Sun Tzu said: Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten battle will arrive exhausted.
Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy’s will to be imposed on him.
–Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter VI: “Weak Points and Strong,” [1-2].
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to show up to a wargame early.
You’ll have time to scout the gaming area, to examine or even place the terrain. You might get first pick of the armies if don’t have miniatures of your own. You can help the referee organize the scenario.
If the game is scheduled in a public of semi-public area, like the local gaming store, its even more important you be there early. Space might be limited and the referee might need your help securing a table from other gamers.
Or you might have to do the securing until your opponent shows up.
Certainly, showing up early might make you appear too eager, but it gives you time to prepare.
If you can’t show up early, show up on time.
Showing up late puts you at the mercy of those who show up early or on time.
Next on The Art of Wargaming: “Cannon Fodder Joe.”