ITC Update: Changes for the 2019 Season

In order to roll smoothly into the next season of the ITC, we have to figure out what–if anything–is going to change now so that we can get it ready for 2019. So, please give us your feedback to help shape the future of the ITC!

Fill out the survey, here.

Based on player feedback we’re taking a look at possibly altering the ITC Missions. Largely they’ve been extremely well received but you can always look to improve. By taking this survey we will get a better idea for what elements of the missions could use a tweak, or if we’re good to go and leave them alone for the 2019 season.

Also, any ideas for changes for the 2019 season in general are welcome on this post.

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

secondhandhsop

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About Reecius

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Rob Butcher
Rob Butcher
3 years ago

forget the itc missions – start again, use the Chapter Approved Missions from 2018. They are a much better way to play.

abusepuppy
3 years ago
Reply to  Rob Butcher

Why are they better than the current ITC missions?

Ghostvalley
Ghostvalley
3 years ago
Reply to  abusepuppy

I like the new chapter approved missions, but unmodified they are not better for an “even” tournament experience – some of the missions score too low of victory points and the chance for ties with games finishing at time vs natural conclusion would not be ideal.

However you can see ITCs mark on them with some having points for kill more and first strike etc. I think the best thing that they do is flip the script on the sometimes static approach you can take army building and ITC with the hold one, kill one, etc and instead inject some variance with some missions being score at beginning of turn, some end of battle round, some only being troops can hold, some only HQ can score.

While I don’t think a wholesale adoption is great for tournaments is needed, there should at least be a conversation about going to their deployment model, if that is the way the GW designers are envisioning the game

Charlie A.
3 years ago
Reply to  Ghostvalley

Agreed. They’re miles ahead of CA2017 missions and the BRB missions but still leave a little bit to be desired. I do hope that the ITC missions for next year consider the faster deployment as that’s one thing I really enjoy and think it speeds up the game.

Ghostvalley
Ghostvalley
3 years ago
Reply to  Charlie A.

Speeds it up and I also enjoy the play of the advantages of deploying knowing you can choose to go first against the mission advantages of going second ( I think I would choose going second in 5 out of the 6 missions)

Charlie A.
3 years ago
Reply to  Charlie A.

Analysis paralysis could happen at any point though, not just deployment.

Maybe you could give an example as to how that would happen because I’m having a hard time understanding how the game could be instantly won in the deployment phase.

Ghostvalley
Ghostvalley
3 years ago
Reply to  Charlie A.

Reece, I would counter that the skilled player could do that anyways. I have enjoyed the little bit of cat and mouse that has come with the CA deployment –

-Player wins roll to choose deployment zone and takes advantageous zone
-2nd Player deploys whole army – maybe fully aggressive planning to take first turn, or maybe deploys in a way that looks evasive and seems like they may elect to go second
-now the player who chose zones deploys – will they react to way their opponent set up? Do they deploy conservatively and then lose out some shooting or board control advantage when they are forced to go first. Or do they try to second guess and deploy in a way that makes the first opponent feel obligated to take 1st turn? and then with seize being thrown in to boot.

While I find this fun however, I cant argue that it is more fair or even then alternating deployments and receiving a +1

I also concede that doing full army deployments and then using the +1 to go first vs the player choose , wouldn’t work as I believe the CA missions really favour going second, so the advantage of choosing is dulled a bit.

AllHailIcefrog
AllHailIcefrog
3 years ago

The Chapter Approved missions are based off ITC missions with their end of round scoring right? I understand there are some random areas that cancel out invuln saves or something too? GW mission writing at its finest right there….

First mission I read in the main rulebook had the players alternate placing 4 objectives on the board then whoever placed the last one got to pick deployment type and side. That guarantees an unbalanced setup if players are trying to win. If you are playing GW missions competitively you are playing wrong.

I think the ITC should focus on giving GW something to copy in the 2019 CA as well. Only problem I have with the ITC rules is the primary kill objective punishing MSU lists and helping superheavy lists. Maybe change it to kill points? Maybe use all secondaries/selectable missions for the kill objective?

