Tabletop Game: X-Wing Miniatures
A miniatures game by Fantasy Flight Games
based on Star Wars
and inspired by the star fighter battles within. The game is focused on the Galactic Civil War of the original trilogy and features most of the fighters from the films and many of the fighters from various other sources
, including comics and video games.
There were originally two factions, the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire. While all types of ships are on both sides, Rebel ships tend to be tough, but with high point costs, while Imperial ships tend to cost few point, but are expendable. Wave 6 introduces a third faction, Scum and Villainy, based on various third-party characters and factions from the Galactic Civil War era, including a few characters already in the game, including Boba Fett and Kath Scarlett, both of whom were originally added as Empire aligned pilots of the Firespray-31, as well as a few ships recycled from the Rebels, including the Y-Wing and HWK-290.
The game is very streamlined with every ship using a series of templates for movement and shooting as well as using specially designed dice for determining shooting results. This simplifies the game considerably and means that the game takes minutes to learn, but much longer to master. The core set comes with an X-Wing, two TIE Fighters and everything else needed to play a small two-player game.
WizKids licensed the X-Wing Miniatures system from Fantasy Flight to make a version of it based on Star Trek
called Star Trek Attack Wing.
This game exhibits the following tropes:
- 2-D Space: As a tabletop game, this is to be expected. However, the flavor text describes ships that "collide" in 2-D space as dodging each other on the Z-axis, thereby avoiding any actual damage (with a few exceptions).
- Ace Pilot: Numerous. Every ship has at least two named pilots, each boasting a higher Pilot Skill value than the generics and a unique pilot ability.
- Action Initiative: Pilot Skill determines which ships move first and shoot last. Ships with a lower Pilot Skill move first (much like Leeroy Jenkins), and ships with a higher Pilot Skill shoot first (and thus have the potential to destroy lower Pilot Skill ships before they get a chance to return fire).
- Asteroid Thicket: The game features a set of six asteroid obstacles, each placed on the board in turns by the players. Flying into one of them during the game is ruinous.
- Awesome but Impractical: Most ordnance secondary weapons hit hard and have devastating effects. However, their point cost, exhaustibility, and the setup required to use them in actual combat make them highly impractical to use in competitive play. Fantasy Flight games has gradually gotten a bit better at making effective ordnance weapons, but they still struggle.
- The E-wing is almost as maneuverable as an interceptor, packs a hefty punch, and can use the incredibly powerful systems upgrades. However, they're also very expensive, and as a result, the generic pilots are almost never seen.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Official tournament rules prevent players from pre-measuring their maneuvers. To get great at this game, players need to learn how to judge maneuver distances at a glance.
- Boring but Practical: The TIE Swarm list. The most popular variant is Howlrunner equipped with Swarm Tactics and accompanied by as many Academy Pilots as can fit under the points limit, but other variants include every named TIE and mixing all three types of generic TIE in varying amounts.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: Mostly averted as expansion packs are non-randomized and a full 100 point tournament list can be as few as two ships. However, some squad builds require upgrades that only come with specific ships that may not see use or are hard to find. For example, players who wish to field C-3PO or the crew member version of R2-D2 (two of the best defensive upgrades in the game) are required to buy the Tantive IV expansion pack - a Huge ship that is illegal in most tournaments and boasts an MSRP of $90.
- Cast from Hit Points: When Darth Vader is taken as a Crew upgrade, the ship he is in can take two points of damage to deal a critical hit to the ship that was just attacked.
- Moff Jerjerrod can toss crew members (including himself) out the airlock to negate a critical hit.
- Canon Foreigner: The Imperial Raider was designed in collaboration between Lucasfilm and Fantasy Flight Games as an original ship for this game to give the Empire a Huge ship that could compete in the game on the scale of the other ships (that is, a ship that was big, but not as ridiculously big as a Star Destroyer).
- Cool Starship: Imagine that.
- Confusion Fu: TIE Phantoms can "decloak" in three different directions (thus changing their start positions before maneuvering), creating a guessing game for their opponents. Ships that can take the Boost and Barrel Roll action can also reposition themselves after maneuvering. High Pilot Skill ships in particular can take advantage of this to choose a final position for the turn on the fly after every other ship has finished maneuvering.
- Tie interceptors and A-wing pilot Tycho Chelchu specialize in this. An interceptor can have a whopping 27 different potential positions after it has moved if it is equipped with the Push the Limit upgrade. Tycho Chelchu, on the other hand, can combine the Daredevil and Push the Limit upgrades to achieve 19 different potential positions with his actions, but can achieve a much wider range of orientations thanks to the extra 90 degree turn from daredevil.
- Critical Hit Class: Several ship pilots and upgrades boast an increased ability to score critical hits:
- The E-Wing pilot Etahn A'baht can convert any one regular hit roll into a critical hit, both for himself and his allies.
- The Decimator pilot Rear Admiral Chiraneau can convert a single "focus" die result into a critical hit, both bolstering his attack accuracy and making each attack hurt more.
