Tabletop Game / X-Wing Miniatures
A miniatures game by Fantasy Flight Games
based on Star Wars
and inspired by the star fighter battles within. The game is focused on the Galactic Civil War of the original trilogy and features most of the fighters from the films and many of the fighters from various other sources
, including comics and video games. It is the sister game to Star Wars Armada
There were originally two factions, the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire. While all types of ships are on both sides, Rebel ships tend to be tough, but with high point costs, while Imperial ships tend to cost few point, but are expendable. Wave 6 introduces a third faction, Scum and Villainy, based on various third-party characters and factions from the Galactic Civil War era, including a few characters already in the game, including Boba Fett and Kath Scarlett, both of whom were originally added as Empire aligned pilots of the Firespray-31, as well as a few ships recycled from the Rebels, including the Y-Wing and HWK-290. Wave 8 added the Resistance and the First Order
, sub-factions that for gameplay purposes are considered extensions of the Rebels and Empire respectively.
The game is very streamlined with every ship using a series of templates for movement and shooting as well as using specially designed dice for determining shooting results. This simplifies the game considerably and means that the game takes minutes to learn, but much longer to master. The core set comes with an X-Wing, two TIE Fighters and everything else needed to play a small two-player game. A second, updated core set (accounting for various additions and alterations to the game rules over the course of the first 8 waves) does the same, but instead comes with a T-70 X-wing and two TIE/fo Fighters.
WizKids licensed the X-Wing Miniatures system from Fantasy Flight to make a version of it based on Star Trek
called Star Trek Attack Wing.
This game exhibits the following tropes:
- 2-D Space: As a tabletop game, this is to be expected. However, the flavor text describes ships that "collide" in 2-D space as dodging each other on the Z-axis, thereby avoiding any actual damage (with a few exceptions).
- Ace Custom: Can be invoked on a number of ships using available 'Title' upgrade cards. While not all of them do this, and a few actually downgrade ships to represent prototypes and such (the benefit in that case being reduced point cost to play the ship), at least half give the ship a significant boost along with the name. The Millennium Falcon herself is a double example, not only having the available boost from the "Millennium Falcon" title upgrade, but the YT-1300 is the only example in the game so far where the lowest 'generic' version has different stats, significantly lower from any of the named pilot versions.
- The "Heroes of the Resistance" gives the Falcon a second title card (with the same name as the first, meaning only one "Falcon" title can be played in a given game), as well as a "Black One" title card for Poe Dameron's T-70 X-wing (and an accompanying miniature in his custom black and orange colors from The Force Awakens).
- Ace Pilot: Numerous. Every ship has at least two named pilots, each boasting a higher Pilot Skill value than the generics and a unique pilot ability. The highest base Pilot Skill value is 9, which is held by nine pilots: Darth Vader (TIE Advanced x1) and Soontir Fel (TIE Interceptor) for the Empire, Han Solo (YT-1300) and Wedge Antilles (X-wing) for the Rebellion, Dengar (JumpMaster 5000), Fenn Rau (Concord Dawn Protectorate Starfighter) and Talonbane Cobra (Kihraxz Fighter) for Scum and Villainy, the "Heroes of the Resistance" version of Poe Dameron (T-70 X-wing) for the Resistance, and "Quickdraw" (TIE/sf) for the First Order. Thus, every faction has three options for Pilot Skill 9.
- Action Girl: Quite a few. Rebels have Hera Syndulla (the 'Ghost'' and ''Phantom'') & Sabine Wren (the Phantom and TIE Fighter), Rey (YT-1300), Jessika Pava (T-70 X-Wing), Ibtisam and Nera Dantels (B-Wing), Jan Ors (HWK-290), Miranda Doni (K-Wing), Norra Wexley and Shara Bey (ARC-170), and Ahsoka Tano and Sabine Wren again (Sabine's TIE Fighter). The Empire has (Kath Scarlett (Firespray-31), "Howlrunner" (TIE Fighter), "Echo" (TIE Phantom), Juno Eclipse (TIE Advanced), Countess Ryad (TIE Defender), and "Quickdraw" (TIE/SF). And the Scum have Serissu (M3-A Interceptor), Latts Razzi (YV-666), Kath Scarlett again, Guri (StarViper), Ketsu Onyo, Sabine Wren again and Asajj Ventress (all on the Shadow Caster) and Manaroo (Punishing One). Not always obvious due to the 'pilot cards' showing only the ship, but can be seen on the 'crew' cards and Armada cards. A number of the crew cards also count, including Leia herself and Mara Jade.
