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Dungeons & Dragons: Attack Wing» Forums » General

Subject: some news, possibly (grain of salt) rss

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Jason Newell
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Was looking around at stuff, and on one of the attack wing facebook groups, there was a mention from a guy who spoke to Justin Ziran, Wizkids CEO in Montreal, and apparrently one of the changes they are considering for a relaunch of the product line is to drop ground units entirely from the game. This idea upsets me greatly, in no small part because I run (or ran before the extended hiatus) predominantly giants and troops. I certainly hope Wizkids do not go in that direction.
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Bobb Beauchamp
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I would hope if they do anything to change the game is to just drop troops, not all ground creatures. While I enjoy playing troops a lot, they are more fiddly than anything else in the game, and a lot of people just don't get them. They have a lot of rules that work specifically only to them, and they could decide to not release any troops in the future while leaving existing troops alone, and maybe allow them to be excluded from future OP events at the discretion of the TO.

If they take the game to only use flying creatures, then they rule out a good number of D&D creatures, and the game simply becomes just a re-skin of the Star Trek Attack Wing game. I thought the game handled the different play levels extremely well, and if I had a complaint about ground troops, it's that they couldn't pivot/stay stationary without losing their action.
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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I agree that troops have too many special rules; flyers-only rules could be explained in about the same time. However, I don't see how removing the troops would make the game viable.

Flyers-only with riders taking a more prominent role (imagine Nymmestra on dragonback with her own stats, actions and attacks) could be cool and simplify the both gameplay and the product line.
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Jeffrey Huntington
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mlvanbie wrote:
Flyers-only with riders taking a more prominent role (imagine Nymmestra on dragonback with her own stats, actions and attacks) could be cool and simplify the both gameplay and the product line.


Amen! I've always been amazed that there aren't any Dragonlance-style aerial duel rules. That would rekindle my interest in spending money on the game.
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Max POWER
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If they did a relaunch/re-skin of the game I could understand if they didn't include troops for the reasons Bobb mentioned; their fiddliness/difficulty could turn off some newer players. I myself quite enjoy an occasional outing with troops, however.
But without ground creatures entirely. Ummm...no. Probably two thirds of the creatures I run are ground creatures. Dragons for the most part never really floated my boat. I would not be interested in an air-only D&D Attackwing.
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Aron R
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Unfortunately, relaunching this fantastic game at this point seems to be doomed to failure. The original version failed to catch on at least in part because of WizKids' history of poor implementation and support of other games; then they went and proved it with this game too. It would be nearly impossible for me to convince many other local players to pick up a new version, or to convince stores to stock it, after the first go round.

I taught a lot of players how to play this game. Never once did they say that the complex troop rules would dissuade them from purchasing (those that couldn't figure it out just didn't play troops). Rather, it was much more about the exuberant release schedule (three expansions per month!) that they couldn't keep up with, along with the saturation of the market of similar games. And D&D AW almost never seemed to be the first choice when budgets were limited.
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Bobb Beauchamp
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I have run into players that didn't like troops, but no one complained about the ground creatures, or their interaction with flyers. But even so, it was easy to explain to a player how troops got attacked, which is mostly what you need to know when facing them, and if you didn't like it, you didn't have to play them.

While I'll be interested in seeing if they do actually come out with a revamped system, I don't see it changing anything. Because the system wasn't what the problem was with the game. At 3 boosters a month, that's asking for a $50+ commitment (with great discounts) from your players. That's a whole new game every month. The repeat participation boosters for the first 6 OPs didn't help, either, and not all the OP prizes generated the same level of interest. I've played D&D for nigh 40 years, and I still don't know what a Hieracospinx is.

The OP system needed to have less repetition and focus on classic D&D creatures that people actually wanted to compete for. They took too long to get around to the Drider, Beholder, and Nightmare.
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Daniel Reid
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The main reason I went for Attack Wing: D&D over Xwing is the incorporation of ground troops and creatures. I do think the troop rules are a little more fiddly than I anticipated, but it just seems like one more thing to master and exploit. That's a good thing in a game, right?

