Rolling for Initiative is a weekly column by Scott Thorne, PhD, owner of Castle Perilous Games & Books in Carbondale, Illinois and instructor in marketing at Southeast Missouri State University.  This week, Thorne discusses the shuttering of Atomic Mass Games' Star Wars: X-Wing and Star Wars: Armada miniatures lines and the announcement of the next Disney Lorcana set.

Atomic Mass Games announced this week they were officially ending production of its Star Wars: X-Wing and Star Wars: Armada games (see "Atomic Mass Ends Development").  The company ended further development of Armada back in 2021 when it announced there would be no new miniatures or expansions for the game, only reprints of existing materials and support for Organized Play.  We carried Armada when it came out, but it sold so slowly that, frankly, we never noticed when new product stopped coming into the channel for the game.

X-Wing, on the other hand, was a hit when it released in 2012.  Customers flocked in for the game, we preordered 6 to 12 of each new ship as it released and had to put in reorders within a month or so.  Organized play events were well attended and sales were steady until 2018, when Fantasy Flight Games announced X-Wing 2E, with a set of completely new rules, templates and markers.

Although the miniatures from the first edition of the game could be used with the second edition, nothing else could, rendering moot much of the materials players had accumulated for the game over the years.  We noticed an obvious lack of interest in the new rules set, as most of the starter sets we ordered remained on the shelf three months later.  Our local players kept using the first edition rules and slowly drifted away from even buying new ships as a number of the new releases were just variants of previously released ships.  Looking at sales figures for our store, it has been well over a year since we sold any of the few remaining X-Wing materials we had on the shelf.

Of course, the announcement by AMG that it was ceasing production of both games sparked interest among consumers in getting what product remained before it sold out.  However, retailers wanting to stock up on the remaining SKUs of both products to take advantage of this sudden increase in demand found that, concurrent with the announcement, Asmodee had removed the remaining items from the wholesale section of their website; making the remaining inventory only available at MSRP.  So long X-Wing and Armada, it was a good run while it lasted!

One would think that, entering the TCG market some thirty years after the introduction of Magic: The Gathering, Ravensburger would have taken the time to evaluate what other companies have done to make and keep their games successful over that time, especially the three longest-lasting TCGs (see "The Big Three Rule Again").  One of the major strategies the Big Three employed, at least until recent years, was to not flood the market with product.

It appears with Disney Lorcana that Ravensburger has looked at the three companies’ strategies over the past 5 years or so and not the previous 20, as Ravensburger just announced the fifth Chapter/Set for Disney Lorcana.  Shimmering Skies has a street date of August 8, 2024, just after this year’s Gen Con, meaning it will probably be available at the show and assuming Ravensburger holds to its two-week window for new release, a hobby store release date of July 25, 2024.  Five sets in less than one year pumps a lot of product into the market. Our store saw sales fatigue with Ursula’s Return and I fear we will see even more with Shimmering Sands releasing so soon afterwards.  I certainly hope I am wrong.

Am I right to worry?  What do you think?  Send comments to

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of