Charlie A.
3 years ago
Reply to  AllHailIcefrog

You probably want to revisit the other missions then. All but one of the Eternal War missions specify that the objective markers are placed either in the center of the board (when theirs just one) or equidistant from the center. The Maelstrom missions use the BRB Tactical objective rules. Despite my previous points, I don’t disagree with you. I don’t think they represent the most even playing field in every case, though they are miles ahead of last year’s book and indicates a trend in the right direction IMO.

rvd1ofakind
rvd1ofakind
3 years ago

ITC primary is great and all but I think the “kill” part could be modified somehow so the cheap non-character one model units that can’t hide wouldn’t be so bad.

Marked and Reaper shouldn’t stack. Can’t mark a unit with <10pts models maybe?

Kingslayer on non-characters is still too easy IMO. You shouldn't get 4VP in one turn from a secondary by shooting your Castellan once IMO.

abusepuppy
3 years ago
Reply to  rvd1ofakind

I’m not really sure there is an easy solution to some units being fairly trivial to kill, because any threshold you set is also going to catch some units that “should” count for kills.

I do feel like some of the stacking (like Marked/Reaper) is a little annoying, but that also doesn’t really seem to have an easy solution. If you forbid Marking bigger units, then you fall right back into the trap of previous editions where some armies have no legitimate secondary choices against them. It’d be really easy to run Eldar or Orks that way, for example.

I’m not sure what you mean with Kingslayer. Only characters can be chosen for it, so it’s not possible to score points on non-character models.

rvd1ofakind
rvd1ofakind
3 years ago
Reply to  abusepuppy

Units cannot be marked if the majority of models in that unit cost 10ppm or less.
Something like that

And I mean actual characters (_>

It’s annoying to always clarify that. If I say troops and characters you don’t think bloodletters and greater daemons. You think troops + untargetable characters.

Paul Winters
Paul Winters
3 years ago
Reply to  abusepuppy

There is still Butcher’s Bill as another secondary if your opponent runs multiple small units rather than large ones. Both contribute to Reaper equally. Horde armies also probably are running 4+ characters for Head Hunter.

It is a little annoying playing Chaos where most of my troops (Cultist or Daemons) are giving up Reaper + Mark for Death.

abusepuppy
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Winters

Alright, but how is that any different from Tyranids, Orks, Craftworlds, Drukhari, IG, and pretty much every other army that can take large squads of troops (and that are very successful in tournaments)? I understand that giving up points on a unit in two different ways isn’t exciting, but it’s not as if this is a special punishment that only applies to some armies; it’s pretty much universal.

Almost all armies give up full points. It shouldn’t be considered even slightly unusual for an army to have three or four objectives that it gives max score on.

Paul Winters
Paul Winters
3 years ago
Reply to  abusepuppy

For the majority cases, Eldar or Imperial Guard, aren’t running troops choices that will both max out Mark for Death and Reaper. They are bringing multiple small units that are <7PL. There may be the odd giant Guardian unit or Conscript unit, but they aren't the norm or at the very least people are running 30 of them to make up their battalion detachment.

Orks and Tyranids, are another case of armies that bring full-size units that will give up Mark for Death.

From my point of view, this is just a penalty for bringing squads in unit size 20-30 rather than 10.

Arguably there is another trade-off with multiple small units give up "kill more", easier than large 20-30 size units.

rvd1ofakind
rvd1ofakind
3 years ago
Reply to  abusepuppy

Honestly, if I had to pick between making MSU better or hordes not having secondaries stacked against them, I’d pick making MSU better because light single model vehicles/monsters are just not seing play because they bleed primaries way too hard for no real benefit. You get more drops and you don’t really get much more board control as hordes can just spread out their big blobs.

And that’s coming from someone who mainly plays hordes. Secondaries cap at 4. Primaries don’t. And yes, Reece, point denial is a HUGE deal. For a slow mid-range army(crons, marines) to be successful, you have to deny as many easy secondaries as possible to force your opponent to take the positional ones and come into your threat range.

Matt Obermark
Matt Obermark
3 years ago
Reply to  abusepuppy

They’re both saying the same thing actually: that hordes, but not MSU spam, benefit greatly from the Kill More, Hold More design.

