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Subject: My review after a game filled Holiday rss

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David Pontier
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Hopefully there are enough rules explanations and walk throughs out there that I don’t need to go over the rules here. This is halfway between a session report and a game review, but I think it leans more heavily toward the game review.

I played this game a lot over the Holiday weekend. My nephews are big SW fans, and so I knew they would like this game, and they did. They are ages 14, 12, and 11. They all picked up the game very easily, though they had a hard time putting together the squad building strategy required to be really successful. I played six times and did not lose a match. I switched equally between Rebels and Imperial playing both 60 and 100 point battles from both sides.

I bring up the fact that I didn’t lose, not to brag, but to counter any argument that this game has a lot of luck. I own the game. I had played it several times before introducing it to my nephews. I have studied strategies and card combinations. I should be better than them. If this game had a lot of luck, then I should have lost at least once. Two of the games were against my 33-year-old brother, so it wasn’t that I was just beating up on kids.

I think it was a Game Tech segment on the Dice Tower, where it was said that the more random elements, like dice rolling, in a game the less random the final outcome is. In a game like Settlers where you roll the dice every turn, you might have strings of bad luck, but by the end of the game, things should even out and the person with the best strategy should win. The same happens in this game. Yes, a TIE can roll two criticals against an X-wing without any shields, and it can fail to get an evade, and blow up sooner than it should. But that implies that it already lost its shields, and if it is on the first turn, then it is because the Imperial player positioned himself to get multiple ships firing on one X-wing and should be rewarded for his efforts.

Yes, you will still get bad rolls and disastrous results from good strategy and planning, but with all the game does to allow you to reroll and mitigate that luck, for those who plan correctly, strategy will almost always win out. Also, with 100 point battles, you should have enough ships, that if you lose one too soon, the game can still go on.

A good example of this is the last two 100-point battles I played. In the first I played as Wedge, Garvin, and Horton. I gave Wedge Swarm Tactics so that Garvin could fire first and then give his focus to Wedge. Wedge got target locks each turn, used Garvin’s focus ability, and tore up the Imperials. The Y-wing kept behind Vader, constantly Ionizing him, and forcing him to crash into other TIEs, taking away his best ability: two actions. It was a blood bath.

So, my when we played the next 100-point battle, my nephew wanted to play as the Rebels, since he felt it would be a guaranteed win. I took Vader, Howlrunner, and an Academy TIE to face off against Wedge and Garvin. Sam, my nephew, navigated his ships poorly around the asteroids and chose not to give Wedge Swarm tactics, so Garvin’s ability was worthless. Even if he had understood that strategy, they were rarely close enough to use it. I gave Vader Expert Handling, so he kept shedding the target locks, and by always barrel rolling out of the range of the X-wings, and maintaining range one with at least one of them, and staying close to Howlrunner, he was rolling 3 attack dice most of the time with reroll and focus. Wedge was crippled quickly and fled, only to be taken out by the academy pilot, and Garvin blew up from a focused blast of concussion missiles after his shields were taken out.

On the other side of the board, the Y-wing navigated too close to an asteroid, making its next two moves obvious, allowing backstabber to get behind him. Sam decided to ionize backstabber two turns in a row, which was not smart, since it gave me a chance to move forward 1, when I would have otherwise had to move forward at least 2 and crash into the Y-Wing. I drained his shields and took out half his hull with two 4-dice attacks, and then Vader swooped in and finished him off. I lost no TIEs and half the damage I took was from my clumsy maneuvering around asteroids.

There is so much replayability with this game, it is driving me crazy. I only played the last game with asteroids, and they added a lot of character to the game. There are many strategies I want to use for both sides. No one played with Biggs at all, and I see his ability as very cunning. No one fielded a 4-ship rotation for the rebels, which would be good. I only used Howlrunner once, but now I want to combo him with Backstabber to get some 4-die attacks with reroll and focus. I am extremely excited to get my hands on some TIE interceptors and A-wings to throw them in the mix.

Most of all, I want to get my ass handed to me. None of the game I’ve played have been close. Even when we demoed this at Gen Con, my partner and I played as both the Imperials and the Rebels and dominated both matches. I need to find a tournament. I want to see what other people are doing and how to improve my maneuvering. I want to get beat a bunch of times. I need to get my hands on the next wave to see the pilot abilities and new upgrade cards.

Basically, I have nothing bad to say about this game.
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tom brown
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Great review. one of the things I really like about X wing is how you learn from your mistakes. Good squad building does make a difference, but manouvering well and outguessing your opponent is not something you can read on the internet you have to learn it through experience.
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d. s. barrick
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I really enjoyed this review. I just got the game on the weekend, so I haven't had a chance to play it yet. Even reading through the rules and playing a few rounds against myself, I am impressed by how easy it is to grasp, yet how much versatily and how many meaningful decision points are offered by the system. X-Wing seems fast, exciting, and strategic. It is simple yet offers deep options. It is a far cry from the overburdened "realism" and slow game play of WEG's Star Warriors. This game really seems to capture the feel of dogfights in the movies.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I can't wait to get X-Wing to the table!
 
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DOUGLAS BRUNDIN
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Played for the first time this week with my family 2 on 2. The kids beat the parents at the basic game. My wife and I were the rebels but we couldn't overcome the imperial tie fighters.

We had a BLAST! We can't wait to play next weekend with the advanced rules!
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Andrew Brown
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Sorry, but rolling for resources once per turn in Catan is NOT frequent enough to ensure that the rolls average out over the course of a game.

Likewise, X-Wing seems like a game where, unless you are playing a larger battle, die rolls could likely favor one player or another. Doesn't mean it is not fun. But I think people who get frustrated by a tie fighter defeating an X-wing 1 on 1, despite the X-wing's superiority, might want to play before buying.
 
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