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Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut






Lot of discussion has transpired recently about secondaries, mission structure, mission objectives, and how all of this impacts the gameplay at both the list-building and table-play stage of the game.

As a pre-amble to this post, I was reading battle reports from a recent GT. I was struck by how many of the games were essentially *over* by turn 2. I think there is a general recognition that the game is very lethal and Turn 1 and 2 can be super decisive. I but wonder if a large part of this is a consequence not of "just the mechanics" but also partly due to the primary objectives (holding control points), the way they are scored, and the aggressive style of play they demand.

The reality is that you can't play defensively with the current objectives. If you aren't making a strong push onto the objectives in Turn 1, you will simply fall behind, and even if you end up tabling your opponent by turn 5, might not be able to make up the difference in points. Since both sides need to play aggressively, that pushes people into close range immediately, where the volume of fire is more intense, close combat occurs, and cover becomes relatively less useful.

Heck, I played some games recently using ProHammer (5th edition based) but using the 9th edition primary mission structure. Players walked away saying "whoa, that was super lethal and decisive." Our games were basically over by turn 2 - which prompted me to think of the role missions design plays in magnifying the lethality of the game. The mission design doesn't give much leeway for position and maneuver, because there simply isn't time. If you aren't using units to lock down objectives ASAP, or push opponents off objectives, then you're likely going to fall behind.

So all of this begs the question - how could it be done differently? How should it be done differently? Or maybe the current state of affairs is something you think is good enough already?

Speaking for myself, I want the game to slow down. I want the peak point of lethality to hit at turn 3-4, with turns 1-2 having more room for different lines of play to unfold. If players aren't required to push hard on turn 1 or 2 to secure objectives, players might be able to dance around more and use longer-range fire to soften up targets. It would certainly help armies that struggle in the current mission design (e.g. Tau).

I recognize the value of having some combination of progressive vs. end game scoring, to provide for different strategies to unfold differently over the course of the game. But maybe the issue is that too much of the scoring potential is determined in the first turn or two.

I think the smaller board size compress the game space and perhaps make it too easy to combine/stack power. If forces are spread out more, the chance of units just getting focused fired down decreases.

I also think there is just basic monotony in the primary objectives. Most people don't use seem to be using the mission secondary objectives (given other secondaries are more reliable or easier to meet) - and so really every mission is the same basic mission of controlling objective points. There really ISN'T any variation in the missions and what's being asked of players. The incentives for aggressive play is always present on all of the missions.

The balance between scoring points for "killing" versus "completing objectives" remain a puzzle to be sorted out. As with a recently locked thread, there is quite a bit of opinion when it comes to the kill secondaries and what if any place they have in the game.

I also think, as part of the mission structure, that automatic entry of reserves on Turn 1 has a big effect on making games decided by Turn 1 or 2. The uncertainty of reserves entering on Turn 2 at the earliest prompts very different play and can serve to slow things down a bit. It's also risky and bad reserve rolls can screw you completely - which is exacerbated by the control point objective.

Part of me is tempted to say, like with perhaps 4th edition, the VP potential in a game could be more evenly split between killing (based on the point value of the unit killed) and controlling objectives at the end of the game (with VP's based on the point-value of the game). Thus, all games, by default, offered equal scoring opportunities for controlling territory versus killing units. The killing units applied to everything equally and didn't inherently make it harder to score against certain types of lists (e.g. Elites).

The flaw with 4th edition is that table-objectives were only ever scored at the end. This meant, that by just killing your opponent you would by default prevent them from scoring table-objectives at the end. Maybe there is a way to blend 4th's approaches with some escalating but progressives' scoring?

I was thinking about control points. What if they only ever provided VP's when a unit used an action to activate them. And what if the VP's the provided "ramped up" based how long since there were last activated? For example, Turn 1 they would be worth 1 point. Turn 2 they would be 3 points, Turn 3 it would be 6 points, and so on. If you cached out on turn 3, you'd get 6 points right away, but on Turn 4 it would go back to only being worth 1 VP again. Biggest point potential would be a turn 5 cache out at +15 points.

Control Point VPs could be scaled based on the point value of the game, so it would be scaled appropriately to awarding points for kills. Could also be that kill points are just poor design and should be scrapped - or even just capped (e.g. in a 2000 point game you get 1000 points if at least half of your opponent's army in point-value was destroyed).

But even the above is still a control point driven game, and I'm not sure if would be enough to shake things up? I think more of the competitive missions should take cues from the narrative missions, even down to having asymmetric goals and attacker/defender scenarios. At least for some of the missions. What if you can use command points to bid on who is the attacker/defender, and who goes first/second? The command point system provides a nice mechanism for player-driven balancing if those points can be used in such a manner.

