Sunday, November 15, 2015

Star Trek Attack Wing: The Doomsday Machine

The original Star Trek episode "The Doomsday Machine" has always been one of my favourites of that show for some reason, and I have been looking for a Doomsday Device booster for Attack Wing.

As of this date, they still have not done it, though we're getting bizarre stuff like Quark's ship for sale.

Who doesn't like this episode? It's great.

The episode trailer sums up a great episode:

Anyways, not to be daunted, I ordered a Doomsday Machine mini from the folks who did Star Fleet Battles and painted it. Someone from Boardgamegeek did the stats.

I was not sure how game balanced the stats above were as they were done by an amateur, but I decided anyway I wanted to do a Doomsday Machine battle.

Since I was using a custom card, I trotted out my own custom cards. Thirty years ago, my friend Jim, myself and others played FASA's Star Trek: The Role Playing Game. Jim's character was the Captain, I was the helmsman (Will Stryker, named 4 years before ST:NG's Will Riker by the way) and my friend Craig was the weapon's officer Hans Steiner. I thus recreated their RPG stats into Attack Wing Stats, as well as stats for our refit Constitution class (or Enterprise-class as we FASA players called it), the U.S.S. Excellence. I just ported official stats from similar cards, and changed the name and picture in order to ensure it was costed correctly.

Here are their 30 + year old FASA ST:RPG stats. 

As I said, we were die-hard Star Trek RPGers in those days, and we actually played the RPG scenario from FASA called "A Doomsday Like Any Other." I am not sure, but I think it was in the fall of 1985, exactly 30 years ago. I was the GM for that mission and it was our groups first ever competitive session, with three different factions.

But I digress.

It was great that after 30 years,  our old FASA Star Trek characters make one last appearance, much like Han Solo will do in the upcoming Star Wars movie next month. I really loved those FASA years playing in that gameverse and those FASA characters who are still dear to me even though these people are fictional.

For some reason, the person who made the above Doomsday Machine card did not cost it, so I eye-balled the stats, and set up a 23rd Century scenario for me and my friend Jim to play.. a Doomsday Machine vs an refit-Constitution class the U.S.S. Excellence, a Tholian vessel and a Romulan Bird of Prey..

The Doomsday Machine needs to destroy all 3 ships or the moon and planet in the scenario. To destroy the moon and planet, they would have to take 2 and 4 actions on the moon and planet respectively, within a range of 1 in its front arc. Every action taken, I would put a token down. Thus, if I hover on the planet for 4 turns, I would place 4 tokens and thus consume the planet, as in the episode.

Jim, leading an inter-planetary team of Romulans, Feds and Tholians, has to defend the planet.

I had serious misgivings about this being balanced against Jim. I mean, you could only damage the Doomsday machine with a frontal attack, and it has to be a critical hit. Meanwhile, I'm firing with 9 attack dice.

We decided to just go with it, and see what happens.

I as the Doomsday Machine was on one side, and Jim was set up near the planet. An asteroid field lay between us. 

 Jim had 3 ships and crews to manage, but I was sure he was up to the task.

The Tholians were exotic and only appeared once in TOS and I think once in the Enterprise show with Scott Bakula.

I chose them as I was intrigued with the game mechanics of their famous energy web.

Tholia One

Romulan Bird of Prey, old school.

I started right down the middle to make it look I was going straight for the planet. 

 I then swerved left to try and screw Jim up hoping he'd dip a toe into the asteroid field

 but he countered to face me on the left with all 3 ships.

The Romulan and I engaged at point blank, causing just 2 damage and 1 critical to him, even though I had 9 attack dice. I just blew down his shields a bit.

Meanwhile, Jim was building a Tholian web on the outskirts of the asteroid field with the Excellence closing in to hem me in.

 I had no choice to but to veer to the right and plunge into the asteroid field.

Jim doggedly chased me, doing an Immelman turn on his Bird of Prey

 I burst through the asteroid field, and surprisingly take 1 critical hit damage.

 Jim's Excellence and I are in each others arcs, but we both do minimal damage.

We then move past each other's arcs, and Jim piles up his Excellence and Bird of Prey. It got congested in the asteroid field, no doubt.

I then do a surprise move and do 1 reverse back to see if I can catch Jim in my front arc, but not in his. He had the same thought.

We exchange some shots, but Jim quickly tries to outflank me on my left as he has the Romulan right behind me to soften me up.

The Romulan is right in front of me and I let him have it, destroying him, with Jim's Excellence immediately on my left.

I go forward and try to do a tight right turn but wind up having my base scrape the damn Tholian Web anyway.. I didn't realize it, but all the webs on the board, not just the ones I run into, affect damage.

I get in front of the moon, and lay down my 1 of 2 activation hits. One more hit, and the moon would be consumed.
But I got interruped as Jim's Tholian wheels on my right, and we are both in each other's arc.

I destroy the Tholian but the Moon is in my way as I see Jim's Excellence wheel behind the moon. 

I'm forced to delay my moon destruction and try and maneuver to get a clear shot at Jim. 

 We do the dance, wheeling in front of each other...

 I've taken 6 critical hits with only 3 left before I'm destroyed. The game has come down to me destroying Jim in one massive volley before he can eke out 3 more critical hits on me.

We both fire in front of each other's front arc...

But it was not to be.. I've managed to destroy Jim first.

A good "computer simulation" for the good crew of the U.S.S. Excellence.

It was closer than I thought. As I said, I was concerned about game balance, and I think if Jim had one more ship, even a small scout, it would make all the difference.

We then closed off the night with 3 rounds of the light dice game Star Trek: Five Year Mission by Mayfair Games (the guys who did DC:Heroes RPG 30 years ago).

It's basically a dice allocation game with the Star Trek Theme ported on.

 A fun light game and more interesting than I thought.

 We played both TOS and TNG.

Anyways, we had an all Star Trek gaming session tonight and it was enjoyable. I liked both games and hope to do both again.

Thumbs up.


  1. An enjoyable romp into an old favourite gameverse. Both games are definitely on the replay list.