With X-Wing Wave 2’s points list came a list of all the ships and upgrades that are “Hyperspace Legal.” A lot of the community has been upset by this list, myself included, but I think it has lots of benefits, too.
When I first read the list of ships that were “Hyperspace Legal,” I admit to being one of the many voices crying foul. Up until that point, I’d been having a blast with a seven-ship Scum swarm that leaned on 3 Quadjumpers and 2 Z-95s, with Drea Renthal, or relearning to love the Star Viper, but now? If the implication is to believed, none of those ships would be legal to fly in the upcoming Hyperspace Trials. “This is dumb!” I bemoaned, adding my voice to the chorus. “Why even sell conversion kits if we can’t fly the ships from them?”
My Arguments Against Hyperspace
Often when I get into a discussion about the Hyperspace format, I will hear how Hyperspace format levels the field for new players. And that is true, for sure. But of course, I was Extremely Upset on the Internet, so to heck with those other people who aren’t me. And honestly, in my own defense, I do wish there was an alternate path provided by FFG Organized Play that didn’t involve the System Opens. Sure, it’s on my bucket list to go to one, but they aren’t nearly as accessible as they used to be. Maybe I’m just spoiled by the fact that my city used to have 3-4 Store Championships and a Regional tournament, with another Regional in driving distance. Introducing the new Organized Play structure, touting the accessibility of Hyperspace Trials and Cups, then restricting these tournaments felt like I’d been tricked somehow.
And of course, on top of all of this, was another selfish (but I feel justified) reason: Worlds is now invite-only. Okay, sure, I’ve been in X-Wing long enough to have tried for a Worlds ticket if I’d really wanted to – I’ve played since Wave 5. But only now, as of last year, did I feel I was at enough of a competitive level to be able to hold my own at Worlds 2019 – except now I can’t just go, I have to earn a spot. Oh, and the spot I have to earn has to be on this small, restricted list of ships.
Now, you’ll notice that a lot of these arguments against Hyperspace’s banlist are about me. Me, me, I, me. I’m not saying there’s anything specifically wrong with having a personal issue with the rules, especially if they get in the way of my own enjoyment. It’s a game, after all, and if I’m not having fun, what’s the point?
The Case for Hyperspace
But here’s the thing – that argument that Hyperspace Format benefits newer players, it’s absolutely true, and should not be so easily dismissed. When I first started playing X-Wing, the #1 most essential upgrade that everyone talked about was Engine Upgrade, and Millennium Falcon expansions were out of stock for months. Sure, I was lucky enough to have a healthy community around me willing to lend me cards as needed, but not everyone has that kind of support network.
So if you’re a new player looking at Guri as one of the reigning meta champions of 2.0, you’re forced to ask: where are the Star Viper expansions? And on top of that, where would you even get the 2.0 cards? Only in the conversion kit. You’d have to hunt down a Star Viper (or Most Wanted pack) and pay $50 for a conversion kit after the retail cost of the expansion. That’s $70-90 for a single ship, and it’s really not fair to ask.
But beyond that, I insist that Hyperspace format helps the veteran players like me just as much as new players. Looking at the logic behind the list of ships that are “Hyperspace Legal,” it’s clear that only ships that have gotten a 2.0 re-release are allowed in the format (plus Resistance and First Order). This suggests to me that this list won’t be so restrictive in the future. And even if it is, that just reinforces my next point even further.
When you prepped for a tournament in 1.0, you really only had a handful of ships/builds to think about how to counter, but with the release of 2.0, nearly everything became viable. Sure, a handful of pilots and lists got popular very quickly, but realistically you could make almost anything work if you were good at it. With the field cut down to about 4 ships per faction, your prep time for the Hyperspace Trials just got that much shorter. Plus, the narrower field means that the Resistance and First Order (along with CIS and Republic, whenever they come out) will be on a more level playing field with the others that had 14 waves of ships.
And to tie this all together, yet another selfish reason: it forced me outside my comfort zone. When the initial outrage in me faded, I started doing what I always do: build lists. And I kept building lists, spitballing ideas with friends, realizing there were ships I didn’t have to avoid for fear of barrage rocket spam. And now I’ve wholeheartedly embraced the Resistance, as shown in my MG-100 articles, which I probably never would have done if FFG hadn’t come along and kicked me in the exhaust pipes.
Lastly, I definitely understand the issue people have with a lack of Extended format official events, and I also hope that we see more of those. But in the meantime, I encourage you to step up to your local community and start running some Extended format tournaments, or if your FLGS already runs regular casual events, talk to the organizer about running extended format. In the meantime, step outside your comfort zone and prep for Hyperspace!
~So what are you flying for your Hyperspace Trials? Do you agree with my defenses, or still dislike the format? Let’s talk about it!