The U.S.S. Venture, our second Galaxy-class starship and a star in Deep Space Nine. She’s a Galaxy, so nothing new with design or with the generic ship, and she participated in many of the key fights against the Dominion. For $15 you get the ship model, base and stand, 3 token sheets, and 10 cards. Does she hold the line like she did in the show, or should she be left for scrap on the sideline?
Here is a picture of the ship thanks to boardmatt
The Venture is a Galaxy class. She is painted with a metallic paint so you can tell her apart from the Enterprise-D. Personally, I like the detail on the Venture better but the paint scheme of the D. The metallic is just… so BAM! IN YOUR FACE! But you can run only 1 Galaxy class if you want and use the D model instead. It does make it easy to tell the models apart, however. The Venture comes in at 28 points and gives you +1 attack die if you are attacking a ship that is within the forward firing arc of another ship. She has 4 attack, 1 evade, 5 hull, and 4 shields, and a full action bar (evade, target lock, scan, battlestations). She has 2 crew, 2 weapons, and 1 tech upgrade, and a maneuver bar with 1-5 straight (with 1-3 green), 1-3 banks (with 1 green), red turns at 3, and red backwards at 1-2. The generic costs 26 points and has 1 less shield and loses 1 weapon and the tech upgrade, but gains 1 crew upgrade slot. There’ a lot to like with the Venture. Having another generic galaxy is great, especially since you aren’t buying another core set, and her ability is pretty useful. You can mix it with Dorsal Phaser array, for example, and get +1 attack die on pretty much all your attacks if you position your fleet correctly. While not as amazing as the D’s ability to shoot in any direction, the Venture has it where it counts, and definitely can either be the star of a fleet, with 2-3 smaller ships to support and to help you get the +1 attack die, or can be a great support vessel, supporting a Sovereign, Intrepid, or another Galaxy while still being a heavy hitter. The Venture is a great buy for the Federation, and is a ship that will see some use in almost any fleet.
There is 1 captain included besides the generic captain. Donald Varley is a 3 cost 4 skill captain with an elite talent slot and lets you perform a scan action as a free action each round. Action economy is amazing, and combing this with either the Venture (to give you a possible -1 defense and +1 attack die) or with a torpedo boat (like the Phoenix) gives you some great combinations to wreak havoc on your enemies. He’s also an stellar candidate to add an Admiral too, since his 4 skill is low. His ability is definitely worth it, and if you don’t have the space for an Admiral and don’t want to put him on your flagship, he is still an amazing support captain for an escort. His ability is great, he’s cheap, and he can field an elite talent. There’s nothing not to like here, and you can easily give him a minor +1 or +2 bonus to get him above the hordes of 4 and 5 point captains and have him fire before they do.
There are no crew upgrades with this expansion! It is a bit weird, but there are other upgrades that make up for it. The weapons upgrades are Photon Torpedoes (yay!). At least they use the time token ability and let you convert 1 battlestations into a critical hit. Still, there are better things you can spend 5 points on, like the next upgrade.
Additional Phaser Arrays costs you 5 points and lets you disable the card after you make an attack with your primary weapon to make an additional attack at -2 attack dice. You can’t have more than one Additional Phaser Array equipped to your ship. The possibilities for this are endless. Throw it on a Sovereign to deal more damage, the one that doesn’t have Dorsal Phaser Array equipped. Add it to a support ship like the Venture to nail the enemy twice. Add it to whatever you want and watch as you take your enemies out bit by bit. In all honestly, there are almost endless combinations with Additional Phaser Array, and the fact that it isn’t restricted to any ship (besides the -2 attack dice) means that you can equip it on any Federation ship with 4 or more attack dice and see good results. It basically gives you the attack of a smaller ship again. I see this card getting used a lot in fleets as it gives the Federation some additional firepower that can easily swing the tide of battle in your favor. An A+ card that can easily fit into any fleet.
