Testing the Alternate 40K Primary Scenario

I've always been a bit dissatisfied with the scenario generation for 40K.  We all know there are certain missions and deployments that help or hinder armies... why can't we play to that and create another level of strategy?

This is my attempt.  It's much easier than the following stereo instructions might indicate; my hope is you'll try it and let me know the results.

Alternate 40K Primary Scenario

1) Players roll a d6 in a roll-off.
1a) If a player has a special rule modifying the roll to determine first or second turn as outlined in a standard game, he may choose to employ it for this roll-off.

2) The winner of the roll-off chooses from three options:
2.1) Choose first or second turn.
2.1a) The player taking first turn will NOT automatically choose a deployment zone.
2.2) Choose the mission from the Standard Mission Chart.
2.2.1) Seize Ground
2.2.1a) If a player chooses Seize Ground, he will place the extra objective as applicable.
2.2.2) Capture and Control
2.2.3) Annihilation
2.3) Choose a deployment from the Deployment Type Chart.
2.3.1) Pitched Battle
2.3.2) Spearhead
2.3.3) Dawn of War
2.3a) If a player chooses a deployment, he will also choose a deployment zone.

3) The next player, the individual who did not win the roll-off, will choose from the two remaining options.
3.1) Choose first or second turn.
3.1a) The player taking first turn will NOT automatically choose a deployment zone.
3.2) Choose the mission from the Standard Mission Chart.
3.2a) If a player chooses Seize Ground, he will place the extra objective, as applicable.
3.3) Choose a deployment from the Deployment Type Chart.
3.3a) If a player chooses a deployment, he will also choose a deployment zone.

4) The remaining option will be determined randomly:
4.1) The players may require a roll off to determine choice of first or second turn.
4.1a) If a player has a special rule modifying the roll to determine first or second turn as outlined in a standard game and did not use it to modify the initial roll at outlined in 1a, he may choose to employ it for this roll-off.
4.2) The players may require a d6 roll to determine the mission.
4.2a) In Seize Ground, the player with the second turn will place the extra objective, as applicable.
4.3) The players may require a d6 roll to determine the deployment.
4.3a) If the players randomly roll to determine a deployment, the choice of deployment zones will revert to the player who chose the first turn.

5) All other Game, Mission, and Scenario options will be followed as normal.
5.1) Seize the Initiative!
5.2) Mission Special Rules
5.3) Infiltrators and Scouts


The test games have indeed yielded some new strategies, but I'll let you guys discover all this for yourself.

As an aside, this is the 566th published post on Strictly Average.  Not bad, huh?


Chaosheade said...


Makes initiative roll bonuses a very large boost. Could be very good or very bad depending on your dice and how much your opponent can gimp you by choosing a certain option.

Brent said...

Re: initiative roll bonuses... don't be so sure!

It may seem that way at first blush, but consider what you would do if your opponent wins the roll and chooses to go first with a gunline army...

So far in our test games, choosing mission or deployment is probably a slightly better strategy.

Brian said...

That sounds awesome, I wish we could do this at tournaments. I hope this level of detail goes into 6th edition.

Brian said...

Yeah the +1 and the like is actually a much smaller thing because usually those armies want to go first. Fine they still get to but you get to significantly hinder their strategy by picking Dawn of War if they are shooting, or picking a spearhead and sticking them in a bad quarter while you have a good one. Since the 3rd option is random and it would be mission goal or deployment that army could be at a serious disadvantage. I think this kind of set up would really encourage a shift to more tactical armies instead of the clubs and rocks we so often see on the table.

This is pure genius. I hope this gets picked up by a GT in 2012. I would happily fly out to such a GT if I can manage to cram in a 3rd event after Bolscon and ATC.

I'm only playing the Beakycon scenario this month but after Beakycon I'll start testing this with some good players.

Master Manipulator (every store needs one) said...

I think this is a fantastic idea for casual play, but I would have a problem with it in a tournament.

If you are looking to make the playing field as level as possible (tournament wise) then each player should be playing the same scenario with the same scoring.

Brent said...

MM(esno): I don't agree.

First up, this is missing the rubric necessary for tournament play, such at battle points and modifiers, draw and scale of win/loss - and that's deliberate at this point.

More importantly, what's level about a playing field now? 'Even' would be a host of Grey Knight and Space Wolf armies; 'fair' would be four rounds playing Annihilation Pitched Battle. Okay, that's obviously flirting with the extremes, so let's try this a different way...

Normally one doesn't control the terrain, nor the missions, more their opponents; any one of those can screw a player's results. Even one such bad matchup can ruin someone's chances.

With my proposed scenario, you still can't control terrain - but you've got a way to modify it with the deployment. You can also exert some control over the missions, because you'll have the option to control either the turn order or the mission itself. You may not control the opponent you face, but you can take him out of his best game...

...as he's taking you out of yours.

To me, that's a bit more competitive than what we're currently seeing.


It's what I'm proposing anyway, but it's also why I dropped it here. Feedback is always welcome!

Evil Homer said...

Everyone at a tournament should be playing the same scenario, scored the same way each turn.

Going this route will add a minimum of 10 minutes to tournament rounds. More at first.

You're not really leveling the playing field, like COMP your imposing an artificial environment that can be manipulated, and justifying it by saying both sides can manipulate the outcome. Not great logic, its like saying WM is balanced because everything is broken equally.

