With this squad I'm thinking about a few changes. First being that I'm looking at taking two ships instead of the normal three. The second change is actually trying to load up most of the available ship slots without wasting too many actions. That's much easier to do at 100 points with three ships because the load outs are much more minimalistic.
With the release of the Defiant, I've only played against it once and it didn't fare so well. I came up with the following 100 point TNG/DS9-era Federation squad to see if I could do better:
- Enterprise D w/ Picard and Engage, Photon Torpedoes, Data, Geordi and Worf (core set)
- Defiant w/ Sisko and Attack Pattern Omega, Cloaking Device, Quantum Torpedoes and O'Brien (core set)
- Elite Attack Die
Not having to be concerned about those evil orbital weapons platforms from month two's event, high defence values (such as those provided by cloaking) aren't nearly as important. That's not to say good defence is secondary; I'm full aware that with two ships I'll likely be heavily outnumbered as it sounds like a lot of folks are opting for a FOUR ship build for Month 3's "The Siege of AR-558." Since we are dealing with retrieving Federation crewmen from the planet in this event a squad made up of two stronger ships, even if those ships have more utility, might not be feasible. Losing that third ship / action may be imposing too much of a handicap on my squad.
I've struggled with interesting builds using the Enterprise D simply because having Picard, Engage, and Data appears like a no-brainer. It's even better if you swap in Spock and Sulu for Data, but that would break my TNG-era theme! After that it was a toss-up between including Jadzia Dax or Geordi. Using Dax is pretty good, but Engage gives almost the same movement utility without negating my attack for the round. With the Enterprise rolling higher attack dice more often than the Defiant (unless using their 360 degree attack ability), Worf makes more sense there. Picard's extra action also means Worf can be used more often during the game.
I haven't used the Defiant yet. I'm not particularly thrilled with Sisko's ability though it seems to have more utility than Riker's for the same captain skill. Attack Pattern Omega feels like the best talent to use, especially when my squad is very likely to be out-numbered.
With the Federation cloaking device I gain more defence dice, perhaps enticing opponents to go after the Enterprise instead. This might expose them to an attack from the Defiant while chasing the Enterprise. The cloak isn't strictly necessary and I could certainly spend the points on something else; it just feels thematic to include it. I'd say the same about O'Brien. I like both versions, but can't afford the DS9 card so opted for the single-use, but still very good, O'Brien from the core set.
As the Defiant's captain only has a single action available to him each turn I didn't want to include many upgrades requiring an action to use them. Sadly the best ones (like the cloaking device) seem to need them. In order to maximum my attack I like the Quantum Torpedoes. They're slightly better than Photons so one could argue including them on the Enterprise instead but I wanted to even out the firepower so that both ships feel like they could be your primary target. If my opponent can't decide which one to focus on, or decides a round or two too late, I may have a chance.