When we first heard about D&D Attack Wing at GenCon we tried to get an interview with the wonderful people at Wizkids Games. However the response for this game at GenCon was just overwhelming and there were so many people lined up all four days, that we never got a chance to speak with them. That was until last night when we interviewed lead game designer Andrew Parks of Quixotic Games. Andrew and Quixotic Games were hired by Wizkids to make this game come to life and boy did they! This game is super fun and easy to play. The flight path system gaming market has some really terrific options in X-Wing, Attack Wing, Sails of Glory, and of course Wings of Glory. And as more details about the game emerged, my excitement continued to build because this game was all about you getting to battle with dragons.
D&D Attack Wing is the most recent miniatures flight path system offered by WizKids Games. WizKids Games is also known for their Star Trek: Attack Wing game which licenses the flight path rule system from Fantasy Flight Games which produces the Star Wars: X-Wing miniatures game. These games play very similar, so if you have played one of the others then you will be able to pick this game up rather quickly. D&D Attack Wing offers a nice balance of familiarity with originality to make it worth the investment.
D&D Attack Wing no longer limits you to a single altitude state of flying, there are units that fly and there are units on the ground. In addition there are also units that can both fly, land or attack creatures that can fly. Basically in game you now have three levels of altitude; flying, swooping, and ground. There are combat rules around each level, which we will talk about later in this article.
Forgotten Realms Theme
This game is set in the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms Universe like the D&D RPG. For those familiar with the world will find themselves able to jump into the game right away. For those players that are not into Dungeons & Dragons or don’t care for those kinds of games, worry not. Andrew and his team have designed this game in a way that you don’t need to know anything about D&D or Forgotten Realms to play.
There is nothing about this game that requires any foreknowledge around the creatures, characters, or universe.
The Look and Feel
I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of painting my minis. It's just tedious and to me a pain. However, for all of us non-mini painters out there, these models are really well done and the paint jobs don't look cheap at all. From the biggest Red Dragon down to the smallest Ballista each piece looks amazing.
All the units scale pretty well with respect to one another. And because I love dragons I could easily argue that the dragons could be larger from a realistic perspective but as this is a fantasy game and it would really interfere with the mechanics, we can certainly let that go.
The detail in each of these models is worthy to be out in display but are strong and sturdy enough to even let older children play with without worry of being broken.
Mechanics and Gameplay
D&D Attack Wing plays very similar to the Star Wars X-Wing miniature game from Fantasy Flight Games, as well as Star Trek Attack Wing from WizKids but there are some notable differences.
The biggest addition to D&D Attack Wing is the notably different levels of altitude on the game table. There can be both air and ground units on the table as well as units that are able to do both. Let's take the the Sun Elf Wizard as Andrew's example in our interview.
This unit starts on the ground but one of the upgrades is the ability to fly. It just takes an action to trigger this effect after which he is considered flying until you decide to undo the ability. The dragons work very similar to this except that for them it doesn’t take an upgrade to trigger the effect. Dragons start the game flying. After the move phase you can decide if you want the dragon to continue flying, swoop, or land.
The concept of altitude Whizkids has added to the game really adds a very interesting strategy to D&D Attack Wing. Simply put it makes it so that flying units can only melee flying units, ground units can only melee other ground units and units that can use ranged attacks can attack both flying and ground from either altitude. Dragons have the ability to swoop and swooping allows dragons to melee both flying and ground units. This is a great but you want to be wary with using the dragons swooping action because it allows for melee attack against the dragon from both flying and ground units.
This added concept of altitude really makes the game fun and adds a whole other level of gameplay and strategy to the game. How Andrew explained D&D Attack Wing handles the difference in movement both in the air and on the ground is simple. The creatures usually have two movement dials; one for ground movement and one for air movement. But you will have some special units, like the Wraith, that only have one movement dial. This is because their movements are the same since the Wraith hovers and they are not flying like the other units.
Another added element to the game are two new movements; pivot and fall back. The pivot movement allows a unit to not move but to take an option to rotate either 90 or 180 degrees. This movement does come with a cost, the unit cannot take an Action and now any attackers get a +1 attack dice when fighting the unit that had pivoted. Next is the fall back movement. This movement allows the unit to move backwards without changing direction. Like before this movement comes with a cost as it is a red movement which exhausts the unit and they are unable to take any actions until they perform a green maneuver.
The ground troops move in a formation and attack as a whole, not individually. However, when being attacked with any melee attacks they are hit individually. The area of effect and ranged attacks against ground troops attack the ground troop as a whole.
Andrew explained that a point unit is assigned to the ground troops and there are rules around legal and illegal formations. Ground troop units can become pressed when they overlap other unit bases. They can change formation throughout the game. You can run anywhere between one and six units per troop.
D&D Attack Wing is a fun and exciting addition to the miniature flight path genre. It is fun enough to play with your kids at the kitchen table and strategic enough to want to play with your buddies at the gaming table.If you’ve played X-Wing or Star Trek Attack Wing then this game will be extremely easy to pick up and play. The elevation aspect of flying and ground units is exciting and unique to the genre. The cost of the game is on par with both X-Wing and Star Trek Attack Wing.
If you want to learn more about this game check out our interview with Andrew where he gave a "you heard it first hear" scoop about a new move mechanic coming to the the game that doesn't involve flying or levitation, a powerful ancient silver dragon coming in the next wave, a very amazing dwarf coming in wave 6, and so much more!!
For more information on what units and dragons will be coming to a gaming store near you check out Wizkids Games and Quixotic Games.