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Subject: Return Engagement rss

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Bob Anderson
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I wanted to return to my initial review of Star Trek: Attack Wing and see where my opinion of the game has changed since my initial review in August 13. Here's a link to the [thread=Original]http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1026653/first-impression[/thread]

Miniatures. I feel that improvements have been made in both size and detail. I still left out scale. I was not terribly concerned about each ship being in scale with every other ship, and I’m still not. All I want is the ship to be large enough to adequately fill the space above the base that it is allotted. Excellent examples of this can be seen with the Cardassian ships and the Romulan Scout/Science class vessels. I don’t really care if these ships when side by side are exact scale replicas, but I want someone who is walking buy to look at the table and see that there are spaceships attached to the bases. Overall, WizKids has done a great job here. The misses would be the Constitution Class, and perhaps the Valdore. The Constitution class is too small, and the Valdore is too big. (It’s my favorite sculpt in the game, but it’s HUGE). I also wish we would get the level of detail that comes with the tactics miniatures.

Card components. Thankfully, they have improved. The original releases were so flimsy it was terrible. They have improved and it’s a welcome improvement. However, my damage deck remains the flimsy card stock of the initial release. I’d be curious to know if there is a 2nd printing of the starter set that uses the thicker cardstock. I have always wanted to have a 3rd Vorcha.

Gameplay. I’ve played in 3 of 4 months of the OP events, plus several games at home to prep for the OP events. I absolutely adore the game. That being said, the game is not perfect and I do have some problems with the game.

First and foremost, the base attack values of most of the ships in the game are 3+. The base defense values of all but one the ships in the game are 1 or 2. It turns out “Attack” wing is aptly named. That’s one of the greatest strengths, and weaknesses of the game. Because of the synergy between upgrades, other ships, and resources you have the ability to create some extremely potent attack combinations where you are doubling your ships base attack value. With an attack die more likely to generate a hit than a defense die, the game favors a play style where “buckets of dice” are the answer to every problem. While some people will look at this as an opportunity to focus on skillful maneuvering to place yourself in a shoot and don’t get shot firing position, that is taking the game to a level few initial players will encounter. It’s easy to stack attacks and play an offensive game. It’s nigh impossible to play a defensive game. This stems from two basic factors.

1. The defense values of ships are naturally low.
2. There is little to no ability to repair damage dealt in the game.

Next, I feel this game needs is the ability to play a more defensive game. Either thru enhanced agility, a more consistent way to negate/repair damage, or a more consistent way to remove enemy attack dice. These are all areas of play that are lacking right now and improvement in these abilities would greatly enhance the game.

Also, I feel the game has grown stagnant at the captain level. The best captain in the game is Jean-Luc Picard. His 9 skill, coupled with a free action every turn makes him a staple on pretty much any ship. Convention exclusive Khan is equally potent with his cheap cost and free ability to become a 9 skill captain thanks to many people playing JLP. Finally, adding in Kirk and Martok and there are 4 captains who move last, and shoot first. When I say the game has grown stagnant at the captain level, I mean that in most games I play, the opponent will have at least 1 9 skill captain, and quite often 2 or 3 of them. Because of the high base cost of a ship, 4-5 ship swarms are few and far between. Add in the “buckets of attack dice” game environment and even a 4-5 ship swarm is reduced to space dust after 2-3 passes. Something needs to be done here. An upgrade is needed that targets captains. It can be as simple as a disable, but it does not need to be that simple. Perhaps an action that causes a captain to act at a lower skill. Perhaps an action that blanks out a captain’s special ability. It’s an area of the game that does not exist outside of the damage deck.

The Future. Finally, I wanted to talk about the future. Between now and the 1st anniversary of the games release, there will be 17 more ships released, and 6 more currently planned beyond that. These are retail items. Add in 2 prizes remaining from The Dominion War, 6 from The Borg, and 2 from the April/May events and you have 33 more ships to be released before October 2014. This game has A LOT of future in it. While my wallet will not like the aggressive release plan, it should help keep the game fresh and vibrant for the remainder of the year.
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Dave Benhart
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While I agree with much of this, I'd like to comment on a few of your points.

