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Subject: Bird of Prey vs. U.S.S. Defiant rss

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Charles Rankin
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A few quick notes for those following along at home.

1) I orient the warp tile such that its right edge orients straight up and the left edge orients to the NW. Thus, all move references will be either NE, NW, E, W, SE, or SW.

2) I reference Data as follows <color>(location), where color is one of R = Red, G = Gold, B = Blue, P = Purple, D = Dark, and W = White, and where "location" is one of I = Inventory, T = Token, S = Source, D = Die (used to represent a die previously pulled from the source, almost exclusively used to represent how a die went back to the source at the end of the round, e.g., R(D)->B(S) ).

3) A few glossary terms: RSB = Romulan Starbase, DSB = Dominion Starbase, RWB = Romulan Warbird, [R|G|B]RS = [Red | Green | Blue] Research Station, SW = sideways, LRA = Long Range Attack, L&B = Lursa and B'Etor.

4) I didn't take quite enough notes during Round 1 to properly track the source.

Round 1: Tactics: Me -> Fortune, Dummy -> Planning. Source = RGB

I took Fortune here so that I can charge headlong into some combat (which you'll see shortly).

1) From the wormhole we find sectors 4 (to the NW) and 3 (to the N). There are a couple of outposts available, but no recruitable crew. So, we head towards the Romulan Warbird with the hopes of being able to also take on the DSB to recruit and gain an Undiscovered card.
Full Speed Ahead w/ G(S) -> Move 4 -> W, W. Attack Romulan Warbird. Don't block -> 2 damage. Power to shields + 2 SW -> Attack 4. +3 XP, +1 Rep (0+)
Level up: Retreat + Isolytic Burst

2) We don't have enough to take out the DSB (having not been able to draw Isolytic Burst due to damage), so we fix up the ship and see if we get better cards.
Repair Hull w/ G(S). -2 damage

3) Attack DSB
Isolytic Burst + Engage w/ R(S) -> 6 LRA. +5 XP, -2 Rep (0-)
Reward: System Access (one of my favorites, as I like to be able to work around enemy resistances)
Level up: New command token

4) Time to pick up some crew. I like Weyoun as he is well-rounded and useful in a variety of situations.
Improvise w/ P(S) + 2 SW -> Dip 7 -> Recruit Weyoun

5) Let's pick up another crew member to fill out our current slots.
L&B w/ B(S) + Open Hailing Frequencies -> Dip 7 -> Recruit Alidar Jarok

6) We now have a hand of movement and miscellaneous cards, so time to explore. My notes are a little fuzzy here, so I'm not quite sure how I generated all the movement.
Move NW. Explore W. +1 XP.
This reveals sector 5, containing a BRS near us, along with a RWB near that, and a Drydock and Class M planet to round things out.
Move W to BRS. Explore NE. +1 XP.
Note, we move before we explore in case we reveal a RWB that would get provoked if we explored and then tried to move. We reveal sector 6, which doesn't have much other than an adjacent Class L planet.
Synthesize Data -> +R(I), Weyoun -> +G(I), BRS -> +B(I)
Note, I accidentally cheated here with Weyoun, as I forgot it was just a data token (not a crystal). I haven't analyzed whether this had a drastic change in the outcome of the game. But, I think this is the only mistake in this game.

So, this was a decent round. We explored a bit leveled up a bit, and managed to fill up our crew.

Round 2: Tactics: Me -> Ambition, Dummy -> Evaluation. Source = BBG

So, normally Ambition would be an odd choice of tactic. However, the dummy took Planning last time, so it is unavailable to us. I have a decent hand, so Evaluation doesn't do anything useful, which leaves the option of Secret Plot, but the source didn't really connect with my hand. So, I might as well go first.

1) We'd like to go do some more exploring, as there isn't much around here to do, but the RWB is in our way. Let's remedy that.
Insight w/ B(S) -> G(S)->G(D) -> +2 G(T). Engage RWB.
Don't block -> +2 damage. Battle Stations w/ G(T) + Power to Shields -> Attack 6. +4 xp, +1 Rep (0). Repair Hull w/ G(T) -> -2 damage.
B(D)->R(S), G(D)->G(S), +B(I) from BRS.


