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The Curious case of the X-wing

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After playing X-wing for a while, and looking on the forums, one thing I noticed people say a lot is the T-65 is broken, and needs a fix.  You also see a lot of fixes running about, and most of them are being described as wrong.  So why is the T-65 broken?  And what is so hard about fixing it?

 

Why its broken:

The T-65 is not broken so much as rebels are weak right now.  Most of the ships they have are designed to be medium hitting control ships.  It works fine against the empires lighter dodgy ships, but Scum can hit hard enough without enough opportunity for control the rebels die almost instantly.  The same goes for a T-65.  Against contracted scout, a T-65 is going to be taking at least two damage (assuming a four hit result, which with proton trops is not unlikely), to a max of a one-shot kill (2 hits on shield, on hit on hull and direct hit) not integrated astromech alleviates some of that problem, but it makes you lose your astromech to survive, which likely means you are losing regen for survival.  Hence, the X-wing is not going to survive for long enough to make use of its benefits.

 

Why it is so hard to fix:

When browsing the forums, I see three genres of fixes:

- Point reduction

- Maneuverability increases

- stat upgrades

I will now address each of these individually:

Point reduction - The T-65 is at 21 points because it needs to be fairly cheap, but you cannot be able to run 5 in a list, that would be way too powerful.

Maneuverability increases - This is my (personal) favorite, but the problem with it is where it goes.  An S-foils condition is brought up a lot, but then you either have to buff the stat line on one side, or lower it for maneuverability, neither of which are good. (actually, I don't have a great argument about this one)

Stat upgrades - This is what FFG attempted to do with integrated astromech, but that does not provide enough survivability for the cost (an astromech, and your modification slot)

 

Not after reviewing why those don't lets look at what FFG must consider as it buffs the T-65

- Pilot abilities

- T-70

- Point Cost

- Biggs

Pilot abilities - The T-65 arguably has the best pilot abilities in the game.  Take a token, change a focus, reduce an agility, make them shoot you, remove a stress, move a focus.  Anything that buffs the T-65 cannot make any of these too powerful, and thus the T-65 stays fairly weak.

T-70 - both the T-65 and the T-70 are competing for a similar niche, and FFG does not want them to play to similar to each other, because that would be no fun.

Point Cost - As mentioned earlier, the T-65 needs to be more than 20 points, and hence 21.

Biggs - Anything that buffs a T-65 will also buff biggs, so FFG has to be careful to not give biggs too much power.

 

So looking at all of that information, how can we buff the T-65?  The first thing we should probable do is look at a ship in a similar situation: wave 1, 21 points, and with a pilot that is amazing.  I am referring to the Tie Advanced of course, with a PS 2 for 21 points (reminds you of something doesn't it?)  Now FFG could not make it cheaper (five in a list would be nasty), nor upgrade a stat bar (Vader would be crazy good) so what did they do?  Created the ability to add a free upgrade of course, and then ensured that the most powerful pilot would not benefit from it for free (ATC is effectively one point), and that is what must be done with the T-65.  so without more paragraphs, I present my take on the T-65 fix.

 

Fighter model - T-65 X-wing fighter only, Title.

Your upgrade bar loses the (Torpedo) icon.  Discount any (Astromech) cards equipped to this ship by two points (to a minimum of zero).  You must equip an Astromech.

Zero points.

This upgrade gives you a free R2 Astromech, but makes it so you cannot equip torpedo upgrades, preventing the 21 point Rookie from becoming too powerful.  Additionally, all of the regen droids still cost points, be it much less.  Finally, it only discounts Biggs by one point, not changing the power of that ship by an insane amount. (Although BB-8 is a challenge).

 

To conclude, if we want to buff the T-65 we need to grant it cheaper upgrade rather than discounting it entirely, and not changing its stat line at all.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to post a bunch of other T-65 things that are almost certainly really bad, because I want to.

 

Stealth X - T-65 X-wing only, Title.

