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Subject: Weapon Zero Tactics -- Does it have a non mission role? rss

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David Griffin
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I've heard one person say they used a bare Weapon Zero to blunder around drawing attention and attacks while their other ships did their job. It's hard to totally ignore because of its size and 6 weapon.

On the other hand, it does have some problems. With only 8 durability and a perk which protects it from some damage while mostly denying it any actions, it can't last longer than a few rounds and it almost never has quality for it's heavy weapon (which is not near as heavy without that quality).

The Destructive Blast is nice for a single multi-attack, but it's not that many dice and it has no quality. Anyone who has used Transphasic torpedoes without quality knows the sadness of rolling 2 hits on 10 dice. And if you use arming sequence, you're so debilitated that it's really not worth it.

So what IS the role that this ship should have on the STAW battlefield? Even assuming you go cross faction, what can we do to make this worth taking (if it isn't already)?

In the event you don't think it's worth using, how would you alter its stats to make it worth it?

NOTE that the mission that comes with the ship does two things that help it a lot within the mission. 1) It gives it a R1 disruption field which does 1 damage to any ship that ends up in range 1 AND denies it an action that turn (unclear whether it does this retroactively if the ship already has acted, I think that is the intention) and 2) It allows you to double the perk and roll 2 x (number of hits) in green dice in exchange for 2 aux tokens (but requires it to make green maneuvers if it has 4 or more aux tokens). These changes do make it a much more difficult proposition on the battlefield of the mission.
 
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Brian B.
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I might use it in an OP, and at 40 points, it's stronger than most boosters. This is the setup I've used twice now with great luck - both times with Protocol. (using it exclusively for this ship, taking Battlestations for offense and defense)

The captain himself re-rolls blanks on defense if his hull is greater, which it probably will be with lack of Borg in my area.


Weapon Zero [Weapon Zero] (30)
Kiaphet Amman'sor [Azati Prime] (3)
Pavel Chekov [U.S.S. Reliant] (4)
Polarized Hull Plating [I.R.W. Praetus] (3)
Total (40)

Protocol (5)

Fleet total: 45


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Justin Hare
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In a fleet with a Mendak RSV, it could have a good home.

But Kiaphet is one of the good choices for this ship.
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Trueflight Silverwing
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I thought that it's role was to look good on the shelf next to the cool loking over sized Borg cube?
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Evan
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carbon_dragon wrote:
On the other hand, it does have some problems. With only 8 durability and a perk which protects it from some damage while mostly denying it any actions, it can't last longer than a few rounds and it almost never has quality for it's heavy weapon (which is not near as heavy without that quality).


Without Kiaphet or other modifiers, it'll die after about 13 hits, on average. If you're losing your action to Aux, that means your opponent is focusing down a 13-HP ship that's only worth 30 points. Sounds like a good deal to me.
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Andrew Gallagher
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kobold47 wrote:
carbon_dragon wrote:
On the other hand, it does have some problems. With only 8 durability and a perk which protects it from some damage while mostly denying it any actions, it can't last longer than a few rounds and it almost never has quality for it's heavy weapon (which is not near as heavy without that quality).


Without Kiaphet or other modifiers, it'll die after about 13 hits, on average. If you're losing your action to Aux, that means your opponent is focusing down a 13-HP ship that's only worth 30 points. Sounds like a good deal to me.


Absolutely, it's a decoy, and it's a decent blocker, too. It's got just enough red dice that you can't ignore it, and it's big enough that if it gets inside your formation you've lost your actions. Plus, it has enough tricks in faction to be a lot harder to kill than your opponent will think (Ibix Dynasty, Subspace Distortion).
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Larry DeStefano
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I would also add you other ships cant be small. the other ships have to heavy hitters as well. This way he cant gang up on the zero. If you can hold the aux to one, and keep taking BS the zero can be tuff. If the enemy is making you take 2 or more aux tokens the zero is doing its job. Provided your other ships are dealing damage.
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David Griffin
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kobold47 wrote:
carbon_dragon wrote:
On the other hand, it does have some problems. With only 8 durability and a perk which protects it from some damage while mostly denying it any actions, it can't last longer than a few rounds and it almost never has quality for it's heavy weapon (which is not near as heavy without that quality).


Without Kiaphet or other modifiers, it'll die after about 13 hits, on average. If you're losing your action to Aux, that means your opponent is focusing down a 13-HP ship that's only worth 30 points. Sounds like a good deal to me.


How are you doing the math here? It has 8 hit points not 13. Are you trying to say that it evades some hits entirely? The non-mission version of the perk allows you to roll X evade dice for X actual hits. On average you will roll 1 evade every 3rd dice so over the very long term that's 2/3 of the damage on average. You will dodge some hits entirely but you will often take 1 or 2 damage for a hit that penetrates. To me that means something like 4-6 hits (not turns because you might be taking fire from more than one ship). Still not bad. At the same time you're equivalent to a 3-4 ship with some quality (since usually you will have none once the aux tokens start to accumulate). Again not bad. But it's not that durable. Now if it actually had 5 shields THAT would be pretty tanky.
 
