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Depth of X-Wing as compared to Netrunner

Hello All,
When I first started playing Netrunner, I was frustrated by the lack of options because I had only 1 core set and later 2 deluxe expansions. Once I exposed myself to the wealth of options available online, I had the opposite problem: the game exploded in depth and I now feel the price tag of the entire collection is worth it.

So basically the depth of the game I experienced was a slowly increasing curve with depth on the y axis and card collection on the x axis. As my collection grew, the depth was really low to begin with, but with each consequential pack, the rate of depth being added improved.

So my question is: does X wing also have a similar rate of depth being added for each new ship?

As I understand it, the core set is not enough to have a deep experience; it is meant to supplemented by the add on ships. This throws me off, because even if the depth grows linearly with every ship, I feel it’s not worth the money. However, if the depth growth is similar to A:NR, then that is something I would really like.

If there are players out there who have experience playing both A:NR and X-wing, could you please comment and help me out?

XWing (and Armada) aren’t just about the ships, but the upgrade cards as well. So new expansions will open more strategies, tactics, and depth both in terms of ships and upgrades. I play Armada casually. I would say the answer to your question depends on whether you want a casual or competitive experience from the game (XWing or ANR) - this is really the only way to determine ‘value’.


Thanks for commenting =)

To answer your question on whether I intend to play casually or competitively, I would say that I like playing casually, but I also love knowing that there is a road to mastery in the game; a road that leads to the competitive scene, through skill / hard work and not by luck / rng. If such a road exists in the game, as it does in A:NR, then I know that even if I am a poor player now, over time I will get better, and can eventually challenge the masters. The learning curve would be worth it.

Does this make sense?

Sounds like you want a competitive experience, then you’ll need to own everything needed to be competitive.

Even if I have the budget to buy everything, I don’t want to get into a game that has a depth / collection graph that is too un-similar to that of A:NR. More so if I have a limited budget, which is more of my situation right now.

Depth and value are very subjective so I’m not sure there’s an answer to your question then beyond your own experience with the game(s) in question.

I understand, thanks. I was thinking though if there were players in both games I might have a way to compare at least semi objectively.

I think X-Wing has a lot of depth, and as far a value goes it is one of the least expensive minis games out there. Granted, it still ain’t cheap, but compared to something like 40K it’s a lot less.

I would say the Core experience IS deep, but that’s just me. Rest assured, it does grow pretty well and get deeper as you add more and newer stuff. If that’s all you’re looking to confirm, I will say it’s 100% true.

I don’t know if X-Wing packs expand the game and its complexity at the same rate as data packs. That’s hard to say. Especially since a lot of ANR packs don’t significantly impact the meta right away or at all. They’re about the same, I guess?


Thanks for commenting!

Yes, that’s what I wanted to confirm. Is the depth growth linear or exponential though? Though you did say the A:NR data pack expansion is pretty similar to the X-Wing pack expansion.

Thanks again!

I have played both games a lot. My first time playing netrunner with the core set is something I will never forget. I just couldn’t believe how cool and interesting it was and at the same time I could not believe people still play games like Magic (sorry magic fans!) when a gem like this exists.

I never really liked miniatures games but tried x wing with a friend. In my opinion, the core set really offers nothing compared to netrunner’s. its 1 ship v2, with extremely few upgrades and far, far less customization that what netrunner’s core set offers, with zero combors or anything of the sort.

Still, for some reason, the game felt very cool. I soon bought 2 more ships with a friend and suddenly we definitely had more options. This game now actually felt cooler than netrunner. You can play casually but if you play to win it becomes extremely interesting, with far many more choices than netrunner. There is no card draw or anything. Everyt piece of your fleet is set on the table from the get go and you keep replaying games in your head, optimizing your strategy since the setup is always the same.

Options definitely grow exponentially, especially if you only focus on the two main factions. This is mainly due to the interaction of upgrades with ships you already own. You dont just buy a new ship, it comes with upgrades that drastically improve ships you already own, and since each ship comes with 3-4 pilots for it, after a while deckbuilding options really explode.



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I’m going to disagree with you there. Or at least say it has as much choice.

X-Wing has a movement and positioning based element, probability calculation (in the form of dice), deck building aspects (pilot/upgrade cards), and different action choices.

While there aren’t as many ships and cards to choose as a full deck of Netrunner, the amount of choice the game has for your builds is pretty high. It only gets more so the more you buy.