Your action bar gains the (cloak) action icon.  You can only equip this card if you are PS 6 or greater.

Six points.

This make you a bit harder to hit, and turns the X-wing into a phantom of sorts.  OF course, it would also need a modification along the lines of this:

After executing a 3 or 4 speed maneuver, you may perform a free cloak action.

That said, this is probably really bad or scarily OP.

 

Thanks for reading my wall of text, and I hope it made sense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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rebels are not weak right now

 

they have literally one sh*tty matchup in torp scouts, which not a lot of people seem to be playing anymore

 

maybe they're bored

 

 

the T-65 sucks for two simple reasons

 

1.) it doesn't trade dice very well (ie very inefficiently priced)

 

2.) it does literally jack **** else apart from trade dice

 

 

which is why you'll see Biggs and Wes competitively. These guys don't give two ***** about dice, they'll do their jobs (dying first and slapping off mods) regardless

 

if you want to fix the X, you either fix #1 or #2

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There is a specific X-wing model with the stealth ability, its probably going to have a different statline or upgrade bar if we ever get it in the game.

 

As i have said many times in many threads, xwings arent bad. Theyre just stupid, stupid hard to use because everyone wants reactionary play and xwings are one of the worst at that. No they arent top tier when used properly but they arent a pushover either. Punisher is a pushover lol.

 

I think hotr is doing enough for T70s to make them much better, as those two new pilots and techs are awesome as hell, but they do zilch for the original model. I would like to see something for the old boats but im not expecting it to happen. If anything, a title for "Advanced Refit" for 3-4pts to match its statline, upgrades, actions, and dial of the T70. I.e., let us effectively put Wedge/Luke/Wes in a T70 and gain access to all the new goodies.

Unlikely as hell though.

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Point reduction - The T-65 is at 21 points because it needs to be fairly cheap, but you cannot be able to run 5 in a list, that would be way too powerful.

 

The Kihraxz would like to disagree with this statement.  Five of them for 100 points is decent, but a long way from being a meta-defining list.  They're essentially X-Wings (arguably better dial with the 1 turn), and once you start adding upgrades to either ship you're not getting five of them in a list.

 

 

EDIT: To expand on this a little further, the X-Wing really doesn't compare that well with other ships point for point.  As an example, N'Dru Suhlak with Lone Wolf and a Hull Upgrade is essentially a PS 7 X-Wing with rerolls for 22 points (as long as you're beyond Range 2 of your other ships).  Integrated Astromech has helped to put the generic X-Wing on more of a par with the B-Wing, but fundamentally both of their generics suffer from being out-PSed and out-firepowered by other only marginally more expensive options.

Edited by Jarval

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Problem with an X-Wing is that it doesn't give you the actions to fly it like other ships. It's not a bad ship, it just doesn't have the fancy tools to allow a player to exploit specializations. It's also not cheap enough to just throw away. An X-Wing by itself is dead, and a loss of 20-30% of your list.

 

You need to plan for where your opponent will put his ships, even with your high ace pilots. It's flown by the dial, not by repositioning. Certainly not easy for starting players, and not as forgiving in higher levels.

 

X-Wings need to be supported. It can be by more X-Wings to fan out arcs to catch tricksy Interceptors, or in close to add fire to high health targets. It can be with other types of ships that fill in for the X-Wings weakness in maneuvering or fire coverage.

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Point reduction - The T-65 is at 21 points because it needs to be fairly cheap, but you cannot be able to run 5 in a list, that would be way too powerful.

I have to say I never bought the argument that 5 PS2 X-wings would be too powerful at 100 points. It seems like an arbitrary choice FFG made right back at the start and I think most people agree that the basic X-wing is overcosted/underpowered compared to the basic Tie fighter.

Lets compare 5 basic X-wings to some of the other basic builds around. They have 15 Red dice and 25 health behind 2 agility.

8 Academy Ties have 16 Red Dice and 24 health behind 3 agility. They also have a repositioning move which the X-wings do not.

