28 February 2014

Wishlisting the Future of X-Wing Miniatures

I get emails and stuff occasionally asking if I know anything about the future of X-Wing Miniatures- what ships are coming next? Will we ever see a Pirate/ Trade Federation/ Old Republic/ Yuuzhan Vong/ Black Sun faction? Will they make a Star Destroyer? A Death Star?

As I've mentioned before, I have no inside scoop on any of this stuff, no sources or loose lips. I do have a ton of dedicated readers that hook me up with info almost as soon as it breaks, but nah, I don't have any insights on what's coming down the pike that are special or secret or whatever. 

That said, I thought it might be kinda fun to spend this Friday talking about what might be, what could be, and what shouldn't be. Now, this could go on for a loooong time, so for this installment, I'm just going to list one for each and maybe if y'all seem to dig it, we'll talk about more possibilities later on down the road. 

What Might Be
Y'all know that the big ships are coming. Assuming that they sell as well as everything else in this game, it's not impossible that more big ships might be produced for X-Wing Miniatures. 

When the Corvette was announced and revealed at GenCon last year (big ups again to Lord Fancypants who hooked me up with the pics that ran here), I didn't immediately think, "Oh, now they'll make the troop transport from Empire." Of course, they did, but being an old X-Wing for PC player, I assumed the sister ship would be an Imperial aligned Nebulon B Frigate. 

I still vaguely remember the first time I ran into one of these things in X-Wing. If I remember right, and I may not- it's literally been 20 years and several thousand beers ago, it came up as a medical frigate. At the time, we all kind of went, "Oh, ok. It's just a medical frigate. Let's bust this thing up." 

Then all those green-yellow shots started coming at us like raindrops and I was dust in a matter of moments. Holy mackerel that thing had more guns than the FBI, yo. 

From a model design point, I would imagine that troop transport and the 'Vette would be much simpler to get right for this game, but man I'd love to see a Nebulon B turn up sometime down the road. 

Why is this just "might be"? Well, there's always a chance that the big ships don't sell well for some reason, or maybe this Epic game format they're being created for ends up being a huge turd or maybe people just don't dig it for whatever reason. I don't know, even as kinda non-plussed as I am/ was about the transport, I'm sure I'll still buy one, but the Neb B? Well, I might break my personal "Don't pre-order" rule for that one. 

What Could Be

All right, so now that Katarn's been made, are there any other Expanded Universe, video game guys, with semi-famous ships? 

Helloooo Outrider. 

I never had an N64, but I had friends that had Shadows of the Empire which I somewhat remember playing. A lot of speculators thought this ship might find its way into Wave 3 or Wave 4, but obviously it hasn't made the cut yet. Probably because it really is pretty close to the YT-1300 at least asthetically, if not in how it would function in the game. 

Sure, it's different, it's guns are a little different, etc. etc., but for the X-Wing Miniatures streamlining treatment, it's probably not that different. Still though, it's a popular ship, Dash Rendar is a popular character, and FFG would be silly to leave money on the table like that if there's a demand for the ship.

Will we see it? I don't know, anything's possible and the Rebels don't really have the myriad of ships the Imperials do when it comes to starfighters. For those reasons, I'd say there's a pretty good chance of a YT-2400 appearing on shelves at some point or another, but I think we'll be more likely to see the Neb B. 

What Shouldn't Be

Another Faction sounds like a good idea on paper for some folks, but a couple of things I think make this really unlikely to happen- 

That's the first and probably most significant one. Remember that bit from the Core Set rulebook? 

I know there's been lots of discussions about what "eras" or whatever that FFG has the rights to produce stuff for, I also remember looking around at the time (i.e. about a year ago or so) to see if what people were saying had any validity- namely that FFG could only produce Episodes 4, 5, and 6 stuff. At the time I couldn't find anything that seemed to back up that claim, and with Wave 3 and 4, obviously they either 1) Own the license to produce Star Wars game stuff outright or 2) Also have the EU in addition to 4, 5, and 6. 

In any case, I doubt we'll be seeing another Faction any time soon. Above passage from the rulebook aside, where would you start? This is one of those things that I don't think you can please fans on. What I mean by that is if you produced, say for example, the Yuuzhan Vong, there's going to be a whole subset of people that are pissed you didn't make the Black Sun. Of course, if you switch them, it wouldn't fix anything in this sense and if you made them both, then somebody would be pissed off that you didn't make Pirates too. Or Talon Karrde or the Lady Luck or whatever. 

I feel pretty much the same way about the Old Republic and the Trade Federation and I'm not too uppity to say it's anything but my own personal bias, and by bias I mean that I like the old movies better than the Prequels. Now, I'm not going to go on and on about how much the Prequels sucked- it's been done to death a million times on the internet already and you know how I feel about covering well-trod ground, but I will say those movies ostensibly were about a dispute between a goverment and a trade federation. A friggin' trade federation, yo. I mean, am I watching a Star Wars movie or the friggin' East India Trading Company in space? Heavens to Betsy, Guv'nuh! The Republicans are raising the tariffs again! The old movies had a Death Star, these things have the "Roger, Roger" guys. Come on. 

Anyway, yeah, you could make Old Republic stuff and Droideka Ships or whatever they were called (don't bother correcting me in the comments- I don't care, ok?) and as much as it pains me to say it, I could see it happening. At least, I could see it happening if FFG actually did decide to make more than just the 2 Factions currently available.  

I'm sure you're thinking, "Ok, point taken- but hells bells, we're already down to stuff like the TIE Defender and the E-Wing. How are they gonna keep this ball rolling?" 

New movies, y'all. They comin' either next summer (I mean next, not this- 2015, in other words) or next Christmas, depending on which reports you believe, so we really only have a wave or two left before that new stuff starts coming out. Another big ship here, a collection of scenarios there, and a packet of alternate pilots and/ or a Rogue Squadron box similar to Imperial Aces and we could easily be on the doorstep of Episode 7. 

I'm also not one of those people who thinks a game has to have a million factions to be successful, deep, or popular just like I don't necessarily think just because a game has one hundred pages of rules in it, it's super tactical. Again, just my opinion, but I don't see what adding a third, fourth, or fifth faction actually adds to the game. I've mentioned on here before that I'm not all crazy over the EU stuff- most of it I'm pretty lukewarm on with a couple of exceptions, so I kinda wonder about the ROI on doing something like a Yuuzahn Vong faction would be compared to something that I see a lot of people clamoring for like a linked campaign of some kind. 

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