My Wishlist for the ITC 2020 Format and Missions

Hello competitive 40k players, SaltyJohn here from TFG Radio bringing you my wish list for ITC Mission Changes this season!

If you’ve been paying attention to the Competitive 40k internet scuttlebutt post-LVO you will no doubt have heard of the wish listing going on with the ITC Format/Missions for the next season. A lot of interesting ideas are getting thrown about for secondaries, removing objectives, punishing gunline armies via secondaries, punishing flyer spam armies via secondaries etc. Some of the ideas we’ve seen are good, some look pretty bad, but overall it’s just wish listing so don’t panic if you’ve seen that document that’s floating around. That also applies to the ideas I have put forth here in this article. While I do help with the ITC Format/Missions/Code of Conduct/Chess Clock/Terrain rules none of the ideas here are guaranteed to even make it past this article, let alone become part of the ITC for this season. Just like the Google Doc that’s out there, these are just ideas, but I would like to hear your feedback on them!

“If it Fits, it Sits”: in the absence of any real update from GW regarding terrain rules, this is the first in a few changes to the ITC format regarding terrain I would like to see. I would like the rule to be changed to apply to all models on all terrain features. Also add that no matter how much of a terrain piece is taken up by a model, or models, that unit may never be considered impossible to charge.

Document clean up. I would love to see the ITC document cleaned up so all the secondaries are listed alphabetically, given more concise language and made to fit on a single sheet. I would also like to see a more practical scoring sheet for each mission that has the objective placements on the actual sheet itself, everything you need in one place.

Stacking Secondaries. Get rid of them. All of them. Remove the asterisks and the ability to stack any secondary objectives. Letting some of the Secondaries stack creates too many odd interactions and I have seen people play it entirely wrong all season, show up to LVO, and be blindsided with how the stacking actually worked. Just get rid of it, it’s not necessary.

King of the Hill. KotH was one of the least taken Secondaries according to the ITC Battles App data. A lot of that has to do with when that objective was scored. End of the Battle Round is too limiting, I would like to see it changed to how I originally envisioned it when it was proposed which was the end of the player turn. It would make it a bit easier to score, but still not an auto-take secondary. You would need to build with it in mind or have it as a back pocket option against specific armies. Which makes it a more versatile secondary.

Conceding a Match. This is a contentious topic every year. It is hard to really fix correctly. The idea behind the player conceding the match earning zero points has its roots in several things but one of the primary places is to keep people from colluding to farm points. However, it also really sucks that someone who is having a terrible game, for whatever reason, is forced to either continue playing or get zero points. I am unsure what the actual solution here is, but I would love to see this addressed for the next ITC season.

Deployment types. I would like to see the Format/Mission pack moved to include the options for the TOs to run the entire event with either of the two deployment types. So you can continue to run it with the 1, 3, 5 missions and 2, 4, 6 missions using the ITC/GW Matched play deployment types. But also have two other options for using all one or the other deployment type. I understand the ITC makes it clear TOs can do whatever they want but we should be realistic, most TOs do exactly what the packet says, by codifying that they have a choice it might encourage some TOs to branch out. More diversity in the missions from event to event with the same core structure in place would be a nice change of pace.

Seize the Initiative. Throw it out. No modifications to it, just get rid of it.

3 New Scenarios. I wouldn’t mind seeing 3 Scenarios added to the Mission pack so you know what’s coming day 3 of a 9 round event. Missions designed for the Top 8 of these Uber Major events we’re seeing more and more of. Also, a single “Championship Round” mission would be really cool in my opinion. A mission that’s rarely played except in the rare circumstance of having a 9 round event! So, either 3 new missions designed for 3rd day top 8 situations or a single “Championship Round” mission played for all three games on Day 3. Either option sounds cool and adds in more variety for the 2020 season.

Pick Your Poison, and Marked for Death. These two are quite popular choices but still need some work in my opinion. PyP could probably use a few more “keywords” added to the list and MfD might need an adjustment to the PL requirement for picking it, or perhaps changing from PL to points, for determining if a unit can be chosen.

A few things I don’t want to see:

  • A large increase in the number of Secondaries. If we add some, I would like to see us remove some, to keep the number more or less the same.
  • Attempting to address power creep issues through the Missions. Using missions to try and adjust the meta away from certain builds because they are currently OP (Iron Hands and Raven Guard) isn’t a good idea.
  • Anything that makes the “pre-game” part of setting up the game longer. This includes having to move terrain, or adjust the placement of objectives for various reasons.
  • Ability to remove objectives from the game. The game begins with certain primary objectives on the board, moving toward a system where you could potentially remove objectives from the game, like Age of Sigmar does, is a bad mechanic for the ITC missions.

There are a lot of options open to us as we begin to look at the potential changes to the ITC for this season. While none of what I wrote here is guaranteed to be added, or be left out, I think this is an important conversation to have now before the changes are set and released. Someone may come up with an absolutely amazing secondary, or new primary mission, or an elegant solution to a problem such as conceding matches! The best part about asking for feedback is the potential for others to provide the input you never could have thought of on your own. So let us know in the comments what you think, not just of what I wrote, but what you think in general about the direction you’d like to see the ITC Format/Missions go for the next season.