2) Let's see if there is anything nearby to the north.
Explore w/ B(S) -> Move 4 -> NW, Explore NW. +1 XP.
This reveals sector 8, which has nothing of interest except a Class H planet on the far side of the sector. Looks like it's time to visit that nearby Class L planet.
Class L Away Mission. Open Hailing Frequencies w/ R(I) + Weyoun -> Dip 8. +5 XP. B(D)->G(S)
Reward: +R(I) + B(I)
Level up: Manipulation + Experimental Defenses

3) With little to do in this area of space, let's head eastward and open up that side of the map.
Engage + Retreat -> Move 2 spaces -> E, NE (stopping on Dry Dock). Engage RWB. Engage w/ R(S) -> LRA 3. +3 XP, +1 Rep (0+). R(D)->R(S).

4) Ok. Time to open up the east side of the map.
+W(T) from Dry Dock. L&B w/ W(T) + Improvise -> Move 8. NE, Explore NW. +1 XP.
This reveals sector 2, which is pretty dry on activity. Not really what we are hoping for, maybe other parts of the map have more to offer. Let's see.
Continuing our movement. SE (reveals RSB token). Explore NE. +1 XP
This reveals sector 1, which is another very dry sector. This and sector 2 are great early in the game, but not exactly what you want when you are trying to level up.

5) Well, we didn't find much to do, so time to head north. Our next tile revealed will be a core tile, so we should find something beneficial to do.
Explore w/ B(I) -> Move 4 -> NW, NW
This puts me on top of a GRS and also provokes the nearby RWB.
Experimental Defenses w/ B(I) + Battle Stations w/ G(S) -> Shield 4 + Attack 4. +2 XP, +1 Rep (+1 minus). G(D)->G(S). +G(I) from GRS.
Level up: New command token

6) We want to get up to outpost so that we can recruit and be in a place where we can explore two core sectors.
Manipulation -> +B(I) + R(T). Full Speed Ahead w/ G(S) + Full Speed Ahead -> Move 6. NE, NW, Explore E.
This reveals core sector 5, which has the Green Borg Cube (level 5) along with a Dry Dock next to it, which might come in handy when preparing for an assault.
Intimidate + 1 SW + Current Reputation (+1) -> Dip 4. Recruit Federation Officer. G(D)->B(S).
A Federation Officer isn't particularly strong, but they are flexible, and both the Diplomacy and Movement might come in handy. If nothing else, it fills up our new crew slot.

7) Turns out taking Ambition did allow us to get an extra turn in, so things worked out. Let's use our new crew member and take a look at what we are up against with the Borg cube.
Fed Officer -> Move 2. NE to Dry Dock

This round was ok, but we didn't get quite as strong as I'd have liked. We don't have enough to take on the Borg Cube yet, so we'll have to improve during Round 3. On the plus side, we did reveal a core sector, so we'll have the potential to recruit elite crew next round.

Round 3: Tactics: Me -> Planning, Dummy -> Fortune. Source = GWD

With our current deck, it is unlikely we can take on the Borg Cube without significant losses. So, our goal this Round is to strengthen our deck and/or crew. We take Planning, because, well, it's available. It's worth noting that the Source is set up nicely with White and Dark available.

1) Let's explore the core sector next door and see what's there.
+W(T) from Dry Dock. Full Speed Ahead w/ G(S) -> Move 4. SW, Explore NW.
Again, we move before revealing so we don't get trapped. We reveal core sector 8. This contains the Red Borg Cube with a couple of Borg Spheres in our way. We'll have to find somewhere else to go for now. I decide to head back down to the RSB from the beginning of the game. We should get a bit of XP from it and a temporary boost in hand size.
Explore w/ W(T) -> Move 4 -> Retreat. SE, SE, SE.

2) Attack RSB. No Block -> +1 damage. Engage w/ W(S) + Alidar + Fed Officer -> Attack 7. +3 XP, -1 Rep (0+). Repair Hull -> -1 damage. W(D)->R(S)

3) While we are at the RSB, let's improve our crew.
L&B w/ B(I) + Intimidate -> Dip 8. Recruit Movar (replacing Fed Officer). -1 Rep (0).
Movar is excellent as he provides 6 LRA. This with our Undiscovered cards that dodge enemy resistances will be key to taking down the Borg Cubes.

4) I decide to take a trip over to the DSB we liberated in Round 1 in order to pick up another Undiscovered card.
Full Speed Ahead w/ W(S) + Improvise + 1 SW -> Move 8. SW, SE, SW, W. Manipulation -> +B(I) + R(T).
Open Hailing Frequencies w/ R(T) + Weyoun -> Dip 8. Insight to use D from source. Buy Advanced Scan.
W(D)->(PS). D(D)->R(S)

Similar to System Access, I like Advanced Scan because it allows us to work around enemy resistances and it lowers defense as well.

