Table Top

Published on April 16th, 2014 | by Cullen


Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game

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If you are a Star Wars fan looking to break into the world of tabletop gaming, then X-Wing Miniatures by Fantasy Flight is the game for you! Set in the Star Wars universe, this miniatures game allows 2-4 players to take the ships we all wished we could fly as kids, and pit them against one another in epic dogfight battles.

Built on the same bones as Wings of War – in that players secretly select their direction for movement and then attack if within range, X-Wing Miniatures adds to it a myriad of customizable upgrades that is sure to please. Diehard Star Wars fans will be happy to know that Fantasy Flight worked directly with Lucasfilm during the making of this game in order to ensure that all ships were made to scale and maneuver much the same way as seen in the films.



In order to start, you must first purchase a core set consisting of two Tie Fighters, one X-Wing, movement templates, range ruler, dice, ship cards, and upgrade cards. Players have the option to play as either Rebels or Imperials. No board is necessary, but a 36”x36” playing surface is needed.

Building Your Squadron: At its core, this game is all about dogfights in space. Players choose a faction and then select from a list of pilot and upgrade cards that can modify the course of engagement, thus changing the course of battle. Each opponent is given an equal amount of points to spend (100 points for an average game) that are then used as currency for buying ships, pilots and upgrades. For example, if you are playing Rebels, you can choose to fly an X-Wing, have Luke Skywalker captain your ship, and then upgrade that same ship with R2D2. Each pilot and upgrade card offers the player different advantages during gameplay. The greater the ship, pilot, or upgrade card, the more points it will cost to purchase.

Players will continue to build their respective fleets until all points have been exhausted without going over. Rebel ships tend to be tougher to kill but cost more points to play, whereas Imperial ships cost very little but die more readily. This explains why the introductory core set comes with two Imperial ships and only one Rebel. The more expansion ships you purchase, the greater the options are for warfare tactics. Each expansion ship has its own unique toughness, maneuverability, and comes with a various number of new pilot and upgrade cards. Building a squadron amongst the thousands of possible combinations of cards is part of what makes this game so great.



Gameplay: Every ship type is assigned a set pilot skill from 1-9. Ships with lower pilot skills fly first, but shoot last. Each opponent will start by placing their ship on apposing sides of the playing surface in order from lowest pilot skill to highest. A game turn starts by assigning secret orders to all of your ships. This is done via a maneuver dial that is included with each ship. Different ships have different maneuvering capabilities. Maneuvering is the heart of the X-Wing Miniatures game. In theory, the hope is to position your ship outside of your opponents firing arc, while still keeping them in your crosshairs. In practice, it’s two grown adults giggling like schoolgirls as they attempt to second guess their way out of hot laser death!

After moving a ship, you must decide what action it will take. Different ships are capable of performing different actions, which can then alter the outcome of the dice for offensive or defensive rolls. Once all ships have moved and selected an action, the next stage is attacking.

Attacking may only be performed if two criteria are met; The opponents ship must be within the firing arc marked on the platform base of each ship, and the ship must be no further away than the provided range ruler.

Once a target meets these criteria, offensive and defensive dice are rolled in order to determine damage. The number of dice rolled, and any altering of results, is based on the type of ship, pilot, upgrades, and action selected. Everything else comes down to lady luck. If more damage symbols are rolled then defensive symbols, damage cards are issued to that ship. A ship is only in play until all shield and hull points have been depleted.

Offensive dice have a chance to roll two forms of damage, a standard hit, or a critical hit. A standard hit simply depletes shield or hull points, whereas critical hits also have an additional penalty as noted on the opposite side of the damage card. Critical penalties can range from engine failure, weapon malefactions, or a vast assortment of equally infuriating penalties. Needless to say, trash talking is guaranteed to begin the moment a critical strike is made. Gameplay continues by repeating these same steps over and over until all of your opponents ships have been vanquished.



My Opinion: X-Wing Miniatures is clearly a game for Star Wars fans made by Star Wars fans. Like most war-games, you get a great sense of fulfillment as you start to learn how to use your chosen faction effectively. Not to mention, who doesn’t want the option to play as the Dark Side and put a beat down on Luke Skywalker? Overall the game offers a fantastic balance between ease of play and tactical options.

That being said, this game can be rather pricey. Yes, with the core set you have everything you need to play, but only if you intend to get a feel for the game. If your goal is to play more experienced players, you have no choice but to buy a second core set and numerous expansion ships. All said and done, you’ve got yourself a costly tabletop game that might make you reflect and ask if it was all worth it.

Personally I love X-Wing Miniatures. However, if you are going to get into this game, my recommendation is to first try the core set alone and take it for a spin before making any sizable financial investments. If you do find that you enjoy it, make sure there are enough solid players you can game with on a regular basis. Next, buy all of your ships online. The store price for the expansion sets are ridiculously inflated and oftentimes stores are unable to keep up with supply and demand. Lastly, pick a faction and stick with it. In other words, only play Rebels or only play Imperials. Following these tips will lower your overall investment and ensure that you wont regret being part of X-Wing Miniatures ever growing fan-base.



Comic Book Enthusiast, Craft Brew Connoisseur, and TableTop Champion.

I want my last words to be; Hold my beer and watch this!
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