Well I have been away the past two weeks on travel for work so not as much time to blog unfortunately but now I'll be home for awhile then in March it's back on the road again with Adepticon right around the corner! Yesterday was lots of fun bantering back and forth with Eric... Hee!
Anyways I have to design some missions for Bolter Beach and thought I would start an article here for feedback. First when designing a mission I like to use the popular Adepticon template:
- Three objectives (primary, secondary & tertiary)
- Bonus points
Personally I like for the three objectives to tie in together and create the theme behind the mission. As an example here are the three objectives I used for the final mission at my NC GT last October entitled Ancient Adversaries:
Primary - Kill the opponent's highest point HQ (enemy commander)
Secondary - Your highest point HQ (your commander) destroyed the enemy commander
Tertiary - Your commander was not destroyed by the end of the game, was on the table and not broken
This was a tough mission as I wanted it to be for the final mission and it was designed to prevent draws between the top players. All three objectives were directly tied together and they dictated the style of play. Some might feel that these objectives were strongly biased toward assault armies but in fact only the secondary objective required your commander to destroy the enemy commander but this could be accomplished in the shooting phase as well as the assault phase.
I don't like objectives that both players can score. I think every mission should produce a clear cut winner and loser. The example I provided above both players coukd score the tertiary BUT in order to do so neither player could score either the primary and secondary objectives. Sure you could have played for a draw BUT then you would have taken yourself out of the running for best overall or warmaster (i.e., best general).
I have a little twist to the bonus points I borrowed from the old GW RTT missions, the first set of bonus points add to your score while the second set subtract from your score. Again I like for the bonuses to draw from the same theme. For example:
+1, You have more troop choice left at the end of the game than your opponent and they are on the table and not broken.
+1, Your commander is alive at the end of the game, is on the table and not broken.
+1, You have more scoring units in your opponent's deployment zone at the end of the game and they are not broken.
-1, All your troop choices are destroyed or broken.
-1, You have no scoring units in your opponent's deployment zone.
I do not like to add any of my own rules or change the basic concepts of the game. For example I would never introduce a rule that adds or subtracts to your reserve rolls. Typically I find that these types of rules will generally help one style of army list while hurting another. I am also against using victory points. A good mission in my opinion is created such that the game will not end in a draw and have to be decided by victory points. If a game should end in a draw then so be it but this should be a rare circumstance.
Finally and most ideally missions should be heavily play tested using a wide variety of armies. If you don't play test then there are bound to be some sticking points that could have been ironed out. If you are inviting people to come out and play/pay then they deserve to have all the kinks worked out of the missions ahead of time.