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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Friday, June 3, 2011

Lords of Terra Mission Analysis

*exhales* this post isn't going to be pleasant. Send all young children away as I am dispensing with the fudgemuffin copyright and going full out! I'll probably swear once... Edit: I swore more than that. This post isn't just ranting I do analyse the missions and suggest changes but my gears were ground and angrypants Kirby came forth!

Okay so last year we went to Lords of Terra since it is a huge gathering of nerds for Australia (100+) and is decently local. It's a comped tourney (so fail) but it was good to get five games in against some new people. There were of course some major issues (my Tyranids getting 40% painting for example when half painted armies or armies with thick paint and no detailing scored higher; comp scores being...just bad with bad armies getting poor comp and decent armies getting good comp, etc.) but hey, I enjoyed myself and was going to enjoy going back there to play five more games, have a good time and ignore all the bullshit Australian gamers think is necessary to play 40k properly. 

Then I saw the missions (scroll down to end of first post).

Overall it's a huge fuck you to people with transports yet you're already saying fuck you to that with comp. So it's basically a double fuck you, with armies which are now good based on the missions, getting comp bonuses. So what is really happening is...we're not playing 40k anymore? It's not even a tiny deviation this is like FPS compared to RTS. I mean seriously, I know many Australians and the tournaments they run are all "mech is bad and unfluffy and not fun and WAAC" and stupid crap like that but if you run two systems to try and nerf mech, you're going to get a different set of powerful lists and because the missions benefit them and they are 'bad' in normal 40k (so get good or average comp), you give them two boosts. Is that not hard to understand in some way?

Let's look at the missions then and why they are such fail. Note: I'm not going to mention the silly battlepoints system for determining who is a good player or not. It's already been said before. And let's not get started on the 30 battlepoint, 30 paint, 30 comp and 10 sports spread...

Mission 1: Pitched Battle + three objectives in the middle with random values assigned when a non-vehicle model moves into contact with it

Three objectives in midfield. Good. Random value assigning? WTF no. I'm happy to not have vehicles be able to 'activate' them as it encourages out of transport play but hey look, I dominate board control, get shitty rolls and thus have two objectives worth one each whilst my opponent gets one objective worth 6 and I get a Major Loss. Fail. If you want to make objectives different values have the central one be twice as much as the rest as that is literally harder to hold and more important to how one can beat someone else in an actual game of 40k; holding the centre. 

Mission 2: Dawn of War + Kill Points

It's a BRB mission so I can't complain too much. Oh wait yes I can. Apparently tabling your opponent is a minor win. I'm sorry, I beat you so badly that I crushed your army completely and I'm only just barely winning? Want to run that by me again. Fail.

Mission 3: Pitched Battle + One point for each unit in enemy DZ (highest total wins)

Not bad, it emphasises mobility and hurts static gunlines (both of which 5th edition already do). Wait. Dedicated transports (and anything else which doesn't take up a FoC) doesn't count for scoring a point? Hi MechDar, your transports which are often as expensive if not more expensive than the units you carry (i.e. 1/3 to 1/2 of your total points) you're relegated to being able to do nothing in terms of scoring a victory for your general just like the 35-50 point transports of the Imperium. That sounds shitty doesn't it? Ya it's because someone doesn't like cheap transports and doesn't understand that old books need to be considered as well. If your transports are expensive, this mission just stuck something up your ass and it isn't pleasant. If you're still running a transport based list, well you're fucked as well because a lot of your army isn't helping you win the actual mission either other than getting your units across the table and then needing to run back the other direction to disrupt your opponent in your DZ. Just *sigh.* This is not 40k, transports are a major part of 40k if you don't like it, go play Fantasy or Warmahordes where they don't exist (as far as I know).

Mission 4: Spearhead + 5 objectives

Yay another BRB mission and we have a deployment other than line up and shoot each other. The objectives aren't set however so whomever wins that roll-off has an advantage since they get to place an extra objective over their opponent. Once again though. I TABLE you. And get a Minor win. Fail.

Mission 5: Pitched Battle + modified KP (units which move >6" = 3KP, units with infiltrate, scout or HQ = 2KP, everything else = 1KP)

3rd pitched battle deployment? Out of 5 games? Yawn. So in mission 3 you're giving the finger to transports because hey, they are cheating right? Here you've giving them the finger too because it's just not nice that they can move faster than everything else whilst being cheap now is it? A standard Mech list of 15-18 KP now shits out a staggering 30+ KP. Holy fuck. Lucky they didn't make individual vehicles singular KP either or man that would be even more terrible (yes it's possible). So another kneejerk reaction of a mission to mech rather than fielding better lists and being able to handle them. This is...Fail. That's 5/5 pretty impressive, even with two BRB copy paste missions. Wow.


