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Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game Review:
Tantive IV Expansion Pack


If you have everything for the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures game already, it’s likely due to some serious acquisition disorder. Don’t worry, you’re not alone, because this game practically defines this serious condition. The Tantive IV Expansion Pack from Fantasy Flight Games, however, rises above the I-gotta-have-it-‘cause-it’s-X-Wing illness in one major way: its sheer WOW factor that even a non-gamer can fall victim to.

EXPANSION OVERVIEW

The Tantive IV CR-90 Corellian Corvette expansion pack looms onto the closest tabletop star system near you at $89.95 MSRP, arriving on your doorstep parked in a large box chock full of the usual quality cardboard bits one would expect from Fantasy Flight Games, not to mention a highly detailed replica of the famously first Star Wars starship ever to cross the big screen. The model looms over other starships on the game table, and packs a powerful 360-degree primary weapon on its fore section and a couple of energy-powered secondary weapons that can be mounted on the fore or aft. With a variety of other upgrades that recharge shields, increase attack dice and bolster nearby allied ships, the CR-90 will be hard for the Imperials to put down. And definitely can’t ignore.

REVIEW

How am I going to store this?

The large box that houses the Tantive IV was typically eye-catching and exciting. When I hold a new board game box in my hands, I love to revel in the sturdy, quality feel of the box, but I did not get that feeling with this one. It is clear that Fantasy Flight Games chose to focus all of their resources into making the expansion components durable and of the highest quality, but not so on the box itself. If, however, I was saved $10 because of this, then I say “Thank you, FFG.” I would wager that most X-Wing players do not store or transport their larger ships in the game boxes, anyway.

Did I mention how I am supposed to store this?

The ship detail is extraordinary. The amazing paint job with the black “burn-marks” and battle scars make me wonder if these details are exactly the same on every model…done by hand? Wow. George Lucas probably would have used this to shoot the first movie, and zooming in at that. What’s more, the two gun turrets on the fore section and the antenna on the aft section of the ships actually turn. More accurately, they turn a good ways in one direction before popping out of the model. Being able to remove these delicate ship components can be useful in storage situations where the pressure from a case may damage them.

Now if I can only figure out my own storage solution…

The rulebook is reasonably thorough and well-written. I found it easy to execute quick rule-checks “mid-flight.” More often than not, FFG was careful to word things in the rulebook in such a way that the intent of the rules are clear and non-ambiguous. I will say, though, that after all of these various rules releases and additions with all the expansions, compiling them into one giant X-Wing Rules Compendium with all the various rules supplements and special missions would be a great idea pretty soon. The new rules for the ship integrate very well into the existing rules, and the new energy sub-stages are fun, fascinating and creative. It was a great feeling to be able to let loose a volley from my aft quad-cannons, tearing up an annoying Royal Guard Tie Interceptor. These energy-powered secondary weapons were also useful when ships were at ranges 1-2, as the primary weapon, as awesome as it is, can only fire at targets between ranges 3-5. I also enjoyed the creative, thematic experience of how the two sections of the ship work together, including their accompanying ship cards (and the pictures of the ship sections fit together!).

How about storing it in my…nope, the tackle box is not long enough for the ship. OR that confounded 5-range ruler…

The comments I received from other players at the table during a game with this ship were highly favorable and wrapped in fascination. It was mentioned multiple times how much more impressive the CR-90 was in action than the Rebel Transport expansion also recently released by FFG, though it must be mentioned that the transport is intended to be played very differently with different strategies. With a price-point of $89.95 (or about $60 through some online retailers), I was concerned that this was merely a purchase driven by acquisition disorder. I paid the same price for my beloved War of the Ring. There are a lot of great games I could get for $60. So, a cheaper price point would be nice…maybe…Well, while it’s hard to get your head around spending $90 (or even $60) on ONE ship for ONE game, I don’t think anyone would accuse FFG of not giving us our money’s worth. So really, given the fact that other miniatures games have charged this much or more for smaller figures, this is still a bargain for all that you are getting for your money here. All in all, even though I am a rather experienced X-Wing player, I was relieved to discover that in my first battle at the helm of the CR-90, I felt like I was playing a new game. And that, I believe, makes this ship worth it.

I LOVED:

The detail, scale, and table-presence of the ship model
The component quality
The amount of components included
The creativity of the huge ship rules and the fluidity of how they integrate into existing rules
The neat design of the overall expansion, highly thematic and immersive
The balanced abilities of the CR-90, with powerful weapons options and various ways to support nearby allied starships

I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO HAVE SEEN:

A cheaper price point…maybe…nah, you get your money’s worth
An Imperial capital ship to face off with this guy

I WAS DISAPPOINTED IN:

The flimsy box—but it’s OK, it will just sit on my shelf with the other X-Wing boxes, looking awesome
No real lights to give that blue, incandescent glow on the engines with that ethereal engine rumble, and no turbo laser sound effects ;o)

If I saw a groove into the inside lid of the tackle box, I might just fit the 5-range ruler in there…then I can take the foam tray with all the ships out to make room for the big boy…but then where do I put the foam tray?