Alyksandyr wrote:
Miniatures. I feel that improvements have been made in both size and detail. I still left out scale. I was not terribly concerned about each ship being in scale with every other ship, and I’m still not. All I want is the ship to be large enough to adequately fill the space above the base that it is allotted. Excellent examples of this can be seen with the Cardassian ships and the Romulan Scout/Science class vessels. I don’t really care if these ships when side by side are exact scale replicas, but I want someone who is walking buy to look at the table and see that there are spaceships attached to the bases. Overall, WizKids has done a great job here. The misses would be the Constitution Class, and perhaps the Valdore. The Constitution class is too small, and the Valdore is too big. (It’s my favorite sculpt in the game, but it’s HUGE). I also wish we would get the level of detail that comes with the tactics miniatures.


I think the Romulan Scout/Science Vessels are a bit too small for my tastes, but not nearly as bad as the Constitution class. The Cardassians, Defiant, Reliant, smaller Klingon ships are all good sized. I love the Valdore, but that wing span is a problem. I usually stack mine 3 pegs high just to help with the touching.
Oh, and pick up a Tactics 1 D7 model. I got 2 off eBay for $17 shipped and they look so much better than the D7/K'Tinga STAW miniature. Worth the money.

Alyksandyr wrote:
Card components. Thankfully, they have improved. The original releases were so flimsy it was terrible. They have improved and it’s a welcome improvement. However, my damage deck remains the flimsy card stock of the initial release. I’d be curious to know if there is a 2nd printing of the starter set that uses the thicker cardstock. I have always wanted to have a 3rd Vorcha.

Sleeve the damage deck. That solves the whole problem.

Alyksandyr wrote:
With an attack die more likely to generate a hit than a defense die, the game favors a play style where “buckets of dice” are the answer to every problem. While some people will look at this as an opportunity to focus on skillful maneuvering to place yourself in a shoot and don’t get shot firing position, that is taking the game to a level few initial players will encounter.

I'm repeating myself here, but my Vo, 1 attack die ship with 2 Hull & 2 Shields, took out a Koranak, 5 attack die ship with 4 Hull & 3 Shields. The Koranak even had a Dorsal Weapons Array so it did attack the Vo every turn. Attack Wing is not just a "buckets of dice" game, it's just very easy to see that part of the game.

Alyksandyr wrote:
It’s easy to stack attacks and play an offensive game. It’s nigh impossible to play a defensive game. This stems from two basic factors.

1. The defense values of ships are naturally low.
2. There is little to no ability to repair damage dealt in the game.

Next, I feel this game needs is the ability to play a more defensive game. Either thru enhanced agility, a more consistent way to negate/repair damage, or a more consistent way to remove enemy attack dice. These are all areas of play that are lacking right now and improvement in these abilities would greatly enhance the game.

Gul Evek is amazing with any cloaked ship and/or Sulu. I have Evek (reroll all blank defense dice) on a Negh'var with Kerla (at Range 1, convert a Battlestations to Evade) and Sulu and was getting 6 out of 7 evades every roll. If I hadn't been dumb and attacked & uncloaked, or if I'd had AWS, that ship would have never died. It was getting hammered by 3 strong Klingons but evaded it all. I can't wait to try the Vo w/Gul Evek. With a weapon upgrade or Flagship to help the Vo get past cloaking defenses it should be unbeatable when flown well.
Adding in the defensive based Command Tokens, I think that's all of the defense modifiers in the game unfortunately. There's probably twice as many attack modifiers. There needs to be some more balance between the two options.
And I agree there needs to be better ways to repair damage. All the options right now are poor ones.

Alyksandyr wrote:
Also, I feel the game has grown stagnant at the captain level. The best captain in the game is Jean-Luc Picard. His 9 skill, coupled with a free action every turn makes him a staple on pretty much any ship. Convention exclusive Khan is equally potent with his cheap cost and free ability to become a 9 skill captain thanks to many people playing JLP. Finally, adding in Kirk and Martok and there are 4 captains who move last, and shoot first. When I say the game has grown stagnant at the captain level, I mean that in most games I play, the opponent will have at least 1 9 skill captain, and quite often 2 or 3 of them. Because of the high base cost of a ship, 4-5 ship swarms are few and far between. Add in the “buckets of attack dice” game environment and even a 4-5 ship swarm is reduced to space dust after 2-3 passes. Something needs to be done here. An upgrade is needed that targets captains. It can be as simple as a disable, but it does not need to be that simple. Perhaps an action that causes a captain to act at a lower skill. Perhaps an action that blanks out a captain’s special ability. It’s an area of the game that does not exist outside of the damage deck.

