This is the second in what I had planned as a series of articles to help show and prepare you for the awesome challenge Arc40k missions bring to the table top by playtesting last year’s mission set. Since the first article some things have been revealed about how Arc40k missions will work in 2023. Check out the Legends & Lore mission reveal battle report.
So for returning players I can tell you that there will be a change. In 2022 there was a Primary Objective as well as a mission specific Secondary objective - which was narrative driven and very challenging.
In 2023 missions will include 2 Primary Objectives. They will still play in a very similar way but you’ll also have 3 Secondary Objectives of your own choosing to score the remainder of points.
But thanks to the Wizardry of our Mission development man - Ben - he’s updated the missions in these articles so that they are in the same style as 2023.
So let’s get on with a review of these updated missions that you might play test to try out your army as you all prepare for 2023.
If you’re not familiar with Arc40k you need to know that it has a rich tradition of unique and bespoke missions being written and printed for you to play for the first time at the event weekend.
So here's the top tip… carefully read the mission! It’s actually a biggy!
Get a copy as they are being handed out. And then just read the mission - let the sea of activity swirl around you while you concentrate on reading it for the first time.
Then get everything moved to the table where you will be playing, meet your opponent and then read the mission again together. This is a great time to make sure that you both understand the mission, the objectives and most importantly how the twist that every Arc40k mission have.
Did I mention that it’s important to carefully read the mission.
Here’s the new Version:
What follows are some thoughts and things to focus on when playing Mission #2 - Data Intercept:
So let’s look at how to approach the rewritten version of mission number 2.
Scoring the Primary in Data Intercept is important. It's a take and hold mission with 3Vps per turn for the first Servo Skull (objective) you hold, an extra 3 Vps for holding the second and finally and extra 3 Vps for Holding more objectives than your opponent.
A maximum of 9 pts per turn and a game total of 36 pts. But it will take a bit of luck and some fast moving units to ensure you can both hold and contest objectives.
The kicker is the special rule - Servo Skull Self Destruct!
The objectives in this mission are Servo Skulls which contain a self destruct protocol to protect its data from falling into enemy hands. At the end of each Battle Round from round 2 randomly select an objective that is being held or contested. That Objective is removed from the battlefield.
This means that by the end of turn six if at least 1 objective is being held or contested in each battle round then there may be only 2 objectives left!
The other primary for the mission sees you taking an action while holding an objective. Extract the Data requires you to be within 3” of the objective and focused on performing this action from the end of your movement phase in one battle round and the end of your Command phase in your next. Complete the action and you can gather 5 Victory points per turn - up to 20 points.
The Key to this Objective is to score them before the objective you are holding is randomly removed!
So the first thing you need to aim to do is hold one of the objectives in your deployment zone. You'll also have that unit undertaking the action of retrieving data for the 5 VPs in turn 2. So, deploy a unit capable of holding and conducting the actions that isn’t required for other battlefield duties.
If you can, the you want to get your fast moving units to surge forward to take and hold one or both of the objectives in the centre of the board. The second objective in your deployment zone can be seen as a banker.
Deploy around it to protect it from possibly being contested. But by not holding it you cut down on the risk of it being removed.
In subsequent rounds it's a matter of continuing to press forward, hold at least 2 objectives and if you are able to challenge and contest the objectives in your opponent's deployment zone...
Then you'll just have to cross your fingers and hope that more of the objectives in your opponent's side of the board are the ones that will be randomly removed.
You'll need to choose three secondary objectives that you have the best chance of achieving to help maximise your points and give you a greater chance of winning.
If you are planning on a press forward and contest as many objectives in the middle and in your opponent’s deployment zone then Engage on all Fronts would be an obvious choice.
Hopefully with this article, the advice on what to focus on, and the chance to play then for yourself will give you more confidence.
You should be better prepared because the fact of the matter is that the same or similar mission types, with similar objectives, and outcomes, will be challenging you all on the gaming table at Arc40k in 2023.