ITC Update and The Future

Hey everyone, Reeicus here to talk about some updates to the ITC format for both 40k and AoS!

We’ve been mega busy here at Frontline Gaming lately but have had some updates in the works for the ever increasingly popular ITC format to help things stay fun, fair and engaging for those who participate in it, and to make life as easy as possible for those intrepid event organizers out there.

Current Updates

The Age of Sigmar community has a great pack that gives guidance on every aspect of running and scaling up a variety of events and we’re happy to officially adopt it as the ITC AoS pack!

The rules have been up for a while now but we wanted to aim folks at the polished Chess Clock pack to make sure we can get more feedback and get folks used to using them for events that decide to implement them.

Looking for an event you participated in but not sure if it has been reported yet? Follow the above links to see if it has or has not been submitted!

  • ITC Leagues

Leagues are a fantastic way to build your community, make friends and prepare players for larger organized play events. You can also generate ITC points for them as well! A league can contribute Hobby Track points, too. The only difference between an ITC League and ITC Tournament is that we do not count the round multiplier for the League. What this means is that the League will always only count as an RTT event for your overall score and as Leagues often go far more rounds than an RTT, GT or even a Major, it prevents leagues from generating abnormally high scores and skewing the overall ITC standings.

  • ITC Team Events

Team events are some of the most enjoyable ways to play 40k or AoS and as they are very popular around the world, we want to accommodate them. Running an ITC Team event is quite easy. You count each team as a play for the player multiplier, and then treat each member of the team as having gotten the same place the team got. For example, in an event with 20 teams of 5, you’d count the player multiplier as 20 instead of 100. This reduces the overall scores each teammate receives compared to a singles event but every member of the team can get a first place finish even if they may have lost a game on the way to their team achieving victory. This also helps prevent team events from skewing the ITC leader board.

Coming Soon

  • ITC Terrain Guidelines

We’re currently working on a terrain pack for ITC events that use ITC Terrain to help avoid any confusion as to how to use it in Matched Play games. This will be very useful for speeding up games and ensuring a consistent experience from table to table.

As 8th ed 40k continues to evolve, so to must our missions! We want to start the conversation now about what we’d like to see in the missions as a community, what you like and don’t like, which secondary missions you play and why, and which you do not play and why. After the BAO 2018, we’ll roll out the updates!

Click here to fill our the 2018 ITC 40k Champion’s Missions Feedback Form

  • ITC Hobby Hobby Track Rubric & State of the Union

We’re working on an ITC Hobby Track Paint Rubric with input from some of the best painters and hobbyists in the business! You can use this for your guidelines when judging for the ITC Hobby Track or not, but it serves as a great resource regardless. We will also be following up with the current ITC Hobby Track leaders to get feedback from them as to what is working and what they’d like to see change to keep it fresh, fun and fair.


And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About Reecius

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

82 Responses to “ITC Update and The Future”

  1. Rob Butcher July 8, 2018 1:17 am #

    I’m still unconvinced about chess clocks or the need for different missions to the OFFICIAL GW ones, with more official ones to be released with Chapter approved 2018. It’s getting tough when each tournament has totally different rules and scoring systems. If I’ve read and applied the rule book; meet the GW standard of painting/basing; why should i then have to study a pack of different rules? This actually deters me from entering many events; and I’m not the only one judging from how few do play competitively. If this is going to become a televised sport (and sorry TWITCH viewing figures in low thousands don’t count … 35 million watched England win yesterday, whilst a few hundred watched the GT Heat 1 at the same time) then surely we need ONE set of OFFICIAL rules?

    Already we’ve seen different rules at local, LVO, Adepticon, London GT and the official GW GT Heats and Final. How on earth is one player going to master all of those ?

    • abusepuppy July 8, 2018 2:02 am #

      The official GW missions are an absolute mess. They vastly overemphasize First Blood and Slay the Warlord (especially in low-scoring ones such as Relic) and also result in extremely non-dynamic play, since most of them are only scored at endgame and thus turns 1-4 consist largely of just killing enemy units and waiting for the game to end.

      >If I’ve read and applied the rule book; meet the GW standard of painting/basing; why should i then have to study a pack of different rules? This actually deters me from entering many events;

      *shrug* If you find reading a mission pack to be too much trouble in order to go to an event, then competitive 40K may not be for you. Most tournament players thrive on dynamic missions and adapting their lists and strategies to different sorts of tournaments (different missions, scoring systems, point values, etc.)

      >How on earth is one player going to master all of those ?

      By being good at the game. You see the same names of top players coming in at the upper percentiles in all of those different formats and tournaments you mention because they work hard and know their stuff. If you don’t want to put in that kind of effort, that’s fine- it’s not for everyone. But don’t pretend that it’s a giant barrier to you being able to participate, because we already have lots of people doing it, and doing it well.

      And do you seriously think that it’s _having multiple tournament formats_ that is the only difference between competitive 40K and professional sports? That’s… that’s completely absurd. ITC has done more to standardize formats than any other system prior to it- ask any old-timer and they’ll tell you about the conflicting morass of different custom missions, bizarre score systems, and “oh it doesn’t work that way in MY tournament” individual FAQs that was the norm prior to 6th edition.

      • tywinning July 8, 2018 4:49 am #

        shout out to abuse puppy out here at 2 am knee deep in the comment section like YOU SHALL NOT PASS !

        • Rob Butcher July 8, 2018 8:27 am #

          So you missed all of those veterans at the London GT who took the wrong armies as MSU forces were penalised by the scoring system ?

          Yes that included Reece, Frankie and Lawrence from TTT. So thanks for not thinking of that – it’s pretty obvious. And Reece winning 5-0 but no chance of the overall win. It’s been the same when folks have come to Vegas and find ruins have extra rules, or players take too long on a turn …. Whereas in the UK today the final was played between two players with 1750 points to turn 7 !! in two and a half hours. It can be done!

