THE ADMIRAL’S FAVORITE THINGS
Luke Skywalker in hot pursuit of two TIE Fighters
Star Wars? Space Battles? Tactical Maneuvers? Nien Nunb? Yes please!
This is my absolute favorite game right now, so let me start by saying this will be a glowing review of a spectacular game that can do no wrong. OK, OK there are a couple issues…but not many. As you all know Star Wars is kind of my thing. So I just can’t say enough good things about this game. Let’s start with the basics.
To get started, you will need one of the core sets. There are two options (shown here). The first core set is the original, featuring Luke Skywalker flying the iconic X-Wing. The newest core set features Poe Dameron flying the new T-70 version. Both are $40, not bad to get started at all, and they have everything you and a partner need to start playing.
Star Wars X-Wing is a turn based tactical miniatures game. Each player chooses a squad, places their ships, and battles until one team is destroyed. There are hundreds of different ship combinations that you can use, and that’s not even including the different pilot options and upgrade cards. Once you choose your team, each player places their ships on the play area (3ft x 3ft ). Players then take turns choosing where to move each ship (we will go over this later…slow down killer!) Next players declare targets and FIRE AWAY! Clearly the best part of the game is blowing your buddies ship to pieces, which is all done in a dice based mechanic. The game is made by Fantasy Flight Games, and they are masters at custom dice and really making the action seem more skill than chance, which I love.
The basics of the game are a lot simpler to learn that it seems at first glance, but to master it is another thing entirely. This is one of those games you can play a hundred times and learn something new every time.
As you can see above, there are three main parts to each turn, and basically the whole game itself. You have your maneuver dials, where you chose where you want your ship to go. Next you use the corresponding template to physically move your ship. Lastly you roll the attack dice to shoot, and the evade dice to see if your pilot is able to dodge the attacks. The order of these actions is based on pilot skill. The better pilots are able to see the battle happening around them, moving last and shooting first.
Each ship has different pilots, all with their own skills and talents. There are hundreds of upgrade cards that can be added to ships to boost your chances. Some will give you more shields, or better attacks. Some give you co-pilots to add to your crew, while some will even let you modify your dice rolls, really making it tough on your opponent.
The real strategy in this game is right here. Team building. You can customize every ship, and pilot, and upgrade card to show your personality when playing, which is a really neat mechanic you just don’t see in every other game. It almost has an RPG character creation feel to it. The game is intended to be played with teams of 100 points. Most small ships are between 12-30 points, and the medium ships are around 30-50. That really opens up the game for limitless possibilities in both choosing pilots to fly as well as upgrade cards.
If you like Star Wars, or any kind of fighting game, this is the one for you. It combines all the elements that you want in a tactical war game. It feels like real live dogfights, in space, with Star Wars characters at the helm. What else could you ask for?
The rule book included in the core sets is very well written, and while it may seem cumbersome at first, trust me it isn’t. Take the time to read over the quick start guide and you’ll be flying like a pro in no time!
“It’s a trap!”Admiral Ackbar
I know, 5 out of 5 quacks. How can that be you ask? Simple really, this game is as close to perfect as I’ve come across. The only issues I have is how far down the rabbit hole you end up going once you start playing. You buy a core set, and a day later you’ve got a custom tackle box full of the 15 ships you just bought. Yea maybe that’s not a bad thing, but it does make it a little more than just a $40 investment. Some of the ships are worth more points than they should be, and some of the pilot skills aren’t really exciting or needed. The game does have some issues, but they are so small compared to the thrill you get flying the Millennium Falcon through space, chasing down Boba Fett in his iconic Slave I. That is a thrill you can only find in this game, and the main reason why it is, and almost certainly will be my only perfect 5 out of 5 game. Enjoy!