Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NOVA Open 40k 2011 - Primer Missions!

Feedback away; please playtest where possible, as opposed to just the kneejerk (i.e. those who never really playtested the Quarters mission, and so kneejerked thinking it was better for MSU than Deathstar, which it isn't).


  1. What is win rate in the scoring calculation? I'm a little confused since you say that those scores are not cumulative from round to round.

  2. Not cumulative in that you do not add a "13" from round 1 to a "13" from round 2 for a "26."

    Win Rate = your Wins/Games Played, so a 1/1 would be a "1" ... 1/2 would be a 0.5 ... etc.

    Hence, if you win 1 game and lose 1 game, score 2,000 points in 1 and 0 in the next, score 5 objectives in 1 and 0 in the next, and score 4 quarters in 1 and 0 in the next, you would have:

    1 Win / 2 Games
    2,000 Points / 4,000 Possible
    5 Objectives / 10 Possible
    4 Quarters / 8 Possible


    (1/2)*10 + (2,000/4,000) + (5/10) + (4/8)
    5.0 + .5 + .5 + .5
    6.5 would be your rating for purposes of establishing seeding/bracketing/etc., as well as your rating for purposes of the competitive component of the Renaissance Man / Best Overall scoring.

  3. Ok, initial thoughts from just a first read-through.

    Noticed a possible typo on page 3, it says "Primary / Secondary Tertiary Goals", assuming there's supposed to be another slash in between secondary and tertiary.

    Ooh, random game length (but more measured/controlled than the standard method).

    Good idea to specify no height matters in regards to grabbing objectives (or if that was in there last year, I don't remember it).

    On page 5, the sentence "One each of your other larger pieces of area terrain should be placed in each table quarter" is a bit...wonky, grammatically speaking. :P

    Don't see any other typos at the moment. Good idea on switching the VPs main objective to KPs, gives a little more variety and is probably balanced a little better. I don't have much else to add at the moment since it appears to be about 90% the same as last year. I'll try to get in a game this weekend.

  4. Bit of feedback, and great to see these out so early and up for commentary!

    Minor Quibbles:

    1) Page 4, Under Table Quarters, probably better to just simplify the word "preponderance". Also "largest number" would be better as "most"


    1) Interesting twist to scoring units being worth full vp regardless of damage sustained. I don't think it helps or hurts, but it is a nice twist.

    2) I'm not sure if you're planning on having a sheet of some sort displaying what pieces of terrain count as what, but it would definitely help if pieces of terrain will have both area and non-area terrain portions.

    3) How is the 4th mission being handled for each day? Will you rerun one of these 3, or generate a new 4th?

  5. Something I noticed after playing a couple games this afternoon to playtest.

    I played two games using the first mission. First game I played a Tau gunline with a CC-oriented BT force. Due to the combination of Dawn of War (and the night fighting) and a Primary Goal of Kill Points, my forces were able to cross the board relatively unscathed and I ultimately decimated my opponent. He simply could not compete with the deployment type and the need to gain kill points. By the time he got clear shots, I was already in his face, which was too late.

    Worrying that I could also face similar issues with my planned army (BT Gunline), I played an CC-oriented BA list that was relatively balanced. The same issue occurred, even with my somewhat plastered use of searchlights. I simply did not have the time to get the shots off to cripple my opponent's mobility before they got to me, even with bubblewrap.

    I think if the Primary was not KP, I would have played the game much different, picking and choosing my shots based on the need to temporarily shut down certain elements of his forces. Using that time to spread to various parts of the board, while my opponent does the same. It perhaps would have prevented them from simply bum-rushing me under a turn of near-immunity. Unfortunately, the need to spread out all of my shots and/or sink them all into targets in the effort to gain sufficient KP to overtake my opponent's put my list at a distinct disadvantage.

    Don't take this as a knee-jerk reaction, as I've just got done playing two separate games with the same result. It just looks to me like Mission #1 strongly favors CC-oriented lists, especially when facing a shooty army. It seems as though a simple change to switch the primaries of Mission #1 with #2 or #3 would ease this issue, without affecting the balance of the missions.

  6. Note, my first game was only 1.5k points as that is only what my opponent had brought, so that might have affected the outcome a little bit. The game didn't last very long. :/

  7. Great work.

    I was thinking how to make scoring unit more important and I think you have solved it for me.

    If you don't mind, I will steal your idea.

  8. @Marshall Laeroth: That's interesting you ran into that. I don't think I've ever played a Dawn of War mission that cost me more than one or two shots during the night-fighting. I'll have to keep an eye out for that and see if I get the same thing.

    @ShrineDawg: It wasn't last year, so I'd expect no this time around. I like that ruling.

  9. @Allerka agreed, just think it should be mentioned somewhere in the missions.

  10. Probably no impassable terrain; treat it like an area hill, basically. We'll clarify those little nuances (And all the other good things being caught) with finalized packets ... but you want to think through the lens of a TO ... can you put impassable terrain on every table? Yatta yatta. When the answer is "no," lean toward not using it.

    Laeroth ... play moar :) ... also, try mixing up the goal combinations ... what happens in a KP game when someone gets to go first and can fire all his guns right away?