Having said all of this, my ideal vision is that the mission set - let's say there about 12 - has a bigger range of primary mission objectives that are going to lead to games playing out much more differently from mission to mission. I'm fine with some missions being aggressive pushes on central objectives. But it would be great if some other missions encouraged more defensive play, or more calculated maneuvers. I'm fine with there being secondary missions, and even asymmetric ones, but these should be tied to the mission itself and not something players "choose" in a min-max'ing sort of way.

Anyway - this became more rambling than intended. But I wonder what others think? If you had to do missions totally different, what do you think would encourage the kind of gameplay that you desire?

Cheers!

This message was edited 7 times. Last update was at 2021/01/06 20:07:29


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The purpose of a mission in wargame design is to reduce lethality. in any given scenario there is an optimal set of moves that you could take to most efficiently destroy your opponent's army, and the purpose of having a mission that is not simply "Do that" is to force the player to choose between making those maximally efficient moves to destroy, and doing the mission.

Another problem unique to 40k that has existed for a while is The Range Problem. I can't think of any other wargame I've played where I could either move or shoot as large a fraction of the board as I can when I play 40k. This allows you to get your units into the position they need to be in to do their maximally destructive thang right off the bat.

A lot of the mission design is intended to force players to actually expose their units to harm in order to achieve them, which does help with The Range Problem but actually works counter to the general purpose of missions in wargames. 9th style missions force you to commit to killing to achieve objectives.

If I were designing missions for 40k, and I wanted to make sure the game is as non-lethal as possible, I'd make sure to include a few things:

1) Actions. Lots of Actions. The whole concept of your unit not getting to do its normal combat in favor of achieving victory points is just what you want.

2) Objectives that require you to preserve your units for multiple turns.

3) Objectives that require you to spread out. The less concentrated a player's army can be, the less they can use aura stacking to increase their lethality

4) Objectives that actively increase the defenses of the player's army. Personally, I love using neutral fortifications as objectives: it gives you a built-in "reason why you are here and fighting each other".

The reason that armies wanted to "take the hill" or "storm the trench line" or whatever in battles was generally to get to the more defensively safe position. There's rules for fortifications right there in the game: Use them! Make holding them the objective, and the benefit of holding them is obvious: you get a fortification!

"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"

-ERJAK 
   
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Regular Dakkanaut






Thanks! Great thoughts!

I'm a self-proclaimed critique of 4X video strategy games, and I've long argued that the problem in 4X games is that the the victory conditions reward you for doing what you'd do anyway and there is no real decision to make. 40K feels much the same in this regard. You want to kill your opponent's army as fast as possible, and the current objectives double down on this incentive.

In my last game I played, I moved an objective marker before the game to put it onto top of a raised bunker, and then infiltrated my wolf scouts onto it. With their cloaks and the natural fortification they were super durable, and my opponent had a hard time figuring out how to shake them off. Especially because the only nearby unit were bikes that couldn't traverse up the building.

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Canada

I'd just copy what Age of Sigmar has. 12-18 diverse missions, which require different army building focus to succeed in, and help push armies towards being a bit less one dimensional.

40k, with the current grant tournament missions, and the with ITC beforehand is that the missions are all the same, so you don't really need to think about a whole lot when building your list. The same army build is good in all 9 missions.
   
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I have some ideas about how I’d like to see secondary objectives work and missions in general, but its more general notions than fully fleshed out ideas.

Secondary objectives. I like the idea in principal that there are a number of smaller side-missions that you can attempt to accomplish in the game to score, but I don’t think the current set-up is ideal. My idea is something along the lines of still having distinct categories where you can only select one objective from each category. And I’ll stick with the idea that you have 3 secondary objectives in a game. I’d make each category have 6 options so that if you want to randomly determine your objectives then it would be a simple d6 roll.

First category: General objectives.
This would be 6 generic secondaries available to everyone. They would appear in the core book, and a new set of 6 could be published in CA each year. These objectives would not include any kill objectives and would not be locked behind keywords so that they would be possible for all armies to achieve irrespective of the army list. I’d lean heavily into the actions mechanic for all of these. I like the idea of having to forgo a unit’s normal abilities in order to score points. The current “shadow operations” secondary objectives are the kind of thing I am thinking of here. The current “battlefield supremacy” objectives might also work. Or a selection of these which would make sure that there was at least one viable option for any army list.

