Thursday, 24 October 2013



It's still early days for the blog, so if you're following, keep with me. I have plenty of articles already in the queue. I plan on updating once per day.

So I figured I would get a bit more basic than some of my previous posts. Let's talk about the actions in the game.

For those of you familiar with X-wing, here's a quick guide to the actions that are exactly the same, with brief commentary on their differences, if any:

Evade = Evasive Maneuvers: Exactly the same. You get a token that allows you to add one evade result to your dice rolls. 

Target Lock = Target Lock: Exactly the same, with the caveat that in Attack Wing, you cannot Target Lock a ship that started the turn with a Cloak Token. 

Barrel Roll = Sensor Echo: Exactly the same, except that only cloaked ships may perform the Sensor Echo. 

Focus = Battlestations: Change eyes to either evades or hits, change battlestations to either evades or hits. 

Sensors= Something new for Attack Wing. If you have a scan token, your opponent rolls one less defence die than they normally would. This is actually a very underused but great action.

Cloak= While Sensors are new to Attack Wing, Cloak is the change that makes this game significantly different than X-Wing. Cloak adds +4 defence dice to your defence roll. You turn a 1 agility ship, into a 5 agility ship. A cloaked, Sulu''d, Terel'd Defiant gets to roll 9 defence dice in response to every single attack. This change significantly affects the game and how ships are valued. Of course, if you cloak, you have to drop all of your shields- any hit or crit that you can't shake off goes directly to the hull. This is the big balancing factor with respect to Cloaking and it's HUGE. 

Typically, if you have a cloakable ship, you're going to want to cloak it on the first turn, since it's one of only two actions that provide you with an action that lasts past the cleanup round at the end of every turn. Your shields are down, but you now have significantly more defence dice than you did previously. This is a good thing- in the opening rounds. As you start to take hits on your hull, you'll probably want to drop the cloak entirely and try to hobble around on your shields. The big factor here is that most ships that can cloak CAN'T use Battlestations. They will typically have no way to affect their defence roll aside from Evading or Echoing out of the way of attacks. This makes cloaking a very consistent, but moderately swingy action. You're relying on straight dice rolling instead of dice manipulation. 

The Federation has across the board access to Battlestations. Generally, the other factions get access to Battlestations if their ship doesn't have cloak. It's a very effective trade-off. 

I've been reading people talking about the overpowered nature of the Cloak action. Generally, I think that these people haven't played much. After a few games, a beginner will come to realize that Cloaking is a useful ability, but is balanced off by the non-manipulable dice rolls and the lack of shields. 

That being said, there are still ways to get Battlestations on your Cloaked ships. There are some cards like Drex, that let you change your battlestations to hits. You can always put Captain Picard on your cloakable ship for access to Battlestations. Captain Picard is an amazing captain, but he's unique, and when the going gets tough and you're running into other ships, and losing his actions, he's a 7 point upgrade that does nothing. 

So, I think Cloaking in and of itself is a complete game changer over X-Wing. The number of attack dice across ships has increased dramatically. There are ships that can easily attain 7 attack dice. There are ships that can also attain 6+ Defence dice per turn. All this means is that Attack Wing is more dice heavy than X-Wing, but the Attack Wing ships are generally more robust to begin with. There are a number of tradeoffs that make Attack Wing, in my opinion, a bit more dramatic, but your mileage may vary. 

For those of you bemoaning Cloak, I recommend that you play a few more games before coming to a final conclusion. I think you'll see that Cloak is good, but not overpowered and that the Federation and other non-cloaking builds have some serious counters to a full cloak strategy.

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