X-Wing (Re)Introduction

  • IzekielFel
Image courtesy of Fantasy Flight Games

What is X-Wing?

"Control the most advanced starfighters and outstanding pilots in the galaxy! In X-Wing Miniatures Game, you take the role of squad leader and command a group of merciless Imperial or daring Rebel pilots in furious ship-to-ship space combat."

This is how FFG sum up X-Wing, it sounds pretty slick and having come from being a big Games Workshop fan I can tell you now, it is pretty slick.

X-Wing is a smooth, fast paced and competitive table top miniature game from Fantasy Flight Games. It's everything that 40K wishes it was, and everything that Games Workshop stop it from being.

The best way to explain it is to see it; I highly recommend the starter game and also checking the official website.

The Game

Image courtesy of Fantasy Flight Games

X-Wing is a 2 player (mostly) game, where players take control of Rebellion/Resistance, Empire/First Order or Scum factions, to battle for supremacy of the galaxy (or your nearest 3x3 table).

Pilots and ships have a set point value along with the ability to choose from a number of upgrades, including Astromechs, torpedoes, modifications and skills to enhance them on the battlefield.

The game itself is played using a template and dice system. All movement is done using a set of ‘range templates’ which allow the players to dodge and weave into combat and duke it out. There are two sets of dice, red for attack and green for defence.

Image courtesy of Fantasy Flight Games

Image courtesy of Fantasy Flight Games
Image courtesy of Fantasy Flight Games

The above image shows are a set of typical generic pilots and ships, in X-Wing.

Image courtesy of Fantasy Flight Games

Pilot Skill
'Pilot Skill' denotes the order in which a ship moves and shoots. The higher the number the later the pilot moves and the sooner he fires. This gives the best possible position and set up for an attack.

Primary Weapon
'Primary Weapon' is how many of the red attack dice can be rolled by the ship. There are some modifiers on this but they are not of immediate concern.

'Agility' is how many green dice the ship rolls when defending against an attack. The more green dice the higher the chance you can evade incoming fire.

'Hull' is part of the ship and denotes how much physical health the ship has. Hull is also the only part of the ship that can take critical damage (more on that later). Typically higher hull values are found on Imperial ships.

'Shield' acts similarly to hull, with the exception that it cannot take critical hits and has to be removed prior to the hull being damaged. Generally higher shield values are present on Rebel and Resistance ships.


Squadrons in X-Wing are typically designed to fit into a 100 point bracket. This is the standard game level, though other point levels do exist for things like Epic Play (which can involve larger ships).

Half the battle, in X-Wing, comes from the list building, which can be as intricate or as simple as you want. Having said that, getting a balance between the two and finding the right synergy will up your game from something friendly to a competitive level.

Let's take a look at how this would be done in an example from FFG.

Here we have two lists, one Resistance and one First Order, using the starter sets available.

Both of these groups consist of the ship/pilot and then additional items to help enhance the group.

Poe Dameron with Cool Hand , BB-8 , and Integrated Astromech (34) "Red Ace" with Targeting Astromech , Comm Relay , and Integrated Astromech (34) "Blue Ace" with R5-X3 , Weapons Guidance, and Integrated Astromech (30)

Image courtesy of Fantasy Flight Games

Total Squad Points: 98

First Order
"Omega Leader" with Comm Relay and Juke (26) "Zeta Leader" (20) "Epsilon Leader" (19) "Epsilon Ace" (17) Omega Squadron Pilot with Cool Hand (18)

Image courtesy of Fantasy Flight Games

Total Squad Points: 100


The X-Wing Miniatures Game is played over a series of rounds. A single game round consists of four phases resolved in the following order:

  • Planning Phase: Each player secretly chooses one manoeuvre for each of their ships by using its maneuvering dial.
  • Activation Phase: Each ship moves according to its chosen manoeuvre. Players can also assign actions to ships at this stage.
  • Combat Phase: Players perform attack and evade actions.
  • End Phase: The players perform any necessary clean-up including removing unused tokens and determining any subsequent events.

After resolving the End Phase the next round starts with the Planning Phase.

Planning Phase

Movement is conducted using a ship specific movement dial. These have specific movements on them which range from easy (green) to hard (red) moves, that can either remove or add stress to the pilot.

If there is a tie for pilot skill the player with initiative will move his lowest pilot skill first and so on.

The example dial below is from the TIE F/O:

Image courtesy of Fantasy Flight Games

Dials are placed face down next to the ship assigned:

Image courtesy of Fantasy Flight Games

Activation Phase

Once the dials are all set, players then proceed to the Movement Phase, where the dials are placed down and the chosen manoeuvre taken. This starts with the ship that has the lowest pilot skill and uses the chosen range template.

Image courtesy of Fantasy Flight Games

In this example the TIE F/O has used a white 3 bank manoeuvre. After this is done, the ship will not be stressed and, as such, can take one of the actions listed on its base or upgrade cards such as Focus, Target Lock, Barrell Roll or Evade.

Combat Phase

In the Combat Phase, each ship can attack one enemy ship within its range and firing arc. Ships attack from highest pilot skill value to lowest pilot skill value.

If there's a tie for pilot skill value, the player with initiative attacks first, using all ships of an equal pilot skill value before the other player has the chance to attack.

Ships attack and attempt to evade incoming fire by rolling custom red and green attack and defence dice. These eight-sided dice feature a variety of different icons, which determine whether or not your ship successfully hit its target and how much damage it dealt.

Image courtesy of Fantasy Flight Games

In the example, the X-Wing checks its arc and range, using the attack ruler and the printed arc of fire on the ship base.

Having determined that both are good, the player rolls red attack dice and scores 2 hits. The defender then rolls his evade dice and rolls 1 evade result.

As such, 1 hit is taken and, in this instance, the TIE loses its shield token.

Image courtesy of Fantasy Flight Games

In the next example we see an attack made again, this time with a critical result.

Again, the TIE rolls his defence dice and gets an evade result. Having already lost a shield in the previous round, he cancels the Hit result. However the Critical Hit result goes through to hull and a damage card is taken and then flipped up to resolve its critical effect.

In this instance, it's about as bad as it gets, with a double damage result occurring.

End Phase

After all ships have had a chance to attack, you and your opponent remove all unspent Evade and Focus tokens and move on to the next Planning Phase.

Tournament Play

Tournament play is usually between 60 and 90 minutes. FFG have been running the events at 75 minute rounds which seems to be the common time frame now for the official stuff.

FFG run 4 sets of local tournament events each year in participating stores with the Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter kits. These then translate in regional games, then national games and onward to world championship game.

Recently FFG have also started to run the open series, which are a set of tournaments culminating in an invitational event for the winners. I have an article on this for the Yavin portion of the event in Birmingham, UK which will be up shortly.


Learn to Play:


Rules Reference:


Huge Ships Rule Reference:


Current FAQ:


Standard Play Tournament Rules:


Squadron Builder (Web Based):

http://xwing-builder.co.uk/build https://geordanr.github.io/xwing/ https://geordanr.github.io/xwing/

Squadron Builder (Android):


Squadron Builder (IOS):


X-Wing Wiki:


Vassal Tutorial:


X-Wing Subreddit:


Glossary of Terms: