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Mostarda2

How to improve?

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I'm relatively new to this game, 1 year or so, I see that in my local community, they are almost always the same players who are at the top. Meanwhile me and several others, some already more veterans and other newbies, no matter how long they have played, it seems that very much playing does not improve. In fact, even some beginners who started at 2 months are already ahead of many others. Of course I play for fun first of all, but it starts to be disheartening not to see a spark of hope in one day competing for real and striking head-to-head with the top players.

How can I improve? (I can already move without hitting the obstacles) I think my mistakes are in the decisions during the game, like having evaded in the place of focus, or another action that would be better. Besides, I also find it very difficult to predict the opponent and move so that I can always position the ships to give good shots and escape from the enemy range. It seems that some players are already born to play and can already move around and make the right decisions.

Anyway, I wanted to know more about techniques, deploys, obstacle positioning, and how to make better moves and action decisions, is there any way to improve this?

Edited by Mostarda2

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This is a great blog that should really help you, read all their articles:

https://xwingdebrief.wordpress.com/core-concepts/

If you integrate these concepts into your games, you can improve a lot. In the decision side of the game it's important to identify what your opponent did and why, where did you make a mistake, what you thought he would do (and why he didn't do that). No matter how many "how to play" articles you'll read, you have to work with your games and your experience.

Also never blame the dice. 

 

PS: For some reason the emphasis and emojis make your post harder to read.

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IMHO, step one should be understanding how ships - especially the ones you want to pilot - fly around the board.

Set up a table, set up a reasonable simulacrum of how you think obstacles usually get placed, and just practice flying. Build up an intuition for where a given maneuver will and will not fit.

 

Once you get comfortable with that bedrock of X-Wing, build on top of it with complementary skills. If you learn how most ships fly, you will be able to learn to read the most likely and/or most ideal moves your opponent can make - and that will enable you to block them. As a corollary to that, you'll be able to learn that a good opponent will know where your best moves are - and the way to fight against that is to fly unpredictably by not always choosing the most optimal maneuver. Outguessing your opponent is often better than just trying to accomplish exactly the most optimal position and getting blocked.


Action economy, list building, target priority, etc, are all very important too but are subordinate to one's ability to pilot well. Master those dials & templates and you'll master the game.

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There are four things you can do to improve your game:

  • Play more games
    • Play more games using your squad against a variety of opponents. Watch how your opponents react.
    • Play games using squads similar to those flown by your opponents. This will teach you how those squads fly, and give you a better idea of their strengths and weaknesses.
    • Play against the squad(s) you'd normally fly. Now that you're on the other side of the table, you have some insight into what people are thinking as they face your squad. Often when you fly, you only think about your own weaknesses and your opponent's strengths. When you turn the table around, you can see the scary end of your list and understand how your opponent feels.
    • After a game, talk it through with your opponent and they can help you understand their decisions during the game.
  • Read good strategy articles
    • http://starfightermafia.blogspot.com/ has lots of good tips on how to fly and how to setup. This is probably the most useful blog for actual strategy advice, but there are plenty of other blogs linked on these forums that you can find using the search function.
    • Read the FFG articles on setup and deployment. These are for 1.0 x-wing, but that's largely irrelevant as the same principles hold true in 2.0.
  • Build better lists, and think through how your list will win
    • Simply changing your squad isn't that important, unless you're flying something very inefficient (like 5 scyks with ion cannons or something). Improving your playing will have a much bigger impact on your game. That said, when you build a list, think it over and make sure it makes sense as a whole. How will your list win? Will it roll forward slowly and crush enemies with heavy firepower, or will it dodge out of arc constantly and slowly chip away at the enemy? Consider common enemy squads and think about how your squad would approach them. What's the biggest threat on the other side of the table, and how will your squad handle it? What's the biggest threat in your squad, and what will you do to manage if your opponent destroys it?
    • For example, say you are flying wedge, jake, a u-wing and a b-wing. Your opponent is flying soontir, vader and duchess. Your opponent will try and kill wedge right away, because he's most dangerous to their fragile ships. To manage this, you want to fly wedge in such a way that the imperials have to fly in front of your other ships (and get shot) if they want to deal with wedge (and you also want wedge to be close enough that they can't afford to ignore him)
  • Watch others play
    • Watch the better players at your store play. As they set dials and take actions, think about what you'd do if you were them. If they act differently, ask them why after the game.
    • You can also watch streams such as X-Wing Junkies or Gold Squadron. Often there will be commentary discussing player actions which will give you some insight into what good decisions are and what each player might be thinking.

