X-Wing Miniatures Storage…Take 2

A little while ago, when I first started collecting X-Wing miniatures I posted a few pictures on Twitter of my storage solution. It’s a simple screw/nail organiser from the DIY shop, but the little boxes could be moved and I was able to keep ships, cards, templates and dice all in a simple carry case.

Old storage (and some toys)

Old storage (and some toys)

A few weeks later and my collection has slowly and steadily increased and the storage solution has had to change with it.

I spent a little bit of time looking at what was available and was considering buying one of the KR foam storage boxes, but couldn’t really justify the cost when I had boxes and other bits and bobs all over the hobby cave. Also, if I’m honest I didn’t want to throw my hobby money on storage when it could be spent on ships ūüėČ

So, I’ve re-purposed a 9L Really Useful Box (classic hobbyists fare) and picked up a hobby tray that fits neatly on top.

I’ve used the tray to keep all of the in-game essentials and left the mission tokens and bases in the larger bottom section. Every X-Wing expansion comes with lots of little baggies and I’ve reused them here to keep everything tidy. I’ll build some additional separators into the top sections so that the tokens are easier to access during a game, but for now this is suits me.

Hobby tray

Hobby tray

The bottom section holds my current collection of ships, bases, mission tokens and rules. There’s plenty of room to spare and to be honest as the collection grows I’ll just get another box and replicate this setup as it works really well. I kept all of the little blisters for the expansions and have used them to protect the ship so there’s no foam required at the moment. Just a bit of bubble wrap to fill some space here and there. The metal R2-D2 tin is a little lunchbox that I got a while ago to hold my collection (before it grew…and grew…and grew). I’m keeping my Rebel ships in it at the moment so it’s not gone unused.

Main box

Main box

R2-D2 Lunchbox

R2-D2 Lunchbox

I’ve put a self-adhesive magnetic sheet in the base of the box and on the inside of the box lid. I’ve glued¬†6mm x 2mm rare earth magnets to the bottom of some of the bases to try and keep things steady when I’m playing games. To be honest I’ve not used these magnets before and although the magnets themselves are fine, the magnetic sheet doesn’t work as I’d have liked, so they don’t stick as strongly as I wanted. The lunchbox does stick though which is really useful as it stops everything moving around. I’m going to do a little more research and replace the sheets with something more suitable (any recommendations welcome).

Magnets

Magnets

I’ve printed up some X-Wing logos (nothing fancy) and stuck them on the sides and the lid, just so that it doesn’t get lost on the shelves. But there it is. My (current) storage solution for X-Wing.

It breaks down as 9L Really Useful Box (¬£5.50), Hobby tray (¬£3.00), 6mm x 2mm rare earth magnets (¬£0.12ea), 2 x A4 self adhesive magnetic sheet (¬£1.85). Cheaper than the DIY box and much more effective at storing everything. Lots of space to store my collection and lots of scope for adding foam and other protection as you need. I’m going to stick with this and just reconfigure the main storage section as I add ships.

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There you go. That’s how I’ve done it. Any suggestions? Any alternatives? I’d be interested to hear and will always be looking to tweak and personalise this solution.

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X-Wing Miniatures…out of the kitchen and into the stars

A couple of weeks ago I got my shiny new X-Wing core set stuff out on the kitchen table and played a little game against myself to try to get used to the mechanics and rules. Since then I’ve been acquiring expansion packs (poor availability allowing) and have been itching to play another game, but this time against a real person.

Last night I turned up at one of the two local gaming clubs that I know of, put my stuff down on the table, and ended up getting a game against a random stranger who happened to have a small armada in his possession. We settled on 100pt lists with me taking the Rebels lead by Luke and my opponent taking Vader and his TIE squadron. The postman didn’t bring me what I wanted earlier in the day so I played with ‘Dutch’ in his Y-Wing, Luke in an X-Wing with R2-D2 and a Red Squadron X-Wing pilot to make up the numbers. There were a few proton torpedoes in the mix too. They were facing Vader in his TIE-Advanced, 2 hulking TIE-Bombers and a shifty TIE-Interceptor. They were armed with a pretty alarming array of bombs and missiles.

It took me a couple of rounds to get my head back into things, picking up the range ruler instead of the movement template to move my Red Squadron X-Wing 3-straight ahead was a sign of where I am in terms of experience as well as proving an extremely alarming turn of events for my opponent as I was quickly in range ;-).

At the setup I had kept my 3 ships together on the left hoping to use Dutch’s skill of providing target locks to a close friendly ship to give me the extra locks I needed to fire my torpedoes. Vader had spread his squad out across the middle half of his side of the battle field. Once we engaged in combat, my piloting skill quickly made Dutch’s ability inconsequential as I either didn’t keep in range or forgot to pass on the target lock. I did manage to knock out one of the Bombers early on which given their impressive 6 hull points was quite a result for Luke and his plucky troopers. The mobility of the TIE ships and the expert handling of a more experienced opponent was evident as K-Turns and Barrel Rolls left me with reduced opportunities to take shots at the enemy, whilst maximising the number of shots coming my way.

Dutch was the target of the early Imperial fire and was the first Rebel ship lost and the Red Squadron pilot’s X-Wing was quick to follow. Luke and R2-D2 were left to fight the fight against the Emperor. Luckily Luke and R2 are a fantastic defensive combination and try as they might, and they did, the TIE’s could not apply the killing blow. Of course eventually they did take him out. I’d like to think that he would have flown away in any ‘normal’ situation, but the game being the game, time and attack dice eventually got the better of him but nit until R2-D2 had repaired shields for turn after turn.

We did start a second game but the club was closing and time was short. We made it into combat taking off a ship each but didn’t get to reach a conclusion. I have a feeling that Vader would have been the victor again though.

My opponent was fantastic. We chatted about our gaming and real lives, as we battled in the stars. He was very patient and at the end of the game I wanted to play more. A great introduction to X-Wing outside of my kitchen.

In terms of squad lists, I learnt that while I start out in the game I may be better placed trying to take named pilots or expertise that is specific to that pilot and not something that affects friendly ships within a range, such as Dutch providing target locks. I’m not skilled enough to manoeuvre well enough to take advantage of the ability. I think I’ll be better off learning the impact of each of the movement templates and getting used to the other cards and mechanics before I try flying in formations. At this stage I would prefer to stay alive longer or hit harder.

What else can I say other than that it’s a fantastic game and I can’t believe I went so long with it on my wishlist before hitting ‘add to basket’.

P.s.¬†The game lends itself to a more visual battle report than many other gaming systems so I’ll look into taking some pictures next time.

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.