Hey everyone, g-dubs gives us a closer look at the new matched play missions and some of the app features!
A new edition offers the perfect opportunity not only to improve a game’s core rules but also to reevaluate other areas of the game and make adjustments. To redress the balance of Warhammer 40,000 in line with the updates to the game itself, some significant changes have been made to matched play battles. To fill us in on all the changes, here’s Mike Brandt – one of our esteemed Warhammer 40,000 playtesters and now officially our global events guru – to explain…
Mike: Hey everyone! Today I’ll be discussing some key matched play changes coming to Warhammer 40,000 – missions and point values. Let’s dive right in!
Matched Play Missions
A lot of work went into making the new missions the best ever. The Warhammer 40,000 rules team drew on all the feedback from the wider gaming community, playtesters and event organisers to ensure that each mission offers a fun, challenging experience with a fair chance of success for each player. There are two key elements I look for in a mission:
- Does it tell a cool story? After all, Warhammer 40,000 should be an immersive experience with gorgeous armies and scenic tables!
- Does it increase the odds of a close, fair, exciting game experience? The mission should not decide it for you – nor should a bad matchup guarantee a loss.
The new matched play missions exemplify these principles in abundance. What’s more, there are a LOT of missions! They all share certain common elements while presenting unique challenges – it’s hard to build ‘one list to win them all’. Each mission utilises bespoke deployment zones and primary objectives according to the number of points being used, creating a sensible story and intentional balance. For example, Incursion missions are used for games of 1000 points per side, while Strike Force missions cater for 2000-point battles. Yet even though the missions each share a primary objective, the secondary objectives are asymmetrical, and are actually chosen by the players themselves. The primary represents the shared story on the battlefield, while the secondaries represent your army’s theme and help balance tough matchups.
Are you running a sneaky Raven Guard army? Choose secondaries that score victory points for planting homing beacons or infiltrating the enemy’s deployment zones. World Eaters? Focus on secondaries that reward reaping skulls for Khorne, not standing on objectives! This enables an overall mission that makes sense for your army’s theme but also improves balance. Not equipped to kill those Paladins? Choose secondaries focused on manoeuvre. Are the Paladins yours, but frustratingly can’t be everywhere at once? Focus on destroying your opponent’s army or completing a psychic ritual.
There are a number of categories of secondary objectives you may choose from pre-game, but you can’t select more than one from any given category. Take a look at some examples from the standard categories available to all players (don’t worry, we’ll see faction-specific ones in the future).
The new edition also adds actions to Warhammer 40,000. Traditionally, your models could either stand near objectives or shoot/punch. No longer! Now you can perform rituals, plant homing beacons, raise banners on key objectives and more. This creates dynamic moments where you may need to decide between firing at the enemy or bravely accomplishing a mission.
Another new feature is a cap on victory points you can earn from each mission element. This makes for closer, more exciting games. In the past, a slower-starting army or one without a strong ‘alpha strike’ risked falling irrevocably behind their opponent. Every mission condition can only be scored a certain number of times, giving players the opportunity to catch up if their opponent runs out of gas after capping. This creates a wider variety of great stories, photo finishes, and viable armies. An example of one of the new Eternal War missions can be seen here, including several sneak peeks of these concepts in place…
The community may see familiar principles in these missions, but a host of refinements and new innovations herald an exciting future. We may also see broader adoption of a common set of exciting, balanced, narratively fulfilling missions at events around the world – something the community’s desired for years!
Finally, as part of developing the new edition, points values were reviewed and have been adjusted UP across every faction. This may sound odd at first, but it yields several benefits. Firstly, games will play faster with, generally speaking, smaller armies on either side. This also makes starting a fresh army for the new edition a more accessible, quicker experience. It also means there’s room for more granularity when establishing how powerful one unit or ability is compared to another, and a global points reset ensures everyone starts in the same place on Day 1, with no established meta or ‘best army’. Here are a couple of examples so you can see what to expect.
Thanks, Mike, and welcome to the team! That’s a lot to look forward to for fans of matched play. But there’s more – we can also reveal a bit about the new app that we’ve been developing to help make your Warhammer 40,000 gaming experience more accessible than ever before!
New Edition, New App!
On the same day that the Warhammer 40,000 pre-orders go live, a new app will be launched alongside it, providing several cool features to help you, including a full matched play army builder. The new app will do a number of things to assist players with their games, but one of the most useful will be the ability to build army lists using the updated points values and Detachments. We’ll have more on the Warhammer 40,000 app soon, so watch this space!
What do you think about all the changes to matched play that Mike’s described? Are you excited about the upcoming app? Let us know what you’re looking forward to most on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook page.
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!