          Now that is the mess I’m talking about. When the folks who are supposed to be showing us how the best play don’t read the rules pack …. that’s why there is a problem. There is no need for every competition to have different rules. It just seems like some like stroking their own ego or increasing their wallets by making independent changes.

          For the rest of the rules, we write to and suggest problems / changes.
          Why should the rules /scoring systems be changed arbitarily without involving them? Why should it be different than having a conversation with GW ?

          In most games changing the rules unofficially gets you thrown out or forced to change by the governing body. Like FIFA did to the USA when they unilaterally decided draws were a bad idea and introduced an extra system…. which they were forced to remove. Or the first Indian T20 cricket league was forced to stop.

          I honestly don’t think the best player is found by the current system unless they play in every different format which should be impossible. Until this is addressed the game won’t grow at the competitive level. In the UK, the GW tournament has grown from 3 to 4 heats with 120 competing at a grand final using the official rules and missions. That’s enough for now.

          • Reecius July 8, 2018 10:34 am

            All these things take time, friend. Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that.

            GW’s missions out of the box do not work in competitive play. They just don’t.

            And we have the situation we do now with lots of different formats because GW never really got involved with an organized competitive scene and so the players just did it themselves. As we all work together more and GW gets more involved that may change but you can’t just snap your fingers and make it not what it currently is.

            I don’t know how making changes increases our wallet, though, lol. We only make our own missions in order to provide what we feel is the best possible play experience for the attendees of our events. That’s the sole motivation.

            It’s actually funny, back in 5th ed we ran the first Major event with book missions and people thought we were crazy. But back then it worked. Now, it just doesn’t.

            And yeah, I didn’t read the LGT pack in advance enough but oh well, that is on my not anyone else, lol. I am not the whizzbang best player or anything and simply didn’t do my due diligence which was stupid of me but hardly an indictment of the system.

            And yeah, of course you can finish a game in 2.5 hours, however the reality of the situation is that many (if not most) games do not finish on time. They just don’t. You need a system to force players to finish the game in the time allotted. It’s just not fair to do it any other way.

            I mean, I get what you are saying but there is no FIFA of 40k. The ITC is the closest thing to it and we grew to fill the vacuum of GW not answering any questions not even giving us FAQs. They had no interest in doing it but there was a demand for it so it grew organically. In time it may become more structured and official but that day is still a ways off.

            And while we may only be drawing thousands of viewers now, this is just the beginning. In time it will grow and become more compelling to watch. You don’t get World Cup level viewership for something totally new in the first few years of attempting it, lol.

          • Michael Corr July 8, 2018 12:33 pm

            Most people take the full available time for a game and I’ve found that reducing the points makes little difference. I’ve been to a couple of tournaments that were 2.5 h round times at both 2000 pts and 1750 pts. In both events, we struggled to get past turn 4 regardless of the points levels.

            Chess clocks may be the way to fix that, I haven’t tried them yet, but they seem like a good idea to try.

            I was at the UK Heat 1 GT this weekend. The final game may have gone to turn 7, but I think that was an anomaly. Most of my games and almost everyone I spoke to at the event did not go past turn 4 in many cases.

            Also, I was not a big fan of the only Eternal War missions in the event. I think they heavily favour armies that are simply designed to table your opponent, with little need to play the mission. It is much easier to get bad match ups where it is almost impossible for you to win the mission.

    • Zweischneid July 10, 2018 11:26 am #

      I still think the official GW missions are the best.

      assymetric scoring like first blood is the very thing that makes you think tactically.

      ITC and similar formats are too easily pre-calculated and gut the game of tactical depth for an easier, less punishing experience where everyone can score some points and little Timmy doesn’t need to cry because he can’t get a first blood point.

      Changing the missions changes the game more fundamentally than, dunno, removing the psychic phase or changing the dice to D10 or whatever. It directly and immediately impacts the winner and loser of each game. It doesn’t get more fundamental in what the game actually “is” than that.

      • Reecius July 10, 2018 11:42 am #

        You’re kidding, right? How in the world does First Blood make you think tactically? The person that goes first almost always gets it in an edition of hyper lethality. That is pretty much the exact opposite of requiring any type of tactical acumen and boils down to dumb luck.

        If you like book missions that is fine, play them and have fun but based on all the data we have you are very, very much in the minority on that opinion when it comes to tournament play.

      • Zweischneid July 11, 2018 12:33 am #

        It’s more tactical just by the simple fact that I need to consider it. Can I build my list to possibly deny FB through resiliant units and possibly more reserves (costing more CP and/or investing in things like .. gasp … Drop Pods, say).

        Sure, there’s no guarantee, and a smart player needs to have a plan B too. It’s also a downside to ubiquitous ITC units like Nurglings and Scouts. If you take away asymetric first blood, one of the (many) knock-on effects it probaby would have is that you need to double or triple the point cost of units like these, as it removes one of the big balancing factors baked into such units.

        if you can always “get back” a first blood through first strike rules and/or more elaborate alternative point missions you have too much control over, such as ITC secondaries, you don’t have to worry about it, ergo that’s by definition less tactical. Might as well remove it entirely.

        • Reecius July 11, 2018 8:13 am #

          How do you have a plan B to simply losing the roll to going first and having a unit destroyed? There is no plan B there. There is no tactical choice to be made. Possibly a strategic choice in only taking very durable units but that cuts you off from so many unit options.

          • Zweischneid July 11, 2018 11:25 am

            What is the tactical balance/trade-off/consideration to taking, say, Nurglings and putting them mid-field without a one-sided first kill risk?

            With first kill, you have an excruciating choice to make, bringing a unit with extremely high utility but also a potentially fatal downside.

