Hammer of Math: Arks of Omen Secondary Objectives

This week’s Hammer of Math takes a look at 50% of the scoring within an Arks of Omen Grand Tournament game; the secondary objectives.

One of the biggest challenges for new players within competitive 40k is grasping the sheer number of variables involved, and no example of that is more prevalent than in the secondary objective system. In a typical 2,000-point game with a 100 possible victory points, players will be fighting over 5 to 6 objective markers that drive 45 points’ worth of primary objective scoring. Taking away the 10 points that are awarded for slapping three colors on your models, that leaves the remaining 45 points for the three secondary objectives each player selects (with a cap of 15 point per secondary). Understanding those secondary objectives and how they drive army composition and strategy is essential to competitive play. Often the most successful armies in a given season are the ones that either have a reliable way to maximize their secondary points, are so egregiously lethal that they can wipe out their opponent, or sometimes both.

Arks of Omen restricts secondary objectives to only the 96 available in the Chapter Approved Book. Every faction has access to the eleven generic secondaries, and most also have three faction-specific objectives. The exception are those factions with the ADEPTUS ASTARTES and TRAITORIS ASTARTES keywords. They gain access to three Astartes level faction secondaries (which are different for loyalists and traitors), as well an individual secondary specific to their Chapter or Legion. Note that this mess does not apply to Grey Knights (who have the SANCTIS ASTARTES keyword), nor the three Chaos Chapters who have their own book (Death Guard, World Eaters, and Thousand Sons), who have the HERETIC ASTARTES keyword but not the TRAITORIS ASTARTES. Yes, it gave me a headache the first time I read it too.

World Eaters Butcher. Credit: Jack Hunter

The Data

I took the liberty of reading all 96 secondary objectives and tabulating them below. The rest of this article will be discussing some findings from the table; I welcome the reader to grab a copy for themselves and see if they find anything of note to add to the comments below (or to tell me where I made a mistake).

  • Category: The type of secondary objective (Shadow Operations, Warpcraft, etc).
  • Faction: The faction which can use the secondary. “All” can be used by everyone. Note that Space Marines and Chaos Space Marines get access to their chapter specific secondary as well as ADEPTUS ASTARTES and TRAITORIS ASTARIS respectively.
  • Name: The secondary name. Self explanatory. I hope.
  • Goal: The primary goal of the secondary objective. Can be Kill, Action, Position, Objective, Multiple, or Other.
  • Theoretical Maximum VP: The absolute theoretical max that a particular secondary can achieve, ignoring that all secondary objectives are capped at 15 VP.
  • Minimum Rounds to Maximize: The minimum number of rounds required for a player to achieve the maximum points possible, which is either 15 VP or less if the secondary specifies a lower level.
  • Player Army Influence: If the army composition of the player’s army influences the viability of the secondary. For example needing a Troop unit to get a better chance of succeeding at Retrieve Battlefield Data.
  • Enemy Army Influence: If the enemy army composition influences the viability of the secondary. For example needing PSYKER targets for Abhor the Witch or World Eaters getting bonus VP if they kill certain units for Blood for the Blood God.

