Buckle up pilot, it’s time to dog fight in a Galaxy far, far away. Star Wars X-Wing is back with a second edition to the tactical space combat game.
Playing Time: 30-45 Minutes
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
X-Wing Second Edition puts you in control of your own squadron of starfighters to engage in tactical space combat. Following in the footsteps of the first edition, the second edition looks to refine the intuitive and exciting core formula of maneuvering your ships into position by placing a central focus on the visceral thrill of flying starships in the Star Wars galaxy.
How do you play?
First let’s talk about the setup and then we will get on to what you do during a turn.
The first thing you’ll need to do is make some space, the book recommends 3ft x 3ft clear playing area – enough room to pull off your amazing piloting skills no doubt!
Then you want to get all the bits and bobs like die, damage deck, maneuver templates and range rulers neatly organised somewhere within reach.
Put asteroids and debris in the playing area, no less than 1 away from each other and range 2 from the edge of the play area. Players take turns placing all 6 obstacles.
Place the Academy Pilot and Black Squadron Ace ship cards and both TIE/In Fighter dials on the imperial side, then the same but for the Rebel ship, dials etc… Then place your ships near each edge of your starting side – within 1 range.
Now you’re setup and ready to start playing, how do you actually play?
There are three main phases which I will run through briefly to give you and idea, but remember that there are lots more advanced rules within the main books.
The first phase is planning – Each player secretly chooses a maneuver for their ships to determine where that ship will move – do this by rotating the ships dial to the chosen move. Then put that dial face down next to your ship in the play area. White and blue moves are more basic whereas the red moves are considered more advanced.
Next is the Activation Phase – The ship that has the lowest initiative goes first – indicated on the ships card. Then using the move templates that correspond to your move, place them at the front of your ship, and move you ship to the other end of the template.
Once a ship has performed its move you can perform an additional action such as, Focus, Evade, Barrel Roll and Lock, these are all considered to be more advanced moves so if you’re just starting out, it’s recommended to not get stuck in to that just yet, but they’re all well explained within the main rule book and quickstart rules.
Finally you have the Engagement Phase – this time it’s the ship with the highest initiative going first and getting to perform an attack. First you need to determine whether there are any enemies within range using the range ruler. If they are, then the attacker roles dices equal to their chosen ships attack value and the defender rolls dice equal to the defense value.
Each squiggly line – you’ll know it when you see it, is an evade symbol and negates a hit. Based on the results you’ll dish out the damage.
Your ship might have some shields to help block some of the Hull damage and if so you flip the shield token over to show it now being inactive. Otherwise you take a damage card and place it face down next to the ships card. Once you have damage cards equaling the Hull value your ship is destroyed.
That is it! It’s a fairly simple game to pick up, but there is lots of depth to the gameplay – which only increases the more ships you start to add to your collection – which cost extra obviously.
How is it?
I didn’t actually play the first X-Wing, although we reviewed it, it was Murr and another friend who ended up playing it, so I can’t really say whether it’s better or worse, but what I can say is that I like the combat, the gameplay is pretty fast paced – as long as players don’t spend too long thinking about what they’re doing.
The models are well designed with a lot of detail packed in to them and they all feel good quality, although the X-Wing itself feels like it’s extremities are a little flimsy – probably because they’re so thin and stick out a lot.
The rest of the game has a similar level of quality to it as well with that cards and templates feeling robust and good quality.
My main issue with the game is that it’s expensive to invest in, just like many other games that revolve around these tactical mini fights. There are a lot of great looking ships that you can buy all with their own special abilities and play styles, but they can set you back a minimum of £20 just for one ship in a lot of cases.
I’m not sure how much fun it would be playing with the same starter set over and over so it almost feels like expanding is a necessity which I’m not a huge fan of.
Star Wars X-Wing Second Edition is a good game, is it better than the first? I don’t know and I’ve tried to not really compare it to that on purpose because I wanted to review it as it’s own product (and I didn’t play the first). But I enjoyed X-Wing and it’s easy to learn rules that offer a lot of depth to it’s play, my only real main concern is around adding more models to your set and how much that might set you back.