Greetings D&D Attack Wing Fans!
Check out the following article submitted by Jay Kirkman, owner of Moonlite Comics in Frankfort, KY, as he takes a closer look at the three dragons included in the D&D Attack Wing Starter Set!
Welcome to the exciting world of D&D Attack Wing Miniatures Game, where you get to come fly the unfriendly skies! If you’re reading this, chances are pretty good that you’re new to the game, which at this point in time more or less describes all of us. Maybe like many you’ve just picked up your first Starter Set. Perhaps like some you’re eyeing it on the shelf, interested in the game but uncertain where to begin.
As you discover and explore this fantastic game, your own gameplay will be at the forefront of shaping your experience with D&D Attack Wing, but it never hurts to have a little guidance as well. My name is Jay Kirkman, and I’m the proud owner of Moonlite Comics in Frankfort, Kentucky. As a lifelong Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast, bringing this amazing property to the FlightPath system was a match made in heaven.
One thing I’ve noticed on online forums and in our store is that many folks aren’t sure where to go with D&D Attack Wing after they’ve picked up their initial Starter Set. We’re spoiled for choice with the offerings in Wave One, and some are a little overwhelmed about which direction they should go, or how each dragon is different from the others (aside, of course, from aesthetics).
The good news is, with a standard army clocking in at 120 Legion Points, you’ve got plenty to work with in the Starter Set! This isn’t a game that you have to sink a small fortune in to enjoy and be competitive, but you will likely find that as you explore and gain experience, you’ll naturally want to upgrade your armies with those units that bolster your preferred style of play.
The Starter Set does a great job of illustrating some of the different strategies and tactics available, as all three Dragons are quite different from one another. Today we’ll be taking a closer look at each of the three D&D Attack Wing Starter Set dragons. What is the natural play style each dragon is steering you towards? How do their upgrades support their philosophy, and how do these all fit within the wider D&D Attack Wing framework?
Balagos, the red dragon, offers you a brutal beatstick to swing at your opponents. With a Primary Weapon Value (PWV) of 5 (6 against less-damaged opposition) he is one of the most aggressive creatures in the game. Far from being a “glass cannon,” his 6 Health is similarly amongst the highest around, as is his Armor Value of 2. He’s not without his weaknesses, though — subtlety is pretty low on his list.
For one thing, his Agility Value is 1, which means that odds are when anyone attacks him, he’s going to take some hits. His armor will absorb some, but that also means that anything with a PWV of 4 or more has the potential to hurt you no matter how well you roll.
He’s also fairly limited on his Action Bar. With Balagos it’s all or nothing — your only choices are to attack (Charge, Target) or to defend (Dodge). There’s no Concentrate option here to act as a hedge against the uncertainties of the battlefield. That also means that you won’t be able to equip Balagos with fireball, or any other future arcane spell that needs you to expend a Concentrate token to use.
Balagos also comes with a few nasty upgrades. His fire breath is good for a 5-dice attack in a Range 3 Cone, while the “chaser” of searing flames is a rare point of direct and unavoidable damage to help finish off a wounded foe. Finally, you’ve got bushwhack, which effectively gives you a Concentration token on the offense. Indeed, it’s slightly better, since it gives you a bonus critical hit off of any [EYEBALL] results and converts the rest to [HITS].
Next we come to Galadaeros, the opposite of Balagos in more than just alignment. For one thing, Galadaeros is much more fragile, with a Health Value two-thirds of Balagos and half the armor. He also hits only 60% as hard (5 versus 3 PWV). On the upside, he’s twice as agile, and gets a second arcane upgrade slot to boot. This increased dexterity is further illustrated by the hefty defensive bonus he gets when performing a 4 or 5 maneuver, as well as the ability to perform a feint. Only two dragons thus far can pull one of those off, and Galadaeros is the only one you’ll find in the D&D Attack Wing Starter Set. Although feints cause exhaustion, they provide a great deal of tactical nuance on the battlefield when it comes to positioning, helping you line up the perfect strike or slip past that of an opponent.
Burnishing Galadaeros’s sneaky credentials is his trickster upgrade. Not only does this let you reach over and disable one of your opponent’s best upgrades, if your target is lower level than you (which describes all but four of the Wave One units), you even get the action you spend on trickster back as a rebate!
Unfortunately, Galadaeros’s breath weapon is the weakest of the initial trio of dragons for several reasons. First, it’s a Line rather than a Cone, which is often the most difficult to use effectively in a game where the setup tends to be more horizontal than vertical. Not only that, but with a PWV of 3 it’s not hitting all that hard when it does connect. Finally, unlike Balagos and Eshaedra, Galadaeros lacks a “chaser” effect that rides on the back of a successful breath attack. As an upside, Galadaeros does get a second breath weapon, slow breath. Rather than doing damage, this applies a fairly robust debuff to any affected targets in its Cone, reducing their defense dice by 1 and hobbling their movement. So if Balagos is the hammer, the quirky and nimble Galadaeros is your scalpel.
Finally, we come to Eshaedra, the blue dragon, in whom you can see elements of both dragons. Physically, she’s a slightly weaker version of Balagos (1 less PWV and Health). Like Galadaeros, though, positioning is important to get the most out of her: she rolls +1 die when at ranges 3 or 4. Not only that, but also like Galadaeros she gets two spell slots in addition to the usual three draconic upgrades. There’s something new here as well — one of those slots is a divine spell! Although there are only four divine spells available in the game at present, prayer of healing is a very solid option since it allows Eshaedra to heal not just herself, but also one of your other injured units.
Like acid breath, Eshaedra’s lightning breath is a range 4 Line attack, but one that hits with an extra die or more of damage. System Shock is Eshaedra’s breath weapon chaser, applying a one-turn debuff that shuts off your opponent’s ability to perform Actions with the afflicted unit. Eshaedra also gets a special upgrade in the form of Devotrix of Tiamat, which gives you a bonus attack die (and free reroll of blanks) for any attacks in your forward arc. This works well with any ability that lets you make multiple attack rolls, from your breath weapon to the Close Quarters upgrade.
So there you have it: a D&D Attack Wing Starter Set with three very different personalities lurking inside. Take some time to explore all three, from the furious wrath of Balagos to the nimble trickery of Galadaeros to the balancing act of Eshaedra. Each of these three represents a very different play style, one that can be further reinforced by some of the other units and upgrades out there in Wave One. In a future article we’ll take a look at some of those options, but for now it’s a good idea to get a feel for all three. After all, a wise battlefield general doesn’t just familiarize themselves with their own strategy, but with their opponent’s as well!
Jay Kirkman first sat behind a DM screen at 9 years of age, and he’s never looked back. In addition to gaming and D&D Attack Wing, his passions include his family and five children, the mighty Glasgow Celtic, and operating his business, Moonlite Comics. Located in the capital, Moonlite has been at the heart of gaming in the Bluegrass for over a generation. They are proud to add D&D Attack Wing to their stable of fully-supported games.