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Bill H
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This is based upon a starter and 9 booster packs.


The models themselves are fairly detailed and look very good, except as described below.

yuk While the bigger models (class 1 and 2) seem to be formed from harder plastic, the smaller models (class 3 and 4) seem to be vinyl and very bendy. I have half a dozen x-wings with every weapon pointing in a different direction, and my tie-fighters have s-bends, curves and twists in every wing-panel. I finally got them (mostly) straightened out, but after putting them in a storage case I can see that they're bent up again.

yuk One or two minis weren't totally formed -- one of my x-wings has a stub instead of one of the 4 wingtip cannons. I'm not certain I'd recognize missing/stubbed pieces on some of the other units until I have a double, so I'm not certain of how many misformed pieces I have (but it's less of a problem with the less-recognizable ships anyway).

The minis are well-painted, no complaints there.

The distribution of pieces isn't bad, about what I expected. About a third are recognizable craft from films 4-6, about a third are recognizable craft from films 1-3, and the rest are "Collectable Game Filler" -- common unrecognizable ships used as padding to ensure you buy more packs to get the pieces you want. With a sample of 9 boosters, I've gotten close to one tie-fighter variant and one x-wing variant per booster so I'm satisfied. A playable set may take a starter and 3-4 boosters. Desired minis like the Millenium Falcon or an x-wing painted like Luke's are rares.

yuk The damage markers and command chits are light cardboard and only come with the starter set. They should be sufficient for the recommended 300-point battles, but if you're trying for anything more ambitious you may run short. They should have provided a least an extra sheet in each case of boosters so your FLGS could have helped you out if you needed a few more. For bigger battles, I guess we'll just have to print our own.

The class 3 and class 4 minis fit nicely in common mini storage cases, but storing your class 1 and class 2 minis may be an issue. Don't even think about using the original packaging because you pretty much have to shred the boxes to get them open. Also, I'd recommend picking up a deck case or two to hold all the cards.

yuk The folded paper map is featureless. I know space is big, really big, and really empty, but an asteroid field or moon to maneuver around or a planet-generated shield that fails partway into a scenario would add replayability. The only included scenario is: start from opposite edges and eliminate the opponent.

Although each fighter mini supposedly represents a single ship, capital ships can only launch 1-4 per turn and a single fighter can destroy a quarter of a capital ship's hit points in a turn. It makes more sense to view each fighter model as representing a squadron.

The rules are simple and straightforward, which is good if you're looking for an easy game to play with a non-gamer Star Wars fan. If, however, you're looking for a deeper simulation for your couple hundred dollar investment, some more advanced rules would be welcome. At least the Class 3 and 4 minis can be used with the old Star Wars: Star Warriors game.


All in all, they did a good job modelling and painting the ships, the distribution seems reasonable, the rules are simplistic, the map and included scenario are unimaginative.
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Steve Willson
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I appreciate your concise observations... I'm still undecided about this one, but you've provided excellent food for thought.

Shijuro wrote:
yuk The folded paper map is featureless. I know space is big, really big, and really empty, but an asteroid field or moon to maneuver around or a planet-generated shield that fails partway into a scenario would add replayability. The only included scenario is: start from opposite edges and eliminate the opponent.


Hopefully the future will hold more scenarios and support with this in mind.

Shijuro wrote:
Although each fighter mini supposedly represents a single ship, capital ships can only launch 1-4 per turn and a single fighter can destroy a quarter of a capital ship's hit points in a turn. It makes more sense to view each fighter model as representing a squadron.


My thoughts exactly.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Shijuro wrote:
Although each fighter mini supposedly represents a single ship, capital ships can only launch 1-4 per turn and a single fighter can destroy a quarter of a capital ship's hit points in a turn. It makes more sense to view each fighter model as representing a squadron.


My thoughts exactly.[/q]

But then you have clear individuals, like Luke...
 
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Barry Kendall
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I won't be buying into this, because I'm involved in A&A minis and am saving for the 2007 A&A: War at Sea release. However, because of my interest in WaS, I was curious to see the quality of the Star Wars ships.

A friend of mine procured a case or so of boosters--the box with the starters got separated in the shipment and wasn't in yet. He showed me everything.

He scored both variants of the Trade Federation control ship. The sculpted-on detail and varied panel painting is very good. Unfortunately, however, the ships are warped, one of them so badly that the open ends are almost a full thickness apart--the thing looks like an unused lock washer.

Another "large" ship was warped in several places, the aft section twisted about twelve degrees out of vertical.

