X-Wing Miniatures StarViper
Scum and Villainy, Star Wars, Unboxing, X-Wing

Unboxing – X-Wing Scum & Villainy StarViper – Part 2

X-Wing Miniatures StarViperThis is the second part of my StarViper unboxing. In the first part of this article, I talked about ship as a model, its basic statline and maneuver dial.

This second part examines the named pilots and upgrade cards – everything to really tool up and customise your StarViper for a space battle!


The Unique StarViper Pilots

princexizorguristarviperThe StarViper Expansion Pack for the X-Wing Miniatures game comes with four pilot cards: The generic Black Sun Enforcers (pilot skill 1) and Black Sun Vigo (pilot skill 3), as well as the Prince Xizor, leader of the Black Sun himself, and his bodyguard and human replica droid Guri.

Prince Xizor is the top pilot for the StarViper, though his pilot skill of 7 is slightly below most top pilots of other ships. His ability to palm off damage to nearby ships – and inverse Draw Their Fire – is very thematic, both for the crime prince himself and for the Scum and Villainy faction as a whole.

That said, Rebels are probably still better suited for squadrons using Draw-Their-Fire-like abilities, as they have more ships that can regenerate shields.

Guri has the more interesting ability, I believe. Her ability to gain a free focus up and close to the enemy synergises very well with the StarViper’s role as a close-combat dogfighter and frees up an action to use for barrel roll and/or boost (with abilities like Push the Limit)

Both Guri and Prince Xizor can take an Elite Talent.


Scum & Villainy Upgrade Cards

Let’s start with the cards unique to the Scum and Villainy faction.
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Virago is the StarViper’s unique title. It can only by used by Prince Xizor and Guri and adds the ability to equip both Illicit and System Upgrades to the ship, opening up a lot of customisability.

Bodyguard, featuring art work for Guri, is a card obviously designed for Guri. It works well with Guri’s ability to generate a free focus. It makes Guri a nice companion, especially for large ships (more so than Prince Xizor), allowing her to boost the other ship’s agility. I am tempted to try with with, say, a Firespray 31.

Inertial Dampeners is a one-use-only card, though it can be a nice surprise to stall out a pursuing ship. It is also a cheap upgrade.


Generic New Upgrade Cards

Upgrade cards from this expansion that anyone can use.

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Autothrusters – the one Modification that brought arc dodgers back into the game against turrets. These days, it is impossible to go to an X-Wing tournament and not see Autothrusters. Arguably. this upgrade – and you get two in the expansion – sold FFG more StarViper expansion packs as the ship itself.

Accuracy Corrector – if Autothrusters are amazing, Accuracy Corrector is a System Upgrade without a place, at the moment. For one, the few ships currently able to take System Upgrades all have plenty of attack dice, making two guaranteed hits less exciting. For another, System Upgrades, rare as they are, include some amazing cards. The Accuracy Corrector is also rather expensive.

Hull Upgrade – A card seen before and, in this expansion, arguably meant to go on Prince Xizor’s ship, potentially making him a bit more tanky.


The Final Two Upgrades

Yes. Two more. There really is a lot of fun things in the StarViper expansion pack!

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Calculation – a Elite Talent featuring Prince Xizor himself (don’t expect to get this from other expansions anytime soon. Yet another way to use of Focus Tokens (the Episode VII starter set added a few of those too). Situationally powerful and cheap, but I would not use it over abilities like Predator.

Ion Torpedos – a secondary weapon I have not used. This torpedo has great potential to wreak havoc among swarms of small ships. Imagine taking out somebody like Howlrunner with the Ion Torpedo and (!) ionizing her swarm. Still, 5 points is a lot to gamble on a one-shot weapon.

It should be noted that the expansion also comes with 7 (yes, seven!) Ion Tokens, in case the Ion Torpedo (the only ion weapon in the expansion) works as intended!

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Final Thoughts

Autothruster modification cards put the StarViper expansion pack on the shopping list of every X-Wing tournament player. Yet even ignoring the Autothrusters, I feel this expansion offers a lot for budding Scum-and-Villainy-players.

