Star Trek Attack Wing: The First Transmission
Das Regelbuch von Star Trek Attack Wing wurde überarbeitet und bei WizKids gibt’s einen Einblick in die Design-Entscheidungen hinter diesen Änderungen.
Greetings Star Trek: Attack Wing players!
Welcome to the first transmission for the updated Star Trek: Attack Wing rulebook! As many of you know, we released a new and improved rulebook on 9/14 that updated, clarified, and/or added many rules to Star Trek: Attack Wing. We undertook this effort many moons ago and spent vast amounts of time testing with a plethora of people to arrive where we did. During this time, we watched forums; and talked with players, retailers, and judges to develop a set of common goals. These are some of those goals:
- Grow diversity among fleets in a balanced way. This includes quantity of ships in fleets as well as variety of game elements being used.
- Streamline and standardize card design.
- Compile all core rules in a common place.
- Help give structure to timing and how certain cards interact with each other.
Some of the solutions we came up with as a result of working towards these goals include:
- Re-costing cards to incentivize people to use both small and big ships with a variety of Upgrades, Captains, Admirals, etc.
- Instituting the Rule of 3 and reworking Cloaking.
- Restructuring how we format cards.
- Restructuring the Initiative rules so they’re fair for all Factions.
- Clarifying timing, combat vs. non-combat effects.
- Restructuring Factions so that smaller Factions such as Kazon, Ferengi, Bajoran, etc. are better represented.
- Balancing Shuttlecrafts and Attack Squadrons.
- Adding universal rules for Admirals, Time tokens, Resources, Shuttlecrafts, Attack Squadrons, etc. that previously appeared on Additional Rules cards into the rulebook.
We feel that we have largely accomplished many of these goals in a sleek, elegant manner and look forward to furthering the health of the game by taking a deep dive into the rules forum, FAQ, and tournament rules. For now, we’re going to be releasing a series of several articles, with no set quantity or timing, detailing the significant changes to the rulebook and some of their more nuanced implications. We want to take this opportunity to thank all of you, our dedicated players, by providing some additional clarity in an effort to provide you all with the best Star Trek: Attack Wing experience possible.
Today, we are going to talk about Initiative, a distinction used to resolve timing conflicts as well as more general Timing and Combat vs. Non-Combat Effects.
Initiative is a rule all Star Trek: Attack Wing players should be familiar with as a way to resolve the order in which ships with Captains of equal Skill interact based on the ship’s Faction.
Now, instead of always needing to remember the Faction order when your Captain’s Captain Skill matches an opponent’s, players can just look to see who has the Initiative Token.
If not using the Squad Building Rules, a random player gets assigned the Initiative Token at the start of the game.
If using Squad Building Rules, the player with the lowest squadron point total starts with the Initiative Token. If there are two or more players tied for the lowest squadron point total, determine which of those players starts the game with the Initiative Token randomly.
To randomly determine which player starts with the Initiative Token, one player rolls five attack dice and the other rolls five defense dice. Whichever player rolls more Battle Stations results starts the game with the Initiative Token.
Unlike in the past, the player with Initiative does not stay the same for the duration of the game. This adds an additional layer of tactics to a match, as players must balance out when to strike and when to play defensively.
During each End Phase, the player with the Initiative Token passes it to the player to their left.
In a multiplayer game, if there is a timing conflict between two opposing players and neither of them have the Initiative Token, then the player sitting closest to the left of the player with the Initiative Token is considered to have Initiative.
For example, if Player 1 holds the Initiative Token and there is a timing conflict between Player 2 (to Player 1’s left) and Player 3 (to Player 1’s right), then Player 2 is considered to have Initiative.
Let’s now take a look at how the new Initiative system affects gameplay in a few circumstances.
Initiative now has an impact on the Planning Phase. Previously, players could place their Maneuver Dials during the Planning Phase at any time and in any order. Additionally, they could pick up their Maneuver Dials after placing them. This caused issues where players would place their dial, an effect would resolve, and then they would pick up their dial and change their maneuver to best avoid the effect that was resolved. I’m looking at you Cloaked Mines!
Now, players must place their Maneuver Dials in order of ascending Captain Skill. As usual, Initiative comes into play when two or more ships have an equal Captain Skill. In this case, the player whose ship is tied for Captain Skill with an opposing ship places their Maneuver Dial last out of all tied ships. Furthermore, if a player has two ships with the same Captain Skill, they can choose the order in which they place Maneuver Dials for those tied ships. The big implication here is that once a dial is placed, it cannot be picked up and altered unless by an external game effect. This will provide players a structured mechanism on how to resolve the Planning Phase and help remove unnecessary time waste from flip flopping between activating effects and changing dials in response to those effects.
The Activation Phase
Let’s look at how the new Initiative affects the Activation Phase next.
During the Activation Phase, when ships of equal Captain Skill are activated, the ship whose player has Initiative activates last.
For example. one player controls the Scimitar with Shinzon as its Captain. The other player controls the U.S.S. Enterprise-D with Jean-Luc Picard as its Captain. The Scimitar is a Romulan ship and the U.S.S. Enterprise-D is a Federation ship. Both Captains have a Captain Skill of 9.
Previously, the U.S.S. Enterprise-D would have Initiative every game round because it is a Federation ship and its Initiative order is higher than the Scimitar, a Romulan ship. This means the U.S.S. Enterprise-D will always activate last, allowing it to choose the best action for the situation at hand.
Now, Initiative switches every game round. This means that if the player controlling the Scimitar has the Initiative Token, the Scimitar will have Initiative and activate last during the Activation Phase. As a result, the Scimitar will be able to choose the most favorable action for it to take 50% of the time.
