Sometimes it the simple things that get overlooked. Time to go back to the Academy and brush up on X-Wing!
X-Wing Academy: Things Every X-Wing Player Should Know
Welcome Rookies and Vets alike to the X-Wing Academy. Today’s class is just a quick refresher for you Vets (I hope) but also some clarifications to you new guys out there. Flying with Aces can be pretty daunting if you don’t have the basics down first. So lets try and spread the word – this stuff is useful info.
When Can I measure/ pre-measure stuff?
There are two times you’d want to pre-measure or measure before being committed or whatever in this game – before you move (that is before you select a maneuver or Action that allows movement) and to see if a target is in range so you may fire when ready.
So which, if either or both, are permissible?
For shooting (i.e. determining if a target is in range of your weapons or if the target is in your arc) “pre-measuring” is always fine according to the rules. The main takeaway here is if you declare a target that turns out to be beyond the range of your weapons, you can still choose another target with no penalty. It’s also totally cool to measure with one weapon system, realize your target is out of range, then decide to fire another weapon system at that same target, or pick a different one using either weapon system on it – that’s just how it works.
For moving your ship, there’s a little more to it than that, but not a lot really.
In the rule book on page 6, it says, “… During the Planning phase, players cannot use maneuver templates in order to ‘test’ where ships will end up.” Breaking that down, it does just what it says – you can’t stick a template down on the board to make sure you’re going to avoid an Obstacle with a particular maneuver in your Planning Phase.
As for Actions that produce movement outside of the Execute Maneuver Step, and therefore aren’t really married to the Planning Phase, of course this is totally kosher. In fact, as the rules says you can’t Barrel Roll or Boost into another ship or an Obstacle, you have to “pre-measure” before hand to ensure you won’t violate that rule.
The only grey area I’ve seen folks talking about on forums is whether or not a player can pre-measure a Daredevil maneuver. If you recall, Daredevil is kind of strange in that it’s a Maneuver that occurs in the Perform Action Step (all the other moves during Perform Action are termed Actions). In my mind, the using a template to pre-measure is more linked to the Planning Phase than anything else, so I think you can go ahead and use a template to pre-measure Daredevil, personally although there is some room for debate or ambiguity, I suppose.
I think the main thing to remember here is X-Wing Miniatures isn’t a “Gotcha!” type game when it comes to stuff like this. Plus FFG has done a great job of clarifying most of these type of situations in the FAQ when they have come up. You can pretty much try whatever you want, whenever you want, barring of course laying down a maneuver template in the Planning Phase as mentioned above so it’s more about making a smart decision rather than penalizing you for making a wrong one.
Initiative – What is it, do I have it, what’s it good for?
The rule book defines and discusses Initiative on page 16, but to answer the three main questions people have regarding Initiative:
What is Initiative? It’s a way of resolving timing conflicts. If you and your opponent both have Pilots at the same Pilot Skill, whoever holds the Initiative activates all of his Pilots with that Pilot Skill value first. In other words, the player with initiative will maneuver and do their Perform Action Step before the other player.
When the Combat Phase rolls around, the player with Initiative will resolve their combat steps before the other player. I know. I used to get that mixed up too.
Additionally, the book says if there are multiple abilities resolving at the same time, the player with Initiative resolves their abilities first. I’ll be honest, I can’t actually think of a scenario in which that would occur, but if/ when it does, the player holding Initiative would resolve first.
Basically – if you have the Initiative you get to move first, shoot first, and resolve abilities first.
Do I have Initiative? It depends. If both players spent the same amount of points on their lists and you are not in a tournament setting then ties go to the Imperial player – according to the original rules. If the two players didn’t spend the same amount of points, the player who spent less on their list has Initiative, regardless of Faction. What about a tie between the Scum & Villainy vs Rebels? The official Tournament Rules say flip a coin. In fact if you’re playing in a Tournament setting Imperials don’t even get the Tie Breaker – you still flip a coin.
Update: Most players will dice off or coin flip on a tie these days, regardless of faction for most friendly games. It just makes it simple and everyone likes simple, right?
What is Initiative good for? Well, that’s definitely a matter of opinion. Obviously there are uses for Initiative but the real question to me boils down to, “If I’m eyeing a one-point upgrade, do I take it or leave it hoping to get Initiative?”