Second category: Faction specific.
Again 6 options, and again no kill point objectives. This time the objectives can be associated with specific keywords of your own army and not to the keywords of your opponent. The objectives could be tied to the action mechanic or not, but would lean heavily into the specific faction and reward players for fielding specific units and performing specific things in the game which are in keeping with the faction. I don’t know enough about all the factions to know what would and wouldn’t work, but the general idea would be along the lines of forcing morale checks could score points for a Night Lords army, advancing could score points for White Scars, successful charges might score points for World Eaters, Psychic shenanigans could score for Thousand Sons/ Grey Knights/Ulthwe, mobbing up could score points for Orks. I wouldn’t know where to start with how many points to assign each thing, but the general cap of 15 VP per secondary would apply. The idea would be to encourage different factions to be successful (ie score VPs) by being played in a way that is in keeping with the character of that faction. Ideally these objectives would reward you with behaving in keeping with your army’s character even when it wouldn’t necessarily be the best tactical choice (by awarding VPs it becomes the best tactical choice). Going back to the Night Lords example: score points by forcing a morale test means not actually killing the target unit, but leaving at least one survivior. For the White Scars, it means advancing even when not doing so would be the “smarter” choice. This objective list would obviously play a key role in the army list building stage, and people would tend to tailor their army to maximise their benefit from these, which leads me to the third category.

Third category: match-up/opponent specific.
In addition to the above faction specific category, each faction would have a second list of 6 secondary objectives, but there objectives are for use by your opponent against you. This is where you find the kill points. These objectives would be specifically designed to counter balance the faction specific objectives. Some, but importantly not all of these would be keyworded. For example, if you have a GK army and one of the faction specific objectives was “score x VP each time you successfully cast a psychic power” then the opposing secondary for when playing against GKs might be “ score x VP for each psyker you destroy”. The number of VPs awarded would need to be balanced, but the idea is there. Psker havey army is rewarded for using psykers, opponent is rewarded for taking out psykers. Another example might be if one of your faction secondary objectives was “score x VPs for each unit of boyz that mobbz up” the opposing secondary might be “score x VPs for each unit of boyz destroyed”; “score x VPs for each transport unit that successfully disembarks its passengers” vs “ score x VPs for each enemy transport you destroy”. The idea being that each objective that gives you an “easy” way to score points means that you are also giving your opponent an “easy” way to score against you.

The final category: Mission specific. This wouldn’t be a choice of 6 options, instead this is simply the mission specific secondary as it is now.

The players would choose 3 secondaries from either Generic, Faction Specific, Opponent Specific and Mission Specific. Maybe even the mission specific secondary objective is compulsory and you choose 2 from the other three categories.

I think the opponent specific category would really help the game, the discussion about an anti-elite secondary and the difficulty in defining what is elite demonstrates that kill points should be available against every faction if they are in the game, and I think this is the best way to implement them. I think the combination of the faction specific and opponent specific secondary objectives would lead to some really interesting army lists which would make for characterful, fun and exciting games.

As for primary missions I’m fairly happy with the current set-up. I do agree that the game is generally too killy, so having more objectives, primary and secondary involve actions is I think a good way to help with this. I also like the idea of fortifications being used as objectives, mentioned above.

I’d also make sure that both players got a chance to score, at the moment in the final battle round it seems that one player is disadvantaged. A final scoring phase for that player at the end of the battle might be enough to fix that.

Not directly connected to missions and objectives, but I think still relevant are the rules for reinforcements. I’d be in favour of rolling for reinforcements again. T2 5+, T3 4+, T5 3+. All reinforcements not yet on the table have to be rolled for each turn and any not there by the end of the game count as destroyed. To mitigate first turn advantage, maybe give the 2nd player a +1 to their reinforcement roll. Or using the current system of reinforcements, maybe allow the 2nd player’s reinforcements arrive in turn one. I’d also consider the idea of bidding CPs to get turn one rather than a roll off.

I think that’s enough rambling, just some scattershot ideas I’ve had reading this thread and the couple of others about secondary objectives lately.
   
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Annandale, VA

 jaredb wrote:
I'd just copy what Age of Sigmar has. 12-18 diverse missions, which require different army building focus to succeed in, and help push armies towards being a bit less one dimensional.


+1

The more things your army 'has to do' in order to effectively play to the mission set, the lower you have to prioritize raw lethality as the focus of your list. I enjoy how 9th has allowed for army archetypes that play to the objective rather than exterminating the enemy, but when there's basically just one mission (take and hold, multiple objectives, progressive scoring), it's a bit one-dimensional.

I mean, how about missions which have:
-Multiple objectives, end-of-game scoring.
-One objective, progressive scoring.
-One objective, end-of-game scoring.
-Objective retrieval.
-One objective, end-of-game scoring, designated attacker/defender.
-Multiple objectives, end-of-game scoring, designated attacker/defender.
-Assassination.
-Board control (quadrants).