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Evan
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carbon_dragon wrote:
kobold47 wrote:
carbon_dragon wrote:
On the other hand, it does have some problems. With only 8 durability and a perk which protects it from some damage while mostly denying it any actions, it can't last longer than a few rounds and it almost never has quality for it's heavy weapon (which is not near as heavy without that quality).


Without Kiaphet or other modifiers, it'll die after about 13 hits, on average. If you're losing your action to Aux, that means your opponent is focusing down a 13-HP ship that's only worth 30 points. Sounds like a good deal to me.


How are you doing the math here? It has 8 hit points not 13. Are you trying to say that it evades some hits entirely? The non-mission version of the perk allows you to roll X evade dice for X actual hits. On average you will roll 1 evade every 3rd dice so over the very long term that's 2/3 of the damage on average. You will dodge some hits entirely but you will often take 1 or 2 damage for a hit that penetrates. To me that means something like 4-6 hits (not turns because you might be taking fire from more than one ship).


Pretty much, yeah. The formula is:
Total Hits-Cancelled Hits=Damage
or x-(3/8)x=8
Solving for x gives 12.8.

I didn't factor in the likelihood of direct hits because that's a pain , but it shouldn't make a terribly big difference. Or we just can assume it's carrying Polarized Hull Plating as Brian suggests.
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James Weidlich
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I got some use out of Weapon Zero by using Kiaphet and including Alexander as crew to give you more BS tokens.
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David Griffin
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kobold47 wrote:
carbon_dragon wrote:
kobold47 wrote:
carbon_dragon wrote:
On the other hand, it does have some problems. With only 8 durability and a perk which protects it from some damage while mostly denying it any actions, it can't last longer than a few rounds and it almost never has quality for it's heavy weapon (which is not near as heavy without that quality).


Without Kiaphet or other modifiers, it'll die after about 13 hits, on average. If you're losing your action to Aux, that means your opponent is focusing down a 13-HP ship that's only worth 30 points. Sounds like a good deal to me.


How are you doing the math here? It has 8 hit points not 13. Are you trying to say that it evades some hits entirely? The non-mission version of the perk allows you to roll X evade dice for X actual hits. On average you will roll 1 evade every 3rd dice so over the very long term that's 2/3 of the damage on average. You will dodge some hits entirely but you will often take 1 or 2 damage for a hit that penetrates. To me that means something like 4-6 hits (not turns because you might be taking fire from more than one ship).


Pretty much, yeah. The formula is:
Total Hits-Cancelled Hits=Damage
or x-(3/8)x=8
Solving for x gives 12.8.

I didn't factor in the likelihood of direct hits because that's a pain , but it shouldn't make a terribly big difference. Or we just can assume it's carrying Polarized Hull Plating as Brian suggests.


Ok, you're not saying it will take 12.8 attacks, you're saying it can sustain about 12.8 points of damage before it's 8 points of hull are expended. Interesting way of looking at it.
 
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David Griffin
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Sylterix wrote:
I got some use out of Weapon Zero by using Kiaphet and including Alexander as crew to give you more BS tokens.


I like the Alexander idea to get tokens even though you can't do actions. I also like the idea of Chekov to help remove the tokens. Rerolling blanks for defense dice is interesting since you end up rolling them as part of the perk but that brings up a question. Suppose you put Hood Riker on the ship. What happens then? E.g. Your opponent rolls say 4 hits. You roll 4 green dice -- or do you roll 5 since Riker gives you +1 or is that INSTEAD of using the perk?. So you roll 4 (or 5) dice and convert 1 blank and reroll blanks from the captain? I'm guessing there is no ruling for this.

I also liked the idea of polarized hull plating to convert a crit to a hit since you have no shields and plenty of hull.

It would really be nice though to give us SOME quality for attacking. What about the tactical drone from Sphere 4270? Or how about using a support ship with Sh'Ran doing a scan to give the WZ a scan token and then using someone like TOS Spock to give us some quality?
 
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Andrew Gallagher
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Re: number of defense dice rolled - I haven't confirmed this yet (probably will tomorrow at OP), but I am assuming that the Weapon Zero ability sets an exact number of defense dice rolled, so things like Range 3 and Hood Riker don't apply.
 
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Matt Smith
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I see no reason that you couldnt set the number with the ship ability, and then ally further bonuses on top of that.
 
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David Montgomery
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Things like Wnterpise D, Voyager, and Regent's Flagship all set a number and then give you range 1 bonus, Donatra bonus, etc. I think there's enough precedent there to say it fixes a number then you add to it.
 
