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Pooleman

Teaching new players

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Hey guys,

 

Im looking for some advice on how to introduce and teach X-Wing to new players in a fun and informative way. I’ll be showing some new people he game tomorrow and I am a terrible teacher. 

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Start simple, 2 ships each, small base with firing arcs.  Don't use upgrade cards in the first game.

Talk through and show them a sample turn.

At the end of the game see how well they have grasped the basics, if they have got it, have a simple squad prepared for each of them with ships that only have 1 or 2 upgrades each.  Try to have repetition in the squad to minimize new elements.  Make sure the squads are balanced.

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Play the mission in the core set to escort the ship across the board.  You can play one of the TIE fighters if you like.  If they like the mechanics of the game, flightpath system, etc, then go up to something like 50 points per side.  Always use arced ships, no turrets.  Use recognizeable ships from the movies and quote the movies a ton!

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I helped a friend into the game by her flying one ship in a squad and then one game after we’d set down all of the stuff for the list for the game I turned to her and told her “you’re gonna fly the entire list this time” and when I looked at how she was playing, she seemed to learn a lot better that way, so sometimes it helps to just let them loose and let them experience the full thing themselves (and she was against a phantom and a deci, so a difficult matchup, but she had fun even though she lost)

 

edit: I wouldn’t recommend that right away however, maybe a couple games in

Edited by DeathstarII

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Small-base ships with arcs, or with very short range turrets are the best way to start.

My only real attempts at introducing people to the game was learning along with my sons, but the few friends I showed the game to, it was 2 T-70 v 3 FOs (I was running the FOs), with fewer obstacles on the board. It's a lopsided game, but it helps to teach the basics.

Or, I could just be a bastard and tell them to play against my 7 y.o., what's the worst that could happen? :lol:

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Depends on the person.  With the average Joe, I say just give them a ship with maybe one ability (like Luke Skywalker) and you take two TIE Fighters.

If the person has a lot of gaming background, especially FFG - that may be boring for them.  My wife played through several Imperial Assault campaigns with me, so I gave her a full list and she liked it.

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I'd suggest having the basics steps (the ones  beyond placing ships & asteroids) laid out on a reference sheet. You know: selecting maneuvers, revealing dials, movement, actions, combat phase, etc.

You may want a separate reference sheet for the combat phase*:

  • Declare Target
  • Roll Attack Dice
  • Modify Attack Dice

Then

  • Roll Defense Dice
  • Modify Defense Dice
  • Compare Results
  • Deal Damage

*page 8 in the current FAQ (version 4.4.0)

 

I wouldn't introduce the FAQ until they show any real interest in the game (like they buy their own core set & plan to play in stores with strangers).

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7 hours ago, Force Majeure said:

I'd suggest having the basics steps (the ones  beyond placing ships & asteroids) laid out on a reference sheet. You know: selecting maneuvers, revealing dials, movement, actions, combat phase, etc.

You may want a separate reference sheet for the combat phase*:

  • Declare Target
  • Roll Attack Dice
  • Modify Attack Dice

Then

  • Roll Defense Dice
  • Modify Defense Dice
  • Compare Results
  • Deal Damage

*page 8 in the current FAQ (version 4.4.0)

 

I wouldn't introduce the FAQ until they show any real interest in the game (like they buy their own core set & plan to play in stores with strangers).

Well stated, great suggestions ^_^!

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I'm honestly curious how would a new player find himself in all this today.

When I've started playing, I got myself some X-wings, a Y-wing and Rebel Aces with an extra B-wing, the ships I actually wanted to fly - only to learn that my fate is to be perpetually owned by arc-dodging, token-stacking Imperial Aces.  I like X-wing, but I've had my time to digest all the power creep, card-text and timing changes, as well as the nuances of some interactions. That, and I've accepted the fact that competitive usually means last 2 waves, as well as buying ships you don't necessarily want for the upgrades you'll need.

