Tournament Season is upon us! For competitive X-Wing, there is a veritable smörgåsbord of events for players at every level of skill and ability; Quick Build and Narrative events for newer players, Wave Championships, and Hyperspace Trials and System Opens for the more experienced player. It’s certainly an exciting time to be a member of the X-Wing community, though the tournament scene is definitely approaching a level of saturation which could cause attendance levels at events to drop thanks to conflicting dates.
Which brings me to the point of this article; where do players fit in?
I’ve spoken about preferring Hyperspace to Extended, my reasoning being that it is easier for me to learn my own ships and the ships my opponents might take if I’ve only got to deal with four or five per faction. Others prefer Extended because they like the variety. This is fine, people are allowed to prefer one over the other, but it can lead to some confusion and possibly even feelings of apathy or dislike towards one format over another.
I’m now finding I feel slightly apathetic towards Hyperspace. It’s difficult to say exactly why I feel this way, but since the points update in January I am struggling to find a list I can settle with. I used to favour the Rebel Alpha Strike, but recently it has been providing diminishing returns (or in some cases, zero returns) as Torpedoes are less reliable for the points, and X-Wings remain rather squishy when targeted as part of a concentrated attack. Likewise, my Resistance Ace list has been going downhill: I just can’t make it work for me any more. It is for this reason that recently I’ve tried a different tack: brute force tactics:
Four X-Wings, either T-65s or T-70s, flying in a group and bludgeoning my opponent to death with concentrated fire. Great, right? Not really. For whatever reason; be it poor dice, bad lists, or tactical ineptitude, I’m still under-performing.
Worse than performing poorly, I am not enjoying myself. I’ve always been a proponent of flying what you love, and until recently the X-Wing (whether T-65 or T-70) was the love of my X-Wing life. Now, I’m not so sure; as a base-line ship from which to ensure the remainder of the game is balanced, the X-Wing feels perfect. As a ship able to batter its way through a TIE Swarm or a fistful of Y-Wings with Ion Cannons and Veteran Turret Gunners, probably not so much. So what can I do? I’m sure there are people out there who will say “fly something different”, but that’s not always possible: I don’t have the hundred or so pounds that I’ll need to throw at a new faction, nor do I have time to practice; the local Hyperspace Trial is this Saturday.
So, I’ve decided that, sod it, I’m not even going to try to be competitive; I’m going to put together for poops and grins, and if I win a few games, I win a few games. If I don’t, well, I’m sure burning my dice will pretend to help…
The above is in jest, of course I’m not going to burn my dice, no matter how much I think they may deserve it at times; dice-shaming devalues the efforts of your opponent(s), dice aren’t exactly cheap, and burning plastic is dangerous! That said, I might rotate my current dice out for the set from the 2.0 core set, they can’t be quite so cursed, can they?
So what’s next? I’ve got two days to pick a list that’s going to be fun to fly on Saturday, ready for 8am Registration at Warboar. What are my options?
I’m considering a Resistance list designed to outmanoeuvre swarms, though I know that’ll struggle with aces. I’ve also got a handful of ace lists up my sleeve, which will probably suffer greatly at the hands of 5+ ship lists. One of which is probably going to lose horrifically regardless what I face, but will at least look cool on the table!
Either way, I’m taking a list that I hope will be fun and will cause the minimum amount of salt when I inevitable get my ass shot off the table! Until then, I’ve got some painting to do…