List building in Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures isn’t as critical to game outcome as in some miniatures games, but there are some general guidelines that can be taken into account as well as some specifics for Imperial and Rebel lists that can be used to increase overall efficiency, at least at an “on paper” level.
The thing to bear in mind with X-Wing Miniatures is that being able to utilize movement/ maneuvering of your ships is the most important skill to possess in this game, bar none. Not your ship list, not the upgrades you've selected and the way they synergize with Pilot abilities, not anything else- it’s very, very much about your ability to move your ships around without running into anything (and hopefully guess your opponent’s movements to a certain extent too).
Long story short, most of the time when people lose playing this game, it’s not because they took the wrong list or even that they were outplayed by a cagey opponent- it’s because they don’t know how to play the list, don’t know how to move the list, or a combination of both. This game has internal and external balance like no other miniatures game I’ve ever played. It’s amazing how balanced the two factions are while being completely diverse in playstyle. That being the case- namely that there’s no auto-win button, the thing that sets the bad players apart from the good players, and the great apart from the good, is the ability to move effectively. A close second is the ability to play the Pilot Rank, which is of course, a whole other topic, but one that does factor into list building, so it will be discussed to some degree in the following articles.
All that said, two players that are of similar experience with the game might find an advantage in the list of available options, synergy between pilots, or perhaps a previously unknown or overlooked rule interaction. That’s where these article may come in handy.
Note: The following articles in this series assumes some familiarity with the game- how Pilot Rank works, what declaring a Focus action gets you, etc. I’m going to assume you already know stuff like that for the purposes of this article. The idea here is to make an intermediate level player more dangerous, not to take a player completely new to the game through the ruleset and how it works. I think that if you've sought out list building information on the internet, you're probably already somewhat familiar with the game, but if you're completely new to the game, truthfully the best advice I can give is to simply watch the videos on the FFG site and play a few games.
All that said, you can proceed on to the General Concepts of Listbuilding or the full listing of all the Wave 1 articles.