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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kill Point Denial and Multiple Objective Missions / The New Power List Pt 2

So, the entire point of this series is to really discuss why a Kill Point Denial list might be so much stronger than the traditional transport based MSU that has been the hallmark of 5th Edition since Imperial Guard hit the scene.

The last article served to define some key elements to this argument. The first key to the entire discussion is that this notion is really intended to only apply to game settings in which MULTIPLE OBJECTIVES are in play.

The second is that Kill Point Denial lists are lists which are designed to deny Kill Points (duh). Although related to Death Star lists, they are not necessarily the same and in many cases are dramatically different. Many good Kill Point Denial lists don't have Death Stars.

So, why would a Kill Point Denial list have an upper hand in a multiple objective mission?

Consider a normal, multiple objective mission game. Let's say there are 3 objectives in play. The concept of a fair game then involves two players each competing over those 3 objectives. He who can earn the most, wins. The idea is that both sides must actively compete over the 3 objectives.

What if I all but guaranteed one side a single objective of the 3 before the game started? How would this alter the dynamics of the game?

Well first, the side that was already guaranteed the objective would:

- Only ever have to worry about competing over the remaining 2.

- Have the option of merely preventing his opponent from claiming the other 2 objectives, because he's already got one to win with.

His Opponent:

- Not necessarily expecting to have auto-lost one objective from the jump, tried to build his list to win all 3 objectives. He is now at an efficiency disadvantage to the guy who already knew he auto-claims one objective.

- Has to claim 2 objectives now to win, not just tie. Whereas, the KP Denial list only has to DENY 2, not claim any, or.....

....then another reality of 3 objective missions sets in, TIE-BREAKERS.

Many of the 3 Objective Missions that are in play in tournaments and GTs have tie breakers. What is usually the tie-breaker in a game? Victory Points.

Guess what else a Kill Point Denial list is really good at? Not giving up Victory Points!

Thus, we have another advantage:

- The Kill Point Denial list really only has to focus on stopping the opponent from getting ONE SINGLE objective, not BOTH. Why? He knows that he can force a tie on objectives, he'll most likely win on Victory Points.

Let's say we are in a tournament where the 3 missions objectives are the 3 book missions:

- Seize Ground (3 objectives in play)
- Capture and Control (roll dice and tie)
- Annihilation (kill points)

Now, just by the names above, how easy do you think it would be for a well designed KP Denial list to claim one of the above objectives and TIE in another?

(See what I did there?)

MSU or Transport Armies inherently come with a ton of kill points. Kill Point Denial lists can abuse this fact to almost guarantee wins on Kill Points.

However, MSU armies have no such return guarantee that they can claim mission objectives by completing Seize Ground style objectives. And even if they can, it will be even more difficult for them to claim a 2nd objective (Cap & Control, Quarters, whatever...) and then not lose on a VP tie breaker.

One of the big reasons for this is that the effective KP Denial List, once its had its core of KP Denial filled, should now focus on what it takes to contest Seize Ground objectives.

The next big reason is that, at the end of the day, you can't win Seize Ground by "doing something" and then simply not playing the game anymore.

By that, I mean that a Kill Point Denial list always has the luxury of "kill something and run" or "hide behind terrain". You can't do that an win at objectives. You have to stay in the game, the WHOLE game.


The entire point of this article is to try to convince you that there be some validity to this whole KP Denial Argument.

When in doubt, just refer to this guy for further instruction:


  1. The only critique I have with this idea is on one hand you claim its easy to get KPs and hide, then on the other say its not hard to win or draw objectives. I think its much harder to do both simultaneously, especially in a low unit count list like the KP denial builds.

    I do agree though that inclusion of KP in every mission can cause issues. Even more so if there's no spread or win-by requirement, making it hard to really draw KP. Its why I'd always use a mix of KP (with a spread) and VPs when designing 3 objective missions.

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  3. the question that raises from this article ,for me, is how do KP denial lists keep anyone else to contesting their one objective? As an old necron player, I have been used to holding one objective and contest the rest. Even in the new codex, I am very good at holding one contesting all. The problem is those games with 5 objectives are just as common as a game with 3 if not more common. KP denial lists excel if the opponent isn't used to fighting people trying to contest their objectives.

  4. I totally see your point and agree. It is such an advantage going into the game up one mission objective to zero. I never even thought about the tie breaker victory points till I read it. Good catch there! All my armies are transport heavy (SoB, Vulcan SM) but I really want to try this theory out.

    One of our newer players is playing regular Marines but is running a Lysander and 10 man regular terminator squad. While at first I thought it was fun and sub par list, the more I play him, the more I find it really hard to win being down in KP right away. I usually have to fight tooth and nail to win on objectives or table quarters as we are using Bugeater GT missions for now as prep. All this while I'm almost tabling him every game, he still almost pulls off the win or tie due to starting with so few KP and me bleeding rhinos like it's going out of style.

    My point here is, in the hands of a more seasoned player, I think you might be right about the KP denial having an advantage.

