X-Wing miniatures game from Fantasy Flight Games and I got a chance to try it out yesterday. The game inherits it's base mechanics from Wings of War (hence the clever topic I'm sure no-one has thought of before me) which means players control a small selection of aeroplanes (or in this case starships) and have a dogfight. As in WoW, player secretly choose their fighters' next move, but in X-Wing, you choose only one move at a time instead of three. Whereas in WoW you draw cards with variable damage each time you get your opponent in your fire arc, in WoW you have a simple die roll mechanic for hitting and dodging, and only critical hits are randomized by cards. In X-Wing, the skill of the pilots determine the sequence at which things happen. The worst pilots move first and shoot last, giving the better pilots and edge, even though you cannot see how your opponent will move before choosing your move.
As you'd expect from Fantasy Flight, the base Wings of War rules are beefed up with some effect cards and special abilities as well. You buy your fighters using a points buy system and can beef them up with special skills, missiles, R2 units and so on. It isn't complicated though, and doesn't slow the game down from what you'd expect from Wings of War.
The game is played using pre painted miniatures of X-Wings, Tie Fighters and so on. The core set only comes with one X-Wing and two Tie Fighters, but you can naturally buy "booster packs" with the associated cardboard stuff. The Expansion packs seem a bit pricey, but the pre painted models acturally look pretty good so if you are the kind of gamer with no shortage for cash but no time to paint then these are not a bad deal. I'm pretty sure FFG is going to be doing a lot of expansions for this and make a bunch of money.
Our game was a simple meeting engagement between a squadron of two X-Wings and two Y-Wings and another of four Tie Fighters and one Advanced Tie. Except the rebels had Wedge Antilles and the imperials had Darth Vader. The game went like a usual game of Wings of War, a true furball without any regard for the z-axis. The rebels ended up losing (possible aided by poor die rolls) as the imperials lost only one Tie Fighter.
I recommend this for some light beer and pretzels fun (possibly with non gamers) and as a light tournament game.