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Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game» Forums » Reviews

Subject: X-Wing : Battle ground anywhere! rss

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Jesse G
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Long ago, in a life far, far away….

I tried D&D some time ago using miniatures that a friend had dug up to generally represent our characters. And for a period of time I tried to get into Shadowrun again with minis to help distance and other rules but I never really got into it.

I have heard of War Hammer 40k, but again…. nothing ever really got me hooked. Over the last year of my board gaming “re-birth” I have seen many games that are crazy popular that use minis, like Zombicide . Miniature games always seems so difficult to learn, or rather, the perceived learning curve is far greater than your average game of Tobago or King of Tokyo. Our table had never really seen a mini’s game.

Well, after a unique entry into X-wing, I have learned a few things:

1. Not all Mini’s are the same; X-Wing is a perfect cross over game that allows easy integration for new players, with simple setup and easy concepts and guidelines.
2. Minis can get expensive; X-Wing is not bad; well for now anyways; you can build a great “team” or force for a small investment. Or you could go all out and get 40 mini’s and have huge epic battles…
3. Not all players will be receptive to mini games; you can try and try but some games hook people in many ways. Not all these ways are seen by everyone.
4. The variables seem endless: the card combination, and mechanics that present themselves offer a unique battle scenario every time. And finding that certain cards just click into place I almost felt like I was cheating the card mechanics worked so well together.

I certainly like the Star Wars universe but was never over the top with much of the universe other than the movies, new and old. But it was getting a lot of fanfare and the mini’s are SO gorgeous I could not help myself to getting the base set and the Millennium falcon. Man was that sweet!

Star wars x-wing is a real time space dogfight. Players choose the imperial –Darth Vader guys or the rebels –Luke Skywalker and such. On teams of one or more, players use actual movement pieces in a system called “flight path” from Fantasy Flight games. This allows a predetermined range and type of movement for each ship. It is easy to interpret and execute, which makes the learning curve far less than some miniatures games. I will say that some movements can cause a player to bump, or accidentally discharge a massive hand/finger attack on the 1/270 scale ships; as long as everyone is cool, just move it back to where it was, and life goes on; it can be a combination of hilarious and/or wildly annoying! but it happens!

The simple structure of a round is as follows:
Players place their ships on the map or play area. (usually within the 1 or 2 area of the shot bar) Then players pick up these little dials that rotate to reveal a speed, bearing and colour indicating how difficult or easy a manoeuvre is. Then when all players are ready, the dials are placed next to the ship upside down, the pilot with the lowest skill flips their dial over and moves the indicated ship in the direction the dial indicates. in the case of two or more pilots having the same pilot skill, the Imperial side always goes first.

After a movement phase, players have the choice of performing actions that each pilot is capable of.

Some can “barrel roll”, some can “target lock” and most ships can “evade” as a defense or “focus” which allows a player to alter dice results on either the attack or defense rolls. Different ships offer more or less actions, based on the design of the ship and its overall function.

One interceptor; Turr Phennir; can equip an upgrade and if he attacked in the previous round he get a movement bonus plus his existing movement bonus and can move around the board like crazy.... its pretty wild!

Player’s battle or move around each other until the last ship on either team is destroyed. “Hull points” or your ships life points are listed in yellow on the ship cards. If a player chooses a ship with “Shields” then a blue listing indicates how many shield points a ship has. The value is added to the ships base hull points and creates increased damage resistance.

After actions have been played, combat can be performed. Combat is first determined by you pilot skill level this number indicates numerically how good your pilot is.

Pilot skill is an important factor. During the movement phase pilots with the lowest pilot skill go first in ascending order. Where as after moving and performing actions, the pilots with the highest skill level attack first and rotate in descending order. It is a very interesting mechanic.

Players use the “Shot bar” to determine their distance from a target. If the range indicates 1 or 3 (ie. Close range or far range) Bonuses are given to the attacker or defender accordingly. If or when in range players will then roll dice (Red 8 sided dice) and the number the player rolls is determined on the player card or ship base, and depending on range some ships can roll 4 dice, for a potentially deadly attack.

Players roll the attack dice, change any results if applicable due to upgrade cards or special actions and pilot abilities. Then the defender rolls the defense dice (Green 8 sided) The defense number is listed in green on a ship card or ship base. Again, players will roll and change the results based on upgrade cards or special actions. Then all results are resolved. Either some or all damage is taken or evaded. This process continues back and forth until the last ship is standing.

Without going over all the cards, each ship card states similar stats based on the capabilities of the ship type. In all ship categories, unique pilots are also available. These pilots usually have a higher skill level and offer the player some advantages over a “standard” ship. Like Luke Skywalker here:

His bonus is that “When defending, you are able to change one (Eye) result to an evade result”, offering much better defense than a standard pilot.

Others allow easier targeting, additional movement options and negating certain effects when performing special or complex maneuvers.

Upgrade cards allow a ship in gain increased firepower, movement bonuses and general abilities. Some have to work in conjunction with other abilities like assault missiles have to first have a target lock. But the potential of these weapons is huge. Other upgrades like weapons engineers allow a ship to be able to target 2 ships rather than only one. Others allow you to perform “Red” (stressful) maneuvers and not have the negative impact or offer another way to manage the stress token gained whenever a “red” maneuver is performed.

Upgrade cards use iconography to allow a player to first asses which upgrade his/her ship can use. Then a player would go through the upgrade deck and place the upgrade on their ship for its stated value. Most players create a team of pilots and upgrade worth a total of 100 points. Every game can have different upgrades, or perhaps ones that worked well in previous games.

How these upgrade cards interact with the unique characters in the game provide fantastic combinations that makes a player feel good about maneuvering a complex series of moves then swooping in to take out a ship. Or to reverse the way a game is going through clever use of secondary weapons. And because the playing area can vary wildly, a game can setup ANYWHERE! player can define an area with tape, rocks, almost anything. The standard "tournament" play area is 3' x 3' but i usually play on an area that is 3' long by 2' wide. it works well...

I find that introducing new player to a smaller area works well since rules like going out of bounds can affect the game greatly but allow player to learn some of the constraints quickly.

Checkout ******

I was able to create a custom 3'x 3' banner with a crazy Hubble space picture, for $24.00 DELIVERED.....TO CANADA! the local LGS is charging $40.00 for a death star surface type... i mean its nice.... but 1/2 price..? ill make my own, you should too!

I have also created a big "space map" with black foam core and manual drawings, its awesome and works well on our small table, but the wood grain and golden hues do not imbue that "space" feel....

I am really glad I got into X-Wing; even though some of my play companion’s just cant seem to get a good feel on it, I spend a lot of time dogfighting alone, testing out combinations and tactics... when someone does join in its some next level gaming!

I would HIGHLY recommend this game to literally anyone... after they play a seed will grow into innate interest... or die a quick death. Either way it is an experience! One that everyone should experience at least once!


Component Quality -10/10
Gameplay - 9/10
Strategy - 10/10
Theme - 10/10
Kid friendly - 7/10

Overall - 9/10

Thanks to the various users on BGG and Fantasy Flight Games for uploaded images and images available on the WWW.
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Derry Salewski
United States
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I'm only happy when it rains...
Be careful with Turr-- he gets to move right after attacking.
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