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Hey, welcome to another X-Wing Strategy Tips. I want to talk about one of the most important parts of the game, and that's placement. I've probably got about 100 games of X-Wing under my belt, and all that experience has actually taught me a lot about how important this phase of the game is. If you actually asked me just to break down the game of X-Wing into how important each stage of the game is, I think we're probably looking at about 20 to 30 percent as a squad building, 30 percent is that initial placement, 30 percent is flying your ships, and maybe 10 percent is actually luck. I think it's actually a lot less luck driven than most people realize.
I think a lot of people just want to blame the dice, and that's fine too, but there's a lot of skill when it comes to actually placing and maneuvering your ships, and I don't want to underestimate the importance of placement. When I say placement, I don't mean just the orientation of your ships, but also the placement of these asteroids. So let's talk about these a little bit today. So what are you trying to do when you place asteroids? Well this is entirely dependent on what ships you're flying and what your ships are flying against. Let's start with some obvious examples. So let's talk about the Falcon. A lot of players like the Falcon.
The Falcon is a great counter to things like TIE interceptors or any ship with a lot of mobility that has a lot of points wasted and extra mobility, i. e. ships with boost actions or ships with expert handling that gain barrel rolls, stuff like that. This is basically the Falcon is the counter to anything that does that sort of stuff. So when you're flying a Falcon though, what you really don't want to see is you don't want to see your Falcon trapped at the edges of the board unless it's part of some sort of special strategy where you're flying with the rest of your squad.
But in general you want to keep your Falcon in the middle of the table as much as possible. And why is this? Well it's because basically ideally your Falcon never has to K-turn if it can just turn in a circle over and over again and keep flying along the side of your opponent. In order to do that you need room in the middle of the board. So if you're flying the Falcon, the default strategy is to take these asteroids and place them at the corners as best you can. And if your opponent even places them at the corners and edges too, this is going to benefit you as the Falcon player.
You might think, well now this gives your opponent more room to K-turn and all that stuff, but remember every time they K-turn they're taking stress and they're losing an action. So if you can just circle a Falcon around here, it's going to be able to shoot anything on the board at any time. You're never going to get stressed, it's going to be a really easy game for you. So Falcons and big 360 degree ships in general, you want wide open spaces. Sound good? Alright. The second thing you might want some wide open spaces is if you're flying a TIE swarm.
TIE swarms what they really hate is having to approach the opponent when there's a whole bunch of asteroids in one neighborhood. Because the TIE swarms most of the time are centered around Howlrunner and if they're not they're probably not as good of a TIE swarm as they could be. But assuming that they're centered around Howlrunner, Howlrunner requires them to fly in formation. So anything you can do to break up that formation is going to be to your advantage. So over here you can see, I just got this triangle of asteroids out. It's actually very difficult for a TIE swarm to fly in. Now individual TIEs will make it through this no problem because they have barrel rolls.
They can just go through this and do whatever they feel like. But very difficult for an entire TIE swarm to get around this. And furthermore assuming that the TIE swarm sets up first, assuming it's on a high PS TIE swarm, you're going to know exactly where on the board they're going. So if they set up in this corner down here, you need to set up your ships in this corner over here and keep that TIE swarm at a distance for as long as possible. TIE swarms win because they can get in range one of you and light up you with lots of dice.
If you can prevent that from happening, if you can make their life difficult, if you can make them break formation, if you can make them fly through an asteroid field, if you can make them fly around something, that's all going to be stuffed to your advantage. Especially if you're flying only a couple ships and you only have to worry about a couple ships flying through this thing. You guys can circle each other for a couple rounds until you feel like they didn't turn in hard enough. Maybe they got to here and they're only still banked. That would be the time to cut them off and maybe start trying to wander through this asteroid field.
Make it very difficult for them to approach you directly. If you ever go head to head against a TIE swarm, you're playing right into their hands. You're giving them what they want. So in order to prevent that, gunk up the middle of the board. Alright, so that's two types of ships that, or two types of squads that really like the middle of the board, the Falcon and TIE swarm. What about for everybody else? Well this is going to depend a lot on if you think your ships are more maneuverable and if you want to fly in a squadron or not. Again, usually your default answer should be yes.
