Are Objective Secured units always the right choice?


Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to discuss Objective Secured (ObSec) in terms of how tactically important it is in games of 40K.

First of all, what is ObSec? It is a rule available to the Combined Arms Detachment (CAD) and Allied Detachment in the main rulebook, both of which can be used to build a detachment with almost any faction in 40K. It is also available to Gargoyles in the Tyranid Skyblight Formation.

The rule states that units with it (typically troops) can only be contested by other units with ObSec. It also transfers onto dedicated transports. What this means in practice, is that these units can be uber-scoring units that can take objectives very efficiently.

In a game where taking objectives is the objective of the game in most instances, a unit that is better at taking and holding them is, clearly, coming in with a big advantage. But is it as big of an advantage as we all think?

The reason I bring this up is due to the fact that I have been playing a lot of Tyranids and Orks lately. Hey, I love a challenge, and those two armies are certainly challenging to play! But, the creativity it forces out of the player is fun and it has forced me to look at the game in a different way. With my Nids, I have settled on a Nidzilla list with only 2 units of minimum Deep-striking Rippers as troops, and nearly all of my other points dumped into pure offense (I do take a unit of 2 Venomthropes as they are an incredibly good defensive buffing unit). I have found that while ObSec is great, the benefit of scoring Monstrous Creatures which add more offensively, is better. I find that they simply smush enemy ObSec units and then take the objectives over their lifeless corpses. Plus, deep-striking, Fearless Rippers that are now ObSec themselves are pretty incredible!

I have found the same thing with my Orks. Their troops struggle without support due to Mob Rule. They really need a babysitter to function efficiently. They also really want more HQs, and ways to mitigate leadership. As a result, I have been finding that I am becoming less and less concerned with ObSec and more concerned with specific benefits such as ways to make a unit Fearless or reroll leadership, or get more HQs and Heavy choices in the list over looking for ways to get ObSec units in my lists. I am finding myself gravitating more and more to the Ork specific detachments as while they do not have ObSec, they do offer some benefits that are pretty incredible such as the Fearless Bosspole in the Ghaz Relic section or the extra HQ slot in the Ork Horde detachment. Those I now precieve as actually being more beneficial in some of my lists.


What I have found is that I win games more consistently when I find ways to make lists that are flexible and mitigate the specific weaknesses of the army even if that comes at the cost of less ObSec units.

Conversely with my Marines, I cram in maximum ObSec units because basic Marines and Scouts are awesome units on their own. I lose nothing maxing out on these incredible troops and so hey, why not really take advantage of ObSec? Rhino rush and Drop Pod Marines are most definitely going to be winning tournaments for that exact reason.

Whether or not to emphasize ObSec units in your list comes down to the faction you play and the list you are building. It is easy to fall into the trap of believing that you have to maximize ObSec units in your list when in reality how you play the game is far more important. If your opponent has 18 ObSec units to your 2, but you kill all of theirs or prevent them from ever getting to objectives to utilize their advantage, who cares? To that end, if you can build a list that does those things reliably but leaves you with few ObSec units, you will be winning more games than you lose.

What do you all think about ObSec? The Bee’s Knees or simply another tool in the complex tapestry of a good list?


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

34 Responses to “Are Objective Secured units always the right choice?”

  1. Rob Morris July 17, 2014 2:32 am #

    I wonder what the point of unbound is if you can use formation to ignore traditional force org and build the list you want anyway. As far as obsec goes i think you need it as an ork player because of all the super fast troops and transports out there nothing is worse then loosing last turn because of obsec guardian jetbikes swooping in. I think what also is missing is how many detachments and at what point level are we playing because it is a non issue if it is 2 or more detachments cause you can just play multiple Cads . Last point making an army is so complex now and I am not sure if i like it.

  2. Painjunky July 17, 2014 3:39 am #

    In my first few games of 7th I was all about the Obsec. Now im firmly in the fast and kill power camp and im not looking back.

    You can’t use Obsec if your too slow or too dead to contest the objs.

