At last we come to what I consider the cream of the Star Wars board game crop. Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures is probably the most compelling Star Wars gaming experience you’ll have in a galaxy far, far away. From mechanics to the quality of the pieces, this game has been crafted with care to represent the awesome space battles we know and love.
Welcome to TAY Board Game Night. Each week I’ll introduce you to a new tabletop game to try out, throw in a short blurb about why you should play this game, and then highlight some alternate playstyles or expansions for you to try. This week is Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game.
(Apologies, this article is a day late, the Holiday season is catching up to me.)
If you’re looking for high stakes thrills combined with careful planning and cunning maneuvering you can’t get much better than X-Wing. Playing X-Wing is simple at its core. Each ship comes with a stat line, some basic abilities, and possibly a special ability. Outside of that ships have a cost, an upgrade bar,and a Maneuver Dial. The stat line covers the basics, the skill of the pilot, how strong your ship’s blasters are, how agile, and how tough it is. Its most basic abilties, or Actions, are represented by a set of symbols that represent locking on, barrel rolling, boosting, or simply ‘focusing’. Not all ships are created equal, Imperial Ships tend to be cheaper and much more maneuverable than their Rebel counterparts, but also are weaker in the damage dealing and taking departments. Rebels tend to come with Shields and more upgrade slots to customize their ships, but are generally more pricey.
The big thing that set X-Wing from other miniatures games is the maneuver dials and rulers. Each ship comes with a unique maneuver dial according to its type (TIE fighters all have the same maneuver dial, but are still different from X-Wings). Before each round begins each player will set each corresponding maneuver dial to a specific maneuver. Then in order from lowest pilot skill to highest, each player will move their ships. After that, from Highest Pilot skill to lowest, each player is able to make attacks withing the firing arc of each ship.
Good piloting and the guesswork of X-Wing is what sets it apart from most other games in general. ‘Will he go left or right?’ ‘Should I take this slow, or make a K-turn now?’ ‘Ties can’t break, maybe I can use that against him.’ Are some of the thoughts that will be going through the mind of you and your opponents. Its what makes x-wing great, you’ll feel like an Ace, or at least you feel the stakes of someone hounding your tail soon enough. Its really what makes the game feel like a high-stakes dogfight space battle.
There are such a variety of ships at this point and they are all lovingly crafted. Its amazing that each of them still feel unique and can fill a variety of roles. At the same time the game still feels like each of the factions have their own. If you’re looking for some alternate modes, consider seeking out some of the ‘Heavy’ ships for Epic play, tangling with ships just smaller than the giant Star Destroyers. If the Empire and the Rebellion are your thing, you can take up with Bounty Hunters and join Scum and Villainy.
I honestly can’t gush about X-Wing enough. Every model looks fantastic. The components are typically top notch as its coming from Fantasy Flight Games. Its a game where player knowledge and skill do so much work you can forgive a dice roll or two. Theres a lot to explore, from ships to upgrades, to entire new factions. If Star Wars gaming has a golden boy, this is it.
Don’t forget to check out my older TAY Board Game Night posts about tabletop gaming, news, and reviews. Have any questions or news? Suggestions? Tweet me@Eon_Blackcraft or leave a comment below!