I was sitting around with a few of the guys after blasting through some X-Wing Miniatures battles and we were talking about some fundamental skills/starting tactics with the game- stuff that is pre-ship or pre-list in understanding. My thoughts, briefly….
1 -Control the center of the table.
As a miniatures game, the action on the table is physically confined to the boundaries of the gaming mat for standard play or something larger for epic play. Controlling the center means you can get the longest range and most maneuverability out of each ship in your list. While there are some specific times and examples where you want to fly up and down the side of the table, being up against the hard edge of the table limits your movement and makes it easier for your opponent to figure out where you are going.
2 –Control the flow of the dice.
I ask myself is it better to have less ships that tend to put our more attack dice, or more ships that put out less attack dice? As an example let’s say I do five hits to a TIE fighter and it fails to evade them- three of the hits take out the TIE, but then what happens to the other two hits? They get lost since they don’t transfer over to anything else. If I have more ships with less attack dice (TIE swarm as an example) then I can shoot with one ship, then another, and then when my target is destroyed move on to the next with less chance of having my hits spill over into nothing.
3- Manipulate the dice.
This one isn’t X-Wing specific, but rather miniature wargaming 101 when dice are involved. Dice inject the “random” into the game which create tense moments and excitement (or disappointment) since you never really know what is going to happen. Any ships, cards, upgrades, or whatever your system calls it that can allow you a chance to re-roll failed dice needs to be taken and used every turn if possible. Re-rolls are how you control and get around the random- allowing your tactics to drive your list, and have less of a chance of the dice screwing you over, although it can and will happen.