So the last of the Star Trek Attack Wing Wave 19 retail reveals has been shared by Startrek.com and it is the RIS Talvath, a Romulan Science Vessel (or RSV) seen in the Voyager episode “Eye of the Needle”.
The RIS Talvath was an RSV that was in service in the mid-24th century. In early 2350, the Talvath, operating under the direction of Dr. Telek R’Mor of the Romulan Astrophysical Academy, began an extended three-year scientific mission. In mid-2351, the Talvath encountered a micro-wormhole in Sector 1385 of the Alpha Quadrant that led to the discovery of the Federation starship USS Voyager in the Delta Quadrant, located in the year 2371. The Talvath was scheduled to complete its mission and return to Romulus in 2353. In the episode the Talavth communicated with USS Voyager via a 13cm micro wormhole too small for Voyager to pass through so signals and a test cylinder are sent through. Eventually it is discovered that the ships are actually communicating across space and time as the Talvath is in 2351 and Voyager is in 2371. In fact Dr telek R’Mor died four years prior to Voyager leaving the Alpha Quadrant. Now we know about the Talvath we can start looking at the ship and expansion itself.
Firstly the RIS Talvath is a standard RSV with stats of 1-2-2-2 for the named variant and 1-2-2-1 for the generic. It is significantly weaker than the Delta Flyer which is only a shuttlecraft and yet does not have the same limitations of requiring a “capital ship” to deploy it. Its never going to be used in a front line attacking role but it certainly does have uses. The named version has the following ability “ACTION: If you are within Range 1-3 of at least 1 enemy ship, roll 3 defense dice. For every Evade result place 1 Evade token beside your ship. You cannot perform any free actions this round.”. As a small evasive vessel this is a situational yet nice enough ability that allows it to be deployed and used without taking the serious hits from bigger vessels. Even if you were lucky enough to roll 3 Evades this ship could still be 1 shotted especially by something like a pimped out Enterprise-E, a Krenim Time ship or a Borg Cube at close range. With a primary weapon value of 1, agility value of 2, hull and shield value of 2, this ship is designed to get in and get out quickly without taking heavy hits. It comes equipped with 3 Tech slots to allow it to fulfil that primary function of scientific vessel. This also makes it an absolutely amazing Mine Layer for Romulans which ensures I’ll be buying enough to deploy the 16 sets of Cloaked Mines I have!!!
In terms of Captains in this expansion it was always going to include Dr Telek R’Mor, even Wizkids couldnt screw that one up! Conducting a three year mission of “Secret Research” Telek R’Mor is the Captain of the R.I.S Talvath. Telek R’Mor is a CS3 Captain costing a reasonable 2pts that allows your ship to roll one extra defense die if you have a scan token beside your ship while defending. Whilst Telek R’Mor is the Captain, you may also field the “Secret Research” upgrade even though he does not have an Elite Talent upgrade icon. We’ll cover more about this Elite Talent later. Firstly we’ll cover the second Captain in this pack, Alidar Jarok, or more specifically another new Admiral for the Romulans. We already have a version of this captain from the RIS Vo expansion. The previous version was a CS7 costing 4pts. This version is CS6 for the same price, both have an Elite Talent slot. Looking at the two abilities of each I think I prefer the newer version whose ability says “ACTION: Target a ship at Range 1 and remove 1 token (Evade, Scan, Battlestations or Target Lock). If you remove a Target Lock Token with this ability also remove the corresponding Target Lock Token”. As a Fleet Action for an Admiral I like this ability a lot. Fancy firing your Torpedos at me? Nuh huh, I’m removing that token. Fancy reducing my defence with a Scan? I don’t think so. Whats that Picard/Dukat, you have a Battlestations? Not any more you don’t. I think I’d take this version of Alidar Jarok over the other every day of the week. Great ability although we dont yet know what affect he will have on the corresponding Captain if deployed as an Admiral. We’ll have to wait and see for that!
Onto Elite Talents and this pack only has one “Secret Research”. Captain/Admiral Alidar Jarok can equip it as he has an Elite Talent slot but so too can Dr.Telek R’Mor whose ability allows his to equip just this upgrade. It is very thematic of the story of this ship. This Elite Talent adds the Scan Action to the Action Bar of your ship and the RIS Talvath doesnt have this Action already. In fact only the RIS Vo and Prototype Drone have the Scan Action so this is a great way to add this Action to your Action Bar on other Romulan ships. As a secondary affect during the Activation Phase you may also discard this card to perform a Scan Action as a free action. Ok, so thats kinda neat. The Romulans getting access to an Action they’ve previously not really had access to. It is situational because for the most part you’ll probably be Cloaking or Sensor Echoing so it has its uses but Im not sure how much play it will see. There may be combos that can be used to trigger off the previously unavailable Scan token you can now use. We’ll see.
