Sunday, July 21, 2013

Playing X-Wing

This really was on TV
I'm old. Old enough in this case to have seen Star Wars when it was released. Also old enough to see the Star Wars Christmas Special, Princess Leia in a bikini on Saturday Night Live, and musical stormtroopers singing and dancing on the Donny and Marie Show. From that perspective the present day well oiled multimedia empire of Star Wars just seems implacable, grim, and oddly enough, stodgy. For that reason any new Star Wars product triggers automatic disdain for me. It took some time for Neil in the Meeples and Miniatures podcast to convince me that the X-Wing Miniatures Game might be worth playing.

In a game of X-Wing a player controls one or more miniature ships in a space battle. The players can pilot familiar X-Wings, TIE fighters, and even the Millenium Falcon. For aficionados there are also A-Wings, TIE Advanced, TIE Interceptors, and quite a few other choices. Players choose maneuvers and a simple set of templates act as guides to move the ships around. There are also simple rules for shooting and dodging. If you're inclined you can add in rules for ace pilots, special weapons, and unique skills and abilities.

I've played about ten games of X-Wing by now. Most of them have been with my six year old son and his friends. Those games were pretty fun. The kids understand the game well enough and the play goes smoothly. As a bonus an alert adult can nudge the flow subtly to make sure that every young player miraculously gets to blow something up. It's an amazing coincidence that each child seems to manage to destroy exactly the same number of enemy ships!

I've also played a number of games with other adults. Those were quite a challenge, which is to say I got creamed in every game. Once I stopped slamming into asteroids I did have a good time playing and I was impressed by the game's capacity for tactics and thoughtful play.

On the whole I'm pretty pleased with X-Wing. It can be a fast game, it's suitable for younger players, and it's fun. There is a learning curve and with more play you certainly do become a better pilot. I have noticed that experienced tournament players can get quite intent on developing the ideal squadron but if that level of min-maxing is not your cup of tea it's easy to avoid. On a whole the game has been a good purchase and a lot of fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment