The Phases of the Game:
1) Preparation - This is effectively Turn 0, before the game has even begun. It begins when you decide what fleet you are going to bring to the game, based on your playstyle and what you expect your opponents to field. It continues as you get your matchups, as you get good, real intelligence over what your opponent will actually bring. If you have the higher bid, you will determine if you will take first or second player at this point. If you are first player, you will pick from your opponents objectives as well. Once the objective is selected, we move on to the next phase.
Key Advantages for this Phase: Knowledge of the Meta, Practice with Your Fleet, Initiative Bids.
2) Deployment - The other half of Turn 0. This is where you begin to set playing pieces on the board. You should enter this section with a game plan of how you want the eventual engagement to take place. It begins with setting up obstacles - we have some older articles on using these to your advantage - and continues with the deployment of your fleets. You should use the obstacles and your fleet deployment to dictate where and how the engagement will happen, and expect your opponent to do the same.
Key Advantages for this Phase: Second Player Obstacle Placement, Deployment Advantage
3) Maneuver - This phase begins at the start of Turn 1, and continues until the first dice are rolled. This is the part where you position your fleet to get the most advantage during the engagement, and make up for bad positioning from the Deployment Phase.
Key Advantages for this Phase: Navigate Commands, Maneuver Upgrades, High Speed / Yaw ships.
4) Skirmish - This typically takes place at the end of Turn 2 through Turn 3. Faster ships or squadrons will engage one another at extreme range.
Key Advantages for this Phase: Red Dice, Fast Squadrons, Evade Defense Tokens
5) Engagement - Typically takes place Late Turn 3, Turn 4, and possibly Turn 5. This phase is where the main guns of each fleet are able to take their shots, and where you are able to score the most points.
Key Advantages for this Phase: Lots of Defense Tokens, Lots of Dice, Dice Modification
6) Disengagement - Typically takes place Turn 5 into Turn 6. This phase is where your surviving ships break off to avoid the remaining enemy fleet, or positions to prevent the enemy fleet from escaping certain destruction!
Key Advantages for this Phase: High Top Speed, Well Planned Navigate Commands