            Take that away, it’s just the utility with none of the drawbacks. You go from tactical decision making to “duh”.

          • Reecius July 11, 2018 11:47 am

            Dude…no. Lol. A swing point is a bad point when it absolutely hinges on who goes first because who goes first is a random event. That is very bad for competitive missions as what can be the point that wins the game comes down to dumb luck. That is the opposite of encouraging skilled play.

            And Nurglings and Scouts are no longer as important or common due to the changes to how reserves work so the point you make is a bit moot, anyway. And again, it’s silly anyway as putting Nurglings out or not doesn’t stop your opponent from getting first blood against you in most cases anyway.

            First Blood is just bad. Rarely have I ever heard anyone advocate for it. It has been one of the least liked mission parameters since it came out and became even worse in 8th as it is so easy to get.

          • Zweischneid July 11, 2018 9:26 pm

            Swing points and other win/loss-relevant factors that depend on random events are key to make a game tactical and force players to think on their feet. Whether it’s classic first blood, random removal of objectives as in supply drop, etc.., etc..

            If I can anticipate it in list building and/or am assured symmetrical opportunity no matter what my opponent does, it takes away tactical depth and makes the game stale, pre-calculable and even more biased towards list building than the basic game is already.

            And it needs the swings in some missions for first blood, classic missions like relic, etc.. to allow armies to play for those missions in contrast to armies that play to win Maelstrom/board control and/or end-of game “classical” EW scoring.

            If (almost) everything is continuous scoring with objectives and/or anticipatable secondaries I know I can pick, it all becomes stale gaming-soup, both from an entertainment and from a tactics-perspective.

  2. rvd1ofakind July 8, 2018 8:38 am #

    Summary of the competitive 40k facebook group discussion:

    Make secondaries game play related, rather than army list construction related.(very many comments about this)

    Reaper is bad(almost every comment is complaining about it). Some armies can avoid easily, some armies pretty much can’t without completelly butchering their list (almost not taking any troops).

    Something better against MSU than 1k cuts.

    Gang Busters can be 4 VP for 660 pts of stuff killed or 100 pts, making some units arbitrarily untakeable in ITC missions.

    Kingslayer very harshly discourages solo big monsters characters but encourages mutiple or zero big monster characters.

    Have BGH yield 2 points for larger PL models, or have a minimum PL requirement.

    Secondary suggestions:

    Champion Slayer – awards 1 secondary point for every unit of 3+ 3W+ models you kill. Awards 2 points if unit has more than 5 models, etc. Obliterators, custodes, wraithguard, etc give up no secondaries. There is this whole class of elites style units that are immune to giving up points.

    A secondary for eliminating an entire detachment would be nice. Making batteries and supreme command detachments less of an auto-take.

    • Reecius July 8, 2018 10:24 am #

      Some really good suggestions in there.

      And yeah, Reaper pisses some people off as they feel it can be gamed.

      A lot of people don’t actually understand how Death by 1,000 cuts works. It scales up and you can score all the points in one turn but many people miss that.

      Gang Buster shouldn’t work on swarms, that was an oversight that will be corrected.

      • rvd1ofakind July 8, 2018 11:17 am #

        Oh c’mon. People know how 1k cuts works. Problem is that it is unreliable since you will often fall just short of the 3/6 unit goal and
        it makes you hold fire sometimes if you just hit the goal and will not kill 3 more units. However if you hold back on killing the enemy, so you can kill 3 units at once – you fall back on the primary “kill more”. It’s a really difficult and unreliable secondary, IMO.

        Gang Buster will still work on Beasts of Nurgle in that case. A unit of 4 is still barelly above 100 pts, yes is worth 4VP. I’m not sure how to fix that without going into Power Level requirements for this secondary.

        • abusepuppy July 8, 2018 12:57 pm #

          I’m pretty sure four Beast of Nurgle are more like 200pts rather than 100, but yes, they are hurt by it more than some other units. However, that is always going to be true- it’s literally impossible to design a secondary that will affect all things in a perfectly fair and equal manner. BoN can easily get around the problem by taking multiple units of 2-3 Beasts, but other cases (Shining Spears/Vertus Praetors not giving up full points, Nurglings doing so) are much more of a concern, I would think.

          1K Cuts is…… eh, it’s not great, but like Behind Enemy Lines I think it’s good enough to leave as is. Armies like Guard and Tau are certainly quite viable as targets of it, so I think it’s generally fine. But I don’t think it’s a matter of people misunderstanding it- it’s a matter of it just being a slightly subpar secondary in most cases.

          Reaper, however, is not fine. You have either Orks, who give up full points on Reaper and have almost no way around it, or every other army in the game with gives up 0-2pts on Reaper, in many cases despite having 100+ infantry models in them. Reaper should just count total models killed, not track specific squads- that makes it much harder to game and avoids the “oops can’t take twenty” problem.

          Old School is one I think needs to change. It’s much to easy to get 3-4pts on it basically guaranteed, and it is 100% independent of the enemy army- in fact, it’s almost entirely independent of YOUR army, because it’s only a rare few Nurgle or Chaos builds that aren’t going to consistently kill something on the first and last turns. Three of its four points overlapping with other stuff very strongly is a problem.

          I really think you overestimate how much Kingslayer affects things. In my experience, more than half of armies give up full Kingslayer points- and very few of them have a monster/vehicle warlord, even, it’s just that 6wound character are pretty common as warlords.

          • rvd1ofakind July 8, 2018 7:48 pm

            4 Beasts of Nurgle are 136 points. Just implement a Power Level requirement. Sure it’s not 100% accurate, but it’s waaaaaaaay more accurate than wounds since models can be stated for durability in terms of pure wounds (like beasts of nurgle).

