Something about seeing that dreaded six when we roll for game type upsets us every time. It always comes down to us talking it over to see if we should just re roll it or act like men and stomach it. Occasionally we decide that it's worth a shot. Maybe it isn't as bad as we remember? Wrong! It's the relic and we all hate it.

The relic is one of the missions that comes out of the 40k BRB meaning it should be pretty basic. The main idea behind the game type is something that I love. What the game breaks down to is capture the flag for miniatures. I used to even say that this would be a really cool homebrew game type back in 5th edition  but I never came up with anything for it. For some reason though, I just cannot stand playing the relic no matter what army I'm fielding or my opponent is bringing.
The Pros-
It all seems pretty straight forward. Grab that relic and run. What it turns into is two forces clashing in the middle just ripping one another part with tons of close combat, rapid fire and overwatch. Don't even get me started on how fun this makes templates of all types. Flamers burn the Xenos, Doomsday Cannons remove handfuls of marines, and Frag Missiles really get to force some armor saves.
This even creates an interesting battlefield for armies like Imperial Guard and Tau that may prefer to sit back on their firing lines, they have to move up if they hope for victory points other than secondary objectives. Making those weak infantry come out of their safe cover and transports really forces you to think differently. Having you react to new situations like this is exactly what makes a good general out of you.
The relic really begs for lots of blood. What I love about this is it can really force people out of strategies like castleing up and just laying waste into their opponent from a far and into to something a bit less favorable for them. And when it comes to armies that can control deployment like Daemons or Drop Pod Marines, they're not at as huge as an advantage as one might think. As long as you take a transport it is more than easy to be on top of that relic on turn two as it would be for those armies.
The Cons-
Now with all those kind words about the relic you might be wondering how we could ever have anything negative to say about it. What it really comes down to is the secondary objective first blood. In nearly every game of the relic we've ever played it turns out to be nothing but a race to pull all scoring units of the board and then complete the secondary objectives. It feels much less like we're trying to gain access to this relic and take it back to cover. I would even say it a fair amount of our games that relic doesn't move much from the center of the board at all.
The other major issue we tend to see with the relic is it really makes games predictable. At the end of every last relic game, we're all rushing towards that center one and only objective to try and claim it in the name of some god or empire. With the objective always being in the same place, albeit it is the most fair option, it really creates a lot of monotony by every game starting in a very similar fashion.
While I have been warming up to the game type recently, I tend to find that the relic can be called by turn one or two by seeing who was able to manage wiping the first unit off of the board.
My name's XinZ and I've been dabbling in this hobby for about eight years now. I only joined the blogosphere recently, but I more than look forward to being around for quite awhile.

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  1. The one thing I like about the Relic mission is the fact that the lone objective is in the center of the board. The other objective games generally boil down to who manages to keep their scoring units intact in their deployment the longest (because thats where the objectives are always set) and gets more secondary objectives.

  2. I love the Relic. It's the most tense games, and it really reward clever movement and out-smarting your opponent. Yes, it's bloody. Yes, First Blood is huge - but only if both players manage to deny the Relic to the other player. Because only one objective means an almost certain win to claim it - and it's hard to do so - making your every move super-important. You know where your opponent needs to go, and he knows where you need to go - this means you'll have to trick him otherwise he'll stop you.

    With that said, certain armies can just barge in due to the imbalance of the game... but alas! I still love the mission.

  3. The relic is pretty bad in some aspects, but I find having some infiltrators being able to deploy close to the relic and take it, while running around while you have the main bulk of your army try and keep the enemy from getting it.

  4. I like the Relic because it makes the best narrative to fit the game's grimdark fluff. I don't really experience it the way described here.

  5. Really sucks when your faced against a Dreadknight that the GK player goes 1st, can move the Dreadknight 12" grab it and now there is a MC holding on to it with 10 Palies moving in front of it while the Dreadkight sits and laughs.

  6. I play swarm nids, usually with two Tervigons so it's difficult for me to whine, even against GK's with a Dreadknight. I can't recall losing this scenario once. From the other side of things I can imagine it probably does suck though. But with expendable hordes and monstrous creatures as troops, I think I'm one of the fortunate few. Nice article though. I'm liking the whole 'TIOH' thing.

  7. the relic is a modification of the watchtower scenario from whfb that everyone hates.

  8. I figured on using belial to precisely drop shooty deathwing then knights right on top of the relic then a fighting withdrawal with devastator support at least if i can get time in for a game

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  10. Our FLGS simply doesn't use The Relic mission in any of their regular tournaments, that's how much folks hate it. In friendly games, we just re-roll for mission. I played it once, and it was a bloody affair, and it came down to the secondary objectives. My opponent had First Blood & Slay the Warlord, and I had Linebreaker, but I couldn't slay his warlord, while most of what we had was bunched up in the middle of the board duking it out. Ever since then, me and my regular mates just re-roll if we get it...

  11. Capture the Flag is my favourite mission. I love the meat grinder in the middle of the game. Of the six times I've played only twice has the army that captured the flag had it at the end. Often it is dropped and picked up by another party. Should I run a 6th ed tournament this will be the first mission.

  12. I really enjoy playing the Relic. As others have said it forces certain types of armies out of their comfort zone and encourages the defensive player to be more aggressive whilst at the same time making the aggressive player think a little more about what he has to do once he gets the relic.

    Due to the tactical challenges this mission presents I have grown as a player and can use certain strategies that I have developed for the relic in some of the other missions.

    Yes, some armies have a better time at this mission than others (fast moving troops that can capture it on turn 1 and then move backwards for the rest of the game; terminator lists that can just castle around the relic; etc) but then every mission has lists and builds that are better at them than others.

    Maybe the reason some people don't like this mission is because it is quite different to the usual missions and forces players to do things differently?

  13. I've never played the Relic, mostly because I don't need to taste poo to recognize it, and the tournaments in my area don't have it in their mission packs.

  14. Personally, I rather enjoy this mission. Not saying that the outcome is generally favorable to me or anything, but my World Eaters enjoy the hell out of this bloody mess.


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