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Author Topic: Star Wars X-Wing Minatures Game  (Read 9919 times)

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Offline cavalcade

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Star Wars X-Wing Minatures Game
« Topic Start: August 22, 2015, 07:09:36 PM »
I thought I'd create a dedicated thread for this.

What is it?
A Flight Fantasy Games board game. The official blurb is "Control the most advanced starfighters and outstanding pilots in the galaxy! In X-Wing Miniatures Game, you take the role of squad leader and command a group of merciless Imperial or daring Rebel pilots in furious ship-to-ship space combat.

Featuring stunningly detailed and painted miniatures, X-Wing recreates exciting Star Wars space battles from small engagements of only a couple of crafts, to large conflicts where multiple squadrons clash. Select and equip your ships, pick your crew, plan your attack, and complete your mission.


So, why should I play it?
I think its captured my imagination (and a lot of other people's too) because firstly it's based around classic Star Wars and the best of the EU. No shitty prequel stuff in there. The minatures are pre-painted, which (while I do paint from time to time) means it's more about playing the game than an arms race to get the best looking 40K army on the table. It's also a brilliant game. The core is tremendously simple, but the game is amazingly nuanced. Just like the first film intercut WW2 dogfighting footage when doing the initial previews to 20th Century Fox execs, this also captures the Spitfires-over-Dover nature of Star Wars aerial space combat perfectly. Everyone sets moves at the same time, lowest to highest pilot skill move (in that order) and highest to lowest pilot skill shoot (in that order). Different ships have different characteristics, strengths and weaknesses. Building a squadron of ships is done on a points basis, be it the ship, pilot, ordinance and modifications. The meta game of planning squadron builds is addictive. Do you run lots of weaker ships and outfly your opponent? Or do you pour everything into two tanks and try to batter your way to victory? There are popular builds, but because of the luck element and constant evolution of the metagame they fall in and out of fashion. 

The game is tense and fantastic to play. I'm not a huge tabletop gamer, but there's something about this. It has a sort of freedom to it. Every phase has a myriad of possibilities. Outfoxing an opponent feels wonderful. And all happening in a universe that most of us grew up with and love with a passion.

So what do I need?
There is a Core Pack:



This is a decent starter, introducing many of the concepts of the game. This will give you enough to play a decent 2 player matchup between 1 X-Wing and two TIEs. The two sides have vastly different characteristics (the TIEs are fast and manoeuvrable, but fragile, the X-Wing is sturdy and hits hard) and it contains all the main rules and tokens you need to get started and see if you like it. All you need is a 3 x 3 surface to play on and 2 players. The game can be played with 3 or more players, but ultimately it works best as a 2 player game. There is a new Core Pack due out to coincide with the new movie. The movie might be shit, and the classic ships will always be classic (the T65 X-Wing is prettier than the T70) but if you want to wait the original core pack may well end up being reduced.

After that, the world is your oyster. Most people buy a second core set. It's a cheap route to another 3 ships, and gives you more dice and rulers and stuff. I'd recommend this as it makes the game much more pleasurable to play. Later on, if you play Imperials you'll probably want as many TIEs as possible, as they are a core ship in many builds. The X-Wing goes in and out of fashion. It recently won the German nationals as part of a X-Wing centred build, but it's often considered overpriced in the metagame for what it can do. They look cool though. Having a couple is no bad thing. After that - for the Rebels the Rebel Aces pack gives you a B-Wing and A-Wing, and the Imperial Aces a couple of TIE Interceptors - so they might be a good choice, but it's really a case of buying what you fancy. A first bigger ship to look at is the YT-1300 (aka the Falcon) which adds turrets to the mix and lets you fly as Han Solo (who is still very popular in a number of winning builds). You'll probably find a faction that you prefer - I only fly Rebels as I fucking hate the Imperials - but both sides have a slightly different focus. The Empire has swarmy ships, and some interesting options, like the TIE Phantom (the only cloakable ship in the game). The Rebels have all the ships you know and love (as well as my go-to ship the B-Wing) and Scum and Villany (the third faction) have a weird mix of the two with some cool abilities and some wacky ships (as well as the current hot ship of the moment the Aggressor).

