Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Star Wars: X-Wing First Look

Hello again dear readers, 

This weekend I went and hung out with some of the guys from Hitting On 3s. I watched @John_Laird and Blood Angels Ben play in a team tournament put on by Adeptus North Texas and hung around at  Gunslinger Games in Dallas. Also there at the team tournament was Chuck (@fantasticgam3s) from Big Mek's Garage

Most importantly you can hear me on the podcast with the HO3S boys HERE.

Alright so the plugs are done. On to my new gaming experience!

Thanks to a kindly gamer named Will there at Gunslinger I got to check out X-Wing from Fantasy Flight Games. It was just as slick as I have come to expect from FFG. This is a well put together game, from the components, to the accessories, to the models, and even the rules as far as I can tell. 

Below you can see the squadron I took for a test drive, two X-Wings and a Y-Wing. Each ship is represented by a pilot card, each of which has varying degrees of skill and points cost as well as different abilities and upgrade options. We played the recommended 100 points, I was able to get two named characters, a mook, and a proton torpedo and astromech for all my fighters, as well as an ion cannon for the Y-Wing. 

Here are the miniature ships, to a good scale I think, they also are quite good for pre painted minis. Though both of us being big Star Wars geeks immediately wanted to start painting them with custom squad markings or those from famous squadrons of a Galaxy Far, Far Away. 

You can also see the maneuver dials above the ships,some tokens and spare upgrade cards, those are just small sample of the boatload of cool components in this game.  

So you select a squad worth an agreed points cost, above are the three I was able to get. Here are the five TIE fighters will was able to get, including two named characters as well as Darth Vader in a TIE Advanced. It was rather intimidating. 

In addition to Will's sweet Gungan submarine shirt, you can see the flight stands that all the fighters come with. They have interchangeable stat cards that slot in telling you the most relevant combat stats at a glance. They also have numbers that can be placed on the stand if you are running more than one of the generic pilots. 

Alright, this next shot will show a lot of the components and let me explain the rules a bit. 

Here the two squadrons are closing in with each other. There is a lot going on, and it is all kept rather orderly with the shit ton of tokens provided with game.
First is the Planning Phase, where you use one of the maneuver dials to select which movement template you will use. Those can be seen to the right. So you can go left, right, and forward in 1,2,3, or 4 inch increments. You can also do an Immelman, or a barrel roll if your ship is capable. 

 So you then reveal your maneuver selections and move pilots in alternating order from lowest pilot skill to highest. After you move you can perform an action that is indicated on your card. Such as Focus, which allows the eyeball symbols on the dice to count as hits, or acquire a Target Lock (the crosses next to ships) which can be spent to launch ordinance or re-roll any number of attack dice. There are other actions as well granted by abilities or equipment. 

After this you go to the combat phase, which is done from highest pilot skill to lowest. You roll whatever number of red attack dice( of course special ones with symbols, it is FFG) against whatever number of green defense dice your opponent is entitled to. This is a pretty simple system, but there is a lot more too it once you realize just how important actions are to success in the next combat phase. Planning is key. 

Finally just to underscore that planning bit here is where we ended up the next turn. If you overlap bases when the ship comes to rest, the moving ship cannot make an action and neither ship may shoot at the one it is in base contact with. So this was a right clusterfuck. All the TIEs basically focused on my Y-Wing and blew it up, and then I got my X-Wings around behind them with Immelman turns and put a few more points of damage on Vader before we had to end the game. 

So all in all, I am now planning on picking this up, they are even releasing 4 new ships soon, so you will have the choice between X-Wings, Y-Wings, A-Wings, and the Millennium Falcon, on the Rebel side. And regular TIE fighters, Advanced and Interceptors, as well as the Slave I for the Imperials. 
I am sure there are more ships to come, give me an E-Wing or an XJ to fight TIE Defenders and Coral Skippers. 

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