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


About SaltyJohn

John has been playing Warhammer 40k since the 3rd edition box set with Space Marines, Dark Eldar, and weird green palm trees were in the set. He is currently a 40k Head Judge for the Las Vegas Open, the largest 40k tournament in the world. An avid board gamer, a huge fan of video games, and a guest spot on Geek and Sundry as a "Historian" during an episode of "Game the Game" round out his geek credentials. You can catch "Salty" John on TFG Radio's Twitch Show, and Podcast, as well as find him streaming video games on Twitch on the TFG Radio Twitch page from time to time.

65 Responses to “My Wishlist for the ITC 2020 Format and Missions”

  1. Avatar
    Cory Schulz February 4, 2020 3:43 pm #

    Great article John. I think we definitely need to take a look at the missions/secondaries. Maybe make 3-8 proposed changes and have the community vote on the top ones?

    Keep up the good articles!

  2. Avatar
    Spera February 4, 2020 4:41 pm #

    It might be unpopular opinion, but worth at least to be considered. How about removing secondaries? I think it its worth considering because it may throw new light on this topic including some out of the box thinking, even if not for removing but upgrading them if ITC organizers decide this way.

    I don’t KNOW why they were exactly put in place, and I can only speculate until Reece or someone else enlightens us about correct reasons, but i think that they were there to provide less randomness compared to old ETC/WTC style missions, where maelstrom cards randomness could be utterly devastating for the outcome of the game. And that was the reason that for the long time I preferred ITC over ETC/WTC style. The price that was paid, was that this system couldn’t be balanced for every unit, and some units just shouldn’t be taken because they were giving up points so easily. Some unit were played in ETC/WTC, but not in ITC(tyrannic warriors, armigers and so on). Even lists seems to have more variety.

    But then came CA, and construct your deck addition to Maelstrom. And oh boy it did improved this way of play a ton. There is still randomness, but this time its manageable randomness. Both in scale, and ability to actually influence it. And honestly i think that with that favor shifted from ITC to ETC.

    But hey, maybe not remove secondaries, but change them to be more in line of maelstrom cards. Less kill stuff, and more achieve objective x/defend it/retake it. More engineers, king of the hill(fixed maybe) and reckon. Make killing things a way to achieve things, not an achievement in itself.

    I don’t want to sound like I-know-better-guy, thats not my intent. But i think that this format might need to take second look on secondaries, preferably from bigger distance. Its easy to get tangled and tunes visioned, when you are dealing with something for a long time, but sometimes best way to untangle knot is just to cut it.

    What i Really love is hold more, kill more part. I wish it was included instead of kill points in ETC/WTC. That is a such good mechanic, such a good job.

    Other things in more wishlist style. More missions. and maybe more deployment types. I think that some of open war deployment types and some from AoS could work and be balanced while providing bigger variety.

    I hope that some of this will be at least helpful to ITC team(even if it will be just the part where i said good job, in that case, good fucking bloody good job ;))

  3. Avatar
    JimV February 4, 2020 5:16 pm #

    Seize Must GO!

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr February 5, 2020 2:15 am #

      Yes! Terrible mechanic in the game as it is now. Especially with deploy first, go first.

    • SaltyJohn
      SaltyJohn February 5, 2020 7:10 am #

      Thank you.

      • Avatar
        Codi February 5, 2020 7:44 am #

        Why remove it? It would just be a benefit to alpha strike armies, and allow them to setup ultra aggressive, to try and win the game on turn 1.

        • Michael Corr
          Michael Corr February 5, 2020 7:47 am #

          On the deploy first, go first missions, it is brutal when you get seized on. Your opponent already got to pick the deployment zone and counter your own deployment by second up second. Add in getting the first turn and it is a huge advantage for that player with little you can do to combat it.

          • Michael Corr
            Michael Corr February 5, 2020 7:47 am

            *setting up second.

          • SaltyJohn
            SaltyJohn February 5, 2020 7:59 am


          • Avatar
            Codi February 5, 2020 8:30 am

            One could argue that you should deploy for the seize. However I do see your point.

          • Avatar
            JimV February 5, 2020 8:36 am

            “One could argue that you should deploy for the seize. However I do see your point.”

            The problem with this is that you still have to deploy your whole army first, so deploying “defensive” puts you at a major disadvantage vs your opponent who still gets to see exactly what you do. The upside of deploying all at once is supposed to be being able to go first, without that it is a strict disadvantage.

        • Avatar
          Codi February 5, 2020 9:17 am #

          I do agree getting seized on is a disadvantage. However you deploy your whole army first knowing that you will probably go first. Your opponent deploys their whole army second knowing that they will probably go second. So I think both you and your opponents deployment decisions should reflect that reality.

