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Discussion Starter #1
Tactical Objectives: an overview
(if you are the TL;DR guy, just skip my shit and get to the end of the post: there is a summarization...)

Having played a few games whit the new shiny "Tactical Objectives", i feel i can write down some thoughts on the matter, biased by my own experience, of course.

For those of you that are not aware of what "Tactical Objectives" are:
with 7th ed we got some rules adjustment.
Alongside the much debated Unbound armies, we had a whole new way of fighting our battles. With TO, no longer we'll be rushing on the last turn to those static objectives with our jestbikes and jump troops, stealing it from our sullen opponent; now instead we can savour the thrill of impredictability even in scoring points.
Depending on the mission (there are six more) you will draw (or roll, if you are poor and can't afford the cards) a certain number of objectives from a deck (or table, if you are poor and can't afford the cards). Those cards, like orders from an higher and careless Headquarter that cares not of your army composition, of battelfield situation and such trifle matters), will give you various goals for the turns to come, from the classic "Capture objective n° X" to "Capture ALL the objectives!", passing from "Pass a Psykic test"...and thats how you score points, still with the omnipresent Secondary Objectives retaining their game changing importance. At the end of your turn, if you achieved one of the objectives, you discard that objective and draw/roll another one.
This said....

On Randomness
Rolling objectives from a chart is fun. No way to foresee what the cruel gods will ask of you, no way to anticipate what you'll need to do in order to achieve victory.
If the odds remain in the statistically acceptable, you are gold: there is such a variety in those objectives that you'll find at least a couple of things to do each turn.
If you are Bad Luck Brian, instead...things are going to get slippery. Point is, there can be a pretty large selection of impossible objective: just think about a DE army required to "Pass a pasykik test"... or a small, elite army required to "Control all the objectives" (remember the feeling, playing Risk, when you got the "Conquer the world!" objective? How fun.)
Moreover is it fully possible that your opponent will be able to achieve all his objectives in turn 1, basically winning the game by turn 2 ( Maybe controlling objectives 2 and 3, placed in his deployment zone and "Destroy one enemy unit", also granting First Blood and why not, there is also an objective that requires you to get 3 of your units in 12" range from your board edge, and none of the enemy...you can get that on turn one. )
So, randomness is going to play a decisively major role in your games. Tactics, deployment, target priority: all those "kings" shall bow their heads to Fate.

Changing army composition?

In my opnion, this huge array of objectives (whit a solid reiteration of "Capture objective X) vastly favours some kinds of army over another. Specifically, MSU, all comers armies, can have the edge. This is because you can answer 90% of the objectives requests and have enough units to be ubiquitous on the field, contesting objectives and placing units where needed. Still, negating certain objectives to the opponent is a thing: no monstruous creatures, no vehicles, no buildings or fortifications, no flyers, large units, low Characters number... each one of this stuff simply negates an objective or makes it hardly achievable. Now that Unbound armies are real, building a "passive scoring army" is possible (passive scoring means that if your opponent cannot score points...you are!). Death stars are also a good way, sadly, to take on this kind of game.
An hard hitting, though, maybe psionic and fast (Eldar i'm watching you, damn cheesemongers) unit is a nightmare now more than ever.
So, if you play whit TO, rethink your list.
I'll be probably getting two lists, one for regular games, another for TO games.

Filling the gap between players

A funny side effect of this kind of game is that it evens the odds between experienced commanders and noobs. Your skills are useless if your rookie opponent can score 6 points in two turns without even harming you, while you are struggling to get at least the Secondary Objectives... This leads me to some consideration:
first of all, it is frustrating. As an experienced player, i admit i hate to see my army dominating the field and still being unable to get a fucking point.
then, i can see how it is satisfyng for newcomers to be able to stay toe-to-toe with veterans. That's a valuable thing. Many times i saw my opponent losing interest in the game when it was clear he was outclassed and outmatched. With such a random enviroment, you can cling to hope and just have more chances of victory.
every game is an unpredictable game, you will be tested to the limit as player and commander. If you master TO games, you will be truly an hardened, reactive and capable commander. I see TO as the ultimate gaming challenge.
This said, being a grumpy idiot, i will adapt and swallow my bile when crushed beneath the unfair randomness. I'll learn to play according to the vagaries of Fate but definetely i'll still be playing the old reliable objective based games on regular basis.

