The X-Wing Podcast – Episode 1

X-Wing Podcast

I’d like to share with you the first episode of The unofficial X-Wing Podcast.

The 2 Hosts, myself and Ben Johnson, are both new to X-Wing and hope that this podcast will be a great way of tracking our progress into the game.

We have only been playing a couple of months and think that we are at an awesome position (as experienced podcasters) to start up a new podcast that can show the new player development rather than the traditional podcast approach of more experienced players giving advice.  We are really looking forwards to not only being able to expand our knowledge (and skills!) of the game but also passing that on to others and entertaining the seasoned vets with our rookie mistakes.

We have a trial by fire with our first tournament this weekend.

Episode 1 is up right now along with an episode 0 where we introduce the show and ourselves.

It would be great to hear your feedback on our forays into X-Wing.

You can get the show by subscribing via iTunesYouTube or any podcast app using our RSS feed.

So, strap in, Stay On Target, Fly Casual, Let The Wookie Win and most importantly, enjoy the show.


Ben Curry.

  1. Put me firmly in the “Yes the falcon does need it, especially with Expert Handling” category. It’s important to remember that Gunner isn’t about increasing your attack power, it’s about more reliably & consistently doing damage.

    When using EH you use your action for the roll so you have no buff on attack, which is a big deal on a build that is already lower on attack (admittedly not too much lower with HLC blues, but they have other problems like being PS killed).

    When you EH roll into range 1, you’ve got a naked 4 dice shot, and while you’re averaging 2 hits, your real range of results is anything between 1 and 3 hits. Gunner protects you from that 1 hit being evaded and your whole attack being for nothing, meaning you should reliably be able to throw out 2-3 hits even with not tokens.

    Gunner also makes you much more dangerous against Squints and Ties.

  2. For me if you are burning an action on evade, boost, or EH its good to have gunner for another crack at a shot. Personally I have had more success with engine to get him in the right spot to flank the enemy. Furthermore, I usually save my focus for the gunner roll if the first roll has been bad.

    That being said, I have run Chewie with some success with PTL or Opportunist with Lando who gives him an extra action. In those cases, I have not really needed the second shot.

    I don’t know what the stats are but when you are starting with three ships, gunner almost functions like a forth which helps.

  3. Need? Maybe not, but it is one of those ship/upgrade combos that gives you a lot of bang for your buck. I could go into more detail, but my old TC article does a better job:

    For a rather dramatic demonstration of the end-game power of Epic Chewie, I will just leave this log here (version 5.6 of X-wing module needed to view):

  4. Good question. I’ll vote yes on Gunner/Luke. I think if you’re already blowing 42-50+ points on a ship, having your 1 attack a turn be evaded is a pretty big blow. Not to mention, Gunner/Luke also help if/when your huge ship gets blocked/action denied, which will happen. Also, it helps your range 3/asteroid in your LoS attacks a lot more, as that extra defense die helps the falcon a lot more compared to ones you’re attacking at since you have the gunner.

    I do know there have been some successful lists that use PtL + Recon, weapons engineer, MF, and the like but I feel this is really vulnerable to TIEs. And if you’re not ready to take on a TIE swarm, then the build isn’t really competitive in my mind.

  5. I think that Dodo hits the nail on the head with his thoughts on gunner. I don’t really think any upgrade is a must on a ship as versatile as the YT; however, gunner is extremely useful for it’s cost. I think you need it a lot more when running a 2 YT list because reliable damage is a must when only throwing 6 attack dice per round.

    Dodo started to illustrate the idea behind my inclusion of gunner in certain lists. I operate under the idea that gunner is most useful when your goal as a squad commander is to take an action that isn’t focus or TL. Dodo uses EH in his example, but the Falcon title is another good example. With MF title and Gunner you can evade every round that you are in arcs without sacrificing your damage. Builds like this can make a YT pilot like chewie nigh indestructible.

    So basically I include gunner when I fly the YT with the intention of taking an action that isn’t focus or TL.

