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Lillumultipass

How competitive is X wing?

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Hi everyone, 
 
I have been looking at (and trying) different miniature games over the past few months (even though the lockdown did cut down on experimentation), primarily playing a bit of Malifaux, Infinity and Marvel crisis protocol. I think I will stick with MCP (because of the theme, which I like) but I am not sure about the others. 
 
Meanwhile, I have heard about Xwing’s solo mode, which intrigued me and had me look at the game. I love Star Wars but I am not a huge fan either (meaning that the theme is a plus but not a huge plus) and I don’t particularly find the models attractive. 
So in general, I am  looking for a game with good variety in abilities, varied factions with a lot of possibilities for customization of one's army, i.e., different playstyle within the same faction, and depth of gameplay
 
Hence, I have some questions:
  • How competitive is X wing then ? Meaning, are there tough decisions to be made during the game, so that skill  trumps luck ? Compared to other games you play (if you do), how would you rank X wing in terms of skill-to-luck ratio ? 
  • How is list building ? Is it varied ? Does it foster creativity ? 
  • Is there a varied meta ?
  • What are the best places for strategy content (batrep or written content) ? 
Thanks for your help ! 

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Posted (edited)

I'll be brief with my answers, as just a tiny amount of digging you'll get more in depth answers to all these questions.

  • It's as competitive as you want to make it. Pre-Covid we had regular tounaments & other competitions at high level. Skill does trump luck often, but not always: about 80/20 I'd say. People do blame their dice but if you can avoid getting into a tight spot (through skill & list building) the dice are a variable that can be mitigated.
  • List building is very varied and allows for a lot of creativity.
  • The meta typically sees change through two main factors: points changes which are scheduled twice a year January & July which typically addresses problems that have arisen such as over-performing upgrades, ships/pilots and combinations there of. The second meta changer is when new product is released. Rules updates & errata are also addressed when the points get adjusted.
  • I'll point you to this post that is pinned at the top of the forum to answer your last question:

I hope you enjoy the game!

Edit:

By the way, the person that responded to you first, Paul Heaver is a two time world champion of X-wing. He knows what he's saying and you can trust him. Cheers!

Edited by Force Majeure

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Trying to think of the right way to phrase this.  The unique thing about X-Wing, and how it relates to skill, mostly comes from the dial system.

Each player secretly selects their maneuvers for all their ships in advance, then resolve these maneuvers based on how quick each pilot is.

This has a really distinct from an "alternating activation" game like Guild Ball, MCP, Infinity, or Chess.  In these, you get to see all your opponent's options, and pick your best move.  Here, they can react to your unfolding plan, you'll react to theirs, and so forth.

In X-Wing, while you do have the option to perform actions which can make adjustments, mostly you and your opponent have to decide on your entire strategy for the turn before you see their plan in action.  Luck matters enough (it ensures that a weaker player kind of always has a puncher's chance), and you have to have an understanding of how the dice work to put yourself in the best position to win, but the most important thing is often to anticipate how an opponent will behave.

I guess that's not an answer to whether or not skill matters a lot compared to luck, but more about the ways in which skill factors in.  The thrill of seeing an unanticipated move work properly.  The agony of a ship pointing in entirely the wrong direction.  I think it's got a different set of highs and lows than a lot of games.  The texture, the feeling is really different.

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X-wing has great blend of strategy, tactics, intuition and luck. The dial setting (advancing your flight plan while guessing at the opponents flight plan) is the core element of it.

It's an awesome game. Try it in one it's various virtual incarnations and see it for yourself.

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Do it!!! Jump right in u will love it.   It’s a game of skill but u can get lucky.  The competitive scene is friendly but tough.
 

You should be able to get started by showing up at your game store on game night.  The community is super friendly.  They will hook u up. After two weeks you will know if u like it and have an idea if u like it.   

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@Lillumultipass,

Sounds like you've helped yourself to your answer. 

In my opinion, theme is the only thing that's going to help you enjoy a miniatures game over a board game or card game. 

If you care about MCP, but are neutral for X-Wing minis, then the answer is obvious. 

Just play MCP. 

Or play Magic or some other less expensive hobby game that gets you that intellectual stimulation. 

