There were a lot of overly-hyped new releases from game companies at GenCon this year, but no company had their hype machine humming quite as well as Fantasy Flight Games. While Netrunner had the honor of being the belle of the ball – selling out in about 15 minutes on opening day – X-Wing was the prize thoroughbred most had their money on before the big show. For this old miniatures wargamer, I’m not sure why it didn’t really grab my attention; maybe it was Star Wars burnout, or the thought of paying over $10 for a single miniature, or maybe it was just that Netrunner was too enticing. But now that I’ve actually played X-Wing I can safely say that FFG certainly has my attention now. And, soon, they’ll probably have a little bit more of my money, too.
In X-Wing, Fantasy Flight has distilled the essence of miniatures wargaming magnificently, providing a system of movement orders and tactical operations that is a breeze to grasp and put into practice. Issuing movement orders is done secretly and simultaneously and then revealed according to pilot initiative. This provides a solid simulation of dogfighting where you do your best to anticipate your opponent’s maneuvers. And gone are the old school rulers typically used to gauge movement distances in a minis game; instead, FFG provides punchboard templates that are placed at the front of the miniature’s base, just inside handy notches. FFG has also done a great job of providing customization and replayability, with an intuitive system of pilot, weapon and gadget upgrade cards that can be mixed and matched to a certain fleet “build point” total.
Overall, it’s a very satisfying system that breaths new life into what I often consider of late to be an underwhelming and over-saturated universe. And Steve Jackson Games, I hope you’re paying attention – The X-Wing system is very much what the new Car Wars should aspire to and surpass. I’ve got my finger on that particular money trigger – and it’s getting itchy.
Another fine DICE HATE ME REVIEW!