Star Wars X Wing Battles
If you haven’t noticed how much of a geek I am by now, you haven’t really been paying attention. Yeah, I don’t talk about games nearly as much as other stuff but they’re in there. I grew up in an era of the birth of role playing games and the twilight of an age of World War 1 and World War 2 table top strategy games. Dungeons and Dragons owes a bit of its history to those old war games. Games like that have been around in one way shape or form for ages.
Knowledge of troop movements and strategies revolving around moving armies isn’t anything new. But what I grew up with were card board counters to represent troops or ships or whatever it was that the armies consisted of. Hell, we never actually used miniatures in our DnD games when I was a teenager. The only things we had were a pencil, some paper, and our imaginations.
I feel like we have to give some thanks to Games Workshop for bringing out the plastic miniatures that spurred on new growth in war gaming. When they brought out the Warhammer lines, the world as we know changed. Sure, people were using pewter miniatures before that but they were expensive. The cost of fielding armies was more than most would want to put into a hobby (granted the costs of the Games Workshop minis feels like a throwback to buying pewter at this point).
But I feel like right now we are going off on a tangent I hadn’t intended today. See, back in 2012 Fantasy Flight Games brought out the first core set of Star Wars X Wing. The set consists of two Tie Fighters and one X Wing and the various peripherals to play the game. And I hadn’t been looking at war games at the time. It took me a while to discover what had grown into a pretty decent sized game with a number of expansions (generally individual ships). They even created a new core set that showcased the ships used in the new run of Star Wars movies.
Okay, enough history…
I have been wanting to pick up this one for a while. The cost is actually within a generally affordable range. Sure, you can spend some cash to get all the expansions and multiple ships you may want to add to your squadrons. But this is one of the more useful aspects of the way the game is sold. You don’t have to buy everything if you don’t want to (I’ll probably get as much of it as I can). You can actually pick up the different ships you want to field and play against others who have the ships they want to use. I mean, this is essentially the way most war games like this have been played for ages. You pick your army and build on it. Usually it is the costs of the armies that can keep you from expanding into whole fields of war.
Anyway, yeah, I have been wanting this for a while. Ended up picking up both core sets and a couple ship expansions for my birthday. The set up is enough to have some pretty decent battles. I like it. It brings to mind the old game Star Fleet Battles I used to play long ago.
Star Fleet Battles is essentially what you would expect it to be. A game of Star Trek ship to ship war. Basically, picture it as ship battles as dog fights. In reality you have to picture naval battle ships dog fighting because that is about the size of the ships involved with this. As opposed to the idea behind X Wing. It’s more the idea of aerial dogfights we imagine.
The concepts have been around for ages, but the tools we have to act them out change and grow. In the age of computers, where I have played games similar to this as computer simulations, we still have pieces we can touch and physically move.
As I slip off into a new tangent, I have a few visions of the possible future of games like this. One is a virtual reality where you are put into the cockpit of the ship with all the controls and visuals to bring you deep into the dog fight. The other is something similar to the controls created for Ender’s Game (the book and the movie). Imagine the virtual battle field where you have the power to coordinate troops and see the battles as they happen.
So yeah, the take away from all of this, I have a birthday coming up soon and I have new toys to play with. Sometimes things aren’t as weird as they seem. And often, things bring us back to our memories and the thoughts of how much things change, the more they stay the same.
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