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U.S.S. Akira - The New Standard For Fed Decks?

by Tim Davidson, Staff Writer

26th November 2011

U.S.S. Akira

Star Trek: First Contact introduced some cool starships and the most popular probably was the Akira-class. Now that the Enterprise-E crew is an independent sub-faction, the First Edition card designers finally had an excuse to add the U.S.S. Akira to the long list of Federation universal ships.

With the "Attributes all +2 if aboard," special skill, the ship provides attributes of 10 RANGE, 9 WEAPONS, and 10 SHIELDS with full staffing. That's more costly than many unique high-attribute Federation ships, but it's now the most powerful universal one. If you can pull off the staffing requirement, a ship with Range 10 is a very useful thing to have. If not, 8-7-8 are still decent attributes. The Akira will also get a +1 ATTACK bonus with Chain Reaction Pulsar and Photon Torpedo. Add staffing icons to your personnel with Deanna Troi (The Borg) or Crew Reassignment.

I want to share with you a few card combos you can use with the Akira. The first one is Combo: Spacedoor + U.S.S. Akira. Spacedoor's download of a universal ship will be the most popular way to get the U.S.S. Akira in play.

For years, the universal U.S.S. Nebula was the go-to standard universal ship for most Federation decks. With 8-7-8 for just it outclassed the other universal ships downloadable with Spacedoor. When the U.S.S. Intrepid was released it stole some of that thunder: it has identical staffing and attributes but can potentially be boosted with Bio-neural Gel Packs. Still, many Alpha Quadrant Fed players didn't bother with gel packs and preferred the classic Nebula. I have a feeling the Akira is going to surpass both ships as the new standard.

The Akira seems designed to be the back-up ship for decks built using Federation Flagship: Relaunched. That card allows the use of any Federaton ship but Akira's bonus staffing requirement will most easily be met by decks already full of the icon. Still, I see the Akira becoming at least as useful in Federation decks not focused on the icon. decks already have a powerhouse ship first turn- why waste a seed slot for Spacedoor? Even if you already planned on including a Spacedoor, most decks work best paired with another affiliation or the non-aligned Son'a; it will often make more sense to choose back-up ships which match your other affiliation.

The Akira-class was designed by Visual Effects Art Director Alex Jaeger of Industrial Light & Magic.

Regular Alpha Quadrant Federation decks still need a standard Spacedoor ship and the Akira's potential Range 10 can't be beat. There are three ways to ensure the icon first turn:

Combo: Defend Homeworld + Worf (SOG). He's a good guy to have around on his own; in particular his Honor x2 and Law are great for dilemmas and his Anthrolopogy works for Duck Blind.

Combo: Defend Homeworld + Jean-Luc, who can also Nanoprobe Resuscitate.

Combo: Assign Support Personnel + Jae is another option, and her Navigation should come in handy for space dilemmas.

is a popular deck type right now, but I have a feeling the U.S.S. Akira will end up being used more often as the first ship for regular Federation decks.

The Akira-class was named after a 1988 Japanese animated sci-fi film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo.

There is another way you will see people using the U.S.S. Akira, with '45 Dom Perignon to upgrade to the (easier to staff) unique Akira-class ships. There are two: the U.S.S. Jupiter and the U.S.S. Thunderchild, which has a matching commander in Fleet Admiral Shanthi who is both an admiral and a support personnel. There are a few ways to ensure a Dom Perignon upgrade first turn.

Combo: Spacedoor + U.S.S. Akira + seeded Holodeck Door + to seed H: Noah's Mountain Retreat + to get S.A. Julian Bashir + '45 Dom Perignon + U.S.S. Jupiter or U.S.S. Thunderchild

Combo: Spacedoor + U.S.S. Akira + any seeded ship + with seeded Holodeck Door + Space-Time Portal to return ship and door to hand + Holodeck Door for '45 Dom Perignon + U.S.S. Jupiter or U.S.S. Thunderchild

Combo: Spacedoor + U.S.S. Akira + Defend Homeworld + Bariel (+ Crossover or Temporal Micro-Wormhole to play) + get '45 Dom Perignon as any equipment + U.S.S. Jupiter or U.S.S. Thunderchild

The Akira-class inspired Effects Artist Doug Drexler's design of the Enterprise NX-01 ship.

You can also get the secret agent with Combo: Dr. McCoy + ...Not a Bricklayer + any OFFICER + S. A. Julian Bashir. Remember, the Akira has a holodeck. Despite the price (those combos cost 3 expensive seed slots), players still love to download their favorite unique ship on the first (or second) turn just for the cool factor.

It looks like the U.S.S. Akira card will live up to the popular ship and be a great addition to your Alpha Quadrant Federation decks. Now that the whole Resistance is Futile virtual set is out you can go print as many as you need for your deck!

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