This is a very specific thought, but I really think it deserves some community consideration. Towards the conversation, let's note that I'm only really talking about GT style settings which include missions where multiple "book" "style" objectives are in play.
Multiple Book-Style Objectives:
First, I use the term "book-style" because I don't just want to limit the conversation to GTs which only use exact book missions. There are very important reasons for that!
I'm saying "Book-Style" because I'm referring to missions which are largely, loosely, or exactly spins on the 3 stock missions provided to us in the 40K rule book. Adepticon has a large number of "objectives" this year according to their primers, and most of them are variations on those provided to us in the BRB or previous BRB editions, with some exceptions. The NoVA Open is also similar in that it's missions are largely spins on the on the BRB missions with the exception of the "Quarters" mission, which is a spin on the previous editions BRB mission.
Then there are large events like the Bay Area Open which simply put all 3 book missions in play, exactly as they stand, with an exception to the number of seize ground objectives. This format is actually becoming quite popular in our local area as well.
Even events like the ETC which has a wildly variant format to most GTs, is still using book style variants in multiples to determine points earned per round.
The major contribution that I am taking away from this is not the actual missions themselves BUT the following two points:
1) The missions for these GTs involve multiple objectives being in play at the same time to determine a winner. Generally, this is he who accomplishes the most objectives or your ability to "tie down" (that is to play for a tie on some objectives and try to win on others).
2) A lot of these missions are based off the fundamental concepts of "take objectives" and "earn kill points".
I've mentioned this concept quite a few times either on the podcast, blog, or forums over the past few months because I am now firmly believing that KP Denial Lists are the new Power List in the waning days of 5th Ed. 40K. I'll explain why in a bit, but first, I need to define what Kill Point Denial is.
A Kill Point Denial list is a list which seeks to give up as few kill points as possible. In short, it generally seeks to abuse the Kill Point mission introduced in 5th Edition by building a list which will specifically try to grab a few kill points from the enemy while trying to deny the enemy the ability to claim any of their own. At face value, any army really seeks to do this, killing the enemy without getting killed, but the reality of this type of list in 40K is a bit more "gamey" than that.
It's easier to talk about this with examples. The new Necron codex provides a great one! Suppose I construct a Necron list with the intent of keeping the Night Fighting rule in effect for the entire game. Naturally, this would include an Imotekh + Chronotek combination along with a couple solar pulses. Using this concept, my goal will be to utilize Imotekh's Lightning special attack to destroy a vehicle or two during the game to claim a couple of kill points. Otherwise, my goal will be to hide my entire army behind terrain, in reserve, or use something like Scarabs en mass which are great for KP denial because they are so hard to actually remove from the table for most armies.
My overall goal? Rather than actually "play" a game of 40K, my goal is to "game" the Kill Point mission, kill 2 Rhinos, and otherwise do not engage my opponent at all. Then, I will try to win the game 2-0.
Imagine that you play a game of 40K where you spend almost the entire game trying to chase down your opponent who runs from you the entire time, for 5-7 turns, and finally defeats you because during the course of that, he killed 2 Rhinos. You lose! Wasn't that FUN?!
Deathstars live in infamy as the units in 40K in which a ton of points get put into a large unit which seems to overwhelm the opponent with brute force. Famous death stars are units like:
- Paladin-stars (Draigo-stars)
- Tyranid Tyrant-Death Stars
- Nob Bikerz
- Thunder Lord/Thunder Cav- Stars
- Large Terminator Units
The reason I am bringing these types of units up is because at their core, Death Star units EXCEL at morphing into Kill Point Denial Lists. Why is that?
Because Death Stars are generally very good at claiming 2+ kill points before they themselves give up a single kill point. Since they are generally very tough and capable of earning more kill points than they give up, not to mention generally absorbing multiple opponent turns of damage, they allow for very easy scenarios in which the rest of the army can hide or run, again trying to win by a small kill point margin by effectively not engaging the enemy.
Also, argued as not being very effective by internet pundits, the general theory behind how to defeat a Death Star is to just dump your entire army into it OR to simply IGNORE it. Both of these strategies, when you think about it, are geared towards "objective taking". In kill points, you can choose to ignore the Death Star but not if its claiming a couple of kill points while the rest of your opponent's army hides behind terrain.
A year or two ago, the internet was ablaze with Space Wolf hate. Now, the 40K community has transformed all of that hate onto Grey Knights. Either way, a large part of the Space Wolf hate of yesterday centered around the idea of MSU lists being the superior list to the Death Star list. A lot of this hate really focused on the Razor Spam (Razor Wolves) and IG lists which were the basic transport + small unit paradigm which was doing so well at tournaments.
The arguments at the time were that MSU style lists were really good at objectives and "good enough" at Kill Points to win more GTs. The basic idea there is the "death star" list would lose in objective games and thus you only ever needed a MSU list because "death star" lists wouldn't make it into final rounds anyways.
Haters are gonna hate on whatever army they perceive as winning and come up with a myriad of reasons why. However, there is a legitimate points, I believe, that was brought up about the whole situation.
MSU = Better at objectives
Death Star (now Kill Point Denial) = Better at kill points.
This thought process in my opinion is very valid when you are considering book missions alone, where only one objective is in play.
However, in the next few articles, I'm going to examine the new reality of 40K, kill point denial, and how all of this applies to events with multiple objectives in play.