  3. Cavalier July 17, 2014 3:46 am #

    Cool article Reece. Love the insight… I definitely agree with Obsec is not the only way to win games. I love how the scoring changes have allowed people to load up on units outside of the troops bracket… I think it creates an opportunity for rarely used specialist units from the elite, and heavy slots to again hit the table because you are not penalizing yourself for lack of scoring.

  4. Dash2021 July 17, 2014 6:18 am #

    Good points. Even playing Eldar/DE, I’ve found ObSec. to be not a huge issue. With some of the fastest, cheapest, and most powerful sources of ObSec in the game, it’s actually been very rare that having ObSec has come into play. It’s very seldom that I want to “contest” an objective that an enemy has men on. Usually I want to shoot them off first anyway, so it doesn’t make a difference if I’ve got ObSec or not.

    As you stated, ObSec is a bonus for armies that have already outstanding troops (Marines, CWE, DE etc.), but if your troops are a liability and not an asset (CSM, Orks, Nids) then it’s really not worth pursing. Spend the points on the good units you have, not trying to polish a whole bunch of turds.

    • JM July 17, 2014 10:16 am #

      CWE? Nothing is coming to mind right away.

      • Dash2021 July 17, 2014 10:57 am #

        Craft World Eldar. I guess CW:E might be better, or I could just not be lazy and type the extra 2 letters for Eldar

  5. fluger July 17, 2014 8:27 am #

    I’m sad that boyz went from being a crutch to a liability. 🙁

    Then again, I still haven’t gotten a game in with them yet. 🙁

    • JM July 17, 2014 10:15 am #

      This is the same way I feel. I used to love taking them loaded up in a battlewagon or as a huge block of shoota boyz. They now require a babysitter HQ to make good. Really though, I would just rather use the HQ to make a a different squad better – warbikers, meganobz, etc.

    • AbusePuppy July 19, 2014 1:28 am #

      I think units of Boyz in Battlewagons are still pretty strong against many things; Boyz on foot I dunno about. But I think the point to take away from the article isn’t “Boyz are bad and you shouldn’t use them,” but rather “Troops (and ObSec Troops) aren’t necessarily a mandatory aprt of every army.

  6. Daniel M July 17, 2014 9:32 am #

    “Hey, I love a challenge” – Reecius –

    ok, blood angels no rhinos and no razor backs. 🙂

    • Daniel M July 17, 2014 9:33 am #

      also in regards to ObSec – i haven’t found it in any of my games yet to make a difference

      • Reecius July 17, 2014 11:06 am #

        I lost a game to an ObSec Drop Pod, lol, but that was the biggest impact so far. It comes up in games a lot, but I find it isn’t game deciding all that often.

    • Reecius July 17, 2014 10:18 am #

      Lol, I love a challenge, but I am not suicidal! haha

    • JM July 17, 2014 10:36 am #

      Two min squads and a librarian, backed up by Astra Militarum is the best I can do.

      Actually, BA can take Land Raiders as dedicated, so that’s an option. I’ve never tried it, but I wouldn’t rule it out either.

    • Brian July 17, 2014 11:46 am #

      Gods, yes, I’ve been in this game nearly a year now and have not seen a single battle report for DoA Blood Angels (my army) since I started. Please record.

      • Reecius July 17, 2014 12:39 pm #

        If anyone around here had that army, we would do so, but I honestly don’t know anyone that has the models for it =(

  7. Liam July 17, 2014 12:28 pm #

    If you were to go with minimal/no obsec orks, how would you go about it? Using one of the alternate force org charts in the recent supplement? Or something else?

    • Reecius July 17, 2014 12:41 pm #

      I gravitate towards the Ghaz Detachment for the Fearless banner, and to the Ork Horde Detachment for the extra HQ slot. I still take at leas tone big unit of Boyz, but I often fill troops slots Grots too, if needs be.