There is one elite talent, 2 tech upgrades, and one ? upgrade. The elite talent is Galaxy Attack Wing. It costs 5 points and costs your action. You target all friendly Galaxy class starships in range 1-2 and give them +1 attack dice this round. While amazingly thematic, and with great art AND sounding super awesome. (Really, who doesn’t want to quote Sisko when they see this card? Galaxy Attack Wings 9-1 and 9-3, engage those Galor’s. All other ships, head for that opening! Anyone who gets through doesn’t stop until they reach Deep Space 9.” Also, the intimidation of an entire WING of Galaxy-class ships coming at you might honestly make even the Borg tremble in fear. Unfortunately, this does not project over to Attack Wing. Using an action to give at most 2 ships +1 attack die is not worth it. Unless one is replaying the Dominion War and has the funds, time, and desire to field an entire wing of Galaxies, this card remains cool byt ultimately not super useful. It’s a stay in the box card for me.
The first tech upgrade is Maximum Warp. It costs 5 points and costs you an action. If you revealed a straight maneuver this round, you can disable this card to perform an additional straight maneuver with speed 2 or less but you can’t perform any free actions. This card has a lot of potential, but needs to be built around the right fleet. You can easily use it during organized play to get any ship to an objective quickly, especially a heavy hitter like the galaxy. Move 5 straight and 2 straight on turn one to get into position before anyone else does? Awesome. You can also through this on a smaller, expendable ship like a Miranda-class and zoom it forward to quickly drop a minefield on the middle of the map, or in a key passage way, etc. to slow down your opponent and make them change their strategy. Or you can add this to a ship with a lot of shield repair/hull repair and use it to get away and repair your ship quickly before the enemy can catch up. There are a lot of uses here, and I can definitely see this being used in the right fleet. It all depends on your playstyle, the scenario, and what you want to do. This is a solid card that is situational but good in the afore mentioned situations.
High-Capacity Deflector Shield Grid barely fits onto the card title. Costing 5 points, this tech upgrade is limited (one per ship) and lets you discard it if you have 1 or more active shields to negate up to 2 damage. This card is great. I like it better than Advanced Shields because it doesn’t cost an action and isn’t a gamble. Getting hit and have shields? Use this to absorb the hit. Check! It is a lifesaver, and gives your ship additional shields to stay in the fight longer. There really isn’t anything not to like here, except that the pack only comes with one so you’ll have to get another pack for Organized play if you want more, or proxy them if your friends are nice. Still, this is an amazing card that is great to keep you alive longer and is useful in practically every situation in the game.
The ? upgrade is Computer Core. It costs 5 points and takes up either a crew or weapons upgrade slot. It adds 1 tech slot to your ship and has the action ability of letting you reroll one die this round. While I don’t see myself using the action often, the fact that you get +1 tech upgrade slot is worth it on a lot of Federation vessels. If you want to run heavy tech on a Galaxy class, you’re going to need the core since the generic’s don’t have a tech upgrade slot and the D and Venture both only have 1 slot. This card is a bit expensive, but if you want to add +1 tech to your fleet, this is a viable option that you’ll need to at least consider. There’s a lot of good Federation tech in this expansion, and a lot in others, and if you want to use them all, you’ll need this, albeit at the steep price of 5 points. Still, it’s a good card and is worth it if you want it.
The Venture is one tough bird and brings the Federation another heavy hitter that can really damage your enemies. The Venture herself does great as either a flagship in your fleet, running with some smaller Miranda-class or Fighters that can stay on an enemy to get you the +1 attack die, or as a support ship to a Sovereign or Intrepid, giving you some great firepower and survivability. Additionally, the Captain, shield grid, and additional phaser array upgrades are amazing, and the Computer Core helps you get all that tech on your ship. There is no reason to not buy the Venture. She’s a great ship with almost all at least solid cards, and while some of them are situational, they are definitely all useful (except for Galaxy attack wing). I would recommend buying at least one Venture, if not more if you want additional Phaser Arrays and Shields. She’s a tough ship that definitely brings the pains, survives, and keeps on hitting.
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