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X-Wing Wave 9 and Imperial Veterans Review
The first time I took delivery of X-Wing ships, their quality just blew me away. Over nine full waves and the odd side release, we've become bored by perfection. Cracking open the clamshell on this batch, assembling dials and storing away the models felt almost mechanical. Then I sat down to makes some lists to test them out. It took two hours to make one competitive fleet for each of the three factions. Two hours I could have spent playing instead.
The game is in a better spot now than it has ever been. Sure the learning curve is not a low as it was, but the options are what keep serious players flying.
Additionally the game outside of competitive tournament play is still as approachable as ever. You like Luke and Poe then fly them, have fun make pew pew noises when shooting. It's still easy to find people who play that way.
Rebooting a game like this always sucks, and the new version usually has plenty of its own issues.
I thought I FFG has done a great job managing the issues with game balance that come up. They did well with the changes to the phantom, and have done it agai by fixing the jumpmaster and reigning in wedge.
I prefer that to a split of the game or a 2.0.
As you pointed out the game is loose enough that if you want to play only Force Awakens pilots or OT pilots the. You and your local group can do so.
Otherwise, if I turn up at a club or a friend's house, how do we agree a common point for what's ok and what's not for a casual game? And if we don't have that common ground, who decided to take more tournament grade combos is going to win before a dice gets rolled.
You're right that the exponential complexity won't affect people at either end of the spectrum. But there's a big fat stack of people in the middle form whom it's becoming a bummer to deal with. And I'm not sure we're not far off breaking point on some of the serious players either.
My experience at least here in the Nova area is that if you show up at a store an stat your play style or what you are looking to do that people will happily play a "for funzies" long list against you, or even help you build a competitive one.
Sure this game might be moving past the pick up and play stage (although I think you can still do that). But if you want that I'll point you to the flavor of the month light euro.
As for x-wing, I am definitely at the point of picking and choosing individual ships from rah wave rather than buying the whole wave(or multiples!) at once. Talonbane Cobra I'm looking at you. So imperial veterans yes, maybe that scum interceptor and that's probably it for this wave for me.