So, I have unboxed the new Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game: The Force Awakens Core Set. First impressions; well, the models are far superior in painting detail to my original set. See pictures (I have zoomed these in as much as possible):
First thing I noticed on opening the box proper was the inclusion of an initiative template. I am not sure how much it will be used (maybe for tournament play), but most people can keep track of who has the initiative. Still it's a nice inclusion. Second thing I noticed was that the Asteroids appear different; a couple of very large ones and the smaller ones seem different in shape...
I was pleased to see the inclusion of a Rules Reference, This will set aside, at least for the time being, the various discussions I have got into over the table regarding the latest FAQ. Now at least we have a fresh starting point!
Looking at the ships (let's be honest, that's the bit that gets us all excited); let's start with the Resistance X-Wing - I have no idea when we will see the old X-Wing on the table again. To be honest, I have not seen one on the table in some time. With the latest T-70 X-Wing included in this box, it feels like the final nail is being banged into the old X-Wing's coffin. Why? Well, a basic X-Wing (old version) is 21 points. The new T-70 basic is only 3 points more. For these 3 points you get a lot of added value. An extra shield point (thats 4 points right there). Boost, yes BOOST (so basically a free engine upgrade) is another 4 points. These are both Pilot Skill 2. You also get a new upgrade slot on top of the torps and Astromech Weapons guidance slot, which allows you to turn a blank into a hit for a cost of a focus (it's not ground breaking, but it is something extra). Plus, the new X-Wing has a new manoeuvre: The Tallon Roll. This is basically a hard 3 that allows you to then rotate the craft 90 degrees at the end of the template to face back the way it came. Not sure how to cost this one but it makes the X-Wing slightly better. But with the free shield alone, for 3 points you get 8 points of upgrades, so when will you see the old one in competitive play? If you are a Rebel player, and you play competitively, you need this craft.
So, the new TIE Fighter: First Order TIE/FO Fighter. This one is 15 points at its most basic, compared to 12 points for the original academy pilot. Instantly you see parallels; both ships have had a 3 point increase. So is it fair? I will let you be the judge. For your extra 3 points you get a shield on a TIE Fighter (worth 4 points) plus a targeting computer thrown in for free (worth 2 points). So you get 6 points extra, opposed to the X-Wing's 8 points. You can also get the weapons guidance system added on for free.
There are 5 x upgrade cards in the box, so straight out of the box I thought I could give all 3 of the ships the Weapons Guidance card..... but how many does it include? Only 1. Not great. In fact, the biggest disappointment was the fact there were only 5 upgrade cards.... 5. I checked the box content thinking I was missing cards, but no, you only get 5. Sad face. (although this is the same as the original core set).
On a positive note, the named pilots for the TIE/FO are filth. I am seriously looking forward to bringing the hurt with them. Of particular note are:
- Zeta Ace - he can barrel-roll using the 2 movement template. I'd imagine he will be great for arc dodging. I picture putting 'outmanoeuvre' on him as he should get out of enemy fire arcs easily. Or, alternatively, 'Push the Limits', so he can boost and barrel roll - turrets being his only real fear.
- Epsilon Leader - possibly a new squad commander like Howlrunner. He takes all stress off his comrades at range 1 at the beginning of the combat phase; very handy for 19 points.
- Omega Ace - this one's the filth. His screaming out for 'Push the Limits', especially with the above named Epsilon Leader taking the stress from him. He can the target lock and focus at the same time. His ability allows him to spend both in attack, to change all results to crits! All results! Imagine that against low agility ships, especially ones stripped of their shields. OMG moment!
As for the X-Wing named pilots:
- Poe Dameron - whilst attacking or defending if he has a focus token still on his ship he can change 1 of his focus results to a hit or evade. I am not sure how useful this is, as he is Pilot Skill 8. You will have to decide early on in the game if you wish to spend it on your shooting. A decision you may later regret. It would be more useful on a low pilot-skilled pilot.
- Blue Ace - he is an individual so you can only use one. When you perform the boost action you may use the hard 1 template. This is much better in my humble opinion as you will not question if or when to do it so much as you would with Poe's ability. He is a Pilot Skill 5, so some of your opponents may have moved by your turn allowing you to use this skill to better effect to get your enemy within your fire arc.
...and that's it, only 2 named pilots for the Rebels, bit disappointing.
There is also a new fairer damage deck, which all players will need as it is to replace the old one.
Lastly, upgrade cards (all 5 of them):
- Proton Torps - ..... yes well I have about 8 of these cards already, so no great joy there.
- Weapons Guidance - explained above. It's not that it is bad, but 1... seriously?!
- Astromech R5-X3 - before you reveal your manoeuvre, you can discard this card to ignore obstacles until the end of the round. Whether this applies to both movement and shooting, as it implies, is unclear (I'd imagine yes). In which case he is well worth 1 point! Maybe under-priced.
- Wired - this is an elite talent, which sounds the business. When attacking or defending, if you are stressed, you may re-roll 1 or more of your focus results. 1 point!!! Seriously under-priced given it will be so handy in a dog fight when K-turning, etc...
- BB-8 - potentially everyone's new favourite from the new film. When you reveal a green manoeuvre you may perform a free barrel roll action, 2 points. Not sure what I feel about this. Those who know me know I like an astromech that repairs, so P9 and R2 are my favourites, but I could put him in a Y-Wing, just for giggles.
Think that's it as a summary. The models are superior to what they were before in the older set. It may have killed the old X-Wing though. The new Resistance X-Wing gets more for the points extra, but the First Order TIE's get the better named pilots.
Any comments please feel free below. Happy flying!