Tuesday, April 8, 2014

X-Wing: Initial Impression

Pew pew pew!

Not entirely sure why but I have only recently noticed the existence of X-Wing, the Star Wars space combat game by Fantasy Flight Games (FFG). Considering it came out way back in 2012 and appears to be insanely popular to the point that some of their products are continually out of stock, it has completely flew past me (...get it? Oh never mind :P).

I picked up the X-Wing core box game, purely on impulse, a couple of weeks ago when I was browsing in my FLGS. Here is my impression of the product.


X-Wing core game contents

For the retail price of €36 you get 1 Rebel X-Wing, 2 Imperial TIE Fighters and all the bits and bobs that you need to play the game. It may not be apparent on the pic above but this game uses a lot of tokens and gaming accessories.

Here is a brief summary of what's in the box:

  • 3 Pre-painted and fully assembled miniatures;
  • Attack and defense dice;
  • Manoeuvre templates, dials and a range ruler;
  • Quick starter rules pamphlet and full rule book;
  • Ship, upgrades and damage cards; and
  • A boat load of tokens


Managed to encourage my GF to be my opponent to test the rules and she promptly shot my X-Wing down without breaking a sweat!
The first thing that caught my attention were the miniatures. For pre-paints these ships look fantastic. They are a bit above table top quality but due to the details of the sculpts and the use of washes they look really really good.

The second thing that I noticed was how simple the rules are. There is a 4 page quick starter rule pamphlet that can get you started in minutes and a 27 page rule book with the full rules that you can probably digest in 15 mins.

The third thing that grabbed me was the Flight Path system. Very simple but also ingenious. The system does a good job of emulating  the WW I/WW II style combat that Star Wars aerial battles are based on. No measuring tape needed which also eliminates dodgy players making dodgy moves during the manouevre phase. This automatically encourages a competitive feel to the game as there is less scope for 'gaming the system'.

Finally, the last thing that impressed me were the ship cards. Ships are generic i.e. a TIE fighter is a TIE fighter with 2 attacks, 3 defense and 3 hull points. However, you can customise your ships via pilot cards and upgrade cards (if applicable for that ship). So you can have a generic cheap and cheery 'Academy Pilot' to pilot your TIE fighter in a nasty Imperial Swarm or you can have a named pilot such as 'Night Beast' or 'Mauler Mithel' with their own special rules in a more L33t squadron.

The combination of all of the above results in a game that feels like a table top/board game/card game hybrid.

Did I mention there were loads of tokens?
It is worth mentioning that this game is not only ready to play out of the box but is also fully self-contained. You can have pretty good games with just the 3 ships included in the box. However like all miniature games, you will eventually want to expand to give yourself more options. Standard X-Wing games are at 100 points which can contain as little as 3 ships.


You don't need the Force to sense that I'm well impressed with this game. Since writing this I've already expanded my collection to the point that I can play 100 points of either faction. So I'm definitely putting my money where my mouth is!

The only negatives that I can see so far is that 1) paint jobs on the models can be a mix bag 2) having only 2 factions can get a bit boring and 3) the expansions are pretty expensive considering you only get one gaming piece for €15. However this is balanced by the fact that you only need a few models to be able to game with it.

I'm going to give this game an initial verdict based on my initial impression of the core box set. I will probably post an update to this as I get more games in and attend a tournament or two.

With that in mind here is my verdict from a scale of "The Prequal Trilogy" (Buy at Your Own Peril), "Leia Cinnamon Bun Hairdo" (Not Great But Not Bad) and "Purple Light Sabre, Mofos!" (This Will Blow Your Mind!).

Purple Light Sabre, Mofos!

I'm not even a Star Wars fan but I think this game is really really good. X-Wing is basically wargame 'lite' which could be a gateway that introduces tabletop gaming to those people that normally would not be into wargaming.

Public Service Announcement

If this article piqued your curiosity, check out FFG's tutorial videos here:

I'm currently looking for opponents to play against so if you live in Dublin, Ireland and would like a game drop me a line at fullmetalvoiddragon@gmail.com.

Live long and prosper!....

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