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Goatboy’s Warhammer 40K: We Have a Problem With Secondaries

5 Minute Read
Feb 23

Goatboy here to talk about Warhammer 40k Secondaries. Houston, we have a problem.

I have been slowly percolating on an idea for the last few weeks about the current state of 40k.  I think there are some issues with the current set of Secondaries – especially some of the book ones (and how Dark Angels can take Marines and their own).  It feels to me that the overall set of missions – while neat in that we have a lot – need some work.

How We Got Here

We all know the game within a game that the ITC missions became towards the end of 8th.  We saw armies built to take advantage of specific set ups that force opponents to pick bad “choices”.  We also saw a lot of games that really came down to the secondaries not mattering as much as what both armies could max and the only true game was seeing how much they could remove a victory point or two by not allowing a kill.

I got used to this gameplay style and while it had its faults it was pretty simple in the end.  I would play specific styled armies set up to allow me very easy choices for my Secondaries, with options to score them all, and allow me enough play in the Primary to be a threat.  Was it also the most fun for an opponent to play against?  I am sure not all the time but I tried to bring my sweetheart of 40k attitude to make all games worth while – even when facing 3 giant Khorne Dozers of jerk.

Welcome to 9th Edition

Now we have sets of missions that while more broad than we have before – still fit into the same sort of thing that we saw in the ITC missions.  Armies are built to get X amount via the secondary – usually without having to worry too much about what the opponent is doing.  The game ends up being a fight towards who can control the board and thus the Primary.  I don’t hate a game of board control but it’s starting to become a little boring seeing game after game where the same missions are picked, with the score look very similar a lot of the time.

We Need to Spice Things Up

Codex Secondary Limits

So what should we do about it?  Well first of all – they need to answer with you can only ever take one extra non-main tournament rule choice secondary.  A lot of the book ones seemed too well designed to give max points – especially if you build your army a specific way.  Having a mission that your army likes to do and can do easily isn’t a bad thing – it just shouldn’t have too many easy options to allow for stagnant gameplay.

Objective Point Caps


I also think – these easy point missions should also lose some of their points.  Make it easy – but then it can only get 10 points.  Have some of the harder ones only able to get 15 points so you have to decide do you try to go for the gold or go the safe route.  Lowering the amount of points an army can get would help even some playing field.

10 Is the New 15

Of course – we could also just look at having more easier missions for other armies to take – but then we fall into the old mission trap of everyone gets 15 points yay!  I think the whole idea of creating tiers of missions with only the harder ones getting the 15 while the easier ones stick at 10 would probably be the best option.  Along that front as well – we should all have the ability to get those 15 points too.

I also wonder if we should remove some of the punishment missions as well.  Again this is all based on having things be more balanced in some options but removing some of the punishment missions could do well as it isn’t just an oops you played your army the way it is supposed to be and I got 15 points.

TROOPS – The Elephant In the Room

This leads me into my next thought which I brought up in my recent troop discussion.  Make the missions that say infantry now say Troop Infantry.  Think about how much that would shift armies away from just extremely powerful non troop choices that get objective secured.  Those units would still have a place but now your badasses are not hoisting up a banner.

We All Want a Better Game

I think the game has a real good chance to go bonkers once we get out of the lockdown and fixing some of these things would be a big help.  I think if we had more data to work on it would be a lot easier to see how some things are just not worth it to take – thus they need to be reworked to make them worthwhile to take.  They shouldn’t just be for the try-hard player to pick and hold over you if they score it.  We also should really look at making the easier ones still easy – but not nearly as back-breaking to play against.  Nothing is worse than knowing your opponent has an auto 15 just sitting there that you cannot stop.

What do you guys think?  Are the Secondaries ok?  Do we need to rework some to make them worth it?  Are there too many points at stake that some armies have way too easy of a time?


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