|Beyond the Core Set
Guest Writer Doug Kinney on Expanding Your X-Wing (TM) Collection
|X-Wing | Published 25 February 2014|
“Han! Hurry! The fleet will be here any moment.”
–Leia Organa, Return of the Jedi
By balancing streamlined gameplay with deep, tactical space combats involving the most iconic starships in the Star Wars galaxy, and by pairing these elements with stunning pre-painted miniatures all painstakingly replicated at 1/270 scale, X-Wing™ has become a gaming sensation. Since the Core Set was first introduced in 2012, X-Wing has won an audience of veteran miniatures gamers and many who might not have previously been drawn to the genre.
The Core Set comes with everything two players need in order to enjoy fast-paced dogfights between members of the Rebellion and Galactic Empire, and though the game permits tremendous flexibility through its use of miniatures, ship cards, and upgrades, many players enjoy the additional dimensions of play they can experience by adding more starships to their collections.
Today, guest writer and 2012 X-Wing World Champion Doug Kinney offers his advice for expanding your X-Wing collection beyond the Core Set.
I’ve Got the Core Set… Now What?
If you are new to the game of X-Wing, congratulations! You’ve just taken your first step into a larger galaxy. Beyond Rebel X-wings and Imperial TIEs, there are such recognizable ships as the Millennium Falcon™, Slave I™, Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced, and more. With such a wide variety of starship expansions to choose from, most new players wonder what their second step should be as they start building their fleet. And most experienced players will give you the same answer, “Get another Core Set.”
Why Get a Second Core Set?
Not only will you want the extra X-wing and TIEs for bigger and better battles, you’ll be able to make good use of the extra dice. If you are excited about this game and want to show it to others, you might also want to use your own maneuver templates and range rulers and have a second set to share with your friends. Plus, you will have more ships that you can use to teach the game!
Pick a Side
After you pick up a second Core Set, you will want to start thinking about which faction you most want to play, and “both” is a good answer. However, you may want to scale down your initial purchases for economic reasons. That’s understandable. And that’s why most players pick a faction and start building squads from there.
Playing as the Rebel Alliance
If it’s not number one, the Millennium Falcon is still one of the most iconic ships from the original trilogy. It’s also a great early purchase for game purposes; you can build some competitive squads with just one Millennium Falcon and two X-wings. Flying the Millennium Falcon will also start you along the learning curve of flying the game’s large-base ships. This, in turn, will help you as you improve your flying skills.
Meanwhile, the Falcon has a turret for a primary weapon, which means its primary weapon ignores its firing arc. This can make the Millennium Falcon more appealing to newer players because they may find it a little more forgiving than ships without turret weapons.
The contents of the Millennium Falcon Expansion Pack
From there, the B-wing is a new favorite for many Rebel players. The B-wing is fun to fly, and it hits hard. It’s currently the only Rebel ship that can perform the barrel roll action without needing the Expert Handling elite pilot talent to do so, and if you equip a B-wing with Advanced Sensors, a card found in the Imperial Lambda-class Shuttle™ Expansion Pack, you can perform a barrel roll action before executing a maneuver, opening up a wide array of options for your end placement. Doing so will also make your maneuvers very difficult to predict for your opponent, and unpredictability can lead to fun times in this game.
With two copies of the Core Set and two B-wing Expansion Packs, you can build some very powerful squads, indeed. In fact, the reigning World Championship squad combines two X-wings and two B-wings.
To round out your options with Rebel ships, you have the board control of tough Y-wings that can equip Ion Cannon Turrets and Proton Torpedoes. You also have the HWK-290, which is primarily a support ship, but it can be deadly with its turret weapons as well. And lastly, you have the fast and nimble A-wings, which can be fitted with missiles. If you explore the game competitively, you’re likely going to want a copy of the A-Wing Expansion Pack for the Push the Limit elite pilot talent card, if for no other reason. Push the Limit is currently one of the best upgrades in the game.
Finally, the X-Wing Expansion Pack is worth consideration for competitive Rebel players because it introduces one of the best pilots in the game, Wedge Antilles. You will also find more Astromech Droids and Red Leader, Garven Dreis.
Playing as the Galactic Empire
On the Imperial side, the first thing you’ll want to pick up after a second Core Set is the TIE Fighter Expansion Pack.
Why? It comes with “Howlrunner,” who is probably the game’s most commonly used pilot, and her pilot ability makes her extremely valuable to Imperial squads. The re-rolls her pilot ability grants you will also help propel you toward greater success, especially against more experienced players, and she works very well with the four TIE fighters you’ll already own from your two copies of the Core Set.
From there you have a wide range of options, which is never a bad thing. TIE interceptors are very fast, very powerful ships. The TIE interceptor is the only Imperial ship that comes equipped with the boost action in its action bar, and in my opinion, they are the most fun ships to fly. You can get the TIE interceptor in its own expansion pack, or you can get two in the Imperial Aces Expansion Pack. On the other hand, the TIE Advanced can be fitted with missiles, and Darth Vader has a wonderful pilot ability. TIE Bombers can also carry missiles, but they can carry a bigger payload as well, including torpedoes and bombs. The TIE Bomber Expansion Pack also comes with Captain Jonus, whose pilot ability is great for any squad that uses secondary weapons.
While the Rebels have the Millennium Falcon, the Imperials have the Slave I™ Expansion Pack, which introduces the Firespray-31, the only ship currently available that has both front and rear firing arcs. Learning to fly a Firespray-31 will mean learning to use both arcs effectively, but the expansion pack also introduces Boba Fett. When Boba Fett takes the helm, his pilot ability can make your piloting decisions a little easier.
Whenever he reveals a bank maneuver, Boba Fett can alter his heading and catch his opponents by surprise.
Finally, the Imperials also have the Lambda-class Shuttle, a large-based support ship that hits hard, with a primary weapon that features an attack value of “3.”
Assemble Your Fighters
Of course, these are just guidelines, rather than rules, as you start building your fleet, and Fantasy Flight Games has already announced that there are more options on the horizon. The most important things, though, are that you enjoy your new ships, make some new friends, and – most of all – have fun!
Doug Kinney’s 2012 World Championship title is evidence that he knows a thing or two about squad-building, but you can always find more advice and answers to your questions from other fans in our community forums.
In the meantime, as you take your next steps into the fantastic space battles of X-Wing, keep your eyes peeled for more strategy articles, event announcements, and previews of upcoming expansions!
X-Wing is a tactical ship-to-ship combat game in which players take control of powerful rebel X-wings and nimble Imperial TIE Fighters, facing them against each other in fast-paced space combat. Featuring stunningly detailed and painted miniatures, X-Wing recreates Star Wars’ exciting space battles. Select your crew, plan your maneuvers, and complete your mission!