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Good advice above.

I will add, find your playstyle. Your heart may be in taking three aces and flying them forever, but you are jousting with them more, or something in the back of your brain hates having one ship out in space all alone. Maybe you need to fly something like quad t70s instead, that has more hp, some ace maneuvers like boosts and rolls, but that list plays to your flying style.

For instance, I am an acey player. I always think about shoot but dont get shot, even when I fly low generics. This is why I stay away from swarms and such because I dont fly with the intent to have my ships killed. I HATE losing even one tie fighter when I play. Swarm flying aint for me. I will dabble here and there for funsie, but I rarely fly more than 4 ships. On the other end, my brother LOVES aces, and wants to fly aces, but his playstyle is formation flying. For the longest time, this was way back in 1st Edition, he would get aces like Corran and then pair them with Snap Wexley and fly them in formation. Did not go well. But when he flies Tie Swarms, now in 2nd Edition, he goes 5-0 in hyperspace trials. His heart is in aces, but his playstyle is all Swarmy/Formations.

Some people are just mentally prepared to fly a certain way better. Try to find your style. It will make being on the table with little plastic ships feel more comfortable.

 

Another piece of advice is learn Turn 0. I am still in shock when I go to tournies and see people just toss the obstacles willy-nilly on the field. Putting obstacles down to benefit your list or hurt your opponents is SO crucial to the game. It creates lanes of attack to draw your opponent into, or blocks off an early bank maneuver if the opponent sets up in a particular corner.

 

Patience is another key trait you need to learn to make top tables. We all want to PEW PEW, but it does not need to start round 2 or 3 every time. Setup your engagement, bait your opponent, etc. Try to get the battle to take place on your terms, when you are ready. Patience is very important. For instance, if you are flying against a Swarm and engage before round 4, you are probably doing something wrong.

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Really great advice here.  What helps me the most though is just talking to the players at the top.  I think a general rule is that the more people have played X wing the more they like to talk about X wing.  In a casual game ask, "out of curiosity, what made you choose this action instead of taking a focus?"  In general, people enjoy sharing the knowledge and talking about it.  It should go without saying here though to actually listen to what they have to say. 

Also to piggyback on what the President said above, I often find when playing more seasoned players the smartest move to take is the second best move on your dial.  The percentage of the time this is true is dependent on your list/play style, obviously. 

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To add the to the above

  • Playing the AI in Fly Casual is a great way to practice basics, opening moves, and become familiar with a new list
    • Opens often rely more on memorizing a small set of options that work well than dynamic logic
    • If you play the game through, keep in mind its a very simplified AI though
  • For the two below, find a decent player and confirm its okay to give this a try since it'll slow you down a bit
    • Get a note pad and try to explicitly predict your opponents moves by writing them down
      • Pick only 1 move or maybe 1 basic/1 advance if they both seem feasible
      • This will help crystallize your move prediction
      • It turns out that about 70% of moves are just illogical can can be easily eliminated because
        • they almost certainly don't have you in arc
        • they hit a rock
        • they almost certainly bump
      • If opp is willing, talk and ask if your guess was reasonable and if not, why
    • Similar exercise to above, try to write down what your move will be one the next turn while you plan current turn
      • do in a separate game to prevent mind crunch
      • this will help with longer term planning
      • you always want to abstractly consider the next turn when planning maneuvers
        • Unless you're Advanced Sensors Guri, she doesn't even need to plan the current move in advance
  • Some intermediate resources/articles
Edited by prauxim

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I've been playing for 3 and a half years now and I consider myself decent, so guess I could give you some tips:

1. Dice can absolutely be a factor, but bad players are the ones who blame dice. Good players know that every choice is a calculated risk and sometimes you are punished for taking a risk. If you're dice are bad, it's probably because you spent too many actions on unnecessary re-positioning and other cool toys and not enough on dice mods. 

