Last week I bought the starter set and an A-wing (childhood favourite) from Amazon and spent the evening working out the mechanics. I played a game against myself using a D6 to randomly generate manoeuvres for my TIE fighters or rebel ships depending on which side I was facing. Whilst this wasn't the most accurate of reflections of an opponent, it did give me an opportunity to plan ahead and respond to changes in enemy ships. After a few hours of this I decided that this was fun and that it was worth getting into.
That weekend I went to my FLGS and bought a B-Wing, TIE-Advance and TIE-Interceptor. I figured that this was a good place to start. I Aldo imposed a conscious budget on myself of £30-40 a month - people aren't kidding when they call it a money pit!
What I really like about XW is how quick and fluid it is. Only having a few ships and limited range of things to do is in no way a hindrance, turns go quickly and you get invested in the ships - I take it very personally when one gets blown up! The games are also over relatively quickly (vs. 40k) which means you can squeeze a game in more easily and I like the fact that the models are already painted. I know lots of people paint them up themselves and I might do that if I get multiples of ships but for now I'm happy with them.
List building is as addictive as ever and there is a great online web app called www.xwing-builder.co.uk that generates and saves lists for you. My one gripe is that there are lots of little...bits knocking about, cards and tokens for this and that which I know I'm going to end up losing...I need to build some sort of tray to keep each ship's relevant cards in when I'm gaming.
I've got a good Imperial list for when friends come over but I think I'm going to focus on rebels when I go to my FLGS, at least to start with. XXBB was the recent international tournament winner but I'm happy to find my own way and don't want to jump on the elite list bandwagon. With that in mind, I like the idea of Han Solo in the falcon with 2x Z95 head hunters sporting Ion missiles and a Green Squadron A-wing. These will let me zoom about and blast away with impunity whilst still having enough hull points (14) and shields (11) to deal with a lot of return fire. I'm going to pick these ships up over the weekend and will let you know how they get on.