Hello, Dear Reader. In case you missed my live blogging of the GW Open US Series finale yesterday, then you missed me revealing all of the Secondary Objectives in the 2022 GT missions pack. The good news is, we’re back today with the Secondary Objectives in the new missions pack – all the ones included, all the new ones, and an analysis of the changes.
First, let’s go back and review the primary objective changes we covered in our preview of the event. The major change here is that mission secondary objectives have been removed – you no longer have the option to take a mission secondary. Instead, primary scoring has been changed to 4 points for each primary objective (i.e. 4/8/12 for holding one/two/more), with an option to score additional bonus points if you accomplish a mission-specific bonus primary. We’ve seen two of these previewed so far.
Primary Objective scoring is still capped at 45 points and while it’s possible to max them without scoring the bonus, it’s much more difficult – you need four 12-point turns to make it work. We’ve seen two of these bonus primaries so far:
- On Secure Missing Artefacts, you score an additional 3 primary points for holding the precious objective, which is determined by your opponent before the game begins. Note that this mission is basically the replacement for Priority Targets.
- On Recover the Relics, you score 1 primary VP for each enemy unit destroyed at the end of each battle round, to a maximum of 3. This mission appears to replace Retrieval Mission.
You can find the full text of these missions – Recover the Relics has more going on – by checking out the downloads page on Warhammer Community. Or you can hit up the links above.
OK on to the meat, though I started with primary to kind of set the table, since the two are intrinsically linked. Secondary Objectives are still split into five categories, plus the option for a Faction secondary. The player packs at Grapevine gave players each two cards for faction secondaries, which suggest that doubling up on faction secondaries might be an option in the future, but that’s speculative at this point – they also included a mission secondary card that no longer appears to have a use.
- Stranglehold – No change from the updated version introduced in the GT 2021 Missions pack.
- Behind Enemy Lines – No change from the updated version introduced in the GT 2021 Missions pack.
- Engage on All Fronts – Still scores you 2 points at the end of your turn for having units in three table quarters or 3 points for having units in every table quarter, but in order for a unit to count toward this scoring it must either have 3 models or a VEHICLE or MONSTER model.
No Mercy, No Respite
- To the Last – No change from the updated version introduced in the GT 2021 Missions pack.
- Grind Them Down – No change.
- No Prisoners – Still scores based on the total wounds value of non-VEHICLE, non-CHARACTER units killed, but now you score an additional 1 VP if you killed between 50 and 99 wounds’ worth of enemy units, or 2 bonus points if you killed more than 100 wounds’ worth.
Purge the Enemy
- Assassination – No change from the updated version introduced in the GT 2021 Missions pack.
- Titanslayer – No change from the updated version introduced in the GT 2021 Missions pack.
- Bring it Down – At the end of the game you score 1 VP for each enemy VEHICLE or MONSTER killed that had 9 or fewer wounds, 2 VP for each enemy VEHICLE/MONSTER with 10-14 wounds, and 3 VP for each one with 15+ wounds. This changes the thresholds from 1-10/11-19/20+ for scoring 1/2/3. You still score 1 point for each enemy VEHICLE/MONSTER killed with 9 or fewer wounds, but now you’ll score 2 each for 10-14 wounds and 3 for 15+ wounds. This is a change from the prior objective, which only gave you 3 points at the 20+ threshold. This is also a major change for all the 10W vehicles out there, where Rhinos and Raiders are now worth 2 VP each.
- Raise the Banners High – No change.
- Deploy Teleport Homers – Now requires a unit of 3+ models to perform and completes at the end of your turn if attempted by a unit with the TROOPS battlefield role.
- Retrieve Nachmund Data – Replaces Retrieve Octarius Data. RIP ROD. This can be attempted by one INFANTRY or BIKER unit (so now characters and bikers can attempt it) per turn if they are more than 6″ from another table quarter. At the end of your turn you roll a D6, subtracting 1 if the unit performing the action has the TROOPs battlefield role. If you roll less than or equal to the number of models in the unit, the action is completed. You score 4, 8, and 12 points for completing the action 2, 3, and 4 times, respectively. So, characters can attempt the action, but are vanishingly unlikely to successfully pull it off, requiring an un-re-rollable 1. GREGNOTE: As a Ravenwing-haver, this is a good change.
