I wouldn't say it happens all the time, but I'd say at least a couple of times a week since oh... March? I get an email asking for list advice. In the past, I'd stop, take a few minutes, and write a 10,000 word reply which would outline some suggestions, make a bunch of 90's rap references/ jokes, thank them for their kind words, and peace out.
Yesterday, I got a similar email. I didn't have time to reply when I first read it, and I originally intended to write back last night after I finished yesterday's update, but then my youngest woke up again, so I was thinking about it today at work, and decided that instead of just replying, I'd post it on here, give my usual advice, but then also turn it over to you guys- my army of bikini aficionados (which, if you're curious- I think was a term I learned from this guy), so other alternate viewpoints might also be represented.
I don't know. Seems fun to me in theory. We'll see how this goes.
Here's the original letter from one Jamie Bell-
Love your site and all the resources, thank you so much for doing it and being an enjoyable and worthwhile read.
I am new to the game and going to a tournament this weekend, having just played a 100 pt game Sunday night and with a few more practice games in this week hopefully. I know what I have read says I should go with and stick to X-Wings until I get a better grasp of the game but I was wondering if I could tank the game out in a pair of YT-1300's with less expensive pilots and options? Is more hull and shields an option in the game, or will the swarms basically nullify that advantage by sheer volume of die rolls which have a chance of succeeding and destroying the ships?
Looking for fun, but also some competitive advantage. My current list options are about 2 X-Wings and a Y-Wing, which seems like it's still low for 100 pt games where I am likely to face Tie Swarms.
Help me, Weisi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope...
First off Jamie, your welcome! Glad you're diggin' the site!
On to the list advice, I'll just kinda go stream of consciousness here (like I wasn't going to anyway, right?).
The thing that jumps out at me is that you say you're a new player. Secondly, although you don't come right out and say it, you're looking for a Rebel list. Third, you're under the impression you're going to be facing TIE swarms. I don't know if you have a pair of YT-1300s in your collection, but the way you've phrased it, it sounds like even if you don't, you'd be fine with picking them up if they seem worthwhile. You've also got a couple of X-Wings and a Y-Wing to play with.
To answer your first question or address the idea, yeah, I think with the right upgrade options you could definitely tank out a pair of YT-1300s. Now, there are a ton of variables in X-Wing, many of which can't necessarily be controlled reliably or even maybe predictably, so I usually just look at stuff in kind of an average setting. In other words, when I'm thinking about the question you asked about Swarms versus a couple of tanky YT-1300s, I look at it like this- a TIE Fighter has two Attack dice at Range 2. Could they have more because of a named pilot or because they got into Range 1 or blah, blah, blah? Yes. For me though, and my non-heavy math brain, I just kind of boil things down to an unmodified standard average, which again- 2 Attack dice.
So let's say it's a 6-ship swarm (again- kind of an average; there are swarms from 5-8 ships, but 6 will do for this exercise) can get off 12 shots per turn, average. Might be more, might be less, might be Focused, who knows, but for basic spitballing or brainstorming, let's say 12 shots. Two YT-1300s have either 20 HP (hull + shields) or 26 HP depending on if you have the Outer Rim Smuggler or one of the named pilots flying, respectively. Fudging a little to try and represent missed Attacks, Focused dice, shots from close range, shots from longer range, and I'm comfortable saying to take down a couple of ORS, the Swarm's looking at likely three or four rounds of firing, and substantially more for the named pilots when you factor in how significant Chewie, Lando, and Han's card texts are.
Long story long, yeah, I think you can tank your way to a win here, and being a new player, it isn't going to be impossible for you to run a list like this and have some success.
My suggestion would be to run the Chewie + Han list that I did a little spotlight on back before my Regionals. I'm not going to rehash everything I said in that article here, but suffice it to say, it meets most all the criteria you're looking for Jamie.
That said, if you don't have time to play a few games where you're moving a couple of Falcons around, it might not be the right list for you. The thing you've got to watch in a low ship count list is collisions. Now, that Chewie + Han list doesn't depend on actions to win like some lists do, but they certainly don't hurt anything. If you've gotten the hang of driving ships around without running into stuff (or having stuff run into you), I'd say this is your list right here.
If you're not crazy about that idea for whatever reason, I wrote an article about why Han Shoots First is so much more dangerous than what a couple of X-Wings and Han really ought to be and why specifically, that list is so forgiving to a new player. To be 100% forthcoming, HSF is easier for a new player to drive than Chewie + Han. The only reason I recommended C+H over HSF is that you're already thinking about a couple of tanky Falcons, and that's like the ultimate tanky Falcon list in my opinion. If you'd be down with the idea of HSF, I'd suggest taking that instead, but I wouldn't go so far as to say I strongly suggest it instead.
Why the semantics?
Well, just like the disclaimer says above those list articles I wrote back at the end of May, this game isn't 40k or Magic: The Gathering. X-Wing Miniatures isn't the kind of game where you spend 80% of your work on the list itself, then 20% on playing the game tactically- it's kinda the opposite, actually and I think anyone who has played this game more than 5 times with another newbie would agree (of course, the internet people who never played this game with anybody other than some other new player, if they bothered to play it at all, are the same people who talk about how this game has no depth or strategy and is too dice oriented- right).
Best advice I can give you Jamie is to play as many games as you possibly can before your tournament. If you can move your ships around the board without hitting stuff, you're already money ahead. Don't laugh- it's harder than it looks and dual Falcons mean dual big ship bases. Good news is you've got 360 arcs on your guns, so you can focus more on not running into stuff instead of folks who have to worry about the obstacles and their firing arc.
Past that, run yourself a solid list like one of the ones mentioned above. If you're curious about the 4-ship X-Wing build's advantages and disadvantages, check out this article. You might brush up on articles in the New Player Info section too so you fully understand the rules.
And for God's sake, don't let those swarm players move one ship then just pick up and put down the ships next to him because they all did the same maneuver.
By the way, apologies for how out of date those articles linked out of the top tabs are. Holy mackerel. I need to do some work there.
So there ya go- tell Jamie what I've gotten right, what I've gotten wrong, and what you think is better for the Rebs at 100 points, and Jamie- you come back after your tournament and tell us how you did, deal?
Lastly- I try not to go too straight up off-topic on here, but congrats to my Twitter buddy Stu Holden for scoring his first National Team goal this evening against Belize since getting mugged in Manchester a couple of years ago. Happy I made the dude laugh awhile back.
By all means, if you find me entertaining on here, you should check out my Twitters some time. Be aware though- I tweet and retweet a whole lotta randomly funny things I've just thought to myself, stuff my kid says, soccer/ football articles, and other people's funny stuff. I rarely talk about games other than to give a quick "I won" or "I lost because the sun was in my eyes" kind of update. I don't usually go back and forth with people about games on Twitter. Not saying I wouldn't, just know that there isn't going to be a ton of X-Wing banter in your timeline just because you followed me and I run this site, dig?