  5. With the logic that you have here is it possible to apply this to the Chaos Daemon's codex to provide more opportunities to win in a tournament setting? Their not the greatest of competitive armies but with a kill point denial set up could they have an "easier" time winning at tournaments with the above logic?

    1. I'm not really sure on this one. I'd have to think pretty hard about how Chaos Demons could build an effective KP denial list. They definitely have 3 major advantages going for them that I can think of right away:

      1) Ability to deploy anywhere is powerful since you can deploy out of LoS or out of range. This creates a KP Denial scenario.

      2) Ability to create enormous units which themselves are very hard to kill with shooting (and being demons not something you really want to assault either). This is similar to Ork strategy.

      3) Speed units that can also come in very large blocks. These are very useful for those late game objective contests since you can charge up to 24 inches to contest objectives that the enemy is on.

      The problem I don't have an idea to work around on right away is how do Demons playing in a completely passive manner, pick up those few critical kill points without giving any up? Their shooting is either generally terrible OR on units that would easily give up a KP.

      And assaulting probably isn't the way to go because that generally leads to giving up KPs as well.

    2. That didn't take long once I started looking. There are some serious shenanigans in there you can pull.

      Ideas I had were stuff like taking 4 Heralds of Tzeentch with Bolt (no chariots because you want the IC status) and stuffing them in a big blog of Horrors. That'll take care of your need to get some easy KPs. :)

      Then, to prevent from getting assaulted, a big block or 2 of blood letters or even a big block of Blood Crushers.

      Take 2-3 big squads of screamers who will be your access to easy transport killing and for turbo-boosting last turn contesting goodness.

    3. maybe something like:

      2000 Pts:

      Herald of Tzeentch + Bolt - 80
      Herald of Tzeentch + Bolt - 80
      Herald of Tzeentch + Bolt - 80

      6 x Fiends - 180
      6 x Fiends - 180

      20 x Bloodletters - 320
      18 x Horrors + bolt - 316
      17 x Horrors + bolt - 299

      12 x Screamers - 192
      12 x Screamers - 192

      Total KPs: 11
      Total Effective KPs: 7

      (I'll discuss effective KPs in the next article)

      This is just me thinking out loud and quickly.

      1) Fiends I put in for counter-assault, but they also could give up KPs easily. They do keep the enemy away from your troop blocks though and can assault across the board to contest late game. May not be worth it here?

      2) Splits the 4 Heralds into 2 groups of 2 and put each with a block of Horrors. (Maybe take gaze on them too?) Anyways, this will give you 3 bolts shots from 2 units to try and snag easy vehicle KPs.

      3) 20 man block of bloodletters hangs out near the horrors and make anyone think twice about trying to get an assault off. Plus you are fearless and bloodletters are an absolutely disgusting counter-assault unit.

      4) Screamers can kill tanks easily for more VPs, but are more or less in the list to hide until last turn and then turbo-boost to contest. They will also stop people from just running up Land Raiders to contest you or hold objectives without being contested or shifted.

    4. Does Fatweaver play into a KP Denial list? Here is my logic in the question. Huge point sink is a minus but his boons come into play that can act as a force multiplier in the concept of KP denial. First, being reroll'd saves means less chance for model/unit removal, thus denying KPs alittle longer. Second being his wings might give you some more speed with resilence for late game contesting on objective to force you into the KP side of a multi-scenario game should KP not be the primary win condition. The price is just such a bitter pill to take.

    5. Fateweaver was the first thing that came to mind for me too, but I thought past it. The problem with Fateweaver is his size and lack of IC status.

      If I could get on a board where I knew for certain I could hide Fateweaver behind terrain and still project a useful re-roll bubble, I think he would be money for this kind of list.

      Otherwise, he really does synergize better with an assault demon list because your opponent will target fateweaver first with his shooting simply because it wouldn't be worth shooting anything else. At that point, I think he becomes a liability.

      I'd have to really try it though to see.

  6. I agree KP denial lists can be nasty, in multiple objective missions. They also get better as the objectives are more equal.

    i.e. better at BAO rules than NOVA, especially if quarters does not have the troops count as full bonus. This is because, auto-winning the 3rd, and 4th tie breaker is not as good as auto-winning 1 of 3 primary objectives.

    They are also better if objectives are not maxed out at 5 and if objectives are placed by players rather than preset. As it is much easier to deny a win on objectives it there are only 3, or if you can cluster objectives together.

    That said the major flaws in this type of list are
    a.) other KP denial lists, if you design your list to have few or give up few KPs, but mine has less....that hurts you more than the MSU player who knew going into the event that KPs might be a loss in most games.
    b.) as has already been stated the hide, while still winning other objectives is not as easy as it sounds.
    c.)You still lose to getting tabled (which is also easier said than done.) but an MSU army is far more likely to table say a list with 20 paladins, Draigo and a Libby, than it is to get tabled by that list. Now I lose KPs if I don't table you but, I was going to do that anyway. Now I think lists like your necron list are better at avoiding getting tabled, because of the mobility you possess. As are reserve denial lists.


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