I’m not a deathstar fan – I don’t like massive individual models or units which are wrecking balls, etc. I much prefer games where the army wins as an entire entity as I find it more challenging as an opponent and controlling player (but I’ll take my Level 10 Daemon Hunter any day of the week…).
As we’ve outlined quite recently on numerous posts at 3++ is the New Black, I feel a lot of these pressures are moving away from deathstars. Objective Secured is a prime example where a lonely Grot is better than your 800 point unit at winning the game at the right moment. Now bring in things like Jetbikes or Space Marine Bikes or Wave Serpents or Devilfish or Land Raiders or, do you get the picture? Something with speed or durability and with Objective Secured can make winning games based on the mission a lot easier against deathstars than before.
Another major factor of this it the Maelstrom cards. If this objective power can be proven throughout the game, rather than just at game’s end, well deathstars have another nail in their coffin. There are certainly deathstars with the rule as well (wait until you see some TH/SS with Sanctuary and a Priest for a 2++ re-rollable in combat; Invisible blobs, etc.) but the ones that have been truly problematic in the past may see a lot less use.
This is of course assuming you can make Maelstrom work in a regular tournament environment. Remember, there is good random and bad random and for the most part, applying the straight concept of Maelstrom doesn’t work as there’s a lot of bad random in there. However, and I’ve said this a few times now, I think the concept of this is great as it creates a start to finish winning experience and puts another bit of pressure on moving the game in the right direction.
How then could these be implemented? I toyed with throwing six Maelstrom only objectives on the table but that could become quite complex when you’ve got a bunch of other objectives and just thought it was better to incorporate them into “normal” missions. We also wanted to minimise some of the bad random (i.e. drawing a poor hand with unachievable objectives) and thus we are playtesting the following currently for the first 3++ tournament of 7th edition on 19 July 2014:
- Each player draws up to three Maelstrom missions each controlling turn; up to three (opponents can see these cards)
- Upon drawing a card, any player may discard up to any number of their cards and re-draw once per turn
- Any cards that are not achievable may be discarded and re-drawn for free
- All references to D3 Vp are replaced with “two VP”
- Upon completing the Maelstrom requirements, place this in an “achieved” pile and calculate VP at end of the game
- If a game has a limited amount of objectives, Randomly assign Maelstrom objective numbers and automatically discard any objective cards greater than the set number (i.e. if four objectives are used; randomly assign 1,2,3,4 and discard any cards with references to objectives 5,6)
With the following missions from 3++con (playtested for 6th edition):
A Most Important Piece of Hardware 2.0 (Hammer & Anvil, Relic worth 5 VP, two objectives on centre line)
- Maelstrom would be three objectives here (Relic (1), and normal objectives (2,3))
Total Domination 2.0 (Dawn of War, Crusade (4 objectives), Kill Points Secondary (3VP))
- Maelstrom would be four objectives here (normal objectives (1,2,3,4))
Rapid Raid 2.0 (Vanguard Strike, Scouring with 4 Objective in the middle, Fast Attack options gain Objective Secured and count as 1 VP per unit destroyed)
- Maelstrom would be all six objectives randomly assigned (normal objectives (1,2,3,4,5,6))
Seek and Destroy (Dawn of War, Kill Points with the BELOW CHANGES)
- Ignore secondary objective – replace with six Maelstrom objectives placed as per rulebook (i.e. you and opponent alternate placing three objectives each)
- Each of these objectives is only utilised for Maelstrom mission purposes and are randomly assigned (1,2,3,4,5,6)
Now already on 3++ there has been a lot of discussion about both points two and three so what we’re after is more playtesting. The more games we get and feedback upon that, the better as we can make adjustments and ensure the missions themselves are reflecting 7th edition and making for an enjoyable experience.
Keep in mind we’re also running with the following generally agreed upon army construction template:
- One combined arms detachment
- Plus one other source of models that is not another combined arms detachment (i.e. Dataslate, Formations, etc.)
- No lords of war
- No unbound
- XXXX points
Yes we these are changes but we feel if we make minor changes that have been tested and agreed upon by many, the game will be a better experience than playing it straight from the box.
Anyway, please discuss and playtest 🙂