Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Set S-Foils in Attack Position! A Beginner's Guide to the T-70 X-Wing

I'm pretty certain that, with the new Force Awakens core set landing in so many new players hands over Christmas, I'm not the only person out there itching to get behind the control stick of the brand new T-70 X-Wing.

With that in mind it's what I'm going to be talking about in this blog - the strengths and weaknesses of the T-70 vs other ships, and popular ways of loading up a T-70 and their key aces, like Poe Dameron.  Finally I'm going to leave you with the triple T-70 list that I'm enjoying playing at the moment.


First off, let's go to the shop and build us a T-70 X-Wing to fly!  Now it turns out that's pretty much all you'll need is the shell of an old T-65 X-Wing and a few common spare parts that you've probably got lying around the place...

Albert Einstein would have you believe that the whole is more than the sum of its parts, but that's not true for the T-70 because you get 29pts worth of ship for only 24 pts - that's a 17% improvement in efficiency over the starfighter that destroyed the first Death Star!  

There's a strong argument that, over time as new Waves of ships have been released, the humble X-Wing has been left behind a little by the newer toys available to players and so it's not actually that hard to be better than the Rookie Pilot.  There's truth in that but the T-70's statline is clearly an impressive upgrade on a ship that's still seeing tournament play in the form of Wedge and Biggs.

And in fact the T-70 X-Wing is better even than that, because not only do you get a bargain extra Shield and the useful Boost action for just 3pts but the T-70 also has the option to attach a Tech upgrade (a limited choice at the moment, but better than no choice at all) and a better maneuver dial than the classic X-Wing, with a green 3 Forwards (which is actually very useful, as I'll discuss later) and the unique Tallon Roll maneuver.

All told there's really no mistaking that the T-70 X-Wing is a top notch ship that clearly outperforms the original X-Wing for very little extra in the way of points.  The T-70 also compares favourably to similar all-rounder starfighters like the TIE Defender and E-Wing, bringing you comparable stats & abilities and a better maneuver dial, all for fewer points.  If the T-65 X-Wing was looking a bit tired and dated, the T-70 is right at the cutting edge.

"I always wanted to fly one of these things!"
- Poe Dameron 
(about a TIE Fighter, but whatever...)

The great strength of the T-70 X-Wing is precisely that cost-effective blend of being quite fast, and quite agile, and quite tough and dealing quite a lot of damage.  That all-rounder ability might also be its greatest weakness, however, as while the T-70 is quite good at everything there isn't really any one thing that it's great at.  There are ships out there that are tougher, or hit harder, or fly faster, and if your opponent can manage to play to his squad's strengths then your T-70s are likely to get outmatched.  

As we'll also see, it's possible to fine-tune your T-70s to become experts in a chosen field if you really want, but to my mind the secret to the success of T-70s is therefore to be the one driving the mismatches.  Don't go head to head with a tougher ship so try to outmaneuver them, but also don't try to outmaneuver the faster ship and instead try and trade blows straight-up.  If you can play to your opponent's weaknesses then the T-70s will live up the task of exploiting those shortcomings and give you the win.

To my mind, and maybe to yours as well, there's a better reason to be flying a T-70 X-Wing, though: that the game is called X-Wing.  It's right there on the box!  Do you know many kids who begged to be allowed to be Gold Leader instead of Luke Skywalker or Biggs Darklighter?  I didn't.  

"When I grow up I want to be a K-Wing pilot"... said NOBODY EVER!

Right now it seems like a lot of tournament loadouts are centered around turrets, ion cannons and Lambda shuttles.  I'm sure they're fantastically effective but I didn't start playing this game because I was excited about the idea of flying in a straight line and attritively removing shields with a low-powered Twin Laser Turret.  No, I started playing this game so that I could swoop in behind a TIE Fighter with superior piloting and blow them out of the sky!  

The T-70 really delivers on that style of play, as I'm about to try and convince you.


Poe Dameron

The finest pilot in the Resistance, Poe Dameron is the poster child for budding T-70 X-Wing pilots everywhere.  He's also the pilot that you're most likely to see in X-Wing tournaments, with Poe featuring in nothing less than the 2015 World Championship winning squad, piloted by Paul Heaver!  The configuration that Heaver played has become known as 'Standard Poe'.

