- Oct 25, 2017
X-Wing Miniatures Game is a collectible, ehm, miniature game designed and published by Fantasy Flight Games that tries to translate to tabletop the fast and cool dogfights from the Star Wars movies. Using an evolution of the old, simple and elegant Wings of War system, you must outhink, outmaneuver and/or outgun your enemy to achieve victory in quick and intense games, using iconic and not-so-known ships from the entire Star Wars history: classic and new movies, new Canon and the old Expanded Universe.
Each ship, from the nimble TIE Fighter to the large and sturdy YT-1300 light freighter, has unique capabilities and attributes that makes them completely different to fly from each other, and they can also be customized with extra equipment that may even change their role and how you would use it. Each ship can also be flown by different pilots, from cheap and low-skill generic pilots to aces such as Darth Vader, Boba Fett or Han Solo, who are quite more expensive but also come with powerful and unique abilities to use.
If somebody gets curious on how the game really works, under these lines there's an excellent video from FFG showing off the basics of the game. I also recommend to go to your closest Friendly Local Game Store and ask if there's an X-Wing community. Watching it being played live while talking to the players is a great way to get a higher insight of the game. Hell, there's even a big chance they would be glad to mount you a quick demo.
The Empire is the rightful ruler of the galaxy, a vast space with hundreds of thousands of inhabited worlds that requires a powerful and massive force just for pacekeeping. And there is where the Imperial Navy comes in. While the huge Star Destroyers may be the ultimate incarnation of the Navy might, the true fleet workhorses are the uncountable pilots serving on their starfighter wings. Counting with a good chunk of the most agile and maneuverable ships on the galaxy and , the Empire excells in using formations of generic ships to smash the opponent in a direct confrontation but also in the quality of the Ace pilots on its ranks, many of them capable of running circles around the enemy, either alone or with a support ship.
They may call themselves "freedom fighters", but ultimately the Rebellion is just a bunch of traitors and terrorists trying to spread chaos around the galaxy and undermine the Emperor's rule. Forced to guerrilla actions and hit and run tactics due the lack of resources, the Rebels rely on their snubfighters to try to keep their hold against the Empire. Rebel ships may be no as agile or advanced as their Imperial counterparts, but that doesn't make them any less lethal and their sturdiness gives them an edge when the laser bolts start to hit. Knowing they have a disadvantage on maneuvering, the Rebellion excells on creating synergies between their pilots to support each other and boost their performance.
Smugglers, bounty hunters, pirates, crime syndicates... the Scum and Villany faction features the galaxy's worst in what can only be considered an unholy alliance. And although for the most part they may not be considered a military or even an organized fleet, they are a powerful force thanks to a combination of good pilots, great and cheap all-around ships and some of the nastier tricks in the game, either due their abilities or an Illicit upgrade almost exclusive to this faction that gives them access to things as powerful as unreliable or even dangerous to the same ship where are equiped.
Regular 'tournament' games: Basic 1vs1 games at 100 points per side in a 90x90cm playmat with destroying the enemy ships (while keeping yours alive) as the only objective. It may not sound that interesting, but the gazillion ways this game can be played creates a thrilling mode that is used as base for the Competitive system. And what a system it is. From small and regular 16-man store tournaments to Regionals, Nationals, European/North American or Open tournaments up to the Worlds that can reach several hundreds of players, the X-Wing competitive scene is exciting and surprisingly friendly.
Epic games: These are basically regular games on steroids, with 300 (or more) points per side which lets you deploy either a gazillion starfighters or large capital ships like Corellian Corvettes or Gozanti Cruisers (or both things!). These are no short games at all and can become quite chaotic simply by the amount of ships, upgrades and abilities involved, but they are also extremely fun and a nice way to play with several friends or to use at once all those ships that were patientely waiting their turn on your shelves.
Missions: Both Core Sets and most of big/large expansions come with missions: an alternative game mode where killing the other may not be the only (or the best) way to win as they include additional objectives or special constraints in the game. These missions aren't really popular, but they are useful as quick or casual routine breakers.
What is very popular is Heroes of Aturi Cluster, a fan-made cooperative campaign for 1 to 6 players against an Imperial Artifical Intelligence where the players must try to accomplish a very different objective on each mission, from capture a Shuttle to rescue a Rebel commando. It also has a great roleplaying touch, as each player uses a single pilot/ship for the entire campaign, receiving experience points that can be used on evolving him with abilities, equipment or even new ships. I can't recommend this enough. The rulebook, all the materials you may need and a useful FAQ can be found at the 'official' page. There's also a Facebook group with tons of info, additional missions, campaigns using other factions, extra ships, abilities...
Others: While the 'official' support only reaches missions and regular/Epic game, this is a very flexible game system and there's a huge community creating wonderful things. The Aturi Cluster campaign may be the brightest star we've got yet, but there's much more beyond it. What about playing Mario Kart with your favourite ships? You can. Want to recreate the attack on the first Death Star? There are rules out there. And more, many more. Just look a bit around the various X-Wing forums or social networks and you will find tons of ideas. And why not mess yourself with the system to see what can you come up with?
Latest FAQ (4.4.0).
Heroes of Aturi Cluster official website.
(Yet Another) Squad Building