x-wing minis

Board Game Resource Review – X-Wing Miniatures: The Force Awakens Core Set

In All, Reviews, Star Wars, X-Wing by Zach Hillegas4 Comments

X Wing Force Awakens Core Set Review

NOTE: X-Wing is a game that’s meant to be expanded upon. In this review, we’ll be covering both the core game, and what the game is like when you have additional content. Sections labeled “Core” talk about just the core set, and sections labeled “More”  will talk about the game as a whole with expansions. If a section is labeled “Core and more,” it means that it applies to the game as a whole, regardless of expansions or not.

There are two types of people in the world: People who have picked up X-Wing off of store shelves and coveted those little Star Was minis inside, and dirty stinking liars.

Okay, so maybe not everyone has lustfully stared at an X-Wing box, but chances are, if you’re an experienced tabletop gamer, you’ve probably seen this game, heard of it, and well, you’ve probably picked up the box at some point just to look at it (this also applies to Star Wars fans in general).

But what is the deal with X-Wing, anyway? Why is it so popular? Will I have to spend a fortune to keep playing it? What if I don’t care about tournaments and competitive play? Will it jump-start a powerful addiction that will someday require the intervention of friends and family? In this X-Wing review, we’ll answer all those questions and more.

Laid out
X-Wing is a tactical collectible miniatures game from Fantasy Flight Games, and probably the most well-known of their current (and excellent) lineup of powerhouse Star Wars games (X-Wing, Armada, and Imperial Assault). Released in 2012, the game has enjoyed an extremely successful existence so far, and has no indication of slowing down.

Currently, there are two core sets available: the original core set from 2012, and the newer, shinier 2015 version which, hey, is tied to The Force Awakens. This is the first board game tie-in  to the movie that will break every record known to man, so if you want something to turn your hype-meter up, look no further.

Gameplay

How do you play the game? Is it a fun experience? How much interaction is there between the players? Is there very much luck involved? Will it take forever to to learn and teach?

The X-Wing in this picture is going to do a U-Turn with the 4 template. The maneuver is red, indicating that this is a hard maneuver. The X-Wing will become "stressed" as a result, preventing him from taking an action. Meanwhile, the TIE underestimated his maneuver and ended up overlapping with his body. The TIE would have to move back to the closest possible spot, which is touching the other ship. Consequently, the TIE would lose his action too.

Depth

How much strategy is involved? Is there a sense of variety and balance? Does the game play well no matter how many players there are? How long does it take to play?

The range marker is used to determine if shots can hit. Both the TIEs fall into the X-Wing's firing arc. The X-Wing rolled two hits and a focus. Because he has a focus token, he can convert the focus die into a hit, totalling three. The TIE didn't roll any evades, and has no focus token so he can't cancel any of the damage with his dice. However, he took an evade token for his action, which allows him to cancel one hit. The attack does two damage - one regular hit, and one critical hit.

Look and Feel

Is the game aesthetically pleasing? Are the components made out of quality material, or do they feel cheap? Is the rulebook well-designed and easy to read? How well is theme integrated into the game?

closeup

Value

Is it a game you can play over and over? Are there expansions available for the game, and if so, are they necessary? Does the amount of the content in the box justify the price?

setup

Conclusion

X-Wing is a game that capitalizes perfectly on the Star Wars license, and gives an excellent tabletop representation of the space dogfighting that we know and love. While the core set provides plenty of fun, X-Wing is a game that is designed to be added on to. Unlike its sister game Imperial Assault which stands on its own without expansions, the X-Wing core set gives you just enough to want more. For casual fans who just want to experience X-Wing on a light level, the core set provides a nice game that can be replayed a decent amount, but even fans on a casual level might want to invest in just a little bit more for increased longevity.

The game itself plays very well, and is a wonderful exercise of tactical prowess. At 45 minutes to an hour, X-Wing can play itself very quickly, often prompting multiple games in one sessions. The game isn’t perfect, as it can tend to drag on as players are reduced to their last ships, and the dice can be unforgiving at times despite your best efforts. That being said, X-Wing’s strengths far exceed their weaknesses, and fans of tactical games will love the challange that the game provides.

box

For players who go all-in, X-Wing is an engrossing game with palpable strategy and tactical depth, with a brilliant component of squad building that encourages an evolving metagame with near infinite depth and potential. Although the game isn’t conventionally cheap, it’s an order of magnitude more affordable than most miniature games, and spending even just $100 can keep you busy for a long, long time. For players seeking a competitive game with a tournament scene, X-Wing is a viable option, and you’ll have a blast expanding your collection to make the best squads in the galaxy.

Overall, X-Wing is a fantastic experience on both a casual and competitive level, even if the core set only gives you the bare minimum. The core set itself can be a delight for casual players, but should you choose to expand the game, if even just a little, you’ll find yourself wanting to bring X-Wing back to the table over and over.

YOU WILL LIKE THIS GAME IF…

  • You enjoy Star Wars dogfighting
  • You enjoy tactical games
  • You enjoy squad/deck-building and optimization
  • You enjoy miniatures games
  • You like immersing yourself in an evolving metagame
  • You want a game with a ridiculous amount of extra content
  • You’re looking for new Star Wars toys to put on your shelf
  • You want a game that can be played in less than an hour
  • You’re looking for a game with a competitive scene

YOU WON’T LIKE THIS GAME IF…

  • You hate all things Star Wars
  • You don’t like elimination games
  • You dislike tactical games like Chess
  • If you don’t like buying expansions or add-ons
  • You don’t like having to build squads or decks before you start playing the game
  • You want a game that can be played with more than two players
  • You strongly dislike video games with day one DLC
  • You’re planning on dressing as Spock at The Force Awakens premiere just to spite people
About the Author

Zach Hillegas

Zach is an avid tabletop gamer, and he created Board Game Resource out of his love for the hobby, and his desire to see more people come into it. When he's not writing for or managing BGR, Zach might be hanging out with cats, hiking a mountain, or spending time with his lovely wife. Zach is currently studying for a degree in Business Management. Zach has also enjoys creating digital character art. You can check out his gallery here, or follow him on Instagram at @artworkbyzach!

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