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Micanthropyre

The Importance of Turn 0.

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I've played a fair amount of 2.0 so far, and I'm starting to notice that against similarly skilled players to me that my most crucial decisions happen on turn 0. When I go back and post-mortem the game, especially when I lose, I'm able to pick out things that had I done them in setup it would have dramatically altered the way the game played out. Just yesterday I played two games, same lists both games. I won the first one pretty decisively and the second I lost by a decent margin. The second game I had finished setup and was placing my dials when I realized that I had made a major error in where I placed Whisper, and in the end my opponent was able to capitalize on that and box her in. 

I wouldn't say that I'm worried about it from a game health perspective, but I'm wondering if other people are seeing similar things in their games where Turn 0 plays a major role in the outcome.

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And not just turn zero, but also your choice of obstacles.  

But yes, there are A LOT of things out there that are incredibly important on turn 0 and messing them up in 2.0 can easily put you on tilt from the first engagement.

In no particular order....

- Proton Torps
- high initiative and race for the bid
- trick shot
- titles/talents/ability and crew that allow you to abuse or manipulate obstacles (trick shot, tug boats, Scum falcon and assorted cards with it, mini ties, ect)
- seismic bombs
- Triple Upsilon and Hyperspace tracking thingy

Every single one of those has a huge impact on what obstacles you bring, where you place them, where you deploy, and what you do as your set your dial down on turn 1.

High initiative + proton torps and the Triple Ooops turn 1 alpha are  probably the most "feels bad" of the bunch.  If you don't deploy right and manage your engagement right you are down a ship before it does anything.  This is so much more important than 1.0 ever was due to the reduced defensive modifiers.  Unless you are rolling with some sort of Rebel list with the ability to spread around damage those heavy alpha strikes are enabled almost entirely by your setup and what your opening move are.  You do not have much of a chance to correct before it's too late.

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Turn Zero is important. It helps determine when and where the engagement occurs, and who controls it. A player who effectively uses turn zero can win more often than one who doesn’t, even when of equal skill.

Turn Zero is all about knowing what your list does, what your opponents list does, and planning accordingly. Few games truly turn on turn zero, though triple Upsilons come close, but controlling the first engagement is a very important skill, and one that separates the best players from the rest.

I consider myself fairly good at turn zero, and also at what I like to call the shell game. Where I take my ships and shift them around such that you can’t be sure which ship is coming from which angle. Then they all converge from different places on the same turn, in the battlefield of my choosing. Because I offer my opponents a choice, but it is an unappealing one. Which ship do you want me to get flank on all of yours, or do you wish to split fire. All enabled by how I think about turn zero.

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1 hour ago, viedit said:

High initiative + proton torps and the Triple Ooops turn 1 alpha are  probably the most "feels bad" of the bunch.  If you don't deploy right and manage your engagement right you are down a ship before it does anything.  

Yeah, that happens.

Image result for braveheart charge gif

Turn 0 should matter.

Edited by Darth Meanie

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1 minute ago, Darth Meanie said:

Not that it means the game is bad.

 

Turn 0 should matter.

I agree. It is also the most difficult part of the game to understand, or at least so it seems. 

8 minutes ago, viedit said:

I'm just saying those things *really* put the burden of execution on YOU and not them.  And it doesn't take that much of an error of execution to go sideways fast.

This is a viable thing to consider in any game that allows you decisions in what components you bring. Collision Detector is a good example in X-Wing, because it makes your opponent consider more things that you could do and forces them to remember an additional rule exception. 

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Yeah, there are definitely times when the turn 0 decision of how to place my ships have really bit me in the bum. I’ll try something fancy, and end up having one of my ships trying to compensate for that while the others are engaging.

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I was considering this exact same topic over the weekend, as I was stuck inside while 8-10 inches of snow dropped on us and made travel (almost) impossible. Obviously you have no control over the opponent's list, but the set-up of rocks and deployment are extremely important for how and when your engagements occur. I've been thinking a lot about engagement lanes since the Mynock Ep. 152 with Kevin Leintz, and how setting these up correctly probably makes or breaks games without people noticing. 

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I mean it really varies from list to list how you approach things. The reality is that if you can look at your opponents list, look at yours, and imagine what you need to do in order to gain advantage, it is very interesting to consider turn zero.

How do you place rocks (uniform, clustered, lanes, open quadrant, tight, loose), are you wanting to engage in the open or in the rocks. Do you need to try and break your opponents formation. Is there a range you need to enforce, and how do you get that.

