“X-Wing is a tactical ship-to-ship combat game in which players take control of powerful Rebel X-wings and nimble Imperial TIE fighters, facing them against each other in fast-paced space combat. Featuring stunningly detailed and painted miniatures, X-Wing recreates exciting Star Wars space combat throughout its several included scenarios. Select your crew, plan your maneuvers, and complete your mission!”
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away… Fantasy Flight Games releases the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures game based on their own aerial dogfighting game, Wings of War. The game pits the Rebel Alliance against the Galactic Empire, X-Wings against TIE Fighters, Y-Wings against TIE Advance x1. What more can you want!?
First of all, I must confess that I am a huge Star Wars fan, and that fact alone will most likely impact my own scoring on the game, but I will do my best to give a fair rating. Don’t worry, I won’t be blinded the name. I’m usually a tougher critic when it comes to anything Star Wars related.
Secondly, I am new to the Miniatures Tabletop gaming realm. I’ve always wanted to get into Warhammer or Heroclix whenever I saw players playing at local game shops. They will show up with suitcases full of units and terrain, then spend a good amount of time setting up and pretty awesome battlefield. Sadly, after talking to a few Warhammer players, it could get very costly, and very time consuming. Hard to get into, hard stop once you do.
The Core Set comes with one X-Wing, and two TIE Fighters. It will also come with dices, damage cards, upgrade cards, pilot cards, tokens, maneuver dials, and maneuver templates. Everything you will need to start playing out of the box. Not exactly a lot of ships, but enough to get started.
The game is very easy to learn, and very easy to teach. After a quick assembly of the dials and the ships; and after popping out all the tokens, you are ready to rock and roll. The game comes with a 25 page or so rule book, which lays out everything you need to know about the game. It also comes with a quick-start guide, which lets you play right away, and gives you a summary of the rules, step-by-step. After finishing the quick-start game, you will already be familiar with the game, and will go through the game’s phases fairly quickly.
I’d recommend just playing the quick-start game, and learn by playing. After that, you can go into the rule books for advance rules, or whenever a ruling question comes up.
You will have a variety of pilots and upgrades to choose from, that you will spend all your free time putting together your “perfect” squadron. Each ship/pilot has a point value. Each upgrade, secondary weapon, astromech droid, or pilot skill, will also have a point value. You and your opponent will decide on a Squadron Point limit, then put together a squadron using the point values up to the point limit. You could always use a low or high point limit depending on how big of a battle you want to have. In tournament play, the point limit is usually set at 100 points.
Usually, the better the pilot, the more points their ship will be worth. For example, “Mauler” Mithel who was Darth Vader’s left wingman during the battle of Yavin IV, is worth a bit more points than an Academy Pilot. Luke Skywalker is worth more than a Rookie Pilot. What kind of squadron you want, is up to you. You can have a team of a few heavy hitting X-Wings, or even a swarm of TIES and try to out maneuver your opponent.
Then you will have your upgrades. So here you will also have a few of choices to make. Do you use a beefed up Luke Skywalker? Or used those extra points and add two Rookie Pilots? Do you run with R2-D2? Or do you want those points to have a Proton Torpedo? Why not both? Each ship/pilot card has a list of what upgrades can or cannot be added.
While constructing your squadron, you will find yourself using up all your points pretty fast. You’ll be left with decisions to cut some upgrades for an extra ship, or vice-verse. When you get more ships, you will have more possibilities and combos you will be able to use.
Like I said before, the game is very easy to play, and also very fun to play. There is more than just move, fire, move. You have to play mind games with your opponent. You have to predict your opponent’s moves.
Each turn starts with a Planning Phase. During this phase, both players use their maneuver dials to select a maneuver for each ship. This is done simultaneously, so after you make your maneuver selection, you place the dial face-down by each ship, and wait til both players are done with all their dials. During this phase, you will have to choose your maneuvers based on where your ships is, where your opponent’s ship is, and what you think your opponent is going to do.
Then next phase is the Activation Phase. At this time, the players will reveal their ship’s dials one by one, depending on the Pilot Skill number for each ship. The higher the Pilot Skill number, the better the pilot. For example, a rookie pilot for an X-Wing has a pilot skill number of 1, while Luke Skywalker has a pilot skill number of 8. So the lowest pilot skilled ship reveals their dial first, then move according to what is shown on the maneuver dial.
To move your ship, you take the maneuver template matching the movement on the dial. You place the template against the front of the ship’s base. There is a small grove where the template will fit into when you have it placed correctly. You then hold down the template against the table, pick up the ship, then place it at the opposite end of the maneuver template; again, placing the template into the groove of the ship’s base.
