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So, as a part-time boardgame designer, we often say that the goal of your game IS your game. Which is to say that the goal of your game, or what determines victory and how points are awarded and all of that sets the floor for the tactical/strategic depth of the game. The victory system is the incentive system of the game - and how players navigate this is the strategy (or tactics).

In looking back across 40K over the many years - I'm trying to assess what missions and scenarios made for the most strategic and interesting gameplay.

A few thoughts...

Many of the current 9th edition scenarios are based around scoring points each round for controlling locations, allowing players to accumulate points overtime. Is this more/less strategic than scoring just at the end? Is this more/less "immersive" with respect to the mission? How does it affect the type of strategies, or more importantly the diversity of strategies that might be employed?

If points are awarded each turn players are incentivized to grab points as early as possible and/or deny them to your opponent's as early as possible. Does this push gameplay into being even more of an objective rush? Conversely, if points are awarded only at the end - does it incentivize playing too defensively, preserving as much of your force as possible for a big objective push in the final turns?

Playing games with tactical objectives would seem to make the game very chaotic - with players perhaps pursuing very different objectives over the course of the game. Is this good or does the uncertainty and chaos of it dilute the depth and consequences of decisions. Does it reduce interaction or boost it? Does it diminish or enhance the narrative being created through play?

I also wonder about the balance between scoring points for destroying units (first kill, VP's for all unit kills, command kills, etc) versus pursuing a table objective? Is rewarding players for kills double-dipping on the incentives? You need to kill your opponents anyway to deny them control of points, etc... but conversely should someone who's nearly tabled be able to "win" in the end?

The end game trigger is important too. Is there a fixed turn limit? Do you find out when the game is over randomly at the "end" of the turn? Or would it be better to know a turn in advance when it's randomly ending? Few scenarios seem to have end triggers tied to an actual "discrete objective" (i.e. capture X and get it off the table).

I wonder too how the objective system in the game informs army list building. The more homogenous the scenarios/missions are in what they ask the player to do, the more likely you are to see highly min-maxed lists designs to do that one thing really well. Having a greater diversity of missions you might need to respond to (attack & defend, etc.) might incentivize building more balanced army lists.

What are everyone's thoughts on the current mission lineup and scoring system in 9th? Good? bad? Are there things from older editions you think worked better?

(P.S. - I know I had a similar thread a little while ago, but hoping to tease out more discussion on this topic).

Cheers






This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/11/17 21:54:46


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your mind

Step one for me would be nixing stratagems and freebie relics

   
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 jeff white wrote:
Step one for me would be nixing stratagems and freebie relics


Yeah - I didn't mention strategems since they're kinda in a separate design arena than the missions themselves - but point taken.

I swear it seems like a slight majority of players mentioning stratagems have something negative to say about them.

My take is that they undermine what limited strategy and tactics is in the game by giving players too much flexibility to dig their way out of a tight spot. Plus they add a lot of mental overhead to the game.

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your mind

And thus detract from the importance of missions. Others should have more to say about how to improve those with or without strats.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/17 23:08:44


   
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I enjoy the current Rule Book missions. I’m finding that the “rush to centre” has a pleasant balance of committing early, while managing “reserves” to retake / deny objectives later in the game.

Truth told, the core missions are the most tactically satisfying version of the game I’ve played (since 2nd edition). I play with like minded people, we’re all enjoying 9th more than 6, 7, and 8 (8th nearly had us drop the game completely).

As a note on my personality, I’m an ends justify the means kind of person. So the progressive scoring prevents me from having a sense of immersion. After all, the victor is determined at the end of a battle, not half-way through.

“I held the objective for 4 hours but during the 5th hour we routed and now the enemy holds it... so we won, right?”

But that said! I don’t care that much about having a sense of playing a “realistic” battle. I want a fun and engaging game. Progressive scoring makes each turn exciting, keeping the pressure on throughout the game and forcing conflict. When forces are evenly matched, the best tactics are defensive (and often boring to play). That’s why besieging armies generally wanted to outnumber defenders several times over, right?

I find these missions create the give-and-take dynamic that I enjoy in a game. I am also finding there is a balance to the aggression and needing to hold back some resources that, again, I enjoy in the game.

