Among the many shakeups of 9th edition, one of the more interesting changes has been a new emphasis on different levels of game play. Yes, in older editions you could play at any scale you wanted, but the level of balance you could achieve was often very strange and/or unfair and if you elected to play an official mission you were stuck on a huge table with little to work with. Combat Patrol and Incursion-scale games now have official Matched Play missions all their own. In a somewhat surprising move, Incursion-level missions are also included in the Grand Tournament 2020 mission pack. For players looking for something that allows them to use their new models or just play a fast game, these new mission variants are very handy and fun. For players used to competitive games at large scale, you may find that these play levels and missions have a surprising amount of depth.
As we mentioned in our previous article on the subject, there are positive and negative aspects to the missions and game scale. The 44″ x 30″ board size can make things feel extremely claustrophobic and some of the objective placement is scaled for full board size which translates to objectives in odds locations. Considering they wanted to go with ease of use and “use the board size you want” it makes sense to standardize distances, but as you shrink the table for smaller games it just “looks” off. After some initial apprehension we’ve found that with fewer units to manage objectives keeping them distant (even occasionally at 1″ from the table edge) makes things a bit more interesting than a general clash at the center of the table. The need for multiple fast scoring units places a bit more weight on units that have flexibility, but interestingly also devalues the use of units with special movement abilities such as Infiltrators because just about any unit with a “normal” movement rate can make it a good way across the table in a single turn. As you might expect, units and factions that can assault after advancing can be extremely powerful when they have such little distance to cover.
Compared to the model-light Combat Patrol, Incursion greatly expands the possibilities for army construction by allowing any type of detachment(s) instead of locking you into a single Patrol. With 1000pts to work with most armies can fill out a solid core and then populate some of the more powerful and varied options. Given 6 Command Points (CP) to start, its possible to select more than one detachment (though choices beyond a Patrol might be too costly to be worth it). At this level a full game should last two players anywhere from 60-120 minutes depending on the army and player experience.
Be mindful of army construction and deployment – Incursion is a very different beast than a “normal” Strike Force game. The smaller board size that makes Combat Patrol more manageable and interesting makes Incursion-level games frantic and dangerous. For this reason (while not as frequent as Combat Patrol blow-outs) it is possible for one army to take advantage of the board-size and/or an unprepared opponent and clean house within the first turn or two. So long as you’re prepared, this can be enjoyable as a fast-paced alternative to a large scale game while still providing enough resources to provide some flex into factions benefits and play-styles. Players will need to make considerations for defensive positions, wraps, and counter-charge options in the event you come upon a fast melee opponent, which is a big draw at this level.
Another thing to keep in mind, provided you have control over it, is you will want an adequate amount of varied terrain on the table. We’ve touched on melee armies having a bit of a leg-up based on the table size, but a good use of terrain can blunt that using pieces with Difficult Ground such as craters and forests. Both armies will likely appreciate terrain that make it more difficult (Dense terrain) or impossible (Obscuring terrain) to hit their units. Try to make sure your terrain is relatively even across the table, but varied enough to make it interesting.
In the following section we’re going to discuss the official GW missions, split between the Eternal War missions from the Core Book and Grand Tournament 2020 (GT2020) mission pack.
Eternal War: Divide and Conquer
Beanith: Nothing special here, just a straight up brawl in the middle of the table over 4 objectives. The Lines of Demarcation Secondary is a bit of a trap requiring you to hold both A objectives for the full 5 turns to score max points. Maybe if you could score B at the same time as well then it could be a little more tempting to take.
Kevin: The orientation of the objectives makes this an absolute brawl as the straight line distance between A and B objectives is only 14″. Second turn charges are almost guaranteed, and a more melee-oriented army may want to go second so that the opponent is forced to move into the middle if they want a chance at getting any Primary VP. Ideally I would want to see a huge LOS blocker in the middle of the board since everyone will be moving there anyway.
PierreTheMime: Yeah, not much more to be said here. You’re going to have a giant battle at the center of the table and play off non-mission Secondaries. Overall it’s not a terrible setup, but it’s just a “regular” map.
