Friday, 11 October 2013

Star Wars: X-Wing: Quick Start Rules AAR, Episode I

As promised, I shall now offer a thorough description of a game using only the basic quick-start rules - in other words, the version you are most likely to meet if you play for the first time, or use when introducing new players to the game.
Let's start with the box; as you can see below, the starter set is crammed with high-end heavy duty cardboard counters and game aids - actually everything you need to play is included.

Special dice, movement rulers, orders wheel - you name it, it's got it!

 The set is really good value for money, but you'll probably want 2 sets for both players to have a full set of dice and rulers. The extra Tie Fighters and one more X-Wing should come in handy, too ;o)

Have a good look at all the components – with the prepainted models an impressive sight, right?

Well, let's get down to business! The basic scenario pits the rebel Rookie Pilot against the Empire's Obsidian Squadron Pilot and Academy Pilot.

Starting positions as seen from the Rebel Player's side
I opted to use a 3' x 3' / 90cm x 90 cm board for the game, which is the recommended size - and just happens to be the size of my Black board - although a larger or smaller area can be used. I would not recommend using a smaller surface than 2' x 2' / 60cm x 60 cm for this game, and I would not use a smaller table than 3' x 3' for engagements with more than 4-5 ships per side. You do need some room for maneuvering, if you want to use any kind of tactics, rather than just attack head-on.
Starting positions seen from the Imperial side,
with the Order Dials in place

The antagonists start on opposite table edges, otherwise there is no restrictions. The board here is laid out with ships at starting positions and the tools of trade ready for use.


The first thing to do is chosing an order for each pilot. Every ship type in the game has its own unique 'Maneuver Dial' (which is assembled from 2 punch-out components and a plastic nave). To select an order, just turn the dial until the maneuver, you would like the pilot to make, shows, and then place the dial face-down next to the ship.

Some maneouvres have green or red arrows instead of white, but these are not used in the basic starter scenario, just as 'Actions' are not.

When all orders have been placed, the pilot with LOWEST Skill reveals his order and takes the movement ruler associated with the manouvre on the wheel.

Bank (soft turn) to the right. The ruler is placed in front of the ship (it fits between 2 tabs on the base), and is held firmly in place on the table while the ship is moved to the front end of the ruler and placed so that the ruler againg fits between 2 tabs, this time at the rear of the base.

As you can see, the Imperial Academy Pilot (with Skill 1) performs a Speed 3 Bank (soft turn) to the right. The ruler is placed in front of the ship (it fits between 2 tabs on the base), and is held firmly in place on the table while the ship is moved to the front end of the ruler and placed so that the ruler againg fits between 2 tabs, this time at the rear of the base.

The rebel pilot (with Skill 2) has chosen to outflank his opponents. With a Speed 3 Turn to the right, he seeks to avoid being caught in cross-fire between the 2 Ties.

The Imperial Obsidian Squadron Pilot (Skill 3) has not foreseen the maneouvre of the X-Wing, and makes a soft turn to the left – undoubtedly to try getting behind the Rebel, but now seemingly leaving the lesser skilled Academy Pilot to exchange the first blows with him.

After all maneuvers have been completed, it's time to check if any enemy ships are within the firing arc (indicated on the front part of the ship base) and firing range (the firing ruler) of each ship, but the ships have not moved far enough for
that, yet.


The Academy Pilot proceeds cautiously with a Speed 2 bank left, while the Rebel pilot continues circling his enemies with a Speed 3 bank right.

The Obsidian Squadron Pilot, realizing his initial mistake, makes a Speed 3 bank right to start closing the gap to his wingman.

The X-Wing and the Tie-Fighter of the Academy Pilot are just outside range of each other, and the turn ends with no shots being exchanged.





The Tie Academy Pilot, anticipating that the Rebel will continue circling him, decides to make a Speed 4 Koiogran Turn, which makes the ship fly in a straight line, turning 180 on the way, ending up pointing in the opposite direction.

The shrewd Rookie Pilot, though, makes a Speed 2 turn right, which may be very bad news for the Academy Pilot, while the Obsidian Squadron Pilot makes a Speed 3 turn right to join the fray.

