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Hornaru

Star Trek: Attack Wing support

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Have you seen the product support for the Star Trek: Attack Wing Dominion War campaign:

 

Ships

Upgrade cards

Coloured flight stands

Dice

Counters

Sideboard/reference cards

 

I think that FF have missed the boat on product support here...

 

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I think FF  has it exactly right.  Wizkids style of support has lead to overpowered gaming elements as well as a win at all cost mentality among its other lines.  The dice you refer to is a special die that increase the odds of hitting on an attack, and can only be gotten by attending a tournament.  I don't know about you, but I don't want to be at a disadvantage in games because the guy across from me was able to attend a tournament and I was not.  I like that FF prize support is not game breaking and just advanced copies of ships in the next wave.  I like that FF tournaments are not an atmosphere of Win at all Costs because its the only way to get that ship, or that particular gaming element. 

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csi15 has it correct. Wizkids is really bad about the power creep and win at all costs mentality. Already heard people talking at the flgs about getting the wizkids super dice to use in X-Wing and they are willing to argue that its the same dice, just different looking symbols. Plus exclusive ships/pilots/crew will be stronger then the normal ones. Heck they already showed the picture of the DS9 station figurine that is only ever going to be available to tournament winners and usable in the game. 

 

To reiterate csi15, FFG has done it right. No exclusives beyond a trophy, coin, and some acrylic tokens have been given out at tournaments. So far the only ships have been stuff from an upcoming wave. Then they have their game night kits, which are actually really nice and again offer nothing super exclusive beyond a medal, acrylic tokens, rulers, alternate art cards or oversized art cards. 

 

I know I won't be picking up attack wing at all. The sculps are the same ugly super cheap overused ones Wizkids never change. Plus the single ships are only a dollar less then the X-Wing counterparts and the started box is only four dollars less compared to the X-Wing one (Prices checked via Amazon). As far as quality goes, FFG has them beat hands down. 

Edited by DeadInkPen

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While I like the idea of offering stuff like this, but it's not fair to give others an unfair advantage. I think FFG can offer alt paint ships, better alt art cards, and keep releasing the acrylic tokens.

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The dice you refer to is a special die that increase the odds of hitting on an attack, and can only be gotten by attending a tournament.

EWWW!

 

Getting effectively loaded dice that you can use legally if you attend a tourny?  That's a horabile idea.  I know I'd never play against someone using those dice unless they let me use them as well.

 

In the MMO world they refer to that as P2W (Pay to Win) and the more a MMO does it the fewer people play it.  Because they create a system where people willing to fork out the cash get a massive advatage over others. 

 

Ships with different paint jobs, higher detail models, different card art, sure all those things are effectvely fluff and won't impact a game.  But cards with better stats or dice with more hits, is a whole other thing and reason enough for me to never touch their games.

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One of the reason I got into this game is that there aren't rare or unique items other than retail supplies of course.

 

The idea that I'm up against someone that has a unique or something that is simply not available doesn't seem like my kind of game.  It attracts many, not me.

 

From a war game point of view, let's choose sides, squads and play.

 

P.S. as above, alt paint ships, better alt art cards, and keep releasing the acrylic tokens

I'm all for that, 

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To be fair about the dice, they supposedly have a build cost associated with them.  Something like add 5 points to your build total to use it and the die might have one less blank and one more hit then a reg die.  Don't know exactly how it will work, but that is the speculation any ways.


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Easy solution: don't play with "special dice."  If someone wants to play, they will gladly put it away.  If they don't, they are probably not someone you would want to play with in the first place.

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To be fair about the dice, they supposedly have a build cost associated with them.  Something like add 5 points to your build total to use it and the die might have one less blank and one more hit then a reg die.  Don't know exactly how it will work, but that is the speculation any ways.

 

That's a pretty minor drawback.... If all you had to do to get +1 hit result on the X-wing attack dice was pay 5 points, I'd bet we would see a lot of people trying to build 95 point lists, assuming that they had to pay the 5 point "you get to win" tax.  

 

I agree, this is a bad idea.  I used to play L5R and they still give out special "Kotei" (tournament) packs that have promos you can't get otherwise. Aka you have to attend or be willing to fork over the money via e-bay/etc or you are likely missing out on cards that cannot be otherwise attained.  This is incredibly un-fun for new players and people who cannot/don't want to play in such events, since it basically creates a "haves and have-nots" situation.  I was able to acquire these cards and I hated it since it felt like I was arbitrarily having to do what AEG wanted so I could keep playing.  L5R is a dying game by the way...

