If you’ve paid any attention to gaming sales numbers over the last couple of years, you’ll no doubt have realised that Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game is one of the hottest properties on the market.
This really is no surprise. It combines some extremely popular elements – the monolithic Star Wars franchise, exciting sci-fi dogfights, and a very good excuse to make PEW-PEW noises as you roll your dice. While it is relatively light on tokens, counters, and other items required to play the game; the game’s big downside is that it requires you to buy the game’s core box to get the few required templates and dice (custom-made for the game).
And then there are the expansions. While the base game only comes with a single X-Wing and a pair of TIE Fighters, there are currently 36 expansion packs available. Each pack adds a new ship to the game – from additional X-Wings and TIE Fighters, to other ships seen in the original movies, a couple that only appeared in books, and most recently the Ghost and Imperial Assault Carrier from Star Wars: Rebels.
The individually packaged ships allow you to easily customise your force to your liking. You could even build a list entirely out of ships piloted by the bounty hunters seen in The Empire Strikes Back (including Dengar). Yet, no matter which ships you pick, you still need access to the templates and tokens in the core box. That’s all fine and good, when the box isn’t sold out.
With the impending release of Star Wars Episode VII, Fantasy Flight Games are making the logical decision of expanding the game by releasing models for the ships seen in the movie. That’s not all. They’re also releasing a new core box… kinda. The box is essentially identical to the original, but with new ships and cards to go with them. While it seems a bit lacking, this is actually a pretty smart idea. Keeping them the same means people who own the original box don’t feel like they need to buy it. If they just want the ships, they can pick them up when they’re individually released (likely in the next month or two).
For those of us who didn’t jump in on the game the first time around, it’s a chance to get in on the ground floor (so to speak). The new set is 100% compatible with the existing ships. There are even details in the book for how to match up your forces from disparate time periods. Sure, it’s not historically accurate to have Luke Skywalker in Red 5 fighting beside Poe Dameron, but that’s okay. There are a few who will insist on only fielding and fighting accurate lists, but I suspect most will be happy as long as they can say “PEW-PEW” and roll some dice.
Does this mean I’m going to pick up a box and start playing? I’m not sure. I did try the game at Fantasy Flight’s Gen Con booth the year before the game first released, and it was fun. I’ve played one of the games that inspired it, back when it was just top-down images of WWI aircraft printed on cards.
It would be nice to get a Millennium Falcon.
Maybe I’ll wait to see if we’re getting a version based on the one in The Force Awakens.