You gracefully arc your X-wing around that asteroid, expertly missing a collision. The TIE Fighter is in your sights. You’re focused and ready for the engagement. The dice roll and the results show a focus symbol. Do you spend your token now or save it for later?
Knowing when to use tokens is an important part of the strategy in the X-wing Miniatures game. Using them at the right time can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Spend them early and you don’t have them when you need them. Save them for later and you might never get to use them.
For some tokens the decision is relatively easy. Will spending the evade token prevent a point of damage? If yes, spend it. The only real consideration there is if the enemy has a Gunner.
Will spending the target lock have a good chance of turning a flubbed roll into a successful attack? If you’re rolling two attack dice against four agility dice, probably best to save it for when you get to range 1. Other than that, spend away.
Focus tokens are much more versatile and therefore generate more of a question on when is the best time to use them. We’re going to look at a couple questions to ask yourself when faced with this choice. They won’t cover all situations, as part of the games strength is the unique situations that can arise with different builds, but they’ll be good as a general guideline.
On the Attack
Go through the following questions. If you answer yes to any of them, spend the Focus token.
- Is my ship Garven Dreis and do I have an ally at range 1?
- Will this attack definitely kill my target? Example: Two hits and one focus rolled against a target with two agility and one hull point remaining.
- Do I have more than one Focus token?
- Has every enemy ship already fired?
- Is the number of Focus symbols showing equal to or higher than my agility? Example: A B-wing rolls two dice with Focus symbols but has only one agility.
- Will I guarantee damage? Example: Turning one hit into two against a ship with one agility.
- Is Biggs Darklighter protecting me?
- Is another one of my ships a bigger target? Example: A TIE fighter is attacking but your opponent has your uncloaked Phantom in his arc.
On the Defense
Go through the following questions. If you answer Yes to the first two questions AND one of the following, consider NOT spending the Focus token.
- Will I survive this attack without spending the token?
- Do I still have an attack this round?
- Does my attacker have a Gunner and will this allow him to trigger?
- Will I have the chance to destroy a ship before it can fire this round? Example: PS4 Xwing has a range one shot on a damaged PS1 TIE Fighter.
- Will I have a situationally great attack? Example: A chance to attack an uncloaked Whisper.
- Do I need my Focus for my attack? Example: You have a Blaster Turret, Proton Rockets, Deadeye, or Advanced Proton Torpedoes.
As you can see the considerations for when to spend a Focus on attack are more varied than on defense. When defending, and a Focus will mitigate damage, it’s almost always a good idea to spend it. There are very few ways to heal damage in this game and pretty much all of them happen after a round of combat. It’s always better to negate damage now than to save a Focus token for another attack that may not generate any Focus rolls.