Thursday, July 12, 2012

40k Mission Primer - Practice and Feedback

This link contains our 40k newsflash.

Contained within is our primer for this year's GT, Invitational, and Trios missions.

Please note, points levels are for the GT and Trios "singles" only. Invitational remains at 1750, Trios doubles lists remain at 1000 each.

Rationale behind some changes so far:

  • All changes have been made based upon feedback from players and results of playtesting
Hammer and Anvil Deployment Modification
This is a difficult one to have function properly in a tournament setting, b/c of the inherent logistical nightmare of 256 wargamers constantly running around 128 tables trying to fully use the short-edge, along-the-table deployment and play type. Hence, we've shortened the depth of the deployment zone somewhat, to at least ameliorate the process a little without dramatically altering the "feel" of the playstyle.

Incorporation of Book Missions
  • Kill Points is still a mission in the book, but it only occurs once every 6 games. As a result, we've suppressed Kill Points down in the P/S/T tree except when it occurs as a primary. This is a good hint to you all where it will typically be, and how frequently it will be a primary.
  • Relic, Big Guns Never Tire, and The Scouring have all been incorporated in the primer. Where possible, we will be incorporating the base book missions into the NOVA Goals in a similar fashion.
  • The Secondary Objectives have been incorporated into the Tiebreakers, with each one swaying your Points total as if you destroyed a 50 point unit. So far in playtest this has felt like the appropriate value, but let us know how things pan out in playtest of very close games.
  • When components like The Scouring and Big Guns Never Tire are in effect for purposes of their impact on Fast Attack and Heavy Support units, two things occur - they count as Scoring/Denial units for purposes of the Quarters goal.
Removal of Mysterious/Archeotech/Etc. Terrain
  • With this little time before the NOVA after the release of 6th Edition, we cannot ensure a fair and equivalent placement of these terrain types on every table. We will continue playtesting, and observe results and feedback from future events that DO use these terrain types to make an informed decision about our terrain production process in relation to them going forward toward 2013.
Removal of Mysterious Objectives
  • We are still on the fence with this, but barring further playtesting of some options regarding Mysterious Objectives, we are leaving them out of play for now.

Please provide feedback and playtest results in the comments section or the forum! NOVA FAQ for sixth edition is forthcoming. The more input you provide that is of a constructive nature, especially backed by playtest, the better the final packet will work for all involved.

Thanks as always!


  1. I really don't understand your reasoning behind the change to the warlord traits. It's just such an arbitrary change that doesn't really effect the randomness or functionality of the chart.

    I'm speculating that the reason for the change is you didn't want people rolling on a random chart, and if I roll poorly and my opponent rolls well I'm starting the game at a disadvantage through no fault of my own. My guess is that your theory is this increases the odds I'll get something useful in my rolls, but allow enough random so I can't build my army around a specific trait.

    It's a laudable goal, but you didn't accomplish that. The only useful ones that have a game wide impact are on the strategic chart. Every other trait chart can be effectively duplicated or rendered unnecessary through proper list building, and frankly doesn’t really help. All you've really done is say "well you didn't get super awesome warlord trait that would let you win against your opponent, so here is a booby prize of +1 LD within 6" of your warlord(or some other random trait that will have little bearing on the game anyways)". You still haven't solved the problem of "I got lucky on my Warlord trait roll...their for you loose" problem that your originally set out to solve.

    To give a specific example, if I'm playing a necron flyer list, and my opponent is playing a standard GK Dread/Razor spam list. My opponent is going to want the -1 to reserve trait, and I'm going to want the reroll reserve trait. If either one of us gets lucky and gets the roll they want the other player is going to be at a disadvantage. It doesn't matter what other trait they roll because it won't have the game swinging impact, so the second dies is effectively pointless.

    All you have really done with that is arbitrarily changed the rules and haven’t really solved your underlining problem. I’ll either get the roll I want that will give me an advantage, or I’ll miss and get some other thing that while might be a little better, won’t help my cause as much. If you think that warlord traits can cause that big of an unbalance due to the randomness then just leave the rules out, but don’t go do a hamfisted rewrite of the rules for the first major tournament of 6e.

  2. Look more toward reducing occurrence of worthless result, than toward ensuring overly useful result.

    1. Doesn't matter. I'll either get the one roll that I really want and it will help me win the game, or I won't really care and it's an "oh yea, I do that too now".

      Like I said, the way to fix randomness that might be unbalanced the match is to just eliminate the randomness all together. You aren't doing random terrain or doing random mysterious objectives. Those are both random things that are in the rules that you have chose to basically eliminate the randomness of. That's two precedents that you set in your own rules packet, but then you violate your own precedent on a third random chart. That's why I say it's such an arbitrary thing to do to completely rewrite how it functions. You aren't removing the randomness, just somehow pretending to lessen it. But then not really because ultimately their is only one result that will really matter for a given match and you either get it or you don't.

      The more elegant solution is just to remove the warlord traits entirely, or just accept the randomness as written and move on (you still allow seizing which is just as devastating).

    2. I also find it odd that you vetted and openly discussed every other major decision point and this kind of came out of the blue. Not that it really matters to the logic, but still.

    3. Ryan, this one has also been heavily discussed, just not originally on whiskey.

    4. I agree completely with Darwinn69 on this one. I think you should either remove warlord traits completely, or let people pick them. One dice roll at the start of the game can have a huge effect on the entire contest. A good warlord trait roll is REALLY good. Feel no pain near objectives, scoring commanders, re-roll reserves, these are abilities that would cost a ton of points in a codex.

      I strongly recommend such things are not left to chance. Two dice rolls doesn't change anything, you still get either something useless or over the top.

  3. "If you roll the Warlord Personal trait that awards 1 additional “Victory Point” for every Character your Warlord kills, change this to instead award 50 Points toward your Competitive Rating and Tiebreaker for every Character your Warlord kills"

    This also counts towards Paladins and Nobs right? So my Warlord could go around killing Characters and just rack up the points? Awesome!

    1. This is the FIRST time I've realized how badass that trait is against Nob and Paladin armies ... for literally anyone, even in "base" 40k.

    2. Good. Maybe that will stop people from purposefully designing a whole army based on stalling and otherwise playing slow, ect ect.

      ---Colm Corbec

  4. Mike, I don't see any mention of the "end of game turn tabling" rule. Is this not in effect for current primer missions?

    Also, I assume the restriction on the number of units in reserves is still in place?

    1. Follow the game rules for all purposes not explicitly addressed. So, yes, the end of game turn tabling rule would in theory still be in effect (thoughts on that, Ben?). Additionally, yes, number of units in reserves restriction is still in place.

    2. Well, I think the limit on # of units in reserve and the end of turn tabling were intended to balance flyer heavy armies. However, I think what those rules will really do is make shooting even better. If you can't hide in reserves, I worry that many armies have no chance against an IG gunline. (for example)

      I really don't like those rules, but at the same time you can't just remove them because they are one of the few things toning down flier armies.

      My personal vote would be to remove the reserves restriction, and the end of turn tabling rule, and introduce a couple other simple changes to counter-act fliers. These could be proximity to center objective gives skyfire, the "Incoming!" rule from the leaked pdf, or something else. I realize you are following the wise philosophy of changing as little as possible, so perhaps the skyfire objective change would be the right course.

    3. From a guy who has both owned and fought against an IG gunline, they are easy to drop. Worry more about things that just don't die because of wound allocation shenanigans and insane saves.

  5. Hey MVB i didnt see anything on whether or not the games will be be random game length or will be set game length 6 turns.

    There is a mention in the rulebook that you can have fixed Game Length on pg 122 or variable game length was wondering what Nova was doing.
    Keeping fingers crossed for fixed.

  6. Hey Mike,

    Ok I played three games with these missions last night, here are my impressions:

    First off, I think excluding the mysterious objectives and terrain is good. They are just too random for tournament play.

    I like the overall structure still, seems like the tiered goal thing is still ok for 6th.

    Having the relic objective was a fine twist. Its only one objective after all and is cool to try and steal it and run away.

    The modified hammer and anvil was really weird, but it worked ok. I'd say keep it in and see what happens in the actual tournament.

    I really don't like heavy support or fast attack being scoring. I think this is just a bad mechanic, and you shouldn't try to stay true to the book on this one. Ditch it, stick with normal scoring rules.

    The warlord traits mechanic needs to be changed. As I said in a reply above, either let players choose their trait, or just dont use them at all.

    Ok theres my 2 cents!

  7. Not sure if tomorrows "NOVA Prep Tourney" at the bunker will be using your primer, but I will be sure to provide feedback and get feedback from others if it is used.

  8. What is the "player's board edge" aka "player's table edge" for the Modified Hammer and Anvil deployment? BRB p 119 says "the short board edge touching his own deployment zone." Is it the entire short board edge or only the 36" portion of the short board edge touching the deployment zone?