All considerations. And if you don’t have at least some minimal thought to them, you allow your opponent to dictate terms to you. I always have several objectives before the shooting begins. I know what range, and roughly where, I want the attack to be. And I am generally successful in getting the opening I want, or at least not giving my opponent the one they want.  And always have a plan B. If you want to force your opponent through the rocks to engage, but they decline and run down the board edge, then what? Are you fast enough to catch them? What do you need to do if your opponent is just going to NASCAR their way around the board? Knowing what your ships can do here is important.

I fly a lot of Interceptors and Strikers. I’m going to try and force you to commit in one direction. If you’re flying a flock of bombers, wanting to keep strict close range, then I’ll make you choose. Go after ship A, Ship B, or get flanked by both. And have an escape plan! Sometimes the plan is simply to sacrifice the bait, and try and take out enough in the process. I’ve sold out Duchess to take out a lynchpin piece from an opponent. She’ll take her shot, probably die, but in return gained positioning with Soontir or something. But that only works because I was considering turn zero, and deployed wide, with the ability to turn in at any time. Force my opponent to commit to a direction, then zoom in on the flank. Because I knew, in this hypothetical, that allowing a six dice double modded shot on any one of my ships was likely death, so use my tools to deny that, and get behind the problem.

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41 minutes ago, Micanthropyre said:

I agree. It is also the most difficult part of the game to understand, or at least so it seems. 

As a completely casual player, I will admit I take no consideration of Turn 0.  In fact, one of us just tosses the asteroids on the mat most days.

Still, the "I lost at listbuilding" could be a misinterpretation of the truer "I lost at Turn 0."

Just like "bad dice" can be the result of "I made poor choices last turn that begat an unmodified roll this turn."  Which, now that I know to look for that, I can see.

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8 minutes ago, Darth Meanie said:

As a completely casual player, I will admit I take no consideration of Turn 0.  In fact, one of us just tosses the asteroids on the mat most days.

Still, the "I lost at listbuilding" could be a misinterpretation of the truer "I lost at Turn 0."

Just like "bad dice" can be the result of "I made poor choices last turn that begat an unmodified roll this turn."  Which, now that I know to look for that, I can see.

Asteroid placement is more art than science I think, where as long as you follow a couple general rules for your list the specific placement doesn't matter much. With Dash, Rebel Han, and the Mining Guild TIEs the number of ships that care is small but to be ignored, and flying Medium or Large base ships through dense areas of asteroids is hard. 

The Turn 0 I'm mostly thinking about is setting up your ships on the table. Like @millertime059 was saying, I choose where I want to engage, choose where I think my opponent wants to engage, and then figure out how best to exploit that. There has been some level of mocking about thinking 3 turns in advance, but you can kind of figure out those first three moves or at least know what sorts of options you are cutting off by placing in a spot and adjusting your setup to that. 

Again, I pretty much just agree with you and wanted to expand on the thoughts you had.

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I just had a conversation about this with a new player last night at my FLGS. Snow kept almost everyone away so it was just the two of us. Asteroid placement and ship placement are key to getting the right opportunities to attack and I showed him in our first game after-action that he had setup some outlier ships directly in my laneway that my alpha torps were coming down and that is why he lost his fist and second tugs. I also explained that my list needed to be at range 1 of it so his tugs were my bigger threat (and that Sessiru was of no consequence with 2 dice attacks) and Guri was his only threat but was placed all the way on the other side and only came into the fight much later. His list being spread out and some of his ships coming down my laneway against a 4 ship box formation rebel list allowed me to focus fire one ship away at a time.

 

On our second match he had better lane choices and learned to setup to defend against my alpha list by putting some rocks into the laneway. We slow rolled at each other from center mat positions and I waited for a sign as to which way he was going to turn around the rocks. He came thru to the right and targeted my Dutch with his Procket Genesis Red and took him out and did some serious damage to Garven but I still had an alpha against his IG-88B and killed it after he made a mistake trying to cut through the asteroids and self bumped. Had his IG feinted and went out on the left flank, it would have been a much different game as I was expecting him to block my shots on his Palob. In the end we went over the strategies again and the importance of turn 0 setup and laneway/engagement selection.

 

Obstacles help you against Large ships and swarms. For swarms place rocks at range 3 & 3 of the swarm players edge so that forces the obstacles placed to be nearer to your side of the board (which can mess up a swarms approach). For large ships pack rocks in tight with minimum distance between so large bases can clip an obstacle and take a penalty.

 

Ship placement needs to answer 2 questions:

 

1) where do I want the first engagement to be?

 

2) Where do I want my opponent to go?

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It matters more in 2.0 than in 1.0 because 2.0 is a better game.

If squad composition and broken combos are less important then it must follow that other elements in the game will become more important.  You can no longer deploy like a complete muppet and win anyway because of combololz.

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