          If you deploy your army ultra aggressively and then loose because you got seized on; that is your fault. In the same way if your opponent deploys aggressively expecting to seize, and then looses that is their fault.

          • Avatar
            JimV February 5, 2020 9:26 am

            “However you deploy your whole army first knowing that you will probably go first.”

            You just argued that you should deploy as if you won’t go first, so no most good players don’t deploy in a way that they are “probably going first, they deploy defensively in case they get seized on and in these cases they are at a disadvantage because they deployed their whole army, and the opponent gets to hard counter their deployment regardless if they go first or second.

  4. Avatar
    Slagmar February 4, 2020 5:17 pm #

    I would love to see a change to be able to use a greater demon without giving up an easy 4. Just make Monster Slayer and have it work like Titan slayer (and adjust kingslayer appropriately). I hate how single models give up a full 4 points which make you not want to even bring them (my bloodthirster is dusty on the shelf 🙁

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr February 5, 2020 12:17 am #

      I think the secondaries invalidate a lot of units, or punish you for taking certain units in the game.

      • Avatar
        Dale M February 5, 2020 8:02 am #

        I agree. Nids, for example can’t use too many of their elites units because they give up Gangbusters waaaaay easier (T4, Sv4+) than the average 3 wound units. The real problem is there are a large number of units in the Nid codex that fall under Gangbusters criterium. I’d like to see that secondary just go away and make more units viable again.

  5. Faitherun
    Faitherun February 4, 2020 7:04 pm #

    For conceding: what if a player who concedes may get 1/2 their current points. Or may receive points equal to the differential of their opponent’s points and max points. (so, if max points is 42, and their opponent scores 38, the conceding player would get 4).

    I’d like to see things that give up points for wounds be consolidated. Perhaps similar to M4D. Pick 4 units that have model(s) with 4+ wounds. For every 4 wounds done, you get a point. If the unit has the monster or vehicle keyword, it’s for every 8 wounds done

    Finally, nixing size is a good thing imo.

    • SaltyJohn
      SaltyJohn February 5, 2020 7:11 am #

      Those are good thoughts on the concession problem, thanks!

  6. Avatar
    Schismotive February 4, 2020 8:21 pm #

    Good read! I would love to see marked for death move over to points, or at the very least require more power level. (maybe 8 or 9) Big game hunter too; i think 7 wounds is too low.

    For seize the initiative i feel pretty indifferent. I like it but i get why people want to try 40k without it.

    I think that most secondaries unjustly punish the more fragile factions in 40k. Factions with high killing power and durability can just take 3 easy kill secondaries and win, while fragile factions have to just hope they survive long enough to score position based secondaries since they cant kill enough to keep up.

    Basically my point is too many secondaries let you score points against really weak targets and i think the requirements should go up. (big game, marked for death,

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy February 5, 2020 9:37 am #

      BGH is specifically chosen at 7 wounds because of Carnifexes, Talosii, and Dreadnoughts. Seeing sixteen vehicles/monsters across the table and not being able to score BGH on any of them is not a good feeling.

  7. Avatar
    Joecool February 4, 2020 8:28 pm #

    I have been reading the CA 2019 eternal war missions and think it would be a good change to go with something like that As core plus some added rules and if it fits it sits. If you haven’t really actually read the eternal war missions it’s actually pretty solid variety between the 6 missions and punishes all styles of list between the 6 missions. Only thing I don’t like is the ending of random game turn which can easily be changed.

  8. Avatar
    Hotsauceman1 February 4, 2020 8:57 pm #

    I would like some randomness back to missions. I really REALLY liked the old missions with the six mealstrom. Not too random, but like, cmon, the missions are SOOO boring right now that they all feel the same no matter what.
    Like Lets be honest, there might as well be only one mission for ITC at this point.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr February 5, 2020 12:15 am #

      I’ve only just started playing ITC missions in tournaments and they do seem very samey.
      The only difference is the placement of the objectives, as I find the bonus is rarely scored in most games. You know what secondaries you are going to pick and what your opponent is likely to pick in almost every game.

  9. Avatar
    greyknight12 February 4, 2020 9:00 pm #

    While I am by no means an apologist for the CA missions (see my other posts on the subject), I do feel like “official” missions from GW ought to be strongly considered as a starting point, and then modified as required. The reason being that someone outside the tournament scene is probably playing them, and the closer ITC/Custom Missions and GW align the easier it is for an individual to transition to tournament play.

    Other thoughts (from a middling 3-3 at GTs type):
    “Killing stuff” is a primary objective in 1/6 of GW missions and has been for a few editions now. Pushing kills back to a means to an end, rather than the end itself takes away the incentive to just focus on tabling and makes play around the objectives much more strategic and important.
    It’s controversial, but I would like to see the missions themselves score their points in different ways. Whether it’s simply shifting the balance of kill vs objective points between missions or something more radical. For example, maybe in one mission there is no “kill” and “kill more” is just worth 2 points, or maybe objectives have different points values and “hold more” is based on the value of objectives not the number held. Again, elements that have been part of GW missions that could be refined to add a little variety between missions. I do see the value of playing a single, balanced mission each round though.

