Monday, 4 March 2013

Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures buying guide

If you haven`t noticed, I have fallen pretty hard for the new Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures game from Fantasy Flight. I've been posting pictures of my games online, I've hosted a few events at my home and even run some Demo events at Windsor Gaming Resource board game events and at the FLGS. One of the recurring questions I get asked is "What's the best and most cost effective way to get into this game?"  I thought I would save some typing and put up this blog post so I can send people here the next time I'm asked.

Moe's X-Wing Buyers Guide:

First off buy the core set. Take it home. Actually try the game. I realize that it seems like half the net is talking about this game and almost all of them are going on about how awesome it is. That doesn't mean it's awesome for you and your group. Don't go buying a ton of stuff for a game you haven't played. Start with just the base game, and if you dig it then move on.

So now that you know you dig it, pick up a 2nd starter - this is cheaper than buying an expansion X-Wing and two Expansion TIE Fighters. It also has the bonus of giving you two sets of dice, extra counters, rulers etc. If you can, convince a friend to split on this, that way you can split the cost and each have a set for playing organized play which requires each player to have a core set.

From there buy 1 X-wing and 2 Tie Fighter Expansions - this gives you more than enough ships to play a legal 100 pt battle. It also gives you the expansion pilots and upgrade cards which you can apply to any of the ships.

At this point you could be done having 3 X's and 6 TIEs, well more than enough to play and enjoy the game and having enough variety with the different pilots and upgrades to keep up the replayability.

X-Wing Demo Day at Hugin & Munin
Now personally I have an awesome FLGS, Hugin & Munin, that does cool stuff like have Demo days, that let me try out games before I buy. So if you have something like this locally I strongly suggest supporting it. The time you spend playing at the store and having the chance to see the models and check them out before buying is worth the few extra bucks you will spend on the game.

If you don't have a FLGS or your local store seems to have lost the F part of that acronym, then I have no problem with people trying to get the best deal they can. If you are in The States, Target often has the core set on sale. In addition you can usually find it online for less than the MSRP. The same goes for the expansion ships. Do some shopping around and get the best deal you can, it only makes sense. Though again, I re-iterate: if you have a local shop that's letting you try the game or giving you a place to play, realize the value that is adding to your experience and reward them for it.

So now that you have a playable core game, assuming you are as addicted as I am, I suggest at least one Y-Wing and one Tie-Advanced. Buy the Tie-Advanced over the Y-Wing, if you can only afford one just because it adds Vader to the mix. After this, if you want, more I suggest one TIE Advanced per two regular TIEs in your games, so buy one more. I own three Y-Wings and three TIE Advanced and so far have only ever used one of the Ys and two Advanced in a game. Added to that I don't suggest more X-Wings or basic TIEs unless you are going to start playing 200pt games and even then there are cooler newer ships out.

I'm not sure I know anyone who would pass on these.
About those new ships: those are your call. I think the Millennium Falcon and Slave 1 are well worth it. They look awesome, and they each include a new scenario to play. Added to that they both include a new upgrade card that can be applied to any ship in the game. The A-Wing and Tie Interceptor are also very cool looking and take advantage of a new Boost action that really means they can move around the board. Both are great additions to the game that I would consider adding after having a base force of X-Wings and basic TIEs. Personally I would add them after the Y-Wing and TIE Advanced though just because of rules creep, these add new rules and with that a bit more complexity.

So there you have it. As is normal for any board game: your millage may vary. This what I have found works more me, after running multiple games at my home (I'm at over 10 games at least) and a variety of public play events. It may not be perfect for you but at least it gives a starting point for anyone thinking of getting into this awesome game.


  1. Nice guide! My buddy ended up buying 4 base sets. We played 100pts with just that and a bonus Y-Wing for S&G's. 8 ties vs 2 X-Wings and a Y. Only Luke survived. This game is awesome.

    1. Nice! Even with 4 core sets I still suggest picking up one of each expansion kit, just for the pilot cards. Backstabber is an awesome Tie Fighter (gets to roll an extra red die if attacking from the outside of the target's fire arc) and Wedge is great for the X-Wing (target looses one defense die)

    2. Think your friend might be interested in trading some of those dice and templates for the expansion pilot cards?

  2. Good article, and good advice. Picked up the core, 2 extra Xwings, 1 extra Tie, 1 Advanced, 2 Interceptors, 1 Awing, 1 Ywing and Slave 1 for just over 100 bucks down in the states, so I think I'll get a Falcon and another TIE at H&M at the next demo to show some local support.

