The 40k 2022 GT Missions/Nachmund Season Roundtable

Games Workshop has big plans for 2022, having announced a major overhaul to their release schedule: They’ll now be releasing new Season updates every 6 months, starting with the Nachmund season in H1 2022 that introduces a new mission pack with new secondary objectives.

The Nachmund Missions pack isn’t out yet but we got a healthy taste of the new format with two of its missions and the new secondary objectives in early December at the GW Roadshow finale in Grapevine, Texas. We’ve talked about the new secondary objectives a bit – both going over the changes and how we expect them to change, scoring-wise – but today we’re sitting down with our competitive players for a true round table for their thoughts on the objectives, the new missions, the seasonal structure, and what they want to see in 2022.

Today’s Round Table

  • James “Boon” Kelling
  • James “One_Wing” Grover
  • Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones
  • Jon “JONK” Kilcullen
  • Peter “The Falcon” Colosimo
  • Thomas “Goatboy” P. Reidy III


Let’s start here: What’s your take on the new Seasonal structure for competitive 40K?

TheChirurgeon: I think it’s a good change, and six months seems like a good amount of time for a missions pack to see adequate play, then change before it starts to get old. I also like the idea of tying it into what’s going on narratively as a way to loosely tie competitive and casual/narrative play together a bit. My only concern is that six months is too short a time frame for something you’re going to be putting out in print – there isn’t enough time to publish the new rules, see them played, get data and feedback, and then write a new missions pack to send to printers in time for the next one to release. At best, the H1 season results will inform the H1 2023 missions, which is less ideal.

Boon: From a pure rules perspective I think it’s good – keeping competitive play fresh and preventing stagnation in the community is an ongoing concern. Less clear to me is how the circuits of record will adapt (if at all) and how it will impact TOs and tournament scheduling. In a given year the May-October window is the busiest, it is unclear to me how the seasonal release window will impact this.


Falcon: I am mostly optimistic about this change; particularly when combined with the quarterly balance updates. If the hands involved in both projects communicate with each other efficiently, there is a real possibility of maintaining an exciting and well-balanced set of rules that doesn’t stagnate like the current pack has the last couple of years. In terms of stats and event tracking I am not sure this does much more than provide more simplistic criteria for people to track the state of the game. We already filter results based on major codex releases and the Big FAQs as they often have just as big, if not bigger impacts on what is working in the game writ large. Where this will get the most mileage is in tracking the effects of primaries, secondaries and GFWR.   

Wings: Very positive from a player’s point of view – if you’re playing a lot of events then six months is definitely about right for a big shakeup. As others have pointed out there are some concerns with how rapidly it will be possible to feed data from each season into future ones, but given we’re also getting quarterly balance updates coming too I’m hopeful any issues will be able to be mitigated. It is also great from a pure punditry point of view – the beginning, mid-point and end of each season provide natural times to take stock and work on larger analysis pieces like tier lists, and it also ensures a steady flow of innovation as players revamp their strategies every six months.

Goatboy: As a player I am excited but as a writer it means I will have to constantly pay attention to whatever new hot thing becomes good in a new season.  I do like how it will mix things up a bit.  If the Seasons fully included new ways of scoring in missions we could be onto something interesting just as a way to force players to expand their armies and play styles.  I think with this and quarterly updates/balances/DE reworks it could be a very exciting year for competitive players.

TheChirurgeon: There’s definitely an aspect of this where I’m like “yes more content to cover, that’s one less slow weekend to fill with an army showcase of the latest army Rockfish painted in a week.” But on the other hand you’re right in that it means a shitload of additional work cataloging changes, analyzing the new rules, and staying on top of things. 


What are your first impressions of the new missions and secondary objectives? Is this a step forward or backward?

Wings: Tentatively positive, though I think we’ll need to see the full mission pack with all the new primaries to be sure. It’s definitely going to be a pretty substantial change to how the game is played, and honestly that’s a good thing in itself – I’ve had lots of fun with the current mission pack, but was definitely hungry for more of a shakeup and it looks like that’s what we’re getting. I’m pleased to see that secondaries have been rebalanced substantially, now providing a far broader set of viable options, but a tiny bit wary that multiple elements we’ve seen thus far could cause snowball effects in games.