  10. Avatar
    Zweischneid February 4, 2020 9:49 pm #

    It’s still too predictable IMO.

    Randomize 1 or 2 objectives per turn with dice / maelstrom cards / whatever to be de-activated and not eligible for hold / hold more, so people can’t rely on always camping the most no-brainer objective for a mission point.

    Randomize 1 or 2 unit types force org types per turn with dice / maelstrom cards / whatever to be de-activated / not eligible for kill / kill more, so people can’t rely on getting kill mission points from killing the most no-brainer stuff they’d want to kill anyhow.

    Randomize secondaries a bit somehow or disallow the players picking the same secondary two games in a row, so there’s occasionally some tactical challenge when you can’t play an army to the same rote game plan every time.

  11. Avatar
    Tim Nordin February 4, 2020 10:26 pm #

    I hope ITC uses the new maelstorm. It would benefit the hobby as casuals would be able to participate with ease and it would also make for a more consistent comparative competativ scene across itc and etc. The new missions are mad fun aswell.

  12. Avatar
    Will H February 5, 2020 12:21 am #

    Secondary idea:
    ‘Take out the artillery’ – score a point for every unit you destroy which has the ability to fire out of LOS.

    Shooting that ignores LOS is pretty strong and hard to get at in the best of times – even if you do, most of these unit types don’t give up secondaries.

    Yes, yes, I know the winning LVO list didn’t feature any, but from the stats TFC were the most taken unit. You’d like to think there might be something FAQish addressing ‘that’ list!

  13. Avatar
    Andrew Davis February 5, 2020 12:32 am #

    This year was too going first focused. Maybe the solution is eliminating random deployment types.

    Whoever wins the first roll off should get the choice to either

    A) Choose the deployment type and what deployment zone they will have.

    B) Choose to go first or second.

    If you chose A your opponent gets B and vice versa.
    In some match ups option A is more important. People may start chosing to give up going first.

  14. Avatar
    Andrew Davis February 5, 2020 12:54 am #

    I would like to see hold 1 and kill 1 eliminated as they are too easy.

    Change secondary missions change it from pick 3 to to pick 2 for yourself and 2 for your opponent.

    Your army must be able to give up full points on the objectives assigned to an opponent and there may be other requirements. Examples an army without titanic models can not choose titan slayer, 100 models are required for reaper, 15 units for BB, 5 HQ for head hunter, you cannot take recon/king of the hill for yourself and assign it to an opponent.

    If you assign a secondary to an opponent and they also choose it then it stacks. Don’t give them an easy secondary.

    That would punish imbalanced lists. Castles would be assigned recon.

    • Avatar
      Yeeman February 5, 2020 12:41 pm #

      Being able to assign your opponent a secondary that is difficult to get is an interesting strategy. “I know I have 4 characters in my army, but they are tough as hell to kill, so goodluck!” That would add some list building situations to be brought in.
      I think only giving them 1 instead of 2 would be better though. And I would say that you must give your opponent the “Mandatory Secondary” (you can name it that!) first then have them choose the next 2-3.
      You could also make this “Mandatory Secondary” worth more points since it is one that should be difficult and one that your opponent chooses.

      Thoughts on this?

      • Avatar
        Andrew Davis February 5, 2020 9:41 pm #

        1 may be plenty there would just need to be a lot of restrictions on mandatory secondary. The other option would be to have them be purely objective or board position based.

        One particularly good one I can think of would be like ground control but they have to hold 1 specific objective at the end of the game for maximum points. That would be particularly punishing to give someone if they have first turn.

  15. Avatar
    Michael Hall February 5, 2020 12:55 am #

    I’m torn on secondaries, whilst I think that additional ways of scoring are good for an interesting mission setup the way they are handled at the moment has to big of an impact on army list design and stifles (intentionally so in many cases) various list compositions.

    Seize is annoying and totally pointless in the ‘take turns deploying a single unit’ method, in the ‘I deploy everything – you deploy everything’ method it has a place making the player with first turn at least thing about things instead of knowing they will automatically get the alpha strike, makes the roll to go first slightly less important at the expense of adding in frustration in 1/6 games if you don’t take it into account.

    Main missions – I’d like there to be far less focus on killing and more on objectives. At the minute killing is worth the same as taking objectives, the GW missions from any rulebook since 5th (I think) generally only have kill points in one, perhaps two on occasion, missions out of six. Get rid of kill/kill more and instead introduce different objective scoring in different mission – make the centre objective worth more, give a bonus for taking ones in the opposition deployment zone, make holding them for multiple turns give more points. Killing stuff should be used in secondaries not primaries as killing is its own reward in game anyway.

  16. Avatar
    Kdash February 5, 2020 1:27 am #

    Personally, my first thought is to just ditch secondaries, or to just change it back to the old “warlord, first strike, linebreaker” points.

