söndag 18 augusti 2013

X-wing news and starter guide

Seems like Fantasy Flight Games is on a roll with their X-wing games. Right now Gencon is going on and FFG has not only released the highly anticipated ships of Wave 3, but also released info about the future of the game.

The ships of Wave 3; HWK-290, Lambda class Shuttle, TIE Bomber and B-Wing.
The Wave 3 ships are geared towards supporting functions and some slow heavy hitters. Some new upgrades and missions will shake up gaming field, I think. Personally I have always loved the Lambda class Shuttle and I look forward to the B-wing.

Picture taken from FFG's in-flight report slideshow at GenCon. I don't know who took it, sorry.
That's right, FFG will be releasing Tantive IV (which is a Corellian Corvette of course) and a Rebel Transport some time next year. The X-wing is apparently an alternative paint job with alternative pilots and upgrades to the currently available X-wing. It's not clear though if the X-wing will be a separate model or come with the Rebel Transport, there are conflicting reports from different sources about this.

This picture gets a lot of use...
But what if you have just started out with the game, or if you have a lot of friends who are playing and you want to get into the game as well?

The first thing you want, naturally, is a starter set. It's not that pricy (RRP around $30, but can be found for less if you shop around) and gives you all you need to play; rules, cards, dice, tokens, templates and range rulers. Oh, and ships of course. You only get two Tie Fighters and one X-wing, but it's actually enough to get you going and learning the rules. A couple of missions are included which give you a varied playing experience even with those few ships.

The starter set. Image from
While you can download the rules from FFG and buy dice separately the starter is an essential buy; it gives you the iconic staple ships of both the Empire and the Rebels. Even if you have decided to only play one faction it's nice to have a ship or two to loan to a friend who doesn't have his own ships. The cost is also less than buying the three ships separately, so you are not wasting that much money even if you don't use all the ships. The only bad thing with the Starter is that you only get three dice, and you will sometimes need to roll four dice. While you can get by with three you want to eventually pick up some more dice, but more about that later. You can read more about the starter on FFG's own site, but I assume that if you are reading this you already know that you want the game.

"I can't shake them!"

But what do you buy when you have grown tired of dogfighting with the three ships in the starter? Easy, more ships. But which I hear you say? All of them I say. Ok, ok, in what order? I will give you my thoughts on this. Bear in mind that I'm not a tournament player or a master list builder, I just want to give advice on how to get the most fun out of the game.

Fantasy Flight Games have so far released three waves of ships, each wave has its own theme and contains different ships. Each wave has consisted of two Rebel and two Imperial ships, ensuring that all players get something new and shiny to entice them. Each ship has all the tokens and templates needed for that ship, as well as pilot cards for several different pilots, both unique named pilots like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, and generic pilots like the rebel Rookie Pilot and imperial Academy Pilot. Each ship also get a number of upgrade cards representing various pilot skills, ship upgrades, astro-mech droids or weapons. All the upgrades are usuable by both sides and all ships that have the relevant icons on their pilot cards. So you can put R2-D2 in an Y-wing since both can take droids, but not in a TIE Fighter. This makes some ships more attractive to tournament players that want to get the correct upgrade cards.

Everything included in the X-wing expansion set.

  • Wave 1 released the X-wing, Y-wing, TIE Fighter and the TIE Advanced.
    This is all the ships that featured in Episode IV: A New Hope and the Battle of Yavin, except for the Millenium Falcon. The TIE Advanced is of course Darth Vader's fighter, although you do get other pilots as well.
  • Wave 2 released the A-wing, YT-1300, TIE Interceptor and the Firespray. The YT-1300 includes the Millenium Falcon and the Firespray is of course Boba Fett's Slave 1. The last two ships are both larger than the other ships and feature a couple of new missions, with relevant tokens and cards of course.
  • Wave 3 released the B-wing, HWK-290, Lambda class Shuttle and the TIE Bomber. As of now I know nothing more about them other than that they will play very differently than the other ships. The Shuttle is a large ship and also comes with a new mission.
The Slave 1 in all it's glory with all upgrades and tokens included.

Ok, with me so far? Since each wave introduces new mechanics I highly advice to get the waves in order of release. (I do know that some ships are out of print and hard to get, and that might not be possible, but this is a general buying guide.) So try to get all ships from Wave 1 before buying Wave 2, and so on.

