Let me set the stage for this one. I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the day it came out. I actually saw it as part of a seven movie marathon of everything Star Wars. By the time the most recent movie was on the screen I was on the edge of my seat. Then along comes this scene where Poe Dameron shows up in his T-70 X-Wing fighter (along with the rest of the Resistance) and starts taking out TIE fighters one after another. What was this die hard Star Wars fan thinking? I was doing the math in my head to see if I could replicate the same results in my next X-Wing Mini’s game. That should give you a taste of how addictive this game is. Let’s dig in.
X-Wing is a tactical space combat game set in the Star Wars universe. Ships tend to be fighters and you’ve got all your “Battle of Endor” favorites like X-Wings and Y-Wings along with TIE Fighters, Interceptors, and the whole TIE family.
The game also includes ships you might be more familiar with from the books or video games like Dash Rendar’s Outrider or from the cartoons like the Ghost from Star Wars: Rebels. There’s a few ships from The Force Awakens too including the new T-70 X-Wing and the cool First Order TIE Fighters with the white wings. All in all if you’ve loved a ship in Star Wars it’s here on on the way.
Gameplay is really quick. Each ship has a dial with a limited selection of maneuvers that correspond to cardboard templates which allow you to move your ships around the map. After moving, ships can take actions like acquiring a target lock, repairing shields, or just getting focused on their next action. Then, as with all great space battles, people start shooting blasters and proton torpedoes– all of which are represented in amounts of attack or defense dice. Rounds continue until only one side is still flying. The rules are actually quite simple but games always have depth to them as any two squads of fighters will have to use different tactics to prevail.
So why is it so good? Even stuck in two dimensions the ships really seem to fly like their on-screen counterparts. TIE Fighters zip around and dodge away from shots. Y-Wings are bricks that can’t turn around but make up the difference with a turret. Big ships like the Millennium Falcon feel big, and they have to fly smart to avoid asteroids or knocking into other ships. With dozens of ships over three factions (Rebels, Imperials and “Scum and Villainy”) plus a huge amount of upgrade cards on top of all that, each game is different. There’s a collection of ships and a style of play for everyone so don’t think you have to favor the small nimble fliers, either. There are bigger ships for every faction and even rules for small capital ships like the Corellian Corvette.
Casual players should be able to buy a few ships and jump right in, and for the real competitive types, Fantasy Flight Games has a huge tournament schedule and support for this game on a global level. A recent listing of the top five non-collectible miniatures games (in terms of sales) had X-Wing in the #1 spot. That means you won’t be hard pressed to find someone to play with.
This game is absolutely worth trying once if you’re a gamer who likes miniature games at all. When you bank that lone A-Wing in behind your opponents TIE swarm and take a few down you’ll be happy you gave it a shot. Hey if you get really into it maybe you’ll custom light your figures like this guy did in the picture below:
Intrigued? Let us know if this is the kind of game you enjoy in the comments or if you already play tell us your favorite ship. Until then, I don’t know… fly casual.
Header Image by Andrew Seely IG: @andrewseely0 (with Permission)