Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fantasy - 2000 vs. 2400 Points

Last weekend’s NatCon Warhammer Fantasy event was played at 2000 points. This was at odds with the more common 2400 point competitions that have been the norm here in New Zealand (and overseas) for the past 18 months.

There is no doubt that 2000 points produces a different game to 2400 points. Characters have a little bit less protection or a few less toys or both. The same goes for units. They are smaller, less kitted out or there a fewer of them. This leads to a game that can be broken open more easily but also swings more easily.

I would suggest that the game is more exciting at 2000 points than at the larger size. This is because of these swings where losses more quickly put a unit’s viability into question.

The biggest concern that I have with 2000 point games is that some races seem more viable at the level than others. Some armies e.g. Tomb Kings, probably old Empire, need the extra 400 points to make them competitive. One of the things I like about the game at the moment is that pretty much any army competes at 2400 points.

My thoughts are that in the long run I’m happier to have a broader range of armies viable so that everybody is competitive than only 5-6 viable races viable but with potential for a more exciting game.

What are your thoughts?

  • Is the game more exciting at 2000 points?
  • Are more armies viable at 2400 points?
  • Where is the “sweet spot”?


  1. 2400 works better for those armies that dont have cheap nasty toys like the DE Hydra, Emp Steam Tank, Skaven HPA that sort of thing as it means they can include things to counter them or least limit their damage. For races that rely on special choices 2400 also offers the ability to take more of those units. But it does hurt armies with a weak selection of core choices i.e. High Elves as the 600pt min is a pain.

    2000pts also benefits armies with really cheap effective characters, and prevents armies whose characters cost a ton from taking effective builds.

    Personally, I like 2400pts but then again the 2000pts at the campaign tournament you ran last year did work well. But if you went with 2000pts you would need a far more restrictive comp system to prevent those armies that have a plethora of cheap effective characters, core chaff, and strong monsters from dominating the field too much.

  2. 2400 all the way. 2k was ok when 8th was just released and we were all getting (literally) up to speed, but personally i wouldnt want to go back. you're right about 2400 making everyone competitive, i would also add the more points, the more variety of lists. well, theoretically anyway lol


  3. 2400 points is my preference.
    If you look at all the 8th edition books, most will find it hard to make a good list and remain competitive at 2k (broad sweeping generalised statment). Not impossible though. None of them have the broken cheap items/units/combos that get amplified as the points get less.
    On the other side most of the old 7th (and 6th) books still work well (or atleast better than) the 8th edition ones at lower points.
    As GW revisits the rest of the books, the latter will want to run the extra 400 as well.
    I wouldnt like to see a swing towards 2k as standard, but never hurts to have a couple of events about that are different. IIRC Christchurch run a 3k comp!
    IMO, Dont try fixing what isnt broken...

  4. I have found that the lower the points level played, the more the 7th power leap becomes apparent. The Main offenders in 7th become the power armies again because they have a fantastic "killing power to points cost" ratio....

    To be crude (And Skaven players are free to object-but look at every competitive build), the killing power in a skaven army is the greyseer, HPA, WLC (well, not your one Pete), Furnace, and gutter runners. All these can be present in 2000, and most in 1600. Increasing the points for Skaven just increases the amount of filler units (slaves, clan rats, etc) needed to get min core + adds a few more effective, but not "must have" toys. Dark Elves, DoC, Lizardmen armies are in similar positions.

    Raising the point level means the other armies that dont have the above advantage get to bring the stuff that gives them the synery etc to be competitive.


    1. Good pt Joel - apologies Pete but a 2000pt Skaven army and a 2400pt Skaven army dont differ much, but Dwarfs and High Elves at those pt levels are very different creatures. I could also build an strong Ogre army at 2000pts. Some armies function well at low points values others dont.

      That being said we used to run 1500pt games at our local club under 7th Ed and found those to be a lot of fun. That and you could get in 2 games in a night, equate that to a tournament at its 10 games not 5

      Speaking of which - why dont we play more than 5 games over a Weekend Pete? We could squeeze in 1 more each day

    2. Number of reasons John.

      Firstly, there are a number of out of towners and I've always worked on the premise that they like to get home at a reasonable time rather than late on a Sunday night.

      Secondly because the events typically have less than 32 players, Swiss chess sorts out a winner after 5 rounds.

      Thirdly, I have to move the tables, terrain etc. This takes 1-2 hours which I don't particularly want to have to do at 6-7pm on a Sunday evening.

      Lastly, the Warriors play from 4pm on a Sunday afternoon.

      So the answer is, that generally I have found it works for most people. However I'd be interested if I've got that wrong.