5) I decide that I should head north'ish from here and reveal the other core tiles and see if they have some opportunities.
Enage + 2 SW -> Move 4. W, NW (onto BRS). Synthesize Data w/ R(S) -> + R(I). +B(I) from BRS. R(D) -> D(S)

6) Let's try to end up on an outpost in case there's a good recruit at the beginning of the next round.
Explore w/ B(I) + 3 SW -> Move 7. NW, NW, NE (provoking RWB). Movar w/ R(S) -> LRA 6. +2 XP, +1 Rep (+1 minus, see below)
So, my notes show me at +1 Rep, but seems like I should be at 0+. This may have an effect later on, but I'm going to keep the value from my notes, so things are consistent. So, apparently I cheated twice. Let's hope that's it.

Not a stellar round, but the map left me without much to do. Nevertheless, I managed to improve my crew and picked up another powerful Undiscovered card.

Round 4: Tactics: Me -> Evaluation, Dummy -> Secret Plot. Source = GPD.

It's still not apparent that I'm ready for the Borg Cubes. The plan for the round is to see what the other core tiles provide and either exploit that or try our luck at the Borg Spheres near the Red Borg Cube. It's nice that we have Dark available in the source again.

1) Let's go ahead and see what core sector we get.
Full Speed Ahead w/ G(S) -> Move 4. NW, Explore NW. +1 XP
This reveals core sector 2, which has a DSB right next to us. Let's take it out.
Attack DSB. Power to Shields w/ R(I) + Battle Stations w/ G(I) + Battle Stations -> Shields 5 + Attack 6. +4 XP, -1 Rep (0+). G(D)->D(S).
Reward: Meditation
Level up: Secret Craft + Swift Action
Mediation isn't really what I was hoping for, but there was nothing better in the offer. However, Swift Action gives us another source of LRA, which is excellent.

2) At this point I'm right next to both a Borg Sphere and a RWB. I think I have enough to take them both out.
Insight w/ B(I) -> D(S)->R(D) + 2 R(T). Manipulation -> +B(I) + R(T). Attack Borg Sphere + RWB.
Weyoun w/ R(T) -> RWB - 3 Def. Swift Action w/ R(T) -> 4 LRA. Movar w/ R(T) -> 6 Long Range Photon Torpedo Attack.
2 LRA to RWB. 6 LRPTA + 2 LRA / 2 = 7 Damage to Borg Sphere.
+11 XP, +3 Rep (+2 minus). R(D)->R(S)

Level up: New command token

3) There's another good Undiscovered card in the offer, Warp Manipulation. This can be crucial in navigating tough terrain or getting around enemies you don't want to fight. So, I decide to stay at the DSB for a turn to obtain it.
Open Hailing Frequencies w/ R(S) + 1 SW + Current Rep (2) -> 7 Dip. Secret Craft -> +B(I) + D(T). Interact -> acquire Warp Manipulation. R(D)->W(S)

4) Time to reveal the last core sector. We'd really like some Gold (or White) data, so we take a chance with the Purple data in the source.
P(S)->G(S). Full Speed Ahead w/ G(S) -> Move 4. W, Explore W. +1 XP
This reveals core sector 4. There are a couple of useful locations here, but visiting them would put us too far away from the Borg Cubes, and we'd likely have to spend multiple (dead) turns trying to get back to them. Let's just start heading back that way now.
Explore w/ B(I) -> Move 4. Retreat. E, E, NE. G(D)->P(S)
This puts on the Dry Dock to start our next turn.

5) We have an opportunity to take out the neighboring Borg Sphere, but our hand isn't quite strong enough, so we'll see if we can better things.
+W(T) from Dry Dock. P(S)->R(S). Repair Hull w/ W(T) -> Draw 2. R(D)->B(S)

6) Time to take out this Borg Sphere
+W(T) from Dry Dock. Attack Borg Sphere. L&B w/ B(S) + Engage -> 6 LRA. Advanced Scan w/ W(T). Dead Borg Sphere. +8 XP, +2 Rep (+3). B(D)->P(S).

7) Looks like we can head back to the Dry Dock by the Green Borg Cube and take out the other Borg Sphere next to the Red Borg Cube.
+W(T) from Dry Dock. Explore + Engage -> Move 4. E, NE. Attack Borg Sphere.
Experimental Defenses w/ B(I) + Alidor + 2 SW -> equivalent to Pulse Torpedo Shields 6. Isolytic Burst w/ W(T) -> Dead Borg Sphere.
+9 XP, +2 Rep, -2 Rep (+2 plus)

Looks like my notes have corrected the Reputation mishap. So, back on track there.
Level up: Technical Advance + Unconventional Tactics

This was a really good round. We've got a couple more skills and advanced actions. Reputation is in a good place, and we are sitting on a Dry Dock ready to attack the Green Borg Cube. We just need a decent starting hand next round.