- Action Mom: Both ARC-170 pilots mentioned above are the mothers of other pilots in the game. Norra Wexley's son "Snap" Wexley and Shara Bey's son Poe Dameron pilot T-70 X-Wings.
- Action Initiative: Pilot Skill determines which ships move first and shoot last. Ships with a lower Pilot Skill move first (much like Leeroy Jenkins), and ships with a higher Pilot Skill shoot first (and thus have the potential to destroy lower Pilot Skill ships before they get a chance to return fire). There are several cards of varying kinds that allow you to change your Pilot Skill, including one that lets you move at Pilot Skill 0 (useful for bombers that want to make sure they have a target).
- Asteroid Thicket: The game features a set of six asteroid obstacles, each placed on the board in turns by the players. Flying into one of them during the game is ruinous.
- Expansions later added debris fields, which are less damaging but can be more disruptive to a stressed pilot
- Awesome, but Impractical: Most ordnance secondary weapons hit hard and have devastating effects. However, their point cost, exhaustibility, and the setup required to use them in actual combat make them highly impractical to use in competitive play. Fantasy Flight games has gradually gotten a bit better at making effective ordnance weapons, but they still struggle.
- The E-wing is almost as maneuverable as an interceptor, packs a hefty punch, and can use the incredibly powerful systems upgrades. However, they're also very expensive, and as a result, the generic pilots are almost never seen.
- The TIE Defender has a fantastic statline, with 3s across the board (yes that includes both evade and shield), plus one of the best maneuver dials in the game, as fast as the A-Wing, better turns and the only ship in the entire game with a U-Turn maneuver that isn't red. Problem is it's incredibly expensive, with the basic, Pilot Skill 1 pilot being more expensive than Darth Vader, so it's rarely seen. The "Imperial Veterans" expansion is intended to rectify this with its "TIE/D" (0 points, allows a free primary weapon attack every time a cannon secondary is used) and "TIE/x7" (-2 points, sacrifices the secondary weapon slots but gives out free evade tokens for every speed 3 or greater maneuver) title cards, as well as 3 additional Defender pilots (2 unique, 1 generic).
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Official tournament rules prevent players from pre-measuring their maneuvers. To get great at this game, players need to learn how to judge maneuver distances at a glance.
- Boring but Practical: The TIE Swarm list. The most popular variant is Howlrunner equipped with Swarm Tactics and accompanied by as many Academy Pilots as can fit under the points limit, but other variants include every named TIE (no longer possible with the Assault Carrier, because even without upgrades every named TIE now comes to considerably more than 100 points) and mixing all three types of generic TIE in varying amounts.
- The Rebel equivalent, the BBBBZ list, doesn't even have upgrades or named pilots - it's just four Blue Squadron B-Wings and a Bandit Squadron Z-95 - but the ships together have 14 hull and 22 shield and only the Z-95 has a primary weapon rating below 3, meaning it can dish out a surprising amount of damage and soak up a ton of punishment despite bringing nothing but PS 2 generics.
- Rebels can field a Z-95 Swarm list similar to the TIE Swarm and with the same per-ship cost: Airen Cracken with Swarm Tactics plus a bunch of Bandit Squadron Pilots. But this has never been as popular as the TIE Swarm.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: Mostly averted as expansion packs are non-randomized and a full 100 point tournament list can be as few as two ships. However, some squad builds require upgrades that only come with specific ships that may not see use or are hard to find. This is a particularly sore point when it comes to upgrades and pilots that come in the epic expansions, as huge ships are not legal in standard play (although the rules allow a player to use a huge ship as an obstacle instead of asteroids or debris fields in casual games) and the expansions are much more expensive compared to standard expansions, but all of the the huge ships thus far have included at least one metagame-defining card that 'is' legal in standard play
- The Rebel Transport gets less flak than the other huge expansions for being the cheapest of the huge expansions, but some people still grumble about how a critical piece of Rebel Control Builds (R3-A2) is only found in this expansion
- The Tantive IV expansion doesn't even include a small base ship, but the R2-D2 and C-3PO crew cards are incredibly powerful defensive upgrades. C-3PO is particularly egregious as he is a key part of the popular "Fat Han" list.
