Beginner's strategy guide : Common openings

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Beginner's strategy guide : Common openings[edit | edit source]

The openings available to both players can change a lot depending on the advanced drones that may or may not be in the set. Even other non economical units can change the rules. Here, I will not consider advanced units at all. That will be the subject for a later article.

A few notations for the openings (nothing fancy, they're the hotkeys) :

  • D is Drone
  • E is Engineer
  • A is Animus
  • B is Blastforge
  • C is Conduit
  • P1 and P2 are respectively player 1 and 2 based on who started first

Plus, I will write the turn number, followed by a dot, followed by the units built during the turn.

For example : 2.DDE means "buy 2 Drones and 1 Engineer on turn 2".

As we are not considering advanced units, the first turn, you will always want to go 1.DD (buy 2 Drones), so I will show the openings from turn 2.

The third Engi openings[edit | edit source]

For both P1 and P2, these openings begins with 2.DDE. It turns out that P2 floats 2 gold, making it less efficient than P1, but it's inevitable (floating means you don't spend some gold that you carry on the next turn). Going for this or not is the first important choice a player can make in the game.

You will want to go for third Engi openings if these two conditions are met :

  • the set is medium or high economy (based on your reading of course)
  • the set is not aggressive : no aggressive options, or the aggressive options are not viable (once again based on your reading)

Usually, if you're P2, you will mirror P1's choice, especially if he doesn't buy a third Engi but you may also disagree on P1's reading and do what you want.

After that, P1 will follow with 3.DDD.

Then both players will have options, depending on the tech they aim for. P2 will have 3 options :

  • 3.DDDE : that's the heavy economy option, pick this if you are in a very defensive set with good absorber and soak
  • 3.DDDC : most standard option, even if Green is not very useful in the set, you can always bank it and use it to gain an edge with Forcefields in the latest stages of the game.
  • 3.DDD : floating 4 gold, that strongly indicates going for expensive tech next turn, with at least an Animus. Double Animus srategies will follow a line similar to this.

On turn 4, P1 has a natural Blastforge possibility : 4.DDDB, or 4.DDDC instead if Green is important, or cut a Drone to get Animus : 4.DDA. If P2 went for 3.DDDE, P1 can mirror it with 4.DDDE to also go for a high economy slow game.

Aggressive openings[edit | edit source]

Aggressive openings for both players involve getting an Animus as quickly as on turn 2.

P2 has the aggressive Fastimus opening : 2.DA.

P1 has the even more aggressive Elyot Animus opening : 2.A. Needless to mention, both these openings cut Drones and aim for a fast, aggressive development, relying on mostly Red attackers and soak (even if you can consider throwing in a Conduit for Forcefields or even a Blastforge for Wall if you can).

Middle ground[edit | edit source]

Most sets will go with one of these openings : the set is not enough aggressive to go for Fastimus or Elyot Animus, but not defensive enough that a third Engi would go unpunished.

P1 options[edit | edit source]

P1 has natural Blastforge : 2.DD 3.DDB, or natural Animus : 2.DD 3.DDA, or slow Conduit : 2.DD 3.DDC. The latter feels a bit bad because you end up floating 2 gold, though. Turn 3 will be pretty free depending on the develoment of the game.

P2 options[edit | edit source]

P2 has less options. The strongest line is natural Conduit : 2.DDC, which can be followed by a natural Blastforge : 3.DDB, or an Animus : 3.DA if you opt for a Green/Red strategy (like Scorchilla). Floating 4 gold on turn 2 is pretty bad, so unless there are other advanced units in the mix, you'll usually be stuck with that Conduit, like it or not.

Tech order[edit | edit source]

Now, if you have picked a slower option, and as long as your opponent doesn't build attackers to rush, you don't need your absorber right away. Try to set it up when it gets a better value than a Wall. Usually, that would translate into : don't build Blastforge first if you have nothing to buy with it to agress your opponent (Steelsplitter is not a good attacker as it will usually run into Wall or Rhino and sit around). Better setting up your own attack first by getting Animus or Conduit.

That's all for the beginner content. If you practice what you've learned in this guide, you should be kicking Master Bot's circuits quite easily, and reach rank Master in no time. But that's only the beginning of the road so if you want to progress even more, keep reading on the advanced section of this guide.

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