X-Wing™ 101: Fly with the World Champ
Three Introductory Squads by X-Wing™ World Champion Nand Torfs
"I always wanted to fly one of these things."
Are you a Star Wars fan? Do you like watching starfighter battles? Did you ever wish you could fly Poe Dameron's X-wing or Darth Vader's TIE Advanced x1?
Well, you can. In X-Wing™.
The miniatures game of fast-paced, Star Wars dogfights, X-Wing allows you to assemble a squad of starfighters and race them into battle. It's easy to learn, and you can play countless battles out of a single Core Set.
The twist, of course, is that there's a whole galaxy's worth of fighters. And after flying your X-wing or TIE fighters to battle several times, you might want to try some of those other ships—the Millennium Falcon, Slave I, the U-wing, A-wing, TIE interceptor, TIE bomber…The list goes on.
In fact, the game is always growing. So how can you find your way forward? This is the subject of our X-Wing 101 articles. In each X-Wing 101 article, one of our guest writers takes a look at the different paths you can take into the game for just 101 USD.
In an earlier X-Wing 101 article, Team Covenant's Zach Bunn presented a tournament-worthy Imperial list that you can assemble for under 101 USD. Today, though, we take a more casual approach to the game… guided by reigning World Champion Nand Torfs.
Making the Jump to Hyperspace
Hello! When FFG asked me what I would recommend if you are new to the game, or what you should buy first if you are new to competitive play, I approached the task by imagining that my wife burned up all my X-Wing stuff: What would I buy first?
It turns out that the things I really need are templates, dice, asteroids, and a Falcon.
This, however, gives me a few choices. Classic or The Force Awakens™ Core Set? Rebel or Resistance Falcon? If I choose the old Core Set and the new Falcon, there is no Poe Dameron overlap, so that seems the most efficient choice. Classic Core Set and Heroes of the Resistance Expansion Pack. That also gives me R2-D2!
If I buy those two, it leaves me 21 USD to spare. Let’s buy a K-wing Expansion Pack with that. The K-wing expansion offers bombs, and bombs are fun! By the way, I’m definitely having a casual approach here; let’s not worry about competitive play for the moment.
With the Classic Core Set, Heroes of the Resistance, and the K-wing Expansion Pack, we have the following upgrades and pilots:
- Elite Pilot Talent: Determination, Marksmanship, Snap Shot (x2), Trick Shot (x2)
- Astromech: M9-G8, R2-D2, R2-F2
- Torpedoes: Extra Munitions, Plasma Torpedoes, Proton Torpedoes
- Crew: Bombardier, Finn, Hotshot Co-Pilot , Rey
- Illicit: Burnout SLAM (x2)
- Modification: Advanced SLAM, Integrated Astromech (x2), Smuggling Compartment
- Tech: Pattern Analyzer (x2), Primed Thrusters
- Titles: Black One, Millennium Falcon
- Turret: Twin Laser Turret (x2)
- Bomb: Conner Net, Ion Bombs
- Missiles: Adv. Homing Missiles
- X-wing: Biggs Darklighter, Luke Skywalker, Red Squadron Pilot, Rookie Pilot
- YT-1300: Chewbacca, Han Solo, Resistance Sympathizer , Rey
- T-70 X-wing: Blue Squadron Novice, Jess Pava, Nien Nunb, Poe Dameron, Red Squadron Veteran, "Snap" Wexley
- K-wing: Esege Tuketu, Guardian Squadron Pilot, Miranda Doni, Warden Squadron Pilot
Looking at these, what squads can we build for one-hundred points?
100-Point Girl Power!
- Miranda Doni with Twin Laser Turret, Plasma Torpedoes, Extra Munitions, Bombardier, Ion Bombs, Conner Net, and Advanced SLAM
- Rey with Trick Shot, Finn, and Millennium Falcon
The best way to play this list is to “present” Miranda to your opponent—trying to bait him or her to chase after her. Then you can follow up with Rey and keep your opponents within arc, letting you make efficient use of Rey's ability. And even on the run, Miranda can still shoot behind her with Twin Laser Turret and drop a bomb here and there.
My final opponent in the 2016 X-Wing World Championship, Kevin Leintz, wanted me to do that—go after Miranda!
98-Point Man Muscle
- Han Solo with Trick Shot, Rey, Finn, Smuggling Compartment, Burnout Slam, and Millennium Falcon
- Poe Dameron with R2-D2, Plasma Torpedoes, Pattern Analyzer, Trick Shot, Integrated Astromech, and Black One
In this list, Han’s pilot skill value of "9" is worth more than his ability—which I think they translated very well from the movie where Han made his landing approach to Starkiller Base while still flying at light speed.
In the first rounds, you have to play slow and get as many focus tokens charged on Rey as possible. Later on, you fly into the engagement, take the target lock action, and have a free focus from Rey. Use your SLAM wisely; you only have one.
This list also features the Resistance’s best pilot. Poe Dameron is finally a pilot skill "9" pilot! Let him go into battle, then disengage. He can regenerate his shields with R2, perform red maneuvers, and still take actions. You will love playing with the Resistance's best pilot!
My Favorite Squad for 101 USD
- Miranda Doni with Plasma Torpedoes, Extra Munitions, Rey, Ion Bombs, and Conner Net
- Jess Pava with M9-G8 and Integrated Astromech
- Biggs Darklighter with R2-D2 and Integrated Astromech
Here's what you do: Lock Miranda with M9-G8, and charge!
In the beginning of the game, Miranda wants to bank as many focus tokens with Rey as possible. Then, once you engage, you can use Miranda's ability to roll an additional die, and you have a five-die attack that you can reroll with target lock, modify with focus, and that burns an extra shield if your target still has any left! It's nice!
The key is keeping a tight formation so you gain the action economy from Jess and Biggs can do his thing—soaking up damage your opponent would rather throw to Jess or Miranda.
I played this squad a couple of times, and it is a very nice list. I love the synergy between the three pilots. Jess Pava’s astromech, M9-G8, takes care of Miranda’s reroll. Flying Miranda and Biggs in formation with Jess allows her to get two rerolls. And Biggs is playing the hero, willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good.
It’ll take you some practice to play this well. After all, you can’t keep your ships together in a mini-swarm all the time. But when you disengage, your opponents should be ionized by Miranda. She will be your MVP almost every game, so keep her alive!
The truth is that I like this list so much that I think I’m going to play it in my next tournament…
Thanks for reading. Enjoy the game!
—Nand Torfs, 2016 X-Wing World Champion
Enjoy the Game
With its assortment of iconic ships and pilots, Nand's selection of X-Wing products to purchase for 101 USD or less represents just one of the many paths you can follow toward thrilling Star Wars dogfights.
So will you fly to battle with Han, Poe, Rey, and Miranda? Or will you succumb to the lure of the dark side and strap yourself into the cockpit of Darth Vader's TIE Advanced? Will you hire the galaxy's greatest bounty hunters? Or will you inspire terror throughout the galaxy with Kylo Ren , General Hux , and the First Order's finest pilots? With X-Wing you can do it all, and it doesn't take a giant investment to get started.
After all, the game's World Champion is headed to a tournament with a list you can build—pre-painted!—for under 101 USD.
What will you do? These are your first steps. The whole of X-Wing and the Star Wars galaxy await you!