Archive for March, 2016

Recently, I got together with fellow Trekkie and Suppressing Fire contributor, Spike Direction, and took to space to test out Wave 21 and 22 of the popular ship to ship space combat game Star Trek:  Attack Wing.

Firstly, it’s prudent to mention that both Spike and I are relatively new to Star Trek: Attack Wing, and indeed, this being only the second time we’ve played it – after a crash course game immediately after I excitedly bought the starter set a few months back.

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Wave 21, comprises the Jem’Hadar fighter “Robinson”,  a Bajoran Solar Sailer, the “Denorios”, and the Cardassian Dreadnought missile. Wave 22, includes Defiant-class U.S.S. Valiant, the Andorian ship Kumari, and the Romulan ship RIS Pi. I was particularly interested in playing the “Robinson”, and at the prospect of captaining it with none other than Benjamin Sisko. He’s the man!

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Of note on these two waves is that the paint job on each of the ships seems considerably higher in quality than that of previous waves. Something that I think will go a long way at turning heads for those that have sworn off of the game in its comparison to Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars: X-Wing. I’m not saying they’re on par, but the gap is closing – and that’s only a good thing.

To start things off with this set, we played a scenario that came with the “Dreadnought”, Entitled Planetoid Alpha 441, the two-player scenario sees a collection of small ships try to protect a munitions base, situated on PA441, from the mighty “Dreadnought” missile. The small ships get 100 points, with a 3 hull and 35 point cost limit on each of them. Whereas the Dreadnought gets a whopping 60 points in which to tool up for the destruction of the base.

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I play Federation, and Spike – in both of the cases when we’ve played – has taken everything else. So, my team comprised the “Robinson”, The “U.S.S Valiant” and the “Denorios”, plus the munitions base itself (which has stats supplied on an accompanying scenario card) vs the hulking “Dreadnought”.  

Now, I’ll spoil it for you.

I won in a few turns.

I know, I know, I’ve killed the suspense, But this birthed some really cool observations on how to best play the “Dreadnought”. Firstly, don’t play a game when you’ve only had four hours sleep. Secondly, I know it’s a missile, but don’t charge it in all guns blazing expecting to best three ships and an entire planet.

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In all seriousness though, the Dreadnought looks as though it can take a punching – every now and again that is. For, on it’s 30pt ship variation, replete with another 30pts of upgrades, it has the option to discard up to two upgrade cards to match hits dealt. And, there’s even an upgrade card that lets you exchange upgrades for evade tokens. So where perhaps a hulking super missile would lack in agility, it makes up for scale and inventiveness. On a similar note, it has a weapons upgrade that allows it to roll seven attack dice, among others that allow you to roll five, lending to my theory that it’s better to take your time with its movement, and snipe enemy ships out of the way before making a break for the planetoid.

Moving on to the “Robinson”, of the limited time I got to play with it, I really found that it was a nimble little thing, but that it can also pack a wallop when it needs too. Containing a large amount of slots for upgrades, I can see people eagerly wanting to add this thing to their current federation force. The added bonus that it looks quite different when compared to a normal federation lineup, will surely make this a piece worth picking up.

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As for the “Denorios”, well…it’s certainly not built for battle. Normally, it can roll one attack die. I was lucky in that I chose an upgrade that allowed me to roll an additional two dice for attack or defence, meaning I got a lucky hit on the dreadnought. But combat wise, there’s not much to say about this one. And let me tell you why that’s a good thing…

The “Denorios” has a solo scenario! Yes! I’ve not seen that in a game of this type before, and please feel free to inform me of any previous solo scenarios in Attack Wing that I might have missed, purely because I think the idea is genius. The basic setup seems to be you having to negotiate your way past ion storms, and the goal is to get to the other side of the map, without being destroyed by these storms first. It’s simple, but I can imagine playing it just to pass the time on a rainy day, which itself is a novel thought when you’re used to thinking of these games as purely competitive. As an aside, I will be playing this scenario at some point because it sounds so fun.

To cap it off then, The “U.S.S Valiant” which played like a bit of a dynamo, really nice array of upgrade cards, and a mid level captain, again, playing similarly to the “Robinson”, but in my opinion, packing more firepower. It seems to be geared to firing those nasty Photon Torpedos – which come included. There’s an upgrade card that allows you to treat a maneuver as green, adding to the maneuverability of the craft, and then there’s a nice one that allows you to spend the card instead of a target lock, for more torpedoey fun. But the best part about the “Valiant” is it’s higher cost base card, that allows you to discard the Photon Torpedo card to add another attack die to your Photon attack roll – a kind of last ditch attempt at killing your adversary, which, thematically, is bloody chilling. The bundled scenario even sees you with no power to your shields. And it’s stuff like this that reminds me that I should dip into Star Trek a bit more. It’s tense stuff.

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Of the ships we played with, I think I can say for both of us that we found them enjoyable to pilot, and the extra scenarios included with each ship are a tantalising prospect for competitive and solo players alike.

We’ll be checking out the remaining ships and the “Denorios” scenarios soon so look out for that!


Words and picture by Joe Crouch.  Star Trek: Attack Wing and its many expanions are available now from Wizkids Games; and you can follow Joe on Twitter.

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