Some Dirty (but Legal!) X-Wing Tricks

X-Wing started out as a dogfighting game; bluff, out-position, and out-dice your opponents.  However, as more content gets pumped into the game, the design space is opening up.  This allows players to employ disruptive and unorthodox tactics that can catch their opponents off-guard.

There’s really no substitute for the feeling you get when you do something perfectly legal that your opponent hadn’t anticipated. There are some dirty X-Wing tricks out there, and I’m going to share some of the ones I know.

Using Expose on 0 Agility Ships

Ok, so this is an easy one.  A Decimator can equip and use Expose easier than other ships because of the 0 Agility value. Not only that, but if it the Decimator was to defend at Range 3 or through an obstruction, it would still get to roll one green die.

When calculating agility values, you never take into account negative numbers.  For instance, if your agility is 1 and you have two tractor beam tokens on you, you agility is not -1, it is 0 and never goes below 0.  Second, the range bonus for being attacked at Range 3 does not affect your agility value, it simply adds a die to your roll.

Normally, Expose is a pretty terrible card, but if you have ways of getting passive dice modifications (Kallus, RAC’s ability, Operations Specialist) then having the extra attack can really add a punch.

Double Kills with Sabine Crew

Sabine can trigger off of bombs that do no damage.  She can also deal damage to someone that was not hit with a bomb as long as they were within Range 1 of it (like Cluster Mines), allowing you to get potential double-kills.

TIE Bomb

The TIE not hitting the bomb can still suffer damage from it via Sabine’s ability.

Scavenger Crane and Mods

Keep in mind, Scavenger Crane activates every time a ship is destroyed at Range 1-2.  Not an enemy ship…any ship.  There are some consumable Modifications that take advantage of this to great effect, such as Captured TIE (yeah, the Title is Sabine’s Masterpiece, dummy) and Countermeasures.

For instance, say you have Ahsoka in a Captured TIE, but she decides it’s worth the risk to shoot (losing Captured TIE) and gets a kill.  She can then “scavenge” Captured TIE back onto her ship and is unable to be attacked.

With Countermeasures, you can pop ’em and get not only the extra agility (which is nice) but also shake a target lock.  If something dies, you can recover your Countermeasures to pull the same trick twice.  Also, if you have two ships equipped with the Crane, they can both scavenge off of the same destroyed ship.  Huehuehuehuehue.

Pushing the Limit Before your Maneuver

There are several pilots that allow repositioning actions before a maneuver is resolved.  If you do a green maneuver and have Push the Limit, you can perform the reposition action, perform another action via Push, then clear the stress from the green maneuver, then perform the action you are normally granted. An example is Poe with BB-8 and Push the Limit: Reveal a green, BB-8 Barrel Roll, Push off of that, then do the green move clearing stress and leaving you open to taking another action. Don’t forget though, you can’t perform the same action twice in the same turn, so don’t try it!

Pushing the Limit in the Combat Phase

Similarly, as long as you’re not stressed, getting a free action in the Combat Phase can allow you to “Push” off of it. A common one back in the days of Interceptors was Turr Phennir.  During the activation phase, he can do a single action.  Then, after attacking, can do a free reposition action (via his ability), then Push the Limit for a second action, potentially boosting AND barrel rolling out of danger.

Now, no one uses Interceptors, but Decimators show up from time to time.  Now, if you have PS4 Captain Oicinn equipped with Push the Limit, Engine Upgrade, and Ysane Issard, you wait for Issard’s ability to trigger at the start of the Combat Phase (which is an evade action) then “Push” off of that to boost, allowing you repositioning prowess that your low PS normally hinders.  On top of that, you can set yourself up for a green move that will hopefully bump an enemy, since you’re likely moving first.

Kanan, Rex, and Your (lack of) Attack Dice

So, both of these ships can mess with your enemy’s attack dice. Captain Rex can shoot at a target and place the Suppressive Fire condition on them.  Then, if Kanan manages to get into Range 1-2 and has a focus token, both effects can trigger.  As long as Rex is alive and not getting shot by this target (*cough* Biggs *cough*), you can remove two of their attack dice.  If you get this combo on Omega Leader at Range 2, she can’t shoot!  Stay alive long enough to drop a Damaged Weapon crit on someone and not even a 3 attack ship can fire.  Haha, it’s a real dirty trick.

A TIE Fighter rolls 0 attack dice due to Kanan's ability and the Suppressive Fire condition

Rex has “Suppressive Fire” on that TIE Fighter; if Kanan uses his ability, that TIE is rolling 0 dice…

Ruthlessness and Multiple Attacks

A good home for this is a TIE/D Defender with Tractor Beam Cannon. If the Tractor Beam hits, that effect triggers before Ruthlessness so you can boost or barrel roll it into Range 1 of another ship.  Then, and fire with your primary weapon, hopefully hitting and triggering Ruthlessness again.

Additionally, if Quickdraw with Ruthlessness has targets in both arc and the ability triggers, lol.  Super unlikely, but there’s potential to deal an extra 4 damage.

Using Palpatine outside of Combat

Most of the time, Palpatine is best used with those high agility, low health ships. You either need that crit result or you need the insurance of getting at least one evade.  However, there are a few corner cases where using Palp can make or break a game.  For instance, using him when one of your ships flies over a bomb, or when you absolutely NEED to fix a Damaged Weapon card can catch your opponent off-guard.

Or…if you want to see one of the dirtiest X-Wing tricks, use Palp with a big based ship and Ion Projector.  If you position yourself correctly, your target will never move, shoot, or take an action for the rest of the game.  Even worse, Captain Oicinn can take full advantage of this combo and ram enemy ships to death.

Captain Oicinn making use of Palpatine and Ion Projector against an enemy Starviper.