  6. Gunner doesn’t help much against Agility 1 targets, but the rest of the time I love it. Even if your opponent purposefully takes one damage to avoid the second attack, that’s still more damage than they would have taken if you hadn’t equipped Gunner at all.

  7. Put me in the absolutely yes camp.

    Even against B wings with your 360 arc and their slower / predictable movement you should eventually be playing the R3 game (or out of arc game if using EH) where with gunner you have the advantage.

    I am trying to work on a synergy list with Lando + NN & DTF, Biggs + r2f2, and Garvin. It’s ok but I’d rather be relying on red dice then greens in my builds.

  8. Wow, pretty one sided.

    While I can’t disagree that gunner on the falcon is a great choice, I can’t help thinking there is more squad balance to be had by spending those points on the support ships.

    I think this will be even more the case when the Headhunter arrives and we can bring cheap chewie and 3/4 support ships.

    Ok to further this, if I was going to be stubbornly refusing to bring gunner and keeping Chewie naked (or with minimal upgrades) what would be the most effective combination?

    Having played with the 2 B-Wings, they were solid as rocks, but the sustained attention they received saw them die after 2-3 rounds of the engagement. My gut says some higher PS ships could be a real boon to the squad. Possibly Luke and Wedge? Or maybe Tyco with PTL to be a struggle to pin down?

  9. Sorry, but I truly wouldn’t run a YT-1300 without Gunner. For a 12% increase in cost, you’re increasing your offensive efficiency by — ballparking — 80% or more. I don’t think it’s possible to find enough offense without Gunner; the YT-1300 is taking up the space of two ships in a build, and while it had enough other advantages that is doesn’t have to have the offense of two ships, it has to have — *must have* — more offense than one ship.

    I just don’t think there’s a *competitive* build that can ignore that. I could offer “instead of gunner” advice for casual play, but it sounds like you’re interested in something competitive.

  10. BTW, Gunner is the antidote to “dice-dependent,” not a carrier.

    And the “let one damage through” trick is very dependent on certain fairly uncommon combinations of tokens and dice. The only way to do it even a little reliably is with Evade tokens, and if my opponent is Evading on the *change* of taking only “some” damage, and isn’t FOcusing or TLing me, I’m usually okay with that.

  11. There are two YT builds that get my “stamp of approval”:
    — 8(10)pts for Expert Handling + Gunner(Luke) + MF title
    — 8pts for PTL + Engine + MF title (+5 for Gunner optional)

    I have been reasonably impressed by Chewbacca w/ DTF + Gunner(Luke) + Engine, as a bodyguard for Biggs.

    I do like Han w/ Expose + Gunner(Luke) + Engine + MF, with or without Biggs depending on how crafty you are at keeping an Engine YT alive. My advice would be Biggs always there, to make using Expose much easier. You -could- opt to drop Gunner here, or downgrade to Chewbacca and keep Gunner. But I’m not sure you can really milk Expose for damage if you do, and PTL Chewbacca is a much cheaper build at that point.

    Some game history. The YT had access to Luke or Gunner from the arrival of Wave Two, but -NOBODY- was running it because “it was too expensive” and they thought the points could be better used elsewhere. It’s been a transition by experienced players toward use of Gunner. You can use actions from Expert Handling, Engine, MF title, or even Squad Leader and still get very decent odds to hit thanks to Gunner. The only time you don’t need Gunner is if you run PTL+Engine, because you are getting your odds a different way. Even there, Gunner can be a useful card.

    Running a YT with no Gunner is very limited offense. You are paying 42pts minimally for a 21pt gun (granted it’s a turret gun). And with B-wing w/ FCS in the game now, you are looking at VERY low firepower out of the YT if you don’t bring either Gunner or PTL (or both).

    Something very important to consider is what’s coming. We have the AGI 3 E-wing, AGI 3 Defender, and AGI 4 Phantom on the way. The AGI 2 Zwarm is coming too, and you cannot afford to be whiffing shots against swarm play because they do eventually corner a YT trying to elude attacks.