I don’t consider 40k to be a “realistic” simulation of a battle, but I never have. To paraphrase Master Splinter, “A fair fight is a fight you could lose. Never fight a fair fight! Only fight when you are assured of victory!” But that would be a boring game.

While having a wider variety of “primary objective conditions” would be fun, such as controlling table sections, or recovering movable objectives, I think the secondary objectives are adding enough flavour and variety that I’m satisfied as is.
   
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Personally, I like strats, and I think that using your limited pool of CP makes the game more strategic, not less. I concede that that's a minority position on Dakka. It's also not OP's big question.

Regarding missions, I'm a Crusader, so all I can speak about is the Crusade mission pack.I like agendas and the way they work; I like that picking agendas helps give your army an identity, and I think it's killer cool that Agendas earn your units experience rather than earning victory points for your army.

It adds another level to the game. Sending units that are close to earning battle honours to achieve an agenda at the cost of a achieving victory is a very viable strategy.

And speaking of that, strategizing a campaign rather than a single game is also something that has the potential to play a significant role in narrative play. Not all Crusades take place in a formal campaign, but even when they don't, we find ourselves making stories to support our game play.

Having missions that are custom made to work at different sizes is excellent, especially in Crusade where the nature of the game incentivizes you to actually play through all of those sizes.

I love the mission support through the WD Flashpoint articles, which again, I think is more interesting to the narrative campaign player than the matched play/ competitive/ tournament enthusiast.

As for a breakdown of the actual missions in the pack, well I'll post again after I stick my face in the book for awhile.
   
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I almost wonder if this should be in Proposed Rules... Anyway.

 Mezmorki wrote:
Many of the current 9th edition scenarios are based around scoring points each round for controlling locations, allowing players to accumulate points overtime. Is this more/less strategic than scoring just at the end? Is this more/less "immersive" with respect to the mission? How does it affect the type of strategies, or more importantly the diversity of strategies that might be employed?

Objectives in warfare are always an interesting thing. In some cases, it's about taking control of the area, in some cases it could just be about setting something up to be accomplished.

The rebel troops objective on Scariff was mostly about keeping Imperial attention them rather than on their infiltrators. Then it was about securing an uplink.

The Allied troops in Normandy had an objective about gaining a foothold that they could use to ship in the army and push to Berlin.

In the first scenario we're first looking at a survival objective then it changed to securing an objective point for a turn.

In the second scenario, it is about about controlling areas and pushing the opponent off the map.

 Mezmorki wrote:
If points are awarded each turn players are incentivized to grab points as early as possible and/or deny them to your opponent's as early as possible. Does this push gameplay into being even more of an objective rush? Conversely, if points are awarded only at the end - does it incentivize playing too defensively, preserving as much of your force as possible for a big objective push in the final turns?

Yes, it does make the game in to an objective push. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it provides focus points for conflict instead of an amorphous map where it can be confused. However, it can also feel less organic and more gamey. Some people prefer this, some people hate this.

Late game objectives can promote more defensive play, but one thing to consider is an army's strengths, and I'm not just talking about Space Marines versus Tau, but how each force is set up. If I am using Infantry Guard, I will be planning on using a mass of equipment and men, meanwhile if I just have access to several Harlequin Teams, I'll be using very specialized elite units that can't take losses like the Guard does. Armies that specialize in close quarters attack will still seek the close quarters because if a unit is taken off the board, it won't be available to lock in an objective later.

 Mezmorki wrote:
Playing games with tactical objectives would seem to make the game very chaotic - with players perhaps pursuing very different objectives over the course of the game. Is this good or does the uncertainty and chaos of it dilute the depth and consequences of decisions. Does it reduce interaction or boost it? Does it diminish or enhance the narrative being created through play?

War is chaos. Part of the reason for that is the ever changing objectives from the strategic scale down to the individual. Those objectives can also define the depth and consequences of those decisions.

 Mezmorki wrote:
I also wonder about the balance between scoring points for destroying units (first kill, VP's for all unit kills, command kills, etc) versus pursuing a table objective? Is rewarding players for kills double-dipping on the incentives? You need to kill your opponents anyway to deny them control of points, etc... but conversely should someone who's nearly tabled be able to "win" in the end?

