Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game

x-wingminiatures2 players
ages 14 and up
30-45 minutes playtime

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…
So begins the epic Sci-Fi adventure series that is “Star Wars”. Imagine suiting up, jumping into an X-Wing, and fighting against the Empire. Or, what if you want an armada of agile TIE fighters to keep those rebel scum at bay? If there’s one thing Star Wars fans enjoy, it’s watching those amazing looking ships go at it in some exciting dog fights. Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game gives you handfuls of collectible ships and let’s you man said dog fights against your friends. Is The Force with this game, or is it nothing more than a scruffy Nerf Herder? Let’s take a look and find out.
The Pieces
Probably the most notable and coolest thing about this collectible game is the plastic, 3-D Star Wars pieces you use for the game. Each piece is placed on an elevated platform to look as though it’s flying through space, and it couldn’t be more satisfying. They come with rectangular stat cards you put in the base of the platforms that tell you which ship is which. There are the movement pieces, which are long cardboard pieces that either bend or stay straight, and are used to move your ships around. There’s the range ruler, which measures whether or not you can shoot at an enemy ship. There’s the damage tokens, stress tokens, target tokens, and some specialty tokens for certain scenarios. There are damage cards that not only signify hull damage, but can be flipped on the other side when a critical hit occurs to denote specific kinds of damage. You also have you character cards for referencing, and your upgrade cards such as R2-D2 and Proton Torpedoes. The artwork on the cards looks nice and gives a good tone for the game. Interestingly, there are also movement dials for each of the ships in the game. These dials have a range of different moves a ship can pull off, and are specific to the type of ship (X-Wing, TIE Fighter, Y-Bomber, TIE Advanced, etc.). Make sure there is plenty of extra table space though, because all of these pieces will need to be constantly used.
The Rulebook
There are two different sets of rules: The Quick-Start Rules and The Full Game Rules. This makes it quick and easy to get into the game right at the get go, and then slowly learn the more advanced parts of the game. The rules are easy to read, too, given that the mechanics themselves aren’t too complicated. If you’re new to miniature games, I recommend starting with the Quick-Start Rules to get a feel for how the rhythm of the game goes. Once you and your friends get comfortable with the game play, you can start implementing some of the advanced rules.
Mechanics
The goal is simple: Out maneuver your opponent and blast his ships out of space. The flow of the game is more or less a move-and-shoot routine, but the use of the movement dials and ship upgrades make for some interesting strategies. For instance, the TIE fighters are weaker ships than an X-Wing, but they’re much more maneuverable. X-Wings, on the other hand, handle like a metal elephant, but have shield generators, making them much more vigilante. Once a ship gets hit, they take one of the damage cards face-down and put it next to that ship’s character card. If it’s a critical hit, however, the card is dealt face-up. This can have many differing effects, from making it harder to pull off stressful moves, to actually blinding the pilot. This creates some tense moments with your ships, giving a bit of randomness to the tactics of the whole thing. All-in-all the mechanics feel simple but deep and offer up a good amount of strategy for beginners and veterans alike.
Overall
Being a fan of Star Wars might make me a bit more biased than I should be, but that does not excuse the fact that this is a solid strategy game. The simple mechanics, the well designed structure, and the fact that since it’s a miniature game, you can set your battlefield pretty much anywhere. Even if you don’t want to spend a hefty amount on more and more ship pieces to increase your armada, the starter box alone has enough replay to keep you and your friends entertained. The fact that you CAN increase the amount of ships in the game can also offer up some epic space battles, and even allow the inclusion of more than two players (should each player want to control a squadron of fighters). If you’re a Star Wars fan, you should get this game. If you’re a strategy game fan, you should get this game. If you’re a Star Wars AND strategy games fan, you probably already own this game. 😉
Final Score: 9/10

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