tired.. always dangerous
 
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Larry DeStefano
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Love what your doing here. Now need to do the same for the Tholians....lol
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Val Cassotta
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and Gorn
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Andrew McLaury
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I've got some preliminary content designs together for the Gorn, Tholians, and Vidiians, but the Gorn is little more than a rough draft and the Tholians and Vidiians are written but untested. I'll probably put up a poll after I'm done here as to which faction Project I'll post next.

Currently, though, it's the Breen's show, and I may have to add an extra expansion's worth of content to Week 4 to keep up with the suggestions.
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Val Cassotta
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If you want some playtest help - feel free to send me the spreadsheet and I can make low print cards for my group

 
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Don't play Breen, but I'm pleased to see this sort of thing springing up.

I'm an occasional Epic Armageddon player, and there's an active fan community pumping out lists and rules, and even occasional books (Epic Raiders springs to mind) to keep a game going that the manufacturer no longer cares about.

If projects like this carry on, it doesn't matter if WK loses the licence/stops producing the game/disappears down the Bajoran Wormhole. The game will continue.

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Andrew McLaury
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Updated with Week 2 ships - Breen Warship and Breen Carrier Vessel. Giving Breen an option in that higher 30/28 SP tier, as well as the highest skill Captain (and sole Admiral, for now) for the faction. Plus, the first two cards inspired by your comments - Algae Paste and Thot Uhlak.

Every time I work on the post, I keep planning to write a section about modeling the Breen, but I haven't managed to work myself up to it yet. Maybe I'll get it in for Week 3.

TheLimey wrote:
Don't play Breen, but I'm pleased to see this sort of thing springing up.

I'm an occasional Epic Armageddon player, and there's an active fan community pumping out lists and rules, and even occasional books (Epic Raiders springs to mind) to keep a game going that the manufacturer no longer cares about.

If projects like this carry on, it doesn't matter if WK loses the licence/stops producing the game/disappears down the Bajoran Wormhole. The game will continue.

Thanks, I appreciate the confidence! I do often hope that, when the game does go under (I'm rooting for it to stick until 2017 at the moment), there'll be enough interested players to form a Continuing Committee, like Star Trek CCG still has.
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Power Transfer is a great idea, but it looks quite powerful for an action bar ability, compared to the usual costs of rapid-firing secondaries. It's a built-in action economy boost, which seems a bit too good without a drawback.

Have you considered making it a literal transfer, requiring you to move the Disabled/Time tokens from the target ship onto one of your tokenless upgrades? And/or it could give you an Aux? Prevent you from attacking?

This would make you think about when to use it and make it something your opponent can counter (by adding an extra Aux or disabling your upgrades), rather than just having a Breen Frigate designated as the "Power Transfer every turn" ship.
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John Thomson
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So I really like the idea of your project..... but I feel that you are making the breen way to good. The bonus action is to powerful and I feel most of the cards are over powered/under cost/"fit to well". They would not have a weak area, the cards work perfectly together and have very little to no draw backs. biomines will make killing ships super easy no way to avoid it and no bonus def... and 5 attack is just insane. Just say it automatically adds a damp token for free ....
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Andrew McLaury
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comatoes_ wrote:
Power Transfer is a great idea, but it looks quite powerful for an action bar ability, compared to the usual costs of rapid-firing secondaries. It's a built-in action economy boost, which seems a bit too good without a drawback.

Have you considered making it a literal transfer, requiring you to move the Disabled/Time tokens from the target ship onto one of your tokenless upgrades? And/or it could give you an Aux? Prevent you from attacking?

This would make you think about when to use it and make it something your opponent can counter (by adding an extra Aux or disabling your upgrades), rather than just having a Breen Frigate designated as the "Power Transfer every turn" ship.

trueborn wrote:
So I really like the idea of your project..... but I feel that you are making the breen way to good. The bonus action is to powerful and I feel most of the cards are over powered/under cost/"fit to well". They would not have a weak area, the cards work perfectly together and have very little to no draw backs. biomines will make killing ships super easy no way to avoid it and no bonus def... and 5 attack is just insane. Just say it automatically adds a damp token for free ....

Thanks for the concerns, I appreciate them and will take them into account in future playtesting to make sure that there weren't glaring errors that was completely missed. Ironically, a lot of the issues that you point out actually came about because of playtesting.

In the case of Power Transfer, while it looks good on paper, in practice there aren't a lot of cases in which it was actually preferable to taking a Target Lock action, and players even vocalized that they felt "cheated" for getting it instead of Battlestations. So its power level is definitely based around competing with Target Lock/Battlestations/Cloak as an action, as opposed to Scan/Evade. It was usually very situational, as even a 20SP generic Frigate is a lot for a dedicated support ship, and generally only ends up being used to salvage an action when ships end up entirely out of arc. As to how to counterplay a support Frigate or Carrier Vessel, that's actually quite easy - just shoot it down, it generally goes down very fast because the Breen's opponent usually has stronger skill values.

