Last week we looked at the stats around secondary scoring for Chaos faction secondaries in Arks of Omen – you can find that article here. This week we’re going to go through the remaining Xenos faction secondaries and look what’s working, what’s not, and how they stack up.
You can find these stats and more, as well as filter them by date and faction – by heading over to 40kstats.
What is a “Win More” Secondary Objective?
Before I dive into the numbers this week, I thought it would be cool to answer a reader question. Last week Book Golem posed the following on the Part 2 article:
I’ve been wondering, what’s the difference between a “win more” objective and one that rewards you for doing what you were doing anyway? Is it just how easy they are to score when you’re on the back foot?
I’m going to take the long way around to answer this one. Generally speaking, there are a few ways we can think about secondaries and the types of things we want to do.
- When we talk about secondaries that reward you for what you were doing anyways, we are talking about secondaries that align with your existing game plan. A good example of this is taking Bring it Down against Knight armies. There’s pretty much no way you can win those games without killing knights, and BiD rewards you for each kill. As you make progress, the secondary rewards you for. Contrast that with something like Retrieve Data, which has you putting units in each quarter to action, something that has very little bearing on your normal game plan.
- When we talk about win more secondaries, we’re talking about secondaries that only score lots of VP when you are already likely to win the game. Despoiled Ground is the primary example here because it rewards the Death Guard player at game’s end for holding every objective and being in every table quarter, something the slow, elite army is only likely to do if it’s rolling over an opponent with little resistance. Compare that to something like Pile the Skulls for World Eaters, which may be the most inevitable secondary in the game. If you are killing the opponent, you gain Blood Tithe Points to spend on the secondary. If you are getting killed, you are also getting Blood Tithe Points to spend on the secondary. Even in a losing game, this secondary is likely to net you 12+ VP.
Here are some bonus ones:
- Passive Scoring refers to VP scoring you can do without interacting with your opponent. One of the reasons Raise the Banners High is such a good secondary is because it’s often easy to plant two banners on turn 1 and hold those objectives all game, scoring 10 VP without much resistance from an opponent.
- Kill Secondaries are the secondary objectives that score you VP for killing models or some type of unit, i.e. Bring it Down, Abhor the Witch, and No Prisoners. Whether it’s worth taking these depends more on the opponent than your own army much of the time.
Alright, let’s take a look at the Xenos secondaries.
Craftworlds Eldar lost Hidden Path coming into Arks of Omen, a secondary worth an average of 8.8 VP per game, though one that wasn’t taken very often.
Craftworlds players rely more on generic secondaries than almost any other faction in the game, and that hasn’t changed – only Scout the Enemy is the only secondary of theirs that sees real play despite the improvement for Scry Futures, and that only sees play in 39% of games. At 8.9 average VP, it’s about 1 point better on average than Raise the Banners for the armies that can score it.
As an army that’s both fast and filled with capable psykers, Craftworlds have better choices in the generic batch elsewhere, with Behind Enemy Lines as a solid pick most games. They can fill their third secondary slot with Warpcraft, using Warp Ritual and Psychic Interrogation, often in concert with Quickening to move a psyker into a dangerous position, complete the objective, then pull them back out.
The Drukhari already had their big secondary nerf the first time Nephilim hit and gutted Herd the Prey, which used to be one of the game’s most reliable secondaries. Now they’re in a similar boat to Craftworlds, only without the ability to supplement their generic picks with Warpcraft.
Herd the Prey was already struggling in Nephilim but with the changes to Behind Enemy Lines there’s little reason for Drukhari to take it when there are easier ways to score for Battlefield Supremacy. Take Them Alive! is the faction’s best option but remains an opponent-specific kill secondary pick.
Genestealer Cults are an army that seemed poised to do great things when their new codex released in February 2022, only to see their fortunes immediately drop with a schedule of insanely broken codexes that followed, including the co-released book for the Adeptus Custodes. The army is seeing something of a resurgence in Arks thanks to some very, very good secondary options.
Broodswarm may be the game’s most effective faction secondary, and it hasn’t changed from Nephilim. The end-of-turn scoring combined with some very easy conditions (having more models on the battlefield, and in each potential zone) where you only need to hit 3 per turn to max makes it very reliable and easy to score, and the Arks changes in detachment structure and point costs make it even easier to field more models.
On top of that Ambush got a big boost in arks, with segments scoring 2 VP and a cap of 5 per turn. The net result is an army that has been pushed into more of a shooting role and has two of the game’s best secondaries and can easily perform actions for Shadow Operations or attempt Warpcraft as a backup. Put those together and you can see how the army immediately jumped a tier or two in Arks.
