These days EVERYONE is picking up X-Wing. Here’s how to get your first squadron into combat!
Judging by the big spike in traffic my own site has seen since the release of the Wave 4 ships, it would appear that even more folks are getting into X-Wing Miniatures. Selecting a Solid Squadron can be something of a subtle art. Here’s the first in a series of tips to hopefully make it a little easier!
I love playing around with different lists. One of the things that appealed to me most about X-Wing, and still does for that matter, is how many viable lists can be created and played competitively. Now, yeah- I know, there’s meta in X-Wing just like any other miniatures game, but it’s much less pronounced than in most games and even in the hardcore tournament scene there’s different lists being played.
When I get emails from new players asking for list advice and evaluation I’m always kinda hesitant to really say a whole lot. For one, in the grand scheme of things I’m really not all that great at this game. I’ve never won a Store Championship let alone a Regional or National or World. For two, X-Wing very much depends on your ability to actually fly the ships and maneuver them effectively.
That said, I do find myself telling these folks some of the big ideas I’ve picked up since I started playing and surprisingly so, even through the four waves of releases we’ve had, a few of those old chestnuts still ring pretty true like they did back in the Wave 1 days.
The first thing I tell people is-
The Best Offense is, uh, a Good Offense
It sounds funny but it’s totally true. If you’ve got the X-Wing Miniatures dice handy pull them out and look at them. If you don’t, you’ll just have to take my word for it.
Check out your red Attack die. It’s got 8 sides, right? On those 8 sides you’ve got one critical symbol, three hit symbols, a couple of Focus eyeballs, and two blanks. So effectively, you’ve got four faces that are going to score damage on your opponent and four that aren’t.
Now look at the green Defend die. 8 sides as well, of course. 3 faces with the Evade symbol, 3 faces with Focus eyeballs, and two blanks.
Slight difference there, huh?
Sure, there’s a lot more that plays into this, but at it’s core it’s easier to hit than avoid being hit in X-Wing Miniatures. This means that all things being the same, you’re going to be better off trying to be more offensive in X-Wing than trying to tank up and be super hard to kill.
Not only is this commonly overlooked by new players, it was overlooked by me for a long time too. I’ve mentioned on here before that I played 40k and that my main and favorite army was an Armageddon Imperial Guard army. I don’t really know how it is these days, but when I played under 4th and 5th ed, things were definitely easier if you made yourself hard to hit, so naturally I applied that line of thinking to my X-Wing Squadrons and found myself losing more than I was winning, and even in the games I did win, rarely would I actually wipe the opponent off the board before time was called.
This was why- I’d totally glossed over the fact that in general, it’s easier to hit than avoid being hit.
Now again- there are guys, Named Pilots I mean, who are good at not being hit. Guys like Luke Skywalker or Night Beast who make their living off of being tough to kill. This line of thinking doesn’t apply to them so much. In general though, if you’re struggling between spending points on an offensive type upgrade- whether that’s a Secondary Weapon System, a particular Elite Pilot Skill, Crew Member, whatever, and a defensive upgrade, you’re probably better off taking the offense over defense.
If you’re just learning the game, take some of those guys with big guns- take Wedge Antilles or Mauler Mithel or Backstabber and fly them in your lists. Don’t be scared to get them in the thick of it either. Take Secondaries like a Heavy Laser Cannon and give it a spin on your B-Wing or Firespray and see how it treats you. What I think you’ll find is after a few games you’ll come to rely more on your own forethought, maneuvering, and Actions than relying on an Astromech or Shield Upgrade to keep your ships alive. Give it a shot!
If you want to get into X-Wing Miniatures but don’t know your Evades from your Target Locks, by all means, stop on by the hippest pilot bar in the galaxy- TheMetalBikini.com. We serve all kinds (yeah, even droids- they’re the best tippers), and have a whole bunch of articles from breakdown summaries of every single card released so far, to tactics articles, to our Bikini Battle Basics new player guides- all served up with a heapin’ helpin’ of my own personal brand of slang and humor. Can you dig it?