2. Think 2 - 3 turns ahead. Nothing is more telling of lack of experience or tactical know-how than when someone takes a long time to set their dials? This seems counterproductive, but when someone spends a long time choosing their dials, it's because they are only thinking on the current turn; not where everything will be in the next few turns. Essentially, you should have an outline of where you want each of your ships to be a few turns ahead i e I want my tank to be running through the middle of this side lane, I want my ace rounding the back corner to flank, I want my support ship tiptoeing through the asteroid field, etc. All you have to do is worry about how you need to achieve your plan, rather than figuring out what your plan is every single dial phase. From here, any changes you have to make are just adjustments to your original plan. Basically, have a plan for the next three turns when you play, so you already know what you need to do its time to pick dials and you don't have to keep making decisions. Treat flying more like driving a big truck and trailer, where you keep coasting forward with minor adjustments rather than haphazardly changing plans constantly. Having a plan for the next few turns is how you can end up with players who win consistently and also set their dials in mere seconds.

3. Fly more conservative and save your big flashy moves for when you no longer can afford to fly conservatively. The best move in the game is often considered 1 straight for this very reason. Not every position in the game is improved by going "super fast out of control". If you are in a position where you are already going to shoot, re-positioning is essentially a waste and most of the time, the best action to take is a simple focus. As a rule, it's usually better to slow roll in this game, because it keeps your plan flexible and obscure. 

4. You're probably not a good list builder. Not trying to be crude, but simply telling the truth. When you're new to the game, it can be hard to learn all of the ins and outs of value, opportunity cost, efficiency, rate of return, frequency of usefulness, etc. simply because you don't have the luxury of hundreds of wins and losses to draw experience from. It wasn't until about 2 or more years into the game where I felt confident enough to play my own lists without needing critique from veterans. I know it's fun to come up with your own combos, but until you see yourself winning consistently, I'd start using popular and successful lists from sites like list juggler and list fortress. From here, you'll be able to solely focus on the in game aspects and not have to worry on if your list was optimized or not.

5. Deploy and choose obstacles to f#@% your opponent first and foremost. As a general rule, most lists do not enjoy a tight asteroid field made up of big rocks. The exception to this rule are lists made up of fragile aces and turrets. In general, you'll end up having the most success if you bring big rocks and deploy them with the mindset of stopping your opponents strategy. 

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18 hours ago, ThinkingB said:

Nothing is more telling of lack of experience or tactical know-how than when someone takes a long time to set their dials

I disagree with this. I've watched many top-8 streams where players take a very long time to set dials - particularly on critical turns.

Players in need of improving often need to get over a developmental hump: It is not enough to have a plan. You must consider how your opponent will react to your plan, and counter their reaction. Devoting the adequate amount of mental horsepower to this endeavor often manifests in taking a while to set a dial.

Players who are skilled must then get over the next developmental hump to become excellent - seemingly clairvoyant: it is not enough to counter your opponents reaction to your plan. You must consider how your opponent will counter your reaction to their reaction to your plan. Again, the mental horsepower required to execute this often manifests in a further increase of time to set dials.

 

 

As for ways to get better, my advice is to find a net-squad that you enjoy flying, and fly it a lot. Fly it constantly until you've learned every detail you can. Find streams of people playing similar squads and watch them. Try weird things with the squad to see how it functions in outlier situations. Learn how it jousts. Learn how it arc dodges. Learn how to assess and prioritize threats to your squad in your opponents squad. Learn how to recover from a turn of bad variance. Learn how to exploit a turn of good variance.

You can then use your understanding of your squad as a standard through which to develop and play different squads.

Edited by markrivett

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I’ve only been playing about 6 months, but I’ve learned a ton since I started

I no longer fly into rocks/obstacles, I spent a decent amount of time just flying ships around a board filled with obstacles.  I think you just get better at estimating distances the more games you play.

I no longer just fly in and joust.  I stopped that after I kept getting blown away.  I take my time and try to slow roll or setup a flank/killbox.  I think this is just a lifelong learning experience that you’ll always have to keep in mind.

I’m just starting to see the benefit of round 0 planning.  I used to just place the obstacles in a random fashion, then not think about what the board looked like after all of the obstacles were placed.  Now I look for areas that I want to engage in/stay away from.

I still lose about 75% of the games I play but my MOV has started to improve.  And I’ve definitely improved since I started 6 months ago.