Sometimes they are the same thing, as you said, killing your opponents is part of how you secure the control of points. I think having both types of objectives is important as options in scenarios. It forces collection of either an all comers list or two different lists which can handle either scenario goal.

As for letting a tabled opponent win? I point back to Scariff where they succeeded in their primary objective, but still died anyway.

 Mezmorki wrote:
The end game trigger is important too. Is there a fixed turn limit? Do you find out when the game is over randomly at the "end" of the turn? Or would it be better to know a turn in advance when it's randomly ending? Few scenarios seem to have end triggers tied to an actual "discrete objective" (i.e. capture X and get it off the table).

I think a fixed ending turn limit can be detrimental. I prefer either a random turn limit at a certain point or once a set of objectives (i.e. points) is reached is preferable. Random turns indicates a situation where reinforcements will be arriving, leave one without any strength left, or the Imperium's ship executing an Exterminatus on the planet. The target points limit is also good because it indicates an "Mission Accomplished" point where your units begin to withdraw.

 Mezmorki wrote:
What are everyone's thoughts on the current mission lineup and scoring system in 9th? Good? bad? Are there things from older editions you think worked better?

Not in a good position to say. A good way to tell is how the ITC handles them once they start thinking they can promote tournaments again.

However, as a side note, Privateer Press' Steamroller is often touted as a good competitive game with good objectives, plus always the ability to win by assassinating the opposing player's Warcaster and Warlock. Here is the last document sheet they have on it, but keep in mind that it is intended for a 4'x4' square and roughly half the units one would likely see in a standard 40K army.

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 Mezmorki wrote:


I swear it seems like a slight majority of players mentioning stratagems have something negative to say about them.

.


I mean if you're thinking mostly about online well.. a slight majority of players mentioning anything about 40k have something negative to say about it/. stratigiums are IMHO something that can be good and can be bad. it's all about utilization. we've certainly seen some things that are poorly done for strats, and other cases where it works quite well.

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Scoring as you go is - in my view at least - more strategic than "I'm going to spend 4 turns killing you and then jump on the objective turn 5 (or 6 or whatever)."

I think there is an argument though this should be more of an escalator than at present, as this might dilute the impact of going first and (usually) getting on those objectives for turn 2. I'm not quite sure how you'd do this though.

I think secondaries are broadly decent - but yes, right now they are not balanced. I worry that the march of faction specific options is going to make this more of a mess rather than better, because GW's approach will be "rather than fix the bad ones, just assume competitive players take the better ones".

Which they will. So maybe its not a problem - but from a design perspective it feels bad.
   
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I feel like the biggest change that could be made is to give each army very unique methods of deployment as well as unique mission objectives. The unique secondaries they're adding with each new Codex is a nice start, but they could go further.

Imagine if Space Marines always started with their deployment zone being in the middle 6" on the table and randomly had to hold a specific objective for 3 turns, kill the enemy commander and control the area around their body for a turn, or purge the enemy for what are essentially kill points. The mission would only be rolled right before deployment so you couldn't skew too hard to any given mission.

Really make each faction unique and force them to play to their fluff.
   
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Only core game changes can make the game strategic. Thats just the harsh reality.

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Indeed - what sort of bastard would want to use their codex?

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I'm with Slayer-Fan on this one. The core rules are so out of whack that mission design can't fix it. Round-by-round scoring is a band-aid patch to address the fact that everything in 9e does so much damage that someone is always going to be tabled before the end of the game (thereby rendering end-of-game scoring pointless), and all it ends up doing is give someone so much of a lead in the first two turns that the other person can't catch them.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/18 03:51:27


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Slayer-Fan123 wrote:
Only core game changes can make the game strategic. Thats just the harsh reality.


Right- and missions are part of the core game.


Scoring points by round is fine, many games do that, or by phase, etc.The big issue is how those points are gained. Holding territory is fine, too- as long as there are other methods by which players can earn points. Things like retrieving things, accessing a computer to acquire intelligence- whatever.

