Another way to play X-Wing: Missions

July 25, 2016

As many of you know, the X-Wing Miniatures Game is pretty great. It’s easy to learn, the pre-painted miniatures look great, and is relatively affordable compared to other minis games. Better yet, the game captures the frenetic excitement of the space battles found in the Star Wars movies. It’s a fan’s dream come true.

Beyond the fact that it’s simply a great Star Wars game, the X-Wing meta-game of putting together an effective 100-point squadron out of all the ships, pilots, and upgrades that have been released up to this point is almost as exciting as playing the game itself. And while this is the most common way of playing the game, it’s by no means the only one. One of the great things about X-Wing is that it’s flexible enough to provide a lot of different ways to play. During Day 2 of our recent Regional Championship this was on display with all kinds of smaller tournaments that restricted the ships that could be used. This was great because it highlighted some of the ships that don’t normally see a lot of action in competitive play and introduced unique scenarios. It added some freshness and creativity to the game. Along those lines, X-Wing includes another fun and interesting way to play right out of the box: story missions.

Unlike the more common 100-point squadron version of the game, the missions for X-Wing provide some context for the battle. In the very first, IMG_2282for example, a Rebel senator’s shuttle has been ambushed and run off course by the Empire. The Rebel player, in a lone X-Wing, must attempt to escort the shuttle across the board before the Imperial player can destroy it. Having this little bit of a story is nice, but what really makes these story missions interesting is that they give you something to focus on other than simply blowing each other up. Ultimately, you find yourself developing strategies and asking questions that never come up in a regular game of X-Wing. I you’re the Rebel player, how best do you defend the shuttle? Do you make a beeline across the map? Or do you use its limited maneuverability to draw the enemy TIE Fighters and then sneak around behind them?

IMG_2284These objectives completely reshape how you approach and play X-Wing, with each adding a nice twist. You don’t simply fly around here. There’s always some handicap that draws your attention and makes you rethink the way you play. Even better, the developers have added a lot of variety to the missions. My favorite is the mission where the Imperial player is tasked with intercepting data from Rebel satellites. In order to do so, they must position their TIE Fighters so that they’re overlapping the satellites. And let me tell you, the satellites aren’t exactly the size of the Millennium Falcon. They’re tiny. It’ll take some fancy flying to land on one of those. This is great because it forces you to act against your natural instincts of trying to avoid obstacles. As an added benefit, you also get to hone your piloting skills.

In addition to everything else, there are so many missions at this point you’ll be busy for a while. Each of the two core sets contains three missions and most of the bigger box expansions like Rebel Aces and the Millennium Falcon add on more. Some of the huge ships such as the Tantive IV even come with full campaigns that link several missions together. All and all, playing missions can be a great way to learn about new ships and stretch the value of the ships you already own. If you’re missing a bit of the cinematic from your X-Wing experience, it’s a great way to add a bit of spice to this already great game.

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Brian K

Brian K was born the same year the Nintendo Entertainment System was released, so he's been a gamer all his life. When he's not working at the Bayshore store, he's busy teaching composition and working on his PhD at UW-Milwaukee. His favorite games include Escape: The Curse of the Temple, Pandemic and King of Tokyo.

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