In Starship Battles, there are three types of cards that depict ship compartments: Attack, Defend, and Support. Defend cards are a very important part of the game’s strategy. Without defensive capabilities, a starship will take a real beating. In this post, we’ll take a look at the Defend cards, and how they’re used.
Like other ship compartments, Defend cards have a resource cost in the lower right corner. All other things being equal, the cheaper a card is to use, the better. The less you use on one card, the more you can use on another.
To the left of the resource cost are icons that tell you the ability of this ship compartment. In the case of Energy Shield Emitter, there is one defend symbol. As such, Energy Shield Emitter adds one defend draw for the player each turn.
The majority of Defend cards conform to this simple layout. However, there are a couple of special cards with a unique abilities: Ablative Armor Hull Plating, and Deflector Shield.
Ablative Armor Hull Plating is a bit different than most cards. It is designed to be a damage sink–it absorbs damage. It costs 3 resource points to use, but it offers an additional 2 points of damage. It cannot be repaired, as other ship compartments can. Once it reaches 5 damage points, it will be destroyed.
Deflector Shield Emitter has a very interesting ability. Rather than offering the traditional defend draw in an attempt to prevent damage, it instead sends some of that damage back at the enemy. Once per turn during the Damage Phase, the player can take one point of damage that would have affected him, and instead, choose an opponent who must take that damage.
This can be a particularly nasty ability. It basically means that your opponent must score two damage against you in order to deal one. Any less than that, and he’s only harming himself.
You might be tempted to keep two of these compartments for your ship. But just keep in mind, these aren’t exactly cheap. At a resource cost of 3, they’ll quickly eat up your budget, leaving you room for little else.