'Standard Poe' is a good all-round brawler, and actually his primary advantage is that with his pilot ability, Autothrusters and R2-D2 he's very tough to kill.  Poe's pilot ability (turning Focus icons into Hit or Dodge icons without actually spending a Focus token) means that Poe can get extra Dodge results against multiple attackers, his Autothrusters make him strong against turrets and at long range, while R2-D2 will repair any lost shields he might suffer.  A slight variation on this 'Standard Poe' is that R2-D2's shield repair function is often replaced with that of R5-P9, who has good synergy with the fact that Poe doesn't need to spend his Focus tokens.

Probably the most common other way of flying Poe is to give him his trusty astromech unit BB-8 and combine that with Push The Limit to create a very different type of proposition to 'Standard Poe'.  The strength of the 'BB-8 Poe' is speed and maneuverability, as BB-8 combines with Push The Limit to allow Poe to barrel roll & boost at will before he executes his normal move, and still gain the all-important Focus token after it!  This all comes at the cost of losing R2-D2/R5-P9's extra shields, and the extra pilot skill of Veteran Instincts to help him avoid the likes of Soontir Fel.

'BB-8 Poe' is my weapon of choice because I'm just so attracted to the unique moves that it allows you to pull off.  With BB-8 and Push The Limit you can combine to move your T-70 well out of position between REVEALING your green maneuver and actually EXECUTING that maneuver.

I'll show you some examples...

In the "Dameron Dash" you reveal a straight 3 Forward move (which is green for the T-70 X-Wing, remember?) but when you find that this would put you into the line of fire you can switch it up.  It's a green move so you can trigger BB-8 to barrel-roll away to the right, then Push The Limit after BB-8 to boost right as well.  Push The Limit gives you a stress, but now you execute that 3 Forward move and clear the stress after finishing a green move, and Poe can now Focus as well.

The "Dameron Dash" in action...
In the staged example above (based on how it actually worked in a real game) Poe ducks inside two TIE escorts and gets right in on the Lambda Shuttle.

No other move than the "Dameron Dash" could put your ship where it ends up... and all off a 3 Forward!  Now although I named it after Poe Dameron the "Dameron Dash" is not unique to Poe, but it is unique to a T-70 X-Wing with BB-8 and Push The Limit, which means there's only a couple of pilots who can use it!

The "Dameron Dash" is awesome but in fact the BB-8/PTL combination is very flexible, and this is a two-part example of how differently you can fly with a simple 1 Bank Left maneuver you reveal.  In the first version Poe goes on the offense, with a Barrel Roll/Boost to the right before banking back in to get a shot on the TIE Interceptor, now safely out of arc of return fire.

In the second version, with the same move from the same starting position, a barrel roll and Boost in the opposite direction means the revealed bank maneuver gets Poe out to Range 3.  That gives him an extra green dice, and in my build also triggers his Autothrusters so he's pretty safe.

I believe that the "BB-8 Poe" is a very strong Ace to field, even if he is vulnerable compared to the "Standard Poe" version.  It's definitely a much more exciting version as well, as Poe can speed around the table doing whatever he wants... a real blast to play!

Ello Asty

You'll need to pick up the T-70 Expansion Pack to use Ello Asty, but he brings something utterly unique to the table - a white Tallon Roll.  The Tallon Roll, a combination of sharp turn and a K-Turn, is a move that only T-70 X-Wings can pull off but for most pilots it's a red maneuver that severely limits their options after it's been executed.  Not only can they not perform an action like Focus or Target Lock, but they'll need to pick a green maneuver next turn to clear the stress.  

But not Ello Asty, who can T-Roll in his sleep, and often does... even if it often means him flipping himself out of bed and onto the floor.  

When Ello Asty gets into his X-Wing at the start of the day he T-Rolls across the bonnet and into the chair.  

When he needs to grab a drink from the fridge? T-Roll.   

Surprised by a loud noise? T-Roll.

TL;DR - Ello Asty T-Rolls.  A lot.

What's even more exciting than a white T-Roll is the potential of combining it with a Boost action to reposition yourself coming out of that Tallon Roll, which is something that currently only Ello Asty can manage... and it's a very powerful talent to have!  Just like how the BB-8/PTL combination gives you a lot of options from the same maneuver, so the white T-Roll/Boost can make unique moves.

In this example Ello Asty follows his T-Roll with a Boost left.  This move is basically impossible for anybody else - to flip 135 degrees like that while barely moving across the table is incredibly powerful.

And below is an example of flipping that Boost the other way - now your ship has basically slipped sideways rather than travelling forwards, and still flipped around 135 degrees in the other direction!

