A collection of articles and podcasts that I found most useful over the past nine months for playing X-wing. Each in some way helped me refine my game.
All of these pieces I found useful in some way or the other. Even if it was just a reminder of good habits and process. I’ve included links to each one after a brief description.
Who’s the Joust?
New Years Eve 2017 was a less glamourous affair than many before as I patrolled outside the three year old’s bedroom, Ipad close at hand. Killing time whilst marshalling the attempts to leave the bed I stumbled across Space owls X-Wing Blog. Two articles stood out and are worth a read, first of which is who’s the joust?
In both Space Owl’s blog and the piece which he gained inspiration from, (the longer and just as useful, an Alternative look at jousters Arc dodgers), he looks at how the term arc dodger and jouster are not in fact ship dependent from list building.
Just because you have selected what is deemed an arc dodger or jouster by definition, in the game you may find that the role of that ship may well be better served if reversed from its label. One of the examples used is that of a B-wing blue squadron pilot vs a royal guard tie interceptor.
The B-wing wants to joust while the royal guard will want to arc dodge. While all things remain equal this is indeed the correct strategy for both sides. If during the game things change, say that the B-wing is now limping on one or two hull vs the full health interceptor then the B-wing will no longer want to trade shots in a damage race but arc dodge. The interceptor on the other hand could feel happy going for a joust kill shot.
It’s a good piece that explores when you should and shouldn’t joust, even with a jousting list like an alpha strike build.
“You can keep turn mapping in mind when playing X-wing, to analyze your list and what might need to change. Is one ship getting stuck in heavy fire while another is off doing nothing? Does your choice of upgrades slow you down too much when looking to set up a new attack run?”
Theorist is my favourite author on all things X-wing related. This particular article is very insightful in terms of picking a ship and list construction. In particular it looks at the fire cycle of a Nu squadron gunboat and fire cycles in general. It’s good for getting your head around opening maneuvers so that you can get an idea where you will be on the board after a few rounds.
Listener Series: Listener 4 & Listener 3
If you have some listening time I would recommend listening to the Carolina Krayts Listener series, particularly episodes four and three. I listened to them in that order and feel that it flows slightly better that way, especially for a new player. This throws an interesting curve ball into the equation regarding final salvo as well as covering team building and list selection.
The Krayts may not be everyone’s cup of tea but these two episodes, particularly episode four, are worth a listen to. It can come across as a bit elitist but it does paint the picture of your list choice for a tournament in black and white.
It got me back on the straight and narrow.
A shorter look at the Swiss system: Radio TCX
Radio TCX provide short snappy to the point episodes but sadly nothing about Axis and Allies if that is your jam. They have a good quick rundown on the swiss system as well as an interesting Art of Control series of episodes which is worth a listen.
Solo1: a Kraytent Story
More Krayts and an interesting aside into why net listing over self imposed limits is the rabbit hole you eventually have to consider going down if you are weighing up innovating vs net listing vs winning.
Introducing the Scrub
It’s in the notes on Listener Four but it’s still a helpful read to understand what self-imposed limitations are like refusing to use TLT on principle or such like. There are also a lot of other interesting articles there as well.
There are two good articles on the 186th website about target priority and selection. One by Ben Lee the other by Ollie Pocknell.
What is Meta Wing and how to use it?
This is gold dust if you are pondering the use of meta wing or even if you dismiss it as a tool. It helped formulate our match up strategies for the UKTC and helped me select my list for the UK system open. David analyses how to wade through the data presented and to work out how some of it is being misrepresented.
X-Wing theory: Success Disease
One of my own but a good reminder from time to time of how winning is psychologically difficult to cope with and will have unwarranted side effects. It’s not just covering the act of winning out right but when having set a target and achieving it, even if it were to go 3-3 at an event or make the cut, you can end up undermining your work to get there in the future.
The meta examples are dated but the underlying principle is still there.
I should have read this one myself.
Fly what you enjoy: how to win at X-wing
More space owl but quite an important lesson in regards to picking the right list. You need to like flying it as much as it has the potential to be successful. There are plenty of net lists that are competitive and offer a wide range of flying styles. Pick one you enjoy to fly if you want to have a decent stab at a tournament.
This is perhaps the most important one, seeking the balance between competitive and something you enjoy playing.