A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…..oops wrong game, I think…..
Well it was perhaps 2 years ago…..
I heard a rumour, Wizkids were going to be producing a miniatures skirmish game based on the D&D licence using their ‘Attack Wing’ mechanics. So what are these mechanics I wondered and a long journey started that day. Suddenly I was standing in Firestorm Games in Cardiff holding both Star Trek Attack Wing and Star Wars X-Wing base games trying to decide which one to get in preparation of when D&D attack wing was going to come out.
You see I have a some what obsessive nature. In order for me to get into one game I have to have all of the flavours of that game.
In the end I decided to buy both Star Trek and Star Wars.
A few months later I was busy buying expansions for Star Trek Attack Wing, catching up on older ‘waves’ of releases whilst trying to keep up with the newer waves. I was playing in tournaments on a regular basis (and not winning) and overall enjoying it. Star Wars sort of fell by the wayside as in all honesty I could not sink money into two very similar games.
Then D&D Attack Wing was released, at a slightly higher price point granted, but it was out. I dutifully abandoned Star Trek and my collection of some 50 odd ships and started buying the D&D expansions as they came out. Once again I decided I could only afford one such game, especially as I was also trying to keep up with Wizkids intense releases of the D&D Icons of the Realms prepainted miniatures range. This did mean that I was essentially buying some miniatures twice, the first time as an individual figure in a random booster pack and the second time with cards and tokens for use with the Attack Wing game. I did not mind, I was being faithful and supporting what I considered a good attempt at bringing D&D into other parts of the gaming industry.
Months went by…..I played a couple of games, and even dragged my D&D Attack Wing game to my local shop a couple of times in order to try to promote it to my fellow gamers.
A few more months went by, my collection of figures increased, Icons of the Realms was now passed the 2nd wave and heading too its 3rd, more and more figures were being promised for D&D Attack Wing and I was just about keeping up with it all.
Then suddenly after much agonising I stopped…..I just gave up….enough was enough….
The game just was not taking off locally, I was simply buying them to put on my shelf at home. The local shop was only buying one of everything, just for me, as his starting stock was still on the shelves collecting dust.
So why do I think it failed?
Because of the lore, the flavour and the history.
Star Trek and Star Wars have huge fan bases and are very well loved franchises. When I bought an expansion that included the USS Defiant and Captain Benjamin Sisko I was not just buying some cards and a bit of plastic, I was buying a name, I was buying history. And when I played these miniatures in a game I was pitting such characters against iconic villians within the franchise, Picard versus the Borg Queen or Data versus Lore.
When I was buying and playing D&D attack wing, it simply was not the same, I was playing ‘an’ ancient red dragon against a dwarven ballista, an elf mage against a mind flayer. Yes some of these miniatures were iconic, but they were generic as well.
A similar argument can be said for my purchase of Descent 2nd Edition and my continued purchase and support of Imperial Assault, one is generic, the other is full of flavour and lore.