Wednesday, March 24, 2010

40k Points Sizes & the Vegas Finals - Contradictions and Questions

So, I've been given the all clear by the overall Vegas Circuit coordinator to drop that the Las Vegas Championships for the Independent Tournament Circuit will be at 1,500 points for Warhammer 40k, 2,000 points for Warhammer Fantasy, and 750 points for LOTR.

I find this fascinating, as almost none (if any) of the Indy Circuit points levels are slated at 1500; most are in the 1850-2000 point range.

It lines up with the UK points totals of 1500, so perhaps it's meant to bring those in line with each other - such remains to be seen.

I tend to think of 1850-2000 points as the sweet spot. You're able to take a few extra things, make and recover from mistakes, and overall have a bit more tactically deep and army-diverse game. At 2500 points it often comes down to "who goes first," and/or "can you effectively put your army in reserve," and at 1500 points it often simply is whoever rolls a hot roll first when shooting at or charging something. Things cascade downhill very quickly.

Does it bother me personally? No, not really, but the overall organizer even admitted when he told us that he knew it would bother some of us (the tournament organizers). I'm curious what you all think about it? Is there a "right" points level to play 40k at?

Should tournaments drop their points level to 1500 so it's more in line with the upcoming Vegas event?

Curiosity on my part, what do ya'll think?


  1. I love that you keep asking for our opinions.... and in response I will try to keep giving them!

    So, you really have 2 parts to your question.
    1. Should the independent "Golden Ticket" tournaments drop to 1500 points?


    2. Is the a "correct" level to play 40K at?

    In relation to #1, I do think tournaments should drop to 1500 points. If the "Golden ticket" independent tournaments have a goal of acting as true qualifiers, then I think they should work to match the finals as closely as possible.

    In relation to #2, I do not think there is a "correct" point level to play 40K at. In the rule-book it discusses approximate times for playing games at 500-1000 points, around 2000 point, and larger than 2000 points. As I understand, the game is written for 1500 - 2000 points, and thus balanced and tested at that level.

    My experience breaks down this way:
    Small games of 1000 points and less - these are usually starter games with very basic units. Many armies have units that "break the game" at this point and can make it very not-fun to play against certain builds. This level is best played with basic HQ and troop builds, rarely adding in any toys. My experience says this is not good for tournaments without modified rules (i.e. Combat Patrol)

    1500 points - this is a level where you can make a balanced army build or an extreme army build. There is rarely space to build a balanced army AND take any "toys" at this level. Games are decided by 1 big moment and the extreme builds can be very extreme and unmanageable at this level.

    1750 / 1850 points - this is a level where you can take a balanced army and typically squeeze in A "toy". This is also a level where the extreme builds, while tough to deal with, can be managed a bit easier. Personally I prefer this level of game as you cannot just take all the "toys" and the game still relies a fair amount on solid tactics.

    2000 - 2500 points - this level, in my experience, is really the "I gets to haz everything" level. Multiple toys and tactics begins to minimize overall. This level lets you take a power build, then add in more toys and it comes down to which armies have the coolest toys. At this level I find most armies end up duplicating and triplicating whats good, while losing diversity overall. Mistakes can be more-easily covered making good tactics less important.

    Now, I am not saying tactics are never important, and I will not go into the relative power levels between codex. I will say that in my not-so-humble opinion, the 2K+ levels show the gaps in codex stronger than the lower levels.

  2. The opinion is always appreciated. We each have ours, and have our bias, but the internet is not a place for us to create podiums of our own firm rationale for "our way or the highway" IMO.

    We are peers, at this game. Treating others with respect, and treating their opinion as valuable, enables you to actually give them a chance to talk, and with luck enables them with the ability to hear you in return, instead of just shutting you off as a knowitall ITG.

  3. I have no idea what you're referring to MVB :P

    I'm gonna second what nix said, like all of it.

    1500 is a surprise, but doable. I think 1850/2000 allows you to put more personal touches on an army without totally gimping it. More options is always good in my eyes, and bigger games is where you see that happening. I see a lot more diversity at 1850/2000 than 1500 and 2500. The former pretty much has your entire limit taken up by the essentials while the latter has the FOC be your big limiting factor and produces armies that are all a bit similar.

  4. Bill nails my opinion on the matter exactly. 1,500 isn't as much fun because, at that point, you've got the core of the army w/o having room for anything "fun." 2,000 isn't as good, because there are no hard choices to make. 1,750/1,850 is best because you have to make hard choices about what goes in... but you've got wiggle room to have a fun unit in there.

  5. I'm mostly in agreement. My only comment is that for some lists, there's really not a difference between 1850 and 2k. I.E. for my guard, I add another chimera or two, and make "riding in vendettas" more of an option for the couple squads that do.

    Yatta yatta.

  6. Speaking of which, 1850 GT list for Adepticon if I get in off wait list =

    Straken w/ 3 Melta, Medic, Carapace, 2 Bodyguards, Chimera (heavy flamer)

    2 x 10 Vets w/ 3 Melta
    4 x 10 Vets w/ 3 Melta, Chimera (heavy flamer)

    3 x solo vendettas

    2 x solo demolishers

  7. Damn Nix, well said. I agree that if the finals are 1500, the qualifiers should run that as well. Do they let you release anything about the mission types and such? If so, you should use those in the qualifier games, but I doubt they've released that stuff yet. At 1500 point, you have to decide if you want to take an all-comers list or an extreme list. like Nix said, as you get into the 1850/2000 point range, you can take more of a variety of units so you have at least some counter to those extreme lists.

  8. Just out of curiosity has there ever been a major US tournament at 1500 points? I think I recall the days of 1750, but not 1500 in my memory.

    If not, then why the change? What is this, the UK? :)

  9. My experience with 1500 has always been while I build to 1750/1850, or when we have time constraints. That said I almost rather not play than play at 1500 while I have 1850 worth of army in my box. As everyone has noted, it is because of the fact that my army loses the only real flavor it has.

    Even with my limited experience at 1500, I can say that the winner of those games was always whoever killed shit first. Now my games are . . . "Well I killed this, but there is still all that bearing down on me."

    Building a 1500 point list with Blood Angels was and technically still is a pain. Thankfully I have moved on to better things--I no longer play with that brochure of a codex.

  10. Strange I missed this. Oh well...

    I agree with everyone above, excepting that I think the differences between Codexes' strengths are just as pronounced at 1000 as 2500. Try playing MechDar against IG at 1k, and see the difference.