These are just really basic archetypes that have existed in prior editions, and value different capabilities than the current objective style.

I'd also like to see more Actions that are critical to mission success. It's a simple way to force players to choose between killing the enemy or completing the mission.
   
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Mysterious Techpriest




This is all probably too general to help, but my 2 cents:

I think you need mission variety. This is something the current missions lack. They are essentially a slight variation on the same theme regardless of which one you play. While I do generally like the new missions, I think there should be a few truly different missions in a mission pack so that balanced list construction is more rewarded.

I also think that all secondaries should carry some kind of opportunity cost. They should force you to make choices, and the more you have to give up or achieve in order to do them, the more they should be worth. As a specific example, "Raise the Banners" requires a unit to get to an objective, secure it, then do nothing at all for a turn, while also not getting blown away, and for this achievement, you get a point per unit that accomplishes it. Compare this with "I shoot my anti-tank gun at a tank - 3 points!". That makes no sense to me.

The second one shouldn't be an objective in the first place.

I'm also a fan of multi-stage objectives. For example, get to "point x", do thing "y", then get to point "z".

Right now too many games of 40k are pretty much just "Get your dudes to point x and survive just long enough that the other player can't make up the points". It gets boring and "samey" really fast.

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

Psiensis on the "good old days":
"Kids these days...
... I invented the 6th Ed meta back in 3rd ed.
Wait, what were we talking about again? Did I ever tell you about the time I gave you five bees for a quarter? That's what you'd say in those days, "give me five bees for a quarter", is what you'd say in those days. And you'd go down to the D&D shop, with an onion in your belt, 'cause that was the style of the time. So there I was in the D&D shop..." 
   
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Regular Dakkanaut






Here's a couple of philosophical questions...

* Should it always/sometimes/never be possible to win despite being tabled?

* Should kills always/sometimes/never reward VPs?

* Should you be able to win while failing a primary objective but making up for it in secondary objectives?

-----------------------------------------------------

Responses so far have been super enlightening and constructive. Thanks!

 catbarf wrote:

I mean, how about missions which have:
-Multiple objectives, end-of-game scoring.
-One objective, progressive scoring.
-One objective, end-of-game scoring.
-Objective retrieval.
-One objective, end-of-game scoring, designated attacker/defender.
-Multiple objectives, end-of-game scoring, designated attacker/defender.
-Assassination.
-Board control (quadrants).


These is what I've been thinking towards as well. If the primary objectives are much varied in this core way, each archetype is going to require some different strategies and approaches to be employed - and this might inform the list design as consequence, potentially encouraging more flexible/adaptable armies rather than "one trick ponies" that are geared towards just the one primary objective we have now.

I wonder if it's something like you can earn up to 100 point from primary objectives and up to 50 points on secondary objectives. Or 75% primary and and 25% from secondary. I just feel like the secondaries should be the determining factor in a very close race for the primary objective, but if one player mostly ignores the primary they should never be able to win on secondaries.


This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/06 19:14:36


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Hurr! Ogryn Bone 'Ead!





Gainesville, VA

I do agree that many of the missions are quite 'samey' in that you essentially have to focus on capturing a set of points and stop your opponent from doing so - the scoring for such being rather flat over the course of the game; and also a set of secondary objectives that are somewhat decided during list building.

Big fan of the idea of progressive scoring (this has been discussed in other threads here too) where an objective is more valuable later in the game. I'm sure the Inquisitor isn't going to be "Well you held the shrine for most of the battle, but lost it at the end so we'll call that a win."

I dislike many of the current secondaries, and feel that each mission should have a required secondary in it (or its current one be required).

I also think that asymetrical objectives and secret objectives may be fun too. Something like pick a marker, gain a bonus if you hold it at the end, and each player keeps theirs secret till the end (noted on paper, or a token or such).

Each faction should also have its own secondary objective, as they each generally have the same reason for being in a battle each time; or a set to choose from.

Do agree with other posters that actions should be used on many if not all objective markers; your troops should have to sacrifice killing power to capture the objective.

And yes it should be possible to win while having your army completely destroyed.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/06 19:18:44


 
   
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Omnipotent Necron Overlord






@ Scottsman "The purpose of a mission in wargame design is to reduce lethality."
False.

The purpose of a mission is to give you a reason to interact. A reason to move first. A reason to take a risk. Otherwise it is trench warfare.

otherwise ...why would I leave this nice hardend cover?

It might have a side effect of reducing lethality but it is not why a mission exists.


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Halifax

Ending a game should not imply winning a game.

Kills should never equal points if something else can be done to earn points because killing the other guy first will always be the optimal strategy.

