Friday, September 25, 2015

Continuously Progressing - A Poor Grey Pilot Strategy Update

                The strategies that I create and discuss here on this blog are subject to a present and ever-changing game. Because of this it is only natural that ideas can get outdated as things progress. However it is human nature to not enjoy change and so it can be easy to not agree with updates to a diverse game like X-wing. On online forums I have seen many instances of players learning about a change and then taking the easy way out by no longer using what they think is now unviable. But I believe a better course is to take a step back and actually try to understand why Fantasy Flight made the changes in the first place. FFG is a master at making games and so I believe them when they say that this is how they want X-wing Miniatures to run. With that being said, let's jump into this strat update.

The K-wing
                When I say that ideas get outdated I usually mean that they slowly creep out of existence as the game moves along. But sometimes things can change, or even flip, in an instant and that was the case of the K-wing. Barely a week had gone by with my Bomber article up when the SLAM got nerfed on bombs. (Sorry Leebo, I'll try again with you...) Now whether this was a production mistake on FFG's part or a ploy to sell more K-wings, it doesn't matter. Players need to stop worrying about the loss of SLAM-bombs. What is ironic is that the number of people claiming the K-wing is no longer viable and therefore won't fly it only serve to prove the fact of how overpowered SLAM-bombs were. Everyone apparently was going to fly that build and only because it was easy.
                The bottom line is that FFG rewards hard work in the game. An HLC Outrider may seem easy but it is a very expensive ship and requires a lot of practice to be flown correctly. Torpedoes and ordnance are some of the hardest game-mechanics to pull off properly but they are also some of the most rewarding. There is a reason why the game makers haven't yet given a "quick hot-fix" to ordnance despite years of players begging for one. That reason is that we, the majority of the X-wing gaming community, have yet to actually put forth the effort to learn and master the use of ordnance.
                It is the exact same way with the K-wing. FFG wants us to develop powerful and creative builds for this ship rather than just play a "must-do" easy build. So get to work! The K-wing is the only ship still with the SLAM action. It is the only heavy-ordnance platform with both a turret and crew slot. And that is just the beginning. Let me know in the comments how you plan to fly the K-wing.

The X-wing
                 Now I could look at the new changes to the X-wing and say that it makes my Barrel Roll Refit article old and worthless. But if you actually believe I feel that way then you still haven't learned much about me. I am actually super thrilled about the new advances of the X-wing. The point of why I wrote that article was that there did need to be a fix and one option that I really liked was the BR action. Sure, the new T-70s don't have the barrel roll but they did get the boost! Moreover any X-wing (and E or Y for that matter) can now have the barrel roll action with the nifty combo of the BB-8 Astromech! No, there's no emotion for me but sheer excitement.
                But it gets even better with the Integrated Astromech modification. It is such a perfect and creative fit that it really is mind-boggling for me. FFG, you've done it again! This upgrade ties together two truths about the X-wing miniature: it almost always needs an Astromech to be viable and it is often too fragile with only 5 HP and 2 Agility. For the great price of 0 points you can turn your droid into a reserve shield. If your X-wing is about to die then you can sacrifice your droid in order to discard a damage card, even a face-up one! Now Rebel players have a reason to shout "I've lost R2!" lol. And the final reason why I love this upgrade is because it fits so well with the Lore. The X-wing in the Extended Universe was known to require an Astromech to be at full capacity. More than that, Astromechs were known to grow accustomed to the X-wing they rode in and would integrate themselves with it. The most notable example of this is R2-D2. So here's to Wave 8 that is coming out at Christmastime! I know I can't wait.

                Talking about the lore of the X-wing/Astromech relationship actually brings me to my last topic of this strat update. I recently received feedback (and in some cases open ridicule) from people telling me that the heavy use of Lore in my analyses was irrelevant and did not add to the arguments I make. To those people who may feel this way I wish to say that you are missing something quite obvious. Claiming that me using the Lore is irrelevant is just as fallible as claiming that FFG doesn't use the Lore as reference points for their game. It is from the movies and extended universe that all of these ships and properties come and so it is actually smart to look at the source material to try to understand what it was that FFG meant to create. In this context the Lore is actually Propaganda War Videos that we can study to learn, just as Ender studied the Human/Formic Wars to attempt to understand the Buggers. Continuing this analogy, all the other Battle School commanders watched the videos too but they couldn't figure out why it was important. It was only Ender who learned anything because he knew what to look for.
                Sure you can call me a geek but I would take it as a compliment. I love getting lost in the alternate universes of stories but my love of it goes deeper than just being entertained. Stories are meant to be learned from and I believe this life is about learning and progressing into something better. And therefore I apply lessons from stories to my life to make me a better gamer as well as a better person. So why do you play X-wing miniatures? Pure entertainment? A need to win and build your ego? Or something more? The choice is up to you. PGP out.


  1. I recently found your site and I'm working my way back through it, but your use of lore is one of the best things about it in my opinion. I'm a casual player who's only played with friends. One of them only plays with pilots they know from the EU, another fan of the Star Wars lore. Our groups meta game is quite behind the times but we're having fun.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. I'm really glad you enjoy the lore, for me its what really brings a simple table game to life. I continue to give lore in my Pilot Highlights so be sure to check them out.