Review: Star Trek Attack Wing Miniatures Game / Designer: Christopher Guild / Publisher: WizKids Game / Release Date: Out Now
Star Wars versus Star Trek has been something that sci-fi fans have loved to argue about for some time. Though the details of how a fight between Kirk versus Han Solo might work out are likely to forever remain a mystery, the issue as to which franchise had the better space-ship combat game had a clear winner: Star Wars X-Wing was a far better and more successful game than the Star Trek equivalent, HeroClix: Tactics. The Star Trek franchise decided that this would not do, and responded by purchasing the license for the core mechanics of the Star Wars game and relaunching their range as the Star Trek Attack Wing Miniatures Game. The question of course, is it as good as the Star Wars version?
The short answer is yes, but they are also quite different in key ways; not all of the rules have been ported over and this is clearly deliberate. After all, starship combat in both series have a very different feel to them. The key elements, such as counters that detail ships' movements and a card mechanic that doubles as a critical damage table have been imported from X-Wing, but there are also enough differences (such as the way the games are set up) to make them very different. It’s important to note that the two aren’t directly compatible, though I’m sure more than a few fans have created their own conversion rules.
The biggest change is in selecting your ships. Whereas the Star Wars game has a hero mechanic, the Star Trek Attack Wing Miniatures Game is much more about selecting your crew. It’s not enough simply to have Jean-Luc Picard as your captain, you also get to carefully select your gear and crew. These tend to play off against each other; Federation ships have lots of cool stunts they can pull, Klingons sabotage and backstab, and so on. Whereas Star Wars X-Wing is all about the quick-fire action, Star Trek is more about the drama on board. The ships are also more robust, shrugging off a lot of damage and making for a more considered and tactical game.
The starter set features models from Star Trek: The Next Generation, featuring a Federation Galaxy Class U.S.S. Enterprise-D, a Klingon Bird of Prey (Vor’cha Class) and Romulan Warbird ( D’deridex Class). The models are a little chunky and blocky, but nicely done and are clearly identifiable as part of their franchise. The starter set is jammed full of counters and cards, and though fans of the original series will have to pick up an expansion or two, the core game is solid and a lot of fun. As to which game is better, we’ll leave that for the fans to decide.