  9. Mike,

    With how the new rulebook works I have 12 games in so far, and even though 6th kind of works like adepticon, I believe balancing the game by allowing for the primary to count as x amount of victory points, and the secondary and primary objectives to be viable will in the end make more people happy. If I cannot get the primary then I might be able to catch up on the secondary and tertiary. I feel you really can't have sixth without playing for all 3. On a side note, playing for all the objectives makes it more interesting if it is a close game, or gives you something to play for when you have that horrible 1st turn and no will not be able to win by primary alone.

    1. "And know you will not be able to win by primary alone"

  10. Mike, any plan to tone down flyers? They seem to be the current balance problem.

    "Skyfire nexuses" seemed a good option.

    1. That, would be composition. Composition is generally regarded as being the realm of places like Daboyz Gt, Adepticon and other such fluffer tournaments.

      Fliers will be the new thing for people to learn how to handle, just like "marines in boxes" was in 5th edition. Change can be a good thing.

      ----colm corbec

    2. No.....skyfire nexuses would not be comp. Saying you could bring x # of flyers would be comp.

    3. No, saying you can bring fliers is guess what......saying that the codex army list tells you how to make an army list.


    4. All composition is, is making up your own rules in order to alter the current game because you feel that it is morally wrong.

      An example would trying to limit the power of fliers, like you wanted to. That is composition and composition is not at all competetive and it can be argued is not intelligent either. That is why serious tournaments do not do it. Of course, the massive failure otherwise known in english as "8th edition Warhammer Fantasy" is a different story.

    5. The biggest fail is to assume that GW out of the box is "balanced" or "competitive". Why is GW assumed to have written good balanced rules and TOs are not by default? If you are going to make such blatantly ignorant statements, don't make them here.


    6. Of course GW does not make balanced rules. I might think that if I was on bath salts. It however, is not for TO's to go and decide "hey all Space MArines get 6 re-rolls of anything they want during their first game" or "no fliers allowed" or other stuff like that. That is composition and so is rediculous and even more of a joke then saying GW makes balanced rules.

      The point is that the missions, terrain set up, game length and that sort of stuff has always been TO business, not GW's. Composition, is at its core, deciding on a new rulebook to use (take to the most extreme) and so is something to stay away from.

      ---Colm Corbec

    7. But if you admit that GWs rules are terrible and not balanced, why not try to improve them?

      You can always give examples of what Bad composition is, but that doesn't mean that all modifications/composition is bad.

      The current, blatant money grab by GW to not give out Flakk missiles until they've sold XXXXX fliers, is a joke. Why shouldn't events that get screwed over by this consider modifications to remedy the situation?

    8. Hey man. Well saying something like "you are only allowed up to 2 fliers per force organization chart" would be what I regard as idiotic composition. That is the sort of crap fluffer tournaments do, not real ones. Now on the other hand, look at flakk missiles. That is probably in there just as you said it is: as a money grab.

      Once enough fliers sell, then all Imperials (Xenos can frakk off, of course) get them for free. I think Flakk (what a stupid a$$ spelling) should be issued right now to all Imperial missile launchers, just like the book shows in the picture.

      That would solve your problem by using the rules, instead of making up rules. Sorry for argueing about how many angels can fit on a pin, but sometimes those are necessary in Warhammer.

    9. No worries, No reason to not give xenos some level of flakk, even if it is less than imperial levels (for some reason).

      Some people just insist than any/all changes from the BRB is comp and therefore bad. I think that some changes are often needed and good for the game. Though the least amount of disruption/change is always best.


  11. I could see one scenario with a skyfire nexus in the center for the players to fight over or one with each player having one in the objective in their setup area, but not as a generic thing.

    I'm sorry people are having issues with flyers. Adapt, Improvise and Overcome.

    I'll cry for you when the entire list you have been waiting to play for six months in NOVA 2012 doesn't just get a bit altered, but gets turned into something totally f'ing illegal by GW 6th edition FAQs. Despite the hand wave of "well, everyone can just fiddle their 5th Ed lists and play them". Most of you people wanted the charge into 6th, so suck it up.

    You do realize that a couple of years from now, the winner of NOVA 2012 will be the winner of NOVA 2012 and if anyone cares, it won't be about which edition was played.

  12. Put in 3 test games so far with the Quarters mission as primary to test. (Will play others when I can).

    Ultimately, it played fine. All 3 games were close and fun. However, they were close for different reasons than actually BEING a close game in 2/3 games, which I will add to my observations here:

    - In one test game, we were playing testing not just the mission but all the Flyer army of DOOM! that everyone is worried about, by pitting the Flying Circus (demons) versus Necron Flyers. Flyers aside, although the Necron Flyer army in this case was handily winning the game, the player in this case almost lost the game because none of the Flyers counted. The opposing player was nearly tabled but still able to control quarters with half-wounded monstrous creatures. Since the Necron player was all MSU, his troop choices were worth very little points and thus had a hard time controlling quarters. The Heavy Support counting as scoring in this case was the only thing that allowed the Necron player to win because the Doom Scythes were counting whereas they normally would not. Even though the demon player only had 3 models left on the table, all wounded, while the Necron player had lost very little, because what the Necron player had lost was scoring, and 1200 or so points could not score, the game was close because of that. This of course led to a happy demon player but also to a Necron player who kind of felt cheated in some ways by the scenario while clearly winning the game.

