Ridere, ludere, hoc est vivere.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Star Wars X-wing family shoot-'em-up

Last week my oldest son was in town to visit, and I was glad to get to the table Star Wars: X-wing (designers Steven Kimball, James Kniffen, Corey Konieczka, Jason Little, Brady Sadler, and Adam Sadler; publisher Fantasy Flight Games) for the first time since I acquired it last December with a Christmas gift card.  My whole family enjoys Star Wars, so I was optimistic that I could get them interested in playing.  I’d supplemented the base game with Slave I and two Z-95 Headhunters, and my wife gave me a Y-wing for my birthday, so we had enough ships for all five of us. 

I decided each side should have 90 points – 45 for each of the two Imperial players and 30 for each of the three rebel players.  My son Liam has always been a huge fan of Boba Fett, so he took the Slave I with that pilot and several upgrades, including an ion cannon and a disruptor mine.  He partnered with my wife, who took the TIE fighters, also heavily upgraded.  The rebel squadron they faced consisted of my sons Patrick, with the Y-wing, and Corey, with the two Z-95s, and myself as Biggs in the X-wing.

The Slave I turned out to be something of a tank in this fight.  Early on, the X- and Y-wing and one of the Z-95s achieved target lock on the Slave I, and we unleashed a volley of proton torpedoes.  We reduced its shields somewhat but didn’t do any real damage.  My X-wing flew past the Slave I and performed a Koiogran maneuver to get into a tail chase on it.  Mindful of his mine, I tried to maintain my distance while chipping away at Slave I’s defenses.  Then came the tactical maneuver worthy of Boba Fett: Liam performed a Koiogran to end up nose-to-nose with the X-wing.  He fired his ion cannon at point-blank range, with the result that the X-wing would travel straight and slow on the next turn.  By this point, its shields were gone and it had already sustained damage.  On the next turn, the Slave I glided past the unmaneuverable X-wing and dropped a mine in its path.  The resultant explosion blew Biggs into oblivion.

My family picked up on the rules of the game fairly quickly.  One source of confusion stemmed from the symmetric appearance of the TIE fighter model.  At one point, Kathy plotted her maneuver thinking that her fighter was facing in one direction when in fact it was facing the other.  The result was that she flew away from the action and had to take several turns to get back in the fight.  The result wasn’t devastating, however.  By that point, she had destroyed one Z-95 and her other TIE was in pursuit of the other.  Before long, the Empire made short work of the rest of the rebel squadron and won the game.

We all really enjoyed this game, and the best part is that we have a new favorite for family game night.

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