CategoryFactionNameGoalTheoretical Maximum VPMinimum Rounds to MaximizePlayer Army InfluenceEnemy Army InfluenceNotes
Purge The EnemyAllAssassinationKill0YesYesDefault. 3 VP per CHARACTER, 1 VP for WARLORD, if Troops/Armigers/War Dogs killed a CHARACTER 1 CP at end of round.
Purge The EnemyAllBring It DownKill0NoYesVP by Wounds: 1-9: 1, 10-14: 2, 15-19: 3, 20+: 4
No Mercy, No RespiteAllGrind Them DownKill155YesYesDefault. 3 VP if more enemy than friendly killed each round, if Troops/Armigers/War Dogs killed a unit 1 CP at end of round.
No Mercy, No RespiteAllNo PrisonersKill0NoYes1 VP per 10 Wounds of destroyed models (excluding VEHICLE, MONSTER, or CHARACTER). +1 VP at 50 and 100.
WarpcraftAllAbhor the WitchKill0YesYes3 VP per PSYKER CHARACTER, 2 VP per non-character PSYKER.
WarpcraftAllWarp RitualAction123YesNoWC 4 Psychic Action within 6" of center. 3 VP if done once, 7 VP if done twice, 12 VP if done three times.
WarpcraftAllPsychic InterrogationAction155YesYesWC 5 Psychic Action within 24" of visible enemy CHARACTER. 3 VP per success. Potential to gain 1 VP if test high enough.
Battlefield SupremacyAllBehind Enemy LinesPosition203YesNoDefault. 3 VP at end of player turn if one non-AIRCRAFT unit is in enemy deployment zone. 4VP if two or more. 1 CP per round if unit is Troops/Armgers/War Dogs.
Battlefield SupremacyAllEngage on All FrontsPosition155NoNoAt end of player turn, 2 VP if qualifying unit is in three table quarters and 6" away from other quarters. 3 VP if units in all quarters and 3" away from other quarters.
Shadow OperationsAllRaise the Banners HighObjective362YesNoINFANTRY units can perform action to raise banner on marker. 1 VP each Command phase and end of game per banner. Banner can be removed.
Shadow OperationsAllRetrieve Battlefield DataAction124YesNoAction performed in each quarter (6" away from others); bonus to occur if Troops. 2 VP if 2 quarters, 8 VP if 3, 12 VP if 4.
Purge The EnemyAdeptus AstartesCodex WarfareKill0NoNoKill VP based on weapon and doctrine. 2 VP per Devastator, 1 VP per Tactical, 1 VP per Assault.
Battlefield SupremacyAdeptus AstartesShock TacticsObjective204NoNo4 VP per round if you control a marker previously controlled by opponent.
No Mercy, No RespiteAdeptus AstartesOaths of MomentMultiple204NoNoEnd of round: 1 VP if CHARACTER, VEHICLE, or MONSTER killed. 1 VP if no failed Morale/Fall Back. 2 VP if unit wholly within 6" of center.
No Mercy, No RespiteBlack TemplarsCarry Out Your VowsMultiple173YesYes4 VP per round if more enemy units killed by BT melee than BT destroyed. 5 VP based on Vow conditions.
Battlefield SupremacyBlood AngelsRelentless AssaultPosition204YesYes4 VP per turn if more BA units in enemy DZ than enemy units in friendly DZ.
Battlefield SupremacyDark AngelsStubborn DefianceObjective155NoNoSelect marker not in friendly DZ; escalating VP per consecutive turn controlled by ObSec DA unit.
Purge The EnemyDeathwatchCull OrderKill150NoYesSelect 3 Battlefield Roles; 5 VP at end of game if every enemy unit with that role is destroyed.
Shadow OperationsImperial FistsBolster BarricadesObjective170YesNoAction performed by one or more CORE INFANTRY within marker to barricade. 1 VP if in friendly DZ, 4 VP if in No Man's Land. INFANTRY near barricaded marker get Light and Heavy Cover.
No Mercy, No RespiteIron HandsCold FuryMultiple204YesNoMax 4 VP per turn based on VEHICLE position (enemy DZ and center) and kills (melee and ranged).
Shadow OperationsRaven GuardSecure or SabotageObjective180YesNoAction performed by CORE INFANTRY within marker to plant explosives. 3 VP per marker with explosives at end of game. Can blow up explosives.
No Mercy, No RespiteSalamandersThe Promethium CreedMultiple502YesNoSelect marker not in friendly DZ. 2 VP per Command phase if controlled by CORE INFANTRY, plus VP per turn (both player and friendly) based on units near marker being attacked or attacking.
Battlefield SupremacySpace WolvesWarrior PridePosition155NoNo3 VP at end of player turn if two or more SW units are within Engagement Range or completed a charge outside of friendly DZ.
Shadow OperationsUltramarinesWe March for MacraggeObjective240YesNoAction performed by one or more CORE INFANTRY near marker and completed next turn. 4 VP per marker claimed. Markers can only be claimed once.
