REVIEW: FFG’s X-Wing Miniatures Game

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So, let’s start talking Star Wars. Hold up, don’t grab your torches and pitchforks just yet, we aren’t talking about those movies that ‘destroyed’ your childhood.

Today we’re talking about the HOT new miniatures game from Fantasy Flight Games called Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game. 

Review by Spikey Bits’ Writer Super Kaiju

You can purchase this starter box at most FLGS or your favorite online seller. There are also a bunch of expansions to the game which are just basically more ships. Each faction has two other ships that don’t come with the core set, the Y-Wing and the Tie Advanced. But what do you get in the basic starter? A whole heap ton of goodies.

First and foremost you’ll notice you get one X-Wing and two Tie Fighters. Opening it will reveal stands, plenty of cards, two sets of dice and a whole heap ton of little tokens and templates you can spend the next hour punching out of their card stock, as with most Fantasy Flight games. (Heh, game joke.)

Back on topic there’s also a nice little rule book and then all you need is that friend person for the second player. Now that you’re ready to play you’ll find a pretty exciting and easy to play game.

Granted yes, it doesn’t look at all easy at first, but once you get past all the little things and all the cards and all the other, uh, things, you’ll be all set to play. Minus that three by three foot table thing, but at first it doesn’t matter, you’re learning right?

Kitchen tables work all the same. To start playing you and your opponent needs to determine a points value. Each one of the ships has them, based off the pilot cards that come with them. There are a few ‘special’ characters spread around, based off those from the movies and extended universe, so you might find your favorite character and have him style on your enemies!

Then you can upgrade your ships with special weapons, Droids, or experienced pilot abilities to make each slightly stronger. Each ship and faction though do have limits on what they can take and each one is based off a symbol, so be sure to check before you start throwing stuff on people who can’t have it. We do want fair games don’t we? After you got everything set and each player is ready, you can start the fun part. Actually playing!

You start out from the tables edge (if you want) at a pre determined range based off one of those little handy templates (That one that looks like a laser blast with 1 to 3 on it).

Each ship also comes with a little turn dial you use to determine where it moves before the start of the turn. Each ship also has a pilot skill, those are used to determine who goes first and does what, going from lowest to highest. What it comes to a tie, the Imperials always go first. Once you set your movement up, you go in order based off pilot skill, using those nifty movement templates that you also get a whole crap ton of.
Be extremely careful on your movements. If even the smallest part of your base ends up off the table, your ship counts as fleeing like a little baby, and is lost for the rest of the game. Each ship can move a number of ways, but have their limits.

Green arrows are easy moves, which reduce stress and allow for some other benefits that’ll be explained at a later date. White ones are basic whatever moves that you can do but aren’t super easy. And the Red arrows are Stressful moves, that require your pilots full attention and stresses out the ship, preventing it from taking a action. Which, simple segway, is what you do right after movement if allowed. Each ship has a action bar to it, which has different, well, actions you can perform. Using all those templates you got, you can set actions to your ships.

Only times you can’t perform a action is if you bump into a enemy or friendly ship, which is negated if your full base can pass by, stopping in an asteroid or perform any type of stressful movement. Be sure to read up on your actions as they can help make or break and certain situation that can mean victory, or defeat.

Be aware as well that the named pilots have special abilities all their own that change what the ship is able to do. Now that movements and actions are all set and taken care of, you can start blasting away at your enemies with LASERS! FREAKIN’ LASERS! Exciting, no?

To determine who you can shoot first, take a look at those pilot skills again. This time though, you’re going from the highest first to the lowest last. Then take a look at the card stock you threw on the base of your ship. If you played it facing forward (we’ll forgive you if you messed up, but just this once!) you’ll notice a firing arc. Anyone within that arc you can fire at. But, each shot has a range. Remember that laser blast thing with the 1 to 3 on it? That’s where this comes into play most of the time.

After you figure out whose in your arc, time to check if you can reach them with fire. Each Range band on the template has its own little rule to it. Range band 1 means you’re close enough to get a extra shot in, allowing for one more attack die. Range band 2 is the norm, meaning nothing gained, and nothing lost. Range Band 3 though, that’s where the defender likes to be, as it gives them an extra agility die to their defense. But wait, what’s this talk about dice now? Well, remember those Christmas dice you got, Reds are your attack, and Greens are your agility, or defense as most refer to.

Checking your ships card again, you can see values to each one of these dice, again, color coded. When attacking, roll the red dice. Each attack die has two blank spaces; two focus space (which are used from a previous action), three hit spaces and one critical hit space. Hits are what you’re looking for, for the most part, but those Criticals are very nice too.

When a ship takes damage, you pull from another one of those card piles, the damage deck (has a explosion looking thing on the back) and place it under the card, next to it, or whatever your preferred method is to signify which ship has taken a bit of a beating. Criticals though, they change it up slightly.
If you’re hit by them, take one of those damage cards and flip it. Your ship or pilot is now affected by what’s on that card. Some will lower your pilot skill, some reduce your ships attacks or defense.

Some will destroy weapons out right and others will do extra damage. Some of them also can be removed by performing a action and rolling a die. These damages can be prevented though, with the use of shields which some ships come with and using those fancy Green Dice. Those are your Agility, aka defense, which have three blanks, two focuses and three evade. When you get any Evade spots you negate any hits done. But the negates go in a order, removing all hits first, leaving the Criticals for last.

So if your opponent hits you with two hits and a crit, and you roll two evades, that critical is going to slam into you. You’re unaffected by damage though till your ship runs out of shields. Also remember you can use those special weapons as well if you have them, which has their own number of attack dice and special rules too. But remember, they also have certain ranges on which you can attack with and may require a certain action to use. So check that out too.

Go through the game to completion, which does not have a end turn by the way. You go till everyone is dead on your enemy’s side. Get a few games under your belt and have some fun.

Welcome to X-Wing. The game is fast-paced, easy to learn, already being expanded quickly with new ships from FFG.  Everything from the A-wing, to the Slave-1 are coming.  Go check it out, and enjoy the video.

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