Star Wars: X-Wing – Second Edition Core Set

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Star Wars X-Wing Second Edition Core Set gives you the chance to pilot an Iconoic X-Wing starfighter as legendary Luke Skywalker in combat against two Dark Side TIE fighters. This great value starter set provides three fully painted and ready to go miniature space ships plus everything you need to play space combat games in the Star Wars universe : all the Rules, Range sticks, Maneo…
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Player Count: 2 Time: 30-45 Minutes Age: 14+

Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • A stunning looking game, with high-quality miniatures.
  • More factions, each with their own unique style and rules.
  • High replay-ability.
  • Upgrade packs for each faction allow all your old ships to be used.

Might Not Like

  • The cash outlay for more ships and a play mat may put people off.
  • Quite a lot of mechanics to grasp at first.
  • The huge change may annoy veteran players.
  • The app.
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Description

Star Wars X-Wing Second Edition Core Set gives you the chance to pilot an Iconoic X-Wing starfighter as legendary Luke Skywalker in combat against two Dark Side TIE fighters. This great value starter set provides three fully painted and ready to go miniature space ships plus everything you need to play space combat games in the Star Wars universe : all the Rules, Range sticks, Maneouvre Dials and Templates, Ship and Pilot cards, special Combat Dice and a whole host of tokens and markers.

This set will introduce you to the world of X-Wing space combat in which you can explore the effects of different Pilot skills and abilities and even the benefits of using The Force in tight, turn-based conflict.

Also if you wish to explore further there are many expansion sets available covering almost every ship that has flown in the Star Wars universe and all the pilots who flew them each with their own unique abilities.

Player Count: 2 Time: 30-45 Minutes Age: 14+

 

 

So, how do,

We start this review?

Why, with an opening crawl of course!

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….

Star Wars X-Wing Second Edition, Baby!

So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and not ponder over what has been, I’d rather we chat about what we have now. And if like myself and multitudes of others you fell in love X-Wing First Edition, believe me when I tell that you are about to do the same all over again; and if this is your first journey to a galaxy far far away via some bits of plastic and a collection of cardboard, well the same applies to you. Oh, but that means it’s actually the first time for you guys then, right?

Anyways, before we get down to the basic mechanics of the game for those of you who have never played before, lets first have a quick chat, for the benefit of X-Wing veterans, about why Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) felt it was time to reboot Star Wars X-Wing, and, what the changes will mean for you as X-wing vets.

What it boils down to is this (according to Andrew Navarro, head of studio for FFG) the design space for which the base game was designed was starting to break under the weight of the mechanical complexities, which became apparent once they started to add more and more ships and expansions. Which meant that for each new ship they added, it just felt like that they were just bolted on to the core experience with a vast amount of text and explanation to try to make each ship feel unique.

But all this did was to add more and more weight onto the original core experience so that it began to suffocate under the weight of all the extra mechanics and so became not so much fun. Whew!

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes!

And now to give the veterans a wee taste of what to expect in the new game, in no particular order:

New Mechanic – The Force!

This gives specific characters, those who have the force, and have a force rating represented on their card in purple. These characters are given force points to spend, which essentially boils down to having the ability to manipulate the outcome of either an attack or evade roll. Like a mini focus token if you will. And guess what? You can regenerate one token at the end of every round. Some characters can regenerate at other times.

Removal of Point Costs and Upgrade Slot cards – New X-Wing Squad Builder App!

This enables the designers to have the ability to tweak points costs live so as to keep new and old ships balanced and gives the game further longevity.

No more Push the Limit! Linked Action Concept! 

Some pilots now have an icon in their action bar which is represented by first a white Focus symbol with a small white arrow pointing to a red barrel roll icon. Which is essentially giving some ships which may have been lacking in abilities a mini push the limit ability. So, I lied, push the limit is kind of still in there!

360o rotating gun turret? Nope! – Gun Turret Indicator

In the First Edition some ships, for example the Millennium Falcon, had the ability to have no restriction of firing arc. This was a nightmare if you were ever up against at ship like this! And made the whole manoeuvring side of the game redundant. Now, you have to plan ahead as to which quadrant or quadrants you wish to aim at by using an action. Thank goodness! Oh, there’s a cool new cardboard indicator that goes on the base of your ship! Enjoy!

Upgrade to ships base design – Bullseye Arc! Zone indicators on the base! Icons!

Well that’s all kind of self-explanatory. The bullseye arc, not every ship has this ability, but many upgrade cards give you this ability. ‘Crackshot’ for example, allows you, if you are attacking and they are in your bullseye arc, to cancel an evade roll by the defender.

Barrel Roll! Well it’s still a Barrel roll!

