The following is from my brother who has been playing as long as I have. We’ve both had our up and downs with this game and I can definitely relate to most of what he says here! – Rogue Leader
With six years of X-wing experience under my belt, you might assume I’d have some deep and meaningful lessons to share. Well…I can’t offer much when it comes to actually winning games. But I can offer a few morsels when it comes to two things – list building and attitude. This all comes under the assumption that you a) want to make lists that work for you and b) want to keep your emotions in check and be a good opponent.
Things to keep in mind when putting together your list
- It’s good for a reason – People far better than I have figured all sorts of lists and combos out, so why not use those ideas for my own benefit? Historically I haven’t as I am stubborn, which is like tying one hand behind my back before I even start. There is no harm in giving ‘netlists’ a go. Learn about them. Even if you don’t like it, you’ll understand it. Maybe even tweak them for your own preferences. Stand on the shoulders of giants!
- A special snowflake – A very personal one. Sitting there with my three Ion Delta Defenders back in Wave IV of 1.0 may have stood out, but it got me precisely nowhere. I’ve never been one for jumping to the latest hotness but at the same time, being obtuse isn’t helpful. We need to give ourselves some kind of chance, so find things you like in the current meta and work from there.
- Initiative bids are an upgrade – I used to hate leaving points. It always felt like I hadn’t built the list correctly, or that things weren’t optimal. But over time I’ve learned the importance of shooting/moving first/last, which is a decision to consider when putting together a list. Just because the points aren’t in the list doesn’t mean they aren’t serving a purpose.
- Give the list a chance – Once the list is made, you need to give it a chance. On average I’ll use a squad for 4/5 games, tweaking it a bit each time, before moving on. It’s not enough to really suss out the pros and cons of the list, or what it’s good against, or even how to fly it. Again, give yourself, and the list, a chance to be successful. Seek out opponents and various lists.
Making the most of the game – win or lose
Do you want to play well? Does playing in the spirit of the game and being known as a good opponent sound good? Do you want to enjoy the game win or lose?
Then you need to check your mindset and attitude.
The most important thing to remember is that we’re pushing plastic ships around a table. It isn’t life and death, though it may feel like it at times. As long as you’re enjoying the game you’re playing and the company you’re keeping, everything else is secondary. And if you’re learning that’s great too!
You don’t flip the table every time you play Monopoly or Connect 4 and lose do you? I bet you don’t hold it closely either, you move on. Well guess what, X-Wing is a tabletop game too! Sure, there’s more to it than those examples, and it can be a bit of a shit to set up sometimes, but it’s still a game. Playing it should be fun! It’s not all about being the best.
You might think I’ve come out pretty strongly there, and I have. For many of you this won’t be a problem. But it has absolutely effected me, and I’ve seen it touch others.
There are plenty of things you can try to blame when a game isn’t going well – dice, your opponent, yourself, and things generally ‘not going your way’. What most of that serves to do is one of two things.
- Belittle or minimize your opponents presence.
- Not owning your own attitude or decisions.
Both are childish and help no one. Putting yourself in the other persons shoes goes an awful long way here. If they’re cheating or being a jerk then fair enough, go get a TO. But most of the time they’re trying to do the same thing as you, have fun and win. Keep that in mind and you’ll be a much more gracious winner and loser. If everyone remembered this, X-wing would be an even healthier place to be.
Now of course, some people are all out gunning for wins, and some people love running janky lists. But a bit of empathy goes a long way, even for people either end of the spectrum.
There you go X-Wingers. Give yourself a chance! Don’t set yourself up like a dick, and don’t treat anyone else like one.
Rogue Two runs his own site – www.superduperstuff.co.uk – head there for film reviews and his thoughts on a variety of media!