Purge The EnemyWhite ScarsLightning StrikeKill203NoYesAt the end of player turn, 1 VP per unit destroyed by charging melee attack, 3 VP if unit was CHARACTER or MONSTER, 1 VP per unit destroyed by range from Advancing unit. Max 5 VP per round.
Battlefield SupremacyAdepta SororitasDefend the ShrineObjective155NoNo3 VP per turn controlling selected marker not in friendly DZ. -3 VP if enemy controls at the end of the battle.
No Mercy, No RespiteAdepta SororitasA Leap of FaithOther124NoNoAt the end of each round, sacrifice a Miracle Dice to gain 1-3 VP based on value of die.
Shadow OperationsAdepta SororitasSacred GroundsObjective260YesNoOne or more INFANTRY units can perform action to consecrate marker. Consecrated markers grant Inspiring (ADEPTUS MINISTORUM) trait and provide VP at end of game. 1 VP if in friendly DZ, 4 VP otherwise.
Purge The EnemyAdeptus CustodesAuric MortalisKill150NoYesSelect most valuable enemy unit (or PRIMARCH/SUPREME COMMANDER). 5 VP if destroyed. 5 VP if destroyed by melee attack. 5 VP if destroyed by melee attack outside of friendly DZ.
No Mercy, No RespiteAdeptus CustodesMight of TerraKill204YesYes4 VP at end of battle round if one or more enemy units were destroyed and no Custodes units were destroyed.
Battlefield SupremacyAdeptus CustodesStand VigilObjective155NoNo3 VP at end of battle round if player controls more markers in No Man's Land than enemy.
Purge The EnemyAdeptus MechanicusAccretion of KnowledgeKill0NoYes3 VP per enemy killed if they have a Warlord Trait, Relic, and/or are a VEHICLE with 8 or more wounds.
No Mercy, No RespiteAdeptus MechanicusEradication of FleshKill204YesYesScore 4 VP at end of battle round if more enemy units with killed by AM VEHICLES than AM VEHICLES were destroyed by enemy units.
Battlefield SupremacyAdeptus MechanicusHidden ArcheovaultObjective253NoNoOpponent selects marker not in their DZ. 5 VP at the end of each turn AM controls that marker with an AM unit within range.
Purge The EnemyAstra MilitarumBy Lasgun and BayonetKill0NoNo1 VP for every enemy unit that started within range of an OM is destroyed by an AM unit.
Battlefield SupremacyAstra MilitarumBoots on the GroundPosition203YesNoAfter first turn, score 1 VP per table quarter with a PLATOON INFANTRY wholly within it. 1 VP if a REGIMENTAL STANDARD unit is either wholly within 6" of the center or in enemy DZ.
No Mercy, No RespiteAstra MilitarumInflexible CommandMultiple253YesNoAt the end of player turn, 2 VP if every PLATOON INFANTRY is within 6" of OFFICER, 1 VP if every SQUADRON is within 12" of OFFICER, 2 VP if enemy units were destroyed by AM unit affected by an Order.
Battlefield SupremacyImperial KnightsYield No GroundMultiple155NoNoAt the end of player turn, 1 VP if you control half or more of the markers, 1 VP if no enemy units are in friendly DZ, and 1 VP if no IK units ended turn closer to your edge than at the start and no units Fell Back.
No Mercy, No RespiteImperial KnightsHonour of the HouseOther135NoNoAt the end of the battle round, 2 VP if you have 6 Honour points or more than you started. At end of battle +3 VP if Virtuous, +2 VP if Honoured, -3 VP if Dishounoured.
Shadow OperationsImperial KnightsRenew the OathsAction253YesNoPerform action within 6" of the center; completed and end of turn if unit is still 6" within center. 3 VP if action performed by non-TITANIC model, 4 VP if TITANIC, +1 VP if performed by CHARACTER. Gain 1 Honour Point on a 4+.
Purge The EnemyGrey KnightsDestroy the DaemonKill0NoYesVP based on killing Daemons; 5 VP if PRIMARCH, 3 VP if MONSTER or VEHICLE, 1 VP otherwise.
No Mercy, No RespiteGrey KnightsTeleport AssaultKill253NoNo5 VP at the end of each battle round that one or more enemy units were killed by a GK model that was set up by teleportation.
WarpcraftGrey KnightsPurifying RitualAction254YesNoWC 6 psychic action to purify objective markers. Scored per turn; 1 VP per marker up to 4.
Purge The EnemyTraitoris AstartesRise to GloryKill253NoYesEnd of battle round score 3VP per CHARACTER, VEHICLE, or MONSTER destroyed with bonus VP if more Wounds or TITANIC. Max 5 VP per round. Melee attacks by CHARACTER models can generate CP.
