Saturday, February 15, 2014

So You're Interested In X-Wing: Part 1

by SandWyrm

A lot of folks I run into are interested in X-Wing, but don't know much about it. So I thought that I'd write an article that describes the game generally, and hopefully answer some of the questions that I myself had before I bought in. Without getting lost in every little detail of the rules.

Let's dive in...

X-Wing is a starfighter combat game. There's some bigger ships like the Millennium Falcon and the soon-to-be-released Rebel Transport. But at its core, X-Wing is about combat between small one or two-man starfighters.

Generally, each side in a game will have between 3 and 8 ships in a standard 100 point match. Which is played inside a 3 foot by 3 foot area.

SandWyrm's Rebel Collection

There's just 2 factions in the game: Rebels & Imperials. The Rebels have all of the ships that you would expect, including the Falcon. Plus another smuggler ship (The HWK-290) that I believe is from the old Dark Forces computer game.

SandWyrm's Imperial Collection

The Imperials have 4 models of Tie Fighter. Plus Boba Fett's Slave-1, and the Imperial Shuttle.

Ships From The Upcoming "Wave 4" Release

So far, all of the ships except the HWK are from the original trilogy. But FFG recently announced 4 new fighters that are taken from the "Expanded Universe", which includes original trilogy era ships from the Star Wars video games, comics, etc.

As far as play goes... There are exceptions on both sides, but in general the Rebels are all about supporting one another with interlocking combos. While the Empire is all about individual pilot skill.  Note that the Empire has an easier time running large numbers of low-cost ships. But it's also perfectly capable of running elite 3-ship lists too. Vader + 2 Tie Interceptors being one example of this.

What Do You Need To Play?

To begin with, you'll need to plop down $40 for the starter set. If, for nothing else, because you'll need the dice and movement/shooting templates that you can only get in this set. Given that the 3 ships it comes with would be $45 if purchased individually, it's a good deal.

Then you'll need some booster packs. Which, for the small ships, are $15 each.

I generally prefer the Empire, but the Falcon model is what finally sold me on this game.

While the Falcon, Shuttle, and Slave-1 are $30 each.

As you can see, each pre-painted ship comes with all of the cards and counters that you need to play it in the game. These are hidden away in the back of the clam shell, so it's not immediately obvious, at first, how much stuff you're getting in addition to the model itself. The big ships (Falcon, Slave-1, Shuttle) also come with small rulebooks for the rules and missions that are specific to them. 

So to get started in the game, and collect a standard 100-point force, you'll need at least 1 starter set and 2-3 more ships. Which comes to around $70-85.

But This Game Is Sort Of CCG-ish, Isn't It?

Oh yes. Fantasy Flight Games definitely wants your money, and they've designed their products to sell. Obviously, any real Star Wars fan will want at least one of every ship anyway. But just in case you thought that you would concentrate only on Rebels or Empire, you'll quickly find that certain upgrade cards only come with certain ships. Encouraging us competitive types to collect both sides.

Not Out Yet, But TWS Wants $48 For Pre-Orders.

You'll also find that not all of the Tie and X-Wing pilots come with the starter set. So you'll need to buy at least one X-Wing blister to get Wedge, a Tie blister to get Howlrunner, and the upcoming Rebel Transport to get Porkins.

That makes your total long-term spend at least $225. My own collection so far, in the 2 pics above, would cost you about $360 if you paid full retail for them. Amazon and TheWarStore offer decent discounts, although (because of FFG's supply issues) these can vary wildly from one ship to another. Depending on the popularity of each.

Whether that seems expensive or not depends on the gamer. But the game's incremental costs are pretty low. Trying out a new force combo is just $15-30 away, and if I've got a twenty in my pocket on game night, I don't mind dropping picking up an extra ship. One new fighter can open up 2-3 new list possibilities quite easily, and I find my willingness to spend limited more by my FLGS's supply of models than anything else.

Which is a concern. FFG is having a REALLY hard time keeping up with the demand for X-Wing minis, and it can be frustrating when you want to buy ship X, but your FLGS is sold out of them. Even Amazon may only have a couple ships of any given type available at any one time. So if you come across a ship you've been wanting, you'd better buy it right there and then.

That's it for part 1. Next time, I'll go into what I like and don't like about the game. Plus some very general stuff about how it plays.

To Be Continued...


  1. Looks like my collection except I have yet to get a Y-wing and only have 1 bomber and interceptor. From your ship collection I would guess that you have 2 starter boxes also.

    1. Yeah, I went ahead and bought 2 starter boxes. My 7 year old got into playing with me, and so it was easier to get another set of templates and dice than swapping one set back and forth. Plus 2 more Ties and another X-Wing are always useful.

    2. I got both of mine on clearance at Target last summer for 20 each. Target had the base game but they should have gotten the ships also. They could have put them with the CCGs. I have gotten most of my ships either from amazon or barnes and noble. One gaming store I went into looking for little ships had zero. I think the inventories are better now.

  2. Just got into this game a few weeks ago on a lark. Really enjoying it so far and if you mostly shop amazon, the price, as you mentioned, isn't particularly steep.

  3. Great intro piece, bro. to weasel some money outta the Crazy Lady, after all my recent purchases?

  4. Hey Sandy!
    I managed to cop two starter sets today and I'm setting up now with my buddy Nascar!
    Can I hang out with the cool kidz naow?

    1. Sure. I think the cool kids hang out in the other room. We're just the kids in the back of the room.

    2. Lolz!
      Dude, Nascar and I played until like 3 AM with just the two starter sets. That game is seriously addicting.
      I dunno, at some point, things got foggy, and I already ordered expansion sets from The WarStore.
      They'll be here Wednesday.Tee-hee!
      I mean, umm..
      I blame you fer this.

    3. Blame accepted! Welcome to the cool-kids club!


out dang bot!

Recent Favorites

All-Time Favorites