How to win the pistol round
Depending on the rules of your league, the first round of the match will start you with virtually no money. This round is generally referred to as the "pistol round", as no one can afford real weapons. Although you probably rarely practice it, it can be a deciding factor for your whole team's cash flow and weaponry arsenal for at least the next couple of rounds... a highly critical point in the match.
- Diffuse Kit!
CT's would be foolish not to pick up diffuse kits. If you are planning on sticking together you might be able to get away with only buying a couple between teammates, but you better make sure someone picks them up after you die. Losing a round because you were too cheap to have a diffuse is insanity.
- Buy 1 Flash
At least a handful of players on the team should buy a flash grenade, this will aid you in many strategies or emergency get away plans. They are pretty cheap, so go ahead and pick at least 1 up.
- HE Grenades
These can be pretty effective at "nade stacking" a rushing team, or taking on groups of players (people tend to stick together in pistol rounds). I'd recommend picking them up, but usually it's most effective if your team coordinates the purchase together so you have a few to blast out a room together.
Armor is debatable... against enemy pistols, you'll probably be able to take a few extra hits so it's quite effective, but it will deplete almost your entire cash flow. I'd still recommend doing it, buy buy responsibly and coordinate with the team (armored guys rush first and take the hits)
- Don't buy Weapons!
You can't afford anything worth having anyway, so save your money. Occasionally someone may favor a unique pistol type (like the deagle), but it's usually a bad idea. You aren't up against any heavy weaponry in this round, so you may as well save your cash for a decent gun in round 2 instead.
- Don't waste money on toys
Gas Grenades and night vision can be handy in rare scenarios, but the cash flow just isn't there to make it worth while yet.
Basic Terrorist Strategy
- Stick together
Generally you'll be more effective in a team, and you'll want maximum defenses to guard the bomb. You may want to send out 1 or 2 players as a decoy early in the game, but pull them back into the squad at your target bomb site fairly early.
- Rush & Plant
Pretty basic, get the bomb down ASAP and hope to shake up the team psychologically very early in the match. If you win, this can often help you disrupt the CT team for a few more rounds.
- Delayed Rush
Camp out somewhere somewhat unexpected. You'll avoid getting owned by a nade stack early on, and by waiting the CT team will often start to split up and scout the area where you're full army can cut them down 1-by-1. Just make sure you don't wait so long that you don't have time to get a bomb down.
Basic Counter Terrorist Strategy
- Stick together
As with T, you're always going to be more effective in a group. No one has an automatic, so you don't have to worry about getting sprayed to death all at once. As long as you avoid getting a big grenade in the face, you'll be able to swarm the terrorists and hopefully stop the bomb before it's even planted.
- Nade Stack
Terrorists will often rush, and they'll usually rush whichever bombsite is the "closest" to their spawn. Practice the map to learn timing and toss 3-5 grenades in rapid succession at the doorway/hallway they're most likely going to come through. It's a guessing game, and a cash lottery on your early-game funds, but if you guess right you made find the T team obliterated or severely crippled right away.