There have been various attempts to bring the Star Wars universe to board games. Some of the most popular nowadays are Imperial Assault, Legion, and Rebellion. However, in 2004 Wizards of the Coast created an excellent collectible miniature game from 2004-2010, which still remains unknown to many fans: the Star Wars Miniatures.
In this game, you and your opponent(s) pick up a squad and build a point-based team from that squad’s characters. Each character has a stat card, which includes his hit points/health, attack, defense, damage, and abilities. Characters with force powers have specific force points to spend in order to re-roll, move 2 extra squares, or use Force Powers. The squads are based on each star wars era. To be more specific, the light side consists of the Old Republic, the Republic, the Rebels, and the New Republic. Likewise, the dark side squads include Sith, Mandalorians, Separatists, Imperials, and Yuzaan Vong. Fringe squad characters can be put in any squad, or be a standalone team.
Each round goes as follows: after rolling for initiative, each player activates 2 characters, then the opponent does the same until all characters are activated. The gameplay borrows elements from the Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying game. Players use a 20-sided die for rolling initiatives, saves, and attacks. During their activation, characters can move and attack, attack and move or move up to double speed.
The gameplay is really addictive and there is a lot of depth in strategy. Each squad has its own unique combinations and play styles. For example, the Imperial squad focuses on commander effects that increase defense in comparison with the Separatist squad, which focuses on commander effects and abilities that boost the attack stat. Popular characters like Yoda, Darth Vader, and Obi-Wan Kenobi are present and powerful on their own, but building a squad without a proper plan, or with just popular Star Wars characters will not guarantee victory. Strategy is hard to master, but each squad offers various characters and combinations to try out in order to build a team with a strategy that suits you.
With regard to miniature quality, there are both “goods and bads”. Just like with most Wizards of the Coast products, miniatures are very durable. However, the paint job is great for some miniatures, but for most, it’s not the best. Nevertheless, pre-painted miniatures always enhance the gameplay experience, and these ones can perfectly fit with other Star Wars board games like Imperial Assault, which don’t have pre-painted ones.
The only drawback this game has is the fact that it is a collectible miniature game that is out of print, with each booster set containing 5 random miniatures. However, being one of the most popular miniature games of its time, it is notably easy for people to find and purchase almost all miniatures, starter sets, and scenario packs online. There are also bundles, which are totally worth it since people can buy whole squads for a pretty good price.
In conclusion, Star Wars Miniatures is a well-made miniature board game that should not be overlooked, especially by fans of the franchise. It is the ideal Star Wars board game experience with an exceptional blend of simple rules, deep strategy, and vast action.