A few months ago, my brother introduced me to the fun time (and money) suck that is Fantasy Flight’s X-Wing Miniatures game. I never had much experience with tabletop games in my lifetime, I played one game of Dungeons & Dragons and tried getting into the old Star Wars CCG but neither really stuck with me despite my interest. X-Wing was released in 2012 and I’m surprised/happy to see it still going strong. Fantasy Flight announced new sets to be released by the end of the year that feature ships from The Force Awakens such as Poe Dameron’s Black One and the First Order’s Special Forces TIE Fighter.
I’m getting ahead of myself.
Since introduced to the game, I have made it a point to visit my brother every weekend to play for hours. He lives outside of Los Angeles and I in Orange County, so we’re talking a total two hour drive each weekend (longer if the traffic is bad).I spent every weekend learning as much of the game as I could. At first, we played without ship upgrades so we could better understand how the ships move. Then we graduated to focus tokens, upgrades and secondary weapons. Eventually, our matches escalated to the point where we ran 300pt battles using epic ships like the Imperial Raider and the CR90 Corvette. It was great fun, especially when played against the Star Wars soundtrack. All an all, an awesome way to bond with my older brother.
Itching to play more, I did the unthinkable: I found a local group of people that played it. I showed up, tackle box in hand and almost chickened out. With my social anxiety, taking such a big step out of my comfort zone was normally unfathomable. Furthermore, I was keenly aware that I’d be playing against people with a great deal of experience over me. I came in with my 100pt squad of TIE Defenders and faster than you can say “womp rat,” they were completely destroyed by the other player’s Ghost. It didn’t bother me so much because I was still figuring it all out and watching the other person work the game was valuable.
Fast forward to Saturday, June 4th. I participated in a X-Wing tournament at Comic Quest. Part of me thought I was crazy (again, way out of my comfort area here) while the other thought it’d be fun to see how other people play. Four games and and five hours later, I came in dead last! That wasn’t totally unexpected. Simply standing in the room among players who knew everyone and engaged in jovial trash talk clearly told me that these guys were experts. That alone was enough to send me into a small panic attack at the start of the event. Over time and friendly conversation, I grew more at ease. There were some really friendly and cool people playing and going against their particular builds and ship skills was fun and informative. I have a difficult time with game builds (when someone asks me what build I play in Dark Souls, I say “the one that kills stuff with a sword”) so getting a chance to see how people designed their 100pt squadrons was enlightening. I also figured out that I need to invest in some Scum & Villainy ships. A lot of players used them and boy, some of their upgrades cards are particularly cruel!
I felt good coming out of the tournament (and earned some neat prizes) and was motivated to get better. Comic Quest runs Star Wars games every Tuesday night and on those days when the wife works late, I expect to make regular appearances.