  • It offers a very nimble, elite ship with a cool, unique look
  • It is bulging with unique upgrade cards and abilities. Though most (except Autothrusters) may not be the top-shelf tournament stuff, they offer some interesting and fluffy builds. With the possible exception of the Accuracy Corrector, no upgrade here seems bad.

The StarViper is definitely an expansion worth buying!

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X-Wing Miniatures StarViper
Scum and Villainy, Star Wars, X-Wing

Unboxing – X-Wing Scum & Villainy StarViper – Part 1

X-Wing Miniatures StarViper

The StarViper, signature ship of the Black Sun elite in the Star Wars universe, is a very unique and well-designed ship, both in its looks and how it plays on the table, even if the expansion is perhaps often bought mainly for its upgrade cards.

There is a lot to talk about, so I will split this unboxing of the StarViper Expansion Pack for the X-Wing Miniatures game. into two parts.

  • This first part talks about the ship itself, its model and dial.
  • The second part talks about the special pilots and upgrade cards.

The StarViper miniature

StarViper Size Comparison X-Wing

Let’s talk about the StarViper ship as a miniature.

The StarViper is an elite ship, and its design and size give it a suitable presence on the table. It is one of the larger ships on a small base in the X-Wing miniatures game, though its vertical design make the model far less wobbly or prone to snagging other miniatures than, for example, the likewise large (for a small base) K-Wing.

The StarViper also has that somewhat intangible „Star-Wars-look“, that (in my humble opinion), not all Scum and Villainy ships managed to capture.

It certainly is, to me, a big visual draw to building a Scum and Villainy squadron.


StarViper: An Elite Dogfighter

X-Wing StarViper unboxing

The StarViper is a high-end dog fighter. It comes with 3 attack, 3 agility, 4 hull and a shield (!), as well as the ability to both boost, barrel roll and target-lock, putting it on par with a TIE-Interceptor with hull upgrade, shield upgrade and targeting computer (minus the ability to evade).

At 25 points for the most basic pilot – the Black Sun Enforcers – it is not a cheap ship. Its excellent mobility and reasonable resilience make the StarViper an excellent platform for an elite Scum-and-Villainy-arc-dodger.

Moreover, any StarViper can equip a torpedo, giving the ship the option for some extra punch. Curiously though, the StarViper cannot, by default, use the Scum and Villainy faction’s trademark illicit upgrades.


The StarViper’s Manoeuver Dial

Segnor's Loop StarViper Dial

If the StarViper has an excellent statline for a nimble dog-fighter, it’s manoeuver dial is just as great.

It can perform all speed 1 and speed 2 maneuvers, making it extremely mobile in close quarters. Many of them are also green maneuvers, allowing the StarViper to shed stress relatively easily.

The StarViper can also cover distance with a straight 4.

Most notably, however, it can use the Segnor’s Loop maneuver, a new manoeuver first introduced to the X-Wing Miniatures game with the Scum and Villainy faction (though the Episode VII TIE/Fo-Fighters since learned to copy this trick).


Part 1 Summary

In summary, I have to say I really like the StarViper. It is a unique-looking ship, which – especially in absence of a large ship like the Slave I – makes a splendid centre-piece for a Scum-and-Villainy-squadron.

The StarViper clearly feels right at home in the thick of things, dodging and weaving around enemy ships at close range.

In part 2 of this unboxing, I will therefore take a look at some of the upgrades and named pilots of this expansion, seeing if the best pilots in the StarViper can match the game’s more famous arc dodgers like Soontir Fel or Tycho Celchu.

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X-Wing Miniatures Force Awakens
Star Wars, T-70 X-Wing, X-Wing

Episode VII X-Wing Rebels Test Squadron – Part 1 – Poe Dameron

X-Wing Miniatures Force Awakens

With the new X-Wing The Force Awakens starter set sitting in my gaming-shelf, I decided to try out some of my new toys.

I made the following Rebels X-Wing list and took it for a game at the club. This is clearly not a tournament list or anything of this sort. The idea here was to fill the list with as many of the new Episode VII Rebels toys from the starter as possible.