No Mercy, No RespiteTraitoris AstartesThe Long WarMultiple204NoNoMax 4 VP per turn; 1 VP for enemy units destroyed in range of markers, 2 VP if you control a marker previous controlled by enemy.
Shadow OperationsTraitoris AstartesFor the Dark GodsAction144YesNoOnce per turn, one INFANTRY or BIKER unit within 6" of the center of a table quarter can dedicate it to a particular Chaos God. At the end of the game score 2, 5, 9, or 14 VP depending on number of quarters. ObSec units complete the action faster and there's a Ld bonus to certain units.
Shadow OperationsAlpha LegionInfiltrate and SubvertObjective154YesNoOne non-CHARACTER INFANTRY unit perform an action to subvert a marker. Unit has to be wholly within 6" of enemy DZ. If the action is completed and the unit is near a marker then it can subvert that marker on a 4+ (5+ if CULTIST). Enemy can't control subverted markers or perform actions nearby. 3VP when the action is completed, or 4 VP if wholly within enemy DZ.
Shadow OperationsBlack LegionDespoil DominionsObjective214YesNoOne INFANTRY or BIKER can perform an action to despoil a marker; enemy units have actions on a 4+ while in range of it. 1 VP if marker in friendly DZ, otherwise 4 VP.
Purge The EnemyCreations of BileSpecimens for the SpiderKill263NoYesScored at the end of each round. 3 VP if one or more CHARACTER or MONSTER is killed by a melee attack, 2 VP if one or more other units are destroyed by melee. Single bonus VP at the end of the battle if a destroyed unit was ASTARTES.
No Mercy, No RespiteEmperor's ChildrenAdorn the Canvas EclecticMultiple402YesYesScored at the end of each turn. 1 VP for each condition; control more markers, kill one or more enemy units by ranged, kill one or more enemy units by melee, one or more enemy CHARACTER units was destroyed by a friendly CHARACTER unit.
Shadow OperationsIron WarriorsMasters of DemolitionAction163YesNoOpponent sets up 3 special markers with some limitations. One IW non-CHARACTER INFANTRY unit can perform an action to demolish the marker; 4 VP per marker demolished and 4 bonus VP if marker was within 6" of opponent's deployment zone.
No Mercy, No RespiteNight LordsSow the Seed, Reap the FearOther0NoNo1 VP every time an enemy unit fails a Morale test, Falls Back, or fails an action. Gain 1 VP each time enemy unit is destroyed by melee and a 2D6 roll is equal to or better than unit's Leadership characteristic.
Shadow OperationsRed CorsairsRaid and ReaveMultiple240YesNoOne or more INFANTRY or BIKER units can perform action to raid marker (1-3 VP depending on location), and if raiding unit survives to end of game gain 1 VP or 2 VP if unit is within friendly DZ.
Shadow OperationsWord BearersExalt the Dark GodsAction154YesNoOne INFANTRY unit can perform action within 6" of center of battlefield. 3, 5, 9, or 15 VP dependign on number of times performed.
Purge The EnemyWorld EatersBlood for the Blood GodKill204NoYesAt the end of each round, earn VP based on units killed in melee assuming no WE units Fell Back. 2 VP for MONSTER, CHARACTER, or VEHICLE and 1 VP otherwise. Maximum 4 VP per round.
No Mercy, No RespiteWorld EatersThe Blood God's DueKill602NoYes1 VP every turn for every objective marker that had a non-VEHICLE unit destroyed within range of that marker.
Battlefield SupremacyWorld EatersPile the SkullsOther253NoNoScore 2 VP (maximum 5 VP per round) for every Blood Tithe point sacrificed before purchasing Blessings of the Blood God.
No Mercy, No RespiteDeath GuardFleeing VectorsKill602YesNoAt the end of each turn score 2 VP if 7+ models were destroyed by DG; additional VP if 7+ models killed by plague weapons. Score 2 VP if 1+ enemy units failed a Morale test, with bonus VP if those units lost models from attacks with plague weapons.
Battlefield SupremacyDeath GuardDespoiled GroundPosition120NoNoScore 3 VP at the end of the battle for the following; 1+ DG units wholly within opponent AND friendly DZs, 1+ DG units wholly within 3 table quarters, 1+ units wholly within 4 quarters, control half or more of the markers and DG units are in range.
Shadow OperationsDeath GuardSpread the SicknessObjective234YesNoOne INFANTRY unit can perform an action near a marker to contaminate it; ObSec units automatically contaminate otherwise it's a 4+. 3VP per contaminated marker in friendly DZ, otherwise 4 VP.
