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!
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.
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
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!
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...
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.
SUPER DUNGEON EXPLORE!!!! It's comming back yo.
Until next time all you readers out there in internet land, keep dancing with those Ekwoks.
Steve (Blue Leader)