            And please don’t tell me that a 6 wound character is as easy to kill as a monster character. The former often requires you to be in lategame or tricking your opponent. The latter dies turn 1-2 in most games. It’s not even close. Kingslayer should not be for 10+ wound monsters or at least the wounds per point should be increased to 5.

          • abusepuppy July 9, 2018 8:07 am

            A Power Level thing on Gangbusters could definitely work, not denying that. Not sure what to do with it offhand, but there’s some room to have a clever idea there at the very least.

            I never said that it was equally easy to kill a monster character and a regular one, but realistically speaking most armies will be able to kill either one- it’s just a matter of at what point during the game. And since it doesn’t really matter if you get your points on turn 2 or turn 5, I don’t consider that much of a relevant issue. (I will also point out that monsters with less than 16 wounds don’t give up full points on Kingslayer unless you make them your warlord, which it’s pretty easy not to.)

            One VP per five wounds would mean that anything smaller than a Knight wouldn’t give up full points even if it is your Warlord, which seems silly. Killing a daemon primarch shouldn’t be worth less than killing a Space Marine Captain.

          • rvd1ofakind July 9, 2018 9:24 am

            The primarch will almost always die in the game. The captain will survive if:
            1) the game doesn’t reach end game
            b) he hides behind non-characters
            finally) he just hides from LoS
            The primarch cannot do any of those. It’s basically “If I take this, I give 4 VP on a silver platter after turn 3 at the best case scenario”. And fluff doesn’t matter. A primarch should have 2++ re-rollable with 2+++ to be fluffy compared to the captain. However the captain is borderline immortal for most of the game.

          • rvd1ofakind July 9, 2018 9:25 am

            Which goes back to “point guns and shoot at thing” objectives being lame.

          • Reecius July 9, 2018 12:36 pm

            Then what do you suggest, lol? “Point guns at things and shoot them” is what the game is about, haha. There are no other win conditions apart from that and stand somewhere specific on the table.

            I mean, I see where you are going with it but there are no other win conditions in a miniatures game that don’t revolve around those two concepts.

            Also, I have to agree with AP here, the Captain is FAR from immortal, lol. Unless you are specifically trying to hide him, he is going to be exposed to danger. If you use him to fight, he will die frequently.

          • abusepuppy July 9, 2018 9:47 am

            I think you are way, way, way overestimating how hard it is to get to that Captain. Lots of games come down to who kills most/all of the enemy models- the Captain will die there. Lots of armies include “assassination” tools- which will kill the Captain. Lots of times it is necessary to send characters forward, outside of their safe zones, in order to accomplish objectives or keep auras effective- which will kill the Captain. And by the same token, playing conservatively with big monsters can preserve them through most or all of the game if you do it right- I’ve certainly seen Magnus and Morty survive games against heavy shooting armies, because there were other threats alongside them that needed to die first.

            When I compare the Captain to a daemon primarch, I’m not talking about fluff- I’m talking about game rules. A Primarch is tougher than a Captain, and should not be worth fewer points as a result. I think you’re allowing your own biases about making your own army more powerful to blind you to the actual balance issues in the game.

            Having some secondary objectives based on killing enemy units is fine; the problem is that almost all of them are, and that they are not all balanced against each other.

          • rvd1ofakind July 9, 2018 8:32 pm

            “the Captain is FAR from immortal, lol. Unless you are specifically trying to hide him, he is going to be exposed to danger. If you use him to fight, he will die frequently.”

            Excuse me. But if your opponent picked your victory points”. However that’s not really possible, especially with games not finishing on time… Unless there was an app to make this easy. Which could happen in the future. This way there’d be no discrimination between lists and units.

            For now, I’d think the removal/big tweak of Reaper, Gangbusters and Kingslayer is top priority. “But you can’t remove them!” you say? Well why are there only 3 positional secondaries and so many kill stuff secondaries?

            Kill stuff secondaries should not be “point guns and score VP”. They should be like Headhunter(killing characters is way harder), titanslayer(has to be in to combat knights being OP in the “kill more” primary), 1k cut(micro managing units killed). Reaper, Gangbusters and Kingslayer can go.

          • rvd1ofakind July 9, 2018 8:35 pm

            Uh… OK, the website just ate the middle of my msg. I guess it was too long?

            “the Captain is FAR from immortal, lol. Unless you are specifically trying to hide him, he is going to be exposed to danger. If you use him to fight, he will die frequently.”

            Excuse me. But if your opponent picked your <10W character for kinglayer. Why wouldn't you do everything in your power to hide him? That's 4 VP you're giving away.

            "Then what do you suggest, lol? “Point guns at things and shoot them” is what the game is about, haha. There are no other win conditions apart from that and stand somewhere specific on the table."

            victory points”. However that’s not really possible, especially with games not finishing on time… Unless there was an app to make this easy. Which could happen in the future. This way there’d be no discrimination between lists and units.

            For now, I’d think the removal/big tweak of Reaper, Gangbusters and Kingslayer is top priority. “But you can’t remove them!” you say? Well why are there only 3 positional secondaries and so many kill stuff secondaries?

            Kill stuff secondaries should not be “point guns and score VP”. They should be like Headhunter(killing characters is way harder), titanslayer(has to be in to combat knights being OP in the “kill more” primary), 1k cut(micro managing units killed). Reaper, Gangbusters and Kingslayer can go.

          • rvd1ofakind July 9, 2018 8:40 pm

            ok fk this. Make a better comment system :p At least add a delete button
            @reece @AP
            1)Ofc hide your kingslayer guy. That’s 4VP and it’s not hard to hide 1 tiny model.
            2)I have 7 armies. I can pick and choose, don’t worry about my biases.I just give examples about my armies because that’s what I know the most about.
            3)What else is more important than a kingslayer primarch to kill with anti-tank
            4)Reaper, Gangbusters, Kingslayer can go. They’re too easy and too gamebreaking. Kill stuff secondaries should be like Headhunter, Titanslayer, 1k Cuts

    • Jason Wolfe July 9, 2018 7:35 am #

      Something else my gaming group was thinking of:

      “Upon killing an enemy unit, the player may only attribute the kill towards an increase in secondary points for a single secondary mission of the killing player’s choice.”

