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