They’re both referring to 20+ model blobs that are difficult to remove multiple of in a single turn, that easily daisy-chain themselves between multiple objectives and can be selective about losses to remain on points, versus 3-to-5 model squads that are fairly simple to delete and who can’t control multiple objectives with three models that have 27 ablative wounds before they lose control of any of them.

happy_inquisitor
happy_inquisitor
3 years ago
Reply to  abusepuppy

Really it needs fixing with a lot less kill points in the missions.

The primary is 50% kill points
The secondary choices are mostly kill points, a player can easily choose for them to be entirely kill points.

If you bring a list vulnerable to kill points to an ITC event you will play kill point missions all weekend. Having one kill point mission per tournament to make you think twice about extreme MSU is fine and good but having every game you play be decided on kill points is just very one-paced and monotonous. I think that mechanic of all the missions being so similar also gets us much closer to the game being “solved” at any point in time – a list which kicks butt in one of them will do so in all of them.

The CA18 missions have a couple of things that IMO need tweaking but at least they vary so that each list archetype will be good at some and have an uphill battle in others. There is no obvious good or bad list archetype for them.Running a tournament based on them (with fixes) would IMO be far less likely to leave players thinking that the game is “solved” and only a handful of essentially similar lists are even viable.

Steven pampreen
Steven pampreen
3 years ago

I would like to have ELO ladder available for everyone to see.

I think this would a minor change that would improve the competition scene a lot.

Going from that. I would like ELO to be a factor in how many ITC points an event gives. A 8 person tournaments of ELO 2k+ should give a decent reward compared to 40 person GT where there is only a single high ranking player.

This would be a major change from how things have been done. ELO would have to be pulled from previous years to start out.

This would be a fairly significant technical change but would be a huge step towards evening the field. It would make the current oddities of wanting to stuff tournaments full of bad players (or imaginary ones) a thing of the past.

So one minor change and one major change.

Please consider it!

Steven pampreen
Steven pampreen
3 years ago

Looks like it posted despite the error. Please delete this one.

Ujayim
Ujayim
3 years ago

Small counterpoint: This also, unfortunately, actively impedes players who are from smaller locations.

For example, in my area, the closest store (30 minutes) has regular 6-10 man events, which are often smaller.

The next closest store is nearly 2 hours away, but they have 12-20 person RTTs.

By placing a higher weight on that store, not only does it mean I am actively incentivized to no longer go to the smaller store and support them, but it also means I am actively punished in my score by going to the smaller one.

If we’re talking an increase in the amount of points for an RTT vs GT vs Major vs XXX then sure, I’m all for that, but let’s not play with the points for how many individual stores give out for RTTs.

Forgive me if I misrepresented your point, it’s still quite early for me.

Steven Pampreen
Steven Pampreen
3 years ago
Reply to  Ujayim

I disagree.

Think about ELO like a resource.

So your small area can have a lot or a little depending on how you trade with other areas.

For instance, your 12-20 man RTTs the max you can get is say is 1900 ELO. you beat everyone at your RTT every time and eventually you can’t increase it anymore.

However if 3 of your players go away to LVO, play a bunch of players do really well and come back with 1800 ELOs. Now you can increase your score to 2200 by reliably beating them.

As opposed to now where you can just win 3 RTTs get your 113 point wins and your maxed out.

If now you have a group of players that are 1800 and bring up the average ELO of your RTT a lot then all of a sudden you get a lot more points for winning the local RTT.

In fact, instead of avoiding the one store that has the good players, people are drawn to it because they know that even if they do worse, the high ELO scores of the crowd there will get them higher scores.

Basically, right now you are incentivised entirely to avoid small tournaments (unless you’re sure you can win). Which means that a lot of people go “oh, so and so is there, I can’t win and I need to win to get more points. I guess I’m not going”

Steven Pampreen
Steven Pampreen
3 years ago
Reply to  Reecius

I’m with you on supplementing Reece, I totally don’t think it should be a replacement. Ujayim could be right that It may be a local thing because we tend to have a lot of heavy hitters in the northeast.

However, what grandmasters do is only important as it affects the 90% of other people. The system currently incentives people who are very sensitive to incentives to win to go out and play the weakest players.

Change the incentives for the top guys and they’ll stop bothering the casuals and the casuals can do what they do anyway, play casually!