I like Ello Asty a lot, and unlike Poe or the other aces he doesn't really need a specific loadout to use his party trick.  The one thing I think he is lacking is something to give him a bit more 'bite', especially when he's using a Boost after his T-Roll and so cannot Target Lock or Focus.  An ability like Outmaneuver or Predator might sit well with Ello Asty as it adds to his damage output without requiring you to spend an action.

"Red Ace"

If the "Standard Poe" list was about making Poe a tough guy to kill then Red Ace arguably goes even further if you choose to put his Evade tokens front & center in your build for him.  Whenever Red Ace takes a hit to his shields he gains an Evade token that effectively replaces it (instead of a Shield soaking a hit, you Evade the hit), and with a Comm Relay equipped on his X-Wing he can then carry than Evade token through into later rounds until he needs it.  Then add R2-D2's shield-repairing skills into the equation on top and it means that Red Ace is virtually immortal unless you can hit him with a ton of firepower in a short period of time!

It's not a very aggressive list, but you could pair this up with the 'Standard Poe' (using R5-P9) to fly two extremely resilient ships and simply grind your opponent down by refusing to take damage!

"Blue Ace"

While Red Ace is like a mini version of 'Standard Poe' the Blue Ace is maybe more like the 'BB-8 Poe' in bringing a unique Boost effect to the table.  The biggest shame here is that Blue Ace doesn't come with an Elite Pilot Talent native to his action bar for you to give him the BB-8/Push The Limit combination, as adding hard Boost turns into the options that Poe has would give you some really crazy movement options!

One of the most attractive ways to use Blue Ace is to give him that Elite Pilot Talent through pairing him with R2-D6, which cuts you off from the BB-8 barrel roll trickery, but works wonderfully well with Integrated Astromech as one of the cheapest ways to add that extra resilience to your T-70.  With R2-D6 on board the options for Blue Ace open up a lot more and you can add Elite Pilot Talents like Outmaneuver, or cheat a second 'Boost' by playing Daredevil!  The addition of Daredevil again allows some unique maneuvers - effectively you can either 'wiggle' in an S-shape at the end of any move, or pull a sharp U-turn, giving you a lot of fine-tuning control at the end of any move.

The R2-D6/Daredevil plan helps the Blue Ace move quickly but it's a pricey selection of kit!  Much more cheaply the Blue Ace can steal Poe's astromech and attach BB-8.  With BB-8's barrel roll on board the Blue Ace becomes a very tight-turning starfighter, ideal for close quarters dogfighting.

Much like with Poe you can reveal something simple like a shallow 1 Left turn then use BB-8s barrel roll and the special tight Boost turns to put your ship almost anywhere you want, facing almost any direction you want!  If BB-8 isn't following Poe Dameron around then there's a lot worse things you can do than stick him with Blue Ace instead.

Edit: it's been mentioned to me that Redditor SeijiTataki had explored the potential for Blue Ace long before I started playing, and if you'd like some more ideas for how to use Blue Ace then check this out.


If I've not convinced you to give your T-70 X-Wing a try by now then I probably never will, which leaves me with just one more task.  At the top of the blog I said I'd share with you the squad that I've been playing recently.  So here it is...

I'm running 3x T-70, with a fully-loaded Poe Dameron leading the charge.  Backing him up I initially gave Ello Asty a disposable Integrated R2 Astromech to help him keep flying, and also loaded him up with Weapons Guidance (I think I've improved on this since, btw).  Rounding out the points I took the basic Blue Squadron Novice, handing him a Targeting Astromech (good coming out of T-Rolls and K-Turns) which was also Integrated to help him survive.

I played this list in my first casual tournament (and actually did very well!) and I'm going to tell you how that went next time!

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Flight School 101 - Director's Cut Extras

So you know how George Lucas went back and basically fucked with everything in the original trilogy by putting cartoon lizards and 'wacky' droids and reprehensibly bad CGI Jabba the Hutts (not to mention 4th wall-breaking Boba Fetts) into his Director's Cut?

Well this isn't like that.

Instead, think of this as being more like the DVD Extras, as all I'm really going to be doing is sharing with you a few more tricks for better flying that are really just that little bit more complicated than those I put in my first blog.  I also asked veteran pilots to share more tricks with me and some did, so I'm including those as well.

So, without waiting for Greedo to shoot first I'm going to pick up where I left off in my last blog and plunge right on with Tip 7...

7) The move ruler is half a ship length wide: Barrel Roll Edition.

So last time I explained that the rulers you use to measure out your moves are half a ship's base wide, and how that actually makes them useful in planning out tight starting formations, like so...