Malifaux is neat, with its dual system of mission objectives, and the additional ones chosen by players. Schemes revolve around placing scheme markers on various parts of the battlefield for points, representing a crew placing explosives, searching ruins, etc. On top of that models can interact with the markers in various ways- removing them, stealing ownership from their opponent, and some crazy stuff, depending on the model's rules. Schemes also hidden when the game begins.

I think it would be fun if each army had a few personalized "schemes" to select from in addition to what's in the core book, to reward you for playing your army they way they actually fight.

Capturing NPCs would be a great objective, with possession changing hands over the course of the game.

Why not an item, building, or whatever that needs to be destroyed for some reason?

Clear a landing zone for a larger force?

Activate/ deactivate a recently discovered web way gate or artifact?

Anything that isn't strictly "fight other army directly" would do it.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 AnomanderRake wrote:
I'm with Slayer-Fan on this one. The core rules are so out of whack that mission design can't fix it. Round-by-round scoring is a band-aid patch to address the fact that everything in 9e does so much damage that someone is always going to be tabled before the end of the game (thereby rendering end-of-game scoring pointless), and all it ends up doing is give someone so much of a lead in the first two turns that the other person can't catch them.


I agree, but the thread topic is making missions more strategic and interesting, not fixing all of 40k with them.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/18 04:09:54


 
   
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Blastaar wrote:
Automatically Appended Next Post:
 AnomanderRake wrote:
I'm with Slayer-Fan on this one. The core rules are so out of whack that mission design can't fix it. Round-by-round scoring is a band-aid patch to address the fact that everything in 9e does so much damage that someone is always going to be tabled before the end of the game (thereby rendering end-of-game scoring pointless), and all it ends up doing is give someone so much of a lead in the first two turns that the other person can't catch them.


I agree, but the thread topic is making missions more strategic and interesting, not fixing all of 40k with them.


I don't think they're separable. One pretty major problem with trying to make 40k more interesting with the missions is that GW is convinced that they need to have armies that can't participate in some bits of the game, so for instance when 9e comes along and turns the whole game into king-of-the-hill hold-the-middle on a shrunken table the Tau are left with no way to play the game since they can't participate in melee. Because there aren't core assumptions about what a given army should be able to do, or even what a list should be able to do, the only thing mission design can accomplish is shrinking the play environment by making some armies/army builds unable to play.

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 AnomanderRake wrote:
Blastaar wrote:
Automatically Appended Next Post:
 AnomanderRake wrote:
I'm with Slayer-Fan on this one. The core rules are so out of whack that mission design can't fix it. Round-by-round scoring is a band-aid patch to address the fact that everything in 9e does so much damage that someone is always going to be tabled before the end of the game (thereby rendering end-of-game scoring pointless), and all it ends up doing is give someone so much of a lead in the first two turns that the other person can't catch them.


I agree, but the thread topic is making missions more strategic and interesting, not fixing all of 40k with them.


I don't think they're separable. One pretty major problem with trying to make 40k more interesting with the missions is that GW is convinced that they need to have armies that can't participate in some bits of the game, so for instance when 9e comes along and turns the whole game into king-of-the-hill hold-the-middle on a shrunken table the Tau are left with no way to play the game since they can't participate in melee. Because there aren't core assumptions about what a given army should be able to do, or even what a list should be able to do, the only thing mission design can accomplish is shrinking the play environment by making some armies/army builds unable to play.


You seem to be assuming that the only missions that can exist are "sit here all game" and "kill stuff."

I think the single largest thing GW could accomplish just with missions is making players move their minis more- a lot more.

But yes, IGOUGO is the albatross around the game's neck, and without AA this game will always suck- unless, for some reason, GW decided 40k should be rank-and-file and turns it into Warhammer Fantasy.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/18 04:45:37


 
   
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 AnomanderRake wrote:
I don't think they're separable. One pretty major problem with trying to make 40k more interesting with the missions is that GW is convinced that they need to have armies that can't participate in some bits of the game, so for instance when 9e comes along and turns the whole game into king-of-the-hill hold-the-middle on a shrunken table the Tau are left with no way to play the game since they can't participate in melee. Because there aren't core assumptions about what a given army should be able to do, or even what a list should be able to do, the only thing mission design can accomplish is shrinking the play environment by making some armies/army builds unable to play.

