A couple weeks away we celebrated the awesome Star Trek Attack Wing releases coming one after the other this year (see that review HERE), and even then we weren’t done. In addition to the Federation To Boldly Go and Klingon Blood Oath sets, WizKids has bolstered some other factions with hot new reinforcements. On the traditional “good guy” side are the Vulcans with the Live Long & Prosper Faction Pack while the Gamma Quadrant side of the Dominion War conflict sees their allies bolstered with the Cardassian Union Faction Pack. These two box sets are currently available for purchase, and we’re going to do a deep dive into their contents (ships, captains, upgrades, etc.) today!
Star Trek Attack Wing is a fast, fun miniatures game capturing the essence of starship combat in that universe. Maneuvers are selected in secret at the start of each round, with vessels hurtling through the void attempting to get their enemies in their sites while avoiding obstacles and other ships. Then the blasting begins with phasers, disruptors, all manners of torpedoes, and more; all the while, captains, crew members, technology upgrades and more offer unique actions and abilities. In the first years of Attack Wing expansions were single ship packs, while more recently WizKids has switched to what are known as Faction Packs. Each one brings you four ships and all the materials you need to play them including captains and fun upgrades that are fully compatible with your existing Attack Wing expansions. Along with similar components, Faction Packs also share the same overall packaging notes with blue star field backgrounds, familiar Trek fonts and logos, the iconic Enterprise-D logo, and more. Like the Starter Sets the Faction Packs come in flat square boxes featuring a window so you can see the included ships. Each set’s faction is clearly delineated by text as well as symbol/symbols, and a subtitle gives you a clue as to its specific theme. Finally, the back of each box has a description of the relevant faction/history along with a list of the pack’s contents and an upsell for the most recent Federation vs. Klingons Starter Set.
Each Faction Pack’s contents are similar, though also unique. A plastic tray holds four ships, a stack of cards, small bags with the base parts and dial centers, and cardboard sheets containing all of the tokens the fleet needs. Both Live Long & Prosper and Cardassian Union have four unique captains (one of which can also be run as an Admiral on the Cardassian side), named and generic versions for all four ships, and a ton of cool upgrades. The cardboard items include ship tiles, captain icons, maneuver dials, shield tokens, and a slew of unique tokens to represent special abilities on the captains and upgrades. Everything is top-notch and continues the high level of quality in Attack Wing products, and there are plenty of great screenshots from classic Trek episodes decorating the cards. And as always, mission cards give you ever more ways of playing the game in fun narrative stories. Lastly, it’s worth noting that these latest Faction Packs have a new style of plastic tray holding the ships, making it easier to remove them.
As in the previous review, I want to point out the recent addition of Ambassador cards to Star Trek Attack Wing. The Vulcan Faction Pack has two of these as well as a Reference Card to explain how to use them (and more are available with the To Boldly Go and Blood Oath packs). Ambassadors are a new feature you can add to a ship with a new symbol (max one per fleet), and they do not incur Faction Penalties. Ambassadors have two abilities called “Negotiations Accepted” and “Negotiations Denied.” At the beginning of the game your Ambassador targets an opposing ship; that ship’s player must decide to accept or deny, at which point that specific effect will be triggered. Also, if the opposing player accepts the negotiation but the targeted ship destroys the vessel carrying the Ambassadors, then the Negotiations Denied effect still triggers! These cards give you a ton of narrative options and potentially entire new ways of strategizing and winning games.
Alright, let’s drill down and look at each pack starting with the Cardassian Union. As with the previously reviewed Faction Packs, this one strongly features content from Deep Space Nine (my favorite Star Trek series), and specifically the events of the Dominion War. In short, this took place when the Founders from the Gamma Quadrant invaded the Alpha Quadrant, bringing with them their Jem’Hadar ships and troops, and more. But they needed a local ally and made a strong one with the Cardassians, an already aggressive species with a grudge against the Federation and others. Now, when this pack was announced I expected it to include the usual iconic Cardassian ships, the Galor and Keldon classes, but a surprise was a Klingon Bird-of-Prey! A workhorse of the Cardassian fleet, the Galor-class in this set is the Vetar, a ship that actually appeared in the Next Generation and Voyager! The stronger and more deadly Keldon is represented with two vessels here, the Orias and Preloc; the first was named for the star system in which the Obsidian Order was building its secret military fleet and the latter after an in-universe Cardassian author. And the Bird-of-Prey? Well, its name says it all: Dukat’s Bird-of-Prey! And as with all of the other Faction Packs, this one scales the ships to the more recent point cost calculator making them efficient and fleet-build friendly.