Eternal War: Crossfire
PierreTheMime: Crossfire feels like its trying to pull off something interesting, but it just comes across as overly complicated and awkward. The Crossfire mission rule allows you a minor bonus if you control both of the objectives outside of the player deployment zones and your opponent has models that are in the middle of the table. Likewise, the mission-dependent secondary objective Outflank gives you points if you own both outside objectives and your opponent has models that are in the middle of the table. What’s missing in this picture? There’s no incentive to be in the center of the table and a massive disincentive, so you’re never going to see either of these things come to pass. At the end of the day this mostly plays out like a default map, so it’s not especially interesting.
Beanith: The Objective marker placement has been updated in the most recent FAQs (CORE BOOK Indomitus Version 1.1) for Crossfire mission in the BRB and GT so the objective markers are 12″ from the center line and then 10″ up So the Mission Rule Crossfire is actually achievable now. it is possible to control both objective markers labelled A (or B) and have the attacking model’s unit is in range of an objective marker labelled A (or B) and also be within 9″ of the Center… it’s a lot of work just to ignore the benefits of cover but it does make the Outflank Secondary very appealing to me for the simple fact that you can force your opponent to decide if they need to maneuver around the 18″ bubble in the center of the field to deny you 5 VP instead of 3VP if you’re holding both the A objectives in no mans land.
Kevin: I feel like this mission suffers from simultaneously trying to do something different and also conforming to the requirements that seem to permeate all of these missions. This seems like the kind of mission that would have been better suited for a narrative game, with asymmetrical deployment zones and the Attacker and Defender roles being more meaningful. As with many of the marker-based Secondaries, Outflank seems like the kind of objective where if you’re scoring a decent number of points you’re likely already winning.
In case anyone is interested, here’s an mock-up of the updated distancing for Crossfire:
Eternal War: Centre Ground
PierreTheMime: A bit of a nothing of a mission–there’s no special rule and the secondary requires you to perform an action in the center of the table for a full turn (completes on your command phase). Not only is your unit performing the action not doing anything, your opponent gets a full turn to murder them. You might get it off once, but I don’t suspect you’ll have enough freely available units at 1000pts to continue to stand in the middle of the field and perform actions without taking substantial losses.
Beanith: Wacky Deployment Triangle because reasons. All 4 objectives in no mans land again and the Centre Ground Secondary is a tempting choice but you will be hard pushed to max out if your opponent is paying attention. Not only will you need two units to do nothing for 3 turns, they need to survive your opponent’s turn as well and as Pierre said, you probably won’t have the number of bodies to spare at 1000 points.
Kevin: The Centre Ground action can be performed by any unit (even VEHICLES but not AIRCRAFT), and the only requirement is that the unit survive at the end of the next Command phase. This seems like the kind of Objective which would be good for CHARACTER units that are used more for their auras and supporting abilities than their offensive capability. It’s only about 4″ from the edge of the deployment zone to the center of the marker, so getting a unit in range should be easy.
Eternal War: Forward Push
Beanith: Finally a mission that isn’t just a straight up brawl in the middle… that said, with a minimum 3” advance for everything in the first turn from the Quick March mission rule, you will be up in each other’s face pretty damn quickly. You’re also going to want someone to babysit the objective in your deployment zone otherwise the canny opponent who took the Forward Push Secondary may very well max out this secondary in two turns.
PierreTheMime: As Beanith mentioned, Forward Push is one of the most prized Secondaries if you’ve got a unit or two fast enough (or with a redeployment mechanism) to get to their backline quick and can clear what your opponent leaves on guard duty. It makes for a fun game of cat-and-also-cat with a big central skirmish to keep things interesting.
Kevin: White Scars love this mission. Having such a massive number of VP on a Secondary is pretty huge; the right army could absolutely grab 8 VP in the first turn.
Eternal War: Ransack
Beanith: The first of the Domination Primaries which can be very tricky to max out at a 1000 points as you may lack the units needed to hold 2, 3 and more than your opponent at the start of each round. The Ransack Secondary will also reward a very aggressive player that can push deep into the other side of the table.