Here is my 100 points X-Wing Episode VII Rebels test list:

  • Poe Dameron (T-70 X-Wing) with R5-P9 and Adrenaline Rush (35 pts)
  • Tycho Celchu (A-Wing) with A-Wing Test Pilot, Chardaan Refit, Push the Limit and Wired (28 pts)
  • Rookie Pilot (X-Wing) with BB-8 and Flechette Torpedos (25 pts)
  • Bandit Squadron Pilot (Z-95 Headhunter) without upgrades (12 pts)

I played against an Imperial squadron of elite pilots in nimble, arc-dodging ships, including Echo (TIE-Phantom) and Carnor Jax (TIE-Interceptor).

This three-part series will detail my thoughts on

  • Poe Dameron and the T-70 X-Wing
  • Tycho Celchu with Wired
  • The Rookie Pilot with BB-8

Poe Dameron and the new T-70 X-Wing

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The Logic behind this Build

Poe Dameron presented a bit of a conflict for me.

One one hand, I wanted to test/get the most out of his pilot ability. An obvious, often recommended synergy is his ability with R5-P9, who allows Poe Dameron to use his „saved“ focus token to regain shield at the end of each turn.

One the other hand, I also wanted to try the new Tallan Roll of the T-70 X-Wing, a red maneuver that prevents the focus action (and doesn’t sit well with abilities like Push the Limit). I opted for Adrenaline Rush to have it both ways in one turn.


My Thoughts after Playing

Tallan Roll: The Tallan Roll is by far my favourite novelty of the T-70 X-Wing. It allowed Poe Dameron to keep slippery Imperials like Echo in his sights, allowed him to dodge Carnor Jax and his deadly short-range fire and kept my opponent on edge.

Part of the maneuvers appeal may be its novelty, which may wear off as people get used to it, start predicting it, but so far I am loving it.

Doing the Tallan Roll just once with an Adrenaline Rush was definitely not enough and I played the maneuver a few more times, stress or no stress, for good results.

R5-P9: I was less impressed with R5-P9, despite the obvious synergies. I believe I only used the droid to repair a shield once in the game.

Partly, this was due to the repeated Tallan Rolls, which denied Poe Dameron a focus token in the first place, which in turn was possibly a result of flying against a squadron of nimble arc-dodgers.

I can see how Poe Dameron’s pilot ability and R5-P9 could work a lot better, especially against less agile ships, especially those with a turret.

It just has not worked for me like this in practice.


Final Thoughts

The T-70 X-WingPoe Dameron in particular, represent a bit of a conundrum:

  • Should I equip Poe Dameron for resilience, using focus, in ability and a suitable astromech to keep him healthy?
  • Or should I play him for maneuverability, getting the most out of Tallan Rolls and boost actions to dance around asteroids or enemy ships?

Flying an X-Wing like a far more nimbler ship is certainly fun, and the pay-off for a well-placed maneuver with an X-Wing is nothing to sneeze at, even if Poe Dameron may not by the wisest T-70 X-Wing pilot to choose for this approach.

The former, more tanky approach might prove to be the more reliable one, especially if ships like the VT-49 Decimator or YT-2400 are on the table.

It is a tricky choice, but arguably also a sign of excellent game-design behind this ship.

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new t-70 x-wing star wars
Star Wars, T-70 X-Wing, The Force Awakens, Unboxing, X-Wing

Unboxing – X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set – T-70 X-Wing

new t-70 x-wing star wars

New T-70 X-Wing (left) and old X-Wing (right)

In this installment of unboxing the new X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set, after looking at the TIE/FO Fighter, I will examine the new T-70 X-Wing.

The box comes with one T-70 X-Wing miniature. Unlike the TIE/FO Fighter, which is largely a cool variant paint-job, the T-70 X-Wing clearly is a different model with a longer cockpit, a more square nose and, most notably, a split turbine on each side in the place of two smaller ones on the old-school X-Wing.

I like what Disney did with the ship’s design. It is still clearly recognisable an X-Wing, while giving one of the most iconic designs in movie history an update.

I am looking forward to seeing it fly in the new Star Wars movie.


A New & Improved X-Wing

Old X-Wing vs. new X-Wing

Like the new TIE/FO Fighter, the new T-70 X-Wing packs a lot more umpf per point than its predecessor.

