In X-Wing, each player takes on a faction - either Imperial or Rebel. Then, that player takes their respective ships and selects a pilot for each of them, setting the ships on their side of the play area. Each turn, both players will simultaneously select a maneuver for each of their ships to perform. Then, in order of pilot skill (from worst to best), players will execute these moves and optionally take an action to prepare for the upcoming firefight. (This represents that better pilots can react to what the other pilots are doing.) Once all of the ships have moved, then they begin to shoot at each other - this time starting with the highest rated pilot. In order to attack, the pilot checks to make sure that the targeted ship is within range, and then takes dice equal to his weapon value (plus one if the enemy is at close range). All of the attack dice are rolled, and modifiers are applied. Then, the defending player takes dice equal to his maneuverability (plus one if he is at long range). Dice are rolled and modifiers are applied. If there are more hits than evades, the targeted ship takes damage - first from shields, then from hull. If his damage equals or exceeds his hull value, then he blows up in a spectacular fashion. (I've seen the movies - I know what they're supposed to look like when they blow up; though I'm unwilling to take a firecracker to my game to actually see it firsthand.) Once only one person has any ships remaining, he is declared the winner!
|Chasing down TIE Fighters|
The next pro that I have for X-Wing is that the ships are actually fairly easy to maneuver, even for a new player. The game that X-Wing most resembles is Wings of War. That actually concerned me quite a bit. Why? Because I was completely awful at Wings of War. I just circled around my opponent forever, never getting a clear shot - and the only times I did get a clear shot were because we were shooting at each other in a head-on collision. X-Wing's movement system is a bit more forgiving, and I had far more situations where I had been able to guess my opponent's moves and shoot at him from the side (or vice versa). Overall, the movement system for X-Wing seemed to be one of the strengths of the game instead of a source of frustration.
My final pro is that, if you decide to delve deeply into this game, there are a lot of different elements that you can tinker with. You can build your own fleet using different astromech droids, upgrades, and pilots. You have three playable missions that are provided with the basic game. There are also very nice, small touches that Fantasy Flight has put into the game system itself. Things like - different ships have different maneuverability. Some of these moves cause stress on your pilot, which makes him less effective. There are obstacles that you can play with - like fighting through an asteroid field. Some ships can perform barrel rolls to move laterally. Others can use their ship's computer to acquire a target lock. Essentially, there are lots of small elements of the game that work together to allow you to dive in headlong.
|These are all the ships you get in the base game.|
My other con for X-Wing is that by the end of some of my games, it felt like we were just rolling dice back and forth. Generally, the X-Wing would sustain some minor damage while shooting down the first TIE Fighter, but then it would be down to one X-Wing against one TIE Fighter, as the players circled each other trying to get the better position and hoping that the die rolls went their way. None of the ships in the base game roll more than three dice on attack, so it was really just rolling a couple of dice back and forth to see who eventually won. Most of the strategy of the game seems to be gone once the game gets down to one on one. I would imagine that this con is a product of my only playing with the components of the base game, instead of mixing in any additional expansions. However, I'm reviewing the game, and not the expansions, so I think that this con is warranted.
Overall, I give Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game an 8.0/10. It is a good game, and I can definitely see why people would delve into it. Giant 100 point (or higher) battles would be fun to watch or to play. And, in fact, I'm very curious to see what other ships they come out with - I'd love to see some Star Destroyers, Corellian Corvettes, and eventually a mission with the Death Star. And, to go absolutely crazy, it'd be amazing if Fantasy Flight got the Star Trek license, and made a Star Trek game that was compatible! With all of that, the ultimate question that you need to ask yourself when deciding if you want this game is, "how much am I willing to spend?"
If Star Wars: X-Wing sounds interesting to you, you should also check out Wings of War, Battlestar Galactica, and Heroscape.