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BionTimeWorks

Tips on Making X wing Quicker To Play

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Me and my brother have been playing X wing for about 3 months now(can't remember at the moment), and we are enjoying it. The mechanics are great, but it seems like most of our game sessions take at least 1 hour and at most 2 in a half hours. We have played around 60 points our last game and it took us 2 in a half hours to finish. I'm not even counting the time that it takes for squad assembly (we managed to make that process faster thanks to the way we store our stuff).
Is there something we are doing wrong. I'm pretty sure that I understand the rules. What's the average time that it takes you guys to play? What's the average time it takes for a round for you guys? And the last question is this... Do you have any tips to help us play the game quicker without changing the rules?

Possible reasons that we may be taking longer:
1. Finding the right movement template(we have a black table)
2. Finding the right action token (can sometimes blend in with the table and target locks are especially true with this)
3. The time it takes for us to decide on a maneuver during the planning phase.
4. Moving the miniatures to the designated maneuver point (our table is annoyingly slippery)
5. Miscellaneous things that I'm not realizing

I'm also strapped for cash so please no expensive solutions.

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for tokens, put all the actions a ship can take, right next to it's card, so yo'll always be able to grab them.  

 

Or just time your games.   Honestly an hour or 2 is not "long" for X-Wing.  It's about how long many games take.   If you want it to be faster then set a timer, and when time is up, count up ships destroyed vs ships still on the board.  

Edited by Crabbok

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Standard tournament games run 75 minutes for 100 points.  My last tournament had every game finish within that allotment.

 

Some specific tips on how I do it:

 

1.  Lay out your maneuver templates consistently, and be obsessive about getting them back in the right place.  I end up with them scattered through a turn, but once combat starts or I finish planning I'll rearrange them.

2.  Organize your tokens.  I know a lot of people that do like Crabbok and put tokens for a ship near the cards, but I prefer to just keep them in consistent little piles to the side.

3.  Mark ships with the blue target lock tokens.  I slot the blue lock tokens into the front of the ship base.  That means you only have to worry about the reds.  If someone passes a lock (Jendon) I just swap the red to the appropriate letter.  Weapons Engineer is a little annoying, but that's the only real problem child with the method.

4.  Organize your cards.  I like to go left-to-right in descending pilot skill.  Some may prefer to group uniques and generics.  However you do it, lay them out so you can find them.

5.  Practice :)  You'll get faster as you play more, trust me.  And the only thing you have to do for that is play more X-wing!

 

Edit: 6.  Black out one side of your target locks.  The double-sided letters make it much harder to find the pairs in a game, and makes it easy for tokens to get flipped and cause problems.  Black out a side so each only has a single letter - Sharpies do fine, but I actually stick mine on masking tape or contact paper and spray the backs with primer.  It also makes sure you know which tokens are yours, because not many people do this :)

Edited by Buhallin

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Well, considering many other tabletop miniature games regularly take 3-4 hours to play, I'm personally don't see a problem.

However. If I recall correctly, the tournament rules default to 1 hour and 15 minutes. The one tourney I played in, I don't think any games went to time (some were close), but I have also heard it discussed that the timed format limits some play styles by making defensive, attrition lists not viable because they take much longer to actually win.

Then again, all the epic games I have played have topped 4 hours.

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A solution I use for almost every boardgame I play is silicon cupcake holders. You set out a couple of these and only put in one type of token in it. You should be able to find a set for around $5. Next the slippery surface, I use a black silicon caulk and washers in the base of the ship and it helps prevent sliding.

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When I play a casual/friendly game, time tends to drag out. When playing in a tournament however, I'm focused and try to make every move and action as fast and efficient as possible. I guess I have two different mindsets that I effortlessly switch between.

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Reading the list of things that slow you down I can think of one thing that may help speed play:  Play on a different surface!

 

You say the table makes it so you can't find stuff and that it is too slippery so try finding a different place to play.  A lot of the other things can come down to organizational skill and also practice so you know what you want to do when it's time to do it.

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1) Token arrangement and template arrangement is crucial as noted. You need be able to grab the stuff you need, when you need it, without having to fumble around.

 

2) Play fewer ships as you get better with the system. Instead of say an 8 TIE swarm, choose 2-3 Firesprays, or something along those lines. The fewer ships you have to plan for, and move, the faster the game goes.

 

3) Know what you're flying. The more familiar you are with your ships, the faster you can plan and move. While your opponent is moving ships, start planning for some of your next moves. The farther in advance you're thinking, the less time it takes when you start turning dials. 

 

4) Minimize distractions - what else is going on in the room can have a significant and unnoticed impact on game time. Are you listening to music, snacking, conversing with other people, checking texts, etc? All of those things add seconds, which add up into minutes. When I DM for RPGs, no personal electronics at the table during the game to avoid this slow distraction.

