Maelstrom: The Great Randomizer

Having played a few games in seventh edition, and a few of those being with the new maelstrom games, I can honestly say that I really do like the new options for game play. That is not to say that I will not play the classic games, I still really like them as well, but the Maelstrom games add an entire new depth to the 40K gaming world.

I was originally referring to Maelstrom as the great equalizer, but as the Lord Primarch stated, it is more of a randomizer. If you had a strategy going into the game, you would probably have to throw it out the window by turn one. The goals of the game are completely different.

In the Eternal war games, the typical strategy would be to jump on the objectives on the last turn. Basically, the strategy would be to steal the win. I’m not saying that it isn’t a fun game to play, but the strategy for maelstrom is completely different, and it completely randomizes the outcome.

A prime example of this is a game I played against the Blood Angels. It was a fun game, and the killing was really one sided. My Tyranids really dominated the BA, and I just marched through my opponent’s army. However, I lost the game with a score of 18 – 10. And it didn’t even seem like it was that close. I just couldn’t seem to score any points.

We were playing the spoils of war. In this game, not only can you score the “secure objective x” cards, you opponent can score your cards as well. And even though I was dominating the game in terms of kills, I just couldn’t score the objectives. Even my opponent noticed that I seemed to draw the cards that he could score, and he wasn’t drawing anything I could score. The entire game I was playing catch up, and I was never able to catch up.

Another example would be the first game I played with maelstrom rules. I infiltrated my genestealers as I usually do, not all that far away from one of the objectives. One of the first three cards I drew was to control that objective. Instead of sticking with my strategy, I immediately pulled my genestealers back and put them on top of the objective. I had to; every point is vital in this game, so I scored that point. My plan of attack didn’t even last one turn. I lost that game as well.

I believe I have won about half of the games I have played with Maelstrom rules. With Objective Secured and so many possible objectives to be scored, almost every army would be successful with this style of play. I believe Tau would be a little held back, at least if you played the usual battle line tactics. Blood Angels, with fast moving troops actually benefit from Maelstrom game play.

I’m not really sure how the Nids would hold up. Fast moving troops with objective secured may be worth their weight in gold. In Eternal War, I would just park my Tervigon troop choice on top of an objective and not worry about it for the rest of the game. In Maelstrom, that tervigon’s objective may never even score me a point.

Again, the strategy that I usually use is out the window by turn one, hopefully I can adapt.

2 thoughts on “Maelstrom: The Great Randomizer

  1. I agree with you that it adds a whole different way of playing 40k, but I personally still have reservations against the maelstrom missions. I too had a game with the spoils of war in which my cards gave my opponent 6 points throughout the game while his only gave me 1. As a player on the unlucky side, nothing sucks more than losing purely because of bad luck. I ended up drawing a game that should have been an easy win as I actually fulfilled several more mission cards & had first blood, Slay the Warlord, & line breaker; all of which my opponent did not have.
    To put it another way: when people ask me to explain 40k I used to say it was like chess on steroids, but with maelstrom it’s more like poker – it’s really not just about how well you play the game but how lucky you draw.

  2. Of course, two days after I say I like Maelstrom, I suffer one of the most disheartening loss I have had in a while. My Carcharodons wrecked the Blood Angels, but the BA scored more Objectives than I could.

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