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Don't forget with WK there will be enhanced defense dice too. So more chances to avoid attacks as well.

Im not sure if you are implying that it makes it ok to have a higher attack dice available to only certain people, or compounding the fact that its unfair/unfun.

 

I'll assume the latter, since that's my point of view...

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To be fair about the dice, they supposedly have a build cost associated with them.  Something like add 5 points to your build total to use it and the die might have one less blank and one more hit then a reg die.  Don't know exactly how it will work, but that is the speculation any ways.

 

That's a pretty minor drawback.... If all you had to do to get +1 hit result on the X-wing attack dice was pay 5 points, I'd bet we would see a lot of people trying to build 95 point lists, assuming that they had to pay the 5 point "you get to win" tax.  

 

I agree, this is a bad idea.  I used to play L5R and they still give out special "Kotei" (tournament) packs that have promos you can't get otherwise. Aka you have to attend or be willing to fork over the money via e-bay/etc or you are likely missing out on cards that cannot be otherwise attained.  This is incredibly un-fun for new players and people who cannot/don't want to play in such events, since it basically creates a "haves and have-nots" situation.  I was able to acquire these cards and I hated it since it felt like I was arbitrarily having to do what AEG wanted so I could keep playing.  L5R is a dying game by the way...

 

I couldn't agree more.  I just posted because I didn't want people to think they were just handing out loaded dice to people who attended the tournament.

 

 

Don't forget with WK there will be enhanced defense dice too. So more chances to avoid attacks as well.

Im not sure if you are implying that it makes it ok to have a higher attack dice available to only certain people, or compounding the fact that its unfair/unfun.

 

I'll assume the latter, since that's my point of view...

 

 

Just think how unfun a game would be if you went to it with your normal dice and your opponent had both the special attack and defense dice with him :unsure:

 

Add a few over powered ships you can only get at Tournaments and you have a recipe to drive people away.

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I know WizKids has already driven me away from the game. I was actually somewhat okay with the ugly sculpts but after doing a little bit more research and finding about con/tournament exclusive stuff, that just left an awful taste in my mouth.

 

Oddly enough, I'm not even a big Star Trek fan but the game managed to generate some interest in me. Started watching the original series and I am finding that I enjoy it. :D

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Wizkids fail.

Wow. Greed and power.

If you're playing for fun, you just ban overpowered crap like special dice and cards if you're a local store organizer.

Things need to be fair. It's cool if you have special cards, that may be alright, but special dice. That's insane and wizkids should be flogged for that.

If someone has a fit over not being able to use their OP elite tournament dice, you just deny playing them. I'm sure not playing at is enough of an incentive not to make much of a fuss about it.

Their tournaments are their tournaments though. Local stores should do what feels right for them.

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Yes the limited items make it harder to be competitive in tourney type games, but it is also a bragging rights item.  But Wizkids is also supplying interest and flavor for its game. 

What have we gotten from FFG,

  • a super rare run of the first game night kit(how many of you got the range rulers)
  • focus token and a patch
  • target locks
  • a couple of over sized cards
  • a crash coin that they shorted most of the regional kits of
  • two alt art cards.

Compared to WK starting a campaign based tourney schedule right out of the gate that has a build up as it goes incorporating their next releases as it goes.  They are providing scenarios and more than just run head long into each other tourney style we have all been crying for.  Just think what we could have had, this release could have been part of a great Death Star II run that could have decided the future of the galaxy.  This could have been the release of a Blockade Runner or Star Destroyer as a grand prize or just eye candy!

 

Yes I don't like the competitive nature of are you just out gunned because you don't have all the limited stuff.  But we all like to show off our new shinnies to everyone we play with.  The WK model makes it harder for hard core venues but the kits they provide also gives out the items for 12 players for everything and 3 of the limited ships for the top three.  The majority of the kit stuff are game aids for general use, not unlike oversized cards and acrylic tokens.

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The naysaying regarding the tournament prizes is a bit premature.  As a long time Heroclix player and collector I have some experience with this model of prize support, so take this as it is due.  Let me start off by agreeing that such a program does generally create a more competitive arena, but I find it strange that so many seem to think that is a bad thing.  If you want to enjoy all a game has to offer, and by taking the pulse of this thread I see many feel that by having to win or track down exclusive pieces they feel they cannot enjoy the game without all its components, why would you frown upon playing the game at it's highest and most refined level?  Frankly I get no enjoyment out of trouncing some half-wit who barely knows what half their pieces do, give me a challenging opponent who makes me use my brain.  If home games are what you enjoy then absolutely nothing about the existence of an Elite Attack Die will stop that. 