It's getting worse as those things layer over time. You'd play the Core to learn about the importance of maneuvers, arcs and actions only to later get to know that it's bombs, action-less mods and turrets or expanded arcs that win games. The older ships are ever further behind the meta, unless it's Darth Vader, for whom you'll need to either purchase an Epic ship or scour eBay for the title+ATC "Vader set". Then you bring some cards you thought are cool to your first tourney, but apparently they read something else now, or don't work the way you've expected. And don't get me started on JM5K, which is the pinnacle of **** erratas, where the box ends up containing upgrades that can't be used on the ship they came with.

Don't let the salt get you. I just have a hard time imagining how I'd explain all that mess when someone would ask me "how do I start playing X-wing". My instinctive reply might be: you don't, wait for v2.0.

 

Edited by Mef82

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Keep it simple with a few turns of small base ships with only front arcs and no upgrades or abilities. Concentrate on the flow of the game and how to do the basics. Pick a maneuver, activate and move and take one of the actions on the bar, shooting. Use rocks. Cut it off after it is clear the whole order of things is understood like they get to shoot a couple of times. Don't let it drag out. 

Then play again with ships with abilities (like start with an X-wing and two ties, then add in Luke and Vader) and maybe proton torpedoes or R2 or something (no complicated interactions but something) and play till someone wins. 

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50 minutes ago, Mef82 said:

I'm honestly curious how would a new player find himself in all this today.

I would say it's reasonable to assume that 75-80% of people who've bought and play X-wing have no idea that there are leagues, tournaments, a world championship, etc. For those people who probably play the game as often as they do Trivial Pursuit, or Apples to Apples, the meta, FAQ and ships they don't recognize don't matter. They're happily ignorant, playing Luke Skywalker against Boba Fett, and similar.

We (the competitive scene) are niche. And we're in an echo chamber where every other person is shouting and blowing air-horns.

If they are happily ignorant, playing at home--bless their souls--leave them be; a part of me is envious!

New players will be okay. Some of us (like myself) jumped into the competitive scene without any prior exposure into X-wing or miniature games. I've been dealt my lumps, and then some, yet I'm still here, loving it.

 

Any new players out there that started recently (+/- 6 months ago) that have any input?

Edited by Force Majeure

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38 minutes ago, Force Majeure said:

I would say it's reasonable to assume that 75-80% of people who've bought and play X-wing have no idea that there are leagues, tournaments, a world championship, etc. For those people who probably play the game as often as they do Trivial Pursuit, or Apples to Apples, the meta, FAQ and ships they don't recognize don't matter. They're happily ignorant, playing Luke Skywalker against Boba Fett, and similar.

We (the competitive scene) are niche. And we're in an echo chamber where every other person is shouting and blowing air-horns.

If they are happily ignorant, playing at home--bless their souls--leave them be; a part of me is envious!

New players will be okay. Some of us (like myself) jumped into the competitive scene without any prior exposure into X-wing or miniature games. I've been dealt my lumps, and then some, yet I'm still here, loving it.

 

Any new players out there that started recently (+/- 6 months ago) that have any input?

 

Well, my wife started playing about 2 months ago.  She played five games at home with me using Miranda/Dash and then went to a tournament with me and finished the day 1-2. 

She is very good at comprehending the cards and the card interactions, but struggles at spatial reasoning.  She'll do a 3 bank when she should have done a 1 bank to give herself space to fire a missile.  In her first game I felt so bad for her because she did a 1 straight when a 1 bank was all she needed to unleash some pain - and the guy was out of her arc. 

She is BETTER at remembering interactions and crits than I am.  Like I said earlier, I think it comes down to background.  She's played about 2-3 campaigns worth of Imperial Assault, playing two heroes at a time.  In that game you start to really stack a lot of upgrade cards on a couple figures....  just like X-Wing. 

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I got sucked into it by playing a 37 point small ship only free for all on lunch at work. The rest happened because I'm a huge nerd and love the IP... And I recognized all the ships except for the galaxies ones.