Mission 5 is just trash but Mission 3 has some merit. Make it Troops only or something but don't disadvantage fast armies in Mission 5 and mech based armies (which are fast too) in Mission 3 as well. It's not balanced and isn't good for producing someone who is actually the best General. Wipe outs = full battle points. Not sure how that is hard to understand. You've outplayed your enemy well enough to dominate him off the board, how is that different to outplaying him whilst he has units on the board to dominate the board? It isn't, it displays superior tactical acumen. This is the major knock against Missions 2 and 4 which are BRB copy-pastes and Mission 1 I've already discussed. Randomness needs to be based on the game (i.e. dice rolls such as reserves, who goes first, game end, etc.) but not dictate the board once the game has started. If you want to do different objective values have a reason for making them more important than others like it actually is more important normally because it's in the exact centre of the board. This is advantaging an army already in an advantageous position but makes sense game-wise rather than this random bullcrap.

And stop hating on mech and transports in general. They are a part of the game. Deal with it.

Don't worry there's more. Secondary missions. You get to choose your secondary and keep it hidden from your opponent *girly giggle*, that sounds fun doesn't it? Not that it isn't going to be too hard to figure out what your opponent is doing (why are you focusing undue attention on my HQ...oh right) but 40k isn't a game of fucking secrecy, it's a game of tactics based around movement and target priority which you've already tried to fuck up by saying "mech is bad, don't use mech!". Right so let's look at them one by one. 

Secondary Mission 1: Kill highest point HQ in opposing army whilst keeping yours alive

Haven't people got the memo yet? This is stupid. HQs operate differently in each army. Hey Space Wolves and IG, you keep your HQ hidden at the back where they are nice and safe okay? Tyranids, throw that big hard to hide fucker forward because you spent 200+ points on it and it would be fucking moronic to hide it. *designs list so he can hide his HQ and be safe*. Fail.

Secondary Mission 2: Have a non-vehicle heavy weapon or HQ occupy the highest point on the battlefield

Say what? Oh look ruins in my deployment zone which are higher than yours, awesome I'm going to pick this and stick a single guy up there and most likely win it. Oh wait, your army doesn't have any heavy weapons? And has an expensive HQ? Or moving your heavy weapons stops them firing? What was the point of this mission again? oh right to advantage lists with mobile heavy weapons because they really need more help. Fail.

Secondary Mission 3: Table quarters 

Woot a good mission parameter. Wait. Dedicated transports don't count (hey mech, fuck you) and it's like old 3rd ed Cleanse where you have to own the entire quarter? Fail. Do it like the other tournaments have been doing please and make it so it's the VP in each quarter who decides who owns it and stop fucking with transports. Some armies live on their transports and spend a lot of points to do so (oh hi older books, didn't notice you there under my hate for mech in the new books).

Secondary Mission 4: Victory Points

For a secondary mission I'm happy with this (if we ignore the fail of using battle points as a determinant of who is a good general or not). 

Secondary Mission 5: secure enemy home objective

This is like half of capture and control, you know, that auto-draw mission? Meh not epic fail like the above but certainly not good. Draws are bad yo.

Secondary Mission 6: secure your home objective

It's the other half of capture and control except...holy fuck, 12" contest range! And even transports can now as there is no exception. That's going to be oh I don't know, kind of difficult unless I table my opponent (but I only get a Minor win then) and grossly imbalanced seeing as I need to get within 3" of their home objective to contest if I choose Mission 5. Here's a tip, balance is good and you've fucked it up. Fail.


In the end the secondary missions are not as bad as the main missions but still pretty bad. It's like there's some sort of misconception that not all armies are the same and each one runs a very different and unique bunch of army lists which place importance on different things. Since you have to use five of these six secondary missions, odds are you're only going to have a couple which work for your army and the rest are just meh. Add in that comp is already screwing over good armies and the main missions are designed to hurt most of them again (if you're a good foot list you're okay! unless you're a fast foot list...which cuts us back to just a couple again. Hi Loganwing) and you get not 40k but LordsofTerra 40k which I don't really want to spend money coupled with significant travel time to play.

The question then becomes do I want to go? Certainly not with any of my mech armies (I wanted to take Grey Knights but they'll be comped and have poor missions for them such as Mission 3 where half my army can't score or Mission 5 where I have 30+ KP) and I don't feel like taking my Tyranids because Alex doesn't know what a Hive Tyrant is and can't mark painting right and they still get comped pretty harshly. I don't want to take a new army because...oh wait I don't have cash to fling about to buy a Loganwing army which mostly laughs at the missions designed to nerf what is perceived as the best lists and I know that painting up a Bike/Jumper army in that time is going to be insanely difficult and is still given undue major advantages or disadvantages in certain missions (3 and 5 I'm looking at you).

I guess it depends on whether or not I have a full-time job by that time if I'll go but most likely I'm not going to because it's just...well it's bad and I'm being polite there. If you want to comp armies go for it. Try and do it right but you know, I can't see this changing despite the success of NOVA based tournaments so I'll roll with it. But to turn around to the guys who have spent a lot of money are their minis which they like and say we are going to comp you and fuck you up with the missions is just poor form and lack of analytical thinking. This is supposed to be a tournament which rewards everyone right? And overall is fun? Not feeling it guys. We were able to have fun at Centurion and Event Horizon without comp or terrible missions and you didn't have to win all your games to get rewarded (but holy fuck, if you did win all your games you did get rewarded :O that's novel).


Sorry for the un-3++ vibe there but ya, I'm tired of crappy tournaments in Australia. Time to get off my ass and get a 3++con going.

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