However, it been slightly curtailed and is less of dramatic leap, especially on large based ships. The use of a middle line down the centre of the ‘1’ templates is used and although It does lessen the distance when rolling with small based ships, it does however balance the game more. When using for medium ships you turn the ‘1’ template on its side.

New yellow token? Charges! 

So, when using say torpedoes as one of your upgrade cards in the past, they were a one-shot deal and incredibly powerful. But once used the card was goosed! Now, although it may now be as powerful, you can now recharge your missiles and reuse depending on how many recharges it has Huzzah! Same goes for R2D2, recharge that droid!

Old ships no good? Wrong!

Good news, all your old ships are can be used, all you’ll need is an upgrade pack for your choice of Faction, Rebel etc.

One last titbit for the vets – S-Foils open and close!

That could actually be for vets and newbies! It’s really cool! Yup on certain models, the wings can open and close and will effect your attack value and manoeuvrability, depending on if they are open or closed.

Well, I reckon there’s enough in there to whet the appetite of most veterans. And to be honest, there is loads more cool stuff that’s been tweaked but I just don’t have room on here to tell you everything. So, let’s give the new players a wee taste of what’s in a game of X-Wing.

Newbies!

First off, you are going to love this game, but don’t let me cloud your judgement, get out there and try it for yourselves. X-Wing is played over a series of rounds and as a new player it is advisable to play the quick start rules then move on to the advanced stuff once you’ve mastered the simple stuff. What follows is a brief breakdown of a full player’s turn.

You have two players and they decide which faction they will be. If you have the basic core set that’s either Rebels or Empire. Mark out a game area on a table or floor which is 3X3 Foot and choose a side to play on. There are cool cardboard obstacles like asteroids which are in the box set and can be placed for added fun.

The player who has the lowest squad point chooses who goes first, otherwise randomly choose who goes first. Now start playing. And may the Force be with you…..

  • Phase 1: Planning Phase – Players choose manoeuvres covertly using a manoeuvre dial provided. Then place it face down next to that specific ship. This adds so much fun to the element of ‘Hmmmmm, I wonder if they are going to turn this way or that way…’
  • Phase 2: System Phase – Some ships have special abilities which allow them to use this phase. None if the ships in the core set utilise this phase. So, you can skip it!
  • Phase 3: Activation Phase – In this phase each of you ships activates one at a time in what’s called Initiative order, lowest first. Then Reveal dial. So the opposing player can see it and say Doh! Very loudly. Then Execute manoeuvre, using the appropriate manoeuvre template the ship moves the designated distance. And so Perform Action – each pilot has a choice of actions which either help for either attack or defence.
  • Phase 4: Engagement Phase – During this phase you get to blast them! I mean, you can engage an enemy ship within your firing arc and range of weapon Ships engage in Initiative order starting this time with the highest first. Once all have the chance to blast the enemy you then move to the final part of the turn.
  • Phase 5: The End Phase – During this phase all players remove any action tokens used in the play area and also flip over any tokens that are deemed recharged (you’ll find out about these later!). If both players still have at least one ship remaining play continues for another round to the next player and so to a new Planning Phase.
  • Winning the game – Both players check to see if there is a winner. If only one player has a ship remaining, guess what? They’ve won! Be hard to kind of miss that eh?

Use The Force!

So, there you have it folks, X-wing in a nutshell. And to be fair I really have skimmed over the surface of the rules like a T-65 over the surface of the Death Star! There really is so much more to this game of out-thinking and out-manoeuvring than my condensed introduction   can ever hope to explain. Suffice to say that if, as a young boy or girl, you longed to join Luke or Han up in the stars dog fighting the enemy and had a yearning to leap into the cockpit of a Y-Wing, or and X-wing or maybe even a Tie Fighter, I know for a fact that once you have your first taste of Star Wars  X-wing, you will feel yourself transported back to that time, I know I was.

And now that I’ve used Jedi mind tricks on you. It’s time for me to go over the Dark side and the Light side of the force….

Final Thoughts – Pros and Cons of X-Wing Second Edition

Cons first, just so we can finish on the good stuff. The main thing for me which will turn off a lot of players especially seasoned players who, like me, bought four of every ship as it came out on sale, is the cash outlay for more ships or even the Upgrade packs which, to be fair, aren’t that pricey considering, but it is still an outlay that could have been put to say a new faction, like The First Order. Also, there will be those that may have a problem with the game having to rely on an app for the points costs and upgrades.

And finally, the Pros, well again there is just so much I can put down here most of which I’ve already mentioned. I feel X-Wing Second Edition is far superior to the original mainly because of the balancing issues between the older ships and the newer ones, this is now no longer the case. Another bonus is in the older version you had to buy all the factions to try to get the upgrade cards you wanted so if you well collecting just Rebels you found yourself dipping into Empire ships for a specific card. This is now no longer the case, all cards relevant to say Rebels will now be released in Rebel only expansions! Huzzah!

