Monday, September 12, 2016

X-Wing Miniatures Buyer's Guide & Purchase Order Part I: The Casual Player

This Buyer's Guide for X-Wing Miniatures is going to be a series of posts. This post will focus on the casual X-Wing player, while the next focuses on someone wanting to get into the competitive scene. After that, I'll do a break down of all of the releases, in the order they released.

Things to Consider

  1. The two Core Sets.
    1. X-Wing began with the original Core Set, know known as the "Red" Core Set. It features the earliest version of the rules, and, more important, features the original X-Wing, with the most notable pilot being Luke Skywalker.
    2. Right before The Force Awakens came out, Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) released the "Blue" Core Set, which features the newer X-Wing (and TIE Fighters), most notably featuring the X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron.
  2. Which faction?
    1. There are three factions in X-Wing: Rebels, Empire, and Scum and Villainy. As you cannot create lists (X-Wing lingo for "teams") using multiple factions, it's useful to focus on the faction(s) that interest you most, first... With some exceptions.
    2. Some important upgrade cards can only be found in other factions -- I'll take this into consideration, when important.
  3. The cost.
    1. On a purchase-per-purchase cost, X-Wing is actually one of the most reasonably priced miniatures games on the market. That being said, it can feel a little daunting when you're getting started. To help, I'll be including prices for each item I recommend, strictly based off of Miniature Market's, an online store for board gaming, prices.
  4. Long term goals.
    1. Eventually, most X-Wing players tend to buy at least one copy of every release, if not more. This can seem daunting to a new player -- don't let it! Start with this post and we'll identify what you need to get started!

How I store my collection... It's more managable than it looks!

The Casual Player

-This is a player that is more interested in experiencing Star Wars dogfights that feature their favorite characters and put an emphasis on having fun with their game.

As a Casual Player, it's likely that you'll want to have enough ships that you can support a second player. This increases the cost slightly, but is manageable.

Red Core or Blue Core ($29.99)

To start, which movie did you like better, A New Hope, or The Force Awakens? Do you want to fly as Luke Skywalker in his T-65 X-Wing? Red Core. Did you think Poe Dameron was a total badass in his T-70 X-Wing, and want to give that a shot? Blue core.
Poe seems to have run into a bit of trouble here...

Eventually, however, you're going to want to get both. Each Core comes with dice and maneuver templates (and more, of course) -- having two sets of templates will make you much happier than having to constantly pass them back and forth, and you'll find that having access to more dice saves time. But, to start, base your decision on Luke or Poe.

Either Core is currently $29.99 on Miniature Market, though they have been known to go on sale from time to time. Even so, that's a pretty solid price for what you get.

Joining the Rebellion

Whichever Core you wind up with, you'll have two TIEs and one X-Wing. You've started your journey to the Dark Side, or you've taken the first steps towards overthrowing the corrupt Empire.

For now, let's focus on the latter.

A-Wing Expansion Pack ($11.29)

This little ship makes a great addition to the Rebel fleet. It's extremely fast and comes with pilots that have some extremely interesting abilities. Also, the upgrade Push the Limit is one of the most popular upgrades in the game, and the A-Wing is one of the only places its available right now.

My early Rebels... Not quite how I'd do it now.

Millennium Falcon Expansion Pack ($22.49)

It's iconic. It's pretty. It's flown by Han-freaking-Solo. 

Also, it happens to have some amazing upgrades that you'll use across all of your lists (Engine Upgrade and Veteran Instincts especially), and you'll be able to cut your teeth on flying a large base ship. Bonus, because the ship has a "turret" for its primary weapon, it doesn't have to be pointed directly at the enemy it wants to shoot.

Warning: There is an upcoming expansion called "Heroes of the Resistance." It features the Falcon, as it appeared in the Force Awakens, and a T-70 painted like Poe's black and orange X-Wing. If you are not interested in particular upgrades, grab this pack at $33.99 instead.

The Might of the Empire

The Imperials have it a bit easier, in terms of getting started with Casual play -- each Core set comes with either two TIE Fighters or two TIE/FO Fighters! From there, you'd do well to grab the following:

TIE Fighter Expansion Pack ($11.29)

Sure maybe you don't need more TIEs right now. I mean, you've already got two, right? Well, consider this -- basic TIE fighters are some of the cheapest ships in the game, so you can easily fit multiple TIEs in a list. Additionally, the pilot Howlrunner, only available through this expansion, allows every allied ship within range 1 to re-roll and attack die! Ok, out of context, that might not mean much. Just trust me, she's a damn good pilot.

Imperial Aces Expansion Pack ($22.49)

While the TIE Interceptor expansion has one of the arguably best pilots in the game, the ship itself needed some help. FFG delivered that help via the Imperial Aces Expansion Pack, which includes two TIE Interceptors with all new pilots, two more copies of Push the Limit, and a unique title to Interceptors that really makes them shine.
Imperial Aces w/ Vader (who'll show up in future posts!)

A Conclusion, For Now...

If you buy the recommended ships above, you'll have spent roughly $97.55. For this money, you will have multiple options for both Rebel and Imperial lists, and will see a variety of play types, which can help influence your future purchases.

Keep an eye out for my wave by wave breakdown of each ship -- I'll give them ratings based on Casual AND Competitive play. Additionally, even if you never intend on playing competitively, the next Buyer's Guide article may still have some valuable information for you, especially if you're willing to spend more than the above on what is truly a fantastic hobby.

If you have any questions, comments, or Jedi Mind Tricks, leave them in the comments below!

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