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 Going first or going second?

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BlackCadian
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PostSubject: Going first or going second?   Tue Jan 27 2015, 06:39

Alright so I'm still fairly new to 40K and Dark Eldar, and while I understand that apparently it's GOOD to to have the initiative in a game I simply have no clue how to take advantage of it fully.

In the campaign we're currently running due to some special rules there's about a 90% chance that I get to choose if I want go first or not, but so far I don't think I've made the most of it.


Which leads me to my question:

How do you decide when to go first and when to go second, and how does it affect your deployment and reserve strategy?


My experience so far:

Spoiler:
 


Last edited by BlackCadian on Tue Jan 27 2015, 06:44; edited 3 times in total
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Grimcrimm
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PostSubject: Re: Going first or going second?   Tue Jan 27 2015, 06:42

Someone else will give you in-depth tactics, but in short if you choose to go first you take away the toys that will negatively effect you most

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Mushkilla
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PostSubject: Re: Going first or going second?   Tue Jan 27 2015, 08:56

Going second doesn't mean you lose the initiative. I'm actually a huge proponent if going second and not seizing. Most players prefer to go first and as a result its good to learn to go second especially with a glass hammer like dark eldar. A lot of dark eldar players rely way too much on the alpha strike which is a crutch you will only get half the time. On the other hand if we get seized against we can often be caught out of position and lose the game.

From the sounds of it, it also looks like you are misjudging how much to put in reserve.

Anyway I'm in the middle of writing s pragmatic real space raider guide on both topics which should be up in the next few days.

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Last edited by Mushkilla on Tue Jan 27 2015, 09:02; edited 1 time in total
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The_Burning_Eye
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PostSubject: Re: Going first or going second?   Tue Jan 27 2015, 09:02

As I'm sure you can imagine, there's no simple formula that tells you what to do and when, experience really helps.

That being said, your first examples I'm afraid are pretty much a lesson in what not to do.

The biggest weakness in our army is its fragility, which is countered by our ability to put out a lot of fire. Generally speaking if I'm deploying my whole army on the table I want first turn, because by deploying everything I'm maximising my chances of doing lots of damage early on. Conversely if I'm deploying most things in reserve, I want to limit line of sight as much as possible to the units on the table and go second, so that I've pulled my opponent from his ideal setup so that he can draw line of sight to my units, which allows me to concentrate fire on one section of his army when my reserves arrive.

Don't forget that when deploying stuff in reserve you need to specify if it's deep strike or normal reserve.

Your third example sounds like a bit of bad luck combined with a small deployment issue and a massive teasing of the dice gods. Never yell alpha strike before you roll anything, wait until half the opponent's army is a smoking ruin then shout it! Similarly never refer to the special dice used for blast templates as a 'scatter' die. It's a 'hit' die! (Anecdotally - when using this method, a friend and I managed ten hits in a row in one game we played).

In terms of deciding whether to take first turn or second, you need to assess the threats your opponent is able to put on the table. Going second has the advantage of being able to steal objectives at the end of the game, whilst going first guarantees you the first chance at first blood. It's also terrain dependant - if I can hide everything out of line of sight then there's no harm in going first - you can deny your opponent the first turn advantage by not letting him shoot anything cos he can't see your units.

I might look at putting some of these thoughts into a more coherent tactica at some point ( Suspect damn, ninja'd by Mushkilla who probably knows more about it than me anyway), but you can see here some of the factors that make going first or second more than a simple coin toss.

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commandersasha
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PostSubject: Re: Going first or going second?   Tue Jan 27 2015, 09:47

After Mushkilla raised the idea of "plan for going second" a year or so back, I have always chosen second: being able to hide from your enemy during deployment is almost as good as the Alpha strike of going first, and we are fast enough to get out of said cover if we end up Seizing.

The enemy will usually start by spreading out to try and get a bead on you, making our job easier, and revealing more of his tactical plans and playstyles.

I do always attempt to Steal Initiative, however.
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lessthanjeff
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PostSubject: Re: Going first or going second?   Tue Jan 27 2015, 11:09

I like to go second myself, too. After seeing their deployment, I carefully measure out their threat ranges and make sure they can take few, if any, shots against me in their first turn. It's great against armies like Necron, Tyranid, and Tau who have few long ranged options (I don't see many railguns anymore, so most of their weapons I go against are range 30-36" max). Make sure you include their movement range into your calculations of threats though. It's also great for being able to choose your targets because I usually stack my units on one side or another to wipe out a few of their biggest threats in my first turn.
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The_Burning_Eye
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PostSubject: Re: Going first or going second?   Tue Jan 27 2015, 11:39

Don't forget also that using the standard deployment method, if you deploy first, you can choose to go first or second, it's not forced upon you.

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BlackCadian
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PostSubject: Re: Going first or going second?   Wed Jan 28 2015, 23:04

That is some really good advice guys, thank you all!

I will mostly likely give going 2nd a try then, and I'll let you know how it goes!

Also looking very much forward to your guide, Mushkilla!

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