Then I started small by playing 60 point games with friends, and as our collections grew we can now easily do 300 point epics and I won't even bust out that much of a collection. Of course, 100 points and HotAC are the main flavors of the day these days, but I do want to fly more epic because it's my favorite way to play. 

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I gave some advice in this thread here: 

One good way to start the game is to go through your collection of ship models with the person, and have them point out which plastic models they like (three or four), then build a list foe them, and build an opposing list that makes sense thematically. 

Edited by Kieransi

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I teach it with the learn to play scenario in the core set.  It is a simple 1 x-wing vs 2 TIE event that lets you learn the value of some of the actions without burdening you with a lot of the advanced rules.  If you can set the hook with that, maybe give them a simple 100 pt list. 

After that, I usually point them at one of the list builder sites and say go 'make a list'.  

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3 minutes ago, xbeaker said:

I teach it with the learn to play scenario in the core set.  It is a simple 1 x-wing vs 2 TIE event that lets you learn the value of some of the actions without burdening you with a lot of the advanced rules.  If you can set the hook with that, maybe give them a simple 100 pt list. 

After that, I usually point them at one of the list builder sites and say go 'make a list'.  

I usually do this, as it goes through all the basics, and works for most people wanting to try the game.

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8 hours ago, Force Majeure said:

I would say it's reasonable to assume that 75-80% of people who've bought and play X-wing have no idea that there are leagues, tournaments, a world championship, etc. For those people who probably play the game as often as they do Trivial Pursuit, or Apples to Apples, the meta, FAQ and ships they don't recognize don't matter. They're happily ignorant, playing Luke Skywalker against Boba Fett, and similar.

Any new players out there that started recently (+/- 6 months ago) that have any input?

Well, I'm not the new guy, but. . .

I just played with 2 new guys last night.  One guy had bought stuff he was interested, the other guy had nothing and borrowed from my brother.

I played this:

NOBODY EXPECTS THE IMPERIAL INQUISITION

Like Vader and his wingmen. . .but not 

100 points 

PILOTS

“Quickdraw” (36)
Special Forces TIE (29), Veteran Instincts (1), Accuracy Corrector (3), Primed Thrusters (1), Special Ops Training (0), Lightweight Frame (2)

“Backdraft” (34)
Special Forces TIE (27), Veteran Instincts (1), Accuracy Corrector (3), Primed Thrusters (1), Special Ops Training (0), Lightweight Frame (2)

The Inquisitor (30)
TIE Advanced Prototype (25), Veteran Instincts (1), Cruise Missiles (3), TIE/v1 (1), Guidance Chips (0)

And my brother played Fat Han and Miranda.  The guy with his own stuff played a VT-49 with Howlrunner and 2 TIE Academy.  The borrowed list was 4 generic B-wings with Advanced Sensors.

We played team Epic, 100 points each, with a "pro" sitting across from a "noob."

The game went really well.  It felt balanced, despite 2 lists that approach meta and 2 lists of absolute jank.  It was 4 players for 90% of the game, and 3 players until the second to last turn.

Point being, we had all levels of experience, all tiers of ships, and it was a really good game.  An awesome, this could go either way nailbiter.  One new guy got to try out his stuff, and both new guys got to see some of the more advanced aspects of play while at the same time not being overwhelmed by the list they were actually flying.  There was, of course, lots of accident forgiveness and a moderate amount of teaching the game.  I think it helped that the new players could see what the experienced players were doing, and then immediately apply it independently to what they were doing, without being told "what you need to do is. . .". 

For me, I actually had a lot of fun playing an all-aces list (which I don't usually do when I need to run an entire 300-point list), so it was a novel experience for me, too.  It was the best of both worlds. . .100 points of list building intensity with the glory of the best version of XWM--team Epic!!

Ideally, we will keep doing this for a few more games.  Typical 100-point lists, and team play.  The goal is they get experience flying their list while seeing what all the 3 other lists are capable of.  Then, they can expand their collection based on what's fun, what they like, and what plays well in the game.  (And I get to play more X-Wing than usual :).)

 

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