Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thoughtful Thursdays - Smaller Games

Is this what a small skirmish would look like?

It goes without saying, (which I hate that phrase btw – ed.)  that 40k has changed in the last 14 years.  If you are doing your math, that is 3rd edition.  That is when I started playing 40k, right at the beginning of 3rd edition.  I loved the box set.  (Which I will be posting an article about this coming Saturday!)  But when you remember the size of the games from 3rd ed, what do you remember?  What was the average game size?  Well, most of my friends played 1000 points.  That was “normal”, and took a couple hours to play.  As the years went on, I noticed a bit of a creep in points.  Then when 4th edition came out, the average size game was 1500.  Now it seems that the average size game is slowly creeping up to 1750.  So, what size games do you normally play?  I have noticed when you compare 3rd edition codices with their 4th or 5th edition counterparts, there is a huge difference in point allocations.  Not just from the standpoint of wargear.  Now, 1000 points seems small.  I can’t even make an army of my liking at 1000 points.  (My Boss and Nobs alone clock in a little over 300 points.)  Perhaps I am writing a list ineffectively.  Perhaps I need to trim the fat on my smaller lists.  Can you have fun in a smaller game?  Well there is Killzone.  But, I am talking a “real” game of 40k.  One that could be played at 500 to 1000 points.   Do you think it is somewhat of a challenge coming up with a “good” ork list for that number of points?

Let’s take a look at a “standard” 1000 point list and see if it can’t be competitive and fun at the same time.

Warboss (goes with Nobs in Trukk) – 105
Eavy Armour, twin-linked shoota, cybork, Power Klaw

Big Mek  (Goes with 2nd Boyz Unit) – 90
Kustom Force Field, Cybork

10 Nobs – 385
Waaagh Banner, Painboy, 2x Power Klaws, Trukk
Trukk – 40
Red Paint Job

20 Boyz – 275
Nob w/ Power Klaw, 2x Big Shootas, Shootas, BattleWagon
Battlewagon  - 105
Red Paint Job, Grot riggers, Reinforced Ram

20 Boyz – 140
Nob w/ Power Klaw, Shootas, 2x Big Shootas

Total – 1000 points

What do you think?  Could this be effective?  When is the last time you played a smaller game?  Next challenge – 500 points!


  1. Yeah, 1000 pts is fun- it should be said that when I play this size, it's Cityfight rules, because that adds so much more to close-confine, small unit games.

    Good to see someone standing up for the little (points) guy :)

  2. Good to see someone flying the flag for Cityfight, too!

    I really like small games of 40K, partly because they mitigate the obscene buy-in cost of a new force and partly because they involve such a different set of challenges than the 1750-2000 point 'sweet spot' where most books can build a solid list. I'm all in favour of playing solid lists and big games, but sometimes it's fun to pick your favourite bits and take a chance. :D

  3. It might be interesting to do a series of linked games at even lower point costs, and have them all be part of one overarching battle. Or maybe have 4 people per team and and all of them controlling a quarter of a 1000 point list.

  4. Actually, disregard that first thought - even a tiny list takes nearly a 1000 points.