 

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I remember watching some of the matches from worlds (I think last year) where in one of the top 8 matches a player reminded his opponent of a potential missed opportunity.  There are a large variety of players in the game, but I've found that even at some of the most competitive X-Wing events, a lot of the players are still very friendly and are playing to have fun instead of winning at all costs.  I think the relatively low barrier to entry (cheap starter pack, fairly simple rules, and no requirement to build or paint minis) brings a lot of different kinds of people into the game and helps facilitate a more casual atmosphere even at competitive events.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Bucknife said:

In my opinion, theme is the only thing that's going to help you enjoy a miniatures game over a board game or card game. 

I don't think this is true at all.

I mean, it could be more true in theory than in practice. But, miniatures games involve movement and spatial elements that flatly don't exist in any popular card game (and competitive board games, in the "competition" sense, are niche even by our niche hobby's standards, which precludes those that might otherwise fit the bill.)

If the spatial and movement elements within a large competitive ecosystem are something you desire, miniatures games are the only options around.

Edited by svelok

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9 hours ago, Lillumultipass said:
Meanwhile, I have heard about Xwing’s solo mode, which intrigued me and had me look at the game. I love Star Wars but I am not a huge fan either (meaning that the theme is a plus but not a huge plus) and I don’t particularly find the models attractive. 
So in general, I am  looking for a game with good variety in abilities, varied factions with a lot of possibilities for customization of one's army, i.e., different playstyle within the same faction, and depth of gameplay
 
Hence, I have some questions:
  • How competitive is X wing then ? Meaning, are there tough decisions to be made during the game, so that skill  trumps luck ? Compared to other games you play (if you do), how would you rank X wing in terms of skill-to-luck ratio ? 
  • How is list building ? Is it varied ? Does it foster creativity ? 
  • Is there a varied meta ?
  • What are the best places for strategy content (batrep or written content) ? 
Thanks for your help ! 

First, solo mode is in open alpha. It is not a real representation of a true PvP experience. Maybe some day that AI will be that good, but right now it’s somewhat limited.

as for your questions...

1. Very competitive. The top tables always have the same people, and there’s a reason. If you want a game to be in competition with others, this is a solid choice. It’s also a very fun game at the casual level, really anyone can play xwing for their own reasons but top tier play is easily 85-90% skill if not more. Dice happen, but dice only happen if you were in a spot to get shot at anyway.

2. There are more ways to have a competitive list than any time of first edition. Every faction has a viable play style at top levels. The fad and flavor alters as the meta alters, but there’s always the same types of strategies implemented differently rising up to the top. 
 

3. the top tables are a little less varied but the middle and even higher up events but local events have a very diverse meta. I have never been to a major event of second edition xwing and played against the same list twice in the course of the event.

4. Podcasts are probably the best - highly recommend checking out Gold Squadron Podcast (also on YouTube as they have other strategy videos there as well, plus recordings of played high level games wIth commentary — if I fear a specific list build I go find a video where the meta monster was played and watch it happen). TCX podcast is solid too, though content has been lacking a bit with the lack of events. Their basic ship type series is worth a listen.

 

I think that’s about it in terms of your questions for now - feel free to follow up. 

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1 hour ago, Lillumultipass said:

Thanks everyone for the kind and thorough answers ! Indeed, the community seems very nice and friendly. 

I will have a look at the links you gave me but as I am able to get a bunch of ships 2nd hand at a good price, I will probably cave in 😉

Welcome to the party!

I’ll see you at Worlds in 2021 right? :) 

 

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16 hours ago, Bucknife said:

In my opinion, theme is the only thing that's going to help you enjoy a miniatures game over a board game or card game. 

I have no doubt that for some people, this is true.

There are flavor players, there are mechanics players.  We're probably all some different mix of both.

There's a reason we're on the Star Wars X-Wing forum and not the Star Trek Attack Wing forum.  There's also a reason we're not all just playing chess with Star Wars figurines.

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9 hours ago, Lillumultipass said:

lol...

Let's make it Worlds 2022 then 😃

Honestly whenever you have the opportunity to go, just do it (when we can again). No matter what skill level you're at (well at least must know the base rules of the game) it's a fun time for all and a great place to meet others from around the world. I can't tell you how many people I've heard after their first worlds experience say "I wish I did this sooner." 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/17/2020 at 3:20 PM, svelok said:

If the spatial and movement elements within a large competitive ecosystem are something you desire, miniatures games are the only options around.

Yes.

9 hours ago, theBitterFig said:

There's a reason we're on the Star Wars X-Wing forum and not the Star Trek Attack Wing forum.  There's also a reason we're not all just playing chess with Star Wars figurines.

Absolutely. 