Well, it depends on your list, of course. If that one point is going to get somebody and R2 Astromech and you really feel like you could use the extra green maneuvers, then I’d say to hell with the Initiative and spend the point. If you’re just looking to add Determination just because it’s a point… maybe hold onto it and secure Initiative.
I don’t think I’ve ever had any good or bad experiences with Initiative either way. In general, I think most folks made way too big of a deal out of it in the beginning, then as we got games under our belts, we realized it wasn’t that big of a deal and stopped worrying about it. Now that everyone is like, “Meh. Whatever”, towards Initiative it might be the time to start securing it again. It does have some tangible benefits after all, and who knows – it might be the difference in Han firing on Soontir Fel or Vader instead of the other way around.
This one isn’t really spelled out explicitly anywhere I’m aware of, but we do have a bit of a precedence from the X-Wing FAQ.
From the Movement heading on page 16 of the FAQ:
Q: If two or more game effects conflict in
changing the difficulty of a maneuver, which
effect takes priority?
A: An effect that increases the difficulty of a maneuver
takes priority over an effect that decreases the
difficulty. For example, if a ship equipped with R2
Astromech is dealt the Damaged Engine card, all
of the ship’s turn maneuvers are treated as red
maneuvers, including the 1- and 2-speed turn
You’ll see people talk about stuff like, “the worst of two possibilities” when it comes to conflicting rules debates on forums and stuff. That’s kind of not entirely accurate. What we’ve actually got here is a situation where two cards change the difficultly of a maneuver, and in this situation the FAQ says the effect that increases the difficulty takes precedence. That’s it.
What’s the difference between “Large” ships and everything else?
Well first off Large Ships have a Large Base. It’s pretty clear from the picture above whats-what. The YT-1300 and the Firespray-31 are both Large Ships. The others…not so much.
The pamphlet calls out three main things to keep in mind with Large ships:
- Ion Tokens
Overlapping works exactly the same way it always does – just with a bigger base in play. That’s no different. However when it comes to Ion Tokens, a Large ship at least takes two Ion Tokens to trigger the Ion Weapon card text. If a Large ship only has one Ion Token, there’s no effect. If you do end up with two or more Ion Tokens on your Large ship, after you run through the rules on the Ion Weapon card, you discard all Ion Tokens.
Ok, all well and good, but what about that part in the pamphlet that says, “A large ship is unaffected by a single ion token; the ion token simply remains assigned to the ship.”- does that mean Large ships can’t get rid of Ion Tokens unless they get Ionized – i.e. from a second successful Ion hit?
Well, yeah. I’m pretty sure it means exactly that, actually. I can’t find any other way mentioned anywhere in the rules, FAQ, Ion Card text, or Large ship pamphlet that states anything about otherwise ridding yourself of a single Ion Token, can you? That’s me actually asking the question, not me being a jerk. It can be hard to tell the difference sometimes.
As for Setup, rather than extend the standard “deployment zone” for X-Wing past Range 1 of your own board edge, they simply decided that Large ships’ bases may extend past the designated setup area so long as no part of the Large ship’s base is outside the play area (i.e. off-table) in doing so and it fills the length of the area. This picture helps.
That sounds kinda convoluted, doesn’t it? What’s it really mean? More or less it boils down to if you don’t want to have your base square with your table edge, that’s ok as long as your Large ship’s base is filling the entire Range 1 deployment area. In other words, you can’t deploy your ship square to the table edges with the rear edge of the base just a tiny bit inside your deployment zone. If you want to stick your base out over the edge of your DZ, it has to fill the entire DZ, or put another way- one of your corners better be touching the table edge.
Update: Large Ships also have a slightly different move when using the Barrel-Roll action. You still use the “1 straight” maneuver to boost, you just use the long side instead of the short side. The picture below clears this up:
How many moves does it take a ship that can move at a Straight 5 to get across the board?
Well X-Wing Pilots, I hope you enjoyed the refresher. We all started out green so please share this with the rookie pilots out there and get them up-to-speed. Good info is worth repeating!
This series was originally written by Clint Weisgerber of themetalbikini blog. It has been updated and reprinted with permission.