On the case of the Bioelectric Mines, it's important to remember that these are contact mines, like Antimatter Mines, not ranged mines, like Cloaked Mines, meaning that their functional range is substantially smaller. Generally, this means that deploying them is a single-use Energy Dissipator that, while very good at what it does, denies the bonus attack of the original and is unlikely to recur in future turns. Because the mines are a Minefield, they cannot be modified, and even 5 unmodified dice can be less impressive than expected. I do need to modify that card, though, to grant bonuses to the defender for Scan/Evade tokens, because I actually had been playing it that players could use Evade tokens on it, which is wrong per WORF.

The Breen having such synergistic cards relates to two major factors of their design: one is that their ship designs have low Attack, high Hull and Shields, limited arcs, and no native Battlestations, which are all recognized limitations in ship design. So they have a lot of stronger-than-average Upgrades that are difficult to use out-of-faction to try to overcome those core weaknesses; usually the biggest Breen problem is still that they don't have as many attack dice on an average turn as they'd like to have. The other issue at hand is that many competing factions, such as Federation and Romulans, are working with a number of diamonds in a vast sea of unplayable Upgrades. As a minor faction, Breen don't have the design space to comfortably pad out with so many weak Upgrades - the Kazon represent an actual in-game example in STAW of a faction that, despite few releases, still relies on mostly padding for its card pool, and it doesn't feel great.

But, again, to reiterate, I do really appreciate the constructive criticism, it's very important and I plan on re-examining the cards with that in mind, the above are just my reasons why things are currently the way they are. Thanks for taking the time to read and reply to the thread!
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Amperglyph wrote:

In the case of Power Transfer, while it looks good on paper, in practice there aren't a lot of cases in which it was actually preferable to taking a Target Lock action, and players even vocalized that they felt "cheated" for getting it instead of Battlestations. So its power level is definitely based around competing with Target Lock/Battlestations/Cloak as an action, as opposed to Scan/Evade. It was usually very situational, as even a 20SP generic Frigate is a lot for a dedicated support ship, and generally only ends up being used to salvage an action when ships end up entirely out of arc. As to how to counterplay a support Frigate or Carrier Vessel, that's actually quite easy - just shoot it down, it generally goes down very fast because the Breen's opponent usually has stronger skill values.


I think another issue (one I had when I showed it to the local game group) is that it is best to treat it more like X-Wing with a more Faction restricted environment. Because then it can get a bit silly with the power of Picard and such not
 
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Andrew McLaury
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JustinKase wrote:
I think another issue (one I had when I showed it to the local game group) is that it is best to treat it more like X-Wing with a more Faction restricted environment. Because then it can get a bit silly with the power of Picard and such not

Okay, yeah, I never even thought of that, I have never seen what happens when you put Picard on a Breen ship, Picard has been banned on non-Federation ships among my groups since 2014, but I'll have to give that a try and see what happens.
 
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I actually prefer faction/ship pure - so it wasn't something that occurred to me immediately either.

Could add a note to these projects that say they are intended as fleet pure, use mixed at own risk.
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Andrew McLaury
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JustinKase wrote:
Could add a note to these projects that say they are intended as fleet pure, use mixed at own risk.

Isn't that pretty much the default state of the game as a whole right now?

EDIT: Fixed text on Vel'sh Aram (A typo caused his effect to say 2 Time Tokens instead of the intended 3), and edited Bioelectric Mines based on trueborn's comments - the attack dice have been nerfed from 5 to 4, and you can now get evades with Scan/Evade tokens.
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Andrew Beeching
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Loving your work, Andrew. I'm a BIG fan of the Breen (based on the STAW Battlecruiser aesthetic and the brutal hilarity of the EDTs), and I've wanted Wizkids to expand the sub-faction for aaaages.

So this is great! I really appreciate all the work you've put into this, and I'm looking forward to giving them a try.

Re: ship models, have you got links to any clear pictures/schematics of the other ships? I'm not sure how I'd go about modelling them, but that'd be the first step I guess. Wonder if the existing Battlecruisers could just be cut down/added to...

Re: the potential for fan-made cards/effects to be over-powered, of course that's always a risk. But bear in mind that as Andrew intimates, we've been conditioned by Wizkids to expect a raft of highly-conditional, overly expensive or just plain useless Upgrades with each ship, accompanied by maybe 1-2 viable Faction-Pure cards. So if Andrew has tried to make each and every card usable, at face value it looks a little unusual. But it's primarily because he doesn't have any motivation to waste time making up useless cards to pad out expansions.

Not saying that Andrew's infallible though, and that every card will be perfectly balanced, but let's all give them a go in real play-testing and submit our feedback for further refinement. It's the only way to do it :-)
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