Sunday, 4 January 2015

X-Wing: The Force Wins

  
The last position, face-to-face Luke Skywalker destroys the Imperial TIE fighter to win the game.

We played our first game of Star Wars X-Wing last night, which my partner had bought me for Xmas.  My partner is not really a gamer in any shape or form, and straight-forward conflict games are not her thing (though saying that she will occasionally talk about her Scorpion mech pilot and her coffee making machine customization, so maybe after 17 years together something has rubbed off on her?).

So we did our usual split the game up with three players, where the third player is represented by our plush toy kittens, and we each take alternate turns to move the opposition, thereby not playing against each other directly.  This makes for an interesting game dynamic one turn you're running the third party I know what you're doing and what you will get to do this turn, but the next turn the tables are reversed.

By the time we watched the introductory videos on Fantasy Flight Games website, got all the pieces sorted (as in recognize the bits & pieces we had to organize) it took us about 90 minutes to play to the end of the game.  Most of this time was faffing as we worked through the moving and combat and special rules etc.  I really enjoyed myself and I think Susan did too.  She thought that the rule system would make for a great Battlestar Galactica fighter game too.  On reflection yes, but I think Battlestar Galactica would probably be best served by the new Star Wars Armada rules (caveat they're not out yet and I know nothing about them other than they represent fleet actions).

The kittens played Luke Skywalker in his X-wing, while me and Susan flew TIE fighters.  We lost to the plush toy kittens.  Not really surprising as we lost to them when we play Dalek Risk too.  In short a fun game.  The X-wing is a tough little cookie, but lumbers around while the TIE fighters are nimble, but fall apart if you look at them too hard.
 

17 comments:

  1. I love this whole toy kittens as opposition dynamic. I fully intend to use this in a wargame scenario, allowing myself and my usual opponent to masterfully take on the might of the 'plush-toy' imperial forces (and probably lose).

    (I normally lose to my teenage daughters anyway, so it's probably a foregone conclusion).

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    1. It makes for an enjoyable change to play like this as the whole psychological balance shifts. Thanks for posting in the spirit that was intended. Not everyone has my sense of humour about such things.

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  2. I think it's great as a fast-moving space fighter game (as far as I'm concerned it takes Wings of War/Glory and ruthlessly prunes out anything that isn't Fun Right Now), but to be honest I see much less appeal in a big-ship version of these mechanics. But that may be because I'm a Full Thrust fan from way back, and on that scale I like not only a bit more complexity but the ability to design and field my own ships on a level field with the "book" ones. (Which I'm gradually weaning myself off as I play more historical/real-world games.)

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    1. Historical real world spaceship games, surely not? ;-)

      What I also like about the game is the rule book; nicely laid out and easy to read.

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    2. Bah, you know what I mean. (Waves hands dismissively.)

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    3. The force is strong with this one.

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  3. Interesting idea about the alternate turns. I've recently been thinking about a cooperative space battle game - I've been playing a couple of games of Pandemic, a great cooperative boardgames, and was wondering if this could be translated to wargaming...

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  4. Xwing is a very solid and intuitive system that I suspect you'll both get some good use out of. If you buy every fighter for every faction plus the bug ships, it can be a bit overwhelming due to the sheer number of options so I'd recommend taking it slow on the expansions. If you like some ships that are in the "aces" double packs, get those over buying them individually as they do come with extra options not available in the singles packs. The same is true of the starter set minis (the boosters have extra stuff).

    I'm hoping to tweak some stats for Robotech as well for small figure count games in space as I think the mechanics work great for that. I've never tried the armada ship scale game but it doesn't sound compatible and its a fair bit pricier as well. We'll see if it is another runaway success for FFG like xwing is.

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    1. After playing this I thought wouldn't it be great if the Heavy Gear rules could be so intuitive.

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    2. PS: And my acquisition plans for X-Wing are first another core set for dice and standard fighters then other stuff as and when, but got to have freighter, the Millenium Falcon, Slave One, TIE Bomber, Tie Interceptor and Darth's TIE – in short all the ships from the original trilogy.

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  5. A second starter is a good idea as well ( I did the same thing) as you get more rulers and especially dice. You'll miss out on a few upgrade cards but you'll save some money and get the other needed stuff in return. Unless you're playing in a strict sponsored environment, you don't need the upgrade cards as plenty of online builders as well as the battlescribe program for phones and tablets have the info you need.

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    1. After reading the Tantive IV missions it looks like I need 6 standard TIEs, for the first scenario and more stuff than one can shake a big stick at for the rest of the missions.

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    2. There does seem to be quite a lot of "this specific upgrade card that will make your squadron INVINCIBLE is hidden away in a completely different ship pack that you otherwise have no use for". Anyone would think they wanted to sell more toys. :-)

      (Worked on me.)

      The canonical squadron design site seems to be http://xwing-builder.co.uk/ .

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    3. Thanks for the link, I've book marked it, and quite frankly all I want to do is play with the original films ships, but obviously I may be persuaded by others that take my fancy. But the point is basic ships with some named pilots, but restricted upgrades to avoid the super lists seems like the way to go.

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  6. Ironically, the list that has traditionally dominated games is rookie TIE spam with no upgrades and one special TIE character that buffs them all. If played by someone who knows how to maneuver the big block of fighters without them running into each other on accident, it's a pretty deadly list that usually makes it to the finals of most events.

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    1. That's good to know and it thematically fits with the source material. So the Imperials follow the "quantity has a quality all of its own," while the Rebels go for charismatic "hot-doggers."

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