- The Imperial Raider is particularly contentious because it contains the TIE Advanced x1 upgrade in addition to new pilots for the TIE Advanced and the powerful Emperor Palpatine Crew Card (the centerpiece of the "Palp Aces" lists that currently dominate the meta). A vocal group on the fantasy flight forums are upset about a card that is almost mandatory to run the TIE Advanced competitively is only available in a one hundred dollar expansion. At least FFG was kind enough to include 4 copies of the card (as well as 4 copies of Advanced Targeting Computer, the system upgrade normally used in conjunction with the TIE/x1 title) in the expansion so anyone who wants to run a squad of nothing but TIE Advanced doesn't need to buy multiple copies. That also makes it easy for those who don't intend to run multiple TIE Advanced in a squad to sell the extras on eBay and recoup a good bit of the money spent on buying a Raider.
- On a smaller scale, the StarViper is a Scum-only ship that costs a bit more than others of its scale, but the Autothrusters modification that comes in it is considered virtually mandatory for any ship with the Boost action, such as the T-70 X-Wing and especially the TIE Interceptor.
- Broad Strokes: The game takes inspiration both from the new Disney canon as well as the old Legends continuity. So if you've ever wanted to see how Dash Rendar would fare against the Inquisitor, or pit Kir Kanos against Hera Syndulla, you can do so here.
- Taken even further with the TIE/fo, TIE/sf, and T-70 X-Wing. You can mix and match ships from both the Original Trilogy and the new films, and indeed some benefit greatly from this (Poe Dameron's Focus-based talents combo very well with a fully upgraded Kyle Katarn's ability to generate tons of Focus and hand them out like party favours).
- There are also a few characters assigned as pilots to fighters they were never associated with in canon. This was somewhat inevitable given, for example, the lack of named E-wing pilots in Legends. Corran Horn has always been primarily an X-wing pilot (and even personally owns his X-wing), while Etahn A'baht is not known to have been a pilot at all (his sole known connection to the E-wing was commanding a fleet that used them as their main fighter). The upcoming ARC-170 expansion also contains entirely pilots who are not yet known to have ever flown one. Surprisingly enough, Airen Cracken is not one of these; while he's better known in both Legends and the new canon as the head of the Rebel spy network and it's his son Pash (not yet in the game) who's known as a fighter ace, he really did (at least in Legends) fly a Z-95 Headhunter in the early days of the Rebellion.
- And since the Slave I was released before Scum & Villainy's addition as a third faction, a few decidedly non-Imperial pilots can fly for the Empire. While Boba Fett was hired by the Empire on many occasions, this was as a bounty hunter and not to aid in space combat. Kath Scarlet is a pirate with a habit of specifically targeting Imperial transports, since they tend to have the most valuable stuff to steal. And Krassis Trelix was an Imperial deserter who only started piloting a Firespray after joining a slaving guild.
- Cast from Hit Points: When Darth Vader is taken as a Crew upgrade, the ship he is in can take two points of damage to deal a critical hit to the ship that was just attacked.
- The crew version of Unkar Plutt allows the ship he is in to take damage to take an action after overlapping another ship.
- Moff Jerjerrod can toss crew members (including himself) out the airlock to negate a critical hit.
- Canon Foreigner: The Imperial Raider was designed in collaboration between Lucasfilm and Fantasy Flight Games as an original ship for this game to give the Empire a Huge ship that could compete in the game on the scale of the other ships (that is, a ship that was big, but not as ridiculously big as a Star Destroyer). They originally considered the Lancer-class frigate, but decided that at 2/3 longer than the Tantive IV it was still way too big. The fact that the Raider was designed for a tabletop game instead of real space combat is somewhat obvious, on account of it having six turrets that are all dorsal. It would be helpless against anything that goes underneath it.
- Close Range Combatant: Anyone at range 1 gets attack bonuses, but there are pilots and upgrades that encourage closing beyond this, whether it's bonuses (Mauler Mithel, for example, or virtually anyone in a Protectorate Starfighter), obnoxious penalties for the other side (Carnor Jax, Mara Jade), or just a plain short-ranged, high-damage secondary weapon (Proton Rockets, which get up to five dice when mounted on a sufficiently agile ship).