All of the smaller ships were fully molded. However, the yellow-and-silver fighter from the first movie has a warped tail, and most of the X-wing guns are pointing off in strange directions.

One of the Tie fighters has both "wings" not only warped out of vertical but also deformed with ripples and bulges instead of a planar surface.

The minis are almost all mounted on their clear pedestal at an angle, presumably for a more "in action" look on the table. However, those hoping for a menacing line of fighters massed to get stuck in will be disappointed, as nobody's horizontal--including the Trade Federation ships (although it's tough to tell anyway, since they're so warped).

Emperor Palpatine's shuttle is an exception to this, since the drooping "wings" reach almost all the way to the base. It is imperiously oriented in the horizontal.

Scales appear to vary between light fighters and light bombers, and of course, the "capital ships" are in a much smaller scale than the fighters, so even though they're "big" in game terms, they're only three or four times as long as some of the fighters.

The most praiseworthy aspect of the minis is the paint job, which is much better than the A&A minis and quite faithful to the films, and the surface detail, which is very finely done. Proportions of the individual vessels depicted look true to the originals.

The warpage, though, is a major disappointment and an ominous sign to folks like me waiting for destroyers, cruisers and battleships with multiple gun barrels and masts as well as slender hulls. I hope they get this straightened out or sales will most assuredly suffer.
 
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John Mehrholz
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Geosphere wrote:
Shijuro wrote:
Although each fighter mini supposedly represents a single ship, capital ships can only launch 1-4 per turn and a single fighter can destroy a quarter of a capital ship's hit points in a turn. It makes more sense to view each fighter model as representing a squadron.


My thoughts exactly.

But then you have clear individuals, like Luke...

I prefer to view those units as being squadrons led by or including the named individual.
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Greg Collins
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Apart from the Tie Fighters, I've been able to straighten everything out with boiling water, reshape then dunk in the cold. I even managed (with a bit of pressure) to force my donut ships back into aligment. It's annoyingly common in these mini games now.
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Bill H
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Another minor point I thought about after submitting the above review: Why no attempt at a crossover with Star Wars Miniatures? The West End Games Star Wars: Star Warriors always had crossover scenarios with their roleplaying game, and vice versa. With the success of Star Wars Miniatures, why not at least the suggestion to link a couple scenarios between games?

For example (please note that this is off the top of my head and hasn't been playtested for balance):

The Millenium Falcon attempts to penetrate a small Imperial blockade to bring a couple heroes to the defense of a vital Rebel (insert MacGuffin here).

Light side gets Millenium Falcon and an X-Wing escort and starts on the edge opposite the planet, Dark side starts on the "planet" half of the map with a squadron of Tie Interceptors and squadron of Tie Fighters (their capital ship is out of range for the duration of this encounter, so any destroyed Tie Fighters may re-enter the map on the following turn from either Planet-side corner). If the Falcon spends a full turn on the planet edge, the heroes have made it to the surface and may be included on the Light side forces for the subsequent Star Wars Miniatures battle, which would otherwise favor the Dark side forces by half the point value of these Rebel heroes.
 
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Steve Willson
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Shijuro wrote:
Why no attempt at a crossover with Star Wars Miniatures?


Because that way they can sell us a senario book that does just that...
 
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John Maddening
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Shijuro wrote:


yuk The folded paper map is featureless. I know space is big, really big, and really empty, but an asteroid field or moon to maneuver around or a planet-generated shield that fails partway into a scenario would add replayability.


Star Warriors had asteroid counters that moved around the board, if I recall correctly.
 
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Bill H
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Quote:
yuk One or two minis weren't totally formed -- one of my x-wings has a stub instead of one of the 4 wingtip cannons. I'm not certain I'd recognize missing/stubbed pieces on some of the other units until I have a double, so I'm not certain of how many misformed pieces I have (but it's less of a problem with the less-recognizable ships anyway).

I've also gotten an X-wing that had a cannon snapped off while inside the plastic bubble (the broken piece was still inside). How something so bendy could snap off, I don't know.

Does anyone have any advice on what to use to glue the little cannon back onto the wing? It's a very small surface it'll be bonding to and I don't think plastic cement would work with this vinyl stuff. Any advice would be appreciated.
 
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Brad Engels
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Shijuro wrote:
Does anyone have any advice on what to use to glue the little cannon back onto the wing? It's a very small surface it'll be bonding to and I don't think plastic cement would work with this vinyl stuff. Any advice would be appreciated.

Have you ever used Krazy Glue? It comes in small vials. Hardware stores and mainstream stores should carry it. This stuff is excellent at bonding plastics, and it's not thick like rubber cement, it seems about as viscous as a drop of water.