There should be multiple paths to victory.

   
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Mysterious Techpriest




RE: End of game scoring - when we've had that in 40k it hasn't always been great. What you ended up with was multiple turns of nothing happening, and then a mad rush to score at the last second. While it was amusing that the Land Speeder Storm actually had a role in that meta, I personally hated that paradigm. IDK how anyone else feels though. Would be interested in hearing the "pros" as I clearly have the "cons"

* Should it always/sometimes/never be possible to win despite being tabled?

Sometimes I think? I go back and forth between "Never and Sometimes". I think for me, I would need to see it in context of the actual mission packet.

* Should kills always/sometimes/never reward VPs?

Never UNLESS you have one of those "wacky" missions where the goal is for each army to kill the other's warlord or something. But generally, no, I don't think this should be a thing.

* Should you be able to win while failing a primary objective but making up for it in secondary objectives?


Same as the first answer. I think it depends on the actual mission packet.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/06 19:24:02


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

Psiensis on the "good old days":
"Kids these days...
... I invented the 6th Ed meta back in 3rd ed.
Wait, what were we talking about again? Did I ever tell you about the time I gave you five bees for a quarter? That's what you'd say in those days, "give me five bees for a quarter", is what you'd say in those days. And you'd go down to the D&D shop, with an onion in your belt, 'cause that was the style of the time. So there I was in the D&D shop..." 
   
Made in ca
Crafty Goblin





Canada

* Should it always/sometimes/never be possible to win despite being tabled?

Always

* Should kills always/sometimes/never reward VPs?

Never

* Should you be able to win while failing a primary objective but making up for it in secondary objectives?

No


I also don't think missions should be out of points. I think it's totally fine for there to be a victory condition, and that's it. In Age of Sigmar the missions often have a condition for Major or minor victory, and that's it. Secondary objectives have no effect on the game, besides as a tie-breaker.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/06 19:35:35


 
   
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Omnipotent Necron Overlord






My ideal misssion would have a set of major victory conditions and a set of minor victory conditions.

Major victory conditions.
Randomly determined at the start of the game.

-Destroy the opponents army before they achieve their major objectives.
-Complete the missions main objective.
example (capture the flag/relic type misions) (breakthrough - ge a certain number of units accross the table)(Hold/take ground - battle over key objectives on the table - those who hold AT THE END of the game score major victory).

Minor Victory conditions come into play if major victory conditions are not met. Randomly determined at the start of the game.
-attrition (who killed more)
-vital intelligence collected (side missions)
- table control

Very simple.


If we fail to anticipate the unforeseen or expect the unexpected in a universe of infinite possibilities, we may find ourselves at the mercy of anyone or anything that cannot be programmed, categorized or easily referenced.
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Tycho wrote:
Would be interested in hearing the "pros" as I clearly have the "cons"


While I generally prefer progressive scoring, having score-at-end-of-game in the rotation discourages lists designed to jump on the objectives ASAP and not die until they've scored enough to win. Getting completely shut out from objectives when your opponent gets the first turn, with the game effectively over turn 3, is a pretty un-fun experience.

My personal preference is somewhere in the middle- having the value of an objective be tied to the turn number, with objectives becoming more valuable as the game goes on, is my ideal compromise. But having some missions be 100% one or the other helps shake up optimization and demands greater adaptability.
   
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Regular Dakkanaut






jaredb wrote:I also don't think missions should be out of points. I think it's totally fine for there to be a victory condition, and that's it. In Age of Sigmar the missions often have a condition for Major or minor victory, and that's it. Secondary objectives have no effect on the game, besides as a tie-breaker.


Xenomancers wrote:
Minor Victory conditions come into play if major victory conditions are not met. Randomly determined at the start of the game.
-attrition (who killed more)


You both are getting at the same idea - which I quite like.

Both players have a primary objective - this could be the same for both players, or maybe certain missions have each player trying to do something different.

If both players fail to accomplish the primary objective, or they both equally succeed, then the mission is determined based on secondaries.

The primary objective could be something "discrete" (e.g. accomplish this exact feat by the end of the game) or it could still be points based with a certain threshold needed to trigger a win (e.g. accumulate 40 points in data uploading by spending actions at control points).

I think certain primary objectives could even be sudden death too, especially for attacker/defender style missions or breakthrough missions. That is, if a player completes their primary task before or to the exclusion of the their opponent, they win instantly.

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Mysterious Techpriest




While I generally prefer progressive scoring, having score-at-end-of-game in the rotation discourages lists designed to jump on the objectives ASAP and not die until they've scored enough to win. Getting completely shut out from objectives when your opponent gets the first turn, with the game effectively over turn 3, is a pretty un-fun experience.

