Saturday, September 14, 2013

X-Wing vs Tie Fighter Batrep

I'd managed to avoid picking this up for a very long time but I saw an episode of Tabletop where they were playing it and my resolve broke. So I've picked up X-Wing by Fantasy Flight Games  It's a bit like a board game, with upgrade cards etc and is based on the older Wings of War system. I got two starter boxes to begin with as this seemed the easiest way to get a reasonable set of starting ships: Two X-Wings and four TIE fighters. 

After testing it out vs my son, I gave it a go vs Chris. Sadly he wanted to be the Empire (three named pilots - Mithel Mauler, Dark Curse, and Night Beast plus 'Academy pilot') vs my as the rebellion. Luke Skywalker with a Rookie wing man. It is 60 points each. I think a 'standard' battle would be 100pts. How did we go? 

Chris set his TIEs up in a tight group, while I split my two X-Wings and angled them slightly. To the left of the pic you can see the turning templates. Basically those coloured discs near the models have different turns showing on them. You both set the move your ships will make for the coming turn. This part is hidden. Then you reveal and move in order from most useless pilot to best pilot. 

Stats are pretty simple. You have shooting dice and defensive dice. A success on a defensive die cancels a  hit on a shooting die. A TIE has two shooting and three defensive. The X-Wing is the reverse. They can both take two hits on their hull but the X-Wing also has shields that can take two hits. Obviously, the TIE is more nimble and its turning dial lets it turn more sharply and even move a little further. 

The game also has named pilots who have a special ability. One of the TIE pilots get an extra shooting dice at close range. Another gets a free 'focus' when doing an easy turn, the third stops enemy units modifying attacks against it. My named pilot was Luke Skywalker, with R2-D2. Luke gets to modify a dice to boost dodging. R2-D2 allows him to slowly replenish lost shields. 

Chris took the direct approach at the start of our game. He plowed through the centre with all his TIEs. I was conscious of my lack of numbers and aimed to keep my ships crossing - and recrossing - so I would be harder to pin down, while still allowing me to focus on one target. 

Luke was obviously the tougher of my two ships so I aimed to draw what fire I could with him. He got plenty of attention. To the right you can see Chris has opted to give up one TIEs action so it can to a 180 degree turn to try and keep a bead on the racing X-Wings. 

We were both getting the hang of the turning dials. Chris managed to wrong foot me halfway through the game and focus fire on the Rookie 'Red two'. He let go of trying to whittle Luke down and smashed the weaker rebel pilot. 

 However, two can play at that game and I managed to retaliate and take down a TIE with Luke.

 If I could just hold on and keep Luke's shields up the game could go my way. Rebels are good if they can go the distance, while Imperials aim to win early. Chris was not averse to depling the 'Imperial March' via his phone at key junctures to motivate his pilots and demoralise mine.

 It just seemed to make Luke angrier though. R2-D2 got those shields back up while Luke got his attack run set and...

 Boom - another TIE down. Two more to go.

Then Chris totally wrong footed me again. I even managed to collide with one of his TIEs (losing my own action, so easier to hit) and was caught in the TIE cross fire at pointblank range where the TIEs were likely to overwhelm my defensive dice. Luke's only chance was to kill a TIE, as he shot first. He did not kill a TIE. GG Chris. X-Wing definitely proved to be an interesting game for two fathers, with kids of our own.

 Here is a lop-sided version of what a pilot can look like: A stat card with more upgrade cards. I think there is one two many elite pilot upgrade cards there.

I've been pondering a good game for me and my eldest son to play together for a while. Sure we've had a play around with various of my wargames as he was growing, and he does have the good taste to prefer WOTR out of all he's tried. However, lets be honest, an 8 year old boy can't play a proper wargame, er properly. Firstly, it takes too long and requires a fair bit of patience, and planning. Secondly, it's a pretty steep learning curve to pick up wargaming with a proper wargame, especially when the subject matter isn't immediately engaging to an 8 year old. X-Wing is pretty tactical but the basics are very easy to explain. My sun understood the mechanics well enough to remember and play without looking at the rules after watching a Youtube video. And he LOVES Star-Wars so it is immediately engaging. I just play on a sheet rather than the cool looking space boards as he is still an 8 year old boy and tends to bump things!

 We're finding it fun. the game has enough depth to interest me and he understands the game so can play properly. In fact, he has quickly come to experience the way wargaming can be 'character building' lol. The above pic is one of his defensive rolls to keep Luke Skywalker alive.


  1. Nice Table ;)

    Good write up mate - looks super fun and I am super tempted! Totally want a B-Wing and a couple of A-Wings

    That corellian corvette is awesome too BTW - be great if they started to make non movie frigates and gunships like the Corellian Gunship, Nebulon B (would eat TIEs for breakfast) and Imperial Lancer. Skipray Blastboats would be cool too...

  2. I've got the ships if you want to give it a try. I think Adam, Jeff and John all have some as well.

    I want there to be a Nebulon B. They also fought on the side of peace and order vs those Rebel Scum. Its crazy out of scale though.

  3. Doesn't the game come with simplified Quick Start rules? That might be a good choice for playing with an 8 year old.

    I've got a couple of each of the fighter types (except B-Wings/TIE bombers, but they're on order), but I think my usual 100 point squadron will consist purely of Y-Wings. What were you thinking of for 100 points?

  4. He doesn't need quick-start rules. He understands the rules as well as I do. I think he would prefer to have something like the Millennium Falcon in the game though so he doesn't have to plan for firing arc.

    For 100 pts? I need to get purchasing. I have ordered a Falcon as per the above and you can do that plus two X-Wings and have a decent list.

    However I prefer to be on the side of peace and order.... I want the new TIE Interceptor box that will be out soon. :)