“Fate protects fools, small children, and ships named Enterprise.” Commander William Riker
Recently WizKids has released two Enterprises – Enterprise NX-01 and the Enterprise E. I thought it only appropriate to include both ships in the same review – the weakest and strongest of the line.
USS Enterprise E
The Sovereign Class USS Enterprise E is a battleship for Starfleet. Yeah, I know, it’s all about exploration…but let’s face it, Attack Wing is a battle game. With 5 on the primary weapon, 1 evade, 5 shields, and 5 superstructure, she’s formidable in battle. If you take the Enterprise E herself, she had the capability to fire a torpedo at enemy ships without needing a target lock – all at the cost of a lowly Auxiliary Power token. This harkens to memories of Star Trek Nemesis and is a nice capability. The Sovereign Class ships can move forward at a whopping 6, which is useful for closing engagement ranges fast.
The card deck comes with Captain/Admiral Dougherty. With this card you can disable one of your upgrades and each time you defend in that round you get +1 defense dice. It seems with the last few releases WizKids is pushing more Admiral cards, which allow you to share the capabilities of the Admiral with other ships.
One of the most awesome cards is that of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. It is much different than the one in the basic set. With Picard you get to add automatically to you upgrade bar. At the start of the game you declare a faction. Whenever his ship attacks that faction, you must roll 1 less attack die to add 1 critical hit result to your roll. Each time you defend against that faction, you get to roll +1 defense die. It’s most useful when you have fleet actions where one side is ships of one faction, but it is a killer set of weapons in your arsenal. Something tells me I will be facing Picard during a battle at GenCon next year – or using him myself.
Rounding out the cards is an intriguing mix for the crew. Beverly Crusher allows you to swap a disabled upgrade for her card. Data has some real teeth to it. Discard Data and you force an enemy to re-roll an entire attack roll. Talk about possibly reversing a bad situation! Troi’s card allows you to disable a Captain or a 1 ranked upgrade. Riker allows you to add an upgrade slot and you can discard him after a move to perform an action. Sometimes those extra actions are critical. La Forge adds a upgrade slot too. With this card you can target a ship at range 1-3, the target ship rolls two less defense dice in the round against all attacks on your ship.
The Fire at Will! (Wheaton? Naa, can’t be…) card is a nice addition. Discard it and you can fire your primary and secondary weapons with a -1 attack die – but this must be done against separate targets. Make it So allows you to discard this card rather than disable one upgrade.
The Dorsal Phaser Array allows you to use your Primary Weapon Attack value in any direction. This requires a Federation ship with a hull of four or greater. The Photon Torpedoes card has a nice twist – if fired from a Sovereign Class ship you get a +1 attack die and it can be fired in the forward and rear arcs. We are starting to see more of these specialized weapons tied to classes of ships. That can be good, but it can limit you using the card in a mixed deck. I like that it gives you some flavor for the ship/class, but it makes the card less useful if you aren’t using that ship.
The Advanced Shield card gives you an action for adding one additional shield marker. Given this is a brutal battleship for the Federation, this can make her tougher to kill. Finally there is a Quantum Torpedo card which adds a hit to your results for total damage.
I would have liked a card for “We’re through running from these bastards…” with the Riker Maneuver, but that’s just me. It was one of the few highlights of Insurrection that was fun.
I felt obligated to purchase this ship because I was one of the dozen people that actually watched the series Enterprise.
When I got this ship and her cards though, I wondered just how (or when) I would ever use this ship in a combat game. She’s not fit for battle – not for very long. Her only hope is to be the final blow against a crippled foe, or bait for luring the enemy into a trap. With an attack of 2, evasion of 3, hull of 3 and no shields – the NX Class ships are more of a target than anything else. With a low cost 16 (even for the NX-01) the Enterprise can upgrade to Advanced Hull Plating. Don’t get too excited. The card for Enhanced Hull Plating allows you to add two evasion results to your defense roll for the cost of an Auxiliary Power Token.
In the cards you get Captain Archer, who’s rated a 5, far below Picard at an 8. The series Enterprise is still not getting love. With him you can add an upgrade slot. You can disable two upgrades to gain +1 attack die and increase your skill by +1.
There’s also Admiral/Captain Forrest which allows you to perform an additional maneuver. Given the limited movement of this ship, it’s a much more appealing card than Archer’s.
The weird ringer in this is Captain J. Hayes. He can trade a hull damage for a +1 attack die…hardly worth the effort. The issue I have here is that Hayes was a major in the series, a MACO, and had nothing to do with Captaining a ship. You almost get the impression that Wizkids just didn’t even try to make it through the third season of the series.
The ship comes with Hoshi Sato. If you have a Scan Token by your ship you can disable her card to force the attacking ship to roll one less die. To be honest, that’s not much help. The Travis Mayweather card has some potential though. If you are doing a 2-3 bank maneuver you can disable the card in the activation phase to turn it to a full-blown turn. That can be just the nudge you need to put the NX-01 into a firing arc, for example. Phlox allows you to removed disabled upgrade tokens from your upgrades. T’pol allows you to add one Tech slot to your upgrade bar. If you are scanned, T’pol allows you disable the card to force the defending ship to roll -2 defense dice against your attack.
The most useful card representing the crew is Chief Engineer Charles Tucker III. If your ship is not in a forward firing arc you can repair one hull damage. If you’re taking the NX-01 into battle, this card is required in your deck given the weak statistics of the ship and her lack of shields.
Malcom Reed’s card allows you to add +2 to your attack dice if you discard his card and one of your secondary weapons upgrades. That’s akin to a desperate last measure.
Other cards you get are Photonic Torpedoes (attack of 4). These can be fired from the forward and rear arcs. Tactical Alert (Reed Alert) is nice. When attacking and defending you can discard it and spend a battle stations token to re-roll any number of your attack/defense dice. There’s an aft phase cannon (attack of 3) card too. Finally is Enhanced Hull Plating which is only really useful on the NX Class of ships. If you ship is not cloaked and has no active shields, during the defense die roll, you may add up to two evasive maneuver results to your defense roll. The cost of this is an auxiliary power token.
In looking at these ships the Enterprise-E is a great addition to the game. Good cards – tough ship. NX-01 is cannon fodder in battle. With no shields she might last a couple of rounds of fighting before it is reduced to a floating chunk of space debris. Sure she’s agile, but that only forestalls in inevitable. The Xindi have nothing to worry about with this ship and even her captain gets a marginal rating by game standards.
When you look at the ships next to each other, and compare them with the other USS Enterprise’s, you start to see a flaw in WizKid’s thinking. I’m not saying they should make the ships to scale, though that would have been intelligent. They should be at least proportional. The NX-01 is bigger than the NCC-1701 (Original Series) miniature – which is one of the worst miniatures produced in the game series. WizKids – if you’re not going to make the ship mini’s to scale, at least make them somewhat proportional. Even against the Enterprise E, the NX-01 looks big.