TheChirurgeon: I like the new secondary objectives, but I’m mixed on the missions. I like the new Priority Targets (Secure Missing Artefacts), and the way it turned Priority Target from a gimme secondary objective into a good bonus that requires more thought. I also like the kill bonus points on Recover the Relic. But I really dislike the bonus CP mechanism on Recover the Relic, which feels like a strong “win more” effect that heavily advantages faster armies and armies with infiltrators/the ability to forward deploy. I think that overall these reward more forward play and interaction – which is something they should be pushing for – but I’m not a fan of being able to deny your opponent their battleforged CP bonus through the mission.

Boon: Let’s start with where we are. I think the biggest concerns I have with the current 2021 mission pack is that:

  • Some of the missions just frankly aren’t good (Priority Targets, The Scouring, Sweep & Clear) due to the scoring dynamics
  • Secondary choices are competitively limited by some clear stand outs and then a whole group of awful selections

Priority Targets or Sweep & Clear are center-objective missions where you can reliably hold two home objectives and then never engage your opponent beyond the midboard due to the secondary options the mission provides combined with Stranglehold and/or codex secondary of choice. As a result the missions just feel stale. They’re not particularly engaging and selections are just kind of standard. 

So what about the new missions? Well, importantly they strip out the mission secondaries that were either terrible and not usable or so easy that you’d stop your opponent and make them select it if they didn’t. There was no in-between. As a result, pulling these out entirely and instead making more unique primary bonuses was a wise move and I think a better dynamic for creating nuance to the primary. 

JONK: We all knew something had to change with primary/secondary scoring; having mission-specific secondaries was a neat idea at the time but they just became an easy way out for so many of the strong armies in the game and especially for armies such as Space marines (Space Wolves and Dark angels were the primary abusers here), where you could double up on faction secondaries and then auto-lock the mission and essentially not have to interact with your opponent’s army at all and still win (unless that opponent was Drukhari, who just do this same trick far more efficiently). On paper it’s a good move to remove these secondaries and shift scoring to a bonus in the primary. The downside is that this will undoubtedly be good for the top-tier armies but let’s be honest here, most everything is.

Goatboy: I am happy with them and want to see the rest of the primaries to really build a thought on if all the changes are good.  Right now we have some extremely powerful Codex Secondaries that most likely need tweaks versus the current Secondaries.  I like how the subtle shifts in the points earned per primary will probably end up doing more to even out the scores than anything else.  If the bonus points for some of the missions end up being too easy for specific armies it could lead to some issues but will just have to see.  It isn’t like we have long to pay these ones too as an update will be around the corning in 4,6, or 12 months that could invalidate opinions.

How will the new primary objectives affect scoring, and which armies benefit from them the most?

Wings: Maxing primary (obviously) looks like it’s going to be quite a bit more challenging to pull off consistently, and doing so is generally going to require being a bit more proactive, as you need to make a play for objectives early and have resources that can be used to score the mission Primary condition available. It should also tilt things a bit towards armies that can reliably stay on the table for the full game, especially as both the mission conditions we’ve seen thus far are capped at three per turn, meaning you can’t max this out early and then not worry about playing the full five turns. In general, that’s probably a knock against lists that are either less capable of pushing for objectives turn one, or run out of gas a bit towards the end of the game – losing a turn of scoring is bad. Flexible armies like (I’m afraid) Drukhari are probably in a better place, conversely. Depending on whether there are more kill based primary conditions, it could also be a major boost for Knights, as they tend to come off favourably in such exchanges.

I suspect the new structure will also have an impact on first turn win rates, and here I’m optimistic – both special Primary conditions we’ve seen are challenging or high risk to do out of the gate for a lot of lists, while being more practical for a player going second to have a crack at in a final turn. Planes and indirect fire do, as ever, mess with that calculus a bit, but the enduring impression I’ve had is that some part of any first turn advantage comes from games that start with a 15-5 Primary score logged at the first scoring window, and enough games where that’s 12-7 instead are going to accumulate into a major impact.

Boon: I don’t know who is going to benefit the most as we haven’t seen 7 of the 9 and simply don’t know enough about the mission dynamics or the bonuses, and the two we have seen have two very different bonuses. I do know that there will still be 9 missions and I don’t really expect the layouts themselves to change… the possible exception being the Scouring – a mission even GW won’t use in their events.

