27 February 2014 | FFG Hall of Heroes

A New X-Wing (TM) Ace

FFG Proudly Inducts Paul Heaver into the Hall of Heroes

“Never tell me the odds!”     –Han Solo

The 2014 X-Wing tournament calendar has just recently gotten underway with worldwide Store Championship tournaments, and as we look forward to watching these events unfold, and as we look ahead to the Regional Championships and other events to follow, we want to take a moment to look back at one of the events and one of the players that have helped to define X-Wing tournament play to-date.

Today, Fantasy Flight Games is proud to induct 2013 X-Wing World Champion Paul Heaver into FFG’s Hall of Heroes!

2013 X-Wing World Champion Paul Heaver with his trophy

2013 X-Wing World Champion Paul Heaver

A software engineer from the Northern Virginia region, Paul Heaver was first introduced to X-Wing at Gen Con Indy 2012. After honing his skills throughout a series of 2013 Regional Championships, Paul elevated his game to the highest levels at the 2013 FFG World Championship Weekend, where he won the 2013 X-Wing World Championship!

Paul’s victory was the first FFG-hosted event in which Rebel forces were able to overcome the Imperial’s lethal TIE swarm tactics, and as he explains, Paul’s choice of two X-wings and two B-wings was as intentional as it was effective:

“The first time I saw a B-wing, I started playing around with it. The extra shields over an X-wing seemed worth the loss of agility. I had a lot of trouble getting used to the dial, getting blocked while performing Koiogran turns, and getting burned down by opposing ships. When I was constructing my squad list, Biggs Darklighter seemed to add a lot of defense to the list by staying back and drawing fire against an extra defense die. I also decided to add Advanced Sensors to the B-wings so they could K-turn and focus, even while ramming into other ships.

At that point in testing, my list was three Blue Squadron Pilots with Advanced Sensors and Biggs. It seemed like a good list, but then I read Doug Kinney’s article on the Team Covenant website entitled "Use the 4's," where he talks about how pilot skill “4” pilots could be a strong counter to the current metagame. I was having trouble keeping all three B-Wings close enough to Biggs anyway, so trading one for a Rookie Pilot and upgrading the other two to Dagger Squadron Pilots seemed like it was worth testing. I played on VASSAL a bunch (winning the Team Covenant VASSAL tournament), and came in second at a monthly event near me, losing to an Imperial list that had everything at pilot skill six or higher. My squad list going into the World Championships was Biggs, a Rookie X-wing, and two Dagger B-wings, each with Advanced Sensors.

You can read more about Paul Heaver’s squad and strategy at his place of honor in FFG’s Hall of Heroes!

The 2013 World Championship Finals

Not only was Paul Heaver’s victory the first time the Rebel Alliance had won one of the major events hosted by FFG staff, it was a fantastic display of piloting.

The World Championship finals pitted Paul Heaver’s Rebels against the TIE swarm flown by runner-up Dallas Parker, and X-Wing fans couldn’t ask for a more dramatic conclusion to the 2013 tournament season!

Played over twenty-one rounds, the game featured a mixture of skill and fortune that echoed the many of best moments of the original Star Wars trilogy. In the first round of combat, Paul’s Biggs Darklighter was destroyed after he was unable to roll any evade results over sixteen defense dice. That placed Dallas Parker’s Imperials at a significant advantage until Paul was able to one-shot “Howlrunner” as Dallas rolled all blanks on her defense dice.

Paul Heaver’s B-wings were briefly outnumbered two-to-six!

After that pivotal moment, the game changed shape, and Paul’s Rebels slowly fought their way back into the match, overcoming all odds, until both squads had been worn down to just one hull remaining.

You can learn more about the 2013 X-Wing World Championship finals at Paul Heaver’s place of honor in FFG’s Hall of Heroes!

The Best Is Yet to Come!

The 2013 World Championship final was a fantastic match and a great example of what the game has to offer, but with the Imperial Aces Expansion Pack and the 2014 tournament season just around the corner, we’re certain that the best times for X-Wing fans are yet to come.

Don your flight suit, prep your fighter, and get ready for all the action that the 2014 X-Wing tournament season holds in store. The 2014 Store Championships are now underway, and you can check our full list of Store Championship events to find one near you!

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