Kevin: Missions like this are why small, cheap, disposable units like Servitors are a fantastic asset.
PierreTheMime: This mission really feeds fast and overwhelming melee armies, as there’s only a 14″ distance between the closest objectives on each side and 18″ between deployment zones. This practically guarantees first-turn charges for faster armies and makes things very awkward for armies that would rather hang back. Ransack is probably going to be great if you’ve got large blocks of tough-ish Objective Secured models to throw forward, as I could see Orks or possibly Chaos Daemons or Tyranids claiming all three objectives in short order and holding them long enough to max things out by turn 3-4. That said, it’s another one of those Secondaries where if you’re scoring big you’ve probably already broken your opponents army.
Eternal War: Shifting Front
Beanith: I love the Mission rule for this one. With Supply Lines, you won’t get the 1CP each command phase if you lose control of your home objective, this can be devastating blow to a lot of armies that are relying on those extra 5CP to pull off some of the more expensive stratagems. Taking the Test Their Line Secondary will be a sure sign for your opponent to keep an eye out for units deepstriking in or coming in from Reserves as well.
Kevin: The Test Their Line Secondary is a really nasty one for armies that can aggressively deploy and get in your deployment zone quickly. It dovetails well with Linebreaker and since the Objective is position-based units can also Advance and get in a little closer. This also has the advantage of forcing your opponent to react, as getting 9 VP per turn from two Secondaries is an absolute nightmare.
PierreTheMime: Not much more to be said here. If you play to the Secondary (and presumably Linebreaker as well), this mission is definitely about finding a good balance in your army for what units you can miss for the first turn or two while you snatch up the backline. Putting pressure on your opponent like this can really pay off against armies with a smaller model count that won’t be able to play SR whack-a-mole and simultaneously score primary objectives. If you’re looking at battling a “horde” army, probably consider playing to another strategy.
GT2020 1-1: Crossfire
It’s the same mission from the Core Rulebook Eternal War: Crossfire.
GT2020 1-2: Resupply
PierreTheMime: This mission has a pretty neat mechanic that ensures you’re going to have a massive battle the center of the field. If you have some troops with decent staying power, the Secure Landing Sites secondary can be worth your while. Plan your movement and assaults accordingly to get yourself into position to capture the markers when possible.
Beanith: Fairly easy to setup and a canny player should be able to plan out the flow of the game knowing which are the Gamma and Beta objectives and plan their moves accordingly. The Secure Landing Sites Secondary is also reasonable easy to max out as well.
Kevin: If this mission provided some actual agency to the Defender then I think it would be a lot more interesting. Note that both Gamma and Beta are randomly selected; the Defender is doing nothing but rolling dice to see which marker is removed when. Secure Landing Sites is a rare Secondary which gives the player an opportunity to score a maximum of six points per round, making it a very appealing option especially since you’ll already know which markers will disappear. Simply holding the Gamma marker for the entirety of the game will max out the Secondary.
GT2020 1-3: Raid
PierreTheMime: While some missions just kind of toss a general rule and secondary out there and don’t mind if you use them or not, Raid really screams at you to play to the mission. Not only do you have a secondary that rewards you for bullying your way onto your opponents deployment zone objectives, but you get extra CP for your trouble which is potentially huge. This mission rewards fast and survivable units, but you could also likely make do with some solid units in Strategic Reserve.
Beanith: Much like the Eternal War: Ransack, this is the first of the Domination Primaries which can be very tricky to max out at a 1000 points as you may lack the units needed to hold 2, 3 and more than your opponent at the start of each round. The Raid Supply Lines Secondary will also reward a very aggressive player that can push deep into the other side of the table.
Kevin: The scale image of the map is off; since the board is only 30″ x 44″ the markers are all very close to the board edge and well within the deployment range of Strategic Reserves. As with Shifting Front the Raid Supply Lines secondary synergizes extremely well with Linebreaker.
GT2020 2-1: Centre Ground
It’s almost same mission from the Core Rulebook Eternal War: Centre Ground, but the B Objectives are further apart.