- Cool Starship: Imagine that.
- Confusion Fu: TIE Phantoms can "decloak" in three (four with Echo as your pilot) different directions (thus changing their start positions before maneuvering), creating a guessing game for their opponents. Ships that can take the Boost and Barrel Roll action can also reposition themselves after maneuvering. High Pilot Skill ships in particular can take advantage of this to choose a final position for the turn on the fly after every other ship has finished maneuvering.
- TIE Interceptors and A-wing pilot Tycho Celchu specialize in this. An Interceptor can have a whopping 27 different potential positions after it has moved if it is equipped with the Push the Limit upgrade. Tycho Chelchu, on the other hand, can combine the Daredevil and Push the Limit upgrades to achieve 19 different potential positions with his actions, but can achieve a much wider range of orientations thanks to the extra 90 degree turn from Daredevil.
- The Imperial "Fettigator" build pairs Boba Fett (able to choose which direction he banks after revealing the dial) and the Navigator crew upgrade (able to spin the dial to another move with the same bearing) to ensure that while you know he's probably going to bank, even his player won't know which way and how far until Pilot Skill 8 rolls around.
- Critical Hit Class: Several ship pilots and upgrades boast an increased ability to score critical hits:
- The E-Wing pilot Etahn A'baht can convert any one regular hit roll into a critical hit, both for himself and his allies, as long as the target is within his firing arc.
- The Decimator pilot Rear Admiral Chiraneau can convert a single "focus" die result into a critical hit, both bolstering his attack accuracy and making each attack hurt more.
- Any ship with a cannon upgrade slot can equip the "Mangler" cannon, which converts any one regular hit roll into a critical hit.
- The TIE Advanced/TIE Defender pilot Maarek Stele gets to draw three damage cards and choose one whenever he scores a critical hit.
- The TIE/fo pilot known only as Omega Ace can convert a target lock and a focus token on the same ship into every die scoring an automatic critical. This gets a lot more practical when combined with Push the Limit, allowing this pilot to do this on any turn where you have no stress at the end of your move.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts: Any ship cheap enough to fly in a swarm of 5 or more (most notably the TIE Fighter and Z-95 Headhunter) only has 2 attack dice (compared to the usual 3) and few options to make those dice more likely to roll hits. However, since they are cheap enough to field en-masse, it's possible to get a total of 8 attacks per round. Thus, swarms are highly effective against low agility ships with a limited number of attacks (like the Millennium Falcon), and even against high agility ships one of those attacks is bound to hit eventually.
- The twin laser turret upgrade specializes in this. It makes two highly accurate attacks at each opportunity, but each attack can only deal one damage..
- Difficult but Awesome: The Lambda-class Shuttle is the most difficult ship to fly in the game by far, but offers amazing stats for its price and can host some of the most powerful upgrades in the game.
- The Engineer: Several droids (and most notably, R2-D2) have the ability to repair damage or restore shields to their ships in the middle of combat.
- Extra Turn: The E-Wing's most elite pilot, Corran Horn, can attack a second time after everyone else has shot - however, he must sacrifice his next turn of attacks to do so.
- Faction Calculus: Not very clear cut anymore, but when the game first started, the Rebels were the Powerhouse faction, with mostly tough, elite fighters and the Empire was the Subversive faction, mostly consisting of fast, cheap and expendable craft.
- Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: The default, although a few ships have auxiliary firing arcs out the rear (the Firespray-31, ARC-170, VCX-100 and TIE/sf) or the flanks (YV-666), a few others have either integrated turrets (K-Wing, YT-1300, YT-2400, Jumpmaster 5000, and VT-49 Decimator) or a turret slot (VCX-100, HWK-290, Attack Shuttle, Y-Wing, and the K-Wing again), or can rotate their guns to face in any direction with an action (Lancer-class pursuit craft).
