This was posted to TopTierGaming. They are trying to get into the X-Wing strategy market.
Alternate Format: Out-of-the-Box
As a former CCG player there is a format I enjoy that will test skills and the design space of the game; sealed. In that format you would get an unopened product, either randomly packed or predetermined, open it and make a deck to play against others doing the same.
How to play:
Applying it to X-Wing is easy. Just build a ship or fleet that is from the package. The rules would be something like:
1) Pick a point limit – It can be as low or high as you like, just agree on the parameters.
The Furball limit of 30 points is somewhat nice, provided you are not using the large-base ships. 35 is comfortable as well if you want to encourage the higher Pilot Skill (PS) ships and allow them upgrades. Vader, Ten Numb, Wedge are very high cost, so they would be naked (or unplayable) at 30pts
2) Decide if it can be Mirror Match or Imperials vs Rebels.
3) Select your ship(s).
4) Build the ships with only the Pilots and Upgrades from their individual set.
I.E. There cannot be Soontir with Push the Limits, but there can be a Royal Guard with Push the Limits. This forces a lot of thought into what is in the box, and what is a solid pairing that perhaps the designers we encouraging.
5) Figure out what style of game you want. Do you want Missions, Free-for-All, Team Deathmatch, Furball, etc.
This ‘format’ is more of a building restriction that can be applied to other formats.
Push the Limits, a selection of 3 Missiles, and decent stats.
Tycho/Green Squadron can really max out with Deadeye or Push, throw in a missile like Homing (because it would not use up the Target Lock/Focus) and you have a very solid Jouster that can also Skirmish*
Green Squadron (19) + Push the Limits (3) + Homing Missile (5) = 27
Adrenaline Rush to help a K-Turn (flip) turn into the Focus or Target Lock you need to launch your ordinance. You also have a wide variety of points for the ship. So you can go average (25pts) to Regular (35pts), or even a 40 point single ship game. For Team games, it would be solid if you played the spear as they either cleaned up or screened* your flanks.
Not to mention you can have the lower point generics armed to the teeth with ordinance in almost any point size.
This is a real challenge for 1 vs 1 games.
There is an option for use in 30-35pts and the Tie Fighter player can use 2 ships; like the Base Set has setup.
I love this ship for the challenge. That said, there are very few options, unless you are in a team game. Both Elite Pilot Talents (EPT) are assisting other ships. So they are right out.
Which means either naked Unique or generics with Missiles at 30 pts; or Unique (Vader) with Missiles at 35pts
One of the challenges your play group will have to decide on is the lower point games allowing large-base ships. If you agree on 35 pts, I am unsure that many can defeat a Bounty Hunter (33pts) with Seismic Charge (2 Pts); there is just a lot of Shields and Hull there.
I truly enjoy the handicap/restrictions this ideology poses. It is interesting to see Turr Phennir with Elusive or Daredevil. B-Wing pilots without Advanced Sensors or Elite Pilot Talents (EPT). And the restrictions that the YT-1300 gets are cutting away too many skills and options that make the ship unfair.
I will mention I view the Base Set as its own product, as are the things like Rebel Transport and Imperial Aces.
Joust – When one ship runs straight at another ship whom is also running straight into combat.
Skirmish – Hit & Run. Goal 1 is to not be hit, goal 2 is to hit. You try to maximize defense while also positioning for clean, unreturned shots.
Screening – Think Screen-Door, or Call Screener; they filter what gets through to you, and try to minimize the hindrance.
That is it for now. In future work I will mention my thoughts on this format when I discuss any given ship/product in case this catches on. I think this is a skill-builder for both seasoned and beginners, and hope there will be some testing feedback eventually from others.
Seems too limiting to me, not to say I wouldn't accept the challenge, but the problem I see is dead cards. In standard play there may be some weak card choices, but none are really "broken" (unusable)
You mention swarm tactics and squad leader. Consider the rebel aces box, it comes with no elite pilot talents, but a card that lets you equip two elite pilot talents. Hopefully that's it for now, but it could get worse.
The choice of the package cards only also requires doing research and checking, I am not sure how many people can tell you exactly what expansion everything comes from.
I'm sure there are people who would enjoy such a format, and alternative formats are interesting to me. I believe my favorite formats are:
A: Random squadrons. (Shuffle 2 generics of each type into a draw pile, when you draw a ship type, shuffle one of each card from that type and draw a card, then repeat from the top, until you are as close to 100 points as you can be. Discard choices that would bust 100 or agreed upon point value, then fill with upgrades as you like.)
B: fully loaded. (Agree upon a point value, all printed upgrade slots on a ship must be used. (Modifications and titles optional))
C: Aces High (every pilot used must be unique)
D: singleton (you may have no duplicate ship types or upgrade cards)
It's something completly different, but I would prefer a draft instead of out-of-the-box
The part that entices me is you may grasp a better understanding of the product. Why did Elusiveness come with the Interceptor?
I enjoy looking at things like the B-Wing; Ion Cannon, System Upgrade, APT. Then look how sold the A-Wing is, or even the X-Wing expansion pack.
It makes the ship stand mostly on its stats. It is also the chance to use under-utilized things.