Goatboy here. In 9th Edition the name of the game is figuring out how your army will win. Here’s how to do it.
It isn’t just that you need to kill stuff you also need to figure out how to do things. This all revolves around the need to pick secondaries that you actually have a chance to scoring. You would think this is an easy thing – but sometimes getting the right mix of choices is a hard thing to do.
Cheat Sheets and More
I talked about how I create cheat sheets to ensure I don’t forget things during a game. The little tricks my army can do and options I have available to me. The other part of the cheat sheet is to also reinforce how I actually complete the games missions. These choices will define how you interact with your opponent and can help you create a situation where even your dice rolls don’t matter so much.
Heck this is one of the main reasons why the Dark Eldar are so good right now in 9th edition. They can play a lot of different missions, play them to best of their abilities, and throw out some damage if needed. It is also why some of the other armies are just not doing as well either – as they have a hard time successfully completing what needs to be done.
What Can Your Army Do Reliably?
When building a list I usually try to think – what are some of the missions I can do without really caring how the rest of the game is going. This is why I really like the Scramblers mission as it is one of the few that you can just complete without having to worry about your opponent stopping you – beyond just not having any units able to do the dang thing. There are so many armies out there that allow for some movement tricks that starting the scramblers in your area turn 1, getting that needed middle one, and finally sneaking onto the table for your turn 3 option and you quickly got 10 points without having to worry to much. I like these missions as again – your crap dice are not going to stop you from competing.
It is also why I am not always the fan of the secondaries that your opponent can “stop” if they get after your army correctly. While We Stand seems like a strong one for tough armies but when you put 3 targets on units that your opponent can either generate points or subtract points from your total it ends up making their choices too easy for their game. Of course, you can build your armies in ways to mitigate this – but it really seems like one army has the best ability for this mission right now if they wanted to.
Tailoring For Your Local Meta
From there we also have a few secondaries that are good choices if you are playing versus a specific style of army. You have a bunch of tough rocks and your opponent is fully set up to be MSU-style army? Then you take Grind them Down as you should be able to pull enough points to get 9-15 in a game. Oh, do they have giant Robots go ahead and take Titan Slayer as you know if you are going to beat up their Giant robots you will end up winning the game – if you can’t kill them you might not. Heck if you know you can move around a lot engage is very powerful too as you can easily get that 10 points needed to keep up with the Jonses across the tabletop.
Submarine to Victory?
Another thing in all of this too is to think – do you also want to maximize your points each round. There is a thought to keep in the middle of the pack and wait till the very end to pounce – especially on these tournaments that push for an endpoint where the winner is the person without any losses. Keeping away from the tip-top means you might get more favorable middle-high matchups. I know this is how people would say someone would Submarine their way to victory – but it isn’t a bad strategy. A lot of the time winning an event means you dodge your bad match ups – or unfavorable mirror matches.
Thinking More Broadly About Victories
All of this stuff is just another layer of the game you should think about if you want to get into the competitive side of the game. This strategy of planning how you get to the finish line with as many points as you need is important. This is also where I hope we see some shift in the game as we get further along due to the nature of Secondary choices you allow players to make. If you give them a ton of choices we will always take the easier ones to achieve. There aren’t any extra style points for a sweet victory by completing that dark ritual in the center of the table when my army just planted 4 banners and road my flags to victory.
What do you think about when designing your armies?