In general you want to minimize the surface area you have on the board. So flying in a tight formation is usually to your benefit. But the thing you want to try to set up are alleys that your opponent has to turn into. But you have a very natural turn into. What I mean by this are, let's see if I can just make one right now for instance. Let's put an asteroid here at the corner. Something like this. So that's not quite legal. Here let's push that back a little bit. And let's say your opponent is set up a squadron down here. And you set up probably opposite of him.
If they fly straight, you'll notice there's two asteroids over here. So for them to actually turn into this middle lane here, they actually have to come all the way up to here, which no ship can do easily on round one without some boosting or barrel rolling. It means it's going to take at least two rounds to get up to around this asteroid. And then very likely hard turn into this channel. What that means is that you in the meantime can come up to this asteroid, bank in here, bank in here, and while they're turning you can already be on their side, perhaps even coming back at them this way if you can get that far.
This is a nice slow well paced turn for any sort of large squadron where this group has to come down and hard turn immediately. If you can ever force your opponent to hard turn into something, that makes them very predictable. It's very difficult for you to judge exactly where they'll be after that hard turn. So this I would say is actually a very good, if both people fly into this middle channel, this should be a good result for this player over here. Because they should be able to get into this space right here and coming back at these pilots right as they're hard turning.
Or if this player misplays and goes a little bit too slow here too, you might even be able to get an extra shot off or two while they're still trying to turn their ships. Hard pressed for this person to make sure they time it accurately. And it might even get a little more difficult too if this asteroid's even closer to this side and they have to be exact on their hard turn maneuver. You want to give your opponent a chance to make mistakes. forcing them into a line and hard turning, there's a higher chance of that happening, let's say. Okay, so that's one other thing you can do.
You might also want to build your squad to live in the asteroids and induce your opponent to come into them. And a lot of players, strong players like to do this. This is where you'll see a lot of ion turrets, ships with turrets in general. You'll see a lot of advanced sensors on B wings. We'll try to do this. We'll just make an asteroid field. And I think if you guys saw the championship game from this year's international championships at Fantasy Flight, the championship game, the B wing player with the advanced sensors basically set up a bubble asteroid field. It wasn't quite as clean as this.
It had more asteroids and was in a corner, but was trying to induce their opponent to come into that where their B wings can easily just fly up to an asteroid and just barrel roll around it to get in and out of this thing. But turrets are great. You want to have a very loose but definite cluster of asteroids. And I say loose because you still want to have enough room for your ships to easily get through. You don't want to make life too difficult on yourself. But just cover enough surface area that it makes your opponent think twice. Especially in this type of formation, you almost never want to see three asteroids in a row.
You do generally, as a general rule, you want to offset them. That means your opponent has to do a lot of turning. If you ever have three asteroids in a row, that means there's going to be a lane right there. So by making sure you offset them, you're going to maximize the power of your turrets because you can shoot without having to turn. How awesome is that? And again, this is a great place space for B wings with advanced sensors. Or any ship with barrel roll really can get through here easily.
Although a tie swarm will have a difficult time because often you can't barrel roll everyone in the tie swarm unless they all have the exact same pilot skill. And even then it can be difficult because you need a lot of area to fly into and then more surface area to barrel roll into. And if there's a rock in your way, that's not going to happen. So what if you're just playing a bunch of X-wings versus a bunch of X-wings? Well like I said, you want to do anything you can to make life difficult on your opponent.
If you have the initiative or if you have low pilot skill ships, if you're going to be putting your ships down as soon as possible, that probably means that you have more firepower and more hit points hopefully because you spent your points on, you haven't spent your points on pilot skill let's say that. So you want nice big clear lanes to approach your opponent. You want to some degree to even fight. If you have higher pilot skill ships than your opponent, you're going to place last. That means you didn't spend as many points on shields and hulls and firepower. So you want to make your life as difficult on your opponent.
