Saturday, April 26, 2014

X-Wing Miniatures Game [Table Top Game Review]

Despite how much an absolute nerd I am, I've yet to review anything from my major passion. I am an unapologetic table top gamer. I play multiple miniatures games, board games, I've backed Kick-Starters for new games... I am a gamer.

It's high time I review a game. So lets start with a very popular and very entertaining one. Fantasy Flight Games X-Wing Miniatures Game.

The base box. A solid starter set.
I've been playing the game since it first debuted. It was a space combat game based in the Star Wars universe, how was I ever going to stop myself.

4.5 out of 5 stars

The game has several extremely strong points in its favor, and very few negative aspects to it. That of course is how it should be. No game should ever truly be perfect... then what could the nerds complain about? And in truth, no game will ever be perfect because all manner of players will be drawn to any specific game. Each player will bring their desires and perceptions, and since games try to encompass as many as possible, some things just end up being as good as possible and not perfect.

That's a good thing. I think I've already said that.

Ok. What are the strong points of X-Wing Miniatures game?

The Y-Wing expansion set. You can see the ship's stats.
- Cheap Price Point: The entry cost for the game are rather low. The base box comes with the main rules, a complete set of movement guides and range finder, dice (not enough, you will want a second set), tokens, cards, and three fully painted miniatures (2x TIE Fighters and 1x X-Wing). You can get all of that for $40 MSRP. (A good search online will nab you it for less than $30). A few more fighters for your chosen side at $15 (~$10 online) each will round out your force for 100pt games.  

Of course, you could end up like a few of my friends and become totally addicted. I know a guy who owns 3 or more Lamda Class Shuttles. If you go crazy, it can be expensive. Then again... so can about anything.

An example of a movement guide, movement dial, and more.
- Pre-painted Miniatures: For some this is a huge bonus. For others this is just fine. For some it's a huge dissapointment. I've seen many custom color schemes, repaints, and even conversions. But if you really do not care for the hobby aspect of table top gaming, then this a bonus. Personally, I really enjoy the hobby side, but I have enough other games that I'm not upset about having pre-painted minis.

TIE-In and all its various accoutrements.
- Easy to Learn, Hard to Master: The rules are very simple and very straight forward. However there is a subtle level of learning to the game. It takes a good number of games to master the movement dial, to figure out how your ships interact during movement, to understand asteroid placement. There is strategy to building your fleet. There are uses for low level pilots, and there are uses for Darth Vader. All of these come with experience.

- Great Universe: It is starfighter battles in the Star Wars universe. What more could you ask for? You want to recreate the Death Star Trench Run? You can. You can fly the Millennium Falcon against a swarm of TIE Fighters, or you can take down X-Wings with Darth Vader in his TIE Advanced.

Images from a tournament.
- Competitive Play: If you've been gaming, or even if you have not, you probably know that there are loads of games with competitive play. The usual suspects are TCG or CCGs, but many other games also support competitive play environments. 100pt games make a nice quick multi-round tournament format. If you play, you can probably find a local tournament somewhere nearby. I've played in more than a few. 

Are there any real negatives?

- Fragile Miniatures: Some of the miniatures, most notably the X-Wing, have tiny tiny weapons that could break if you are not careful. They are plastic, so take care. Some minis like the A-Wing are simply robust.

- Storage: The game has lots of components, everything from tokens, to minis, to large cards and small cards, movement guides, and movement dials. There are all kinds of storage solutions, some can be expensive others are cheap but require work on your part. It is nothing new for a table top gamer, but it is something to take note of.

- Addictive: It can be addictive, plain and simple. Many games are. You just need to be aware of this. If you play TCG's you know that you can lay out hundreds of dollars every time and expansion comes around. This game is no different. The expansions are a bit slower, but they can be just as addictive.

More images from another tournament.
- Slow Expansions: The game is slowly expanding. Each wave brings a few more ships to the game. Most waves comprise four ships, and there are special releases too. There have only been three waves since the game debuted in 2012. The fourth wave is coming very soon. There are about two waves of four ships a year, plus the bonus releases like Imperial Aces (a set of two TIE-Interceptors). This game has a slow release pace. 

In summary, X-Wing Miniatures Game is great game. There are little foibles, but nothing serious. It's loads of fun, the ships are excellent, and you get to fly star fighters in the Star Wars universe. What more could you ask for?

How about one of these?
Coming soon. Corellian Corvettes and more huge ships.

Many of the images came from Fantasy Flight Games, please visit their site and take a look at the game. Other images came from tournaments organized by Zia Games. Please visit their sites.

No comments:

Post a Comment