My personal preference is somewhere in the middle- having the value of an objective be tied to the turn number, with objectives becoming more valuable as the game goes on, is my ideal compromise. But having some missions be 100% one or the other helps shake up optimization and demands greater adaptability.


Yep. That makes perfect sense. I was stuck thinking of it as "either/or" but if you had some progressive and one or two "end game", I can see where it would be beneficial for helping ensure a certain amount of "TAC" building in the lists.

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

Psiensis on the "good old days":
"Kids these days...
... I invented the 6th Ed meta back in 3rd ed.
Wait, what were we talking about again? Did I ever tell you about the time I gave you five bees for a quarter? That's what you'd say in those days, "give me five bees for a quarter", is what you'd say in those days. And you'd go down to the D&D shop, with an onion in your belt, 'cause that was the style of the time. So there I was in the D&D shop..." 
   
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IGUGO makes scenario design fairly tricky. End of turn or round scoring doesn't get the same "take it"/"take it back" dynamic when players commit their entire army turn by turn. 40k has some additional issues simply due to how debilitating melee is and how wildly varied movement tends to be.

In general I think the primary/secondary style systems are great, but take some iteration to get right. Personally, I think too much choice in secondaries is a bit of a problem and have found it works better when you pick from a subset of the options.

One of the issues I've seen with 40k is the tendency for the community to jump ship whenever the current system has problems. For the most part these things get fixed by sticking with them for a few years. Definitely issues with the current pack, but with some community feedback I think as long as GW remains engaged its something that can be worked into shape.
   
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 jaredb wrote:
I'd just copy what Age of Sigmar has. 12-18 diverse missions, which require different army building focus to succeed in, and help push armies towards being a bit less one dimensional.

40k, with the current grant tournament missions, and the with ITC beforehand is that the missions are all the same, so you don't really need to think about a whole lot when building your list. The same army build is good in all 9 missions.


Where is a good place to find a list of the AOS missions?

I would disagree that an army should never win if tabled though. I can think of a some asymmetrical missions where a smaller force's task is to hinder the larger one, so a victory might occur if the larger force doesn't achieve something within a certain time frame (turn x, whatever).
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





Mission/objective balancing becomes easier with slower and less lethal gameplay.

The abilities of armies to race across the map and/or bring ruinous firepower/assaults on their opponent out of the game takes away any aspect of resource allocation, feints, and action/counteraction over multiple turns.

At which point you end up with the current objective system - run here as fast as possible, kill there as fast as possible.
   
Made in gb
Irked Necron Immortal




UK

If you want less one-dimensional armies then copying AOS is the worst thing to do.

40K actually has pretty good diversity in its competitive army lists.

AOS has what can charitably be called a spam problem.
   
Made in us
Mysterious Techpriest




AOS has what can charitably be called a spam problem.


I almost got into it last year and didn't because that problem was so pronounced. I wonder though - how much of the spam issues is the missions, how much is the core rules, and how much is it that the unit-to-unit balance is just out of whack?

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

Psiensis on the "good old days":
"Kids these days...
... I invented the 6th Ed meta back in 3rd ed.
Wait, what were we talking about again? Did I ever tell you about the time I gave you five bees for a quarter? That's what you'd say in those days, "give me five bees for a quarter", is what you'd say in those days. And you'd go down to the D&D shop, with an onion in your belt, 'cause that was the style of the time. So there I was in the D&D shop..." 
   
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Deathwing Terminator with Assault Cannon





Honestly, holding objectives is so secondary to the game because dead units can't score. Objectives & mission should directly affect the lethality of the army.

For example, CP is not generated at list building, but it earned as you play out the rounds.

During your command phase, you receive CP's equal to the round number (round 1 = 1 CP, round 2 = 2CP), and 1 CP for each objective you control. CP's earned are cumulative, to maximum of 12 CP's at any given time. If you gain any CP's while you have maximum CP, they are lost. Move all Core, Epic Deed, Strategic Ploy, & Battle Tactics stratagem to a new category 'Commands' which uses CP as currency.

At list building, in lieu of CP's, you gain SP (Stratagem Points), scaled to fit goal. SP can be used for Requisition & Wargear Stratagems, in addition to putting units into strategic reserves. Add stratagem that allows you to trade in 1 SP for 1 CP, once per game.

This would mean that players would be forced to make a decision on whether unit A, which strongly depends on stratagem support, should be put into strategic reserve at the cost of extra grubbin's until you have sufficient CP's to support it (forces the big bad boys to stay off until they can be kept alive with CP's = less front-loaded lethality).

