A Small Taste of D&D – Attack Wing

Geek Culture Tabletop Games
Dragons do battle in flight in Dungeons & Dragons – Attack Wing. Photo: John Booth

If you’ve been waiting for a tabletop aerial combat game that includes more shimmering scales and fewer S-foils — more actual fire power than, you know, “firepower” — you’ll probably be interested in WizKids’ Dungeons & Dragons – Attack Wing, set for release next month. I had a chance to play a short demo at this year’s Gen Con, and it sure seems like fun.

WizKids has built D&D – Attack Wing on Fantasy Flight Games’ FlightPath rule system — the same rules that govern Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game and WizKids’ own Star Trek – Attack Wing. The D&D game will offer more than just re-theming, though, accounting for dragon melee attacks and incorporating rules for engagement with ground forces, among other appropriate tweaks.

The Starter Set, as demoed at Gen Con, will come with three dragons — Balagos (red), Eshaedra (blue) and Galadaeros (copper) — each with unique abilities and advantages. WizKids had some of the upcoming expansion forces on display as well, including frost giants, wraiths, and dwarven ballistas in addition to other dragons.

Planned expansion forces include a green dragon, giants, and ground troops. Photo: John Booth

WizKids has also planned a six-month organized play event which will tie in with Wizards of the Coast’s fifth-edition Tyranny of Dragons storyline.

The FlightPath system breaks down each game round into four phases — Planning, Activation, Combat and End. Each player plans their action in secret using a dial that offers a range of possible movements, and once everyone has committed to their action, the actions and combat follow. It’s a pretty easy-to-learn system. (Because the game’s core mechanics are well-established through the other aforementioned games, and also because I only played the demo once, I’m just offering this high-level overview of D&D – Attack Wing gameplay for now. If you want to dive into the details, the full Starter Set rulebook is available online.)

D&D – Attack Wing components will be familiar to players of other FlightPath-based games. Photo: John Booth

Our enjoyable Gen Con demo consisted of a three-dragon aerial battle, and lasted maybe 20 minutes. I look forward to trying the Starter Set and the different scenarios it offers, and maybe one of the expansions — although to justify the ongoing investment in a game like this, I’d really want to be playing it at least a few times per month.

If I already owned the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game or Star Trek – Attack Wing, I’d probably be less inclined to give D&D – Attack Wing a shot when it comes out, even with the differences in play. But neither of the space-based flight games is currently on my shelf, and with the bonus appeal of having some extra dragon miniatures on hand for D&D night, I could see myself making room for this one.

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