I’ve always seen vague fish-like shapes in the Cardassian spaceships, as epitomized by the Galor and Keldon classes. On the tabletop they’re typically on the small side, though like most Attack Wing ships they’re very highly detailed. The Galor and Keldons here are uniformly a bright metallic gold, then accented with a huge amount of tiny black, white, and red details to pick out windows, deflectors, and more. It’s not necessarily more detailed than the previous, non-metallic color scheme, but it does look very good and will contrast nicely with the purples of your Jem’Hadar warships. Meanwhile, the Bird-of-Prey looks incredible as the Klingon ships always do. They’re continually my favorite faction when it comes to the actual miniatures, just loaded with sculpted details and cool color schemes (this one in a variety of green hues).
Let’s start outfitting these ships, and first off, we’ll need captains! The Cardassian Union pack has four of them starting with the big boss of the secret Obsidian Order Enabran Tain. The spy chief is skill 8, adds an Elite Talent slot, and comes with two special abilities; the first lets him join a Romulan ship without penalty and the second gives his ship a free action in return for sacrificing a Dominion Crew upgrade and timing out Tain. Enabran can also be played as a +2 Admiral with the same special abilities (the latter as a Free Fleet Action). 6 skill Gul Toran is a fantastic team player whose Action gives nearby allies +1 attack die AND +1 defense die against a chosen enemy faction. Gul Evek is the lowest skill captain of the bunch at 4; he also has a free support ability that grabs all of the Auxiliary Power tokens from adjacent allies and deposits them on his ship. Of course, I saved the best for last, my favorite and yours: Gul Dukat. This new version of the complex captain is skill 8 with TWO Elite Talent slots. Make sure his ship is loaded up with Evade and Scan tokens, because when attacking he can spend one of each to convert up to three Battle Stations results into two hits EACH! Incidentally, this captain works great with Dukat’s Bird-of-Prey that can generate a Battle Stations, Scan, or Evade token for free when the ship is cloaked in combat.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This Dominion Faction Pack comes with no fewer than 15 Upgrade cards! There are three Elite Talents (Obsidian Order, Interrogation, Supreme Tribunal) letting you do crazy things like drop Auxiliary Power tokens on your enemies or “steal” standard action tokens spent by enemies. Tora Ziyal (Dominion/Bajoran), Korinas, Gul Damar, and Gul Broca are the Crew cards, and they offer options including removing Minefields from play, buffing your Dominion fleet, and increasing your captain’s skill. The Cardassians definitely love their weapons, and upgrades like the Multiple Dorsal Arrays, Phase Disruptor Array, and Enhanced Resonance Field Grid give their ships powerful attack options with multiple attacks, re-rolls, and shield-bypassing hits. There are four Tech upgrades (Type-3 Galor Class, Sensor Ghost, Legion Crew Module, Uridium Alloy) providing increased Shield Values, a Cloak-like defense, two bonus Crew slots, and the ability to turn hits into crits. Last but not least is a “?” upgrade, something that doesn’t quite fit into the normal categories. Here it’s Kanar, the preferred alcoholic drink of the Cardassians. It can by equipped to a Dominion ship without filling an upgrade slot, and in return for two Time tokens on your captain and planning your maneuver face up lets you perform your Action before you’d reveal the dial.
The time for fun and games is over as we switch to talk about the Vulcans and their tech in the Live Long & Prosper faction pack. Here we see a really neat mixture of content from the Original Series and films, Enterprise, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager! Because of that huge cross-section there really isn’t a through line of story or a specific way to build your ships/fleet, though we will see certain themes. As for ships, we’ve got an interesting mix starting with two Vulcan-specific D’kyr-class vessels, the V’Shar (named for the Vulcan Security agency) and the Kir’Shara, the name of an ancient artifact containing the writings of Surak. The former clocks in at 25 points and can spend a Scan token during combat to ignore an enemy’s shields while the latter is one point cheaper and gets to convert up to two Battle Stations results into one hit each when attacking with a Scan token next to it. Have you noticed the main theme of the Vulcans yet? The other two ships solidify it. Starfleet has a tradition of fielding vessels crewed entirely by Vulcans (proven to be extremely efficient), and one of the first was the Constitution-class U.S.S. Intrepid referred to in the Original Series. This version is a dual Starfleet/Vulcan ship costing 20 points with a free action giving a Scan token and an Evade token to a nearby ally and itself in exchange for an Auxiliary Power token. Lastly the U.S.S. T’Kumbra was a Nebula-class appeared on Deep Space Nine, bringing its Vulcan crew to play baseball against the station’s personnel. Here it’s 22 points with dual allegiance, a discount on Vulcan captains/admirals/upgrades, and the ability to generate a bonus Scan token every time it does the Scan action!
