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In short, I spend time and money trying to get my now thirteesn year old son to play games with me that don't involved a TV and remote controls. I've had some successes over the past few months, but X-Wing is a winner. So I bought someone's collection off ebay and we can build/play any two squads we want for the most part. The 9 foot pool table in the basement is covered with X-Wing miniatures. lol

I'm an old tournament player of chess and Magic. So I'm not really interested in unbalanced less-competitive rules. So we jumped out of the gate and out first game was a 100 pt. Tournament game using squads I found on the web. I wanted to use squads that have been scrutinized, analyzed, play tested, and in many case are winning squads. My reasoning was, after playing these squads and learning how their finer intricacies affect the turns I would then be able to better evaluate other ships and upgrades in the set. I would essentially jump into the meta head first and then figure things out from there.

This proved to be a pretty great way to learn the "best" way to play a lot of the ships and squads. Forces you to ask, "why use Veteran Instincts?" and then see why it's such a great card when put into the actual game play.

For squads we started with Heaver's Fat Han and Morgan's Whisper swarm. My son and I played two games and swapped sides between games. I played Fat Han first and then the next game I played Whisper. I won both games for two reasons. I think Fat Han was a little easier to play since it felt like the strategy was a but more straightforward. My son never really used Whisper to his full advantage (Whisper is an assassin it seems).

Without going into the minutia of how the game went, it became easy to see how those sqauds were built and the synergy between the ships within the squads. Whisper swarm isn't just 5 ships flying around and making attacks, it's a chess match of positioning and trying to get the most out of numbers. Sum is greater than the parts. ...The very first deeper lesson learned in the game for us.

We tried a number of other squads. All of which had the same effect on us in that we have learned quite a bit about the "purpose" of a good squad. Squads don't just hit the board and attack, they all have their own personalities and need to be flown with respect to their squad-build strategy. As such, some squads we flew work better or worse depending on our own personal play styles. My son likes to be super aggressive and let the dice do the talking. I like to be a bit more strategic and prefer control over the dice as opposed to simply rolling more than the other guy. Both strategies seem sound as long as they are executed correctly.

So we have a handful of games between us. All of them using someone else's squad builds. And it has been simply incredible. We have a lot of laughs. The time goes by too fast. We have learned to be fearful of some moves on the board. We have learned that the player's ability to fly the ships correctly (gonna take some time to familiarize ourselves with different ships' maneuver dials) is almost, if not MORE important than the squad build itself. Having a bonafide winning squad doesn't mean diddly if you bounce off of every ship/asteroid on the board. In our first game (we still weren't clear with the rules) I flew the Falcon right off the board. Idiot! Hehe. I lost that game because I flew a ship without really knowing what I was doing. Fat Han fled the board of certain victory. ...My son still talks about the game with great revelry.

Now that we have played a few games. Are fluent in the rules and how all the actions and such work. And the games aren't slowed down by constant rule book referencing, we are ready to build our own squads.

Now that we're not looking through upgrades for cards to pre-built squads, but instead looking through upgrades for our own original ideas the game is quite big! So many different choices. And so many cards that look cool, but from a competitive standpoint clearly have no use in the game.

In playing pre-built squads we noticed the same dozen or so upgrades seemed to pop up in top tier squad builds. Veteran Instincts, Engine Upgrade, Push the Limit, etc.

Also, there are some ships that, due to current meta, we never saw in lists. Tie Bombers, different Ties, Hwk-290, etc. We'll likely use the ships in builds just because we have em. And it's going to be interesting to use some of the non-meta ships and upgrades.

When I made the decision to go all-in on this game I was pretty excited that I could get an entire collection - enough for any two squads, including the big ships (Tantive and Transport) for not too much relative to other games. And because it seems such a small amount of unique ships available it seemed learning would be easy.

