Anti-Spam and Anti-Monstrosity Missions from Da Boyz

After my last article on missions, I feel the need to preface this article by saying that these missions do not seek to solve every problem with Warhammer 40,000 and I am working under the premise that discussing them regardless of this fact does have value. My intent here is to provide a forum to discuss them and, hopefully, inspire other T.O.s to incorporate some of this stuff in their own missions if they feel it will help them. Your mileage may vary.

At any rate, I was very impressed by some of the missions at Da Boyz this year. Not only is this my personal experience, but I had some discussions and overheard some talk about them and they seemed rather well-received by many attendees. Of course, no real metrics exist on this, so it’s anecdotal at best.

These missions sought to reduce the impact of both deathstars and spam, both of which can be a problem for fair play. Note, for context, that Da Boyz already boasts a comp system which limits non-troops to 0-2 and dedicated transports to 0-3.

Double VP for Spam

One scenario boasted a very interesting mechanic for the primary mission. It was old-style Victory Points (where each killed unit was worth an amount of VP equal to its total cost and each half-strength unit or unit with half its hull points/wounds left was worth half). The spin on this mission was “Break their Will” where any unit which had a duplicate in your list was worth double points. Non-dedicated transport troops were exempt from this. For example, all of my Ork bike units were worth their listed price because they were troops, but my Trukks were worth 80 points because I had more than one of them in my list.

People playing two Imperial Knights must have been a bit taken aback.

I was really impressed with this idea. Of course, any old-style VP mission is best slotted for the last game of the day or the tournament because it takes extra time to tally the points.

Victory for Killing the Biggest Unit

Another scenario boasted an interesting secondary mission. In this, you kept track of your killed units. At the end of the game, whomever had killed the most valuable unit won the mission. I think this was in a proper position as a secondary mission, though I think it has promise for expansion.

Marked for Death

As a secondary mission, players chose three units to be Marked for Death and only these were scored like kill points for the mission. Dedicated Transports couldn’t be chosen. This gave the player the ability to choose units which they could kill and score with them rather than having to deal solely with the enemy’s most deadly or hard to kill units. It also created quite a conundrum… choose your opponent’s key units which had to be dealt with for the primary mission, or go for the easy kills to score Marked for Death?

Folding these Concepts Into Your Tournament

I think some of these concepts could very easily be combined into a more robust Purge the Alien mission. I am imagining running Purge where units which are duplicated in a list are worth 2 VP instead of 1. Of course, units which are troops would be exempt from the doubling (though their dedicated transports would not be). Additionally, you could roll Marked for Death into this mission, scoring an additional VP for Marked for Death units. This mission would help quell the power of spam armies while, at the same time, help armies with lots of kill points which do not use high-point spam to be effective in Purge.

Of course, I don’t see a problem with running the original Da Boyz mission in a tournament. The old style VP really helps with opponents who spam very large models like Imperial Knights. I would just make sure it’s your last game of the day or you give extra time for points calculation and list verification. Remember, old VP isn’t just about counting points, but verifying for yourself what you’ve killed… old VP can be pretty janky.

I’d love to see killing the biggest unit replace First Blood as a tertiary objective. I think it requires actual effort and decision-making which is much better than “go first with big guns”. It also is similar to First Blood where it is likely to be granted to a single player, thus creating an objective which helps break ties.

For any of these missions, I do advocate pre-publishing the missions. I know not everyone agrees on this, but if there will be spam-busting missions, folks should have a chance to adjust. If you don’t pre-publish, your players feel like they’re being treated punitively for bringing the list they like to play and that’s probably detrimental to attendance.


About adam Fasoldt

Loopy (Adam) has only been playing 40k since 2010, but is an active member of the community. He is a host of the Masters of the Forge podcast and also a moderator of the Independent Characters forums. He also belongs to gaming clubs at Grimfoe Games in East Greenbush, NY and Dirty Goblin Games in Queensbury, NY.

