Hammer of Math April 8, 2024: Fixed vs. Tactical Secondary Missions and Scoring

Hello, Dear Reader, and welcome to Hammer of Math, our weekly look at statistics and math in Warhammer 40,000. “Primaris” Kevin Genson is out this week, so I’m back to talk about some of the data we’ve been collecting from Tabletop Battles. We’ve talked about some of this data previously – most notably with regard to holding and discarding secondary missions – but we haven’t looked at that since August, right after the big Leviathan update gave us updated scoring for Deploy Teleport Homers and Behind Enemy Lines. We’re overdue for a revisit.

All of the stats here come from our own 40kstats website, aggregating data collected in the Tabletop Battles App.

Tactical vs. Fixed

When we did our original analysis, we found that players were picking fixed missions about 29% of the time. Since then, Tactical secondary missions have become more popular – Fixed mission were only chosen around 15% of the time since August, though this varies significantly by faction.

There isn’t a noteworthy correlation between choosing fixed and winning, though it’s worth noting that some armies are more likely to take Fixed secondaries. These tend to be faster armies with lots of Deep Striking units which can help score both Teleport Homers and Engage on All Fronts – Tyranids can do this with the spore mines launched from Biovores, Daemons and Death Guard have Nurglings, and Aeldari armies have Swooping Hawks.

When it comes to fixed secondary scoring, Bring It Down remains the top choice, though is chosen in only 47% of games where Fixed is taken. That makes sense, as for many players the plan for Fixed is “Teleport Homers + Kill Secondary” as a pair of choices, and against factions like Knights or Tyranids the volume of vehicle/monster targets will make Bring It Down a great accompaniment. The average for Bring It Down here is 14.4 VP, suggesting that you should really only be choosing it as a fixed secondary when you think it can net you at least 15 VP, and the full 20 are possible. Some factions – such as Adepta Sororitas and Aeldari – average more than 15 VP when taking Fixed Bring It Down.

On that note, Deploy Teleport Homer is the most common selection, showing up nearly two-thirds of the time Fixed missions are picked and driving an average of 14.2 VP per game. That’s pretty nuts, and showcases how strong the secondary is after its buff in the Leviathan GT pack. In similar fashion, Behind Enemy Lines is third here, but only picked 16% of the time. That’s because it’s a much more intentional pick; armies running Homers and Behind Enemy Lines are often built for it, able to nearly guarantee 38 VP per game on secondaries (Aeldari players take Behind Enemy Lines in 27% of their games, and average 12.9 VP for it). These armies effectively put their opponents on a clock, forcing their enemies to come interact with them.

On the whole, scoring is a bit higher for Fixed than Tactical – 24 VP vs. 23 VP – but it’s worth noting that Fixed selections tend to happen when it seems clear that a player will score more with them before the game begins, so there’s some selection bias there.

When it comes to Tactical Mission Scoring, more potential points don’t always translate to higher average scores – Capture Enemy Outpost awards 8 VP but is only scored in about one-third of games in which it is drawn. On the other side of things, Extend Battle Lines may as well be free. Given the average value of each secondary, players appear to be scoring an average of 7-8 Tactical Secondaries per game.


Once something we worried about as a destabilizing force in competitive play, Gambits just didn’t get much play when it was all said and done. Together Gambits have been chosen in fewer than 1% of 40k games, and among those, only Orbital Strike Coordinates has any play, averaging a 17.6% success rate. That said, players only win about one quarter of the games in which they pick a gambit and also succeed on it, so even when it’s possible to accomplish and you make the roll, chances are you’ve still lost big. It seems like we shouldn’t have worried about Gambits, but they’ve also mostly failed as a mechanic meant to add excitement to losing efforts.

The Impact of Deployment

While our data is a bit more limited on the interaction between deployment zone, primary objectives, secondary missions, and faction played, we can make some initial conclusions from the data we’ve collected on smaller numbers of games.

Some deployments are a little better than others for scoring, and Dawn of War seems to be particularly bad for Fixed scoring at the moment – though there are confounding factors here. One is the area – The Dawn of War Deployment Map offers the second-smallest deployment zones in terms of total area, while also being much more spread out than Search and Destroy, where Deployment Zones are only 18″ apart. This can make it harder to score Behind Enemy Lines and Deploy Teleport Homers, and Homers is a much less popular pick on Dawn of War Deployments.

The other major confounding factor here is the primary mission and mission special rules, which can have a major impact. The Ritual in particular can play havoc on this, as it’s often paired with Scrambler Fields in the Leviathan GT missions pack.

What we end up finding is that The Ritual is the highest-scoring mission for Fixed Secondaries – in part because this is a mission where the Storm Hostile Objective secondary objective shines. It’s a more common and higher-scoring secondary choice on this mission and is a top-scoring pick more often.

Some quick additional notes:

  • On the whole, Engage On All Fronts ends up being a top pick in the most missions, and ends up being the top pick the most often on missions using Crucible of Battle and Search and Destroy Deployments, where it’s easiest for players to immediately be in three different table quarters without spreading themselves too thin.
  • Storm Hostile Objective is most likely to be the top-scoring pick on missions with Crucible of Battle or Hammer and Anvil deployment and almost never the top pick on Sweeping Engagement.
  • Behind Enemy Lines is most likely to be a top-scoring pick on Hammer and Anvil and Search and Destroy deployment maps.
  • Cleanse is most likely to be a top-scoring pick on Crucible of Battle and Search and Destroy maps, and almost never the top pick on Sweeping Engagement.
  • Deploy Teleport Homer is most likely to be a top pick on Sweeping Engagement deployment maps and nothing else.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately there isn’t a single “one size fits all” solution here – top players recommend you look at the opposing faction while you’re planning secondary missions – most circumstances will dictate how to handle that moving forward.  Most players tend to pick Tactical missions, but when choosing Fixed  Secondary objectives opt for “Homers and Kill” as their option. This is a solid alternative play – at worst, if you think you can hold the middle from turn 1 that’s 15 VP you can score off the “easy” version of homers, and if you can manage 20 on Bring it Down or Assassination you’ll end up with a respectable 35.

The dynamics behind going with most/always fixed are a bit different, and have changed substantially since the Q1 dataslate, when changes to allied units made it much harder for Chaos factions to reliably bring units like The Blue Scribes or the Changeling to act as Lone Operative action doers for dropping homers and ending up Behind Enemy Lines.

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