There may be slight discoloration (a hazy white residue or cloudiness) upon drying though...may be some stretching of the plastic at a very small scale.

You can glue your fingers together with this stuff.
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Bob Blaser
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Shijuro wrote:
Quote:
yuk One or two minis weren't totally formed -- one of my x-wings has a stub instead of one of the 4 wingtip cannons. I'm not certain I'd recognize missing/stubbed pieces on some of the other units until I have a double, so I'm not certain of how many misformed pieces I have (but it's less of a problem with the less-recognizable ships anyway).

I've also gotten an X-wing that had a cannon snapped off while inside the plastic bubble (the broken piece was still inside). How something so bendy could snap off, I don't know.

Does anyone have any advice on what to use to glue the little cannon back onto the wing? It's a very small surface it'll be bonding to and I don't think plastic cement would work with this vinyl stuff. Any advice would be appreciated.


Try Zap! - It's a modeling glue for just such things. It works well and fast.
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Mike Maskell
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Geosphere wrote:
Shijuro wrote:
Although each fighter mini supposedly represents a single ship, capital ships can only launch 1-4 per turn and a single fighter can destroy a quarter of a capital ship's hit points in a turn. It makes more sense to view each fighter model as representing a squadron.


My thoughts exactly.

But then you have clear individuals, like Luke...


Here's my quick house rule variant I came up with off the top of my head to deal with this...

For non-unique fighter units, have each mini represent a squadron of let's say 10 units (open to change). For simplicity's sake, keep all attack/defense values the same as printed on the cards, but each squadron gets to make 10 attacks each round (until it takes hits). As the squadron takes hits, place damage counters on its card. For each damage counter, reduce the number of attacks it gets per round by 1 (representing a fighter being destroyed for each damage counter). When the damage totals 10, remove the squadron, it is destroyed.

Unique fighter units remain as-is. This lowers the power of say Luke's x-wing dramatically compared to a squadron of enemy fighters, but let's face it, if a whole squadron focused on just him, even Luke would be in trouble... Plus, the dark side player has to consider whether it's worth spending all those attacks on a unit that only gets one attack, when the squadrons accompanying Luke will undoubtedly be pounding him that same turn...

So as not to make fighters overpowered next to capital ships, make point defenses get one attack per adjacent fighter (not per squadron). That is, if an undamaged squadron is adjacent, the point defenses get to attack it 10 times. If the squadron's taken 4 hits, the point defenses shoot at it 6 times, etc.

I think this would add some "realism", such as it is for a sci/fi game, what do you think?

Edit: Still might have to raise capital ship hull values so as not to have fighters wiping them out completely in one round... If this is done, also raise capital ship attack values to keep them as effective vs. each other as before.
 
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Bill H
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That's a nice mechanism, Valoron. If we try it, I think I'd drop the size of the squadron you're talking about to 4? 5? How many were in the squadrons in the movies?

But my point wasn't that they were underpowered, it was that a single fighter unit plays as if it's a squadron already -- with respect to the launch rate and the amount of damage it can do vs. a capital ship.

Special figures like Luke seem to represent Luke leading his squadron, slightly better stats than the regular squadron.

I mentioned it in my review because they were quite clear that a game piece represents an individual ship or fighter, and it just doesn't feel like they represent individuals. I guess it doesn't matter what we call them (but I'm calling them squadrons!).

(edited for the obligitory grammar errors that remain hidden to my eye until I press SUBMIT)
 
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Mike Maskell
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That's a good point... The real problem with fighters isn't that they're underpowered, it's that they're far stronger than one fighter should be... Even representing a squadron, I think it's a bit much that a single B-Wing squadron could nearly wipe out a star destroyer in one round... Adding attacks to the squadrons only increases this power, but I wanted to add the effect of a squadron gradually decreasing rather than being destroyed all at once. This should probably be a secondary concern though, for simplicity it seems alright to just call them squadrons to justify their attack values, and leave it at that. The addition of range rules is definitely a must though.

I was also thinking that, if you wanted to use the squadron rules I spoke of earlier, you could add a special ability to ships of say class 2 and above; call it heavy shields or whatever, but the effect is: "damage reduction: damage that each source deals to this ship is reduced by 1 (maybe 2 in the case of class 1 ships). This ability is removed when the ship is reduced." This makes light fighters such as TIEs and A-wings as useless as they should be against heavy cruisers, even with multiple attacks per round. I agree with reducing the squadron size to 5 by the way.
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