While I disagree that Picard is the best captain in the game (Martok8 is much more flexible than Picard), I agree that the captains have stagnated a bit. Everyone knows who the best Captains are and plays those first. Thankfully with each new wave of ships we get a few new "good captains". Worf & Dukat from Wave 2, Romulan Commander (probably) from Wave 3. The Best Captains (all the 8's & 9's) still get the most play, but the next tier down has been changing. Hopefully we can get more of the "best captains" out there to keep things from stagnating too much.

Alyksandyr wrote:
The Future. Finally, I wanted to talk about the future. Between now and the 1st anniversary of the games release, there will be 17 more ships released, and 6 more currently planned beyond that. These are retail items. Add in 2 prizes remaining from The Dominion War, 6 from The Borg, and 2 from the April/May events and you have 33 more ships to be released before October 2014. This game has A LOT of future in it. While my wallet will not like the aggressive release plan, it should help keep the game fresh and vibrant for the remainder of the year.


Yes! My bank account is definitely going to hurt, but I'm almost overwhelmed with the potentials in the future.
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Jason Becker
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I find your lack of faith disturbing.
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Thanks for your updated review.

Alyksandyr wrote:
The misses would be the Constitution Class, and perhaps the Valdore. The Constitution class is too small, and the Valdore is too big. (It’s my favorite sculpt in the game, but it’s HUGE).


I completely agree. Although the Constiution Class doesn't bother me that much, the fact that the Valdore is soo HUGE and it stays off of my base in most close encounters, really bothers me.

I really want to see what the next 6-9 months bring to the game. Things may have become stagnant, but I want to see what is in store before I complain.
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Trueflight Silverwing
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Glad to see that you are enjoying the game. I think it is among the best out there for the type of play it offers.

Just one thing;
Alyksandyr wrote:
I also wish we would get the level of detail that comes with the tactics miniatures.

You do realize that these are the exact same models from Tactics right? The only change was that they left off the serial numbers and names on the ships so that they could be used as generic no name variants.

They did make some poor decisions on what versions of the models to use. For example using the cloaked version of the defiant, which is less detailed than the normal one, and using the B'Moth for the D7 and Kronos One, despite the lower detail and incorrect tower compared to the other correct variations of that model which already exist.
 
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To the OP:
Thank you for the great comments =)
I would like to note the following IMO:
1) I have won 3 of my 7 OP Event wins so far (yes, I have won 7 OP events) without using a capt higher than 7. It is harder to do overall, however it really is viable and in some cases better.
2) The game is MUCH MORE FUN if you have faction pure per ship. You don't need faction fleets (though that is great too) however I find that faction pure per ship REALLY helps the overall feel of the game. I think that this is a HUGE factor in helping several of the issues you noted.
3) You can win games playing defensive, I have done it before. The issue is in OP events that a good defensive fleet can not typically win tournaments as it will not be able to do enough dmg to get the reliable wins, so you may tie and you may have won in a 2 hour game, but in a 1 hour game you will not have enough fleet points total to take the tournament title IMO. Defensive has more to do with positioning / sensor echo / IG / CD / Strafing with federation / etc.
4) The 'buckets of dice' is a very easy (no thought) solid option, which is why it seems the only good option to many ATM. It does have flaws and I actually expect the meta to shift more to maneuvering as people get more OP experience. I have already seen this in my OP events some.
5) I love that they are releasing soo many ships. Sure, it will quickly outpace my ability to buy them all, but I am OK with that, it makes the game more interesting. I dont want to see the same 3-4 fleets all the time, I want each game to be fresh and interesting. Releasing more ships (that are balanced, which all so far have been IMO) is the way to do it.
6) This game may not be perfect (over complicated mines, no official links to FAQ, some odd card prices (red shirt, why are you not 2-3 cost???) however with that said, this is in my top 3 games ever, which with the number of games I play says A LOT!
Anyway, just my thoughts
=D
 
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Bob Anderson
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Ender02 wrote:

You do realize that these are the exact same models from Tactics right? The only change was that they left off the serial numbers and names on the ships so that they could be used as generic no name variants.


There is more than just that. Look at this image.



Beyond the addition of serial numbers and names, there is additional colors.

Also, while I understand leaving serial numbers and names off of the ship, when I buy the expansion pack, I'm buying the USS Defiant expansion pack, not the defiant class expansion pack. It should have the hull numbers and name on it.
 
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