    1. Awesome to hear Naji! Look forward to seeing you there. If you want to bring your models I'm sure we can get a second game set up and you can try them out after buying them.

  3. Thanks, this helped a lot. Looking forward to the first game with the kids!

    1. Glad it helped! My kids are still a bit too young for this one but I hope it sticks around long enough to enjoy it with them.

  4. My friends and I just got started in this game. We all have Core sets and a couple extra ships. But the FLGS is sold out. Target only has the Core game, Barnes & Noble has the Core and a couple ships. Any online store I can find is sold out. Anyone know of any stores online or B&M that have anything in stock?

    1. Amazon seems to have stock right now but who knows for how long. This game is Hot and selling out as quick as the stuff hits the shelves.

      Here's a link to Amazon's current selection:

  5. QUESTION: After a few more months of experience with the new expansions in actual gameplay, would you modify any of your buying recommendations?

    As I read your ranking from March, you suggest the following to new gamers as they delve increasingly deep into X-Wing:
    1) Core Set
    2) Second Core Set
    3) 1 X-Wing exp and 2 TIE Fighter exp
    4) 1 TIE Advanced
    5) 1 Y-Wing
    6) Millennium Falcon and/or Slave 1
    ?) No recommendations regarding TIE Intercepters or A-Wings
    ?) No preview of new expansions - TIE Bomber, B-Wing, Lambda, HWK

    o If someone budgeted a total of $100 on the game, what would you suggest (at discounted prices, not necessarily full MSRP or inflated secondary market prices between reprints)? What about $150?

    o Once you assemble a collection like the one above (11 total fighters and 2 larger ships) do you find that every expansion still contributes something to your squadron by way of ships, pilots, or upgrades?
    Are all of them still relevant?

    o Do you ever actually use 6 TIE Fighters in a game after you have access to more options (an Advanced and Slave 1) or does an all-Fighter squad become uninteresting at that point?

    Sorry for the machine-gun questions.

    And thanks for all you've already shared. Very helpful.

    1. Most of my suggestions haven't really changed much at all. I have now played with the A wings and Interceptors and I love them. The boost action is just too much fun.

      If you only have $100 my initial suggestion of two core sets stands (unless you know someone else willing to jump in at the same time and buy one themselves). I still suggest 1 more X-wing and at least 1 more tie just to get the cards that come with them. Then I would pick and choose between the Interceptor and Advanced and the A and Y wings. Pick whatever ship you think is cooler. That should give you enough to play a tournament legal 100pt force. From there I would probably add in the ships you didn't get last time.

      I actually don't recommend the big ships. Yes they look awesome and yes you will want them. They are very cool. But I've found they don't perform very well. Like old school Rogue Trader, the big ships just become a giant target and usually get taken out first. At least in a standard game. Now using them for special scenarios is a lot of fun, and well they do look awesome, so I totally get that people will want them and I don't actually regret buying them.

      Every new pack adds a lot more than just another model. There's more pilots and more upgrade cards. Some ships also come with more rules and scenarios (the large ships so far). I think it's well worth owning one of each pack just for the options it gives you with the rest of your ships. It's buying doubles that should be saved for the ships you find you really enjoy playing.

      I love having 6 ties, actually I own 8. The all Rookie Tie Fighter force is one of the most fun ones to play and also performs really well. I love that feel of tons and tons of ships out there and that's at 100 points. If you jump up to more you can do some sweet formations. My favourite is a Tie Advanced followed by Two regular Ties. That said I know a lot of people that have more fun trying out different combos and other ships.

      No matter what I do recommend at least one more Tie over the core rules for the reasons noted above, you don't just get a ship, you get a bunch of cards that can be used with all your ships.

      Some point soon I think I need to post an update to this that more strongly recommends the A and Interceptor.

      If you have any other questions feel free to ask.

  6. This game is so amazing. If you are looking for some ressoruces, here is a good french blog :