Slaanesh is not happy

The Dark Prince is the Perfect One. He/She craves for perfection and this kind of game clearly is not, hence He/She is displeased. The base idea is good, but, as almost always with GW, the final realization lacks a proper playtesting to remove bugs. I am well aware that WH 40K is not a balanced game and I'm ok whit that, but to randomize an unbalanced game is a thing that only an Ork would do. Since rules are there to be molded to our whim, i was thinking to many ways to house-rule TO into something more Slaanesh-appealing, basically giving a little more control over the overall dominating randomness.
One of the most important thing to do, could be to give the opportunity to discard an unwanted Objective at the BEGINNING of the turn, instead of the end. This could give us a chance to achieve something this turn and not the next one.
Then we could agree with the opponent to remove from the possibilities those circumstancial objectives (up to 2 or 3) that are simply out of our reach (Psy test for Tau, for instance).
Another possibility could be to select 8 objectives on our own and add 12 random ones to our list, making it somewhat similar to a Magic the gathering deck building...is it trash? Maybe, but i daresay it could be really funny and also thematically more accurate (also this could merge really good with the new Army Objectives found in codex. See the brand new Ork codex...)
Damn, we could just do the three of it!
This last rant was meant to say that each group should feel free to modify TO rules, since they are so unbalanced and out of control that not everyone can possibly like it. This gaming mode has potential, however, and should be played. Better to modify it than never try it!!

What are your thoughts?

I say: GLORY TO CHAOS!!!


ABSTRACT:
-TO is really random. Maybe too much. Randomness will be Queen.
-TO favours some lists over others. You have to change your list building routine.
-In TO games, noobs will be able to kick your arse. Adapt or die screaming.
-TO is not the definitive system. It is bugged. Houseruling it could be a good thing.
 
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Entropy Fetishist
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One house rule I've thought up (but have yet to propose): cards that cannot be scored in the game you're playing you can discard and redraw immediately (say, pass psychic when you have no psykers, or kill a flyer against a list with none)--that would just about kill your "passive scoring" technique here, but it would mitigate some frustrating randomness.

Mind you, there are also Scrier's Gaze and the Tactical Warlord Trait that can serve to mitigate the uncontrollable randomness, if are able to bring Divination/choose to branch into Tactics WTs.

Good summary of the state of the game with a few thoughts I hadn't given enough consideration to (again, passive scoring and the like). I don't know if you stressed the game-turning capability of the Kingslayer card, what with Slay the Warlord still being a thing, plus D3 (I think) more points... it increases the importance of keeping your WL alive even more, in case your opponent draws it at any point after that in the game.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks mossy. Honestly i "forgot" to add a point. It should be noted that many objectives basically mimic Secondary objectives, hence doubling the points scored if you mange to have those objectives... a fix could be remove Second. Obj. when playing TO.
Your houserule is good, it solves many problems. I might try it...
Also, i really despise the D3 points stuff...many an objective gives you a random point number. I wonder why. They removed randomness from spells and Warlord Traits just to put it back in objectives??
 

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Also, i really despise the D3 points stuff...many an objective gives you a random point number. I wonder why. They removed randomness from spells and Warlord Traits just to put it back in objectives??
Well, most of those D3 ones are a way of saying "you killed 3 things rather than 1 thing/held 3 objectives rather than 1: here, have more points for going above and beyond the call of duty."

3 points would have been way too much, but I agree they could have simply turned instances of D3 into just plain 2.

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A game mode that I want to try to figure out eventually would be to combine an Eternal War mission and a Maelstrom mission: score points over the battle then have a final accounting over who has the Relic, who holds the objectives, etc. The Scouring, Relic, Killpoints mission are all simple enough--it's the ones with a random less-than-6 objectives that are troublesome. I don't want to play a Big Guns Never Tire with 6+2+D3 objectives for 11 targets on the board.

