Review: Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game – X-Wing and TIE Fighter against each other again
Where are those days, when I was chasing enemies in space in cockpit of my fighter. And then they told me, that I’m old for war. But times are changing. Today, people from the academy have come to me. War claimed lives of young men, who were swallowed by emptiness and now it is time to replace them with experience again. Veterans return!
We must hurry. It may be too late, I hear engines of Tie Fighter approaching from the distance. Quickly, I jump into my X-Wing. All dials are in place and I feel like it was yesterday, what I last sat in this terribly uncomfortable chair. But who would want to sit in soft, when he sets off towards certain death?
You will not only watch pilots on their way, but even join their ranks. Fortunately, we will not ask you, how many hours have you flown in space fighter simulator. All training was done by Jay Little (Blood Bowl Team Manager) in closed cooperation with Fantasy Flight Games, who published final game. Also Corey Konieczka, James Kniffen, Brady Sadler and Adam Sadler were involved in designing this game. Only on basis of their joined efforts, board game Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game emerged. At least we can present it to you.
Universe is easy to shrink, which caused usage of a small box. Its same size as the recently reviewed Warhammer: Diskwars (review). The square package with a low profile, has not only scene of the battle space with the Death Star in the background on its cover, but also quite unusual window, that allows us to look inside and touch the main component with our own eyes.
This creates reason, why this board game has miniatures word in its name, immediately visible. But this time, its not just any kind of figurines, because you’ll find exactly two TIE Fighter and one X-Wing sculpted and painted to the last detail. You pull out of the box (in plastic bag) ready-made models, that are simply placed in the prepared transparent stands. You will be attaching rod to the bottom of the machine, whilte the other end is sticked into the rectangular base.
But of course, ships can not be left out there so alone. Pile of cardboard components make it company, placed in traditional sheets. From there, players removed scales of distance and maneuvers with speed from one to five. This corresponds to the length of the individual pieces. Some are curved and others allow only flying straight.
Other pieces of cardboard are planning wheels meant for players and each of space machines. Numeric distance is printed on their arc, only one shown through a cutout, containing also flight direction. Same material is also used to make asteroids, that will hinder ships and also to create some tokens (events, stress, shields or critical hits). Next in line are pilot boards with four values in a row (weapons, speed, hull strength and shields) and one above, referring to specific ability of a given character. At the top of each tile is arc showing weapon range.
Pilot boards have each also corresponding card of character’s ship, which are not as stingly, when it comes to share information. In addition to all those past numbers, we can find line of action icons, or possibilities for upgrading ship. List of cards does not stop there, because deeper in a pile of small cards, you will find cards of damage and improvement. List is completed with pile of six dice and a ruler to measure shooting distance.
At the beginning of the game, players need combat area at least two times two (preferably three times three) feet, in our case fifty times fifty centimeters. Each player chooses sides in the conflict and establishes his own squadron (or use prepared one). Pilot card is then inserted into stand of the fighter, before its launched out into space.
Players sit facing each other and on their side will start also individual spacecrafts. Map can be entered only in places limited by ruler. Ships immediately turn on their shields. Players mark it by positioning corresponding number of blue tokens on stand of their craft. Damage deck begins shuffled next to the game board together with majority of chips and other pieces.
Each round starts the same by collective planning. Battles simulate real situation, in which pilots must try to anticipate actions of others and fly better than them. Therefore, each participant takes his board and turns maneuver dial so long, until he finds movement and direction, that suits his plans. Each sector of dial differs not only in the distance traveled by the ship, but also by allowing ship to turn. Yet all this plans are secretly placed face down.
Ship activation order is decided by skill level of their pilots. According to these values, players in descending order reveal their plans and using the appropriate movement strip to fly with their fighter to a new position. They simply put appropriate maneuver bow in front of machine and he then move if forwards to place, where cardboard strip ends.
Some aircraft movements are complex and increase pilot’s stress (marked with red color), while others calm his pounding heart (green numbers). This is also noted by placing stress marker on the ship. Stressed pilot is not allowed to perform red maneuvers red or actions, that follow right after the move, until he gets calm again. Players then select to perform any activity, which their ship is capable and has its icon printed on card. This may improve player chances to hit or conversely to avoid attack of enemy fighter.
Then, each ship has a chance to attack once, if they have some other interceptor in range. Enemy ship must be located within the arc extending from the pilot tile. Attacker and defender dice are used (weapons against maneuverability) together with possibly added result of bonuses.The results are compared and defender’s shields must eventually absorb damage. If ship does not have any shield tokens left, it receives damaged until its amount reaches yellow value (body) in properties of the ship. At this moment, fighter falls to pieces and nothing can save it.