- Fragile Speedster: A-Wings, TIE Interceptors, and from early previews, the Concord Dawn Protectorate Starfighter, are capable of blistering speeds, but only have 3-4 total hull and shield.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: The Rebellion only has a handful of retrofitted ARC-170 fighters. How does Fantasy Flight represent this? By not including any generic pilots, meaning that even an entirely ARC fleet can't contain more than four of them.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: The E-Wing was more durable than the X-Wing in Star Wars Legends. The one in the game has the same total hull and shield, and can die to any effect that gets critical damage through the shields, because it only has 2 hull points and Direct Hits inflict 2 damage.
- Glass Cannon: The TIE Phantom has the highest primary attack value in the game, at a stunning 4 attack. However, it only has 2 Hull, 2 Shields, and 2 Agility - compared to other ships of the same value, it is remarkably fragile. Most Phantoms take advantage of cloaking to augment the Phantom's poor agility value.
- The Concord Dawn Protectorate Starfighter has primary weapon 3, agility 3, but no shields, 4 hull, and according to Fantasy Flight, about half of its possible upgrades focus on being nose-to-nose with the enemy.
- High-Speed Missile Dodge: It is possible for a high agility ship to completely avoid damage from a missile or torpedo. It is also possible for a low agility ship to dodge the same if the attacker rolls nothing but blanks.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: TheTIE Advanced and T-70 X-wing. The classic T-65 X-wing from the original trilogy tries to be this, but because it lacks any sort of reposition ability and is too expensive to be used as a blocking ship, it's mostly limited to the role of jousting. Prior to Wave 8, the generic pilots weren't even good at that.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Firespray-31 (made famous by the Slave 1) and the YT-2400 boast some of the strongest weapons in the game and have 10 hit points to chew through, bolstered by 2 Agility. The YT-2400 pilot Dash Rendar in particular has a habit of easily getting to places no other pilot can reach.
- Because a ships base is part of it's movement, all large ships become Lightning Bruisers with the engine upgrade. This is particularly important for the Lambda shuttle, as otherwise the ship boasts a very poor turning ability.
- Luck Manipulation Mechanic: The two default mechanics for direct dice manipulation are Focus (spend a Focus token to convert all "eye" dice results to a hit or evade result) and Target Lock (spend the Target Lock to reroll any number of attack dice, so long as your ship is firing at the locked-on ship). Some upgrades and pilot abilities also offer a more limited option to alter dice results.
- Mighty Glacier: The YT-1300, the Lambda shuttle, the TIE Bomber, the Y-Wing and the B-Wing all have fairly poor movement without upgrades, but a lot of HP and/or shields. For example, both Y-Wings and B-Wings have a total of 8 hull and shield points, but very few green manoeuvres (making it hard to recover stress) and lots of red ones (making it easy to gain it).
- Obvious Rule Patch: When the YT-2400 came out, it was the first Large ship with a native Barrel Roll action. Fantasy Flight Games updated the Barrel Roll rules to nerf the positioning options of Large ships.
- When the TIE Phantom proved to be too much of a Game Breaker, the decloaking mechanic was changed to happen at the beginning of the turn instead of just before the Phantom moved. This particular fix has proven to be wildly popular, in part because it actually makes the ship seem more like it's actually cloaked as opposed to it's previous Last Place You Look approach.
- Fantasy Flight Games prefers to update its weaker (or just overpriced for their strength) ships with more powerful options than to nerf existing gameplay options whenever possible. Examples include the Chardaan Refit upgrade for the A-Wing (which lets it ditch the missile upgrade slot to save 2 points to spend on other stuff) and the TIE/x1 title upgrade for the TIE Advanced, which lets it equip any systems upgrade with a discount of up to 4 points. The TIE Defender can be taken in both directions, either upgraded with the TIE/D title card (allows an extra primary weapon attack after a secondary cannon is used) or downgraded with the TIE/x7 title (loses the cannon and missile upgrade option, but saves 2 points and adds an evade token after speed 3 through 5 movements).
- Old-School Dogfighting: Every ship (except the Lambda-class Shuttle and Scum ships with Inertial Dampeners) must move forward during each turn, creating a Space Is Air simulation - just like in the movies!
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Quite a few of the unique TIE pilots are only given nicknames (indicated by their "name" being in quotation marks). While some never had their real names identified anywhere in canon or Legends (the only other "name" being an operating number like DS-61-3 or OS-72-7note ), some such as Civé Rashon ("Howlrunner") and Dodson Makraven ("Night Beast")note simply never have their real names mentioned in the game.
