X-Wing: A Brief Review (also, 4,000 views!)

My first non-GW post! And it comes two days after my blog broke 4,000 views! Thank you one and all for your continued support!

A while ago, upon reading that Fantasy Flight Games were bringing out a Star Wars-based dogfighting game, I had a major nerdgasm (as I’m pretty sure everyone did), but was initially a little bit skeptical. It had premise, but games involving little planes/ships flying around hadn’t exactly been all that popular in recent history. Forge World had brought out Aeronautica Imperialis which lasted until the first expansion came out before it was announced no new rules/models would be made. Wings of War had enjoyed relative success for seven years before Nexus went out of business. (For interested parties, the game has been resurrected as “Wings of Glory”)

Having now purchased the box set. That skepticism is gone. Bye-bye!

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The box is rather good value for money, as the entire thing is self-contained. You can play the entire thing with the X-Wing and two TIE Fighters included, with variations on the three included missions such as using Ace Pilots such as Luke Skywalker or Biggs Darklighter. The dice are game-specific D8s, with three Attack dice in red, and three Defence dice in green. Manoeuvres are done using thich cardboard cutout templates, and one is provided for weapon ranging – no tape measure necessary! The ships, oh the ships! Never before have I seen a prepainted model look so…good! 1/270 scale is teeny-tiny, as I’m sure you can imagine (a 16.5m long X-Wing measures about 2″ long.) The painting isn’t exactly brilliant but the detail is there, and a skilled and determined hobbyist can improve upon it with very little effort.

What saddens me at the moment is the general lack of variety out there. There are only four ships currently available for general purchase: the X-Wing, Y-Wing, TIE-Fighter and TIE-Advanced x1 (Vader’s Fighter). Though there are four more ships slated for early next year (TIE Interceptor, A-Wing, Millenium Falcon and Slave 1) I feel that given the time between waves and the fact they still have yet to release the B-Wing, TIE Bomber and Lambda Shuttle (only useful for missions, really) means that Expanded Universe fans will be waiting an awful long time for fan favourites such as the TIE Defender or the E-Wing. Still…we’ll make do! Already members of the Fantasy Flight Forums and A Few Maneuvers are developing new rules and converting models! What resourceful people we geeks are!

I’m not going to go into game mechanics, that’s something I’ll save for the next entry. What I will say though, is that by marketing this as a board game for anyone to play (much like GW did with Space Hulk and Dreadfleet) more people are likely to pick it up, not just die-hard Star Wars fans.

If you’re a Star Wars fan, buy it! If you’re a miniature wargaming fan, buy it! If you want Star Wars models to paint that aren’t the snap-fit Revell, or the uber-expensive ones,, buy the ship expansions! X-Wing retails at £29.99/$39.99, though certain retailers are undercutting the retail price to around the £27/$35 mark.

That’s all for today, I’m now going to ponder Squadron lists while watching Star Wars and digging through my collection for my old X-Wing Comics and Books!

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