Recall your own childhood memories of the summer season, and you’re bound to feel a bite of nostalgia for sleeping until noon and enjoying responsibility-free days. Without the stresses of studying for school to weigh you down, life was at it’s peak during summer.
Parents, teachers, guardians, and older siblings are often on the hunt for ways to sneak learning into the summer schedule, though, and geek-dad Richard Greenaway is no exception. In a piece for Fantasy Flight Games, Greenaway discusses a subject we have proven our passion for here at Geek & Sundry. We believe that tabletop gaming can lead to so much more than just a good time, and a proper round of X-Wing Miniatures offers an impressive lesson in both mathematics and literacy.
Generally, tactical board games are great for instilling problem-solving skills in both the young and the young at heart. Players learn to handle the excitement of competition in a healthy way, and tend to perform better in math and science due to the constant flow of cause and effect that appears in a game like X-Wing.
The Point System
For this game, players must agree on how many total squad points that each player’s squad can include, like the recommended 100-point squad, for example. All Ship cards and Upgrade cards display a cost of points, so when assembling your squad you must add up to the agreed upon point total. It’s not particularly difficult, but the point system does exercise that math-muscle.
Upgrades in X-Wing include secondary weapons, talents, and astromech, and can be applied within the constraints of the Ship card (more counting). As Greenaway mentions in his commentary, Upgrade cards make solid opportunities to practice reading out loud, for both literacy and comprehension practice.
During the combat phase of the game, players have to be able to measure the firing arc of their ships, as well as the distance between the attacking ship and the target ship. Fantasy Flight even provides a range ruler to use in order to be as accurate as possible. In the advanced game, the attacker or defender can gain a bonus depending on the exact measured range of the attack.
The publishers have expanded their X-Wing line with TIE Striker, TIE/foe Fighter, and Rebel Aces expansions packs, and have guided the game into the next generation of Star Wars with the release of The Force Awakens Core set, giving players even more possibilities for adventure, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
X-Wing truly is one of the best options for a family tabletop night, from the fun and excitement of the game itself to the lessons it can teach your household padawans.
Have you played Fantasy Flight’s X-Wing with a child in your life? Or, have you seen literacy or mathematical progress after playing a different tabletop game? Let’s talk in the comments below, or find me on Twitter at @bekahbabble!
Featured Image Credit: Disney
Image Credits: Teri Litorco, Fantasy Flight Games