- Power Copying: The IG-88 pilots have, via the IG-2000 title card, the option to share their pilot abilities with each other. Though in standard 100 point games it's only possible to have two IG-88s in a squad (point cost of 36 each), under the 300 point Epic rules it's very possible to run all four of them together. Indeed, this would be the primary reason for a Scum player to play in an Epic rules game, since the faction doesn't yet have any huge ships. And with the introduction of an IG-88D crew card in the Shadow Caster, those Scum players can even slap those pilot abilities on one other ship with a crew slot.
- Power Creep: Averted - Wave 1 ships and upgrades are just as relevant to the game as Wave 6 ships and upgrades, and if an older ship falls behind in the metagame, Fantasy Flight Games will most likely release new upgrades and pilots for that ship to make it relevant again.
- Quantity vs. Quality: In standard tournament rules, players are given 100 points to spend to build their squad. They may spend those on cheap, disposable ships, beefy large ships with lots of upgrades, or a mixture of the two.
- Ramming Always Works: Technically, ships that "collide" with each other are considered to be dodging each other in 3D space. The near-miss between the two ships means that neither can fire upon the other. However…
- Because a ship that would overlap another ship skips its perform action phase, the practice of blocking with cheap, early moving ships is popular. While the ships aren't actually colliding, the effect is similar.
- The A-Wing pilot Arvel Crynyd (best known as the pilot who crashed into the bridge of the Super Star Destroyer Executor, thus disabling and ultimately destroying it) can shoot enemies he collides with. This encourages players to fly him straight into enemy ships as frequently as possible.
- The Decimator boasts a number of abilities that hamper ships touching it. The pilot Captain Oicunn specializes in ramming, since he deals unavoidable damage to any ship he collides with.
- The Intimidate Elite upgrade, which comes in the Decimator's pack, lets you add an Agility penalty to the usual consequences of overlapping the ship with it.
- Chopper as a pilot of the Ghost gets to dispense stress tokens to any ships that he's touching.
- Inverted when your large ship has Anti-Pursuit Lasers, meaning your strategy is based around encouraging others to crash into you.
- Spam Attack: Ships with the Gunner crew member or Luke Skywalker on board can make a second attack if the first attack misses. IG-88B can also perform a similar attack with an equipped cannon weapon, and can share that ability with every other version of him in your squad. And the TIE/D title allows a TIE Defender to shoot twice (with both its cannon upgrade and its regular attack) every turn, limited only by being restricted 3 point or less cannons so the most devastating ones aren't available.
- Twin Laser Turrets always make two accurate but weak attacks, and the upgrade is typically run on several ships at once.
- The TIE/SF pilot "Quickdraw" is able to get off a potential four 2-die shots a turn in exactly the right circumstances: if she's got front and rear line of fire, she gets one shot in each direction from the Special Forces Title upgrade, then gets another one when she loses a point of shields (or just flies through an asteroid or exploits some equipment combo to ensure losing a point of shields). Of course, she can only do this a maximum of three times, but it's still a staggering number of shots for someone who costs less than a baseline TIE Defender.
- Stealth in Space: The TIE Phantom. With the Mist Hunter, the Scum faction also get a Cloaking Device Illicit upgrade that can allow temporary stealth, but (in keeping with Scum's risk-based mechanics) has a chance of breaking down each turn.
- Support Party Member: the Lambda-class Shuttle and the HWK-290.
- Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: Generally, you get three kinds of strategy that work this way. Jousters rely on flying into the enemy and shooting the crap out of them. Jousting is countered by arc-dodging, which relies upon small numbers of highly elite, mobile ships that swerve past enemy fire arcs and pick on them from unexpected angles; jousters lack the mobility to fight them effectively. Arc-dodgers are countered by turret builds, which rely on big, chunky, durable ships that don't care about fire arcs and can shoot you from any angle with a turret. Turrets, however, are countered by jousters, which can soak up the relatively low number of shots most turrets fire and simply beat them into submission. The various upgrades do shift what's available, though.
- Zerg Rush: The TIE Fighter and Z-95 Headhunter are cheap enough to field in swarms of 8, letting their pilots use a Death of a Thousand Cuts approach or simply spread their firing arcs in as many directions as possible.