Star Trek Online has just started 2013’s winter event with Q’s Winter Wonderland. As usual, meet Q in Earth Space Dock or in the First City on Qo’noS and ask to visit his winter wonderland. Players will be transported to a strange, snowy locale filled with winter game, snowmen, and a lot of interesting holiday food and other items.

Last year we saw races, a snowman invasion of the scene, and a great deal of winter-themed events. This year sees the introduction of the Gingerbread Colony Invasion (a miniaturized city defense) as well as new food, more holiday season outfits, and even advanced snowball weaponry.

Pull on your warm clothing and follow along as I tell you about what you can participate in.

Gingerbread Colony Invasion

Last year many people got introduced to the “Fastest Game on Ice” and the frozen countryside surrounding a gazebo filled with oddities—this year a strange, minature gingerbread village has been added inside the gazebo to house this newest event. Between the faces of brown-colored houses—trimmed with frosting, chocolate in a candy-shell, and candycanes—there are streets made of slippery ice and gingerbread men prowl this quant, prosaic tasty wonderland.

However, they’re having a problem: snowmen are invading.

Q has offered (graciously) to moisturize players in team of 5 to allow them to repel the chilled villains and send them packing…melting…blowing…whatever. The Gingerbread men (and some women) are finding themselves kidnapped (and harassed) or frozen into the ground by this wintery menace and it’s up to at team of Starfleet or Klingon Defense Force commandos to save them.

Players will, of course, need to use snowballs and snowball weapons to fight the snowmen (available for a moderate price of wintry decorations in Q’s Winter Wonderland.)

The end boss is a giant amalgam of snowman parts, carrot nose, coal mouth, evergreen sticks, and even frozen Gingerbread men. Like the Snow Overlord in the overworld, he’s pretty tough stuff and it takes quite a few players to bring him low; but fortunately, saving the Gingerbread people along the way adds quite an army to the battle making it fun as well as challenging.

After the battle ends, however, it’s not all over because players can poke over the map and find the fearsome yeti! Defeating the yeti in the final moments before the map closes provides an accolade for participants.

New Snow Weapons

Last year snowballs were introduced as the weapon-of-choice for taking out snowmen. For those interested in high-tech automated snowball delivery the Avalanche (heavy weapon) and the Flurry (automatic rifle) for snowball firepower were provided. This year has seen quite a few additions to the arsenal.

Players can also deep-freeze enemies with the The Snowblower (a flamethrower-type weapon), batter chilly foes with Hail (a dual-pistol that fires small icy snowballs), or thwack them with high velocity gumdrops from The Big One (a shotgun.) For the melee types there’s also a lirpa and a bat’leth of the nanopulse variety with a nice green glow.

Even more rewards in clothing, items, etc, are available and listed on the Star Trek Online dev blog.

Fastest Game on Ice: Breen raider reward

Last year a Breen capital ship the Chell Grett was rewarded to players who participated enough days in the ice-race called the Fastest Game on Ice. This year, the reward ship will be a Breen heavy raider the Plesh Brek.

The Plesh Brek comes with a console that synergizes with the console from the Chell Grett as well as a weird-new looking ship for interested players. The spacecraft has a pretty high turn rate, heavy forward-facing weapon layout, and a lot of universal slots to allow you to fly it however you like. The low shield modifier, however, makes this ship preferable for hit-and-run strafing attacks rather than frontal assaults; plus it receives a massive damage bonus when flanking (or hitting the rear shields of a target ship.)

Using the energy disruptor, high rate of turn and sheer speed, the raider will probably be the ship of choice for people flying with a cruiser supporting them to keep the enemies attention so that raiders can come around from behind for that flanking damage.