Fantasy Flight released their new Start Wars star-fighter combat game a couple of weeks back. As someone who's been pretty disappointed with anything Star Wars for the last decade, it's nice when something of quality gets released with that name attached. I guess when you stamp Star Wars on enough products the law of averages would mean at least one of them would be good right?
I've always been drawn to the star-fighters and space battles in Star Wars over the woo-woo Jedi stuff. I like mystical laser sword wielding samurai as much as the next guy, but as far as I'm concerned the closer the story is to X-Wings, Wedge Antillies, and Han Solo the better. Well ,X-Wing Miniatures has all of those. Yes, yes and Luke and Vader if you're into that sort of thing. Personally I can't wait until I can get Baron Fel in his TIE\In. Is it late Q4 yet?
So the game is fighter scale very similar to games like Wings of War. From what I understand, it's a bit simpler. Each player has about 3-6 fighters on a 3'x3' board. Movement is simultaneously planed using maneuver dials, and movement is executed using templates. Each ship will get to move, perform a utility action, and make an attack during a turn. These actions are executed in order of pilot skill. Lower skilled pilots move first, and higher skilled pilots attack first.
Attack and defense rolls are made using custom d8's. The game is also heavy on the fiddly bits. Templates for moving, dials for maneuvers, damage cards, upgrade cards, ship cards, focus counters, evasion counters. They are all very high quality components(the game is published by Fantasy Flight), but I think they could have improved the game design so that so many weren't necessary. It may have helped cut down on the game cost a little.
The miniatures themselves are [9th Doctor Voice]FANTASTIC[/9th Doctor Voice]. Way better than the old micro-machines and the sculpts used in the WotC startship battles game from a few years ago. They went back to the old studio models from the original trilogy to get the proportions right. They are painted exceptionally well for pre-paints, and the materiel is a rigid plastic instead of the bendy stuff used for other pre-painted lines.
Cost is a little high. The starter comes with three ships(X-Wing and two TIEs) and the necessary aforementioned fiddly bits and costs $40. Each single ship blister cost another $15. The ships themselves do come with extra counters and upgrade cards beyond the base set. And each ship also has multiple stat cards so you can field an X-Wing with a generic pilot or a named pilot like Luke, Biggs, or Wedge. You'll have to buy at least 2 ships for each side to get the standard 100 point wings.
Currently there are only 4 ships in the game: X-Wing, Y-Wing, TIE, and TIE\Adv. Each with 5-6 pilot options. A second wave is on deck for later this year. It will include the A-Wing, TIE/In, Slave I, and Millenium Falcon. Whats cool about Slave I and the Falcon is that they are in scale with the fighters. This means the Falcon will be slightly larger than an iPhone.
It's a fun game that uses its license very well. You won't be able to play a game without quoting lines from the Death Star attack a least a dozen times. I have you now!