This is a blog post written by Algesan over on his site. Its an interesting look at tournament mission objectives, so we'll take a look at it.
Speaking of the tournament victory condition of "Table Quarters". Mike Brandt of NOVA posted up something about it on his Whiskey & 40k blog, which I tried twice to reply to, but it seems the apparent issues with Blogger & OpenID continue, so my posts show up as published immediately, but a refresh has them deleted. (EDIT: I just posted again a couple of days ago, same issue, looks like I'm persona non grata on Whiskey & 40k.)
Reply: To begin, I need to state my bias here. I actually like the Table Quarters mission goal. It has been in play since 3rd Edition and there is a reason it is still cropping up in 6th Edition in tournaments. Regardless of how easy it is to tie, you don't get much more balanced than this mission goal.
As was noted in your article, I mentioned that the problem with "balancing" this mission goal in 6th Edition wasn't the goal itself, it was the change in what 6th Edition views as a score units. Add to the fact that the shift from mechanization towards foot-based infantry and you can see where problems might occur with such a mission goal (e.g. camping large unit in center and picking a quarter to claim at the end). However, I would argue that it is nearly as easy to tie in the 5 objective game if you have experience and a properly built army list. It is even more of a problem if you get a certain Warlord trait. The problem lies entirely with what 6th Edition views a scoring/denial unit. Unfortunately, its not something we can change without making drastic rules changes in a tournament setting. Then we're talking INAT, which is something I very much wish to avoid.
Personally, I like how Nova handled the secondary mission goals by adding tie-breaker points to your final score. It made them less of a requirement, without marginalizing their effectiveness in close games. Which is the whole point of Nova -- playing opponent's your skill level in balanced missions and hopefully having those hard-fought battles. The only real problem is with First Blood, as you mentioned. But I think a good way of solving this problem would be to give each player at shot at it. For example, if your opponent kills one of your units in the first player turn, in your part of the turn, you get an opportunity to kill something of theirs as well. If you fail to do so, then the point goes to your opponent. If you do, neither player gets it. Or if your opponent doesn't get one in their turn, but you do...the point goes to you.
But the biggest question, one I've not seen asked: Why do we even need to use the 6th Edition mission goals? Neglecting to do so isn't changing the rules. Every edition, tournaments have dropped one or more of the rulebook mission goals. Last edition, the majority of Grand Tournaments edited Kill Points (if they even used them at all). Hell, none of them used the prescribed amount of objectives, nor how they should be placed. How is this any different from what we're trying to do now? The answer is something we're not going to like...there is no difference.
As for your missions, I don't think there is anything fundamentally wrong with them. It certainly would be easy to manage and make the games easier to play. I think that is a good thing about them. But that is the key here. Easy sometimes mean less enjoyment. Fewer things going on, fewer objectives to find and complete, less tactics in play. For me, that is part of the fun. I like having to fight for several goals; makes things much more interesting. In addition, you'll find the skilled players will going to that tie-breaker score a majority of the time. How many games went to secondary or tertiary goals at Nova Open to decide winners? I know that most of my games actually came down to the 4th tie-breaker, Victory Points. I don't think its about gaming the tournament, but because we need so many different tie-breakers to determine winners. :D
This blog is not devoted to anything specific. One day it might contain random thoughts about the world or ranting about something, the next day discussing some 40k tactics. More times than not, however, it'll be 40k related. But be aware of this random range of posts! Feel free to comment on anything you see here, provided its on topic. :D