  12. “I do like Han w/ Expose + Gunner(Luke) + Engine + MF” – Theorist advocating Expose in a build! What is this blasphemy?!

    I jest, obviously if you aren’t being shot at then Expose is just fine.

    Thinking further about the coming ships – I anticipate the AGI 3 E-Wing and the AGI 4 Phantom being mainly flank ships (I think the consensus is that the Defender is going to be silly good in a straight line, not great at turning), and the YT w/ Gunner is the perfect tool against those ships.

  13. I played tonight with Chewie, Gunner, Ex Handling, Falcon. 2x Blues Adv Sens.

    First time out with the Barrel rolling falcon and I absolutely loved it! Faced 4x Royal Guard Pilots with PTL. Was a pretty brutal match with me being able to move so quickly and predict stressed dials.

    Have to say though, still don’t like gunner. Not the other hand, i really can see what use the extra 5 points would be put to in the squad. I think the B-Wings are a big liability. I’ve played around 10 games in a row with then now and every opponent is geared up to face them. Advance Sensors keeps them around with a few nice tricks, but it s not enough. I’ll be swapping them out for other ships, I just need to decide on what to run with.

    And if I stay with gunner…

    I’m wondering about Jan Ors, Ion Cannon and a Rookie. The Barrel Roll into Range 1 and a 5 dice gunner shot could be pretty tasty

  14. If you faced turtle-ceptors and STILL feel like Gunner wasn’t the best 5 points ever, I encourage you to spend your points elsewhere and face that same squad again.

    As for B-wings, they are the toughest small Rebel ship in the game and uniquely agile. I’m not really sure what you can replace them with that would not be even easier for the opponent to decimate. Maybe you might like PTL Green or Chewbacca + Ion Turret + Engine HWK? Those stay alive pretty well too.

    FCS B-wing is the cheap best firepower you’ll find, btw.

  15. I might well be expecting too much from the B-wings in this list. I’ve found them to die in 2/3 exchanges. If I spend focus on the evade dice then my return fire is lacking.

    Any B-Wing tips? I love the Chewie and B’s build and am sticking with it for a while.

  16. The list I run is this:

    52 Chewbacca w/ Expert Handling, Luke, MF title
    48 (x2) Blue w/ FCS

    Tweaks I’ve seen/had work well:
    — Take out EH + Luke for Engine + Gunner.
    — Take out MF title for Nien.
    — Take out Luke for Gunner + Merc.
    — Take out Luke + MF for Gunner + WEng

    All of them have their weak points and strong points. The version I use is meant to maximize my odds to deal damage and my protection of Chewie. I’m not sure it’s “better”, but it suits the way I play the list.

    I pretty much NEVER Focus with Chewbacca. If I know I want offense because Chewie is being ignored, I TL or barrel roll closer to the target. If I’m defending Chewie, I either barrel roll or Evade depending on which will do the best job. Sometimes it works out that barrel roll is doing both, which is great. Every once in a long while, I’ll find that Chewbacca has TL on a Range 1 target and is out of danger. It’s the only time I ever Focus with him.

    The B-wings are mainly there to punish the opponent for going after Chewie early in the game. I get TL+F stacks on the B-wings vs targets and hurt what I can. The first B-wing sometimes dies pretty fast — 4-6 shots (at 3-dice w/ Focus) is enough to bring down a B-wing, about one more than it takes to kill most small Rebel ships. The only Rebel ships that last longer are the two I suggested to you — PTL A-wing and HWK w/ IonT + Chewbacca + Engine. Neither hit nearly as hard as B-wing (although with extremely good play the PTL A-wing can come closer than most players realize).

    I’ve found the key to maximizing my B-wings is to fly Chewie in as an advanced strike — not straight at the enemy, but across the board to attack them from the side. If they don’t turn his way, Chewie lands 1-2 free shots before my B-wings are even in danger. If they try to attack Chewie, he barrel rolls to safety and the B-wings attack the enemy that has now turned away from them.

