GAME REVIEW: STAR WARS X-WING: IMPERIAL AND REBEL ACES EXPANSIONS / DESIGNER: JASON LITTLE / PUBLISHER: FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Two of the main expansions for the popular Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game, the Imperial Aces and Rebel Aces boxes, have been recently re-released, having pretty much sold out when they were first launched earlier this year. This re-release gives us an excuse to take a look at them before they vanish off the shelves of your local games store again.
The Imperial Aces set comes with two identical Tie Interceptors, with different paint jobs, a small rules booklet, and all the counters, stands and cards you need to add extra ships to your X-Wing force. One model is in the colour of The Emperor’s Royal Guard, whilst the other is part of the elite 181st squadron. Both pieces are reasonably well painted and quite sturdy for what are essentially slim plastic darts.
As suggested in the title, the expansion comes with ‘ace pilots’; cards that determine the points cost of the model depending on their power. The 181st aces are dogfight specialists, with their special abilities making them even more agile around the board than your usual TIE Fighter. The Royal Guard aces are murder specialists; use correctly and they will swoop in and do serious damage to your enemy fighters before swooping away from enemy fire. They require finesses, and suit players with a more cunning playstyle.
The Rebel Aces set contains A-Wing and B-Wing models. Like the Imperial set, they’re repainted versions of existing models and come with the usual rules booklet and other necessary pieces. Both models are quite pretty and fairly sturdy. They have clean and fresh looking paint jobs, which makes them stand out from the usually quite weathered looking Rebel ships. They aren’t quite as exciting as their Imperial enemies, mostly because some random pilots simply aren’t as interesting as The Emperor’s personal guard. The aces included have an emphasis on flashy moves and chipping away at the enemy, rather than a singular killer use. The B-Wing is a very cool model that will provide much needed fire-support for any Rebel force, though perhaps the most interesting card is Chardaan Refit, which reduces the A-Wing’s points cost.
Overall, the villains win this one, but just. The B-Wing’s power to smack out torpedoes matches the deeply evil feel of the Royal Guard. Neither set is a must-have, but both are welcome additions to the Star Wars X-Wing range.
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