To me, the biggest misses on Attack Wing have been the aggressive release schedule out of the gate, and the way need to buy creatures to get more abilities/spells/items. I would rather have seen some non-random booster packs of cards, rather than collecting creatures I will rarely field just to get that nifty additional ability for a favorite monster.
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Mr Osterman
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Hammuabi wrote:
I would rather have seen some non-random booster packs of cards, rather than collecting creatures I will rarely field just to get that nifty additional ability for a favorite monster.


All this.

And I got suckered in because my wife's a HUGE dragon fan and she just had to go Pokemon on this game. But in fairness if they had said "here's a compendium of all the ability cards" they would have made a small fortune on the books and still been able to sell the minis and the dials.

Now I'm left wondering if we're going to keep the set (and we have WAY too many expansions) or just liquidate to finance other game interests.
 
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Jason Newell
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It is pretty clear that the game itself is not the problem, but rather Wizkids' business practices.
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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I don't think that Wizkids' business practices killed D&DAW, except in so far as they decided to release the game at all. They probably caused much more of the game to be released than had they behaved differently. Few games ever get as much material released as D&DAW did.

The game started off in a bad position because there were already two successful Flightpath games using popular licenses. X-Wing is a near-perfect game with minimal tournament support and a comparatively slow build-out (D&DAW quickly produced more models than X-Wing had despite a two year lead). Huge expansions can cost up to US$100, but prices were the same as D&DAW for small expansions and slightly more for large ones (now up to $50 for a large ship that you might field two of; it comes with a bonus small ship, but this is the only way to get it and you could field four of them...). Star Trek Attack Wing is from Wizkids, has a huge number of ships released 3 per wave/month with monthly event prizes, blind boosters and so forth. Despite serious problems with point costs it isn't dead yet.

The core mechanics really only make sense for flying figures, so launching as 'fantasy adventures' with mostly ground figures wouldn't have worked.* If the dragons usually fit on small bases (which seemed to be the plan at one point; I got great prices on Wave 1 from CSI before they got corrected information) then troops and adventurers would have had serious scale problems and the game wouldn't have stood out as different. This meant that the average cost of expansions went up, but usually you didn't need more than one copy of an expansion. Compare with X-Wing where wave previews inspire threads on how many copies of each ship people will get. If you compare prices with FFG's Star Wars: Armada game (US$100 base set, expansions are $20 to $50, tournament-worthy lists generally require multiple copies of expansions), D&DAW looks pretty good.

D&DAW launched fully-formed with a large Wave 1 containing many cool things. It was all over the place for types of units, but you could make real lists from day 1, an improvement over the other games. Shortly after launch, the game probably had the highest number of players. AFAICT, there were very few healthy groups for the game. Even the world finals were smaller than monthly X-Wing tournaments. People had fun, but there weren't that many people.

*: FFG is going to use a combined movement and action dial in Runewars Miniatures Game, which looks to be as expensive as Armada and isn't even painted. It will probably be awesome and appeal to the miniature wargaming community as well as people who play X-Wing. Star Wars: Imperial Assault will also suck your wallet dry while providing an excellent 2p skirmish game (slightly cheaper expansions than other games, but the miniatures are unpainted, unimpressive and not accompanied by much). All four of FFG's games that I've mentioned here are so expensive that most people can only play one but they all have different mechanics and scales so they aren't likely to cannibalize each other's sales.
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Wispur Kultus
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Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.

Well, I've been fooled 7 times.

I've bought into 7+ different Wizkids games over the years, only to have them quietly abandon each one.

I already feel like an idiot for thinking D&D Attack Wing would be any different.

I sure as hell ain't gonna buy into a new version if it ever comes out.
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Captain Shagrat wrote:
It is pretty clear that the game itself is not the problem, but rather Wizkids' business practices.