As befitting a scientific vessel conduction secret experimental research with 3 Tech upgrade slots and no ability to equip Secondary Weapons or Crew this expansion is loaded with sneaky Romulan Technology. I’ll start with “Warp Core Ejection System”, every ship captain knows a Warp Core Breach is one of the most dangerous things you can face. Using this 4pt Romulan Tech Upgrade, you can take an action to repair 1 hull damage and flip any “Warp Core Breach” critical damage cards face down. For the rest of the game you cannot take any maneuvers with a speed greater than 1. However, you also cannot receive any more “Warp Core Breach” critical damage cards. If you do, you simply flip it over and treat it as a normal damage. Being able to eliminate the risk of losing your ship to a Warp Core Breach by using Warp Core Ejection System is something every captain will want to have at his finger tips, just in case. Its hugely situational and there are much better Tech upgrades for Romulans…..Cloaked Mines, Interphase Generators, Polarized Hull Plating, Advanced Cloak etc. These are my top tier Tech upgrades for Romulans.
Secondly we have “Test Cylinder” which allows you to take an action to target a ship at any range and disable this card, plus any crew upgrades on the targeted ship. Taking this action requires you to disable all remaining shields on your ship, but if done at the right time, disabling an opponent’s crew upgrade can be quite devastating. The fact that it can be done from any range gives you a very big tactical advantage over your opponent. At ANY Range so hide your little mine laying ship at the back before disabling one of those quirky undisabling cards the Federation have or remove those horrible Drex or N’Garen at a critical moment. There are plenty of Crew combos out there that could really wreck an opponents strategy by disabling one at the right time. This is nice but requires being used in a combo at the right time to really put the hurt on an enemy ship. It needs some experimentation to work well but could be a devastating strategy to deploy. This is a 3pt upgrade so not horribly priced.
“Temporal Displacement” yet another of the recent Romulan Technological advances, is the ultimate in Romulan defense. This upgrade allows you to discard this card to cancel ALL of the attacking ship’s hit and critical hit results. That’s right, cancel all hit and critical hit results! The attacking ship cannot make any other attacks during this round, but any cards used in the attack are returned to the state they were in prior to the attack, allowing the attacking ship to use them again in a different round. Think of this as a pimped out Interphase Generator that you do not need to be Cloaked to use. The ability to completely negate a whole attacks worth of Hits and Crits could swing a battle. Use a Chroniton Torpedo or Transphasic Torpedo against me? No fear I’ll discard this and bounce all damage. If youre using these little ships to lay mines then get up close, drop the mines and use this Tech upgrade to get away taking no damage. Thank you very much. Mine spamming fleets just got a little more solid, although for 5pts and a discard and the limitation of only working on RSV’s this is questionable as to whether you’d be able to make it const effective. Other attack negation strageties are equally as cost prohibitive so without doing some math I couldn’t honestly tell you if it was better than those on a case by case basis. the limitation of only RSV’s probably rules this out as a general widely used future upgrade.
“Advanced Scanning” allows you to add the Scan Action to your ships Action Bar. Whenever you perform the Scan Action you may place 1 additional Scan Token next to your ship at the cost of placing an Auxiliary Token next to your ship as well. Thats not too bad when you have a maneuver dial like an RSV which has no red maneuvers at all and quite a few greens. Double Scan tokens aren’t really so useful for this ship as its not a front line warship, its more of a support vessel so being able to reduce your opponents defense on a 1 or 2 dice attack might help but if its come down to using your RSV’s like that then you’ve probably already lost. Situational at best but can be used in conjunction with other Tech upgrades to really shine. Its another Tech that is best equipped to the RSV as it costs +5pts on any other vessel (+6 out of faction). When you stack this upgrade or the Secret Research Elite Talent with the next Tech upgrade is when things get a little interesting. Lots of scan tokens are nice but you have to be able to get mileage out of them and thats where “Signal Amplifier” comes in. Signal Amplifier is a 5pt discard that allows you to spend a Scan Token to either add +2 attack dice or +2 defense dice. Paired with Secret Research or Advanced Scanning, Signal Amplifier gives you the flexibility to choose a boost to attack or defense whenever it is needed most. At the cost of an Auxiliary Token you can take 2 Scan tokens, use 1 to boost your attack by +2 Attack Dice and the second to reduce defense by -1 Defense Dice. A little 1 Attack ship at range 1 out of arc is dropping 4 Attack dice against a ship with -1 Defense. Nice if expensive and dangerous!
Lastly we have our final Tech upgrade, the 5pt “Graviton Field Generator”. This is an action that allows you to either, disable this card and 2 Active Shields to immediately perform an additional forward maneuver with a speed equal to the number of shields you disabled with this action, OR if you performed a green maneuver this round, discard this card to place 2 Shield Tokens beside your ship. Ok so on a big beast of a ship like a Reman Warbird this can really make it super tanky! This is great, especially when you consider that this card is not unique so a ship can be equipped with more than one. Interestingly I cannot find any reference to removing these additional Shield tokens beside the ship. The End Phase rules do not mention the removal of Shield Tokens only Scans, Evades and Battlestations. So that could lead to some interesting abuse. Certainly worth further investigation.
So having seen this expansion and using the Wizkids Suggested Rules Format and Faction purity I’d probably build this ship as follows:-
RIS Talvath – 14
Dr Telek R’Mor – 2
Secret Research – 5
Alidar Jarok – 4
Advanced Scanning – 5
Signal Amplifier – 5
Temporal Displacement – 5
Total – 40
How would you build this ship? Comment with your build and let me know how you’d equip it.