10 Responses to “Anti-Spam and Anti-Monstrosity Missions from Da Boyz”

  1. songli November 24, 2014 7:55 am #

    First i wanna apologize for my english level.

    i see the interest to find some ways to stop the spam in 40k . and to see players to use many types of models

    But in the same time i wanna say, that all i see in your propositions encourage players to build deathstars, and i think that’s not hat you wanna make. If a player took a real big unique unit as a “green tide,with 200+ models all their characters in it, with many rockit launcha, there nearly noway to destroy it and to win VP

    Finally, i find that the restrictions, that you propose don’t hit all the armies in the same ways and that’s another problem.. Because some codexes offer many interesting units in every part of their lists and some don’t

    • Cuddles November 24, 2014 11:45 am #

      First, your English is fine. Second, you are correct. For example, the prohibition against double CADs at the LVO hurts non-imperial armies, as they can only ally with themselves or maybe one or two other other armies; their options are really limited. Imperial armies, however, can fill in any holes by just picking from one of many BB. They also get access to more unique units in their ally choices. That’s just one example, but your point is well taken.

    • adam Fasoldt November 24, 2014 12:16 pm #

      The important thing to remember is that these are ideas which are meant to be folded into a more robust tournament structure. This idea combined with asymmetrical missions and /or cumulative missions could allow us to have our cake and eat it, too.

  2. Cuddles November 24, 2014 11:32 am #

    Very nice take on things. When I first started this game, I was blissfully ignorant to the fact that there was massive imbalance in the game; I assumed that every army could be competitive in one way or another. That quickly subsided and now I realize that certain armies are out of balance and some, i.e. imperial armies, will always have a distinct advantage. This is further amplified by missions that allow the typical kinds of abuse to be prevalent. I think the above suggestions and thoughts are rather interesting.

    For the time being, I continue to hold the opinion that this game was not designed to be played the way it is being played by competitive players. Competitive thought processes, in the midst of a game like this, make for impossible scenarios and scenarios that disenfranchise many players. If you really want to do away with spam and monstrosities, I think the place to start is with the players that are perpetuating such. There needs to be some form of social contract and a willingness to avoid playing against people who do things that make the game imbalanced or unattractive for others. That’s impossible in the tournament scene, at least from what I’ve seen. I watch the battle reports on here, where people show up with 6 heldrakes, 5 talons, 8 drop pods, 3-4 riptides, 6 wave serpents, etc. This stuff ruins the game for people who can’t compete. You can try to fix the rules, but people who test the end of the rules. The best place to start is to hold people accountable be for being inconsiderate, in a game that designed to revolve around having fun and being considerate.

    For now, I will continue to play my low-tier army and just enjoy the hobby. At least I don’t have to worry about whether I am talented, as my list never guarantees my victory. I have to win by getting lucky or out smarting my opponent.

    • Pascal Roggen November 24, 2014 1:24 pm #

      I wouldn’t say imperial armies have the advantage…. eldar still sit head and shoulders over everyone else:P

      • TinBane November 24, 2014 2:52 pm #

        Undoubtedly. Eldar are a very good list. But look at the pure range of options available to chaos, daemons, orks, tyranids, etc. They can’t buy a cheap coteaz to ally in.

      • TinBane November 24, 2014 2:53 pm #

        As in, you can have an advantage, without being the best.

  3. bigpig November 24, 2014 12:45 pm #

    In my experience, Victory Point games really benefit Death Star armies and is subject to abuse. If most of the my points are tied up in unkillable units, I can run a table pretty safely without fear. This really needs to balanced out with Secondary/Primary mission to ensure it doesn’t hand out huge advantage to armies that already have advantage. Having kill the largest unit replace first blood also benefits the Death star army.

    I’m curious if you saw this at all in the tournament or were their other mission factors/comp in place that limited the presence of the big deathstar build?

    • Loopy November 25, 2014 6:06 am #

      The comp restrictions made it really hard to gurantee invis every turn. Also the meta of Eldar and fast moving assault is still pretty good against 7th ed deathstars. Also missions with marked for death instead of kill points and cumulative objectives are a great way to knock death stars from the top spot.

      • Loopy November 25, 2014 6:07 am #

        Granted, they will still do okay, but you won’t win the tournament.

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