Well that is why everyone burned by Star Trek Attack Wing was hesitant. I jumped in because my son loved dragons and wanted to play.
The constant power creep and poorly thought out upgrades that make it pay to play. The exclusive OP cards that had serious tourney power made it untenable.
I don't think the problem is troops, I think the problem is that they botched the implementation of troops. They made the rules excessively complicated for little gain. They should have avoided all of the ridiculous formation rules, point soldiers, morale checks when you loose them and the like. Then when they made pivot and standing still a stressed maneuver for ground units the system lost credibility. Standing still should have been their only green maneuver. Pivoting a white maneuver at most. Every ground combat game requires engines like ballistas to stand still in order to fire. DDAW requires them to keep rolling.

I doubt they can restart it, or convince the stores to restock it. But they would have to fix ground units not eliminate them to have any hope of rebuilding the game.
 
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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Standing still and pivoting need to be red:

* so that units can't turtle, causing the game to suck
* evade actions shouldn't be allowed for sitting ducks

Ballistas were interesting to play with but a complete mismatch for the rules system; they should be more accurate the less that they move, but that's bad for the game.

Ground troops don't really make sense in the Flightpath system. Runewars Miniatures Game has a better approach (and a much simpler way to deal with troops). Tanks (2016) has a very simple system that also looks interesting while allowing flexible positioning.

The morale rules never made sense to me. Rolling a number of dice equal to damage just taken, the number of units lost so far, dice in the attack minus the number of troops or a morale value on each token would have been a more logical fit.
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Mr Osterman
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mlvanbie wrote:
Standing still and pivoting need to be red:

* so that units can't turtle, causing the game to suck
* evade actions shouldn't be allowed for sitting ducks

Ballistas were interesting to play with but a complete mismatch for the rules system; they should be more accurate the less that they move, but that's bad for the game.


But rather than Red why not simply tack on the "no evade" rule? If a ground unit doesn't move, it can't evade as it's action and can only remove a counter for a used ability or focus. That allows the more thematic "hold here men!" factor without forcing them to also be able to "Dive for cover!" all the time either.

That and the other real fix for troops I would see is to make them a single large based "creature" and skip all this work trying to do complex movement and pivots and point men and formations...

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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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If you don't move, should you be allowed to charge? Does offensive concentration involve taking your shot at the right time when both you and your opponent are moving? Should a wing-over exhaust you or are you just shuffling over a bit to the side?

This misses the main point that games need reasons for the miniatures to actually move. Even without actions, not moving is hugely powerful in Flightpath games. (Intentionally bumping your own pieces while getting actions was pretty broken in D&DAW and did lead to a Vakka/Calamity strategy that was exactly the sort of thing that was supposed to be avoided.) The game systems is supposed to reward guessing your opponent's maneuvers and acting accordingly, not having a stand-off.

For ground troops that act as a block, try Kings of War (10 to 40 minis in a block!) or Runewars Miniatures Game (trays of minis in a variant of the Flightpath system).
 
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I completely disagree that ground units don't belong in the flightpath system. The problem is the system tried to make them move like they were flying. I play ancient and medieval miniatures games all the time, stationary or slow moving infantry is how shield and bow units are supposed to work. Your fast movers can make poorly positioned 'stand offs' pay quickly by flanking them or hitting them with an area weapon or both.

Can't fathom any way that would make the game suck, in fact forcing ballistas to move around the field so they wouldn't 'stall' was far worse.

X-wing is about guessing your opponents maneuvers, D&D did not have to be about guessing which way the infantry would fly. Standing still is not powerful, especially if infantry is severely limited in its movement. That means it is a stationary target and your opponent can know about where it will be so it can be targeted. The problem with the infantry is that it moved to much to be predictable. Being predictable should be the handicap for infantry.

Infantry should be limited to standing still, green. Pivot, white, 1 forward, white, 1 bank white, 2 forward red, 1 backward red.
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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Note that your attack arc and range assumes that you are moving. A stationary ballista should only be able to shoot straight forward along a range ruler. Melee attacks against someone who doesn't want to engage you in a melee attack should probably have their range reduced by one.

Play a few times against the Vakka/Calamity list (described in the first World tournament results thread). If you think it is fun, then post a variant with new dials.
 
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