- Any ship with a cannon upgrade slot can equip the "Mangler" cannon, which converts any one regular hit roll into a critical hit.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts: Any ship cheap enough to fly in a swarm of 5 or more (most notably the TIE Fighter and Z-95 Headhunter) only has 2 attack dice (compared to the usual 3) and few options to make those dice more likely to roll hits. However, since they are cheap enough to field en-masse, it's possible to get a total of 8 attacks per round. Thus, swarms are highly effective against low agility ships with a limited number of attacks (like the Millennium Falcon), and even against high agility ships one of those attacks is bound to hit eventually.
- Difficult but Awesome: The Lambda-class Shuttle is the most difficult ship to fly in the game by far, but offers amazing stats for its price and can host some of the most powerful upgrades in the game.
- The Engineer: Several droids (and most notably, R2-D2) have the ability to repair damage or restore shields to their ships in the middle of combat.
- Extra Turn: The E-Wing's most elite pilot, Corran Horn, can attack a second time after everyone else has shot - however, he must sacrifice his next turn of attacks to do so.
- Faction Calculus
- The Rebel Alliance is the Powerhouse faction, featuring well-shielded ships that fly best in small formations.
- The Galactic Empire is the Subversive faction, with the bulk of its ships being cheap, fast assault craft.
- The Scum and Villainy faction doesn't slot easily into Faction Calculus. Stat-wise, most of its ships are somewhere between the Rebel and Empire ships, but mechanically the Scum and Villainy ships feature much more subversive maneuvers and equipment than the other two factions.
- Glass Cannon: The TIE Phantom has the highest primary attack value in the game, at a stunning 4 attack. However, it only has 2 Hull, 2 Shields, and 2 Agility - compared to other ships of the same value, it is remarkably fragile. Most Phantoms take advantage of cloaking to augment the Phantom's poor agility value.
- High-Speed Missile Dodge: It is possible for a high agility ship to completely avoid damage from a missile or torpedo. It is also possible for a low agility ship to dodge the same if the attacker rolls nothing but blanks.
- Jack of All Stats: The X-Wing and TIE Advanced.
- Master of None: Ace pilots aside, the X-Wing and TIE Advanced are considered some of the least effective ships in the game for their cost.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Firespray-31 (made famous by the Slave 1) and the YT-2400 boast some of the strongest weapons in the game and have 10 hit points to chew through, bolstered by 2 Agility. The YT-2400 pilot Dash Rendar in particular has a habit of easily getting to places no other pilot can reach.
- Because a ships base is part of it's movement, all large ships become Lightning Bruisers with the engine upgrade. This is particularly important for the Lambda shuttle, as otherwise the ship boasts a very poor turning ability.
- Luck Manipulation Mechanic: The two default mechanics for direct dice manipulation are Focus (spend a Focus token to convert all "eye" dice results to a hit or evade result) and Target Lock (spend the Target Lock to reroll any number of attack dice, so long as your ship is firing at the locked-on ship). Some upgrades and pilot abilities also offer a more limited option to alter dice results.
- Obvious Rule Patch: When the YT-2400 came out, it was the first Large ship with a native Barrel Roll action. Fantasy Flight Games updated the Barrel Roll rules to nerf the positioning options of Large ships.
- Fantasy Flight Games prefers to update its weaker ships with more powerful options than to nerf existing gameplay options. Examples include the Chardaan Refit upgrade for the A-Wing (which lets it ditch the missile upgrade slot to save 2 points to spend on other stuff) and the TIE/x1 title upgrade for the TIE Advanced, which lets it equip any systems upgrade with a discount of up to 4 points.
- Old-School Dogfighting: Every ship (except the Lambda-class Shuttle and Scum ships with Inertial Dampeners) must move forward during each turn, creating a Space Is Air simulation - just like in the movies!
- Power Copying: The IG-88 pilots have the option to share their pilot abilities with each other.
- Power Creep: Averted - Wave 1 ships and upgrades are just as relevant to the game as Wave 6 ships and upgrades, and if an older ship falls behind in the metagame, Fantasy Flight Games will most likely release new upgrades and pilots for that ship to make it relevant again.
- Quantity vs. Quality: In standard tournament rules, players are given 100 points to spend to build their squad. They may spend those on cheap, disposable ships, beefy large ships with lots of upgrades, or a mixture of the two.
- Ramming Always Works: Technically, ships that "collide" with each other are considered to be dodging each other in 3D space. The near-miss between the two ships means that neither can fire upon the other. However…
- The A-Wing pilot Arvel Crynyd (best known as the pilot who crashed into the bridge of the Super Star Destroyer Executor, thus disabling and ultimately destroying it) can shoot enemies he collides with. This encourages players to fly him straight into enemy ships as frequently as possible.
- The Decimator boasts a number of abilities that hamper ships touching it. The pilot Captain Oicunn specializes in ramming, since he deals unavoidable damage to any ship he collides with.
- Spam Attack: Ships with the Gunner crew member or Luke Skywalker on board can make a second attack if the first attack misses. IG-88 B can also perform a similar attack with an equipped cannon weapon, and can share that ability with every other version of him in your squad
- Stealth in Space: The TIE Phantom.
- Support Party Member: the Lambda-class Shuttle and the HWK-290.
- Zerg Rush: The TIE Fighter and Z-95 Headhunter are cheap enough to field in swarms of 8, letting their pilots use a Death of a Thousand Cuts approach or simply spread their firing arcs in as many directions as possible.