06th Nov2015

‘Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game: The Force Awakens Core Set’ Review

by Guest

Review by Baron Fortnightly

Box-photo-02

The Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game is the second version of the core set released by Fantasy Flight Games and designed by Jay Little. This two player set has been updated to tie-in with the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, which a few people might be looking forward to seeing this December ;)

This core set contains everything needed for two players to engage in Star Wars themed starfighter battles without leaving the comfort of their table, never mind their planet. It includes three 1/270 scale pre-painted plastic miniature starships: one Resistance T-70 X-Wing, and two First Order TIE Fighters, plus all the tokens, movement and range templates, dice, pilot/ship cards, upgrade cards, damage cards, and rule book needed for an hour long game.

The new core set is comparable with the Original Trilogy core set released in 2012, which will still be available alongside this Force Awakens set; pilots and upgrades are consistent with the original set, with Poe Dameron replacing Luke Skywalker, and BB-8 replacing the R2-D2 upgrade. The main difference in pilot/ship cards are the slightly higher point costs of the ships due to the added shields that even the First Order TIE Fighters now sport, giving all three ships 25% more staying power.

When information first leaked about this set, many assumed the miniatures would be repaints, but I’m glad to say this is not the case; the T-70 X-Wing and the First Order TIE Fighters are new sculpts that match the ships seen so far in the trailers for the new movie. The new TIEs have larger bodies, sturdier looking wings, and now sport a black and white paint scheme with red cockpit windows. The new X-Wing has a changed split-wing configuration, larger cockpit and engines, and is completed with the grey and blue markings of Blue Squadron.

Games of X-Wing are very quick to set up, all that’s required is a 3ft x 3ft play area, ships are placed by their players at the far edges of this play area before the first round. The core set comes with three example missions, which make use of the space-mine and asteroid obstacles included, plus a set of quick start rules which allow new players that jump straight into a game and learn as they play.

Each round in X-Wing consists of four phases: Planning using your ship’s maneuver dial to select distance and direction; Activation where you execute your previously hidden from the other player maneuver, plus apply upgrades and pilot abilities; Combat where each ship can attack one enemy ship within its range and firing arc; End where all unspent tokens are removed before moving on to the next round.

For a more detailed look at game play please have a look at this excellent tutorial on the official X-Wing Miniature Game website: https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2015/9/4/the-dogfights-of-xwing/

This core set stands alongside the original set as another entry point into the X-Wing Miniatures Game, but the new rulebook supersedes the one from the 2012 core set. There aren’t a lot of rules changes, but they do improve the game’s consistency, this set also introduces a new damage deck that replaces the one from the original 2012 core set.

The damage cards Injured Pilot and Munitions Failure have been replaced with Shaken Pilot and Loose Stabilizer, which are both a lot more consistent in effect. Minor Explosion and Minor Hull Breach have been upgraded to Major Explosion and Major Hull Breach. Additionally a number of damage cards whilst retaining their basic function, but have had their rules simplified.

Target Lock rules have been improved, and the activation phase has been revised to counteract a stress marker glitch. All of these changes do not result in a major upheaval of X-Wing, they just streamline the game, making a fun game even more enjoyable and quicker to play.

If you’re interested in the X-Wing Miniature Game, this set is a must buy, unless you have zero interest in The Force Awakens era. If you’re already playing X-Wing this set is still worth picking up for the new ships (which will also be available separately), and the new pilot cards (which won’t), or if you require a copy of the updated rules (which are also available free online) and want extra tokens, extra dice, and the updated damage deck.

The short set-up time and easy to follow rules make X-Wing a great first board game, with just three spaceships games can quickly become repetitive, but the introduction of mission objectives will help prolong the enjoyment. If you have the money to spend replayability won’t be a problem, the more spaceships you have the bigger battles you can take part in, and the more the players will experiment with tactics, flight formations, and squadron construction. Fantasy Flight Games have spent the last 4 years steadily releasing new spaceships of different types, including favourites like the Millennium Falcon, huge capital ships like the Tantive IV for use in Epic and Cinematic games, Scum and Villany ships like Slave One that form a third playable faction, and ships from expanded universe sources such as the Rebels animated series, Shadows of the Empire, and the Dark Forces video games.

This game will make a great Christmas gift for board game and/or Star Wars fans, especially this year when they’ll be eager to recreate exciting battles from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game: The Force Awakens Core Set has an RRP of £29.99. Click here to find your nearest stockist.

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