Collecting X-wing as a family: Family Fleets

Family Fleets is an article with a focus on getting into the X-Wing miniatures game as a pair, be you best friends moving to a new game, a parent and child wanting to spend more time rolling dice and making laser noises, or spouses with the coolest new hobby together. For a person who has no X-wing miniatures products the sets I recommend are going to come out to $150 USD or roughly $200 CAD. If you’ve never played before don’t feel like you need it all at once, but once you’re hooked come back and check out the rest of the article!

I will have the record show that I didn’t get my legs cut off at the conclusion of this article.

I bought the core set and a couple expansions a full year before I dove into the hobby in earnest and during that time I’d dust off the box, put some tie fighters and X-wings (X being a variable that could represent X/Y/B, yay algebra), and have a good time. There is no wrong way to collect X-wing, but if you want to venture out from your home and play at your FLGS (friendly local game store), or get into tournament play some combinations of purchases can get you playing and winning games sooner than others.

Because X-Wing is a two player game (and let’s get real, most of us have played with more in our casual games) each pair of squadrons will include only pilots or upgrades from your fledgling collection that wasn’t included in the accompanying squadron. If you’re reading this article it’s possible that you are in possession of one of the core sets but don’t worry, both are great starting points, in fact, I recommend both for the start of your X-wing collection.

X wing family sets pic
Off to the races!

In addition to the two core sets I also recommend the Heroes of the Resistance expansion, and the Imperial Aces expansion. All boxes opened, contents neatly organised, and packaging properly disposed of in the appropriate trash and recycling receptacles you’ve got yourself two classic TIE fighters, two First Order TIE fighters, and two TIE interceptors, three X-wings (one T-65 and two T-70s), and one YT 1300 light freighter (the Millennium Falcon). Additionally, you get a slew of different cost Elite upgrades (including two 0 point upgrades), some crew, modifications, and the like.

At this point in the article, I give you: The squad building portion.

Kicking off the list building portion of this article I’ll start with a more iconic squad archetype for the Empire: The swarm.

  • (12) TIE Fighter – Academy Pilot;
  • (12) TIE Fighter – Academy Pilot;
  • (15) First Order TIE Fighter – Epsilon Squadron Pilot;
  • (15) First Order TIE Fighter – Epsilon Squadron Pilot;
  • (21) TIE Interceptor- Sabre Squadron Pilot: Trick Shot;
  • (25) TIE Interceptor- Royal Guard Pilot: Push the Limit.

Imperial group 1

Swarms have a lot of advantages going for them. Anytime you can focus the fire of six ships someone is going to have a bad day, either you’ll get damage through the token stacks of very dodgy ships, or you’ll very quickly chip away the hit points from high health, low agility ships. Having multiple weaker ships means you don’t need to take as much damage to lower your offensive potential, but a lot of damage from the enemy can be wasted by finishing off cheap, wounded ships. We all groan when we are taking damage on our heavy hitters every turn and our hotshot gunner VT 49 Decimator needs to take a shot at a 1 hull TIE fighter.

You’ll notice also the shiny (it’s matte but you get it) red TIE interceptor, the Royal Guard Pilot with Push the Limit. Given the chance to focus high PS enemy ships, or even turreted ships early you could very well have an arc dodging mini ace on your hands ready to barrel roll and boost to victory. I’ll also mention that riding the thin line arc dodging with an interceptor and coming out on top can really be a rush, and help pave the way for a future imperial ace player.

Sort of different I suppose, still squad building, but a rebel one.
  • (46) YT 1300 Light Freighter – Rey: Trick Shot, Millennium Falcon (S-loop);
  • (31) T-70 X-Wing – “Blue Ace”: R2-D2, Integrated Astromech;
  • (23) T-65 X-Wing – Rookie Pilot: BB-8, Integrated Astromech.

Rebel squad 1

Here you utilize other upgrades without overlapping to create a counterpart rebel squad, to play against the first Imperial squad, or to go bravely to your local game night in the hands of player two. This version of Rey is probably the cheapest you’ll see,

Other than the crew card, obviously.

But it gives you exactly what her strengths are: rerolls on offense and defense. Her pilot ability is basically Lone Wolf but stronger, the reason for this is Lone Wolf can only consistently activate on certain squads, or when the other ships on your team are dead. With her high Pilot skill concealing her move until after lower PS ships have used repositions and the ability to turn her front arc around on a three bank move you have a consistently good opportunity to pull it off. Trick Shot is freebee and best used on ships that can fire out of arc because it gives you more chances to draw a line of fire across debris. Red dice have more chances to score damage than green dice have chances to score defence, so this makes obstructions almost always advantageous to shoot through, just don’t sacrifice good positioning for this small advantage.

Flying escort to this diet falcon are two different X-wings: “Blue Ace” with R2, and a Rookie T-65 pilot with BB-8. I originally was going to suggest two Blue Squadron Novices and the same droids, but I think the above configuration gets you so much more. The rookie with BB-8 is now the king of slow rolling constantly churning out focused three red primary attacks, he can even fly right at an asteroid and not hit it the next turn because the barrel rolls can really add to his maneuverability, of course if you take a bad critical hit, or you’re about to die just let BB-8 take a bullet (er, a laser) for the team.

“Blue Ace” with R2 was an early favorite for me playing X wing, and was even in the squad that I won my first league game with! You can two or three turn, and boost a turn to get something similar to a Talon roll but without stressing yourself. If you need to regenerate shields and want to make a tight turn you can perform a one bank, regenerate a shield, then boost for a 135 degree turn overall. His middle pilot skill helps him have movement options after seeing things like Manaroo, Contracted Scouts, Gold Squadron Pilots, Black Squadron Pilots, and the like.

A short time ago I spent some time playing a squad consisting of two T-70 X-wings, one T-65 X-wing, and a Z-95 headhunter. This was some of the most fun I’ve had playing X-wing in months, primarily because looking at X-wings on the table is just so satisfying. One great thing about this start to a collection is that all of your models are ships from the movies!

Don’t worry about it.

What kind of squads can you make with these sets? Put them in the comments below. Stay tuned for a new tournament report and rebel Y-wing ship review!


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