Is there an Entry Barrier?


It never really occurred to me, as I started to play X wing during wave four, but if you are getting into the game now, recently or in the near future, to build a competitive list of the new hotness, on paper it is going to be expensive.

My current two lists which I have been playing score the following on the bank account:

First Order Fat Jax

Carnor Jax: Veteran instincts, Royal Guard title, Hull Upgrade, Shield Upgrade.

Whisper: Veteran Instincts, Fire Control System, Agent Kallus, Advanced Cloaking Device

Zeta Leader: Veteran Instincts, Comms Relay.

99 points

1 x Imperial veterans, 1 x Tie Phantom, 1 x Tie Fo, 1 x Gozanti, 2 x slave 1, 1 X millennium falcon

Damage Deck: Force Awakens core set

Total cost £177.00 or there about depending where you shop.

First Order Fluff Buster

Darth Vader: Veteran instincts, title, Advanced Targeting Computer, Engine Upgrade

Whisper: Veteran Instincts, Fire Control System, Agent Kallus, Advanced Cloaking Device

Zeta Leader: Wired, Comms Relay.

100 points

1 x Tie Advanced, 1 x Tie Phantom, 1 x Tie Fo, 1 x Gozanti, 1 x Tie advanced upgrade kit,(or the Imperial Raider), 1 x slave 1, 1 X millennium falcon, 1 x The Force awakens core set.

Damage Deck: Force Awakens core set

Total cost £233.00 or there about depending where you shop, (blatant copy and paste and lack of imagination to write something different).

Vader, Echo & Zeta2

Now the first thing to point out is that unlike unloading this amount of cash on say a Warhammer 40K army,( for one with a 40K army, this will not even get you to a tournament army especially when you add in the cost of army books), but you actually get several lists and different factions out of the money spent. Even buying the cheaper  Fat Jax list you get:

  • Two Tie interceptors, (not Soontir Fel though)
  • Two Tie fighters
  • Three Tie Fo fighters
  • Tie phantom
  • Two slave ones
  • A Gozanti for Epic play and enough other ships to make it possible.
  • A two ship rebel list of most likely Poe T70 X Wing and Han Solo Millenium falcon.
  • All the rules and templates needed.

It also means a little further down the line that if you purchase the Most Wanted Set you get a reasonable start into Scum and Villainy as you already have two Slave Ones.


There is a critique coming out now and again about it being an arms race to get the new ships, cards or titles which bring older ships back into the mix but having come from the cash vacuum that is Warhammer 40K and its quagmire of badly written rules, X wing is a drop in the ocean on the monetary front. Its more collectable and accessible as you do not need to assemble and paint the models with all the associated costs that that brings.

Oddly the thing I thought I would miss would be the making and painting of models. I still do repaints of ships but I quite like not having the looming deadline of a tournament to paint and stick countless models together. I was reasonably good at painting, (among many things I’m a qualified artist), but never quite had the time to do full justice to each model. Possibly the entry barrier for some is the fact it is pre painted. It certainly put me off for a while without really checking the quality of it. Another thing that initially kept me away was breaking my golden rule of just keeping to one system due to time and expense.

Carnor JaxFO1

My initial outlay like most was the original core set. This was followed up with another core set, a B wing, an interceptor and a tie defender, (to qualify for free postage). Now I had played 40K since 1st edition Rogue trader days and on the tournament circuit for around 10 years or so. After two weeks of X wing , followed by two weeks, or two games of 7th edition 40K, I saw the light and kicked the behemoth into touch.  I still have all my 40K models but I do not find myself wanting to go back to a tactically uninteresting and limited game system that can be won or lost by deciding either first turn, terrain set up or just what you are playing against. What I like with X wing is that even with a perceived bad match up you can out fly your opponent to win.

The most important take home though is that I have never shelled out the amount of money above in one go. Not even into the three figures. X wing is clever in that its easy and affordable to make small purchases of a tenner a time for a small ship that has the added bonus of more easily going beneath Flight Control’s radar, (that’s the wife). As the game has progressed I’ve not jumped on buying everything for a wave when it’s been released.


I will not be rushing out to buy the Ghost or Mist hunter. I might be tempted by Dengar’s ship, (I should google the proper name but can’t be arsed), but for now I’m content with the tie advanced prototype and Imperial Veterans on pre order from my local gaming store. The game itself revolves around how well you can fly your ships. This is something a lot of podcasts, articles and players will bang on about endlessly because it’s so true. I really struggled with this at the beginning and there are some ships now that still just don’t work for me.

Like most miniature games, when you start you buy what you need and some stuff you fancy the look of or think that is good. You then possibly get lured into the tournament scene, (which in X wing is very well supported and so much more relaxed than other systems), and build a list with what you have with maybe the odd additional purchase. Once you get a taste for it and want to tweak or build something else that’s when the little side purchases start and keep coming.


Is there a cash entry barrier? The initial out lay is quite cheap, £25.00 for the core set, another £30.00 to get a 100 point list, then shiny Perspex templates and tokens, storage solution, more ships, a better storage solution, more Perspex tokens for things you don’t use, more ships and so on. Personally I feel that if you were starting and wanted to build a top Worlds list from the get go with a doctrine of “I must have that list,” then you are placing a financial constraint on yourself and making an entry barrier for yourself if you cannot afford to drop that amount of cash in one go on a game you have never played.

On the other hand most people will pick up the game and a few extra ships before making the tournament plunge and will build their collection accordingly as they go. As they will be oblivious to the tournament meta for the most part the need to acquire stuff for particular builds will not weigh on their minds.

So I don’t feel there is a financial barrier to entry like Warhammer 40K or the like, even for tournaments. What about you?

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