Also, if you can afford it, I do recommend buying a second starter right away. This gives you more dice, and two sets of maneuver templates as well as more ships. And let's face it, with TIE fighters you do want as many as you can get.
  1. Buy the Starter. (Two if you can afford it.)
  2. Buy the Y-wing. This will give you an alternative rebel ship to use in the starter missions, as well as giving you some new upgrades to use with the ships you already have.
  3. Buy the TIE Advanced. This will get you Vader to bolster the Imperial side. The ship itself is sufficiently different from the TIEs to offer good variations, and using a TIE Advanced flanked by two TIE Fighters is such an iconic sight you will laugh maniacally and start to hum the imperial march. (I did.)
  4. Buy the TIE Fighter expansion. Although you already have two (or four!) TIE Fighters the expansion will get you different pilots and some useful upgrades as well as another wing-man for Vader.
  5. Buy the X-wing expansion. This will get you Wedge, the best pilot in the game.

The humble Y-wing, but with the ability to Ion gun the opponents it's no easy target.
If you buy one starter and one each of the expansions you will have Two X-wings and a Y-wing for the rebels, a TIE Advanced and Three TIE Fighters for the Imperials. So what now? Well, I know the temptation to get to Wave 2 and the bigger ships is strong, and if you are skimped for cash move on to Wave 2. Otherwise get that second starter now. 

The first reason to get a second starter is that it's more fun the more ships are on the table. Simple. And the cheapest way to get three more ships is another starter.
The second reason is that if you play pick-up games you usually run the tournament scenario which is a meeting engagement between 100 points worth of ships. I haven't talked about points, but 100 points will give you three to four rebel ships, and up to eight TIE fighters, depending on which pilots and which upgrades you add. So you do want that third X-wing and the two extra TIE fighters. 

The third reason is that by now you have probably tired of not having enough dice. Also, that second set of maneuver templates will come in handy if you play battles with multiple players per side.
She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts.

So ok, you have bought everything I told you and now you want to buy some wave 2. What should you buy? Actually from now on you can buy what you like, even from Wave 3. You have enough ships not to upset the game balance and even a tooled-up Millenium Falcon can fall prey to a swarm of TIE Fighters. There are some general advice I can give you though.
  • If you like to fly different missions, buy the big ships (Millenium Falcon, Slave 1 and Lambda class Shuttle) first. They give you extra missions.
  • The A-wing and TIE interceptor can both do a boost action, making them the fastest and most maneuverable ships in the game. They are a bit harder to learn to use effectively but are both fun to play. Get them first if you like the maneuvering aspect of the game.
  • Buy at least one of each ship to get access to all upgrade cards. Some cards can only be found in one expansion. 
  • Buy at least two of all the small ships. The ships all have different maneuvering capabilites and it pays off to fly in formation, which is easier with ships of the same kind. Some pilots have synergy effects with other pilots using the same ship type. (And yes, that means going back and buying another Y-wing and another TIE advanced.)
  • Collect both factions and try to alternate buying ships for each faction. That way you will have mostly balanced forces. It's important if you want to play with someone who doesn't have any ships of their own. X-wing also makes a great party game, just give each player one ship and watch the calamity ensue! This is easier if you have balanced forces.
  • Do not listen to banter on the Internet saying this or that ship is not worth the points. The people doing most of that talk are tournament players who do a lot of number crunching to optimise their lists. Every ship in the game has its place if you play casual games for fun. Besides, it's possible they just didn't figure out how to use the ship to its full potential. So buy all the ships, try them, if you like them buy more of them. Remember that you can get four X- or Y-wings into a 100 point rebel list.
I hope my guide has been of some help. 
May the Force be with you.

3 kommentarer:

  1. Thanks Leif, very good post
    The new expected releases are going to make a nice Christmas present in this family

  2. very good post.
    Now I have to buy a new starter set (which I wanted to, anyhow), and wave 3 (dito) and two of a lot of the smaller ships.... hmmmm

  3. Of course I never meant for you to buy everything at once. I bought one each of everything over the course of six months, before adding my second starter. I then realised that those ships I only had one of were hard to integrate in a list with the other ships, so I splashed out on a second Y-wing, A-wing and Tie interceptor. At the same time I bought more ordinary Ties since I wanted to field a swarm. I was reluctant to add another Advanced though, since I thought Vader should have the only one, but I changed my mind.


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