 

The prize elements will not break the game.  Period.  I've played Heroclix for 12 years.  Over that time two different companies have produced the game and through all that time, and literally hundreds of tournament exclusives I have a hard time coming up with any tournament prize pieces that have been so game breakingly awesome that they are must haves or auto-win pieces.  Some of them are even downright horrible.  Even this year's Batcave prize for the No Man's Land tournament series or the honkin' huge Thanos and Shrine to Death that was the Infinity Gauntlet prize.  They are fun pieces to play, great for scenarios and look awesome on the shelf but nobody is playing them at the convention tournaments or even winning the local tournaments with them because quite frankly they get their backends handed to them.  They are balanced elements.  The Infinity Gauntlet and Batman's Utility Belt resources which were participation prizes for those series are ubiquitous, finding one with attachments on the cheap is not a difficult thing to do.  Some venues even have them for sale on the shelf right alongside the booster packs. 

 

The fact that there are game breaking and unbalanced pieces in Heroclix is a big concern but that's a different issue than what we are discussing here.  All of Wizkids game breaking or unbalanced elements in Heroclix are found either within the booster packs themselves; usually as a Super Rare or Chase rarity (not always though, the best Superman is the common one) or are part of their Print and Play feature which is FREE to anyone with an internet connection and a printer.  Dollar investment in blind booster purchases aside, everybody has fair access to them. 

 

I have a very hard time imagining that a Ferengi D'Kora Marauder or the USS Sutherland are going to destroy everything in their paths, BUT I would believe that a fully crewed up USS Enterprise might be the toughest thing to take on. 

 

As far as the hate for the Elite Attack Dice goes, tell me how that is different from putting an upgrade on your ship that lets you get a Focus/Battle Station token for free?  Or paying a few more points to fly Baron Fel and get free focus tokens instead of a generic Interceptor pilot?   If its just an issue of access then let me assure you the participation prizes will be ubiquitous.  At 12 per prize kit, most venues averaging less participation than 12 players (I'm figuring 6 average where I will be playing, a fairly average volume specialty games store) there will be plenty extra. 

 

But enough debunking.  Lets get to the positives about such a program. 

 

Were it not for the exclusive prize tournament format I would not have a venue at which to play Heroclix.  I would be stuck playing a few games every so many weeks with the same folks ad nauseum.  Sure we had fun when it was like that but after a time we all suffered from a large degree of intellectual incest, trying the same tired strategies again and again, so used to each other's style the game was less about what pieces were played and more about knowing someone's tactical weaknesses.  Then, the Infinity Gauntlet series was announced and we wanted the prizes.  So one of our group got the local comic shop to organize tournaments and we quickly found new players joining the fold, folks like us that had been under our very noses but we never knew they played and it breathed and incredible amount of new life into our game.  The tournaments have expanded our social circles and enriched our enjoyment of the game and our time together and gets us out of the house for a few hours.  The incentive to play was large enough to compel players to action and the downstream effects have been positive. 

 

With X-Wing's prize support, I look at the oversize cards, the plastic tokens and rulers, and see nothing that changes my experience.  I go on EBay to look for these things and see a set of tokens for $30 and a Wedge card for $15.  Are you kidding me?  Nothing about that has any impact on the game whatsoever.  No incentive to buy it, no incentive to win it, no incentive to drive a hour and a half to play it; I'll just stay at home order my ships online and play. 

 

Star Trek Attack Wing?  I just talked with the guy who owns the gameshop (hour and a half round trip for me).  He is getting the ships and running the tournaments.  I was on the fence about playing the game, but I saw the big DS9 and felt an instant need to own that piece.  I'm in; and now that there is a venue locally that is holding the games guess who got my pre order?  Not the nameless faceless internet warehouse but the shop that is going to support my hobby.  THAT's why this is good for the game.  It increases sales and traffic at the local level.  Other folks in the shop see the game and get to watch it being played and see folks having fun with it; which means more players, more variety of players and ultimately for me a better gaming experience.  Keep the prizes coming. 

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Dr. Z I've played HeroClix since the beginning, too, but you're wrong on the topic of "breaking the game."