The rules were easy and we had them all down in one game (I spent hours watching youtube videos and reading this forum prior to the game's arrival so I had a good idea of how to play before we even put a ship on the board). The game is designed in such a way that a single x-wing has the possibility of being 7 different x-wings? I forget the number. Y-1300 can be piloted by 4 different pilots? Essentially making the physical ship model capable of being repeated uniquely on the board 4 times. Add to that various upgrades and the different incarnations of that ship, or any ship, is downright overwhelming.

Now that we have played the best, we're going to take some time and build our own squads. Even using ships that seem to be relatively unpopular in the current meta. We'll also get into missions since we have the two big mission ships. And it's just fun to change it up.

So that's my meandering ramble on getting into the game as of Wave 5. "Wave 5" suggests that there's not much out there, but there really is. And we look forward to the daunting task of playing through as many of these upgrades as possible. maybe making a tie-bomber swarm (we have three of em), a dual firespray build, whatever. We could probably play a game every other night and this would still be fresh and new even if it stopped at Wave 5.

Lastly, I touched on it previously, but your skill at maneuvering the ships on the board was something I undervalued at first. I just thought "I got a tournament winning list, these ships will be incredible." But a Whsiper that flew past everybody and has nobody in his arc, or a badly played maneuver that sends you onto a ship or asteroid, or simply realizing too late that you're going to end up off the board in a turn - are all hard lessons. And they stress how important it is to become familiar with your ships' specific maneuver dial. And to really think about what you're trying to plan, not just where you want to be in one turn. ...In out very first game we flew straight at each other. We had one amazing fight for one turn....the next turn we were doing red maneuvers and hard turns for a few turns to get back on each other. ...We didn't see the humor in that flight path was until after the fact. No we take less direct paths.

Well, that's where we are. My one and local LGS does have a few people that play, so we'll likely end up there after the new year.
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Anything that allows you to spend more quality time with your kids/ family is a good investment imho. Keep up the good work and happy gaming.

Ps: buy your son the new Decimator for xmas, I think he'll love it.
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Lowecore wrote:
Anything that allows you to spend more quality time with your kids/ family is a good investment imho. Keep up the good work and happy gaming.

Ps: buy your son the new Decimator for xmas, I think he'll love it.


I bought him the Decimator - couldn't wait for Christmas. It's set up on the table and it's going to be used in our next game. He thinks it's the "coolest looking ship" we have. He can't wait to use it. I'm still partial to the falcon, but I also remember waiting in line at the local theater to see the first Star Wars around his age so I'm a bit biased on a sentimental level.

And I agree about trying to get the family to play games. Frankly, I'm bored to death with Yahtzee, Monopoly, Sorry, and the rest of the usual suspects. My wife is an avid non-gamer. In that she actively does what she can to avoid it. We roped her into Ascension and 7 Wonders. And we are planning on getting her and her friend to battle us in x-wing. The force is strong, but a childs pleading is stronger. "Please mum, please play a game with us. Pleaaaaase?" That usually gets her and she makes an attempt. Not very competitive, but it's still nice to sit down with the family and play a game that isn't Yahtzee. There's a lot of talking and laughing. Engaging. Those are great times.

...I tend to suppress my desire to win when we play as a family in the name of "family time." ...so difficult to do, but I do.
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Jamaica, Love Letter (or even better, Letters to Santa) and Ticket to Ride are the only games I can get the female side of the family to play consistently.
 
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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Does she like puzzles, bluffing, figuring out things? Then try One Night Ultimate Werewolf.
(And get the free app. Does work with 3 if you mix up the roles and remove seer. Is very good already with 4 players.)

Back to topic.

Getting into the competitive OP scene may be overwhelming, but for casual games you just need to start playing and get your favorite ships. Learning to fly is the fun part.
 
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a1bert wrote:
Does she like puzzles, bluffing, figuring out things? Then try One Night Ultimate Werewolf.
(And get the free app. Does work with 3 if you mix up the roles and remove seer. Is very good already with 4 players.)

