A Bit of Pew Pew #8

What is #8 about?

I’m not going to report on a single match this time around. Instead I’m just going to give an insight into how things have gone for me lately. Maybe you’ll see something in it that applies to you. Maybe we can help each other!

Very soon I’ll be a Dad. I’m immensely excited about it, but it’s obviously going to be a huge change in my life. Will I have any time to pew pew? Probably not for a while! It leaves me in an odd position. I know I’ve got 4 or 5 weeks left of freely heading out to X-Wing night at the local, but I’m also rather aimless. I’ve been pottering along, trying stuff, but without a target in mind I’m not making any progress and losing a lot. That in turn leaves me wondering if I want to use these last few weeks. But if I don’t I won’t be able to for a while. Dilemma!

Seems reasonable to break things down and see if there’s a way out of my little hole before I have to give the pew pew a rest for a while.

Why have I been losing?

Dice – I reject this is a reason. It’s a factor for sure, and I’ve had both good and bad results. They just seem to have clustered and wrecked me at times! I’d hate to take anything from people’s victories as that’s a douche move. This is not why I’ve been losing. It might have just made of the games faster.

Lists – I don’t follow what other people do. I don’t go with net lists. Even back in wave 4 when I started, I took three Deltas with Ion Cannons to a tournament. Why? It looked cool and I was genuinely excited to get them on the table. Horrific tournament but I took a punt. That reticence to go with the established still shows up now, and despite my love for a punt it rarely seems to work out. Copying something someone else has done might lead to results, but it just seems really boring to me.

Stupidity – I do make a lot of mistakes and ‘Oh no I’ve realised far too late that I shouldn’t have done that’. Taking a punt rears it’s head again here as well. Can I leave something to the dice Gods? Chances are I will! You’d think that 3 years in I wouldn’t be being such a silly sod wouldn’t you.

Too much changing – A big factor. On average I’ll use a squad for 4/5 games, tweaking it a bit each time, before moving on. Perhaps I don’t give myself time to learn the intricacies. But I get bored! Maybe I need to really focus on something?

What to do?

I’m hoping the X-Wing community will help me on this one. But I’ve tried to give it some thought.

I’m already working hard at not getting pissy over things that are essentially luck. From my own emotional responses, to making sure I’ve got lots of dice modification, I can at least try to tip the odds in my favour and not be a child over it. Sometimes things won’t go my way, and that’s OK. Perhaps it will just make it sweeter when it does.

When it comes to list building I’m stuck to be honest. If I curb my ‘punt’ instincts I’ll never play. Do I take established lists and tweak them to my liking? Or I do just push on with the awareness that like every punt, sometimes it will pay off and sometimes it won’t?

The rest comes down to one main thing, patience. I don’t like flying away from a fight, but it leads me into situations. I need to keep in mind that waiting for the right time to move in isn’t “bottling it” but actually the right way to play. Perhaps I should just build really strong jousting lists! But all in all, my stupidity, and my constant moving around, stem from a “I want results now” way of thinking. This is something to work on.

I’ve tried to be honest with myself about things here. If there’s anything you can see that might help, please comment!


  1. First off. This is a game and people have very different opinions on what makes it fun. Some people only want to win. Others would rather just fly Star Wars ships and have fun. Both viewpoints are fine and in the end you will likely end up with a mix of those two. Just be sure to know what your priorities are. Being good at this game requires effort. The best players spend a lot of time playing the same list and learning from their mistakes (e.g. before my best tournament performance, Worlds 2015, I was playing around 20 games a week for about 3 months with the same list). So here are my suggestions.
    1) Find a list you really really like and play it a lot. And I mean a lot.
    2) If you cant figure out how to beat a list, play it. Then figure out a plan and get back to your original list. Repeat as needed.
    2) Keep a notebook. List every game and make sure you learn from both wins and losses.
    3) Never blame dice (you are already there)
    4) Check List Juggler/Vassal to see what the meta is. Practice against the most popular lists until you have a game plan against that list.
    5) Be careful of burnout. Playing a lot with a competitive mindset can burn your interest quickly.
    6) Be sure to have the basics right. Maneuvering, dice modification, rules, turn zero etc.
    7) If you possibly can try to get friend(s) to join you in getting better. Discussing strategy, tactics and list building with the aim of improving both you and your friends helps immensely.
    8) Finally. Make sure you are having fun. This is a great community with amazing players and that is what sticks with you in the end.
    Sorry – this became a lot longer than intended 🙂

    • No apology needed! That’s exactly the sort of stuff I need to hear.

      Thinking along those lines, I’ve not flown any list anywhere near enough. I have flown Defenders a lot, even back before they were considered good, so I’ve got the most experience with them. I do love them so, so perhaps they should be my starting point.

      • I believe Defenders are underestimated these days. I just flew my triple Defender list to 2nd place in a 45 man Store Championship. Might have been luck, but I felt it supported my belief. Maybe you should try this out:

        Delta x7
        Ryad x7 PTL Twin Ion
        Vessery x7 Swarm Leader

        Good luck and remember to have fun 🙂

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