The middle table players don’t risk anything playing the high elo players and might get a huge bump out of it. It changes the emotional side of the game knowing that it’s unequal match BUT also unequal rewards which is pretty cool.

Steven Pampreen
Steven Pampreen
3 years ago
Reply to  Reecius

Well, I knew you guys had considered but thought I wanted to put my thoughts out there.

In the mean time, can the formula change to at least make getting top 8 at a major worth more than winning an 8 man RTT?

I’m not particular about how the change is implemented but going 5-1 and placing ahead of 60 people just seems like it should be worth more points than winning an 8 man RTT.

BCPCasey
3 years ago
Reply to  Reecius

The short version….

The ELO you want requires every matchup tracked. There is still a significant number of manual submissions that are final rankings only. That’s an issue not only historically but, would also be a large change to the ITC participation requirements.

Steven Pampreen
Steven Pampreen
3 years ago
Reply to  Reecius

that makes sense for the overall but when it comes to best in faction. For the weaker factions it’s usually whoever has the worst store near them has a large advantage. 3 rtt wins is all you need to sit very pretty for most factions.

Also, thanks for the info Casey. Good to know.

Matt Obermark
Matt Obermark
3 years ago
Reply to  Reecius

Elo would also prevent hobby scores from influencing Best in Faction rankings.

Yeah, I’m looking at you Terracon 2018.

Ujayim
Ujayim
3 years ago

Think that might just be your location, Pamps.

Most of my local stores are fairly casual guys. In fact, most of the bigger players only show up en masse when they all coordinate they’re gonna go there.

I’d wager most locations have pretty casual players showing up for events who don’t care about any of that. However, I care, and if suddenly everyone started only going to the higher ELO store, then the lower ELO one wouldn’t get as many locals, wouldn’t profit off of those interactions, etc.

As it stands im actively incentivized to go to my little local store, bring my buddies and have a good 8-12 man RTT.

If we introduce an ELO Bracket and I have to travel to the other store then now I’m not only incentivized to NOT go to the local events, because they may not matter, but I also am now somewhat required to travel to the further location which I also don’t really want to do, personally, but have to if I want my score to go accordingly.

I’ve never had anyone not go to an event because so and so is there, and hey, maybe that’s the case, but from most of what I see the vast majority of players are the low-middle tables, and I don’t want to make them to lose games because we move things to better adjust for the top ones. They’re gonna win anyway, doesn’t matter if we say they’re an 1800 player or something.

Just how I see it anyway, from the mid tables.

Ujayim
Ujayim
3 years ago
Reply to  Ujayim

Don’t get me wrong, I was all about grinding my DCI rating for MTG, and it was a big deal for me.

I just think it’s something that, like DCI, is based on your own numbers vs your opponents, and needs to be done carefully.

I have faith we’ll find something, just gotta make sure it’s the right something.

Steven Pampreen
Steven Pampreen
3 years ago
Reply to  Reecius

I think it actually discourages attendance to put all the importance on attendance and win streak.

There is very little incentive to attend an RTT if you know someone that you struggle to beat will be there.

So by putting all the focus on size of event you are making it so a “shark scaring away minnow effect” where all the minnows gather together and play till a shark finds out about it then it’s no longer a good spot for minnows and they scatter.

By using size you’re encouraging the MOST competitive players to seek out the LEAST competitive players.

If it’s by ELO then you ideally want to find tournaments that are at around your level. Also losing to high level people won’t affect you as much.

Right now if I want to win best in faction I have to make a good list, find an RTT or two that don’t have many top players in and pummel 3 people who don’t know what hit them.

If it’s by ELO then there is WAY less incentive to do that because I know that I won’t get very many ITC points beating people with low scores.

I literally didn’t use fnp and made my entire army -1 toughness to play against some kids first time playing index orks. I want to encourage that kid to come back but as is, I have to show up and get my points and ruin his day.

Let us sharks go find other sharks and play each other and get reward for that. I’d much rather play a rated game against nick rose on wednesday night and have my saturday to do other things.

Again, this is purely selfish. However, I think your goal of inclusion will be improved by letting players find their own crowds.

