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1. Do token defense values always act like efficient shields?

My understanding is that the attack exchange between player vs token is not equal. When an enemy token attacks with a photon pulse, my non pulse shields, are halved. It appears from the rulebook that when a player attacks a token, there is no difference whether I use photon pulse or normal phasers against a token with no special resistances. The damage result will be the same 1 to 1.
Am I correct in interpreting that for players: performing special attacks only matter when attempting to avoid a token's resistance. In other words, there's no advantage to using a special attack unless the player is avoiding a resistance. If a token has (only) photon pulse resistance, then photon pulse attacks are halved. All normal phasers, photon torpedoes, and pulse torpedoes are still only considered 1 to 1 against the token's defense (with pulse resistance).

Intuition tells me that if I use a photon torpedo against a token with no special resistance, the defense should be inefficient/halved (like a player's shields), but this does not seem to be correct.


2. Processing combat steps vs multiple tokens?

I think I have this right, but want to confirm it. When dealing with multiple tokens, I can take on each token individually to help in dealing with their resistances. I know I can combine attacks against all tokens at once, but in this case, I am addressing dealing with each token individually in a group.

The correct processing order is: I can perform a long range attack phase for each token 1 at a time, then a shields phase for each token 1 at a time, then assign damage from all un-deflected attacks, then perform the attack phase 1 token at a time. Basically each combat phase only happens once, and I deal with each token in each phase.

I do not perform each phase once with the first token, then perform each phase once with the second token, etc. In other words there is not a set of phases for each token.


3. In processing multiple away missions, you can only lose a maximum of 2 reputation, no matter how many tokens?

I assume when encountering multiple planet tokens (like on a Borg cube), that I am only considered to have sent a single away team once to deal with all planet tokens. If the away team fails on the first token, I only lose 2 reputation in total, not 2 for each token encountered.

 
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Andrew Parks
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1. Your conclusions are correct. Using a special weapon against a token with no resistances does not garner you any benefits.

2. Correct.

3. Correct.
 
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John Brown
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To further Andrew's answer: it's always your value that changes, not the token's. So for attack, some/all of you attack value may be halved based on the enemy's resistance(s). For blocking, some/all of your shield value may be halved based on the type of attack on the enemy token.
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Thanks for the quick replies.

I have played my first 3 solo games using player special attacks incorrectly. I barely won each game in the last round, and I don't see how I could have won those playing correctly.
I always seem to draw the Borg cubes that wipe out all cards in my hand when I take 1+ damage. Last game I had 3 Borg Cubes and a Romulan starbase from a level 8 yellow Borg Cube. 2 of the cubes had hand wiping damage, another had all 3 resistances (needed 16 attack to defeat that one alone!).

Now that I've been playing on "easy" level, I'm excited to try it at the normal difficulty level.
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If you make the following associations:

Token defense is like player defense (not shields), I.e. Hit points
Token resistance is like player shields, equal to half the corresponding attack

Then there is perfect symmetry between player and token. The reason that tokens without resistances take the same amount of damage from phaser attacks as special attacks is because they have no resistances/shields, and special attacks affect resistances/shields, not defense, both for the player and for the token. If a token has resistances, then it blocks half of the corresponding attack just like player shields would.
 
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