 

When WizKids was WizKids, the game was great.  Sure, there were some abusive pieces every once In awhile, but that happens with any collectible game.  The company seemed to genuinely care about their products and they playtested their games often.  I know, I was one of them.  ;)

 

Unfortunately, though, since NECA took over, the game has taken a serious nosedive.  Sets are not being properly tested (if at all) and as a result there are so many abusive pieces coming out that it's ridiculous.  For example, Team Bases are so overpowered and are totally not fun to play against that it's really shocking that they even came out that way.  Furthermore, Spiral in the upcoming set is another example of a broken piece that should have never even happened -- and it isn't even out yet!

 

WizKids/NECA is all about the $.  They want their customers to keep buying their products, so they introduce things like chases and exclusive prize support/convention exclusives that -- more often than not -- are pretty powerful to boot.  But they have absolutely no concept on game balance anymore, and it's really starting to hurt HeroClix.  As such, if they continue releasing game breaking components and extremely hard to get figures everyone wants, then players will start leaving in droves.

 

Now I don't mind having some exclusives for prize support, as it isn't always a bad thing if done right (like in the early days of HeroClix where the LEs were just alternate versions of figures already released with new and balanced dials) but what they are doing these days is pathetic and pretty sad.

 

In fact, it's the reason why I'm here now.  Hard to find components in Attack Wing does not appeal to me at all, not to mention the probability of ZERO playtesting (since we've seen that with HeroClix already).  So I decided to go X-Wing instead.  Besides, FFG minis are much nicer anyway.  :)

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Darth Landy, I'm not disagreeing with you about the apparent lack of playtesting or the redonkulously powerful and unbalancing components that plague Heroclix at the moment; they are most certainly there.  What I am saying is that those elements have absolutely nothing to do with the tournament prizes, the problems, even the ones you cite, are nearly all found within the booster packs.  Unless The Gardener and Lock-Up or Franken-Castle are somehow being incorporated into the 'new cheese' and are destroying the Justice League team base without breaking a sweat it looks like their prizes are intended to be fun extras; rewards for playing well rather than the only way to make the best teams.  Remember the prize kit for the Incredible Hulk set?  Aside from Black Bolt it was a little underwhelming, no?   

Con exclusives are another matter entirely.  I dislike the very notion of them but even then most are not annihilating all the competition.  My Horsemen of the Apocalypse rarely win me any games, and at what I paid for them you can bet I've played them extensively.  The only ones that might see regular tournament play are Shuma-Gorath and Bat-Mite, but I would hardly call Shuma unbalanced with such a short dial for 2/3 of your team. 

All I'm saying is the tournament prizes are clearly not the problem, and they won't be the problem (if there are any problems at all) with Attack Wing. 

 

And the X-Wing ships are heads and shoulders above anything Wizkids has ever produced; sculpt, paint, scale = absolute perfection. 

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The naysaying regarding the tournament prizes is a bit premature.  As a long time Heroclix player and collector I have some experience with this model of prize support, so take this as it is due.  Let me start off by agreeing that such a program does generally create a more competitive arena, but I find it strange that so many seem to think that is a bad thing.  If you want to enjoy all a game has to offer, and by taking the pulse of this thread I see many feel that by having to win or track down exclusive pieces they feel they cannot enjoy the game without all its components, why would you frown upon playing the game at it's highest and most refined level?  Frankly I get no enjoyment out of trouncing some half-wit who barely knows what half their pieces do, give me a challenging opponent who makes me use my brain.  If home games are what you enjoy then absolutely nothing about the existence of an Elite Attack Die will stop that. 

 

The prize elements will not break the game.  Period.  I've played Heroclix for 12 years.  Over that time two different companies have produced the game and through all that time, and literally hundreds of tournament exclusives I have a hard time coming up with any tournament prize pieces that have been so game breakingly awesome that they are must haves or auto-win pieces.  Some of them are even downright horrible.  Even this year's Batcave prize for the No Man's Land tournament series or the honkin' huge Thanos and Shrine to Death that was the Infinity Gauntlet prize.  They are fun pieces to play, great for scenarios and look awesome on the shelf but nobody is playing them at the convention tournaments or even winning the local tournaments with them because quite frankly they get their backends handed to them.  They are balanced elements.  The Infinity Gauntlet and Batman's Utility Belt resources which were participation prizes for those series are ubiquitous, finding one with attachments on the cheap is not a difficult thing to do.  Some venues even have them for sale on the shelf right alongside the booster packs. 

