Critical Engagement 2016 the mission’s results

Since I am investigating missions and basically have the opinion that the focal point like missions are more “killy” and the objective missions are more “mission”-like. that is that in the Killy missions there tend to be more bloody and while the mission like missions more often involve sacrificing your units to secure a win. Mike at OB gracefully gave me the results and I thought to give it the same run-through I have done on the latest Swedish tournaments. But this time i have 24 players so a better compilation of data.

Due to being away on vacation I have not the possibility to proofread this. I hope for your understanding.

Missions order

Ob have of course had their missions up for a while. I like them overall and it is a bit more interesting to see the results in a tournamnet where the Swiss is key which we really can’t investigate in Sweden as our tournaments have too few players. So with this data I can actually check out how the swiss affects as well and consider it as well.

This tournamnet is at 1000pts and that will affect the data somewhat compared to 1500pts. I think a mistake of wrong placement hurts hell a lot more in 1000pts games than at 1500pts.

So let’s start. By the data I have collected I have the original theory of;

Mission 1 and 3 will be more killy influenced (Ground control and Surging strike) and mission 2 and 4 should be more mission-like (Take and extract and military complex). Now Ob have done some small changes here and there but I think the overall mission are close enough to what I have seen before to consider them the same for this matter. They have also considered the type of missions well, I think. For instance the mission Surging strike is actually a little more mission-like compared to normal focal points as you will need to move some extra to get to the opponent’s side. So it feels like Ob have considered this a lot.

So let’s check the results:

Are the killy mission killy? Well;

Mission 1 Ground control gave in total 8403kp to all players. 314kp in average Kp advantage to the winner.
Mission 2 Take and extract gave in total 9132kp to all players.  88kp in average advantage to the winner.
Mission 3 Surging strike 7975kp. 170kp in average advantage to the winner.
Mission 4 Military komplex 8440kp. 110kp in average advantage to the winner.

This result is actually rather strange. Mission 2 and 4 was clearly more bloody while the other two missions where less bloody. It is a bit strange as Swiss should dictate the Kp should be less as the tournament move on. But at the same time it is interesting that the mission-like missions gives more KP in total taken, perhaps because you sacrifice units easier to get the mission done while in the Killy missions you need to hold back and not sacrifice units as time goes on.

Also we can pretty clearly see that the average KP win for the winner is higher on killy missions and lower in mission-like missions. This is pretty self clear as the mission-like missions have more data points where the winner have a negative KP value. Still, even with the swiss I do consider this a trend. Killy missions awards the winner a higher kp advantage.

But in how many games (ignoring draws) does the game winner loose the KP game?

Game 1. Killy: In 0% of the game the winner lost Kp.
Game 2. Mission-like. 33% of the games the winner lost kp.
Game 3. Killy. 20% of the games the winner lost kp.
Game 4. Mission-like. 33% of the games the winner lost kp.

Here I see a clear trend and even with the swiss system I see that the mission-like mission the players need to sacrifice units to get the job done. The Swiss system of course push in and make sure the players are closer to each other in terms of skill. But still, the Ground control and the Surging strike seems to be more killy. I also think that Surging strike is a better missions than the normal focal points as it require a little more movement than normal focal points. If you like that players need to sacrifice units to win then consider Surging strike instead of normal focal points or Hold the ground.

Swiss effects

In the four games the amount of games that resulted in larger wins was 50%, 42%, 42% and 17%. For me it is a clear advantage of the Swiss system. All the data would of course be different if you place missions in another order but still I think the following is my conclusion so far:


  1. It is fair to split missions in “killy” and “mission-like”. Killy missions are with mainly focal points and holding ground. Mission-like more focus on objectives, intel e t c or at least more objectives than focal points when a combination is available.
  2. It seems that mission-like missions is actually more bloody than killy. I am fairly sure it is because of the need to sacrifice units to handle the mission well. When investigating the average KP win the Killy missions showed that the winner had more advantage in KP in average than in the mission-like mission. Basically Killy missions tend to have a higher average KP advantage to the winner than mission-like.

So I would like to stress again that people should do as they wish but it is interesting to see that we have killy missions and mission-like missions and focal points/ground control does seem to be the absolut main difference. The Tournament organizer can do which ever he or she wants knowing this. I just think it is good a player can make informed decisions.

I think we need a bit more mission-like missions like objectives in bunkers. Perhaps a combination of Intel and Objectives in a center bunker (since we tested our own version of Secure the flanks the objective inside a center bunker is a freaking great addition to any mission – you get that focus I really like) or a combo of other ideas like possible objectives which might work better if used in combination with other missions. The main reason I think this is because I think mission-like missions are more fun and the reason I started DZC and the second reason is that the new critical location will shift the focus to the Killy missions even more.

A lot of boring text but in short. Killy missions will most likely be more used in the future and there are ways to have more mission-like missions in tournaments, the question is if we want to have the same balance and then how? I think we need to consider more combination of Objectives, Bunkers, Intel and possible objectives to succeed.

