We're all familiar with those immortal words. We all know them, we all love them, so when I had the opportunity to buy the X-Wing core set, added to some spare time on my hands for a few games, well…you'd have to have the brains of a Bantha to turn that down.
So, what's in the box? A more pertinent question would be what's not in the box? I've banged this drum many a time with regard to starter sets, yes I'm looking at you Warlord Games, but the X-Wing core set seems to buck the trend. You get ships, you get dice, you get a ton of cards, a tutorial, a well laid out rulebook, tokens galore, and some range rulers. Sadly, they're not the Games Workshop whippy sticks, but they do the job.
The ships, one X-Wing and two TIE fighters, look bloody marvellous. Highly detailed, and most importantly, pre-painted. Yes, all the ships come painted in their boxes, and only require the most basic assembly of their flight stands, to use them.
In an age of low attention spans, social media, and a plethora of Star Wars video games on the market, the inclusion of pre-painted ships is an absolute masterstroke from Fantasy Flight Games. The reasons for this are twofold. One, you can crack open the box and launch straight into a game with the minimum of fuss, and two, the causal Star Wars fans, who love the models, but are reluctant to get bogged down in painting and gluing miniatures, will have no such worries. They can impulse buy and get straight into it.
Already, friends of mine, who laugh at people like me for their 'geeky' miniature wargames hobby, are looking at X-wing and allowing nostalgia to get the better of them. I suspect a few purchases of the Millennium Falcon are on the horizon.
Conveniently, this leads me on to my next favourite line of argument: economics. X-Wing is astronomically, out of this universe, value for money. No pun intended. The core set is cheap to buy, especially when split amongst friends or a gaming club, and the ability to purchase individual ships (especially if you know the rules) is such good value for money, part of me feels that Fantasy Flight Games are cheating themselves out of any profits!
Ok, so it's cheap to buy, the core set is crammed with goodies, and now you want to know the answer to the most important question: does it play well? Yes, yes, yes!
It's fast, has decent balance, plenty of depth for repeat gaming (but not to many rules to leave you scratching your head) and the set up time and playing area can be done with the minimum amount of fuss. All you need is a three feet by three feet playing area (about the size of an average household table) a black cloth or other playing mat to put down on the table, and you're away.
The mechanics have a real sense of an aerial dog-fight to them as your ships bob and weave for superiority. Your ships can perform complicated manoeuvres, but at a price, whilst locking onto an enemy ship is not as easy as in the films. The core set contains all level of pilots and upgrades, from rookie TIE fighter pilots fresh from the Imperial Academy, to hardened veterans like Luke Skywalker. Aside from a deck of cards or a chess set, I cannot think of a more speedier, no fuss, gaming experience. Perfect for a casual get together of friends.
The game scales well with larger ships added for Epic Play format, which I may well review at a later date. Here is a picture of the Rebel Blockade Runner (The Tantive IV) for example.
Star Wars X-Wing is the icing on the cake. Cheap to buy, quick to play, no need to worry about supergluing your fingers together as you assemble the models, and a universal appeal, which means that even none war gamers will probably be tempted to make a purchase. Fantasy Flight Games are on to winner with this.
Tempted? Now you just need to decide, do you go for the X-Wing Core Set of the X-Wing The Force Awakens Core Set.