You want to make it a game about flying and maneuvering your few ships where that will be easier for you to do than your opponent's hopefully, or not hopefully, but they probably have one or two more ships than you have. So anyway, if you're setting up your ships and you have a high pilot skill squadron and your opponent has a low pilot skill squadron, you'll almost never see a jousting situation where the low pilot skill person will put out and then the high pilot skill person will not put you, they'll put on the opposite side. So you have to fly past each other or go between each other somehow.
And again, this is just because if you spent a lot of points on high pilot skill, you don't probably have the firepower or the hit points to have a direct head-on battle. So you want to make it difficult for the low pilot skill pilot to fly. That way hopefully they'll give the high pilot skill some time to pick up some target locks or weave in between the asteroid field to get in position for a quick shot. If you have two evenly matched skills, ships or squadrons, it's almost up to your taste.
A very common thing to do, at least I think when people are starting out, you won't see this a whole lot at higher level play because one of the players will recognize that their ships are better at maneuvering or if they spent more points at maneuvering. But you will see the sort of dreaded box formation where it's just six asteroids at all the corners and the midpoints. And again, you won't see this a lot in advanced players play because usually, like I said, one of the players will recognize that their ships are better suited at maneuvering, so they'll want the asteroids to make more of an impact on the game.
But certainly this is a game, if both players have done this, I would suggest that probably someone's made a mistake. Probably someone needs to take advantage of the asteroids better. One last note about ship placement though, you'll pretty rarely see, with a couple exceptions, there are definite exceptions, but you'll pretty rarely see a strong player put their ships right in the middle of the board, at least on the middle of their side. You'll usually see them start on one side or the other.
And again, this can be for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest is just that if you start on the side and I start in the middle, when we turn into each other, depending on how slow or how fast you go, I might end up getting in this close range fight here and not having good K turns behind you because either I've run out of space on the edge of the board or your ships are in the way so I wouldn't be able to make the turn anyway.
And if this is the case, then your opponent might be able to K turn behind you, you won't be able to K turn directly because your opponent's ships are in the way, you'll have to go forward again and then you won't be able to K turn again because you'll be at the edge of the board. And this is problematic, right? This is all because the players who start at the edge of the board has the edge at their back. They don't have to worry about things behind them or getting behind them. So use the edges of the board as well, these are your friends.
Like I said, most advanced players you'll see will start almost always at the edge because of this and plan to find a lane on the inside that they can turn into and have some sort of confrontation that benefits them. But yeah, setting your ships up at the middle of the board should really only be done if you have a lot of turrets, things like falcons or wiring with ion guns. Even then you might still follow conventional strategies, especially if you want to weave through an asteroid to get to your opponent or force your opponent to weave through an asteroid to get to your field to get to you. This is why the edges are so good.
So anyway, I hope those tips cleared up some of the basic strategies for using asteroids in ship placement. Again, think about whether or not your ships are better in the asteroid field or not. If they are, you want to make a field and use it somehow to your advantage. And generally you want to avoid asteroid fields with big lanes in them. You want to avoid putting asteroids in a row or a circle for that matter. A circle is kind of a. . . A circle is just an asteroid field with lanes everywhere. So you want to avoid that as well.
Usually, again, you want to make your asteroid field as asymmetric as possible with lots of forced turns, no three asteroids in a row. That will benefit your more maneuverable ships more often. If you don't have the more maneuverable ships, this is what you want to avoid. Get your asteroids in a row. If you put one here and your opponent makes one here and you're trying to make an asteroid field, just put one on the other side, just right in a row. Just keep those lanes open. And it's especially helpful if you want to place an asteroid, do it within two away from your opponent.
Or just about two, so your opponent cannot actually fit an asteroid directly in here. They have to offset it, which gives you a little bit more of a lane, perhaps. Or the other option is actually just, if you're just committed to two halves of the board, put exactly one away on your final asteroid, put it here. So that way you just have these giant lanes on either side of it too. This is also valid if you want to keep an open board, make parallel lines. Okay, so that's it for this episode of X-Wing Strategy Tips. Think about your placements more carefully.
It's at least 30% of what goes into the outcome of any given X-Wing game. That includes both asteroids and ships. Really take five minutes before the game begins and really just think about what your opponent's squad does and what they're good at and what your squad does and what it's good at and set up accordingly. .