Ok, a little bit of a sidebar from my French and Indian projects I'm still working on ... I managed to recently get my first game of the X-Wing Miniatures game that is produced by Fantasy Flight Games. I must really say that the game is very enjoyable - they've done a spot on job with it.
Of course, the first scourge of any miniatures gamer is painting. With this game there is none of that - all the miniatures are pre-painted. Thanks to the scale, the paint job on them acutally looks very decent on the tabletop (unlike my previous run ins with larger scale pre-paints - like AT-43 - which was a lesson learned). I found the main boxed set to be a very good value - the individual ships are around $14 each and with the main set you get three ships (1 X-Wing and 2 Tie Fighters). I got the main set off Amazon for about $30 so cheaper than buying the individual miniatures and you get extra dice, templates, cards, etc. You can also get the expansions (Y-Wing and Tie Advanced) off Amazon for about $10 saving you more money. I do support my local game store and so I've bitten the bullet on my first boxed set (I have a total of three) and two of the expansions (one each of the Y-Wing and Tie Advanced).
All dice, measuring sticks, cards, markers and such are all included in the main set and are of good quality, thick cardboard. The miniatures go together very easily and are durable while playing the game. The game includes quick start rules which will get you playing immediately --- but of course if you take 10 minutes you can essentially read the full rules as well. The game flows very well and can be included in the "beer and pretzels" category, but perhaps that is not doing the game enough justice because although the rules are straight forward, the strategies and additions are endless. The game turn consists of three phases - planning, activation and combat. Planning uses hidden movement markers with the ships and movement markers being executed in the activation phase. Combat is simple and effective. If the enemy is in arc and range then you can shoot at them using the red dice included with the boxed set. Green dice are used to cancel hits. I must say they've captured the differences in the various fighters very well with their ship statistics and how they individually work into the game.
Each ship gets a card and movement planning dial that is easily adjustable. The main boxed set includes both an X-Wing and two Tie Fighters that will get you playing instantly.
Here you can see the two initial expansion sets. The first in the Y-Wing which includes several ship cards for different squadrons and characters. The second is the Tie Advanced which of course includes regular pilots as well as Darth Vader himself!
A very cleaver and effective way to manage multiple ships with the same pilot/statistics. This is done by adding ID tokens to the base of the ships. Each token is done in two colors, white and black, so you can have unique IDs for the Rebel Alliance and Empire.
Movement is accomplished with handy templates that are again included in the main boxed set. Each fighter has small notches in the front and back of the base that allows for easy alignment of the measuring sticks.
So all in all, I highly recommend this game if you like starship games and/or Star Wars (who doesn't like Star Wars??). There are already some interesting additions I've got in the works, for example, a Death Star surface mat with 3D towers (yes, you can also do the trench run!).
There is a big preview event this coming weekend called the "Kessel Run Preview Event" - which is a small tournament that is being used to preview the new expansions that are expected this February - the A-Wing, Tie Advanced, Millennium Falcon, and Slave 1. I'm looking forward to those expansions very much! Unfortunately family obligations will get in the way of my attending the local Kessel Run events --- I would really loved to have had a shot at getting one of those new miniatures early!