    If secondaries are going to stay, then I think all the ones that allow you to score max points from a single unit need to go/be changed to 1 point per unit. I also agree that stacking should go as it will increase unit choice diversity.
    In addition, and more importantly, I feel like a change to the Primary points is required. Ditch “kill more” and “hold more” and change the “hold 1” to “score x points if you hold an objective at the end of your turn” with x relating to where the objective is on the table. 1 point for your DZ, 2 for no-man’s land, 3 points if it is in your opponents DZ. You only score from 1 objective. 1 point for killing a unit can stay.
    “Mission Bonus” points need to change as well. You need to score more points for “completing” the “mission”. Right now it is nothing but an afterthought and very very very rarely has an impact on the game.

    Seize can go, it’s just a frustration, but, if it does, I think the deployment type needs to change, to a fixed, “deploy whole army first, go first” across all the missions, rather than having a mix of that and the back and forth method.

    That said, I’d be perfectly happy if the missions switched completely to the CA missions.

  17. Avatar
    happy_inquisitor February 5, 2020 3:19 am #

    Well that “I don’t like change” meme is not wrong. The whole article is still aiming toward having every mission you play all weekend being functionally the same as every other – no variety, no change.

    It’s like if you set out with the intention of designing a tournament format that emphasized list building over gameplay on the day this is what you would end up with. Then add in a bunch of VP to penalize certain types of units to really mess with the internal balance of factions that would otherwise lean on those units to make it even more of a list building exercise. Then make every mission the same so the only thing that differs is your list vs the opposing list.

    Looks like another year of scrolling through potential tournaments to go to and just dismissing half of them because of the ITC mission set. Sad really – I really love the idea of ITC ranking points.

  18. Avatar
    george February 5, 2020 5:37 am #

    I think this may have been floating around in that document, but a condensed yet concise document cleanup would be amazing. Maybe even a “TLDR” section that summarizes everything you need, barring the missions themselves, on a single page (or front/back) would be great.
    I know the game is loaded with detail and nuance, but at some point descriptions become unwieldy — okay i’m just lazy and don’t want to flip through a bunch of pages to find the one thing i’m looking for.

    If i’m wishlisting…maybe a rework of Big Game Hunter or Gangbusters that doesn’t 1000% penalize taking Talos.

    • SaltyJohn
      SaltyJohn February 5, 2020 7:21 am #

      This is actually already in the works. One of the ITC/LVO judges, Chris Morgan, does this type of thing for a living and he has already stated he is going to work on it.

  19. Avatar
    Ishagu February 5, 2020 6:31 am #

    We need to use the CA2019 Eternal War missions (Not maelstrom).

    I suspect few of your have given them a fair chance. They have produced a more diverse meta in the UK, but even if the balance was not improved we can’t argue that they offer a significantly more varied game-play experience.

    We have to accept that the ITC missions are a divergent 3rd party mission set that creates meta imbalances due to the way scoring, missions and terrain work – these things have a significant impact on what is and isn’t successful. It was significantly better than GW used to offer pre CA19.

    We also can’t complain about unit dominance if it occurs under 3rd party rule conditions.

    The CA2019 missions, straight out of the book, are fantastic, balanced and varied. Time to use the official rules and give “real” 40k a chance. The GW missions have been rubbish in the past but they have improved substantially.

    • SaltyJohn
      SaltyJohn February 5, 2020 7:16 am #

      First, asserting it is “real” 40k only if you play the GW Eternal war Missions is going to lose you a lot of support from people off the bat. GW themselves provides multiple ways to play the game of 40k and never asserts any of them are “real”. Then there is the issue that the ITC missions are literally streamed on their streaming service when they cover the LVO and the two commentators they use for their streams now are both the people who began, and help write, the ITC missions. Attempting to begin an argument against the ITC Missions by attacking their legitimacy as “real” is both assinine and unproductive in reaching your goal. Secondly, I have been reading through the CA2019 missions again a few times and they just leave so much to be desired in terms of actual variety. We will certainly give them their due diligence when framing the ITC 2020 season missions though.

      • Avatar
        happy_inquisitor February 5, 2020 8:46 am #

        Not played them then?

        The different times when objectives are scored in different missions are surprisingly impactful when you play them competitively a few times. It really does change both how you play and to an extent what you want in your list to win each mission, even the seemingly similar missions are subtly more different in play.

        In practice, it is a combination of things that make them good. The missions themselves are a bit more varied, the meta which arises from those missions is broader. The overall experience is then a lot more diverse than the ITC mission meta.

        If you want to spend all weekend playing essentially the same mission on the same terrain against mostly the same factions/lists – well carry on then you have the perfect mission pack for that outcome.

        • SaltyJohn
          SaltyJohn February 5, 2020 10:56 am #

          I so enjoy your dismissive, snobby, self-righteous, tone. It is so incredibly persuasive. You’ve convinced me.

          • Avatar
            Ishagu February 6, 2020 3:08 am

            The ITC missions do lack variety when compared to what the latest batch of CA missions offer. This can’t really be disputed.