Purge The EnemyThousand SonsSorcerous ProwessKill0YesYesGain VP by killing in Psychic Phase. 5 VP per enemy PSYKER CHARACTER, 3 VP per enemy PSYKER, 2 VP otherwise.
WarpcraftThousand SonsMutate LandscapeObjective185YesNoOne unit can perform a WC 5 psychic acton in range of a marker to mutate it. 3 VP per mutated marker.
Shadow OperationsThousand SonsBurn EmpiresObjective240YesNoOne or more Non-CHARACTER INFANTRY units can perform an action near a marker to burn it and score 4 VP per burned marker.
Battlefield SupremacyChaos KnightsRuthless TyrannyObjective253NoNoEnd of player's turn; 2 VP if half or more of markers are controlled, 1 VP if half or more markers are in Dread range, 2 VP if every marker is in Dread range.
No Mercy, No RespiteChaos KnightsPath of DestructionKill204NoNoEnd of each round score 1 VP per enemy unit destroyed in different locations; friendly DZ, enemy DZ, no man's land. Bonus VP if all three conditions met.
Shadow OperationsChaos KnightsStorm of DarknessObjective165NoNoOne unit can perform action to curse marker and score 4 VP per marker. -1 Ld to non-CHAOS models within 9" of cursed marker.
Battlefield SupremacyChaos DaemonsReality RebelsPosition203NoNoEnd of player's turn score 1 VP per quarter if more friendly models wholly within quarter than enemy, and 1 VP if one or more LD wholly within 6" of center.
No Mercy, No RespiteChaos DaemonsNourished by TerrorKill0NoNoScore 1 VP each time an enemy model feels the battlefield. Score 1 VP per destroyed unit if a 2D6 roll exceeds unit's Leadership characteristic.
Shadow OperationsChaos DaemonsDespoilers of RealityObjective200YesNoOne or more INFANTRY units can perform action to corrupt markers not in friendly DZ. 4 VP per corrupted marker, gain Warp Storm point on D6 roll of 6+ with bonus for ICON or INSTRUMENT units.
No Mercy, No RespiteAsuryaniWrath of KhaineKill204YesNoAt the end of each round score 1 VP if ASPECT WARRIOR kills a unit with a ranged attack, 1 VP if a different ASPECT WARRIOR unit kills with a melee attack, 2 VP if both happen.
WarpcraftAsuryaniScry FuturesObjective155YesNoOne PSYKER unit can perform a WC 4 action to scry a marker that's in range; score 3 VP per scryed marker.
Shadow OperationsAsuryaniScout the EnemyAction204YesNoOne unit can perform action to score 2 VP if not wholly within enemy DZ or 4 VP if wholly within DZ. Unit cannot be within 6" of friendly DZ and RANGER units complete action faster.
Purge The EnemyDrukhariTake Them Alive!Kill203YesYes3 VP per CHARACTER or MONSTER killed by melee attack, 1 VP per other unit killed by melee attack, max 5 VP per round.
No Mercy, No RespiteDrukhariFear and TerrorKill0NoNo1 VP every time an enemy unit fails a Morale test, Falls Back, or fails an action. Gain 1 VP each time enemy unit is destroyed by melee and a 2D6 roll is equal to or better than unit's Leadership characteristic.
Battlefield SupremacyDrukhariHerd the PreyOther155NoNoAt the end of every friendly turn, score 1 VP for every table quarter that does not have en enemy unit wholly within it.
Battlefield SupremacyHarlequinsTake Your PlacesAction204NoNoThree additional markers are placed on the battlefied; score 2 VP if player controls 2 or more or 4 VP if they control all three.
No Mercy, No RespiteHarlequinsA Deadly PerformanceMultiple155YesNoScore 3 VP at the end of player turn if two or more conditions are met; control a marker previously not controlled, CORE unit wholly within enemy DZ, 2+ units destroyed by ranged attacks, 2+ units destroyed by melee attacks.
WarpcraftHarlequinsWeave VeilAction155YesYesOne SHADOWSEER unit performs a WC 4 action to veil an enemy unit within 18" that hasn't been veiled. WC increases by 1 each time a unit is veiled. 3 VP per completed action.
No Mercy, No RespiteTyranidsSynaptic InsightKill124YesYesScore VP based on models killed each round by SYNAPSE unit depending on WOUNDS characteristic. Maximum 3 VP per round, maximum 12 VP per battle.
Purge The EnemyTyranidsCranial FeastingKill0YesYesGain CP based on killing enemy CHARACTER or unit champions. At the end of the battle gain 3 VP if you gained a CP, 1 VP per enemy champion killed by melee, 3 VP per enemy CHARACTER killed by melee, and bonus 3 VP if enemy WARLORD was killed by melee attack made by a FEEDER TENDRILS model.
