Goatboy’s 40K: Maelstrom Blues

angry-face-horz

Goatboy here to wax poetically on the current thing making me lose a decent amount of games lately – craptastic Maelstrom missions.

itc.logo.01.1

If you’ve been reading me for awhile you know I mostly play ITC based missions.  It is what I fly out to most of the time when I get a chance to play – thus it is all I really test at home.  This of course leads me to having a ton of games decided on the whim of a 3d6 and the unlucky nature of my rolling.  This also goes in the opposite direction where I have games that I just cash in the exact Maelstrom I need to bring my enemy to heel.  I will state here that I am not a fan of their usage but again – without some major changes to how the present them – I don’t see how I can effectively fix it within their system constraints.  Plus – having games where my army is either unkillable or devastating and still losing is probably a good thing.

i-dont-alwalys-steal-ideas-but-when-i-do-i-call-it-inspiration

I Have Two Ideas!

With that – this article is all about thoughts on how to rework that system and at least make it less – annoying when you roll the 2 missions over and over again.  I think that is the biggest bust factor out of it – when you constantly get that one mission that you have no hope in achieving.  I do think the changes they did to have 3d6 rolled and pick from the 3 is a big help as well as the bet on getting more and thus earning 3 points per turn as steps in the right direction.

Mission Cards: The initial thought was to utilize the ETC mission cards.  I think it fits in the true “maelstrom” idea by utilizing the cards, having a ton of options, and creating interesting game play.  The issue comes from the idea of forcing events to either use the cards, buy the cards, and having opponents making sure they have valid cards/decks.  I know we all have memories of Magic games where someone’s deck seemed to easily give them everything they needed to crush your Kobold.  While the idea of making custom cards as a selling point to the event is interesting – I do know it isn’t the most valid option for smaller events.  You could always utilize a mission sheet with all the options and a dice rolling system – but again that can be complicated for events that try to stay within the 2-2.5 hour time range.  ETC can have longer games and thus the complexity can easily be thought through and completed.

Pre-set Missions: The next thought I had was to look at building locked in Maelstroms and to somehow utilize a system for either “picking” your missions or having a set of missions you need to complete before you can move onto the next one.  Each one provides different levels of complexity and game play options.  I have played an event that had a similar system but lacked some of the structure.  Both of these systems seem to emphasis the chances for both players to complete them and thus ensures both teams can have chances to score the objectives.

First let’s look at my initial idea of having a based set of options.  You would have a list of 10 missions and each turn you pick 2 to try and complete by the beginning of your next turn.  Once you try a mission you cannot try it again – thus ensuring someone just doesn’t pick the same thing over and over again.  I would also put in some bonus missions that would generate more points to help let opponents catch up later in the game and have a locked in chance to do so.  It would also force you to play for different things in a turn and make your opponent try and respond to stop you – hopefully generating new play that isn’t just the same murder/kill/etc.

Mission-accomplished-281-29

An Example

Main Mission – Relic

Maelstrom List (2 more objectives are placed in each deployment half – they must be 24 inches from each other)
Hold Relic for a Turn
Move the Relic
Kill a Unit
Kill a Unit
Hold Opponent 1
Hold Opponent 2
Hold Your 1
Hold Your 2
Be within 12 inches of opponents deployment edge
Have 3 or more units and none of your opponents units within 12 inches of your deployment edge
Burn both Kill a Unit and try to kill 3+ units to earn 3 VP

This is just a basic draft on a mission.  You get to set up your turns, make plans, and not worry that you rolled the 2 things on the Maelstrom chart you can’t accomplish.  I think that’s what gets lost in some games where you feel like you have no way to plan any route to victory.  Sure your army isn’t dying, you’re killing stuff, but then you have now options to actually pull out a victory.  Plus this idea means no card printing and you can easily tailor these for specific missions to help change things up.  I just feel like there has to be a way to fix the random nature and still have the chance for different playing that isn’t just set up for kill kill kill.

idea-man

Making Things Better

I think the big thought I take from these 2 ideas is we need to remove the duplicating nature of the simplified Maelstrom.  If missions could only be grabbed once based on how many times they are present in the deck/list then we would hopefully see armies having to do more then just sit around and collecting the 2 lucky rolls that got them the to objectives on their side of the board.  It also means you could hopefully get the no opponent models in your zone at a later time when you have a better chance of stopping – say a drop pod sitting in your zone.  I want games to have more drama/excitement and while a random set of missions could be neat – it just limits some of the actual planning a true competitive battle could produce.

