The Force is strong with this one

xwinglogo

Not that long ago, in this galaxy, I became slightly obsessed with the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures game.

I’ve always been a Star Wars fan and as a kid had a LOT of Star Wars toys. I was the goody-goody Rebel and my brother (as always) chose the Dark side. It seems that we had every toy going for a long time, including many that we at least thought were only available in the US. My dad was in the Navy and used to bring us back presents from his travels. A storm trooper gun that opened up and doubled as a figure carry case was pretty special. I’ve always enjoyed the films, but as with most things I’m on the geeky side of this rather than the nerdy. In a fit of teenage rebellion I sold ALL of my Star Wars stuff for £50 at a car boot sale…something that I regret to this day.

In the days of the Intel 386 and 486 processors, I used to play the X-Wing and TIE Fighter PC games quite a bit and they were some of my favourite games at the time. (As an aside, my recent adventure back into the Star Wars universe seems to suggest that I may be able to get these games running again, more on that another time maybe.)

Anyway, I’d heard of the X-Wing Miniatures game. It’s booming on Twitter and gaming podcasts and featured heavily in lots of end of year review shows. I’d had it on my ‘wish list’ for a while but it could never bubble to the top when vying for attention with Blood Bowl and Warhammer Fantasy. The catalyst was for change was Christmas when I was given a Star Wars bag (in fact I was given two after a wishlist mismanagement problem by the purchasers) and I decided shortly afterwards to take the plunge and buy the game.

It sat on the shelf for a week or two while I prepared for the local Blood Bowl league, but earlier this week I got everything out and set out to play a demo game against myself. First thing to say is that the contents of the core box are brilliant and at about £25 give you enough to get started and certainly enough to see if the game is for you or not. I’m not going to write up a battle report here, suffice to say I really enjoyed it.

Certainly the important role that Star Wars played in my childhood is part of my enjoyment and is one of the reasons that I am so fascinated by this game. Piloting star ships on their missions to protect or destroy the Empire is wonderful, but the game mechanics and simplicity of the rules play their parts too. The selection and then execution of the ships maneuver followed by action and combat based on the capabilities of both pilot and ship is done really well and manages to capture how I imagine space combat. The rules and FAQs are freely available on the Fantasy Flight Games website and I encourage anyone interested to take a look. There’s also a video tutorial there which is good.

The only negative aspect to things so far is that on my very first game, the peg connector on one of the TIE fighters broke. The models stand up off the playing surface on plastic bases with one or two pegs in-between and the joins are very fragile. To FFGs credit I went through their faulty/missing parts channel and a new one is in the post to me already. I’ve already decided to add some weight to the plastic bases and to magnetise the connections as a future project, so look out for a post on that shortly.

ships

Since playing my first game, I’ve been trawling the internet looking for information and resources; sites that I’ll add to my daily list of must read pages. I’ve also gone a bit crazy and bought a second core set, a Millennium Falcon, Y-Wing and a TIE Advanced. On top of that I’ve been looking at game mats, storage solutions and the other obsessively organised, structured elements that I like to bring to all of my hobbies.

Even better, I’ve got the playing bug with this game. With so many games I like the concept, the minis, some aspect of the rules or even the ‘hotness’ of the game but don’t get the urge to play that much. With this it is different. I want to collect the ships and I want to play with them. I’m lucky enough that it seems to be played at both of my local games clubs and I am really looking forward to going down and playing a few games in the coming weeks and months.

All in all, I am very pleased to have finally experienced this game and I am excited about the new wave of ships and to getting some missions under my belt. I’d recommend it to all gamers, but if you’ve got any love of Star Wars then I’d say that this is a must.

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