D&D: Onslaught is an expensive and collectible skirmish game

Dungeons & Dragons: Attack two things at once. The first part is a tactical skirmish board game. The other half is about collecting miniatures. Either of these two things – a board game or collectible characters – are not issues per se and would be easy to write about here. It’s that D&D: Attack Both complicate matters at once, and may spoil their appeal.

as a board game, attack is a two-player stand-alone scenario-based skirmishing game based on the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons fighting rules. Features pre-drawn miniatures, a double-sided map, and 20-sided dice. Each player controls a group of adventurers in tactical battles against the adventurous team of the opponent and enemy monsters.

Mockup for D&D: Onslaught in progress

Photo: Coastal Wizards

clearly attack Not intended to replace D&D. As Alex Davey, director of mini-games at WizKids, told Polygon, attack It was designed as a “fun, fast and urgent” way to experience a specific part of D&D – specifically, the experience of fighting and being superheroes.

attackDavey said the rules of the game reduce 5e combat to a “balance between crunchy tactics and accessibility,” and that’s “weighted toward success.” No damage rolls (each successful attack deals a set amount of damage) and each attack is made with an advantage (rolling two d20 and picking the highest). Monsters that populate the scenarios hit and deal damage automatically based on the rules set in the scenario – they don’t roll to attack. There are no skills or abilities to track down. The initiative is simplified even thanks to a set of numbered cards.

D&D: Offensive character card, a pair of twenty-sided dice, and exquisite miniature

Photo: Coastal Wizards

Everything you need to know about your characters fits into an index card sized character card. The card gives you attack options, reactions, critical hit effects, and all your stats. Each character card has five discs around the outside. Anything that changes over the course of the battle—such as hitpoints, experience points, or ability slowdown—has a tweak. Even your stats — of which there are three: speed, armor class, and hit points — have a tweak. Interestingly, this means that, depending on the character, things like armor class and speed may change because that character takes damage (not unlike another WizKids franchise, HeroClix).

The scenarios in which you will move between these characters and thumbnails are laid out in a scenario guide that is included in the rulebook. According to WizKids, you should be able to play through a scenario in about 90 minutes. Each scenario details board and team settings, loot locations, starting or spawn points, monster behavior rules, any special items in play, and a particular battle objective. The Greatalls & Goblins scenario presented in the preview we saw was simple: “Kill your way to safety!” Two teams of two heroes enter a dungeon and battle each other and a group of orcs while battling for control of a special weapon. Victory points are allocated based on actions such as defeating enemies and monsters or controlling special loot at the end of the fight. And that’s it. It’s a skirmish, so it doesn’t necessarily need more. However, it will be interesting to see how “Greathalls & Goblins” compares to other scenarios in the full version.

Two more miniatures, this time orcs.  Both have chest and arrows.

Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon

While both the scenario and character cards are simplified and easy to understand, the gameplay itself isn’t much different than playing D&D with miniatures on a battle. You’ll still be dealing with things like range, line of sight, area of ​​effect attacks, and ability slowdowns. Players in turn activate their heroes with an initiative arrangement, and each hero has a movement speed, actions, reactions and special attacks. This complication may explain the recommendation for age 14 and older.

So attack You don’t want to replace D&D with pen and paper, and it’s not D&D for babies. Wants WizKids Dungeons & Dragons: Attack To be a small game solution does not require the same prep work that a full heavy role-playing session would take. In addition to home games, WizKids plans extensive tournaments, structured play, and in-store events.

Which brings us to the other half of D&D: Attack – plural.

Miniatures of six heroes from each of D&D: Two Factions in Onslaught

Photo: Coastal Wizards

a large part of attack It is the clothes. Included in the basic set are 21 minis. It’s all-new sculptures – 12 heroes and nine monsters such as Kobolds, Knowles, and black dragons – that will be exclusive to attack for the first year. It’s as high quality as you’d expect from WizKids, which also produces pre-painted miniatures for traditional D&D under license from Wizards of the Coast.

In the game, each player chooses a faction to play, and each faction has its own miniatures. At launch, you’ll choose between spy-like Harpers and mercenary Zhentarim – both factions found in D&D’s Forgotten Realms. Later in the year, more factions will be launched – Red Witches and many Arrows – and faction expansions. As Davey told us, “We want you to be passionate about the faction you represent.”

For anyone wanting to customize their own adventure party, WizKids will have a curated list of mini-proxies that can replace any of the mini-characters in official play. These will come from collections such as Icons of the Realms, Nolzur’s Great Miniatures, and Frames.

Nine D&D: Beast Slaughter miniatures including a black dragon, two dwarves, an ettin, a troll, and four kobolds.

Photo: Coastal Wizards

That means – or, at least, implied – that you’ll want to keep expanding attack Collect to get the full experience. This brings us to the cost.

The basic set will run you $139.99. It comes with 21 miniatures (characters and monsters), a double-sided map, four 20-sided dice, and 16 character cards. Faction expansion packs due for release in October 2023 will include six mini cards and character cards, as well as a pair of d20s. Each will cost $59.99. If we’re talking about the basis of each mini, it’s about $7 to $10 each. keeping up attackVersions will be added quickly.

attackThe gameplay is ‘extremely satisfying’ and provides a solid framework for wartime skirmishes. The simplified experience of this particular part of D&D – the warlike part where the miniatures move around the map and fight bad guys – is exactly what attack to hand in. It won’t replace the long form (for lack of a better word) D&D, but it’s a good way to get a quick combat fix. However, how do you feel about Dungeons & Dragons: Attack It will really depend on how much of a miniature collector you are. and how much money you are willing to spend on them.

Dungeons & Dragons: Attack It is expected to hit stores by January 2023. The Red Mages and Many Arrows faction sets are scheduled to be released in October 2023.

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