    - The second game was Necrons on Loganwing-Wolves. This time, only 3 Flyers. This was a slugging match, but the Necron player clearly had the advantage by game end in kills and VPs. However, Necrons lost the game because Logan-wing Scoring units were still worth full points and again, Vehicles belonging to the Necrons were eating up his potential scoring (not all Flyers this time, but still lost 600 or so points to Anni Barges, Triarch, and a couple Scythes) and thus could not put enough VPs into quarters. Again, Wolf player was nearly tabled, having only 3 units left, 2 of which were scoring but only had 2 models in them. The other was Mephiston (allied in).

    - The third game was Nids versus same Loganwing. This time, Foot on Foot. This was an actual close game by most definitions. Ending up going to Wolves but was a slug fest. Wolves again pulled it off because of Wolf Guard scoring units getting full points even though below half, otherwise would have tied down.
    My initial reactions (only 3 tests remember):

    Ultimately, in my opinion, I know that part of the intent of Quarters is to give a boost to non-MSU armies who can put large point values into quarters.

    There may be, just based on observation, a little to much though when the MSU armies can't use their vehicles. Having a large portion of your army tied into vehicles, say Land Raiders for example, can cause you to lose quarters even if you are handily winning the game.

    Likewise, having troops count for full points even if below half can exacerbate this. In my opinion, it should either be you get your points for everything OR the scoring units are always worth full points. Otherwise, in a lot of ways, this becomes a double whammy for some builds.

    Also, Quarters isn't really balancing MSU so much now as it is handicapping armies with lots of Vehicles in them. Not sure if that is intended or just a consequence of Vehicles no longer counting as denial units.

    Not saying that is a bad thing, but just is what I observed. :)

    That's what I got out of it, at least universally.

    1. Good feedback. I think in part, there is a STRONG push away from "too many vehicles/flyers," due to the inherent game change of their ability to ever count as scoring/denial. I'm not sure if changing Quarters to make arguably "bad" lists (as Necron flyer-spam lists are against MANY builds, and cannier opponents) work and seem good when maybe they are not good beyond killiness ... is a good idea.

      More playtest required of course, and ALL feedback is welcome. I'd like to see the lists also ... a list full of MSU troops hiding in Night Scythes is not the kind of list I have a great interest in pushing beyond its natural strengths, especially in a situation where it was still winning a game it was ... winning.

  13. I agree that there is definitely a strong book push to steer people away from vehicles. I don't think there is any need to try and help out an all Flyer list. On the contrary, really. :) The observation that I made from that particular game was simply that composing your list such that large %'s of the points involved are composed of vehicles, puts you at a serious disadvantage in Quarters. It wouldn't matter if we were taking a 9 Vendetta List or a Blood Angels 5th Ed. Mech Spam or a Tri-Land raider list or a Leaf Blower Imperial Guard. This is just observing that Quarters is no longer a way to more or less provide a tone down for MSU but actually a disadvantage for Vehicles in general while significantly boosting the value of Foot units. The result can be a very lop-sided match that still ends in victory for the person getting hammered due to the presence of expensive or numerous Vehicles.

    Again, not saying this is a bad thing but rather just a stark change from the way Quarters used to play. Fundamentally, it's not much different from not having enough scoring units, just now it's suffering from not having enough non-vehicle units.

  14. Hmmm, which means the rules about Scoring/Denial units maintaining full VP value might need to be looked at.

    The question: Does this trend indicate something to promote at NOVA, where just not taking enough scoring units vs not taking enough *points* in scoring units it intended, which strengthens things like Blob IG & Paladins with massive amounts of points in very hard to wipe out units.

    Solutions: Quarters by straight VP _or_ scoring units as current (as long as one model survives it gets full points) and denial units (for Quarters only) are full value if "legal" BRB units and half value if any other unit. Finally, leave it as it is and consider it a "tax" against vehicle heavy lists who will have to practice "Kill Them All" a lot more.

    Disclaimer: I don't care, scoring units by the current rule is an advantage to the list I'm bringing to NOVA since since over 2/3 of my points are either scoring or denial units by BRB.