            The objectives, placements, etc are a lot more varied in CA missions.

            The reasons for using a 3rd party set of homebrew mission rules don’t hold up now that GW has significantly raised their game in terms of mission design. Also the ITC players cannot chose to ignore them, citing lack of data, when they are the ones refusing to collect the data in the 1st place.

            Looking at multiple events in the UK they do seem to create a more balanced meta, and even if people refuse to believe this is the case, the added variety in mission design cannot be argued.

            I think everyone needs to play the CA missions multiple times and with multiple lists to get a better understanding of how they work, how they positively impact list building, and how they shake up the status quo that has developed under the ITC.

          • Reecius
            Reecius February 6, 2020 5:53 am

            You know you can participate in the ITC and play whatever missions you choose, right? If you are digging the new missions and that’s what your local scene wants to play then by all means, go for it. You can still earn ITC points and have fun your way.

            However, the vast majority of players in the ITC want to stick with ITC style missions. Whether that is because they simply haven’t tried the CA missions or they have and simply prefer the ITC style missions I couldn’t say, but we’re not here to dictate to them what they want. We’re here to give them the game they want. That’s why we build in the option to do whatever the local TO feels bests serves their community’s desires.

    • Avatar
      Ohlmann February 5, 2020 7:17 am #

      The burden of proof that the ITC mission create meta imbalance lie on you. As far as I can tell, it don’t, and shilling for them don’t replace actual data or at least explanation of why.

      • Avatar
        Ishagu February 5, 2020 7:33 am #

        Take a look at the recent GW events as well as the Caledonian open.

        Even if Balance was not improved, the mission variety most certainly is. That cannot be disputed.

        • Avatar
          Ohlmann February 5, 2020 8:12 am #

          That certainly can. The size and timing of thoses event, plus the lack of any explication of why, mean it’s even pretty weak arguments.

          Remember : if you only offer a correlation and no model that explain why it isn’t random, then it can be random or due to another cause than the one you advance.

          • Avatar
            Ishagu February 5, 2020 8:19 am

            And unless the community gives the CA missions a try, how exactly do you propose that more data is collected?

            Let’s look at GW currently:

            Frequent and timely FAQs, annual mission updates, annual rule revisions, interaction with the community etc – none of this happened 3 years ago.

            This has all taken place, and yet when a new set of missions is released that have a positive impact on the game from a balance and game-play perspective, people refuse to give it a try or even believe it. Ironically most complaints about game balance occur in relations to ITC experiences, and those don’t accurately reflect the game or the intent behind it because the ITC is indeed a 3rd party rule-set.

            It shows the cynicism of certain elements in the community, never willing to acknowledge that things are getting better, which they categorically are.

            This is what we have to overcome. The CA2019 missions are certainly more varied than the ITC mission, that can’t be argued. The variety of objectives also means that lists cannot specialise for absolute success in every mission – another factor of balance.

            How about you try them all, multiple times? I did, and it was eye opening. It’s likely that I’ve played them more than most people posting here who are dismissing them.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy February 5, 2020 11:04 pm

            Yes, but let’s also look at GW _very_ currently: Space Marines are a fucking mess and the problem won’t be acknowledged in the slightest for another three to nine months.

            Games Workshop has made a lot of improvements to their interactions with competitive play and it’s important to recognize that, but let’s not give them more credit than they’ve earned. Their responses to problematic elements in codices are often sluggish or half-hearted, and many times in the past they have flown in the face of all apparent advice from their playtesting team, for reasons we can only speculate on.

            Very few people “refuse to give a try” to other mission packs- they just aren’t actively pushing for the mission pack that you want to see. If you want to see the CA missions used, run a tournament with them yourself or convince a TO to use them in a tournament near you; if people like them and think they’re good, word will spread.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy February 5, 2020 9:40 am #

      You assume that no one who plays ITC has played any of the CA missions, which is rather a large leap. Many of us have, either for fun, to test how they function, or because we’ve attended a tournament using them (or all three.)

      “Real” 40K isn’t anything. Your vision of the game isn’t any better than anyone else’s.

      • Avatar
        Ishagu February 5, 2020 3:19 pm #

        I’m sure people have played them, but I also think a lot of people are dismissing them without any significant experience.

        As for “real” or not, there are the official rules, and there are 3rd party unofficial modified rules.

        I firmly believe that the ITC missions were fantastic for the game during 7th edition and early 8th, but GW stepped up with CA18, and improved the missions further with CA19. They deserve significant attention and the ITC community is not showing it.

        ITC isn’t just a mission pack, and can exist even if the official CA19 missions become the primary way to play.

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy February 5, 2020 10:59 pm #

          I’m sure some people are dismissing them without experience, but to make that as a blanket statement for anyone disagreeing with you is pretty disrespectful and puts you on the wrong foot at the very start of the discussion.

