War is Never Ending – Chapter Approved 2019 Eternal War Missions

Happy New Year wargamers, Judge Lando here. Welcome to the second half of my Chapter Approved missions review (see part one here). After looking at the Maelstrom missions, which is my preferred way to play, I thought it was only fair to also look at the Eternal War ones.

The gift that keeps on giving

Many tournaments in my area use Eternal War missions rather than ITC, so if one fancies going to a local event it’s worth keeping up with what the missions want. I feel that they are often games that you can easily lose at the list-building stage of the game, especially the ones where only certain Battlefield Roles can hold the Objectives. However, they are otherwise a lot more symmetrical than other mission types, which is what makes them so popular down here.

In this year’s book, they talk about having reprinted and updated some missions for “this season”. That suggests that the idea is for these to last the year, then be refined or replaced at the end of 2020. Each one has, as extra victory point conditions; Slay the Warlord, First Strike and Linebreaker, plus something unique to the mission. They also have the Acceptable Casualties rule, which removes some of the incentives for tabling your opponent.

Crusade

Are those Necrons?

Summary – Six Objective Markers, from Round 2 you score a point for each one you hold at the start of your turn.

A straightforward mission, with minimal complications. You have to keep control of the objective for your opponent’s turn. This will be easier for resilient armies, and careful objective placement will be vital to victory. This mission is a good one to start newer players on when they first try Matched Play, especially with an eye on getting them used to tournament-style games.

Scorched Earth

Summary – Six Objective Markers. If you control either of the two Objective Markers in your opponent’s deployment zone, you may remove from the game to score 3 points, or leave it there to score 1 as normal. Other Objective Markers are scored normally.

A reprint from 2017, but with the bonus for ‘Razing’ your opponent’s markers upped from D3 to 3. Defending your home objectives is important, and assessing how long you can hold the opposing ones will be a good skill. If you can control the board, this one can snowball quite quickly in your favour. The change to the Razing points makes doing so more certain though, so it is improved. Nothing was worse than Razing an objective, only to roll a 1 on the D3.

Ascension

Can your character’s hold the objectives?

Summary – Three Objective Markers, one in the centre and the others placed by each player along the centre line.  Characters gain Objective Secured. If a Character holds an Objective Marker for multiple turns, the points scored for that Marker increase.

This is reprinted from 2017 and has been reworded to make it easier to understand. This is one where having multiple Characters in your list can really give you an edge over the opponent. List disparity can really swing this game, making it more about protecting the Characters than holding the Objectives, or playing it like a normal game if both armies are Character-lite. I’m not a fan of this one, to be honest.

Front-Line Warfare

Summary – Four Objective Markers, one in each deployment zone, the other two along the centre line. The Objective Marker in your zone is worth 1 point, the neutrals are worth 2 each and the opposing one is worth 4.

Yet another reprint from 2017, this time with zero changes from its original incarnation. Holding the central Objectives is the key to winning this one while keeping your opponent out of your back lines. With points being scored at the end of the Battle Round you are encouraged to go second, so you can react to your opponent. I would go as far as saying this is my favourite of the Eternal War missions in the book.

The Four Pillars

It’s interesting how the ‘four pillars of fitness’ are also a good foundation for tournament success.

Summary – One Objective Marker in each corner. They can only be controlled by units with the Troops Battlefield Role. You score points at the end of the Battle Round for holding more Objectives and killing more Units.

This mission is almost ITC-esque. The emphasis on holding and killing more is clearly inspired by the ITC missions. It serves as a good transition mission before you introduce someone to ITC missions proper. My one problem with it; only Troops can hold the Objectives. This can really punish some army builds. I suppose it means you have to consider this mission when building your army heading to an event that will be using random Eternal War missions, but for me, it holds it back from being a great mission.

Lockdown

Summary – Six Objectives are placed, worth 1 point each at the end of your turn and an extra point if you control more at the end of the battle round. Before the first round begins, the markers are numbered. 1 and 6 are chosen and the rest are randomised.  Start of rounds 2-5, the marker with that number is removed.

This one is really interesting. It’s all about being able to control the board and get to the objective markers, but with the knowledge that over time most of them will disappear. And, you don’t find out which ones until after deployment. End of turn and end of round scoring favours going second, and mobile armies should excel at this one. This is currently my second favourite of this year’s missions, but it may become my favourite as I get to play it more.

Last time, I promise

This selection of missions for this season probably rewards a balanced build when going to an event. Four Pillars shouldn’t be a problem, as you are probably taking Troops for Battalions anyway. Ascension will punish you for being character-lite, but hopefully, that mission won’t come up in a three or four match event. I’m optimistic that these missions will make for great events this year, and look forward to attending some.

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

secondhandhsop

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About Judge Lando

A dashing man, with a dapper cape, yell "JUDGE!" and he will appear to answer your rules questions. Or, more likely, check arc and range...