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On 7/9/2019 at 1:25 AM, Mostarda2 said:

It seems that some players are already born to play and can already move around and make the right decisions.

You know, I do think you are right in some aspects.  I have found I am pretty good at predicting what my opponents will do.  Oh, I am far from perfect, but I am pretty good at it.  I found that out in the very first test game when I flew 2 Generic Tie Fighters to kill Luke in about 5 turns.  I don't know if it's the spacial awareness or just the ability to think about what the best move your opponent is going to do, but I do think there is some innate ability that some people have.  

I will say that probably the most effective tool will be talking to your opponent after the game.  Ask them questions, such as, what did I do wrong?  What was my biggest mistake?   It will really help you figure out what your trouble might be and also how to improve.  I have found most players are pretty nice and will tell you.  They won't always be right though, as some will just say "x ship sucks and you should never use it" when the real answer is more that x ship wasn't used well with the other ships and you should either change it or change something else in your list to make it a more effective tool. 

When trying to figure out what your opponent is going to do, you have to be familiar with enough of the enemy ships to know what to expect.  That can be rather daunting at this stage in the game as there are quite a few.  You can either spend time looking at ships you don't know, or if you want to spend the time practicing on your own, @prauxim is right that you can practice using AI apps or websites.  This teaches you how enemy ships will react to you.  It's important in trying to work out a good plan.  You need to know if they are going to 1) slowly joust you and fire all guns; 2) try to dodge your arcs and flank you; 3) send a few ships to block you; 4) Or some other crazy stunts.  It is also important to understand how your opponent's crazy combo will work.  Analyzing their list to find the weak point is important to knowing who to shoot at.   So, one of the most important things is understanding what type of ships you are flying against and then knowing how they want to fly.   You don't want to do what they want you to do...most of the time.   

I should also take the time to point out what it might take to get really really good.  I've played all sorts of versions of the game and I have found that currently, if you want to be tops table good, you need to play A LOT of X-wing and you need to practice A LOT.  It means playing the same list with maybe slight variations over and over and over again until you know how your list plays against all other list types.   I did this for a bit....and I got burnt out.  To me, it just wasn't worth all the time to practice to be REALLY REALLY good at something that was a hobby.   So, understand that there are a lot of things you can do to get better, but some of them require a lot of dedication and you should think about how much you really want to do.   Finding a happy medium that won't burn you out is best.   At this point, I have been to 2 tournaments in the past 4 years and I am happy with this.    

So, I did touch on it a bit in the past paragraph.  Playing one list with only slight variations is key to getting better.  You need to know HOW your list works....and how it works against a lot of different types of lists.   So, you might have your list and have an idea on how to play it, but that will change depending on who you are flying against.  With all sorts of enemies, like Alpha Strike Ordnance, 3 high Init Aces, Mini Swarm + other, Synergy Ships, Formations, Swarms, you will need to know how your specific list flies against all of them.   You need to learn some tricks that your list can pull off.  You need to know how your list works overall, and what it is good at and not good at.  Only practice can do that for you.   So, one thing I often see is people change out their list every week.  If you want to get better, you need to stick with one type of list and work at making THAT list work.  

Finding your play style you like is important.  If you are going to spend a while practicing with something, it should be a list you like flying!  It used to be that there were only a few "competitive" lists and people would just accept whatever was "the meta" and fly that.  With 2nd Edition, it has really opened up and you really can fly almost whatever you want and make it work.  Locally, there is a guy that LOVES Tie Punishers.  Even before 2nd Ed, he was good with them.  He played with them all the time.   The general thoughts were that they were terrible ships, but he did well with them.  He never went to tournaments, but would play against people who were practicing their tournament lists and he would kick their butt.   So, don't really listen to the overall thoughts on if a ship/upgrade/whatever is good enough.  You can make it work if you practice at it.   That said, some are more challenging than others, so if you are trying really hard to make something that is perhaps not the best ship, you might have more of an uphill battle.   Once you figure out which type of list you want to fly, you should look up different topics on it on these forums.  Make posts asking how to fly it.   Ignore the people that will just come on and say "that is a stupid ship/list.  never fly it".   You will find people who have flown something like what you want that will give you good advice.   