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/01/06 22:55:23


 
   
Made in gb
Irked Necron Immortal




UK

Tycho wrote:
AOS has what can charitably be called a spam problem.


I almost got into it last year and didn't because that problem was so pronounced. I wonder though - how much of the spam issues is the missions, how much is the core rules, and how much is it that the unit-to-unit balance is just out of whack?


It is primarily the core rules and unit design. Flattened defensive profiles combined with easy to access buffs for regular units meaning there aren't "anti" units in the game. For example: a unit of Gobbos can basically wound anything on a 2+ or 3+, regardless of what it is. Warscroll battalions that encourage pigeonholing and hyper-focusing on smaller and smaller aspects of an army. A prevalence of mortal wounds and damage overflow also shut out or remove the need for other unit types in your army. Subfaction rules that usually focus on specific units rather than buffing the majority of an army, again leading to hyper-specialization (read: spam).

What's important though is that for all the supposed variety in AOS missions, armies are basically focused around how best to efficiently kill the other army as fast as possible by overloading on as many buffs for as few units types as possible while having a minimal amount of drops. No other considerations really come into it. This is especially pronounced in an army like Idoneth which has a real unit design problem since all of its units are damage dealers, so you just pick the most efficient damage dealers (which are eels)

You can complain about 40k all you want, but right now its core rules and missions are in a far healthier spot than AOS.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/06 22:06:34


 
   
Made in ca
Jinking Ravenwing Land Speeder Pilot




Vancouver, BC

My question is why is it a bad thing if games are decided quickly? Unless you're at a tournament and playing it out is required to establish the margin of victory for scoring both players can agree to scoop unbalanced games whenever they wish and start another round. Given that one of the issues with 40k is that it can take an entire afternoon (or more) to play a single I think ending games faster is probably a good idea.

Debate the topic, not the poster. I will not be discussing myself in relation to debates and discussions on this forum. 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut






 Canadian 5th wrote:
My question is why is it a bad thing if games are decided quickly? Unless you're at a tournament and playing it out is required to establish the margin of victory for scoring both players can agree to scoop unbalanced games whenever they wish and start another round. Given that one of the issues with 40k is that it can take an entire afternoon (or more) to play a single I think ending games faster is probably a good idea.


For me, having a game decided after a turn or two is bad for a number of reasons:

(1) Because the shortness yields an unsatisfying overall arc. I want to to make more than two maneuvers with my units. I want to see some backs and forth movements.

(2) Because only playing a couple of turns, relative to the time it takes to organize a game, set it up arrange forces, setup up the table, and so on is a let down. There is a lot of investment to making a game happen - and if it's decided after 1 turn that sucks. I want more opportunities to make more decisions on the table and have that matter for the outcomes.

(3) Playing the game is FUN, doubly so when then game is close and victory in contention. If that only lasts 1-2 turns that's less fun than if it lasted two or three times as much. I want the game to be close and interesting

(4) 40K is never going to be a short game when playing a big 2,000 point game. I'd rather it take as long as needs to make for a satisfying experience than cut it short.


This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/01/07 02:27:21


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Made in ca
Jinking Ravenwing Land Speeder Pilot




Vancouver, BC

 Mezmorki wrote:
(1) Because the shortness yields an unsatisfying overall arc. I want to to make more than two maneuvers with my units. I want to see some backs and forth movements.

Given the randomness inherent in the sheer number of rolls 40k asks players to make and the potential for an imbalance between lists, how do you propose we fix this without changing the entire system?

(2) Because only playing a couple of turns, relative to the time it takes to organize a game, set it up arrange forces, setup up the table, and so on is a let down. There is a lot of investment to making a game happen - and if it's decided after 1 turn that sucks. I want more opportunities to make more decisions on the table and have that matter for the outcomes.

Most of that investment can carry over into another game. Game one was quick, reset and go again, repeat until your playing time runs out.

(3) Playing the game is FUN, doubly so when then game is close and victory in contention. If that only lasts 1-2 turns that's less fun than if it lasted two or three times as much. I want the game to be close and interesting

This happens in all games, even games where the balance difference between the best and worst choices are +/- 2% with skilled based matchmaking. You get one-sided stomps for and against, average length games, and the games that double the average game time. If the last game sucked say 'gg, next?' and try to start another match.

(4) 40K is never going to be a short game when playing a big 2,000 point game. I'd rather it take as long as needs to make for a satisfying experience than cut it short.

Not everybody has that much time. If shorter games are indeed intentional how do you propose both groups have their needs satisfied?

Debate the topic, not the poster. I will not be discussing myself in relation to debates and discussions on this forum. 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut






You seem to love pushing the discussion sideways and being contrary. I think you admitted to enjoying doing such in the other thread. Against my better judgement I'll take the bait.

