Red Leader, Red Leader, Cheaper Leader

Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game

I really like X-Wing for recreating the star fighter conflicts from the Star Wars universe. It’s a fun game and one that can be played with a few ships or a fair few. I am sticking with the original rules, despite the fact that there is a new edition out now. The original boxed set comes with three models.

I wanted to get some reinforcements for both the Empire and the Rebel Alliance, but wanted to get some of the standard models, having already got specialist models such as the Millennium Falcon, B-Wings, A-Wings and fair few of the TIE specialist fighters.

So first on my list was the X-Wing. With a list price of £15, I have managed to get one on Amazon for £8.79, which I thought then was a bargain.

I had noticed that the original boxed set on Amazon was sometimes sold at a discount, but I don’t have the time to continually check Amazon for those price fluctuations.

Well just because you don’t have the time, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. I now use a service called Keepa which has an extension that can be installed on the Chrome browser. What Keepa does is keep track of prices of products on Amazon. This is useful if you want to see the history of prices for the product.. Has it been cheaper or expensive.

You can then trigger an e-mail alert when the price reaches a particular level.

Using Keepa I have managed to find the starter boxed set on Amazon for just £8.99, the list price is £36.99.

As the set contains an X-Wing fighter and two TIE fighters, that (for me) was amazing value. I also get an additional set of movement templates, counters and dice. So for the same price as a single model, I get three!

At the time of writing the price is £23.13, but it does go up and down.

Rebel Scum

Star Wars A Wing

Over Christmas I managed to get some reinforcements for the Rebel Alliance for the X Wing Miniatures game. Well I say reinforcements, I got a single starfighter, the A Wing.

I don’t have any A Wings, my current Rebel Alliance forces include X Wings, Y Wings, a B Wing and the U Wing. I also have the Millennium Falcon in reserve.

The RZ-1 A-wing interceptor was a wedge shaped starfighter manufactured by Kuat Systems Engineering, which took design inspiration from the Republic starfighters of the Clone Wars. They were used by the early rebellion against the Galactic Empire and the subsequent Rebel Alliance, seeing action during the Age of the Empire and the Galactic Civil War. It was still in use thirty years later during the conflict between the Resistance and the First Order.

It is a smaller craft compared to some of the other Rebel ships. As with other X Wing Miniatures you get a whole bunch of cards with the model as well as card tokens for use in the game.

AWing-components

The A Wing is supposed to be the fastest Rebel fighter, but there is a “5” speed limit in the game, which means it doesn’t go as fast as maybe it can in the films.

It will be interesting to see how it plays in a future game.

Cut the chatter, Red 2. Accelerate to attack speed!

In 1977 I queued around the market square in Cambridge to go and see this new film at the Victoria Cinema, which was called Star Wars.

There was something about that quiet start, the Lucasfilm logo, the text, “a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away” and then BANG, the John Williams main theme hits you right away.

I remember thinking what a wonderful film. I never really did Star Wars as others did at that time, I didn’t buy the action figures, but that memory of the lost droids, the princess, the massive ships, the little fighters and, no it’s not a moon…. has stayed with me.

Speed up to 2015 and the release of The Force Awakens, there was some trepidation (I had seen the three prequels) but that same style of beginning gave me a little shiver and reminded what it was like nearly forty years earlier!

I guess like a lot of people, even if you don’t think you are, I am pretty much a Star Wars fan!

So this year, after much thought, I did get the starter boxed set for the Fantasy Flight Games X-Wing Miniatures game.

Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game

It’s a great way to start playing the game, you get all the counters and three lovely pre-painted ships.

This has been out for a while now, originally released back in 2012, but I didn’t get it for nearly four years. Some of my hesitation was that I have always loved the simplicity of GZG’s Full Thrust and had once used the mechanics to create a Star Wars fighter version. I had used Full Thrust for games involving Star Trek ships and then the simple rules worked really well.

Another part of me was conscious of the cost of the game, the boxed set’s retail price was nearly £40 and the ships were all about £15. It felt like you needed to spend a lot of money for a decent game. Having said that I did quite like the idea of getting a game complete with painted models.

So I was pleased to receive the game as a present and started playing games with the single X-Wing and the two TIE fighters.

The first few games I had were with the quick play rules, which were easy to pick up, fast to play and fun.

Then it was time for the full rules, which were a lot easier and simpler to pick up than I thought they would be. The main difference was actions. This made the game much more strategic and required you to really plan what you were going to do.

Having enjoyed a few games with the full rules I decided it was time to get some more ships. What I found was that the models on Amazon were cheaper than other stores and of course with Amazon Prime they arrived the next day!

The first reinforcements I got were a B-Wing for the Rebel Alliance and a TIE Bomber for the Imperials. The packs were also rather misleading, as you get quite a bit in them. The B-Wing pack looks like this…

X- Wing Miniatures Game B-Wing

…but this is what you actually get inside.

X- Wing Miniatures Game B-Wing

There are lots of cards and punched card counters as well as the model and the base.

These were very different ships to those included in the starter set, slower, less manoeuvrable, however they packed a much heavier punch and could take a lot more damage than say the flimsy TIE Fighters.

I did pop into my local branch of Forbidden Planet and was not surprised to find the range there, somewhat limited, but virtually everything was full price, except the lowly TIE fighter which was on special, so I got another, to boost the Imperial forces.

Overall I really like the game, I like how you can keep it very simple, or you can add more complex elements such as actions, cards and asteroids! Looking to expand my forces with more models over 2017.

STAR WARS: Armada

Fantasy Flight Games have announced their new miniatures game of Tactical Fleet Battles in the Star Wars Galaxy.

Star Wars: Armada

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the upcoming release of Star Wars™: Armada, a two-player miniatures game of epic fleet battles in the Star Wars galaxy!

Massive Star Destroyers fly to battle against Rebel corvettes and frigates. Banks of turbolasers unleash torrential volleys of fire against squadrons of X-wings and TIEs. Engineering teams race to route additional power to failing shields. Laser blasts and explosions flare across the battlefield. Even a single ship can change the tide of battle.

In Star Wars: Armada, you assume the role of fleet admiral, serving with either the Imperial Navy or Rebel Alliance. You assemble your fleet and engage the enemy. Using the game’s unique maneuver tool, you steer your capital ships across the battlefield, even while squadrons of starfighters buzz around them. Then, as these ships exchange fire, it’s your job to issue the tactical commands that will decide the course of battle and, perhaps, the fate of the galaxy.

I always liked the ideas behind their Star Wars: X-Wing game (though to be honest I never actually went out and bought a copy Update I did go and buy a copy…). Many years ago I played many games of Star Trek starship combat using the Full Thrust rules and I did play a few games using Full Thrust and some MicroMachines Star Wars models. This new game has quite a lot that appeals, includng some really nice looking pre-painted models.

STAR WARS: Armada

I think though (and this also applies to the X-Wing game) that the bases on the models, though obviously useful in game terms, do detract from the models and I would suspect when playing, the look and feel of the game. However that is a minor point.

As with X-Wing, and as indicated on the press release, we will see more models as expansion packs.

Looks good.