Star Wars X-Wing miniatures game: Game or display piece?

Posted: 2013/07/17 in Geek lounge, Tabletop games
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Anybody who’s into Star Wars should have heard of this game by now: Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures. The game is awesome on so many levels.

X-Wing miniatures game

This game is a “miniatures game.” Notice the lack of the word “collectible?” That’s because, as opposed to other miniature games such as WizKids’ heroclicks, the game isn’t about “collecting” but about “playing”. The wrong part of any product labelled “collectable” is that they aren’t really about collecting, but about trying to collect: you are supposed to purchase lots and lots of packs to find the one piece you are trying to acquire. Gotta catch’em all. Just like baseball cards. But we’re not talking cards here, but 1:270 scale ships. Extras do take up some room.

The X-Wing miniatures are awesome, very displayable, with even the translucid base to be exposed on shelves.

Anyone who likes Star Wars will enjoy the quality of the sculpts. They are prepainted in such a way that almost compete with collection-oriented pieces. While the scale itself isn’t all that big at 1:270, giving X-Wings at about 1 square inch, it still is realistically playable on a table. At that scale, the Millenium Falcon is about the size of your fist, and a Star Destroyer would still be about 10 ft long! But “small ships” are just big enough to be used in any Star Wars RPG styled game, or on your shelves in a diorama. They really look great as squads.

Something interesting about this specific set of miniatures, despite the scale, is that they are all made from LucasFilm’s blueprint – they are well detailed, precise, and ALL AT THE SAME SCALE, which is somewhat rare.

On the gameplay standpoint, the rules aren’t overly complex. It is playable 2-players with only a starter pack – which implies you can play without much initial investment. Like most gaming systems, the first game is a learning experience, but the learning curve isn’t too steep. The manufacturer suggest ages 14-and-up – correct for strategy-oriented games. There is a “basic” set of rules and predetermined scenario to try, and some advanced features to add. Once familiar with the rules, players will want to build their own squadrons for more personalized scenarios, which gets this game very interesting.

Sadly, with “just” the starter pack (which includes 2 tie fighters, one x-wings and a couple pilots cards for each ships) the options aren’t very diverse. That’s where the expansion kicks in. Bigger ships such as the Falcon or a Firespray (Fett’s Slave-1) come in expansion packs, so does A-Wings and other ships. Each expansion not only have the fancy miniature, but also scenarios, tokens, pilots and expansion cards.

What’s interesting both on a playing side and a collecting or displaying side is that you don’t have to chase down that ship you want, you can just purchase the expansion directly.

To conclude, the Star Wars X-Wing miniature game by Fantasy Flight Games is a great game to play, but also to use in other Star Wars RPG scenarios or for display purpose on shelves or display cases; directly off the box or repainted by crafty geeks out there. Any Star Wars geeks might want to look it out.

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  1. Beau Preston says:

    I’m not sure if you listen to them, but on the Forcecast (a Star Wars podcast) they have gaming edition. Now I’ve never played this game before, but after listening to the hosts of the show talk about it for half an hour I’m hooked. I’m going to America at the end of the year so I’ll probably end up buying just a bout all the ships while I’m there. That is assuming I don’t spend too much on Star Wars lego…. Curse American and its cheap prices!!

    • wereallgeeks says:

      Thanks for the comment!

      The ForceCast and their “Sabacc table” gaming edition podcast are interesting for sure. The Sabacc Table is still very new, but should become a major player in Star Wars fandom for everything game-oriented.

      They stated the miniatures to be cheaper on Amazon, perhaps an alternative to purchasing in North American soil?

      The whole series of miniatures really are good looking, more than usual collectible miniature games; it shows the creators are fans. With luck there are going to be many waved of new models to display / play with!

      • Beau Preston says:

        Yeah the ‘Sabacc’ table is sounding alright, already I’ve learnt heaps about Star Wars gaming that I never knew existed.

        Amazon is usually alright but a lot things don’t ship to Australia, at least lego and action figures don’t…

        I use to collect ‘Warhammer 40k’ and the ‘the Lord of the Rings Miniatures’ but I fell out of the hobby because it got so expensive. Plus I ended up with a bunch of unpainted models so already this game is looking far more appealing.

        • wereallgeeks says:

          Something interesting about “prepainted” miniatures is that the fleet (or army) can be quickly assembled, even after purchasing new units, while unpainted figures add the whole paint job anytime an addition is made. Painting miniatures really is an art, and some people excel at it. But its not a gift everyone have.
          Good thing with prepainted: repainting is not prohibited, customization/personalization is still possible. Just not mandatory. Non-artsy players can still have good looking units.

          Being outside of the “target geographic area” can be a hobby-killer. Hopefully the way the game is made won’t lead to it being too much of a repetitive money pit. The price point seems to take that into consideration for FFG & LFL to monetize appropriately on the franchise, without forcing short purchase cycles.
          Expansions on top of expansions really can kill a game – it happened before. Dragon Dice is a good example of repetitive expansion ending up in killing the original game concept. If you never heard of it, that’s why 😉

  2. wereallgeeks says:

    Here’s a youtube video of how the game plays