      This would prevent some of the massive point swings upon killing that unit with 3 secondaries on it, and also make the ‘kill’ secondaries less valuable overall. There are flavors of this rule in other places as well.

      • Jeremy July 9, 2018 9:04 am #

        Amazing sugesstion! This fixes so many issues!

      • abusepuppy July 9, 2018 4:58 pm #

        That’s actually not a bad idea, and something partially implemented with Kingslayer/Titanslayer already.

      • Kevin Lantz July 9, 2018 8:49 pm #

        Also doesn’t work against some armies period I assume, knights and custodes I would think

        • abusepuppy July 10, 2018 12:16 am #

          It seems fine against Knights? Kingslayer/Titanslayer already can’t cross over, and Big Game Hunter would work fine with Titanslayer still (since the latter is based on wounds dealt not models killed.)

  3. Nightman July 9, 2018 5:07 am #

    Not a huge fan of the list building to deny secondaries thing, but then again this is one of the best mission packs out there.

    Mission 4 could use a re-design in my opinion, it’s my least favorite one.

    • abusepuppy July 9, 2018 9:50 am #

      I appreciate that it has a different objective-control method than the other missions, but having only two objectives doesn’t make it feel very dynamic, especially because they are both going to be buried in deployment zones most of the time. Mission #2 (the one with three objectives) does largely the same thing but forces players to war over the central objectives, making it more interesting most of the time because it’s not just “we both hold the same every turn of the game.”

      In the scheme of things, though, I feel like #4 is a lower-level concern compared to fixing up the secondaries.

  4. Jeremy July 9, 2018 11:24 am #

    Personally I think that 80% of the secondaries need to be thrown out rewritten. I should be rewarded for building my list to play the mission, not punished due to my list build.

    What I feel is the best fix for the secondaries I feel won’t happen. I would love to see everyone be required to take the same 3, I.E. recon/old school/line breaker. Failing that make every secondary based on doing something, not based on killed, I.E. remove everything focused on killing or doing wounds.

    Secondaries shouldn’t be the same as primary mission. Kill one, kill more, cool. Then if you a secondary that says kill X you are rewarded twice for killing something you were going to do anyway.

    I’m hoping for a massive overhaul but I don’t think it’ll happen.

    • Reecius July 9, 2018 12:15 pm #

      Well, the thing is in a miniatures game there are only 2 basic win conditions: Kill something, stand somewhere.

      That’s it. Anything else you do is either inverting those two core concepts (don’t let the enemy kill your stuff, don’t let the enemy stand somewhere, etc.) or putting a spin on them.

      So even in your example, having everyone do the ones you list is still doubling down on the core concept. If you have Recon you can do that and still hold an objective, etc. If you don’t double down on killing stuff too, then you have made the missions skew quite heavily towards board control over fighting your opponent. We’re tried to keep things balanced between the two. In that scenario armies that don’t actually fight will start to win by just being durable and standing on objectives. Things like Nurgle horde armies for example, or similar style lists become much better due to the win conditions changing. That actually becomes quite dull, IMO but YMMV.

      I always find it interesting that some folks try so hard to not have their list give up certain secondary points. It’s just not that relevant in my experience. I play the exact same lists with very little variation regardless of format and find that experience is much more important that trying to optimize for a few minor win conditions. And they’re there to give players a counter to common and/or very powerful units that pop up to make them less of an obvious choice in list building. So if it is making you rethink some of your choices in that regard, then that is actually missions accomplished.

      • jeremy July 9, 2018 3:22 pm #

        Expect the top armies thus far don’t give up secondaries easily/at all. A lot of top players will build avoid max secondaries. 19 man gene stealer squad instead of a 20 is no brainer, the same for any other faction that can do the same. It’s about as hard to kill as a 20 man but gives up 1 and not 2 poins.

        Eldar/DE/Custodes give up head hunter but you can’t max on anything else. Sure you can take old school/whatever but your a huge disadvantage when all they have to do is kill your stuff for points and you have to do other things that might put you out of position.

        A simple fix could just be you can’t count for recon (or similar) if your holding and objective. I.E. prevent people from doubling down.

        It’s something to think about it.

        • Reecius July 9, 2018 4:14 pm #

          I think you are looking at this from a perspective that many players fall in to: getting too hung up on trying to deny secondaries. It’s really not that big of a deal. Like explain to me this, you mention that you can get max points by choosing secondaries that don’t matter what your opponent brings but then you also say you are at a huge disadvantage? That does not compute. Both players have an opportunity to score the same number of points. Getting hung up on a unit giving up 2 points or 1 is sort of missing the forest for the trees. You could just as easily argue the point that in moving to hide from your opponent and stop them from killing your units you are also getting board control points which is also doubling down and blocking your opponent from scoring. That’s something I do all the time, actually.

          I mean, you are not alone in that perspective and it is not a moot point, but it’s just more productive to focus on winning the missions and playing an army you are good with than to get hyper focused on not giving up secondary points and letting that dictate list building decisions. I still see people bringing Magnus and such all the time and doing very well with him despite some people claiming he’s unplayable, etc. in our format.

          • abusepuppy July 9, 2018 4:56 pm

            > It’s really not that big of a deal

            I dunno, Reece, I think it kinda is a big deal. Maybe not gamebreaking, but Eldar and DE for certain benefit hugely from being so hard to score secondaries against, and I think that it is a significant part of their dominance in ITC tournaments. Your mission design heavily informs which armies will do well in the format, so it is important to try and make the missions as balanced for different armies as possible.