Base Race/Capture the Flag (Ahem, sorry, "Cleanse and Control," I think) could work with you just pick one of the numbered tactical obj markers in your deployment zone as your "home objective." The Scouring might be hard, on second thought, to randomly generate the value of each obj while keeping the tactical objs numbered 1-6... Hmm.

I imagine Secondary Objectives would only be counted once. The idea clearly needs more work, still, and the player base would have to get familiar with it before it could ever be run in tournaments (so as not to confuse them and to let them get used to tracking so many objectives at once), but... I think it would be an excellent compromise between random over-the-game objectives and a reliable end scoring tally you can be playing the long game for.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was thinking to it, too. The merging could really bring Wh40k to another tactical level.
My idea was: D3+2 objectives on the board, scoring as usual per Maelstorm of War, then objectives card, with each mission its own set. So, for the relic we would remove every objective related card, for the scouring we would remove lots of the "kill stuff" objectives (its a recognition, not a slaughterhouse) while in Big Guns never tire, we could remove some peculiar cards like "reveal all objectives" and "issue challenges" (big guns do not challenge you in melee)
just some ramblings :)
 

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I was thinking to it, too. The merging could really bring Wh40k to another tactical level.
My idea was: D3+2 objectives on the board, scoring as usual per Maelstorm of War, then objectives card, with each mission its own set. So, for the relic we would remove every objective related card, for the scouring we would remove lots of the "kill stuff" objectives (its a recognition, not a slaughterhouse) while in Big Guns never tire, we could remove some peculiar cards like "reveal all objectives" and "issue challenges" (big guns do not challenge you in melee)
just some ramblings :)
Perhaps, but the simpler we keep things and the closer to rulebook-standard we keep them, the easier people will be able to pick up on it/teach their friends accurately. And do bear in mind that half of the mission cards are the numbered objectives... so removing those makes for a lot fewer cards to draw from.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
True...how limited is human mind :biggrin:
 

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I like the "You may trash impossible objectives when drawn". Other than that, I haven't played the TO system yet, can't say yea or nay. It seems that the best bet is to place all the objectives in the center of the board as densely as you can, and swarm your army there for a big scrum. Or am I reading the "occupy/control objective X" cards wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The general rule for objectives stay: a unit controls only one objective at a time, objectives must stay 6" from edges and 12" from each other.

Moreover i'd say that even if you have an assault army you'll want to take at least three objectives in your half to negate the opponent from grabbing them and hope in the lucky draw and take them for yourselves. In OT i can see much of the old school objective placing: as much as you can in your backyard.
 

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Also remember the old system was rather flawed as well though (as in the previous edition).
A game could be won by the person who had turn 1. Eldar Jetbikes for instance could get linebreaker, you slay their warlord and get first blood all before your opponent moves. This could get you 3 VPs so an insurmountable lead in some games, even if just getting 2 of those. The only hope your opponent then had was to get the relic or whatever and hope you don't get the last VP to force a draw at best.

Yes tactical objectives can be annoying. A bit like in poker in Texas Holdem and you have a 10-K of clubs and using a 4-7-8 of clubs in the middle a flush and someone pulls out a straight flush.

It would be nice if the objectives were a little more suited to the armies they were in. Though TBH I expect with every book rereleased they will get some.

In my group we have elected to allow a reroll for any objective that isn't able to be complete (within reason). So for instance if you have no Psyker you cant be expected to pass a Psyker test. OR in a 500pts game the likely chance you could have 6 units so you could hold all objectives on 1 turn is unlikely. Or Witch Hunter vs Tau or Necrons.
TBH 56, 62, 63, 64, 65 & 66.
Stuff like 54 for Tau where you have to challenge enemies. Pretty much no Tau will want to be in Melee with anyone, though having to charge to sacrifice yourself and earn a VP or something.