You need to have a plan as to how your list is going to work.  You need to practice it.  Is your ship about jousting?  Flanking?   Does it need to go fast or slow?   Do you need to avoid or be around asteroids?  How does your list work?  For example, I like to play Empire and play a mini swarm + other (ace or heavy hitter or something).  I like to have a bit of a clear enough area that I can joust my opponent.  So, I try to keep the asteroids either away from the edges or perhaps closer to deployment.  This idea is that I move past them and don't need to worry about them anymore.  So, I then move my Tie Fighters up in a loose formation at different speeds.  The idea is to create a field that the enemy ships can't move anywhere without bumping into a Tie Fighter.   No matter which one they hit, they are probably going to bounce back to the very front as there is no room.  They won't have actions.  I will have a Focus.  My heavy hitter (Vader...ordnance carrier, whatever) fires first at the weakest target to wound it and then all the Tie Fighters shoot (hopefully at R1) to finish it off.   This is my initial approach strategy.   So....come up with a plan as to what your list is going to do.  Everything depends that.  how do you deploy your asteroids?  How do you move your ships?   Everything starts off with knowing what it is you are wanting to do.   Make sense?

OK....so you figured out what your list is and what you want to do with it.   You have practiced and figured out what your opponent's list is about and what they want to do.   The next step is to try to figure out how to change your strategy based on what they want to do.  For example, you are a list that likes jousting, but their list is a better jouster.  So....you don't really want to joust.  You probably want to put asteroids in the middle of the board and maybe go up the middle yourself.   This will force your opponent on trying to move around the rocks to get to you.  This is where you can create advantage.  Maybe you suddenly blitz forward at the time they are just trying to get some of their ships around the rocks.  Maybe you can joust part of their list while the others are out of range or out of arc.   The idea is to figure out how you can use the terrain (obstacles) and your strengths to your advantage.  Try to catch part of the enemy at a weakened state.   Or....make sure YOU aren't drawn through the rocks in an attempt to break up your formation.  Sometimes it's better to be patient and take 3 rounds to carefully go around the asteroids and not get ambushed and force them to come at you all together. 

Another way to look at it is to see what they are trying to do.  Maybe the enemy has a Proton Rocket or Adv Proton Torpedo.  You can expect that the enemy ship is going to want to get close to you.  So....know that when you are picking dials.  Maybe you want to block with one of your ships so they can't get the TL.  Or...maybe you want to rush him and hope he over-shoots his target.  The tools you have in this are your varying speed and the obstacles.  I have sometimes been a bit conservative in my moving to make my opponent think I am very cautious.  This might cause him to send some ships one way around a rock and some the other.   If you see this, you might be able to go full speed at some of them next turn and catch part of his list separated.  You can also try to bait your opponent with some ships that look like they are separated, but then they peel off and aren't in range anymore.   This might allow some of your other ships to come in faster than he expected on his flank.   

OK.....I think I am typed out.   There is still a lot more to go over, but I think you get the general idea.  If you think about these things....and know your opponent, it should be easier for you when you are looking at picking dials to understand what is it that your opponent is going to do.  

That....and I almost always think Focus is better than Evade.  I mean, if it's an ace and you know you are going to get shot up, sure, an Evade is good, but every other time you should do Focus.  It's better for offense and defense.  

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On ‎7‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 1:40 AM, gadwag said:

There are four things you can do to improve your game:

