by Kevin Rigdon (@pralix1138)
Name: X-Wing Miniatures Game. Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games. Year: 2012. Game Type: Star Wars themed space battles miniature game.
Before the news that George Lucas was selling his empire, and before the talk of upcoming Star Wars films, Fantasy Flight Games released the X-wing Miniatures Game. Featuring the ships we love from the original Star Wars trilogy, the X-wing Miniatures Game comes infused with nostalgia, and makes me think of the old X-wing vs Tie Fighter game from the now defunct Lucasarts.
As an FFG (Fantasy Flight Games) product, the contents in the starter set, as well as the expansion sets, are top quality. There are plenty of templates, tokens, cards, and dice to play a game straight out of the starter set, and each expansion pack adds all of the tokens, cards, and maneuver dials needed to play that ship. And although are there are plenty of high quality accessories, we all just really want the miniatures themselves. The ships (currently X-wings, A-wings, Y-wings, Tie Fighters, Tie Advanced, Tie Interceptors, the Millennium Falcon, and Slave 1) all come pre-painted. The sculpts themselves are highly detailed with better than average paint jobs. These are head and shoulders above other pre-painted plastic miniatures from other games.
The game is far more balanced than I originally thought it would be. If you thought you’d just get Luke and Wedge and whip up on the poor, defenseless TIE Fighters, you’ve got another think coming. TIEs are fast, highly maneuverable, and cheap. Each ship has the potential to be a generic pilot, a member of an elite squadron, or named Pilot. Each pilot has the potential of adding special features, and abilities to the ship, as well as adjusting the initiative (the order in which the ship moves and/or shoots), and the point cost for the ship.
Each ship can do maneuvers, activate abilities, shoot, and evade. Seems straightforward, and once you get a couple games under your belt, you’ll be a pro. Some ships can even be upgraded with proton torpedoes, missiles, astromech droids, and so on. The bigger ships like the Falcon or Slave 1 can even have additional crew members.
Played on a 3′ x 3′ area, ship movement consists of Straights, Banks, Turns, or Koiorgran Turns, all of various lengths. Each ship type has it’s own movement dial as well. This is reflective of the strengths and weaknesses of each ship. For example, the X-wing is slow and cumbersome compared to a TIE Interceptor, and a maneuver that might stress the X-wing, would be no big deal for the Interceptor.
A Change in Paradigm
I’ve been playing tabletop miniatures games for a long time, and at first I thought the X-wing game was overpriced. I mean, $14.99 MSRP for a single ship? But I had to stop thinking of it as a single ship. As stated earlier, each ship pack comes with the ship plus all necessary cards, tokens, and maneuver dial. Each one also contains 4 skilled pilot cards. These pilot cards, as well as ship upgrades affect the point cost of each ship, so instead of a single miniature, a well-equipped X-wing with an experienced pilot may be a quarter of your entire force. If you’re running Han on the Falcon, it becomes half of your force. So, the financial cost may actually be lower than other miniatures games. And the ships are already painted, so win/win.
Thoughts and Rating
The game can get tough, not because the mechanics are hard to understand, but if your spatially challenged like I am, your ships will run into each other, especially if you’re running the Falcon or Slave 1. So, once you understand what your ships can do, how they move, and the best way to utilize them, the game will become much faster, much more like a dogfight.
A final word about cost: if you’re paying full retail, this game gets expensive in a hurry. My suggestion would be to find a reputable online retailer like Miniature Market or Amazon, and buy at a discount. If you do this, you can get a pretty robust force for less than $100.
If you love Star Wars, or miniatures games, or spaceships, or all of the above, you should definitely give X-wing Miniatures Game a look.
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 Stars