Thomas Hird
3 years ago

I’d love to see the new Chapter Approved Maelstrom missions be used for the LVO friendly instead of the Main Rulebook ones. Non-alternating deployment makes seize the initiative rolls actually matter, and being able to toss six of the cards gets around the biggest problem with Maelstrom.

Thomas Hird
3 years ago
Reply to  Reecius

Thanks. Done.

Rolling Thunder
Rolling Thunder
3 years ago

Primaries are great, but my gaming group has made this modification to secondaries: Instead of choosing secondaries, they are always Old School and Ground Control. This maintains some of the initial aspects of GW missions, but still allows for more balanced scoring needed in a tournament environment. Also makes secondaries less game-able

Magic Markerz
Magic Markerz
3 years ago

Hey, just a heads-up. For me, the question about Primary objectives only has a single choice named Option 1.

Desc440
Desc440
3 years ago

There’s a few minor things that could be improved but the big one is going back to 7th ed-style deployment, like CA18 missions. The current system sucks.

Ujayim
Ujayim
3 years ago

My main gripe is how things like BGH and MFD actively deter some styles of army.

A simple example is Armigers. As they fall under the rubric for both, it deters you taking them in numbers because they bleed secondary points.

Small gripe, but it’s one thats there all the same.

Nick Wenker
Nick Wenker
3 years ago
Reply to  Reecius

Besides the general heavy emphasis on killing things, my only other complaint about the ITC missions when I submitted my feedback was about the ability and flexibility in comboing up the kill 2+ units / kill characters / kill PL secondaries. Otherwise I love the ITC format and missions.

Codi
Codi
3 years ago

The question, “Would you like to see selectable primary objective in addition to secondary?” has only one option.

Either way my feedback on the ITC missions, is that I am happy to play them, and I think they should exist; however I would not like to play them all the time (which I don’t).

Hotsauceman1
Hotsauceman1
3 years ago

I dont like that your opponent can chose to go first after deployment is done.
It gives an even more unfair advantage for going first, that being, they get to decide after seeing how their opponent deploys.
I currently like the deployment right now.

Desc440
Desc440
3 years ago
Reply to  Hotsauceman1

Respectfully disagree. Being able to deploy after the player likely going first has deployed his whole army is a HUGE help for the poor sap going second. It is how it was from 5th to 7th ed (IIRC) and having experienced both, I can confidently affirm I’d much rather go back to how it is in the CA18 missions.

abusepuppy
3 years ago
Reply to  Desc440

Yeah, getting to fully see your opponent’s deployment when you set up is pretty massive. In previous editions where the “old” system was used, it was pretty universally agreed that the second player had the advantage in almost all situations, so the missions would probably need to be changed somewhat to mitigate that.

ghostvalley
ghostvalley
3 years ago

Reece:
In regard to your example you used in your reply to Charlie A. – the inexperienced player deploys first and then the experienced player counter deploys – I am assuming that you are looking at that scenario from the viewpoint of a Tournament Organizer or Mission Designer in that the best result from a mission is that it can mediate skill or act as a leveler?
I only say this as I dont see the result of a good player doing this hypothetical thing as a negative – the good player leverages their skill and understanding of the game to beat an inexperienced opponent and then in turn that opponent who was beaten learns from their mistake and improves.

But from the standpoint of making sure that newer or less experienced players arent being beaten before the dice being rolled at a tournament or when they are just starting out and thus discouraging them from playing further, I understand that view or I believe I get the point you are making.

The question I guess, is if that should matter in a competitive tournament? But I believe the answer is that it should, in that larger attendance from a broad player base is healthy. But maybe there is room for a less forgiving format in an invitational type environment?

Ghostvalley
Ghostvalley
3 years ago
Reply to  ghostvalley

*due to poor interneting by me, this comment was supposed to be a reply to the first thread in this discussion :/

Ghostvalley
Ghostvalley
3 years ago
Reply to  Reecius

To be honest, whenever we had an edition change that switched up deployment, I would think the new way was better, until the switch and then promptly flip-flop again. Lol

Sometimes change just for change can be helpful.

