Tag Archives: Fantasy Flight

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Review

X-Wing Minis

Once upon a time there was a tabletop skirmish game called Wings of War X-Wing Miniatures. Ha! Only joking, but I bet that’s what you were thinking!

X-Wing Miniatures has superficial similarities to the much-loved Wings of War – you have a little craft and you fly it around the table. And that’s where the similarity ends. If you’re familiar with WoW, some of the key differences are:

  • The pilot you pair with your ship makes a huge difference to what that ship is capable of
  • Combat is made more complex with various upgrades and options
  • Moves are planned one turn at a time, and templates are used to execute the moves
  • Squads are built on point values, and planning your squad can take quite some time

It’s easy to play a quick skirmish that takes less than 15 minutes, but there is a lot of inbuilt flexibility that will allow the game to scale upwards as more miniatures are released.

2013-03-09 17.43.04 copy

As for all the bits in the box? Well, Fantasy Flight, so excellent quality. Cardboard is rugged and thick, dice are included, the rule booklet is nicely written and illustrated, and the miniatures are awfully cute.

2013-03-09 17.46.46 copy

When later reviews come, they will have more models, and less of the shed and television. Hopefully.

2013-03-09 17.50.51 copy

Verdict: 7/10.

This could be my new go-to filler game. We’ll need more minis available before it becomes something you can spend 2-3 hours at, though.

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I gots da fing, boss! Blood Bowl Team Manager Review

Blood Bowl Team Manager

I’m down with punching an Elf in the face as much as the next guy, so I had a go at Blood Bowl: Team Manager recently.

Opening the box, everything was as nicely produced as any other Fantasy Flight product. Excellent artwork, good quality cards, and a rules book which makes sense. No nasty surprises in there.

Gameplay is simple. You have a row of pitches, and a hand of cards which represents the players available to you to place either side of a pitch. Pitches offer different rewards for both attending and winning, but only two players can be involved on any single pitch, so you gain an advantage in going first by picking the pitch with the rewards you want to aim for over the next five rounds.

Each player takes a turn in placing one of their team in an available slot, and each turn takes as many cards as you start with that round – first round takes seven turns, second takes six, and so on. Cards have their abilities written clearly on them, so there’s rarely a need to refer back to the rulebook once you’re underway. Common abilities include beating the snot out of an opposing player, grabbing the ball, or cheating.

Cheats are represented by little tokens which you put on a team-member who is cheating, and they aren’t revealed until a match is over. These could include your star player being sent off for said cheating, but more often than not give additional fans or star rating to that player. Star rating’s what you need more of to win a match, but fans are what you need to win the game overall.

Overall I wasn’t really keen on this game. It suffers the problem where if you begin winning early on, you steamroll ahead of the other players and their ability to catch up by the end falls further and further behind. Winning yourself Star Players to add to your team early on vastly seems to be of more use than aiming for Staff or Team Upgrades (certainly from those which came into play during our game, at least), and the theoretically balancing aspect of Cheat Tokens only ever saw two cards sent off for bad behaviour. More often they led to matches which were close suddenly becoming vastly in the cheating team’s favour.

Verdict: 6/10.

It wasn’t bad, I just wouldn’t choose to play it if another game was on offer.

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Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beginner Game Review

We’ve had this in the house for a while, but Christmas can get in the way of getting enough people together to roleplay. Finally, thanks to our FLGS opening a regular gaming club, we found both time and players.

Box

The game comes packaged in a box with everything you will need to play: A rulebook; a pre-written adventure; maps for that adventure’s key locations; four pre-generated character folios; and the dice.

Character folios? Not sheets? Yes indeed. You see, the Edge of the Empire Beginner Game is – as stated on the box – an introduction to roleplaying, not an introduction for roleplayers to one particular game. This box is singlehandedly doing what roleplaying has neglected for well over a decade: attracting new players to the whole hobby.

The character folios then, aren’t just a sheet with a myriad of confusing stats: They contain progressing versions of the same character, helping new players learn about Experience Points and character advancement. They contain a note on each double-page spread explaining how the dice work. There is a sidebar outlining your key skills, and on later spreads how advancement in different directions will shape your character. In short, there’s everything you need to adopt a pre-generated character and make them entirely your own.

game-layout

These characters are so carefully created, and so thoroughly ideal a match for the beginning adventure, that it’s next to impossible to have a bad time. The group has a powerfully strong motive to work together, and an equally strong reason to get the heck offworld. The adventure is very gently railroaded but manages to feel as though you have multiple choices: our group managed to evade and persuade rather than go toe-to-toe in combat in a couple of situations. The characters also don’t overlap one-another’s niches, and every one has a part to play in the included adventure: Pash seriously came into his own when it came to flying a ship; Vex was invaluable for both slicing and obtaining items we might have otherwise had to pay for; Oskara has some seriously mad carbine skills; and Lowhhrick is the close-combat specialist.

Fantasy Flight’s support is so good, though, that there are an additional two character folios available to download from their website: Sasha the Explorer; and Mathus the Technician. We had Sasha in play in our game, and she was superb at stealth and perception, frequently acting as our spotter. There’s also a second adventure, following on from the events in the Beginner Game. All this? Free.

They’ve released a dice roller app so that you don’t have to carry bags of dice to every game, and your players don’t have to start buying these very specific dice just to join in. It’s available for iOS and Android, and covers dice for both Edge of the Empire and the X-Wing Miniatures Game. Either version is only about $5 / £3.20.

It’s a great game, but more importantly it’s an ideal introduction to roleplaying. Looking for a way to bring your children into the hobby? Buy this. Looking for your first roleplaying game to try between yourself and a few friends? Buy this. Looking for an ideal game to help new members of your local games club learn to roleplay? Buy this. Star Wars fan who’s never tried roleplaying before? Buy this.

At about $30 / £25, it’s the ideal start to a lifetime’s enjoyment of one of the most enjoyable hobbies available. It isn’t a full copy of Edge of the Empire, and does exactly what it says on the box.

Verdict: 10/10. Highly Recommended.

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