Well that’s enough from yours truly, it’s time for me to get back in the cockpit and blast off to a desolate monster-infested planet known as my place of work, and try to learn the ways of the Force. I wonder if my Jedi mind tricks will work on my boss? ‘These aren’t the reports you’re looking for….’ ‘You don’t need to see my sick line….’

A New Hope

The 2nd Edition of Star Wars: X-Wing has been out for nearly 5 years now and is the version that anyone coming to it will be playing. The original review was written from the point of view of someone who had migrated from 1st Edition. I didn’t. Despite seeing the original film at the Chester Odeon when it first came out and being in love with all things Star Wars ever since, the 1st Edition passed me by. So I started with 2nd edition, this very core set and it blew me away!

You get to be Luke Skywalker in the iconic X-Wing fighting 2 x TIE fighters. The basic rules are easy to master and the gameplay is intriguing and the models are finely detailed and beautiful. They’re ready painted! Yes there’s no assembly either except for their two-part stands. The paint jobs are done to a very high standard and look fantastic. I buy a lot of miniature products, usually sets with masses of models in, and whilst I enjoy (sometimes) constructing and painting them, to get a set where it’s all ready to go straight out of the box is a delight.

The models are truly wonderful and collectible in their own right. By now Fantasy Flight Games have covered almost every small and medium sized ship from the Star Wars universe, all the ones you know and love and even some you may not remember. (For the truly huge ships you’ll have to go to Star Wars : Armada but that’s another story)

This can be seen as a drawback because once you’ve got the bug from this great value set you’ll want more and more. This can be a money pit, still you can’t take it with you! I’ve managed to build a sizeable collection from sales and end-of-line deals and, one tip, buying a second core set is the best deal in this galaxy or the next!

The Force Is Strong With This One

I’ll not rehearse the rules and how to play in this piece as it’s already been covered in the previous descriptions. Suffice to say that with the Star Wars: X-Wing – 2nd Edition Core Set and the Quickstart guide you can very quickly get to fight Tie-Fighters with your X-Wing. Later you will be able to add Luke Skywalker, himself, and use the Force! This is an ability that builds up round by round and allows you change die rolls.

One of the interesting things to look at with Aerial combat, or in this case Space combat, is how the rule writers handle the 3rd dimension. Well, in this case, they don’t! Combat is played out as if it were naval warfare on a flat ocean only in this case it’s black space. (Maybe that’s why there are X-Wings and Y-Wings but no Z-Wings – there’s no Z Dimension!). However, I’d say this doesn’t matter as there’s enough going on with the Initiative and Manoeuvre system as it is.

You all plot your moves in advance and reveal them together. This is where the fun lies in mentally grappling with not only where your ship will end up but where it will be in relation to everyone else. There are often a lot of surprises, good or otherwise when you think your nifty move will put you on the tail of an enemy only to find they’ve rolled away and are, in fact, behind you! The Initiative system of pilot’s abilities is good too. The lower numbers move first but then the higher numbers shoot first, to the potential devastating detriment of the less able.

The manoeuvre dials are a splendid mechanic. As well as their tactile functionality they enable ships performance to be easily differentiated: faster or slower with nimble agility or ponderous turns. I have one ship in my fleet the “Punishing One” with an asymmetric design, that turns faster to one side than the other.

The Action Cards, too, provide a fount of full-on flavour: introducing all the different characters, heroes and villains, humans and droids plus a vast variety of special abilities, weapons and ship functionality. Together with the dials these enable all the different ships and vessels to have their own distinguishing character and enable you to try endless variations in combat to see what works best against what.

There Is No Try!

Sorry to contradict you Master Yoda but with Star Wars: X-Wing – 2nd Edition Core Set there is! I urge anyone who loves Star Wars to give it a go you won’t regret it. It’s a modest outlay, although it could lead you on!

I notice the original reviewer only gave the artwork 3 out of 5. I’d put it at 5 stars! I don’t know what more you could expect. The graphical quality is excellent, totally in tune with Star Wars branding. The Action cards are of CCG quality with original artwork from the movies yet presenting all the information you need for gameplay in a clear, concise, graphical depiction. (Talking of art. If you were wondering about the play area in the picture I made it by painting a piece of plywood black, adding cut out, printed planets and sprinkled Talc for the star fields!)

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • A stunning looking game, with high-quality miniatures.
  • More factions, each with their own unique style and rules.
  • High replay-ability.
  • Upgrade packs for each faction allow all your old ships to be used.

Might not like

  • The cash outlay for more ships and a play mat may put people off.
  • Quite a lot of mechanics to grasp at first.
  • The huge change may annoy veteran players.
  • The app.