Name - Star Trek Attack Wing Miniatures Game
Manufacturer - Wizkids
Type - Tabletop Miniatures Game.
No. of Players - 2+
Age Range - 14+. The 'Flightpath' system isn't incredibly complicated.
Rulebook - 26 pages, Full colour, included in starter box. There's also a quick start guide in the starter set as well.
What You Need to Start.
One starter set (two would be better though, we'll discuss that in a bit) and a playing area of at least 3' x 3'. The starter set comes with all the dice, counters and cards you'll initially need.
Extras Needed - Unless your happy to play with the same couple of ships over and over again your going to want some extra ones. A wide variety of ships from a number of factions (Federation, Klingon, Dominion, etc) are available and each contains a set of cards appropriate to it
Area Needed - An area of at least 3' by 3' to play in*.
* A 'sidebar' area is useful for dead ships and live drinks though isn't essential...
Time Needed - A starter set game can be done in 30-45 Minutes though the game scales up almost indefinitely. As in all things the time taken will vary based on the players experience though a typical 100 point game can be done in an hour or so once you've got the hang of it.
Starter sets are around the £27 mark and include an instruction booklet, quick start guide, dice, tokens, manoeuvre templates, captain, crew and upgrade cards. Therefore if you don't mind sharing a rulebook, two of you can get started in a somewhat limited fashion for £27. An experienced player of my acquaintance recommends two starter boxes and a third ship of your preferred faction as the best way of accumulating a worthwhile starting force. With a single ship expansion weighing in at approximately £10.50 this would elevate your start-up costs to just under the £70 mark but would give you a considerable set of resources for the game.
The above costs are courtesy of my FLGS Titan Games so may vary based on your location.
Models require no more assembly than to place them on a flight stand and put your captains picture on the base as they come pre-assembled and painted. The paint quality is basic at best and in some cases can best be described as crap so if you wish to re-paint them then add a can of undercoat and some paints to those costs if your new to the hobby and don't possess them.
Expansions - New models are being released on a regular basis in 'waves' featuring a varying number of new releases.
A Brief Overview.
Set in the Star Trek 'universe', Attack Wing is a game where two or more rival forces pit there ships against one another using Fantasy Flights 'Flightpath' system that players of the very similar Star Wars system will recognise.
The selection system is exceptionally flexible and it's entirely possible to mix and match from a variety of different Star Trek races and characters with a small penalty should you select out of faction ones.
So you could easily have a Star Fleet Captain on a Romulan ship with some other races upgrades if you so desire though forces that keep to the Star Trek canon are also viable though not necessarily optimal. Once you have your force selected playing an actual game is fairly simple...
Each ship will have a card containing a list of possible manoeuvres and each player selects one simultaneously. The ships manoeuvre dial is rotated until the selected one appears and this selection dictates the direction and distance that the ship moves in and after choosing this the dial is placed face down behind the corresponding plastic ship. The players then take turns to move their vessels with the ship with the lowest Captain Skill going first. After this phase an action can be selected from a number of options that vary from ship to ship (not all vessels have 'cloaks' for example) with a variety of in-game effects and after this we move to the combat phase.
In some game systems the starter box isn't necessarily essential so I asked an experienced local player his opinions on it's viability and this is his reply...
The starter set includes everything you need to play the game. Quite impressively, it includes some of the best ships and cards in the game, but only 3 of the 4 (at the time of writing) main factions are represented. The short answer is yes, you can play an effective game, but you will also want to look at the ship expansions in the long term.
You could attend a tourney with just the contents of the starter box, as you can easily make 100 points. (I bought 2 sets so my girlfriend and I could attend) The starter includes what I believe are 3 of the best ships in the game and some of the best cards. It's also fair to say Picard is the best captain in the game. Most people use him, regardless of their faction.
Of the three ships in the starter set, all of them are seen more often than not in games I've played. The only Romulan ship that's more aggressive is the Valdore, but I prefer my Warbirds. I also use the Klingon Vor'cha as it is a tough little ship with the highest (current) fire-power in the game. The Galaxy class is the mainstay of any Fed fleet... with the Enterprise D having one of the best ship abilities around. As testament to the prowess of starter ships, I won an OP event with 2 Warbirds.
So yes, I believe the starter set provides a very meaningful choice of ships and cards that allows games to be enjoyable and competitive.
To any budding player, I would suggest they get 2 copies of the core set. If nothing else, you get 3 ships for less than the cost of 3 ship expansions. You also get twice the amount of dice (you often need more than the 5 provided, especially for Klingon/Dominion attacks or Romulan defence) and backup cards/tokens/rulers. The 3 core ships can't be purchased in any other way, so they're good for trades too. With the exception of the Dominion faction, your faction is represented in the starter set with arguably the best ships and some of the best cards that are present in the game.