The New ITC Missions and You

So if you haven’t heard, there are new ITC missions that have had some tweaks to make the gaming experience better and more balanced.  Let’s dive in a bit and discuss the changes and what the missions look like now.

The Missions

maelstromMission 1

Primary: Emperor’s Will (Dawn of War)

Secondary: Maelstrom (Hold 1, Hold 2, Linebreaker, Destroy, Destroy, 3 Yours None Theirs Deployment)

Tertiary: Big Game Hunter, Linebreaker, Slay the Warlord.

Mission 2

Primary: The Relic (Hammer and Anvil)

Secondary: Maelstrom (Hold 1, Hold 2, Linebreaker, Destroy, Destroy, 3 Yours None Theirs Deployment)

Tertiary: First Strike, Table Quarters, Slay the Warlord.

Mission 3

Primary: Purge The Alien (Vanguard Strike)

Secondary: Maelstrom (Hold 1, Hold 2, Hold 3, More Units More than 12”, Linebreaker, 3 Yours None Theirs Deployment)

Tertiary: Slay the Warlord, King of the Hill, First Strike

Mission 4

Primary: The Scouring (Hammer and Anvil) – FA units killed added to this.

Secondary: Maelstrom (Hold 1, Hold 2, Hold 3, Destroy, Destroy, Destroy)

Tertiary: Big Game Hunter, Linebreaker, Slay the Warlord

Mission 5

Primary: Big Guns Never Tire (Vanguard Strike) – Heavy units killed added to this.

Secondary: Maelstrom (Hold Enemy 1, Hold Enemy 2, Hold Your 1, Hold Your 2, Destroy, Destroy)

Tertiary: Ground Control, Linebreaker, Slay the Warlord

Mission 6

Primary: Crusade (Dawn of War)

Secondary: Maelstrom (Hold 1, Hold 2, Destroy, Destroy, Linebreaker, 3 Yours None of Theirs Deployment)

Tertiary: First Blood, Linebreaker, Slay the Warlord

Conclusion: There aren’t a ton of changes in the core structure of the missions this year. Purge The Alien was changed a bit more to swing towards killing stuff again which is nice to see. It was funny that Battle Co still had the upper hand to score the Mealstrom and more Tertiary before the changes. I think Kill Points should have more of a focus in certain missions as killing stuff is a lot of fun, but deathstars make that not as much so.

Big Changes To Maelstrom

Roll 3 Pick 2

berzerker diceThe biggest changes this year is in how the Maelstroms are generated and scored. This year for Maelstroms you roll three dice and pick two! I think that is a great change as I remember quite clearly at LVO when I rolled the dreaded Maelstrom 6 – 3 of yours and none of theirs in deployment – like 5 out of six turns. It was awesome. This should allow for more variety of lists as you won’t feel the pressure to go MSU to ensure that you can have a chance at every aspect of the ITC missions. More choice is good!

Score at the Beginning of Your Turn

Another huge change is in how you score your Maelstrom. Instead of scoring at the bottom of the game turn, you score at the beginning of your player turn, then generate new missions. This gives players going first a chance to counter their opponents Maelstrom moves and allow for a lot more reaction in games, which should make them a lot more fun and dynamic.

Score 3 Maelstrom a Turn!

Another new aspect to the Maelstrom in the missions is that if you generate destroy a unit twice or hold 2 objectives you can go for 3 points. If you destroy 3 units you get 3 points and if you hold three objectives you score 3 points. It’s a cool gambit that allows a player to vie for a shot at tying up or winning the Maelstrom if needed.


One small thing to point out is that Ties for the Primary or Maelstrom are now worth 2 points to each player, not 0. While the net result is the same, getting more battle points for ties should shake up some pairings and final standings at a tournament.

Lords of War

imperial knightsAnother big change to the ITC missions is how LOW bonus points are scored. They used to be added to the Maelstrom score with 3 points being 1 Maelstrom point. This made Knights and such a certain gamble on the table.

Now, when you take 3 hull points off of a Knight or other Gargantuan creature you use those to satisfy a Destroy a Unit maelstrom objective, or count is as a kill point for Purge the Alien. So if you take 3 hull points off of a Knight, but didn’t roll Destroy a Unit during, say, The Relic, you wouldn’t get that point. This is a good middle ground I think.

Initial Game Play Thoughts

Having played a few games of the new system, I really like the changes. While they seem small, they have a big impact on the flow of the game. It puts a lot of choices and options in the players hand and makes for a more dynamic game. Keeping things fresh is always a good idea and these changes will surely keep the game from being stale.