Then design each army to fight for different mission objectives. Tau might tend to get a lot of hold the line or exterminate their foe type missions while getting classic table edge deployment zones. Marines might always start with "6 of the table center and get mission based on holding specific areas of ground-based on their foe for the battle.

It would take a lot of work but you could make each faction very unique so that in terms of missions and deployment they're barely playing the same game.
   
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Blastaar wrote:
...You seem to be assuming that the only missions that can exist are "sit here all game" and "kill stuff."...


How many objectives for any miniatures wargame aren't either "kill the thing", "have a unit here at a specific time", or "grab the flag and run away"?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/18 04:53:24


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9th edition missions have surely given a big hand in making 40k a more strategic and enjoyable game.

It was a long march to get there though.

If you take 7th edition missions as the reference of what you should never do in mission design, you can see the evolution.

Core rulebook missions of 8th were reprints of 7th missions, which means that they were bad. Gunline playstyles utterly dominated the field since there was no reason to commit to the objectives before turn 5. Random kill points and the dumb First Blood and slay the warlord secondaries only added to this.

Then CA2017 came out, and we saw a real evolution in mission design by GW. GW's solution was to mix into a package both missions with end of game scoring, and missions with end of turn scoring. The aim was to avoid skewed lists, since they would be bad at at least a part of the missions. It turned out quite well, it was really fun to play, but it still was too kill oriented and many didn't like that your army could be screwed by the mission selection.

CA18 fixed most of it and gave us the best mission package of 8th edition, extremely fun to play. It was 1/3 end of game scoring, 1/3 end of round scoring, 1/3 end of turn scoring. It was also the first time that being tabled didn't result in losing the game. The bad secondary objectives were still there though and some missions were still biased toward some factions.

The biggest problem with CA17 and CA18 though, was that they were overshadowed by the ITC circuit, and this board saw a lot of arguments on this.

Be it because ITC missions were better, or because they simply had gained inertia, the two sides of the ocean were split in the format they played.

What players liked of ITC was that they could partially select their objectives and that the mission pack didn't have any random parts, not even terrain placement at times. What players didn't like of ITC was that it was excessively kill centric and that it was extremely predictable. It was widely recognized that "solving" ITC missions was far easier than "solving" CA18 missions.

Since GW's objective with 9th edition was to close this gap between official and unofficial mission packages, they tried to fix these issues.

9th edition mission pack is mostly CA18 missions, with the secondary mission concept from ITC and with a lot less focus on killing, even compared to the original CA18. The randomness on mission selection is still there, but the missions don't show any bias toward particular playstyles. The bad secondaries are gone, replaced by the selectable secondaries of ITC.

The result is that the mission primary objectives are the best the game has ever known (at least in my experience from 5th and onward), since they come from a long evolution phase. The secondary objectives are good in principle, but they feel a bit immature since it is the first time that GW uses them.

I expect CA2020 to keep the primary objectives mostly unchanged in the design, while tuning the secondaries a bit better.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/18 07:33:37


 
   
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 Mezmorki wrote:
Many of the current 9th edition scenarios are based around scoring points each round for controlling locations, allowing players to accumulate points overtime. Is this more/less strategic than scoring just at the end? Is this more/less "immersive" with respect to the mission? How does it affect the type of strategies, or more importantly the diversity of strategies that might be employed?

If points are awarded each turn players are incentivized to grab points as early as possible and/or deny them to your opponent's as early as possible. Does this push gameplay into being even more of an objective rush? Conversely, if points are awarded only at the end - does it incentivize playing too defensively, preserving as much of your force as possible for a big objective push in the final turns?

From my point of view Previous editions, especially those who only scored during the last turn, rewarded avoiding to play the game too much. Gunlines, kiting, bubble wrapping and focusing down threats were what won games, all mechanics meant to avoid engaging with the enemy beyond killing them ASAP.

Playing games with tactical objectives would seem to make the game very chaotic - with players perhaps pursuing very different objectives over the course of the game. Is this good or does the uncertainty and chaos of it dilute the depth and consequences of decisions. Does it reduce interaction or boost it? Does it diminish or enhance the narrative being created through play?

