There’s Klingons on the Starboard Bow…
If any fleet can beat the Federation in terms of popularity, we are betting on these guys. Everybody’s favourite baddies, the Klingons!
The Klingons are a pugnacious empire, and their fleet is a potent symbol of that. They have a better Initiative score than the Federation, and a special rule that seriously beefs up their shields in the forward arc. This tied with most of their weaponry being focussed up front means that you do not want to tackle these ships head on!
Unfortunately, enemy admirals will have their work cut out for them avoiding this, as even large Klingon Battlecruisers have the Agile trait and a superior Turn score.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the ships that populate the Klingon fleet list. We’ll begin with two very closely related vessels.
A very familiar shape this one, almost as iconic as the Federation’s Heavy Cruiser. The D6 is the forerunner of the more famous (and more up to date) D7 Battlecruiser, but it remains a most viable vessel.
With a Damage score of 20 and only 18 Shields (though effectively 36 up front), the D6 seems to give up a fair amount of ground to the Federation Heavy Cruiser. However, there are a number of things in its favour. First, it is only 150 points, substantially less than the Federation equivalent. Second, with a Turn score of 4 and being Agile, it will constantly be able to keep its Federation enemies off balance in a fight, training its heavy weapons on target at every opportunity while avoiding those fired back at it. It also carries Anti-Drone racks, meaning that even the massed swarms coming from Federation Battlecruisers (see last article in Planet Mongoose) can be kept at bay.
In return, it mounts three Attack Dice of phaser-1 which can be aimed in the front or side arcs, and two Attack Dice of phaser-2 cover each of the sides as well. However, the heavy hitting power comes from the forward firing disruptors – four Attack Dice of Accurate (usually needing just 3′s to hit), Multihit 2 weaponry. Not as potent as the photon torpedo, but they can be fired every turn without fail (photons need to reload, and you won’t always be able to do that every turn), outrange torpedoes, and can be overloaded to increase their damage potential.
While the Federation goes for the single hard hit, Klingons can pound away quite convincingly, all day, every day.
All of this is backed up with two Attack Dice of drones which will, of course, overwhelm most Federation ships and force them to dedicate their nasty, nasty phasers to defensive fire. Leaving you free to keep on hammering them with disruptors.
So, this is what an extra 25 points buys you – the mainstay of the Klingon fleet, the D7 Battlecruiser. Very closely based on the D6, our designer Sandrine has managed to demonstrate its greater capability/modernity with a completely redesigned deck house (suggesting more power) and more complex detail on the wings (suggesting a more modern approach to ship design).
It is just as agile as the D6, though it has a couple of Damage points more. The phaser-2 batteries have an additional Attack Dice each but, more importantly, their fire arcs are greatly extended to cover the entire port and starboard halves of the ship – meaning if the D7 lines up on a target, it gets to throw in the full weight of its secondary weapons on top of the phasers and disruptors. At short range, that will make a big difference.
There is also a command variant of the D7, adding the Command +1 trait (naturally), but also an additional phaser-1 in each side arc, further adding to the firepower available – get a target lined up and you will be able to throw 5 Attack Dice of phaser-1 (the Federation Heavy Cruiser does 6) and 6 Attack Dice of phaser-2. That is alongside the 4 Attack Dice of disruptors, each and every turn.
It is also worth pointing out that the Romulans get access to both of these ships, in the guise of the KR and KRC respectively. However, being Romulan, they chuck out the filthy Klingon disruptors and replace them with plasma torpedoes. Oh, and they get a cloaking device too!
Remember the Federation Frigates previewed here a few days ago? Well, this is how the Klingons do things!
As Klingon Heavy Cruisers already move like Frigates, you can expect the F5 to be quite sprightly – and you would be right. It is one of the most agile ships in the game, fully capable of turning 360-degrees in one turn without recourse to the rather frightening High Energy Turn.
Its 12 points of Damage and 16 Shields are certainly comparable to the Federation Frigate, and will even give the Battle Frigate something to think about when the F5 turns head on and gains the Klingon ‘boosted forward shields’ rule. It lacks the labs and tractor beams of its Federation equivalents, but this is not a vessel to go for a scientific jaunt in. Oh, no – the F5 is intended to hammer other Frigates and give larger vessels a bloody nose, especially when used in agile hunting packs.
Armament is lighter than that of a Heavy Cruiser, of course, but still respectable. Two phaser-1 keep watch up front and can cover the sides, while three Attack Dice of phaser-2 cover the rear and sides, giving the ship superb all-round protection – just what you need if you go into battle with an equally agile opponent (not that there are many of those, the F5 will turn inside even a Federation Frigate). A single drone may not cause the Federation many worries, but as the F5 also has an Anti-Drone rack it will happily fire its drones, not having to worry about the response (see the Mutually Assured Destruction tactic in the last article). Armament is rounded off with 2 Attack Dice of disruptors; though they have a lower range than those mounted on the D6 and D7, they retain their power and can still be overloaded.
All of this for just a bargain 100 points. And yes, Romulans have access to this vessel too!
Speaking of Romulans, we will be turning our attention to them in the next preview article, starting with the original ships that graced their fleet, before moving onto their very latest designs.
A lot of people have been asking us when all this Star Fleet goodness will go on sale. Well, pre-orders can be placed on our web site from the middle of next week onwards, and we are aiming to start shipping in the first week of December!