For a complete rundown of the guidelines, be sure to check out the 2016 Scenario Guidelines document.


About CaptainA

Aaron is a longtime gamer of many systems. He is an avid community builder of 40k and after running many 40k events in Portland, Oregon, has recently moved to Boise, Idaho and continues to host and run leagues and events. He has also recently expanded his repertoire and entered the second hand Warhammer business. Check out his website at to see how he can help you get rid off your old and unused models.

64 Responses to “The New ITC Missions and You”

  1. Hotsauceman1 March 5, 2016 10:48 am #

    I like the change to Lords of war, but I honestly feel they are still a liability. because rolling 3 dice take 2 you are still likely to get destroy a unit
    I cant wait to try out the mission, but thats gonna be a bit.

  2. Reecius March 5, 2016 11:46 am #

    Glad to get the feedback, buddy and happy to hear you like the changes!

  3. Adam ( March 5, 2016 4:26 pm #

    So far I think they’re good but need some refinement still. Being able to score 3 maelstrom so far seems pretty pointless, it really should be something you can always exchange for instead of having to roll a special combination, this way you can actually use it to pull ahead or come back from behind when you need it. The odds of getting the roll you need to pick the 3-point option, when you need it, seems incredibly rare. I’m also not a fan of the roll 3, pick 2, especially because you could also get around this by having fewer duplicate results on the table, which would speed things up a little.

    Scoring at the beginning of the turn also seems a little counter intuitive, does that mean if the game ends on 5, there are only 4 turns of maelstrom points?

    I think the LoW rules need to be a bit more clear, or just simpler. It is coming from a good place but a bit more complicated than necessary. Dealing a flat 3 HP during that turn to a super heavy (or finishing one off) would pretty much cause the same result, without having weird situations where you need to keep track of HP dealt as well as HP restored by a super heavy. It’s also unclear how it works with Purge, if the points are granted during the game or calculated at the end.

    • Socks March 5, 2016 5:50 pm #

      Literally agree with all these points. Also after playing in an event using the new system, I can say I really dislike the scoring at the start of the player turn. Losing a potential great turn of maelstrom grabbing only to have the game end can be a real kick in the gut.

      • westrider March 5, 2016 10:54 pm #

        I feel like they should be scored at the end of the Opponent’s Turn instead of the start of your own, for exactly that reason.

        • Adam ( March 7, 2016 2:01 pm #

          Yeah, the final turn not counting would be fine and all, if games actually ended naturally, but I feel like so many games are ending based on time that it’s pretty easy to predict if that turn will matter for Maelstrom or not.

        • Reecius March 8, 2016 1:20 pm #

          If you did that though, you’d have an uneven amount of scoring turns. The player going first would score at the end of the game, and the player going second, wouldn’t. It would not be even.

    • abusepuppy March 6, 2016 9:08 pm #

      I was rather unclear on the “beginning of turn scoring” issue as well. It seems to mean that whatever missions you roll up on the final turn of the game will be wholly irrelevant, as you won’t ever get a chance to score them.

      • Adam ( March 7, 2016 1:50 pm #

        Yeah, the last turn being irrelevant for Maelstrom is really weird, and it’s not even clear that they intend for it to be that way… it would be really strange if that’s true.

        • Reecius March 8, 2016 1:22 pm #

          It was totally intentional, the biggest point of criticism we got on the missions was scoring the way we did. A ton of folks wanted it to go this way, so we did. You do lose a turn of scoring points, though.

      • Reecius March 8, 2016 1:21 pm #

        You don’t generate points on turn 7.

    • Pablo Martinez March 6, 2016 11:02 pm #

      The problem with this is that it skews the secondary scoring in the first turn player’s favor right? If I go first then I can score At the beginning end of my opponent’s turn 6 but then he doesn’t get to the turn 6 secondaries he rolled up. Doesn’t seem fair.

      • Pablo Martinez March 6, 2016 11:12 pm #

        Also, another quick note. With varied game length theoretically either player doesn’t know if the game is going to end so those “wholly irrelevant” missions you roll up could possibly actually be relevant. I actually think these missions are a lot more fun to play at the 1500-1650 level, because the lower unit count makes the 3 point scores riskier, games tend to come to a natural conclusion, and it really forces players to make there lists more carefully.

      • Kartr_Kana March 8, 2016 6:00 am #

        No. If you go first you score at the beginning of your turn. So you score your Turn 5 points at start of your Turn 6 (not the end of their Turn 5). If the game ends at 5 either no Turn 5 points are scored or more likely both players score their Turn 5 points.