The Combat Phase
The Initiative change also has a big impact during the Combat Phase.
Initiative also applies during the Combat Phase; the ship whose player has Initiative resolves its combat steps before an opponent’s ship of the same Captain Skill.
If a single player owns multiple ships of the same Captain Skill, they may activate those ships and resolve their attacks in the order of their choosing.
Similar to how Initiative impacts the Activation Phase, it also balances out the order in which ships are allowed to attack. No longer will a Federation ship always be able to attack before a Mirror Universe ship with a Captain of equal Captain Skill. Now, the Mirror Universe ship will get to attack first half the time allowing for some tactical flexibility and balance.
Other Timing with Initiative
Lastly, while playing Star Trek: Attack Wing you will find many cards activate at the same time, like at the start of the Combat Phase. The Initiative Token will help players with the order in which these cards are activated and resolved.
Initiative comes into play at any point where two or more players want to activate or resolve anything at the same time. Unless otherwise specified, the player with the Initiative must resolve all their desired abilities, effects, etc. before their opponent resolves any. Anything that is reactionary, such as an attack-canceling effect, may supersede this rule.
With the Initiative Token moving from player to player, it will allow players to strategically plan when to engage and activate their abilities throughout the game. Make sure you plan correctly, if you don’t, the fleeting opportunity may be wasted and your opponent may not make the same mistake!
The newly added timing rules are succinct and, in conjunction with the Initiative rules, help players resolve any potential timing conflicts that may arise.
Unless otherwise specified, effects, abilities, etc. that specify a phase, step, or time to activate in can only activate at the beginning of the specified phase, step, or time.
Effects, abilities, etc. that can be activated at any time can only activate between phases or at the start of a phase, step, or time when any other effect could be activated.
Simply put, this gives a structured way to resolve abilities and provides clarity on when abilities can be activated that are otherwise ambiguous as to when they activate.
Combat vs. Non-Combat
Combat vs. Non-Combat is a new rules sections in the updated Star Trek: Attack Wing rulebook that helps us differentiate between effects that are combat oriented and non-combat oriented. This section also allows us to separate effects that may have interacted before that just didn’t quite make sense.
Combat Effects come in three types:
- Any effect that occurs within the Combat Phase. For example, an effect that would activate during the Modify Attack Dice step.
- Any effect that would cause an attack to be made outside of the normal Combat Phase or damage to be dealt. For example, an Action that would allow for an attack to be made during the Activation Phase.
- Any effect that would affect the attack dice or defense dice being rolled during an attack. This includes anything that would add, subtract, replace, modify, re-roll, or otherwise affect the dice. For example, the cloak Action provides a Cloak Token which replaces the ship’s Agility Value with its Agility Value plus four. Since this affects the Agility Value (which affects the amount of defense dice being rolled), this is considered a Combat Effect.
NOTE: If an ability allows a ship to make an attack outside of the normal Combat Phase, carry out the normal combat steps of the Combat Phase for that attack. For the purposes of all rules, the attack counts as being in the Combat Phase and going through each of the combat steps. This means that effects, such as those granted by a Cloak Token, would be in effect.
Non-Combat Effects include any effect that does not fit into one of the above categories. For example, an Action that would allow a ship to repair a shield or discard a Crew Upgrade from an opposing ship.
Combat Effects do not affect Non-Combat Effects and vice versa. For example, a Combat Effect that would disallow a ship from rolling defense dice would not prevent that ship from activating a Non-Combat Effect that would require that ship to roll defense dice.
Let’s take a look at two specifics examples that this affects.
Admiral Worf vs. Cloaking
Admiral Worf says the following:
FLEET ACTION: Target a friendly ship at Range 1-2 with a Hull Value of 3 or less. The target ship immediately makes one free attack with its Primary Weapon against an enemy ship in its forward firing arc. Place an Auxiliary Power Token beside the target ship.
Previously, Cloaking only worked during combat and Admiral Worf’s Fleet Action did not count as combat. Now, since Cloaking modifies Defense Dice being rolled and Admiral Worf triggers an attack, these both count as Combat Effects and therefore interact now. This means that a Cloaked ship would get the benefit of being cloaked against an attack made because of Admiral Worf’s ability.
Admiral Gul Madred vs. Nanclus
Admiral Gul Madred says the following:
FLEET ACTION: Target a ship at Range 1-3. If the Captain on the target ship has a Skill number of 6 or less, discard that ship’s Captain and Gul Madred. If the Captain on the target ship has a Skill number of 7 or higher, that Captain rolls 2 defense dice. If at least 1 Battle Stations is rolled, do not discard that ship’s Captain or Gul Madred.
ACTION: Discard this card to target an opposing ship at Range 1-3. The target ship gains +1 attack die this round, but cannot roll defense dice this round.
Previously, the interaction between these cards was ambiguous at best. Gul Madred specifies the target Captain rolls 2 defense dice, Nanclus specifies the target ship cannot roll defense dice. The intent behind Nanclus is obviously to affect combat, the dice rolls by Gul Madred’s ability are obviously not related to combat. Fear not, under the Combat vs. Non-Combat rules we can clearly delineate that Nanclus is a Combat Effect because he affects dice being rolled during combat, whereas Gul Madred is a Non-Combat Effect because his effect doesn’t fall under any of the three categories required to be a Combat Effect. Therefore, Nanclus’ effect does not interact with Gul Madred’s effect.
Look at the time! I need to head down to engineering for some scheduled maintenance! We’ll be in contact again soon, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for upcoming transmissions about Star Trek: Attack Wing! We look forward to seeing how each of you explore new strategies with this simple, yet tactical update to the Initiative system for Star Trek: Attack Wing!