Squad Building in X-wing Miniatures Part 3 of 4

So now you have your Faction. You looked over your ships. Lets start building a list. I’ll need to look over a few things. How many Ships do I want. Which Pilots do I want to use. Most importantly how many points do I have to work with once I have picked Ships and Pilots for upgrades. This is going to be a longer article so hang in there readers.

So lets recap our Ships before I get too deep. This is really where the list comes together and determines everything else anyways.


Fighters:  TIE Fighter, TIE Intercepter, TIE Advanced Prototype, TIE Phantom, TIE Striker,

Escorts: TIE Defender, TIE Aggressor, TIE Advanced,

Bombers: TIE Bomber, TIE Punisher, Alpha-Class Star Wing

Command: Lambda Class Shuttle, Decimator, Tie Bomber (Shuttle Variant)

Generalist: Firespray -31

Take a moment to look at the ships highlighted in green. Every single one of those ships at it’s base level cost less than 20 points. Just adding upgrades to get to 20 means you can have up to 5 ships at once. Also note the sheer number of attackers the Imperials have, easy to tell what they want to do if you want to go those routes. Seeing as I’m trying to do some interesting and unique building I’ll refrain from just grabbing 5 Base TIE Intercepters slapping auto-thrusters on and calling it a day.

Building the List – Starting Ship

With new players in mind for my first ship I want a solid ship. It should also be a bit forgiving for mistakes. This first ship also needs to carry it’s weight in points with general ease. Thinking in those terms starting with an attacker is not the ideal situation. Attackers are a great option if you are wanting to improve your flying and don’t mind being frustrated early.

I’m going to  zone in on the Escorts. The TIE Advanced is tempting as I can use Darth Vader. The Aggressor is also an interesting choice as a turret carrier. The TIE Defender might be the best all around ship of the 3 though. The titles a Defender has allow me to really determine it’s actual role. So lets take the Defender, 3 Attack, 3 Evade, 3 Hull and 3 Shields solid ship and 30 points at base so it’s about a 1/3 of my list so far.

So now the hardest part of list building. I have my first ship. What do I do next? I really need to decide if I’m going to go for Pilot Skill or a Strength in Numbers approach. I actually wrote an article about the topic you can read here. For this list I’m thinking fewer ships and simple mechanics is going to be the best route especially for a new player or someone still working on list building or piloting skills. Now if you know a specific ship/Ace you want to fly by all means grab him first.

Building the List – WINGMEN

So lets get a couple of more ships and then with points left I can sort out what I have from there and upgrade. I find this tends to be easier than building top down and realizing I am out of points and struggling to adjust the list to do what I  want as I want it.  I have an Escort, lets grab something with a bit of punch and a scare factor. The Alpha-Class Star Wing will do nicely. At just 18 points I can really adjust this to be what I need it to be based on the other ships and pilots I want. So I currently am at 48 points with 2 ships. That’s plenty to go forward with and still not worry about upgrades at this point.

I have all kinds of room for more ships right now. I think I’m going to try to keep this at 3 for ease of flying. 4 or 5 is possible right now but I need to save some points to outfit my ships. I am also wanting a 3rd threat to make a hard decision for my opponent. So back to the Ship List. I could do a command ship, but I want to keep this simple on mechanics. A phantom is certainly scary, and an attacker, again lots to think about with them as they fly though. Strikers can be similar to Phantoms in their heavy thinking and planning for movements. So best choices are a TIE Intercepter, or one of the Escorts. Lets have some variety and go with the TIE Aggressor, a newer ship and carries a turret, and they are a base of 17 points.

So my List looks as such:

TIE Defender: 30

TIE Aggressor: 17

AC Star Wing: 18

Total 65 Points out of 100 Used. 35 Points to upgrade with. That’s Pilots, pilot talents, and other upgrades, plenty to work with.

Building the List – Aces and Upgrades

Now it’s time to start to look at that Defender. I have some pilots and plenty of points to work with. Question is what do I want and why. With a couple of upgrades I can make a solid Attacker that is super defensive using the TIE X-7 title, or I can make a scary Fighter/Bomber combination with the TIE /D Title. Lets do a Run down of Pilots and then I can make a better choice.



Delta Squadron – PS 1 – 30 points.

Onyx Squadron – PS 3 – 32 Points.

Glaive Squadron – PS 6 – 34 points – EPT

Named Pilots:

Countess Ryad – PS 5 – 34 Points – EPT: When doing a strait maneuver can treat this maneuver  a K Turn.

Colonel Vessery – PS 6 – 35 Points – EPT: When Attacking, immediately after you roll attack dice, you may acquire a target lock on the defender if it already has a red target lock token.