        That’s how we played at Scorched Earth last year and it’s not a bad system if you want to give players the chance to stop their opponents from scoring.

        • Reecius March 8, 2016 12:12 pm #

          That’s the way the new ITC system works, too. You generate points at the beginning of your turn and then score at the beginning of your next turn.

        • Pablo Martinez March 8, 2016 2:17 pm #

          No, I was responding to Adam and Westrider’s comments

          “I feel like they should be scored at the end of the Opponent’s Turn instead of the start of your own, for exactly that reason.”

          I was saying how bad scoring would be if we scored at the end of our opponent’s turns.

          • Kartr_Kana March 8, 2016 11:25 pm

            Ahhh, that makes much more sense now.

          • WestRider March 9, 2016 12:41 am

            It needs more tweaking than just that, yeah. I’m sleepy right now and can’t remember how I worked it out, but I know there is a system that works reasonably well with that timing.

  4. No_wegian March 5, 2016 9:09 pm #

    I played in a tourney back in December that had one of the best formats for Maelstrom. Instead of depending on dice to decide objectives (and getting stuck getting the same objective 2 or more times in a row), they created 12 objectives where you chose 2 each turn starting at the end of your first turn. Each player had access to all of them, but they could only select each objective once per game.

    ❖ 1) Control either Objective #1.

    ❖ 2) Control either Objective #2.

    ❖ 3) Control either Objective #3.

    ❖ 4) Have more units outside of 12″ from own board edge than opponent.

    ❖ 5) Completely Destroy 1 enemy unit.

    ❖ 6) Completely Destroy 1 enemy unit.

    ❖ 7) Completely Destroy 1 enemy unit.

    ❖ 8) Have at least 1 unit wholly within 6″ radius of center of the table with no enemy units.

    ❖ 9) Control more Maelstrom Objective Markers than opponent.

    ❖ 10) Destroy Nominated unit this turn, reveal target at start of your player turn

    ❖ 11) Have at least 3 of your own units wholly within 12″ of your table edge and NO enemy units.

    ❖ 12) Have at least 1 unit wholly within 12″ of opponent’s table.

    • Pablo Martinez March 6, 2016 10:53 pm #

      I brainstormed this idea up a while ago, and thought it would be really cool. I had different objectives from this tournament of course, but the concept was the same. Glad to see that it worked out for someone.

  5. Trasvi March 5, 2016 10:51 pm #

    I love scoring Maelstrom at the start of turn. It definitely makes it so that you might want to go first in ITC format again: and it gives you an opportunity to plan and deny your opponent those points. Much better idea.

  6. Jp March 6, 2016 6:02 am #

    We’ve been testing them at mugus and are very happy with the new missions. Knights have also been showing up all over now since there not terrible anymore.

    • Reecius March 8, 2016 1:34 pm #

      Glad you’re liking them, buddy!

  7. fluger March 6, 2016 7:56 am #

    Played this 3 times and have liked them a lot.

  8. tag8833 March 6, 2016 8:15 am #

    I’ve played the new missions 7-8 times at this point. We ran a 3 round RTT using them yesterday. One thing I’ve noticed is that typically the “Go for 3” options are used more often early in the game to run up the score rather than later to catch up from behind.

    In one game I used the “Go for 3” too aggressively early, and fell quickly behind when my opponent countered me, but aside from that, it seems like it tends to occur early.

    The changes to SH/GC’s is a godsend. It is the perfect balance, I think.

    The change to the Kill Point mission’s Tertiaries was also much welcome.

    I am still bothered by things that give extra victory points adding to the Maelstrom score. If that were limited in Some way (like 1 at most) I would be more comfortable with it.

    The Objective Placement rules for missions 2 and 3 still need work. Either make the objectives hard to place deep in the deployment zones, or have a duplicate in each deployment zone.

    • ryan March 6, 2016 8:40 am #

      i wonder at what point people will stop taking GC in ITC tournies, speaking as an eldar player with a nerfed D chart, extra chances to sieze when you dont have one vs somebody who does (and the option to use the escalation warlord traits), and now getting credit for killing it when taking off half the HP, i know im quickly getting to the point where ill just field nearly 3 more warp spider units instead. Ive been playing alot of grav heavy battle companies lately and my knight generally shoots once or twice at free rhinos than dies anyway.

      • ryan March 6, 2016 8:42 am #

        didnt even mention the toe in cover rule changes. (which were needed to be honest but they all add up).