What I think the primaries do is create more nuance to event scoring. The more granular scoring of the primary bonus and the lowered scoring on the objectives means that primary is still perfectly maxable but it’ll be harder to achieve a high primary score. That means that secondaries will become slightly more important in defining the win condition in close games and as a result I think the secondaries and those armies that can limit secondary selections into them or have access to “good” or “easy” codex secondaries will get a boost. So Grey Knights, Marines generally, and Drukhari get a subtle boost here.

JONK: The turn scoring changing will definitely affect armies in different ways. Some armies start out strong dominating the board early but fade away and rely on scoring 45 early to hang on to the win, while other armies are better at hiding early and back loading their scores.  Both of these are now harder to do and both require more commitment. This change, while small, is significant enough to shift list building for many different armies in order to account for a slightly different style of play going forward. How much will it change things is the question, though.

Goatboy: The change will affect those armies that needed to come out strong to “survive” and win the game.  Moving the points down means they need to really rely on those Secondaries to help bring them over the finish line.  It will be interesting to see if it really does push to players wanting the Second turn to try and push for 15 points with the mission bonuses. I think we need to see all the other missions to see if the drop in points really will matter when some armies can just grab those bonuses quickly and easily – thus netting that sweet 15 per turn instead of the other players sad 9-12.

How do the new secondaries change your strategy and army build? Are there any you’re considering now that you weren’t before?

Wings: The biggest paradigm shift here is that the pair of Engage and RND get quite a bit weaker, while Investigate Signal and Deploy Teleport Homers get a bunch better. Building for ROD/Engage as a backup plan is just the default for a lot of lists, but ROD already required a bit more commitment than Scramblers did, and this pushes that price tag up another notch, at the same time as some other choices becoming substantially more viable. If you want to build for RND, you’re now after deep striking Troops if you can possibly get them (so great news for Astra Militarum, whose plans here don’t change at all), while Engage heavily rewards you for being able to pack useful light vehicles, and in particular is good news for VEHICLE/MONSTER CHARACTERS with <10W, as they can help pick this up with relative impunity. I must admit I’m not a huge fan of the dice roll mechanic for RND – 40K is ultimately a dice game, and games come down to crucial rolls all the time, but making such a direct connection between a roll and points may still feel bad – I’d maybe like to have the option to just bypass rolling the dice for a CP?. Ultimately, neither of these are bad and will still get used, and for lists that can build to them easily that’s probably a net buff, but other armies are going to look at the improved alternatives. 

Let’s talk about those then. I strongly suspect that Investigate SIgnal finally being fixed such that it isn’t a near auto-zero if you go second is going to be the most impactful single thing changed in the Secondaries. “Clear out the mid board with a spare unit to trigger this” is a very viable ask for a lot of lists, and crucially can act as the kind of viable fallback plan that ROD previously was for a lot of armies, in that it’s almost always possible, it just slides up and down how easy it is. If your army sucks at providing the kind of units that shore up RND, maybe you don’t bother spending the points on them and just up your forces to try and smash this instead. Alternatively, if you want a slightly different flavour of Action option, Teleport Homers can actually be viable now, especially if you have Troops that can scout deploy. Not only can you lock in points with it early, being able to sometimes score it EOT means it now actually does something on the final turn of the game, as long as you’ve kept Troops alive. Previously this was the nightmare trifecta of hard to score turn one, impossible to score last turn, and easy to interfere with, and it’s gotten substantially better on two of those axes. These two buffs mean that armies that either want to focus everything on the centre or go hard on smashing one flank are a bit more viable.

The rest are unlikely to shake list design up too much, but I do like the changes to Bring it Down and No Prisoners, as both feel like they’re now in a good spot where they’re not trivial to dodge, and are an acceptable middle-of-the-road pick plenty of the time. Mental Interrogation is also more powerful, and will probably see serious use in Thousand Sons as a fallback from Wrath of Magnus in non-Psyker games. 

Boon: I agree with Wings on the changes to Retrieve Nachmund Data (I hate these changing names so very much), Investigate Signals (really good change), Bring It Down, and Engage. I agree RND/Engage are just a little less accessible than before, but for armies with innate or CP-deep strike capabilities they’re still very viable – everyone else is going to hit that bad moment Wings mentioned when they fail the action at the end of the turn on a dice roll. That’s an unmitigated feels-bad. 