3 Jumpmasters have 27 health behind 2 agilty. Granted they only have a meager 6 red dice but they are PWTs and they can load up on torpedoes quite easily.

I am sure you can find edge cases but even with a point reduction allowing 5 Rookies in a squad, the basic X-wing would not compare particularly favourably with good lists.

All of which is a long-winded way of agreeing with fickle that T65s are inefficient for their points and are only fielded due to the awesome abilities of a few select pilots.

Having said that, Triple U-boats don't seem to have dominated the meta the way everyone expected at the start of the summer so maybe Rebel Regen is still viable competitively.

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I am referring to the Tie Advanced of course, with a PS 2 for 21 points (reminds you of something doesn't it?)  Now FFG could not make it cheaper (five in a list would be nasty), nor upgrade a stat bar (Vader would be crazy good) so what did they do?  Created the ability to add a free upgrade of course, and then ensured that the most powerful pilot would not benefit from it for free (ATC is effectively one point), and that is what must be done with the T-65.

 

I know what you mean and I like some of your ideas but I it's worth noting that looking at it from a perspective, the TIE Adv. fix was a failure - or at best, a partial success. While it did put Vader on the tables (for a while at least, power creep has since made him rather uncompetitive again), it failed to make any other TIE Adv. pilot viable. I have tried to run Juno for a time because her ability makes her so fun to fly. Sadly, the fun factor could not override the simple fact that TIE Adv. is a ship plagued with severe action defficiency relative to it's cost. Vader's fantastic pilot's ability is the only thing that could (barely) overcome this flaw.

 

In case of X-wing we might see better results simply because there are more pilots with great abilities for that ship. Still, I can't think of an upgrade that would make X-wing a good, competitive fighter on it's own without making some of it's pilots way too strong. Your fighter title seems like a decent idea though.

Edited by Lightrock

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Having said that, Triple U-boats don't seem to have dominated the meta the way everyone expected at the start of the summer so maybe Rebel Regen is still viable competitively.

Not according to the outcomes of basically every major tournament since Wave 8 dropped.

Edited by thespaceinvader

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Having said that, Triple U-boats don't seem to have dominated the meta the way everyone expected at the start of the summer so maybe Rebel Regen is still viable competitively.

Not according to the outcomes of basically every major tournament since Wave 8 dropped.
Recently Dengaroo and Party Bus lists seem to have been more popular for scum. Triple U-boats are brutal against many Rebel lists but tend to suffer against Palp-Aces or Defenders which has caused players to drift to more flexible lists for open tournaments. Edited by Karhedron

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It's not that T-65's are bad ships, but high PS Arc Dodgers can usually beat them.  There have been a lot of efforts to curb the appeal of Arc Dodgers with the latest waves and moves to boost being in someone's firing arc.  These all help the T-65.  

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Problem with an X-Wing is that it doesn't give you the actions to fly it like other ships. It's not a bad ship, it just doesn't have the fancy tools to allow a player to exploit specializations. It's also not cheap enough to just throw away. An X-Wing by itself is dead, and a loss of 20-30% of your list.

 

You need to plan for where your opponent will put his ships, even with your high ace pilots. It's flown by the dial, not by repositioning. Certainly not easy for starting players, and not as forgiving in higher levels.

 

X-Wings need to be supported. It can be by more X-Wings to fan out arcs to catch tricksy Interceptors, or in close to add fire to high health targets. It can be with other types of ships that fill in for the X-Wings weakness in maneuvering or fire coverage.