You might consider if some of the following were true:
(1)Armies had a strategy rating
(2)Every army had equal access to things like seizing bonuses, 1st turn bonuses, forced re-reolls, voluntary re-reolls etc. Sionce they don't you're simply creating a new environment for people to screw. Codex SM, Chaos SM, IG, for example have no way to affect modify outcome except through blind dice. May as well roll randomly from the book for each round.

I applaud changing the scenario's for 40k. There are some in the Scenario book GW put out for instance that are really good. There are some GT tournament packages out there that aren't terrible. Hell, even there's even a scenario generation book kicking around down here that has potential, but this...I don't think I could get on board for a competitive even run like this.

The bottom line is you're allowing players to dictate the deployment, 1st turn, or objective that is most beneficial to them, rather than making the player extend themselves and become a better player and that is really where my issue with this is. You should have to play better than the other guy, not manipulate the environment to give yourself the best chance every game.

To give yourself the best chance you need to build a better list.

I could keep going but why bother. This was long enough

Brent said...

Evil Homer:

Have you tested it?

You've made a bunch of arbitrary assumptions, but beyond that I think you're missing the larger point:

This is another way of generating a mission from the book. An extra 10 minutes? It shouldn't take an extra two, nor did it when we playtested it the Friday before last. And the four involved had a lot less to go on than what I've provided here.

The only issue we had was brought up by Farseer Tim and addressed here (namely extra tokens and who chooses deployment zones if that was an option players picked). That's it, and he could certainly have applied the same logic I did if he wasn't simply pointing it out so I was aware of it.

Know what you'll have when you're done? A scenario from the book.

The single largest gripe players online say that have with tournaments is odd, unbalanced missions, which may or may not favor the style of army they bring. This directly addresses that.

"The bottom line is you're allowing players to dictate the deployment, first turn, or objective that is most beneficial to them..."

No I'm not. I'm allowing them to dictate one of three... and even then one of those is already something that's done with a d6 rolloff prior to the game.

You wouldn't say, "You've won the roll to go first, but I think that's bullshit because it's beneficial to you."

I think the main thing you're missing here this system _doesn't_ allow a player a matchup in his best mission. He gets part of what he wants, but so does his opponent. That's a much better test of who's the better general than sitting down to a table and finding out your Nids are playing Annihilation Pitched Battle against a Mech Guard army.

So then the Mech Guard army wins the roll to go first. If one is being honest here, that's an uphill battle for the Nids.

The scenario generator is more about compromise than benefit. The Mech Guard player could win the roll and choose first turn, but chances are the Nid player would choose Dawn of War or Capture and Control, or whatever happens to be balance out the game for him.

Knowing that, the Mech Guard player is far more likely to choose a deployment, rather than first turn. The Nid then has to decide what's more important to him, the mission type or first turn.

None of this takes 10 minutes. You've been playing scenarios out of the book for years.

Moving on, I never once mentioned tournament play, because that isn't what this is about. It was about asking people to playtest this and provide feedback. That said, I do hope to use this in tournament play in the future...

...at which point, you as a player are free to play or not. There are plenty of other options out there.

Evil Homer said...

Your absolutely right, I have been playing scenarios out of the book for years.

You have come up with a way for players to either (1) choose 1/2 of the scenario that is best for them or (2) choose 1/2 of the scenario that is worst for their opponent.

#2 is really the the issue. So you're playing long fangs and I choose dawn of war. Congrats, you're shafted. I'm playing IG and I don't care about dawn of war, and I want to go second in that case. I roll on and bring my mech'd fire power to bear. Go Me!

You're Dark Eldar, and I choose to go first, At point you've decidided you're going to all reserve anyway.

The time issue will happen, not because it takes a long time to generate the mission but because are going to want to weigh their options. It's like choosing CoD strategems, anything that adds choice is going to add time.

Beyond that, I can totally decide to build a list that optimizes 2 choices I will be guaranteed to control 1 of which every game.

EVERY GAME! If I build to minimize kill points and maximize attrition you're opponent is obviously not going to pick kill points but I'm fine with either objective mission. God forbid I get to choose annihilation every time. Combine that with a deep striking army and it feels like I get to push the staples easy button. Something like say...Deathwing, GK Termies, BA Termie Heavy right off the top of my head.

Like I said, it's like COMP. It's competitive in the sense that I get another set of artificial constraint to try and break. It's still all about the list, like many things in 40k. It doesn't do anything to promote better play as far as I can tell.

Now, admittedly this is all Theoryhammer, and I haven't tested it and I might even be willing to test it but if I do it's going to be with a list that is designed to work best with the system you present. And I need scoring to see how it fills out. Email me.

Brent said...

I don't disagree with any of that! (And what's wrong with trying to play into a scenario that's bad for your opponent?)

Of course it's like comp! In the broadest sense though, any tournament has that; I happen to think this might be the most balanced approach to that problem.

It's all about challenges to overcome, and I expect people may want to adjust their army if they knew there was the possibility of playing this scenario.

But I doubt it would be that dramatic. Any player with a serious desire to place in a tournament has already had to take into account different types of missions, including Dawn of War or Seize Ground, or tough games like Dark Eldar going first.

As an aside, using your example, if I'm playing Long Fangs and my opponent chooses Dawn of War, I'll choose to go first. My heavy weapons will be in position to fire first in Round Two.

For each, an answer!

I'll send you the rubric via email when I'm done with it

Online Blackjack said...

Testing the Alternate 40K Primary Scenario - I've always been a bit dissatisfied with the scenario generation for 40K.

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