The last iteration of maelstrom got the random part fairly well under control, basically both players drew all the best objectives in each game. However, the cards themselves were lacking, as there was little counter-play possible, almost every card could be archived on the same turn you drew it, with not time for your opponent to react - unless it was a mission objective, for which reacting wasn't worth the trouble because they only gave 1 VP. Defending objectives were usually ditched, because they were too easy to counter.
Having played a lot of maelstrom in 8th, I don't really miss it - the new missions make the game interesting enough through primary and secondaries that random objectives aren't that necessary.
I guess having a deck of cards with objectives instead of secondaries would be a cool idea though as an alternative game mode.

I also wonder about the balance between scoring points for destroying units (first kill, VP's for all unit kills, command kills, etc) versus pursuing a table objective? Is rewarding players for kills double-dipping on the incentives? You need to kill your opponents anyway to deny them control of points, etc... but conversely should someone who's nearly tabled be able to "win" in the end?

IMO the game would be much more interesting if killing units would reward a lot less VP. You already need to kill units to take/deny objectives, interrupt action and take out dangerous units that plow through your army.
Kill secondaries really should only serve to counter-balance skew lists.

The end game trigger is important too. Is there a fixed turn limit? Do you find out when the game is over randomly at the "end" of the turn? Or would it be better to know a turn in advance when it's randomly ending? Few scenarios seem to have end triggers tied to an actual "discrete objective" (i.e. capture X and get it off the table).

I really like that the game now ends after 5 turns. Everyone can plan for it and you no longer have this "if the game went on for one more turn, then <foo>". It's a single dice roll with the potential to decide games, and I think those should be avoided.
It's also nice to be able to tell the wife when you are going to be home

I wonder too how the objective system in the game informs army list building. The more homogenous the scenarios/missions are in what they ask the player to do, the more likely you are to see highly min-maxed lists designs to do that one thing really well. Having a greater diversity of missions you might need to respond to (attack & defend, etc.) might incentivize building more balanced army lists.

Agree, the CA2019 missions did this rather nicely. They had high requirements towards what and army needed to be able to do, which massive differed between the missions. In our group this lead to fairly balanced and interesting lists, as people had to make sure they could win all six missions, but not everything they brought was required for every mission.

I think this could be done by improving the mission secondaries to make them compete with the generic/codex ones.

What are everyone's thoughts on the current mission lineup and scoring system in 9th? Good? bad? Are there things from older editions you think worked better?

I think the main issue is the deployment right now. Alternating deployment and rolling of afterwards is fun and all, but clearly rewards first turn way too much. The majority of games in our gaming group are decided by who gets first turn unless there is a skill or army power mismatch between the players.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Spoletta wrote:
Mission history/analysis


Great post!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/18 09:37:12


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 AnomanderRake wrote:
Blastaar wrote:
...You seem to be assuming that the only missions that can exist are "sit here all game" and "kill stuff."...


How many objectives for any miniatures wargame aren't either "kill the thing", "have a unit here at a specific time", or "grab the flag and run away"?


For infinity it is a few, you have tower activation that pass on skill checks, you have specific missions for units like medics or engieers have missions of their own, you have hacking of different things.



Wouldn't it be more interesting if the hold objectives had a progresive points scaling? from what I see in games going first gives a huge adventage to a player and going last, makes your turn 5 practicaly worthless as taking objectives back goes, because there won't be your begining of turn 6 for you to actualy score them. So with models dieing all over the game, and holding and taking objectives being harder in turn 3-4, maybe holding something on turn 3-4 should give more points then holding it on turn 2, by sole virtue of having had first turn.


Another thing is double dipping objectives. My opponents shouldn't score a kill objective for killing my army and killing psykers at the same time. Because it turns the game in to a contest of who can give up secondaries worse, making armies that can give up 3 automaticly not realy worth playing.

If you have to kill, then kill in the best manner. If you slaughter, then slaughter in the best manner. Let one of you sharpen his knife so his animal feels no pain. 
   