Round 5: Tactics: Me -> Planning, Dummy -> Ambition. Source = GRR.

Planning is available so might as well take it. And, we've got enough in our hand to be able to take on the Borg Cube. Let's get down to business.

1) We've got Perfect Cloak (advanced version of Warp Manipulation) in hand, so we can leverage this to sideline defenders.
+W(T) from Dry Dock. Secret Craft -> +B(I) + D(T). Full Speed Ahead -> Move 2.
Attack Green Borg Cube. Perfect Cloak w/ G(S) + D(T) + Move 2 -> Skip space token's Block and Assign Damage phases. Battle Stations w/ W(T) + Alidar + 1 SW -> Attack 7 -> Dead cube token.
Away Mission: Movar w/ R((I) -> Long Range Photon Torpedo Attack 6 -> dead Class K token. Wound Alidar. Battle Stations w/ G(I) + Power to Shields -> Attack 6 -> dead Class K token.
+18 XP. G(D)->P(S)

Level up: New command token

2) We don't have the right cards to try and attack the Red Borg Cube, so let's do some housekeeping. We'll start by taking out one of the nearby RWB and increasing data inventory.
Synthesize Data w/ R(S) -> +R(I). Attack RWB. Experimental Defenses w/ B(I) + 3 SW -> 4 Shields + 3 Attack. +2 XP, +1 Rep (+3). R(D)->P(S)

3) Let's go take a quick view of the Red Borg Cube to see what we are up against.
Manipulation -> +B(I) + R(T). Explore -> Move 2. Retreat. W, NW.
This reveals the Red Borg Cube, but we aren't quite ready for it. Let's head back to the Green Borg Cube (and take out the other nearby RWB while we are at it).
Unconventional Tactics w/ B(I) -> Move 4 (plus +2 to first Attack of any type). SE, E. Attack RWB. Engage w/ R(T) + Unconventional Tactics bonus -> LRA 5. +3 XP, +1 Rep (+5)

4) Ingenuity in the Advanced Action Offer looks attractive as it's another way for us to be able to play the advanced version of our Undiscovered cards. And, GOR is available in the Crew offer, which gives us some more LRA as well as some data options.
Improvise w/ P(S) + 1 SW + Current Rep (+5) + Weyoun -> 15 Dip. Interact. Buy Ingenuity. Recruit GOR. P(D)->G(S)
Note, I forgot to take into account the +3 Rep from having 3 tokens on the Borg Cube. So, could have saved the SW card.

5) Diplomatic Skill is in the Advanced Action Offer and could be helpful on the Away Mission when fighting the Red Borg Cube. We've got Diplomacy in hand to purchase a second Advanced Action and Seasoned Away Team is the next best option.
Open Hailing Frequencies w/ R(S) + Current Rep (+5) + 3 SW -> Dip 12. Interact. Buy Diplomatic Skill and Seasoned Away Team. R(D)->G(S).
Again, forgot about +3 Rep bonus from the cube.

6) Last turn of this round. Still have plenty of Diplomacy, so going to recruit again. Also going to heal up and generate some data for next round.
GOR -> +G(I) + G(T). Swift Action -> +R(I). Ingenuity -> +W(T). L&B -> Heal 2 -> Heal Alidar.
Diplomatic Skill w/ W(T) + Intimidate + Current Rep (+5) -> Dip 11. Interact. Recruit Seven of Nine. Technical Advance -> +B(I) + G(T).

Yet again forget Rep bonus from the cube. Seven of Nine gives us yet another way to remove defender resistances.

This was a great round. We defeated the first Borg Cube and significantly improved our cards and crew. We should be primed to take on the second Borg Cube early next round.

Round 6: Tactics: Me -> Evaluation, Dummy -> Fortune. Source = PBW.

I use Evaluation to get rid of weaker cards in the hopes of being able to tackle the final cube on turn 1.

1) Time to take the Red Borg Cube down.
Manipulation -> +B(I) + R(T). Ingenuity -> +W(T). Insight w/ B(S) -> W(S)->R(D) + 2 R(T).
Full Speed Ahead -> Move 2. Retreat. W, NW.
Attack Red Borg Cube. Advanced Scan w/ W(T) -> Ignore resists on all enemies. -1 Def on all enemies. System Access w/ R(T) + Engage w/ R(I) + Movar w/ R(I) + GOR -> 14 LRA -> 3 dead space tokens.
Away Mission: Weyoun w/ R(T) -> Def -3. Power to Shields w/ R(T) + Alidar -> Shields 5 + Attack 2 -> Dead planet token.
+23 XP. B(D)->D(S).