5 Responses to Critical Engagement 2016 the mission’s results

  1. J.D. Welch says:

    I’m not sure I see how you’ve drawn the conclusion that we will see more killy missions in the future. We haven’t seen the 2016 Tournament Pack yet (still), and we only had critical locations in the two 2,500 point LVO missions, not in any of the 1,500 point missions there; I don’t know of any other Hawk events that had CLs, and I don’t know of any other outside events that have had them, either. Also, IIRC the two 2,500 point missions at the LVO had more than just the CLs in them, there were also objectives to be found.

    You’ve made a bit of a leap from “focal point missions are more killy” (not sure that’s actually accurate, given your analysis above) to “critical location missions will be more killy” (assumption) to “we will see more killy missions in the future” (speculation). That’s a big leap, and one not necessarily backed up by data.

    • Thanks for commenting!

      Well I do think that Critical locations will be more killy. They are similar enough to Focal points and hold ground in that regards. And I do know we will see missions with Critical locations in the new missions but I do not know if they will be compensated by objectives and intels. If done so I think it will be great as a way to force people to be in the center very fast. If the critical location will be a small part of the total points then I think the missions will be more mission like but if the critical location takes to much space there will be more killy missions. But any mission with critical location and focal points will be very killy. As long as you have the possibility to vary as you wish it will be great. Time will tell and it will be great to get more varied missions.

      But my personal opinion is that when I tested DZC I played targets and my first thought was “Wow this is nothing like the crappy game like 40k where you just need to kill as much as possible and then hold some locations at the end of the game”. So I’m hoping for more objective like missions. The first rulebook had one focal point mission and the rest was very mission like. Now it is very different.

      • J.D. Welch says:

        Life ebbs and flows. It will be interesting to see what Simon has put into Reconquest: Phase 2, and if we ever get to see a 2016 Tournament Pack, what’s in that. But my guess (and hope) is that we’ll see more variety, in a good way. The only mission that has intel in it is Recon, and that’s had to go thru several iterations to get it to where it is today, and that version still has to show up in some official tournament pack or book. There’s more that could be done by introducing intel along with other kinds of goals into a combined mission.

        In the meantime, there’s always room for home-brewed ideas, and/or variations on the “official” missions. I really like what OB have done with Surging Strike, Ground Control and Military Complex. There’s a guy on the Forum called Ravager (from NZ) who has come up with a whole slew of home-brewed missions. Many of those just don’t work for tournament play, but are fun for fun games.

        And in the end, Dropzone IS a wargame, afterall. So “killy” is part of what happens.

        I feel like the challenge of Focal Point missions, and what keeps DzC different from 40K, is that you can’t just try to wipe the other guy out — otherwise, everything would just be a Battle Royale, and I really don’t like those kinds of games. But with FPs, you have to try to keep enough of your stuff alive to at least contest a FP, and preferably to control it, while at the same time taking out key units of your opponent, or at least the right number of points of your opponent’s stuff.

        And with CLs, when you’re scoring more often than just at the end of the game, there’s a lot more to it than just being killy. There’s a lot of maneuvering and thinking turns ahead and trying to figure out whether those squads of your opponent’s are going to break towards THIS critical location or THAT one, so which do yo go for, or concede, and for how many turns? It’s a lot more tactical than “kill as much as you can and survive to the end”…

        I dunno, I just see it as still different from the 40K missions, and quite a bit so. I just don’t see it as being quite so Boolean as you seem to…

        • Good points. For me I don’t see focal points as a negative as I might come across. I do prefer the other missions and the missions from the first book had more focus on objectives and doing stuff on the field other than killing the opponent. Then the second book came out and more focus lay at focal points. So I think that focal points take a little to much place as they are the most (very subjective but I do take it from Invasion) prominent type of mission. So when we demo DZC we should really demo with the starter sets and only have 3 focal points. And I do think that is more fair but in truth most people would be put out by it as it is way to much like 40k.

          I think that might be the biggest thing hurting my eye. Missions that are not holding a point at the last turn is the very concept why I signed up to DZC but focal points takes a bit more space than that being the true concept anymore. Of course development of the game makes a difference as it has been developed since the first concept. But I do miss the first concept as it was the idea that got me hooked. And seriously, if the demo game would have been focal points I don’t think many people would consider DZC that different.

          The main reason that Recon had to be changed was because of perceived data – not real data (it is actually prone to much less eneven result than Targets of opportunities due to that Targets have much less die rolled for the objectives). Players clearly see the result of their dice in Recon even after the game but very few remember how many more searches they did than the opponent and still lost. Tournament players want focal points outside of buildings. But DZC is a game where the original idea had objectives in buildings, points being awarded during the game, possible objectives, searching buildings and occasionally hold ground at the end of the game but then you could destroy buildings. It is a big difference from today that I miss about the game. But we will see what will happen. 🙂

          • Damn, I do sound very negative to focal points. Hope you can understand how I mean anyway 🙂