After weeks of poring over spreadsheets and illustrator documents, creating layouts, obsessing over fonts and miniscule gaps of white and of course some procrastination, I am DONE with making infographics for the Spring 2020 X-Wing Survey!
This survey had a couple little themes to it, such as demographics info, engagement in other Star Wars media and people’s wants for 2.0 ship reprints… and we have found some interesting info there. For a more in depth breakdown of the infographic data, see below, I will go section by section, and will add more after the initial article publication.
First off we have the demographics data on page 1 of the infographics. Here we confirmed a lot of things that were expected. X-Wing is very much a US-centered game, with a very large number of players in the United Kingdom, Australia and the Nordic Region. This is something I fully expected, and set up the regions for the poll with this in mind, as the regions were mostly done based on locations of tournaments and organized play.
Beyond where people play, we also confirmed that, yes, unfortunately X-Wing is a very male dominated game, as are most miniatures and wargaming type hobbies. A mere 2.6%, or 17 players polled identified as female, and just 1.4% or 9 of those polled identified as nonbinary. That is not so great, but it is likely higher percentages than Warhammer games. Discussing with people on the X-Wing Second Edition discord server brought up several points regarding that, namely:
- Miniatures games are overwhelmingly male dominated, and that in of itself makes women and nonbinary people less likely to take part due to the lack of peers.
- Tournaments and competitive scenes are inherently an unfriendly place new players, but especially women, this is seen in other games such as Magic The Gathering as well
- There is very little female representation among pilots in X-Wing Miniatures and what little there is is often not apparent, such as Howlrunner (TIE/ln), Morna Kee (VT-49) etc where there is only a name, often one from books or comics that many people haven’t read to indicate the character’s gender. One exception to this is the Resistance, which has a handful of named female pilots that appear in the movies. This might explain why the Resistance has the highest percentage of female players (over 9%).
Another interesting thing that the data revealed is that X-Wing miniatures players are a bit older than I expected, with the highest percentage of players being between 30-39 years of age and very few players being under 18, although that may be due to kids not being old enough to be taking surveys, as I know there are a bunch of younger kids out there who play with parents.
I may ask parents to have their kids take the survey as well if they are regular players next time around…
I am planning on having primary factions be included in every survey so I can pick apart what different factions are wanting, as that can be interesting.
As with the Winter 2020 Survey the Original Trilogy factions far outpace the others in terms of players, with the Empire taking the lead once again with 28.9% of the playerbase. This is due to a variety of reasons, but some of the ones that stuck out are:
- the Core Set contains two TIE/ln fighters, which is a good start for collecting a faction. Many people buy two Core Sets, leaving them with 4 TIEs, which is enough for Inferno Squadron, or a mini-swarm of generics.
- The Empire is Cool. Seriously, the TIE/ln and TIE Advanced v1 are some of the best known spaceships in the world, and though they are “the bad guys” their sleek uniformity just looks nice.
- Galactic Empire ships go NYOOOM. As in they go really fast and are maneuverable like few other ships in X-Wing. a white 5 forward is fun, if risky, and nobody can quite touch the maneuverability of the TIE Interceptor or TIE Striker. Having a bunch of great Aces is gravy.
The same reasoning also applies to Rebels, who account for 20.3% of players. If you already own at least one ship in a faction, you might as well make use of it.
On the opposite end of popularity are the CIS, or Separatists, who are favored by a mere 4.1% of players, and only are collected by 36.8% of the playerbase. The reasoning behind this is pretty simple though. Swarms are monetarily expensive and reaaally difficult to play well and currently that is what the faction is known for. When was the last time you saw a Sith Infiltrator in use? Hopefully there will be more variety once the HMP Gunship releases, but many people don’t really want to buy 2-3 copies of Servants of Strife and just have a bunch of Belbullab-22s collecting dust.
Republic players are still vastly more common, as many players grew up with the Prequel Trilogy, and Guardians of the Republic alone is about all you need for a full list. Also Jedi… sooo many Jedi and force tokens.
First Order and Resistance are both just about tied now in numbers of players, with First Order becoming more popular since they finally got a new ship. As divisive as the sequels are, in X-Wing Miniatures there is a lot to be said for upgrades like Proud Tradition/False Tradition, Heroic and Advanced Optics. I feel like both factions will get more popular as more ships become available to them. Disney just needs to get FFG some info about the rather few new ships from The Rise of Skywalker.
The supermajority of players (almost 80%) of people would like to see new pilots and upgrades in reprinted ship packages. A lot of people think that this just makes sense. The B-Wing reprint should have had Stabilized S-foils, several ships should have included autoblasters and passive sensors should have definitely been included with TIE/D Defenders. Hopefully this gets addressed at some point in future reprints.
Fantasy Flight Games seems to have some issues with choosing which ship reprints they should release, as there are quite a lot of reprints sitting around gathering dust on store shelves. After polling the community, it very much has become clear that the Alpha-class StarWing is the most wanted reprint of all. This is for a few different reasons, such as its SLAM action, which only exists on 2 other ships (the K-Wing, the Fireball and the T-70 X-Wing sorta), its unique playstyle and the fact that it has been quite difficult to get ahold of for some time. Current prices on Ebay, Amazon and other reselling platforms averages around $60 USD, or 4 times as much as it cost at original printing.
As far as other player wants, it is very much apparent that players want more Card/Cardboard only packs such as Hotshots & Aces with 90% of players saying they are interested, and only 6.4% saying that they are not. Obviously these upgrade packs are quite popular, likely due to them being capable of breathing new life into old ships. Certain pilots such as Zizi Tlo (RZ-2 A-Wing) see a lot of play due to the powerful new options they present to existing ships.
Finally, the last page of the survey was all about movies, books and comics in the Star Wars universe. It is no great surprise that Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is the top movie, with 33.1% of the total vote. It is generally seen to be the most solid movie in the trilogy of trilogies, and has some of the most iconic characters shown, and some of the most iconic lines.
Surprising to some, but probably not to X-Wing miniatures fans, Rogue One took a solid number 2 placement for best Star Wars movie, which is likely due to its breathtaking space battles, amazing special effects and novel story structure. People have widely regarded it as one of the best Disney Era movies.
The question on TV Shows has shown a lot of interesting data, with the least surprising thing being how many people have seen The Mandalorian. Many people have discussed possible ships being added to X-Wing from the show, ranging from a Rogue-class fighter (the pirate ship that was blown up in hangar in Chapter 6 to the Razorcrest.