In order to tell this story of the fantastic X-Wing miniatures game, we need to be clear on three things.
- Fantasy Flight Games–the creator of X-Wing–has a world class game shop and play space in the building adjacent to their headquarters in Minneapolis. Not only does it feature a fully stocked game store, but it has play space for 200, plus a full cafe that serves excellent burgers and beer on tap. Oh, plus it has a second huge room with play space for another 200, while still squeezing in a Twitch streaming station in the corner. It’s legit.
- Fantasy Flight has held the Star Wars license since 2012 and has created incredible Star Wars board games in pretty much every genre. All told they have sold over 20 million Star Wars games and their X-Wing game alone has sold over 7 million copies.
- The X-Wing World Championships were recently hosted at the aforementioned Fantasy Flight Game Center. Competitive X-Wing players defended upon Minneapolis from all over the world. On the day previous to the big event, Fantasy Flight hosted a special presentation and Nerds on Earth had a press pass to the event…
Andrew Navaro, head of Fantasy Flight studios, opened the event (dubbed the Hyperspace Report) with a broad announcement of the 2nd edition of X-Wing, then quickly turned everything over to a panel of game designers, license managers, and organized play managers. Here are some of the big points that Navaro shared:
- X-Wing 2nd edition is fully backwards compatible with 1st edition, provided you buy Faction Conversion Kits, which based upon their content lists, are loaded with everything you’d need.
- A companion app will now accompany the game. This was a huge announcement as it allows the game to be balanced in a much more flexible manner. Whereas point costs would before be printed in a card, forever locked in stone, an app allows the game to be subtly adjusted before every season of organized play. This is good and certainly the first fruits from the recently announced digital team.
- The system will be more polished overall. Fantasy Flight has learned a ton since the game was released in August of 2012 and all of those learnings are backed into this 2nd edition of the game. An already fantastic game becomes more fantastical.
- X-Wing 2e launches at GenCon 2018 in August.
Remember, this was an announcement made with the best X-Wing players in the world present in the room, having assembled for the World Championships. Fantasy Flight was announcing something new to a group of people who had invested heavily in the old.
But I felt overwhelming enthusiasm and excitement among the gathered nerds. All the proposed changes were nearly universally met with applause by the audience. Sadly, only one question addressed how X-Wing 2e would be geared toward new or casual players, but I got the sense that this was thoroughly addressed by the designers as well.
Here is the link to the entirely of Fantasy Flight’s marketing copy. Marketing copy has a way of over-selling things, making them appear to almost be too good to be true. But if you believe the response of professional X-Wing players, X-Wing 2nd edition is very good news indeed.
[Disclosure: Nerds on Earth received a press pass to the event and was given some free swag for attending. And, no, you may not have the Star Wars coffee mug they gave me.]