With both Starfleet and Vulcan vessels this faction pack has a very interesting mix of models, moreso because of the big difference between the Federation ships. The D’kyr miniature has always been one of my favorites; it’s big and it’s really interesting with curving lines and the vertical, circular engine. I don’t think the paint jobs on these examples is necessarily the best we’ve seen on Attack Wing D’kyrs, being pretty much pure orange with blue on the engines while previous versions have had either washes or darker paint jobs with some alternating panels. The Constitution model in this game is one that gets a lot of negative comments for its size, though as I always say it is impossible for a game or toy line to maintain a cohesive scale for long. The Intrepid has a unique paint scheme as far as I can tell, a white hull with yellow Bussard Collectors, orange markings on the upper saucer, red stripes on the nacelles, and gray details on the bridge, saucer, and engine caps. Last but not least is the mighty Nebula-class, a big and chunky model that’s always looked great though tends to suffer from bent parts. The T’Kumbra here has a great modern paint job fitting in with other current Starfleet vessels with shiny metallic silver and lots of accent colors.
If you noticed the prevalence of Scan token shenanigans among the Live Long & Prosper ships above, wait until you see the rest of the card content! The set comes with four captains, starting with the skill 7 Solok of the T’Kumbra. As such he’s dual Vulcan/Starfleet, and his special ability lets you look at an enemy ship’s face down Maneuver Dial AND perform a Sensor Echo all for free… when you perform a Scan action. Muroc is also skill 7 though only Vulcan, and when his ship makes an attack while it has a Scan token it can convert one blank die result into a hit; if the target captain is an Independent that hit becomes a crit. Skill 6 T’Pol is Vulcan (and not Starfleet), and during the combat phase can spend Scan tokens as though they were Evade or Battle Stations. Lastly, the mysterious T’Pau is a skill 5 Vulcan captain. If her ship has a Scan token next to it in the end phase, you can swap it for an Evade token AND a Battle Stations token, and these stick around into the following turn. All four of these captains can equip an Elite Talent upgrade.
Think we’ll see more Scan token applications and uses among the Upgrades? Let’s see. First off, the set has two Elite Talents usable only by Vulcan ships; Logic Is the Beginning of Wisdom lets you throw hindrance tokens from your ship onto an enemy’s, while Live Long and Prosper is a single use gamble that if won prevents your ship and an enemy from attacking in a given round. Crew options are Voyager’s Vorik (time out to hinder an enemy shooting at his ship and gain a Scan token), Chu’Lak (place THREE Scan tokens on his ship in return for sacrificing a Crew member), and T’Paal who brings with her the Stone of Gol.
The normally calm-minded Vulcans here have only two Weapon options, a Photonic Auto-Cannon that rolls 5 attack dice and can convert all Battle Stations results into hits when fired with a Scan token and the 4 attack dice Aft Particle Beam. Tech is where the Vulcans really excel with six cards (Science Vessel Variant, Stone of Gol, Translinear Sensors, Combat Vessel Variant, Graviton Telescope, Katric Ark) that can do all sorts of crazy things including buffing Agility and Hull or Primary Weapon Value, adding a hit while the ship has a Scan token, and resurrecting lost Crew. The Stone of Gol in particular is a weird one, having you target an enemy’s Crew member then rolling dice; a crit discards it while all hits apply a Time token. Last of all are two Ambassadors, V’Lar (disable an Upgrade on each other’s ship/discard an enemy’s Crew upgrade) and Soval (give an Auxiliary Power token to whichever ship moves within Range 1 of the other/make a free attack).
These faction packs are the latest in a long (and growing) series of really fun additions to Star Trek Attack Wing. While these aren’t “starter packs” they’re a great way to dive into a faction or supplement a favorite one you’ve already been playing or collecting. In particular, the Cardassian Union pack lets you specialize your Dominion forces, which is great for those looking to mix and match with your Jem’Hadar or just play something different. Similarly, Love Long & Prosper has some dual Starfleet/Vulcan content that can bridge those two factions and gives you even more options for your fleets. I’m particularly partial to the Cardassian Union pack because of my huge love for Deep Space Nine (and Gul Dukat in particular), but your experiences will vary. Both faction packs ($30 MSRP each) are currently available, and you can order yours through your local comic book/game store.
Review and photos by Scott Rubin
Review samples courtesy of WizKids Games
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