Well the fact that they're half a ship wide is also important when it comes to throwing Barrel Roll actions.  You see when you Barrel Roll, unlike with a forward move, you can choose where to put the barrel roll ruler on the side of your ship and it doesn't have to be central.  Likewise it doesn't have to be dead centre when you finish moving your ship either.

Reading between the lines this means that you can 'steal' half a ship length forward with a Barrel Roll if you put the ruler at the front edge of your ship's base, then move your ship so that the back edge of your base is lined up at the end of the Barrel Roll.  And if you can steal half a move forward then you can also steal half a move back if you do it the opposite way.

This might not sound like much but the difference between a Barrel Roll as far forward as possible or as far back as possible is a whole ship length, and that could be the difference between ending your turn in range of a shot or not.  And combined with other movement actions like a Boost (with Push To The Limit meaning you get to do both a Barrel Roll and a Boost in one turn) this can start to add up to an awful lot of fine control over exactly where you finish your move. It's actually a key element of many of the 'Arc Dodger' competitive squads (which is a concept I'll talk about in more detail in a future blog), but if it's winning tournaments then clearly it's a trick worth learning.

So, in googling 'Do a Barrel Roll' to find a picture from Starfox to illustrate this tip with I happened to find out what happens when you google 'Do a Barrel Roll'.  The guys at Google are real nerds.  I like that.  Anyway, it distracted me so much I forgot to get a Starfox picture for the illustration so you'll have to make do with just these functional photos of it actually happening...

8) "The Rule of Eleven"

I hadn't heard of 'the rule of eleven' until a veteran pilot ('Heptara' on reddit) replied to my first blog by pointing it out.  The 'rule of eleven' means that the two squad deployment zones are far enough apart at the start of the game that the ships need to move at least eleven ship lengths forward (between them) before they're close enough to start shooting at each other at Range 3.

That's important information to have at your disposal, the question really is: what you want to do with it?  And what do you think your opponent is going to want to do?

If you've got ships loaded up with Secondary Weapons that are particularly lethal at Range 3, like a Heavy Laser Cannon or Twin Laser Turret, then you might want to try and force your way just inside that eleven ship lengths to get a shot.  This means if you assume your opponent wants to close the distance quickly and is going to select two straight 3 Forward moves then in two turns he's going to have come forward 8 ship lengths, so you only need to move forward by 3 ship lengths (call it three and a half to be in the safe side of being in range).  So you actually only need to drift forward slowly, maybe even Barrel Rolling backwards if you can, to try and guarantee having a turn of combat at Range 3.

On the other hand if the tables are turned and your opponent holds the advantage at Range 3 and you want to get in close you might, perversely, choose a slightly slower move to leave you just outside Range 3.  Then on the next turn you can jam your foot to the floor and scream into close range.  Against some of the most powerful Secondary Weapons, like Twin Laser Turret, this can completely take them out of the equation as they can't fire at Range 1!

Eleven ship lengths sounds like a lot, but remember that last turn I showed how the Millenium Falcon can move up to nine ship lengths in one turn (with it's large base and an Engine Upgrade) - if you're moving 9 ship lengths it only needs a slow forward move from your opponent to be in range from the very first turn!

Now a lot of this kind of assumed that the ships were lined up exactly opposite each other, and if you're slightly off to the side of your opponent then you'll have to start taking into account that the range ruler is going to heading out diagonally and you may need to move more than eleven ship lengths.  

Nevertheless it's a really useful thing to know about, and if you want to read about it even more than it's covered in great detail (with some awesome examples) on this blog.

9) How to win by a nose (or a wing)

Now this is where we start to get pretty tricky - I'm going to be combining things we learned across  three different points to show you something that might just, one day, win you a game.  It's the X-Wing equivalent of how sprinters will dip for the line at the end of a race because every inch counts.

Do you remember "3) Turns make you go 'faster'" from my last blog?  Ok, good, but for those who don't here is the illustration again...

As you turn in a shallow bank your ship flies forwards three base lengths, then turns 45 degrees to the side, with the back corner roughly level with back of a 3 Forward ship base.

Now, do you remember "6) Rulers are half a ship length wide"?  That's where I showed you that you need to line up in a slightly spaced out formation to avoid your ships clipping each other's bases when they turn, because they take up more lateral space.

So let's combine those two facts - banked turns send you forward as far as a straight forward ruler of the same speed, but then they turn you 45 degrees which means your front and back corners stick out - your ship gets 'longer' by half a ship length, with a quarter ship length extra at the back and a quarter ship length extra at the front.
Seems innocuous, but it could win you the game.