The X wing never had a 'weakness' in maneuverability. It wasn't as good as the TIE, but it was close and with more firepower and survivability, which is why it was such an effective design and allowed it to operate in groups without backup from specialized designs. Poor FFG design in the first place has left the X like many other heavy fighters (jousters) i.e. The Kjagdfvzfarducnefaxst in that it has no role at which it is very good at. The Kjoghifgeieyfgjd is cheaper and has a few key differences but is effectively in the same boat. Crap action efficiency, limited dial and few tricks it can leverage or upgrade slots each can make up for its shortcomings. The Y and B as well as the Advanced suffer similarly but have been better addressed. Even so the B is seen very rarely now and the Y only really in its stresshog configuration. Meanwhile 'older' ships like the ARC are coming with better abilities and options and newer ships like the Adv prototype have incredible action efficiency from titles etc. the old 'dial and focus' ships are falling further and further behind.

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tbf, the ARC is an "old dial and focus ship"

 

until you pay the 2 point VT tax :P

 

the reason the ARC is great while the X largely isn't is...it does something other than trade dice!

 

namely r3-a2 (greatly facilitated by two arcs in a way the Y and the X wished they could)

 

and r2-d2 Norra (guaranteed defenses from ability combining with aux arc for unpredictable movement etc.),

 

Though technically norra is viable for the same reason regen Poe was, i.e she's just far superior at trading dice than any other pilot in her class, thanks to how amazingly regeneration stacks with her pilot ability

 

 

 

then again, the X does feature a lot with the ARC

 

one X, anyway

 

14468672_10157464825000142_3892159571239

Edited by ficklegreendice

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Crap action efficiency, 

 

It's sad that normal action efficiency is considered "crap".   Still, that's what special abilities, EPTs, and astromechs are for.

 

Also, I've known people to do very well with 5 Kihraxz Fighters.  Oh, sure, they didn't win Worlds, but how many people actually go to those events?

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After playing X-wing for a while, and looking on the forums, one thing I noticed people say a lot is the T-65 is broken, and needs a fix.  You also see a lot of fixes running about, and most of them are being described as wrong.  So why is the T-65 broken?  And what is so hard about fixing it?

 

The problem with the generic X-wing pilots is:

  • The only thing they can do is trade shots, aka "joust" at other ships. They have no special positioning capability (boost / barrel roll), or any special tricks.
  • Even with Integrated Astromech they joust far worse than the top tier ships / pilots in the meta.

So, there is essentially zero reason to take a 21 point PS2 X-wing. Some of the named pilots can have some corner case value because of their abilities (Biggs, Wes).

 

For some mathematical basis on the X-wing's jousting value, see here:

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/128417-mathwing-comprehensive-ship-jousting-values-and-more/

 

It's an older analysis compared to what I have now, and doesn't factor in a lot of things (true action economy modeling, properly accounting for pilot skill, and named pilot abilities), but it's still sufficient to correctly predict that the generic X-wing is tournament non-competitive.

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I'm fairly new with X-wing and have been stubbornly sticking to my T-65 aces in casual play with other fairly new players. There is a certain level of it doesn't matter how I fly because all the ships with turrets don't care where I am and then they get all sorts of ways to manipulate the dice.

 

I got roped into playing a tourney and they were what I had and I'm plodding along and everyone else is executing a maneuver, stacking up tokens and shooting me from wherever they ended up. I show up to play a dogfighting game and everyone else showed up with a combo deck. It also becomes a question of not only not making mistakes but of always making exactly the correct play. It is very disappointing actually.

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if you want to troll turret ships, bring Biggs

 

they always can shoot him instead of another friendly at range 1 :P

 

 

also auto-thruster regen Poe. A t-70 is still an x-wing!

 

 

Crap action efficiency, 

 

It's sad that normal action efficiency is considered "crap".   Still, that's what special abilities, EPTs, and astromechs are for.

 

if you can just extrapolate "action efficiency" into what it really means, i.e "dice modification", it's easier to understand why "normal" is "crap"

 

especially nowadays that 3 agi + focus + evade is basically the imperial standard, not even counting what palpatine and thrusters add to the mix
 

still, there are ships which are terrible at modifiying their dice that can excel in this sort of environment; ships that we should take inspiration from when going forward

 

13227693_10156881941990142_1264228630413

Edited by ficklegreendice

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Problem with an X-Wing is that it doesn't give you the actions to fly it like other ships. It's not a bad ship, it just doesn't have the fancy tools to allow a player to exploit specializations. It's also not cheap enough to just throw away. An X-Wing by itself is dead, and a loss of 20-30% of your list.