Shadow OperationsTyranidsSpore NodesAction204YesNoOne Troops unit can perform an action to deposit a Spore Node marker and score 4 VP. Markers have positional restrictions.
Battlefield SupremacyGenestealer CultsBroodswarmPosition253YesYesAt the end of the player's turn, score 1 VP per condition met; more models on battlefield than enemy, more models than enemy in enemy DZ, more models than enemy in your DZ, more models than enemy in no man's land, all four conditions apply.
Purge The EnemyGenestealer CultsAmbushKill253YesNoScore 2 VP (maximum 5 VP per round) for destroying enemy units with a crossfire marker, destroying enemy units by units that set up from ambush or underground, destroying enemy units by ranged attacks when enemy unit was Exposed.
Shadow OperationsGenestealer CultsSabotage Critical LocationAction202YesNoOpponent sets up 2 critical location markers on the battlefield. Non-CHARACTER INFANTRY or BIKER (excluding REDUCTUS SABOTEUR) can perform action to blow up marker. VP based on battle round each action is completed; sooner the better.
Shadow OperationsNecronsAncient MachineriesObjective204YesNoOne CORE INFANTRY, CORE BIKER, or CANOPTEK unit can perform an action near a marker not in the friendly DZ to awaken it. 4 VP per awakened marker.
Battlefield SupremacyNecronsPurge the VerminOther124NoYesAt the end of the player's turn score 1 VP for every quarter that has no enemy units within it, and 1 VP if no enemy units are in friendly DZ. Cannot be scored in the first round.
No Mercy, No RespiteNecronsThe Treasures of AeonsObjective204NoNoOpponent selects 3 markers not in their DZ unless no other options. Score 2, 3, or 4 VP at the end of the player's turn depending on how many markers they control.
Purge The EnemyOrksStomp 'Em GoodKill204YesYesScore 3 VP if more enemy units destroyed by melee attacks from ORKS than non-GRETCHIN units destroyed by melee attacks. Score 1 additional VP if at least 2 enemy units destroyed in this fashion and the number is at least double the number of non-GRETCHIN units destroyed.
Battlefield SupremacyOrksGreen TidePosition204YesNoAt the end of the player's turn, score 1 VP for every table quarter that contains at least 10 ORK models (excluding models within 3" of other table quarters).
Shadow OperationsOrksGet Da Good BitzAction303YesNoORK CORE units can perform an action near a marker that is not in a DZ; LOOTAS or GRETCHIN units complete the action faster. Score 4 VP per completed action, maximum 6 VP per battle round.
Battlefield SupremacyT'au EmpireDecisive ActionObjective123NoNo4 VP at the end of each player turn if you control half or more of the objective markers. If Mont'ka was selected then can be scored in rounds 1-3. If Kauyon was selected then can be scored in rounds 3-5.
No Mercy, No RespiteT'au EmpireA Clean VictoryKill123YesYesAt the end of each battle round score 1 VP if 1+ enemy units destroyed, and 3 VP if 3+ units destroyed. If Mont'ka was selected then can be scored in rounds 1-3. If Kauyon was selected then can be scored in rounds 3-5.
Shadow OperationsT'au EmpireAersopace Targeting RelaysAction150YesNoPlace four markers halfway along each battlefield edge. One or more INFANTRY units can perform an action to install a targeting relay if within 6" of that marker. 2, 6, 9, or 15 VP awarded depending on number of relays installed.
No Mercy, No RespiteLeagues of VotannThe Ancestors are WatchingKill452NoNoScore 2 VP in each phase that one or more enemy units with 1+ Judgement tokens were destroyed. +1 VP if the destroyed unit had 3 Judgement tokens. Lose 1 VP at the end of the battle for every enemy unit on the battlefield that has 1+ Judgement tokens.
Battlefield SupremacyLeagues of VotannLay ClaimObjective150NoNoOpponent sets up 3 markers with restrictions that include being outside their DZ. Score 5 VP for each special marker controlled by LoV.
Shadow OperationsLeagues of VotannProspects of WealthObjective184YesNoOne INFANTRY or BIKER can perform an action to prospect a marker. If completed roll a D6 and add 1 if the unit has the SCANNER keyword. On a 6+ the objective marker is a Rich Desposits marker. Score 3 VP every time the action is completed, and 3 VP if at the end of the battle you control a Rich Deposits marker.

