Squad Building in X-wing Miniatures Part 1 of 4

Having had a chance to see or play most of the newer players at my local store, I wanted to put something together to help with overall list building with X-wing. This Article will be in 4 parts. Using this I will actually put together a list that will actually hit tables. I’ll run the list a few times against those who want to see it in action in person and do some write ups on it’s results.

List building in X-wing – Factions – Primary

This is probably the single most important piece of X-wing. Picking your faction. This ends up determining what ships are open to you. It also determines how your ships are going to fly, and how you should start looking at setting up your squadron. Lastly, it’s going to determine exactly what upgrades you have access to. All of which forms the base of your overall gameplay experience. If you’ve played X-wing before, you may find some of this information is the same.  Some information may also be very new as newer ships and upgrades have created some flex within the factions.


The mighty Imperial Fleet. Their ships are regimented, focused and most importantly consistent. Their main goal is to show tactical superiority either by mass numbers or overwhelming pilot skills. Filled primarily with various TIE Fighters the Imperial Faction is easy to get into, easy to understand, and relatively easy to outfit to be successful. The drawback to the Empire, the ships can be fragile, and more importantly, are unforgiving to any kind of errors.  The Empire also has the Advantage of the highest number of Higher Pilot Skill Aces, as well as the ships with the least cost creating wide ranges of flexibility in their list building. Imperial tactics are very strait forward. They have enough consistency that a good plan gone awry can be recovered from.


The Rebels favor team work to survive over superiority.  Many Rebel ships are designed to take a beating, and pack a punch in return.  Their Crew options work to enhance pilot abilities, and make up for lack of actions their ships otherwise would not have without great risk.  The frustrating part of Rebel list building comes in trying to do too much because they have so many options, or needing a ship to fill a role and because they are so general they don’t really have something to fit quite like you might hope. Rebel list also have the danger of a “linch pin” effect. Losing a key ship can cause a Rebel list to falter quickly and makes it hard to recover sometimes. They also have some of the more exciting iconic ships from the Star Wars Universe, which is a key point for a lot of players.

Scum and Villainy:

Not really a faction designed to be jumped into blindly. Released in Wave 6, the faction has quickly formed it’s identity in X-wing. That identity is raw ship efficiency. Unlike the Rebels, Scum does not care about team work. The majority of Scum Aces are fine being isolated. They work alone so they want to maximize their own abilities. They have the lions share of large based ships with lots of crew and upgrade slots trying to help themselves survive as long as possible. Their drawback is not a whole lot of options for ships, and fielding those large base ships means fewer ships on the board.

Similar but different – Factions

First Order:

Even though the First Order is allowed to mix with Imperials, I mark them separate here. While not as point efficient as their Imperial counterparts, they are much more efficient with their capabilities and often more synergistic. Their drawback is in the number of available ships. With some unique upgrades and a handful of ships you could take a starter set expand and stay fully within the First Order without picking up a single Imperial Ship, and still be highly successful and have plenty of fun though.


Similar to the First Order the Resistance is much like the Rebels in that they can be mixed in while also being separate. The biggest draw is their update to the iconic X-wing in the T-70. Their biggest drawback, they currently only have the X-wing T-70, an updated Millennium Falcon and the new Resistance Bomber. So options are a bit scarce, but very movie like when fielded. The Ships all seem to work well individually as generalist and any team work or assistance helps but is not predominate like the Rebels proper.

For this exercise I’m going to go with Imperials. Pick one for yourself and continue to read and follow along and see how this Imperial List comes together. Compare the list I create to yours. Feel free to ask input after all the articles are up. Perhaps we can break down a list you want to use and rebuild it but first we have to get there.

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