Comparing the basic Pilot-Skill-1 pilots, we see the T-70 X-Wing brings …

XW7-T70dial

  • One extra Shield
  • The ability to Boost
  • The new Tech upgrade-slot
  • The ability to do the new Tallan Roll maneuver
  • All-green maneuvers at Speed 2, where the old X-Wing only has the straight maneuver at Speed 2 as a green.

For all this, the T-70 X-Wing costs 3 points more at the same pilot skill. That is not a lot of points for all this.

While an extra shield makes the fighter slightly more robust, the main emphasis with the T-70 X-Wing appears to be all about improving maneuverability.

This is clearly different from the changes to the Episode VII TIE-Fighters, which – already maneuverable – ultimately gained more tricks to deal a bit more damage.

As with the First Order pilots, the new T-70 pilot also display the new logo of the New Alliances, essentially a colour-inversion of the old Rebels-logo.

NewT70XWingPilotsbackside

New Alliance (left) and Rebel (right) pilot cards


The T-70 X-Wing Pilots

There are four different T-70 X-Wing pilots included in the core set.
NewT70XWingPilots2

  • The Blue Squadron Novice is the cheapest pilot with a pilot skill of 2. Unlike the non-unique TIE/FO pilots, there is only one card included (as there is only one miniature for the T-70).
  • The Red Squadron Veteran, for 26 points, comes with a pilot skill of 4 and the ability to take an Elite Talent, one of the most versatile and popular upgrade-slots in the game.
    NewT70XWingPilots

.Two unique pilots in the box are the „Blue Ace“ and Poe Dameron, the latter arguable the only true „named“ character in the box (perhaps aside from BB-8 below).

  • The „Blue Ace“ is an odd entry, bringing even more unpredictable movement to the T-70 X-Wing, but losing, compared to the Red Squadron Veteran, the ability to take an Elite Talent, making him far less versatile.
  • Finally Poe Dameron is the star of this selection, with a pilot ability reminiscent of Luke Skywalker’s built-in defence from the original core set, if more versatile. His incentive to „safe“ a focus token is a nice new twist on the tokens/action rule.

New Upgrade Cards

TheForceAwakensAstromechs

Of course, the new T-70 X-Wing can take the Weapons Guidance and, where applicable, the Wired Elite Talents I already talked about. The new astromechs are, of course, unique to the New Alliance/Rebels double-faction.

  • R5-X3 is cheap. As with Wired, I like these new, more affordable upgrades. It has a place in this box, particularly for beginners, allowing you to make one piloting-mistake without consequences. Perhaps there also are some advanced strategies to use the droid and asteroids to your advantage.
  • BB-8 is already a Star Wars fan-favourite from the movies, and the rolling robot brings his signature ability to an X-Wing he joins.

Because BB-8’s ability triggers before the actual green maneuver is executed, a popular combination is to combine him with the Elite Talent of Push the Limit to perform two actions (one of them the BB-8 barrel roll) before the green maneuver clears the stress gained from Push the Limit.


Final Thoughts …

I like the look of the new T-70 X-Wing.

As with the TIE/FO Fighter, I like how FFG is pushing the established X-Wing mechanics in creative new ways to keep the game interesting.

I am a bit disappointed how the new T-70 X-Wing so clearly overshadows the venerable and iconic old X-Wing, which is already a rare sight on many tables.

That one gripe aside, I am excited to get this ship on the table and try the new tricks!

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X-Wing K-Wing Tournament
K-Wing, Star Wars

K-Wing at the Tournament – Part 2

X-Wing K-Wing TournamentYesterday, I posted the first half of this two-part article about my experience testing the new X-Wing K-Wing, specifically this Rebels list, at a local tournament.

This is part 2.


Match 4 – Y-Wings & Stress

In my fourth match, I went against another Squadron of Y-Wings (these ships are really having a comeback, it seems).
R3-A2
Unlike the first Y-Wing list I fought, this one also used Twin Laser Turrets, albeit with a focus on stressing the opponent (i.e. me), with BLT-A4 Y-Wings (firing both primary & secondary weapons), Twin Laser Turrets and R3-A2 to pile stress tokens onto the opponent (i.e. me).

