Saturday, February 1, 2014

Mission Creation 101 - Core Ideas

Setting up what it takes to create a good mission for any miniature war game for discussion in future posts

A long while ago, back when the Dark Vengeance set came out I wrote up an article on creating missions specifically for playing solo, since not everyone is able to meet up with others or they want to enjoy playing a game of minis but don't want to spend the time going to and from a store and taking your fun list against someone's latest net list.  Well here I am touching on that topic again, except this time the focus is more on creating missions in general, and not necessarily for single player mode only.

This has been brought up by my listening to the 11th company podcast, where Neil in particular is discussing how many of the TO's of various large events are trying to determine how to balance the game, particularly given the fact that GW has been messing with the game to a crazy extent and there was a recent conversation with a GW official discussing how they aren't bothering with balancing (I read that with a pound of salt, b/c 'GW official' could be anyone) however the point is valid and everyone knows that even if they do try to balance, whatever team they use don't use this handy thing called the internet just to see what is used and what isn't.  To be clear, I for one like Stronghold Assault, Escalation, and the data slates.  They have a place in the hobby, however that spot is not in competitive 40k, and many of the other things GW does shouldn’t be either because they are clearly not fair to whoever is receiving the preposterous rules and stats that something has been given.

Back on topic  now.  I was just talking about how they're trying to balance the game.  They mentioned that there are a variety of ways to do this, and one in particular is the comp that is apparently being adopted in Sweden I think and they're really liking how that’s looking but they are also working on another solution.  So instead of trying to alter the rules, or introduce their own unique form of comp, where they're turning to is creating missions.

Here's what their thinking is in going to missions to try and fix the game:  Missions determines how someone wins or loses a game.  As such they are able to adjust what is powerful and what isn't.  For instance if they were to say that, in a kill points mission, the riptides were worth 3 victory points rather than 1, people would need to be more considerate about taking them.  This is an example and is not necessarily what they're doing, just pointing it out.  Or by putting an emphasis on controlling an objective for longer periods of time, such as gaining points for holding an objective each turn as many know in Apocalypse might nerf the current jetseer list that is going nuts in tournaments.  Regardless, hopefully you can see why it is that they're using missions to help fix the game's present state and I for one am all for it.

Now lets move on to my personal thoughts on what needs to be addressed when creating a mission.  I intend to do a couple of posts about this because, unlike with the bits on setting creation I won't just be repeating myself (that’s why I stopped doing those posts on helping create lore, I realized I'd said most everything that I could think of on the subject, and anything more would just be a matter of scale and there's no point in my repeating myself multiple times, that would be boring to read as well as write [ heh I repeated the use of repeat in the same sentence.   I suck]).  Here are the elements that I've determined are the cores to creating a good mission, that I will be posting about over the next couple of days or so; a mission needs to be:

Strategic; Fair; Fun;

And the next two are optional: Thematic; Unique

Hope I got you guys excited to think about mission creation and look forward to my next posting about the topic.

As always this has been ChargingCarnifex, signing off.

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