Back to topic.

Getting into the competitive OP scene may be overwhelming, but for casual games you just need to start playing and get your favorite ships. Learning to fly is the fun part.


We actually have Love Letter. Very fun, but not really too deep. Also, being a family of three its a bit short. With 4 or more the game seems much more fun.

For X-Wing we have 36 ships. Translucent dice, acrylic tokens, the works. I got a very good deal on just about all of it. If the game fails as a family game I'll probably still get one night a week at my local store. So, for ships and stuff we don't really want for anything. I actually have a third firespray (still in shrinkwrap) that I'd trade to someone for a falcon if they're interested.

But in reference to "learning to fly" you're spot on. I underestimated how important it is to know how to fly these ships and do it well. The best ship on the board means nothing if you can't positionnit well, bounce off of everything on the board, or simply fly off the map. That alone is probably going to take some time. No short cuts there.

But its all fun. Getting the wife involved isn't as important as the boy. Once he goes to college we'll have all the time in the world together. But once the boy gets girl-crazy I think the games might slow down. So I'm gonna cram as much as I can into these years. With any luck, he will still humor me with games as he gets older. For now - we are pilots.
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RE: that third Firespray...keep in mind a new faction is coming out, next year, in the form of 'Scum and Villainy'. They'll be able to make use of one of those, too. And from previews on FFG's site, they seem like they'll shake up the play style quite some bit with new options...
 
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XanderF wrote:
RE: that third Firespray...keep in mind a new faction is coming out, next year, in the form of 'Scum and Villainy'. They'll be able to make use of one of those, too. And from previews on FFG's site, they seem like they'll shake up the play style quite some bit with new options...


But the lowest-cost Firespray for S&V is 35pts, so 3 don't fit. Unless he wants to play Scum vs. Empire, both fielding Firesprays, the 3rd Firespray has no bearing on Scum, and there's only one triple Firespray build for the Empire. (well, with wave 5 it seems we have two possible squads, one is at 100pts and has Tactical Jammer, lol)
 
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So, what's the overwhelming part OP? I understand that you're having loads of fun discovering the game. Even in list-building, you seem to have picked up the "basics", you know which upgrades are "safe" choices, now you just have to find all the cards that are situational and see where they could fit.

This was an interesting story, and a very interesting approach at learning the game. I don't know if the approach would work for anyone, so I won't recommend it to others, but it seems to have worked wonders for you and your kid! Some of the lessons you listed are more subtle and usually come later as you learn the game, it's great that you discovered them so early!
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Chilligan wrote:
XanderF wrote:
RE: that third Firespray...keep in mind a new faction is coming out, next year, in the form of 'Scum and Villainy'. They'll be able to make use of one of those, too. And from previews on FFG's site, they seem like they'll shake up the play style quite some bit with new options...


But the lowest-cost Firespray for S&V is 35pts, so 3 don't fit. Unless he wants to play Scum vs. Empire, both fielding Firesprays, the 3rd Firespray has no bearing on Scum, and there's only one triple Firespray build for the Empire. (well, with wave 5 it seems we have two possible squads, one is at 100pts and has Tactical Jammer, lol)


Or if you want to custom paint an extra scummy Firespray...
 
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iNano78 wrote:
Chilligan wrote:
XanderF wrote:
RE: that third Firespray...keep in mind a new faction is coming out, next year, in the form of 'Scum and Villainy'. They'll be able to make use of one of those, too. And from previews on FFG's site, they seem like they'll shake up the play style quite some bit with new options...


But the lowest-cost Firespray for S&V is 35pts, so 3 don't fit. Unless he wants to play Scum vs. Empire, both fielding Firesprays, the 3rd Firespray has no bearing on Scum, and there's only one triple Firespray build for the Empire. (well, with wave 5 it seems we have two possible squads, one is at 100pts and has Tactical Jammer, lol)


Or if you want to custom paint an extra scummy Firespray...


