– Review and photos by Scott Rubin
Last week we started a series of new Star Trek Attack Wing previews with a look at the Wave 4 Card Packs (see that HERE), and today we’re back with one of two new Faction Packs. The Kelvin Timeline Mirror Universe set does all of the awesome stuff that every Faction Pack does (providing you with a fleet in a box, all updated to the latest rules and points), but with a unique twist: it’s all new and the first components in the game from the Kelvin Timeline! Created in the 2009 Star Trek film (and continuing in its two sequels), the “Kelvin Timeline” was birthed when the rebel Romulan Nero went back in time and destroyed the U.S.S. Kelvin. Along with new characterizations and differing technologies, this timeline has ships with the same names or classes but which looks quite different. And now you can play ships, captains, and upgrades straight from these movies whether you’re fielding a combined Mirror Universe fleet, or one comprised of either the Federation or Klingons. Read on and check out everything in this new pack!
As always, we’ll start with taking a look at the box itself. You’ll recognize it as the same style packaging as the previous Faction Packs, and indeed the designs established since the very beginning of the game. It’s 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 (Independent) on the front to tie in visually with the icon on the cards. The back panel has a list of the pack’s contents, an upsell for the Federation vs. Klingon Starter Set, and a neat description of the creation of the Kelvin Timeline as depicted in 2009’s Star Trek film.
Bust open the packaging and you’ll unveil a big plastic tray containing the four ships, a stack of cards, a small bag with the base parts and dial centers, and two cardboard sheets containing all of the tokens the “fleet” needs. It’s notable that while everything in this set falls under the broader “Mirror Universe” faction umbrella, there is still the distinction between the Klingon and Federation components and most (but not all) of the cards have double symbols: Mirror/Federation or Mirror/Klingon. The Federation definitely has the edge in captain options with four (one of which doubles as an Admiral) vs. Klingons’ two, while both factions have two named and two generic versions for their ships plus lots of upgrades. 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 modern films. Notably, just like the single-ship expansions these packs come with Mission cards, giving you even more fun ways to expand your Attack Wing game experience.
So how about the first Kelvin Timeline minis in Star Trek Attack Wing? As you’ve seen there are two copies each of the Federation Constitution class and the Klingon Warbird. Both are sizeable for the game’s scale, especially the Constitution which absolutely dwarfs the original version from the main timeline and is one of the largest Federation ship models, though the Warbird is nicely sized too. If you’re a fan of some of WizKids’ other games you might be familiar with these sculpts from Star Trek Tactics HeroClix where both debuted in last year’s set IV.
The Warbird resembles the classic Klingon D-7/K’t’inga with a vaguely bird-like shape, wide in the back with down-swept wings and a long neck leading to the bridge module. It differs in some ways, of course, with a thickened rear section, additional weapon protrusions, and spines along the neck. And while at first glance the Warbirds may appear a uniform metallic gray/green, there are some neat little additional paint apps like gray stripes, impulse engines, and orange on the forward torpedo launcher.
The Constitution class of the Kelvin Timeline universe is immediately recognizable as being based on the original (and some would say greatest) Enterprise of Star Trek: The Original Series. It’s comprised of a saucer section, engineering hull, and two warp nacelles, with all the interesting details like the raised bridge at the top, forward-facing deflector dish, etc. The model has a really nice sculpt with all of those elements, along with deeply lined circles on the top of the saucer, lights, weapon systems, technology on the nacelles, and more. The ships are a silvery color (hard to photograph, unfortunately), with a lot of little paint applications like red and yellow on the saucers and a vibrant blue on the deflector and nacelles.
Starting with the Federation, from the Kelvin Timeline come two Constitution class vessels which can be played as generic “Federation Starships” for 24 points each or upgraded to the unique U.S.S. Enterprise and/or U.S.S. Enterprise-A for 28 points each. Both of those named vessels add a Weapon upgrade slot and an additional shield plus a special ability; the regular Enterprise can flip over a Specialization Card equipped to it along with a face up damage card during each End Phase, while the “A” can perform an Action to flip a Specialization Card and repair one Shield. On the Klingon side are the two Warbird class ships, playable as generic “Klingon Starships” for 17 points. Spend a few more points to field them as I.K.S. Amar and/or I.K.S. Suvwl (21 points each) for an extra shield, one more Weapon upgrade slot, and an ability; the Amar can fire immediately and for free with its Primary Weapon once per game when it suffers damage while Cloaked, while the aggressive Suvwl gets +1 attack die when it’s Cloaked and not in the sights of its target (AND that target rolls -1 defense die!).
Next you need captains! The Klingons don’t have much in the way of options with only two in this set, but they’re both good. Kor is 7 skill, can equip an Elite Talent upgrade, and buffs his ship in attacking AND defending while facing a chosen enemy. Kang on the other hand is only skill 6 but can also equip an Elite Talent and gets a bonus +2 to his Captain Skill if there’s a Federation enemy in his Primary Firing Arc during the planning phase! The Klingons are the only ones to get an Elite Talent in this set, a powerful upgrade called Overwhelm that increases the attack dice and efficacy of your rolls against an enemy you already targeted with other ships this round.
