Hi everyone BBF here to discuss competitive tournament mission optimization, and a shoutout to the ITC.
I’m a Competitive Player
I play the ITC Championship Missions (ITC CM) on a weekly basis. I also like to play Eternal War Missions from Chapter Approved as well. Reecius and his crew at FLG have literally knocked competitive missions out of the park. I can see some major influence from NOVA – Mike Brandt and his crew are also on top of their game. Some say these missions are always the same but honestly they are not because of things like secondaries which are selectable and there are many choices so you always have good options to optimize your army performance. The primary objectives not as much though which I see some room for improvement. I watch a lot of competitive video battle reports and for sure the ITC has greatly influenced competitive gaming in a positive way. I don’t play ETC missions but I hear a lot of great things about their format as well.
Note that if you want to excel at playing ITC CM you need to play them on a regular basis so you can learn how to master the many in-game dynamics. Once you’ve played them enough you’ll reach a point where you can spend more time thinking about what are your critical win conditions and how to best achieve them versus just trying to figure out how to simply score some points. It takes some time and commitment… of course competitive play is not for everyone and that’s why there’s open play and narrative play – water seeks its own level.
Always Be Tuning
The main reason why I chose to write this article is because there is a poll put out by FLG this week soliciting constructive feedback to improve the ITC CM and that’s a great thing. Gone are the polls designed simply to create a plethora of house rules completely changing the game mechanics.
I have run many tournaments and know that by designing a stout mission set the TO can effectively balance the rule set… so let me give you a great example. For whatever reason GW loves Imperial Knights (they are THE special snow flakes with the pay to win button in my honest opinion) which are the epitome of an unfun army to have to play against. Imperial Knights are extremely powerful and do not suffer from any unit taxes such as having to take three troops… every Knight including Armigers and Helverins are totally optimized now, there are no bad choices. Other armies must take at least three troops for a battalion to rock the sweet five command points and not all troops are equal nor does everyone want to field cheap as chip Astra Militarum – YUCK !!!
Enter Chapter Approved 2018
The new Chapter Approved 2018 Eternal War Missions have a mission rule for holding Objectives whereby only troops can do so which is a huge nerf to Imperial Knights – Check Mate. I’d love to see more of this type of variance to balance the existing rule set. GW has also reintroduced some missions where you know before any deployment whose going first – that means there is no Roll Off… yes there is still Seize the Initiative BUT if you know you are going second then deploy accordingly.
Finally I think some missions the players should place the objective markers rather than having them pre-set. While I totally abhor Maelstrom and have heard some horror stories about certain players literally stacking their decks some element of randomness is a good thing. I’ve noticed that some of the ITC CM there is a clear cut advantage to horde armies over more elite armies since the former has plenty of chaff to sit on objectives out in the open… it’s not really fair, not by a long shot to be completely honest and that is one reason why a certain level of randomness can lead to a more fair game holding the hordes at bay forcing the mass army players to actually have to think about it.
~That’s all for this week, what are some of your suggestions to help improve competitive missions and put all armies on equal ground?