Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Double Trouble objectives - a review for those attending!

Greetings all,
it seems my review of the tactical supremacy objective cards has hit a chord with a few of you (including some who've said they won't be buying them as a result - sorry GW!). Alex over at From the Fang asked me to have a look at the objectives he's working on for those attending his double trouble event in June. Sadly due to other commitments I won't be able to attend this event, so I felt perfectly unbiased in having a look over them for him. Hereafter therefore follows my review of the objectives and possibly a sneak peek for those of you attending!

I should probably explain before I dive into this for those of you who don't know - Double Trouble is a pairs event where you are paired with a random player each round, with each of you bringing 750pts of models.

Standard hold objective X cards with a twist - each one comes with a bonus point if the other force in your pair controls any other objective, so a maximum of 2pts per card.

I like the extra bonus this grants, it should be fairly simple to achieve in most instances so gives you a greater feeling of value from holding objectives with both parts of the combined army.

These are an exact copy of 11-16, so no real complaints. What I'd have preferred to see however is these cards coming with a different twist to 11-16, so perhaps an extra point if the objective was in enemy hands at the start of the turn, or 2 bonus points if you can hold it for two turns (for a max of 3pts). Whilst I don't like the hold objective x for two turns cards in the new GW deck, my issue lies around the fact that you don't get any extra reward for achieving something that's actually quite hard, so if you're going down the hold for two turns line, the reward needs to be bigger than a single point in my view.

These seem to be a mix of positional cards and killing cards.

31 gives you a point for having 2 of your own units and no enemy ones in your deployment zone, with a second point if you have 2 units from each of your forces in such a position. I've always liked Hold the line from the normal GW deck, it rewards a different style of play to many of the tactical objective cards (less aggressive, more static) so I'm glad Alex has included something similar, and once again given a bonus point.

32 gives you a point for killing a character, and 2 for killing a character from each of the opposing forces. Again, fairly standard, this probably favours fights against some armies more than others (marine sergeants for example come as standard, whilst in other armies they're optional) but in general I like the idea here - it also makes the precision shot rule a bit more worth paying attention to!

33 gives you a point for killing a vehicle or monstrous creature, and 2 for killing one from each enemy force. No arguments here, again it's a pretty standard objective, and there's very few armies that won't include any opportunities here (hint hint, you list builders out there!)

34 is the mirror of 31, giving you a point for having a unit in your enemy's deployment zone and two for having a unit from each force in your army so positioned. Given that it's sometimes a long way to go, I like that Alex has resisted the temptation to require too many units to be there to achieve the objective, 1 feels about right for a point, and it doesn't reward windriders too much for being ridiculously fast.

35 is basically the destroy a unit in the shooting phase card, with a second point for destroying a unit from each opposing enemy force.

36 rewards you exactly the same as 35 but in the assault phase instead. Both these cards are nice, and at least reward you for destroying things rather than whizzing round the table stopping at various locations on the way! As with the other cards, I like that the bonus is available and guarantees a better return than meeting the base conditions (D3 often feels like I'm being cheated when I achieve a harder condition then still only get 1 point)

41 - 46
Another mix of killing stuff and holding things.

41 kill a psychic unit for 1pt. Fairly standard, though it could be more creative by rewarding higher for a more difficult kill (perhaps 1pt for up to 3 wounds in the unit, 2pts if there were more than 3 wounds at the start of the turn)

42 gives you a point for killing a flyer or flying monstrous creature. No surprises here, and no comments as it's fairly standard I think. No bonus point for killing more than one, but given how difficult flyers can be to drop that's understandable. Might be a nice stretch goal though, perhaps for 3pts!

43 gives you a point if a unit from each of the forces in your army fights in the same combat and wins it in your turn. No requirement for you to wipe out the unit here, simply to win the combat so this is nicely achievable even against fearless opposition. If I were to be picky I'd say perhaps following the same theme as the rest of the cards might be better (ie 1 pt if you win a combat, 2pts if a unit from each of your forces was involved in winning a combat) because at least that way you can get the bonus points.

44 gives you 3pts for destroying 3 or more enemy units in the turn. It's probably more easily achieved later in the game than at the start, but equally you'll perhaps have less firepower then so it probably balances out.

45 gives you two points for controlling three objective markers. This one is almost certainly easier to do early on before casualties start racking up and limiting how many units you have that can hold objectives, but I think on balance 2pts is about right since it's usually pretty easy to hold 3 in your first couple of turns.

46 Finally, 2 pts for controlling at least 2 objectives and at least twice as many as your opponent, which again seems quite reasonable and far more predictable than D3.

So, only 24 cards in the deck with over half of them being hold objective cards. I think therefore that overall the deck rewards fast moving obsec units (ok, windriders) more than other types of unit, but that's pretty standard in maelstrom type missions anyway so I've no complaints there, there aren't too many armies that can't get access to fast units, it's just Windriders do it much better than most.

I like that there are bonus points available on the cards for achieving more that the baseline requirement, and that these are guaranteed to reward you with more points, instead of just the potential.

I'd have liked to see a bit of variety in the two decks of hold objective X cards, as that way you could theme them a bit more or give the players more flexibility (such as 21-26 giving you a bonus for shoving an enemy unit off an objective you then hold, or two bonus pts for holding it for two turns, giving the players actual choice, you can either score it in a turn for 1pt, or try and hold it through the next enemy turn for 3 in total)

As always Alex has obviously put in lots of thought into the deck and there are no glaring issues. Analysis of the potential scoring areas will obviously make it possible to write a list that will limit your opponent's scoring potential whilst maximising your own, but that's surely part of writing a good army list anyway!

I hope those of you who attend enjoy the event, I know I was gutted when I found out I couldn't go as I really enjoyed BlogWars last year!

Till next time,