FINAL SCORE: 10 OUT OF 10
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Mathieu Chevalier
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Re: THE GAMER'S STUDIO REVIEW: Star Wars X-Wing: Tantive IV Expansion Pack
Thanks for that nice review.

That ship is definitaly not cheap but since I dont have the intention of getting the Rebel Transport, it makes it easier on the wallet to acquire the Tantive IV.

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John Bailey
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Re: THE GAMER'S STUDIO REVIEW: Star Wars X-Wing: Tantive IV Expansion Pack
ChapelierFou wrote:
Thanks for that nice review.

That ship is definitaly not cheap but since I dont have the intention of getting the Rebel Transport, it makes it easier on the wallet to acquire the Tantive IV.



It was a pleasure to write it, and I'm glad it was of help to you. I will probably pick up the transport...eventually, maybe on a sale or something because some of us just have to have EvErYtHiNg.laugh

Yeah it was pricey, but I see now it was worth it.
And seeing my 10-year old son hug it that big ship and say "I think I'm going to cry..." when we were setting it up to play yesterday was even more satisfying.
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Ron D
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Great review! I'm still waiting for mine, but I am very excited to get one.

One small rules nitpick (and I think we all make little errors like this the first time around):

jbaileymusic wrote:
The rulebook is reasonably thorough and well-written. I found it easy to execute quick rule-checks “mid-flight.” More often than not, FFG was careful to word things in the rulebook in such a way that the intent of the rules are clear and non-ambiguous. I will say, though, that after all of these various rules releases and additions with all the expansions, compiling them into one giant X-Wing Rules Compendium with all the various rules supplements and special missions would be a great idea pretty soon. The new rules for the ship integrate very well into the existing rules, and the new energy sub-stages are fun, fascinating and creative. It was a great feeling to be able to let loose a volley from my aft quad-cannons, tearing up an annoying Royal Guard Tie Interceptor, and all during the Activation stage. These energy-powered secondary weapons were also useful when ships were at ranges 1-2, as the primary weapon, as awesome as it is, can only fire at targets between ranges 3-5.


The secondary weapons do not fire during the Activation phase, they fire during the Combat phase as normal. Per the Huge ship rules on page 2:

Quote:
During the Combat phase, each huge ship may perform one attack with its primary weapon and may perform one attack with each of its secondary weapons. Each attack must be fully resolved before it begins another.


When the weapon says "Attack [energy]:", that just means the attack requires the weapon to have energy on it, not that it happens during the Energy step of the Activation phase. It is kind of equivalent to the "Attack [target lock]:" requirement on Missiles and Torpedoes.
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John Bailey
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Dr Lucky wrote:
Great review! I'm still waiting for mine, but I am very excited to get one.

One small rules nitpick (and I think we all make little errors like this the first time around):

jbaileymusic wrote:
The rulebook is reasonably thorough and well-written. I found it easy to execute quick rule-checks “mid-flight.” More often than not, FFG was careful to word things in the rulebook in such a way that the intent of the rules are clear and non-ambiguous. I will say, though, that after all of these various rules releases and additions with all the expansions, compiling them into one giant X-Wing Rules Compendium with all the various rules supplements and special missions would be a great idea pretty soon. The new rules for the ship integrate very well into the existing rules, and the new energy sub-stages are fun, fascinating and creative. It was a great feeling to be able to let loose a volley from my aft quad-cannons, tearing up an annoying Royal Guard Tie Interceptor, and all during the Activation stage. These energy-powered secondary weapons were also useful when ships were at ranges 1-2, as the primary weapon, as awesome as it is, can only fire at targets between ranges 3-5.


The secondary weapons do not fire during the Activation phase, they fire during the Combat phase as normal. Per the Huge ship rules on page 2:

Quote:
During the Combat phase, each huge ship may perform one attack with its primary weapon and may perform one attack with each of its secondary weapons. Each attack must be fully resolved before it begins another.


When the weapon says "Attack [energy]:", that just means the attack requires the weapon to have energy on it, not that it happens during the Energy step of the Activation phase. It is kind of equivalent to the "Attack [target lock]:" requirement on Missiles and Torpedoes.


Thanks for reading the review, and glad you liked it! Thanks for catching that inaccuracy, it has been amended!whistle
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