~Do you have anything thoughts on how to “fix” maelstrom?  Should events just kick it out and utilized a better Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary mission set up?  Should we go back to the old days of events with home brew mission formats?  Do you think 8th is going to change anything about this?

  • If you’re losing a lot of games, that means someone else is winning them. Surely not the type of mission is the thing to be blamed here, is it?
    And yes, bad dice-rolling can lose you a game of dice. Funfact, I know.

    • Karru

      Most of the Maelstrom Mission games I’ve seen have been massive steamrolls with no hope for the other player. No matter how good their list is or how amazing their tactics are, if they don’t wipe their opponent before the end of the game while the opponent is getting every card they need, it’s not fun. Seriously, Maelstrom missions can be fun, but it is extremely rare. It always seems to steamroll to one or the other. I already know I won’t be having much fun if I already know that I’ve lost the game because my opponent just scored 12 points on turn 1 while I’m sitting with 3 useless cards that cannot be achieved.

      Maelstrom suffers from the same problem as the Chaos Boon table. It has too many results in it. On top of that, there are so many unachievable ones if your opponent didn’t bring certain things like Fortifications, Super Heavies/Gargantuans and Fliers.

      • Master Avoghai

        3 useless card you cannot achieve?

        Actually we use a simple rule here : if you get a card that cannot be achieved (ex : cast a psy power when playing tau) you discard it and pick another one.

        This prevent a lot of disapointment

        • rtheom

          Yeah, we’ve used that rule a bit too at ours, but I think there’s benefit to keeping the useless cards. Sure, it can screw you sometimes, but it’s just as likely to screw your opponent. I’ve lost games because of it, but those losses never feel as bad as when my opponent just steamrolls my face and I am forced to watch him slowly wittle my army for 5 turns.

          • Karru

            Are you referring to Eternal War missions when you say that you get “steamrolled” or are you talking about Maelstrom still?

          • The problem is that while it is useful and tactical, it is just…not….FUN. Anything that reliably detracts from fun should be limited. In this case useless cards. There have been games where I got cards enough cards that I literally could not complete and it resulted in multi turns where there was nothing I could do and just might as well not have played.

          • rtheom

            I have had the same experience with the enemy having a majority weapons that were 2+ to wound and AP everything for my entire army in both Maelstrom and Eternal War missions. It is sometimes the opponent getting screwed by those very same card draws that allow me to draw any sense of fun from those games.

      • rtheom

        See, my experience has been the exact opposite, with Eternal War missions basically being massive steamrolls that are decided turn 2 because someone went hyper meta with their list. I’ve seen Maelstrom missions won buy guys that got steamrolled because they managed to keep a unit safe on a backfield objective, which at least gives the steamrolled player some hope, rather than just watching his opponent have fun rolling dice. I’ve also witnessed players behind by 12 objective points surge in the last turn and steal the win. I think Maelstrom has been a huge benefit to the game, including the random chance of drawing pointless cards.

        • Karru

          For me it’s the exact opposite. I have yet to play a game of Eternal War that isn’t decided until the last few turns. On the other side, the vast majority of Maelstrom missions turn into one sided games where the game is decided by the first hand you and your opponent drew.

          In the Eternal War missions you can predict and plan. In Maelstrom that is thrown out the window most of the time since you have to pray to the gods of RNG that you won’t draw a card you cannot achieve.

    • J Mad

      Sounds like you never played Maelstrom before.

    • Charon

      I have played enough maelstrom games to see a pattern.
      1) Fast MSU armies have an advantage
      2) the better starting hand tneds to keep that advantage through the game.

