On Sept 17th, two months before we get the new movie, here in the UK we get the new starter set for the X-Wing Miniature Game. So that seems like a fitting moment to Geek Out, and see how this offering is for fans old (well…) and young.
At £30 for the starter, it’s not a huge buy-in. For your money, you get 3 pre-painted miniatures, a new style X-Wing and two first order Tie Fighters, all with really decent paint jobs. Generally, the standard of Fantasy Flight’s miniatures (and components generally) is very high, and these don’t disappoint. The X-Wing is slightly prone to having wonky s-foils, but this is easily remedied by dipping the model in boiling water briefly. You also get clear flight bases, asteroid tokens, some upgrades (astromechs, torpedoes etc) and all the rulers, tokens and dice you need to play. The fact that it’s so totally self-contained is a huge selling point; as with their board games, you get a lot of stuff with a FFG product.
The game itself is deceptively simple. Each ship has a dial, with a number of maneuvers on it. You decided in secret each of your ships’ maneuvers and then reveal them, taking turns to move your ships based on the skills and abilities of the pilots – so Poe Dameron is better than generic Omega squad Tie pilots, but you get 2 of them to one X-Wing. It’s intuitive, but surprisingly nerve shredding.
The game has an excellent “beer and pretzels” feel to it – a game you can just casually play on whim with friends – as well as a lot of complex, competitive strategy. It’s simple enough that my kids get the mechanics of the game, subtle enough that it bears up to serious play. The danger is the latter – there is a highly competitive community that can be extremely friendly, but can seem at times rather WAAC – win at all costs. Fortunately the game is very well balanced internally. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of stuff out there for the game already, and a lot of upgrades and ships that will feel like “must haves”.
However, the fact is that if you have a favourite small (ish) ship from episode 4 onwards, it exists, and many from the expanded universe also. Want to run a tooled-up Falcon? No problem, straight out of the box. Want to have a swarm of ties? Buy 6 or 7 watch your opponent be scared no matter what. Or go Epic, and play with Blockade Runners and imperial Cruisers… But I digress. There are 3 factions in the game: Rebel (plus new rebels), Empire (plus first order), and Scum & Villainy (smugglers, the black sun, bounty hunters etc). There’s genuinely something for everyone’s taste, and the S&V overlap with both rebels and empire. In the short term, there’s an X and a tie coming out around Xmas with different cards, alongside the set of releases that includes ships from the Rebels TV show also.
At £30, less from the right online crack dealer, this is a great buy. It’s a magnificent board game in a box that’s infinitely customisable; the perfect intro to transition from board to miniature gaming. Plus you can play with your toys and go pew pew pew a lot. Treat yourself and start Geeking Out!
The Writer of this piece was: Sam Graven
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