The Primary focus of today’s episode is well… Primary. This is a sister episode to Volume 6, where I talked about denying points – specifically primary points.
In the Quick Chaos Cut Volume 7, I talk about about scoring primary points and the three main elements to consider when evaluating how good units are at scoring primary. Welcome to the Cut.
The 3 main elements to scoring primary are Objective Secured, Mobility, and Durability. I’ll talk about the elements, and why offensive output is not on that list…
Objective Secured (OtSec)
This rule is designed to take objectives. One ObSec model is more valuable in some situations than 20 non ObSec models. One 6 point cultist can score an objective over a 450 point Knight. For that reason, Obsec is critical when scoring Primary points.
Mobility is essential when scoring Primary points. On some level you need to get to objectives, either to get there in the first place or reposition. Mobility is more than a units movement characteristic. There are many different aspects that make a unit mobile in the game of 40k.
Can a unit take advantage of ruins? This inherently makes it more mobile. Central ruins are more common in the game now (as they should be), and being able to move through them makes a unit more mobile to get and score primary.
Does the unit have the Fly keyword? Does it have other ways to ignore terrain or models? This will make a unit almost immune from terrain and movement blocking. Movement blocking is utilized frequently by high-level players to deny primary objectives and keep their models safe.
Can this unit do movement better in other ways? Can it fall back or advance and charge? Can it charge further? Can it fight twice or pile in/consolidate further? Can it heriocally intervene? Can it move in the opponent’s turn, like Custodes Jetbikes? All of these are methods that a unit can get more mobility over the course of the game and allow you to score primary better.
What is this units deployment method? Can it redeploy? Unique deployment methods are great at giving you more mobility and more options at scoring primary. Redeploying, especially in the middle of the game, is incredibly powerful at scoring Primary, allowing you to literally redeploy forces to take and hold objectives.
This factor is THE MOST important factor when scoring primary. Durable units are inherently better at scoring primary than non-durable units. They will take longer to remove and therefore will be scoring primary for a longer time. This is why you are seeing durable chaos armies (such as Death Guard and Nurgle Daemons) doing well in 9th edition.
What makes a units durable? Statline is important to consider, but there are a lot more factors than this. Invulnerable saves are great for durability because that unit will always be able to make a save, barring a few circumstances. Feel no Pain (FnP) or ways to ignore wounds are amazing for durability, because that FnP will be able to always deny wounds, as well as stack on normal saves.
Is this unit mobile? Mobility IS an aspect of durability. You can use mobility to deny shooting and or assaults and therefore last longer over the course of the game.
Can this unit take advantage of ruins? This is also an aspect of durability – as the unit will be able to deny shooting more often.
Does this unit have a transport? Having a transport makes a unit much more durable. Now, to remove this unit, you not only have to have enough firepower to remove the transport and the unit, but the firepower has to come in two separate instances of shooting/assault. Plus transports are usually cheap on a points/wound basis.
Does this unit have special abilities that makes it more durable? The Character rule is a great example of this. The Character rule and similarly Cloud of Flies/Conceal makes the unit as durable as everything in front of it. A unit/character sitting on an objective that is unshootable will almost guarantee to score primary.
Auras of durability are extraordinary at keeping your units alive. Auras of FnP or invulnerable saves (such as the new Psychic Fortress power for Marines) are great at making units more durable. Fight last auras and similarly, the Forbidden Gem, are amazing at making units more durable because they have the option to remove units first before being removed themselves. A no-fallback aura is great at keeping your units protected from shooting and therefore make them more durable.
What about offensive firepower? Why isn’t this included on the list? While complicated, the core of the issue comes down to this: THEORETICALLY, you can win an entire game of 40k without removing a single model (Mike has won a game where his opponent had over 1800 points left on the board!)
Offensive firepower is a method in which you make your units more durable. Removing enemy units so they cannot then remove your units is a way in which you can help score primary – but I’d categorize this under Durability.
Units that are good at Primary scoring usually have 3 components – Obsec, Mobility, and Durability. Keeping these components in mind is important when evaluating units to help you rack up the Primary points.