It’s finally here. In what seemed like an eternity of waiting, X-Wing second edition the next instalment of Fantasy Flight Games’s flagship game has hit the shelves and tables around the globe.
When X-Wing second edition was announced at FFG Worlds earlier in the year the Hype Train shot out of the station and I was sitting in First Class. X-Wing was the first tabletop game I went all in with. I loved Star Wars and I loved the simplicity of the game alongside the fact that you did not have to paint the models. This, in-particular, was also a huge draw for me.
I got heavily involved in the game via tournaments, blogs, I joined a team and regularly took part in the Athena Games Stream Team. I’d never considered myself a top-tier player. I was closer to a mid-carder who had potential on the right day and the right list to nick a tournament win here or there. I’d attained the capability to beat anyone scalping store champs, regionals champs and national champs alike. However, I just did not have the consistency of the top guys to win the majors. I knew that, I knew my place. I enjoyed the competitive scene and the variety it would bring, new players with new lists and styles of play. The peak of 1.0 for me was attending Nerf Herder 2, an amazing event with some of the worlds best in attendance. The future world champ taking that particular title home.
I Had A Bad Feeling About This
However, after then I started to lose interest. As the game continued to grow with new ships the rules became bloated and the meta started to shift. Gone were the days of thematic sci-fi dogfighting. The game woefully become bent on first-turn damage-flurries that typically decided games very early on. Lists and opponents started to become copy and paste net lists with the fun slowly trickling out of the game for me. Additionally, with the end of 1.0 approaching I found myself pondering “Well, what’s the point?”. The past few months Games Workshop have sunk their claws into me Kill Team and Underworlds. Both scratching that skirmish and competitive Itch of mine. A month ago I had decided to bid a not-so-fond farewell to X-Wing. X-Wing second edition was no longer in my plans.
I have not bought in; I was never going to. However, after a few games of Kill Team last Wednesday I saw the old gang with X-Wing on the table. Above all I felt the buzz in the room from the local community. To quote a wise Jedi Master, “piqued, my interest was”.
Now if you’re reading this you may well know a lot about the new changes, so I’m just going to mention specifically what has hooked me back.
- Balance. The problem with 1st Edition was dependency on new releases within the scene. Once the new waves were out chances were if you did not buy anything from it you would be well behind the curve. The new hotness would be everywhere and ruling the roost until the next wave. With X-Wing second edition comes the introduction of the conversion kits in which everything has been re-written. Stat lines changed, base sizings adjusted, points balancing, abilities changed, etc. Ships I’d have never flown due to my joining the game at around wave 6 were hitting the table and people were having fun flying them. At the minute there is no mega list, just lots of experimentation. This is healthy for the game and gives a level playing field for everyone.
- The App. I appreciate that this did not start off well. Glitches and general user experience has not been as smooth as FFG had hoped. However, the potential here is incredible. FFG would be able to change points and release FAQ’s on the app quickly and smoothly, in theory. With the app if something does become overpowered, or a negative impact on the game they have the ability to alter it swiftly! Considering the problems with how long FAQ’s took to publish in 1st Edition, this is music to my ears. They will have the info they need for this at their finger tips thanks to the fact that official tournaments will all be signed into their own servers. Hopefully the kinks can be ironed out and this can be working at its full potential swiftly.
- The Factions. 1st Edition had 3 factions. Towards the end they teased splitting up Rebels and Imperials with sub faction specific cards. Thus it was no surprise when they revealed that there would be 3 factions on the release of X-Wing second edition. These would be the familiar Rebels, Galactic Empire and Scum & Villainy. Resistance and First Order will come in future waves, and then the bombshell of the Galactic Republic and Confederacy coming. The game all of a sudden has a much more fluffy feel and with brand new factions come brand new ships. I did have concerns as to how they’d planned to introduce new products and this news eased them.
I now have a decision to make. I’m now certainly buying in. Alas, I will not be buying in to the extent that I did before and will only be going with one of the factions. Which one will I be going for? Clouded, my judgement is. However, over the next fortnight I will be testing a myriad of options on Vassal. Be sure to keep checking back as I engage head-on into the X-Wing rabbit hole once more.