  • Play more games
    • Play more games using your squad against a variety of opponents. Watch how your opponents react.
    • Play games using squads similar to those flown by your opponents. This will teach you how those squads fly, and give you a better idea of their strengths and weaknesses.
    • Play against the squad(s) you'd normally fly. Now that you're on the other side of the table, you have some insight into what people are thinking as they face your squad. Often when you fly, you only think about your own weaknesses and your opponent's strengths. When you turn the table around, you can see the scary end of your list and understand how your opponent feels.
    • After a game, talk it through with your opponent and they can help you understand their decisions during the game.
  • Read good strategy articles
    • http://starfightermafia.blogspot.com/ has lots of good tips on how to fly and how to setup. This is probably the most useful blog for actual strategy advice, but there are plenty of other blogs linked on these forums that you can find using the search function.
    • Read the FFG articles on setup and deployment. These are for 1.0 x-wing, but that's largely irrelevant as the same principles hold true in 2.0.
  • Build better lists, and think through how your list will win
    • Simply changing your squad isn't that important, unless you're flying something very inefficient (like 5 scyks with ion cannons or something). Improving your playing will have a much bigger impact on your game. That said, when you build a list, think it over and make sure it makes sense as a whole. How will your list win? Will it roll forward slowly and crush enemies with heavy firepower, or will it dodge out of arc constantly and slowly chip away at the enemy? Consider common enemy squads and think about how your squad would approach them. What's the biggest threat on the other side of the table, and how will your squad handle it? What's the biggest threat in your squad, and what will you do to manage if your opponent destroys it?
    • For example, say you are flying wedge, jake, a u-wing and a b-wing. Your opponent is flying soontir, vader and duchess. Your opponent will try and kill wedge right away, because he's most dangerous to their fragile ships. To manage this, you want to fly wedge in such a way that the imperials have to fly in front of your other ships (and get shot) if they want to deal with wedge (and you also want wedge to be close enough that they can't afford to ignore him)
  • Watch others play
    • Watch the better players at your store play. As they set dials and take actions, think about what you'd do if you were them. If they act differently, ask them why after the game.
    • You can also watch streams such as X-Wing Junkies or Gold Squadron. Often there will be commentary discussing player actions which will give you some insight into what good decisions are and what each player might be thinking.

^^^^^ All of the above, but I thought I'd reinforce "Watch others play."

I probably spend as much or more time watching streamed events as I do actually playing.

* Ship lists and upgrades
* Asteroid placement
* Initial ship placement
* Initial ship movement
* Initial target selection
* Midgame ship movement
* Late game ship movement

Basically everything game related is covered in streamed games.
Additionally, streamed events usually have pretty good commentary explaining a lot of the game-related theory.
Taking advantage of watching streamed games can really help improve your game.
 

Edited by underling

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1. Pick a faction.

2. Pick a competitive list within that faction.

3. Play that list 20 times. It’s ok to make small changes to the list.

I found that when I dialed down on a faction I got a lot better. Then repeat with a different list or different faction. I see too many new people jumping from list to list so they never figure anything out.

And....

 

its ok to not get arc on somebody....as long as your not getting shot at. Sometime the best move doesn’t get you a shot.

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2 hours ago, Chemical_Jedi said:

1. Pick a faction.

2. Pick a competitive list within that faction.

3. Play that list 20 times. It’s ok to make small changes to the list.

I found that when I dialed down on a faction I got a lot better. Then repeat with a different list or different faction. I see too many new people jumping from list to list so they never figure anything out.

And....

 

its ok to not get arc on somebody....as long as your not getting shot at. Sometime the best move doesn’t get you a shot.

This.  I was in a situation the other day where I could’ve had a modded range 1 shot, but I also would’ve been in two range 2 arcs.  I opted to roll away to dodge the arcs instead.  All it would take was one good shot from my opponent and my Soontir blanking out to potentially take Soontir off the board.  

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20 hours ago, Chemical_Jedi said:

1. Pick a faction.

2. Pick a competitive list within that faction.

3. Play that list 20 times. It’s ok to make small changes to the list.

I found that when I dialed down on a faction I got a lot better. Then repeat with a different list or different faction. I see too many new people jumping from list to list so they never figure anything out.

And....

 

its ok to not get arc on somebody....as long as your not getting shot at. Sometime the best move doesn’t get you a shot.

This is good advice in general, but I'd say hold off until the meta settles a bit, then pick an archetype that's at least performing somewhat decently. The secret to x-wing happiness is striking a balance between what's good in the current meta and what you wanna fly. Also, if you are flying something at least semi-meta, you can watch and learn from others flying it on stream.

Edited by prauxim

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To me if I win or lose, I always rethink what I did.

1.  Did I make right chioces in manuevers/actions

2.  Did I forget abilities/actions

3.  Dice are dice. Dont blame them, they average out.

To me #2 is the most important.  For big tournament prep I always say outloud what abilitiea, actions, whatever i need to do over and over to get it down.  Sort of like MTG, "untap, upkeep, draw".  

If I feel like I made good choices and correct manuevers but still lost, I usually feel good about it.

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I have problems with being ahead most of the game then on the last turn right before time, I get init killed and they win because Vader/Soontir/Whatevs got too greedy...