- Investigate Signal – You can now attempt this action even if there are enemy units within 6″ of the center of the battlefield, but you only complete it at the end of your turn if there are no enemy units still within 6″ of the center of the battlefield.
- Abhor the Witch – No change from the updated version introduced in the GT 2021 Missions pack.
- Psychic Interrogation – No longer requires line of sight to the target.
- Pierce the Veil – No change from the updated version introduced in the GT 2021 Missions pack.
- Warp Ritual – No change from the updated version introduced in the GT 2021 Missions pack.
Some Thoughts on These New Objectives
This is a pretty big deal, and on the whole there are some important tweaks here from the GT 2021 secondary objectives. Our 40k crew have thoughts about them.
GREGNOTE: I played Secure Missing Artefacts this afternoon against Goonhammer Patron MildNorman and his Death Guard, and it kind of owned? We used the old secondaries, because we didn’t know about the new ones and also I’m a coward, so it was just the new primary scoring and the rules from the mission PDF. The terrain setup was a reasonable approximation of the GW GT layout.
Here’s the first thing I noticed about the mission secondary moving to be part of the primary: I have to pick a third secondary now, instead of just slamming the Oaths of Moment and Stubborn Defiance buttons and shrugging my way into the mission for the third instead of being good at it. If you are good at it, it’s nice having more options, but I’m not. On the other hand, it effectively gives you a fourth secondary, at the expense of extracting slightly less value from pure objective play. The other change is that your opponent picks your Priority Objective now, which combines with the new fact that you have to play that part of the mission to do two things.
One, it really incentivizes using your objective-moving powers to screw over your opponent by either moving theirs into the open and firing guns at any idiots claiming it, or yanking the marker closer to yourself and trying to steal it. The old plan of trying to hide your Priority Target in terrain is dead, since making A Good Objective means they’ll just pick The Bad One and make you play that instead. Whether this is good or not, I’m not sure, but I do think that the missions in GK2k21 might have become a Solved Problem, and anything that changes it up will juice the meta, which is good until Seigler swaggers in and figures out the optimal plan again. Two, a given mission isn’t just a function of an objective marker layout and a deployment map anymore. It means something now: it has its own custom scoring, and there’s no hiding from it. I like that, missions needed more personality.
In our particular game, I picked Stubborn Defiance on one objective, and had the Priority Target dropped on another because I guessed wrong, which kind of sucked for me, but honestly is a fair cop: being able to score 30 points by double-dipping on one objective was a bit much.
The change from 5/10/15 to 4/8/12 + 3 didn’t make a lot of difference turn-to-turn, but on balance we seemed to score higher, and I think it’ll lead to more consistent primary scores over time.
We didn’t play the other new mission, but the change to Sort Of Kill Points seems fine, it’ll be a reliable ~2 points a turn most of the time. I’m not a huge fan of anything that denies CP generation, though, and in this case you absolutely are not getting your free CP on turn one unless you have a pre-game move or infiltrators to drop in the mid-field.
The secondaries, the new ROD is better for me and my Bikes, but the new Engage is worse for my two-model Terminator Command Squads
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 far more efficiently). On paper it’s a good move to remove these secondaries and shift scoring to a bonus in the primary, this will undoubtedly be good for the top-tier armies but lets be honest here, most everything is so let’s not waste time screaming into the void (i.e. Reddit) about that and look at how this might help the rest of the field.
- Recover relics basically just looks like a win-more bonus and does not look to change much beyond strong armies scoring more and week armies scoring less. No real need to discuss this beyond the fact that they are actually starting to force armies to have to go out and kill units now instead of just hiding for a couple turns and racking up secondary points. This is a good direction to go in, you want armies to have to go out and fight and interact, I just wish it was not in a win harder manner.
- Secure missing artefacts seems like it could really be a wild time and create some very strange dynamics now forcing both opponents to go out and fight over sub-optimal locations on the table. This also creates a lot of room for game theory which Greg touched on above, you now both have very important decisions to make that will determine the flow of the game from deployment onwards, this rewards having quick decision making and strong game planning. Overall I am a fan of this, it’s a move in the right direction to try and make games more dynamic.
The turn scoring changing will definitely effect 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 were better at hiding early and back loading their scores. Both of these are now harder to do 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? I do not have a crystal ball but again I like the change and hope it has the desired impact on the game we all love.