      The optimal use of maelstrom and objectives for me would be a game that has VP per held objective at the end of the game while “holding objectives” and “complete maelstrom objectives) would add up “ressource points” you could use for ingame effects (like cities of death/apocalypse/planetary assault stratagems)

      • Pascalnz

        we play maelstrom every week at the club. Once you get used to how to play it instead of keeping altar of war style games in your head it’s bloody brilliant.

        Games are generally close, if you try and get lots of objectives your army usually suffers, the opponent can then make it up later on, or try and wipe you.

        The tactical warlord table exists:)

        the divination table has a seriously awesome power that lets you mill cards.

        racial card sets have less to do with capturing objectives usually, which is nice as a choice if your race doesn’t have super formations with obsec.

        It might just be my club but… holy crap we are sublimely happy with maelstrom..straight out of the box

        • J Mad

          Yes…. games are close when they are sitting 4 units in there Depolyment, Objectives 6 and 1, they draw, “Claim 6 and 1” then your 1st turn you draw “Claim 6 and 1” and its the mission the opponent can steal your Obj cards… Yes b.c that is far for them to have 4 points for literally setting up at the end of turn 1 and you are now down 2 cards and 4 points.

          It literally is just a card draw RNG game with the players trying to play tag depending what is drawn and where.

          Having only played about 60-70 maelstrom games I guess Im in the minority.

          • rtheom

            Hey, at least that sounds more fun than “Watch me kill you with Grav Cannons for 5 turns.” :p

          • J Mad

            I can at least “Do something about that” but card draws? Nope….

          • rtheom

            Well, considering reserve rolls and just To Hit and To Wound rolls can also have a similar effect… but you can “Do something about” the cards, too. Shoot/assault your opponent off of their objectives and make sure that they can’t hold any of them. It’s just as viable as “doing something” about Grav Cannons.

        • Charon

          “Out of the box”
          Cast a psi power as Dark Eldar player without allies. Awesome.
          If we play maelstrom we both use tactical because it is the best table i this knd of game.
          Sory but no. Games are not “generally close”. I had games that easily let me fulfill all my maelstrom missions turn 1 without any efford then redraw and get another free missions while my opponent had to spend 3 turns to discard useless objectives.
          Maelstrom tends to snowball for one side pretty fast if you do it right.

          • Chris

            The easiest solution is to say if it is impossible to complete it for whatever reason discard and draw again. We also tend not to use the recon card as well since we don’t use mysterious objectives.

          • Charon

            the claim was “straight out of the box”

          • rtheom

            Now see, I’ve seen that happen, but just as often, I’ve seen people with a close game trading off objectives. Perhaps it just seems like there are more “I draw everything turn 1 and win” because they are the most annoying of defeats?

          • Charon

            No, because they are POSSIBLE. With the notable exception of the Warpstorm table nothing in this game makes you win/lose turn 1.
            Random mechanics do have their place but this adds up to the long list of “bad random” in the game.

          • Pascalnz

            and watch your opponent try and slay the witch.
            same deal, you can make a list designed to score as many as you can , or deny your opponent their choices as well

    • nurglitch

      Bad dice-rolling doesn’t lose games. Not understanding risk assessment, on the other hand, does.

      • Bad dice rolls lose games all the time.

        • ZeeLobby

          All the time is probably a stretch, if most of your games rely on 4+s then you probably lose about half of your games, assuming your at the same skill level as your opponent and that your lists/factions are balanced (laughable right?). So yeah, it could be anything at this point I guess.

          • By “all the time” I don’t mean that someone is losing every game he’s playing, but that games all over the world get lost due to bad dice rolls all the time.

          • ZeeLobby

            I’ve seen a lot of games lost to bad positioning or tactics as well, with good dice rolls. So all the time is still probably a stretch.

          • Walter Vining

            ive seen as many games lost due to bad dice rolls as I have with bad tactics and positioning. its kinda hard to win a game when you cant even blow up a rhino with s9 ap2 when you roll 1s on penetration.

