An Introduction

Hi, my name is Joe. Well, actually, no my name is Dylan but I’ll explain that later.
I have a confession to make. I don’t want to take up any more of your time under false pretences so I’ll just come right out and say it:

I’ve never won a tournament

I don’t have any shiny dice or fancy templates (ones that I’ve won anyway)

I often lose games against the resident 10-year-old at my local gaming store.

Now if you’re an avid blog reader looking to improve your game, hone your skills and try to fly better (and if so then props to you!) you can probably stop reading now as this blog is probably not for you.

This is not 1337 content. You have been warned

Who is this blog for then? Well more than anything it’s probably just a way to put down my thoughts on (virtual, electronic) paper so that I can look back in the future. A posterity blog really. A plog?? I’m not going to label it.
I’m just a guy who likes to play X-wing and does ok. I don’t have any aspirations to qualify for a worlds invite and I’m not likely travel abroad for a tournament. I just enjoyed playing.

So maybe that’s who this blog is for. Just your average Joe who doesn’t have four or five of every ship (or even 1 of every ship), who plays once or twice a fortnight, who is totally fine with mid-table mediocrity in a tournament, who loves Star Wars (and hates the fact that Corran Horn isn’t in an X-Wing and isn’t a force user) and just enjoys reading little snippets of X-wing news/insight/advice during the day while scrolling through Facebook.

So I guess yes, my name is Joe. Average Joe. Nice to meet you.

So being that this is my first blog entry (and hopefully not my last!) I’ve got quite a lot of ideas that I’d like to put down and I’m having to restrain myself from splurging everything down all at once. So I think I’ll start from the very beginning (very good place to start).

I am not quite 2 years into my X-Wing journey. It all started quite innocently in my local gaming store that September. You see my local store is in quite a sneaky/genius location. It’s in Tesco.

A shop within a shop. Shop-ception, if you will….

Yes, Firestorm Games in Cardiff decided to expand and put a smaller store into my closest Tesco in Newport (South Wales). I was in the store with my youngest son, Toby, who was 8 at the time and just about getting into Pokémon seriously (as in, spending a serious amount of my money on it). He’s actually really very good at strategy games, card games, board games, any games really and regularly trounces the rest of the family at Monopoly. Anyway, whilst popping in to Tesco to pick up some bread and milk I was about to buy him up a foil pack of Pokémon when I bumped into a friend of mine, Matt. He was just about to purchase a game called Star Wars X-Wing miniatures. He, like me, likes Star Wars and wanted something that he could do with his then 11 year old son and this look like fun. My 11 year old, Cai, also likes Star Wars and was very intrigued about the game (as was I but I was trying to restrain my inner geek). My friend invited Cai over to play it with them and so it began.

Two weeks later my son had played 3 games and decided he wanted his own ship. With his own money he bought a special forces tie (TIE/sf) to take with him to play in the next game. at this point I thought I should see what it’s all about. We both went over to Matt’s house one evening and played a very informal game on the dining table where I was introduced to the basics of the game.

I liked it.

When I was a kid I had been into Warhammer (the only for the models and painting, which I was not great at) and later played some MTG (Magic: The Gathering, a card based game) so I really had no idea what I was doing with tabletop gaming. The whole concept of how the game ran with rounds rather than turns tickled my brain and I liked it.

Now here’s the thing. I’m not very strategic. Tactics are not a strong point of mine but at this point it was too soon to realise how important that might be. I was able to relive moments from my childhood pushing plastic spaceships across a table with a 2-hour montage of Star Wars music playing in the background. I’m in.

Another fortnight passes and my youngest son is attending a Pokémon tournament at our local store. My eldest son sees the opportunity and pounces. “Can we please buy a core set? Pleeeeeeeease?!”
We buy a core set (the Force Awakens 1.0 version), unwrap everything on a table in the corner while the Pokémon tournament continues and play our first solo game using the ‘out of the box’ rules with one T-70 X-wing and two TIE/fo’s.

Did we know what we were getting into? No. No we did not.

Not too long after this we start to attend our local store’s gaming night and while the numbers weren’t huge there were enough people that you weren’t playing the same person every week and the standard was pretty high. A couple of other people had also just started to play including a friend of my youngest son (the aforementioned now ten-year-old that regularly beats me) and his father so there was some common ground with a few of us. There were also a few seasoned pros with enough knowledge and experience to advise us newbies as we started out.

I think I’ll leave it here for now. There’s more I can say but I feel this is a reasonable intro with a natural end to it. If you’ve managed to read this far well done!

Whether you’re a fan of game of thrones or not and whether you had issues with the final series or not there is a speech at the very end by Tyrion Lannister that I very much agree with.

“What unites people? Armies? Gold? Flags? No. It’s stories. There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story. Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it”

The story is a powerful thing. This is my X-Wing story. There’s more to my X-Wing story but there’s also more to my story than X-wing. Maybe bits of it will come up as we go if I do actually write any more. My son is excited at the thought of sharing like this and may have something to say further down the line so I think maybe I will write more.

We would be honoured if you would join us.

Insertion of this GIF suggested by Master Cai Jones