GT2020 2-2: Ascension
PierreTheMime: This one adds a fun twist that your armies are taking the “honorable” path, so deep-strikers and scouts take a back seat for a clean game. If you have a straight-forward army this is fun, but if your list (or your entire faction) rely on stealth and tricks you may be in for a bad time. Thankfully placing things in Strategic Reserve still works but if you want that for something that would normally have been coming on for free it’ll feel like a raw deal. At the end of the day this mission is great fun if both armies have a strong Warlord and you can have a titanic clash, but if you’ve got a Warlord you intended on hiding away somewhere to deny Cut Off the Head it’s not going to be especially interesting.
Beanith: What Pierre said, the Ascend Secondary will work very well with a Strong Warlord and friends squatting on the middle objective but with that said, it will still take 4 turns to max out this Secondary assuming everything goes well.
Kevin: How is this mission not a part of the narrative mission pack? Two mighty champions running to the middle, hell-bent on slaying their opponent in a blood-soaked version of King of the Hill? The combination of mission rules and the Ascend Secondary makes this mission the kind where the victor will likely be decided very quickly and decisively.
GT2020 2-3: Forward Push
It’s almost same mission from the Core Rulebook Eternal War: Forward Push, but the B & C Objectives are slightly closer to the center line.
GT2020 3-1: Rise of the Machine Spirit
Beanith: An interesting mission rule Binharic Interference that prevents Reinforcements arriving within range of any of the 4 Objectives should make things pretty lively around the edges of the board. The Inload Data-Psalm Secondary will be hard to recommend, you probably wont have the number of units spare to not only give up everything to perform the Actions but even more units to help protect them.
PierreTheMime: The secondary here is even worse than it looks at first glance because it requires your unit(s) to stick the landing in their upcoming Command phase, which is going to be nigh-impossible unless your opponent is dead or completely engaged elsewhere. Is it possible? Sure, but just about any other secondary is going to be more feasible, especially since the payout for a single objective is so low.
Kevin: If you’re in a position to score 10 VP from this secondary then congratulations, you’ve already won the match. I feel like Inload Data-psalm would be more viable if the effect was persistent and didn’t require the unit to stick around and repeatedly perform actions. Note that Binharic Interference doesn’t apply to units that are deployed at the start of the game like Infiltrators or Scouts.
GT2020 3-2: Show of Force
Beanith: Well they can’t all be fun or interesting. The Minimise Losses Secondary makes up for it somewhat, taking it forces you into preserving your units and hiding survivors to keep them alive till the end of the game to net the full 15 victory points Conversely your opponent should also know this and go out of their way to wipe out squads and hunt down the lone guard hiding under a rock to deny you those 10-15 points.
PierreTheMime: Here’s where not playing on planet bowling ball can be more important. To play to the secondary, this mission assumes you’re going to have some decent terrain to provide line of sight blocking. If you are and are playing a resilient army like Adeptus Custodes or Death Guard or are capable of splitting your army into many units to distribute your units more evenly this might be a fun one to play around with. Take a look at your opponent and consider if you can hold out against what they’ve got. If so, it might be a decent pick, even if you get it knocked down to the 50-75% 10VP range.
Kevin: This secondary synergizes extremely well with While We Stand, We Fight since you get 15 VP for keeping three units alive. The optimal solution is to play Custodes and use Unleash the Lions to split a unit into single models so that, by the time you’re done figuring out the math, your opponent has quit in disgust.
GT2020 3-3: Reconnaissance Missions
Beanith: Zoom Zoom Zoom said the Fast Attack choices as they gained Objective Secured from the Recon Units Mission rule. The Recon Sweep Secondary seems easy enough but since it happens at the start of the movement phase, you can’t claim it when you drop out of deepstrike, walk on from reserves or jump out of a transport. It had better be something tough to survive your opponent trying to kill it off in their turn to stop you scoring it in your next turn.
Kevin: Recon Sweep is a good one for characters depending on whether or not you need to move forward. Using cheap, disposable units like Servitors and sneaking them into position or having them show up a round early from Reserves is also viable. Either your opponent will have to allocated firepower to destroy them (thus preserving your heavy hitters) or you’ll get the VP. Don’t forget to perform the action on the first turn with a unit in your deployment zone.