 

The fact that there are game breaking and unbalanced pieces in Heroclix is a big concern but that's a different issue than what we are discussing here.  All of Wizkids game breaking or unbalanced elements in Heroclix are found either within the booster packs themselves; usually as a Super Rare or Chase rarity (not always though, the best Superman is the common one) or are part of their Print and Play feature which is FREE to anyone with an internet connection and a printer.  Dollar investment in blind booster purchases aside, everybody has fair access to them. 

 

I have a very hard time imagining that a Ferengi D'Kora Marauder or the USS Sutherland are going to destroy everything in their paths, BUT I would believe that a fully crewed up USS Enterprise might be the toughest thing to take on. 

 

As far as the hate for the Elite Attack Dice goes, tell me how that is different from putting an upgrade on your ship that lets you get a Focus/Battle Station token for free?  Or paying a few more points to fly Baron Fel and get free focus tokens instead of a generic Interceptor pilot?   If its just an issue of access then let me assure you the participation prizes will be ubiquitous.  At 12 per prize kit, most venues averaging less participation than 12 players (I'm figuring 6 average where I will be playing, a fairly average volume specialty games store) there will be plenty extra. 

 

But enough debunking.  Lets get to the positives about such a program. 

 

Were it not for the exclusive prize tournament format I would not have a venue at which to play Heroclix.  I would be stuck playing a few games every so many weeks with the same folks ad nauseum.  Sure we had fun when it was like that but after a time we all suffered from a large degree of intellectual incest, trying the same tired strategies again and again, so used to each other's style the game was less about what pieces were played and more about knowing someone's tactical weaknesses.  Then, the Infinity Gauntlet series was announced and we wanted the prizes.  So one of our group got the local comic shop to organize tournaments and we quickly found new players joining the fold, folks like us that had been under our very noses but we never knew they played and it breathed and incredible amount of new life into our game.  The tournaments have expanded our social circles and enriched our enjoyment of the game and our time together and gets us out of the house for a few hours.  The incentive to play was large enough to compel players to action and the downstream effects have been positive. 

 

With X-Wing's prize support, I look at the oversize cards, the plastic tokens and rulers, and see nothing that changes my experience.  I go on EBay to look for these things and see a set of tokens for $30 and a Wedge card for $15.  Are you kidding me?  Nothing about that has any impact on the game whatsoever.  No incentive to buy it, no incentive to win it, no incentive to drive a hour and a half to play it; I'll just stay at home order my ships online and play. 

 

Star Trek Attack Wing?  I just talked with the guy who owns the gameshop (hour and a half round trip for me).  He is getting the ships and running the tournaments.  I was on the fence about playing the game, but I saw the big DS9 and felt an instant need to own that piece.  I'm in; and now that there is a venue locally that is holding the games guess who got my pre order?  Not the nameless faceless internet warehouse but the shop that is going to support my hobby.  THAT's why this is good for the game.  It increases sales and traffic at the local level.  Other folks in the shop see the game and get to watch it being played and see folks having fun with it; which means more players, more variety of players and ultimately for me a better gaming experience.  Keep the prizes coming. 

 

Its sad when people find no incentive to play the game simply for fun but rather need a prize to bring them out.  In Heroclix the utility belt and gauntlet are game breaking, over powered, and need to be on any team now to be competitive.  None of those things are good for the game.  Now Heroclix has Fear Itself.  A product that you can only get by attending a tournament.  The pieces in this set, including the LE's are very powerful and cannot be gotten anywhere else.  The nice thing about X-Wing is you don't need to bring the cheesiest team possible in order to win the uber LE's piece.  The stores around here have absolutely no trouble selling out of product and getting people into the shop to play X-Wing, and its great to see a wide varity of teams and a fun casual atmosphere.  So it would seem it caters to the right kind of people...those that don't need a special award to have fun. 

 

Dr. Z I've played HeroClix since the beginning, too, but you're wrong on the topic of "breaking the game."

 

When WizKids was WizKids, the game was great.  Sure, there were some abusive pieces every once In awhile, but that happens with any collectible game.  The company seemed to genuinely care about their products and they playtested their games often.  I know, I was one of them.  ;)

 

Unfortunately, though, since NECA took over, the game has taken a serious nosedive.  Sets are not being properly tested (if at all) and as a result there are so many abusive pieces coming out that it's ridiculous.  For example, Team Bases are so overpowered and are totally not fun to play against that it's really shocking that they even came out that way.  Furthermore, Spiral in the upcoming set is another example of a broken piece that should have never even happened -- and it isn't even out yet!