- Battlefield supremacy: The Change to engage is worrying for a couple armies while others just continue to not care. It was a pretty big swing and a miss to still allow Flyers to score this. The big losers are the poor Lictor and the cyber wolf, 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.
- No Mercy, No Respite: 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 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 wanted in the first place with the change. Games are fun when people are shooting and fighting each other instead of cowering behind walls scoring.
- Purge the Enemy: Bring it down now hits rhinos and raiders among several other vehicles. Overall this is a good change and will have an impact on how people design their lists, so again I think the change is good if it’s causing change to occur. I do like that they are making a couple of the kill secondaries easier to accomplish in an attempt to reward interacting every turn.
- Shadow Operations:
- Deploying homers is finally not strictly worse than ROD/RND and will now be picked as it can be completed in your own turn. This allows you as the player to control when and where you score your points, it’s easier to plan and rely on. Choosing secondaries is about getting the most reliable choices on the score sheet. Homers is looking like the new ROD to me.
- Retrieve Nachmund Data (RND) on the other hand is now filled with text and involves having to roll dice to complete it. This is more worrying to me as it now 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 this is not a secondary I want to mess with any more and before seeing this I almost exclusively picked ROD.
- Investigate signals is an interesting choice now because you can control the scoring of it by killing off the units in the center to score it. I am not sure I would still want to take it into some matches but its way more viable than it was before. Overall this section has the best changes as there is now more legitimate picks here.
- Warpcraft: Just kidding. GW forgot this was a secondary section, I guess?
These are my initial feelings about what has changed; I am of course biased as I’m a space wolves player and am filled with spite at all times at the current state of the game. I might be right on these, I might be wrong but it will be a wild ride figuring that out.
Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones – I like these overall. Philosophically they’re moving the pendulum back toward forcing players to interact with opponents and that’s a good thing. One of the biggest challenges 9th edition has had to face is that moving to a NOVA-like system for scoring meant adopting many of NOVA’s problems, where armies could play super defensively and avoid their opponents to win games. The result was that some armies could pick To the Last, Banners/RoD, and a faction secondary like Herd the Prey and just sit back and score points without having to worry about interacting on their opponent’s terms or in situations that might not be advantageous. The new primary bonus points and the secondary changes to No Prisoners and Bring it Down encourage more interaction – or at least reward doing it more – in a way that isn’t oppressive, but does help.
On that note, the kill secondaries – No Prisoners, Bring it Down, Assassination, Titanslayer, and Abhor the Witch are in many ways the most important in the game since they directly dictate how armies will be built in the competitive space. The adjustment to Bring it Down is probably the biggest deal here, since it means that Raiders, Tauroxes, and Rhinos are now 2 VP each while the Kill Rig moves to 3. No Prisoners is also a major change however, as it means the threshold for giving up max points moved to 130 wounds and realistically speaking an opponent only has to kill 100 of those to score 12 points. Because No Prisoners is not mutually exclusive to Bring it Down, it’s possible for some armies (read: Astra Militarum) to be punished for both simultaneously while others will just suddenly have to worry about one being picked up more against them.
From an army construction standpoint, I think this change probably depresses the value of the Raider a bit, since it means you can’t get away with a 5-Raider army any more without likely giving up another 3-5 points in Taloses/Cronii, and it further pushes up the value of Venoms. I don’t know that this dramatically affects army construction beyond this, but it does adjust the margins in important ways. Combined with No Prisoners, the idea may be to push for less skewed lists, where you don’t give up tons of points for either secondary, but I’m not sure if this potential downside outweighs the benefits of skewing hard in one direction in certain meta environments.
The changes to Retrieve Data and Engage also have major implications for army construction, pushing players tow larger squads and hurting elite armies that rely on units of 5 models to stay on the table. Custodes take the biggest hit here, though Deathshroud are hurt by it, as are marines – particularly Deathwatch, who like to Combat Squad – and Thousand Sons. On missions where these are in play there will be value in just being able to drop units to 2 models, or shoot them to the point where they might fail Retrieve Data, which in turn disincentivizes units of fewer than five models. I do agree with JONK that this may just push people to take Deploy Teleport Homers instead, since there are favorable circumstances for completing it same turn.
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