I’m not as high on the changes to Teleport Homers as Wings – I think you can certainly build to it, but ultimately it’s not that difficult to screen out the board edges which is the most likely vector for an opponent to score since moving up the board leaves you otherwise exposed. I think its floor is certainly higher than before, but I think it’s a secondary most armies will struggle to score more than 6-8 points unless they’re heavily investing in it – which I think would make the army weaker overall. I also think the change to No Prisoners is more significant than at first pass. This is a secondary like Bring It Down, Assassination, or Titan Hunter  that is dependent on your opponent and thus flexible. The only time you’re taking No Prisoners is when you run into an opponent who has determined that the benefits of an army that gives up 10-13 points on it outweighs the risk – and there are plenty out there. Any army that gives up 10 points on this is now actually giving up 12 due to the new wound-kill bonus. Any army north of 100 wounds and this becomes a very reliable selection which awards you VP for doing what you need to do anyway – kill your enemy and limit their capabilities. It’s a very nice, but situational, boost. 

I’m a little disappointed with the Warpcraft secondaries – broadly I think Psychic Actions are extremely expensive in terms of what you give up to accomplish them and are difficult in execution (so many points of failure). Overall, this is still a category that still carries a horrible opportunity cost. If you think you’ll play Grey Knights (and you probably will) you still don’t want to forgo Abhor the Witch which means you’re not taking a psyker to boost your dudes. If you’re taking a psyker to boost your dudes, you’re hesitant to take a secondary that will prevent you from then boosting your hams and then might still fail along multiple conditions (failure to cast, dispelled, or just not in position). Something like Warp Ritual is similar to Investigate Signals but you’re required to use a highly specialized unit to accomplish it and more likely, multiple highly specialized units since you need to be in the center of the battlefield… where your opponent will have a lot of say in how many times you can accomplish it. Even if you do somehow cast it three times successfully it’ll cap at 12 points. Pierce the Veil is so laughably costly and difficult to get even two successes, much less four, that I don’t even know where to start. Just think of what you’d give up to get a character(s) to perform multiple psychic actions within 6” of the opponent’s battlefield edge, and how many chances you’ll have to do that. The winner here is the newly named Mental Interrogation. The loss of a line of sight restriction and the increased range to 24” which greatly limits the risk you’ll put your psyker in order to achieve it, as well as limiting the dispel bubbles, are both very significant changes that actually make this a very powerful tool if you’re willing to forgo Abhor the Witch

TheChirurgeon: Yeah Mental Interrogation is much improved but it still runs several challenges, like just being impossible if you run out of enemy characters to use it on. Ironically, this means the situations where it’s best – opponents who give up max points for Assassinate – are also the situations where you’ll be killing your interrogation targets. I’m also a big fan of the changes on Bring it Down, which punish going a bit heavier on transports without warping the entire meta by making vehicles broadly a mistake to field.

JONK: As I’m a space wolves player, I’m biased – filled with spite at all times regarding the current state of the game. Retrieve Nachmund Data worries me now that it has variance added to it. Yes, you can just use a unit of 5 to auto succeed but as the game wears on, often times your opponent can stop you from deep-striking into his zone meaning you need to fight your way their which now allows the opponent to focus these 5-man units and try to force dice rolls on later turns. Right now it’s not a secondary I want to mess with any more and before seeing this I almost exclusively picked ROD. On the other hand Deploying homers is finally not strictly worse than ROD/RND and is now something you can pick since it can be completed in your own turn. Being able to control when and where you score makes it easier to plan around and rely on. Homers looks like the new ROD to me.

The Change to Engage on All Fronts is worrying for a couple armies while others just continue to not care. That said, it’s a pretty big miss to still allow Flyers to score this. The big losers on this are the poor Lictor and the cyberwolf – they both still have uses but this definitely hurts them. Engage now becomes quite a bit harder to score as an elite army and rewards people for whittling down units to under 3 models.