 

You need to plan for where your opponent will put his ships, even with your high ace pilots. It's flown by the dial, not by repositioning. Certainly not easy for starting players, and not as forgiving in higher levels.

 

X-Wings need to be supported. It can be by more X-Wings to fan out arcs to catch tricksy Interceptors, or in close to add fire to high health targets. It can be with other types of ships that fill in for the X-Wings weakness in maneuvering or fire coverage.

The X wing never had a 'weakness' in maneuverability. It wasn't as good as the TIE, but it was close and with more firepower and survivability, which is why it was such an effective design and allowed it to operate in groups without backup from specialized designs. Poor FFG design in the first place has left the X like many other heavy fighters (jousters) i.e. The Kjagdfvzfarducnefaxst in that it has no role at which it is very good at. The Kjoghifgeieyfgjd is cheaper and has a few key differences but is effectively in the same boat. Crap action efficiency, limited dial and few tricks it can leverage or upgrade slots each can make up for its shortcomings. The Y and B as well as the Advanced suffer similarly but have been better addressed. Even so the B is seen very rarely now and the Y only really in its stresshog configuration. Meanwhile 'older' ships like the ARC are coming with better abilities and options and newer ships like the Adv prototype have incredible action efficiency from titles etc. the old 'dial and focus' ships are falling further and further behind.

 

 

I'm considering "dial" plus "repositioning" as maneuverability here, so I think we're not really arguing. An X-Wing dial is ok, not stellar, but it has nothing to get it turned around in a hurry so it's easy to end up out of position. There are no repositioning actions to assist. Thus, my maneuverability observation. (Sure a k-turn gets you around quickly... but it's not a great one and easily predicted as it's the ONLY one)

Edited by LagJanson

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Problem with an X-Wing is that it doesn't give you the actions to fly it like other ships. It's not a bad ship, it just doesn't have the fancy tools to allow a player to exploit specializations. It's also not cheap enough to just throw away. An X-Wing by itself is dead, and a loss of 20-30% of your list.

 

You need to plan for where your opponent will put his ships, even with your high ace pilots. It's flown by the dial, not by repositioning. Certainly not easy for starting players, and not as forgiving in higher levels.

 

X-Wings need to be supported. It can be by more X-Wings to fan out arcs to catch tricksy Interceptors, or in close to add fire to high health targets. It can be with other types of ships that fill in for the X-Wings weakness in maneuvering or fire coverage.

The X wing never had a 'weakness' in maneuverability. It wasn't as good as the TIE, but it was close and with more firepower and survivability, which is why it was such an effective design and allowed it to operate in groups without backup from specialized designs. Poor FFG design in the first place has left the X like many other heavy fighters (jousters) i.e. The Kjagdfvzfarducnefaxst in that it has no role at which it is very good at. The Kjoghifgeieyfgjd is cheaper and has a few key differences but is effectively in the same boat. Crap action efficiency, limited dial and few tricks it can leverage or upgrade slots each can make up for its shortcomings. The Y and B as well as the Advanced suffer similarly but have been better addressed. Even so the B is seen very rarely now and the Y only really in its stresshog configuration. Meanwhile 'older' ships like the ARC are coming with better abilities and options and newer ships like the Adv prototype have incredible action efficiency from titles etc. the old 'dial and focus' ships are falling further and further behind.

 

 

I'm considering "dial" plus "repositioning" as maneuverability here, so I think we're not really arguing. An X-Wing dial is ok, not stellar, but it has nothing to get it turned around in a hurry so it's easy to end up out of position. There are no repositioning actions to assist. Thus, my maneuverability observation. (Sure a k-turn gets you around quickly... but it's not a great one and easily predicted as it's the ONLY one)

 

And don't forget the stress token you take putting you further behind on actions. 