7 Responses to “War is Never Ending – Chapter Approved 2019 Eternal War Missions”

  1. Avatar
    happy_inquisitor January 8, 2020 2:11 pm #

    The real key to them is not any one mission so much as the challenge of coming up with a list that will do well across all of them. They play more differently than it looks at first glance

    Crusade and Scorched Earth require resilience to hold objectives until the start of your next turn. Front-line Warfare and Lockdown are more rewarding for fast moving hit-and-run armies.

    Ascension and Four Pillars are each about Characters and Troops able to hang tough and hold onto objectives. Each really pushes you to want different models in your list to the other missions in the set – and to have different tools in your list ideal for removing those models from the opposing army.

    Across all 6 missions it is very hard to have a single optimised list, which seems to be rather the point of the design approach.

    • Judge Lando
      Judge Lando January 9, 2020 6:14 am #

      Yeah, they definitely want a balanced build. With most local events only being 3-4 rounds, you really don’t know which ones you are going to play either.

      As a design approach, it leads to different factions having to build in different ways.

      I look forward to the challenge 🙂

  2. Avatar
    Rob Butcher January 9, 2020 9:50 am #

    It’s worth remembering that we had missions before ITC ! I was scoring for kill more, hold more in 1984.

    These published missions are also the ones used at Warhammer World, the Citadel (USA) and in the Australian GW GT. They are also ones normally played in GW stores.

    I like the fact they’ve altered some of the earlier ones and reward a balanced army with resilient troops (not just 5 scouts for the CP) and multiple Characters. Some of the previous ones weren’t working eg- The Relic (collecting the only objective and running off with it to your edge) or last year’s one with a massive “nul zone” aura in the centre and diminishing score circle each turn.

  3. Avatar
    Wayniac January 11, 2020 1:24 pm #

    Now the question is, as usual, if ITC will continue to fork the game with their Champions missions or finally decide to use the official missions like they do for Age of Sigmar.

    • Avatar
      Casey H January 12, 2020 12:34 pm #

      And you bring your griping form Dakka to here, Wayniac? (Are you the same “Wayniac” from Dakka? Are you the comic/artist who has taken over for Dan Piraro’s weeklies?)
      :/

      Again, if *you* and your local scene of doods decide to not use the ITC mission pack, then great! All the more power to ya! No need to gripe and complain, as opposed to, you know, have your local tourney use the book missions, and then feature a write up in a blog or talk about how great it went in a podcast. Let people know how well that goes. Instead of just complaining about it.

      So, why, Wayniac do ITC missions even exist?
      *sarcasm on*

      Why has Reecio (mustachio) perpetrated this upon the good citizens of 40k? What dastardly goal has this arch-villain in mind?Can any James Bond villain even compete? Why, oh, why would these guys do this, to the game they love? Do this, to us, the community?

      *sarcasm off*

      Simple math. The GW missions points score in the range of teens. Although in Lockdown, it looks like it’s possible, *possible* to score more than 24 points. And these missions score inconsistently, no uniform set of of points. That alone should be more than enough good reason for a different mission set.

      Try scoring a tourney of 150 players where the scores are only up to say, 15 points. The inconsistency lends goofery from a *player’s* stand point, or at least it did for me.

      It became far easier for me to play a mission, once the mission’s goal was consistent. I lost, and extremely frustratingly so, missions where I forgot to … do whatever the one thingy (Victory condtion) was. Like *not* needing to hold an objective until game’s end or such.

      With the ITC mission pack, the goals are pretty much the same, with only the bonus points differing. And that makes it far easier for me to focus on whether I’m tying Necrons up in h2h or staying away from marines and trying to out shoot them, instead of having the additional task of something different from game to game, in the mission goal.

      Plus, ITC missions, having a 42 point spread possible, the scoring logistics are easier to sift out, with Swiss pairing or otherwise.

      So, please lemme know how scoring and running a 100+ person event goes, using the GW missions. I’m happy to be proven wrong.

      Casey H
      Team BeerHammer

      • Reecius
        Reecius January 12, 2020 4:38 pm #

        Thanks, buddy. Appreciate the support and logical response.

        Some people don’t like iTC missions (or any non-book missions) and that’s fine. They can do what they like. Ultimately though, we do what works and the proof is in the pudding. If ITC missions “fork” the game (lol, what?) then people wouldn’t play them. It’s as simple as that. The fact that most tournaments in the world use them at this stage, tells the story. Anyone else touting their opinion on the matter at this stage is doing just that and nothing more.

        So, if people don’t like them? Fine, no skin off of our backs. Like you said, and I always say the same thing, if anyone thinks they can do it better: prove it. That’s precisely what we did.

  4. Avatar
    Kias January 14, 2020 8:03 am #

    Is there any plans to update the ITC mission deployment for 2020? It seems like the CA full deployment rules were one of the few instances of the book getting something right to help offset the power of turn 1 (at least turn 2 player gets intel on their deployment). I have found I really enjoyed playing the ITC even missions with those deployment rules in effect and been less excited about the traditional you-go, I-go deployment with a +1 to the roll in the odd numbered ones.

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