Profile photo of Kevin By Kevin On June 17, 2013 Posted In X-Wing Miniatures Game

Common Mistakes

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June 17, 2013

“He says it’s nothing, sir. Merely a malfunction. Old data. Pay it no mind.”
— C-3PO

After the excitement of the last few discussions I thought we’d stick to a (hopefully) pretty safe area today.  Rather than discussing controversy-laden deep rules interpretations, I wanted to look at some of the simple mistakes that people often make when playing the game.  These are generally straightforward items for a lot of people, but they can be easy to miss, and how often have you seen even an experienced player say “Wow, I’ve been playing that wrong all along”?

Some of these are basically FAQ questions.  Some are shorthands that a lot of us use that are actually wrong, but may not matter that often.  Some are just things that new players overlook a lot.  This is sort of a grab bag of random thoughts 0n rules that wouldn’t necessarily earn full posts of their own.

Previous Discussions: Stealth Device and Obstacles
Some issues have earned full posts of their own, though.  We’ve talked about some of the more commonly misunderstood areas before.  Rather than rehashing it all, I’m going to be self-referential and say “Go read these”.

Range Dice for Secondary Weapons
Dice modifiers for range (extra attack at Range 1, and extra defense at Range 3) apply only to primary weapon attacks, not to secondary weapons.  It’s easy to miss that the range modifier is only for primary weapons.

Actions vs.Spending  Tokens
Actions are restricted in a number of cases: you can’t take them while stressed, you can’t do the same action twice in the same turn, etc.  Many people confuse these limitations with tokens, but there are no such limites.  Soontir Fel can easily acquire two focus tokens per turn, and the Moldy Crow can theoretically have an unlimited number if you save them up.  If you have tokens, you can spend tokens, regardless of any duplication.

Effects During Combat
This one is often overlooked because until recently, it didn’t matter much.  It still rarely comes up, but is very important when it does.   When using dice modification effects during an attack roll, the defender applies their effects first, and then the attacker.  When rolling defense dice, the attacker applies theirs first.

Dice Results, Damage, and Dealing Cards
Handling damage can be a strange thing.  In part, this comes because there aren’t actually official names for the icons on the dice.  This has led people to come up with names that we all tend to use, but may not always be precisely correct.

While we might call a die result a “Hit” or “Critical Hit”, resolving damage for an attack actually occurs in two steps: First, dice results turn into damage.  Second, the target suffers that damage.  A {Critical Hit} result is not actually a face up damage card, nor is a “suffered critical damage”.  This is a case where many of us (myself included) use a convenient shorthand, but it’s wrong.  In general, the shorthand works, but it can get us into trouble.  For instance, can Draw Their Fire move damage from a Proton Bomb hit, or the new Darth Vader crew?  The answer to both is no – results are not damage.

Suffering Damage and Critical Damage vs. Shields
This may possibly be the most confused element of rules in the entire game.  Most attacks and damaging effects will eventually result in a ship suffering damage.  The process for handling that is outlined on page 16, and is the same regardless of the source – if you have shield tokens you lose a token, if you don’t you deal a card, face down for damage and face up for critical damage.  So far as I can think of at the moment there is only one effect that bypasses this process, and that is the Proton Bomb.    Otherwise, everything that hurts a ship falls into the “suffering damage” category, and will impact the shields first.

How Evade Works
I think the vase majority of players think the rules for an evade token are “Spend to cancel one hit.”  But that’s not actually how they work; spending the token adds one {Evade} result to the defender’s dice pool.  This one doesn’t actually matter much outside of theoretical discussions at this point, but very well may in the future.

Range Measuring and Firing Arc
Don’t worry, we’re not talking about premeasuring again…  When you measure range between two ships, it’s always closest point to closest point, right?  Actually, no – when you measure for firing, it’s the closest point that is in the firing arc.  This is one I myself missed until very recently, because the rules mention measuring shortest path in several places, and it’s easy to skim the range measurement on page 10 because you already know it.

YT-1300 Turret and Firing Arc
It’s easy to forget because its primary weapons ignore it, but the YT-1300 actually does have a standard firing arc.  At the moment, the biggest effect of this concerns Backstabber and whether or not he gets his bonus die when attacking the Falcon from outside the standard firing arc (he does).