          • You still didn’t get my point.

          • ZeeLobby

            Are you implying that you can’t win with bad dice rolls? Cause I’ve seen people win while rolling poorly as well.

          • No, that’s exactly what I am *not* implying.

          • ZeeLobby

            You win. My head hurts.

  • Karru

    A progression style objective system might be interesting. I’d consider something like this:

    There are 2-3 objectives (depending on the size of the table) on the board, following the centre line of the board. These are pre-determined and not placed by the players. Then, both players have 1 objective each to place on their own deployment zone, following the standard objective placing rules. The 2-3 objectives in the middle of the board are always active and give you 1 point if you control them at the end of the opponents turn.

    Then comes the progression.

    The game is split into 3 stages.

    1. Stage:
    – Kill one enemy unit
    – Control one of the 3 objectives in the middle of the board at the end of your opponents turn
    – Kill a Super Heavy Vehicle/Gargantuan

    All of these are worth 1 Victory point. You need at least 2 to move on to Stage 2 or you can try to complete all of your objectives and then move on. You are not allowed to switch after your choice. If you complete all of your objectives, you get +3 victory points.

    2. Stage:
    – Kill one enemy Independent Character
    – Control at least two of the 3 objectives in the middle of the board at the end of your opponents turn
    – Kill one enemy Flier/Flying Monstrous Creature
    – Destroy one enemy fortification

    Same as before. This time you get +4 victory points.

    3. Stage:
    – Control the opponents objective at the end of the opponents turn.

    This one is different. Once one player reaches this point in the turn, the other has the option to escalate to this point as well at the start of their turn. Completing this one gives you 10 victory points. The idea is that the losing player can play catch up, since it is very likely that they are now significantly down in points, and the 10 VP can turn a loss into a victory.

    This is an extremely rough sketch of course and in no way tested, so don’t hate on it that much. If you have suggestions that might make it better, I’m all ears. If you hate it, please explain it in a calm manner with supporting arguments, avoid the classic “this is very bad and you should feel bad” comment.

  • Violator_40K

    ‘…unlucky nature of my rolling’

    If it’s that prolific then it’s not an issue with the missions, you’re just playing the wrong game, bud. Try MTG or any game without dice and you shouldn’t have any issues 👍 😜

    • Strategery.

      its an older meme sir but it checks out

      http://memedad.com/memes/1016204.jpg

    • Walter Vining

      MTG has even more random chance than die rolls.

      • Shawn Pero

        Ok then play video games. Jeez. Or just stick to the “whinge” aspect of the hobby, lots of guys here have luck with that.

    • ReverendTiberiusJackhammer

      Keep in mind there are two major types of randomness in the game; random degrees of success (roll a d6 to hit) vs. random effect (roll d3 to determine what special rule your Possessed have). I think it quite reasonable to be happy with the former, but not the latter.

  • wong40k

    I never understood the maelstrom game, it appears to me the moment anyone play maelstrom he or she have essentially forfeited any rights to complain about the game outcome.

    The way I look at it maelstrom basically added more randomness to an already random enough game so even the worst army has a chance to win by sheer randomness in a meta that is totally messed up by super heavies and death stars.

    The solution? Don’t play maelstrom games, If you do play them just go with the ride and expect little. I have seen and heard enough about how in a maelstorm game one can totally own the opponent’s army but lost due to card stacks.

    • Pascalnz

      You could say the same thing about altar of war missions.

      the moment you play a game where the winner is so often decided by a single dice roll to see if the game goes on to turn 6 you forfeit your right to complain about the game outcome.

      • Karru

        If that player decided to allow it to happen of course. I’m going to take a wild guess here and say that more Maelstrom missions are decided on the first hand compared to the amount of Altar of War missions that gets decided on that last turn roll.

