Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to me!
No, it's not my actual 50th birthday but this post marks my 50th Stay On The Leader blog post!!! In time honoured American sitcom I'm celebrating that milestone by taking the opportunity to put my feet up and run a cheap episode that's just a clip show of the best bits from past episodes.
I get a lot more readers today than when I first started out, so hopefully some of this will be new to you and taking a click back through my best bits will be well worthwhile. So let's head down memory lane...
BLOGS FOR THOSE JUST STARTING OUT
- Flight School 101 - My very first blog! In which my mind gets blown by all the implications of the 1 Forward template being the same length as a small ship base. Yes, I really did start at square one.
- Buying Guides for Rebels / Imperials / Scum - my buying guides have been a perennial favourite, each of them viewed thousands more times than any of my other posts. The Rebel and Imperial guides have recently been updated with new sets and info, and hopefully I'll get round to updating the Scum guide very soon (hint: buy the Punishing One expansion).
- X-Wing Dice For Beginners Part I and Part II - from when I was first wrapping my head around the game mechanics these remain a hugely useful pair of blogs that I still use in my thinking for pretty much every game I play, and every squad I build. The basics of how X-Wing maths works, and how you can use them to help you make better squads without too much effort.
- Rookie Pilots - Chasing Critical Hits - starting my 'Rookie Pilots' series, why cards that focus on critical hits can be a trap to lure in new players.
- Rookie Pilots - Ignoring Dice Modification - learn to balance positioning on the table with using your actions to make your dice count!
BLOGS FOR THOSE TRYING TO GET SERIOUS
- Variance, TIE Interceptors and Novak Djokovic - my first really serious strategy blog, diving into the detail of how dice variance changes how you should view the game. When to avoid unwanted variance and when to go long and make variance your ally. Oh, and how to win $10,000 from playing tennis.
- How To Lose At X-Wing - one of the most unexpected titles for maybe my most important blog. Learning how to lose means learning to be honest about WHY you lost, and how to respond to that defeat so that you're stronger in future.
- Understanding the Metagame - it's a word you probably heard bandied about a lot, but what does the metagame actually mean. What does it mean to you, and ultimately do you even care? Does it even exist?!?
- The Puzzle of Squad Balance - my most recent blog, which looks at how the pieces in your squad need to come together and work in harmony to pose a tricky puzzle for your opponent.
BLOGS WHERE I LOOKED AT THE FUTURE OF X-WING AND BASICALLY SORT OF NAILED IT
- Jumpmaster, He's So Hot Right Now - as the now infamous Punishing One expansion hit stores I looked at precisely why I thought it was going to become a big deal, breaking down why the Jumpmaster 5000 was going to revolutionise X-Wing by finally making torpedoes good.
- Attani Mindlink - The Next Big Thing? - can you believe I did it again? In my defense although I was hyping up Mindlink pretty early I was only reporting on what others were already doing and saying "hey guys, I think there's something about to happen here". Those paying attention to my comments section below the article would have seen the very first public discussion about Paratanni, which was yet to become a household name. Also: Pacific Rim is shit.
- A Magic Perspective on Draws in X-Wing - it seems so long ago, but an FAQ last year threw the cat among the pigeons by making it legal to agree to draw a match with your opponent without ever setting a single dial. As the Drawpocalypse threatened to become a reality I looked to my friends in the Magic: The Gathering community to explain why FFG should just remove draws entirely from X-Wing. Then shortly afterwards FFG removed draws entirely from X-Wing. Yay, we won!
- Introducing 'Super Miranda' - after a strong showing at Worlds 2016 I set out to explain why Miranda Doni was positioned to become the best ship in the Rebel fleet, and one of the most potent and challenging threats you can face from any faction. K-Wings, Sabine Wren, Conner Nets... the future was here.
AND... BLOGS WHERE I ACTUALLY GOT TO PLAY SOME X-WING!
- Top-16 at UK Nationals with Slaughterhouse - my signature elite TIE Swarm, the Slaughterhouse, took me into the Top-16 of my first ever major X-Wing tournament. I recount in detail two intensely tight games from the sharp end of Nationals.
- Introducing Phoenix Squadron - still one of my favourite squads to actually fly, the fast-moving and focus-hurling shenanigans of Snap Shot A-Wings and the brand new Operations Specialist!
- Eight Falcons In Four Rounds - I use a casual tournament to set myself a real challenge by playing EIGHT different YT-1300 ships in just FOUR rounds! What worked? What didn't? What would I try differently in future? And just how the hell did I win a game with Outer Rim Smuggler?!?!?
- Auxiliary ARCS - Rebellion's Most Versatile Ship - a long love letter to a ship I originally ignored but which has gradually won me over, the ARC-170. All the pilots are great and I explain why they help the ARC to become an essential part of the Rebel arsenal.
- Flying the Special Forces TIE Fighter - and all the way bang up to date with my current squad, rocking the newest brand of murderous H-based ships!
50 NOT OUT
50 down, with plenty more to come. I've had my wobbles with X-Wing and at one point felt like I'd never make it to my 50th blog. Thankfully I've managed to rediscover my mojo and I'm looking forward to many more blogs to come, which I hope you'll join me for!
I'm just going to leave you with one last link, to one of my very favourite (and stupidest) blogs!
Thanks for reading (so far)!