Any other common mistakes you see, or have made yourself?  Offer them up in the comments.

  1. “A die that has already been rerolled cannot be rerolled again during this attack.”
    No idea how common it is, but I saw someone forget this at my local regionals.

    Until relatively recently, I thought the barrel roll template had to start even with the front of your base and end even with the rear (such that the ship always moved forward a bit). I did not pay enough attention on my first read of the rules, never reread the description of the action and got it in my head that the rulebook’s barrel roll example was the only way it could be done.

    Damaged Cockpit critical: After the round in which you receive this card, treat your pilot skill value as “0”. My local group was treating this as a one turn effect (i.e. “The round after you receive this card…”). For clarity, they really should have made the text on this card “Starting next turn, treat your pilot skill value as “0”.”

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  2. This makes me think of common piloting mistakes that are commonly made.

    1. confusing left and right on the dials.

    2. forgetting PS order on your or the opponents ships and therefore running a lower PS ship into a higher one that has yet to move.

    Also anytime you forget to use an ability. I forget howlrunner’s ability once per game.

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    1. Yah. He’s only weak to the Firespray, and even there I’ve seen him dance well enough to get outside both arcs multiple times in one game. I can’t recall who was driving him — I want to say Kevin, but it’s been too long. Some people are so awesome with ol’ cheapy. I can barely get an AP level performance out of him.

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  3. Another common mistake I see people making is thinking that when a ship executes a maneuver, it travels along the maneuver template like a rail cart, When actually, you are just picking the ship up and placing it at the end of the maneuver template, as if it was teleporting.

    This messes people up for stuff like fleeing the battlefield, since a maneuver template might go very very close to the edge or even over, but still bring the ship safely back to the battle. I’m sure this will also cause confusion for Anti-Pursuit Lasers.

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    1. Good call.

      I also see players fail to keep the back of the ship on the template when blocked. They align the front only, and have their correct angle way off.

      And sometimes they place behind the first ship they cross, rather than looking for a spot-drop further forward along the template.

      Lastly, I sometimes see players assume that the FRONT of the ship is what will hit. Sometimes you side-scrape an imposing ship rather than ram it.

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      1. Yep, although it is quite frustrating when a large ship bumps into another ship with a maneuver template that’s smaller than the large ship’s base.

        I’ve seen it happen a lot where firespray does 1 bank collision and the ship backs up and completely overlaps the maneuver template. Another instance where the rules as they are written completely fail us.

      2. there’ve been times where we’ve had to strip the base token and the model off a large ship base just to make sure the bloody thing is centered on the template at the point of collision. It can be hard, especially on short moves. At that point we basically just fall back on mutual consent and that collaborative attitude was well received by strangers at my Regional.

      3. It’s very hard to center a ship well without care. It’s one of the main reasons I stray away from running swarms, because there’s just too much bumping and blocking that goes on. It slows the game down and often leaves one player wondering if the resting spot of a blocked ship is what decided who won. The one swarm I do run doesn’t do much blocking.

  4. Measuring for astroid obstruction is not within firing arc but closest to closest point on ships

    People using draw their fire trying to use their evade token to avoid the crit they pulled.

    Marksmanship + Gunner, alot of people at my LGS including me played this as having 1 crit modification and then hits for the rest, spread out over both attacks.(correct 1crit +hits per attack)

    Draw their fire vs ion cannon hit, drawing the crit making the ion miss(ofc thats wrong) but I’ve seen it happen.

    Squadleader being used to give a stressed ship an action.

    Thats all the ones I’ve written down from situations I’ve seen or heard at my LGS.

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  5. “How Evade Works”

    Yes, it adds an evade result to the dice pool, but I want people to be aware that it does not add a defense die to the pool. The Combat Phase example on page 14 explains that the token adds an evade result to the dice pool, the evade result being the token itself. I feel this is a very important distinction to make.

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  6. Have seen this one forgotten numerous times.

    Simultaneous Attack Rule
    Although ships perform their attacks one at a time, ships with a pilot skill value equal to the active ship’s pilot skill value have the opportunity to attack before being destroyed.

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