        The major difference between the two is this. In Altar of War turn roll, you can prepare for it. You can look at the table and say “okay, so this X unit can move here and contest this objective and thus win/tie the game, I should kill it or make it run away.” In Maelstrom, the game starts, you look at your hand and see 1x capture the objective that is in the opposing side of the board, 1x Destroy non-existent Super Heavy/Gargantuan, 1x Destroy non-existent Flier. Then at the end of the turn your opponent rolls in with 3x capture the two objectives on his side of the board that he has been sitting on since start of the game. Next turn he gets Overwhelming Firepower, No Prisoners and another score one of his own objectives. On the third turn he gets the Kingslayer and more objectives on his side of the board.

        • Walter Vining

          Ive seen big maelstrom leads disappear. first hand doesn’t mean winning.

          • Pascalnz

            exactly, you change the way you play.
            also, there is no kill super heavy gargantuan card. it’s just kill a monstrous creature or vehicle, bonus points if it’s a big variety.

            capturing points around the table is doable for a lot of factions, with deep striking/ bikes etc.
            you can also use your opponents knowledge that you have that objective to put them out of position trying to stop you from scoring it next time.

            you chuck out the kill a flier…. but of course he doesn’t have a flier so he’s down the ability to affect reserve rolls and will have a hard time dealing with any flyers you have.

            overwhelming firepower and no prisoners are by no means garaunteed. it can lead to expending far more firepower just to ensure a whole unit dies. and if you grab the Kill as many in the assault phase card, it can also screw you because you want to kill things in assault rather than shooting.

            That’s also only by turn three. there’s 2 to 4 more turns, and they’ve probably run out of easy draws at that point and have probably sacrificed a lot of efficiency to grab a lot of them.. yes… even the objectives in their deployment. it stops them from engaging efficiently. objectives can put a shooting unit into bad fire lanes and being stuck on the other side of the board is really bad for assault units… obviously.

            placing objectives well is also extremely important.
            fighting vs a shoot army, make sure you have as many in awkward positions a possible and as few in deployment zones as possible.

            you have to think about the whole game every turn. I find it a lot more engaging.

  • Inian

    I do love the cards/maelstrom missions even if they are a bit random. The amount of games that are decided on turn 2 have drastically declined. The worst of the bunch is the one where the number of cards is the inverse of the turn number but other than that they are a lot of fun.

    An idea for an improvement would be something along the lines of. Draw 6-10 cards at the start of your turn, select 3-5 of these and play them face down and discard the rest. At the start of the following turn turn the cards up and you can now score them. At the end of the turn discard any face up objectives that were not scored.

    This removes a lot of randomness and forces players to plan for the following turn(s).

    • Pascalnz

      yup, mission 6… is… an acquired taste. Never play that mission to show a maelstrom game. it’s still my least favourite of those missions

    • euansmith

      I like that idea of effectively forcing the player to come up with a sort of plan of battle with their cards before the fight kicks off.

    • ZeeLobby

      Yeah. The randomness is both great for making games last, but crappy for making games even. I’ve definitely had a min unit of troops sit on a backfield objective behind LoS blocking terrain and have it win me games while my opponent draws crap. It’s not really fun for either player at that point. I don’t feel like I’m tactically outplaying him by drawing lucky

      • Karru

        This is exactly my issue with Maelstrom. You can literally win a game by pure luck and your opponent can’t do ANYTHING to prevent it. I’m not talking about godly rolls or anything mind you, I’m talking about just getting the right cards and the opponent gets the wrong ones.

        Eternal War has its downsides, but at least you can say freely after a loss that it was down to tactical mistakes or some insanely bad luck. In Maelstrom, way too many games boil down to the “I just happened to draw better than you did, so I win” endings and I just can’t find those being fun.

        • David Metcalfe

          i’m not sure how your argument of random card drawing (or rolling dice for objectives) is different to rolling dice for hitting/shooting. bad luck is all over the game.

          • Karru

            They are very different in this case. I have lost a few games to abysmal dice rolling, but the victory was not based purely based on that. I could at least grab objectives or contest the opponent’s objectives and still win. In Maelstrom this is not possible. If you get a bad hand at the start of the game and your opponent gets the average or above hand, you lost. Now you just play the 2-3 hour game to the end even though you already know you’ve lost.

