Star Trek Attack Wing
Star Trek Attack Wing from Wizkids is a battle game from 2 to 4 players (only 3 with the starter set) between the starships from the Star Trek Universe using the Flighpath™ system. This system was first introduced in the Star Wars X-wing games (which we also own) and will have its third installment in the Dungeons&Dragons Attack Wing series (which we will probably buy ;-) ).
The game primarily focuses on missions which tell you what ships you may use and how many points you can spend to upgrade those ships, but you can also play a normal skirmish in which you try to eliminate all the ships of the opponent(‘s). The missions differ greatly and range from 1 to 3 players i.e. the last mission we played had a Federation player that had to defend the alpha quadrant against an onslaught of Dominion ships coming through the Bajoran wormhole. The Federation player had to do this by activating minefields around the wormhole with only one ship, the Defiant. The Dominion player on the other hand had 3 ships at his disposal which came out of the wormhole to try and destroy the Defiant. Well suffice to say that the Defiant got destroy before activating the sixth and final minefield. Usually the missions are very close except for the Kobayashi Maru, there you have to cheat ;-) to win the game as the federation player.
The Flighpath™ system is actually an easy system to comprehend. It is comprised of 4 phases: Planning, Activation, Combat and End phase.
In the planning phase you determine how your ships will fly. This is done by use of a maneuver dial, changing it to a maneuver you want to perform and laying it face down next to the ship. Each ship has a unique dial that enlists all of its maneuvers i.e. the large USS Enterprise-D is not as maneuverable as the Bajoran Interceptor. The maneuvers also have a different color coding which are green, white and red. The green maneuvers are really easy to perform for the ship and you may remove an auxiliary power token next to the ship if there is one. The white maneuvers are standard and do anything special. The red maneuvers on the other hand are difficult to perform maneuvers and cause you to gain an auxiliary power token for straining the ship to its limits. You cannot perform a red maneuver if you already have an auxiliary power token.
When the players have chosen their maneuvers it’s time to start the Activation phase. This is done in initiative order of the captains from low to high. They reveal their dial and take the appropriate template to perform the maneuver. After they have done the maneuver and the ship doesn’t have an auxiliary token and did not collide with and object or other ship, it may perform an action. These can be one from the actions listed on the action bar of the ship or from the cards.
After all players have activated all their ships it’s time to shoot some ships out of the sky… or space. This is also done in initiative order of the captains but from highest to lowest. Every ship has an arc shown on their base and this shows the angle from where you can fire your weapons. Some ships also have a rear firing arc which is shown by striped lines but to be able to shoot in that arc you will need the necessary upgrade on your ship. Next it is time to determine the range. There is a special ruler included in the game for this purpose. If the defending ship falls in range 1, the attacker gets an extra attack die. If the defending ship is in range 3, it gets an extra defense die. The attacker rolls his dice and the defender rolls his and they compare the result. For every hit or critical hit that cannot be canceled by an evade the defender gets damage. First the damage goes to the ship’s shields and when there are none left to the ship itself. Normal damage to the ship comes in the form of a facedown damage card, critical hits on the other hand are face up and usually do something bad to your ship. When the amount of damage cards equals or exceeds the hull value of the ship it is destroyed and removed from the playing area .
During the end phase you just cleanup all the necessary tokens and enable your disabled shields when you are not cloaked.
Well what do I think of the game, in short I just love the game. In all fairness, I love Star Trek. This game captures the battles from Star Trek with all its goodness. The battle driven Klingons, the treacherous Romulans, the hard to defeat Borg and so on. The game system is a joy to play and interacts well with the Star Trek Universe. What’s not to love, there’s cloaking, Shield Raising, Borg and last but not least Tribbles…. In my opinion the game can be divided into two major sections, flying and squad-building. The flying part is obvious, you need to choose the right maneuver at the right time and try to predict what your opponent will do. This varies from making sure that you have your opponent within your firing arc and trying to stay out of his, to trying to block the other ship so that it cannot perform its actions. The squad-building part is simply finding the right cards and combinations for the mission at hand. Do you need to be defensive or do you need to destroy stuff, are you going to influence the upgrades of the other player, do you want to be able to manipulate the dice. This is where this game shines. There are infinite combinations you can make and try out. The other thing that I love about this game are its missions. It’s just fun to try and complete a mission instead of just shooting each other out of the sky… space, which you can do by the way. The starter set comes with two missions and every other ship comes with one. The other thing is the diversity of ships. Star Trek has seen so many ships in their series and movies over the years so they have a lot of content for creating their ships. I know this game is not for everyone and that there are discussions of the Borg being too strong and that cloaking was a bit overpowered in the beginning. But to be fair, the Borg simply are strong. I wouldn’t want it any other way: ‘Resistance is futile’. Cloaking is indeed powerful but it relies heavily on a good dice roll and I can still remember the first time that my cloaked ship was destroyed by just one hit that I couldn’t evade and set my warp core ablaze.
For the people who are interested there is also an Organised Play system from Wizkids where players can compete to win sweet prizes with even a grand prize to the overall winner of an Event. Even the participation prizes that you get from these events are pretty nice and are worth giving it a go. I actually play/host one of these events and its really fun thanks to the players. They have a specific mission for every event but in the end you usually have to destroy all of your opponent’s ships to win the game. The first big OP was the dominion war which comprised of 6 different events and the grand prize is a huge Deep Space Nine. Then they had 2 separate events with the Tholians and their web and the Gorn with fighting on a planet. Now they have the Collective which revolves around the Borg and also has six events but divided in two blocks of three.
Play with Honor!!!