Tiny Pilots

(Editor’s Note:  Not very long ago in a teeny, tiny galaxy very near…)

More specifically, about a year ago and right here in this town, my friend introduced me to the X-Wing miniatures game.  Long time readers know that I’ve been trying to get into miniatures for a couple of years.  I even went as far as taking a painting class to try to jump start the process.  It got me to purchase some of the models and even prime them.  Then, I got no farther.  Maybe this is finally the year that I branch out into the world of Hordes/War Machine.  I have been reading the magazine quite a lot lately.

I also finally purchased my own copy of the X-Wing miniatures game.  So, I am currently at the point in the process where I play prepainted miniatures and try to find the time to paint some of my own.  It remains to be seen if I ever take the next step, but I am anxious to do so.  We currently have nothing planned for the webpage and podcasts for August, so there’s a chance to motivate me to get the models ready for then.

While my friend had models from the original trilogy, the set that I ordered from Amazon because it was on sale has models from The Force Awakens.  That doesn’t make a difference unless I go crazy and decide that I want to collect the various models.  I don’t anticipate that happening because I’m a cheap ass gamer.

I was talking to Chris about the game and he texted me from one of the gaming stores, “They have Slave I!” There are a ton of ships for it, so maybe I won’t be able to keep that promise of not going crazy.

The reason that it doesn’t ultimately matter which set I got is that both sets come with the same types of ship models.  There are two tie fighters and one X-wing.  The box also comes with attack/defense dice, tokens, movement cards, and a rule book.  You know, everything you’d expect in the box.  It also has a learn to play book and a mission book.  The game is very noob friendly and has a ton right out of the box to keep you playing even without spending money on the expansion ships.  That’s good because those can get expensive.

Before we move on to the actual gameplay, I have a humorous (at least to me) story about my unboxing of the game.  I’ve already told you most of what’s in the box.  As I took each piece out, I gave it the obligatory “cool” or “neat” and the appropriate amount of attention.  Look over the models for a few minutes after putting the tokens off to the side.  Set aside the directions to read after inspecting the models.  Then, “Oh wait, what’s this?”  A book containing many of the other Fantasy Flight games?  That’s interesting.

Interesting?  I’ll say.  I spent more time thumbing through the catalog and mentally making a list than anything else, the instructions included.  I even texted Chris how excited I was to look through the catalog.  I felt like a poor kid going window shopping at Christmas.

It’s almost as if they include the catalog intentionally to get people to buy more games….nah!

Okay, so maybe the story wasn’t that humorous, but you have to admit that it’s a bit silly that I spent money on this game and the thing that excited me most was the prospect of spending more money.  Score one for the capitalist pigs!

Now, we’ve covered my background with the game and what’s in the box.  All we have left to discuss is the actual gameplay.  As mentioned, I don’t have extensive experience playing miniature games.  Therefore, I don’t have anything to directly compare to the experience.  However, I have read the rules to Hordes several times over, so I can more or less give an indirect comparison for those who have played those games.  That will hopefully give you enough information to decide if the game is for you.

It is my understanding that X-Wing is a simpler and more streamlined version of a miniature game.  I’m not sure how true that is becaues both Warhammer and Hordes have been working to simplify their rules.  Still, there are only 4 defined phases in X-Wing and each of them requires only one or maybe 2 actions to resolve.  Even when compared to an easier Hordes or Warhammer, X-Wing seems to be the more straight forward rules set.  I know that we were able to finish two games in a half an hour to 45 minutes.  I don’t think you can complete even one of those other games, let alone two in that time frame.  I’m not saying that’s good or bad.  I’m just trying to give an idea of what to expect.  If you only have time for a quick game, X-Wing is the obvious choice.

I mean, look at that battlefield. It would take a half an hour simply to get through the move phase of all those troops!

So, the games are quick.  But, are they fun?  Spoiler alert:  yes.  that spoiled conclusion should come as no surprise.  I liked the game enough to play it twice and then order it for myself and the boys.  Yes, this game is a ton of fun.

The strategy element comes in right from the beginning of the turn because you have to anticipate your opponent’s movement and try to plan accordingly.  Usually the first few turns are getting a feel for what the other player wants to do and use that to build your own plan.  It is a game of cat and mouse that captures the feeling of discovering an enemy and initiating battle very well.

Once the feeling out process is completed and you settle into the main game, it is time to put that hard earned intel to the test.  For the most part, I did well.  There were a couple of times, though, that I made the wrong move.  Being so new at the game, though, I can’t say which were mistakes on my part or whether my friend outmaneuvered me.  I’m going to play again with the boys and try to keep track of the games better and the next game report will be more complete.

Until then, rest assured that the game is quick.  It is fun.  It is easy to pick up and play.  It doesn’t require a huge time or money commitment simply to get all of the models set up.  In short, it is the perfect way to get started in the hobby or take a break from the more grindy games.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.