If Captain Oicinn uses Palpatine and Ion Projector, this Starviper is toast!

Missing Your Attack on Purpose

This dirty trick has been around for a while, mainly on RAC + Vader (thus triggering Vader twice), but there are some other modern iterations.  IG88-B with Fire Control System and Heavy Laser Cannon typically wants to miss the initial attack on a new target unless he rolls maximum results. This also opens the door for Triple-Tap Bossk who can attack twice with IG88-D Crew (assuming B is around), a Cannon, and Gunner crew.  Technically, IG-B’s ability triggers during the same timing window as Gunner.  While Gunner has the stipulation of “you cannot perform another attack this round,” IG-B does not.  Bossk can shoot first with whatever weapon, miss, then can make a Cannon, then Primary Weapon attack.

The more viable one, however, is Braylen Stresshog (R3A2 + Gunner + Alliance Overhaul). This one is pretty common by now, but you can choose not to use your Alliance Overhaul on your first shot and do your best to miss.  R3-A2 triggers on your first shot, then Gunner triggers, allowing you to place another stress on your target.  Just don’t forget to roll your extra die with the Alliance Overhaul on the second shot 😉

Double Torp Dengar

If you have Dengar with K4 Security Droid, R4 Agromech, and 2 Torpedoes, you can pull this off with a little cooperation fromyour opponent.  Do a green move into torpedo arc and range (triggering K4) then take a focus action.  Shoot your torpedo, making sure to spend your focus (triggering Agromech) and get your target lock back.  If your opponent is silly enough to shoot at you, *KAPOW!* Double Torp!  In all actuality, this second torpedo probably isn’t a great idea as you’re probably out of tokens and Guidance Chips only work once per round.  But hey, if you trust your dice or have passive dice mods (like Predator) it might turn out to be a real dirty X-Wing trick.

Double-Drop Falcon

OK…this one is a lot of effort for a one-time trick, but the look on your opponent’s face will be worth it. Sabine, Kanan, Experimental Interface, Smuggling Compartment, TFA Millennium Falcon Title, Rigged Cargo Chute, “Action:” Bomb of choice. Falcon can do the 3 S-Loop/Kanan Combo leaving you unstressed (which is dirty in itself)  The idea is, you S-Loop right in front of an enemy, then trigger EI to drop both things, ideally on on their current position. Normally you can’t drop two bombs a turn…but wait…Rigged Cargo Chute is not a bomb, is it? 😉

A Falcon drops both a debris cloud as well as a bomb with Experimental Interface.

Palob will suffer the effects of the debris field as well as the two Cluster Mines he’s overlapping.

To be fair, this one will probably get FAQ’d and you might lose some friends over it, but who cares?

Free Target Lock off of a Burnout SLAM

Have K4, do a SLAM that is a green move, get free a Target Lock! For instance, with Bossk, you can 3-Turn, SLAM into a 3-Forward (which is green) and trigger K4, setting yourself up for heavy damage next turn. Don’t forget, you can SLAM after performing the 1-Forward maneuver from being ionized, as well.

Taking/Giving Tokens and Attanni

Everybody knows how crazy Attanni Mindlink is. However, here’s one you might not realize. If you have Attanni Mindlink equipped and your squad has abilities that pass or steal focus tokens (like Manaroo, Palob, or Leeachos) then you’ve got one hell of a combo.   You can use those abilities to either steal or give focus tokens and then focus up the whole squad!


This is basically how mindlink squadrons work.

Palob is a great one; your entire team takes target lock actions, and as long as you’re sure Palob is in range and has a token to steal, he can focus up the entire squad.  Manaroo or Leeachos can lead to double-focused ships as once either of their abilities are used, the ship losing the focus suddenly gets it back!  It’s difficult to make sense of in writing, but once you put it on the board, it’s very effective.

MoV Desperation Tactics

Your dying ship vs an opponent’s large based ship that has lost half it’s points, but can somehow recover damage, like IG-88A, or Bossk with Gonk Crew.  Imagine it’s the Planning Phase and they are at half health (which means half points for you!). However, you’re out of position or going to get PS killed, giving your opponent the chance to regain their shields.

If you think the game is over, just set your dial to fly off the board and deny them the chance 😉

Haha, it’s reeeeeal dirty, but if you give them the chance to regen that will put them back over the half-points threshold and you will receive 0 MoV for that ship, which can make or break your standings at a tournament!

Dirty and Illegal Tricks you Should NEVER Do:

Now, all of these things I’ve listen are within the rules and aren’t designed as rules exploits or things to dishonestly win the game.  Here some things you should NEVER do.

  • NEVER touch your maneuver dial without telling your opponent. You know what this is in reference to…
  • NEVER do shady stuff with your dice.  At Worlds, I saw people just dropping their dice from up high so they scatter everywhere and are difficult to verify.  I also saw people try to “slide” dice onto the table with a desirable result face-up (like a blank when they hit an asteroid).
  • NEVER pick up your dice unless they’ve been fully resolved.
  • NEVER move your ship until you’ve reveal the dial and the template is fully in place.
  • NEVER touch an opponent’s ship, tokens, etc without their permission.
  • NEVER get upset because you missed an opportunity and it’s too late to go back. Just Fly Better 😉
  • NEVER let your play area get messy.  I’m guilty of this one as well, but you shouldn’t be leaving templates/rulers on the table. Additionally, I should be able to clearly see your discarded upgrades, remaining shields, as well as damage cards without having to ask you.
  • NEVER offer commentary or advice on a game you’re not playing in.  X-Wing is 1v1, so if your buddies are trying to chat you up, tell them to shut up!
  • NEVER blatantly cheat.  EVER.  This should go without saying, but if you do….huehuehue I’ve got some dirty tricks I’d looooooooove to show you 😉 😉 😉

Until next time!

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