      • Liam July 17, 2014 1:32 pm #

        Yeah. I was thinking Ghaz detachment for fearless banner, with Grotsnik so you could have two solid, fearless Boys units. Have you gotten any use out of Flashgitz? I love the idea of pirate orks, but Flashgitz seem really fragile to me.

        • Reecius July 17, 2014 4:53 pm #

          Yeah, I have been running one Warboss with fearless banner and Mad Dok, too.

          Flashgitz I think would work great in a Battlewagon. On foot, I don’t see them working at all.

          • Liam July 17, 2014 6:07 pm

            Where do you put your Bannerboss and Mak Dok? And how many Gitz do you throw in a wagon? Do you think they need a Mega Armor buddy to help them shoot at BS3? Perhaps with a KFF or a Shock Attack Gun? A battlewagon w/ Killkannon carrying 10 Gitz and a SAG Mega Armor Mek seems like it would be a pretty nasty, durable shooting unit.

      • Liam July 17, 2014 1:40 pm #

        For BAO, are you guys considering allowing the big Ork detachments to take the place of a CAD? For those players who are okay with totally abandoning Obsec?

        • Reecius July 17, 2014 4:53 pm #

          We do allow them in place of a CAD, yes.

          • Liam July 17, 2014 6:04 pm

            What do you think of a list like this, then?

            Great Waagh Detachment
            Warboss w/ Big Boss Pole, Ragnarork, ‘Eavy Armor
            Tank Bustasx5 w/ Trukk
            Tank Bustasx5 w/ Trukk
            Tank Bustasx5 w/ Trukk
            Tank Bustasx5 w/ Trukk
            30 Boyz w/ Nob w/ Pk
            30 Boyz w/ Nob w/ PK

            Bully Boyz formation
            5x Meganobz,1x Killsaw pair Trukk
            5x Meganobz,1x Killsaw pair Trukk
            5x Meganobz,1x Killsaw pair Trukk

  8. Kyle New July 17, 2014 1:01 pm #

    Grots are good because they’re cheap and don’t suffer from mob rule lol

  9. kent r. johnson July 17, 2014 1:59 pm #

    I agree with you Reece that it all depends on your army.
    Sister troops with immolators is good! Do loaf up on troops then get support of exorsists and seraphim and you got a chance against any list with objectives.

    And Space Wolves in 1800+ games still on 5th have an advantage of selecting wolf guard terminors or in jump packs or spread em out to other units to give units that don’t normally get the obsec will have one model that does. This only works of course if you take Login Grinmar who is worth his 275 Imop.

    • Reecius July 17, 2014 4:54 pm #

      Yeah, I agree. Grey Hunters are still amazing and taking 60 in Rhinos or Pods is still an incredible army.

  10. kent r. johnson July 17, 2014 2:02 pm #

    I agree with you Reece that it all depends on your army.
    Sister troops with immolators is good! Do loaf up on troops then get support of exorsists and seraphim and you got a chance against any list with objectives.

    And Space Wolves in 1800+ games still on 5th have an advantage of selecting wolf guard terminors or in jump packs or spread em out to other units to give units that don’t normally get the obsec will have one model that does. This only works of course if you take Login Grinmar who is worth his 275points Imop

  11. Fagerlund July 17, 2014 2:26 pm #

    Objective Secured is just one more reason to dislike Eldar. 😛

    This concept shouldn’t come as news to anyone though, Flying Circus has been around for a long time after all. 🙂

  12. michael July 17, 2014 9:27 pm #

    Someone called you out on Blood Angels. I’ll be playing blood angels with only one rhino and I’m determined to kick ass. I’ve got 5 obsec units and four can be combat squaded to make a total of 9 obsec units.

    • Reecius July 18, 2014 10:58 am #

      I salute you, sir!

      • michael July 18, 2014 9:06 pm #


  13. michael July 17, 2014 9:28 pm #

    In the BAO, which is why my comment is relevant…

  14. Julnlecs July 18, 2014 4:54 pm #

    I’m loving my 17 objective secured units for Marines. I usually go after their OS units and then take as many objs from my opponent since he can’t contest me anymore.

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