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The best way to make 40k more strategic would be to switch to alternating activations and give people more ways to move around the board and interact with enemy models and making the game more abstract.

Basically they need to follow Warmachines style of gameplay because for all its flaws Mk2 was one the tightest rules set I've played in terms of strategy. But most people don't want 40k to be much more than throwing dice and shooting enemies, myself included so lets hope it doesn't come to that.



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Sesto San Giovanni, Italy

A thing I really miss in 40k are some good designed asymmetrical missions. They're much more difficult to balance, obviously, because the army composition and variety of playstiles between different (or even the same) armies makes it harder... But those will add a robust amount of options.

Haven't been able to play 9th yet due to Covid, but from what I see the lion's share of game played is with the standard mission.
   
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Crusade has some asymmetrical missions.

The regular missions clearly do have issues, but they are fun to play regardless.

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Missions in a wargame have one function: To require players not to play in a way that is most optimal to destroy their opponent's forces.

In this way, I think "score at the end" missions are complete and utter flops. 5th edition games the missions seemed to matter at all in like, one out of three games because one side would always be so utterly smashed it was just a formality for the obvious winner to pick up points.

The best part of the mission design for 9th IMO is Actions. literally requiring your units to not do anything for a turn in order to score: that is fantastic. So far my favorite mission to play has been a 500pt Crusade mission that required a non-vehicle/monster to perform an action to secure a point, and you could also score by having a CHARACTER model standing near a unit. This led to a mission where we were basically playing to attack each others infantry and bodyblocking with transports and specialists, and amazingly it was a 500pt game where both players weren't tabled by the end.

If mission elements involve destroying the enemy army, it should involve destroying them in inefficient ways (e.g. an objective requiring you to kill characters with characters in honorable duels, or an objective where when you kill a unit you can immediately declare the unit to be performing an action that will prevent them from moving, and if they survive the opponent's turn they've Taken Prisoners or something like that). If it involves holding points, they should be points that force you to be where you don't necessarily want to be and not squatting in your DZ. If it involves taking ground and holding it, it should be taking ground that requires you to either spread out or push into enemy territory.

If 40k involved a meaningful morale system that did what morale is supposed to do in a wargame (reduce a unit's effectiveness or prevent them from acting without destroying them) and a good mission system based around actions and inefficiency-causing objectives, I think the overall deadliness problem would most likely be almost entirely mitigated.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/18 12:24:52


"I can't believe all these tryhard WAACs out there just care about winning all the time when it's supposed to be a game for fun!!!!!!! Also here's my 27 page essay on why marines are OP and Orkz should get a bunch of OP rules so I can win more games

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The best part of the mission design for 9th IMO is Actions. literally requiring your units to not do anything for a turn in order to score: that is fantastic.


I never played 500pts games or crusade, but in normal matched play games, I did try to use the activation psychic power objectives, and they are just really bad, not only there are more ways for them to fail or get stopped by the opponent comparing to lets say start killing vehicles or units, but they also lock out characters for doing anything for 3 or more turns, meaning you are playing with a point handicap versus opponents who are just using their army in a normal way. What is even worse, if your army happens to be designed around the use of those characters to do something else every game turn, you are also handicaping yourself on top all of that. Maybe in 500pts games it is different then under 2250pts match played though.

If you have to kill, then kill in the best manner. If you slaughter, then slaughter in the best manner. Let one of you sharpen his knife so his animal feels no pain. 
   
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Psychic actions are a great idea that was executed badly. They are just too easy to interrupt because most of them require a single psyker to perform the actions. If you get denied twice while performing a ritual, you automatically lose that secondary.
If the ritual could be attempted by multiple psykers at the same time, it would already be a much better secondary.

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Karol wrote:
The best part of the mission design for 9th IMO is Actions. literally requiring your units to not do anything for a turn in order to score: that is fantastic.


I never played 500pts games or crusade, but in normal matched play games, I did try to use the activation psychic power objectives, and they are just really bad, not only there are more ways for them to fail or get stopped by the opponent comparing to lets say start killing vehicles or units, but they also lock out characters for doing anything for 3 or more turns, meaning you are playing with a point handicap versus opponents who are just using their army in a normal way. What is even worse, if your army happens to be designed around the use of those characters to do something else every game turn, you are also handicaping yourself on top all of that. Maybe in 500pts games it is different then under 2250pts match played though.