          The CA2019 missions are “official,” to be sure, but I think all of the competitive players of this game are painfully aware that “official” Games Workshop material can be really, _really_ bad sometimes and more often than not is no better than the unofficial content. Transitioning mission sets is a pretty big step, and it was one of the major hurdles for the ITC early on- to do so again, I think that players would need a very clear and obvious reason to go back to GW’s missions.

          Currently, I don’t think we’ve seen that reason. I don’t think any of the competitive community who have looked at the CA2019 missions and said “well, this is clearly an improvement over what we have now” and the fact that its creation and maintenance is wholly in GW’s hands- who have been notoriously unresponsive or uncaring with regards to rules issues in the past- does not earn a lot of faith from the player base.

          I certainly have issues with the ITC missions and I don’t think they’re perfect by any means, but the one thing that I _do_ have faith in is that Frontline is actively monitoring how people play the missions and what people’s opinions are of them in order to improve them in an ongoing matter. They alter and update them in response to feedback multiple times per year and as new codices and supplements are released. Games Workshop does _not_ do any of that, and while 8th has earned back some of the trust in the company, the whole Space Marines debacle has once again eroded a lot of that.

          The ITC missions are actively curated; the CA missions are not. Setting all other arguments about quality and balance aside, I feel that alone is a major stroke in the favor of the ITC missions.

          (Note that other companies, such as Fantasy Flight, Wyrd, and Corvus Belli, actually _do_ curate their missions and tournament packs. This is not an issue of Games Workshop being a corporate entity, but rather their issues with tournaments and competitive play.)

          • Avatar
            Ishagu February 6, 2020 2:08 am

            The official GW missions have been a serious let down before, but the whole point is that times have changed and they have improved.

            Here in the UK they are becoming more and more popular. Events that use the CA missions create a more balanced meta, and the missions themselves are far more varied that the ITC mission pack. The variety argument is not an opinion – if you play through all the CA missions they do have significantly more objective and layout variety.

            GW are updating the missions every year. In the past a case could be made for using a home-brew set of missions, and I would have made that case as well. In fact I have argued in favour of the ITC missions for years. The point is that the CA2019 missions are of a very high quality, and the ITC missions aren’t offering a benefit that justifies the official rules being ignored at this point in time.

            It’s also wrong to expect GW to balance the game around a 3rd party set of missions. How can you complain about GW balancing the game when you aren’t playing the game they’ve designed?

  20. Avatar
    steven pampreen February 5, 2020 7:52 am #

    For those curious as to the document he is referencing. I put it together and the summary of the changes is here.

    Summary of changes:
    Deployments must have neutral objectives, reroll if they don’t.
    Allow Sequential Stacking of kill secondaries to discourage spamming unit army archetypes.
    Reaper changed to wounds and up to 2 wounds per model to give a viable secondary against a new era of 2 wound durable troops.
    Changed mark for death to powerlevel 6 to grab a whole bunch of marine units. I know considered points but then you end up with 19 model units dodging it and that just feels gamey. I would also not mind removing mark for death altogether as I think sequential stacking of BGH will basically achieve the same thing with less paperwork.
    Behind enemy lines changed to non-flier battlefield role and end of player turn and changed “wholly” to just “within”. After discussion this was adjusted to 2 units within enemy deployment zone.
    Made recon more difficult and removed fliers from being able to score it.
    Changed King of the hill to be player turn so it’s not affected by going first or second.
    Changed last strike to include a clause if all your opponents stuff is dead you score the point to avoid forcing point farming.
    Changed Kingslayer to be less brutal against knights.
    Changed ground control so that it is more equally difficult depending on the mission.
    Removed Engineers as it fostered stagnant play style.
    Added secondary that targets stationary gunlines
    Added secondary that targets soups and marines and weird forgeworld stuff. I only added forgeworld because it would be weird having a relic hunter objective that didn’t reward you for hunting a unit with relic keyword.
    Changed seize the initiative to modified version voted for on TO page. (At least that was my intent)
    Made Bonuses similar difficulty to achieve across missions to match mission 6. Essentially, if you control the entire board outside of your enemies deployment zone or control center with unique blend of your own force you will score bonus.
    Added the ability to burn enemy objectives starting round 2 to all the missions. This is to counter the improvement to “stand somewhere” secondary.

    If you want to view and comment on the particulars. The document can be viewed here.

    • SaltyJohn
      SaltyJohn February 5, 2020 7:58 am #


    • Avatar
      Ishagu February 5, 2020 8:21 am #

      This creates a sub-meta and a barrier for non ITC players.

      Time to use the CA2019 missions, the official rules, and relay the results to GW so they can improve them further in future.

      • Avatar
        steven pampreen February 5, 2020 9:11 am #

        I can’t wait to hold objectives with planes. #thewayitwasmeanttobeplayed

  21. Avatar
    Wayniac February 5, 2020 7:55 am #

    Just get rid of the custom missions and use the Chapter Approved missions, either Eternal War or better yet the new and improved Maelstrom missions.

