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Dave M's Guide to Losing Turn 1.


by David Martin

There are many great things about Godtear. Amongst them is how close games usually feel, no matter the final score. I think there's a few things that play into this: the "tug of war" scoring of the battle latter, the differing scores for different rounds, and the mechanics introduced in the end phase. The latter aspects here mean it can sometimes be good to lose. Certainly, it's good to sometimes accept when you've lost a turn and prep for the next. However, it can also be advantageous to deliberately lose turn 1. Grumpysarn previously an article about why to win turn 1, so here is an argument for when to lose turn 1. So, why lose turn 1? I think there's a few advantages to doing so: - It's only at a loss of 1 point. - To get the endphase bonus in later turns you usually have to lose some models. In turn 1, it can instead be decided by whomever went first/second or did/did not plant a banner. - Whether you win or lose T1, the game will last at least 3 rounds: losing T1 can give you an advantage going into those next, possibly decisive, 2 rounds. - The earlier in the game it is, the more predictable your endphase options are: in T1 the map is more static, battle-lines are more symmetrical and warbands are generally more intact. Still, losing turn 1 isn't always worth it, particularly depending on scenario. It also varies significantly based on matchups and team compositions, here's my opinion on which scenarios generally favour losing turn 1: - Life: Absolutely. - Death: Generally, yes. - Change: So-so, depending on your team. - Knowledge: Not worth it. - Quest: Often not worth it. - Chaos: Typically, yes. Lets be clear: it's not always good to lose turn 1, and particularly if you're suffering wounds or positioning to do so. But I would suggest at the very least, when you're deploying or setting up a game, it is worth thinking whether you'll benefit most from winning or losing T1. Whilst there's no hard or fast rule, below some examples of when losing T1 can be good and with what champions. Most of these examples are replicating ones I've used or had used against me with success. Hopefully it can give you some thoughts of when it may be good for you to lose T1 too. Life: Life endphase has a big advantage and provides at least 2 hexes. You can combine this champions that can move hexes easily, like Raith, Shayle or Styx to create a separate island:

This is how life could look after an undertow. Raith can threaten any enemy banners and the enemy has walk into the dragons to try and crush his. This likely nets you T2 and sets you up well for T3.

Change: The desire to lose T1 on Change really varies according to warband, but can be great for some situations, such as if you have a slow Guardian like poor ol’ Rhodri. The leftmost picture shows the absolute furthest Rhodri could get to if he only moves and marches. He could get a banner down next phase, but he’ll probably lose it. However, if you lose T1 you can bring a hex closer to him. This means you don’t have to march in both phases and means you can set up a safe banner for turn 2 onwards, whilst preventing an enemy banner.

Chaos: Being able to place a Hex anywhere is huge, particularly if you have mobile champions such as Kailinn, Lorsann and Raith’Marid, or can get long-range banners with Mourneblade or Finvarr (and the upcoming Jaak). You could safely put a banner along this back row and still be in the action.

Let’s say you even had a really rough T1 where Lorsann was KO’d by a Kailinn. You can still put a safe banner down whilst threatening banners on that side of the board.

Death: Losing T1 can be a good way to punish an enemy’s deployment or warband choices. If they have a slow champion or someone that wants to get banners, you can deny them this. In the below, you (team Rangosh) could remove hexes in the centre and make it so Halftusk can’t get a banner and has to try and out-fight Rangosh (which he can do, but likely won’t excel at). Or you could remove the hexes next to Skullbreaker and leave him the choice of staying out of the action and planting, or not planting and forcing him to come to the centre; or neither if Mourneblade has his say.

Champions: Some champions particularly favour losing turn 1. Amongst them are: Nia, Mourneblade, Kailinn, Raith'Marid, Styx, Lorsann, Shayle off the top of my head. As you may note, for me the theme here is that they're either shapers or champions with a lot of manoeuvrability or range. Nia gets a special mention: with speed boons or follower pushes (e.g., Kailinn) you can calcify on T1 on Life, Death and Change. In Death, this means you can potentially keep hexes in an area over all 5 rounds. In Chaos, you could set up a castle in the back.

Hopefully that gives you some ideas for when you may want to lose turn 1 too. Or if your enemy may wish to do so.

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