The Harlequin secondaries changed a little bit in Arks. Take Your Places was adjusted to require your objectives not be within 3″ of other markers instead of 1″, making it harder to double up, Weave Veil was tweaked to start at WC 4, and Deadly Performance changed to only count CORE units in your opponent’s DZ. On the whole these aren’t massive changes, but when you combine them with the army suddenly going to a 5+ invulnerable save.
This hits hardest for Take Your Places, which leans quite a bit more heavily on durability that the faction no longer possesses. And there’s little reason to take it as a Battlefield Supremacy pick when Behind Enemy Lines is sitting right there, ready for your army to score VP off it and generate command points. On the other hand, Deadly Performance and Weave Veil haven’t seen much movement, though that half-point drop could be due to either the increased difficulty or the faction debuffs.
Leagues of Votann
In the shift to Arks Votann lost the Grudge Match secondary objective, which was rarely picked and only worth an average of 6.8 VP per game. That’s hardly a loss for the faction as there are other more effective kill secondaries they can look to in the category in most match-ups.
The Ancestors are Watching remains the faction’s best secondary pick, averaging 10.8 VP per game and a higher amount in Arks than Nephilim, though there’s a smaller sample size to work with here compared to other factions. The Votann secondaries didn’t change aside from the removal of Grudge Match, so it’s likely their changes in average scoring are due to external factors.
After terrorizing the Nephilim circuit with their insane secondary scoring, Necrons got a major nerf in Arks. They lost Code of Combat, a 9.9-point average secondary that saw play in 39% of games and was often very easy to score with the Silent King picking off units, and their key faction traits were adjusted such that the ObSekh Dynasty build (Relentlessly Expansionist + Eternal Conquerers) was no longer viable. This was all in the service of changing things up for an army that would easily score 100 VP in games where it went first. Check out this chart I made last December for an article that got shelved:
Necrons could be downright miserable to play against if you weren’t prepared for them, and going up against them in events where Battle Points were often used for tiebreakers basically meant your army had to have a way to score 100 VP to reasonably compete. (Note: Sisters see a major spike in this if you drop the chart to 97+ VP, as they had a secondary that capped at 12. They’d score 97+ VP 12% of the time, while Necrons would hit that number 20% of the time).
As we’ll see however, the faction still has plenty of solid scoring options in Arks.
On top of the faction nerfs, all three of their remaining secondaries were adjusted downward. Ancient Machineries can’t be done by vehicles (though it can still be done by Scarabs and Wraiths), and doesn’t finish end of game but it still scores 4 VP each time you do it and completes at the end of turn with an ObSec unit (which all your units are), so it hasn’t changed much in terms of scoring. Treasures of Aeons dropped to only scoring 4 VP for controlling all three markers, so it’s harder to max and that’s reflected in the 1.2 VP drop in average scoring.
The big loser here is Purge the Vermin, which now requires units be wholly within and can’t be scored in the first battle round, making it substantially worse. It’s now much more easily replaced by a kill secondary in many matchups and potentially a worse pick than Behind Enemy Lines against many opponents.
The Orks lost one major secondary – Da Biggest and Da Best – but saw improvements to Get Da Good Bitz (why?) and Green Tide. Biggest and the Best was a relatively common pick but not particularly great, especially in lists taking Ghaz, so its removal wasn’t the end of the world, particularly as Ork players can take kill secondaries in its place.
Get Da Good Bitz is now one of the game’s best secondaries, a near auto-pick for the faction and worth an average of 12.3 VP per game. While it may only complete at the start of your next Command phase, getting 4 VP per action (to a max of 6 per round) means that on most maps, getting 6 VP with this action is inevitable and getting 10-14 is almost certain. Green Tide helps this by rewarding you for something you already wanted to do – putting models in each quarter – and it’s easier to score now that you only have to be 3″ away from other table quarters. These can be supplemented with Kill and Psychic secondaries as needed.
None of the T’au secondary objectives changed going into Arks, keeping things consistent for the faction as it saw some minor nerfs, mostly the in form of nerfs to flyers that prevent bombers from being the dominating force they were at the end of Nephilim.
The biggest shift here is for A Clean Victory, which was already a rare pick for the faction and not worth much in terms of average VP.
The Tyranids were something of a terror of the meta heading into Arks, and so rightfully saw some nerfs on a number of fronts. Synaptic Insight became a bit harder to score, requiring a tally of 5+ to score VP, and Cranial Feasting saw a tweak to the roll to regain CP.
Synaptic Insight made an already bad secondary worse, and as a result it just doesn’t see play. But that’s pretty much the story for all of the Tyranid secondaries and the faction, similar to Craftworlds, just tends to rely on generic secondaries for scoring, where they have a good mix of mobility, damage, action economy, and durable psychic characters.
Wrapping it All Up
That wraps up our look at secondary objectives. As always, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.