PierreTheMime: Secondaries you can complete by the end of your turn are typically good picks and can be pretty satisfying, since with a few exceptions your opponent can’t interfere. Recon Sweep is the same feel as Deploy Scramblers, with a little more flexibility/payoff. You’ll likely not want to take them both, since doubling up on actions means a lot of your army is out of pocket for combat.
Secondary Differences Between The Books
There are a few significant differences between the Core Book and Grand Tournament 2020 that you might not notice at first, so here they are broken into their categories:
NO MERCY, NO RESPITE
Attrition (Core Book missions only): The ITC “kill more” mechanic by another name. 4VP if you destroyed more units can be a solid pick if you’re fielding an elite force and you feel you can target small/vulnerable units consistently, but the unit counts in these smaller games does not make that a guarantee.
First Strike (Core Book missions only): A revamp of First Blood. It doesn’t offer enough victory points to be worth your time, as you max out at 8VP.
Grind Them Down (GT2020 missions only): A watered-down version of Attrition. While you might be able to squeeze a decent number of points out of it under the right conditions, you’d need to destroy more units than your opponent every turn to max this out. For a lot of armies at 1000pts, your opponent is going to be tabled before this happens. Unless you’re very confident you can accomplish this consistently and don’t have better options (hint: you have better options), this isn’t going to be a great choice.
PURGE THE ENEMY
Cut Off The Head (GT2020 missions only): A variation of Slay The Warlord that rewards you greatly for their prompt destruction. If you’re battling an army with an easily-exposed Warlord, such as a TITANIC or Character unit with 10+ wounds, you might want to commit to this. Best case scenario, you nuke a powerful model early and score big, worst case you make your opponent play their potentially powerful Warlord unit more cagily and reduce their effectiveness. If you’re fighting infantry-based armies where the Warlord is easy to hide, look elsewhere.
Slay The Warlord (Core Book missions only): A flat 6VP if you destroy the enemy Warlord. Not a great choice under most circumstances.
Titan Slayers (Core Book missions only): You score 10VP for one TITANIC unit destroyed and 15VP for two or more. Easy pick, even if they’re just one on the table.
Titan Hunter (GT2020 missions only): Slightly different name, slightly different objective. In the GT2020 version, you get 10VP for the first TITANIC unit, 12VP for two, and 15VP for three or more. Against any TITANTIC units, this is still a no-brainer choice even if you miss 3-5VP in the process.
Repair Teleport Homer (Core Book missions only): Get an infantry unit into your opponents deployment zone, perform an Action, and survive for a turn for 5VP. At 1000pts where you might be able to overwhelm them and keep them from stopping you this might be pretty damn handy. If you’ve got some spare infantry units consider sneaking them on using Strategic Reserves if think you can get away with it. It obviously dovetails really well with Linebreaker; scoring 9VP per turn while you hide behind a ruin somewhere is pretty good stuff.
Teleport Homer (GT2020 missions only): Repair Teleport Homer with less payoff (4VP). Still worth it if you have a plan.
Deploy Scramblers (GT2020 missions only): A surprisingly versatile and achievable Secondary for a lot of armies with a decent payoff. Make an action using one infantry unit in both DZs and once outside of 6″ of either DZ for 10VP. This can be done during normal battle operations without seriously hampering most builds provided you have a couple small units to play with (see how this topic keeps coming up?). You can pretty much guarantee an enemy DZ action by putting a unit into SR, unless they really want to commit to you not coming in by positioning a ton of models around the edges (or manage to clear them with Auspex Scan).
Pierce The Veil (GT2020 missions only): A relatively difficult Secondary that’s not going to apply to many armies. You have to a) have psyker characters available to use that don’t need to be committed elsewhere, b) have them within 6″ of your opponents backline, and c) manifest the power within there’s no enemies within 6″ of you. Two times for 8VP or four times for 15VP. Have you done this? Congratulations, you are Eldar (ok fine Aeldar) and you’ve already mostly tabled your opponent.
