Monday, September 24, 2012

Star Wars: X Wing Miniature Game - Review

I am not a huge Star Wars fan, I like it. Light sabers are really cool and Harrison Ford as Han Solo is great.

Plus Admiral Akbar is priceless! But slapping Star Wars on something usually makes me not buy it just because, well, franchise games are usually lame.

 Suprisingly no one has said it in any game I have played yet! 

I certainly wasn't going to pick this one up. At the outset it, one might say, it flew under my radar. Unfortunately, a friend of mine really wanted to play with his new starter set on the release day. He was raving about the game even though he doesn't like Star Wars! Well that was all it took for me to to give Fantasy Flight more of my money...

So how did Fantasy Flight do it? Why is this game so awesome? One word, dog-fighting in space. Yes please. You really do feel like your in a Star Wars dog-fight. Sure, there aren't really any 3-D space rules in it, but the basic mechanics of the game do a great job of simulating 3-D space.

What's in the starter? 

Let's start here. You get some high quality stuff in this box. The quality of stuff you get for your 40 USD is great, and then when you consider the fact that they had to buy the licensing from George Lucas (grrrrr), it's an even better deal.

As far as minis go you get one X-Wing fighter and 2 Tie Fighters. Let me say this,  THESE ARE THE BEST PRE-PAINTED MINIATURES I HAVE EVER SEEN. The X-Wings have a wonderful grunge to them that is perfect for the rebels and the Tie Fighters have a nice clean feel perfect for that imperial sterile aesthetic.

Only three ships? you ask. Well here is the thing. There are pilots for these ships, and those are what give the ships their special abilities and point costs. In the set you get 8 pilot tiles that you put on your ships. These are double sided so you end up with 16 pilot/ship choices. That is awesome.

You also get a crap tone of nice cardboard tokens and "scenery". A set of custom dice is included as well, 3 attack and 3 defense dice. Of course you get the ship stands as well. In addition you get nice cardboard movement templates and range finder.

 Each of your ships can be given one upgrade and yes, 
R2 is as awesome as he should be. 

Ship and ship upgrade cards included also. Overall there are lots of fun things in this box to keep you occupied! 


So that sounds interesting but how are the mechanics? Great! The turn is broken into Activiation phase, Shooting phase, and Damage phase.

For the Activation phase each player secretly chooses the maneuver their ship(s) will perform using a really neat cardboard dial.

The movements are broken into: hard turn, soft turn, strait and u turn. There is also a number value to the movement. Then each player reveals their movement and, going from lowest ranking to highest ranking pilot, the maneuvers are performed. After moving each ship gets an action.

 You just move the ship so the back of the base is touching 
the other end of the move template

Your actions can let you lock on a target, focus your fire/evasion, perform evasive maneuvers or  barrel role!

The attack phase then happens. Pilots declare targets and fire from highest ranking pilot to lowest. So unlike the last game I reivewed, you can shoot someone before they can shoot you! This is done easily. You just roll your attack dice and every hit you score is a wound on your opponent's ship. You opponent then defends and rolls their defense dice. Every evasion symbol rolled negates one hit. Super easy and intuitive.

Your FACE Red Leader! 
Actions taken in the prior phase can alter the die rolls. For instance, if you focused your attack, every eye symbol rolled counts as a hit. This action can be used the same way for defensive rolls.

Finally you score damage. Every hit scored causes a wound to a ship or takes out their sheild. A hit ship draws a damage card face down and places it on their ship's card. If it is a critical hit, the card is drawn face up and the effects of the card are applied to the ship and or pilot.

What do I think?

This is a great game that is what I think. There is a great re-playability to it and scenarios are offered too. This makes the game versatile and fun. I ended up buying all 4 booster sets too ( you get one ship and 4 pilots in each pack). Fantasy Flight really did a great job of putting you on the edge of your seat while playing while playing this game. It's downright exciting when you play this game, which is a feeling I don't usually get when I play games. Today, we played Vader and two "honor guard" tie fighters against Luke and Biggs. It was a great game and I found that the more experience you accumulate in the game, the better you can get your ships moving. 

The miniatures are fantastic too. I don't usually give praise to pre-painted miniatures but these are exceptional. The sculpts are good and the paint jobs are wonderful for what they are. I would put them on the upper edge of table top quality.

Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures is definitely a game worth picking up. I know it has sold very well so far at my stores and will continue to do so. Best part is, it's not collectable! You get what you want so everyone is on an equal level. Honestly the only way I could make this game better is if you could blow up Jar-Jar Binks...

Bad Stuff?

Yes it does have a few draw backs but they are mostly nit picky. The first one is that it uses custom dice. Always a little annoying. Thankfully Fantasy Flight is selling extra dice. Second off, while the movement templates are great and necessary, there are a lot of them. This just makes it kind of annoying since sometimes you end up searching for the one you want. Otherwise though, it is a solid game. I would recommend Fantasy Flight sell a space battle mat for the game to complete the experince.

Eye Candy! 

SUPER DUNGEON EXPLORE!!!! It's comming back yo.

Until next time all you readers out there in internet land, keep dancing with those Ekwoks.

Signing off,
Steve (Blue Leader)


  1. Great review. I've read tons of reviews and this was the best, most concise review. I am interested in getting this game, but don't really have many people to play with regularly. My wife and three young daughters aren't the target demographic. :) Is there any way to play solo?


  2. Sadly there really isn't a good way to play solo unless you set a protocol of: always move towards the enemy ships as fast as possible. I think a good deal would be loser though. Thankfully it is a game that is easily learned , so if you have a set a friend can learn to play it quickly. Taking newcomers through the intro game in the quick start rules gets things rolling quickly and allows for another quick transition to s full game.

    Thanks for the compliment as well !