Friday, 7 June 2013

Reviewing X-Wing

A photo I took on my workbench yesterday and edited it slightly...
There are games that arrest one's attention but disappear between other projects. For me the old Wings of War was such a game. I saw it years ago on a fair and liked the test game we played. Since my wife didn't like it at all I forgot about it and its further edition were beyond my radar. But last year Fantasy Flight Games published a follower of this line of ancestors which I couldn't ignore:
After lurking around the core set for nearly a year I bought it last week and whish to present a short review of it. Somehow Anatoli from Anatoli's Gameroom blog had the same idea and presented his review some days before (here). It's really worth reading and I hope not to bore you with my humble point of view.

Contents of the starter kit
Actually the box is packed with a lot of stuff. Obviously and most important it holds three miniatures: Two Tie-Fighters and one X-Wing. Additionally the rules, pilot cards, damage cards, upgrade cards, manoevre wheels for all the ships, manoevre templates, special dice for firing and dodging, a bunch of different tokens as well as a set of mission material like satelites, asteroids and a shuttle token.
Contents of the X-Wing core set. Except the small blue box which I bought in the hardware store.
All of the stuff is well designed and of good quality. The miniatures come pre-painted and except of a small fault at one of the Ties' solar panels I see no reason for repainting or improving them. Even in closeup view they do rather well as you can see on the picture at the top of my post.
Rather mediocre pics of Tie-Fighter and X-Wing. Remember, they're 1:287 scale.
Therefore quality: 5 / 5

On the one hand that's a lot of high quality stuff, but on the other hand three ships is nothing more but a teaser. It's enough to learn the rules and practise the game mechanics but the three suggested missions are rather shallow. Really annoying is that there aren't enough dice to use all rules. E. g. when you fire the X-Wing's primary weapons at short range, you need four red dice, but there are only three in the starter set. While the lag of additional ships could be accepted as starter set factor, including too few dice smells just like daylight robbery to. Especially because FFG offers additional sets of dice...

Playability: 2 / 5

The Rules
After reading the rulesbook I got the impression that the rules should work well and smoothly. After two games which I played against myseld this impression proved to be right. At the beginning of each turn the players chose which manoevres their ships shall fly and adjust the manoevre wheels suitably. Afterwards the manoevre are flown with the worst pilot beginning. Then special actions can be performed and last but not least combat takes place. This yet starting with the best skilled pilot first. Hits and damage is worked out by special d8 and a set of damage cards. It works well and after some few sessions anyone should have taken the core rules in. If you are interested in them, look at FFG's homepage where they offer a free PDF (here) or at Heidelberger Spieleverlag for the German version (here).
But in spite of the simple rule the games promise to be exiting and anything but simple. It's rather hard to anticipate which manoevre the opponent might use and counteract in advance. Seems to promise a lot of suspenseful battles.

Ruleset: 4 / 5

Meanwhile two waves of additional ships hit the market and are so popular that they've been sold out for week if not for months. They deliver additional Tie- and X-Wing-Fighters as well as Tie-Interceptor, Y-Wing and A-Wing. Second wave provided the Millennium Falcon and Boba Fett's Slave I. Those are still available.
However rules include arrangements for custom squadrons which may include the additional ships. Thereby one could employ nearly any number or combination of the available ships depending on the mission terms and conditions.

However related to the nice miniatures that causes a high amount of expandability and a lot of potential to collect them.

Expandability: 5 / 5

After all X-Wing is an entertaining dogfight simulation game with the potential to create complex missions either from the Star Wars films or completely free. It's collection aspect complies to fans and gamers alike. Unfortunately the core set doesn't provide more than absolutely necessary to play small games to learn the rules. Therefore serious players will have to invest into another core set or some of the expansions.
But under these conditions X-Wing is a really good game about the combats most of us know from the Star Wars movies. I definitely stay tuned!

By the way here is the original photo:


  1. Wonderful photography! Some of the local crew play these rules - and like them. Best, Dean

    1. Thanks Dean.
      The rules are really smooth running but not too lowbrow.


  2. Replies
    1. If you like Star Wars then i's definitely worth a try.
      But watch out: It has a dangerous collecting aspect. ;-)


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