T-65 X-Wing

David Yun David Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2017-06-03 04:36:59

T-65 X-Wing (v1.0 W10)


Rookie Pilot
Red Squadron Pilot (not useful or interesting enough to write up)
Tarn Mison
Biggs Darklighter
Hobbie Klivian
Garven Dreis
Jek Porkins
Luke Skywalker
Wes Janson
Wedge Antilles

The X-Wing is the most iconic starfighter of all time, and the eponymous ship of the game. Unfortunately, it has generally been an underdog throughout the history of X-Wing Miniatures. The X-Wing is an unspectacular "jousting" ship, and jousting small base ships have gradually been devalued by subsequent releases.

I'm convinced that the base cost was set at 21 squad points to prevent fielding more than 4 X-Wings, and that the base cost of the TIE Fighter was priced at 12 to prevent fielding more than 8 TIE/LNs. The problem with this valuation is that these are fairly unlike numbers. Generally speaking, 2 TIE Fighters are superior to a single X-Wing. Once players became acclimated to flying TIE swarms, X-Wings found themselves distinctly outclassed.

With the release of Wave 3, the X-Wing found itself facing obsolescence. The B-Wing fulfilled the same workhorse role, with added durability along with the ability to barrel roll. Generic X-Wings were replaced by B-Wings in all squad builds, save for the few where the 1 point added cost was prohibitive.

From there, it has been steady annihilation for the X-Wing, even for the named pilots. Wave 4 introduced the TIE Phantom (namely Whisper), who feasts on basic jousters. Wave 6 delivered far superior jousters in IG-2000. Wave 7 brought forth the (personally) reviled Twin Laser Turret, which excels at eroding X-Wings, particularly en masse.

Wave 8 brought hope, in the form of Integrated Astromech. Suddenly, the X-Wing found itself considerably more resilient, surpassing the durability of the B-Wing. Tragically, Wave 8 is also when the attack dice power creep launched in earnest, and X-Wings couldn't keep pace with this offensive shift.

There has been a near constant clamor in recent times for "The X-Wing fix". Unfortunately, buffing the T-65 to the contemporary baseline of power is tricky. Jousters need substantial help, and we saw how easy it is to overcompensate (i.e. TIE/x7 Defenders). Furthermore, there's "The Biggs Problem". Any X-Wing buff must take special care to not unbalance Biggs Darklighter even further.

I realize that this overview has been entirely negative, but I too possess a deep fondness for the Incom T-65 X-Wing. My X-Wing dials have been worn through the cardboard. My hope is that they'll be rehabilitated at some point in the future, and frankly, I'd be content to see them even moderately over-powered.

Nevertheless, there is still joy to be found in the X-Wing, particularly when you pilot this beloved underdog ship to victory. The occasional unicorn, an X-Wing based winning squad, can be found from time to time.

TACTICAL ADDENDUM for beginners:

Focus and Target Lock actions both increase your offensive output by the same exact amount. Sure, you'll sometimes take a Focus and roll blanks, or take a Target Lock and roll eyeballs, but that's just bad luck. Focus is more flexible as it can be used defensively, but Target Locks persist until used. It must also be noted that Target Locks incrementally increase the odds of rolling a Critical Hit result, but this should not sway your decision, except for those desperation moments where you absolutely need a crit to steal a win. The basic rule: Target Lock if you're way ahead or if you know you won't be shot at. When in doubt, Focus.

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