Game then continues to next planning phase up to the moment, when someone meets his victory conditions. Basic deathmatch scenario requires to destroy all the opponent’s ships. Surviving party can celebrate one small and insignificant victory in a huge war.
Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game is a game full of adrenaline. Feeling of space battles and maneuvers can not be possibly expressed better, that it does in this game. It brings to you everything you would expect from dogfights and more.
It is clear at first glance, that it takes some inspiration in the game Wings of War. But we are moving from World War II to a completely different world with its own rules and history. And there is a lot of things, that make this game different (and better). Whole mechanic fits this new sci-fi theme perfectly and all the rules are elaborated to the smallest detail. In doing so, it depends only on the level of players, how difficult game to play. Thanks to that, you can enjoy X-Wing Miniatures Game with children ten years old as well as with geeks. Both camps will freak about this game for a long time.
But only when you stop to simplify and bring all the skills of ships and pilots in is moment, when you get full and unhindered experience. Battles are still a matter of luck, but dice can be altered in various ways and results modified to your own image. Finally, game is really about finding out, who is better pilot.
First and last word in this game of X-Wing’s and TIE Fighter’s has always been planning. One wrong decision, imprecise movement with your stick and suddenly, you got into firing range of your enemy. You can only pray, that he will be as surprised as you and will not be able to hit you.
Already basic game options are really wide and it will last you for many games. The battle for life and death is enormous fun, but there are three scenarios in rules, that further enhance the experience. One side defends and destroys attacking ships, while the other tries to meet a strategic goal on the battlefield. And there will be more!
Whole battle is very tactical. Dice usage might disagree with us at first glance, but one hit does not win you anything here. Spacecraft last more, than toy airplanes from second world war. But space is much more dangerous place to be in. Ship and pilot skills are making each game a different experience (together with their selection), create a great way to enrich it, while giving players chance to defeat their enemy. An important factor in the game are also maneuvers themselves, because pilots can get stressed and their chance for survival lowered. At least for some time, before they shake it off. This means more choices for gamers.
It is clear at first gland, that this is a game for two players. Each stands on one side of the battlefield and enjoy battle thanks to excellent dynamics. Players do not have to wait, because they play and instantly respond to actions of their opponent. There should not be any delay in space combat fighters and that’s good. Because of this, individual duels fit (if you do not play scenario or bigger battle) into thirty minutes.
Wings of War were already excellent game, but Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures game goes even further. If we seek something to criticize about this game, we can turn cowardly only to copying some things from original game from war. In addition, besides undeniable financial requirements, this game has no weaknesses. It is a precisely-tuned fun for everyone, who has ever dreamed of flying in space as Kara Thrace, ehhhh sorry… Luke Skywalker.
And there is more. You can build your own squadron or modernize ships with cards, giving you another level of uniqueness for each game. Unprecedented variability is thus achieved already with assistance of only three enclosed fighters. In addition, as soon as game came out on the market, enthusiastic fans began to churn out their own mission, which virtually made the game infinitely playable for all Star Wars fans.
You will find the phrase „miniatures game“ in title. There are actually three beautiful miniatures in the box, but you certainly wonder, whether that’s all. No it is not. This game has much more depth and whoever falls for it (it’s not complicated!) will want more. More ships and bigger battles! And it may happen, because there is not only X-Wing and TIE Fighter on the menu, but also A-Wing or transport ships. All for a decent sum of money, even with pilots. Processing itself then does not need its own paragraph, its amazing and selfexplanatory. Photos do it for all words.
World of Star Wars opens arms like never before to all, who love it. Take a deep breath, because this game throws you into the vacuum. But this warning is not needed, because you will stop breathing anyways from all the thrill. We can say, what we want, but nothing would be better, than: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game is a brilliant game!
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Review: Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game – X-Wing and TIE Fighter against each other again
Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game is an example, how a breathtaking game should look like. Yes, we will not save our praise for later. There is no need to. It takes the best from its predecessor, adds a working theme, feeling of total freedom and small detailed rules. And you get carefully recessed game, in which everything is exactly as it should be with space fighters. There are no errors allowed, all it takes is one small hole and chances of survival are zero. Its the same with fun. Authors thankfully did not underestimate this rule, which will you simply realize after scheduling first step for your fighter. From that point on, game clicks perfectly and you can not breathe until it is over. All this comes with amazing augmented processing and scalability. Just beware the cost, because this game is a little financial well! But its earned, because it offers adequate experience for your money. Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game is a real bomb. And although they are not able to explode in space, this can bang everywhere and now you have no choice: it hit you!