Closely tailing the Tie-Fighter, the Rookie Pilot opens up with his primary weapons, the laser cannons.

When firing its primary weapons, a pilot rolls the number of RED Attack Dice indicated by the RED number on the Pilot Card (and Ship Base), 3 in the case of an X-Wing. In addition, the target is in Range 1, giving the firer 1 bonus attack die.

The result of the roll is: 1 Blank, 1 Focus, one Hit. The eye is asociated with the Action 'Focus', and thus counts as a blank in this scenario, as actions are not used under the Quick Start Rules. The bonus die comes up with another Focus.

To counter an attack, the defender rolls the number of GREEN Defence Dice indicated by the GREEN number, 3 in the case of a Tie-Fighter. The result of the roll is 1 Blank, 2 Evade.

Each Evade cancels out one Hit, thus the Imperial Pilot easily escapes the deadly laser bolt hail, and the turn ends.

I apologize for the awful fotos of the dice; I played in our conservatory, and the glass walls let so much light in, that the slightly glossy surface of the dice reflected it from every angle. I'll experiment with the camera settings the next time.


Dodging the laser bolts, the Academy Pilot makes a Speed 1 turn left to get out of the rebel scum's visors while the Rookie Pilot uses full thrust with a Speed 3 bank right to face the Obsidian Squadron Pilot now rapidly approaching with a Speed 5 straight. I like to leave the movement rulers in place to visualize the dodging and weaving of the fighters, that's why the right turn shows fot the X-Wing in the first pic.

The Obsidian Squadron Pilot, Skill 3, opens up first, rolling 2 attack
dice for the Tie's primary attack value, and 1 bonus attack die for Range 1. Results are: 1 Focus, 1 Hit, 1 Critical Hit. The Critical Hit just counts as a normal hit in this scenario.

The Rookie Pilot rolls 2 defense dice, resulting in 2 Evade; No blood is drawn, and the X-Wing returns fire, rolling 3 dice for the pilots attack value, and 1 bonus die for Range 1.

The Rookie Pilot then returns fire with its 3 attack dice + 1 for range 1, scoring 1 Critical, 2 Hits, 1 Blank. A Tie-Fighter has Defense Value 3, and rolls 1 Focus (Blank), 2 Evade, cancelling out 2 of the hits – BUT the Tie has been hit 1 time and suffers 1 damage – marked by a card from the Damage Deck face down on the Pilot Card (under the full rules, if suffering a Critical Hit, the card would be face up, and the effect on the card would come into play.


Under the Quick Start Rules, Shield Tokens are not used. Normally, if a ship has shields, it has a number of Shield Tokens equal to its Shield Value (a Tie-Fighter has Shield Value 0, an X-Wing 2), and it spends Shield Tokens to cancel out Damage (the shields are knocked down first). Under the QSR, though, the ships are just able to sustain damage equal to its Hull Value + its Shield Value.

The Academy Pilot has no bearing on the X-Wing, and the turn ends.


The Academy Pilot wants to turn as quicly as possible to follow the X-Wing. Normally, this would be accomplished with a Koiogran Turn, but it requires a certain speed, and the Tie-Fighter is too close to the table edge at this point. If a any part of a ships base at any time crosses the table edge, that ship is considrered to have fled the battlefield.
Thus, the AP uses a Speed 1 Turn instead, minimizing the distance traveled away from the action.

Having tasted blood, the Rookie Pilot takes his cumbersome X-Wing into a Speed 2 turn right to bring his laser cannons to bear as soon as possible, and the Obsidian Squadron Pilot makes a Speed 3 Koiogran Turn to get behind the RP.

I think I have forgotten to take a pic of the OSP measuring the distance to the X-Wing, but it must have been in Range 2, with no bonusses to either attack or defense.
The OSP rolls the 3 Attack Dice of the Tie-Fighter, 1 Critical, 1 Hit, and the RP rolls the 3 Defence Dice of the X-Wing, resulting in 1 Blank, 2 Evade, cancelling out the hits.

Only Imperial Stormtroopers are that accurate” - Oh, well, but this is a pilot XD
The AP is still too far away, end of turn 5.

This conludes Episode I of this AAR. To be Continued!

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