A bank really IS faster than a straight, and banking away from an enemy can actually make you closer and give you a shot!  

A forward move leaves my T-70 just out of range, but
a banked turn puts the corner of my base closer!
This is because when you shoot you measure the range from the closest point on the two bases rather than from the centre of the base, or the front, or the model itself.  You can 'cheat' this system a little by turning your base to 45 degrees, which then pushes your the front corner point of your ship's base forwards by a quarter of a ship length.  A quarter of a ship length ain't much, but it may be just enough.

And now you can combine that knowledge with 'The Rule of Eleven' and use it as another way to sneak inside of shooting range when the rule of eleven means you kind of know how close you're going to be.  

It's also definitely worth knowing when you have ships with a Boost action, because you may know even know what the opponent has done with their move before you have to decide whether you need to use the 1 Bank or 1 Forward ruler for your Boost!

Notice also that it even works with "4) Big ships are inherently faster than small ships" because when a big ship turns its base diagonally it gains double the distance towards the target because the base itself is bigger - a quarter of the Millenium Falcon's base is half of another ship's base, after all.

10) Ships move around  AND  Pilot Skill matters

This will be the last one from me for now.

A lot of these tips have been about learning the geometry of how spaceships fly in X-Wing but this one is a bit more basic and I'm really just trying to teach you from my own mistakes before you make them yourself (hopefully, at least... you may be well ahead of me in the mistakes count by now!).

Firstly, in my earliest games of X-Wing when I wasn't busy flying my TIE Fighters into every rock I could find I was slamming them into each other as well.  It turned out that while I was pretty bad at avoiding the obstacles I could see on the table I was even worse at avoiding the obstacles that weren't there yet - namely the other ships I'd just programmed moves for.  Time and again I'd send two ships from different places on different moves... and having them wind up occupying the same space, bumping into each other as they did so.
I swear it looked as though it was going to fit when I set the dials...
This will come with experience, but as you start adding more and more ships to your squad it gets harder and harder to remember where you've sent them all.  When in doubt: check the maneuver dials you've already put down and change them if you need to.

Secondly, the order in which ships move is very important as well but when you're struggling to take in everything else about flying this can be a detail you forget to think about.  When you look at the table remember that some of those ships aren't going to be there when your ships come to move - so long as you've got a higher pilot skill the other ship will have already got clear by the time you come in.  This means it's sometimes perfectly OK to program in a collision course if you know that the ship you're potentially colliding with will have gone by the time you get there.

When you're programming a move I've found I need to make a point of stopping and thinking for a second: which ships will have moved, which will still be there?  Am I definitely good to go?  Ok, program the dial.

So anyway, hopefully you've found these tips useful and they help you go from Vader's clumsy wingman to something more like this...

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Flight School 101

When I started playing X-Wing recently I was lucky enough to have a veteran pilot come by and give me some much-needed practice rounds.  They weren't really competitive games as such because I spent as much time bouncing from asteroid to asteroid as I did actually dogfighting with his ships, but in that time he managed to teach me a hell of a lot about the basics of actually flying your squad.

The first thing I'm going to do is try and pass as many of those tips onto you as I possibly can, starting with a piece of information that's staggeringly obvious but very important...

A standard ship base is the length of the 1 Forward ruler

Take a ship base.  Take the 1 Forward ruler.  Put them side by side.  They're the same!

As earth-shattering revelations go, this isn't one.  But that said, the implications of this are many and varied - there are SO many little things that spin off of this that I could probably write a whole blog about just about that... 

...so I will!

1) Remember that when you move, your ship goes from front base touching the back of the ruler to the back of your ship base touching touching the front of the ruler.

Yeah, obvious.  So what?  So it means that when you use the 1 Forward ruler you ship is moving forwards TWO ship lengths - the ship length of the ruler and the ship length of the base.  It's a super-simple concept but I can't count the number of times that I smashed asteroids or bumped ships in my first few games because I just couldn't get this into my head.

I'd look at the table, I'd look at the 3 Bank ruler, I'd look at the table, I'd look at the ruler... yeah, that ruler will fit in that space.  Program the maneuver dial.  Come to the activation phase and stone me if I didn't forget that my ship also moved forward a ship length at the end of that ruler, and so smacked right into a rock or bumped another ship.  Be better than me.

And please, PLEASE, remember that this also goes for Barrel Rolls!  You need two ship's-worth of empty space to be able to pull a Barrel Roll, not just one.