You scummy scum!
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a1bert wrote:
Does she like puzzles, bluffing, figuring out things? Then try One Night Ultimate Werewolf.
(And get the free app. Does work with 3 if you mix up the roles and remove seer. Is very good already with 4 players.)

Back to topic.

Getting into the competitive OP scene may be overwhelming, but for casual games you just need to start playing and get your favorite ships. Learning to fly is the fun part.


I actually just got that for my very non-gaming parents. That night, my parents, the mother and father in law, and my wife, all ANTI-Board gamers, unleashed a chorus of "One more round!" after the 5th or 6th game.
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Your experiences sound pretty awesome

As you get through more and more ships, you may want to try out what the designers have done:

Shuffle all pilots into a pile, and all of each different upgrade into other piles. Randomly select pilots and appropriate upgrades until you're around 100 points, then play! Some fleets will have no synergy, others will show combos not previously thought of.

Also you can try a list builder where you can enter in your collection and hit . This one uses known combos to generate squads:
xwing-builder.co.uk

Happy flying!
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It sounds like you are on the right track with what you have already done. Practicing with known good lists to get the basics of moving and shooting down, and learning what types of ships suit your playstyle, comes first. Then, you can make informed decisions when constructing your own lists.

If your son likes aggression and hitting things hard, I'd suggest playing with Heavy Laser Cannons. The old school 2xBlue w/HLC, 2x Rookie has a lot of punch. It loses frustratingly to Phantoms, which is why you don't see it often now, but has a good game against a lot of other lists. TIE Defenders with HLCs, or Dash with Outrider/HLC, or just about anything like that. They all hit hard! TIE Swarms led by Howlrunner also roll a lot of hits on their targets, although it's more of a "death by a thousand cuts" style.

For yourself, anything with Boost (either naturally or through Engine Upgrades) or Ion or Stress Control lists work well. Look into the Stress list that got two copies into the top 32 at Worlds this year - 3B's and a Y, all of which had a way to stress their target. Very original, and controlling, list.

And go ahead and show up at your local game store! X-Wing has a good community. 13-year-olds also can do well at this game: there was one who made it to the top 8 at Worlds this year, and he makes me pull out every trick I know every time we play!
 
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You can sell the translucent dice on eBay and probably get back most of what you paid for the whole collection.
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Thanks all for the advice and encouragement. Tonight we have me playing

Dash + Engine Upgrade + Outrider + Katarn + PTL + HLC
Prototype
Tala
Bandit

he is flying
Kenkirk + Predator + Ysanne Isard + Recon Specialist + Rebel Captive
Academy Pilot
Night Beast
Dark Curse

Both lists were culled from the net somewhere. He wanted to use the Decimator. The Dash list uses a Tala in place of a 2nd Proto just for giggles. The Kenkirk list is something I pulled off of FFG. That build looks brutal and not fairly straightforward. Moving the two big ships through asteroids is still something we need practice with.

I ran Morgan's swarm (the one you're very familiar with Mr. Heaver) to great effect. Again, it was a lesson in flight more than using the ships' respective abilities. Howl Runner isn't much good if you can't keep formation. A swarm broken apart too early or for the wrong reasons makes it like shooting fish in a barrel for the opponent. "Cloak" is a devastatingly powerful mechanic. Especially when used correctly. Just allows him to break formation and still maintain some semblance of safety.

I had read somewhere about the BBXX squad and we assembled something similar goofing around. At the time we had the rules for Target Lock wrong. We played that Target Lock allowed the ship that acquired the lock to hit the ship with the red lock anywhere as long as he was within range at 360 degrees. As opposed to the correct (and very different) rule. I thought Target lock was the strongest mechanic in the game at that point. Heh

With regards to X-Wing's relatively large community, this was not the reason I wanted this game for my son and I, but it was definitely a big part of the consideration. At worst I'd have a world class collection that would allow me to compete on the competitive scale if it failed with my son. And at best, there are enough ships here that I can field two to four competitive squads, (one or two for my son and I) at the same time for organized play.