    3. Personally I find the 5 round tournament pretty spot on at 2400 points. I do like the early finish on the Sunday and I'm happy to be finishing it up after 5 games.

      Possibly if it was a smaller points tournament then yes maybe run an extra game or two based on being able to have a quicker game, however I think you should aim to keep the length of the days about the same.

      I'm happy with 2400 points as it does seem pretty balanced to me, that said I'm happy for diversity in the tournament points too.

      As a Skaven player I would say they are possibly a tougher army to fight (and more forgiving for a newer player such as myself to use) at some of the lower points ranges.

      At say 1,500 points stuff like the unbreakable plague monks with furnace and HPA and/or Doomwheel('s) & WLC are tough to counter for some armies. Especially when they are used alongside big dirt cheap units of infantry to static combat res your opponents usually smaller units.

    4. As long we you don' adopt the 8 a.m starts that seem all rage in the upper North Island (Equinox and Natcon). Some of us aren't morning types.

      Happy with 5 rounds, but if I was traveling a 6th could assist in bang for buck calculations, but more relaxed traveling schedule is also not a bad thing.

      As for Warriors, well that's just sad

  5. I thought the new VCs ran OK at 2000pts. The only game at Natcon where I felt I was really on the back foot was against Toms daemons. An extra 400pts of VC troops wouldn't have changed that much at all, VCs have never liked daemons much...

    At 2000pts i was able to fit in pretty much everything that I could want
    L4 caster with L2 support
    hard to kill BSB
    3 solid combat units - ghouls, graveguard, crypt horrors
    zombie bunker
    zombie tarpit
    4 cheap redirectors - 2 x 2 bats, 2 x 1 host.

    adding 400pts would have given me some more options but I'm not sure that it would have made the army play that much differently. What 400pts does do is let you take 2 x lord casters (or even 3 necro lords at a push), I think that is a good argument for not going up to 2400pts all the time...


  6. Posted thoughts as separate blog post

  7. Regardless of any other reasoning, given the lists I've seen, and taking the chatter from various forums... most people like to take more toys and two lord level characters @ 2400 pts. 2000 pts is a form of comping because you cant take all those things.

    I dont disagree that some armies are still able to take "nasty things" at 2000 pts. But that does leave them with less chaff to divert or protect with.

    For me, I'm still of the opinion that given the whining that happens in regards to comp, the level of "power gaming" (aka I want as many toys as possible) is onne of the major reasons for the lower numbers at Natcon this year. (okay okay aucklanders have always been notorious for not wanting to travel - that hasnt changed it would seem).

  8. Rather than the armies feeling less competitive I believe it really actually is a perception tbing. Your list just doesn't feel right, However the thing is that your oppenent is also generally feeling the same. I think Skaven are real ones to watch out for in 2k points IMO, yet even they probably don't get everything they want.

    I have never found 2k to be unbalanced? , and yet I have played about the same amount of 2k games than I have 2.4k games... Funnily enough you see more big monsters in 2k :), which isn't necessarily a bad thing

  9. Its a shame that Rankings HQ don't have a compulsory field for the number of points in the tournament, then you might be able to pick up a few statistics.
    I agree with Peter in that I think it more a perception problem. I have very little to base it on but I think that all armies can be successful at 2000 points. I remember a Cityguard posting about 2 years ago where someone complained that they couldn't get a 1500 point army to work as they couldn't cover all the bases. It had to be pointed out to him that everbody else was in the same position and you won't be facing all the attacking options, and he still wasn't convinced.
    Personnally, having played at several 2400 and 2000 point tournaments I prefer the 2000 point ones. My reasons:

    1. The army list design is more challenging and interesting. You cannot afford the redundancy that you can at 2400. You have to think about dual roles for your troops, cut down on the toys and protection for your characters.
    2. The game plays faster - quite important for doddery old slow players like me.
    3. You have to be prepared for rapid swings in the game.
    4. I think it encourages more diverse lists as ou are forced to make decisions on what to leave out and how best to cover gaps
    5. The game board is not so cramped. I find the "impassable" edges to all the battlefield a bit artificial and this is more pronounced at 2400 points.

    Compare to the Vermintide tournament - 1200 points on 5x4 tables.
    Fast and furious games, plenty of variety in lists, lots of excitementand upsets.

    My comments need to be considered in the light that I am a biased cavalry player who likes room for his horses to perform at their best.


  10. Summed up very nicely there Neil. (and not real mention of the whine-comp either!)

    Be nice to see a 2400pt rebuttal as well - without mention of comp, which to my mind is arguable in one way or another whatever the points scale.