Sunday, September 4, 2016

Star Trek Attack Wing saves the day...

The last time my friend Craig, Jim and I were in the same room together must have been over 25 years ago. The last time we were together, we were playing West End Games' Star Wars RPG/Gurps together that ended around 1990. Indeed Craig, Jim and I were part of our original RPG group going back to 1980. We gamed together for just over a decade in the golden-age of RPGing in the 1980s (as discussed here).

Craig was in town this long weekend, and the three of us gamed. I joked that I was worried the time-space continuum would collapse with a wormhole opening up now that all three of us were gathered in the same room after all these years.

We started with Star Trek: Frontiers by WizKids. I won't bore you too much with the details..

Jim bought the game and noted that he found the rules in small font and with lots of moving parts and overly complicated. It was based on MageKnight apparently, with the Star Trek theme slapped on the mechanics.

The game's premise is that we are each starship captains exploring a new sector and have to fight Romulans, Dominion and Borg that you meet up with..  You can encounter all kinds of planets (Class M, Class K), outposts, black holes and such.. What didn't make sense theme-wise was you can recruit new crew in this brand new part of space..

Combat in the game is abstract with not much of a random element to it as well. A fiddly game though that did not add much enjoyment to any of us.

 The minis seemed okay to be honest..

and the cards, tiles, etc were fine production-wise.

The game play though, was lacklustre and missing something.. Overly complex and fiddly that was not enjoyable at all. Jim summed it up pretty well in the end when he said "The best part of this game is the storage."

Yeah, neat little inserts for a boring game; I'll give Wizkids that..

I will rate this game a 5/10 on BGG when I get the chance.  It was a disappointing game for a 25-year-in-the-making rendezvous with an old friend..

We continued on with Star Trek: Attack Wing, also by WizKids..

We did a 3 way fight between the UFP, Klingons and Romulans.. A 100 points each with the object of the scenario was the last man standing at the end..

Diplomacy broke down and we are fighting over a planet.

I built a fleet of 2 D'dederix class ships and a small science vessel (armed with a popgun) vs Craig's Klingons and Jim's Starfleet.  Eight ships enclosed in a 3'x 3' space ready to romp around..

Craig and I it seems were heading toward each other straight-on at the beginning..

I thought, let the s.s.s.s.s.slaughter begin early on..

We exchanged some pleasure-to-meet-you volleys at each other as we flew past each other but no one was seriously damaged...

This led me further from the battle now, but Craig's momentum would lead him straight on to Jim's Feds who were swinging by in the other direction.

They each gave each other a punch in the nose lowering some shields..

Craig though was rolling poorly this game. It seems 25 years of not gaming has not earned him credit with the Dice Gods.. Few of his rolls were spectacular, and he rarely managed to score more than 2 hits on a roll..

My Science Vessel fought with Jim on the other side and somehow evaded a lot of attacks, but was destroyed in the end.

Our Praetor's pride was satisfied though as it did manage to lower 1 point of Jim's shields before blowing up. Long Live the Romulan Star Empire and all that.

I quickly noticed though I was in trouble with my 2 D'deridex-class ships.. Just when you think you're out, they pull you back in again..

I was swinging around the planet, but Jim booted one of his ships past Craig's fleet and was going to swing to MY rear. I just knew that he was going to do that.

Jim's Intrepid-class ship though took a beating from Craig and didn't have too many shields left, but he was going to be nice and safe if he was behind me attacking me at his leisure. Something had to be done.

I asked Craig outloud how much damage he took, etc, to give the impression I was going to swing around the planet and pummel his Klingons who just engaged with Starfleet. I'd hoped I gave that impression to Jim, and he sure enough chose to swing around to get behind me..

But I did an emergency reverse (taking auxiliary damage) for both of my ships and I got behind him!

I actually did a victory dance for that maneuver..

It was a short lived dance though.. This is where I was starting to question how powerful the Federation ships were. At point blank, I managed to knock the piss off Jim's Intrepid class and it did not last long given Craig and I gave it a beating.

Jim's other ship though had Picard and Scotty with this and that abilities, and was pulling miracle mechanics that made that ship untouchable.. He gave me a beating at long range with his Quantum torpedoes, trying to rescue his Intrepid-class in front of me..

I tried to flee to get out of Jim's front arc but the Starfleet vessel closed in..

Meanwhile, Craig's Klingons did a Crazy-Ivan and reversed back to try and get behind Jim..

Pretty soon, Jim was the jelly in our Klingon and Romulan sandwich. After Craig and I knocked out Jim, I was going to finish my off my temporary "ally" Craig and win. As you can see here, Jim was caught in a vice between me and the Klingons. Or so I thought.

Craig blows some of Jim's shields down but then super-duper Starfleet ships can work miracles after all. Jim somehow destroyed the Bird-of-Prey who was weakened from before, but the D-7 (or whatever they call that ship nowadays) swings past to try and finish off Jim.

Jim does an emergency reverse without taking auxiliary damage as Scotty and Picards' abilities combined can bend the mechanics of the game it seems. This was a big deal as Jim was able reverse and not have any repercussions.

He backs up and gets behind Craig all of a sudden and lets him have it..

Craig hurt Jim but lost his ship soon enough and was now out of the fight.. Craig complained that he felt he was stuck with Four Years War ships ( a FASA Star Trek reference for us old farts) and was up against ships a century ahead of him.

It was just my two Romulans and Jim's sole Starfleet ship now..

We managed to spend some turns going around the planet but frustratingly, even though I manage to do some hard reversing and get Jim in front of my arc a couple of times, I found I could barely scratch him.. Picard this and Scotty that nullified my efforts twice.

When I outmaneuvered hit him again and at point blank did not do a scratch..again.., at 2 am, I conceded the game.

I kept pulling miracle dodge saves all night, worthy of the Dice Hall of Fame..

but I lacked the punching power to destroy Jim. I think my mistake was at the beginning investing points on a puny science vessel when I could have gotten better crew and weapons.

All in all though, it was a fun night, and it was great again to play with Craig after all these years. The old banter and wit was evident when we played Attack Wing.. The game's charm is not the minis nor the dice, but in the maneuvering.. It is a great feeling to have that perfect maneuver after second guessing your opponent's move and get him in your arc while he is helpless.

All in all, thumbs up! Good game.


  1. Yep, the Klingon ships are far too outdated in this game, good hitting power if you buy photon torpedoes but they lack a decent defense. I had a great time gaming with you both again, maybe next year we can play the FASA star ship combat rules ;-)

  2. Great to have all 3 of us game again. Definitely again next year.

  3. Perhaps it was just the editions of the ships in play. Given that STAW has ships ranging from TOS through the last of the Next Gen movies there was quite a bit of variation. I also have far fewer Klingon and Romulan ships in my collection which further limited the options in an ad hoc game. Maybe next time a specific scenario or a stricter definition of time line would help to balance things.
    Now I run the risk of wanting to go out and buy more ships!

    1. Excellent. See you at the gaming store. :-)