            Not all armies are realistically capable of completing the two positional secondaries (Recon/Behind) and especially against armies that are excellent at controlling the board and have strong melee components- which is to say, all of those “hard to score secondaries” armies- it can be very, very difficult to get the full 4pts out of either of them.

            “Both players have the same opportunity to score points” is a true statement, but that doesn’t mean it’s _equally easy_ for players to actually get those points. I think it’s pretty inarguable that some lists give up secondary points much, much more easily than others do, and it benefits the ITC to try and minimize that difference in order to encourage list diversity (though of course it can never be completely eliminated.)

          • rvd1ofakind July 9, 2018 8:14 pm

            There are soooooo many examples of denying kill secondaries being a HUGE deal when making top lists. Combine that with high mobility(in order to complete the positional secondaries) and you get the biggest offenders(Aeldarii).
            I’ll give you my top 3 examples in very different situations:
            1. LVO. The biggest offenders of point denial take top 3 spots in the biggest tournament ever. Coincidence? We saw the same list tried under non-ITC missions and it wasn’t nearly as effective.
            2. First Necron GT win post codex. The winner did a QnA and he said that probably the biggest reason that he won was that every opponent struggled to pick secondaries. He said some people were actually upset about that.
            3. Personal experience. Went up against the exact same list. Tried not caring about VPs. Got destroyed. The opponent just killed stuff and ran away with the victory. Changed to “the max you’ll get is 2 VP for every secondary” and presto chango – he had to take the 3 positional secondaries. Which is when I completelly destroyed him since he couldn’t do that as well as I could.

          • Jeremy July 10, 2018 6:20 am

            Thank you abusepuppy for articulating what I was attempting to say.

  5. ligolski July 9, 2018 2:02 pm #

    Throwing an idea into the ring for combining Reaper and Gang busters using something more like:

    For every 10 wounds you deal to a unit of 3 or more models, gain 1 VP.

    This allows many different units to give up secondary points and leaves less of a gap in between reaper and gang busters. The wording of something like this also punishes silly super recycling unit strategies as well. It also removes the need to target a single unit which I personally am not a fan of for gang busters.


    • Paul Winters July 10, 2018 10:59 am #

      A single unit of 30 Ork Boyz, Tyranid ‘Gaunts, or Chaos Daemons, would be worth 3 VP. That is worst for Horde armies than Reaper is at the moment.

  6. Kevin Lantz July 9, 2018 3:09 pm #

    I put this in feedback but gangbusters should start at three models and include two wounders

    • Reecius July 9, 2018 3:39 pm #

      Only downside there is now you punish Terminators =(

      • Dacier July 9, 2018 3:54 pm #

        I actually put in the suggestion that Gangbuster should still be for every 2 models in a unit that you kill you get a VP, but you don’t have to declare a unit.

        For example if someone brings 2 5 man squads of Plague Drones you can kill 2 from each unit and get 2 VP.

        • abusepuppy July 9, 2018 4:57 pm #

          That does make the objective absurdly easy to accomplish overall, though- “kill four T5 models” is far, far too simple for scoring full points on a secondary when you compare it to Kingslayer, Headhunter, Recon, etc.

          • Dacier July 9, 2018 6:02 pm

            I might have explained that poorly. I was going for if you kill 2 models with 3 or 4 wounds in one unit it would be 1 point then if you kill 2 more models with 3 or 4 wounds from a different unit then that would be another point. This would be 2 pts total.

            I agree if you just kill 4 models it would way WAY too easy.

      • Kevin Lantz July 9, 2018 8:46 pm #

        I am not sure I personally care if it punishes a small subsect of units. Alot of secondaries conversation from you and other has been, well that’s a small army that it affects or a small group. Being concerned about it punishing terminators in secondaries is just silly. That same consideration isn’t extended to others.

        • Reecius July 10, 2018 11:26 am #

          I haven’t dismissed secondaries punishing armies, not sure where that comes from?

          We try to avoid the secondary missions adversely impacting units that underperform, like Terminators. And that is a problem, most assuredly. Why suggest two wounds, anyway? What two wound unit do you precieve as a problem? Intercessors? That doesn’t seem like a good application of a secondary objective to me at all. Things like Bullgryn though, and Plague Drones, etc. definitely qualify though as they are so hard to kill and you have to deal with them as they have such an impact on the game.

          • abusepuppy July 10, 2018 12:53 pm

            Shining Spears are two wounds and are arguably the best thing Ynnari can bring.

          • Reecius July 10, 2018 1:04 pm

            Fair point, but then you’d want to be more specific in addressing units like that to avoid the baby and the bathwater scenario. Not just say all 2 wound model units as there are far more you want to encourage people to bring than to provide another barrier to entry against.

      • jeremy July 10, 2018 6:22 am #

        And Intercessors but thats not a huge in scheme of easy it to game reaper.

        • Reecius July 10, 2018 11:44 am #

          I think you need to edit your comment, it doesn’t really make sense.

          • Dakkath July 10, 2018 11:50 am

            Too bad there’s no edit button on your comments once they’re posted :/

          • Reecius July 10, 2018 12:10 pm

            There is for me =P

          • Dakkath July 10, 2018 12:13 pm

            Maybe, but that doesn’t help everyone else who needs to edit their comments.

          • Reecius July 10, 2018 12:44 pm

            I know, I was just making a joke.

          • Jeremy July 10, 2018 12:32 pm

            Yeah. I’m cringing as I read that. Not sure how I missed so many words.

            What I meant to say was: “And Intercessors too but thats not a huge deal with how easy it is to game reaper.”

            Reece – you can edit because your an admin/actually have an account on the site.