      • Reecius March 8, 2016 1:37 pm #

        Well, if it gets to the points where we don’t see super heavies, we can revisit the system to give them a boost. I use them all the time though, personally, don’t feel that they’re a detriment at all.

    • Pablo Martinez March 6, 2016 10:57 pm #

      I think the ‘go for 3’ option early is actually a problem in some games. If an opponent rolls up an easy “kill three units” twice in a row and goes up by 6 in a secondary mission it is very crushing emotionally. I do like the idea of going for 3 at the end of the game to flat out win a game you were going to lose. I’m just not sure which outweighs the other.

      • tag8833 March 7, 2016 7:31 am #

        I wonder if limiting it to the player who is currently behind in Maelstrom would be a good fix.

        • winterman March 7, 2016 10:04 am #

          When they first started talking about it I thought that was exactly what they were going to do. Also the fact that it requires a combo to be rolled just skews things more to luck — or lack there of.

    • Reecius March 8, 2016 1:36 pm #

      What would you suggest for objective placement in missions 2 and 3, buddy?

  9. Hugh Johnson March 6, 2016 12:13 pm #

    Does dropping 3 Hull from a Knight satisfy First Blood, or is that not a Scenario Objective?

  10. Turok117 March 6, 2016 5:05 pm #

    First off, I love the change to roll three keep two. I am curious, however, why you decided to go with the three point maelstrom objectives you did. When I first heard you mention the idea I figured that, instead of dropping one of the three when you rolled, you would just keep all three for an all or nothing three points. For instance, if I rolled Kill a Unit, Hold Objective 1, and Linebreaker, I could choose to keep all three instead of dropping one. Did this way of doing it come up and get rejected or not come up at all?

    I feel that holding three objectives through your opponents turn seems maybe just a little bit too unachievable, while killing three units, for some armies at least, seems a little too easy, especially since between the time you roll for that maelstrom and “complete” it your opponent has no chance to respond. In addition to the disparity between the difficulty level of the two three point objectives, I feel like it is kind of a step backward. From what I understand the reason for the roll three and keep two was to make it less about luck, but the fact that you have to roll lucky to be able to exchange for the three point ones seems to override that.

    For instance, in the recent Ork vs Battle Company report where Phat J was behind and needed a three pointer to catch up but then couldn’t roll what he needed to exchange for it. That said, I don’t think you should just be able to exchange it whenever you want as this would just lead to some armies wanting to, and being able to, get the three kill points every turn.

    This is why I think that rolling three dice and choosing to keep them all would be the better option. I think having to achieve 3 random objectives is the perfect difficulty level between holding three objectives and killing three units. It also doesn’t favor some armies over others.

    Anyway just some thoughts I have had. Thanks!

    • Pablo Martinez March 6, 2016 11:16 pm #

      I really like that idea, and I agree. It is harder to keep objectives instead of killing units. On the other hand I think in the previous format it was a lot easier to hold objectives for the second player then it was to kill units. This format does a great job at balancing out the game between the player who goes first versus the player that goes second.

    • Reecius March 8, 2016 1:38 pm #

      Thank you for the feedback, Turok, those are some good ideas.

  11. C-Stock March 6, 2016 5:36 pm #

    I’ve played three games with the going for three points thing and watched maybe 3-4 more in a FLGS tournament yesterday. Every time it was used, it was used by the player already winning to dominate further, running up the score. When you think about it, the player who already has the upper hand it usually going to be the one in the best position to take advantage of this. This change makes games less balanced, not more.

    I like all the other changes, great work. But the “going for three” thing simply does the opposite of what’s intended. And I think as people see it play out the community will agree.

    • tag8833 March 6, 2016 6:17 pm #

      I agree, and you expressed it better than I did.

    • Reecius March 8, 2016 1:39 pm #

      We’ve found the opposite, actually. For example, vs. Battle Company who normally dominate Maelstrom, my Orks were able to actually win it by going for 3.

  12. Gman March 7, 2016 6:41 am #

    I think it could be an idea to skip the variable game lenght. In a timed environment I dont think it’s suitable to have random game lenght.

    • westrider March 7, 2016 12:17 pm #

      40K had fixed Turn limits for a few Editions. It was terrible. Basically just came down to going second, hiding, and jumping on Objectives in the last Turn.

      • Adam ( March 7, 2016 1:53 pm #

        Exactly what westrider said, part of the problem right now when playing 1850 is that games seldom go past turn 5, and barely never go to turn 7, which is where many of the armies that are dominating the events fall apart (no eldar player ever wants to see a turn 7).

