The importance of passive objectives
Von Moltke once said, “No plan of operations extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy’s main strength”; normally parsed in English as “No plan survives contact with the enemy.”
This is as true in the Mirrored City as it is elsewhere. Eventually your warband of psychotic Blood Warriors is going to meet a posse of Stormcast Eternals who have fortressed up at the back of their board. Your highly mobile Skaven greedy for objectives are going to meet a band of dwarves with a power deck full of pushes. You need a way to keep up whilst you adapt your designs to the machinations of your foe.
The key is to ensure that you have some objectives that you can score regardless of what your opponent is up to. Objectives that reward you for just turning up and playing the game. Objectives that you can score either by doing nothing, or by doing what you were going to do anyway. Examples of these include:
- Escalation – two glory for playing three upgrades in an activation phase, made easier in that your opponent’s upgrades count as well as your own.
- Honest Opponent – gain a glory for not playing any ploys
- Master of War – gain a glory for scoring an objective, playing a ploy and playing an upgrade.
- Perfect Planning – score a glory for not moving.
- Ploymaster – an easy glory for playing out three ploys in an action phase.
- Skirting Danger – score a glory for having your fighters on edge hexes.
- Alone in the Dark – two glory for there being no adjacent models on the board. This is slightly different from the other passive objectives because while it may occur naturally over the course of the game, it can be helped by judicious use of push cards (particularly Great Concussion).
Passive objectives were the foundation of the Katophrane wielding Steelheart’s Champions deck archetype, the Stormcast would sit at the back racking up easy passive glory until they could equip the six relics and accelerate their glory gain to achieve a crushing victory. The same tactics are used by Katophrane Successor decks, where the relics are discarded in favour of defensive or combat upgrades. Allowing the Champions to engage in combat only once they are formidably well equipped. See vanadis’ Unbroken Wall for more details.
This principle can be used by more aggressive decks to gain glory as they advance, though some passive objectives do not play well with an aggressive strategy. See Tom’s Breaking the Bulwark for more specific advice on passive objectives that support aggressive play.