    Each year there is less and less of a reason to not just adopt the normal missions instead of creating your own meta.

    • Avatar
      Ishagu February 5, 2020 8:26 am #

      The wild west days of GW mission design are indeed over. There is no reason not to use them now. Many in the ITC environment dismiss them and yet have no experience with them.

      • Avatar
        Anders February 5, 2020 9:10 am #

        I believe the main problems of the ITC missions of today are the following:
        – The Bonus plays a very little role in most games. This leads to very little variance between missions more than the number of objectives.
        – There are way more secondaries that focus on killing stuff comparing to holding ground/objectives. This leads to gun-line armies and less strategic play since killing things will always benefit you anyways. It also leads to list building based on what does not give up secondaries which in turn leads to less variety in the armies.

        Possible solutions could depend on how ready for change the ITC team is but could be something on the following lines:

        – Adapting CA Mission. The missions are good and varied and benefit different types of armies. As mentioned this would also give feedback to a GW that is now actively engaged with the community.
        – Removing secondaries. Since most armies are either better at kill more or at hold more this would lead to strategic games where you actually fight for the Bonus. This could be combined with the classic First strike, Linebreaker and Warlord.
        – Upping the victory points award of achieving the bonus. That there is one mission where you get one point for controlling all four objectives seems almost insulting.

        A less dramatic change could be to have only two secondaries, or that they only give up 3 points each, combined with my last proposal.

        I also want to thank Salty John and the ITC team for asking for feedback. And if nothing else changes I agree that King of the hill should be moved to end of turn, and maybe also that the unit should not have to be wholly within 6″.

  22. Avatar
    Aftershock February 5, 2020 8:37 am #

    I play a lot of 40k and Sigmar, and the absence of the mini heart attack before the game because of the seize roll in Sigmar is so much better for the game. Get rid of the seize roll. It is too random and takes away some of the competitiveness of the game. A 6+ throw all plans out the window is not healthy for the game.

  23. Avatar
    Maelstrom808 February 5, 2020 8:58 am #

    I still fully stand behind Kill One/Kill More needing to disappear. You don’t need more incentive to kill units, it’s inherently a means to winning games. Killing your opponent’s objective holders for advantage, or killing the threats to your objective holders to maintain advantage. Players DO need more incentive to move out and be more aggressive on objective play rather than tie on holding and focus on winning kill more.

  24. Avatar
    Anders February 5, 2020 9:16 am #

    (I apologize if I’m double posting but I had some browser issues)

    I believe the main problems of the ITC missions of today are the following:
    – The Bonus plays a very little role in most games. This leads to very little variance between missions more than the number of objectives.
    – There are way more secondaries that focus on killing stuff comparing to holding ground/objectives. This leads to gun-line armies and less strategic play since killing things will always benefit you anyways. It also leads to list building based on what does not give up secondaries which in turn leads to less variety in the armies.

    Possible solutions depend on how ready for change the ITC team is but could be something along the following lines:

    – Adapting CA Mission. The missions are good and varied and benefit different types of armies. As mentioned this would also give feedback to a GW that is now actively engaged with the community.
    – Removing secondaries. Since most armies are either better at kill more or at hold more this would lead to strategic games where you actually fight for the Bonus. This could be combined with the classic First strike, Linebreaker and Warlord.
    – Upping the victory points award of achieving the bonus. That there is one mission where you get one point for controlling all four objectives seems almost insulting.

    A less dramatic change could be to have only two secondaries, or that they only give up 3 points each, combined with my last proposal.

    I also want to thank Salty John and the ITC team for asking for feedback. And if nothing else changes I agree that King of the hill should be moved to end of turn, and maybe also that the unit should not have to be wholly within 6″.

  25. Avatar
    Neil Tweed February 5, 2020 11:42 am #

    Anything you do should be done to bring missions/objectives as close to the Chapter Approved Eternal/Maelstrom missions as possible. The closer you can align with GW missions the better.

  26. Avatar
    MrWednesday76 February 5, 2020 4:30 pm #

    I’d definitely like to see “Seize’ go away, its a blatantly unfun mechanic that has no room in competitive play.
    I’d also like to see a few extra missions added, and to have the bonus point on the current missions adjusted to be easier to score.

  27. Avatar
    Hrimfar February 6, 2020 5:23 am #

    I for one would love to have more diverse missions. What about having 1 set socondary for each mission – that would make listbuilding more diverse and would force players into building less specialized lists with killing power, survivability or board control not being the only parameters one would have to account for.

    I am sick of facing the same lists over and over again and the meta forcing players into specific builds that are tried and tested. At the moment the bonus points you get from the current missions isn’t enough to force players to take them into account since you in most cases can eliminate this by simply holding more and killing more than your opponent.

    • Reecius
      Reecius February 6, 2020 5:56 am #

      If you only had 1 secondary then the primary missions become the game. You need to balance the point load between primary and secondary. The only way around that would be to make the secondary worth more points but if it were just one mission and you chose poorly you hosed yourself before any dice are rolled.

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