        • MidnightSun March 8, 2016 10:38 am #

          Why do Eldar players not want to see turn 7? Surely turn 7 is good for them since they can jump Jetbikes/Spiders onto objectives with no fear of the game continuing?

  13. brodrick March 7, 2016 8:04 am #

    I think that the idea to go for 3 is bad. I also would much rather be able to pick from a chart as I go. I think that the chart idea where you get ot pick from 12 different ones is a better solution. I say that because it allows you to play the army differently each game dependent on opponent, vs. being screwed by the table. I played a few ITC missions and rolling 3 doesn’t take away from shitty results you really can’t get vs. going through a game building points in a way that is attainable.

    I just played a game yesterday using a 12 objective table where you can only use that one once. From there we played a game that ended 12-11 on maelstrom and 18-13 after bonus victory points.

    My thought is that I should need to build an army specifically for ITC to be successful, you should be able to have a shot at earning points with whatever you bring optimized or not. Everyone should feel they have a shot no matter what army is put across from you.

    • Reecius March 8, 2016 1:40 pm #

      If you take away the random element though, you get situations where very skilled players “solve” the maelstrom mission. They can build an army that does things in a specific order, every game.

  14. zyekian March 7, 2016 8:39 am #

    I agree that the going for three thing is also going to backfire. As stated above, the player who’s already winning Maelstrom is going to be the one most able to go for three, meaning most of the time it will have the effect of making Maelstrom *less* competitive.

    • Reecius March 8, 2016 1:43 pm #

      That has not been the experience for us, so far, actually. I think that could totally happen, yes, but the rationale behind it was if you are picking 2 of 3 missions, both players are more likely to max out their score. So, by introducing the option to go for 3, you provide the means to shake up the score and avoid excessive tie games.

  15. zyekian March 7, 2016 8:40 am #

    I like the idea though and I think sometimes it will work as intended. Just not usually. 🙂

  16. Jural March 7, 2016 1:23 pm #

    I basically like the changes, but my fear is that roll 3 to choose 2, the 3 point per turn option, and the fact that killing a unit isn’t reversible means that we are going to see more and more maelstorms end up as “kill a unit.”

    There is also the issue that it makes it less friendly to new players, but honestly 40K isn’t really an easy entry hobby, is it?

  17. Kartr_Kana March 8, 2016 6:17 am #

    So the way I understand it, if I roll 4, 4, and 6 then I can discard the roll of 6 and kill three units to get three points, correct?

    Why not just allow you to keep all three dice if any duplicate objectives are rolled? So if I roll 4, 5, and 6 (or 1, 2, and 6), I get to keep all three and try for three points still, but it’s not as straight forward as just trying to kill or capture 3.

    • Reecius March 8, 2016 12:12 pm #

      You must roll 3 unique numbers, first. So you’d have to reroll one of the 4’s.

      • Kartr_Kana March 8, 2016 1:00 pm #


        What about the rest of it? Since it seems there’s some concern that going for three is too easy under the currently described system. And that it will make the kill maelstroms the default option for most situations.

        • Reecius March 8, 2016 1:04 pm #

          I actually feel that the gong for 3 is solid as a critique of the ITC missions has been that MSU are too good in them, this gives an answer to that.

          In my game with Raw Dogger, I only won the Maelstrom because I went for three twice, and those two bonus points are what gave me the edge over Battle Company in Maelstrom which is normally really difficult.

  18. Jural March 8, 2016 1:35 pm #

    Just to clarify, If I roll Grab (an) Objective 2 and Grab (an) Objective 1, I need to Grab (an) Objective 3 (and not a second Objective 1 or 2) in order to claim the 3 points? Or can I grab a duplicate objective as my third?

    • Reecius March 8, 2016 1:41 pm #

      You can grab any three objectives.

      • Jural March 8, 2016 1:45 pm #

        So If I roll Grab Objective 1 and Grab Objective 2, I can grab two 3’s and a 1?

        Sorry- I can just see this coming up at BAO 😉

        • Reecius March 8, 2016 2:13 pm #

          So if you swap out for the 3 point Objective mission, you can hold any 3 maelstrom objectives, the numbers don’t matter. And good luck at BAO!

          • Jural March 8, 2016 3:09 pm

            Thanks Reecius!

          • Reecius March 8, 2016 4:14 pm


  19. Reecius March 8, 2016 1:43 pm #

    Thanks for all the great feedback, everyone!

  20. Chris March 10, 2016 11:30 pm #

    Roll 3 and pick 2, and score either, or both.


    Roll 3 and keep 3, but it’s all or nothing.

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