    The goal always is to keep as much health on Chewie as possible. You should leave combat rather than take multiple shots, and let chasing B-wings do the work until the opponent starts ignoring Chewie. The reverse is not entirely true though. You do want to keep a hurt B-wing alive, but not if it means Chewie gets shot to pieces instead.Usually I find that I can delay the death of a hurt B-wing AND keep Chewie out of harms way, so it’s rarely an issue.

    I’ve been pondering a risky change to better pull aggro to my B-wings, but I’ve been worried about the loss of Firepower. I could drop Luke to Gunner to pick up 2 points, but not to buy AdvS. AdvS doesn’t do a very good job of punishing ships that go after Chewbacca, and feels a bit out of place in this list. What I want to buy instead of FCS is Ion Cannon. The thought is pretty simple — ignore them at your peril, because you won’t be chasing Chewie if you ignore the Ion Cannons. I can typically get at least 4 TL+F stacked shots out of my B-wings (between them both, not each). Giving that AND Luke’s perk over Gunner up has been hard to do, I’ve not been in the right mood to try the switch yet.

  17. I’ve not tried the FCS B’s yet, they are on the list for a run out.

    I am almost certainly expecting too much from the B-Wings, having them both dead after the 3rd exchange but a full Chewie was bothering me, but looks like I just need to play to that end.

    Thanks for taking the time to offer some advice on this.

    How does the engine vs EH on chewie stack up. Not tried engine chewie yet. It’s amazing on the shuttle but the price for it on the falcon vs EH seems that you pay more and get less.

  18. DONT get Theorist started on Engine!!

    In all honesty he will advocate engine on almost all craft anyway. EH is superb on ships like the firespray and falcon, seeing your opponents face after your have just barrel rolled out of his well set up firing arc with a large ship is PRICELESS. In addition as you will be TL as well, double bonus points….

  19. “If I spend focus on the evade dice then my return fire is lacking.” – This might be a flaw in your plan. I play with B-wings pretty often, and I very very rarely consider spending focus on defence, it’s just not a good payoff for the B’s.

    The only time I would _maybe_ consider spending it defensively is if there is a chance I could be killed before shooting that round.

    For list tweaks, I agree with Theorist about FCS over Advanced Sensors. AS is a great upgrade, but unless you’re deliberately bumping your own ships to keep range, you get literally no advantage out of them until you start K-turning or bumping into your opponent.

    FCS lets you start ramping damage from the 2nd engagement round, I would recommend.

    I also agree with what Theorist suggests about using Chewie as a lure – it’s win-win, if they chase Chewie then FCS B-Wings are gonna do a number, if they don’t then Chewie is gonna get behind and start causing some pain! The only cost is how much damage Chewie takes getting them to take the bait.

  20. EH YTs are very strong and quite good with gunner.

    As an alternative, this list went 5-0 at US nationals and made top 16:
    Chewie assault missile
    Lando ptl, nien nunb, assault missile

    Basically built for fire two tl and focus assault missiles to break up swarm or Biggs formations. Also with tl and focus attacks thereafter I rarely ever needed gunner.

    I don’t think you need gunner if you can consistently get two actions.

  21. Why not do videos. Painting is a visual thing. I just found it odd you went with a audio only for this. I do look forward to listening to all of it as I enjoy custom painting my ships and am always looking for tips.

  22. We are an audio podcast! There are plenty of video guys out there doing awesome stuff.

    Saying that, we do have a short video that we shot already of the simple method as described on the show. I just need to put it together and voice over it.

  23. It was a great episode! As someone who’s never painted miniatures before, it made it seem less intimidating. One question came up, I’ve been thinking about just doing a wash on the models, just to make them look slightly different. Is that advisable? I’m nervous to mess them up since I don’t have the skills to do a full repaint!