Saturday, 1 December 2012

X Wing

 If you saw my post from Warfare a couple of weeks back you'll know that I came back with a copy of the new X Wing miniatures game. Now I've always loved Star Wars (at least the "original" three movies) and I've had a collection of Micro Machines and other SW models stashed away with various plans for them that never came to fruition. Anyway, I liked what I read in the game and splurged on a  few more starter sets and some extra fighters (a TIE Advanced and a couple of Y Wings) - for the standard ship types - X Wings and TIES - it is FAR cheaper to buy them in the boxed sets as the models are retailing for about £11 each, plus of course you get extra sets of dice (which cost around a fiver for a set, and you really need at least 2 sets) manoeuvre templates, markers, etc.

Official minis with my a small part of my existing SW collection

So, this Wednesday the local Wings of War group met at my place, our regular meeting place at the Mall in Cribbs causeway being closed. And a few of the guys decided they'd like to give the new game a spin (its been slagged off by some WoW/WoG fans as being a "clone" of the WW1 and WW2 aerial game). So the biplanes stayed under the table this time, the starfighters came out and the room was suddenly full of Star Wars quotes, made all the more humorous when Laura burst in to moan about something and we realised she shared more than a few characteristics with Chewbacca (don't tell her!). We didn't think too much about the scenario as it was a training mission, and we didn't use the optional extras, so my poor Y Wing was rather undergunned and only narrowly survived the game as Chris' X Wing charged about fending off the attacking TIEs.

The verdict? - Excellent! Everyone wanted to play again and Chris is looking to pick up a few sets himself. On the "clone" issue, and as seasoned WoW/WoG players, we came down on the side of "not". Yes, there are similarities in packaging and basing, but then again there didn't appear to be any sensible alternatives. The game system itself is different and far better suited to the setting than I think a game based on WoW would be (I know there are some variants out there and they are good ones, but I think this works better). Movement actually feels a bit smoother than WoW, certainly easier to adjudicate and without some of those physics defying manoeuvres that WoW is famous for (although physics is hardly a pre-requisite for a good SF game). The combat system is great. At first reading it sounds like a handful with all sorts of modifiers to numbers of dice thrown, modifying results for this and that, but its really very effective and extremely quick to pick up. Good use of game-specific dice (they seem to be all the rage these days) and nice variation in the fighter stats depending in the pilot, a feature that WoW misses unless you get some of the optional extra ace skill cards. Oh, and the models are lovely. I hope they keep the standard up in later releases and don't end up with more "toy"ish models as the later WoW models tended towards. The only thing we felt it missed was a "tailing" rule. Aww well, something to think about for a house rule :)

Anyway, it was a big hit. We agreed that games need to be mission based (as WoW games) to give them focus, and what was needed were ships to escort or intercept, targets to recce, mines to clear etc. and as luck would have it I uncovered my old box of Micro Machines yesterday so we now have TIE bombers and interceptors, A and B Wings, Lambda Shuttles, the Millennium Falcon and Slave 1 (the official minis are delayed until February), and a rebel transport and Correllian Corvette (the latter is about a foot long and will be familiar to players of James Clay's Star Wars game from a decade or so back)

Micro Machines vs. Official. The quality of the latter shines through. But for games with younger or less dextrous players the bendy MM machines might be a better bet. Size wise - pretty good.

"The first transport is away!" Obvious scale issues here, but it'll do for now. Also the B Wing could be bigger, and I'm guessing the official model will be quite a beast!


  1. Great post. What is the origin of that GR-75 Medium Transport? Popular opinion is FFG will never release one so that looks like the next best thing.
    Hallmark released an amazing Lambda Shuttle that looks to be spot on in scale.

  2. I've enjoyed a couple of games with my boys but haven't had time to play recently. Now the holidays are coming up, I'll dig out the box and have another go.

    That transport looks fantastic!

  3. We also assumed it was going to be Wings of War with X Wings and bad Star Wars jokes but as you found it's actually quite a different game.

  4. The transport was from the MPC / Airfix "Battle of Hoth" set (which is also where the Falcon came from). Rare as hen's teeth now I think! I have a few Micro Maachines shuttles - they are too small but I'm thinking they'll make OK attack shuttles - got a couple of the F-Toys versions coming soon :)

  5. Looks awesome! I'm wondering what the Correllian Corvette was from?