As you’re probably aware, secondary objectives in missions play a significant role and selecting the right ones to match your army build, primary mission, and opponent can take some time. Hopefully you find the discussion about these helpful – ultimately there’s enough variables involved in the game that you as a player are going to need to know how to best play to your army’s strengths.
In general be wary of Secondaries that require a lot of Actions on your part. Taking actions typically means giving up a significant portion of what a unit can contribute to a battle for the turn and at this size of play you’re not going to have a whole lot of units that you’ll want to commit to such things.
The first thing you need to do is take a look at your opponent’s army composition regarding Purge The Enemy objectives. If they’re bringing a TITANIC unit (or more) at this level, Titan Slayers/Hunter is an obvious pick. The same goes for Cut Off The Head if they’re bringing a Warlord unit (typically one that’s W10+) that can be targeted normally. If their Warlord is W9 or less, how forward do you think they’re going to play them? If they’re an offense powerhouse and you think you can take it out, it’s still probably a worthwhile goal. Do they have enough W11+ vehicles or monsters to make Bring It Down worth it, and do you have the firepower or melee to deal with them? At 1000pts, those smaller models may not pile up quickly enough to make 2VP worth it unless you’re battling a large number of small vehicles like Killa Kans, Sentinels, etc. If you can get 9+ VP out of it with any confidence, it’s probably going to be a good pick. Assassinate might pay off for you if they’re bringing 3+ characters, but it can be a bit of a gamble depending on how well they stay hidden. Horde-style armies will probably not make it feasible to reliably kill any characters, but if they low model-count units remember you only need to reduce a unit to less than three models before Look Out, Sir stops protecting them.
When it comes to Battlefield Supremacy, Engage On All Fronts and Domination are likely going to be difficult at Incursion levels for more than a few turns, which makes their payoff not worth it unless you’re just completely dunking on your opponent. Linebreaker can potentially be a solid pick if you have fast units or a method of getting units into the backline quickly. Strategic Reserves here is often key, but there are a number of armies that have tricks to redeploy or drop in. If you do your job well enough you’ll pick up a decent number of points and provide a potentially valuable distraction that will hinder your opponents progress.
For No Mercy, No Respite, Thin Their Ranks and Grind Them Down both likely won’t be valuable enough at 1000pts to be worth considering. While We Stand, We Fight is a strong contender if you have small unit-count list with durable expensive units or your most expensive models are characters you can hide reliably. The choice gets a little trickier as you more evenly distribute points across lists. If you can’t hide your biggest targets and you think your opponent has the power to knock them down, skip this one.
For Shadow Operations, there’s a couple in here that might be worth your while. Raise The Banners High and Investigate Sites are relatively low-scoring objectives that require you essentially have fantastic board control. It’s possible this could happen, but as discussed this likely means you’re winning big and are going to pick up whatever Secondaries you selected. Deploy Scramblers is a nice pick (as discussed in the section above) since you can play it as you progress through the game and it even gives your backline babysitters something to do for a turn. Repair Teleport Homer/Teleport Homer combos with Linebreaker very well; if you have a plan to drop in a decently tough couple (or more) of infantry units into your opponents DZ, committing two objectives to them might pay off big (or you could miss out on a ton if the gamble doesn’t pay off). Like a lot of other objectives, consider your list and your opponents and gauge whether you think it’s feasible.
Warpcraft has some strong potential for a few armies, as performing a Psychic Action has fewer restrictions than a normal Action (and they don’t turn off auras). If you have a lot of psykers and your opponent has a lot of characters, Mental Interrogation might be okay, but bear in mind you’re aiming to kill these models so you can’t rely on them sticking around for very long. If you can commit to having a spare difficult-to-kill psyker character around (a Neurothrope is a prime example) that can rush the center and just hammer the Psychic Ritual button, scoring 15VP is a big win. There’s not that many factions that have relatively cheap and durable psykers though, so if you’re not playing them you can scratch this off the list. On the flip side, if your opponent is fielding a bunch of psykers and you’re not, it may be time to Abhor The Witch since 3VP\5VP per pysker\character is a pretty sizeable win.