It was not the worst match-up for my list. Y-Wings are easy to catch with an alpha strike. Yet despite killing two early on, the remaining Y-Wings still won the war of attrition.

The amount of stress tokens on the table was insane.


Match 5 – Boba Fett & Scum

My only match against a Scum and Villainy list, specifically a Lone Wolf Boba Fett in a Firespray-31 and two M3-A Scyk Interceptors with Heavy Laser Cannons.

scum and villainy Boba FettFrom the four games I lost, this one was the one I was closest to winning.

The missile strike of my Z-95 Headhunters put the hurt on Boba Fett, while Miranda Doni’s Twin Laser Turret killed the Scyk Interceptors quickly enough.

Still, Boba Fett with Lone Wolf proved to be a formidable end-game-opponent, far more so than Miranda Doni with the odd blocking Bandit Squadron Pilot.

As in Match 4, the attrition war of the late game turned against me, ultimately costing me the match.


Final Thoughts on my K-Wing List

I love the look and the general „WW2 Bomber“-feel of the K-Wing. In my opinion, it is as a true Star Wars beauty of strange ship design.

I also believe Fantasy Flight dropped the ball on the rules-design for the K-Wing.

The K-Wing does not work much better as a bomber – even with the new SLAM – and does not hold a candle to ships like the B-Wing as a heavy jouster.

The Twin Laser Turrets are nice, but probably work even better on other ships, notably the Y-Wing, so the K-Wing risks being yet another X-Wing Miniatures expansion that people will mostly buy for this upgrade, not for the ship itself.

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K-Wing, Star Wars, X-Wing

K-Wings, SLAM, Bombs and a Nerf

It appears, the K-Wing bomber for X-Wing, a ship I have been grappling with recently, received a nerf for its unique SLAM action and the use of bombs.

While I understand the ruling, I do think that it is unfortunate, as this makes it even less likely, that the K-Wing will spearhead a renaissance of bombs in the X-Wing miniatures game.


What is SLAM?

K-Wing SLAM ActionThe new, and thus far unique to the K-Wing, ability to SLAM, allows the ship a second movement, in addition to its first movement, at the price of being unable to shoot in the same turn.

While this is (and remains) a useful tool to get out of a tight spot, FFG’s previews mostly emphasised the SLAM action as a way to drop bombs and ordenance on your opponent.

Blow is a little diagram showing how FFG originally thought SLAM ought to be used to drop a bomb, specifically a Seismic Charge in this example.

swx33-slam-action-diagram2

The K-wing races past an Imperial squadron, dropping Seismic Charges in front of a half-dozen TIEs.


What is the Nerf?

Bombs like these Seismic Charges or Ion Bombs are, following the rules, dropped as the player reveals his or her maneouver dial.

Strictly speaking, there is no „reveal“ of a dial on the second part of the SLAM action.

Now FFG has decided to go against the example they presented in the previews, ruling that bombs after the first move – in the middle of a SLAM – is no longer permitted.

Slam action


Closing Thoughts

There is, in a strictly legal reading of the rules, sense behind this decision. There is no „reveal“ of a maneouver dial. Limiting the ability to drop bombs to the precise conditions outlined on the card will avoid unnecessary arguments about the rules.

At the same time, I think it is a pity, because FFG clearly „wanted“ to have it differently, and bring bombs back into the game in new and interesting ways.

I cannot help but think, that the rules-writers at FFG dropped the ball with the new SLAM action here.

  • The rule’s wording already led to plenty of debates, despite having only been in the game for less than a month.
  • The intended utility for SLAM as a delivery for bombs is now near zero.
  • Only the added cost of Advanced SLAM will even allow you to do anything a regular bomber cannot do.

I highly doubt we’ll see another Ship for the X-Wing miniatures game with SLAM in the future, and if we did, it would need pilot abilities to circumvent the odd restrictions written into the SLAM rules themselves.

Clearly a missed opportunity.

