The U.S.S. Defiant, experimental vessel designed to fight the Borg, overgunned and underpowered, fixed by Chief O’Brien and the DS9 crew, the ship assigned to that starbase, victorious in many conflicts in the Dominion War, destroyed, replaced, and finally part of the fleet that conquered Cardassia and ended the war. She was a warship first and foremost, and described as a “tough little ship.” With a small crew compliment and geared towards war, she was the first true warship for the Federation. Costing $15 and coming with a base/stand, the ship, and 11 cards, is she worth it or is she better off staying as a concept?
DISCLAIMER- DS9 is my favorite Star Trek TV show, and the Defiant is my favorite vessel. Gushy comments and/or discussion may intrude in this review.
Here is a picture of what you get thanks to gladpanda
The Defiant costs 24 points and has 3 attack, 2 evade, 3 hull, and 4 shields, a 90 degree forward and rear firing arc, a full action bar (evade, target lock, battlestations, scan), and 1 tech, 2 weapon, and 2 crew upgrade slots. Her named ability is that whenever she would be dealt a critical hit it is treated as a normal hit instead. Her maneuver dial is pretty maneuverable, with 1-4 straights (1-2 green), banks at 1-3 (1 green), turns at 2-3, and a red comeabout 3. The generic loses 1 shield and a crew upgrade for 22 points. All in all, the Defiant is… underwhelming. For being a severely upgunned vessel in the show, she is not so here. She kept the evasion she presented in the show, and her ability makes thematic sense and is pretty useful, but I wanted more attack- give me 4! She could tear through ships in the show that give her trouble in the game. I think they wanted to not make her too powerful since she can equip a cloaking device, but I feel like they didn’t do her a service. The Defiant was a beast in the show, and not so much here. She is just too weak to take the hits that she had in the show. I think that upgrades could have helped with that, but they didn’t take them into account. Anyways, more on that later! I do like her maneuverable her dial is, and the options you have for upgrades, but all in all, as much as I love the Defiant, she has not been a staple in my fleet even though I desperately want her to be one.
There are 2 captains besides the generic in this expansion. Benjamin Sisko costs 4 points, has an elite talent slot, and has 6 skill and once per round you can reroll a single attack or defense die. Are you underwhelmed? I certainly am. The best combat Captain in Starfleet and that is what you come up with? A main character captain and he has a skill value of 6???? Everyone else (besides Archer, and we don’t really count him) has an 8, and he has a 6. Also, his ability is not that great. Sure, a reroll is nice, but you don’t know what you are going to get. If it was change a die to a facing of your choice, that would be amazing. But this? Not so much. Unfortunately, Sisko stays in the box, as unloved as the Defiant, even though I love him in the show.
Kira is the other captain. She is a Barjoran Upgrade that costs 2 points for a 3 skill captain, doesn’t pay a faction penalty to be assigned to a Federation ship, and if a crew upgrade would be the target of an enemy ability, you roll 2 dice and ignore the ability if you roll an evade token. The ability is great if you have a crew heavy ship and are playing someone (like the Borg) who try to steal/mess with your crew, but her low skill value means you probably wouldn’t put her in charge of a crew-heavy ship anyways, so unfortunately she stays in the box with the other Bajoran upgrades and ships. She is not worth the cost to use.
There are 3 crew upgrades in this expansion. Miles O’Brien costs 5 points and for an action you can disable him to repair 2 shields but you cannot attack this round. I like O’Brien. Put him on a secondary ship like the Defiant that is great for hit and run attacks and watch the healing occur as you fly by, attack, and turn around while healing any damage your shields took. He is not a perfect fit for every fleet or anything, but he is a good healer. I just wished he did something for your hull too. The man practically rebuilt DS9 and the Defiant multiple times- I think he knows how to fix a hull.
Jadzia Dax costs 4 points and is an action/disable to perform an additional 2 straight or bank maneuver this round but you cannot attack. Again, another underwhelming card. She would be really useful if you could attack, but all this card does is let you either set up for a future turn or hope that you can get out of a firing arc. This ship was all about attacking and combat! Why does she make it so you cannot attack? It doesn’t make sense. Unfortunately, Jadzia is also someone I rarely use.
Worf is the final crew upgrade. Costing 3 points, for an action you target a ship at range 1 and it rolls 2 less attack dice this round. A semi-useful ability, making someone roll 1 less die (when you count the +1 from range 1) is useful, but there are better actions out there. Again, I question his card design- Worf was a commander on DS9 and led the Defiant on many missions. I just feel that he is also underwhelming, though we have other versions of him, and wanted him to be more like he was on the show. He led the crew, he manned tactical, and he was a combat leader, not this arbitrary “you roll less dice” kind of guy. His ability is semi-useful, but he just doesn’t feel up to par with the role he played on the show.
There are two elite talents in this expansion. Attack Pattern Delta is a 3 point disable to reroll your entire defensive die roll. However, you must keep the results of your second roll. This is an ok upgrade. The biggest problem is that most ships only roll 1 defense die anyways, so it isn’t great. If you have a ship that rolls multiple defense dice, unless you blank, you are going to want to pick and choose what dice you reroll anyways. If you could pick, that would be great, or if you could pick the side, also great, but this talent is meh. It is a 3 point disable, so that is nice, but there are much better talents out there.