Here in Incursion-land, during army construction you’ll want to consider how you’re going to defend yourself against fast melee attackers (or be one yourself) while bringing along spare non-Character infantry units for assisting with objective capture and/or actions. Depending on your army you may not have a huge amount of flexibility, especially if you have a specific list or playstyle in mind, but gameplay at this level really rewards having a few tricks in your bag.
We’ve already linked the article above, but if you’ve missed it we’re cribbing One Wing’s summary of Incursion army construction and expanding on it on a bit:
- At least two durable units to quickly take objectives turn 1
- At least one small disposable infantry unit for Secondaries that require actions and/or incidental Primary scoring (preferably more)
- At least one nasty melee threat that can flip an objective when needed
- A reasonable plan for killing (or overwhelming) big targets such as Knights
- Minimal army profile
- One detachment unless there’s a very compelling reason
- Relatively low (2-3) vehicle, monster, and character count to avoid handing out easy VP for Secondaries
PierreTheMime’s Gross Blob
Death Guard (1000pts, 4CP)
Patrol Detachment, Plague Company: Poxmongers
HQ: Lord of Contagion (Warlord Trait: Arch-Contaminator, Relic: Ironclot Furnace, Harbinger of Nurgle (-1CP))
HQ: Malignant Plaguecaster (Powers: Miasma of Pestilence, Putrescent Vitality, Blades of Putrefaction, Relic: Putrid Periapt (-1CP))
Troop: 7x Plague Marine (Powerfist, 2x Blight Launcher)
Troop: 7x Plague Marine (2x Blight Launcher)
Troop: 10x Poxwalker
Elite: Foul Blightspawn
Fast Attack: 3x Myphitic Blight-hauler
Fast Attack: 1x Chaos Spawn
This is a mostly “traditional” Death Guard list, which a few minor tweaks. You’ve got a strong core army to push forward for objective capture, while your mindless Poxwalkers can hold a backline and your relatively fast and tough Chaos Spawn can go cause trouble, pick up distant uncontested points, or continue holding the backline if the zombies get gunned down. The Foul Blightspawn provides excellent assault deterrence while you bully your way into the center of the table, ignoring the need for grabbing Light Cover as you go (still try to interpose Dense Cover when possible). As a low model-count list, you might find some tough matchups against a horde list but it has a decent amount of shooting (especially with those frag missile launchers) that should be able to weather things with a little focused fire and committed charges. Remember that Plague Marines boltguns can be pretty vicious with an application of Virulent Rounds, especially in range of the Arch-Contaminator aura.
Especially at lower levels, I feel the Putrid Periapt is a worthwhile spend since it gives you casting options (never a bad thing) and you’re very likely going to be successfully casting something every turn which keeps your Plaguecaster topped off on wounds. Especially considering the other threats on the table, committing to fully killing the pesky sorcerer is going to be tough when you can’t rely on incidental damage over time. While sticking in the Ironclot Furnace range on the approach is important, don’t be afraid to use the Blight-haulers as a melee threat if you catch reach out and touch units with strong shooting to deny them attacks next turn. While they’re probably not going to crush anything, they’re not complete slouches in melee and with a -1 to hit you back you’ll likely come out of it pretty unscathed. Be sure to position things so you can’t get surrounded–whether they fall back or you do, your daemon engines will get to shoot in your next turn thanks to Bilious Bloodrush.
