Played in the OP2 event for D&D Attack Wing this past weekend. (Then got sick which delayed this post.) My original plan – and the team I had playtested – was Lord Maximilian and a Cave Wyvern. I was going for a Witch King and his Fell Beast kind of thing. At the last minute, I bailed on it as too finesse and fiddly and went with something a little more beatstick with Balagos and Jarl Horn. They are both tough, have high damage potential, and can attack well close or at range. When I pulled Rezmir for my booster mini, this seemed like a very good choice.
Choosing my upgrades for Rezmir, I gave her Hazirawn and Hellish Rebuke. 4 Damage in melee and a reaction-style attack are great, but I came to realize that the heavy requirements to get Hellish Rebuke to actually hit made it a less desirable choice than it seems at first. I never actually used it throughout three rounds of play and would have benefited more from the breath weapon option. Here’s a little insight into how my day went down.
In the first round, I was paired off against my wife. I have fought her team before, as we playtested teams for the tournament. My wife’s style is pretty straightforward. She likes strong base creatures who don’t need to juggle a lot of upgrades. She was also trying a strategy for this tournament of trying to get four creatures on the battlefield instead of just three (which would seem to be the norm). Thus, she was running Claugiyliamatar, a Frost Giant Fighter, Dwarven Ballista, and pulled Talon Everhale for her booster.
I would like to give a clear accounting of the battle but it’s difficult as it was such a blur. The round was started and we were off. After a little first turn positioning, we charged in for the second turn pass of death. She weathered that much better than I did. I was completely wiped by the fourth or fifth turn of play. My only consolation – minor as it was – is that I didn’t give her a chance to escape with the artifact because I was so incompetent that I was defeated before anyone even grabbed it.
My analysis of the game doesn’t really lead me to much insight. She positioned better than I did initially, and through the first two turns and for the most part, the rolls went her way. Don’t take that as an excuse though… She mopped the floor with me.
I had two issues in this first game. The biggest was switching teams at the last minute. That was a mistake. I should have stuck with the team I already knew better and felt more comfortable with. The second was the fact that I chose poorly for Rezmir. The beating I took in the first round helped me clarify my issues and do better in the second round.
In the second round, my opponent brought a Blue Dragon (generic), a Frost Giant Fighter, and a Dwarven Ballista. He pulled Dragonfly the Grey as his booster. Staring across the table, I had a sinking feeling as I’d pretty much just faced the exact same team.
He set his team up with the Blue Dragon and the Frost Giant to one side and the Ballista and Druid to the other. This game was an oddity because we moved toward the middle quickly and after Dragonfly set off Control Weather, my Balagos trundled forward on the ground for a couple of turns. In a bit of luck, my opponent’s Blue Dragon was in the zone as well and ended up getting grounded right in front of my Jarl Horn. This was perfect as I was able to use Poison Blade to good effect, all but killing the Blue. Balagos took a hit from the Call Lightning that followed up the Control Weather. In true Balagos fashion though, he embraced the pain and then went on a killing spree, taking out the Ballista and the Druid in short order. The next few turns saw a few exchanges between the Blue Dragon, Balagos, and the two Frost Giants, but in the end, my team just had more power on its side with the loss of his other two pieces so early.
This was the only fight of the day where Rezmir actually scored any damage, making two attacks against the wounded blue dragon with Hazirawn. These were largely ineffective and left me further disappointed in the out-of-the-box Rezmir.
My opponent this round was running Galadaeros, a Blue Dragon, and also pulled Rezmir as his booster figure. I was interested to see if he did more with his Rezmir than I did as they would at least be able to face off against each other. I’ve also played against him before and I know that he’s very capable with his Galadaeros. He’s the only person I’ve really seen so far who has had much luck with the little guy. But this player knows how to use him well.
We started out in typical fashion, maneuvering for that second turn clash, with Balagos facing off against the Blue and Jarl Horn facing Galadaeros. Both Rezmirs set up to make a run at the treasure. As we closed, the Blue took a good hit from Balagos, Galadaeros outmaneuvered the Jarl, and his Rezmir was better maneuvered than mine. His Rezmir had the advantage, able to take advantage of a third turn where mine was exhausted and she cut mine apart. It was the best showing I’d seen from Rezmir… and of course, it was at the expense of mine. My opponent this round is very good at maneuvering.
Which led to much surprise a few turns later when Galadaeros smashed into the wall of the Vault and was forced to land. This gave Balagos a clean shot with a breath weapon… which promptly did 1 damage. Oh, dice. Jarl Horn was there to bat clean up though and managed to drop the copper dragon a few turns later. It was a game that was more of a bloodbath than I expected it to be. I’m used to fights against this opponent – and Galadaeros – to be lots of acrobatic maneuvers and careful positioning but this one time, Balagos and Jarl Horn seemed able to force the issue and outmuscle the other team.
Overall Observations on the Day
There were a lot of generic blue dragons at the event. Out of 8 teams, 3 had a generic blue on the field. One army had it paired up with Sarpiel and they seemed to do well together. My own feeling is that the generic Blue Dragon is one of the best non-unique options in the game – something I want to address in a later blog post.) Two people brought Galadaeros, with one player trying to up the damage potential of the littlest dragon by giving him the Human Paladin upgrade from the Silver Dragon set. Only one Wyvern made an appearance, and was overall disappointing. No Lord Maximilian sightings (thanks to me), and very little in the way of spellcasters.
The addition of the booster figures was a great experiment and I really enjoyed playing against unknown enemies. These pieces are pretty good right out of the box but I have a feeling they will be amazing when they can mix and match freely with upgrades from other expansions. I’ve already fought against a flying, Soaring Assault-ing Rezmir in a game I played after the tournament and she was terrifying. Six dice melee attacks on flying charges. Ugh.
As this was my first chance to play and watch games against opponents I don’t normally play, my initial impressions hold true. Dice can be swingy but rarely decide the battle (it happens, but not as often as we like to believe). Positioning is vital and a mistake in positioning can doom a creature before it ever gets to do anything productive (this has happened to me a few times).
At the end of the day, my wife came in second, I came in fourth, and a lot of fun was had by all. For the core group I play with, I think we are still evolving our strategies and figuring out what works for us. This was only our second OP event and for some, their first. It was also a day when I think people experimented with figuring out how they might take the treasure – and a few people got it out – which was a pretty cool result. Having a scenario definitely changed the play experience.
I also walked away still believing in the strong balance of the game. Sure, there are better and worse options. Even so, it still feels like most pieces have a strong shot in any game. I think the original White Dragon OP prize is broken good, I think the Wyvern may be underpowered, and I think that everything in between is a matter of taste and finding your play style.
So that was my big day of D&D Attack Wing. Have fun, keep playing, and if anyone wants to tell me how their Month Two events went, I’m all ears!
As always, thanks for reading.