            Also, the less RNG that effects the game, the better. When playing Maelstrom, you have to hope that the cards won’t hate you on top of the dice.

          • J Mad

            When you roll 200-300 dice per game, needing averages of 3-4 90% the time, you will most likely get an average roll and can calculate that easily. With a hand full of good or bad rolls, it normally doesnt make you win or lose so dominantly

            When you draw 3-6 cards (depending on the game) 1-2 bad card draws for you and 1-2 good card draws for them will drastically give someone the lead and many times there is no way to come back even if you kill 99% their army and they only killed 20% of yours, you can still lose (even if you make every perfect play).

          • Pascalnz

            woah, 3-6 cards?? it’s usually at least 12. at least with people that know what they’re doing

          • J Mad

            LOL you dont even know the rules, no missions do you draw more than 6 cards ever, let alone 12. If it was Draw 12 cards, then yes it would be more balanced actually.

          • Pascalnz

            I thought you meant in the whole game..crumbs

      • Damien Coté

        This is why I laugh at people that complain about Maelstrom and the cards. It adds another dimension to the tactics. When I build my armies, I build them to handle the randomness of the cards. Sitting on the backfield objective? That’s what pods/cover ignore basilisks/suits/out flankers/flyers/pyrovores on spores (what a lovely surprise)/(jet) bikes/deep strike is for.

        I love the cards because they add another layer that makes you think and a new challenge to overcome. I have to build my army to match that instead of just castling up on my objective or just trying to table to opponent. I have to have maneuverability, range, armor and assault components. With the Maelstrom missions, I have been quite successful with a standard CAD all Slaanesh Daemons and Allied Emperor’s Children army (no fateweaver, no IA 13) because my army is flexible enough to handle what the cards throw at me (and what the Warpstorm forecast is). I don’t have the firepower to deal with Tau, Slaanesh has nothing to deal with Wraith Knights (although I5-6 across the board throws Warp Spiders off for some reason, and my daemons lol at grav heavy meta), and I have no real formations, but I can still pull off victories because I can play the mission.

        TL;DR I find that the randomness of tactical objectives makes some units and armies more playable than just the standard OP units. Forces players to have more of a diversified list (as long as you are discarding the actual unachievable objectives)

  • euansmith

    “Kill a Unit
    Kill a Unit”

    Typical Goatboy, can’t avoid spamming 😉

    This looks like a rather good idea. I like the idea of giving players more choice and rewarding an all-comers style of list building.

  • No Body
    • Karru

      This sounds about right when it comes to my personal experience when playing Maelstrom Missions.

  • LordKrungharr

    I am an advocate for combo missions involving some Maelstromy and some Eternal War type elements. It lets everyone focus on their specialty and screw with the other players plan as they are able. And if chaos or Thunderwolves just wanna roll up and smash there should always be a kill point element!

  • Simon Chatterley

    I’ve played (and hosted) in events which use the 18 card restricted maelstrom deck and then forms your secondary. Careful matching between the eternal war primary and maelstrom secondary means whilst there is still a random element to the game it also doesn’t feel like it can run out of control.

    So far I’ve found this more fun than the ITC scenarios which after a while just blend into 1. Each game feels very much the same as the last for me in that format.

    But it’s horses for course. I know some lads that love those ITC scenarios so who knows.

    • Walter Vining

      are you restricting it to 21-26 and 31-36 plus the faction specific cards?

  • I played a really fun game of Maelstrom yesterday and was in the lead until the last turn. My usual opponent played his new White Scars army a nice change from his Tau.
    It occurred to me on the drive to the shop I’m hoping for more game rules next edition really hoping they incorporate Death from the Sky. I’ve skimmed those rules and no one seems overly interested in using them. I understand why but I’m still hoping they are added.
    Getting back to the maelstrom of war rules, I like that they don’t just work for one player all the time. I’ve had some massive losses and some close games and some light wins, I’m not overly competitive. But I like the idea that the rules are against everyone as a thing. I’ve tried ITC mission and format once I may try it again but I didn’t like it at all and can’t see the appeal. Sure the army construction/comp is ok enough but the maelstrom chart is more or less crap. It’s too easy to game it to win. If there was no way to win the game with maelstrom points then it would be better. My friend I mentioned above with his tau found it too easy to camp on two objectives and just kill my units. Maybe that was on us for playing that at 3000 points.I don’t know.

