Attack Wing Wednesday: OP4 – The Owlbear Joke…

“I don’t have to outrun the owlbear, I just have to outrun you…”

When I read this scenario I was quite annoyed with it. Effectively, this seemed like it would play a lot like an escort mission. My wife and I have a saying… “Everyone hates escort missions.” In practice, though it did still feel like an escort mission, I found the scenario to be the most fun of the OP scenarios we’ve played so far in D&D Attack Wing.

Basically, your team is racing another team to escape off the board with a cart full of loot. A “pursuing army” is off-screen which does automatic damage to the cart in the rear each turn, so it pays to be ahead. There is a wall to break, and an opposing force to evade. Add to this the uncertainty created by blind pull boosters and the day could turn out many different ways.

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I went extremely simple for this tournament. I tried a lot of teams in theory-craft but at the end of the day, I went back to my standard approach to the game – use the best creatures you can for the scenario and make sure they function well with a minimum number of upgrades.

My 90 Point Build
Lord Maximilian with Drain Life (54) and Calamity with Precise Shot (36).
From my booster I pulled Dragonfly for the second consecutive tournament. This time, I was happy to see him, with bear form and his staff, I knew he’d make a solid cart pusher, freeing up Lord Maximilian to go on the offensive.

First Round
I faced off against a team made up of a Generic Copper Dragon, two generic druids, and a generic Frost Giant. I rolled out Calamity and killed the Frost Giant in the first shot from the big ballista. 6 attack dice with a target token is no joke. The game steadily went downhill from there for my opponent. I was able to keep up the fire on their cart (being pushed by their booster pull, Rezmir), and unfortunately, he just couldn’t generate enough dice to seriously threaten my team.

This was the only round I got the cart off the table.

Second Round
In this round, I faced my most dreaded opponent… my wife. She consistently beats me at this game and has twice beaten me in the previous OP events. I knew her build well and with a Dwarven Ballista, Frost Giant Fighter, and Claugiyliamatar, I felt certain I was in trouble. For her blind pull, she had Ontharr Frume, who she set as her cart pusher.

Once again, I got off to a hot start, one-shot killing her Frost Giant with a full six hits from Calamity. It was devastating, but she had enough oomph left on the team that we spent the full round duking it out. We both lost our carts and she came within a target token of defeating me (to be able to trigger magic missile).

In this round, I was saved by the fact that the cart provided protection. Those extra dice saved Lord Max from death and kept me in the round long enough to win.

Third Round
Facing two super-charged giants (Jarl Horn and Ancoram) was a test. My opponent had pulled a Paladin for his blind figure as well and we went at it. In a very smart play, my opponent put his giant in between my cart pusher and my cart, leaving me unable to get the cart moving again right away. Calamity took a crit which lowered its attack to 5, and Lord Max was running around doing his best to keep everything on track.

In this round, Lord Max turned out to be the star. He pretty much fought Ancoram to death, dealt with a damaged Jarl Horn (my bear druid got a few hits on the big guy), and my weakened Calamity managed to kill his chances of getting the cart off the board. Lord Max died for the only time today in this round, but he really did save my bacon.

Overall Notes
My first OP win. I’ll take it. Hard fought games with lots of unpredictable twists. It was a blast.

The other two legions I did not play against both had Drizzt on their team. I expected him to be a popular choice for this OP so I wasn’t surprised to see him out there. One of them was sporting Drizzt and Vakka, the other – I can’t quite remember what else he brought – I know he pulled the ranger for his booster, who, without a melee attack couldn’t sub in as a cart pusher. Unfortunate.

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I was genuinely surprised that I didn’t see any Malebolge. I expected him to be prominent in this tournament, with his high durability, great ground attack, and decent enough level. I tinkered with a few builds including the little guy, but decided against him (for myself) in favor of the armor penetration and dodge dice I get from Maximilian. Without that, I think I would have lost the day.

This scenario provided a challenge I was not excited about on paper but turned out to be fun to interact with. The emphasis on the cart as a way to get bonus points made it worth protecting and worth moving every turn. The variety of tactics to slow that down or stop it made for an added element of tactics not usually present in the game and builds needed to be about more than just, “Kill the other guy.”

Now, as always, thanks for reading. I’m off to start thinking about OP5!

PS – getting closer to the Solar!

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