Credit: Greg “Greggles” Hess

Distribution of Secondary Categories

Secondary Objectives are divided into five categories, and none of the three secondary objectives that a player selects for their army can be from the same category. Of the 96 secondaries in the book, 27% are under No Mercy, No Respite which is heavily focused on kills. 25% are Shadow Operations, which is evenly divided between secondaries that focus on specific actions and those that focus on objective markers. 23% fall under the Battlefield Supremacy category. These objectives are equally divided by focuses on unit positioning and objective markers. 18% are Purge the Enemy, which is purely about enemies killed. The remaining 7% are Warpcraft. Warpcraft secondaries are primarily psychic action-based.

Influence of Army Composition

It’s important to understand the level of agency that a player has over secondaries, particularly with respect to army composition. 45% of the universal secondaries (meaning those available to all factions) include an element that is driven by the composition of the defending army, particularly in terms of the more popular ones like Assassinate, Bring It Down, No Prisoners, and Abhor the Witch. If you expand the scope to all 96 of the secondaries then then percentage that are influenced by the enemy army skyrockets to 71%. This is because there are a large number of secondaries which rely on killing more enemy units than are lost, which is naturally harder to do against armies with smaller unit counts. The easier it is for your opponent to reach the cap of 15 VP the more likely they are to take a particular secondary.

