I originally dismissed X-Wing miniatures game as just one of those periodic Star Wars games to take a chunk out of my wallet. However, after reading some good reviews from my fellow gamers on WWPD and watching the tutorial videos on the website, I thought I would give it a shot.
The X Wing miniatures game has some of the characteristics of Wings of War and the list building found in many miniatures game. The core box set comes with two Tie Fighters and one X wing with a selection of Pilots such as Luke Skywalker. The X-Wing and Tie Fighter expansion packs come with additional Pilots not found in the core box. The named Pilots such as Luke, Wedge, Howlrunner, etc all have special abilities that increase their performance in game. I was pretty excited to get a game put together and made a quick 100 point list with the models. My kids volunteered as the game testers!
Idea of this first match was to have a fighter escort of a Lambda Class Shuttle carrying evil imperial diplomats from a clandestine meeting on the planet of Tatooine to an Imperial Star Destroyer in orbit. Both sides clocked out at 100 points. Mission is based on the description for a rebel escort in the main rule book. I used similar stats for the imperial shuttle where it has an agility of 2, armor rating of 6, and shields at 6. The rulebook recommended 6 shield points for a 100 point game. Personally, I think that might be too much.
Imperial forces (son) setup on the opposite side of the star destroyer and were broken into two groups.
Rebel forces (daughter) came in as one group.
The first turn movement was max on both sides. The Y Wing had a little trouble getting to max and suffers a critical marker for going too fast! On the second turn the two rookie pilots were able to trade some shots, but no damage.
The third turn on the fighters got into a scrap. The rebel player forgot the objective of the mission and concentrated on the enemy fighters. The shuttle continued its slow move to the Star Destroyer. The first hits were to a red squadron X wing and its shields were knocked down. The X Wings had a terrible time trying to even hit the Tie Fighters as they constantly rolled dice to allow them to evade or they were able to use their focus or evade action token.
Imperials got another lucky shot at the Red Squadron Pilot and caused a critical damage card “direct hit: 2 hull points of damage” The Y Wing was hit numerous times and its shields were brought down. The Imps even got damage on the Y Wing, but the trusty droid was able to repair the hull damage on a number of occassions.
After a few turns of combat we finally got the mechanisms down and were able to make the orders and attacks much more smoothly. The first few turns required a lot of consulting the rule book. Still a little unclear about actions and actions from upgrades. I think you can only do one per turn unless your pilot like Darth Vader can do per turn. The Focus action seems to be one of the better actions for the normal pilots as it allows the player to change a focus roll to a hit on the offensive or on the defensive the pilot can add another evade to the roll. Hence why the Tie Fighters were so hard to hit.
The X Wings were able to take the shields down on the Tie Advanced and then a critical hit on Howlrunner’s Tie reduced his skill down to ZERO. Skill affects turn sequence. For movement the lower skilled pilots go first. In combat the higher skilled pilots go first. I assume allowing the lower skilled pilots to go first gives the higher skilled pilots time to correct. Little confused here as I thought I read orders are done in the planning phase and movement actually done in the action phase. The shooting makes sense as you can knock a lowere level pilot before they get a chance to do some damage.
I watched the kids learn fast the understanding of proper planning of movement. They are use to more static encounters and not the dynamic movement seen with air/space combat. At first they were putting in orders to go odd directions. The Rebel player did lose concentration after the first hour and passed control over to me. The Shuttle was well over halfway to the Star Destroyer by then with full shields and hull. I immediately set orders for the a couple fighters to go after the shuttle while two other X Wings slowed down the Imperial fighters.
The imperial players seeing this change in strategy reacted immmediately and targeted the two ships I had allocated toward his shuttle. He was able to knock out the Red Squadron Pilot just before he was able to get a couple shots on the shuttle. The Y Wing kept taking hits and shrugging them off. They have 3 shield and 5 hull points. With the right astromech you can repair one hull damage per turn as the action. I was able to repair two points the whole game that way. The game ended with the Y Wing having only one point left.
Since I knew I wouldnt be able to catch up to the shuttle in time after the Red Squadron pilot was annihilated, I spent the rest of the game in the dog fight. I used the ION cannons on the Y Wing. They cause one damage and force the enemy ship to make no actions or manuevers the next turn. Can only go speed one. Wedge was able to knock out Mauler. End result of the game was one Tie and one X-Wing destroyed. The Imperial Shuttle manage to get safely to the Star Destroyer.
Overall, we enjoyed the game. My son talked about it for quite awhile. He won our first game of Saga and this one too. Game is not too difficult to learn as both my eight and ten year old picked it up pretty fast. I would say by the end of the night my son (10) was able to understand the maneuver element of this game very well and started to counter some of my moves. If you have played Check Your Six, you understand the concepts of dog fighting in this game too. There just isnt a vertical aspect about it. That would be the only downside of the game is that it is two dimensional.
Look forward to playing the next game. I have a space map from hotz Mats coming in. Might have to get one for Check Your Six at some point. One of the benefits of X Wing is that they are already painted. My Check Your Six aircraft are not painted yet and I hate to play with my unpainted miniatures. Will get more photos next time. Also need damage markers for the ships like I have seen on many CY6 games.