I’ve always enjoyed the Star Wars Universe, ever since I was a child. I used to get up Saturday mornings, sit down with a bowl of cereal and watch all three of the original films back to back on VHS. I’d get out my action figures and come up with my own Star Wars stories as I’d watch, lost in a world of Jedis and space battles. When I got older, this was replaced by the Rogue Squadron series of video games. I loved flying around in my X-Wing, shooting down TIE Fighters and completing missions vital to the success of the Rebellion. Well, now the time has come once again to put my piloting skills to the test- may the Force be with me.
|Check out the level of detail on this humble TIE Fighter|
The Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game is a game about- well, miniatures, really. So, let’s address that first, shall we? These miniatures are beautiful, highly detailed models with delicate wings perched on clear plastic stands. They are fragile, awesome things- like amazing kick-ass butterflies. I guarantee that when you aren’t playing with them, you’ll definitely want to display them on a shelf in your home.
|For a game that’s so easy to learn, you get a TON of stuff in this box|
The game itself has simple mechanics. Players select their side (either Rebel or Imperial), assign each ship a pilot, and equip their ships with different upgrades (if their ship allows it). At the beginning of each turn, each ship is given a maneuver in secret (using a dial hidden from your opponent). Next, each ship executes its maneuver, followed by an action. Then, each ship attacks. If all the ships of one side are destroyed, the other side wins. If both ships are still intact, each side chooses their maneuvers and another round begins. There are additional rules, of course (such as how damage is calculated, the order that ships take their actions, what maneuvers ships can undertake, the effect of stress on pilots, etc.) but in essence, this is the game: maneuver, action, attack, maneuver, action, attack. Just like a real dogfight, you will move and shoot, move and shoot, always striving to stay on target.
|At the start of each round, you’ll secretly assign maneuvers to your ships|
|Then each ship will execute those maneuvers using these handy guides|
As I’m sure you can imagine, this means that when each player is down to a single ship, things move very fast. You’ll need to try to anticipate the direction your opponent will fly, try to get their ship in your sights, and then try to blast them to oblivion (I emphasize “try” because you will try, over and over again.) But at the same time, it isn’t at all frustrating. This is an interstellar dogfight- a weaving, swooping dance between two grizzled pilots, their laser cannons humming.
|Damage is dealt by the attacker (red) and evaded by the defender (green)|
|Regular damage is represented by the back of these cards. Deal critical damage and there will be a permanent effect|
Oh, and did I mention (in case you need a further reason to pursue this game) that there have been a plethora of new ships released as expansions to the base game. That’s right- you may start out with the single X-Wing and two TIE fighters included in the base set, but soon you’ll want to collect at least one ship of every expansion, swelling the options at your disposal for a game like a Hutt that’s swallowed a proton torpedo. (Be on the lookout for reviews of each set of expansions- or “Waves” -in the near future.)
|Just like shooting womp rats back home|
If it isn’t obvious already, I’m bowled over by this game. The mechanics are tight and easy to understand, the miniatures are well made and beautiful works of intricate plastic and the amount of customization for each ship paired with the expansive collection of ships you can add all make this a game that you know you can continue to enjoy for years to come. Do yourself a favor and go get this one, guys. If you don’t, you’re guaranteed to feel like a scruffy-looking nerf herder.
Want to see if you have what it takes, flyboy? If you live in the Bloomington area, you can find this game at The Game Preserve. If you don’t live in the Bloomington area, find your nearest game store and go check it out. Support local game stores!