Attack Pattern Omega is a 3 point discard- if you critically hit an opponent, you can discard it to search for a warp core breach damage card. This is a MUCH nicer elite talent option. Giving someone a warp core breach messes them up in all sorts of ways, and if you can drop this at the right time you are really in business. I love this talent, and the cost is just right. I at least consider Attack Pattern Omega with all my fleets, and it is usually seen on a secondary ship of mine to use on my opponents battleship. This talent has a lot of options, and is cheap and super useful to use.
There are two weapon upgrades and one tech upgrade in this expansion. There are two torpedo options- quantum torpedoes and photon torpedoes. We’ll just skip those- nothing new here, and now really worth using. Quantum are better, but they cost 6 points. The tech upgrade is Cloaking Device. It costs 4 points (+5 if not assigned to the Defiant) and is a disable to use the sensor echo/cloak action. Cloaking is great, and gives the Defiant an impressive 6 defense dice, so Attack Pattern Delta isn’t too bad here, and cloaking is great. If you are going to use the Defiant, I always bring along the cloak. It is super handy and it is always great to give the Federation the option to cloak. This makes the ship better, but it does make the ship cost 28 points instead of 24. I always run the Defiant with the cloak, however, and cloaking is great.
Overall, this is a very, VERY underwhelming expansion. Let me go into some detail as to why I think that is, and what I think they could do better.
Firstly, they DON’T EVEN INCLUDE ALL THE MAIN CHARACTERS FROM THE SHOW! The Enterprise (NX, Original, B, and E) and Voyager are the flagships for their respective shows/movies, and they have all the main character crew included on them. However, at a minimum we are missing Dr. Bashir if not also Nog and/or Garak, both key players in the show. This is my first disappointment.
Secondly, the Defiant had a LOT of experimental tech on it. Part of the reason it was so formidable was because of this tech. There was ablative armor, which helped keep the ship alive. While I understand this is represented in the named ability, I think it was better- Ablative Armor worked as additional armor after the shields fell to keep your ship safe. I think it would have been better as a tech upgrade. Secondly, the ship had Pulse Phaser Cannons. These were short-ranged, heavy damage phasers that were the other reason the Defiant was so deadly. They almost doubled the power of traditional phasers. While having a 6 (or even 8) attack primary weapon value would be insane, adding a tech upgrade that contained these phasers would be great. Or adding them as a weapon INSTEAD of two sets of torpedoes. Lose the photons, gain pulse phasers. Make it a range 1 5 attack disable weapon and you are set to go.
Finally, they took the crew of the ship and ruined them. Exhibit A- Sisko. While Picard, Kirk, and Janeway all have 8 skill or higher captains, Sisko is a 6. That’s not right. He was the best battle commander in the Federation, and not only led various fleets of the Federation in combat, he was also the personal assistant to Admiral Ross, who was in charge of the fleet. I just feel that they underserved him greatly with both his skill value and ability, especially when compared with the other captains from the show. While Archer is also cheaper, he was the first Starfleet captain out IN space and it makes more sense to have him be a little… unprepared since no one had done it before.
If you can’t tell, I am extremely disappointed in this expansion. They took one of the most amazing ships in Star Trek and ruined it. There is a good talent, and O’Brien is useful, and that is about it. I understand that the Defiant is a smaller vessel vs. a Galaxy or Intrepid class, but they could have made it a higher point value anyways. It held off and defeated a refit-Excelsior class, defeated countless Jem’Hadar, Cardassian, and Klingon vessels, and only was destroyed by the Breen when they used their secret weapon on it. I just feel that they didn’t do justice to the ship or DS9. I also feel like they didn’t do justice to DS9 in Fleet Captains either, with the Defiant being underwhelming there and NOT EVEN HAVING A SISKO COMMAND DECK! Everyone else (minus Archer, who didn’t fit the time frame) gets a command deck.
Anyways, the Defiant is great to pick up if you are a collector, but unfortunately doesn’t make much of a splash in Attack Wing, even though it should.
CURSE YOU WIZKIDS!!!!!
And yes, I did get a little emotion here. I feel betrayed that they messed up the Defiant in both Attack Wing and Fleet Captains. I think it’s the cloaking device- they just don’t know how to handle it on a Federation ship.
Check out my other reviews at Reviews by Mil05006
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As I’ve said before, I find your ship reviews very informative. I know he wouldn’t have been available when you wrote this, but I suspect the Sisko from the Robinson might be closer to your expectations - 8 skill for 5 points with a fighty ability:
“Each time your ship suffers 1 or more damage to its Hull, you may roll 1 attack die. A [HIT] or [CRITICAL] result damages the attacking ship as normal. If the result is a [BATTLESTATIONS] result, place a [BATTLESTATIONS] Token beside your ship. If you choose to roll this die, place an Auxiliary Power Token beside your ship.”
I don’t have this ship but do have the mirror version. Seems that that with the Sisko from the Robinson in charge might be a good substitute!
- Last edited Fri Jan 4, 2019 5:07 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Fri Jan 4, 2019 5:00 pm