Fly Casual: A non-competitive approach to X-Wing

May 16, 2016

The X-Wing Miniatures Game is pretty great. It’s a fast-paced, deeply customizable game that is accessible enough to be appealing to almost any Star Wars fan. It can also be pretty intimidating and potentially expensive if you want to get into the competitive scene. Tracking down every last pilot and upgrade you need for some high level lists can be quite the investment. I prefer a more casual style of play and have sunk a bit of money into my X-Wing collection thus far, so I’m thinking I’ve just about hit my budget for a while. Luckily, I’ve come up with a list that I’m feeling pretty satisfied with and should sustain me for a while. Here it is:

  • Poe Dameron (31 points, Pilot skill 8 T-70 X-wing)XWingImage051616
    • R2-D2 (recover 1 shield after executing a green maneuver)
    • Weapons Guidance (spend a focus to change a blank attack die to a hit)
    • Determination (discard faceup damage cards that are dealt to this pilot)
  • Kyle Katarn (21 points, Pilot skill 6 HWK-290)
    • Ion cannon turret
    • Recon specialist crew (assign an additional focus when performing focus action)
    • Moldy Crow title (focus tokens are not removed during the end phase)
  • 2x Prototype Pilot (17 points, skill 1 A-wings)
    • Chaardan refit (-2 squad point cost)

I don’t really know how this list would fare in a competitive match (probably not well), but I like it well enough. Poe is obviously the heavy hitter here and the everything is pretty much built around him. As the highest skilled pilot in the most threatening ship, he’s going to be the one flying in and doing the major damage. Due to this, I’ve tried to make him as survivable as possible. R2 goes a long way in this, allowing Poe to constantly refresh his shields and forcing the other player to concentrate on giving him large chunks of damage if they want any hope of taking him down. I also added Determination to him, mainly because I had a point left and it mitigates any pilot damage Poe could take from critical hits. In terms of actually dealing damage, I really like Poe’s special ability. As you only need to have a focus token (as opposed to spending it) to change one of your focus results while attacking or defending, it gives you a lot of flexibility. You can just slip in an extra hit or evade die while saving the focus token for later. It’s great.

But however good Poe’s ability is, it also means Poe pretty much always wants a focus token, which means he’s constantly taking the focus action. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but there are times when a target lock or well-timed boost could come in handy. This is where Kyle Katarn and the Moldy Crow come into play. This ship is basically a focus factory. The recon specialist gives it double focus tokens when taking the focus action. The Moldy Crow title lets you keep them at the end of the turn. Best of all, Kyle Katarn’s pilot ability allows you to transfer one to another ship at the beginning of combat. Kyle just stays close to Poe the whole game, funneling him focus tokens. This allows Poe the freedom to take other actions while still getting that precious focus token. I especially like to have Poe acquire a target lock, which drastically raises the odds of multiple hits. As an added bonus, I’ve equipped the Crow with an Ion Cannon Turret in an attempt to control where enemy ships are going to be. With a primary attack value of just 1, this ship pretty much demands a decent secondary weapon and the Ion Cannon Turret opens up the possibility of peppering in single points of damage while being able to predict where a ship is going to be. It’s definitely better than shooting one attack die a turn.

Finally, I have two Prototype Pilot A-wings, both outfitted with a Chaardan Refit in order to get me down to exactly 100 points. An alternate of this list might eventually have Biggs Darklighter in order to draw fire away from the Crow, but I opted for strength in numbers here. I like A-wings for their maneuverability. Even though their pilot skill is only 1, these guys are going to be zipping around the map annoying the heck out of my enemies. While Poe is soaking up enemy fire, these guys are going to sneak in, get off a couple of shots and get out.

And that’s it! My first attempt at a decent X-wing list. It’s definitely not going to revolutionize the game or win any tournaments, but it does take advantage of some nice synergies. Best of all, I like it and have had fun with it, and that’s good enough for me.

If you’re interested in trying X-Wing for yourself, stop by any of our weekly casual play times:

  • Thursday nights at Bayshore
  • Saturday afternoons at Greenfield
  • Wednesday evenings at Greenfield

Check the event calendar for more details. We’ll see you out on the tables!BacktotheBlog

Brian K

Brian K was born the same year the Nintendo Entertainment System was released, so he's been a gamer all his life. When he's not working at the Bayshore store, he's busy teaching composition and working on his PhD at UW-Milwaukee. His favorite games include Escape: The Curse of the Temple, Pandemic and King of Tokyo.

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