Saturday, September 14, 2013

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game - Board Game Review

Wow, it seems likes it’s been forever since I’ve bothered writing a Board Game Review.  Looking back, it really is.  The last review I wrote up was (CHECK IT) on (DATE IT).  Damn.  Well, we’re not here to dwell on that thought; but to review yet another great game!

The game is great.  It comes with 3 plastic pre-painted ships to use and all the pieces for a simple two player game.  The game doesn’t actually come with a board but the rules define a specific amount of playing space/area that you’ll need to section off on a kitchen table or some such space.  The box comes with some card token asteroids and a satellite which can be used as terrain during games.

I want to go over the game; but Fantasy Flight is actually a company who handles that very well on their own so I've decided simply to link to their video tutorial and use this post to discuss my thoughts on the game as a whole.

Fantasy Flight Video Tutorial Link

The game plays pretty quickly when you learn the rules.  Usually the games are under 30 minutes and my son and I really enjoy it.  It’s a lot of fun trying to out-guess your opponent on how they are going to move so you can try to get in the most advantageous position to kill them and building your own squads with combos that feed off each other is a big chunk of the fun.  It’s always nice to see a combo plan come together and work well.

That said I want to dispel the notion of it actually being a board game.  Yes you can buy the basic set and be content playing with that I suppose, but if you’re reading my blog then chances are high you’re a miniature gamer and this is absolutely a miniatures game.  Along with the price tag to go with it.  Assuming you are playing with somebody who lives in the same household you’ll need at least 2 core sets.  Then assuming you were to buy 1 of every ship released at this stage (there are 12), some of which are larger and more expensive such as the Millennium Falcon; as well as an extra set of dice (you’ll want them, trust me) you’re looking at a total investment of $295 to jump in at this point.  Also if you want to buy sleeves to protect the boatload of cards your about to have you may as well chock in another $20 for that.  Then you’ll have to figure out some kind of storage solution of which you certainly have options.  The myriad companies that supply miniature games with their foam cases have jumped all over this so you can go to Battlefoam, KR Multicase, Sabol, etc…  I however have decided to stick with good old Plano boxes for now as they are cheap and I don’t plan on purchasing more than a single of any of the expansion ships.

It gets worse if you’re interested in tournament play.  You see by FFG tournament rules you need a physical copy of every card you want to use.  So if you want the Skill Card Veteran Instincts on all your pilots you actually need a card for all your pilots.  Guess what!  That card only comes in an expansion box and there is only one copy in there.  So if you want 3 copies then you have to buy 3 of that specific expansion.  Boy the marketing guys did a hell of a job on this game.  Oh, and perhaps I forgot to mention that along with all of the little fighter ships they’ve also released the larger ships?  Yeah, at double the cost so if you want some duplicate cards from those you’re looking at $30 bucks a pop.  At some point I’m hoping they will release a box of just upgrade cards for those people who don’t want to own 10 of the exact same ship.  Help me FFG, you’re my only hope.

Some people moan about pre-painted plastics and many players are re-painting the ships themselves.  Honestly for the price I think that the ships look really good and don’t plan on re-painting any of my stuff.  I’ve only seen a few ships (none of my own) that were warped at all which I assume the hot water bath will cure.

In the end I really like the game.  Its bonding my son and I into a hobby we both can now enjoy sine he’s never really expressed a lot of interest in Warhammer and its pretty difficult to put a price on that when I’ve got thousands of dollars worth of plastic in my basement anyway.  At the least if you are interested pick up a core set.  If you don’t like it then it shouldn’t be too hard to resell online or to someone locally in your gaming scene.  For me, Star Wars gets a 8/10 point rating losing those last points only to price and card debacle mentioned above.

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