In game, the actions you can take are pretty varied and impactful too. They might not seem that way in the moment or to a casual observer because the rules are elegant and simple, but one wrong turn (for example) can be huge.

Listen, I love ANR waaaay more than X-Wing… But to say that it isn’t as deeply strategic or doesn’t offer the same kinds of branching choice trees is clearly false. Both games are fucking solid.


Hey Prozz,
Why do you feel that X-Wing does not have many more choices than A:NR?

Thanks for commenting!!

@hotfuss, @Orbital_Tangent,
Thanks for a lot for your analysis and comments. Really helpful. I think I got the information I needed.

Good thing nobody said that then, right?

In netrunner, you have a LOT of rounds where people just do what they plan on doing. If we go watch games from this year’s worlds, you will see some very fast rounds (and to my personal disappointment, very little interaction, although I believe this has been fixed over the past months). There are some clutch turns in netrunner where you really need to pause and think a lot, and one wrong choice there can lose you the game, and I think thats what makes the game amazing.

With x wing, apart from the first 1-2 turns, your brain just melts every single round. There is no easy choice. You have to predict how 2-5 enemy ships are going to move, and how will your ships have to move, then consider range, firing arcs and so so many what ifs. Also, you should never, ever play a turn without thinking 1-2 turns ahead, or your ship will end up in a very bad spot.

Netrunner is amazing, but it doesn’t require you to calculate as many things as x wing does in every single turn. A simple barrel roll in x wing can win you a game. And this is a choice you make every single round,. There are no “corp clicks for 3 credits” turns in x wing, so yes, I will insist that a round of x wing’s has far, far many more choices than a round of netrunner, without that meaning that that’s a better thing, or it makes it deeper, or anything.

EDIT: I should probably make clear that deckbuilding-wise, Netrunner has more choices and things to explore than X-wing. Especially thanks to the asymmetrical nature of the game.

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it has a lot. it doesn’t has ‘far many more’ as stated.

it’s different genre and it may be hard to compare those two games. with that said i feel that squad building in xwing is more meta dependent and there is way less choices (u bring about 3 ships with 3 upgrades each). the game is about positioning and flying, it can get very deep there.

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X-wing has incredible depth (I actually prefer it over ANR at the moment), but I would say the packs owned to depth curve is very different from Netrunner. You definitely need more than just the core set, but once you have a few of the expansions, you can have a very rich experience. Getting more packs will of course improve the variety of strategies available, but you absolutely do not need to own everything to play at a competitive level. In fact, you can easily just pick one faction to be your main faction and very occasionally pick up an out of faction expansion for the upgrade cards.


Comparing the two isn’t exactly a great idea…

If we’re going to, though, well…

X-Wing offers more strategy and thought in the actual games rather than the force-building portion of the game, compared to Netrunner. Because of this, more options in force-building don’t expand the game as significantly as it does over in Hacker-land. It is similar in that you need more than just the Core Set to have a good breadth of strategic options, though.

(Also I don’t play X-Wing on principle because Dice Hate Me. Like, seriously. I can fail at a 98% d100 roll. Twice. In a row. I hope/expect that there are dice manipulation mechanics in the game, but I honestly stopped looking at it seriously after I played a single game and saw how much the die rolls influence what happens.

Not that it’s a bad game, just that my cup of tea is more on the ‘Random things happen, what do you do about it?’ side instead of the ‘Try to do a thing and then randomly determine if it worked’ side.)

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There’s a fair amount of dice manipulation. One of the basic actions (an action is normally taken once per turn per ship), Focus, lets you re-roll eyeball icons once on an attack or defense roll.

From what I’ve seen of Destiny (haven’t played it), it has more than X-Wing.

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I think someone was using something that let them treat all icons as something different in the demo game?

A reroll helps, but ultimately isn’t enough to entice me to a dice game. For a dice-based combat system that I will play, Eclipse is pretty good. D6; 6> to hit, nat 6 is auto-hit and nat 1 is auto-miss. Otherwise, you add any Computers on your ships to the roll, and subtract opponents’ Shields from the roll to try and get 6 or better. So, you can forgo armor/speed/weaponry to jam a bunch of computers on your ship to make ships that hit as long as you don’t roll a 2. And it’s an interesting game, and an interesting tradeoff, because you can also YOLO and make a ship of all guns that only hits when you roll nat 6’s, but rolls a bunch of dice instead to make it up on statistics.

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