    Also, it's worth remembering that your opponent is starting with 12" more distance to cross w/ most of his army in DOW. Maybe going 2nd makes more sense for a gunline, also, so it can roll on with better reaction to where the assaulty stuff shows ... lots of depth to ponder in DOW, but there's a reason the "shoot/kill stuff" mission in the Primer isn't a deploy stood off mission.

  11. For DoW deployment, we adopted what Da Boyz were using for their GT, which is a 6" no-mans land on either side of the center line. So in actuality, the deployment zone is 18" instead of 24". It prevents someone from completely boxing out their opponent due to the fact you can't deploy within 18" of the enemy (if you have LOS to them)

    As it stands, the player to deploy first during DoW gains a tremendous advantage by controling where their opponent can and cannot deploy

  12. Don't get me wrong, like I said, it was my initial thoughts on the missions. There are lots of time to play to refine strategies against what happened (i.e. split deployment).

    You asked for comments, so I gave mine. ;)

  13. Mike, great work so far. Any shot of a preliminary Appearance packet in the next month or two?

  14. I'll work with Geoff and co. to try and get that out at an expedited rate, if possible, Jay. I would say you kinda wanna go by the previous one, with the caveat that we'll definitely be making improvements to it.

    We will also not likely allow double submission - i.e., you will not be able to submit the same model for conversion scoring as for paint scoring, etc.

  15. That's a good idea. Get some more variety in there. What about submission limits for the Golden NOVA contest? I'll probably actually bring something to enter into that this time (multiple things even, potentially).

  16. I'm noticing that there is no line for keeping track of kill point victory on the score sheets. I am aware this is because KP victory is not used in the seeding formula.

    I'd just like to be educated on why it's not included in the calculation. I should begin testing these after the Battle for Stones River this weekend. They look really good.

  17. KP is not included in the formula, because it is too variable table by table. It makes for a cleaner, more predictable/fair score if your seeding is always based on 2,000 VP, 5 Objectives, and 4 Quarters ... vs. 10 KP one game, 20 the next, 25 the third, 8 the 4th. You could do percentages, but it just gets messier and messier in terms of what a person can score, how "easy" it is, etc. VP is more predictable, and Seed Rating is relatively marginal in value overall.

  18. PS - An Important note here is that each goal is not a ... mission or obejctive on its own. Each Mission is one mission, taken as a whole with multiplie routes to victory. Measuring goal accomplishment / VP for purposes of seeding is as removed from measuring how well someone is "winning" missions as Errors/Batting Average/ERA in Baseball ... which might help explain/understand the rationale, and that winning an individual goal is not necessarily related in our thought and design process to how we seed you, so much as accomplishing as much of each as possible (win or lose).

  19. Sounds perfectly reasonable. Consider me educated.

  20. No impassable terrain, please. And Mike does need a good editor sometimes. Is everybody playtesting with time limits? Something to consider. Not all missions need the same time limit. Some flexiblity here might be good, to take into account the differences in each mission. One size does not fit all.

    @ HuronBH

    About the appearance issue...Going to keep the scorecard system from last year, since it worked very well. Need to improve the administrative side of things, as I have said before to the relevant parties. There will be no major changes in the review system, except for one, no double entries for single miniature and best conversion. [This is a definite.] A miniature can only be considered for one category. There will be a few point adjustments here and there, and some improvements/refinements to the review process for conversions and for overall appearances. As you saw in the forum, the threads which I started were meant to solicit input on these areas. Ther may be a few more threads, about the overall appearance review ,which I intend to start in the near future, so that the review process can get a final polishing before release. So folks, please feel free to add your opinions over at the forum. Link is at the top of the page here. Something definitive should be available around the beginning of April. But for those of you starting now, last years standards are a good guideline. Evolution here, not revolution.

    And Jay, this year anybody who shows up with an unpainted army...You and I can take them out into the parking lot and teach them some manners, eh?

  21. I may have missed it in the packet, and if so, sorry. But what is considered a "Scoring" unit?

  22. I'd ask on the actual paint scoring that the army be worth 50% w/the individual portions worth 25% each. Currently 1-2 fantastic models and a mediocre army puts you ahead of a well converted, well painted army.

    the missions are pretty solid. I'll be playtesting them more after Adepticon :)

  23. The novaopen mission primer states that kill points are treated exactly as in the 40k rulebook. It also says that even if you table your opponent, finish the game and resolve the victory conditions as if they are still there. This means that is is possible to table your opponent, yet still lose the round if they got more kill points than you.

  24. Good catch, Bond. A tabling in the KP mission should equal a win no matter what, not sure how anything else would make sense lol.

    I've play-tested two of the missions so far, had a lot of fun. Will have to do it timed sometime soon.

  25. It seems like a rare occurance, but the KP mission is first round, where the skill disparity is likely to be largest. With the sheer number of tables playing I would be surprised if it didn't happen at least once.

    Nonetheless, I played for that very same outcome this weekend in a local tourney. Pitched battle, KP's, my MSU shooty marines vs a 2 raider Vulkan list. Missed it by one librarian in terminator armor and got second instead of first.