Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Product Review: Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game by Fantasy Flight Games

'Shrrreeee! Pweww! Pweww, Pweww!!' ...Hey man, you gotta make the noise...
I was a boy when Start Wars was released in 1977 and I, like many young lads around the world, was absolutely crazy about the movie. For several years I lived and breathed for anything that even obliquely mentioned Han, Vader, Stormtroopers, light sabers, etc. My poor mother, bless her soul, had to struggle through heaps of Star Wars paraphernalia to hazard entering my room. Like some hapless adventurer, she navigated through a geologic nerd strata composed of layers of collectible cards, magazines, models, action figures and comic books.


Anyway, with this in mind you can imagine how stoked I was to try out the new 'X-Wing Miniatures Game' which was released this past summer.  So a few weeks ago, Stacy and I picked up a copy of the game, along with a few extra models and, and with Peter serving as an R2 Unit, gave it a whirl.


The game has a passing similarity with 'Wings of War' but I found that I liked the overall mechanics much more. All of the spaceships utilize the same manoeuvre templates, so there is no model-specific decks of movement cards that you have to keep organized, which keeps the game clean and fairly simple to administrate. The movement phase for each spacecraft is pre-plotted using a selector dial, and firing is conducted at the end of the turn through competitive die rolls, which keeps everyone engaged in the action. 

The discs are the the movement orders which are flipped over simultaneously to display everyone's flight plots.
The game is true to the movies in that you typically need more Imperial TIE fighters to face-off with the X-Wings, but each class of ship has its strengths and weaknesses. The Y-Wing (my favourite) is a bit of a pig, but can both soak-up damage and dish it out. If you wish, you can have heroes of the movies serving as your pilots. Luke is definitely powerful, but Vader is particularly brutal, especially if he's matched up with his iconic Advanced TIE fighter. All good fun.

Maneuver dials revealed (along with chits for 'Lock On' and 'Focus')
Gameplay rattles along at a good pace. We managed to get in two good-sized games in about 3 hours with lots of snacking and kibitzing.

A ewok-sized furball.
The models themselves are quite nice. They are single piece, hard plastic and come pre-painted. The paint jobs are actually fairly decent, but if you have the time and inclination I think they'd benefit from a bit of highlighting. I'll probably replace the pegs with magnetic gimbal mounts so the fighters can be positioned to indicate banking, climbing and diving (as if these things really matter in space, but it looks cool).

Its a bit of a hog in the game, but I really have a soft spot for the old Y-Wing.
So there you have it. If this is a game you and a friend may be interested in I'd strongly suggest picking up two of the core boxed sets as they will give you better value than buying the fighters separately. I understand that there is a host of new spacecraft due over the coming months including the Millennium Falcon ('It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs [!?]), an A-Wing and Bobba Fett's 'Slave I'.

But, really, the nagging question I have is this: 

Will they come out with a pilot card for Porkins?

'Stay on target.' (nom, nom, nom...)

25 comments:

  1. I'm tempted for sure, but I'm also taken aback by the price: 40€ for the starter box and 15€ each additional starship. Thanks for the review, very useful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Woah! 40 Euros?! Thats criminal. The price for the starter box here in Canada is $30.00 or about 23 Euros. I see that Maelstrom could get it to you for around 25 Pounds (30 Euros) with free shipping, which is still better than 40.

      Delete
    2. I'd caution against using Maelstrom, they seem to be in a bit of a mess at the moment.

      Delete
    3. I agree, they seem to be having a lot of fits and starts with this warehouse move of theirs, but that being said, we here have still been getting our stuff without any issues.

      Delete
    4. I think something is up a Maelstrom that goes well beyond issues with a warehouse move...between the "mirror stores" and the strangely worded "offers", I think something a little more ominous is in the offing.

      Delete
    5. Yeah, you may be right. Their promotion messages have the whiff of desperation. It would be a pity if they imploded as we've gotten so much stuff from them, especially with their great (read: non-existant) shipping rates.

      Delete
  2. I'm tempted as well but the Rejects already hate me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tempted as well, the benefit being there's no painting required.
      And we don't all hate you Fran, although that may be due to relative lack of exposure! *lol*

      Delete
    2. You make amazing pasta - how can they hate you?! I think you're just grossly... misunderstood. :)

      Delete
  3. One of my friends have the game, and we played a very entertaiment game. It is very easy to learn and fun, really fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, Juan, its a very easy game to pick up and play. Its a good game for those gatherings where you're not prepared (or too lazy) to set up a full ground-based miniatures game.

      Delete
  4. I might have to put this on the Christmas list; a huge fan of the movies and all I'm hearing is positive feedback - resistance is futile!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, it would be a great treat to find under the tree!

      Delete
  5. Was a young boy myself in '77 but the completely missed that hype back then. Now my 7 year old boy has seen all six episodes a zillion times, and he does not even speak English. So 35 years later and I'm drowned in action figures, cards, models, you name it. I better get a copy and kick his ass (just lost a few games on the Wi just now). Just need to pay some more attention when one of the Episodes is on...Thx for the review

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you need something analogue to even the playing field. That and it allows you to cheat if things start to go pear-shaped!

      Delete
  6. I've been a big fan since I first saw it with my father in 77 and wish I still had all those figures as I'd be rich!

    I like the fighter action, but I must profess really I wish they would have picked up the pieces of Knight models as I prefer 28mm unpainted figures of that quality.

    Christopher

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! I had scads of the figures as well and without thinking (or I was simply thinking about girls) I let my mom put them up in a local rummage sale. I was such a moron...

      I think you could easily use other models if you wished. You'd just have to get the various stat lines for the ships.

      Delete
  7. I was certainly a fan Star Wars in my youth and cut my teeth on the 1st 3 movies. I didnt so much like the recent 3, and couldnt stand Binks... but my son loves them... so the question Curt ... whats the intended age range for this game?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you Scott. I'm very old skool about Star Wars. To my way of thinking only the first three films count, and Jedi only barely. Empire was by far the best of the lot (and tellingly it was not written or directed by Lucas). The recent three films were technical triumphs but, for the most part, pretty terrible. I particularly hate Lucas' fucking around with the original films (new effects, writing, timeline, etc.) It really makes me crazy both as a fan and as an archivist.

      The game is officially rated as 14+ but I think younger kids could easily pick it up with a little coaching.

      Delete
  8. I am a real fan of this game. It is quick, simple and fun. We have actually had games with 2 TIEs against 1 X-Wing between games at tournaments even! I was running a few games at the local store yesterday actually, managed to get in three games with new players without too much fuss.

    Plus you get to lock S-Foils in attack position!

    I do really want the Falcon....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, its really all about the Falcon...

      Delete
  9. Curt - I think the magnetic mount is the way to go...the models look a little off to me when they are all in the same position like that.

    But it looks like a fun game - thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, I agree, the magnetic gimbal mounts certainly add more dynamism to the models.

      Delete