Where can I play it?
If you can't convince a loved one, most local game shops will have a weekly event. Join this group https://www.facebook.com/groups/xwingukirl/ or just pop into a local shop. There will always be beginners and while you might get an utter scalding you'll still enjoy it. Sooner or later luck will out and you'll win. Look at popular builds first and don't turn up with an utterly shit build that makes no sense. If in doubt, put as many ships on the board as you can and don't worry about upgrades. Ships on the board is a valid tactic. The Z95 is the Rebel equivalent of the TIE and I've had some success with just flying a swarm of them with idiot pilots and no upgrade cards. Ultimately, even if you're cak handed, you should manage to bring a lot of lasers to bear on your opponent. With a bit of luck his/her ships will melt away.

What about Armada? Should I buy that?
It's not as popular, and a very different game. It's not bad. I enjoyed it. But it's not really a patch on X-Wing.

Offline cavalcade

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Re: Star Wars X-Wing Minatures Game
« Reply #1: August 22, 2015, 07:31:28 PM »
Right, and in more general news, I spent 40 quid on the C3PO card (with the free Tantive IV lol). Got my first league/competitive 250 point epic match in a couple of Saturdays, and I'm going to fly it against a Raider. In case you're wondering the Tantive and Raider are enormous ships:





Not even to proper scale. Great models though.

I'm going to twin the Tantive with a flock of Z95s, and squadron of B-Wings. I have been wiping the floor with people with the B-Wing, Fire Control Systems and Heavy Laser Cannons in 100 point games. It has a brilliant cheapness/death ratio. That said, I've never taken out the Raider. We played a 250 point battle, 250 for the Empire (Raider and 4 TIEs, TIE Advanced and TIE Interceptor) vs a 125 point Rebel (Bs, Xs, Z95s) and 125 point Scum fleet (Aggressor, Firespray, StarViper, Y Wing) and it was a massacre. Some terrible rolling on my part, but still an utter spanking.

Offline Ninchilla

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Re: Star Wars X-Wing Minatures Game
« Reply #2: August 23, 2015, 03:58:31 AM »
I've never even thought of "builds" for this, as we only ever play for fun. But then, the internet exists, so of course there's theorycrafting going on.

Offline cavalcade

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Re: Star Wars X-Wing Minatures Game
« Reply #3: August 23, 2015, 04:50:55 AM »
Building the squadrons IS the fun bit!

http://xwing-builder.co.uk/build is a good one.

For family games we tend to experiment, but for competitive matches building a winning squadron is part of the game. There are common go-to builds, like the "Fat Han" or double Aggressor, but a good player can win with 100 point of any old shit.

Offline Luscan

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Re: Star Wars X-Wing Minatures Game
« Reply #4: September 08, 2015, 06:03:59 PM »

Offline cavalcade

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Re: Star Wars X-Wing Minatures Game
« Reply #5: September 09, 2015, 05:53:26 AM »
Indeed.

After a 400 point epic last week, which ran for 6 hours, I'm tooling up for some 100 point battles this afternoon.

Offline big mean bunny

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Re: Star Wars X-Wing Minatures Game
« Reply #6: December 31, 2015, 05:48:23 AM »
People still playing this? Very close to pulling the trigger on a starter set.

Offline Luscan

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Re: Star Wars X-Wing Minatures Game
« Reply #7: December 31, 2015, 06:02:07 AM »
Well, my flgs has almost weekly events for this so I think people are still playing it!

Offline cavalcade

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Re: Star Wars X-Wing Minatures Game
« Reply #8: December 31, 2015, 06:05:18 AM »
It's incredibly popular. Yes.

Offline Ninchilla

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Re: Star Wars X-Wing Minatures Game
« Reply #9: December 31, 2015, 06:41:29 AM »
Yeah, we played a quick 100-point game a couple of days ago. Bought a second starter set, so was able to field 5 TIEs and a Bomber on my side, against Wedge + R2 (hateful combo), 2 A-Wing Prototype Pilots with Assault Missiles, and a basic B-Wing.

Managed to lose my bomber in the first combat round, then three TIEs to a single Assault Missile barrage - although one of Sarah's A-Wings was too close, so she bluer that up, too. I managed to scrape a win, but it was close - it all came down to a single TIE vs. a lone A-Wing, with one hull point each.

