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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > September 2018 (#22) > X-Wing 2.0

X-Wing 2.0

X-Wing put us right in the cockpit of Star Wars’ intense space battles – and the experience was phenomenal. But its creators were just getting started, as the game’s biggest overhaul yet proves

THE X FACTOR

It seems almost ludicrous to suggest today that X-Wing was going to be anything but a huge success. But six years ago, the idea of a Star Wars tabletop game featuring pre-painted miniatures of the galaxy’s iconic vessels duking it out in space wasn’t such a sure bet.

“I think it’s safe to say that absolutely nobody predicted how wildly popular X-Wing would be,” confirms Alex Davy, co-designer of the game’s second edition, which releases later this month. After all, this was 2012. It would be another three years until Episode VII, The Force Awakens, would breathe much-needed life back into the main Star Wars filmography and wash away much of the sour taste left by the prequel trilogy a decade before. Star Wars nostalgia lingered as it always had done, but the franchise’s future appeared to largely rest on TV cartoon The Clone Wars and Lego sets based on increasingly obscure vehicles and locations. On the tabletop, things were even worse, with years of forgettable spin-offs and Monopoly and Risk reskins painting a bleak picture for fans hoping to immerse themselves in the universe.

Players certainly didn’t expect the one-two punch of games delivered that year by Fantasy Flight, which would go on to shepherd the Star Wars series to a golden era of games. Eric Lang’s Star Wars: The Card Game became one of the studio’s headline living card games, with a passionate competitive scene and wide-reaching exploration of the original trilogy’s timeline; it continued to thrive until being brought to a conclusion only earlier this year. It was X-Wing, though, that would prove to be an especially astonishing revelation, its approachable modernisation of miniatures wargame strategy and highly customisable approach to building modestly-sized squads of ships propelling it from being a dining-room table favourite among casual players to a dominant presence in the organised play scene. Its enduring popularity and tournament viability have since long outstripped its designers’ original expectations.

“Six years [is] a long time for any miniatures game,” says Davy. “The core mechanics are simple while allowing for a lot of strategy, but the way the foundation of the game was built did not anticipate its runaway success.”

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About Tabletop Gaming

X-Wing 2.0: The Force awakens in the second edition of the Star Wars miniatures phenomenon. Its creators reveal what to X-pect from the game’s biggest and best overhaul yet. Tabletop Gaming Live: Check out the brand new releases from Gen Con, must-play games and live seminars coming to London’s hottest new gaming convention in Alexandra Palace on September 29th and 30th, from the new card game from the creator of Magic: The Gathering to the UK launch of Pandemic designer Matt Leacock’s Forbidden Sky. Print-and-Play Games: From hidden gems to fan-made mods, the world of DIY board and card games is an endless treasure trove for players. We discover how to make your own games at home for next to nothing. And why not start with… FREE BOARD GAME: Find a free and exclusive new edition of Fightopia from acclaimed designers James Ernest and Mike Selinker for you to print and play at home! Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr: It’s a board game like no other, tackling serious subjects and telling a story you’ll never forget. We learn more about the tale of Billy Kerr from its creators. How We Made: Avery Alder takes us inside the creation of her supernatural teen drama RPG Monsterhearts. REVIEWED: Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game Sailing Toward Osiris Welcome To… Heroes of Land, Air & Sea Spy Club Star Wars: The RPG – 30th Anniversary Edition Ticket to Ride: New York Dungeons & Dragons: Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron Council of 4 Specter Ops: Broken Covenant + more!