sometimes first pick is extremely important... but not for the reason you think it is

because you can actually use it to figure out the maximum amount of intel your opponent can (and more importantly, can't) potentially have

this strategy works best when you have a board where theres one obvious pick thats much more OP than all others (could be because of relative safety, positional advantage, etc.)

when its obvious that you and your opponent will have the same 1st pick, set either your 4th or 5th as a counter to it that only works if your opponent has no intel on it

the logic is that if your opponent happens to get 1st pick order (which you can determine from losing 1st pick), you can deduce that if any of his picks end up conflicting with your 4th and 5th AT ALL, he'll always get it regardless of what number he puts it under; thus, you can safely assume that if you get your 4th and 5th, the picks never conflicted and therefore the opponent has no intel on it; if they're counterpicks, then he would have to expand in a really weird guessing way to avoid getting countered

NOTE: This only works 100% of the time for 3 picks

heres a barely relevant example:

https://www.warlight.net/MultiPlayer?GameID=11493743I could expand somewhat safely in my 4th pick knowing he very unlikely had intel that I was there

game would have been over 10 turns earlier had he expanded normally in the 4 bonus, but instead he decided to play a really risky blind counter gamble

(darn wish I had a better example to show because in 4 picks, an opponent with 1st pick order can still get intel on your 4th and 5th so long as they make it one of their last picks)

(sht gets complicated real fast in 4 picks lol)

tl;dr:

**I will find you**