This past weekend we played a game of Star Wars X-Wing by Fantasy Flight Games.
As far as games go, this one is tremendous fun. One thing I really love about it is that the complexity is quite low but it still offers great tactical challenge. You have to think several turns ahead, more so if you are the rebels. The game takes the standpoint, though misguided, that some how the Rebels are the “good guys” and thus the paragon of all that is right and true. They have better combat scores and better vehicles. Of course, being such an elite force they also cost more points. The Empire is depicted as a bunch of poorly trained and outfitted rabble, meant to be picked off anonymously. In spite of such a terrible crime, we realize that when life hands you such indignity, laugh it off and turn the tables. that is what we did.
In our game we had 3 Tie Fighters and one Advanced Tie vs. a Y-Wing and two X-Wings – one piloted by Luke Skywalker. Get this; we all know the kid was itching to join the academy and fight the rebels before he hooked up with that zealot “Old Ben” in Beggars Canyon. So, the game has the audacity to say seasoned academy graduates have a very low piloting score and this runt from Tochi Station somehow manages to be one of the BEST PILOTS IN THE GALAXY?!? Yeah, I know what you are saying! In-Sane!
OK, lets get past the obvious flaw in the game makers logic. We all know the Empire is the best so what do we do about it? Well, for one we have numbers. Quality vs. Quantity. As Stalin said once, Quantity has a Quality all of its own! On turn 1 our entire side lines up on the Y-Wing. The Y-Wing is both tough and it has an Ion Cannon. That cannon shoots 360 degrees and disables engines on what it hits. Sure enough when we finally got within range it spiked the engine on the Advanced Tie. Luckily our opponents had nothing lined up in subsequent turns to take it out. Meanwhile one Y-Wing is tough but it’s not able to take the attention of 3 Tie Fighters kinda tough. By turn 3 or 4 it went boom.
The Rebels got in their licks during this time and severely shot up the Advanced Tie and then blew up a regular Tie Fighter. Another Tie fighter was also shot up. Dancing in the sky, using barrel roles and high speed the Empire managed to divide the two remaining X-Wings. The one that wasn’t the “Moisture Farmer” was destroyed in detail which left a rather target rich environment for Luke. Then came a rather interesting turn of events. Luke aggressively got on the tail of the Advanced Tie. What you might not know is, if ships overlap in this game, you back then up along their tracks until they are just touching. Ships that are touching are considered so close they cannot combat each other. Luke managed to overlap the Advanced Tie for two turns which was all it took for the remaining Tie Fighters to line him up and smoke him.
3 Rebels shot down for 1 Tie Fighter. I’ll take that deal all day long!
One tip I would like to pass along is what I am using to store and transport these ships, counters and rules in. I am using a plano box system shown below. It is double sided so it has great capacity for future expansions. I don’t think I’ll get too many of the larger ships in it but I’ll deal with that problem when I have them. It also has a handle which makes it easy to transport.
If you don’t have this game and are on the fence about it, I have to say it is a blast to play. The figures are quite nice. The rules are clear and the system is designed to drain your bank account over a long period of time. Oh just wait. they have vehicles from at last 5 more movies to incorporate into the game. I for one can’t wait for Tri-Fighters and Jedi Starfighters.