Tuesday, January 7, 2014

STAR TREK ATTACK WING REVIEW

http://wizkidsgames.com/startrek/star-trek-attack-wing/

After a long hiatus from my original wargaming blog: Rassilon's Matrix, I've decided to start anew, with another gaming blog...

I spent the day with a couple of gaming buddies playing out a number of STAW (Star Trek Attack Wing) battles today for the first time, here's a brief review-opinion of the game.

If you're a miniatures connoisseur, you'll be disappointed, although from what I've seen on Youtube, they re-paint quite well (Just search Youtube for Star Trek Attack Wing re-paints), otherwise, they are perfectly acceptable as game pieces.

The game is based on the Fantasy Flight Games system used with X-Wing, but produced by Wiz Kids: http://wizkidsgames.com/startrek/star-trek-attack-wing/

The main difference is that because you're playing with capital ships, you're able to add more upgrade cards and additional crew, which, although apples and oranges (fighters vs. capital ships), does seemingly create a fuller experience with the same game system.






Components

One nifty aspect of the system is the cloak mechanism, although it doesn't hide your movement on the table as STSTCS did, it seemed to do a good job representing the ability and feel, with the additional evasion dice, displacement and loss of lock-on by attacking starships after multiple turns of cloak activity.

Agreeing with my friend Chris Yoder, it feels the most like my favorite starship game: Star Trek Starship Tactical Combat Simulator (shout out to my old gaming buddy Silver!) since it stopped being produced. It certainly doesn't replace it, but it definitely emanates a similar vibe.

I especially like the idea that it's a system that seems to be aimed at running no more than three ships (a squadron or wing) per player, I generally dislike the broad trend to make starship combat games designed for clashing with massive fleets where you loose the nuance of starship to starship combat (the exception being Full Thrust, for when you DO want fleet battles, as it's a well designed classic game that seems to balance detail and numbers with a properly prepared scenario).

On the downside again, the miniatures are rather bland. The color choices are questionable, for example, the Federation ships are an odd shade of blue. In fact, they appear to the exact same miniatures used for their previous Heroclix game? However, the worst thing about them, isn't the miniatures themselves (save the Constitution class, see below), but the way in which they are releasing the waves. For example, they've released the Reliant (with Khan) this past fall, but the same era Enterprise isn't due out until July!? Huh!? How am I supposed to play a proper "Wrath of Khan" scenario!?



The Miranda class (OG movie era Reliant)  vs. Constitution class (OG Enterprise).




I'm pretty sure the Enterprise refit in the original movies, was not much larger than the original series Enterprise. The Wiz Kids, STAW Constitution is ridiculously tiny. They MUST re-release this with better scaling, sooner than later!








One last disappointment, Wiz Kids approach to 'specialty' game additions that are only available if you play in tournaments, aka "Storyline OP events" as outlined here:

Star Trek: Attack Wing The Dominion War Storyline OP Event


Ferengi Maruader, an integral ship to TNG, with limited availability at special events.






I can understand the exclusive-specialty scenarios and associated game bits that go along with them (templates and counters), but by including miniatures, they are excluding the availability of very pertinent and relevant starships from the game, such as the Krayton/D’Kora-class Ferengi Marauder, and that really chaps my hide. Instead, why don't they follow Fantasy Flight's approach, and offer miniatures from future waves, that way, we can all enjoy them in our games, therefore broadening everyone's ability to re-create scenarios from the entirety of Star Trek?










I need to play it some more, but I think I really like it, maybe even more than X-Wing. It would definitely make for a perfect adaptation to capital ship combat in the Star Wars universe too (with the addition of some kind of fighter squadron rules). Another bonus, it appears to be easily adaptable to house rules (like STSTCS was).



3.5* out of 5 KHHHAAAAAANS!!!

 

* It would get a 4, or maybe even a 5 (given more game play), if they changed their special event approach to game content, adjusted wave releases to be more compatible with each other (I.E. OG movie Enterprise and Reliant), and... I know it's one small thing, but also, if they make a concerted effort to release a corrected Constitution class starship miniature!