Yeah, psychic actions are badly implemented and should be easier to achieve. I'm mostly talking about stuff like Banners, Scramblers, Sites, etc.

"I can't believe all these tryhard WAACs out there just care about winning all the time when it's supposed to be a game for fun!!!!!!! Also here's my 27 page essay on why marines are OP and Orkz should get a bunch of OP rules so I can win more games

-the_scotsman"

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For my group, I think we'd like to see a few things changed in the 9th ed missions.

We like progressive scoring, but not the way 9th implements it. We experimented with scoring bottom of turn, and that helped quite a bit. Player 1 has the advantage on the first turn, but player 2 can counter that on the last turn (vs now where player 1 generally has the advantage in both turns and can actively prevent player 2 from being able to score at all on the last turn with almost no chance of counter-play from player 2).

The biggest issue we have with 9th is what I call the "Myth of Maneuver". So many people say "9th just feels so tactical - like how you maneuver really matters" but it's a trick. Because ... it doesn't. It really really doesn't. On a larger table size yeah, it matters. Deploy a squad wrong at the start, or make a bad move on turn 1 on a "traditional sized" table - and that squad's probably out of the game now. On the "new" table sizes? Nah. Every army has multiple units that can basically run wind sprints up and down the full table length. So that's out.

With more varied mission types, it's a little harder for me to know where you're going or what you're doing. Not so with the current crop. They are all some version of "X marks the spot", so I generally know where you're going and what you're going to do when you get there, and, given the nature of the game, I know which units you're likely to do all that with. So it just becomes "bum-rush the objectives" and you get the mosh pitting.

But since the missions are generally fairly "samey", and since the table size is small and armies generally faster than they've ever been, what really matters is timing. Timing is what people are confusing with "maneuvering". If there was a chance a unit might not make it to an objective, maneuver would matter. If the objective types were more varied, it would matter, but these are generally not concerns. Every army has a way to get almost every unit to an objective fairly quickly, and a good chunk of us know the game well enough to see what units in the opponent's army are going where. So it becomes a game of, "can I afford to rush the objectives and withstand the counter attack, or do I need to mill about and be cagey for a turn or two before I try to claim them?"

I'd like to see more varied objective design. Multi-stage objectives, objectives that involve things like secretly marking a spot on the map pre-game and that's where you have to go to claim your points, etc etc. Things that are not quite so blatantly obvious. Right now the game is largely "I'm running to this point on the table and clubbing you to death, OR I'm running to this point on the table and withstanding your attempt to club ME to death". Theoretically, the secondaries should help with that, but, as implemented, they do not.

The missions also do not overly reward unique list building either imo. The are forcing a bit of homogeny amongst armies. Likely to match GW's "vision" of what the game should look like on the table. So ... that's my long-winded 2 cents.


EDIT:

In this way, I think "score at the end" missions are complete and utter flops. 5th edition games the missions seemed to matter at all in like, one out of three games because one side would always be so utterly smashed it was just a formality for the obvious winner to pick up points.


Agree with this and what others said RE: non-progressive scoring. So many games of 5th ed became, "withhold as much as possible until the very last second". It was too easy to basically not play the game ...

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/18 14:32:23


Edit: I just googled ablutions and apparently it does not including dropping a duece. I should have looked it up early sorry for any confusion. - Baldsmug

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I like that players have to play to the objective now, and can't save it for the end of the game.

But I also dislike that a forward-deploying army can box the enemy into their deployment zone, and if you can keep them restrained into turn 2 it's pretty much game over.

I think a middle ground between the two could be reached- have the VP awarded for holding an objective scale with the current turn, so objectives become more valuable as the game goes on. That way a player who camps in their backfield for turns 1-4 can't suddenly execute a total reversal, but comebacks are still possible.
   
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I think psychic actions should just automatically go off. After all you are giving up casting a power.

I'm not sure why you should have this "roll a 2+/4+ to actually get your action off (higher if they have someone to deny in range)" when the rest don't work this way.
   
 
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