I’ve finally found a way into this forum topic!
This past holiday, for secret Santa, I received a core set for Fantasy Flight Games’ X-Wing Miniatures. The idea was to have something that I could set down and play with my eldest (9 year old). With the Star Wars license it was the ideal way to enter tabletop gaming due to my serious obsession with the franchise, so we cracked the box a couple of weeks ago and now we’re hooked (and I’ve spent way too much money on expansions).
We started with the simple rule-set described in the quick start guide. The main game has the goal of destroying your opponents starships. There is one X-Wing and two TIE Fighters in the box, and due to their abilities, this makes for a fair fight.
Ships can be equipped with pilot cards that provide different abilities, so there is a variety to each encounter e.g. either Luke Skywalker or Biggs Darklighter or generic ‘red shirt’ can pilot the X-Wing. Then the ships are moved around the board using a set of templates representing turns and speed.
Turns as follows:
- Players set their planned movement on a dial (different for each ship type), with the result hidden from their opponent.
- Players reveal the dial and move in order of pilot skill, lowest to highest, taking an action if available.
- Players attack in order of pilot skill, highest to lowest.
Each ship has attack, agility (defense), hull and shield values. When the hull value is zero, the ship is destroyed. You roll red dice equivalent to your attack and green dice if you’re defending, with certain actions and abilities allowing you to modify the result.
After a few runs with the simple rules, you can start to add other concepts, such as critical damage, range of attack, pilot stress, ship upgrades, co-pilots, missiles, bombs and even asteroids. The point is, the game is simple enough and fast enough that adding these concepts did not throw my 9 year old off at all, yet the depth is there for some really devious tactics.
Anyway, I’ve watched a tonne of videos, studied the ships and upgrade options and it didn’t help. My kid took Poe Dameron’s X-Wing, looped over one Tie Fighter, rolled 4 dice… 4 hits, nothing defended (toast). Critical hit the second causing a major explosion leading to another critical, this time a weapons malfunction (halving the potency of my attacks). I could only feel for that lonely TIE pilot, damaged, drifting in the void of space, as Poe locked on from distance, launched proton torpedoes and utterly wipe the poor fellow out of existence.
Tip. Don’t ever underestimate a 9 year old.