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if you want to troll turret ships, bring Biggs

 

they always can shoot him instead of another friendly at range 1 :P

 

 

also auto-thruster regen Poe. A t-70 is still an x-wing!

 

I do bring Biggs, along with Wedge and Luke. 

 

I kind of hate the T-70 models. (I hate all the design from TFA.) I certainly hate that blue they painted them with. They're the prime candidates for my first efforts at re-painting. 

 

Some of my issues are pilot error but when Super-Dash doesn't care where he flies...

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Point reduction - The T-65 is at 21 points because it needs to be fairly cheap, but you cannot be able to run 5 in a list, that would be way too powerful.

I have to say I never bought the argument that 5 PS2 X-wings would be too powerful at 100 points. It seems like an arbitrary choice FFG made right back at the start and I think most people agree that the basic X-wing is overcosted/underpowered compared to the basic Tie fighter.

Lets compare 5 basic X-wings to some of the other basic builds around. They have 15 Red dice and 25 health behind 2 agility.

8 Academy Ties have 16 Red Dice and 24 health behind 3 agility. They also have a repositioning move which the X-wings do not.

3 Jumpmasters have 27 health behind 2 agilty. Granted they only have a meager 6 red dice but they are PWTs and they can load up on torpedoes quite easily.

I am sure you can find edge cases but even with a point reduction allowing 5 Rookies in a squad, the basic X-wing would not compare particularly favourably with good lists.

All of which is a long-winded way of agreeing with fickle that T65s are inefficient for their points and are only fielded due to the awesome abilities of a few select pilots.

Having said that, Triple U-boats don't seem to have dominated the meta the way everyone expected at the start of the summer so maybe Rebel Regen is still viable competitively.

You really can't compare number of dice like that. As the number of dice in a single roll determines how much work those dice can do.. 16 1 dice ships would do nothing against 3 Interceptors with Stealth device, as they will rarely overcome there Agility. But a single 6 dice ship could be killing an Interceptor a turn.

Edited by Rodent Mastermind

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Crap action efficiency,

 

It's sad that normal action efficiency is considered "crap".   Still, that's what special abilities, EPTs, and astromechs are for.

 

Also, I've known people to do very well with 5 Kihraxz Fighters.  Oh, sure, they didn't win Worlds, but how many people actually go to those events?

Define normal. Whichever way you cut it, one action and no repositioning or additional dice modification is becoming comparatively worse and worse over time and that squeezes out any generic ship although some benefit from good titles which give them action efficiency to compete (adv prototype title). A lot of increased action efficiency options are becoming 'normal' now. Scum are a good example of this ( Triple Jump Chumps aside). Effectiveness of palp aces type builds in current standings hasn't made the problem any less pronounced. So 'normal' is not enough anymore. Even rebels are starting to see more shenanigans (ARCs are a good example), but they aren't available to the T-65, or B or Y or most other dial and focus ships, which happen to make up a significant chunk of the rebel stable. Astromechs, which you highlight, have never been good enough to make up that gap and are mostly pretty laughable, except as ammo for integrated or in corner case builds. FFG have been afraid of giving the rebels strong astromechs, bar a few uniques, since the start and this doesn't seem to be in any danger of changing (R3 anyone?).

Sure, I have seen and flown 4X and 5 K-Thingy lists. I love the ships. But the fact that fewer and fewer meta lists meet the 'competitive standard' is just showing the lack of balance that is developing. As more and more options exist, fewer and fewer ships seem to be capable of meeting that bar. The comparative lack of players at competitive events is less relevant when compared to the severely restricted list of archetypes in the builds which do show up there. I know Jump Chumps are a huge factor here (proving the consistency of bad design at work). Either way it's makes competitive play less and less attractive and that hurts the game and the community.

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