One experiment we tried what seemed to work well, but I cant remember the details off exactly was giving people the option to buy random objectives.
So the idea in principle went that everyone started with a few VPs just for being their. If they wished to they could spend 1VP to get a randomly rolled objective. If they completed the objective they earned the normal VPs +1 or it might have been D3+1 or something, I know we worked it out.
The other option we toyed with was that by spending 1-2VPs you had more a selected list. We made up several lists we tried to theme to armies. Such as Warlord needing to kill someone in a challenge OR wipe out a unit if he couldn't challenge. Blow up 3 tanks or whatever. I don't have a copy of the charts we made up. But I guess an interesting topic would be to try to make up ojbectives for certain armies.
So faster armies like Cult of Speed or Ravenwing or Whitescars (mostly bike armies) would mostly get the gathering up objectives and line breakers. BUT could also have interesting ones like having to charge an enemy unit from 2 opposite sides (pincer movement).
Deathwing style armies that have a lot of deepstrike could have an objective to be able to delay a unit from dropping by deliberately choosing not to roll for reserve for it in exchange for points. This could represent a tactical advantage in seeing how the battle is playing out to lend assistance where needed next turn.
Melee based armies like Orcs and Chaos having the ones like challenges and wipe out units in melee. Multiple units charging the same target. You could have some random luck ones like Charge an enemy unit without taking any casualties from overwatch.

I'm still a fan of VPs for killing stuff though like back in 2nd and 3rd. Gaining 1VP for every 300pts killed or something might mean you shouldn't end up in a situation that is unwinnable in 1-2 turns. Or a person winning because they have 1 guy left but scored a load of VPs during the game, while the other army is 70% of its original size.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for sharing your thoughts mayegelt :)
Also remember the old system was rather flawed as well though (as in the previous edition).
A game could be won by the person who had turn 1. Eldar Jetbikes for instance could get linebreaker, you slay their warlord and get first blood all before your opponent moves. This could get you 3 VPs so an insurmountable lead in some games, even if just getting 2 of those. The only hope your opponent then
Totally agree. Nothing to really add to this, except that, at least, you could have more control and try to prepare yourself or counter enemy predictable moves.

Yes tactical objectives can be annoying. A bit like in poker in Texas Holdem and you have a 10-K of clubs and using a 4-7-8 of clubs in the middle a flush and someone pulls out a straight flush.

It would be nice if the objectives were a little more suited to the armies they were in. Though TBH I expect with every book rereleased they will get some.

In my group we have elected to allow a reroll for any objective that isn't able to be complete (within reason). So for instance if you have no Psyker you cant be expected to pass a Psyker test. OR in a 500pts game the likely chance you could have 6 units so you could hold all objectives on 1 turn is unlikely. Or Witch Hunter vs Tau or Necrons.
TBH 56, 62, 63, 64, 65 & 66.
Stuff like 54 for Tau where you have to challenge enemies. Pretty much no Tau will want to be in Melee with anyone, though having to charge to sacrifice yourself and earn a VP or something.
Yes, those objectives are the most sucky :biggrin: An army-set of objectives would be great. Also I'd say that hard or counterproductive objectives (like your Tau example) should stay, since they add spice to the game and well represent the needs of the uncaring General...

I'm still a fan of VPs for killing stuff though like back in 2nd and 3rd. Gaining 1VP for every 300pts killed or something might mean you shouldn't end up in a situation that is unwinnable in 1-2 turns. Or a person winning because they have 1 guy left but scored a load of VPs during the game, while the other army is 70% of its original size.
I've mixed feelings about that. If you have that scoring system built in your games, i'd remove first blood and kill the warlord to even things a little and don't make those objectives so useful (since an hq has an avarage of 150 pts and first blood can well be another 100 pts, like an helbrute, you basically are able to score 3 or more pts at the price of 2). Also, in a Purge the Alien game, that would be pretty redundant. But i'd say that, as secondary objective 1 VP each 500 pts could be really amazing. About the last sentence, i'm with you. It's fucking annoying but, still, a Phirryc Victory is well represented by that!
 
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