Recently we have been looking at list building and how the competitive push in X-Wing Miniatures drives the game.
Part of this is in effect due to the excellent rule-set of the game that allows players to compete in a tournament setting, which gives the rise to certain lists being more optimal vs. others, which in turn drives the new players looking over to the internet in order to win.
If you are a new player to wargaming in general, winning is often VERY important.
You are new to the game, the rules, and the social setting it is played in- at a club or store. You are investing time in physical product, playing, and reviewing tactics.
You want to make sure you are on the correct track in gaming, and the way to validate this is by winning.
Winning games = doing something right.
One of the factors in competitive playing is “The List”.
Looking at the points for the event and building a list that makes the most efficient use of the points.
The first place to start is in deciding if it is a mass vs.mobility list.
And from there, spending your points in an efficient manner- next post is going to look at this in detail, but for now a good starting point is paying points for stuff that is always in use.
Automatic re-rolls like gunner, upgrades like engine boosts and the like are always in use as long as your ship is in play.
Upgrades like missiles, torpedoes, extra shields are not always in use, or used once (situational) and then gone. Not to say they can’t be effective, but putting torpedoes on all your ships, can almost equal another ship on the table.
Then there is pilot/ship synergy, like key pilots that gran re-rolls or other bonuses to friendly ships in range 1, etc.
In case you are new to the game, the first and most important tactic is to make sure you build you list so you get re-rolls on everything that you can. The base fundamentals of a competitive list are built on this.
Which then brings us to hardware vs. software- my terms for card mechanics and pilot mechanics- as in YOU as the pilot.
Hardware comes from selecting ships, pilots, and upgrades. You pay the points and you have the ships. In effect, or one use only these are a constant in the game and work as described, modified by the dice- which you have re-rolls on having adjusted your list from just reading that above.
Software is your ability to pilot the ship- physically with the dial on the table, and able to interact against the other ships and asteroids on the table. Actual player pilot skill needs to be practiced, which is why sometimes just flying your ships around on the table, avoiding asteroids and the like actually improves your game.
Work on your software skills so you don’t make mistakes, or at least make less mistakes.
Which finally brings us to surprise lists.
Competitive players (tournament players) want lists they can count on- stuff that works all the time, and is not situational. Many competitive players become stuck in these lists, even if they are VERY good players with them. Throw in a curve ball list- like bomb fields, and other odd ball situational stuff, and it can really mess with their game as they have become more accustom to HARDWARE playing and not SOFTWARE playing.
Used correctly there is an advantage here- you just have to make sure your SOFTWARE is up to par in using and pulling off your surprise list in that situation- can you setup the situation on the table?
Something to think about as you continue your X-Wing tactical journey.
Never tell me the odds!