Thursday 4 April 2024

Adversaries of the Delta Quadrant: Attack Wing Launches into 2024

Three new expansions line up for March and we'll be looking at each one in turn, starting with a new Independent pack that takes fans back to the adventures of one USS Voyager.

Cleverly utilising four already existing Attack Wing models, Wizkids have certainly packed out this release to the max with a storming 52 playable cards, six ship options and a campaign book (make sure you check under the box tray!).

The ship options comprise of the Alpha Hunter and Relic Stalker for the Hirogen, the Fina Prime and Honatta Prime for the Vidiians, the Antares Shadow Numiri patrol ship and the Nasari Nerada

The Hirogen, Vidiian and Numiri ships are pretty evenly matched in terms of their basic stats although the Antares Shadow does suffer from not having the Scan ability.  Previously seen in the game as the Bajoran troopship, it's features here in the Delta Quadrant make it significantly more playable especially with the chance to pick off weaker targets with added firepower. The Nasari ship... well, that's a Romulan Science Vessel backwards - just as it was in the show!

But each has its own twists. The Alpha Hunter can Sensor Echo after every move, the Relic Stalker can gain a Battlestations if it's in range of an enemy ship after moving. For once it feels as though the adversaries might have a better and more productive run with some genuinely effective Actions.

Even the significantly lower scored Nerada can kick back if it gets up close to an opponent. 

As for captains, the pack takes its lead from right across the spectrum of Voyager's journey. Alongside those expected faces of the Hirogen and Vidiians are Iden from Flesh and Blood, Dala from Live fast and Prosper and the Vaadwaur Gaul from Dragon's Teeth. Iden, the Bajoran hologram, is the highest priced here at a full 10 points for a skill of 10 although his cost reduces if you equip other "?" upgrades to his ship. The downside is that he's only really effective against other Independent ships or ones with "?" upgrades onboard. A personal favourite in here has to be the new version of Karr that sees the Hirogen built to pick off weaker captains as well as being able to re-roll dice on attacks. 

But where I really feel this pack excels is in its choice of subject matter and then into the abilities. Choosing to dive into the holographic crew from Flesh and Blood was a bold move but with the chance to use them as either Crew OR Tech upgrades it opens up the dynamics of your ships. Just playing about with these cards I initially thought of using the Relic Stalker but then contemplated switching it out for the Antares Shadow. Why? Because by using the hologram crew upgrades Iden became cheaper to attach as a captain.

But dig even further into the cards and there are some new and intriguing features plugged in to add a new layer to Attack Wing. Faux Janeway aka Dala utilises a new Reputation Permanent Effect which (if I read the rather convoluted phrasing correctly) makes any game effects hit it as though it's on the enemy fleet ie the ones who gave it the token. I'll have to play around with this a bit more to totally understand it in play.

Kurros also has one of these nifty new abilities. He can place a Bounty Permanent Effect on an opponent allowing the theft of a unique Crew upgrade. For the rest of the game attacks at the BPE ship gain an additional damage point if a blank or Battle Stations is rolled. 

These two new inclusions do turn up the heat a bit with more peril for players encountering them and maybe even a faster ways to a defeat. Interestingly enough, this pack looks more to causing operational restrictions on an opponent than physical points damage. Check out the Vidiians for one as they are all about disabling Crew while the Tech cards tend to lean more towards repair and consolidation of your fleet. It's certainly a different dynamic to play with instead of just a continuous pummelling of weapons fire. 

The adversaries do play to their character traits in that sense  so the Hirogen do still cater for pure assault while there are more "intelligent" ways to battle and demoralise your enemy. Take away their upgrades, reduce them to a shell and then move in for the final kill or in some respects, let them do it to themselves!

Also in the box players will find the new Delta Quadrant Campaign. Duplicated in the Lost in the Delta Quadrant set, this new series of missions offers a host of scenarios to recreate Voyager's journey home. Ok, you could do this with any ship and any auxiliary craft but let's be honest, most players are going to want to follow it with Voyager and the Delta Flyer. Having the chance to complete each mission and reset does mean you're not trying to keep track of progress too much (well played Wizkids for the series nods in the booklet). It also makes players want to try as the Delta Master since this pack is a lot of fun with new things to try and a campaign that caters for both sides almost equally.

Would I consider playing out a Delta Quadrant fleet? After this pack, the answer is a resounding YES.

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