Friday, May 22, 2015
Star Wars X-wing Miniatures game - First impressions
My mate Sui and I had a couple of quick games of SW, and I can clearly see why it is winning hearts and minds. It is compact, with the defined 90cm square board constraint empowers good flying rather than taking away granduer. The minatures are lovely to look at, and the factory paint jobs are good tabletop standard. I certainly couldn't be bothered repainting. The figures and base cominations are a little flimsy. This is the compromise to cope with the 'put it away' option. If you wanted to commit to epoxy gluing all the fine pins, it would be very sturdy. Looking at the rules and mechanics, it is very similar to Wings of War, but they have learned and smoothed out a lot of little foibles from that game.
How did it feel? It felt like a heroic space battle, and you quickly get 'outside' of the rules and mechanics, and 'see through' to the battle. You start seeing arcs and swirls of the whole game, and you can set up long form traps, or you can play seat of the pants.
In the first battle it was the beginner set with two tie fighters against an x-wing, played super fast to get the feel. Well, I smashed an asteroid misjudging the curves, and Sui pantsed me untouched.
Next game we played with nearly his whole collection, I had the pair of named Tie, Darth, and a Lambda shuttle. Sui had Luke, Han and a B-wing. In the initial rush, I took a smattering of hits, but managed to get my prize - my Lambda shuttle took the last shots and wiped that blonde farm boy out in the initial barrage. The Emperor protects! or something like that. Over the next few turns, the Tie fighters and Darth dodged and weaved, took hits, but wore down the shields of the enemy. Suprise Lambda shuttle stopped swooping around, rejoined the fight, and did a perfect gun run to blast the B wing then silence the Falcon.
One Tie down, one Tie just limped home, Darth came home with one hit taken and no shields, and player of the match Lambda shuttle did not take a scratch.
Value? The game is based around the figures, and what you get with each miniature is considerable. You get the pre-painted model, you get the bases and stands, and many optional pilot cards. For example, the Tie Fighter comes in cheapest with an Academy pilot @ 12 points, or a squadron pilot @13 points, a top pilot at 16 and a 'named' (one per board) pilot for about 19 points. The starter sets goes for about $60, with two tie and and x-wing, and gives plenty of options.
What's next? I think I will be happy to just play pick up games with other people's figures. I enjoyed the game, but I don't think I want to spend and trade to get the squadron I want. I love hordes, and I think I would like 8 tie-fighters. It seems like I could do that with a few starter set trades at around $160. I might do it eventually, after a few more pick up games, but currently the 'time- playtime- cash - friends who play' matrix says 'wait a while'.