  • Assassination targets CHARACTER models and rewards 3 VP per unit destroyed, plus 1 for the WARLORD. Counter this by avoiding excessive CHARACTER units, especially ones that are easily targeted. 3 CHARACTER units is enough to provide 10 VP if they’re all killed and it includes the WARLORD.
  • Bring It Down rewards killing MONSTER and VEHICLE units based on the Wounds characteristic of the destroyed model. The gates are 1 VP for 9 wounds or less, 2 VP for 10-14, 3 VP for 15-19, and 4 VP for 20 or more. While an inevitable secondary for those facing Knight players, others can make this option less appealing if they’re careful about what units they choose. For example, 9 Carnifexes sounds like a good target for this secondary, but they only giving up 9 VP.
  • No Prisoners is designed to counter horde armies, providing 1 VP for every 10 wounds of non-VEHICLE, MONSTER, or CHARACTER units destroyed. This secondary is highly army dependent. While few opponents will bring a hundred wounds worth of chaff for you to blow through, block of Necrons or large numbers of high wound models like Terminators or Tyranid Warriors can potentially make this secondary viable. The elimination of mandatory Troops and the presence of the Arks of Omen Detachment changes quite a bit.
  • Not taking any PSYKER models allows you to take Abhor the Witch and potentially gain a viable secondary depending on the enemy. On the other hand taking a PSYKER that you can protect might give you an option to use Warp Ritual or Psychic Interrogation depending on the opposition.

A significant portion (56% of all 96 and 73% of the universals) of secondaries are influenced in some way by the composition of the player’s army itself. As one would expect all of the Warpcraft secondaries are based on the presence or lack of a PSYKER, but several other secondaries include some kind of bonus based on other units. The default secondaries of Assassination, Grind them Down, and Behind Enemy Lines all provide a bonus CP if a Troop, Armiger, or War Dog unit is involved. Expanding the scope outside the universal secondaries we see that the majority of Action and Objective based secondaries are influenced by composition of the player’s army.

Alpha Legion Leviathan Dreadnought. Credit: Lupe

Theoretical Maximum VP

While each secondary is capped at 15 VP, secondaries which can theoretically earn more than that can be easier to achieve. The median value for all of the secondaries that have theoretical maximum (ignoring secondaries which are based on the number of units killed) is 20 VP. That value is true for all of the secondary categories as well, with the exception of Warpcraft which has a median value of 15 VP. The secondaries with the most potential are those which have the opportunity to go off on both the player and enemy turn such as Fleeing Vectors for Death Guard or The Blood God’s Due for World Eaters. Salamanders also have a secondary with a high ceiling with The Promethium Creed which awards VP every turn that a unit is attacked or attacking.

On the opposite side only 10 of the 96 secondary objectives had a theoretical maximum below the 15 VP cap. Many of these were capped due to a fixed value specified within the secondary, such as the 14 VP cap of For the Dark Gods or the 12 VP cap of Warp Ritual. Others were limited based on the rules of the secondary, such as both Decisive Action and A Clean Victory for the T’au which are limited to a maximum of three rounds of scoring. None of the secondaries cap out at less than 12 VP, although the T’au ones are the most restrictive in terms of opportunity.

Catch-up Secondaries and Lost Points

In addition to the maximum possible VP a secondary can score for you, it’s important to think about how those secondaries are scored and whether they can still be maxed out if you miss an opportunity. One example here is Grind Them Down where if you fail to score it in the first battle round you can’t get those points back and can now score a maximum of 12 VP for the secondary. Comparatively, if you miss scoring points for a secondary like Raise the Banners High, you can make those points up on a later turn by planting more banners. In general, secondaries that allow you to make up lost ground are going to be better than those that create lost points.

To provide some granularity for this factor, the chart above includes the minimum number of rounds required for the player to maximize scoring. On average Purge the Enemy secondaries were the easiest and needed an average of 1.35 rounds. Shadow Operations averaged 2.58 rounds, No Mercy, No Respite averaged 3 rounds, Battlefield Supremacy averaged 3.32, and Warpcraft took the most with an average of 3.86 rounds. In terms of factions Harlequins, Asuryani, and Imperial Knights got hit the worst; their three secondaries all require 4 or 5 rounds to maximize.

Iron Hands Infiltrators
Credit: head58

Wrapping Up

There’s a lot to digest here and I hope that you will find something useful in the table I put together. Perhaps it will serve as a useful reference when preparing for a game. It’s interesting to see both how diverse the secondaries are, and how several feature a common mechanic with varying results (including different factions getting similar goals but different rewards). How the numbers and viability of the secondaries pan out with the realities of the updated rules and points remains to be seen.

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