Saturday, 26 October 2013

Star Trek Attack Wing, Dominion War Organised Play Tournaments.

Star Trek Attack Wing is a wargame made by WizKids (the guys that gave us Heroclix, Mechwarrior: Dark Age and Quarriors, to name just a few). The main game mechanics, known as the Flightpath System, are licensed from Fantasy Flight and appeared in FF's X-Wing game (you can scroll down to see some pretty pictures from that). X-Wing is quite a simple game, albeit with enough depth to keep it interesting. Attack Wing is just that little bit more complex than X-Wing, with more options, upgrades (crew, weapons, tech and abilities) and card combinations for a player to use. I hadn't planned on getting in to this game as I already had the quite similar X-Wing and, and this being the main reason, unlike X-Wing, the ships aren't to scale. I gave it a couple of plays though, when a friend, Richard (scroll down to see a picture of him asleep on a train) had bought the core set and a few boosters, and despite the similarities, it did feel a fair bit different than X-Wing. A couple of things swung it for me though. When at SELWG (An annual wargames trade fair and convention run by the South East London Warlords) a few weeks ago, Richard alerted my attention to a stall that was selling Attack Wing starter sets for R.R.P. (£25) but with the free addition of a Khan Sing (KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!) GenCon exclusive card and token set. Richard then brought  Ebay up on his phone which showed that Khan and associated tokens were selling for £50. I'm a sucker for a bargain and love limited release and special edition stuff. As Richard said: I "got the card half price and a free starter set.". It is my love for the aforementioned rare bits and bobs though, that really swung me to my decision to get into the game however. Games stores around the country are currently running a series of linked narrative tournaments based on The Dominion War from Star Trek: Deep Space 9. And, yes, at these tournaments there is the chance to come away with limited special edition goodies.

        So, today saw me (without having had any sleep the night before I might add) arriving at Waterloo Station in London at the bright and early time of 8 a.m. where I was greeted by the site of a number of cosplayers. Richard, who I met there, then informed me that this weekend was ComiCon at Excell in London's Docklands. I was a bit miffed. I'd have loved to go to ComiCon but had somehow completely missed all advertising or mention of when it was on. Anyway, Richard had put our names down for two tournaments (in one day) at a games shop (called The Games Shop) in Aldershot (about an hour's travel by train from Waterloo). I had thought I'd missed out on the first month's organised play in the narrative campaign, what with getting into the game rather late. Fortunately, The Games Shop was running both of the first two month's organised play tournaments on one day, a while after other venues had moved past the first.

        The tournaments each consisted of 3 games with players pairing off to fight each-other. The scenario for the games in the first tournament featured the Bajoran Wormhole, a self replicating minefield, and a Cardassian Nor Class space station that could in the course of the game be boarded and controlled. (If you watched DS9, you'll be familiar with these things.)  The object of the game was simply to destroy your opponents fleet. I did badly to begin with and lost my first two games. I restored a bit of glory however, by winning my third when my opponent zoomed his ships forward to take control of the space station, into which I poured an entire rounds worth of shooting (ignoring his ships) thereby destroying it and killing most of his crew who had beamed over to it. After that, his ships, bereft of a quality crew, were easy pickings. The tournaments both had their full compliment of 12 players. Due to my early losses, I managed to only come in a poor 9th place earning me the rank of Lieutenant as far as the rankings went.

        After lunch, it was time for the second tournament. The scenario for this one featured a planet in the centre of the table surrounded by four orbital gun platforms which would attack the closest ships that were within their ranges. It was representative of the attack by The Federation and it's allies on the Dominion ship yards in the Chin'toka System (also from DS9). The victory condition was again to wipe out the opposite players fleet.Unlike the previous scenario, I had had a practice game of this one at Enfield Gamers a couple of weeks ago. My fleet (with the exception of a difference of one card that I switched from the first tournament) had in fact been built to play this scenario. I hadn't even read the first tournament's scenario until about 5 a.m. this morning. I do tend to leave things to the last minute. If I had been more prepared, I may have built a fleet better suited to the first scenario for those games. This time I met with success. I wiped out my opponents fleets in every game, only losing the original Enterprise in two of them. I netted a maximum 300 points which propelled me into first place and the rank of Admiral. After my poor performance in the mornings tournament, I really expected to do about as well as I had then. After two wins in the afternoon's games though, I smelt blood and was hungry for a win.

        It was a very fun day with a good level of sportsmanship from the players. I came away with a bundle of limited edition stuff, most notably a B'rel Class Klingon Bird Of Prey.

        I'm off again tomorrow, to Darksphere (another games shop) at Waterloo to play the second round tournament again. I had intended to shift around my fleet list a bit and maybe add in some of the new upgrades that I won today. However, I couldn't fit any of them in without removing what I see as very effective parts of my fleet build. I'll just have to see how it goes.

I didn't take any pictures today as I was just too engrossed in the games to do so. So here are a few from my very first pair of games against Richard a couple of months ago at Finchley Games Club.

The first fleet I took. The correct captains for the ships.

And my upgrade cards for the above fleet. Still the right crew for the ships.

Tribble tokens. Remember...Klingons hate Tribbles and Tribbles hate Klingons.

Oh dear. A pile of Tribbles on a Klingon ship.

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