A Small Taste of D&D – Attack Wing

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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.

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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.)

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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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