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X-Wing K-Wing Tournament
K-Wing, Star Wars, Tournament, X-Wing

K-Wing at the Tournament – Part 1

X-Wing K-Wing Tournament

As planned, I took my K-Wing list to a local tournament today. I didn’t intend to win any prizes and mostly went to play around with the K-Wing. Even so, I am a bit disappointed by the K-Wing’s performance. It’s more fragile than it seems.

Of the 5 matches I played, I lost 4.


Match 1 – Lethal Twin Laser Turrets

Twin Laser TurretsThe first game I played showed me an arguably better use of the Twin Laser Turret, which I used on Miranda Doni in the hope of getting the most out of her unique ability.

My opponent flew Dash Rendar in his Outrider, as well as two Y-Wings, both with a Twin Laser Turret.

The two Twin Laser Turrents proved particularly lethal for Miranda Doni in her K-Wing. Shooting twice a turn each, the two Y-Wings put 3 – 4 dice of damage on her most turns. Needless to say, she didn’t last long.

After the K-Wing was gone, my Z-95 Headhunters didn’t stand much of a chance against Dash Rendar, despite the missiles I shot his way.


Match 2 – Victory Against the TIE-Punisher

TIE Punisher RedlineThe only match I won, I went up against a similar „let’s try the new bombers“-list.

This list was build around the TIE-Punisher, piloted in this match by Redline, which came out along with the K-Wing, bringing many similar upgrades to the Imperium.

Redline was supported, oddly enough, by a TIE-Defender and a TIE-Advanced. As high tech as the Imperium gets.

It was a good match-up, as my alpha strike list could really shine with its alpha strike against Redline. Moreover, my Ion Bomb helped me keep the TIE-Defender in place.

The result: today’s one and only victory for Miranda Doni.


Match 3- The Imperium’s Finest

X-Wing Dark VaderIn my third match, I went up against the first hard tournament list.

  • Darth Vader in a TIE-Advanced with the TIE/x1 Title and Advanced Targeting Computer
  • Whisper in a TIE-Phantom with Veteran Instincts and Advanced Cloaking Device
  • Soontir Fel in a TIE-Interceptor with Autothrusters and Push the Limit

Too many very elusive, slippery and hard-to-hit ships assembled there. I even scored a few hits on Whisper, but stood no chance against this lean, mean tournament-maschine.


To Be Continued…

My final two matches and my closing thoughts about the K-Wing in part 2.

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K-Wing Size Comparison
Star Wars, X-Wing

X-Wing Miniatures – Look at the Size of that K-Wing!

K-Wing Size Comparison

Yesterday, I posted some musings about the new Rebel K-Wing for the X-Wing miniature game.

Today, the miniature arrived in the mail. Opening the box, I was surprised at how large the ship and the blister are! Look at the comparison above.

I knew the K-Wing was a very large „small ship“, i.e. a ship that flies on a regular small base like the X-Wing or TIE-Fighter, not a large one like the Millennium Falcon, the Outrider or the Slave I.

Still, the K-Wing seems to bridge that border more than I would have guessed, introducing (I think?) a new blister size too, sitting half-way between the regular small ships and the larger ones.

  • Where you surprised by the size of the K-Wing?
  • Have there been ships in the previous six waves that came in this larger blister format?
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Tallan Roll Maneuver for the X-Wing Miniatures Game

A new maneuver – the Tallan Roll, which hasn’t been seen in X-Wing so far.

Star Wars

The Tallan Roll – A New Maneuver for X-Wing

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TIE-Fighters The Force Awakens

New TIE-Fighters for the new X-Wing Starter set.

Things to note:

  • Target Lock is now available for TIE-Fighters
  • TIE-Fighters now have 1 Shield
Uncategorized

NEW TIE-Fighters for X-Wing’s The Force Awakens Starter

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New blue X-wing boost action
Uncategorized

New X-Wing Starter Set for The Force Awakens

X-Wing the Force Awakens

Speculations on this have been around for a while. Now the first pictures have appeared.

Fantasy Flight Games is releasing a new version of the starter set for their popular X-Wing miniatures game – themed to go with the new Star Wars movies kicking off this winter.

New blue X-wing boost action

Blue X-Wings! (with a boost action!)

Black TIE-Fighters.

I’m in love!

New X-wing STarter set contents

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