PierreTheMime’s Objective Eaters
Tyranid (997pts, 6CP)
Battalion detachment, Hive Fleet: Kraken
HQ: Neurothrope (Powers: Synaptic Lure)
HQ: Broodlord (Powers: Catalyst)
HQ: Broodlord (Powers: Onslaught)
Troop: 30x Termagant
Troop: 30x Termagant
Troop: 26x Termagant
Troop: 3x Ripper Swarm
Troop: 3x Ripper Swarm
Elite: 3x Hive Guard (Adaptive Physiology: Enhanced Resistance)
Since bugs can’t really compete at inflicting top-tier damage at this point, this list plays to the mission and invests into Kraken’s speed and flexibility to quickly cross the short table and overwhelm your opponent on Primaries (and potentially Secondaries) using the vast array of movement-based stratagems you’ve got access to: Hive Instinct, Hunter’s Drive, Overrun, Opportunistic Advance, and Metabolic Overdrive. In a world of cheap anti-tank shooting, it can be refreshing to just not give those big guns any useful targets. The change to morale for 9th Ed. means if you get caught outside of Synapse your units aren’t automatically doomed and can continue to tenaciously cling to objectives while non-ObSec units bash on them. Rush forward, pick up objectives, cover enemy units in ‘gants, and then break off to allow the Broodlord entry and close back in. Ripper Swarms continue to perform their duty by popping up on undefended objectives and/or allowing you to score secondaries like Engage On All Fronts or Linebreaker. Depending on the mission, the Neurothrope hangs out with the smaller Termagant unit and the Hive Guard, firing off Smite and boosting your forward chargers with Synaptic Lure. Hive Guard (as always) take out the biggest threats to your hordes (Aggressors are the biggest target if they exist, but use your best judgement). At least until their next codex, in my opinion the difference between Hormagaunts and Termagants is not significant enough to pay the extra points and a ton of fleshborer shots on your way in (or against another nearby target) can occasionally achieve good results.
As is discussed quite a bit during other articles, Tyranids are not in the best place right now–some might call them bad, but I personally think they’re closer to average if played well.
Beanith’s Crimes against Common Sense List
Apparently I’m not allowed to just repost my Death Guard list that I used in a recent Incursion Tourney that I wrote about here because the Editors said “it’s lazy writing” or something? I wasn’t listening (the trick is to nod along and agree that Spider-Man is a Menace). Instead I shall share a list I was day dreaming about whilst they were complaining about ellipses…
The Deathwatch Ghost Riders – (Thanks Gunum)
Patrol Detachment – 6CP to still play with.
HQ: Watch Captain (WT: Lord of Hidden Knowledge, Relic: Beacon Angelis, Jumpack)
Troops: 5x Veterans with Stormshield/Storm Bolters, 5x Bikers with Chainswords
Troops: 5x Veterans with Stormshield/Storm Bolters, 5x Bikers with Chainswords
Elites: 4x Terminators with Powerfists, Storm Bolters & Meltagun, 1x Terminator with Powerfists, Storm Bolter
Fast: 3x Plasma Inceptors
Combat squad out the bikes and boom, you now have two more Objective Secure squads. Even better, they also still count as Infantry thanks the Mixed Unit (Current FAQ) so you too can reenact the rooftop chase scene from Skyfall, take cover, or just “Oh Yeah” your way through walls and floors.
The Captain can keep up with the bikes and use the Beacon to summon units. The Vets hold objectives, the Termies and Inceptors can drop in and make a nuisance of themselves.
Secondary choices will be interesting. Engage On All Fronts and Domination should be easy enough, Linebreaker is always iffy unless their are Objectives in their Deployment Zone. Thin Their Ranks is absolutely useless to take against this list but that’s pretty much true of almost all lists at Incursion level games. You’re also immune to Bring It Down & Titan Hunter, Assassinate is a waste of time. Cut Off The Head is a possibility though so watch out for snipers etc for the first two turns. I can’t recommend any Secondaries that require Actions because you will probably need every gun at your disposal able to fire. And of course Abhor The Witch can be taken on the off chance you run across Grey Knights or Daemons
I’ll be interested how much the list will change in a couple weeks time when the Marine Codex drops and the first round of points changes… and then a month or two later, the same again with the Deathwatch Supplement and seeing what other changes are contained within.
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of a rather lengthy article and hopefully you’ve gleaned some useful information about Incursion games in the process! Incursion can be a great time if you play to your factions strengths in a slightly different way that matches the smaller environment but it can take a little bit of getting used to. Like usual, play around with lists, get some games in and iterate over things, and come to find a list that suits your needs and playstyle.
While you can make due with the games in the Core Book, we strongly recommend the Chapter Approved: Grand Tournament Missions 2020 booklet. Not only does it provide a quick access to all the normal rules in an easy-to-carry size and add some new flavor if you’re just playing some games with friends, but if you intend on playing any tournaments there’s a good chance you may need it anyway.
Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.