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Comic: MMO Truths


Games evolve but some things about MMOs never change.

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SW Living Card Game Tutorial

Now that copies of Star Wars: The Card Game have hit store shelves, it’s time for you to get ready to play your first game and, after that, start putting together your own custom decks to vie for galactic supremacy! Of course there are a lot of bits and bobs with this one, as with any Fantasy Flight game, but not nearly as many as X-Wing.

One of the first things you’ll notice when you open the box is that it suggests you check out the How-To-Play videos they have for your viewing pleasure either at their own site (found here) or over on good ol’ YouTube. Either way, these high quality videos will help you understand the flow of play from round to round. Leo has stated that certain aspects are not as immediately familiar to veteran CCG players as some others, but once you get those parts down, it gets very deep. Without further ado, take a look at these videos, go get a box, pop open the cards, tokens, and manual, grab a friend, and get playing!

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X-Wing Miniatures Millennium Falcon Revealed

At last Saturday’s first World Championship for X-Wing the four finalists were given one of the best prizes ever, they became the first four people in the entire world to own their very own Millennium Falcon! I was a participant at the tournament (but sadly not a finalist) and I was able to convince one of the winners to let me snap a few shots of the upgrade and pilot cards that will be coming with the Falcon, which is due to be released in February.

Chewie and the Falcon’s generic pilot

Lando and Han

I missed the point values in each of these shots, but the Weapon Engineer costs 3 points and each of the Modifications costs 4 points. Modifications will be able to be used on any ship, but each ship may have only one modification. The Falcon comes with two copies of each modification.

Like modifications, each ship may only have one title and as you can see, the title is restricted by ship type. Adding the title makes the ship unique, thus you could play with two YT-1300s, but only one Falcon. The Luke card here is one of the new copilot cards that can be equipped to the Falcon to give it some new abilities. And look at those assault missiles! Those will be quite deadly to many of the Imperial squads I saw operating at the tournament, which drew their power from clustering up around ships like Vader and Howlrunner. Of course, it also has the potential for friendly fire as well.

Here are the other copilots. As you can see, they’re faction restricted. By the way, Chewbacca seems freaking nuts as a copilot.

Veteran Instincts is the last new card to come with the Falcon. Also included as an upgrade is one Concussion Missile card, but you’ve all seen those already.

Lastly, here’s a look at the maneuvers the Falcon can execute. You may have also noticed that with the Millennium Falcon title, the YT-1300 will also be able to execute the Boost action. What is the Boost action, you ask? Simply put, as your action you may take an extra move of distance 1. It can only be a straight or banking maneuver, however. No right turns. Also, you may not perform a Boost if it would cause you to overlap another ship or an obstacle. The idea of using Squad Leader to allow my Interceptors to first Barrel Roll and then also Boost in the same turn is getting me very excited for wave 2 of the ships.

I’d like to thank Ryan Krippendorf, one of the four finalists, for letting me dig around in his brand new Falcon and take these pictures. The Falcon, and all the ships in Wave 2 are due to be released this February.

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X-Wing Miniatures Tutorial


With the release of Fantasy Flight Games’ X-Wing Miniatures Game, as they’ve done with many of their other titles, FFG has released a series of videos on how to get started playing the game. The videos can be viewed in multiple parts, each one focusing on a different aspect of the game, or all of them as one 12-minute video. The quality of the videos is, as with all things FFG, exceptionally high and they give you enough info to make you terribly excited! We’ve linked to the complete video on YouTube, but you can also find it, along with additional information at the official webpage for the game.

I highly encourage you to go out and, at least, get the core game. Once you and a friend (or two!) have played a few games, you’ll soon want to go out and get some expansions. Leo will have a review of the games he and I and Zach played the week following GenCon coming soon!

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X-Wing: First Playthrough


A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to take an early look at the Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game from Fantasy Flight Games. I sat down with Evan and Zach to put the core set and several of the expansion ships through their paces. Now that X-Wing is out in the wild, we’d like to give you our impressions from the first few games we played. Also, sorry for the poor quality on these pictures. The lighting in Evan’s dining room was not ideal.

Rebel Closeup

The first thing you will notice when opening the box is just how beautiful the models look. FFG has managed to cram a whole lot of detail into these tiny ships. They previously stated that they were trying to make their ships as accurate as possible, even going so far as to visit Lucasfilm and examine the original models used in the films, and it really shows. If you played Wizards of the Coast’s old Starship Battles game, be prepared to be blown away by the quality of FFG’s ships when you compare them to your WotC ones. Even the quality of the (many, many, many) tokens and dials that come with the game are superior to many other games I own.

After an hour or so of admiring our new ships and going through all the pilots and upgrades to choose our squadrons we finally were able to play. And man, do you need a big table to play this game. The game only requires a 3’x3′ playing area to move your ships around in, but you still need plenty of room outside the play area to set all your pilots, upgrades, damage cards, the movement tracks, movement dials, dice, and all your action tokens. We ended up setting bar stools beside the table for each player to keep all their extra bits on because our table wasn’t quite large enough to hold everything.  But eventually we had all the Rebels lined up at one end of the table, and all the Imperials at the other and could start.

The first couple turns of any game are not going to be very exciting as it will take at least two moves for ships to get into firing range at the beginning of the game. Once you are in range, however, things get really fun really fast. The movement dials serve to insert uncertainty into every turn as you’re not sure what your opponent is going to do before you plan your move. Part of the fun comes from trying to get into your opponent’s head to guess what he’s going to do and plan accordingly while he is doing the same thing to you. It’s a bit like playing chess if both players moved every piece on the board at the exact same time.


Doing the actual movement is incredibly easy thanks to the movement tracks provided by the game. Well, at least until you get several ships bunched together in a big dogfight. Then, as you’re trying to move, every other ship in the game is in the way of your movement track. We ended up often marking the locations of ships and pulling them off the board to make room for another ship to move. Of course, you never manage to quite get those ships exactly in the same place they were at and in a game where turning just a few degrees one way or the other can mean the difference between having a shot and not, this is a very big deal. I would have liked to have seen the movement tracks made out of something a little more flexible than the rigid cardboard to make it easier to thread the tracks in between ships. Same thing with the range finder you use to measure attacking distance.


The dice you have when attacking are a heck of a lot like the custom dice used in the roleplaying game that FFG is also making. The attackers have dice with hits, crits, focuses, and blanks on them while the defenders dice have evades, focuses, and blanks. Evades cancel out hits and crits, and both players can convert their focuses into hits/evades provided they used the “Focus” action this turn. The amount of damage the defender takes is determined by how may hits and crits (if any) were not canceled out. Crits can have some really powerful effects that can badly cripple an enemy ship even if it’s the first point of damage they have taken. In one game we played, the Rebels lost purely because Luke got critted and wasn’t able to fire his weapons for a turn. And yet, there are also crits that are only useful in the right situation, such as one that forces you to discard your secondary weapons. Well, if you don’t have a secondary weapon on your ship then it is effectively just a normal hit.

As a whole, X-Wing provides a fun, fast paced dogfighting game that is my favorite miniature game to date. My biggest gripe with the game is a problem that every FFG game suffers from, and that’s copious amounts of tokens, dials, and other doodads. This means that whenever I want to go play somewhere, I’m carrying around more spare cardboard than I am actual minis. However, I do love the card system for pilot stats and upgrades. Much nicer and more efficient than a giant 400-some page rulebook like you get with games like Warhammer 40k.