          • Reecius July 10, 2018 12:41 pm

            I know why I can edit, I just forgot not everyone has the option =) It’s legality thing WordPress sets into its software as technically we own all content on the blog including other people’s comments.

            And I have to disagree on that point, lol. Gaming the reaper does not mean you should be able to get a point just for killing a troop unit that happens to have 2 wounds per model. There is no logic there, haha. If you feel one thing is unfair you don’t introduce another thing that is unfair to somehow achieve balance.

            The goal of the secondaries is to provide a tool to leverage against very good things in the game that can be tough to deal with. The reaper is aimed at hordes which are really good in 8th ed. You keep getting hung up on the idea that you can take less models to avoid some of it but that’s not the point. If someone has hundreds of Cultists or Ork Boyz or Pox Walkers or whatever, that is what it is aimed at providing a tool to fight back with. Not at units of 10 Guardsmen, or what have you.

            Now, if that community feels that it isn’t achieving that goal, then fine, let’s look at a way to alter it so that it does achieve that goal. It’s not a solution to say, sure, make a secondary that targets things like Intercessors which NO ONE thinks are a problem in 8th ed, or are an extremely powerful unit that can be tough to deal with.

          • jeremy July 10, 2018 2:41 pm

            I think you missed my point here or I didn’t express it well enough. Either way –

            I never said or thought Intercessors should give up reaper, I meant that changing it to killing 10 wounds of infantry (or what not) would mean that an unfortunate side effect would be that intercessors now give up reaper points.

            Right now my (and I think the communities) issue with reaper is guardsmen infantry squads with a heavy weapon bypassing reaper due to what we hope was an oversight as well as people taking 19 man units to avoid giving up 2 points while not being realistically any harder to deal with.

          • WestRider July 10, 2018 6:06 pm

            “Gaming the Reaper” sounds like a made for tv horror flick.

          • Reecius July 11, 2018 8:09 am

            One that I would totally watch! lol

          • Dakkath July 10, 2018 6:51 pm

            Maybe try changing reaper to 11+ and 21+ instead of 10+ and 20+. After all, some armies’ troops come in minimum sized squads of 10.

          • Reecius July 11, 2018 8:09 am

            Yeah, that is certainly an option.

    • John Connelly July 18, 2018 9:07 pm #

      That suggestion may hurt terminators but it also decimates the demon fast attack choices, which have no regular armor save and are fairly easy to kill. This includes screamers, seekers and flesh hounds.

  7. winterman July 10, 2018 2:07 pm #

    I have been taking a look at what NoVa Open is doing for their missions this year and it really feels like they have addressed my issues with the champ missions. Not to say it is superior, but I think there’s some good ideas that should make it into the champ missions.

    Objective taking is a bigger part of the overall numbers game in the mission (with some tailoring to take in more kill or more control from the secondaries).

    Instead of kill one kill more you get 1 pt for every 25% of points killed. I like this because it doesn’t punish assault armies that make kills outside their own turn or games where a lot of the killing happened early game and grinds afterward.

    They solved the reaper and gangbuster conundruum by essentially replacing them with a 20 wounds = 1 pt secondary. That way no unit is exempt from contributing to a secondary.

    The more targeted kill secondaries cannot be stacked on a single kill.

    The positioning secondaries in NoVa require whole units partially in. Current wording of ITC recon and such gives horde units a distinct advantage by being able to have potential to control multiple places, but claiming whatever one they need to depending on game state.

    MSU then has advantage in NoVa in objective/position points, but is compensated by the much easier moment of bloodshed vs death by 1k cuts.

    Its not all perfect though. The troop kill one being 4 free points against armies that have no troops is stealth comp. Not sure about that one. The special objective scoring mechanic they have where you choose two units who do nothing but scan objectives for points – I don’t know if its something that should be in every mission. The pick progressive vs pick endpoint thing requires chess clocks imo to be balanced. It is also still the more complicated mission pack but I give them props for dialing back their primaries to something more straight forward.

  8. Pfol July 10, 2018 8:40 pm #

    Why the 10 minute rule on chess clocks? Why not let the players play until time is completely done on both sides of the clock?

    • Reecius July 11, 2018 8:11 am #

      Things get very tense when you do that to the point where it can cause issues. Experience has taught us that the game is smoother and more fun when you put a realistic limit on a turn’s time to avoid people trying to do far more than is possible in the time allotted.

      • abusepuppy July 11, 2018 9:32 am #

        10 minutes seems very, very pessimistic, though- I’ve seen many games where players completed turns in 5minutes or even less even when giving their opponent time to roll saves, etc. You’re essentially stripping 20minutes off of the clock in many games with that rule, which feels very punishing.

        (To be clear: I think the general rule itself is fine, I just think the numerical value is a bit high.)

  9. Zweischneid July 11, 2018 12:43 am #

    Clock-rules like those, IMO, need to be balanced with rules against fast-play. To many ITC or ETC games with clocks I played appear to have emboldened players to use the slow-play craze to cheat through fast-rolling, being sloppy and or intentionally imprecise in moving models, especially in cc-situations and/or trying to bully for themselves illegitimate points by theory-hammering late turns.
    There should be some counterbalance to formalize anti-fast-play safeguards along with anti-slow-play regulation, if you are going to regulate time issues.


    – Roll/(re-roll)/pick-up (especially large numbers of and/or hard to read) dice too quickly for the opponent to verify the results – you lose 10 minutes and your opponents gains them.

    – Move miniatures imprecisely and/or obscure movements to make it hard for your opponent to verify distances (especially for pile-ins, consolidate, etc..) – you lose 10 minutes and your opponent gains them.

    – Attempt to fast-talk/bully “unplayed points” through theoryhammering late turns, probably lose the game.

    – Etc..