When playing the Federation of the Kelvin Timeline you do have some hard choices to make when it comes to captains as this set includes four. Christopher Pike is the most skilled at 8; he also adds an additional Crew upgrade slot to his ship and can be given an action to flip up to two Specialization Cards on it. At 7 skill is James T. Kirk who sacrifices himself (by disabling in the activation phase) to remove one Time token from all Crew on his ship. Mr. Spock costs the same as Kirk but is only 6 skill, yet when attacking he can add a bonus Battle Stations result or a successful hit if his ship Scanned! Finally, Hikaru Sulu is skill 5 and has the action option to perform a 1 bank move and get an Evade token. All except for Sulu can equip an Elite Talent upgrade. For 5 points you can field Christopher Pike as an admiral, getting the same ship-based benefits and adding a +2 skill modifier.
Every good starship needs crew, and for the Klingons here that means the Klingon First Officer who can kill his own captain (discard it) in an End Phase to get a free attack and replace him or her with a skill of 4, Koth who disables a Crew upgrade on each enemy ship during Setup, the Klingon Guard you discard in the Combat Phase for an Evade token, and the Klingon Patrol that reactivates its ship’s Cloak if it’s not in the Primary Firing Arc of a nearby enemy in the End Phase. For Weapon upgrades the Klingons have Photon Torpedoes (Attack Value = its ship’s Primary Weapon Value +1) that when hitting an enemy with no active Shields or Cloak converts all Battle Stations results to Critical Hits and the 5 attack dice Disruptor Volley that deals no damage but applies an Auxiliary Power Token (and absolutely ravages weaker Attack Squadrons). Lastly in the Tech department there’s a Klingon Cloaking Device that converts a blank result into an Evade while defending and can restart its ship’s Cloak in the End Phase in exchange for three Time tokens. The set also includes a generically Mirror Universe faction Integrated Future Technology that represents the tech used by Nero in the 2009 film; it allows a ship to equip Romulan and/or Ferengi Weapon and Tech upgrades without a penalty AND mounts an additional Tech upgrade beneath it that can be revealed during a Planning Phase.
The Federation has a ton of Crew upgrades, including three of its captains repurposed (and flipped over) via the Specialization Cards feature. Crewman James T. Kirk buffs his captain +2 skill and performs a free Battle Stations action in exchange for three Time tokens in the Activation phase, Mr. Spock does the same but with a free Scan, and Hikaru Sulu can be given three Time tokens to roll three dice to try and evade damage when hitting an obstacle or minefield token! Pavel Chekov removes an Auxiliary Power Token in the Activation phase or a Scan token from a nearby ship in the Combat phase (both for three Time tokens) depending on which side of his card is showing, Nyota Uhura either increases the range of all of a ship’s upgrades by 1 for one round (three Time tokens) or discards all “Communications Failure” damage cards, Leonard McCoy can either bring along another Crew upgrade to reveal later or take time tokens instead of his ship disabling or discarding its captain, and Montgomery Scott repairs either a Shield or a Hull point for three Time tokens. In the Weapon slots on your Constitution class ships you can equip the powerful Advanced Long-Range Torpedo that rolls Primary Attack Value +1 dice and does one splash damage to all other ships within Range 1 of the target or Full Spread Phasers that adds +1 attack die when firing the Primary Weapon or lets the ship fire an additional attack from its Secondary Firing Arc at -1 dice! Finally, there’s another Mirror Universe-only Tech upgrade in this set called Portable Transwarp Beaming Device that saves a Crew on its ship that would be discarded and instead places it onto a friendly ship.
Beyond all of that this set comes with a Specialization Cards reference card for all of the new flippable elements and not one but two different missions to play. The Ancient Weapon pits two 120 SP teams against each other in a race to collect Mission Tokens and flee with them, while in A Lightning Storm in Space two fleets built with both Mirror Universe and non-Mirror Universe ships must converge on a central planet and destroy specific targets. If you’ve never played Missions before (just regular player vs. player combat) you’re missing out on a lot that Attack Wing has to offer, and these two look pretty fun.
All Attack Wing expansions are useful for both new players and current ones (offering you ships that can fly and fight right out of the box or materials you can mix and match with other expansions), but Faction Packs really offer a new experience in the game, and even beyond that this one is unique. It has the same $30 MSRP but instead of simply offering a fleet in a box with ships already in the game the Kelvin Timeline brings you all new components for two factions from an entirely new part of Star Trek!
Of course, everything here is fully compatible with existing Attack Wing ships, captains, upgrades, and more, so you can mix and match what’s new with previously released elements among the Federation, Klingon, and Mirror Universe factions. Trying out different combos will breathe new life into ships, captains, and upgrades you may not have used in a while, or you can try running pure Kelvin Timeline ships and see how that goes. This faction pack (available now wherever you buy Star Trek Attack Wing) is highly recommended for Star Trek Attack Wing players looking to venture into a whole new Trek, and is a must buy for players of Federation, Klingon, and Mirror Universe factions.
Stay tuned to Figures.com for a look at the other new Faction Pack, the Motley Fleet, later this week!
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 samples courtesy of WizKids Games
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