As I mentioned in a previous post, I have recently gotten quite into the X-Wing miniatures games from Fantasy Flight & have been enjoying playing matches with friends of mine on and off since the start of this year.
As a somewhat latecomer to this party I have been very impressed by how simple the game is to pick up and play, the rules are pretty easy to learn and any special exceptions are generally provided printed on cards or in the errata. Fantasy Flight have done a great job with this game.
So, what makes this game good, what do I enjoy?
The IP. I mean come on, this is a Star Wars game, we know the factions, we know the iconic ships and we know the setting. Star Wars has always had great looking ships and the space battles look awesome in the movies.
(If you don’t believe me then watch this awesome video and come back: https://vimeo.com/165386109)
The quality of the models and the fact they are pre-painted. I’m not a massive fan of painting minis, I find it pretty tedious and is a massive barrier to me getting more into various tabletop wargames. X-Wing solves that problem for me, the minis are not only made to a very high quality but they are all pre-painted (and very well done).
The pick up and play nature of the rules. You can learn pretty much everything you need in about 15-20 minutes of game play. The order of the turns, ship moves, obstacles, dice rolls etc. But equally there is a lot of depth to how these simple rules can be used.
Time to play, a standard match can be played in about 40-45 minutes with about 15 minutes of setup time. This makes it much easier to play a match or two of these in an afternoon.
The customisation, the ship and pilot combinations are a great mix on their own, add to that the fact that each ship can take a number of custom options (depending on the ship) from elite pilot talents, to various types of missile and torpedo, bombs, cannons, astromechs, tech upgrades, system modifications, crew and unique titles. This means you can fly really weird and interesting combinations of ships and hardware.
Ship choices, most of the ships are fighter scale, X-Wings, TIE Fighters etc. However there are also Large Ships, things like the Falcon, the iconic Imperial Shuttle, Slave One and others. Also there are ships taken from the expanded universe, so you can expect to see TIE Defenders, E-Wings, the various Bounty Hunter ships and a lot of other cool and exciting ships from the computer games and fiction. (See below for a couple of brief highlights, images not mine).
Scaling, this is really cool. Most of the games are played at 100pts with fighter and large ship scale forces you can play any size match you and the person you’re playing against can agree on. For example my friends & I often play 150pt matches as that allows you to put together some interesting squads. If you really want to go for it then you can play the ‘Epic’ scale matches where you can play at 300pts and more and get to field the Huge ships like the Rebel Transport (you may remember them from such events as the evacuation of Hoth) or the Tantive IV (from the opening of A New Hope), the Empire also has options on the Huge ship end of the scale with the Imperial Raider & the Assault Carrier. (See below for some images, not mine).
Having played one of these epic scale matches I can honestly say it is huge fun.
All this sounds good yes. What about the obvious question, how much does it cost? The answer is that it is actually a surprisingly reasonable investment. Looking at the prices that our friends at Leisure Games have (support your FLGS Folks) you can pick up the core set (either the Original core set or the Force Awakens core set) for £29.99, that gives you everything that you need to play a couple of basic matches and I would recommend one core set per person.
Expansions wise, they go from around £11.99 and up for the fighter scale ships, the large ships like the Millennium Falcon go for around £24.99 and up. Finally, the huge ships go for around £49.99 (the Rebel Transport) all the way up to the £79.99 (the Imperial Raider).
A reasonable investment of around £55 will get you a core set and a couple of extra ships for your faction of choice. Compared to the buy in cost for something like WH40K that is very cheap. Again, with the fact the minis are all pre-painted this represents really high value for money.
So, all told I think that the X-Wing Minis game represents a great investment and delivers amazing value in both physical things purchased and fun had. I would really recommend this game to anyone looking at a pick up and play miniatures game.