Edited by pakirby

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I've only been playing since 2E came out so take this with a grain of salt... :)

 

When I first started, I solely played acey lists as that was what I found comfortable.   I played that type a lot.  I would guess close to 40-50 matches and as a result I got better.   Then I started playing non acey stuff and I find the more different stuff I play, it adds to my familiarity and makes me a better player.

 

this would be in addition to all the great stuff that others have said..

 I didn't want to repeat it all.  :)

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I think the biggest part of my game that lets me down is target prioritisation. I can fly well, do what I need to do, but sometimes I pick target x and it ends badly. It took me a bit to avoid baits, to engage on my terms. Don’t rush in, you have 75 minutes. Understanding what the opponent can do and why they have their list the way it is helps too. 

The game is easy learn, but difficult to master. Good luck on your journey. 

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On 7/12/2019 at 10:58 AM, heychadwick said:

You know, I do think you are right in some aspects.  I have found I am pretty good at predicting what my opponents will do.  Oh, I am far from perfect, but I am pretty good at it.  I found that out in the very first test game when I flew 2 Generic Tie Fighters to kill Luke in about 5 turns.  I don't know if it's the spacial awareness or just the ability to think about what the best move your opponent is going to do, but I do think there is some innate ability that some people have.  

I will say that probably the most effective tool will be talking to your opponent after the game.  Ask them questions, such as, what did I do wrong?  What was my biggest mistake?   It will really help you figure out what your trouble might be and also how to improve.  I have found most players are pretty nice and will tell you.  They won't always be right though, as some will just say "x ship sucks and you should never use it" when the real answer is more that x ship wasn't used well with the other ships and you should either change it or change something else in your list to make it a more effective tool. 

When trying to figure out what your opponent is going to do, you have to be familiar with enough of the enemy ships to know what to expect.  That can be rather daunting at this stage in the game as there are quite a few.  You can either spend time looking at ships you don't know, or if you want to spend the time practicing on your own, @prauxim is right that you can practice using AI apps or websites.  This teaches you how enemy ships will react to you.  It's important in trying to work out a good plan.  You need to know if they are going to 1) slowly joust you and fire all guns; 2) try to dodge your arcs and flank you; 3) send a few ships to block you; 4) Or some other crazy stunts.  It is also important to understand how your opponent's crazy combo will work.  Analyzing their list to find the weak point is important to knowing who to shoot at.   So, one of the most important things is understanding what type of ships you are flying against and then knowing how they want to fly.   You don't want to do what they want you to do...most of the time.   

I should also take the time to point out what it might take to get really really good.  I've played all sorts of versions of the game and I have found that currently, if you want to be tops table good, you need to play A LOT of X-wing and you need to practice A LOT.  It means playing the same list with maybe slight variations over and over and over again until you know how your list plays against all other list types.   I did this for a bit....and I got burnt out.  To me, it just wasn't worth all the time to practice to be REALLY REALLY good at something that was a hobby.   So, understand that there are a lot of things you can do to get better, but some of them require a lot of dedication and you should think about how much you really want to do.   Finding a happy medium that won't burn you out is best.   At this point, I have been to 2 tournaments in the past 4 years and I am happy with this.    

So, I did touch on it a bit in the past paragraph.  Playing one list with only slight variations is key to getting better.  You need to know HOW your list works....and how it works against a lot of different types of lists.   So, you might have your list and have an idea on how to play it, but that will change depending on who you are flying against.  With all sorts of enemies, like Alpha Strike Ordnance, 3 high Init Aces, Mini Swarm + other, Synergy Ships, Formations, Swarms, you will need to know how your specific list flies against all of them.   You need to learn some tricks that your list can pull off.  You need to know how your list works overall, and what it is good at and not good at.  Only practice can do that for you.   So, one thing I often see is people change out their list every week.  If you want to get better, you need to stick with one type of list and work at making THAT list work.  

