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Star Wars Action News Review: X-Wing Miniatures Second Edition

By Curtis Stevenson

“I’m not such a bad pilot myself.

 -Luke Skywalker

We all have seen the great pilots — Luke, Vader, Han, Kylo, Boba Fett, Rey, Anakin, and Chewbacca — on the big screen. Now, with the newest wave of pre-painted miniatures from Fantasy Flight Games, you can fly with all of them in X-Wing Miniatures Game 2.0, right on your kitchen table.

As of March 2019, Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) has released ships and pilots from all eras of the Star Wars saga, from the Jedi and clones of the Republic to Kylo Ren and the hordes of the First order. You and a friend can take flight in epic starfighter combat in your own home or local game store.

I had a passing interest in the detailed models FFG released since Star Wars Celebration 6, when I saw them demonstrating games on the convention floor. With the release of a 2.0 version last summer and the announced release of the Republic and Separatist factions, I knew now was a good entry point into this game — one that seems easy to learn but hard to master. X-Wing also feeds the collector side of the player base with dozens of ships all pre-painted and some with alternate paint jobs to reflect great pilots and ships over the whole saga. X-Wing and Tie Fighters have had numerous paint applications, the Falcon has 3 iterations depending on where in the saga it has been pulled from, and the droid armies of the separatist are on the way with an exclusive paint color vulture droid, at Adepticon 2019.

Gameplay is learned via a simple scenario included with the Core set (two Tie Fighters and one X-Wing) that teaches the basics of movement and combat. But within the simple game is a deeper game of decisions and consequences.  Focus, Evade, Target Lock, and Barrel Roll are just a few of your options, depending on what ships you are flying. With the 2.0 launch, FFG added online squad building via an application on your smartphone. 

The community for X-Wing in my experience, both at my Friendly Local Game store and online, is great. The online community for X-Wing is rich with content both for head-to-head and alternate format objective play, with dozens of sites and forums posting ideas and list examples, some great reviews of new and old content, along with breakdowns of organized play results. Customizers within this slice of fandom also have an amazing outlet for custom painted ships and the braver ones adding lights to these tiny Starfighters truly are works of art. One group holds an annual event called Campaign Against Cancer, X-Wing tournament to raise money for various charities around the world! This group will have a booth at the upcoming Star Wars Celebration (#1648). This year, they will also be having a painting show/raffle. The painted ships will be on display at Celebration and fans will be able to vote on their favorite custom ship. The ship with the most votes will also be raffled off to one of the voters at Celebration. The other ships will be used as prizes for the Campaign Against Cancer event being held May 18t, 2019 at local game stores all around the country.

FFG will also be at Celebration, with an exclusive Darth Vader for another one of their miniature games, But I have a feeling they will have demo times for all their Star Wars product during the convention.

Getting started is as simple as the Core Set (MSRP) and then, as your skill grows, more ships are available in expansion packs from $20-$40 adding more gameplay and abilities to ensure victory. A simple game can take 45 minutes according to the rules (official play is limited to 75 minutes) and the application tracks pilot and ship points up to 200 (the max for official events). So far, I have enjoyed collecting ships and facing the collector’s dilemma of what to collect. I have decided to keep with Empire and Rebels for now. If you’re a fan of the scrappy underdog, or want to fly a full swarm of Tie Fighters, or battle as the Ace pilots that make up the Scum and Villainy faction, X-Wing Miniatures can give you all that, on your kitchen table.

March 27, 2019 Posted by | News | Leave a Comment

4 Spoiler-Free Thoughts on That Spoiler-Free ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Trailer

We didn’t see that coming.

Marvel Studios dropped a poster and second trailer for Avengers: Endgame on Wednesday morning; dialing the hype machine up to 22 for fans still floating on air following Captain Marvel’s mid-credits tease. The blockbuster (and it will be) arrives in theaters April 26, and while the gap between Captain Marvel and Endgame is just a little more than a month, the wait feels eternal.

Surely, those of us at Now Playing Podcast and Marvelicious Toys are not the only fans have spent much of the day speculating about the plot while rewatching the trailer at every opportunity. For those trying to avoid speculation and spoilers, this is a safe space. Instead, we offer just a few quick thoughts on our current state of mind.

1. Marvel, You Spoil Us

The truth is, we didn’t need an Avengers: Endgame trailer this morning. We really don’t need any more trailers at all. April 26 is burned into our brains and the first trailer, combined with the Super Bowl spot footage, combined with the aforementioned Captain Marvel tease, is good enough. The Endgame hype machine rises above traditional marketing strategies in the sense that we don’t need new footage to tide us over.  Our collective thirst for what comes next started with the “snap” (or the “decimation” as it’s referred to online) and all we want is for April 26 to get here.

2. Marvel, You’re Not Spoiling Us

There’s nothing that today’s Endgame trailer could do to increase our hype, and that’s fine, because the trailer shows us nothing. Yes, there are scenes that offer a glimpse of a post-snap world and we see what’s left of the Avengers rally in the end for a space adventure of some sort, but this is generally a spoiler-free trailer. Just like the early Avengers: Infinity War trailer, it relies heavily on callbacks to remind you of how much Marvel has accomplished in 10-plus years. If this is the final trailer before Endgame, we’re going in with no clue what’s going to happen. Score one for Marvel marketing. 

3. These 6 a.m. Trailers Need to Stop

Waking up to a brand spanking new Avengers: Endgame trailer should be a nice way to start your day, and it is. An early morning trailer launch ensures that everybody will be posting about it first thing and then talking about it with their co-workers the rest of the day. But lordy, it is a productivity murderer. Once that trailer hit this morning, it pretty much ruined the rest of the day because all that matters now is Endgame. Yes, that means we’re falling right in line with Marvel’s marketing plan and we’re pawns in their little game and blah, blah, blah, “insert your cynicism here.” The point is, we’d get a lot more done if this trailer had dropped at 9 p.m. last night, or maybe not at all?  

4. Those 3-Hour Runtime Rumors Are Looking Right, and We Don’t Care

You’ve likely read the snippets online about Endgame running three hours, which would make it the longest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Too long? Not really. We’re talking, what, 30 minutes longer than Infinity War? That’s nothing. Clearly, the varying hairstyles amongst a couple characters in the trailer hint at a film that’s going to take its time getting to its resolution. That’s fine. It’s what we came for. You might have also read online rumors about an intermission? That’s fine too. We’ll treat it like a hockey game. Hell, throw in an overture at the beginning. It’s an event, after all.

Avengers: Endgame hits theaters April 26. Now, continue your conversation about Hawkeye’s haircut.

Whatever it takes.

March 14, 2019 Posted by | News | Leave a Comment