I agree with you guys in spirit. 

I think the very fact that were on here means that we enjoy and believe in X-Wing as specifically a good game. 

For my part in this topic, based on how much money I've spent on this game compared to any other board game, and considering how much time it takes to play this game continually and competitively, I don't think being a "good game" would have been enough for me to ever bother buying-in if I didn't LOVE the ships and the theme. 

I respect the fact that others may have far more expendable time and funds to casually buy-in to many "good games", but if it was me in his shoes, and I liked Marvel and didn't love Star Wars ships, the choice would be exceptionally simple. 

Edited by Bucknife

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18 hours ago, Bucknife said:

I don't think being a "good game" would have been enough for me to ever bother buying-in if I didn't LOVE the ships and the theme. 

I definitely fall into this category.

I'm gathering that the OP is going to be fine if the game is competitive (which is it's main strength) because what this game still lacks, IMHO, is official play modes that feel like Star Wars.

The best works in that mode (Trench Run, HoTAC, Battle of Scraif), have all been fan made.

Given that I expect to play zero games of XWM for 2020, my interest level is getting down to "I collect the cool models."

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Posted (edited)

I know two of the games the OP has mentioned.  Malifaux and X-wing.  These two are not overly comparable.    Competitive X-wing had one goal, destroy the opponent.   Malifaux, it is possible to win a game with no models on the board.

 

Skill vs. Luck:

There is alot less variables in x-wing.  8 sided dice with three possible outcomes.  The skill is knowing what your list cand do to the opponent.   Can you shoot with out getting shot?  Can I modify my dice?  

Malifaux has base stat, a card deck that can go from 1-14, a possible auto win (red joker) and auto lose (black joker).  

 

Edited by martini74

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On 6/20/2020 at 5:35 PM, martini74 said:

I know two of the games the OP has mentioned.  Malifaux and X-wing.  These two are not overly comparable.    Competitive X-wing had one goal, destroy the opponent.   Malifaux, it is possible to win a game with no models on the board.

 

Skill vs. Luck:

There is alot less variables in x-wing.  8 sided dice with three possible outcomes.  The skill is knowing what your list cand do to the opponent.   Can you shoot with out getting shot?  Can I modify my dice?  

Malifaux has base stat, a card deck that can go from 1-14, a possible auto win (red joker) and auto lose (black joker).  

 

Technically, the black joker's not an auto-lose;  its just a value of 0, so you can still win a duel if you have a high stat and the opponent flips low enough and can't or won't play a card from their hand.

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@Lillumultipass

As far as luck vs skill, not only did @pheaver win Worlds three times, but he won all three in a row.  Each time was with a different set of ships, each time in a different meta of top tier lists.  You don't have a win streak of something like 25 games in a row against the best players in the world by being lucky.  You have to know what your squad can do and what the other squasd can do, and build a list that plays to your strengths.

I have never played any other minis games.  I got into this one because I love Star Wars and because I didn't have to paint anything.  I would say its an affordable game to get into, except my plastic addiction has netted me over 90 models spread between 5 of the 7 factions (I have 12 Tie/ln models and don't even like flying the Empire faction).  That said, many folks stick to one or two factions, and they can have plenty of diversity and competitiveness with a squad of a dozen or so minis plus buying a few upgrade cards that come in other packs thru eBay and such.

Several have pointed out sportsmanship in this game and I find it to be so true.  Here is a great story.  I was playing for first place in a small local tournament.  Time ran out so we were finishing the last round.  I was about to take the shot that had about a 95% chance of doing damage but the enemy ship had an ability that meant at best I could only score one damage and that was not enough to win.  My opponent reminded me that the only way to beat him was to shoot at his other ship and hope for 3 hits even though it was at long range and was less than 1% that it would work.  Now that shot would be my 3 unmodified attack dice against his 4 defense dice and he had two tokens that could situationally change his dice to more favorable results.  I rolled hot and got the three hits.  Still. all he needed to do was for 1 of his 4 dice to not be a blank to win.  He rolled 3 blanks and was devastated.  Then I reminded HIM he forgot to roll his 4th dice.  Unfortunately for him he rolled a fourth blank and I won the tournament.  Later I did some checking and that shot that won me the game was about a 1 in 250 chance on happening, so luck does happen, but more importantly, we both reminded each other of a potential game changing mistake that gave the opponent a better chance to win and have had many laughs about that night since.

Hope you join.  The Rebellion can use all the good pilots it can get.

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