Saturday, January 18, 2014

Star Wars X Wing Miniatures: 3 Tips that May Make your Game Better

1. Fix Your TIE Fighters: I gave a few wave 2 Core box sets as gifts, ordered from Amazon. One arrived with bent TIE fighters... and not whimsically bent.  I mean like high school wood shop class angles: not a straight 90 degree angle in sight. Weird and uncommon. I improvised a way to fix them for my brother-in-law on the spot, a giftee, when he opened that gift and saw their crooked, shabby selves in that black tray insert. The improv worked well so, I’m sharing that now. It may come in handy if this happened to you or your ships are left too long in a hot car, etc. This is all at your own risk.


  1. The black tray insert from the core game. You can probably make a Lego jig too
  2. Boiling water in a large metal pot, the larger the better
  3. A keen sense of safety where you know your limits when it comes to not scalding yourself or burning down your house over a plastic spaceship. The paramedics and firemen WILL laugh

Get the water to a boil. Have the black tray insert within arm’s reach. Have one of the TIE storage slots filled with cool water. Use a large pot for boiling so the risk of you touching the sides is reduced. Take a TIE by the side and dip the bent wing in the hot water, covering the solar panel right up to the arm that connects to the cockpit. You should only need a second or two but you’ll have to judge. 

Take the heated TIE and GENTLY but firmly press it into the empty storage slot, using the shape of the slot to bend the wing back to square. You may need to reheat the wing a few times. Be sure to form the wing in this way and change the facing of the cockpit a few times; cockpit face out, face down, upside down. When it looks good you can put it in the slot filled with cool water to harden it and lock the straight wing in place.  Dry everything out and enjoy.
Granted, you could skip the above and just send the damn thing back but this did work and took 20 minutes to correct 2 fugly TIES.

2. Use a Laser Level for Checking Arcs: Look, SWXW isn’t crazy complicated but there have been times where using a laser level to see if another ship is in your arc is just drop-dead handy. This is something I relied on heavily in my Battlefleet Gothic days and it is still useful now. You can pick up a laser level at the tool store or DIY for US$10. It’s a luxury, not a necessity, but on play spaces bigger than 3’X3’ it saves your back by cutting down on reaching (I’m 41, screw you L5 vertebra) and at all times it can save you from having to slip a range ruler into tight model traffic, potentially bumping ships at a critical time, not that I've played such high-stakes SW that it really mattered. Still, if it is easy and affords a clear decision, it's good. Finally, if it is useful in SW, it's probably useful for other tabletop games you play.

Well, both are Pilot skill 9 so maybe not the best example of lowest to highest but you can see the rest of the examples mentioned below in this pic.
3. Organize your Play Space: I get "gamer blindness" a lot; you know what that is, it is when you are holding up a game looking for info that is right in front of you and you don't see it. Consistent set up helps cure that. Consistent set up is the key to clean play. It's just science. If you set up your space the same way each time, you'll understand the variations your lists have from one game to the next and scanning your card space for info becomes way easier. 

Here’s how I organize my cards in a game. It isn't perfect but maybe it will help you.

From lowest Pilot skill on the left to highest Pilot Skill on the right, lay out your pilot cards. That way, the Pilot cards follow the Activation phase and Combat Phase in order. Activations go from left to right. Shooting goes from right to left.

From here, organize the load-outs around each Pilot card. 

The Pilot card is center. On the left of the Pilot card are any cards that “stay”, meaning cards that can’t usually be taken from the ship by expenditures, Critical Effects or Pilot Skills. On the Lower left are Damage cards. That way, I know any Actions I buy are on the left and Criticals/Abilities that affect them are noticeable. Directly below the Pilot card is anything expendable, like missiles, torps or one-use cards that you “cash in” like the Chewbacca crew card. On the right of the Pilot card are ship upgrades and shields. To the lower right are any tokens the pilot uses in that game. So, like knowing that the turn signal and horn are in the same place across different cars, I can speed up where to look. Finally, I flip over cards that you spend or cash in, or when Pilots are taken out, put the ship on that card. 

That's it folks, some stuff I learned which I hope helps you out with your game of X Wing Miniatures. Have fun!

1 comment:

Joe Kopena said...

I'm opposed to the implication in the text that your Battlefleet Gothic days are over!