 

WizKids/NECA is all about the $.  They want their customers to keep buying their products, so they introduce things like chases and exclusive prize support/convention exclusives that -- more often than not -- are pretty powerful to boot.  But they have absolutely no concept on game balance anymore, and it's really starting to hurt HeroClix.  As such, if they continue releasing game breaking components and extremely hard to get figures everyone wants, then players will start leaving in droves.

 

Now I don't mind having some exclusives for prize support, as it isn't always a bad thing if done right (like in the early days of HeroClix where the LEs were just alternate versions of figures already released with new and balanced dials) but what they are doing these days is pathetic and pretty sad.

 

In fact, it's the reason why I'm here now.  Hard to find components in Attack Wing does not appeal to me at all, not to mention the probability of ZERO playtesting (since we've seen that with HeroClix already).  So I decided to go X-Wing instead.  Besides, FFG minis are much nicer anyway.  :)

 

Very well said. 

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Dr. Z: I'm not really against certain incentives as prize support, either.  I do think, however, that they should be kept to things that aren't really must-haves for players. 

 

Good examples are cards with alternate artwork, exclusive acrylic tokens, pieces with alternate sculpts, or reused figures with slightly different dials (but not game breaking dials obviously).  This way, it shouldn't be souring to anyone.

 

Bad examples, though, are things like the Batcave and Deep Space Nine.  Sure, these aren't necessities per se (although we haven't seen what Deep Space Nine can do yet so that might change), but I know a lot of people are disappointed that the only way to get them is to win them, or shell out a ton of cash for them.  Plus it sounds like a few ships will be exclusive to the Dominion War events as well.  Again, we don't know what they do yet, but this IS WK we are talking about here - after all, and they don't have a great track record when it comes to balance. 

 

In the end, I just wish FFG was making Attack Wing instead of WK.

Edited by Darth Landy

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Darth, I believe we are talking the same language with slightly different points.  I've only been into playing X-Wing for a few months and there were a lot of things I was hoping WK would learn from FFG; figure quality, playtesting and design balance, slower/smaller release schedule, early previews, more non-blind products, top notch customer support, fluid communications with players and venues, etc.  Quite frankly FFG does a better job of all those things but there is one thing I think WK does right.  The little prizes are good but the big prizes cater to a different crowd entirely. 

 

What I find sad in this discussion is that I would be so judged on my desire for a tight competitive tournament field.  Its not so much the prizes that matter to me; they are the icing on the cake, its the environment that is created secondary to the availability of unique and exclusive prizes that gets me to travel out of my way to patronize a venue to play( and so it is known, WK allocates one of the prizes in the smaller kits for a sportsmanship award they call 'fellowship'; some places the players vote others the judge/TO decides who gets it).  My time is valuable and limited, as I suspect with many who play similar such intellectually demanding pastimes.  I can't make it to Worlds or GenCon but I can patronize a more local venue.  I can and often do stay home and invite friends over to play these games and have great fun doing so, I usually play goofy theme teams or odd combos just to see if I can get them to work.  That's fun for sure but I also like a serious challenge.  I think Wizkids has a great way of catering to players like myself that also crave that desired level of play with the months long event series and big trophy style prizes. 

 

  However, the closest venue to me that supports FFG's games is an hour and a half round trip away.  If I'm going to invest my time I want to be certain it will be worth it and I get to play against skilled players with challenging teams/builds and I walk away having sufficiently exercised my brain and hopefully learning something in the process that makes my game better.  Otherwise, I won't be back to that venue.  Nevermind the prize, it's that different experience that makes me want to play at a venue instead of my own dining room table.  With an exclusive prize on the line folks are more inclined to bring their "A" game.  The more casual players and those who don't like the competition tend to stay out of it and that is a perfectly reasonable and respectable choice.  I don't judge them on how they choose to enjoy their hobby, why should I be denigrated or disrespected for how I enjoy the game?  Store credit or mildly altered or custom game elements work some of the time but in my experience the BEST most competitive and evenly matched games were when the Thanos Shrine or the Batcave were waiting in the winner's circle.  Even when I've lost the final round I would still mark them as some of the best and most memorable games I've ever played.  I can't wait to bring my fleet to fight for DS9. 

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