The change to No prisoners is an odd one but off the top of my head this now becomes an auto pick into armies such as Space Wolves and virtually any horde army. With the removal of mission secondaries more armies will have to start building to be able to succeed at No Prisoners which is probably what they had in mind when they made the change. Games are fun when people are shooting and fighting each other instead of cowering behind walls. Bring it Down now hitting rhinos and raiders and other 10W vehicles for 2 VP is a good change and will have an impact on how people design their lists, so again I think the change is good. I do like that they are making a couple of the kill secondaries easier to accomplish in an attempt to reward interacting every turn.

Goatboy:  I am excited to try them but a lot of armies relied on small units to hit ROD and now that is going to be a lot harder.  Same with Engage and other options.  I expect some armies to just not care and continue to touch people in a bad place as needed.  I really wish we had some better Warpcraft options as right now it seems to be a better decision for most armies not to play with a Psyker just in hopes they can match the Grey Knight player with Secondary points.  Bring it Down is a good change as it just feels like it makes sense and I like No Prisoners change.  I really wish we saw some secondary work done on the Codex ones but maybe a balance update will help with that.


How do you see the new missions and secondaries changing the meta?

Wings: My gut says that Marines and probably Knights end up as winners here. The former can combine Oaths of Moment with Investigate Signal extremely effectively, and that probably opens up options for list construction. Knights are still missing a third Secondary, but if there are enough kill-based Primary conditions in the book that will balance out. There’s also likely space for Necron Warriors to try and play an Investigate Signal game, but the RND changes hurt them quite a bit, so I’m reserving judgement there. Finally, Grey Knights probably get a bit of a bump, as Strike Marines teleporting in help with several of these.

I’m not immediately seeing any out-and-out losers at the other end, though I’m sure some armies will end up having to re-configure their lists a bit. I guess maybe Sororitas have a slightly tougher time than most, as they don’t have any mobile Troops, most of their current dedicated ROD units can’t reliably RND, and they’re not super interested in trying to tarpit the board centre (though it may well prove that they can).

TheChirurgeon: The change to RoD and Engage on All Fronts definitely advantages armies with larger Troops units and hurts marines and Custodes and the like, who like to depend on 3- or 5-model squads to complete these objectives. I can already picture how I’ll use PBCs to stop 5-model units from scoring by taking out a model or two. Gonna be great.

On the other hand, I think Marines do benefit from the change to Investigate Signal and everyone except Drukhari stand to benefit (currently) from the changes to Bring it Down. 

Goatboy: As a whole I expect to see more Knights show up – especially now they have some better options to gain the bonus points if we see more revamped Kill Points.  Grey Knights feel like a winner again as they have their amazing Secondary mixed with taking things that can do the other ones fairly easily.  As we see the new missions will see if a big shift will change how armies get built – just to maximise on the chance to jump ahead on the Primary + Bonus points to jump ahead.  It will be interesting in how you respond to the MSU units and removing the ability to score or be relevant in opponents armies.  


What are you still hoping to see in the 2022 GT missions pack that we haven’t seen yet?

Wings: Some sort of Secondary support for armies that don’t have codexes yet – with mission Secondaries going away, it’s going to be even more of a nightmare for the books that haven’t received options so far to compete. Let them double up on a category or something, I don’t know. Beyond that, I’m very curious to find out what the balance between killing and objective-based mission primary conditions is, and I think once we know that it’ll be much easier to make holistic judgements about the impact of these changes.

TheChirurgeon: Agreed. There’s a lot of howling about tournaments banning faction secondaries but I’d rather see factions get secondary support instead. Though as part of this I’d like to see some of the more insane secondaries – namely Herd the Prey and Purifying Ritual – toned down a bit to make them less insane.


Boon: Don’t you put that Herd the Prey evil in this world Rob. 

I’m personally hoping to see a dynamic range of primary bonuses. I think the risk with these missions is that the primary bonuses are very limited, repetitive, and quickly become stale. If that is the case then I’m not sure we’ve improved the game overall. If the primaries are unique and interesting, then I think we’re setting up for a fun 2022 tournament scene. 

TheChirurgeon: I absolutely will put that out there. Fuck Herd.




JONK: Just give everyone Herd, you cowards. Let’s all watch the world burn.




TheChirurgeon: That’s some real Joker shit right there




Goatboy: Fix some of the too easy Codex Secondaries.  Or make ones even easier but Rob can’t take them.  



