Saturday, March 13, 2010

Kill Points "What If" Food for Thought

So, here's a quick one to wrap your heads around and ponder.

What if a tournament implemented a Kill Point mission primary win condition in the following way:

Once all lists have been submitted, pairing for the first round is automatically done by Kill Point total. Closest kill point totals play each other. For that round only, Kill Points is the objective.

I am not a fan of kill points personally, but would this be a functional way to implement it, where your participants are all basically within a few KP of each other?

Input welcome,
- Mike


  1. Not a bad idea, and you'd have the perk (potentially, anyway) of having the higher brackets be lower KP.

  2. I've seen two schools of thought on KP:

    (1) Kill Points act to balance army design and help to prevent MSU, transport-heavy armies from dominating in games.

    (2a) Kill Points are as badly designed as the 2nd-edition Virus Bomb, as they inherently cripple certain armies, and inherently advantage certain others. They also run counter to the "metagame" created by the rest of the rules.

    (2b) Kill points are a badly designed "fix" to a non-existent problem, and armies that attempt to customize themselves to limit their KP will inherently be weaker than armies that don't. Kill Points are thus meaningless for good players with a killer list, and act as an inherent disadvantage for weaker players.


    I tend to agree with (2a), myself.

    That said, your functional implementation will probably create KP "brackets" in the tournament, and will probably encourage people not to worry too much about Kill Points in their army list design -- the expectation being that they will go in against a list with comparable kill points, and the "harder" lists will have more KP anyway, so there's less reason to try to compensate for low KP, etc.

    This will probably only work as a "fix" to the KP problem, if the first mission of the tournament is a KP mission, though.

  3. The whole Termie TH/ss squad is worth the same amount of points of a gretchin squad bothers me still.

  4. I'm personally with you ... if the picture for the post doesn't indicate that, but as usual I'm curious about the opinions of others.

  5. Kill points are an important game function that several armies, Orks being the primary one I can think of off the top of my head. Orks are an attrition based army. Orks lose models to kill enemies, specially they have massive sized units that lose models as they engage with the enemy. KPs allows them to play like this. VPs mean they have to worry about every casualty, which is not very Orky is it?

  6. That's not actually how it pans out, Jay. Orks are only 6 points each, so in VP they only care about being 6 vp per ork killed, effectively, except that you have to kill 15 / 30 to get ... 90 victory points ... and have to kill every last other one to get 180, and then you've only scored 180, so it still holds.

    More importantly, an army like the Orks is often MOST punished by Kill Points, b/c if the Ork wants to run a speed freak army with a lot of trukks ... each of those units that's literally designed to explode ... is a punishment to the Orks.

    Advocating kill points as legitimate basically states, in your example, that orks may ONLY be played one way at all, and anyone who disagrees w/ that one way is obviously wrong, thanks to KP.

    KP limits army build mechanics, and hamstrings the older armies that require more MSU/"KP" to be competitive, such as Sisters of Battle. KP missions lead to a less competitive game, unfortunately.

    That said, the point of the topic is to ponder the notion of whether including KP as a mission between armies of roughly equal KP would be functional, or if KP would still be bad anyway.

  7. I don't like it. You need enough mix of scnerios that it encourages people to bring balanced armies. If I knew that KP was all that mattered I would just bring my minimum 2 units of troops and fit everything else into stuff that can actually kill you. Same thing would happen if you have victory points

    For example, if I would have realized that the winner of the pancake tournament was determined only by victory points I would have had only 2 veteran squads and put a lot more points into heavy and elite choices.

  8. I'd like to see what impact it had...but I'm afraid I'll stay on the fence for now. Certainly, I don't think I'd lose out - seeing as how Eldar frequently take 2KPs for 145 points a pop - and one of those is a Scoring 5 man, T3 4+ unit with a meagre amount of firepower for a Troops choice...

    PS - Really nice blog.