Hammer of Math: Warhammer 40k Leviathan Secondary Missions

This week’s Hammer of Math takes a look at the distribution of goals within the Tactical Missions option for Secondary Missions of the Warhammer 40k Leviathan Mission Deck.

One of the most significant changes in 10th Edition was the creation of a Secondary Missions deck that dramatically changes how players score points. As opposed to the 9th Edition approach of an absolutely insane number of secondaries that a player could craft their army towards (and which became a significant source of imbalance courtesy of some factions getting easily scored secondaries), players in 10th Edition can either choose from a limited number of Fixed Missions or have the option for dynamic scoring courtesy of Tactical Missions. The consensus here at the Goonhammer Brain Trust is that Tactical Missions are way more fun, especially because it means an army needs to be balanced towards taking on a variety of tasks instead of doing one thing really well.

Legio Astorum Warhound.
Go ahead. Bring It Down. Credit: NotThatHenryC

How Tactical Missions Work

After Attacker and Defender are determined, the players receive their respective Secondary Mission deck. The Secondary Mission decks are identical, and there are a total of 16 Secondary Missions, seven of which are Fixed.

Before the game, each player chooses two mission cards from their deck. If a player is picking Fixed missions, they’ll select two with the Fixed Mission icon on them and place them face down. If instead a player chooses Tactical Missions, they then pick any two Secondary Missions that do not have the Fixed Mission symbol and place them face down – these are only used to make the selection without alerting the opponent to your strategy.

Once secondaries are selected both players reveal their cards, players on Tactical shuffle their decks (including the cards they used to indicate they’ll be playing Tactical missions), and the battle begins. In Tactical Missions, a Secondary Mission is discarded as soon as it is scored (which occurs at the end of the player’s turn). At the start of each of the players’s Command Phase, they draw enough cards from the Secondary Missions deck to ensure they have two Secondary Missions in front of them. Players have access to the New Orders Stratagem for 1 CP that allows them to discard a secondary mission and draw a new one at the end of a Command phase, but they may only do it once per battle.

Secondary Missions

Secure No Man’s Land: Score VP if you control one or two objective markers in No Man’s Land.

Capture Enemy Outpost: Control one or more objective markers in your opponent’s deployment zone.

Extend Battle Lines: Control at least one objective marker in your deployment zone as well as No Man’s Land.

Defend Stronghold: Control objective markers in your deployment zone. Cannot be scored in the first round and is replaced if you draw it in the first battle round.

Investigate Signals: A unit that is chosen to not be able to shoot or charge is located wholly within 9” of the corner of the battlefield.

Overwhelming Force: Destroy enemy units that started the turn within range of an objective marker.

No Prisoners: Destroy enemy units.

A Tempting Target: Control an objective marker in No Man’s Land that was selected by your opponent.

Area Denial: Have a unit wholly within 6” of the center of the battlefield with no enemy units within 6” or 3” of the center.

Bring It Down (Fixed): Destroy enemy VEHICLE or MONSTER units.

Storm Hostile Objective (Fixed): Either control an objective marker that was previously controlled by your opponent, or control an objective marker that you did not control at the start of the turn while your enemy was not controlling any objective markers.

Engage on All Fronts (Fixed): Have one or more more units that aren’t Battle-shocked in three or more different table quarters that are positioned more than 3” away from any other table quarter. You score more for having a unit in all four corners.

Behind Enemy Lines (Fixed): Have two or more units wholly within your opponent’s deployment zone.

Assassination (Fixed): Kill an enemy CHARACTER unit, or enemy has no such units remaining.

Cleanse (Fixed): One or two objective markers are controlled by units which are chosen not to be able to shoot or charge.

Deploy Teleport Homer (Fixed): A unit that is chosen to not be able to shoot or charge is positioned within the enemy deployment zone or 6” of the center.

Tyrant Guard. Credit: Rockfish
Good for countering Assassinate! Credit: Rockfish

Distribution of Goals

Seven of the Secondary Missions are objective marker focused, requiring that units be able to maneuver to a particular target and provide sufficient Objective Control to capture the point from your opponent. Abilities that allow a unit to maintain control while leaving, like Intercessors, can help a unit to effectively be in more than one place at the same time. 5 other Secondary Missions are also location based but do not require any kind of Objective Control. That means you have a 3 in 4 chance of picking a Secondary Mission that is dependent on being able to control objectives or go to specific locations. Two of the missions (1 in 8 chance) rely on units which will be unable to shoot or charge, which can be challenging for armies that have a small number of units.

The remaining 4 Secondary Missions (1 in 4) are kill-based. Note that only one Secondary MIssion (Bring It Down) is impossible to achieve if your opponent doesn’t have any MONSTER or VEHICLE units; if that’s the case the only way to get rid of it is through New Orders or discarding it at the end of your turn. This can lead to some tough spots if you’ve already used the New Orders Stratagem on another secondary mission. If your opponent only has a few relevant targets then it may be worth taking Bring It Down as one of your first turn options. Assassination is also interesting because depending on the faction, it may be possible to use only a single CHARACTER and hide the Warlord until the end of the game.

Rainbow Warriors Drop Pod Devaststor Squad by Craig “MasterSlowPoke” Sniffen

Wrapping Up

10th Edition Warhammer 40k is taking a new approach with Tactical Missions, and the way that these dynamic Secondary Missions can drive army composition and change the course of the battlefield is pretty cool. When creating an army with Tactical Missions in mind, it’s important to consider that the majority of the Secondary Missions require units to be positioned in specific locations, and almost half of them require controlling an objective marker. Only 1 in 8 of the Secondary Missions can be mitigated through army composition, either by limiting the number of CHARACTER units and hiding them or by taking no MONSTER or VEHICLE units. The fact that New Orders can only be used once per game makes it particularly important to consider the risk of drawing a new Secondary Mission if your opponent’s army has a limited number of viable targets for Bring It Down.

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