TheChirurgeon: I am beset by enemies on all sides




Let’s talk about Faction Secondaries, one year later: Are these a success? A failed experiment? Should they be banned from events, as some TOs have suggested?

TheChirurgeon: I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand I think some factions just can’t compete without their secondaries, while others don’t care all that much – as much as I want to see Herd the Prey nerfed, Drukhari will still dominate in a world without faction secondaries. And we’re almost at the point where everyone has a faction secondary. I’d like to see real effort going into balancing the faction secondaries and making regular adjustments rather than banning them outright, but it’s hard to balance things like Purifying Ritual when Abhor the Witch is out there.

Boon: The concept is nice, and I think they make the game more flavorful but they’re also a microcosm of the larger secondary balance issue. What hasn’t happened yet is the rebalancing of codex secondaries along with the matched play secondaries but they’re just as, sometimes more so, impactful. As long as they’re used in match play they should be balanced with match play. 

In my opinion the secondaries should have been banned from tournament play the moment it was clear that most would not have them in a reasonable window and GW wouldn’t release one for every faction as a stop-gap. Now that such a stop-gap is rumored to be coming there’s no reason we might as well just accept it since we’re over the hump. Some of them will be bad and factions will continue to be handicapped until they get their book.

JONK: It is a cool idea that should stay in the narrative side of the game until every single faction has equal access to these secondaries. We are (for the most part) discussing a competitive game in a competitive atmosphere – why are we allowing imbalances in access to secondaries? How is this fair? Games Workshop has a flawed way they put out their books and their insistence on sticking with print and paper is infuriating at the best of times. These secondaries just exacerbate the issue. Ban the fuckers. Either everyone gets them or no one gets them.  

TheChirurgeon: Tough, but well, fair. I’d argue that it currently seems like GW isn’t particular invested in the idea of factions without a 9th edition book being competitive and while I don’t fault them for that, it also isn’t great. Rather than get rid of them I’d prefer to see them do something like what Chapter Approved did back in 8th, and give them to factions that don’t have one.

Also, I could do without the ones that are just trap choices.

Wings: I have always liked them, to be honest – I think they’re interesting, open up strategies for players, and help ensure that games don’t become too samey. I fully agree that not putting out some sort of stopgap for factions that were a way back in the queue was a huge mistake, but as Boon says we seem to be past the worst of it, so whatever.


Goatboy: I like how they create a theme for the army to try and work towards – I just wish everyone had them.  But of course if all books had an easy auto dunk secondary then why even play with 3 secondaries and just drop the winning points to lower and force people to just play 2. I understand why they made them because it is another design space that isn’t as limited as trying to hang rules on stats and unit interactions. I just wish everyone had them and not just those dirty naughty space elves.


Any Final Thoughts on the New Seasonal Format and Missions?

Boon: Looking forward to the changes, honestly. Regardless of the outcome I believe these efforts by GW to make the game better should always be encouraged. And we’ll of course continue to evaluate it critically and in good faith. 



JONK:  I will be excited when GW proves they can stick to a promised schedule just once. The seasonal idea is neat but for the most part they were already doing this. I really hope the rest of the missions bring more options and dynamic game play that force you to be out on the table fighting every single turn and creating opportunities to make tough decisions.   


TheChirurgeon: I like everything GW has set up for competitive play in 2022 so far – quarterly balance updates, seasons, new missions and secondaries – it all points to a GW that is taking competitive play and balance more seriously and that’s great for competitive and casual players alike. Now it’s time to see how they execute on that, and what they’re able to do when it comes to making adjustments on the fly.This week we’re looking ahead rather than behind, talking about the new missions and season structure for competitive 40k and what they mean for players.

Wings: Super excited – I said this already in the year in review, but the news we’ve had in the last couple months has been really transformative in how hyped I am for what the year holds, and I’m now extremely positive about the prospects for the year, and trying desperately not to think too hard about the trends in COVID numbers.


Goatboy: I am very excited for the changes.  I am happy to be playing more again and GW jumping in to keep things exciting is a great thing.  I come from the time when we had to wait years for a codex or update. The best thing about all of these changes is that if something gets rough we don’t have to wait long to hopefully have an update/response to bring things in line. That is probably the best thing from this as we feel GW cares more about the gameplay than just making cool models.

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