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Did a little analysis of the various missions presented in the Battle Missions book.
The missions in the book are, by and large, not complicated; they're mostly the traditional mission types, with one or two special rules in effect for spice. The book doesn't represent anything you, as a player, couldn't have come up with. Its value, in my opinion, is in getting OTHER people to agree to the rules. Some of these missions definitely favor a certain army build over others, though there's only a couple which are no-hopers for any kind of a balanced list. If my opponent wanted to try one of them, and he had a list that would benefit from the rules he wanted to try, I'd be verrrrry suspicious; and if he won afterward, I'd be wondering if it wasn't because he cheesed the scenario. But if you've got a few random scenario options in a book, and one of them comes up, oh well; it might have been one favoring you, after all.
Over half the missions in the book are objectives-based missions. There's some variety in the numbers and positioning, and usually if the deployment rules are funny, the objectives layout reflects that to get some of the balance back. (There's a Tyranid objectives mission which has the Tyranid force split into three "waves" which spawn on turns one, two, and three, each from a different side of the board; it's a four-objective mission and 3 of those objectives are 12 inches from a side that Tyranids enter from, which makes having less than a full army to fight with a little better.) Only one mission uses a sticky objective layout where captured objectives stay captured when they're moved off, unless the other side contests them again. Kill points are second, with a half-dozen straight KP counts, a couple of "modified" KP counts weighted away from Troops and towards HQs, and a couple of fun ones (the DE "Slaver" mission has a prisoner mechanic where the objective is to win assaults and destroy units at relatively close range in order to score them, for example). There's a single Victory Points mission and one actual Total Annihilation; mission where nothing but a complete tabling counts as a win.
Deployment is, er, all over the map. Table halves are most common, usually with some restriction of exactly how big the no-man's-land in the center is. There are a few quarters missions, including a couple where it's defender-has-one, attacker-has-three quarters (intended, it seems, for bloody slugging matches) and one triangular quarters layout. Two of the maps are split into three segments and run lengthwise, with the short table ends assigned to each player. There's a fun ambush layout where the Necron player gets both long ends and the defender gets both short ends. There are also a few defenders in the center layouts; sometimes the defenders are allowed to be nearly anywhere on the table, sometimes they're restricted to being near a single objective in the center (definitely not suitable for 2500-point horde armies!)
Most of the potentially-unbalancing stuff is reflected in deployment rules. The three Demon missions grant Demon-style deployment to one side (if there's no Demons and you play one of those, heh), which could be interesting. There are a few missions that restrict which force organization types you can have on the table to start. And there's a couple of rules which are just plain fun, like the Stray Rounds rule from the Prepared Assault mission (drop paper, let it flutter, blast marker where it lands!) or the Unending Waaaagh! rule (continue your Waaagh! for successive turns at the cost of losing your ability to take cover saves). There's even a couple of missions that respawn killed units...
You really only need one copy of this book for a big group of gamers, though. It's not particularly stuffed with lore-type comments, there's not much original art, and you don't really need much in the way of pics of models facing other models (though the table layout with each mission is occasionally useful in helping to visualize what they have in mind).
Last edited by AvatarADV; March 22nd, 2010 at 10:00.
sounds like it's reasonably bland for a book designed to make gaming more variable, had i designed the book i'd have looked towards adding 40k hazards in addition to the battle missions (i haven't read the book though).
honestly Battle Missions seems somewhat bland, they advertise 30 missions but unless you own multiple armies or you have a large gaming group (i have neither so i am biased) the book may only provide 6 missions.
I think having common scenarios that work for any pair of armies would have been better for the game, things like Last Stands and capture the flag would provide many more options for each player and imo would boost sales of the book (why would i pay XX dollars for 3 scenarios?)
the book could also have added many "Advanced Rules" such as army wide panic from the death of an hq or weapons jamming etc.
I guess after the last few expansions i was just expecting more
"Thank him who puts me loath to this revenge on you who wrong me not for him who wrongd"
Who says you can only play missions for your or your opponents army? I'll be playing every damn mission in the book. Hell, there are even rules for non-daemon armies using the daemon missions to make up for the lack of weird deployment, and one of the ork missions gives non ork armies their own Waarrrggh!!112
It tells you in the book how to use other armies for the various missions, even giving you a random way to generate both attacker, and mission to be played!!! Not quite sure on some of the missions, as you said, a bit bland.....
I spent $25 on the book and it was well worth it. All though the book would have been better priced at 15 to 20 but can't complain because it's GW. It has became a core part of my game. I use the random rules. So sooner or later every mission will be played. The one thing I didn't like was the Spearhead mission. IThat one you need 3 baneblades for. How many people has 3 baneblades?
I am an Indestructible master of War.
Overall, I found the missions to be fairly interesting, but I have to agree that the book isn't exactly earth shattering. Most of the missions are just tweaks, changing how you can deploy, and what the options are for units in reserve.
There are three missions, however, which I feel are very flawed:
1. Feigned retreat, for the Dark Eldar. It isn't bad for a web way portal army, or one with very large units on foot, but I can't remember the last time I've seen either. With DE it's raider rush or nothing, and that kind of list gains nothing from this mission.
2. The Chaos Daemons mission with the portal. It's too easy to use Pavane and assaults to pull the non daemon player too close to the gate, causing them to be immediately destroyed. Players with long range shooting will be fine, but players that rely on assaults or rapid fire are going to be screwed.
3. Pincer attack, for the Tau. I might be getting the name wrong. It's the one where their skimmers come on from their opponent's board edge. The problem is, it gives Tau this advantage (as well as first turn), while giving literally no advantage to their opponent. What's the point in a mission that greatly favors one player?
Still, there's a lot of fun to be had, and Kill Teams is a very interesting scenario to play, especially if you only have a small amount of time, or are playing with someone who isn't too familiar with 40k.
"Any job worth doing, is worth doing with a powerklaw."
You are supposed to choose your army before choosing the mission. At my club we run it with a totally random roll, having selected our armies first (I do mine in the morning before I leave using the wonderful Army Builder). That way there's no way of knowing what you will get/face. I like the book, and consensus down the club is that it was one of GW's better supplements. I say Vive la difference. I've played a few of the missions now, and as part of a campaign using the other normal/supplemental missions can be greatly challenging and varied. 'Kill Team' alone is great fun for a quick game, and for longer stuff there are a few missions which bear little or no resemblance to the standard stuff.