After moving, the ship then selects an action to perform. It could be a variety of things such as, locking onto a target, doing a barrel roll, focus, etc. Then you go down the list by pilot skill, and do the same thing for all the ships. If there is a tie, the Imperial player goes first.
Next is the Combat Phase. This time, you go through the list of ships in the opposite order, and the highest pilot skilled ship goes first. If there is an enemy ship within your firing arc, you can make an attempt to shoot upon their ship. Each ship will have a corresponding card which will list all the details of their ship. For example, Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing has a Primary Weapon Rating of 3, an Agility Rating of 2, a Hull Value of 3, and a Shield Value of 2.
So if Luke is firing at a TIE Fighter that has an Agility Value of 3, the Rebel player will roll 3 attack dices, and the Imperial player will roll 3 defense dices. The attacker could roll a hit, a critical hit, a focus, or a blank. The defender could roll an evade, a focus, or a blank. So if the attacker rolls 2 hits and a critical hit, the defender will have to roll 3 evades to prevent any damage from occurring.
There are other factors that can affect your rolls. If the attacker is firing at range 1, the attacker gets to roll an extra attack dice. If the attacker is firing at range 3, then the defender will be able to roll an extra defense dice. If the attacker is firing with an obstacle in the way (like an asteroid), the defender gets yet another defense dice. Also be sure to read your pilot abilities!
For every point of damage a ship takes, you remove a shield token. If there is no shield token, then the ship will receive a damage card face-down. If it is a critical hit, the damage card is dealt face-up. The card will have an addition effect on the ship. It could be lingering effect like a weapons malfunction, or something direct, like an additional damage taken.
After everyone is done shooting, the turn is over! Go back to the Planning Phase. Simple right? At first it might start off slow, but once you get used to the phases, and using the maneuver templates to move your ships, you’ll be a pro in no time.
Still a little confused? Sorry, I suck at explaining things. Luckily for you, Fantasy Flight Games has released a tutorial on the game. Much much better than me at explaining things. Give it a watch!
The quality of the is very good. Each ship comes pre-painted, a in amazing detail. For me this is great because I don’t have the time or talent to paint each model myself. But don’t let that stop you if you do enjoy painting your models. There are many players who took their time to repaint each X-Wing to exactly how they wanted. You want your X-Wing to have the same paint job as Wedge Antilles’ Rogue Squadron X-Wing? Go for it!
The ship itself seems pretty durable. It should survive a few drops, but you still need to be pretty careful with them. The peg stands that attach the ship to the base however, doesn’t seem all to durable. I would be careful with them. Make sure you correctly place them facing the right way, and don’t ever twist them. The stand itself is plastic, and can slip around if playing on a glass or wood surface.
The art on the Pilot cards are phenomenal. Instead of stills from the film, Fantasy Flight Games has opted to use artist’s drawing for everything. And they look amazing. The same is with the upgrade and damage cards.
The Maneuver Dials seems sturdy enough, and doesn’t show any signs of wearing after numerous usage. Only time will tell. All the other components such as the maneuver templates, range ruler, and tokens; are all made out of a sturdy cardboard material.
Overall, I think the quality of the game is top notch.
Is the game worth it? The Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game is considered cheap, if you compare it to other miniatures games like Warhammer. I believe it is worth the investment. Spending around $100 can get you three X-Wings, five TIE Fighters, a Y-Wing, and a TIE Advance x1. That is not bad at all.
And this is only with the first wave ships. There are more waves that are already out, and have yet to be released. You won’t find yourself not having enough ships.
The core set will run you around $30 each, each small ship expansions is around $15 each. If you look around, you can find some deals every once in awhile. I put an Amazon.com link at the bottom of the page if you are interested. I’d also recommend looking around your local Barnes and Noble stores. Don’t forget to support your local game shops!
Very fun. I enjoyed the heck out of this game. You’ll find yourself getting so into the game, that you’re making TIE Fighter noises while you maneuver around the board. Blast the movie soundtrack and you’re good to go!
The game is great for beginners, and has enough depth and strategy for any veteran gamer. It is also great for all ages. It says the suggested age is 14+, but I believe children even younger can get into this game pretty quickly. Sure they might not have the insight and strategy of older gamers, but they can still have fun.
Overall, I think this game is great fun. Easy to get into, and easy on the bank accounts. Great bang for your buck. I see myself playing this game for years to come, and with the rate that Fantasy Flight Games is releasing new ships, I won’t find myself getting bored of this game anytime soon. You will most likely be reading about Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures on the site a few more times.