– Review and photos by Scott Rubin
Following up our reviews of recent Star Trek Attack Wing releases (Wave 4 Card Packs HERE and the Kelvin Timeline Mirror Universe Faction Pack HERE), today we’ve got your look at the final new product for the year, and it’s a really interesting one. Since the beginning, the Independents faction of the game has been a real melting pot of races and technology from across all of Trek, enabling players to mix and match everything from Khan to aliens from the Delta Quadrant and beyond. Now with the A Motley Fleet Independents Faction Pack you’ll have new ships, captains, and upgrades to use with your fleets, along with a ton of new options for your existing game pieces! Let’s dive right in.
All of the Faction Packs have come in the same packages, and the Motley Fleet is no different. Based on designs used since Star Trek Attack Wing first debuted, the set arrives in a big, flat box with a blue star field background, familiar Trek fonts and logos, the iconic Enterprise-D logo, etc. On the front is a window so you can see the included ships, four in these sets. There’s also the faction symbol (Independents) on the front to tie in visually with the icon on the cards. The back panel has a list of the pack’s contents, a brief description of the vessels, and an upsell for the Federation vs. Klingon Starter Set.
Tear off the plastic wrap and unfold the box, and you’ll find all of those components in a big plastic tray: four ships, a stack of cards, small bags with the base parts and dial centers, and two cardboard sheets containing all of the tokens the “fleet” requires. Similar to the previously reviewed Kelvin Timeline pack, this set differs from previous Faction Packs in that it really represents multiple races/governments within Star Trek. Breaking it down you’ve got an Andorian Battle Cruiser, Dauntless class Species 116 Starship, Vidiian Battle Cruiser, and Maquis Raider. Each one comes with named and generic version options, a captain, and multiple upgrades. Plus, the Motley Fleet comes with some pretty generic Independents upgrades as well as two new Missions to play. The punch-out sheets have the ship tiles, captain icons, maneuver dials, shield tokens, and unique tokens that match upgrades with special abilities for ease in tracking what’s happening in the game. As always all of the game materials look great from the colorful tokens to the sturdy cards featuring screenshots from the Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise.
The four ships in the Motley Fleet pack have appeared in Star Trek Attack Wing before, though with different colors. In some cases, the change is relatively minor, and in some cases it’s pretty drastic and cool. Going through them individually, we’ll start with the smallest. The Andorian Battle Cruiser is a little, delicate thing but it’s a ship with a lot of character. Seen in Enterprise, this vessel has an aggressive profile with a cigar-shaped forward section and back-set “wings” with ominous-looking pods; at the rear of the ship are the warp nacelles stacked one on top of the other. The previous version, the Kumari expansion in Wave 22, had a light silver paint job with bronze accents while this new one is a much darker metallic color that suits its profile as a warship. Next up is the Maquis Raider, another small model and a ship that appeared most prominently in Deep Space Nine. Utilized by the Bajoran splinter group to harry and attack the Cardassians, the Raiders were small but fast and powerful. The model is probably my favorite from this set as it’s just covered in really great textures and detail. It’s nearly flat with a squarish rear compartment, triangular forward bridge section, downward angled wings, and a large rear drive unit. The previous Maquis Raiders in Attack Wing (Wave 8’s Val Jean and the Gavroche from the Collective blind booster tournament series) were a flat gray with some fairly haphazard paint apps in orange, blue, yellow, and black, but the Guingouin here looks awesome in dark metallic gray with strategically placed blue, gold, and red details.
The bizarre U.S.S. Dauntless met by Voyager in the Delta Quadrant turned out to be a creation of Species 116, but it still looks like something Starfleet might have produced. The ship has a long and pointed forward hull giving way to a narrow rear section and underslung warp nacelles. This ship was available first as an expansion in Wave 16, where it appeared in dark gray with eye-watering yellow escape pod details plus red impulse engines and blue on the nacelles. The Motley Fleet version is quite nice with an understated metallic silver hull dotted with black and white escape pods/windows plus darker hues of the red and blue in their appropriate spots. Last, and by far the biggest, is the unique Vidiian Battle Cruiser, also from Voyager. Sent out into space to source organs and biological and genetic material for its Phage-afflicted people, these huge ships are distinguished by their central main hull and two massive “wings” that connect at the fore and aft to make a circular shape. It’s really distinctive from any view thanks to the connections being at different elevations, pointed protrusions at the rear of the vessel, etc. The Battle Cruiser model has a great, highly detailed sculpt, and this new version looks great with a metallic orange paint job (especially in comparison with the cartoony mauve with multi-color panels on the previous version – the Wave 10 Fina Prime).
Build up your Andorian fleet with the standard version for only 16 points, or upgrade to the named Telev’s Battle Cruiser for 21 points with one additional shield, one more Weapon upgrade slot, and a super cool support power that buffs nearby allies in defending. That spirit of assistance extends to Telev himself, a 5 skill captain who shares Evade and Battle Stations with friends! In the upgrade department there’s the Andorian Imperial Guard Elite Talent that increases the efficacy of Independents Weapons upgrades, Crew member Tarah who can be removed from play to discard an enemy or admiral at point-blank range, and the powerful Enhanced Shield Emitters Tech upgrade that increases its ship’s shields +2, reactivates two disabled shields in the Combat phase, and repairs a shield in the End phase. A ship so-equipped is going to be very tough to put down.