Maarek Stele – PS 7 – 35 Points – EPT: When your attack deals a face-up Damage Card to the defender, instead draw 3 cards. Choose 1 to deal and discard the others.

Rexlar Brath: – PS 8 – 37 Points – EPT: After you perform and attack that deals at least 1 Damage card to the defender, you may spend a focus token to flip those cards face up.

If I want to just go with a generic, just take the PS 1 there isn’t enough of a change from PS 1 -3.  I’m going to go higher , so I might as well take an Ace with an extra ability over the PS 6 generic at this point. Vessery is an often a quick grab for his skill. I personally find I don’t care for it as it does nothing once his wingmen go down and he is another generic PS 6 for the points. Rexlar needs a way to get more focus tokens to be effective something I don’t have here so he is out. Leaves me Ryad and Maarek for my Defender pilot. I can spend 1 point for +2 PS and a pilot trait that if I can get it hitting is brutal and a threat all game long.  Lets go with Maarek.

So now the list looks like this:

Maarek Stele – TIE Defender – 35

TIE Aggressor – 17

AC Star Wing – 18

Total 70 Points out of 100 Used

I have a power house in the Star Wing. Lets make it more so and see what I have left. There are two Generics and two aces to choose from. One thing I notice is Major Vynder at PS7. That means he can shoot before Maarek Stele. This means if he can strip shields he can make it easier for Maarek Stele to use his pilot skill. I could also use Lt. Karsabi with Veteran Instincts to reach PS 7. Question is which option is better? Vynder doesn’t care about the load out. Lt. Karsabi hopes he does not get stress to maximize his skill. I don’t want to worry about stress management so I’m going Vynder.

So Vynder is 26 points so I’m at 78 used out of the maximum 100. Lets load him up and see what I have left. I’m going with the XG-1 title. The cannons are more consistent and don’t require me to reload and spend turns not shooting. The title allows for the use of a Cannon with a Weapons Disabled Token with a value of 2 or less. So one of the two cannons will be a  Flechette Cannon. For now with cost concerns I’m going to take a Mangler Cannon. Pushing crits through is never a bad thing. I’m also going to take Predator for re-rolls in case I don’t have a focus for some reason.  Current total for Vynder is now 36 points.

So the List now looks like this

Maarek Stele – TIE Defender -35

Major Vynder – Star Wing – 36

TIE Aggressor -17

Total 88 of 100 points

The TIE Aggressor now needs a looking at. The Aces here are not going to do much to help. However, a Twin Laser Turret (TLT) is scary and causes some concerns for many players. So staying with a Seinar Specialist is fine with the TLT. I can add a Light Weight Frame to it to help survivability as it does it’s thing.

So List is shaping up to look like this:

Maarek Stele – TIE Defender -35

Major Vynder– Star Wing – 36

Sienar Specialist – TIE Aggressor – 25 Points.

Total is 96 or 100 points used.

List building: Finishing Touches

I have 4 points to play with still, this is good. Maarek needs upgrades but now I know what I have to play with. Maarek should be defensive and survive to the end game if possible. Lets use the X-7 Title. That gives me 2 points rather than costing me more. The X-7 gives me a free evade if I move speed 3 or more great for the Defenders dial. This is also interesting in that it sets up the Elite Pilot Talent: Juke. This might help Maarek push through critical damage, or force an opponent to at least spend his focus both of which I am okay with.

Still have 4 points after that. Options are out there. There is the option to upgrade Vynder to a Heavy Laser Cannon. I can give Maarek either a Hull Upgrade or Stealth Device to help him stay alive longer.  I could also upgrade Vynder to Advanced Slam for 2 points to allow him another action when he does have to Slam. Then still use 1 point for Twin Ion Engines MK II for Maarek giving him more green options should he need them.

So here is my final list:

Maarek Stele – TIE Defender – (35)

  • Juke (2)
  • TIE X-7 Title (-2)
  • Twin Ion Engine MKII (1)

Major Vynder – Alpha-Class Star Wing (26)

  • XG-1 Assault Configuration (1)
  • Flechette Cannon (2)
  • Mangler Cannon (4)
  • Advanced Slam (2)

Sienar Specialist – TIE Aggressor (17)

  • Twin Laser Turret (6)
  • Light Weight Frame (2)

Total 99 Points. So I have a small bid against other PS 7 and lower ships. Three ships that will create some decision making for opponents. Ships that will also compliment each other when flying. Decently high pilot skills and overall survivability and maneuverability which will give the list some decent options time and again. Next time I’ll look at how to make this list work on the Mat and how to approach different types of list with it.

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