Fly Casual but also fly smart


Should have pulled up.

I like to think I take “fly casual” to heart. When I owned Rebels, I shoehorned Jek Porkins in all my lists just so I could say “I can hold it.. no I’m all right.. BllahAHGHAG!” every time he died. And when I owned Scum I immediately bought five Scyks and flew cricket swarms at my local tournaments. Why? Because five Scyks look awesome on the table. I lose often but I always have fun and I make sure my opponents have a good time too.  It’s not that I don’t have a competitive side, I just enjoy list building so much that the game becomes secondary. However, now that I only own Imperials (traded the rest for Infinity models) I’ve been running out of goofy-list builds and was finally forced to start flying more competitive ships.

So last week I flew, for the first time, Omega Leader and Carnor Jax. I started with pretty standard builds for both (Juke and Comm Relay for OL and PtL, Royal Guard Tie, Stealth Device and Autothrusters for Carnor) because I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. This left me 40 points to play with. In classic casual-player mentality, I included Deathrain simply because “three Aces would be boring” and tacked on a stealth device to OL with the remaining three points.

My list:

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After building the list I felt a sense of accomplishment. I wasn’t that interested in Carnor Jax and OL but I was thrilled that I now had a new Deathrain list. I had played Deathrain lists before (multiple Tie-Punishers or Deathrain and Tie-Bombers) but they never worked. I hypothesized that this time my Deathrain list would work because my opponent would be so concerned with the pesky Aces that I’d be free to drop bombs all game. Like most creators, I was biased and had deluded myself into thinking that I had “cracked the X-Wing code”.

Still impressed with my “unstoppable” Deathrain list I strolled to the local game store with a shit-eating grin on my face. It was time to bomber-man some fools. I quickly found an opponent and we set up. Like me, he was also flying a home-brew list that contained some very strong ships:

My Opponent’s list:

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Truth corner. I have never played against Contracted Scouts before. I know everyone has been strategizing against these toilet-bowl-terrors for weeks but my only plan for this game consisted of two soundbites I remembered from “Nova Squadron Radio” and “Back to Dials” podcast: “Watch out for the alpha strike!” and  “Setup on their right because Jumpmasters’ dials are worse if they are forced to make right turns.” So that is what I tried to do.

The Game

I started the game off with my ships spread out wide with Deathrain in the middle. My hope was that the faster Aces would catch his eye and leave me open to bomb him to smithereens. What actually happened in the game was very different. Surprisingly, it was Carnor Jax and Omega Leader that were doing all the work (shocking, I know).

Rather then describe the game, I made a quick highlight reel. Check it out:

This game has completely changed my perspective on X-Wing. I never knew how much FUN competitive ships were! As a casual-commander I purposefully avoided competitive ships like the plague because I assumed they were boring. Its weird, but I had this self-imposed restriction on myself that I only wanted to win with my own creations. This mindset is shared by a lot of other casual players and unfortunately it usually results in wasted time and effort. This one game has converted me.

Oh, and if you are wondering how Deathrain did, here’s his highlight reel:

So, my fellow casuals, don’t waste anymore time trying to make generic E-Wings work. Stop loading up Tie Fighters with hull upgrades and leave Jek Porkins at home. I guarantee that if you fly something competitive you will have a blast just like me!




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