Tuesday, June 11, 2013
X-wing and why Biggs is awesome
This past weekend I was fortunate enough to travel to Austin to compete in the X-wing regional tournament. It was a decently attended tourney, given the new-ness of the game and the difficulty in getting any of the model ships. But...
What a great tournament! I had an absolute blast every game. One of the things I really like about X-wing is the simple elegance of the rules. There really are not that many rules, and the rules as they are are clearly written out with great examples. Most of the game is the customization of the ships and the players skill.
In short, an X wing is an X wing and a TIE is a TIE. But the pilots and the upgrades you give them as well as how well they all work together is where the game really shines. There aren't any really bad builds, just some that are not super optimal. The thing is, what it comes down to is how you play your ships. Do you want to try and over run your opponent with a mass of tie fighters or do you want to run an elite Rebel squadron? Truth is there is not one list that is better than another, just how you play it.
For my part, I ran an elite rebel list consisting of 3 ships. Wedge Antilles, Dutch Vander and Biggs Darklighter. 2 X-Wing fighters and a single Y-Wing. with a few upgrades and astromech droids, I made a pretty tough list that had my opponents having fits the way I played it.
Wedge is flat out a beast. His ability is to remove defense dice from his target, making it much more likely he will cause damage or destroy a ship. Dutch Vander hands out free target locks if he gets one himself. A target lock allows you to re-roll any of your attack dice if you choose. Guess who got the free target lock.
And Biggs. His ability is if he is range 1 of a friendly ship, then you have to shoot him if you are able to. Which seems initially like a kind of horrible ability having the "kick me" sign on your back, but what it does is forces your opponent to shoot him, leaving the rest of your ships untouched and free to focus on pure offense. There are certain pilot skills and upgrades you can buy that improve the offensive ability of pilots, so I loaded up on those for Wedge and Dutch, and left Darklighter to be a whipping boy in space. Its a nice perk to not to have to worry about being shot atand having your "big gun" taken out in the first engagement.
Maneuvering with this list is a real pain, because if one of these other 2 guys gets too far from Bigss, they're toast. Every ship that can will shoot these down as fast as possible. And if you happen to overlap, then you don't get to use any actions which really restricts the pilots ability to do what you want them to do.
Any way, for the tournament, I faced 3 opponents, and with some luck on my matchups I did very well. Most of my opponents had equal to or fewer ships than me.
Game 1. vs. Chumbalaya.
I faced a Firespray ( Think Slave 1) a TIE interceptor and 4 TIE fighters. The game started off rather slowly with the TIEs waiting to close till the TIE interceptor and Firespray got in close, but I moved in quickly and blew 2 of the TIEs away in the first 2 turns. The some careful maneuver and managed to get rid of the Tie Interceptor. The Firespray focussed on Biggs, and did finally blow him up, but was itself blwn up n the same turn. With 2 TIEs left, it was simple to have wedge and Dutch finish them off.
Win for me.
Game 2. vs Tom
Tom ran 3 Y wings, and did a marvelous job of staying close together and working as a squadron, however, I played the range game and stayed out of his Ion canon range most of them game and whittled him down fairly quickly. Biggs survived this game, but he did get Ionized a few times.
Win for me.
Game 3 vs Cyberwolfe.
He ran a wedge and Millennium Falcon list. This game was kind of funny in that we both flew around the board in circles looking for the opportunity to turn in and start shooting. Cyberwolfe played well, but the Falcon got a little too much separation from the Falcon, so I moved all 3 of my fighters in. Biggs took some shots, but the return fire from my Wedge and Dutch Ionized him, and his Wedge was gone the next turn.
At this point my maneuvering got really bad and biggs got separated form the rest of my ships and it was open season on Dutch, who took several hits and lost of few shields, but managed to get in range 1 for his own shots, removing 3 sheilds from the Falcon and Wedge Biggs removed the other 5. After that it was nothing more than chasing the Falcon down and blowing it up.
Win for me.
All of my opponents were great guys, and one of the things I really liked was the laid back feel for the tournament. I'm not stranger to competitive play, but this was one of those "just plain fun" tourneys for both sides. No real arguments, few questions, just simple game play with some really great guys.
I took 1st place and won the regional tournament and got my ticket to the world championship in November. Not sure I will go, Minnesota is a long way from Texas, and its really cold.
All that aside, I really like this game and cannot recommend it enough. I am able to play with my 7 year old daughter as well as grown opponents and have a great time each game.