A look at the X-Wing Miniatures Game from Fantasy Flight

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Today, Fantasy Flight Games released some images and info of what you can expect when you crack open that new X-Wing Miniatures Game, which will be available at GenCon 2012 in Indianapolis. The first ever tournament for the game will also be held there and you can bet the GDN crew, who played 2.5 hours of demo (and summed it up as "Holy awesomeness!") at GenCon 2011, will be involved. 

range, targeting, dice, etc from X-wing

First up we get a look at some of the finalized ship models including the TIE fighter and the X-wing. The boxed edition will have two of the first and one of the second but there will be boosters for other ships like Y-wings and TIE Interceptors.

There will also be pilots available to the players who will bring their own specializations to the battles and help tip the scales in their favor.

Deploy the Fleet

As X-wings and TIE fighters engage, players guide their fighters through a quick series of three main phases: Planning, Maneuver, and Combat.

Planning Phase

Each starfighter in X-Wing has its own maneuver dial that lists each of the different possible maneuvers it can perform. Meanwhile, each maneuver consists of three elements: bearing, speed, and difficulty.

The maneuver dial’s arrow indicates the bearing. Starfighters can dart through space along as many as six different bearings.

which way to go in X-wing?

The number on the maneuver dial indicates the starfighter’s maneuver speed. The higher the speed, the farther the fighter will travel during its activation phase.

When you start playing, you’ll find that X-wings and TIE fighters maneuver differently, and don’t share all the same combinations of speeds and bearings. Part of the game experience is learning how to take advantage of each ship’s unique set of possible maneuvers.how the ships move

The final component of a maneuver is its difficulty, which is indicated by the arrow’s color. A standard maneuver is white, an easy maneuver is green, and a difficult maneuver is red.

Difficult maneuvers may allow your pilots to slip out of their enemies’ firing range, or catch an unsuspecting enemy squarely in their point-blank firing range. However, these tricky maneuvers also stress your fighters, and a pilot whose fighter suffers stress can’t take actions during the activation phase. (You can read more about pilot actions in the section on the activation phase, below.)

In the planning phase, the players select one maneuver for each of their starfighters, turning the maneuver dial until the selected maneuver is revealed in the dial’s window. The dials are then turned facedown until they are revealed during the activation phase.

Activation Phase

After players have planned their maneuvers for the turn, they activate their starfighters in order corresponding to their pilots’ ascending level of skill.

the order of skills in X-wing
The Imperial player first activates his TIE fighter piloted by the skill 3 Obsidian Squadron Pilot. Next, the Rebel player moves Biggs Darklighter along his predetermined maneuver track. Finally, as the pilot with the highest skill, Mauler Mithel performs his maneuver last.

Starting with the pilot with the lowest skill, each starfighter’s maneuver dial is revealed, and its owner moves the starfighter along the corresponding maneuver track.

Once the ship has completed its movement, its pilot can take an action. Each pilot’s card indicates a specific set of actions he can perform. Some starfighters are capable of sharp turns that allow them to evade incoming fire. Some can take their enemies by surprise by performing dramatic barrel rolls. Some have targeting arrays that allow them to acquire a target lock on an enemy fighter. Most pilots are capable of focusing on the combat, improving their reactions and boosting either their attack or defense rolls, and some of the most skillful pilots can select upgrades that allow them even further options for their actions.

A lone TIE fighter performs a sharp right turn at 3 speed.

Combat Phase

Starfighters set their movement, fly along their courses, and take their actions. Then, in the Combat Phase, weapons blast back and forth. Pilots try to blast through their enemies’ hulls, even as they attempt to elude incoming fire. Glancing hits may lower a fighter’s shields or cause structural damage, and direct hits may cause even further complications, stunning pilots, or causing system malfunctions.

In the Combat Phase, pilots can fire at any foes within range and within their firing arcs, starting with the pilot with the highest skill, then continuing in descending order.

Taking Aim

Each time a pilot fires one of his starfighter’s weapons, its owner rolls a number of red dice equal to the weapon’s attack value and modified by range. The attacker counts the number of hits, and the defending pilot tries to escape the barrage by rolling a number of green dice equal to his fighter’s agility value. Each successful evasion result reduces the number of hits by one.


The Core Set comes with three red attack dice and three green defense dice. Each of these eight-sided dice features several custom icons.

X-Wing Dice Iconography - potential hit (top left), evasion (top right), critical hit (bottom left), focus (barely visible far right)

Hitting the Target

Some starfighters have deflector shields. They start with a number of shield tokens equal to their shield rating and discard a shield token each time they’re hit, negating that hit. However, once a ship has no shields, each point of damage is tracked with a damage card. Once a ship suffers a number of damage equal to its hull rating, the ship is destroyed.

The Obsidian Squadron Pilot’s TIE fighter has a hull rating of three (circled in red) and two damage cards. The next point of damage will destroy his TIE. Meanwhile, the Obsidian Squadron Pilot’s TIE fighter also suffered a critical hit (see below) that damaged his sensor array. Accordingly, he can no longer focus, barrel roll, or evade!

Critical Hits

Normally, when a ship suffers damage, it tracks the damage with a facedown damage card. However, when a ship suffers a critical hit, the damage card is placed next to the ship card faceup. While all damage a starfighter suffers reduces the integrity of its hull, critical hits may also stun pilots, start console fires, or cause weapon malfunctions. Critical hits add excitement and realism to the damage your starfighters suffer, forcing your pilots to deal with new challenges even as they try to outmaneuver their foes!

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