 Canadian 5th wrote:
 Mezmorki wrote:
(1) Because the shortness yields an unsatisfying overall arc. I want to to make more than two maneuvers with my units. I want to see some backs and forth movements.

Given the randomness inherent in the sheer number of rolls 40k asks players to make and the potential for an imbalance between lists, how do you propose we fix this without changing the entire system?


This topic is about mission / objective structure, and that's what I want to keep the discussion focused on. Plenty of other threads exist to discuss these other points you raise - and I seem to recall seeing you commenting in those as well. I responded to your question with a direct response. Please respond in kind and don't try to shift the discussion.

(2) Because only playing a couple of turns, relative to the time it takes to organize a game, set it up arrange forces, setup up the table, and so on is a let down. There is a lot of investment to making a game happen - and if it's decided after 1 turn that sucks. I want more opportunities to make more decisions on the table and have that matter for the outcomes.

Most of that investment can carry over into another game. Game one was quick, reset and go again, repeat until your playing time runs out.


Uhmmm no? If I call a game after turn 2, dissatisfied, starting another game all else being equal is going to result in another game ending prematurely. Fixing 1 bad experience with 2 bad experiences is a ridiculous proposition.

(3) Playing the game is FUN, doubly so when then game is close and victory in contention. If that only lasts 1-2 turns that's less fun than if it lasted two or three times as much. I want the game to be close and interesting

This happens in all games, even games where the balance difference between the best and worst choices are +/- 2% with skilled based matchmaking. You get one-sided stomps for and against, average length games, and the games that double the average game time. If the last game sucked say 'gg, next?' and try to start another match.


Yes, this can happen. Nevertheless, I'm trying to discuss how the mission / objective structure can be such that it makes the game better in some small way. I'm not claiming it's going to solve all the problems, but it might solve some.

(4) 40K is never going to be a short game when playing a big 2,000 point game. I'd rather it take as long as needs to make for a satisfying experience than cut it short.

Not everybody has that much time. If shorter games are indeed intentional how do you propose both groups have their needs satisfied?


Play smaller point limit games? Agree with your opponent ahead of time you're only going to play until turn 3? I don't think the "standard' should be designed around the time it takes to play 1-2 turns, for all the reasons mentioned above.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/07 03:44:32


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Made in ca
Jinking Ravenwing Land Speeder Pilot




Vancouver, BC

This topic is about mission / objective structure, and that's what I want to keep the discussion focused on. Plenty of other threads exist to discuss these other points you raise - and I seem to recall seeing you commenting in those as well. I responded to your question with a direct response. Please respond in kind and don't try to shift the discussion.

Yes, and my question asked which changes you'd make to achieve your ideal in the face of the nature of the game as it currently exists. Do you feel that there are changes to mission objectives alone that would significantly reduce the number of games that are in a lopsided gamestate by the end of turn 2?

Uhmmm no? If I call a game after turn 2, dissatisfied, starting another game all else being equal is going to result in another game ending prematurely. Fixing 1 bad experience with 2 bad experiences is a ridiculous proposition.

That's only true if the imbalance is due to things like list strength or a large gap in player skill. The same imbalance could have come from a single bad play that snowballed or a series of hot/cold rolls involving a key unit or two, in those cases resetting and playing again could easily result in a closer game. This is exactly why I brought up the random nature of the game in my last post.

Yes, this can happen. Nevertheless, I'm trying to discuss how the mission / objective structure can be such that it makes the game better in some small way. I'm not claiming it's going to solve all the problems, but it might solve some.

Are you even certain you can make such a shift when games far more tightly balanced cannot solve them?

Play smaller point limit games? Agree with your opponent ahead of time you're only going to play until turn 3? I don't think the "standard' should be designed around the time it takes to play 1-2 turns, for all the reasons mentioned above.

The standard doesn't have to be designed around any set limit, the goal could be to make each game 20% shorter. Ending at turn 5 and placing extra emphasis on the early turns would be logical steps to make to achieve this goal.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/07 04:01:47


Debate the topic, not the poster. I will not be discussing myself in relation to debates and discussions on this forum. 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut






@Canadian 5th

I'm trying to figure out your angle. Your comments continue to deflect away from or change the scope of the discussion. Or perhaps you are suggesting "there is nothing to be done" or that changes aren't likely to work or can't work? Or that the game is fine how it is?

Earlier posts in this thread have thrown out all sorts of ideas for how to respond to the original post with constructive ideas. I'd love for you to respond to any of those specific ideas and how you think they could be executed better - or to share your own ideas in kind.

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