Offline big mean bunny

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Re: Star Wars X-Wing Minatures Game
« Reply #10: December 31, 2015, 12:01:09 PM »
My local does 100 point tournaments so that was what made me ask (I meant do you still play it, not does anyone still play it) my fear is getting it and liking it but the Missus hating it, I think I have reached the logical point in my life where having a child makes sense. I might skip all the conception/baby stage though and go straight to adoption agencies that specialise in Star Wars fan children, is that a real thing?


What is 100 points then? can I look that up anywhere you recommend? read a few random blogs found via google searches, but can't help but feel this community must have a go to hub?

Offline Luscan

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Re: Star Wars X-Wing Minatures Game
« Reply #11: December 31, 2015, 12:40:44 PM »
Every ship and card has a point value associated with it. It's how good something is - you can have one ship that costs 100 points and is amazing but it's just one ship, or you can have lots of little, wee ships that aren't that great but they're basically just gonna swarm everything. That's how they keep things balanced (in theory.)

I think the box comes with two one hundred point squads.

Offline Ninchilla

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Re: Star Wars X-Wing Minatures Game
« Reply #12: December 31, 2015, 12:51:33 PM »
No, you'd struggle to hit anything like 100 points with the starter box; Wedge + R2 + Proton Torpedoes is the most stacked rebel side you could produce, and that's only 38 points or so. It's only one X-Wing and 2 TIEs.

Offline cavalcade

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Re: Star Wars X-Wing Minatures Game
« Reply #13: December 31, 2015, 01:06:26 PM »
The starter sets do not give you enough to play competitive games at 100 points. But you can practice the mechanics and see if you like it (in a friendly environment you can run whatever points totals you want). Everything in X-Wing has a points cost on the card. The squad building part of the game is a critical part of it. Tools like this:

http://xwing-builder.co.uk/build

help you form these squads.

Like any game, the skill is drawing together ships, pilots and upgrades into a squad that works well as a team. This isn't something you'll be able to do straight away. You'll need to practice, find which faction suits your playstyle, start to put together squads and plug the holes with cards/ships that you think you need. The actual "meta" is stunningly well balanced. For a while there were certainly go-to lists, but recent waves of new ships and cards have shaken it up. The Worlds showed a number of interesting things: huge list diversity but also Paul Heaver becoming a world champion for a third time. This somewhat negates the criticism XWing is about just luck - squad construction and positional skill are critical. My personal recommendation for any beginner is probably concentrate on the Rebels, which hit harder and tend to have better shielding, so even if you get outmanoeuvred you still have a chance. 

To get started I would recommend watching this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuhwSma960Y

If that looks like something you'd enjoy, then buy a Force Awakens core set (it's the latest, contains the latest ruleset and the T70 is a far more competitive ship than the T65 currently). Have a few games. Then see which faction is doing it for you, and which cards you like, then use the squad builder to start experimenting with lists and buy ships you want to add. Join a FLGS group if you can, as the best way to learn and practice is to play a selection of people (most will allow you to borrow ships/squads).

Join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/xwingukirl/?fref=nf too.

I'm not convinced it's the sort of game you'd play with your partner. Mine wouldn't play it, and most casual people I've introduced it to haven't really taken to it as it feels VERY nerdy. But if you like the source material and the mechanics click it's the best tabletop game out there. By a huge margin.

Offline Brian Bloodaxe

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Re: Star Wars X-Wing Minatures Game
« Reply #14: December 31, 2015, 01:46:27 PM »
I got the FA Beginner set for Christmas and have so far managed to play the tutorial game once. (I had whooping cough of all things over christmas so even unpacking the box seemed like too much effort for a few days...) Anyway, even the very basic tutorial was a lot of fun and Bloodaxe Jnr is eager for a rematch.

If I had any money I would be spending a lot of it on little plastic ships just now...

I had previously played the WW2 dog fighting game which uses the same system. The Star Wars version is a proper next-gen experience though, the command dials are so much more practical than a deck of cards for each plane and allow for more manoeuvres and the damage dice are just nicer than a bag of damage tokens.

I did notice that Star Wars seems to be a lot less lethal than the previous games thanks to shields and defence dice.