    • Karru

      One of the many reasons why I want to avoid “The Emperor’s Will” at all costs. It’s the worst mission in the game. All the other Eternal War missions are very fun though.

      • I haven’t played an Eternal War mission yet this edition lol.

        • Pascalnz

          barrign tournaments… me niether:)

          • I haven’t been to one since mid 5th edition…
            It’s not looking like I will again either but that’s on me.

  • I’m actually moving away from ITC missions entirely, if you take a look at Infinity missions, there are a lot that can be adapted to 40k use, which lead to balanced games. I don’t think the double-mission format that ITC has used for years has stood the test of time and that they could do better with a bit of effort.

    http://www.thediceabide.com/2016/10/what-itc-40k-could-learn-from-infinity/

    • Walter Vining

      I have done some infinity missions to 40k and they work decently, even the specialist rule can be adapted to 40k purposes fairly easily and makes people think more about list building.

  • A third option, which the Renegade Open and Midwest Conquest use, is to have a list of 12 Maelstrom objectives available in each game. At the start of each player turn, the active player chooses 2 to try to achieve, and they check to see if they score them at the start of the next turn. Very ITC-ish, but there’s a twist – once you’ve selected 2 objectives, you can’t select them again that game, whether you successfully score them or not. At the beginning of the game, both players tend to choose easy ones to grab, but by turns 4 and 5, you start running out of good choices and have to start playing the table more and taking gambles – or you can take early gambles and hold the easy ones in your pocket, but you might not be left with the forces to make those “easy” ones easy anymore.

    It puts more control in the players’ hands and takes it away from the whim of the dice. Even with 3d6-pick-two, I’ve been screwed by the ITC maelstrom chart repeatedly, whether it’s a matter of getting the same two unachievable objectives over and over, or seeing my opponent get the same two easy ones over and over. The RO method gets rid of the swingy feel of the dice rolls AND makes sure that a player can’t just score the same easy objective multiple times in a game.

  • Andrew Thomas

    I did enjoy playing ITC rules this past weekend, despite getting thrashed by Necrons and out-scored by Taudar (#Deathstarproblems). I don’t find much to complain about as far as their take on MVP are concerned, but it was a little demoralizing that it’s a winner-take-all scoring system, in that you gain nothing toward your ranking in the ITC when you lose. That aside, other than missing the idiosyncrasies that the Maelstrom Cards provide by doing what your army does best, ITC’s system works just fine.

  • Crablezworth

    Maelstrom is garbage

  • JimOnMars

    An option I like is to draw 7 cards at the start of the game and both players use the same 7. Each card corresponds to one game turn, and can only be scored at the end of that game turn. If any card is impossible to either player, it is discarded and redrawn.

  • Painjunky

    Maelstrom is excellent!!!

    My MSU pure dark eldar actually has a chance vs all the triple cheese with cheese sauce cheese lists that is 7th ed.

  • V0iddrgn

    The biggest problem my fellow players have with the Eternal War missions is that everything sort of happens at the end as far as scoring goes and that is why they like Maelstrom missions. I don’t like the Maelstrom missions for the same reasons being debated here. But why not have a system built on a little of both. Basically this:
    There are always 4 Objective markers. Two are placed on the center line of the battlefield and two in each player’s deployment zone. Then just allow objectives to be scored at the end of the even turns and the end of the game, i.e. 3 times a game. The objective marker in your deployment zone counts as 1 VP, the ones in the middle count for 2 VP’s and the objective in your opponent’s deployment zone counts for 3 VP’s. This could be the basis for ALL missions. Nice and standardized.