April 30, 2014 by crew
In writing this article, I have to say I struggled somewhat. I could have written a typical battle type report that most have seen or read from many different sources. So, I came to the conclusion that I would approach this one a little differently. What I have decided to do was write about why you want to pick this up and how to enhance your game play and thrown in a smatterings of game play examples.
May The Force Be With You
As I wrote about in the last article just prior to Adepticon (what a crazy, busy few weeks) I described what you got in the basic core box and I was hoping to have the Wave 4 ships to write about them, but alas they have not been released as of yet. So I have in my current collection 2 X-Wings, 1 B-Wing, the Millennium Falcon, 2 TIE Fighters and an Advanced TIE Fighter. I also have on order all remaining ships that are currently available. I do not know where you are from but this game has been catching on like wildfire and many of the new hotter ships are hard to come by. I basically had to shop many locations to get what I wanted. With that in mind you should not have any problems finding an opponent.
I am still waiting on the perfect scenery to play it on. Yes, I know there was the JR Miniatures Kickstarter Death Star Terrain, which looked cool and there are table mats of star fields, but I am looking for something that has a “Wow” factor. It is with this in mind I am thinking of building a table that is back-lit so you have a lighted star field. I am still working out the specifics, but so far I think it will work. The lights (stars) will have depth to them so it does not look so flat.
Yes, But What About The Game?
X-Wing is a game designed for people who want to pick up a game and want to get into the action rather quickly. There is no assembly (other than the bases) and no painting involved. You open the box take out the pieces and you can play in a matter of minutes using the quick start rules included in the game. Now remember that these rules do not get into the more advanced rules such as stress from maneuvers or upgrade cards. What it does for a new player is get them playing the game quickly and easily. It is a four page rule sheet and you will quickly learn the basics of the game and will be looking to move on to bigger and better games. I played about three or four games with the quick start rules before we got bored and were ready to move up.
In the regular game you have more strategy to think about. The first step was what point level will the game be played at. Just a quick note, ships do not cost anything in of themselves. It is the pilots needed to fly the ships where your point cost comes in. Also, there are many different upgrades to choose from depending on your ship and pilot. Now here is where I give you my first helpful hint. You could figure all of the options out manually, but I found a better way. I discovered a website, I believe out of the UK, that has everything in one convenient package and best of all it is free! X-Wing Squadron Builder, Here you can design you squadrons based upon the points you and your opponent have decided on, it lets you add your pilots and upgrades to your ships and it also lets you save your lists.
What is really nice about this is all the upgrades and the ships particular maneuvers are include and can be printed on the sheet for reference. This comes in handy for tournament play as you prepare you lists and print out a couple sheets to give to the tournament director and the opponent if needed. It is also so easy to make changes to and if you are at say a hotel for a tournament you may have access to their business centre between matches to tweak your lists or just bring a portable printer.
As you can see it keeps all your information in a clean and easy to read format. You may also notice that we decided to play a 100 point game and when it comes down to it 100 points is not a lot of ships after all of the upgrades. You can see from the above sheets that the Rebels only have two ships (Luke’s X-Wing and Han’s YT-1300 (Millennium Falcon)) and the Empire has three ships: Two TIE fighters and a TIE Fighter Advanced with Darth Vadar. This is where I noticed that the Empires costs are much less than the Rebels typically. This makes sense when you think about it. Rebels were limited on funds and equipment so theirs had to last and be durable. The Empire on the other hand had vast wealth and resources so they could produce vast quantities quickly. This is why you see such differences.
How Do You Play?
You play by initiative, so in the activation phase the pilot with the lower pilot skill rating goes first and after moving does an action if able based upon the symbols on their card. Then for combat you go by the pilot with the higher pilot skill points who fires first to account for their experience.
As you can see the TIE Advanced has a few more options available to it than the X-Wing, because it is smaller and more agile. But typically the Rebel ships are more durable and can take more damage.
My next helpful tip is on how to play, go to Fantasy Flights website and watch their very well made tutorials. I think they do a wonderful job of explaining the mechanics of the game. You will soon realise that the game in itself is not hard to play, but it is when you take on an opponent that you learn the need to know how to build and equip your squadron properly. Another nice thing about the core set is it comes with everything you need to play the game. You open the box, take the minis out and set them on the stands, punch out the tokens and sort the cards and you are ready to play. It comes with the games unique dice, red for attack and green for defence. Speaking of dice my third helpful tip is get the Star Wars Dice App for your smart phone. Fantasy Flight makes a great app so you can have all of the dice you will ever need to play the game.
So, What Do You Think?
I think this game is a lot of fun and anyone who is a Star Wars fan will like this. I also think that anyone looking to get in on a new table top miniature game will enjoy this, because it is easy to learn and you have all the information laid out for you. The flight path system makes movements easy to complete (as long as you don’t run into another object, like I did. X-Wing and asteroids don’t mix well) and the combat system is pretty straightforward. So if you are a busy person who doesn’t have a lot of free time to spend on a hobby building and painting, but wants to play a minis game then X-Wing might just be your cup of tea. It is relatively inexpensive with the core set coming in at $30-$40 here in the US and extra ships are between $9-$29 currently and the bigger capital ships being more. Remember you do not need hundreds of ships to play. You really only need 3-5 ships with upgrades depending on points cost.
So, if you want to relieve your childhood dreams about zooming around the galaxy fighting the evil Empire or crushing the Rebel Scum then this is definitely a game for you to consider.
May the Force be with you…
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"...as long as you don’t run into another object, like I did. X-Wing and asteroids don’t mix well."