Saturday, January 04, 2014
Making a Better Mouse Trap
There has been lots of discussion how to design better missions for competitive play. First let's look at the typical objectives we most often see:
Holding Objective Markers
Controlling Table Quarters
Slay the Warlord
It only requires a little imagination and common sense to make these more challenging for the current top tier armies!
So let's talk about the first primary - Kill Points. This one is easy to modify in order to make it more challenging. As an example you could gain 2 kill points for each enemy scoring unit you destroy. This dove tails nicely with the other two primaries since you gain a bonus point each time you eliminate an enemy unit that can hold an objective or control a table quarter. There are many variations possible by assigning bonus points to other selections in the FOC such as elite enemy units or fast attack. You can also make it such that some selections from the FOC don't give up any kill points—Elite units immediately come to mind since you don't see them so often now due to The Scouring and Big Guns Never Tire missions... You immediately give a player a nice perk for encouraging players to make a change to their army list design while simultaneously de-emphasizing other selections.
Now let's look at the next two primaries - Holding Objective Markers and Controlling Table Quarters. I've lumped them together since they are quite similar in concept. We will first start with holding objective markers... Very cut and dry, right? What if the win condition was changed such that a player must hold the objective marker for at least two consecutive turns in order to control it? This would immediately eliminate late grabs by armies such as Necron Scythe spam and JetSeer Council. The same concept could also be applied to table quarters.
Now let's discuss bonus points. A change I've made which is popular in my area is Last Blood... The last player to destroy an enemy unit gains this bonus point. This is a big fundamental change to the current 40k gaming dynamics and can make for a more challenging bonus.
You can change the win condition for Slay the Warlord such that your Warlord must slay the enemy Warlord in order to score this bonus plus add an additional victory point since it's harder to accomplish. This change gives a perk to more melee centric armies - again encouraging players to redesign their army lists. A big change to Line Breaker would be to make it such that only specific selections from the FOC can score this bonus, such as elite units.
These are just ideas... Some have been tested and were well received. Like I said it only takes a little imagination and some common sense. Of course there should always be lots and lots of play testing for the all important tweaks.