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Yeah. I actually kind of dislike how long it takes to set up, play this game, then tear down.  its like 3 hours.  =/  And if I lose I feel a little bit bitter ^^. 

 

Think up your list in advance, or talk about it with your opponent during the week or something before the game.  Have a set up that is easy to grab.  I put the baseplates with the ships themselves.  The stands and bases are close together in a single box.  I have two other boxes that are shields, focuses, stressses, crits and what not.  

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So how long are you taking in the planning and activation phase?  It really shouldn't take all that long to plot movements on a table or on the dials, but those seem to be the ones that new players have the most trouble with.  Play a more experienced player so there are no 'rule look up' pauses. 

Now that being said, more complicated ships, like the Phantom for example, may take an extra moment or two to determine the best place, but that's really about it. 

I recommend recording a game, or a portion of a game and see where your time sinks are.  Then address those areas.

 

Edited by EvilEd209

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So how long are you taking in the planning and activation phase?  It really shouldn't take all that long to plot movements on a table or on the dials, but those seem to be the ones that new players have the most trouble with.  Play a more experienced player so there are no 'rule look up' pauses. 

Now that being said, more complicated ships, like the Phantom for example, may take an extra moment or two to determine the best place, but that's really about it. 

I recommend recording a game, or a portion of a game and see where your time sinks are.  Then address those areas.

 

Recording is a good idea. I only have a phone or my 3ds to use so I'll try that out.

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Standard tournament games run 75 minutes for 100 points.  My last tournament had every game finish within that allotment.

 

Some specific tips on how I do it:

 

1.  Lay out your maneuver templates consistently, and be obsessive about getting them back in the right place.  I end up with them scattered through a turn, but once combat starts or I finish planning I'll rearrange them.

2.  Organize your tokens.  I know a lot of people that do like Crabbok and put tokens for a ship near the cards, but I prefer to just keep them in consistent little piles to the side.

3.  Mark ships with the blue target lock tokens.  I slot the blue lock tokens into the front of the ship base.  That means you only have to worry about the reds.  If someone passes a lock (Jendon) I just swap the red to the appropriate letter.  Weapons Engineer is a little annoying, but that's the only real problem child with the method.

4.  Organize your cards.  I like to go left-to-right in descending pilot skill.  Some may prefer to group uniques and generics.  However you do it, lay them out so you can find them.

5.  Practice :)  You'll get faster as you play more, trust me.  And the only thing you have to do for that is play more X-wing!

 

Edit: 6.  Black out one side of your target locks.  The double-sided letters make it much harder to find the pairs in a game, and makes it easy for tokens to get flipped and cause problems.  Black out a side so each only has a single letter - Sharpies do fine, but I actually stick mine on masking tape or contact paper and spray the backs with primer.  It also makes sure you know which tokens are yours, because not many people do this :)

Nice suggestions. I especially like suggestion number 3.

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Are either of you suffering from "Analysis Paralysis"? Meaning you're spending *so* much time trying to figure out every move for every ship, then move on to the next and then manage to forget what you assigned to the previous ship?

 

Taking that long for a 60 point game is pretty severe, honestly. As noted above, maybe it's an experience issue but you should be *easily* able to finish a 100 point game in under 75 minutes.

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4) Minimize distractions - what else is going on in the room can have a significant and unnoticed impact on game time. Are you listening to music, snacking, conversing with other people, checking texts, etc? All of those things add seconds, which add up into minutes. When I DM for RPGs, no personal electronics at the table during the game to avoid this slow distraction.

But what happens if I want to listen to star wars music? :(

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2.5 hours for a 60 point game?  You guys hold the record but I'm going to have to report you to the TO for stalling.

Ha. I surprise myself too.

 

My friend and I had this problem when we were first learning too.  Granted, I'm more excited about playing the rules exactly correctly, so he had to teach me how to play (with incorrect rules) and then we ahd to figure out exactly how it worked later.

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as others have said.  pre game make sure that every token each ship can use is next to or on its card.

 

I found having two core sets helps as you can keep a set of templates and dice each.

 

If you think x wing takes a long time to play never play any 20mm historical wargames like the napoleonic 'to the sound of the guns' rules or the wwii 'tactical commander'...

 

Games can take DAYS to play when you have to record the petrol consumption of every tank per turn... hyper nerdy detail.

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Play with one list a set of games. Don't change the list between games. And pretty much everything that has been said before :)

The over-analyzing part is probably the worst. Lots of repetition and making mistakes will teach you a lot instead of sloooowly pondering all the permutations where echo could land ;)

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