    • abusepuppy July 11, 2018 9:35 am #

      I’m not sure you would like the ramifications of actually implementing a system like that, because it is VERY easily gameable by an unkind player (or just a pessimisstic one.) If you lose ten minutes for your opponent accusing you of sloppy measuring, that is going to get ugly very quick; and if it doesn’t work on just an accusation, how could it possibly ever be enforced- it would always be one person’s word against another when they call the judge over.

      It kinda feels like a solution in search of a problem, is all I’m saying.

      • Zweischneid July 11, 2018 11:28 am #

        Not saying this is the final solution.

        Just saying that clocks ARE being gambled heavily everywhere they’ve been implemented to cover cheating through fast-play.

        If you move from “genleman’s agreement” as the default solution to slower-than-hoped-for games to regulating it, I believe you need to equally regulate the potential fast-play abuse.

        Regulating the slow-play side without touching the fast-play side creates an imbalance that leads to abuse of clock rules for the other.

        • Reecius July 11, 2018 11:43 am #

          That clock does not alter that, though. If someone is trying to play fast and pull cheat moves in the process then they can do that regardless. Saying the clock causes it is a false presumption. The clock simply means they now only get half the game’s time to play.

        • abusepuppy July 11, 2018 4:11 pm #

          You say chess clocks are being gamed heavily everywhere they are being implemented by cheating.

          Alright, go ahead and back that assertion up. You seem to love making broad, sweeping statements, so I would love to see you follow through on one of them. I want PROOF (not supposition or accusation) of at least three games at major (50+ player) tournaments where they are “gaming heavily” the chess clock.

        • Kevin Lantz July 11, 2018 6:54 pm #

          I have had players accuse me of not showing the results so I just reroll and go on and make more painful efforts to roll in a way super visible to them… Yeah it can happen, but I am betting it’s more an issue of people being unwilling to play the gentleman agreement and have some trust

          • Zweischneid July 11, 2018 10:14 pm

            @Kevin Lantz

            The same is true for 99% of all perceived “slow-play” issues as well. And yet ITC decided to go forward with clocks (enforceable by one player) instead of gentleman’s agreement by default.

            I am puzzled by the difference in approaches. I’d default to the gentleman’s agreement in both slow-play and fast-play or in neither case, but not in one and not in the other.

        • Zweischneid July 11, 2018 10:12 pm #

          From Europe, London GT, Baltic Cup and Prague Open are some I’ve been to and have seen the clock abused.

          I am not gonna throw out player names. I did not record film footage or something.

          If you don’t care or don’t like the input, so be it. There’s just as much proof as there is for (intentional) slow play and the need for chess clocks in the first place.

          Seems odd that you have no compulsions about regulating slow-play but seems so hostile to regulating fast-play.

          Of course it can happen regardless of clocks, and slow play can still happen with clocks. No regulatory solution will be 100%.

          But there seems to be an odd disconnect between the frenzy to vilify and over-regulate every person taking an extra minute because of a few (sometimes alleged) cases of malicious intentional slow-play.

          If you’re generally willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, you don’t need clocks to begin with. If you wanna provide a regulatory “safety net” to base a ruling on in controversial cases and/or give players written guidelines, why not do it for both fast- and slow-play?

          The discrepancy here is puzzling to me.

          • abusepuppy July 11, 2018 10:38 pm

            Slow play is very easy to prove. If a game doesn’t go to at least turn 5, that is slow play.

            This concept of “fast play” that you’ve made up is… bizarre. I wont’t say it’s impossible, but what you’re describing isn’t “fast play” at all- it has absolutely nothing to do with the speed of the game, it’s an issue of mismeasuring and dice-rolling. Calling it “fast play” is nothing but an attempt to deflect from the idea of chess clocks, because you seem extremely opposed to them but don’t offer any other kind of alternative. Slow play IS a problem- we have extensive measurable evidence to show this- the “problem” you describe is largely one that exists inside your head.

            If we had hundreds of players from dozens of tournaments complaining about your “fast play” problem, then I would be a lot more inclined to believe you. And hey, maybe it is in fact a big problem over in the European tournament scene- I’ve never been to any of those tournaments, I can’t say. But even if that’s true, that’s still not a problem of “fast play,” it’s a problem of those players over there being out-and-out cheaters, because that is the behavior you have described. If you find it to be that big of a problem over there, by all means, enact some rules about it- but I think you will be hard-pressed to find any significant number of people stateside who feel it is an issue of note, much less an issue that is so universal that every tournament player has personally experienced it at their most recent event.

          • Zweischneid July 11, 2018 11:12 pm

            I’s a chess-clock/slow-play related problem in my experience because it uses the slow-play hysteria as cover. In a highly exaggerated example:

            Me: “I didn’t see those dice or what you re-rolled. Please do it again and/or do it more transparently next time.”

            Guy: “You’re trying to slow-play/stall the game!”

            If I am truly the only person who ever had to deal with this kind of abuse and it doesn’t exist at all in the states, all the better and lucky for you.

          • Kevin Lantz July 12, 2018 12:37 pm

            You are worried about cheaters cheating… Got it. We are worried about slow play…

            The fact that you think some cheaters will have a cover, doesn’t address either of the two separate issues

  10. Pfol July 11, 2018 10:51 am #

    Yea I have agreed with an opponent for 2 minute turns when 4 minutes is left. Pretty easy to kill a unit and get a objective point in 2 minutes at the end of the game. I think 5 minutes would be better.

  11. Alpharius Walks July 12, 2018 4:11 am #

    I have a question about this language in the chess clock rules:

    “When does the game end?

    Games end naturally depending on random game length rolls, a predetermined amount of turns, or at the end of a game turn when neither player has GREATER than 10:00 minutes of time left on the clock.”

    As 40k has battle rounds and player turns. Was “or at the end of a game turn” intended to read “or at the end of a battle round”?

Leave a Reply