July 23, 2013 by Ish
Understanding the Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game begins with understanding one model: the X-Wing itself.
Alongside the ubiquitous TIE Fighter the X-Wing is the most iconic starfighter in the entire franchise, and probably all of science fiction. You get one in every core starter set and if you are serious about collecting a Rebel squadron, you will want to buy at least three more.
The X-Wing is the most accessible and easy to use ship in this game. Period. It’s tough, has a solid maneuver dial, above average stats, and a wide array of options available to it even in generic form via the Astromech Droid and Torpedo upgrade slots. The basic X-Wing is a formidable craft in both the hands of a beginner or a seasoned veteran. If I may jump systems for a comparison, the X-Wing is to this game what the Space Marine is to 40K.
Tough Little Ship
Look at those basic defensive stats: Evade 2, Hull 3, and Shields 2. This ship has an average chance to avoid incoming fire and can take four hits before being knocked out of the sky. Compared to flying tanks like the Y-Wing or YT-1300 that extra Evade die is huge, compared to the fragile TIE Fighter that is a lot of shields and hull to chew through.
The X-Wing does not have the 360° firing arc of the Y-Wing or YT-1300, but its maneuver dial still offers an excellent blend of speed and turning. Yes, damn near any one of the TIE variants can turn tighter, but it matches them in terms of raw speed in the straights… and with shields and hull the X-Wing pilot can be a little less paranoid about asteroids and may even be able to risk exposure to one enemy’s attack if it can put itself in a position that will guarantee a kill. Speaking of kills…
Commence Attack Run
An Attack 3 Primary Weapon system is dang good against all the small craft in the game and (in numbers) can provide some worry for the Falcons and Firesprays. But anyone can tell you, just by looking at the numbers, that the best way to handle the big ships just skipping all the tricks sticking as many face-up damage cards on them as you can. Proton Torpedoes make that much more likely to happen than just firing on the ship with your Primary, and oh, hey, the X-Wing has access to Proton Torpedoes.
All of this adds up to a basic ship that is more than the sum of its stats. I compare it to 40K’s Space Marine for that reason, because in the games they inhabit that share the same real strengths – they can meet or exceed expectations in any roles you assign it on the battlefield. The X-Wing can be your primary attacker without worry that any enemy is going to one-shot it (mathematically, none of them can). It can be a support element used to finish off already damaged enemies flying as a wingman to a named Ace or a different ship. They can lurk on the edges of the map with torpedoes to give long-range fire support, they can be close-range knife fighters. Better still they are maneuverable enough to allow you to stay at that chosen range or quickly change roles from one to the other.