1 July 2016 | X-Wing

Timing Your Attack

A New X-Wing™ FAQ is Now Available


Today’s  X-WingFAQ update contains everything you’ve come to expect from a new update—clarifications, streamlined rules, and a host of useful information for those that want to know every interaction on a detailed level. In addition, this particular update introduces a major step toward clarifying the countless abilities during combat: a timing chart!

A Word From the Developer, Frank Brooks

Hello again X-Wing fans!

I am proud to announce the latest FAQ, version 4.2.1, which addresses the community’s most pressing questions about Wave VIII.

Wave VIII introduced some new concepts we hadn’t thoroughly explored before, namely the timing window of “after defending.” Although this fit into the established timing structure (by occurring at the same time as “after attacking,” and being resolved by initiative in the case of multiple abilities), issues arise when an “after defending” ability produces another attack.

The Dengar Dilemma

When different game effects can be triggered by both players after an attack, tracking the situation can become quite hairy. Valen Rudor attacking with Cluster Missiles against Dengar equipped with Gunner and R5-P8 is a mess of timing windows and lingering effects. Although resolvable under the current ruleset, to help navigate this quagmire as well as clear up general confusion about the order of operations during an attack, we feel that the time has come to introduce a timing chart that clearly establishes the steps involved in performing an attack.

We started by setting aside all abilities that perform additional attacks such as Gunner, Luke Skywalker (crew), BTL-A4 Y-wing , and the new TIE/D title , and grouped them together as something distinct from other abilities that trigger “after attacking” or “after defending.” We felt it was reasonable that before resolving all of the steps of doing another attack, all other things that trigger after that attack should be resolved first. This way, there will be far fewer lingering game effects that players need to remember all the way through any additional attacks, and we’ve clarified some of the most confusing timing interactions.


Although we were able to work with it for a long time, we really needed to look deeper into how exactly “perform this attack twice” should function within the rules. Should it be treated similarly to these other “Gunner” abilities? Although possible, from a thematic perspective, the weapons that “perform [an] attack twice” represent a barrage of smaller attacks rather than a single volley, followed by another volley. So, although players go through the process of rolling attack and defense dice twice, we tested whether we could simply treat having done both attacks as having performed an attack once for the sake of triggering “after attacking” and “after defending” game effects. This changes the nature of a few different card combos, such as Twin Laser Turret with Tactician , but overall, the altering of a few interactions is worth the clarity gained.

By placing "Gunner" abilities and performing an attack twice on separate loops back through the timing structure, we also reduced the power of having initiative. By breaking down all abilities into separate windows, both players now have more opportunities for interaction and we’ve eliminated many protracted, hard-to-track effects.

“Declare Target”

With the introduction of a formalized timing chart, we have finally clarified the order of substeps within the “Declare Target” step. In the original rules, the “Declare Target” step explained everything that occurs during that step, but didn’t give a specific order. We got a little closer with the Rules Reference, but didn’t go all the way to give it bullet points. After reading and rereading the rules, we have now established a definitive order of events that makes this sequence perfectly clear.

After revisiting all of the previous card-by-card FAQ rulings, we realized that R4 Agromech did not actually follow this order. Since the cost to perform a secondary weapon attack occurs before the target becomes the defender, if the attacker spends a focus token to perform the attack, there is not yet a defender to acquire a target lock on. This has a few side effects as R4 Agromech no longer interacts with Blaster Turret or Deadeye.  It still provides the effect of a focus and target lock for an attack, just in a less efficient order.

Now that the timing structure of an attack has been formalized, we as developers can feel much more comfortable designing new abilities that play within this structure. We know that if any confusion arises over the timing, we can point players to the exact step in which these abilities occur.

Download the new X-Wing FAQ now to read the entire update. Don’t forget to bookmark the timing chart! It’s a useful tool you may find yourself referring to again and again.

As always, game rules, tournament regulations, and other support materials for X-Wing can be found on our X-Wing page.

Back to all news