In my old Magic days I ran a number of tournaments and was a judge. I'm not a rules lawyer, but I do like to know the rules. As such, we play by the rules in our father/son games. If nothing else, it helps him prepare for OP games where rules lawyers are always present. It's cheap to cite rules for a win when the opponent clearly meant something else, but those ARE the rules. And if someone wants to play that way they are well within their rights to call out infractions. So, though it's a hard lesson while learning, I feel it's best. I still remember when I flew my falcon off the board. My son was polite and said, "just do the move over again." I didn't. I lost my falcon and he won.

I think I'm finding that, more than any other aspect of the game, knowing how to move your ships skillfully is the most important aspect of the game. As stated above, flying Paul's Fat Han squad verbatim only guarantees a well thought-out build. But if you fly like a noob, and never position yourself to take advantage of a specific squad, then everything else is moot. ...We're still learning this lesson.

I think we'll likely fly some more archetypal squads for a few days. After that, we'll start customizing out squads. In my magic days the meta was so well known (and this preceded the effect the web has on the meta by a considerable amount) that you pretty much needed to be original or people simply knew what to do based on the first few hands. X-Wing still has the surprise of pilot/player flight ability that adda a bit. Sure, Fat Hans are everywhere, but how they are flown could be the difference. Especially with swarm squads. Like a chess board with infinite squares.

For me personally, with my limited exposure to the game, I really like having one big ship and two or three smaller ships to augment them. I find you can run a number of different tactics with the large ship/small ships options. I think that once my flying ability improves I may gravitate to a different play style. My son is doing very well too. He's still infatuated with big ships and their big list of abilities. There's a lot to be said for that tactic as well. I think tonights match against his Decimator will be interesting. Without having played this matchup before it would seem his squad may present a rather large problem. Yeah, bad pun intended.

 
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In reference to why the game is overwhelming. it's simply because getting into the game at Wave 5 means there is a LOT of stuff out there. If I got into the game a couple years ago I could have played all the waves as they were released. I would have seen how each release affected the current meta. Whereas today I'm reading through a couple years of posts to find all of this out.

it's not the end of the world. And if I was just a casual gamer it wouldn't matter. Just play with what you got and learn the personal meta with each ship you add. However, for me the fun of games like this is learning and dissecting everything. Playing the game is really just a culmination of all the research and reading. To put all of that to use is a lot of fun. My son benefits from my attention to detail by having me pass it along to him. And our games are better for it.

For anyone interested, we played three turns of the above matchup. I lost a Bandit and he lost Dark Curse. Dash is great, but I don't know how it would go if it came down to YT-2400 vs. Decimator. That thing is a beast. Time will tell!
 
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As a primarily tournament/competitive player, the best thing about this game is how well balanced it is. With today's announcement of the TIE advanced fix, there are only two ships that I consider too marginally effective to include in a tournament list (y-wing and TIE bomber). They're still fine for a one-off game though, and everything else can be used in a solid list.

At the other end of the scale, there isn't much that is overpowered either (Fat Dash/Fat Falcon and Whisper/Echo being the only real candidates). There is a lot of space for making different, yet competitive, lists.
 
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When you're new to the game, it can be really beneficial to play a few games where it's just one ship per side. Pick two ships with the same point values and get some practice just maneuvering around. Throw down asteroids before you start.

It sounds like you recognize that maneuvering well can be tricky. It takes some time before you start to get that instinctive feel for where a speed 2 bank will out your ship as opposed to a speed 2 turn, and so on.

Ships like the Phantom and Interceptor, that can make as many as 4 separate maneuvers in the same round thanks to things like Cloak, Push the Limit, Boost and Barrel Roll, can be really difficult to fly well - but when you get a handle on them they are ridiculously fun.
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