It would be interesting to know the numbers on how many dedicated ITC tournament players ever play the CA missions. I know I make a habit of bringing the ITC mission pack on the few times I actually go to GW to play a game, just to try to expose new people to the format, but at home where my dedicated opponents play the majority of ITC, we’ve been having a blast playing the CA 2019 missions.

Matt Obermark
Matt Obermark
3 years ago
Reply to  ghostvalley

Considering that making it to the top half of a tournament is generally done during the List Building phase, I don’t see counterdeploying as being impactful enough to matter: the person who deploys first decides turn order.

WestRider
3 years ago
Reply to  Reecius

He wasn’t saying that it’s the ultimate deciding factor, just that it has an impact. That if you don’t hit a certain minimum level in List Building, you’re not going to make it regardless of how good your play skill is. Also, building a list that works with your play still and play skill is part of the overall skill of 40K, which is why NetLists don’t dominate.

mediocre gamer
mediocre gamer
3 years ago

In general, I think the latest iteration of missions are solid, and any comments I make are minor wishlisting on a largely fair playing field. So, first off, thank you for that. But since you asked, here is the wishlist.

1. I wish there was a mechanism to reroll the map result. For some maps, with some opponents, that roll has a disproportionate impact on the outcome. There have been games when I would have given anything for any chance to change that map. So maybe a universal stratagem, that costs 2-3CP that allows a map reroll?

2. As we all know, wargaming boils down to two things: kill something — stand somewhere. Secondaries currently break 7 (8 if you count old school) in favor of kill, 3 in favor of stand. I think we need 1-2 more stand secondaries. Perhaps something that gives 1pt for having more units/PL/points (whatever you choose) in 3 table quarters than your opponent at the end of your turn?

Steven Pampreen
Steven Pampreen
3 years ago
Reply to  mediocre gamer

I love the universal reroll map strat. That’s a pretty cool one.

abusepuppy
3 years ago
Reply to  mediocre gamer

Keep in mind that a reroll on the deployment type can work _against_ you as well- if your opponent knows that long deployments are a big advantage for them, I’m sure they will be willing to spend 2-3CP in order to get that chance at Hammer/Anvil on the reroll.

I do agree on the secondaries, though, I feel like they are biased quite a bit towards killing things.

mediocre gamer
mediocre gamer
3 years ago
Reply to  abusepuppy

Yes, your opponent can burn a reroll hoping for a disadvantageous map too. But I’m willing to incur that risk.

Unfortunately, some map+army combinations are such that the game can feel less fun from the outset, which we tend to want to avoid. The chance to change that up through a reroll I think can boost the impressions that the game wasnt decided by a single map roll (which it never is, dont get me wrong, but eotional impressions can be strong).

Petey Pab
Petey Pab
3 years ago
Reply to  mediocre gamer

I agree with everything you said 100%.

I think we need to either pull back the secondaries so that there aren’t so many options, or add 1-2 more options that favor playstyles beyond killing your opponent’s things. This would be especially useful for armies with poor matchups, like an army that can’t hurt knights well.

Currently armies like that only have Ground Control (arguably the worst secondary), Recon (not bad, but can limit armies that like to castle or play cagey), and Behind Enemy Lines (a risky one that requires you to square up with said unkillable Knight army).

Kevin Lantz
Kevin Lantz
3 years ago

I’m sure this echoes what some others have said (skimmed some comments)

Deploying all and deciding who can chose first or second before deploy in my opinion adds more depth. It makes seize the initiative rolls mean something, and it makes “re-deploy x units” traits mean more and have more tactical depth.

As it stands, I’ve always felt that seize the initiative should never have been in the picture the way it was implemented “roll to go first/second” ok…”… now roll again to not…”

I also personally feel deploy all will make things a little faster and also more easily adapted to chess clocks since less “handing over time” will occur. Critical errors in deploy will be evident and back to what people used to deal with years ago…

123qwe
123qwe
3 years ago

Mono-build bonuses. Make Best Faction mono-build only. All others fall in the soup factions.

Knute
Knute
3 years ago

Sorry to engage in threadnomancy, but was there ever any movement on this?

Knute
Knute
3 years ago

Sorry to engage in threadnomancy, but was there ever any movement on this? Would definitely have liked to see a points reduction in standard tournament lists.

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