20th Sep2018

‘X-Wing: Second Edition’ – First Thoughts

by Matthew Smail

xwing-2-1

Many things have changed in the board gaming world since the original X-Wing debuted in 2012, including not only a number of changes to the Star Wars intellectual property itself, but also to the way that people play board games and what we expect from them. According to prominent members of the design team at Fantasy Flight Games, these changes had become increasingly hard to keep track of when balancing the X-Wing universe, which began to spark rumors about an upcoming Second Edition of the game. X-Wing 2.0 (as it’s known among loyal fans) is now with us, having been launched on September 13th and here at Nerdly, we’ve managed to snag a couple of starter sets and a number of individual expansion ships.

Full disclosure, we’ll have a detailed review coming in the next week or two, but for now, I must admit to being a complete novice when it comes to the X-Wing universe. For anyone in a similar position, X-Wing is a modular, collectible game that allows players to simulate the fast paced, frantic dog-fighting of the Star Wars universe. Opposing forces in the Second Edition currently include The Galactic Empire, The Rebel Alliance and the Scum and Villainy faction, the latter of which consists of mercenaries and rogues including the likes of Boba Fett, Han Solo and Lando Calrissian. Similarly, iconic characters such as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader represent The Galactic Empire and The Rebel Alliance, which is as much a part of the draw to X-Wing as you would expect.

The Second Edition of X-Wing changes a number of elements in comparison to the original, most of which are detailed nuances that relate to how turrets work, or how failing to complete a stated action results in an outright failure now. Perhaps the most relevant for new and returning players alike is the way in which squadrons will be built. In the original version, each ship, pilot and upgrade card would include a set number of points that contribute to a total of two hundred (in a standard game.) This is one of the issues that the designers sought to address in the new version, since once cards are printed, there is no realistic way to address power levels. X-Wing Second Edition therefore skips having printed costs on cards and instead, all squad building is driven by an application that can be updated by the designers if particular combinations prove to be overpowered.

So far, I’ve had a few practice games with one of the starter sets (which includes one X-Wing model and two Tie Fighters) so that I could learn how to play the game, and I’ve also built a squad for each of the three current factions (I understand that X-Wing: Second Edition will include at least seven factions by next year) so that I could understand how the app works. The game itself works extremely well and I was able to pick it up in about thirty or forty minutes of solo play, including some of the nuances around ship maneuvering and how the game phases work. I was also able to get a bit of an insight into how the different ships feel, especially when piloted by an ace pilot with Force Powers like Skywalker or Vader, versus when a lowly Academy Pilot is at the helm.

I have (and you can’t blame me) also had a close look at some of the more interesting ships, including Lando’s Millenium Falcon and Boba Fett’s Slave I. All of the ships in X-Wing: Second Edition look fantastic (regardless of their size) but the iconic Falcon is huge by comparison and looks absolutely fantastic on the table – I can’t wait to set up a larger dogfight and see what it looks like in action. Again for anyone not in the know, all X-Wing ships are pre-painted and finely detailed. Some, like the T-65 X-Wing even come with moving parts that demonstrate the particular configuration of that ship and convey bonuses to movement or firepower.

For returning players, Fantasy Flight Games has also created Conversion Kits (also pictured) which will enable them to upgrade all of the cards, tokens, chits and pilots in their current chosen faction to work in X-Wing: Second Edition. In any case, returning players will also need to purchase a Starter Pack in order to obtain the various dials and range rulers that govern the game, unless they choose to pick them up piecemeal (which is a possibility.) My first impressions of X-Wing: Second Edition are exceptionally high and I feel genuinely excited about building my squad and testing it against those my friends have created.

Watch this space for our upcoming review, which will be live as soon as we think we know enough about the game to pass a final comment.

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