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David Griffin
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OK, so what we think is that it normally has a 0 evade dice rating, but has an X where X is the number of hits when it uses it's perk. So if it has some other means of getting extra evade dice (Hood Riker, range, whatever) those are added to whatever evade dice rating it has at the time along with any capabilities to convert or reroll evade dice.

If you think about it, it's perk is something like a built-in enhanced hull plating, though it works differently. As one poster pointed out, it works by making each hull work harder by siphoning off hits (the poster claimed 12.8 hits for it's 8 hull). So the ability to convert a crit to a hit is particularly important since it's likely to accumulate crits. But like the hull plating, it works by denying the ship actions which is bad because it means it's big weapon is not so big unless you get very lucky. On average it's equivalent to a 3 weapon ship with good quality and with occasional possibilities for good and bad luck.

Also there is the big base. On the one hand, not losing your actions hitting small ships is nice, but it also means when the scrums happen (lots of ships all colliding while trying to maneuver) it means it's likely to have a lot of trouble trying to go somewhere where it won't bump. That is a problem in the mission. It has a white turn but it needs it because without it (and without orthogonal movement) it really can't function on the board (IMHO).

Presumably you have to approach it like the Janewayprise or the NX-01 -- as a ship which may well not have actions to use, so it shouldn't depend on them. That means passive abilities not "action" abilities -- and you won't be able to re-enable anything probably.

I can't help but think though (like I did with the Scimitar mission where it could keep its shields up) that the mission version of the Weapon Zero ship is a more viable ship, but the one we have is still useable. Probably not as a main combatant though, because of the probably lack of actions.
 
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Matt Smith
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I think the thing's biggest weakness is only having one crew slot in an era when Fleet Captains are no longer a thing; with an extra slot or two, you could have some defense boosters and Chekov to mitigate Aux tokens. No matter what, focus fire can deny you actions, of course. So take advantage of that tankiness and fly some other high PAV ships to take advantage of that focus.

Sabotage might be an apt resource.
 
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Jim M
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My question to everyone is - how do we make it competitive in a Faction Pure venue. Unfortunately, the place I game at the most locally (the location is close to where I work and they have at least one session a week - and my other store shut its doors entirely) is Faction Pure per ship; so we can't drop Alexander or Chekov onto a Weapon Zero, or slip in an Enhanced Hull Plating (all of which,incidentally, are great ideas that I might use if I ever played at a non FP Venue.

Other than the obvious choice of captain (Kiaphet Amman'sor), what would you put on a Weapon Zero in a 120 pt, 50/3 set up?
 
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Peter Knapp
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I'm getting mine in a day or two, so will start tinkering...

The options are severely limited for Xindi (3 prize ships), you have got the most obvious combo, maybe add:

Weapon Zero 30
Kiaphet Amman'sor 3
Aquatic Councilor 5
TOTAL 38

For added durability/in a high hit/crit situation?

Or:
Weapon Zero 30
Kiaphet Amman'sor 3
Neuro Toxin 5
TOTAL 38

Mostly because it looks like a fun thing to pull off!

There are currently 18 upgrade options, 4 are actions and useless fast if using this ships ability. There are several weapons options, many are really really bad choices (Prototype weapon? No way, you need the captain on this ship!) or crew (Damaron: nope, you won't have actions to take a TL!)

You probably don't want to sink too many more SP into it though...




 
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Matt Smith
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You may only get one shot with Rotating emitters, but still a decent invstmnt in a pinch. Maybe Ibix Dynasty to cancel a hit without resorting to the Aux generating ability? Other than that and the obvious Captain, I'd say run it largely bare, use its large base to screw with enemy formations and actions, and support it with two heavy hitters, maybe effects on other ships that can generate tokens for allies.
 
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Justin Hare
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You said ship pure, not faction pure.

So why not run a Vo/Donatra/Mendak/Cloaked Mine support ship with it. Use RSV if you want to shave 4SP. Mendak's action can pass BS token to a friendly ship. So now your WZ has BS/Reroll on defense for two defends or can at least modify an attack decently. Mendak also means you can give BS to a ship with APT.
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Andrew Gallagher
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...add the Kumari with Shran (or just Shran) and pass an evade token to Weapon Zero each turn also? I mean, if you really want your opponent to have an aneurysm.
 
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Christopher Peters
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tiballagher wrote:
Re: number of defense dice rolled - I haven't confirmed this yet (probably will tomorrow at OP), but I am assuming that the Weapon Zero ability sets an exact number of defense dice rolled, so things like Range 3 and Hood Riker don't apply.


I dont think so, think of it as you have an agility of 0, but being attacked at range three gives you 1 defense die regardless. Then the ability kicks in where you roll additional dice for each attack rolled.

And I assume upgrades that also give you +Defense under the same principle.
 
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