Erik Miller
United States
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The Val Jean, an Independent starship that was carried into the Delta Quadrant with the U.S.S. Voyager and merged into her crew. That’s really all I know about the ship since I was not a fan of Voyager. That being said, she cost $15 bucks and gets you the ship model, base and stand, 3 token sheets, and 14 cards. Is she worth it?

Here’s a picture of what you get thanks to dc0nklin

The Val Jean costs you 22 points and lets you disable up to 3 upgrades to add 1 evade result to your defense roll for each upgrade you disable. She has 2 attack, 3 evade, 3 hull, and 3 shields, with a full action bar (evade, target lock, scan, and battlestations). She has 2 crew upgrades and 2 weapons upgrades and has a maneuver bar with 1-4 straight (1-2 green), banks at 1-3 (1 green), turns at 2-3, and a red comeabout at 3. She has a 90 degree forward and rear firing arc. The generic loses 1 shield, 1 crew upgrade, and costs 20 points. The Val Jean makes no quams about what she is- she’s a survivor, destined to not deal a lot of damage but to be there to annoy your opponents. Her 3 evade dice are huge, making her a hard target to hit, and add her ability to that she you can keep her alive. I usually run a full crew complement with her just to use the ability, even if all I have are two 1 cost crew members. Her biggest downside is the lack of a tech slot and viable weapons for the Independents in this pack. Photon torpedoes just don’t cut it. If I want to run the Val Jean, I always picked the named version since the ability can keep you alive. If you need a fast escort that can hit for light damage but dodge incoming fire, this is a cheap, great option, but most of the time she’s the last ship fighting in my fleet if I use her because she’s so hard to hit. If you add some good weapons upgrades you can get a nice scrapper out of her.

There are 3 captains in this expansion. The generic, Chakotay, and Calvin Hudson. Chakotay costs 4 points, has a skill level of 6, and an elite talent slot. He adds 1 weapons or crew upgrade to your upgrade bar and has an action ability to perform a 2nd maneuver on your maneuver with a speed of 3 or less. You gain an auxiliary power token, and if the maneuver is red you gain an additional auxiliary power token. His ability is great for a ship that is action-light, since you won’t be able to use actions for a round or two depending on what you choose, and can keep you alive when you need it. It’s a situational ability that has a place in race organized play scenarios or if you want to run and hide somewhere, but I haven’t found a place for him in any of my fleets. If I run the Val Jean I pick the captain below.

Calvin Hudson costs 3 points and has a skill value of 3. He adds 1 tech, weapons, or crew upgrade to your upgrade bar and if he is assigned to an Independent ship all of your upgrades cost -1. This is a great ability, and lets you change your ship how you want it. Getting additional upgrades is always great, especially at a discount, and Hudson sees a lot of play with my Independent ships. He is a great captain who lets you customize away and grant tech to a ship that doesn’t have it. Also, as a side, he never set foot on the Val Jean and was not part of Voyager but DS9. Anyways, this is an amazing captain who does great on any Independent build you want to put together.

There are 4 crew upgrades in this expansion. Seska costs 5 points and is an action to discard her, disable another upgrade, and target a ship at range 1-3. It cannot attack you this round. This is a really steep price to only take 1 ship out of the fight. I think it costs too much and has too many conditions to make it work so I don’t use it. Not getting attacked is nice, don’t get me wrong, but it comes at a steep cost to only do this for 1 round. If it was a no one can attack you this round, I’d be in, or if I knew I was going up against something like a Borg Cube and was desperate in my small craft to not die, but I don’t use her due to the cost.

B’Leanna Torres costs 4 points and you can disable her to get +1 attack dice (or +2 if this is part of a ship that has 3 or less hull value) if you attack a ship at range 3. Nice to negate the +1 defense dice the defender gets, but how often are you able to run around at range 3 and snip someone anyways? I’ve never used her because you get to use her once maybe twice a game, and the disable, use your action to reenable to make her viable is just not worth it to me for what you get. +2 attack dice are nice, and she can be useful with the right fleet, but I haven’t built a mass attack fleet with snipers so I don’t use her.

Tuvok costs 3 points and lets you disable him after you perform an attack during the combat phase to immediately perform an additional 1 maneuver (straight, bank, or Turn). This is a good card that has a place with a high skill captain. You can fire first and maybe eek out of the firing range of your opponent before they fire back. That’s great, but you have to throw it on the right ship. The one nice thing is that he can give a larger ship a turn at 1 for disabling him, something that is always useful and can set you up for the next round or get you away. A good card with many uses and cheap for what he does.

Kenneth Dalby costs 2 points and has an action ability. You can disable him to repair 1 damage to hull or shields or discard him to repair 2 damage. He is one of the cheapest repair cards around and even costing +1 on a non-independent ship he is worth it. I use him frequently because he is great for what you get. Awesome!

There are 2 weapons upgrades. Photon Torpedoes are the same, just Independent, and lets your change a battlestations into a critical hit for 5 points. Pass. Ramming attack costs 3 points and for your attack you discard the card and perform a 1 straight maneuver. If you overlap another ship, destroy your ship and roll 6 attack dice. They roll 3 less defense dice and can only be used on a ship hull value 3 or less. You cannot use cheat death with it. While ramming attack is fun to yell out and use, it is not super useful in Attack Wing unless you play your cards right. I see value on a smaller ship like this to go in against the enemy flagship and throw yourself at them, and I see value in trying to kill both you and your last opponents ship at the same time, but this card is rather easily avoided and the Val Jean can easily be ripped to shreds before you can even use it. If you want to use it, I see it, but if you don’t want to use it, I can also see that. This is up to your preference and what you want to do.

There are 2 elite talents in this expansion as well. Be Creative costs 5 points and lets you disable this card at any time to replace 1 evade, scan, or battlestations token with an evade, scan, or battlestations token. This is a great elite talent and is one that you can use as often as you like if you reenable it. This talent gives you a lot of options, like changing a scan token to evade if you are going to die, or battlestations if that is all you roll, etc. Easily one of my favorite elite talents in the game and something that has a ton of different options with it.

Evasive Pattern Omega costs 3 points and lets you disable it after all ships have moved if you are in the forward firing arc of an enemy ship and it is not in your forward firing arc to perform a sensor echo action. Another useful elite talent, you have to use this on the right ship but it can easily either get you out of harms way or put you in a position to fire at your enemy as well. A great elite talent that can really save your bacon and is useful on almost every flagship to give you more maneuver options and to keep you safe (or keep you firing).

Final Thoughts:
There is a lot to like here. The Val Jean is a great cheap ship, Calvin Hudson is a great captain, and one of the best repair crew in the game is here. The elite talents are both useful, and there is almost no blah besides Photon Torpedoes. If you want a small attack ship or want some of the upgrades, this ship is definitely worth picking it. It works great as an escort and is rather difficult to kill, all of which provide you with great tactical options in Attack Wing.

Check out my other reviews at Reviews by Mil05006

Check out the shipyard for more intense competitive reviews at The Shipyard - Star Trek Attack Wing Ship Reviews
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