The new generic version of the Dauntless class Species 116 Starship is 20 points just like the previous one, while the named U.S.S. Dauntless variant is 23 (three points cheaper than the old expansion one) for one more shield, one more Tech slot, and the unique ability to equip a Crew upgrade as its captain with its printed SP +3 skill! Captain Arturis too returns, one point cheaper than his predecessor (4) with skill 6; at Setup you can choose a captain of 4 SPs or less and copy its ability. The Dauntless-only Tech upgrade Particle Synthesis is quite different from its previous version. This one is 4 points, letting you roll one defense die BEFORE an enemy rolls attack dice against you – if the result is a blank the attacker must choose a different target (if no other targets are available the attack is cancelled and Particle Synthesis discarded).
The Phage-ridden Vidiians have the same generic Battle Cruiser for 21 points, and the new named version Harvester Prime is 23 (versus previous Fina Prime at 26) with one more shield, another Crew slot, and a tough-choice shield tradeoff ability that strips yours and an enemy’s. An inexpensive Vidiian Captain is 4 skill and during the Planning phase can disable a Crew upgrade on a point-blank enemy vessel. The captain can also equip an Elite Talent, like this set’s Vidiian Sodality that gives its ship a token every time it disables or discards an enemy Crew upgrade. Then you can remove those tokens to prevent your own Crew or captain from being discarded! Speaking of which, Crew member Motura can be discarded to discard a Crew upgrade on an enemy ship AND perform a 3 or less speed maneuver for the tradeoff of not attacking that round. Lastly, there’s the Hypothermic Charge Weapon upgrade, which also appeared in the previous Vidiian expansion. Here you can see the point recalculations and new iconography/terminology in effect. For the same mechanics it costs one point less, and the text is much more concise and easier to understand. It’s a 3 dice attack option that ignores the target’s Shields, and if the defender has no active shields you can re-roll any of the attack dice.
Just like with the others, the generic Maquis Starship is the same cost as its predecessor (13 points) while the named Guingouin vessel is 18 points (cheaper than the older Val Jean and Gavroche’s 22) with one more shield, a Tech upgrade slot lacking on the generic, and two special abilities; it can equip the Intertial Compensators upgrade (see below) for free without taking up a slot and it applies an Auxiliary Power Token to every ship it hits! That in and of itself is extremely powerful and worth building around. Here to take command is fan-favorite Thomas Riker, a 6 skill Independents captain who can be equipped to a Federation ship without faction penalty and who gives his vessel a free 2 speed maneuver during the End phase. Combine that with the Maquis Tactics Elite Talent upgrade giving a free 1 speed maneuver after attacking and you’ve got an incredibly fast and agile Raider. Crew upgrade Teero Anaydis is all about hindering enemy Crew; in the Planning phase he puts one Time token on one and in the End phase he can add a second Time token and neither are removed. Also on hand is Michael Jonas who locks down a nearby enemy vessel in the Planning phase, preventing it from performing a maneuver with speed more than 2 for that round. A Class 4 Cloaking Device Tech upgrade gives you the Cloak action for free with an additional free Sensor Echo to get out of a tough spot, and Intertial Compensators lets a ship flip 180 degrees after performing a bank or turn of 2 speed or more in exchange for an Auxiliary Power token.
While the image on it shows what appears to be a Maquis Raider, the Independents faction Enhanced Phasers Weapon upgrade (two in this Pack) is pretty generic, usable on any ship of 2 or less Primary Attack Value. It lets a vessel fire its Primary a second time for free at a different target every time it fires! Also appearing in duplicate is the “?” upgrade Repurposed Cargo Hold. Counting as either a Crew, Tech, or Weapon upgrade it lets you add an additional Tech or Weapon slot to its ship’s Upgrade Bar for even more customizability.
Like the other Faction Packs, the Motley Fleet comes with two different missions for even more ways to play. Maquis Tactics is a training mission played by two forces of 80 SP or less with ships of 3 Hull or less. Both sides get to employ the “Maquis Tactics” upgrade on all their ships, and maneuverability is at a premium as they fight among Objective Tokens that completely obstruct attacks. In Tensions Rise four players duke it out around four planets in a crowded battlefield. Victory Points are awarded for kills, but in the Planning phase players respawn destroyed ships and keep going until 10 rounds have been played!
So there you have it, a very interesting Faction Pack that really broadens the horizon of Independents players with four ships from four different races and a plethora of captains and upgrades that you can mix and match on a multitude of vessels. Obviously if you run Independents fleets this set is going to be perfect for you, even more so if you’re a fan of the specific races seen here. Of course, you can run most of the cards here with other factions (you just have to pay the faction penalty) so there are even more tactics and combos you can discover beyond the Independents if that’s not where your interests lie. This faction pack is available now wherever you buy Star Trek Attack Wing, MSRP $30.
New to Star Trek Attack Wing and want more information? Head over to WizKids.com for the lowdown!
Review and photos by Scott Rubin
Review sample courtesy of WizKids Games
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