Have a look at the different ways to earn VPs on page 41.
When you Kill a target listed on your mission, or scamper off with an item for Scour, it’s pretty easy to see that you should count those VPs from that point on. After all, the item ain’t coming back and the dead guy isn’t getting any better. Infiltrate is the same, as is Intel. Survive is simple as it only adds up and can’t be lost either. The only ones that seem to raise any questions are Capture and Control. When do you count these?
These are pretty straightforward too, though they aren’t the same as the others for the simple reason that they can be lost as well as gained.
In real battles, at both a local and grand scale, objectives are won, lost and won again. This can happen in a game of DZ too. You can gain Control of an objective only to have the controlling model killed, or an enemy move up to contest it. With Capture and Control, you have the VPs as long as you fulfil the conditions for that goal. If you subsequently lose Control then you lose those VPs. Easy!
Think of it this way. You get back from the operation, covered in grime, blood and stinking of cordite. Your boss comes over to get a one sentence summary before the full debrief. If your mission was to Kill someone and you did so, then your boss is happy. If you were tasked with Controlling an objective and the battle ended with it in enemy hands do you think he’d be impressed? Not so much. Even if you did control it at one time, early on? That’s not his happy face.
Or, to put it another way, unlike every other type of goal, Capture and Control have no memory. If you’re not doing it now then it never happened.
If the game ends by timing out, then just tot up your VPs at that moment, Capture and Control included. If, on the other hand, you want to claim a victory earlier, then you simply need to keep a running tally of how many you have at that moment. As you should be focussed on your mission anyway, what you need to do to win should all be pretty clear. Personally, I don’t worry about counting VPs till I’ve racked up a few (regardless of what kind of goal they’re from). At that point I take a moment (during my opponent’s turn) to work out what options I have for winning. What more do I need to do? Very often there are two or three different ways to win, though exactly what they are depends on which mission you have, what your strike team is composed of (or what’s left), and what you’re up against. Don’t forget that you can always abort a mission or simply go for wiping out the foe.
On a separate, but related issue, what happens if a strike team’s last model moves off the board to Infiltrate or Scour? Does the enemy win (case 2 of claimed victories) or do the VPs for the moving model count?
There are a small number of other situations in which a single action can result in both players being able to claim a win simultaneously. In common with all fun things, most of these situations involve explosives.
My ruling on this is that the active player gets to claim a win first. He is, after all, the one causing whatever mayhem is happening, and I think it’s appropriate to reward his efforts. If he’s managed to scrape a win by moving off his last model then good for him. Mission accomplished.
This ruling also has the advantage of applying to any situation when simultaneous claims could be made, whatever the cause.