Finding your play style you like is important.  If you are going to spend a while practicing with something, it should be a list you like flying!  It used to be that there were only a few "competitive" lists and people would just accept whatever was "the meta" and fly that.  With 2nd Edition, it has really opened up and you really can fly almost whatever you want and make it work.  Locally, there is a guy that LOVES Tie Punishers.  Even before 2nd Ed, he was good with them.  He played with them all the time.   The general thoughts were that they were terrible ships, but he did well with them.  He never went to tournaments, but would play against people who were practicing their tournament lists and he would kick their butt.   So, don't really listen to the overall thoughts on if a ship/upgrade/whatever is good enough.  You can make it work if you practice at it.   That said, some are more challenging than others, so if you are trying really hard to make something that is perhaps not the best ship, you might have more of an uphill battle.   Once you figure out which type of list you want to fly, you should look up different topics on it on these forums.  Make posts asking how to fly it.   Ignore the people that will just come on and say "that is a stupid ship/list.  never fly it".   You will find people who have flown something like what you want that will give you good advice.   

You need to have a plan as to how your list is going to work.  You need to practice it.  Is your ship about jousting?  Flanking?   Does it need to go fast or slow?   Do you need to avoid or be around asteroids?  How does your list work?  For example, I like to play Empire and play a mini swarm + other (ace or heavy hitter or something).  I like to have a bit of a clear enough area that I can joust my opponent.  So, I try to keep the asteroids either away from the edges or perhaps closer to deployment.  This idea is that I move past them and don't need to worry about them anymore.  So, I then move my Tie Fighters up in a loose formation at different speeds.  The idea is to create a field that the enemy ships can't move anywhere without bumping into a Tie Fighter.   No matter which one they hit, they are probably going to bounce back to the very front as there is no room.  They won't have actions.  I will have a Focus.  My heavy hitter (Vader...ordnance carrier, whatever) fires first at the weakest target to wound it and then all the Tie Fighters shoot (hopefully at R1) to finish it off.   This is my initial approach strategy.   So....come up with a plan as to what your list is going to do.  Everything depends that.  how do you deploy your asteroids?  How do you move your ships?   Everything starts off with knowing what it is you are wanting to do.   Make sense?

OK....so you figured out what your list is and what you want to do with it.   You have practiced and figured out what your opponent's list is about and what they want to do.   The next step is to try to figure out how to change your strategy based on what they want to do.  For example, you are a list that likes jousting, but their list is a better jouster.  So....you don't really want to joust.  You probably want to put asteroids in the middle of the board and maybe go up the middle yourself.   This will force your opponent on trying to move around the rocks to get to you.  This is where you can create advantage.  Maybe you suddenly blitz forward at the time they are just trying to get some of their ships around the rocks.  Maybe you can joust part of their list while the others are out of range or out of arc.   The idea is to figure out how you can use the terrain (obstacles) and your strengths to your advantage.  Try to catch part of the enemy at a weakened state.   Or....make sure YOU aren't drawn through the rocks in an attempt to break up your formation.  Sometimes it's better to be patient and take 3 rounds to carefully go around the asteroids and not get ambushed and force them to come at you all together. 

Another way to look at it is to see what they are trying to do.  Maybe the enemy has a Proton Rocket or Adv Proton Torpedo.  You can expect that the enemy ship is going to want to get close to you.  So....know that when you are picking dials.  Maybe you want to block with one of your ships so they can't get the TL.  Or...maybe you want to rush him and hope he over-shoots his target.  The tools you have in this are your varying speed and the obstacles.  I have sometimes been a bit conservative in my moving to make my opponent think I am very cautious.  This might cause him to send some ships one way around a rock and some the other.   If you see this, you might be able to go full speed at some of them next turn and catch part of his list separated.  You can also try to bait your opponent with some ships that look like they are separated, but then they peel off and aren't in range anymore.   This might allow some of your other ships to come in faster than he expected on his flank.   

OK.....I think I am typed out.   There is still a lot more to go over, but I think you get the general idea.  If you think about these things....and know your opponent, it should be easier for you when you are looking at picking dials to understand what is it that your opponent is going to do.  

That....and I almost always think Focus is better than Evade.  I mean, if it's an ace and you know you are going to get shot up, sure, an Evade is good, but every other time you should do Focus.  It's better for offense and defense.  

Hello! I open this topic! 3 months ago, and I've played the same list ever since. I got some good results, but in today's tournament I ended up not knowing what to do against two lists which gave me a dismay. How long should a list be insisted on? I don't know if I continue or leave for another totally different...

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