2) A 2 Forward move is not twice as fast as a 1 Forward move.

It starts to get a bit counterintuitive here... how is a 2 move not double the speed of a 1 move? 

Well with a 1 Forward move your ship moves forward by two ship lengths (one for the ruler, one for the ship's base) and with a 2 Forward move your ship moves forward by three ship lengths (two for the ruler, one for the ship's base).  

So actually 2 is only 50% more than 1.  And because we're in the mood for destroying mathematics right now, 1+1=4 (a 1 move plus a 1 boost = 4 ship lengths).  Screw you, Euclid!

3) Turns make you go 'faster'.

If you use a piece of string to measure the length of the 2 Forward ruler, and then tried to stretch that string around the arc of a 2 Turn ruler you'd come up short.  What defines the turn rulers isn't how far your ship actually travels, but how far it travels FORWARDS... any lateral movement is additional to this, in terms of how 'fast' your ship is actually moving across the table.

The only difference in how far forward your ship actually travels is that in a forward move your ship's base length is a forward step, while after a turn it's a sideways ship length.  If you notice in the picture above what's actually happening is that the back edge of the 3 Forward template is in line with the back corner of the shallow turn, and the far edge of the sharp turn.  That's another thing that might help you work out where your ship is going to end up without actually measuring it!

4) Big ships are inherently faster than small ships.

Wait, what?  Shouldn't the smaller fighters be faster?  Well, while they might have slower moves on their action dial the big ships are often actually faster than fighters!  

How's that work?  As Meghan Trainor would tell you... it's all about the base.

A large ship, like the Millenium Falcon or IG-88's Aggressor, has a base that is two ship lengths long/wide instead of the standard one ship length.  So when you make any move with those ships you're actually moving TWO extra ship lengths by going front-to-back with the large ship's base edges.  

This means that although the YT-1300 can only pull a 4 Forward move while a TIE Fighter can go 5 Forward... those are actually the same speed (six standard ship lengths).  And if you handed the YT-1300 an Engine Upgrade so it could boost, then it would actually be FASTER than the TIE Fighter...

TIE Fighter
5 Forward = six ship lengths
1 Boost Forward = two ship lengths
Total = Eight ship lengths

4 Forward = six ship lengths
1 Boost Forward = three ship lengths
Total = Nine ship lengths

This fact is actually frequently used in tournament play as part of the "Fat Han" loadout, which sees Rebel players sending a super-tough Millenium Falcon charging forward at full speed to close with the enemy.  The Falcon can then benefit from the 'Lone Wolf' Elite Pilot Trait because it has has outpaced the rest of the Rebel fleet in doing so.

So there you have it - the Millenium Falcon really IS the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy!

5) Having a longer ruler can really help

Ooh, a bit of innuendo!  

This isn't a strategy tip as much as one to actually help you play: the fact that the rulers are set out in ship lengths can be really helpful in actually measuring and carrying out your moves.  You've probably had games where you want to make a 2 Forward move but there's another ship physically blocking you from putting the ruler down on the table to make the move.  

Instead of placing a ruler in the front of your base as normal you can place a ruler two longer than the one you're using BY THE SIDE of your ship base.  If you move from having the back of your ship level with the back of the ruler to where the front of your ship is level with the front of your ruler then that's the same move - the two ship lengths of your base (one at the start of the move, one at the end) cancel out using a longer ruler and you move the same distance as a 2 Forward ruler.

6) The rulers are half a ship length wide.

Ok... so why does that matter?

If you're looking to fly your ships in a tight formation, like a TIE Fighter swarm, then using the rulers to space your ships out will give you the tightest formation you can fly without your ships bumping into each other when they try to turn.  You see, you might think you can line up right next each other and fly right forward, but as soon as you try to turn you'll be angling your bases diagonally and that will take up more lateral space (as anyone who tried moving large furniture through a door would know!).  Using your ruler to space out will mean you can give everyone the same maneuver dial and they'll (just) avoid crashing into each other.

There's connected tricks to flying in formation that are a lot to share, but these example show how handing out maneuvers of different speeds can help your team to turn and stay in formation, wheeling your squad rather than switching them around by throwing a hard turn with everyone.

So there you have it, I hope you'll find some of these tips & tricks helpful if you're just starting out and I hope you liked the blog.  On the other hand if you're already an ace pilot and you've got some more knowledge to pass down then please add it in a comment below!

Until then: just fly casual.  And may the green dice be ever in your favour.