Sunday, 19 January 2014

The State of the Game at the end of Wave 1

Today, instead of talking about Concussive Charges, which I don't think too much of when I'm making lists, I'll instead talk about the general state of the game. I admit, that my opinion is going to be somewhat restricted to what I've been seeing in the local Toronto area and what I've read around the internet. I won't really be talking too much about wave 2, although wave 2 certainly made a pretty big splash when it hit.
As I've said before, the meta for this game is constantly changing. For the most part, there isn't too much of a competitive environment outside of the Organized Play events. If your local scene has Attack Wing nights that aren't Organized Play events, that's pretty good. Support that store! So far, the OP events have each had a different scenario every month. I appreciate that these scenarios are released well ahead of time, and that they, for the most part, don't involve random elements that shake up the game too much. The OP events can be planned for, can be tested, and you can make lists that are tailored to the event. Pretty good overall. I don't really play Attack Wing outside of the OP events except as a way to test for the OP event. I have pretty limited hobby time and a bunch of other games I like to play, so it's nice to have a focus for my gaming time. 

The OP events mix things up nicely. You aren't going to be facing the same lists over and over again, as scenario change generally means that some lists are going to be good one month, and others are going to be good the next month. Unlike in X-wing, where the meta is fairly static, the Attack Wing meta mixes things up enough that you don't see a lot of copy cat lists. 

There are, however, a few very strong builds that rear their heads from time to time. They fall into two categories:

The Klingon (Romulan) Attack Build


Two Ship Hero Builds

These two types of lists can do very well against most other builds. There are a few other builds that are starting to take shape- such as Photon Torpedo Spam, and I expect that elsewhere in North America Small Ship Spam dominates a local area, and in the future we'll be looking at some form of Jem Hadar Attack Build. 

Some random thoughts:

I expected that Weyoun would make a much bigger splash than he did. So far, I haven't seen him in a lot of winning lists. 

We're a few months past the release of Cloaked Mines and as expected, I haven't seen them pop up as more than one-offs in the local scene. I've got data from a few stores in the area, and they aren't making that big of an impact. The OP Scenarios have been set up to generally dissuade their use. This is a good thing. Cloaked Mines, if allowed to run rampant, could be quite bad for the game- mainly because I'd rather that Attack Wing be a game where you don't have to buy multiples of one terrible ship to stay competitive. 

Engage is a bit too good. 

Picard is not as prevalent as I thought he would be. Martok and Gowron show up a lot more, as does Donatra. 

So far, I haven't seen anything come out as an LE prize that breaks the game. Everything has been quite reasonable. The best thing they released as an LE prize has been the Ch'Tang. If it had been an actual retail release, it would have sold like HOTCAKES. It's a great pack. Do yourselves a favour Wizkids- add a few more things into this pack and RELEASE IT and make some MONEY. If they released the Ferengi ship, it would probably sit on the shelves like the Gor Portas! The Romulan ship was okay, but Romulan Pilot is really the only thing worth grabbing out of that package. The Sutherland was mostly terrible. LE prizes haven't broken the game. Until something comes out that does, let's all stop saying that LE prizes are bad for the game. They haven't been so far. 

There is some pretty big stuff coming down the pipe, and I think the biggest change is going to be a once/month release schedule. I'm not sure how I feel about a faster rate of release. At some point, store owners are going to have to clear space, which means that either the older stuff is going to go away, or the not-selling stuff is going to go away- I'd rather the whole line be available, so I'm hesitant to jump up and down for joy at the prospect of approximately 20 ships coming out this year. I'm VERY happy to see that Wizkids intends to support the game at this level, however. There will be a point at which an analysis of the meta game will be pretty useless, as it will be obsolete after a few weeks. I'd rather that Attack Wing have 2 month breaks between releases. That gives everyone a chance to breathe and take in what they've purchased. 

/rant over

Attack Wing is getting a lot of good reviews and whenever we bust it out at the store it gets a lot of second looks. The game is very teachable, and if you have a few ships, you're well on your way to getting another person involved and hooked. The game's prospects are great for the future. Keep playing!
Tomorrow I'll hand out some Awards for Wave 1!


  1. Engage just doesn't get a lot of play in the Twin Cities area. We have a pretty varied group of players and I don't remember playing against an Engage yet. It may have been at a tournament and I just didn't play against it though.

  2. Engage sees little play here, whereas Cloaked Mines are ubiquitous, often in pairs. Picard (often with Spock) is all over the place, as are Martok, Gul Dukat and Donatra. Hero ship builds have dominated play locally of late, usually built around cloaked ships with crossfactioned captains and upgrades.

    I think the only thing keeping the prize stuff from breaking the game is the relative rarity. If I could run a triple Ferengi EM Pulse fleet, I'd do so in a heartbeat, and there's a good argument for putting a Romulan Pilot on every single ship too. The Romulan weapon upgrade is also very, very good, a 4 attack 4-point upgrade that converts a BS to a crit and doesn't require TL to use is amazing for many Romulan ships even with the range 1-2 limitation. The Ch'Tang is very good, but the generic B'Rel would be an excellent starting point for a truly effective 4-5 ship swarm build - if they weren't rare as hen's teeth. I had two, but traded one off for the Romulan prize (which I botched the tourney for). My bet is we eventually see B'Rel packs with a different named ship on general sale, so maybe it was a good choice.

    Having two Barrage of Fires would have been nice, though.

  3. The Ch'Tang is VERY good, and the B'Rel is also good.