Level up: Opening Salvo + Flexibility

2) This is our final turn. The only thing nearby is a Class H planet, so let's give that a try.
Secret Craft + Technical Advance -> +2 B(I) + G(T) + D(T). Repair Hull w/ G(T) -> Draw 2. Interact with Class H Planet. Reveal GGG -> 7 XP.
We don't have 3 Gold available, so we can't complete this mission.

And, that's a wrap.

Current XP: 124
Knowledge: 4 x 2 + 8 + 5/2 = 18
Leadership: 14
Conquerer: 3 x 2 = 6
Adventurer: 1 x 2 = 2
Disaster: 0
Cubes: 2 x 10 = 20
All cubes: 15
Dummy cards: 21
Not End of Round: 5

Total: 225
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Robert Leonhard
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Great session report. I'm going to study it to see how to improve my game. I just scored 220 with Picard and thought I was hot.
 
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Charles Rankin
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Thanks. Seems I need to work on the formatting, as I figured things would auto-wrap, but they didn't. I also realized immediately after posting (I believe from a post where you were providing answers) that you can't attack from a conquered Borg Cube. So, in Round 5 I shouldn't have been able to attack those last two RWB from the city. I don't remember my hands well enough to know whether I could have moved and then attacked or not. So, I may be off by a few XP in the final score.

I've played three solo quests so far. I didn't take notes on the first one, but I played as Picard and got a score of 257. It was a very rich board with lots of adventuring sites, and I had a lot of great Diplomacy cards. This report was my second session. I have a third session which I'll be posting a report of in the next week or so. I played as the Bird of Prey there as well, and ended up with a score of 240.

After writing this up, I realized it would be really useful to let folks know my hands as well as the exact tokens I was facing, and likely keep a running total of data in inventory and XP. Unfortunately, I didn't capture that on the other session I recorded either. If I capture future sessions, I'll be sure to write that down as well.
 
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Manny O
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Great session report! I'm wondering about the data core at the beginnings of your rounds.

pg. 6 of the walkthrough wrote:

At the start of each Round, you re-roll the dice into the Core. At least half of them should show a basic color (red, blue, or gold). If they don't, keep re-rolling all the white, purple, and black dice (together) until this condition is met.


Is this a rule you missed, or are you just ignoring it to increase/alter the difficulty?
 
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Charles Rankin
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Manuel ODonnell wrote:
Great session report! I'm wondering about the data core at the beginnings of your rounds.

pg. 6 of the walkthrough wrote:

At the start of each Round, you re-roll the dice into the Core. At least half of them should show a basic color (red, blue, or gold). If they don't, keep re-rolling all the white, purple, and black dice (together) until this condition is met.


Is this a rule you missed, or are you just ignoring it to increase/alter the difficulty?


Thanks for pointing this out. I definitely missed that one. Now that you mention it, I remember that from Mage Knight, but had clearly forgotten about it and missed it in my read through the Frontiers rules.

I had written a good bit of stuff on whether, overall, I think it makes the game easier or harder if you ignore this rule. But, after all of that, I still wasn't convinced either way. My gut says it is a touch harder in Mage Knight and a touch easier in Frontiers.

Again, thanks for the catch. My next session report will still have this flaw, but I'll try to remember to note it in the writeup, and I'll be sure to get it right during my next session.
 
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Brad Keusch
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nice thorough yet concise session! I'm wondering, do you still own mage knight on top of frontiers? I think it might be fun to try with the retheme but I also don't know if it makes sense as pretty close to an exact clone of MK.
 
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Charles Rankin
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anatana wrote:
nice thorough yet concise session! I'm wondering, do you still own mage knight on top of frontiers? I think it might be fun to try with the retheme but I also don't know if it makes sense as pretty close to an exact clone of MK.


Thank you. Yes, I do still own Mage Knight w/ Lost Legions. At the moment, I'm going to keep them both. I prefer the theme in Frontiers as well as the tweaks they've made to the game. However, in my opinion, it is definitely easier than Mage Knight. While I usually won my solo conquests in Mage Knight, it was typically down to the wire, and I always had that looming sense that I might lose. With Frontiers (at the default level), I've played three solo conquests so far, and I've yet to feel like I might lose. Fortunately, you can vary the difficulty, so that will help.

For the time being, I plan to keep both. If they end up coming out with a Lost Legion equivalent for Frontiers, I will probably stick with Frontiers exclusively.
 
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